Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My favorite weekend once a year....again

Every year I go to Burbank, CA and party it up at the Farscape convention. And this year was no different, except it was very different. This year I didn't go with my friend, AF, this year I went with My Baby. He loves this shit as much as I do and we had a great time. We went to Disneyland and Universal Studios. We hung out at the convention and played lots of pool and had so much sex it was unbelievable. :-)

Maybe I shouldn't have put in that last part. But then again, what makes this thing with My Baby and I work is that in every way, we are accepting of each other, and that makes being together in every way so enjoyable. We love spending time together, we have a tremendously good physical relationship and we laugh....Oh my goodness, we laugh all the time.

I'm sharing pictures of this trip, because really....the trip entailed two theme parks, endless rides, lots of food and spirits, playing pool, enjoying the convention and staying up way too late. I like the pictures better.

So here we go:

My Baby and I after the rollercoaster at California Adventure.






Sitting down on the Boardwalk.



Me in front of the Disneyland entrance.



My Baby and I on the Universal Studios Tour.



And finally my favorite picture of him....taken while he was waiting for Waterworld to start at Universal Studios.



It was a great time. And we needed it considering what hit us next.....when we got home.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Divorce Day To Me

Today is the final trial from my divorce. Regardless of how much money is awarded me in child support and alimony.....when I walk out of that courtroom today, I will be divorced. I won't necessarily be free of CP and his shit, but I will no longer be his wife.

Oh my God! That thought alone makes me want to jump up and down, but it's not eight o'clock in the morning yet and I don't want to piss off my neighbors.

CP still does not have a lawyer, so he is representing himself. And you know what they say about a man who has himself for a lawyer....He has a fool for a client. What this also means is that when I take the stand to go over the money situation in my marriage and answer questions, my lawyer will question me first and then CP will be able to question me directly. It should be interesting.

Anyway, wish me luck.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

So technically, by sharing this strip of pics, I'm saving you from 4000 words. :-)

I just wanted to share some pics of BS and I. And I'm too tired to put up anything remotely coherent right now. These were taken in a photo booth a couple of weeks ago when we went to the Mariners baseball game.

Cheers.



Friday, September 16, 2005

Pitching a Tent

LOL, that reminds me of the movie Varsity Blues. Loved that film.

I'm off this weekend to go camping at the beach with BS and other people we know. I know it's going to rain today, I know I'll be cold sometimes, and I know I'll probably have to dash for the bathroom as we drink more and cook less.....but oh boy....am I excited to go camping.

I used to camp a lot. I should say, WE used to camp a lot. When we lived in Utah, CP, the kids and I would take off once a month for a weekend and just pick a spot in the desert and pitch a tent or two. Then we'd hike all over and take pictures and enjoy the scenery. At night, we'd light the fire, play cards and watch the stars.

I haven't been camping in four years. Not since CP got a burr up his ass about making money, keeping said money from me and being a stoic Mormon. Camping is bad, it's a vacation from the real world, and God knows that all Mormons (read CP) musn't take a break from the "real world." They must suffer always!

But I digress.

I'm very excited to go camping, sit by the fire, play cards and watch the stars. I'm also excited to pitch a tent, yes, the sexual innuendo is intended there. And then there will be that late night stroll on the beach.....and everything that comes with it. OK, sexual innuendo intended there, as well.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oh, and did I mention that I officially got full-time status at work yesterday. So now I'm a bona fide full-time Big Box employee and soon the kids and I will have a full benefits package. Can you believe that? We haven't had insurance in almost five years. Best news.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Damn the City of Beaverton and their Damn Photo Radar



Oh, I hope somebody from the city reads this someday because I am so goddamn sick of the City of Beaverton and their photo-happy radar vans. But I suppose that is too much to ask. I bet the people who work for the city are too busy licking envelopes with photo radar tickets in them to have any spare time to read blogs.

So in January of this year, I was driving in the rain (true, but it's an excuse) and this guy pulled out in front of me taking a right in the intersection (true, but an excuse, as well). I slammed on my brakes and ended up going too slowly through the intersection. He got his right turn in and I ended up crossing the intersection after the light turned red and came to a dead stop in the intersection. The picture of me the photo radar took is priceless.....too bad I threw it away.

Perhaps, if I'd thought of it, I'dve done this:





The court date they set randomly was for a day I was going to be in Oklahoma City visiting my dad before he left for Afghanistan. So I wrote a letter, explained the situation and asked for leniency and I got some...they dropped the price of the ticket from $350 to $270. Yeah....that's what I thought.

And so CP made terrible fun of me and refused to help me pay the ticket. I couldn't afford to pay it all at once, especially after I moved out, so I made payments to the City of Beaverton until a couple of months ago.

But guess what.

The other day, while driving to BS's house, tucked away in the trees was a fucking photo radar van....the traveling photo radar nightmare.....lights off, no flashing speedometer and I was going six miles over the not-posted speed limit and bam....flash of light and the City got me again.

But I'm going to fight this one. For a number a reasons....principle being the main one. Damn if I'm going to give this sickeningly rich city any more of my hard earned money. They can pay their councilmen less or perhaps stalk their neighborhoods and catch them speeding.



Secondly, this van was hidden, but it was also hidden on the Beaverton side of a road that is the dividing line between the Cities of Tigard and Beaverton. I think jurisdiction here is a little sketchy and I intend to push that issue.

Finally, and this is where the urban studies classes of my last year come in handy, the area the van was sitting in was technically "unincorporated Washington County." Meaning, the area is not actually part of the City of Beaverton. If someone who lived out there called the police, they would get a response from the Washington County Sheriff's department. Not the City of Beaverton. The area is called the Progress area....and as far as I know, it's not within the official boundaries of Beaverton.

Beaverton is trying to annex at least six different areas in "unincorporated Washington County." Cedar Hills, West Slope, Raleigh Hills, Garden Home, Bethany and Cedar Mill. They hope to gobble up the Nike campus, but Nike has said no way and already filed paperwork to stop them. The Progress area isn't even on their list of places to annex, but they sure like to park their vans there. Damn damn damn.

I live in Beaverton because the schools are good and I'm close to work, but I really dislike the photo radar. They acquired one set of photo radar cameras for an intersection.....and now they are everywhere. They have at least three or four vans that they consistently park along the streets in the unincorporated areas. Which to me seems wrong.

And so I wait until some company in Wisconsin (that's where the last one came from) sends me my ticket with my picture and summons to court. And you can bet your ass I'll be ready. And I'm going to fight this baby for all I'm worth.


And finally I just have to share this picture, which I found while searching for photo radar photos. Not too many people post them online, which is a shame, I bet some of them are hilarious. Like this one:



Monday, September 05, 2005

Happiness is waiting in a distant slumber

Oh my God!

I'm more tired than I think I've been in a decade. And I get a little melancholy when I'm tired. So I apologize in advance for the not-so-upbeat tempo of this entry.

I was thinking too much about my life and where I'm at right now...and then I threw caution to the wind and decided not to think about it or analyze it.....and now I'm wondering if it's better to think too much than too little. I mean, I have big stuff going on. And throwing caution to the wind has never been my strongest trait.

I took on full-time hours at work, and I suppose it was good, as now there is a full-time position doing what I do open...it comes with benefits and I was told today to apply for it as I'm a "shoe in" for the position.

School starts tomorrow for my kids and so life becomes less about which bar has darts and more about math and spelling and cooking dinner, something I haven't done in ages and something I miss. Sitting at the kitchen table and helping with homework seems like a vacation right now.

And yet, there is this thing with BS....and it's still so new and so great....and oddly enough I blog about my whole life on here, but I don't want to blog much about him. It's sort of like my secret little treasure and I want it to stay that way. Just mine...and his.

So while homework seems like a nice respite from the whirlwind dating life I've been living right now, I like the whirlwind.

Maybe that's why I'm feeling melancholy. I've had every other week to myself, I've been packing my things in a bag and spending days at a time living at BS's house. And the other days, he was a my apartment. I did his laundry today and his shoes are in my closet. OK, so maybe not so much a little treasure with me putting this out there.

And tomorrow life begins. My life with my kids. School, homework, work, trips to the orthodontist, walks in the park....a quiet life...the one I've been waiting for and working so hard for. And yet, I'll miss playing darts at a little dive bar on a week night because I could.

When will I do that again?

Then school starts for me in a few weeks. And for BS. And then the times we see each other will be few and far between. I suppose that will make it more of a treasure. But it will also suck much ass.

And so I'm more tired than I can remember being since I had two kids in diapers. My back is killing me, maybe because I haven't been drinking enough water, but I think I know what it is. I think I have a kidney infection....or a kidney stone. Which would make sense given the stress I still feel facing down this divorce? How much would that suck?

I go to court again on Friday and the issues I could have brought up with CP this week, I've set aside because I just didn't want to deal with it. I'll let the judge do that.

And tonight CP dropped off the kids with me. He's only going to see them every other weekend. He dropped off half the stuff from their bedrooms. And while I sat at the top of the stairs and watched him say goodbye to them, I didn't even feel for him. I'm in a melancholy mood, but not for him.

So hopefully, with a good night's sleep I'll feel less melancholy and more like myself and maybe by some blessing from the Goddess, I won't have a kidney stone.

I wake up in the morning
And the sun is shining, but I barely have the
Strength to close the curtain,
Stop the sun from hurting my black hole
Everything's an effort
When you doubt the purpose of your soul
(But I just keep rolling on)

Desperation disappear beneath my cover
Happiness is waiting in a dreamless slumber

I could sleep forever
~Sleep Forever by Bree Sharp

And that's as melancholy as I get.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Got a visit from the Mormon Bishop

First of all, it's important to clarify that this thing with BS has turned into a big thing. We're only dating each other and we're happy. I know it's crazy and soon, but he's an amazing man and right now, he's just what I want. So I have a boyfriend and I don't want it any other way.

So yesterday, the kids and BS and I went to a movie and then went to his house for a BBQ. Then I took the kids to my place and was getting ready to go out to a comedy club with BS and some other friends when there was a soft knock at the door.

I knew it wasn't BS so I went to the door and opened it and it was the Bishop and his 12 year old son. (Now I should note that I've moved into the same ward - ward: a small geographic area and all the Mormons who live in that area go to church on Sunday at the same time and do activities outside of church together as a group - I've moved in to the same ward CP and I lived in for the first five years of our marriage. I'm sure there are still people in this ward who recognize my name and are thinking...."Yeah, she's back.")

The Bishop shook my hand and introduced himself and asked if they could come in and I said no and stood with the door only part way open. He asked if my husband and kids and I lived there and I said, "I live here with my kids." He said, "but it says that you're married" and showed me the church records he had a copy of that say I'm married. I said that yes, I was technically still married, but that we were almost divorced.

Then he handed me my church records and asked me to verify everything. What freaked me out most was that they had my new home phone number. I've only had the number for about 5 weeks and it's a cell phone number. I don't know where they got it, but damn.....they work fast. I've only been living here for about two and a half months.

So he was asking me if I wanted Visiting Teachers (two women who come to visit me every month) and I said no. Then he asked about Home Teachers (two men who come to visit the family every month) and I said no. He asked if I wanted written correspondence and I said no.

And then I saw BS walking up the stairs to my apartment. Actually, I heard his flip-flops before I saw him and I knew it was going to be good.

But Oh my God. He was wearing shorts, a T-shirt that said "I love Party Girls," sunglasses and a cowboy hat. He had no clue who these people were and could have cared less. He said, "Hey Baby how're doing?" and put his arm around me and gave me a kiss. I said, "Hi, Baby" and he walked right in the apartment.

I looked back at the Bishop and his face got all dark and he simply said, "If you need anything let us know. Have a good evening." And he walked away.

He seemed awfully pissed off. But then again, he did bring his 12 year old son out to meet the inactive Mormons. LOL.

I went in the house, shut the door and started laughing so hard. I couldn't have timed that better if I'd wanted to. The almost divorced inactive mother and her boyfriend flying in the face of Mormon dogma.

It was funny.

So the reason they came to visit me - I'm still a "member of record." Meaning my name is still on the membership rolls of the Mormon church. And that Bishop looked pissed off.

So guess what went in the mail today?

My exit letter to the Mormon church. I don't want to take any chances with being ex-communicated. A lovely little ceremony where a bunch of old men call you to a "court of love" - yeah, right they love you so much they want to kick you out of their church. They call in people (read CP) to testify against you and they asked you all kinds of personal questions about sex and drinking and whatever they want to use against you.

I can just see it now:

Have you had sex with someone other than your husband while you were still married, Ms. Kearn?

Um....yeah....a lot and I'm probably going to go do it again as soon as this is over.

I don't want to be ex-communicated. I want to leave the Mormon church on my own terms, not be kicked out by them. And even though, after everything I've been through with CP and his bullshit about the church and God, I didn't want to give the Mormons any more of my time by writing the letter, I figured it was a good idea after yesterday. I'll say it again, that Bishop looked pissed off.

So here is my letter:


Member Records, LDS Church
50 E North Temple Rm 1372
Salt Lake City, UT

This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is effective immediately. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and I withdraw my consent to being subject to church rules, policies, beliefs and discipline. As I am no longer a member, I want my name permanently and completely removed from the membership rolls of the church.

I have given this matter considerable thought. I understand what you consider the 'seriousness' and the 'consequences' of my actions. I am aware that the church handbook says that my resignation "cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation, withdraws the priesthood held by a male member and revokes temple blessings." I also understand that I will be "readmitted to the church by baptism only after a thorough interview".

My parents joined the LDS church when I was five years old and I was an active member for over 20 years. In the last two years I have thoroughly studied the history of the LDS church and the current research about the church and the Book of Mormon. I have studied approved LDS literature, the scriptures and literature from many other sources. I do not make this decision lightly, but only after extensive research. I no longer believe in the truthfulness of the LDS gospel, nor that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I do not believe that temple ordinances are the only way to enter heaven and dwell in the presence of God and I no longer have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is for these reasons, and my own peace of mind, that I have decided to resign from the LDS church.

My resignation should be processed immediately, without any 'waiting periods'. I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind.

I expect this matter to be handled promptly, with respect and with full confidentiality.

After today, the only contact I want from the church is a single letter of confirmation to let me know that I am no longer listed as a member of the church.

(letter copied in part from www.mormonnomore.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My life as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

My favorite episode of Buffy is an ep called "Fear Itself." In it Buffy and her friends go to a Halloween party held at a fraternity house. The boys in the frat house draw a pentagram type symbol on the attic floor and unknowingly open a portal to another dimension, one where a fear demon named Gachnar rules and in opening the portal, they unleash Gachnar.

No one can see Gachnar they can only hear him screaming at them through the walls and he rules with fear, manifesting everyone's greatest fears. People run terrified and some end up so frightened they die, but Buffy and her pals face their fears and end up in the attic. They break Gachnar's symbol thinking that will end his hold on their world, but instead they end up clearing the way for him to come into their realm.

Smoke billows and slowly Gachnar enters, he's ugly and loud....and only a few inches tall. They stare at him for a few seconds, realizing that the great demon who terrified from beyond the realm, holds no power over them. Buffy makes fun of him and stomps him like a bug with her shoe.

And this is how it is with fear. What I was afraid of seemed so huge.

My fear of living alone scared the hell out of me. I didn't know what I'd do all alone, I thought it meant I was unloved and unwanted that no one would want to be with me. I'd knock around an apartment all by myself with no one to turn to.

My fear of CP kept me in a loveless marriage because I was afraid to stand up to him....and afraid to live my life alone. I was terrified that if I stood up to CP and finally told everyone what an abusive man he really was that it would shatter this world I'd lived in and lied about....that it would say something terrible about me....that I was weak and stayed with him because I was powerless. I thought people would hate me for lying to them.

But I faced my Gachnar in that courtroom last week and I wasn't afraid. It was the most amazing thing in the world. I was so afraid to see CP and so afraid that I would crumble on that witness stand. But once I was in there everything seemed small and normal.

The minute I walked in that room and sat down, I was calm. I knew all I had to do was tell the truth and stay my course and honor my own soul and I would be fine. And I was.

In that hour and a half, I stomped Gachnar with my shoe, because he really was only a few inches high. I made him out to be this huge, frightening monster in my mind, because he was screaming at me from behind the walls and he sounded too awful to face. But I stood my ground and face to face....it was no contest.

In looking back at the whole experience, the courtroom, my marriage, my life as Mrs. CP...it seems inconveivable that I was afraid of it all. CP, when I think of him now, is like a tired, bitter, little man. His eyes don't scare me. His hands seem weak. His large 6 foot 2 inch, 210 pound frame seems small and his words are meaningless. My fear of him is gone.

And as a consequence I am now living by myself in my apartment and it doesn't scare me. I took my kids back to their father last night and I came home.....home....to my place and I watched TV and I read some and checked my email and crawled into my own bed in my own room and slept for hours.

I didn't need to go back to my mother's because living alone doesn't equate to being alone and being here by myself is all of a sudden the most right thing I've done in my life. And I'll be here this week by myself and next week my kids will be back and fill this place up with noise and laughter and weird anime TV shows and rummy card games and it's the most wonderful experience.

This pendulum swinging back and forth between my time with my kids and my time with myself.

My therapist asked me why I was so afraid to be alone and I couldn't give her much of an answer, it was just a cold dread I felt. Then she asked me who I was going to meet when I lived alone. The answer came instantly....me. Maybe I just didn't want to meet myself, thinking I would meet that scared girl, who was left by her father, who lost her childhood and mistakenly replaced her loneliness with a husband incapable of love. What would I say to that girl...."You're a fool. You made a mistake and don't have the courage to admit it. You're afraid." Yeah, I wouldn't have wanted to meet her, and I probably would have judged her, because I wouldn't have wanted to admit my own frailties.

But that's not who I met. That not who I am anymore.

So even now, as CP is promising he'll never give me a cent and my dad told me he can't loan me anymore money and my mother bailed on me too, it doesn't frighten me. So I have no money. So I'm on my own. I don't know anyone else who would loan me money and my rent is due in a few weeks. It seems like small beans compared to facing down the biggest fears of my life.

And I know I'll be fine. I put an advertisement up on Craiglist to try and get house cleaning gigs. I added hours to my work schedule to get more money. I'm going to finally send that letter to CP's Mormon bishop with a copy of the court order in it, because my kids are Mormon and if CP isn't going to pay his support to me, I'll ask the church to. I also know that in doing that, CP will most likely get a good talking to, as Mormon men are expected to pay their child support. If they don't they are supposed to have their temple recommend taken away so they cannot attend the temple. And we all know why CP told me he wanted a divorce, because he wanted a Mormon wife to go to the temple with him. But hey....he made his bed and he set these rules and I'm playing the game.

As it turns out, I'm pretty damn good at playing it. In fact, I'm a better player than CP.

So I sit here in my little apartment, my dog is asleep at my feet, I have a day off of work and a date tonight. My friends stop by every once in a while to bring me things....like pots and pans, a chair from their extra bedroom, curtains, cups, etc. And my little apartment is filling up. The chairs don't match and the curtains are from the stone age and I have the wildest assortment of cups and coffee mugs and glasses that you could imagine, but it doesn't matter. The eclectic mix of things around my house only speaks to craziness of my life right now and everything in my home reminds me that no matter how many people I lied to about my life up until four months ago, those people care about me and my kids regardless. Every thing in my home reminds me I am not alone.

I never was.

Gachnar doesn't scare me anymore.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

What life has in store

I don't know, I just know that major life changes are ahead. They will be big and scary, yet oddly welcome. I just keep telling myself that I have no idea how it's all going to be, it's just going to be different.

CP had his lawyer send mine a letter, which my lawyer, Super Lawyer, got on Monday. In it CP offered me primary custody of the kids with parenting time as stipulated in the Multnomah County parenting plan, which essentially means, every other weekend, two weeks a year and the standard holiday visitation schedule....for CP. He's offering me full custody of my kids.

With the offer of custody CP also offered me a very tiny sum of money for alimony and a small sum for child support, based on his low-wage, struggling contractor income. It's utter bullshit. But this bullshit is different than the Bull Shit I dated.

And so I had to meet with my lawyer on Wednesday to talk about everything and get ready for our first court hearing, which is coming up next Tuesday, July 5th and 1:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time (please keep me and my kids in your thoughts).

My lawyer told me that we are going to accept the offer of custody (a no-brainer) and ask for considerably more money in alimony and child support, because now is the time to let them know that we have three years worth of CP's bank statements. My lawyer said that if CP's lawyer has a brain he will realize that they are toast and will deal with me to avoid being audited by the IRS. Let's see if CP's lawyer has a brain, otherwise I'll have to call him Scarecrow.

What my lawyer is trying to do is wrap everything up by tomorrow, thus avoiding the hearing. His success will come in using those bank statements to get CP to want to avoid court in order to avoid having his very dirty banking/tax practices exposed in front of a judge.

But then again. CP has asked a number of Mormon's to stand up for him in court and be character witnesses. Wouldn't it be great if we ended up in court and all those good-standing Mormons heard, out loud, that good-standing, ever-devout CP lied on his taxes? Perhaps he would become hypocritical CP. I doubt it though, as Mormons tend to hear what they want to hear and take everything on faith. They'll just surround CP afterward, offer him pats on the back and believe his complete shit story about how I'm evil and the spawn of Satan and "can you believe she did that to me? Now you see why I'm divorcing her?"

Oh, well. It doesn't break my heart.

The last time CP offered me custody of the kids it all went up in smoke, so I'm not getting my hopes up, at least about it being wrapped up by Friday (tomorrow). Instead, I'm planning for court. I know what I'm going to wear. I know what I'm going to say. I know I'm not going to crumble when I see CP or when his evil, nasty lawyer questions me.

I know I can do this. I'm ready.

And my lawyer told me that he would be "flabbergasted beyond belief" if I didn't walk out of that court room on Tuesday with custody of my kids.

That puts my mind at ease.

So recap, because I have to do this lately, I got an offer on Monday, met with my lawyer on Wednesday. Letter was written by my lawyer and mailed on Wednesday, CP and his lawyer were in receipt of letter today and CP found out about the bank statements. Things might be finalized by tomorrow afternoon.

If you have a God or Goddess or Higher Power or Mother Nature that you pray to or rely on or have any positive universal energy to send my way, please.... PRAY, THINK, SEND .... anything.

Four days left.

At the most.

And then I'll have the answers I've waiting almost two months for. It feels like I've been waiting my entire life for this.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Fool me once....again

So here we go - same story, different man.

I blogged about "fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me" a while back. GB as it turned out had a girlfriend, after telling me for months he wasn't going to get involved in a relationship. Needless to say, I don't talk to him anymore.

And I mentioned in my last blog that I was dating.... a little bit. All I have to say this time is at least I picked up on the subtle clues and only went out with this guy twice.

The story:

While taking a class this spring at PSU, I met a nice man. Older than I am, I knew he was divorced and he had a nice smile. We made eyes at each other across the classroom and I wondered if he'd ask me out. He did two weekends ago. His name is....this is too good to be true....BS. Now I usually only use initials on this blog, but in honor of BS, I think I'll call him Bull Shit.

Yea, that feels good.

So Bull Shit and I met at a restaurant, one I'd always wanted to eat at, and we had a drink in the bar while waiting for our table. I don't know about him but I was nervous, because I didn't know much about him other than I enjoyed smiling at him and he had nice eyes. Then when we were seated at our table, we talked and when the waitress came over to take our orders, we realized we hadn't even looked at the menu. I thought this was a good sign. Dinner was great, conversation was interesting.

He told me he'd been married and divorced twice and that he'd gone to therapy and after his second divorce had dated a while and then realized that he should take some time for himself. He spent a year not dating and getting comfortable with living alone. He talked about his teenage daughter and losing his job in 2002 and we seemed to have a lot in common. He liked to dance, he loved to watch movies, we were both involved in the same program at PSU, etc.

We got up to leave the restaurant, but he said he didn't want the evening to end, so we walked on the waterfront and then went to this bar in the Riverfront District. We ordered tea and cocoa and talked some more. He seemed charming and we laughed and for the first time in a long time, I was engaged in stimulating conversation with someone who seemed nice and genuine.

Oh my God. It's only been a week, and I can't believe I fell for it.

At the bar, we were sitting close and holding hands and he asked me if I wanted him to kiss me, I nodded and he did. We didn't stop for quite some time and kept on going even when a group of businessmen came into the bar, ordered drinks, and seemed to be standing all around us. I think we gave them quite a show.

Bull Shit walked me to his car and drove me into the parking garage where I had parked and we went up a few floors to a relatively deserted area and we .....hmmm....had a good time.

We both agreed it was a unexpected end to the evening.

I drove home thinking, as amazing as it was, I'd actually met a nice, well-adjusted, sincere man who might be capable of a deep friendship with a woman. I wasn't looking for anything more than that, although, the kissing and making out was nice.

I emailed him over the weekend and he emailed back and we decided to meet for drinks on Monday....last night.

The tone of last night was completely different.

From the moment I sat down, I felt I was being evaluated. At the time, I couldn't put my finger on the odd feeling, but I knew something was up. We talked about my weekend, work and where I went dancing and his weekend out of town. He told me I was beautiful. He was even willing to listen as I talked about the current legal battles with CP (but I'll blog more on that tomorrow). We laughed and well....I was enjoying myself.

Then the conversation turned to computers, traveling and television. On the computer topic we were OK, though he did suggest that I stop going to PSU and just work in computers. Yea, like I hadn't had that thought before.....um....it's called a major recession and a serious decline in the internet jobs. I thought it odd that he didn't get that I love attending school and taking classes and I don't mind the stress of trying to figure things out and write papers. (Though, admittedly, I did suck at it badly this term)

Then talk turned to traveling. Places I'd been, places he'd been. And then just plain traveling around the city. I was surprised at how little he got around. He told me that he was a urban bound person and didn't venture out much. So when I told him I traveled to Burbank, California every year for a Farscape convention.....he stared at me blankly.

And that's when we hit television. Turns out he hasn't watched television since...oh, 1988. Can you imagine? While he was telling me the story of how he ended up not watching TV, I was thinking of all the great TV shows he'd missed over the years. I told him some of the shows I liked to watch and then mentioned that I loved the NBA games and football, especially the Oakland Raiders (sorry, Pops).

Bull Shit looked at me and said, "we have absolutely nothing in common." I countered with "we have a little bit in common, but it is kind of odd isn't it." Then he said, "I haven't had this much fun talking with someone in a long time, even though we don't have much in common." And he just looked at me.....and I knew right then, I was under the microscope.

Bull said, "what am I going to do with you?"
I answered, "I don't know."
He said, "I'm not ready for a relationship."
I said, "I'm not either."

Oh, yeah....microscope. He'd put me on the slide, added the solution, covered me with that little plastic thingy and shoved me under the scope and he was analyzing me from every angle.

Talk turned to art and movies and then he asked if I wanted to continue the evening. It was raining so a walk was out, he said we could go to another bar or go to his car, because.....cue the music....he wanted to kiss me.

We walked by his office and then to his car and we got a little crazy. But thank God I didn't have sex with him, because as we were winding down, he looked at me and said that he really ENJOYED himself and he'd HAD a great time getting to know me.

Bells starting ringing.

Then he reached over and patted my knee.

Oh, yeah, we were crashing and burning.

So I decided that I wasn't going to just let that go and go home and wonder why I didn't get an email from him or a phone call and then potentially make a fool of myself by calling him in a week and having him blow me off. So I took a deep breath and jumped out on that limb I'm getting familiar with as I venture into this new life, as the new Rory.

As he was driving me to my car I asked, "So am I going to see you again....or not."

He smiled and looked straight ahead. He started talking about how he felt odd, like he was taking advantage of me at a transitional phase of my life, he said he wasn't available....

It was like GB deja vu all over again. I asked him what he meant by unavailable. He said he had a lot going on in his life. I said, "could you be any more vague?"

He finally said, "I'm involved in an ambiguous relationship with someone else." Hmmm....man or woman....I wonder.

He said again that wasn't ready for a relationship. He said he'd wanted to be my friend and be there for me at this time in my life and that he didn't know if making out in his car constituted friendship. He also said something about how if we continued to see each other, we would end up dating....really dating....and he wasn't ready to date. Yeah, but he was ready to be ambiguous with someone else.

He asked me what I wanted and I said that I enjoyed the connection we had and liked our friendship, that I didn't want a relationship, but I also didn't want a fuck buddy. What I wanted was somewhere in between. He answered, "Fair enough."

And so I smiled and told him I had better go. And I did.

I realize now that last night was a test. I think it was a test of whether or not he was going to end one ambiguous relationship to start another one with me. Only I didn't realize I was being tested until the last five minutes of the night. If I'd known I would have sharpened my pencil and studied my notes.

And so once again, I have this crazy connection with a man, who seems to be into me and seems nice and yet, Bull Shit, like GB, is already involved with someone else. And he lied. He wanted a fun little evening and decided to audition me for the role of stupid girlfriend. I'm glad I didn't get the part.

Fool me once....shame on you....fool me twice and I'm a fucking idiot.

What is it with men and their inability to commit? Why do they ask women out when they are already with someone else? And why do they lie?

Now I'm not saying every man is like this (there has a be a couple of good guys out there somewhere....right?), but damn....I'm 36 years old. This guy was 47. Is this what I have to look forward to? A bunch of divorced, middle-aged, insecure men who just want a little foreplay and/or sex with as many women as possible. I mean they talk a good game, they know just what to say, but in the end, they aren't any different at 47 then they were at 17.

If this is my dating future with the male species.....I think I might start pitching for the other team.

At least I recognized the signs and picked up on the subtle clues that Bull Shit wasn't any different than GB wasn't any different than CP wasn't any different than my first boyfriend.

I may be slow on the uptake, but I'm catching on quickly.

Now I just need to find out where the gay bars are in town. :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Life inside the Big Box....or....I shake it like J. Lo

One cannot help but think while on a journey and since this is one trip I'm on by myself, I've been thinking a lot.

There are a couple of aspects of my personality, new things (but maybe not new, so much as buried), that I've noticed about myself and again, they might be difficult to explain, but I want to try.

First, women - men - kids, who go through abuse are afraid to speak their mind because they are afraid that someone is going to yell at them and call them names or hit them, etc. So I have this mind, and I always knew what I wanted to say, but I learned early on that speaking my mind was not good...so I rarely said what I was thinking. Now I do. And, can I just say it is so refreshing.

For example, the other day at work one of the managers came into the back warehouse to blow off some steam....(which means he came back there to bitch and swear and drop the F-bomb as much as possible before he went back out onto the sales floor). The problem, I'm on the phone calling customers letting them know in my most cheery voice that their (computer, laptop, camera, DVD player, etc) is back from service and is ready for them to pick up...we're open tonight until 9 PM. THANK YOU. And while I'm making these phone calls in my sweetest voice, there is this guy in the background yelling "FUCK THAT!" or whatever.

So it went something like -
"Hello, FUCK this is Rory SHIT calling to let you know FUCK ME SIDEWAYS that your EAT ME laptop is back from the GO TO HELL service center and GODDAMN you can come in BITCH and FUCK pick FUCK that FUCK up FUCK anytime FUCK YOU."


Yea, that's about how I sounded to oh, say five customers on the phone before I put the phone down rather loudly and took a deep breath and gave the manager a look. He calmly asked, "Are we upsetting you?" To which I answered, "Yea, just a little bit." And he stared at me and said, "Wow. You're being honest with me, that's refreshing, most people aren't honest with me when I asked them how they feel."

This guy comes over and talks to me every day now.

And what did I learn? That when I speak my mind there isn't always someone there waiting to scream at me and call me names. I can be honest and not be a bitch. I can speak my mind and not be full of shit. And most important, there are actually people out there who respect my opinion. Holy shit! How amazing is that.

The second thing I've learned is harder to explain, so I'm going to use my love of dancing to illustrate. As previously mentioned on this blog - I love to go out dancing. I've been going out on a regular basis for over two years and have found one club in particular that I love.

When I first started dancing I always went out with CP and other friends, like TP and SP, MH and PH, and didn't like to get crazy. If a guy came up behind me I'd move away, but really that rarely happened. Even when CP became a Mormon again and didn't go out dancing with us anymore, I still didn't have a lot of guys come up and try to dance with me. I think I gave off a signal, sort of the "leave me alone" signal or perhaps the "I don't think much of myself so I can't understand why you would even want to dance with me so stay away" signal. Regardless, I usually danced alone.

There has been a noticeable shift in the last month.

Maybe it's because I carry myself differently and give off a different aura and possibly because I don't give a good goddamn what people think of me anymore, but I never lack for a dance partner....even if it's a woman. I get out there and I move to the music and I get freaky and I enjoy the hell out of it. I've met all kinds of guys who come up and ask me to dance and if I'm not interested I say so and if I am, I dance. And I enjoy myself. I don't worry about what their thinking or if my moves look like crap....I just go and have fun. And I've never had more fun...or such a large collection of napkins with phone numbers on them.

I tell everyone though that I'm not dating anyone right now (which isn't true) and that even if they give me their phone number I'm not going to call them (which is entirely true).

I feel like there are all these subtle little changes happening to me, like I'm going through a metamorphosis of some kind, and I'm not going to come out a completely different person, like turn from a caterpillar to a butterfly, but I'm changing or perhaps becoming who I always have been and just denied.

And right now a completely Mormon phrase just popped into my head....I'm going through the "refiner's fire." That is too funny!

There are other small things I'm realizing like -
I can say no.

I sprained my ankle this week and realized as I limped around and told people what happened that it was the first time in a lot of years that I was limping and not lying about why I was limping.

That I can live quite well through all this stress without Xanax.

That tracking down names and phone numbers of people CP has done "under-the-table" business with is very easy, especially with reverse address look up.

And finally, July 5th isn't that far away.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A little word about hell

I've been going to see a therapist twice a week. Because I need to and because this is quite a crazy life I have.

And because it's time to put this out there....I was a battered wife. And getting over this is so up and down. And it's so bizarre to be an adult, capable and looking like I'm all grown up, when I don't feel it at all, I feel like a child. And I suppose in many ways, I am. I'm not taking anything away from children who are abused...I'm not. But kids have a court appointed advocate, they can curl up in a ball on the couch and cry, they can play video games for hours and they don't have to go talk to anyone if they don't want to. They get to be kids and yes, it still sucks, but no one out there puts any huge expectations on them. They get the time to heal, if they have the chance.

But being a grown up and coming out and saying you were abused - verbally, emotionally and on occasion physically, there are expectations. Once you say that, well, you leave your spouse or boyfriend or whatever. And then this grown up life happens around you. And people expect you to engage in that life and do grown up things. Your life has been about pain and suffering and being told your worth nothing, but then all of a sudden, though you've always thought you were a piece of shit, you have to go out and live this new and scary-as-hell life. And it's nothing that anyone puts out there on purpose, it's just life and it never stops. But sometimes I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to get up early and I sometimes want to crawl under my covers and cry all day long.

There isn't a lot of time for that.

I had to get a job, I have bills to pay, I had to find an apartment, I have to hug my kids and help them out. I have to finish a goddamn final exam and I just turned another in late last Friday. I am adult. I have to wait until I've driven my kids to their dad's house and then driven home and walked the dog and then, maybe then, I can crawl into my bed, pulls the covers over my head and curl up and cry.

And yet, in a way, I'm this adult and I feel like a child. Less and less everyday, but there is a certain innocence about this. I believed for years and years that everything that happened to me was my fault. I believed I was terrible with money, that I couldn't cook worth a damn, that I was not a good mother, that when I got knocked up against a wall or thrown across a room I deserved it because I did something wrong. I knew without a doubt that every bad thing that every happened to me in my life was my own fucking fault.

And I knew it so completely that every time CP would yell at me, I would apologize to him. When he screamed at me and I cried, through my tears I would be saying I was sorry for hurting him.

I WAS SORRY FOR HURTING HIM!! Putting it in all caps doesn't make it any easier to stomach.

*deep breath*

So with the time and the wonderful healing, an innocence returns. I know none of it was my fault. I know I didn't deserve to be treated that way. I know I'm not a selfish cunt or a fucking whore or a raving bitch. I know that just because I forgot the noodles in the tuna casserole I'm not a bad cook. I know that each time I was yelled at and each time I was told I was worthless that is wasn't true. It wasn't me.

I realized today that I jumped through every flaming goddamn hoop CP put out there. I did everything he wanted me to do, save one thing. I couldn't be a Mormon wife. But it hit me like a freight train today that it wasn't even about that. It wasn't how stupid I was or that I didn't cook or clean the right way, it wasn't that I was too expensive or that he was pissed that he had to make my car payment even when I wasn't gainfully employed.

And it wasn't even about me being a Mormon... or not.

This was all about CP. He wanted a woman to control and manipulation, he is an abuser.

CP is a raving, megalomaniacal, hypocritical ASSHOLE.

And you know what....CP can go FUCK himself. Because everything that he blamed me for in the last 16 years.....none of it was my fault.

None of it. And in that knowledge, innocence returns.

And I realized that the reason I called the Women's Crisis Line is - from that day forward - no matter what kind of hell I have to go through; divorce, anger, court, mediation, living alone, struggling for money, arguing with CP, crying for my kids.....no matter what life has been like since that day and will be like from now on.....it is infinitely better than the fucking tormented life I lived with CP.

That life was truly hell.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Life's like an hour glass glued to the table

There are days when I just can't believe this is all happening to me, when I tried so hard to do everything just right so that it wouldn't happen to me, but those days, hours and minutes come less frequently. Because the signs were there. They were glaring and I just didn't want to see them. I know I've mentioned all this before, but every day the perspective opens me up more and more to the things I never saw.

Last weekend and again a few days ago, I was going through the pictures, the ones I took off the walls in the house and put in a box and then I was looking for a picture on my computer and I found even more. Pics of CP and I, and they surprised me. Endless pictures of me smiling, with my arms around my husband, looking at the camera and leaning into him....making a memory. Endless pictures of him with an arm placed lightly on my shoulder or draped on me like a scarf, his other arm down by his side, his eyes looking somewhere else, no smile, no spark, standing straight up and in some cases with his body turned away from me.....waiting for the moment to end and move away.

Oh, there were so many of these pictures.

And then there are the dreams. I used to have dreams that CP would leave me abruptly. He would come home and say he was leaving me, no explanation or sometimes he would have a woman waiting for him outside and he'd go off with her while I cried and cried for him to come back. I had dreams that he came home from church and packed up and told me that he and the kids had to leave me and I couldn't come along because I wasn't a Mormon. I had those dreams for 16 years.

About two months ago the dreams changed. Now I dream that he is crying and begging me to love him and I ridicule him and as he cries more and is weak and helpless, I attack him in some way. A knife, gun, bat...it doesn't matter and I end up beating the shit out of him, while he cries and I laugh.

What the hell is that about?

And so, I realize that something happened in January. When my life went pear-shaped. Something snapped in my head and all the dreams and all the signs that were staring me down came together and I made a phone call to the Women's Crisis Center and about six weeks later, I moved out. It was more than Ciara's plea for me to call a Crisis Center, it was more than anyone telling me to get the hell out of my marriage. Something changed inside me and I was done.

Though I held out hope for a while after I moved out, I was different - I am different. And I can't put my finger on it yet, but I had a defining moment and look at my life now. I can't change the past, but I can do just about anything I want to now. And I can do it without someone telling me I'm a piece of shit for doing it.

Now I'm going to commit a major Pops blogging "no no" here, but I heard this song on the radio, Breathe, by Anna Nalik and well, you know the drill, it spoke to me.

2 AM and she calls me 'cause I'm still awake,
"Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?
I don't love him. Winter just wasn't my season"
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites. You're all here for the very same reason

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe... just breathe,

There's a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout - 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
These mistakes that you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe

Monday, June 13, 2005

Ugh!

I have so much on my plate....

I'm actually finding myself wondering how anyone survives a divorce. Because let me tell you, it's not fun. It's unhealthy. It sucks much ass.

My friend AF came into town for the weekend and we took my kids to the Rose Festival for fun and food. It rained a bit and I dropped the f-bomb really loudly on the ferris wheel....they scare me, but over all it was good. It was just short. Twelve hours isn't a lot of time, when you're staring down the next three weeks with very little time to spend with your kids. It feels like an eternity.

AF and I went out dancing Saturday night and met friends and then TP and SP showed up. TP wouldn't even talk to me, but I found out that CP and TP got in an argument about me. So it makes sense.

And so, as I face the next three weeks, I had a big plan. I was going to lay my plan out like dominoes and set it in motion and then the choice few people I told about my plan each warned me not to do anything to rock the boat right now, saying that CP is on the edge and is likely to do anything. Warnings were severe and included guns and death. Not good.

So the letter to the Bishop is on hold and I'm going to play by the rules that CP has set out and let him think he's won for now. Because I suppose, ultimately, that is safer for the kids and me.

Though the bank records are still out there and will probably be coming into play in the next couple of weeks. I think the records alone will set CP over the edge.

Because really, though I'm counting down the days until I get the kids, he's counting down the days until he no longer has them. His countdown leads to an end, mine leads to a beginning.

I just feel a little overwhelmed and tired and you know what....I look at myself in the mirror and I don't recognize myself. When AF and I went out to the club I usually go to, the lady (who I know really well, but haven't seen in two months) asked me to pay a cover. When I told her I'd never paid a cover, she just looked at me and I reminded her of my name and she looked schocked. She didn't recognize me either. I've lost almost 20 pounds and my hair is growing really fast and my eyes look different. The eyes are hard to explain.

Then yesterday, AF showed me pictures that she took at the Farscape Convention in Burbank last year and I'm looking at this picture of some friends and some girl standing with them and I asked AF, "who's that?" And she said, "That's you." I stared at the photo and I just couldn't see me in that girl's face. She isn't me anymore.

And though I sit here, my eyes filling with tears as I think about it, I'm really glad that she isn't me anymore, because I didn't like her. I didn't like how she lived and how she didn't stand up for herself. I'm glad she's gone. She was sad and scared and lonely and, though I can't really blame her for those things, she didn't listen to her own intuition....she ignored what was inside.

So, I suppose, for now I have to look at the strange woman in the mirror and get used to her and take the time to get to know her.

I'm pretty sure I'll like her.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What do to when your ex has a nuclear meltdown

1. Present his emails to the world on your blog:

Email from CP: June 7, 5:05 AM

Here are my plans for the next two sets of weekends: Because you have had them for the last two sets of weekends I would like to do the same for the next two. I have heard that AF will be in town this upcoming Saturday, and it being our daughter's Birthday weekend, I will suggest a compromise, why don't you have the children picked up Saturday morning and then bring them back later that night when you all are done downtown, let's say by 10pm. Then the following weekend is Father's Day weekend and I would like them to spend that with me.

Nice compromise, eh? Yea, let's say you get the kids 12 hours in the next two weeks and.... THAT'S ALL.

My response email: June 8, 10 AM

I don't think it's about the weekends, but my time with the kids versus your time with the kids. The weekends are the only time they can spend with me because of their school and Taekwondo. If you want to further limit my time with them, I will be sure to let my attorney know that, as we do have a hearing coming up. You have them five days a week, and most of the time six days a week.

I would like the kids to spend this Friday night with me and I can bring them back on Saturday when we're done downtown. Next weekend, I'd like them on Thursday evening as school will be out and I'll bring them back on Saturday evening so you can have them for Father's Day.

After that we need to agree on something different as I will be living over there permanently and school will be out and I will be home every afternoon and all day on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. I think, even if I pick them up and they spend the days with me and Monday and Wednesday evening until you are home from Taekwondo, they can spend the time with me since they will be out of school and there is no need for them to be at your house alone when they can be with me.


Email from CP: June 9, 4:45 AM

Of course what you want and what I want are not the same, nothing new there, so here is what I am willing to do in reference to your visits with the children, until the court tells me otherwise:
6-ll 9am - 10pm
6-15 4:30pm - 7:30pm
6-22 4:30pm - 7:30pm
6-25 9:00am - 9:00pm
6-29 4:30pm - 7:30pm
7-3 8:00pm - 10:00pm on the 4th of July

THE LIST
(of property that he is still disputing)
I only want to have to go thru the picking up of items once from here on out, so that is why I am asking you to make just one list. Make a list and send it to me. After I approve it we will have it go thru our lawyer's and then you can come get all the items from your list.


Ah, yes, what he's "willing to do." It's very big of him isn't it?

2. Fax all the pertinent information your lawyer and trust that he will handle it.

3. Write a letter to the Bishop of CP's Mormon church ward telling him what a nasty man CP is and then sit on the letter for a day or two.

4. Try, really, try to remain calm and concentrate on your final exams.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I thought I lost you somewhere but you were never really ever there at all

I'm working on my final exams, though I've talked to two of my professors and managed to get extensions on two of the due dates because I just can't get it all done.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and I was reading over some of my past blogs again and I realized that my marriage was over long before I ever started this blog. I think CP wanted it to be over at least three years ago, when he first decided to go back to church.

It was the Catholic church initially because that's the church he was raised in. It was so sudden and he took the kids and they started catechism classes. He and I were even going to be married in the Catholic church since they didn't recognize our Mormon temple marriage. When he first started going to Catholic church I was angry, because I am not a fan of any organized religion, but once I realized that the Catholic church doesn't shove itself and it's teachings down your throat I relaxed and even attended mass.

I think CP thought I would leave him when he started going back to church.

And then he quit going to Catholic church and a few months later announced he was going back to Mormon church. And that angered me. But I wanted to respect him and his beliefs and when he saw me relenting and trying to understand, he began the endless barrage of how much he loved God more than me.

Again, I think he wanted me to leave him.

There are so many signs I should have seen, so many markers along the way, but I ignored them, thinking that if I loved him truly and did my best to make our marriage work he would love me truly and want our marriage to work. Most importantly, I thought that if I accepted him truly he would accept me truly.

But he didn't and he isn't capable.

So in January when my life went pear-shaped and I hung on for dear life and my marriage spiraled down into hell I didn't live as though I knew we were closing in on the end. I just tried to make it through each day thinking, naively, that love would save the day.

And it did. But it wasn't my love for him that saved the day, it was my love for myself and my kids.

The minute I left that house, thinking I would be back in a few weeks, CP had a plan. He knew he wouldn't "let" me move back home. He knew he'd change the locks. He knew he wanted a divorce. He knew it for years and he waited me out.

And I didn't see it. Not at the time. But I do now and yet, I still can't regret the way it all went down. Because I survived that hell and in doing that am now strong enough to survive this nasty divorce. I don't know that I would have been strong enough otherwise.

In my sixteen year marriage, I betrayed my own dreams, my heart and my very soul for a man who never really loved me. I was just a Mormon girl to complete his Mormon life. He never cared about my heart or my dreams or my soul. If he had he would not have treated me the way he did. He wasn't capable of giving himself, in any genuine way, to our marriage or our family.

But I tried so hard to make it work anyway. And my subconscious was screaming at me to get out, but I couldn't hear it, not through all the shit he was screaming at me. I can't believe that I listened to him for so long, instead of listening to my heart.

And now it's like the universe or fate or some divine entity out there is finally granting me the ability to discern, to see what my with CP life was about and to see how I can make my life different starting right now. I am deciding what I want, what makes me happy, where I want to take my journey and how I want to get there. Fate is finally granting me my dreams, or at least the ability to try and grasp at my dreams. I went through hell and I came out the other side.

I thought CP was lost, stuck in this Mormon dogma, and I thought I could save him. But it wasn't CP that was lost, it was me.

And now I've found myself (which to be honest I always thought was a silly thing to say). But I'm saying it anyway.

This is an amazing experience. I wish I could describe it more eloquently.

You and I got something
But it's all and then it's nothing to me
I got my defenses
When it comes to your intentions to me
And we wake up in the breakdown
In the things we never thought we could be

I'm not the one who broke you
I'm not the one you should fear
We've got to move you darling
I thought I lost you somewhere
But you were never really ever there at all

And I want to get free
Talk to me
I can feel you falling
And I wanted to be
All you need
Somehow here is gone

"Here is Gone" by the Goo Goo Dolls

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I realized I forgot to mention

That my car was broken into....again.

It just so happens that on the same day that CP found out my lawyer wanted his bank records, tax records, invoices, general ledger and contracts my car gets destroyed. I'm not pointing any fingers, but it's quite a coincidence. Isn't it?

I woke up on Friday morning late and went out to get in my car and drive to the store and as I was walking down the patio I noticed that the passenger side front door of my car looked open. My car was broken into last November, so I thought I knew what to expect. Nope.

Whoever broke into my car used a crow bar to pry open the passenger doors up high where the window frame meets the car. This crow bar action pushed the doors off the frame so the doors didn't even shut and caused the windows to break and glass was everywhere, even all the way over in the driver's seat. My dash was again ripped out, but only the face plate for my stereo was missing, they left the stereo. They took everything in my glove box including my insurance information and my registration, so had to go to the DMV and pay for a replacement copy. They took my new Lifehouse and Counting Crows CD's. Then I noticed that my steering wheel looked weird. They stripped the area around the steering column and it looked like they tried to hot wire my car.

To put it mildly, my car was a mess. Completely undriveable.

Note: I can add this in now, but the words "bitch" and "whore" were scratched with a crowbar or something else very sharp into the hood and trunk of my car. At the time, my lawyer told me not to mention those things or to cast any blame on CP or any of his friends for this car "break in."

And so my day began. I was going to read and catch up on school work and chill out. It was not in the cards. Six hours later, I had my car in the repair shop and was driving a rental off the lot.

It's all good now and it worked out and it's fixed, but I had to pay my deductible and pay for the rental car, oh and while driving the rental I got a rock chip in the window and had to pay to fix that....but again, this is just my life right now.

Life 2.0. Living life outside the box and doing it on my own.

But don't you just wonder "who" did this? Isn't it just a huge coincidence?

Even my son tonight, when I was telling them my car was done and I was getting an alarm system installed, said, "yea, so some guy named Chris won't come over and wreck your car again."

Oh. I never said a word, not one... to the kids. And this is my 12-year-old putting two and two together.

I cannot even begin to express how insane my life feels to me right now. I remember blogging once about how if the girl I used to be could see me now (referring to me settling in my marriage) she would be terribly disappointed in how I turned out to be. I don't think she would be disappointed in me now.

I think she'd think I kick ass.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

When do you cross the line...

between being vindictive and just getting what you deserve?

I was out Friday night with friends and had a great time until I was getting ready to leave. These are my friends, TP and SP, who CP and I have known for over 14 years. They are married and we all used to hang out together all the time. When CP went back to Mormon church, I kept going out every once in a while with T and S.

So I was getting ready to leave Friday night and TP, who is like my big brother and also my CP's best friend tries to tell me that I'm being too hard on my CP. That I'm asking for too much money and tells me "not to screw him over." I told him I'm not, I'm just trying to get what is fair. I mean, I was a stay at home mom for 16 years and all of a sudden because I won't go back to the Mormon church, CP doesn't want to be married to me anymore, just tells me he wants a Mormon wife so he's done with me. It hurt, you all know that, but it was way past time and I'm glad it's over.

TP just didn't know a lot of the details from my side, he only knew CP's side. So I told him that CP filed for full custody of the kids and for me to pay him child support and alimony, carry health insurance on the kids and get a life insurance policy on myself that he is the beneficiary of. TP was shocked and his exact words were "what the hell is he thinking?" CP told him I'm being a terrible bitch about the whole thing and I told TP that I'm not being a bitch, but I'm not crying and falling apart, I'm standing up to CP for the first time in my life and CP doesn't know what to think of that, so he thinks I'm a bitch. I'm OK with that. TP said that CP is feeling rejected by me and is actually shocked that I'm glad our marriage is over.

Then I told TP about the last time CP and I had sex and that CP said he was using me and then changed his tune to get a roll in the hay one last time and then laughed at me later when he told me he wanted a divorce and I asked him why we had sex if he knew he was done. Again, TP was surprised that CP had done that. So I explained to TP that I'm angry about that and I'm not going to back down on this divorce. TP offered to be a go-between. I tell him what I want from CP money and custody, and TP goes to CP and sees if he can get him to agree. I said I'd think about it, but that first I wanted an honest and sincere apology from CP for using me. TP agreed that he should apologize.

TP also told me that CP is selling his trailer, his extra truck and a lot of his tools just to pay his attorney.

Anyway, we're standing in a busy dance club at 1:30 AM and TP and I are having this intense conversation. TP kept telling me over and over again, "CP is a good guy, don't screw him over just because you're angry." TP was telling me I'm asking for too much money and asked me to be the bigger person and walk away without being vindictive. To get what is a fair amount of money and let it go. TP also said that in his opinion, CP has no idea what he's doing and no idea what he's throwing away for the Mormon church.

It was an intense half hour and TP started to cry, because he was so hurt for me and yet, is trying to still speak for CP. Then I started to tear up and then all of a sudden this guy I know at the bar, G grabs me away and pulls me into a dark room at the back of the club and closes the door. My heart almost pounded out of my chest.

G instantly put me at ease and sat me down and asked what was going on. I told him everything. And I told him that I wasn't trying to screw CP over, I only wanted what was fair. And G told me to go for that. Then he told me that he didn't allow crying around him and that made me laugh. Big hugs and then G helped me sneak out the back door of the club and get to my car. It wasn't that wanted to avoid TP, I just couldn't deal with it anymore.

I left feeling more angry than I've felt in a while. Not at TP, but at the whole situation. I shouldn't be made to feel bad or guilty for wanting full custody of my kids and the money to support them. I was married for 16 years, why just give up and walk away with the kids and nothing? Or very little? I don't think that's what TP wanted to make me feel like, but it just got intense.

So I called SP, TP's wife, the next day and we talked. She actually thanked me for telling TP everything that was going on, because now that he's heard it from me, he has a more clear picture of the mess and can maybe help both of us out more. It also opens the way for SP and TP to talk more openly about it, because they were talking to each of us, but not to each other but everything.

I worked on Saturday morning and then picked up my kids. They spent yesterday and today with me. They told me that when CP gave them hugs goodbye he said that they just didn't understand how hard it was for him to know he was going to be all by himself that night. Oh, boo hoo. And that is just like CP, to try and get the kids to pity him, without even thinking about how hard being without them for two months has been for me.

He also told them that since they all want to live with me, when the judge or our attorney's agree on a date when the kids move in with me, he won't help them move. He said he wouldn't lift a finger, just watch and make sure I didn't steal anything.

I find it hard to fathom that I was married to this horrible man for 16 years. Where was my brain, my heart, my soul....my head was up my ass. Some days, I feel like such an idiot for staying around for so long.

Dropping off my kids back with their dad and driving back over here...well, it makes the day hard to get through.

A year from now I wonder what I'll think and feel when I look back and read these "divorce diaries."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It is what it is

That's my new motto for life.

I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I had to give an oral presentation in one of my classes last week. It was a Powerpoint presentation that accompanied the written assignment for the midterm. I was so nervous.....so nervous. I used to be the girl who got up on stage and sang in front of hundreds of people. I was in the plays Carousel, The Sound of Music and Camelot. I loved performing, and was even in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat after I got married. But something happened, all the crap in my marriage happened, and I felt incompetent in front of people. I got nervous, my face got red and my voice shook. And now almost 14 years later, I had to get up in front of 30 people and give a ten minute presentation ... and I did and it went well. It was a huge thing for me.

Last week was crazy, I started work at my new job, finished two midterms, my daughter had the run of her ballet, I had an argument with CP and I stood up and gave a presentation. I was wiped out. And pleased, because I got through it all and even though I let CP get to me, I did what I needed to.

After my "talk" on Sunday evening with CP, he went inside and flipped the entire conversation around and told the kids that I was a bitter, angry woman and that I told him I was going to keep the kids from seeing him as much as possible. He told them that I said I wasn't going to let them go to taekwondo and I wasn't going to let them see him on the weekends. Then he told them that we were back to fighting for custody and we'd see who got the better lawyer. He also told them he wasn't going to let them move in with me.

He's a peach, isn't he?

But he should have dealt with it a little better, as I got some good news from my lawyer yesterday. I took the bank records in on Monday afternoon. I told my lawyer about CP's offer of $1500 a month. He said he'd look at the records and let me know, but that he thought I could do better than $1500.

And indeed I can. It turns out the bank records are entirely damning to CP. My lawyer called me yesterday and said they prove he's lied on his taxes for years. They also informed me that he has a lawyer now and is claiming he only made $26,000 last year. His lawyer asked for reasonable time to file a response to my divorce petition and that alimony and child support be adjusted based on his taxes.

Then I got the good news. It turns out that those bank records I copied off show that CP makes a hell of a lot of money. I was even surprised when I looked them over because he always told me we were broke. Not so. My lawyer said that now that CP has a lawyer he's going to "nip the taxes issue in the bud." He said he's going to call CP's lawyer and let him know that we have proof he's lying on his taxes and they are going to offer him a deal for child support and alimony.

And the even better news, the bank records, when put into the child support and alimony calculator come out to even more than $2500 a month. So I'm glad I didn't take CP's offer. My lawyer is going to let CP's lawyer know the amount we're asking for and make CP agree to not adjust the amounts in any succeeding years, because it's already proven that he lied on his taxes and we'll fight it if he tries to readjust. My lawyer's going to make the offer of how much we want for child support and alimony, throw in full custody of the kids and try to nail down a deal with CP.

So I'm waiting it out right now. I wonder when CP's going to get the phone call from his lawyer where he says, "look dude, they have your bank records. You're pretty much screwed and you don't want this going to court or you're going to be in huge trouble for lying." Oh, I'd love to be a fly on the wall during that conversation.

I don't have to work for the rest of this week, because they are still working out the schedules, which gives me time to catch up on my reading, write another paper that's due tomorrow and get my utilities at my new apartment scheduled for hook up.

I feel like my life is a Nationwide commercial... "Life comes at you fast."

It is what it is.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I should never ignore my instincts

So I had the kids today (they told their dad they didn't want to go to church and he gave them a lecture about making bad choices, but that's another story) and we went to my youngest daughter's final ballet show. It was great. I saw it on Thursday and took the kids in Friday, too. Great community ballet production.

Here's a couple of pics. The first is of my daughter after the show. The next is of my daughter and her dance partner.



The kids told me over lunch that they wanted to move in with me when I moved into my new apartment. I told them their dad might not let them, but then my youngest asked if I was going to be home a lot. I said, yes, I was only going to work part time over the summer and take on more hours when they went back to school. She said she wants to live somewhere where someone is going to be home, they all said they are tired of being home alone so much. My son also mentioned that he's sick of feeling bad for not wanting to go to church.

CP probably won't let them move in with me unless we agree on something before our July court date, but I'll see what I can work out with him. That makes me laugh just thinking about CP and I being able to work out anything. We have 16 years of a bad track record there.

Anyway, the point of this blog, even though I said I would write about something else....when I dropped the kids off at the house, CP came outside and wanted to "talk." Let's just say, he hasn't changed. Within minutes of listening to him, I could hear the same old patronizing tone, saying things to try and make me feel stupid and unsure of myself. I told him I didn't want to talk to him anymore, so he changed his tone, but told me I should be listening to him and not reading more into what he says. OK. Whatever.

Anyway, he tried to scare me, saying he could drag this out for years and that would make my life miserable. That he would hide his income. That he'll claim poverty. I said that was fine with me, because I would then to go the state welfare office and I know that they will go after him for the benefits they pay me. And that would make his life miserable. He made an offer again of joint custody and said that meant he would pay me nothing, I told him again, not true as he still far out earns me. He laughed.

He actually said that he thinks I'm angry and acting out because I'm upset that he rejected me. Then it was my turn to laugh. I told him I'm not angry, just trying to get what's coming to me and that I don't feel rejected, just glad it's over.

He said, "Who filed for divorce first?" I told him I did, because he said he was done being married and wanted a Mormon wife. So then he actually had the nerve to say I rejected him when he was still trying to work things out.

Oh my goodness.

Anyway, let's just say it ended badly. I told him I was done talking, because when I tried to answer his statement, he interrupted and made a rude comment about what I was trying to say and again started laughing at me. I put on my seat belt and drove away.

I'm trying very hard not to be upset by this encounter. But I should have told him I didn't want to talk to him in the first place, that was my instinct and I ignored it.

So I think, unless he makes an alimony offer more in line with his actual income, we're going to have a long and nasty battle. He told me again today that he can't afford a lawyer, so I think time is on my side.

Oh, and when I was at the house today picking up the kids to take them to the ballet, CP was at church. So I found his business records in the boxes he stores them in and photocopied off (thank goodness for that little printer/copier I bought a couple of years ago) his bank records from 2001 to the middle of 2003, everything I didn't have copies of. In three month in the summer of 2003 he put over $65,000 in his bank account and he only claimed a gross of $40,000 on his taxes for the entire year.

We'll see how it goes.

I've been up since 6 AM this morning, as I had to get into work by 8 AM for new hire orientation. I'm beat. I think I'm going to sit down and watch some mindless TV like the Survivor season finale and then my new favorite, Grey's Anatomy.

Bless you all for continuing to read.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Too good to be true

When hit with the child support and alimony figures CP did, indeed, shit a castle. It's the thing about people who are self-employed, especially those who work in the construction trades. They make a lot of money, some of it goes to materials and tools, but most is pocketed. The trick is getting that final check made out in the contractor's name, not the company name, so they can cash it out. Now I am not saying that all contractors do this. I'm sure many are honest. CP....not so much. But he also didn't get the final check made out in his name.

And so what we have here is a man, who made well over $120,000 total last year, had about a 60% profit margin on every job, but who only claimed a gross of about half of the total and then wrote in only a 40% profit margin.

And then he files his taxes and our family gets things like free lunches at school, etc. I knew how much he said he made and I knew what he filed on his taxes and I knew it wasn't accurate. But we couldn't afford to pay the hefty tax if he'd been honest.

But beyond that, CP handles money very poorly. He made a lot of money last year and what did we have? Not a lot. We didn't own a house, he doesn't own a nice work truck, but a heap instead. He does however, own a lot of guns and he buys a lot of tools. He always told me we were broke, yet he always had crisp $100 bills in his wallet. A lot of them.

So the point of my rant, that probably shouldn't even be up here anyway, CP told me to go to hell with the alimony amount. I expected that. He said he's going to stick by his net income on his taxes of $27,000 and that he wants all amounts based off of that figure.

What CP doesn't know is that I have an ace up my sleeve.....and I'll leave it at that. Ah, maybe I won't. I have a safety deposit box and into it every month I put copies of papers that document in full CP's total deposits and copies of the checks he wrote and total withdrawals, including many checks written recently to "cash." I photocopied said documents and gave them to my lawyer. We're pretty confident we can sink CP should he choose to fight me.

Am I a bitch? Hmmmm. CP seems to think so.

Am I being unfair? I don't think so, I'm playing the game using his rules for tactical manipulation and control.

Months ago when I considered that a divorce might get this bad, I didn't think I had it in me to fight this hard. I've surprised myself. And I'm glad.

The only downside, and one I expected as well, CP told the kids that now they cannot come live with me when I move into my new apartment. He told our oldest daughter that he was going to fight. But then he told her the day after he'd have to work something out with me. He's wavering, he knows that I know how much money he made.....only because he told me. He's told me every year that he's filed his taxes for the last 16 years that if he ever gets audited he's going to owe over $50,000 and probably have to do jail time.

Maybe, he realizes that if he does fight me on this, it's a sure bet he'll be audited.

I'm also seriously considering another letter to my husband's bishop, who is a different man now, to let him know what CP is doing. You see in the Mormon church, men who are separated or divorced have to be current on their child support and alimony to get a temple recommend, that little piece of paper that gets you into the temple. CP goes to the temple every week. And he told me he wants a divorce because he wants a wife who can go to the temple with him. The church looks very poorly on men who don't contribute financially to their ex-wife and children's lives.

I could make his temple recommend go away. Maybe. It's worth a shot. I could certainly make it go away after our hearing in July and the kids are in my custody and he's ordered to pay me the money anyway.

Am I a vindictive bitch? I'm OK with it if I am.

I promise I'll try to write about something else next time.

I started work a couple of days and I did an in-class presentation that went well. I have way too much reading to do and not enough time to do it. I can write about those things. :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Holy Alimony, Batman!

I'm wondering if CP knew before he called me last Thursday just now much alimony I could get. I'm wondering if he called and offered a neat and tidy solution, hoping I was still the meek and wounded woman who would just agree with whatever he said.

Because damn!

I went to see my lawyer yesterday morning and we talked everything out, went over the joint tax returns, CP's bank statements, and business assets (CP owns two businesses) and then my lawyer turned to his little MAC computer and typed a whole bunch of numbers into a long list on the "Child Support Calculator."

I mean, does every state have one of these? Or just Oregon? Because the little program not only calculates child support - it calculates alimony, based on years married, whether or not I worked during those years, how much I'll be working now, it even had a place to enter figures on my graduate school expenses and years I'll be attending. That calculator....well, I could kiss it and caress it and other fun things. :-)

And it popped out a number and I about shit a brick. And if I about shit a brick, CP when he finds out is going to shit a whole castle!

So what it told me, that fabulous calculator, was that child support comes in at $700, a figure I completely expected. Alimony, however, was a whole different deal, it came in at $1800 for the first three years (until I finish graduate school) and then $1000 for another five years. All told, CP would be paying me for eight years, half the number of years we were married.

Now what I'm wondering is if I'm a complete bitch for being excited about this. I know there are men (Pops might be the only one) who read this blog and I know some of those men (but not Pops) might have been through a divorce and been soaked by their own ex's for alimony. So their take is going to be very different from mine. All I kept thinking is that I can keep working part time, spend more time with the kids, keep going to school which I love and I don't have to go down to the welfare office and get on Food Stamps or Medicaid.

Isn't that the point of child support and alimony? To keep the kids and I in the financial state we were accustomed to when we were all a family?

Beyond that, CP makes a lot of money, a lot of it. And I know this because he constantly told me we were broke and didn't have any money and then I went online to look at his bank account (which he didn't know I could do) and he had thousands of dollars. Even today, a quick check reveals he has over $6000 sitting there in the bank, yet just a couple of days ago he told me he was broke and couldn't pay the bills. Hmmmm. And he always has fresh, crisp $100 bills in his wallet. Sometimes so many of those damn bills that his wallet barely folds in two. I had a don't ask, don't tell policy about the weird money situation because I figured the more in the dark I was, the better it would be if investigators came to our door.

I still find my mind wandering to what CP must think of all of this. He wouldn't compromise for his religion, yet look at what he's going to be losing now. It just keeps compounding and compounding. But for me there is no looking back. In fact, at times I feel like I deserve all the good things coming my way. It's like Karma. Mine is coming around for me finally blessing me for all the shit I went through with CP and Karma is coming around his way finally biting him for all the shit he dished out. Maybe Karma will come back to me for this alimony thing, I don't know.

I was expecting maybe $600 a month in alimony, so needless to say, I was shocked off my little ass at the amount of money CP is going to be ordered to pay me. And yet, it is a huge relief, because I didn't want the kids to deal with the stigma of food stamps. I didn't want to stress endlessly for money and not have enough to buy new tennis shoes or back to school supplies or ballet slippers. My job, plus my student loan money, plus money from CP and the kids and I will be good.

We might even be able to go to the coast for the weekend every once in a while. We love the beach, but haven't been in years.....CP was always too busy to go.

How do you like me now?
Now that I'm on my way?
Do you still think I'm crazy
Standin' here today?
I couldn't make you love me
But I always dreamed about you
How do you like me now?

~How Do You Like Me Now - by Toby Keith

Monday, May 09, 2005

Mother's Day weekend post

So I had my kids with me for a good part of Saturday and they spent the night and we hung out on Sunday, which was great because it was Mother's Day. When I talked to CP on the phone about the weekend he wanted me to pick them up late on Saturday evening and bring them home so they could go to church with him. I sort of laughed when he proposed the time frame and asked him why he didn't want me to have the kids on Saturday afternoon and through to Sunday - early evening. He said he wanted to spend more time with the kids and then I pointed out that he's had a hell of a lot more time with them in the last six weeks than I have. But then he wanted them back so they could go to church with him and I said, "OK, then so on Father's Day I can have them with me during church?" And he finally backed down.

I get where he's coming from. For him it's now a countdown of the weeks left until they come to live with me. But I'm not allowing myself to feel badly for him. In reality, he chose this, for a lot of reason, but mainly because he wants a Mormon wife. And in retrospect as hard as it was to hear that, I'm so glad, because I know I've made the right decision in getting divorced.

About a month ago, when I still wanted to move back home, he was laying down all these rules and telling me what I had to "do" to move back home. I told him that all I wanted to hear was that he loved me, accepted me for who I am and that he wanted me to move back home. I didn't want it to be about what I "did," but who I was as a person. And thank God he couldn't find it within himself to say he accepted me for who I was. I probably would have gone back. And things would have returned to the way they always had been.

Having my kids with me was so wonderful. We went shopping for Mother's Day gifts and ate dinner. Over dinner I told them that they were probably going to be living with me full time and spending every other weekend with their dad. They were really excited about it. I told them my new apartment was within walking distance of their schools and then told my son that he would be going back to school and not being home-schooled anymore. He sunk down in his seat and got upset, but then the girls and I pointed out the positives - friends, after school activities, etc. He perked right up and got excited about making new friends and joining some after school groups.

They made me gifts for Mother's Day. My daughter made coupons for things like a manicure and pedicure and hugs and "I love you's" that I can use. And they drew me a picture of myself that say "super mom" on it. The picture is great. I have awesome hair, no boobs, I'm really thin, yet I have really great arms. I love it. And they got me a charm for my charm bracelet that says "Greatest Mom." And we went to McDonald's for breakfast....my kids favorite place to eat.

Over the course of the day with them, they mentioned some things to me, mostly in passing, that were interesting, but I just let them go, because I know more will come out. My son mentioned that their dad imposed some hard core rules on them when I moved out. I didn't ask what, because I didn't want to put him on the spot, plus I'm pretty sure more will come out as time goes on. My oldest daughter said something that hurt my son's feelings, I got involved and let them know that what we all need now is love and support. If someone says something that hurts your feelings, let them know and they can say "I'm sorry." I let them know that negativity about anyone is only hurtful and then we talked about it.

I've also decided that starting now, I'm going to talk to all my kids at the same time about the big stuff. When they are moving in with me, schools stuff, church things, etc. And I then let them ask questions of me about anything. So that all four of us are talking openly, honestly and to each other, I'm hoping it helps them feel more a part of a family and more accepted.

The church thing was interesting, because I told the kids that if they wanted to go to Mormon church or any activities, I would be happy to take them and they all declined, saying that they really didn't want to go to church anymore. They will obviously, be going with their dad on the weekends they are with him, but other than that they have no interest.

I wonder if CP will ever realize that by pushing the church on all of us the way he did, what he did was drive them all away from it. I also realized this weekend that the main lesson my kids are getting from this divorce is that their dad picked a religion over the family. My son at one point said the divorce was stupid. I asked him why and he said, "because Dad wants to be Mormon more than he wants us to be a family." It turns out that my kids understand more about all this than I realized. So I tried to explain to my kids that their dad loves them very much and regardless of the religious issues, we will be happier people without each other. There will be no arguing or tension in the house and what they will get is two happy parents who are divorced, as opposed to two married parents who are miserable together.

I realize it's going to take a long time, but we're going to get through this together. No more of me sobbing in my bedroom hiding from the kids because I was in too much pain and them hiding in their bedrooms because they can't take the stress in the house. They will have a safe haven and a loving home and a place of peace.

Can you tell I'm excited to get my place and have my kids living with me? I'm counting down the days. Now, anyone want to volunteer to help me move? :-)

It's midterm week at school and I've written two midterm papers and totally forgot to do the reading for my classes. But hey, it's all about prioritizing.

And I start work this week. Yeah!