Wednesday, March 30, 2005
I've written a lot about my childhood and how it came to be that my mom, sister and I were left in a little town in Montana. We stayed there and that is where I grew up and graduated high school. My mom and sister left that little town right after I graduated and moved to Oregon, for better or worse, for years I thought it was for the worse in many ways, but now can see, at least for me, it was for the better.
My sister and my mother were very co-dependent on each other after my dad left. I was daddy's little girl and so when he left, I was pretty much alone and not a real part of their lives and their cycle of dependence.
My sister could get away with anything. She started drinking, smoking and having sex around the age of 13, so while I was responsible for a whole family and taking care of them, she was completely irresponsible. She and I fought endlessly. She blames it on my dad leaving and how painful it was for her and how it became her burden to be compared to me thereafter. I was a model student, a caretaker, an employee and a good Mormon. It became her goal to be the opposite of me in every way. She got bad grades in many classes just to be unlike me. She was selfish and didn't help out around the house. She never had a job while in high school and she did all things that were against the basic Mormon teachings.
And so it was that we didn't get a long, at all. We argued, ignored each other and were at odds in almost all areas. She would come home drunk as a teen, while I had spent the evening cleaning the house and doing her laundry and her chores, so that my mother wouldn't get angry. I drove her around while she made out with boys in the back seat and drank heavily and I stopped the car so that she could throw up, all the while worried that she would throw up in the car or spill her alcohol on the seats and I would inevitably get blamed for not taking care of her or keeping her out of trouble.
When I got married my relationship with her became stagnant. We only saw each other on holidays or when I had babies and she brought over a gift and wanted to hold the little one. Then she would disappear again. She lived with my mother and my mother bought her a car and my mother helped pay for her college, where she went when she was 21. My mother made me pay rent when I lived with her before I got married, my mother wouldn't help me with a car and I loaned myself to the nines to attend college my first year. In a way, I think my mother was trying to make up for being absent through much of my sister's childhood. My sister had a baby in high school and gave it up for adoption. Something she still blames my mother for and has never gotten over.
And this is the critical knowledge one needs to have when trying to understand my sister and her belief that the entire world revolves around her. She blames everyone else for her life and how it turned out. She blames me, my mother, her ex-husband, my father and oddly enough, my husband for her lot in life.
There are two seminal events that happened between her and I and they are the reason why we have only been on speaking terms for about one year in the last 10 years.
First, when she was married and had her first son, she and her husband decided to leave college, BYU, and needed a place to live. CP and I had a nice three bedroom place and two kids and one on the way. We were comfortable in our three bedroom, but we put the two kids in a room together and made room for my sister, her husband and son to live in one of the bedrooms in our place. What I didn't realize was that she was still comparing herself to me. I had two kids, she only had one. We had a nice place and a nice income, they did not. CP and I were getting along well and enjoying our early married life, she was miserable in her marriage and as a mother.
When she lived with us, she didn't help out with the cooking. She didn't clean up around the house. She didn't go grocery shopping. In fact, she stopped doing her laundry and threw her clothes in with mine. After a time, she didn't even take care of her own baby. She sat on my couch and cross-stitched and watched day-time TV and put her child on the floor with mine and expected that I would take care of him. She hardly ever spoke to me and then when her husband came home from work, she would pick up her stitching, leave her son in the living room and go in her bedroom, ignoring all of us, including her husband.
I was pregnant with my third child at the time and became resentful of her selfishness and I realized that I was still taking care of her, yet she was an adult and I thought, should step up and begin to care for herself and her own family. Despite that she was living with us, I thought that was what needed to happen. One day, she made a derogatory remark about my housekeeping and how I was parenting her child and my cooking. CP stepped in and told her to back off. She didn't take that well, and a huge argument ensued. She looked to her husband for support and he wasn't as forthcoming as she thought he should be, so she looked at all of us and blamed us for ganging up on her. She stormed off to her room and stayed there.
The next morning she only came out of her room to drop her son off in the living room with my kids and then head back in her room. I waited about fifteen minutes and then knocked on her door. I held her son in my arms and when she opened the door I held him out and told her that he was her kid, she could be a mom and take care of him. She screamed at me. She believed that since we all ganged up on her and thought her a bad parent, etc, etc, that I should take care of her kid. I told her to grow up, shut up or get out that I wasn't going to be a babysitter. She took her son in the room and for a couple of weeks after that didn't come out except to use the bathroom. Every evening when her husband came home, they would leave to do laundry and eat and then come home and go back in their bedroom. They moved out two weeks later.
That was the first time we didn't speak to each other for months. I knew from my mother that they moved to another town about a half hour away and her husband took another job working graveyard. My sister started having nightly panic attacks and so my mother ended up going over to her house every evening and staying over to help. I didn't see my sister again until well after my third child was born. It had been almost a year.
We were on speaking terms, though tense, for a while, but a few months after that we moved out of the state and my relationship with my sister went back to a "non-speaking, but hearing about it all from my mother" stage. And that was the way it was for a few years.
My sister didn't support my being in college with three young children. She didn't like the fact that CP and I were arguing sometimes and getting along other times. And ultimately, she disapproved of us when we stopped going to Mormon church. She would call me at times, see how I was and then get angry over something I said on the phone and tell my mom and after weeks of not hearing from her, and not calling her, I would hear about how upset she was from my mother.
And then came the fall of 1998. CP, the kids and I were supposed to meet my mom, sister and her family in CA for a family wedding. We had adjoining rooms at a hotel booked so that we could all hang out and enjoy each others company. The stress of it all was tough for me and CP and I ended up having a disagreement right before we were to leave. He didn't think I should go, so he didn't want us to go to the wedding. I thought I could handle it and in the end, he was upset, I was crying and my sister called me.
I suppose now it was all fated to happen on the same day.
My sister jumped to my defense, and told me she was sick of hearing about my marriage troubles and that she had decided to do something about it. I didn't know what. But she mentioned that if CP and I were still active in the Mormon church none of this would be happening. We wouldn't get disagreeing, etc.
They canceled their reservations at the hotel and didn't go to the wedding. CP and I went with the kids on our own and actually had a great time.
Little did I know that she found out that in the state of Utah, where we were living at the time, there was a new law that adults could not yell life-threatening things at each other in front of kids. Things like, "I'm going to kill you if you don't shut up!" Things that CP and I didn't yell at each other. But my sister was angry that my kids were no longer going to Mormon church. She was upset that we'd exiled them to a life outside the glory of God's heaven by taking them away from the only true church on the face of the earth. What I didn't realized was that she didn't believe in the church either and wanted out, but rather than face that fact for herself, she pushed her misery and denial on us and so she called the state of Utah, Child Protective Services and lied. She reported that my husband and I beat our kids, all in the hopes of having them removed from our care and given to her, which she told the case worker she would do. She wanted our kids.
Three weeks later a case worker showed up at our door. I told her there was nothing going on that my sister lied and asked her to leave. She explained to me that if we denied her entry to our house, she would call the police and have our children forcibly removed and my husband and I arrested. What choice did we have? The case worker interviewed our kids and us, separately and together. After a half hour, she apologized and gave me her card and said if there were any more complaints she would call me and ask if my sister had threatened anything before she came out. She said it was obvious there was no abuse and hoped her presence in our home would have little impact. She was wrong. My kids had a terrible time for months and months. My oldest threw up for weeks, my son didn't speak for almost six months and my youngest daughter wouldn't go anywhere without me or her father without screaming. I attended pre-school with her for six weeks, because she wouldn't stay there without me.
I changed our phone number and had it unlisted. I didn't speak to my sister for about three years.
And then in 2001, when she got separated from her husband, she called me and opened up the communication again, though she never did apologize. She told me about all the guys she was dating now that she was separated. And she told me one of them happened to be a heroin addict who was fresh out of jail. She told my mother this and her own son. But when her husband found out that she was dating a heroin addict, she quit calling me again, though I didn't know why for over eight months. She blamed me for telling her husband about her heroin boyfriend, when in fact, I didn't, my mother did. But she was still do phenomenally co-dependent on my mother that she couldn't live without that relationship, so I was the easy mark.
I gladly accepted the blame if it meant that I didn't have to deal with her anymore.
But then about two years ago, she sent me an email, saying she wanted to come to Oregon to visit, where we were living again ( and my mom, too), but she wouldn't come up to visit mom, unless I apologized to her. I wasn't going to apologize for something I didn't do and told her as much in an email. She fired back that I needed to apologize for putting the custody of her kids at risk, by telling her ex-husband that she had been dating a drug addict.
It was almost laughable, but she was deadly serious. And she was blaming me for not being able to come to Oregon to visit her mother, because I wouldn't apologize for jeopardizing her custody during the divorce.
Yes, she called the state of Utah on me and CP and lied to have our kids taken away from us, but because her ex found out she was dating an addict from my mother and she blamed it on me, I put the custody of her kids at risk. I was appalled. Whose custody was at a greater risk, mine or hers? Did I call a state social worker on her? Nope.
And so I told her to go to hell and we entered this current phase of non-speaking, which continues to this day. Interrupted only by our fanciful trip to Disneyland where my sister acted like a first-class bitch to everyone, including my mother, and I realized that she may be my sister, but I have many people in my life who are friends and as close to me as sisters, and I have no need for my actual sister's games, pity, blame or narcissistic issues.
And to be honest, my life is much better and calmer without her in it.
So happy birthday, sis....many happy returns. ;-)
Sunday, March 27, 2005
I've been reading the book, The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra. It's pretty deep and draws a lot on Eastern and Western philosophies. He goes from Veda to Jesus in the same paragraph, but it's an amazing book.
On paper it all seems so simple. Just think that you are happy and you'll be happy. Change your perception and the things that once haunted you will no longer do that, you'll learn something from them and they'll be better memories, not tragic moments. I mean, can it really be that simple? And if so, then why, as I realize that, doesn't it make me feel all better. Why am I not just ready to face the world and "bliss out." Instead, I feel scared, confused, hurt beyond words and still like I want to curl up with a teddy bear and take a nap.
This is really tough and I saw CP on Friday and again today and it was too much. I'm going to need a while before I see or talk to him again.
So, I wanted to say, thanks for the comments. I'm trying not to vomit a whole bunch of depressed crap on this blog. I'm trying to positive and I'm really trying to get my shit together. And it is OK living with my mother, I understand the concern, but it's good. We've set some very specific boundaries and she's letting me be. She's not enabling or supporting, she's just there. And part of the reason I'm here is that she is not. She's been gone all weekend, she's home for a few hours to repack and head out again for a week.
So I am, in essence, living alone. When she gets back and stays for a while, we'll see. But I need to be away from CP and this was the only place for me to go.
I'm closing this with something I read in The Path to Love.
It is all right to be good and bad.
I like feeling more than one way about the people who are closest to me.
Niceness can have an edge; snideness can be amusing.
My best friend wouldn't be shocked to see me at my worst. My worst enemy would be pleasantly surprised to see me at my best.
Living up to my self-image is more exhausting than I let on.
I'll never be perfect. I can live with that.
An angel is assigned to people who can laugh in the face of misery.
It's all right to find the villain sexy and the hero boring.
I will trust the next person who tells me I look good.
Letting the demons run can be very educational sometimes.
The worst thing anyone says about me contains some truth - about them.
I really have no idea what is going to happen with my life. I'm just trusting what my heart is telling me and grasping onto this process and following whatever road seems like the right one for me. I'm flying by the seat of my pants and I'm just going to have to be OK with that.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Two days ago I told my kids that I was moving out and going to live with my mother. I was worried about doing it because CP was/is pretty pissed off at finding out about me and even though we'd talked about me moving out for a bit and taking some time to de-stress, he seemed to take away the "go and come back and I'll be here" safety net I thought I needed.
What he said instead last week was that if I moved out and he decided that he didn't want me to come back, then I couldn't. Now I know he can't keep me from my kids or change the locks or anything like that, but I wanted to take some time and not worry about moving out and then having no where to go when my mom was ready to have her house back and CP wouldn't let me come back home.
But in the end, I needed some space and I needed the peace to work through my own issues and if CP decides he wants a divorce in the meantime, there isn't anything I can do about it. I'll make due somehow.
And so, without the safety net, I moved out. I told my kids they could call me anytime and that it had nothing to do with them and that I loved them, but that I needed to take care of me before I could be any good at taking care of them. And I'm staying close by so no one (read CP) can ever say that I abandoned my kids and don't deserve custody.
But then again, I'm jumping the gun and planning for end, when I really only want to live in the moment.
I've been so afraid of experiencing pain and sadness that I turned away from anything that might potentially be painful. And in the end, I only avoided feeling emotion of any kind, sadness and happiness.
So I'm here, spending a lot of time by myself and reading a lot and sleeping, which I really need and it's good. It's difficult and it's a little lonely, but I've always been scared of being alone, because I've always had people to take care of. And now I only have me to take care of.
I've given myself a minimum of three weeks away. I still have to take the kids to ballet and my oldest to the library. I have classes starting again next week and my own volunteer work. So I'll still be seeing my kids and taking part in their lives and taking some important steps in my life, but I also can get the space and time away from CP that I've desperately needed for so, so long.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Now really this kissing thing has happened only a few times in the months I've been doing dancing without CP, but when he came home and woke me up and wanted to know what our mutual friend was talking about I thought he'd somehow found out about my deeper secrets and lies. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
But CP and I talked and I told him about the dancing and the guys and the kisses, because frankly, he wasn't going to rest until I told him something.
I didn't think he'd give it much thought, but he's very upset and disappointed. And I realized that I'm keeping up this huge lie and I don't want to deal with the truth, not right now, so I have to stop doing anything that I would otherwise lie about. I'm feeling dark inside and I don't like it.
So tonight I've had some hours by myself and for the last two days have read the book Real Moments by Barbara DeAngelis and it's been quite a read.
I've been trying to find a path and waiting to find happiness when happiness is all around me and I'm missing out on it. My kids, school, volunteering at the library and in some ways, CP. I've been overlooking it and compartmentalizing my life. I've been living two lives, one the real and one in Neverland.
I do not want to do that anymore. I'm hurting myself.
And so tonight, I took out old plane ticket stubs and notes I'd written about CP, others and just my feelings, but none of it was positive. The plane tickets reminded me of going to Neverland, a place that really doesn't exist. And most of the feelings I'd written were rants, they were negative. And so I burned them all. Pages and pages and pages. I'm letting them go and it's amazing how little all those pages and pages amount to when they turn into ash.
It was good and I'm ready to do good things for myself and get in touch with what is in my heart and I can't do that by lying and hiding and hurting myself.
This blog will undergo a little bit of text renovation, because there are things and people and events that need to stop being a force in my life. So it's something I have to do. It was suggested some time ago that I change some things in this blog and I'm ready now.
"What you bring forth out of yourself from the inside will save you. What you do not bring forth out of yourself from the inside will destroy you." - from the Gospel of Thomas
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
I don't know how to explain it very well, but CP, and yes, it was bullshit he spouted, asked me what the hell I'm doing going to another therapist, since the last one and the one before that obviously didn't fix me. He pointed out that I'm still carrying around baggage from years and years ago and that all the therapy in the world cannot "fix" me. And I realized that he is exactly right.
I'll never be "fixed" and I'll always have baggage.
I'll always be flawed in some way, because that is just how it is supposed to be. If I was always happy, I wouldn't appreciate it. If I was perfect, I wouldn't find any joy or anger in life. I think I will always have issues and always feel like I'm on a path to somewhere, but I won't really sure where.
And if CP doesn't like that I'm a flawed human being, he can KISS MY SKINNY LITTLE ASS!!!
I realized that it's not the therapy or the issues or the baggage or my lack of "fixability" that I should work on, I should work on telling CP to shut the fuck up and leave me alone. He certainly isn't perfect, yet he expects it of me. He certainly isn't happy, yet he expects it of me. He certainly has issues and emotional baggage, yet he expects that ridding me of mine is somehow going to make everything OK.
And it's not.
I am me and he is CP and nothing that I ever do EVER in my life is going to change him or make him love me or make him accept me. He won't. He is spending his time on telling me what is wrong with me in the hopes that he will feel better. And I can't make him feel better. He tells me I shouldn't be so angry at the Mormon church, but that isn't going to help him justify the hardcore dogma that he clings to in spite of the trauma it inflicts on our family.
I can't do anything but accept my flawed self and love myself and get comfortable in my own head and accept and learn to love my emotional baggage and let it go. I can come to grips with my past and not feel like and endless rain of shit is constantly only falling on me. I can only do what I can for me and nothing I do is ever going to make him feel any differently about me.
When he first ranted about how therapy obviously isn't working for me because I'm still a mess, I, for a moment, believed him. I thought I was damaged in some way, beyond repair and that no amount of therapy or tears or thinking or writing, was ever going to fix me.
But then I realized, of course I'm damaged, everyone is damaged in some way. Everyone struggles, everyone feels pain and just because I do right now doesn't make me beyond repair. It doesn't mean that therapy isn't good. And it doesn't mean that someday, I might feel better about my life and be able to surround myself with a positive outlook.
CP also said that the reason I've been going to therapy for eight years, give or take, and seen three different therapists throughout those years (not a wildly high number, in my opinion) is because I'm looking for a therapist to give me an easy answer so that I don't have to make a decision about anything.
I know that is bullshit. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have the courage to face his own demons and he clings to the Mormon church because he can't make his own decisions and I think in some twisted way, if he can continually point out my flaws, he feels better about himself. That if he gives me crap for not making a decision, it makes it OK that he looks to God to make his decisions for him.
And I know that the decision I need to make is coming quickly on the horizon. It has to and I'm getting ready.
Friday, March 11, 2005
I've been trying to update my template for a half hour and getting really tired of being asked to log in over and over again. I can't comment on many of the sites I read and I've been going through my old posts and fixing the now odd text formatting issues that sprung up with my redesign and half the posts are updated, but won't refresh.
And I really wanted to comment to Ciara....so I'll do it here:
Ciara, I want you to know that I'm going to miss you. I hope whatever
you're going through resolves. It sounds a little scary and I think I
would make the same choice you have.
OK, now to my questions. What the hell happened? I take off for four days to OK City and come back and Blogger sucks much ass.
Do they know? Because I can't see when I log in that there are any messages like "we're sorry. We hired a shithead and he/she was working on the commenting and/or login area and really fucked it up. We've fired said shithead employee and are working tirelessly to fix the problem(s)."
So in the meantime, know that I am reading, just not commenting much. I put Haloscan on my blog, but can't get the template update to work. Damn, damn, damn.
But then again, I wondering if the reason I'm not getting comments is because no one is reading. I don't care. This thing is for me and worth it in so many ways, even if I'm alone in cyberspace.
Best of luck to all us Bloggers. We used to be cool. It used to be chic and hip to be a Blogger, now we're just tired, swearing, annoyed, geeks who sit at our computer and hurl objects at the screen when shit doesn't work.
Not you? Just me.....well, OK then.
Adendum: Just fifteen minutes after I post a rant about Blogger and how nothing is working, my template updates and my other posts that I fixed are looking better.
Do you think someone read my post?
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Last week, on a whim, I flew to San Fransisco to see GB. It was just over night and it was completely crazy and spontaneous, but I hadn't been crazy in a long time. I've been stuck in this cycle and I'm struggling with so many things and to be honest, I just wanted to be somewhere and with someone who didn't judge me.
So here are the lyrics to the song. I didn't change a word, not even the San Fransisco part. It's a musical expression of my soul....what's really in my heart right now.
Beautifully Undone by Lindy
I don't remember what it used to be like
The things that I'm not proud of
And the only the reason I kept coming back to you
Is because I thought I was in love
But I don't think about you anymore
And I wonder what the hell I came here for
When I'd rather just fall right off of your floor
And come beautifully undone
I don't recall San Francisco at all
It falls right from my memory
And the only place that really exists
Is where you thought you'd found me
But I don't think about you anymore
And I wonder what the hell I came here for
When I'd rather just fall right off of your floor
And come beautifully undone
GB told me that when I'm done with CP, he thinks I'm going to be ready to "pour" myself into another relationship, that I'm searching now for that relationship to pour myself into....I don't know. Maybe GB thinks I want that relationship to be with him. Again, I don't know.
I think it's just the opposite. I'm running from every relationship I have. I'm on the move, emotionally, and I can't get far enough away to a land where there is no one but me and no one to talk to and just peace and quiet and no sex and no kissing and no hugging and no expectations. A land where no one is telling me to be different, to be happier, to be more bubbly, to be like I used to be. Where I'm not compared to who I was when I was 19 or who I was in Burbank or who I was last December. Because she's gone....she's dead, and folks, she's not coming back.
I want to be alone, completely and absolutely. Because it hurts so much worse to be around people, people who profess to love me and care for me, who in reality, don't give a flying fuck about me. My life is a lie. And I'd rather be alone and have it be true, than be around people and live the lie.
And I read Ciara's blog today and she wrote "I feel like I have no say in my life, so in return I stop caring about it." Perfection.
It's just where I'm at right now, and this is the best it's going to be for a while. I have no foundation, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing with my life. I don't care if I never talk to anyone ever again.
And I don't recall San Francisco at all....
Or at least I don't want to, not right now.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
My step mom is doing surprisingly well. She's looking at this year away from my dad as her big adventure. They've been married over 20 years so they're looking at this as a chance for each of them to do what they want to and maybe didn't do because they were married.
There is just something about a "daddy." I saw him and gave him a hug and kiss and for two and half days I got to sit in the back of the car and talk about things and listen to him and within minutes I was calling him daddy, which I haven't done for years and it was like I was a kid again. It was great.
I remember so much about him, really silly things like he hated bats and liked to raise rabbits. I remember riding on the tractor with him and sitting close to him in the pickup truck and holding on to the steering wheel while he pushed on the gas. He left when I was nine. I remember being a daddy's girl and following him wherever he went and then I remember that he wasn't there to follow anymore.
I was lost, and I didn't see him again until I was 15 and my sister and I flew to Oklahoma City to visit. He was already dating my step mom by then. He was working and he was dating and he had his life and I didn't really feel like following him anymore. He dropped us off with our soon-to-be stepsisters or at the water park and he spent the day on his own. I was there for two weeks, but I felt like my sister and I were just a hindrance to him.
I didn't get to visit him again until I was 19 and I'd been kicked out of Ricks College and gone back to my mother's and then needed to get out of there, because my little sister was pregnant and my mother and her were fighting all the time. The straw came when my sister shoved my mom up against a door jamb and broke her elbow. My mom locked herself in the apartment and cried. The Mormon bishop came over and it took him six hours to talk her out of killing herself. All the while, my sister was with her boyfriend. I called my dad and spent the rest of my summer in Ely, Nevada working at the restaurant with my step mom.
It was different that time. My dad and I played golf almost every day and we went on drives and we sat in the booth at the restaurant and talked. I got over him finding someone else to share his life with and he adjusted to the fact that I grew up and wasn't his little girl anymore.
And so over the years I've seen him a few times. He would drive into town on the way to get some things from a storage shed in Anywhere, USA and he would stop at a gas station and call me. We'd have lunch and chat and then he'd be gone again, not to be seen for a few more years. Most of the time he didn't have my step mom with him. He just took off on his own, because he's always needed that.
So I saw my daddy and it was nice and relaxing and I'm happy for him. He's good and he's happy and that's what counts. My only regret....I forgot to take a photo. But my step mom got a picture of him on her camera phone.
Friday, March 04, 2005
I'm trying to keep my blog and my thoughts light right now, because I've been doing a lot of thinking and I'm tired of thinking. I want to do something, really do something. I was thinking of clay or painting, some way to tap into my subconscious and physically work through life's events.
I wrote out a list of all the major events in my life and then realized that they were all the negative events. I left out the positive. So I want to adjust that. But in sorting and analyzing the negative events I realized that many, many of them are decisions I made. I made them, I didn't like the eventual outcome and now they make me upset and in looking back, I'd like to blame them on someone or something, but I can't. It was right there on paper. I also realized that many of the events in my life were random events, things that happened that can't be changed and were just random acts of destruction.
So I was thinking, at first, that I could write about each event. I wasn't planning on posting all of them on my blog, but I like to write and I was thinking that would be good. But I'm tired of thinking. And don't want to self-analyze every event in my life.
I mean, it's not going to change where I'm at, right? So why contemplate.
So I was thinking, if I got some canvas and some paints and I took an event and I painted it, in whatever weird, odd way it ended up coming out on canvas, that would be something physical I could do and then it's out there. On canvas. I can look at it and keep it as long as I feel the need, and then do something with it, when I'm ready to put that event behind me.
I'd be painting over 100 events.
We'll see, right now, I'm not going to think about it. I'm going to get ready to see my daddy.