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Message started by texian.traveler on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 12:38am

Title: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 12:38am
Well, I thought I was done traveling, but maybe not.  You know, guys, I never thought I would start a journal here.  I have about three other blogs.  One was for my overseas teaching experiences.  Since I am no longer teaching overseas, that one is defunct.  And I can't post this stuff anyway because my family reads that one, and I don't want my family to read this.  One is for the teachers at my former school.  That one isn't active because I haven't told them about it yet.  I am waiting to see what happens with the lawsuits.  And the other is my very private thoughts that I don't tell anyone.  I may turn them into a book one day.  A nice, anonymous book.  

Anyway, I am just so stressed that I have to tell someone.  I called one of my very best friends, and she commiserated with me, but she is traveling to her son's graduation from the Navy, so I can't bother her right now.  And she is dealing with her boyfriend's cancer anyway.  I can't talk to my husband because he is in this...stuff...with me.

But I am not sure how much more I can take.  No, on second thought, that is a stupid comment.  The truth is that unless I decide to kill myself I can take a lot more and will.  But I can sure tell you that the summer of 2007 is not one of my banner years.  

Oh, yeah, these are supposed to be hair journals.  Well, my hair isn't doing so good now, either.  It seems very dry and there is a lot of breakage.  I have been conditioning every day but...I also put a pair of scissors in the car and I do s&d on long trips and when I am waiting for my deliveries at Sonic.  (For those of you not located in the southern US, Sonic is a drive-in burger joint where the waitresses still wear roller skates.  They have the BEST crushed ice, and a coke just tastes better when it's in a Sonic cup!)

Anyway, I just feel like I have to tell someone, some nice anonymous someones, just what hell my life has been.  I mentioned on another post that I had to leave Egypt.  I did not finish the school year, but left six weeks before.  I left because of my husband.  It is such a long story, and I'm not sure how to put it.

The people at the school are very unethical.  When we first came, they bought our children's plane tickets so we could be sure of all traveling together.  We were to pay them back when our house sold, which it didn't do until March.  They were supposed to deduct the cost of their health insurance, but instead they lumped it in with the tickets.  We owed them $5,400.00.  In October, a teacher quit, and my husband offered to do his job for two weeks while they looked for a replacement.  The school assigned him the duties permanently in an attempt to save the salary.  My husband informed them that if they wanted him to do two jobs they would pay HIM the other salary.  He taught those classes for three months, but never got any extra income.  If he had, it would have been about $5,400.00.  

There were lots of politics and power plays and garbage like that going on at the school.  He got caught in some of them, and when we returned from spring break in April he had a letter on his desk reassigning most of his duties to his assistant, who until he was hired was in charge of the computers at the school.  That letter was followed by another reducing the length of his contract and his salary, and that was followed by more sabotage of the computer system he was left in charge of.  So we left.

Now I had been trying for five years beforehand to be an administrator.  But my problem was I had no TAKS experience.  (TAKS is the standardized state test here in Texas.)  It was one of the reasons we started teaching overseas.  I had signed a contract to be the elementary principal next year, but I kept hearing rumors that they were looking for a principal.  That was one of the ways I knew that if we didn't leave my husband would be fired.

When we returned, my stepfather did not treat us like we were people who had been through a horrible experience and left all their dreams in the desert.  He treated us like we were a bunch of spongers who were only too glad of an excuse to start sucking them dry once again.  The first day we were here, he told my husband that being here was a problem and our job was to get out as fast as possible.

For background, our first overseas jobs were in Saudi Arabia.  We had a lot of visa trouble and ending up not leaving until mid-October, eight weeks into the 2004 - 2005 school year.  We stayed with my mother and her husband during that time because we had gotten rid of all our furniture and were trying to rent our house.  It was supposed to be two weeks.  It ended up being two months.  We sold one car before we left, but the other didn't sell for months.  My mother had to take care of the sale for us.

We left those jobs and took ones in Egypt.  The pay was much less and we couldn't afford to keep our house.  My mother had to handle that sale too.  Apparently my stepfather really resented that.

Anyway, the school threatened us with felony theft, since we left without paying the money we owed them.  We replied they owed us an equal amount.  Actually, more, since they withheld his last paycheck.  They said if we didn't pay them we would be hit with punitive damages. interest, lawyer's fees, and whatnot in addition to the criminal charges.  We asked if they wanted their website back.  

See, the school made my husband put the charges for hosting the school website on his personal credit card.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 1:11am
So he did.  The school never reimbursed him, because he wouldn't request reimbursement until they made arrangements to move the charges off his card and onto their own.  This turned out to be sensible.  So when they threatened all this stuff we just reminded them that as far as the hosting company was concerned we owned their webcode.  We suggested discussing the issue and any others that might exist.  No reply.  

Instead the school contacted the hosting company and claimed ownership.  The hosting company contacted us, and said the school had given them documentation that they reimbursed us for the charges.  They also told the school that as far as they were concerned we owned the code and if they wanted it they should talk with us.  We asked to see the documentation for reimbursement.  They are clear forgeries.  The school still has not contacted us.

So here I am, homeless and jobless with a completely unethical former employer threatening me with legal action and showing he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  I knew that my stepfather didn't like us living with him, so as soon as school was out we moved to Dallas with my mother-in-law.  But my mother really wanted her grandchildren, so after about two-and-a-half weeks they came for a visit.  Five days after they arrived my mother had a heart attack, and had to have a quadruple bypass.

Oh, I forgot the part about my dad.  I had to delay my trip to Egypt in the fall because my father was hospitalized and the doctor would only release him to a facility.  So I had to find one.  I won't go into that, but when I returned I found that my brother hadn't visited him the entire time I was gone and the facility was considering him abandoned.  They were ready to declare him a ward of the state.  In addition, his former neighbor was attempting to get power-of-attorney and buy his house at one third of its value.  But back to my mother.

So I come down to Bryan to be with my mom, but I go back to Dallas so I can be there with my dad on Father's Day.  (Normally, I would go back and fix all the verb tense discrepancies, but you know, I'm just not this time).  I told my mom that I would come down and take care of her when she got out of the hospital.  She got out on Monday, and I came down Tuesday.  

My husband and I have only one car, and even though my mother-in-law is retired, she takes care of my brother-in-law, who is a stroke victim, during the day.  So my children came with me.  I thought it would be nice if my mom could visit with them for an hour or so and then they would go back with my husband.

When my stepfather saw my children walk through the door, he hit the roof.  I went to the bathroom, and when I came out he and my husband are screaming at one another.  He had accused my husband of causing her heart attack by constantly dumping our children on her and being such dreadful sponging people.  Actually I don't know exactly what he said.  My husband just turned to me with fire in his eyes and said, "He's accusing us of killing her."  My stepfather told him to get out of his house and called him all sorts of names.  

I know my mother is very upset by all of this so I go back to her room.  She is crying and saying she doesn't understand.  She keeps saying she wants my daughter and my son.  They of course are totally confused, and have gone outside with my husband.  Her husband goes back to her, and I can hear her begging him to let her see her grandchildren.  So I go talk to my husband, and he says that if anything like that will ever be said again, they aren't going.

So I tell my stepfather this, in front of my mother.  I offered to do it privately, but he said he didn't have any secrets from her.  He said it wouldn't be said again.  So my children spent some time with her, and he apologized to them but said he didn't like their father and their father didn't like him.  My husband left, and I told him I would call him when the kids were ready.

Now as if all this wasn't bad enough, when my husband's father died about four years ago, he accused my husband of causing his death.  He had terminal colon cancer, but no one in his family would admit it.  So the hospital had agreed to send him home with a feeding tube and whatnot, even though they didn't want to.  My father-in-law asked my husband to help him go to the bathroom.  Not being a trained nurse, he didn't understand exactly where he needed to be and his dad fell.  After the fall there was no more talk of feeding tubes.  They sent him home to die.  My father-in-law looked at his son after hearing this and said, "Why did you let me fall?"  

It ripped him apart, even though they weren't close.  So to be accused a second time...I don't think my father-in-law understands that their relationship is over.  My husband will never enter his house again or be in the same room with him ever again.  I can't ask him to.  I can't ask him to be with the man who called him a dumb *^)$ and accused him of killing his wife.  Christmas is going to be interesting to say the least.

So when I think the kids are ready I call my husband, but the kids decide they are hungry and want something to eat.  So my stepfather is feeding them when my husband arrives.  I go out to talk to him and he says he can't do this anymore; he's done.  I don't understand.  He keeps telling me I need to call Penny.  I still don't get it until he says, "I can't compete with your family anymore."

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 1:16am
I realize he is saying that he wants a divorce.  I tell him that I think this is not something we should be discussing right now.  But I have realized something.

For over twenty years I have been trying to keep peace between my stepfather and my husband.  I have told my husband more than once that I didn't want my mother to have to chose between her husband and her daughter.  But I know now that the person who didn't want to have to choose is me.  But that option of "non-choice" has been taken away.  I have to choose now.  And there really is no choice.  I made a vow before God nineteen years ago that I would leave my mother and father and cleave unto him, and that is what I have to do.  

But I don't have to be happy about it.

Thanks for listening.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Arcadian on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 8:32am
Oh dear.  What a sad, sad story.

As a guy this would drive me absolutely crazy also it instantly reminded me of the saying: "Urgent situations demand urgent resolutions" So please TT I really hope you don't mind this ????  :-/  :-/

Believe me I most definitely do understand your marriage vows fully (!) therefore in your shoes....

....I'd sit down quietly somewhere and carefully think through what it has and still is doing to me and my nerves. My wonderful husband and his nerves. And most of all my beautiful children and their nerves going non-stop from one crisis to the next. But no-one else's nerves mind you !

Having fully grasped this vital fact, I'd then beg, borrow or sell whatever of value and get together as much cash as quickly as possible. Meantime I'd have rung my 4 (minimum) bestest and most trusted friends somewhere, anywhere but as far away as possible. Then I'd leave a quick note for hubby that I'd ring as soon as possible and as often as possible. Then I'd grab the kids aiming to stay with each friend for as long as possible. Then I'd ring once settled and beg hubby to get over as soon as possible because I missed him badly. (Guys like that wanted and needed feeling from their love, brings a nice warm glow !  ;) )
I'd then build MY own life, try and sort out a job afresh together with hubby where I and he only make the decisions and give MYSELF and my family's nerves a break at last. Because I'm trapped and slowly drowning in everyone's else's daily trivia, lives, nerves, problems and their decision making and so is my family. And because it's just as much my responsibility that's not fair on us and will not be until the cycle's broken for ever.

I know the grass won't be any greener but I will know that my own and my family's nerves will benefit enormously and that's what counts. The daily existence....

In one sentence - think of yourself first and the rest will follow rather than constantly the other way round. Grabbing a firm hold on your own life after so long is not being selfish it's being practical and taking care of no 1, 2 and the kids. And above all your nerves !!

Sorry to say it like this but that's how it all seems from this onlooker's perspective. Really hope I haven't offended you talking like this TT but I'm sure you realise it's not personal.

God go with you and your own family whatever :)

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 9:13am
Oh my.  :-?  You have had some major challenges thrown in front of you.  I hope that just putting it all down in writing has helped you see your situation more clearly and can help you develop a plan that will give you, your kids and your husband some peace.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Kiraela on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 12:40pm
I Don't know what to tell you about all this, Texian, but... I pray it all works out for you. *hug*

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 7:01pm
TT, first off, BIG HUGS and blessings to you for finding yourself in such an unfortunate position.

More unfortunate still is that there isn't an easy way out of it. Your first consideration has to be your children. And exposing them to the constant drama between your husband and your stepfather is not ok. I know that you and your children want to see your mother and that she wants to see all of you. However, she has chosen to marry someone who makes that impossible. Your mother needs to understand that you can't allow your children to visit her while your stepdad is around. Period. If she can break away by herself to see all of you for awhile, that would be fine. But keep your family away from your stepfather. If he is this disrespectful to the family that he married into, then he's not acting like part of the family, is he? He's coming between a family that was already established before he came into the picture.
   If your mother cannot do anything without her husband by her side, then I'm sorry, but you'll have to cut her out of the picture as well. She has her choices to make, and you have yours. But your first priority should be protecting your children from abusive behaviours that they don't need to witness.

Your husband is your partner, period. And by trying to maintain a relationship with everybody, you've put unnecessary strain on your marriage. Don't force him to compete with your family when you've already chosen to commit yourself to him. What you need to do is draw tight to your own immediate family (your husband and your children) and ignore everything else. Don't associate yourself with people whom you know will cause drama.

As for your financial situation, you have 2 choices: You can discuss your rights with an attorney or you can give in and pay back whatever the schools overseas are demanding. Either option will require some very serious budgeting on your behalf.

In any case, I really hope that things straighten out for you soon. You've certainly had a rough go over the years and it would be relieving to see something work in your favour. However, you really have to examine what part you may have played in getting yourself into these situations in the first place. That way, you can gain hindsight and learn how to avoid them next time.
   Don't worry about being diplomatic and pleasing everyone. Not everyone deserves it. Worry about your children and your husband and your money right now. And the heck with everything/everyone else.

All the best, hon. You'll be in my prayers. *hugs*

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 6th, 2007 at 8:02pm
You guys are going to think it just doesn't stop with me.  I know other people have just as much trauma and drama in their lives; I just tend to be a little more...open...about mine.  

Oh, since this is a hair journal, my hair is frustrating me NO END!  It is breaking like nobody's business.  It snarls at the least excuse, and when I untangle the hairs they are bent at various angles.  I can't even s&d the split ends; there are too many.  I know I need to start oiling, but the family finances are super stretched at the moment.  I figure I need to bite the bullet and cut about 2 inches at least, but I don't want to do that until I can afford the oil.  

Anyway, the reason for my writing today is my father.  I mentioned in one of the last posts that he is in a facility.  I can't describe what the man is like.  He looks reasonable.  He sounds reasonable.  Yet he is the most exhausting, exasperating...it's indescribable.  He is not rational, and he hasn't been for a very long time.  I'm not sure he's ever been rational.

My mother divorced him to preserve her own sanity, my brother can't deal with him, and I am seriously thinking of walking out of his life and having him declared a ward of the state.  

He just...drifts along, like he has no control over anything that happens to him.  He is like the ultimate passive aggressive.  He's...d*^n, I'm getting all tangled up.  Maybe I should just try and say what happened.  

When they were married, he made my mother the center of his existence.  She couldn't take the pressure, or his...irrationality.  As I described what I went through today, she said that she went through very similar experiences and thought processes in her decision to divorce him.  She felt, and still feels over 25 years later, that she would have died had she stayed with him.  

He found religion about three months before she left, and his entire personality changed.  But it was too little, too late, and she left anyway.  The divorce process, which should have taken about three months, took two years.  Not through his contesting who got what; that wasn't it.  But he would continually miss deadlines, hoping that if he did nothing it would just all...go away.  She had been remarried for over 20 years when he said to me, "Well, I think your mother's not coming back."  That was when he gave me the diamond earrings he bought her the first Christmas after she left.    

More after "Singing Bee".

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 6th, 2007 at 11:37pm
So where was I?  Oh yeah, denying reality.  So after she left he stayed in the house, even though he really couldn't afford the payments alone.  It was very important to him that EVERYTHING be as it was, so she could come back to exactly the same life she left.  Which idea gets crazier the more I think about it.  

He quit his job, withdrew his retirement, and spent it on get-rich-quick schemes.  When those didn't pan out, he REALLY couldn't afford the house, so he got behind on the payments and got an eviction notice.  He went through all sorts of machinations, including bankruptcy, to keep the house.  But without income, he just lost it again.  The sheriff was coming to evict him on a Tuesday.  My brother showed up with some friends to move him out to his mother's house, which he inherited free and clear, on a Saturday.  My dad refused to go.  He believed God would miraculously bring my mother back, and that God would supernaturally prevent him from losing the house.

He has been living in my grandmother's house for the last 20 years.

The times he has told me he was supernaturally prevented from succeeding, supernaturally prevented from looking for a job, the times he has told me that God was going to miraculously restore everything...well, let's say if I had a dime for each one I would not be going on public assistance now.

People who successfully ignore reality for over 25 years get REALLY good at it.  

During those 25 years he neglected his health, including the diabetes he refused to treat.  As a result, our interaction today was taking him to the retinal specialist, who injected his eye with medicine to stop the bleeding.  But whenever I asked him to go to the eye doctor, offered to drive him, offered to pay for it, he said no.  God was going to restore his sight.

When we were there, he couldn't read the E.  The big one.  At the top of the chart.  Yet he sat there in that examining room and told me that he was going to go back and live in his house.  Ah, the house.  I will get to the house.

He didn't brush his teeth during those 25 years, with the result they are rotting brown stumps in his mouth.  It is even difficult to be in a car with him, as the stench of the rot kind of wafts into the front seat from the back.  We haven't dealt with those yet, although I did get a statement of care from the dentist.  $8,700.00.  But God was going to restore those too.

When he was going through really lean periods, I sent him groceries, since I lived over 300 miles away at the time.  The next time I visited, I got them back.

Now, the house.  There was an article in Reader's Digest this past year about collectors.  How they fill their houses with stuff.  To the point they have to sleep in their yards.  Well, he wasn't THAT bad.  His bed was clear.  But imagine a 2100 sqf house filled with garbage.  Not rotting banana peels, but broken chairs.  Crutches.  Lawn mowers.  Vacuum cleaners.  Books.  Clothes.  Coffee cups.  Magazines.  Imagine stacks of this stuff six feet high, with little paths running in between.  It took two hours yesterday to clear the entry way so we could fully open the door.    

I spent years worrying, if I couldn't get him on the phone, that he was dead in that house and no one knew.  I agonized over him driving his motorcycle, asking myself how I would feel if he killed someone, or worse, caused someone to kill him, leaving them with the guilt and possible criminal charges?  

Finally, last year, I got a reprieve.  He stopped at a convenience store because he didn't feel well, and the clerk called EMS.  The hospital said he had the beginnings of dementia and refused to release him to anything but a facility.  They also took away his license.

I found a facility near where my brother works.  He improved SO MUCH, that we decided to try him at home with a home health nurse.  Stupid, with the house the way it was, but he really was a LOT better.  But the nurse said he couldn't stay, and when I walked into the kitchen and found a burner on full blast and nothing on it, I agreed.  I found one by his house, hoping to move him into assisted living at a later date.  He is on Medicaid, so things are complicated by the utter lack of finances on both our parts.  (Part of my teaching in the Middle East was to try and get some money to take care of him.  Boy, did that one backfire big time!)  He kept trying to walk home.   So while I was in Egypt my brother moved him to a facility much farther away.  His friends can't visit easily, but the prospect of walking home is daunting, even to him!  Plus, he is in the locked ward.

He doesn't want to be there.  I don't want him there.  But he still has this idea that he is going home.  He told me this today.  I have asked him to give me power-of-attorney to sell the house.  If he would, I would work to get him someplace less restrictive, because that would tell me he has accepted his reality and is willing to deal with it.  No dice.

When he entered the facility, Medicaid placed a lien upon his house.  They get to recover their costs before he can make a profit on its sale or I can inherit.  Well, the house isn't worth that much.  The year he has spent in the facility so far has pretty much eaten any profit on the house.  But in the meantime, it is sitting empty, a liability to all in the neighborhood.  

Okay, there is still more, but I promised my son I would stop at 10:30 and watch a movie.  To be continued. 

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 7th, 2007 at 2:12am
So even though the house is paid for it still gets taxed.  When Dad told me he wouldn't give me POA, I told him I wasn't going to pay the taxes on the house anymore.  That would be stupid, since I would only be paying them for Medicaid.  If he would let me sell, there is a way to shelter some of the money, but he won't sell and he won't let me.  So as far as I am concerned the county and Medicaid can fight over it.  

All I want is some family heirlooms, which is why I was in it trying to get the door clear so I can get them out.  One of his neighbors called him and said I was in cleaning the house out.

I told Dad flat out today when he mentioned it that I was getting what I could out of the house before the county took it.  He informed me, a trifle smugly, that the taxes were taken care of.  I asked how, and he said a friend had set up an automatic draft.  

Now I know that is impossible.  You have to sign something with the county or the bank and sometimes both.  In addition, he has the same amount in his checking account now that he did a year ago.  No money has been going into that account I know, so no money could have been coming out.  Plus, one of the times that he says his friend who was supposed to be handling this for him on the outside paid them, I paid them.  

He told me in early July he needed to go to his bank so he could pay his taxes.  I told him then what I was going to do since he wouldn't give me POA.  So now he's come up with this story.

But apparently as we sit in the doctor's office for those FOUR HOURS it bothers him.  And he says that he'll have to get out and investigate.  Now I have no sort of legal restrictions on him.  Not medical power of attorney, personal power of attorney, declaration that he is incompetent, nothing.  So maybe I am not as liable as I think.  But legally, at the moment, he can check himself out of this facility and there is nothing I can do about it.  

So I asked him where he was going to go.  He said home.  So I leaned forward and said, "Only if I live in another country."  Then I pointed out that BEFORE he lived in a facility I was not legally responsible for him.  But the facility certainly seems to think that I am the legally responsible party, and if I let him go home, I can be prosecuted for elder abuse.  And I said, "Dad, I love you a lot, but I am not going to jail for you."  And right then the doctor walked in.  Wonder what he thought?

I have told my friends that I keep him locked up for the protection of others.  He doesn't give a d*&n whether he lives or dies so I can't protect him from himself.  But I can protect the child he doesn't hit on his motorcycle.  I can protect the neighbor whose house doesn't burn because he left his burner on.  

What I did not realize, until today, was that I may have to protect ME.  I cannnot describe to you what it is like to try and care for someone, to preserve their life, when they care nothing about it themselves.  It is exhausting.  And it uses you up.  It used up my mother; it used up my brother; it used up his aunt and every friend who's ever cared about him.  20 years seems to be about the span.  I think I've lasted more than most because I actually have dealt with him the least.  But I cannot, I will not, sacrifice my family or any part of myself to him.

He did not go to the doctor today so he could regain some sight.  It wasn't about getting better or reclaiming any part of his life.  He was humoring me, and those silly people at the nursing home who thought he should go.  He just sort of drifted along the whole time, vaguely under protest.

Now I admit that a doctor's office isn't a great place to be, but if my alternative was the lock-down ward in a nursing home...?

Anyway, I am going to talk to the social worker at the facility tomorrow and let her know that if he thinks the threat of losing his house is real, he will make some serious efforts to get out, by legal means or otherwise.  And I will ask her what my legal liabilities are.

What my dad doesn't know is that I am also working on having his house condemned.  I have to get the heirlooms out first; they are some furniture my great-grandfather made.  But once I have them, I am turning the paperwork into the city.  

I know I must sound like the meanest, most grasping, self-centered...witch...ever.  I'm not.  Really.  I do understand that admitting he's getting old, that he can't care for himself, is a tough thing.  Lots of people have trouble with it.  I probably will myself.  Couple that with the fact that admitting this would also mean those 25 years he spent waiting for God to wave His magic wand were wasted and...I do understand that he just can't.  He's got 25 years invested in this lie; he can't give it up now.  

But I have to make sure that living that lie destroys only him.  Not me.  Not my family.  Not anyone else.  Just him.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Curlgirl64 on Aug 7th, 2007 at 2:19am
As I sit here,all I can think and say is OMG!  I feel as if,maybe it is the way you write,that I am right there seeing all of this!  I totally feel for ya!  Trying to deal with Medicaid or Medicare can only be short of screaming at the top of your lungs in sheer fustration!  They're there though with their "hands" out to either be paid or expect to be payed(?) for whatever they think they should be payed for. Also with your father's "unique" thought of God will provide or take care of this mess,is so much like the thought that I have of my father,he'd throw his kids or anyone for that matter a weighted life preserver if you were drowning!  I wish you all the best with dealing with all the garbage nonsense that alot of these burocratic agencies throw at you.  Also your father.  He sounds like a very talented man that has a gift for dealing with reality.  I don't mean that in any way sarcastic or malitious(spelling?)

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 7th, 2007 at 2:28am
Malicious.   :) 

Thank you.  I just had to pour out some more frustration or I was going to explode.  It does help to know that people care.      

I am starting to think seriously about that book.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Curlgirl64 on Aug 7th, 2007 at 6:10am
You are welcome. Thank you on the correction.  It's alittle tough to think that early in the morning and spell words not often used!!
Please think on that book.  I truly believe it not only would be good "therapy",but you write with such openess,it is refreshing!  I did alot of creative writing in highschool and further on in my adult life.  It truly is a privledge to expand on the ability to read,write and share with others.  Just my opinion :).

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on Aug 7th, 2007 at 8:13am
Hugs for you.  It is always difficult to deal with parents that are no longer able to care for themselves - especially when they don't realize they need help.  A couple of comments that might ease your mind a bit....

1.  Unless you have been assigned as your father's guardian, you are not responsible for him.  If he is a voluntary patient where he is now and he walks out - YOU are not responsible.

2.  If you can get 2 doctors to state your father is incompetent, you could get the courts to either assign you durable power of attorney to deal with his medical, financial and personal decisions or specific power of attorney to help with decision making..  The facility where he is now should be able to help you with this.  Be sure to talk with the social worker there about this.

3.  You can find out the tax status on your father's house.  This is public information.  Some counties have web pages where you can look up this information.  Otherwise a simple phone call can give you what the current and back taxes are on his home.

4.  If the house is not "safe" due to the collection of stuff, you could get the county to declare it uninhabitable until it is cleaned out.  Assuming your father is a senior citizen and "disabled", there are usually agencies that can help you out with cleaning the house to make it habitable again.  Checking with the local United Way or the county social services department can help you find help.

5.  Don't feel responsible for your father.  He is mentally ill.  You have done what you can to help him and until you have official responsibility for him, you are fighting an uphill battle.  Try to spend your energies on getting him properly diagnosed and declared incompetent so that he can get the help he needs so that he does not hurt himself or others.

Good luck to you.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 7th, 2007 at 9:39am
Thanks, BB.  You have no idea what seeing the words, "He is mentally ill", just matter-of-factly down there in black and white (or was it black and purple?) did for me.  You are right.  I cannot argue or fight with him.  He isn't capable of rational actions, and the fact that he looks and sounds reasonable so much of the time doesn't mean he is.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 7th, 2007 at 9:47am
On a different note...


That was me after opening my envelope from the Department of Human Services.  

I never thought this would be me, but my husband and I are going on public assistance.  We left all our income in Egypt, and as school teachers, that meant going from May 1 to September 15 without any income at all.

Yes, we could have gotten jobs at Wal-Mart or somewhere.  But since I was trying for an administrative job, which didn't work out, I spent every day filling out applications in every little podunk district in the state (there are a lot of them in Texas) in the hopes that ONE of them would be desperate enough to make me an administrator.  Didn't work, but I have moved in teaching from elementary to secondary.

My mother's heart attack in the middle of June didn't help either.

Anyway, we are looking at rebuilding everything.  Furniture, appliances, cars, it all was sold to live overseas and now has to be rebought.  So we are getting some help from the state to do it.  Or we would.

Except they denied our claim.  Reason?

"You failed to come in for finger imaging."

When we turned in all the documents they wanted, we said, "They wanted us to get finger imaging."  And the clerk says, "Oh, you can do that on your next visit."


Among other things, I'm going to the Department of Human Services today.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Aug 7th, 2007 at 10:44am
Oy oy, Tex.
Life is just dumping all over you at the moment, isn't it? God knows I'm no stranger to that. Don't worry about venting here...we all do it from time to time. If you try to hold it in, it can augment anxiety.

Things will look up soon. *hugs* It can't rain all the time.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Curlgirl64 on Aug 7th, 2007 at 12:56pm
And these "Services" wonder why people go hysterical and ballistic on them?! :-? :o ::)  I swear either God or some other upper being holds me back!!!!!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by joeydog 1992 on Aug 13th, 2007 at 6:34pm
Tex, so sorry you are having such a tough time.  It never rains, it pours.  Do be very cliche, it is darkest before the dawn.  I hope you have a bright dawn very soon!!!


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 10th, 2007 at 7:08am
We went to Dallas this weekend to get some more stuff out of my dad's house.  It seemed tacky to do that and not see him, especially since his snitchy neighbor will call and tell him I was there.

So my husband went to the house while I went to the facility.  I took him out for ice cream.  I swear, the man gets more frail every time I see him.  Anyway, when we get back to his room I ask him if there is anything he needs or I can do for him.

He leans forward with blue sparks in his eyes and says, "Get... me... out of this place!  I'm SERIOUS."

I leaned forward with brown sparks in mine and said, "Give...me...power...of attorney.  And I'M serious!"

I told him if he would do that it would tell me that he accepted he was aging, he accepted he couldn't live by himself anymore, he accepted his days of driving were over, and he accepted that God wasn't going to give him a do-over, and that when he did I would work like a dog to get him some place less restrictive.

He said, "I will NEVER accept that."

And I said, "I will NEVER help you get out of here."

And I felt strong, strong as steel, like a blade clashing against his.

Don't think I won though.  There was just a cessation of hostilities after that.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Curlgirl64 on Sep 10th, 2007 at 7:36am
Parents can be so stubborn!  I know it must be fustrating for you,heartbreaking at times,too.  I wish all the luck,patience and fortitude with your dad.  Hang in!!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Sep 10th, 2007 at 4:56pm
Gawd, I don't even know what to say about your father, Tex. I know that dealing with aging/delusional parents can be rough.  :(  You have my sympathies.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 16th, 2007 at 4:17am
Someone said in an earlier post that I needed to "examine the role I play in getting myself into these situations" or something like that.  They are right.  And I know what I did.  

I married the wrong man.


I married a man I knew was an abused child.  Not sexually, I wouldn't have married him.  Not even really physically, although he has told me of one episode.  But emotionally?  Oh boy.  But I married him because he was smart and loving and was willing to admit when he was wrong and even attempt to change.

I wanted to save him.  I even said the words, "I am going to marry you and take you away from all this."  What I didn't realize was how deep the damage from the abuse goes.

My mother married exactly the same type of man.  You know, the one she divorced because she was convinced she would commit suicide if she stayed with him and who is sitting in a nursing home waiting for God to wave his magic wand.

And one thing she said to me this summer when I told her this was the year my husband and I decided to stay together or not was that she wanted to save my daughter from making our mistake.

And after what happened today I told her the one I want to save is my son.  He cannot learn to deal with the world in the way his father does.

What happened today was this.  

I called my mother's cousin's son to ask for our cats back.  He has been keeping them for the last three months after his mother got tired of it.  He said I can't have them back.  He said I haven't called and asked about them for three months and he considers them abandoned.  

He said since I offered to pay him for their food and the vet bills he wanted $3,400.00, which is what a cat hotel would have cost.

Now I admit he has a point about the phone calls.  I could have called.  There are several reasons I didn't but the truth is that I could have.  So I do understand his point of view, that I can't leave them with someone else for three months and then call up and say, "I want them now."  But what I told him was true.  I saw no point in getting my children and myself stirred up about something we couldn't have.  It was easier to just focus on doing what we needed to do to get them.

There were also one or two other things going on this summer, as you guys know.

So I told him my point was he never called me.  If he felt the cats were "dumped" on him, he should have called and let me know.  If I was going to pay for a cat hotel, I would have found one closer to me where I could visit.  I hated the fact that they were lving in my cousin's bathroom, but I didn't know what else to do.  And I thought that, cost aside, my cousin's bathroom was preferable to a cat hotel, where they would be locked in a cage.  So I was glad when her son took them.

I never anticipated not finding jobs until August.  I thought we would be in a district and settled by June.  If we had ever known where we were going to be, we would have gone ahead and gotten a place to live there and gotten our cats earlier.  No one called and said having the cats was a problem so we thought it wasn't.

So anyway, we went to Conroe today to get stuff out of our storage facility.  It's about a three hour drive.  I called him when we left, asking about when we could get the cats.  I had called him earlier in the week, but didn't get a reply.  So about an hour into the trip he calls and leaves a message that we can't have them.

My husband spends the next two hours fuming, saying over and over he wants his effing cats.  He pounds the steering wheel so hard I'm afraid he's going to break it.  After awhile, the constant outpouring of anger starts to feel like being dipped in acid, over and over.  It's been like this for about five years now, but it's gotten REALLY bad the last two.  And he's not really angry at me, but I'm there so I get all this venting.  Kind of like you guys.

So we get to the storage facility and he spend FIFTEEN minutes calling the son over and over.  I'm trying to reason with him, trying to get him to realize that this isn't going to help, that all it will do is make the guy mad.  But my husband thinks that people will do what he wants because he's angry.  He attempts to use the anger to scare them or force them.  It has cost him, and us, again and again, but he doesn't realize it.

This is the behavior I don't want my son to learn.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 16th, 2007 at 4:18am
So we load up the car and head for home.  He's still calling the son every 15 - 20 minutes or so, venting all the while.  Finally the son calls and I talk to him.  Now my husband recognizes that I am the more reasonable of the two of us, so he lets me talk to him.  But another truly annoying habit he has developed is listening to my end of the conversation but still venting his anger at every reply I make so that I've got two conversations going and I can't understand the person I am talking to.

So the son tells me his side.  He is not inclined to listen to my side at all; he's too pissed.  So we agree to talk on Monday.  

And off my husband goes again, venting his acid at me (the children are in the car) until he says, "I will poison the cats first."  That did it.  I said, "If I really believed that, if I thought for one minute that you weren't just talking out of anger, I would say let me out of this car."  And he says he isn't.  And I said, "Let me out."  I just can't take anymore.  I have now been listening to this fairly constant stream of anger for five hours and I can't do it anymore.  And I was serious.

The only time I faced my father down as a child is when he kicked the dog.  And for me, even the willingness to SAY you will kill an innocent animal rather than let someone else have it is intolerable.  It's a non-negotiable, an absolute.  I knew he didn't love animals, but that...?  I would NEVER married a man who would do that, or even SAY he would do that.  Maybe that wasn't the man I married, but it is the man he has become and I don't want that man.

And I realize that I can't save the situation.  I can't save him.  The only thing I can save is my children, and maybe me.  Anyway, I have a serious panic attack as I realize this, which freaks out my children.  And even while it was going on, I am realizing how wrong it is to let them witness this, and I am trying to stop, but I just want out of the car and away from him, and I think that if I just stop he won't stop the car and it's harder to stop than I realized when I said let me out and...  

So he stops the car and I get out and start walking.  And he is honking the horn and my daughter has followed me and I'm crying and she's crying and my son is crying and it's just so WRONG that they are being put through this but I don't know what to do because I just can't get over what he said.

So I go back and we talk a bit, and he reminds me of how difficult I am to live with, which is quite true, I tend to be a bit of a drama queen and I did have a psychiatrist say I had "bipolar tendencies."  But I tell him that I am going to call my mother to come get me, because I just can't ride back with him.

So then he gets mad because he said that when HE wanted to walk away I convinced him to stay, but then I decide that I want to walk away, which made his deciding to stay meaningless.  So he says that we will drive back to Waco and then he will leave.  The children didn't hear that part.

So as we drive he at least stops venting, which is good, although he still says something about every 30 minutes or so.  And as we drive everyone calms down and he is still here at the house.

He really had nowhere to go except back to his mother's, and I was going to have to drive him there because we only have one car.

We didn't have health insurance until September 1, and we couldn't use it until we got our cards, which we did September 10.  I didn't call the counseling center the day I got them.  I should have.  I am calling Monday.

And I realize something else. In a book I read once, a character said of the man she married, "He makes me better."  And I realize that this man does not make me better.  I am not a better person because of him.  I think I am worse.  If I am neurotic and moody and difficult, maybe it's because I have spent twenty years walking on eggshells, trying to navigate the mire of his anger.

My mother told me she divorced my father because she saw me and my brother making our own lives and she was tied to "an increasingly disfunctional man."  That is my situation.  When life goes bad, he retreats.  He sits on the corner of the couch with his computer on his lap and he doesn't interact with anyone.  If he doesn't have to go to work he doesn't even bathe.

This used to happen at Christmas.  Then it became all holidays.  Then it became any time he had to interact with my family or his.  Then it became any time things went wrong at work.  He now DOESN'T function more than he does.  I get about three months in the fall, August to October.  November means Thanksgiving so that sends him down and he will stay down, with small bobbles upward, until about February.  He'll be up again if work is going well, but for the last two years his job has gone sour and he has gone down again until we left it.  Of course this year we had all the other unpleasantness so I have only had an interactive husband for maybe a month, after we got our jobs.  

Oddly enough, or maybe not, he'll be better for awhile.  He says he's tired of my having meltdowns, but honestlly he doesn't LISTEN to anything else.  I tried five hours of being quietly reasonable.  Should I just have said, "Shut the f up?"

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 16th, 2007 at 4:19am

Anyway, if you are in a relationship with an abused person, GET OUT.  Unless maybe they are in counseling.  You can't help them.  You are not strong enough to save them.  No matter how strong you are, and I am pretty darn strong, YOU CAN'T DO IT.  You will be destroyed trying.

You think they aren't that bad, that in a real and loving relationship, surrounded by normalacy, they will heal.  They won't.  They can't.  Because YOU can't heal them.  Only they can, and I don't believe they can do it by themselves.  At first it isn't that bad, but as the years go by the damage is revealed as surely as the weight of walls and roof reveal cracks in a foundation.  Which is essentially what they have.

The abuse of the early years leaves them without the sense of "I'm okay", which enables them to take setbacks in stride.  Or at least, that is my analysis of the abused person I am with.  

I truly am at a loss.  Financially, we have to stay together.  But I want him gone.  At this point, my children are better off without him, both because of the behavior he models and because of who I am with him.

I feel like such a failure.  My mother never had a meltdown like this in front of us, although she became severly depressed and even suicidal.  But I DIDN'T KNOW IT, until later.  I am a horrible parent for giving in and letting go like that.  

And I have abused you guys enough.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Jerry on Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:04am
I am very sorry you have all of these problems and I hope they will evetually get solved one way or another.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Curlgirl64 on Sep 16th, 2007 at 1:09pm
I don't think you are a failure,infact,I think you are so strong for all the realization,concern for you,your kids and the situation in general.  I think you are very strong!  I do hope all works out for the best for everyone concerned.  I wish you much peace and serenity in this time,especially.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 16th, 2007 at 2:18pm
On a positive note, jojoba oil rocks!  Although my hair still has dryness and tends to snarl at the ends, it is much softer and it does it less.  Woo, hoo!  It now is a few inches above elbow-length, which is annoying, actually.  I feel the ends poking into my skin when I close my elbow and because they are so dry they hurt!  Not a lot, but it isn't the delicate butterfly brush of silken strands, but more like the delicate caress of a wire pet groomer!  Not cool!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Sep 16th, 2007 at 2:46pm
Man, Tex, this has been a rough year for you. *hugs*

A lot of the behaviours that you mentioned about your husband hit rather close to home for me. A few years ago, I was married to a guy who exhibited a lot of those same behaviours - especially the drama and the out-of-control anger. Your husband sounds like the kind of guy who would lash out at you at random, in public, regardless of who's around. I've been there...and I can tell you from experience that this is not the kind of person you want to stay with forever. That kind of disrespect should not be tolerated.
   You are absolutely right to think that your children shouldn't have to be exposed to all of that. And also that your husband is not setting a good example for them. If you feel that counselling will "save" him and/or the marriage, then seek it out...but in my opinion, it won't help and probably won't be worth it in the long run.

You're also right about love making you a better person. If your husband is bringing out the worst in you rather than the best, and moreover, if it's affecting your children, then you're better off without him. I'm not an advocate or a fan of divorce, having been through one myself, but the welfare of your kids comes before anything (not to mention your own safety and sanity!). Think about that.

One thing that I absolutely 100% disagree with, however, is that an abused person is not capable of overcoming and transcending whatever has happened to them. Honey, if that was true, we'd all be in deep you-know-what because everyone goes through some type of abuse at some point in their life. The difference is this: some people can handle it. They learn from the experience and grow and move on. Some people can't - those are the people that you want to stay away from.
   You are right in thinking that you can't "save" them. That's not to say that it hasn't happened in some cases - where one person can drop into another person's life and completely turn it around for the better. It certainly does happen. But the majority of the time, it's up to the individual to "save" themselves. The ability has to come from within.
   You may be sensitive to your husband's needs, but you are not responsible for his past. It's his own fault if he's incapable of dealing with his past and letting it go - you shouldn't have to walk on eggshells. Live your life as you normally would. If he can't handle it, that's his problem.

I really wish that I had some kind of blindingly inspirational words for you. But inspiration will find you on its own and words will attach themselves to it. The more truth you come to realize, the more comfort you'll have. Look to God. That's really all I can say.

Good luck, sister.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 16th, 2007 at 3:31pm
I do agree with you.  I thought that was what I said.  It certainly was what I meant to say.  The desire to overcome and get better MUST come from within that person.  Perhaps there are some who can do it by themselves.  You may be right.  But I know that this man cannot.  

Thanks, Angel, and all the others who have been so supportive.  I am sorry to be venting and dumping on the innocent.  I just am so overwhelmed, and I don't really have any friends of my own, all of ours are "shared" if that makes sense, and I can't ask them to choose sides, which is what I feel sharing all of this stuff with them would do.

Both my husband and I felt in our marriage that our problems were our own and neither of us would go "running to Mommy" with them.  After all, we can forgive things that our parents cannot.  But my husband has chosen not to have a relationship with my mother anymore, so I really don't think I can make things there any worse, and besides, if I didn't have her I would have NO ONE.

She is telling me we have to seperate.  She actually doesn't sleep well at night, knowing how much stress I am under and how close I am to breaking apart.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Sep 16th, 2007 at 5:12pm

The desire to overcome and get better MUST come from within that person.  Perhaps there are some who can do it by themselves.  You may be right.  But I know that this man cannot.

You have to do it by yourself. Ain't nobody else gonna do it for ya. This guy needs to figure that out...however, if he's anything like my former husband (key word: former), he probably won't.

One thing that I forgot to mention was that I also don't blame you for not wanting to be around someone who would even think about poisoning your cats. When I was 19, I moved out from under my parents' roof before I was financially ready because my father had "joked" on more than one occasion about killing my cat. To the point where I was afraid of going to school or work and leaving her alone in the house, knowing that my dad might be there too...God knows what would happen then. Now, whether he was joking or not wasn't the issue. It was the fact that he'd said and thought it in the first place. I made sure he knew that it was completely unacceptable...and I packed up my belongings and my cat and left. Absolutely no regrets about it either, because my cat lived out the rest of her days without anyone threatening to harm her.
   Also, the last guy that I was involved with was in the habit of making snide little comments in jest. And even though he didn't mean them, the fact that he thought and said them at all was what bothered me. To know that his mind went there in the first place, you know? Absolutely no regrets about letting him go either. Nobody needs that $#&%.  :P

Don't worry about venting - we all do it here from time to time because sometimes you just have to, and you have the reassurance that there are people here who might listen. Also, what happens here stays here, so you won't have to worry about your rants getting back to the people in question.  ;)
   But remember that you're never truly alone. You have your mother, your children, your friends and probably a few others in your corner. And whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, you also have God. I'm not trying to be preachy or anything, just stating a fact. But moreover, chica, you have to rely on yourself. Even if everyone else on Earth abandons you, you have to be there for you. Be strong, dearie.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by juri on Sep 18th, 2007 at 6:07am
I also definitely do NOT think you are a failure. I wish I had words of advice for you, but unfortunately I don't. All I can say is that you are an extremely strong person and you should feel free to vent all you want here. You will be in my thoughts.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Trisha on Sep 18th, 2007 at 2:04pm
You are not a failure simply because you're looking out for the health and welfare of yourself and your children.   Sounds like separation would be the best thing.  *hugs*  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on Sep 18th, 2007 at 5:00pm
The internet is an interesting place.  Since we typically don't see each other face-to-face, it makes it easier to vent our frustrations here in a somewhat anonymous environment.  This group in particular is very warm, comforting and understanding of personal issues. If the venting helps, then go ahead and vent - we are here to support you in this difficult time.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 24th, 2007 at 6:58am
As an update, I have my kitties!  The therapist we saw told my husband to let me deal with my cousin.  I told him the whole story, and said I would talk to my kids about whether they even wanted the cats anymore.

We all agreed that the joy of having them back was kind of gone, so I told him he could keep them.  But he told me that he thought we needed them as a rallying point.  So I met him in Hillsboro, which is about halfway between our houses, and got them.

The kids were overjoyed!  We agreed that we all feel...completed, somehow.  

Of course my husband says "He talked to his lawyer, and found out he was wrong."  Actually I had talked to a lawyer, and the situation was more iffy than I had thought.  But of course, the ... person...I married has to be a victim, and his victimizer must be evil.  So it can't possibly be that this was a good man with a false impression who had mercy.  Oh no.  And it CERTAINLY can't be that I was right, and listening to other people's side and then telling them yours is better than threats and force and bluster.  No, it has to be that he was right and what he did worked and my cousin just needed time to realize it.  

Just like my stepfather can't be a weak man who let his fear and dislike of my husband get away from him.  Now I am not justifying what he did; it was uncalled for and wrong, even if it had taken place only in front of my husband.  But as a partial explanation, pretty much all of my family dislikes my husband because of how he treats me and the children.  

My stepfather believed he lets me shoulder far too much, and he spent a month watching how I was the one who put the kids in school and talked with them and looked for work and functioned while my husband stayed in the bedroom on his computer.  Now partially my husband stayed in the bedroom because my stepfather dislikes him and the feeling is mutual.  But he was NOT looking for work in there.  He did not seriously look for a job until late July.  He did not complete even one application until mid-June.  (We returned April 31st.)  As soon as he did, he got a job and as soon as he got a job I got a job.  So I think my stepfather's accusation was motivated, in part, by the fact that I rely on my mother, because I cannot rely on the man I married.  

But my husband believes he is evil and the source of all his problems now.  We unloaded the last of our storage facility this weekend, and everytime we found something broken it was "A. did that."  Our difficulty with my cousin?  A.'s fault.   I finally said, "A. is not Satan!  He doesn't have that kind of power."  My husband said, "Satan has no power."  I said, "He has the power you give him."    

But enough of that.  I have to get ready for work.  I might type more later.  In the meantime, rejoice with me.  I have my cats back!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Trisha on Sep 24th, 2007 at 12:51pm
Yay-rah for kitties!!   :D

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Sep 24th, 2007 at 6:50pm
Yay for the cats. Boo for the men in your life.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by juri on Sep 25th, 2007 at 5:23am
I think I have to second what Angel Spun said. But it's GREAT you have your cats back!! It's funny (in a good way) how pets can make such a difference in our lives.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 26th, 2007 at 7:04am
I understand why my husband thinks I am unstable.  Yesterday we went to the therapist.  He spoke with my husband first, and spent very little time with me.  He told me we both, but especially my husband, have been through so much it is like we are suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder.  I had never thought about that.

So he asks me how its going and I said awful.  My husband doesn't talk to me.  He said he didn't need to talk right now.  I said, "No, not even good morning!"  I can always tell when my husband is upset by the way he breathes, and he breathes like that ALL THE TIME.  

So the therapist told me that in the environment where my husband grew up, anger was punished, so he learned to repress it.  But you can only repress anger so long before it explodes.  He said I am the opposite.  True.  My emotions are OUT THERE.  When I have them, they are very strong.  But then they go away.  So I can be furiously angry one minute, and happy the next.  My son is the same way.  My husband thinks we both are bipolar.

Anyway, the therapist said that my husband uses my emotions as a catharsis, a way of releasing his own.  But sometimes my emotions are too much, and right now they are too much.  

I told him the only place I felt normal was work.  He asked how was work.  I said, "Oh God."

I found out yesterday that I am in one of the toughest schools in the state, and you guys know Texas ain't small!  We have the highest rate of teen pregnancy for a middle school (6TH - 8TH), and the highest rate of children with incarcerated parents.  When I said this, both the therapist and I began laughing.  I mean, you have to laugh sometimes.

To top it off, I am department head and one of my team has been gone over two weeks straight!  Someone said she is dealing with some major issues.  Honey, if she has been dealing with more issues than me those are some major issues!  My butt's been at work.

Anyway, yesterday was HORRIBLE!  The kids were awful, and I gave my first two referrals.  I battled tears all day.  I knew I was in no emotional shape to go to a faculty meeting, where we were going to discuss our issues, because we've got downtown looking at us HARD.  

Sure enough, there was drama there.  One of the faculty members got up and said she'd had enough, she was resigning, and walked out.  She is married to our principal's boss, and felt that she was being blamed for our current scrutiny.  She wasn't, but I can see where she felt it.

That did it.  I started to cry right there in the meeting.  Got it under control pretty quickly, and no one said anything, but I went up to my room and SOBBED.  And the thing that upset me the most was that I couldn't share with my husband, or get any comfort, because he can't handle my emotions right now.  

But of course he calls me while I am in the middle of all this.  I could have not answered the phone, but he had open house last night and was at school until 8:30 p.m. and he had told me in the morning that he wanted to leave early.  So I figure if I don't answer he'll be mad because I was ignoring him and God knows I don't want that.  But I won't answer again because when I talked to him I became HYSTERICAL, because no matter what I did it was the wrong thing.  Share and I am burdening him with emotions he can't handle.  Not share and I am holding out and not committed.  

Next time I'll call my mommy.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Lisabelle on Sep 26th, 2007 at 8:16am
(((hugs)))  I've been to counciling with my hubby before.  It's so hard, I understand where your coming from.  I cried alot too.  Working through these problems takes time and by the grace of god they will get better. It's very hard for some men to open up, they repress alot.  I hope you find a happy meduim in your relationship and perhaps a less stressful job.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Sep 28th, 2007 at 7:04am

I was typing in the dark, accidentally hit escape, and lost EVERYTHING!  


What I get for typing in the dark, I suppose.

Well, in a nutshell, I was telling you guys that I have had better days since the last one.  The children have been lovely.  I think they knew if they weren't, SOMEBODY was leaving.

The faculty member who stormed out of the meeting is in fact gone.

They moved one special ed teacher to cover her class, and another to cover the 7th grade Reading teacher, now on her third week of absence.

I heard yesterday she has checked herself back into the hospital.  

Naturally there has been a lot of resentment toward this woman, although not so much now that we know she is hospitalizing herself.  Back when we knew NOTHING, except that she was choosing not to show up, there was quite a bit.

But I said this to my team.

When someone has a medical condition, whatever it is, there is the expectation of privacy if they don't choose to share.  And whether they do or not, the administration has privacy constraints.  In addition, the person has civil rights.  You cannot fire someone simply because they are sick.  So what seems as silence and inaction on the part of the administration may not actually be silence and inaction.  I told them that downtown was aware of the situation, and that everything that COULD be done was being done.  

But of course the teachers' issue is that we are now five weeks into the school year and these students have only had true instruction for six days.  I told them I knew that sometimes all the choices are bad.  But if the district gets it wrong, and gets hit with a lawsuit, there will be a lot more children harmed than just our seventh grade.  

My mother, a former superintendent, says these situations are THE MOST difficult to deal with.  And you can see how they would be.  On the one hand, you want to support your employee, and you certainly DON'T want to punish or cause suffering for a condition they cannot help.  On the other hand, when they are not there, children suffer, and you cannot leave the kids in limbo.  I don't envy our principal.  I really don't.  

I'll tell you about the part that got deleted, which involved a 14 year old gang member repeating the sixth grade for the third time who impregnated his 13 year old seventh grade girlfriend, another time.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Oct 5th, 2007 at 7:47am
I deleted the post that was here.  I am done whining.  It is not fair to you guys.  If I need to process through writing I will do it in my private blog.  Thank you for all the support you have given me.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Oct 5th, 2007 at 4:44pm
*hugz, Tex*

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by juri on Oct 5th, 2007 at 11:07pm
Hugs from me as well. I hope you'll still post here, though.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Oct 7th, 2007 at 11:47pm
Well, since you asked... ;D

My husband and I had a disagreement after our last session.  The therapist had said I would get my time, but I didn't.  So I was upset.  Which of course upset my husband because it was just another example of my selfishness.  In our sessions, I talk and he doesn't.  When the therapist asks, "How do you feel about that?" he just waves his hand and says he doesn't know what to say.

Anyway, the therapist's take on things is that I am too emotional.  I overwhelm my husband.  I have also been selfish, and taken advantage of his giving nature.  I am sure all of that is true.  But since I didn't get my time, I haven't had a chance to talk about the unreasonable demands, the temper tantrums, the way he can sit in his chair without interacting with anyone for hours or even days.  

Like my daughter's viola lessons.  The orchestra director at my husband's school teaches viola.  He gave my husband his card.  My husband gave it to me.  I cannot find what I did with it.  Will my husband get another one, or contact the man in any way?  No.  I asked if he could get another card.  No, he never sees him.  I asked if he could e-mail him.  He doesn't know his name.  Now of course, the only thing the man would have to do is ask someone, maybe the secretary, "Who is the orchestra director?"  No.  I lost the card, therefore our daughter not having lessons is my fault, and the more time that goes on without her having them the more guilty I am.

Or this weekend.  The kids and I went to stay with my mother because my stepfather was out of town.  We had to arrive after he had gone to sleep, and my husband wanted us to leave before he returned the next evening.  I said that the kids really don't interact with him much in the evening, since they watch tv in their bedroom then, and suggested he come get us at 8:00 Sunday morning while my mom and A. were at church.  Frankly, I wanted to spend a full day, and not have to leave after spending only a few hours or stay up all night because we spent more than a few hours.  My husband agreed.  

Now this was a test on my part.  My husband is NOT a morning person, and he would have had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to get there by 8.  I figured if he was really committed to this, "My children will not be in the same room with this man until they are 18" stuff, he'd be there at 8:00.  He wasn't.  And I told my mother, and my children, that I am not going to ask anyone to hide in a bedroom or garbage like that.  We were going to behave normally.  And we did, until it was time to go.  

The procedure is that my husband calls when he is almost to the driveway, and he turns the car around so that he isn't facing the house and can't inadvertently see anyone, and my mother and her husband stay in the house while we walk outside and put our stuff in the trunk.

And according to the therapist, I am the selfish and unreasonable one.      

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Kiraela on Oct 8th, 2007 at 11:11am
first off, tex.. *hug* you sound like you might need a couple of those...

secondly, I think you might want to find a different therapist... it sounds to me like one of the ones with the problem is the therapist themself. If he/she didn't give you fully as much time to talk as your husband, he/she has NO CALL to be arbitrarily deciding what's going on in your relationship. If you haven't been given time enough to tell your side of things, how the heck can they get the full picture? not to mention that talking the entire session, gives me the impression that the HUSBAND is the selfish one (and I'm not even getting paid to figure these things out........ d'hurrrr on the therapist)

Anyway, You may want to contact the school your husband works at yourself to get the name of the orchestra director, since once again, the husband is failing to be a reasonable being.

IF you want my honest, true real opinion... based on your posts, it sounds like he's taking advantage of YOU. Treating you like crap, because he can get away with it.

You shouldn't have to put up with that. Not at all.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Oct 8th, 2007 at 6:50pm
I kind of agree with Kiraela - just what sort of therapist are you seeing?!  :o

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Lisabelle on Oct 9th, 2007 at 5:44am
(((hugs)))  I too agree with Kiraela, you therapist sounds like a twit!  We tryed a few before we found one who worked.  One who can get to the root of the problem and who does not take sides and who knows have to draw out a response from my husband. What I liked about the one we had was she had a very long talk with both of us, got our back grounds and all then asked do you want to save your marriage or do you want to split?  She gave us time to think about it.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by juri on Oct 9th, 2007 at 8:05am
Jumping on the "WTH is up with the therapist?" bandwagon. While I've never been to couple's therapy, I don't think the therapist you have now is very competent. If it's possible, I'd try to find a new one.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by novusfemina on Oct 9th, 2007 at 11:15am

texian.traveler wrote on Oct 7th, 2007 at 11:47pm:
Well, since you asked... ;D

My husband and I had a disagreement after our last session.  The therapist had said I would get my time, but I didn't.  So I was upset.  Which of course upset my husband because it was just another example of my selfishness.  In our sessions, I talk and he doesn't.  When the therapist asks, "How do you feel about that?" he just waves his hand and says he doesn't know what to say.

Anyway, the therapist's take on things is that I am too emotional.  I overwhelm my husband.  I have also been selfish, and taken advantage of his giving nature.  I am sure all of that is true.  But since I didn't get my time, I haven't had a chance to talk about the unreasonable demands, the temper tantrums, the way he can sit in his chair without interacting with anyone for hours or even days.

Wow.  Maybe next time you go into a session, you can smile sweetly at your husband and say (in front of the therapist) , "Well honey, since you got a chance to get things off your chest in the last session and I kept quiet it's my turn with a session, right?"  Gets the point across that he's had his time, and being fair, you'd like yours too.

Or you could take an egg timer in with you.. ensure your therapist that you do want to work things out with your husband, and by being fair about the things that bother each of you and being able to express them, you'd like to set the timer each time either of you talk for five minutes.  That way, you're not getting overwhelmed by feeling like the entire session is focused on things that you're doing wrong, and at the same time, you're making an effort to be fair, bridge the "selfish" issue your hubby is having trouble with.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Mar 25th, 2008 at 6:45pm
    I haven't posted in a while, and since I have some very important work I'm trying to avoid, I'll post now.  I've been thinking I needed to update things anyway.

The Therapist.

    We started splitting the time, 30 min. each.  That let me get things off my chest, but we were making no progress in the relationship.  So we went to 15 min. each, 30 min. together.  The therapist said it was like each of us knew we had to change, but was saying "you first."  Finally the therapist said something that convinced me I had to be the one to shut up, so I did.

    And we were off, into the realm of what has been bothering my husband all these years.  And I am listening, and realizing that what I am being told is that all these years I haven't been enough, and I'm still not, and I am going to have to give up even more of myself to become what he needs me to be.  And the therapist is saying "we're making progress" and my husband feels like "we're making progress" and the only thing that has really changed is I am taking it in silence rather than protesting like I did before.

   But I am figuring this is what I have to do for awhile, and that maybe when my husband feels listened to he will actually start listening to me.  

    BUT THEN...

The New Realization.

    My mother called to tell us about a job possibility.  That was January 9.  She had gotten a call from someone looking for a Director of Technology, and she told them about my husband.  Now this was right during the time of final exams and grades and whatnot, but I am figuring with as badly as my husband hates where he is, he will do whatever he needs to do to get out, including take a day off from work to work on his resume.


    He doesn't send the guy an e-mail, give him a call, or any sort of contact until January 15, one week later.  Now I knew that part of the slow down was that he was having trouble finding time to update his resume and letter of interest.  So I said, on Friday the 11th, that the job posted on the website wasn't the same as my mother had told us about, and that maybe he could send an e-mail asking about the discrepancy.  I figured that could show interest and initiative while giving him time to update the other stuff.  He didn't do it.

    By the time he DID send an e-mail with his resume, one week later, I was furious.  And I realized something.

    For years I have told myself that he was fragile, that the abuse of his childhood made him reluctant to face life.  I realized a long time ago that this might be a lie I tell myself to cover the fact that he is simply LAZY.  But I had a new realization.  It doesn't matter.

    It doesn't matter whether he can't or whether he won't.  WHY he doesn't isn't as important as the fact that he doesn't.  

    I want a man who if he says he will go get resume paper while I am driving the four hours to make it to the job fair next morning so we don't have to stay up until ungodly hours printing resumes after I arrive, actually does.  Who repairs the washer within weeks of its breaking down, not months.  I want someone I can count on.  And I'm not talking about mindreading, or realizing that the dishes in the sink don't wash themselves.  I am talking about a clearly realized, clearly verbalized need (and not necessarily by me) to which he commits and then doesn't carry through.  

    About 90% of the time.  

    Actually, since we've been attending therapy, it's probably down to 60%.  But for how long?

The New Realization, continued.

    Anyway, I realize that even if he changes in the most important ways he won't change in all of them, and that this is one where he probably won't.  So I quit scheduling appointments.

    He figures this out and schedules a solo appointment.  The therapist tells him that if he sees him solo, we can't come for marriage counseling anymore.  I'm like, okay.  So my husband schedules a solo appointment for me when he confirms his.

The New Therapist.

    I thought about not keeping it, but then I thought, hey, I've got a few issues, so why not?  So I saw her yesterday.  And I told her this.

    My family takes the position that I have been emotionally abused and they are done watching.  They no longer want my husband in their lives.

    I looked up emotional abuse and many of the behaviors don't fit.  My husband has never tried to control me through money or sex, he doesn't put me down in public or private, and he has been supportive of all my plans and dreams.  He moved to Houston when I wanted to go, changed districts when I asked him to, and quit a dream job so we could go overseas.  

    But...he blames me for killing his career and ruining his life.  He blames me for where we live now, claiming it was never where he wanted to be, though he didn't tell me so at the time.  He blames me getting upset about not contacting the man about the job.  He says he knew all along they were going to decide not to create the position, which we found out about three weeks after he sent the e-mail.  I said, "But you've been talking like the job was real."  He said, "I was trying to psych myself up."  And I said, "So you're blaming me for RE-acting as if the job was real, when you ACTED as if the job was real?"

    But this is the kind of thing he does, and not just big stuff either.  He twists everything so it is my fault.  And my family says, no more.  And so do I.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Mar 25th, 2008 at 7:37pm
But his position is he is a VICTIM.  My stepfather was out of line (which he was.)  He claims I have never been committed to him since day one.  He says I have never supported him except in words.  

I believe this is because one summer he quit his job without having another one.  He did this with my full support.  I even helped write the resignation letter.  I knew that with his credentials all he had to do was walk in a school's door and he was hired.  I did NOT plan on him sitting on the couch for six weeks before looking for a job.  I had thought the job hunt would start on the first week in June and be over by the second week, not start less than two weeks before the teacher report date.  With his last paycheck a week away, and him still sitting on the couch, I got a little...nervous, to put it mildly.

Now that same summer he decided to take an upper level Math course, as kind of a testing of the waters for going back to grad school.  I was a little nervous about the course and job hunt going on at the same time, but I figured the job hunt wouldn't last that long, leaving him free to concentrate on the course.  But the job hunt never began.    

I tried, I really did.

The first week in June, I said nothing.  And the second week.  I think I mentioned a job hunt once the third week of June.  By the fourth week of June I was getting antsy, but I was really trying not to nag.  By July I started breaking down.  I tried to get him to see how much it mattered to me that we were facing no income in six weeks.  (I had a job, but child care ate all but $200.)  All he could do was sit there on the couch and say, "I'm sorry."  I can't remember if it was July 23 or July 27 that he actually started putting in applications.  I do remember his last paycheck was August 1.

He failed the course.  

At the time his explanation was it had been too long since his undergrad days, and he started at too high a level.  Over the years he has decided that I nagged him into failing.  And he says that my overwhelming need for security convinced him I was incapable of supporting him in his dreams.  I am the reason he never got a graduate degree, because all he was to me was a paycheck.  

He had the three years I was in grad school to think about what he wanted to do.  

He had the four years I worked in a dead-end job at the university to explore what he wanted to do.  I was bored with the job by the third year, but I stayed another year and a half, waiting for him to make up his mind.

But he chose the summer he quit his job to do something about it.  And because I couldn't face life without income, it's my fault he never got his doctorate.

The whole thing became about my lack of faith.  He knew he was going to get a job.  He was trying to trust in God the way he was supposed to.  If I had trusted God the way I was supposed to, I would have believed with him.  

All of this was confirmed by the fact that when he did go job hunting, in the second district he went to, there was a man standing in the lobby.  He asked my husband what he needed, and when my husband said he was dropping off an application asked him what he taught.  My husband said Math but that he wanted Computer Science.  The man happened to be the Director of Technology, and my husband had a job that day.  

So maybe it was about my lack of faith.  

He also had been blacklisted by his former district.  He thinks I don't put enough weight on that.  I don't.  Because a) we had no ties to that area and could have gone anywhere in the state.  Powerful that district might have been, but they don't influence the entire state of Texas.  B) if he was blacklisted in June he was still blacklisted in July.  If he could overcome it then, he could have overcome it before.  C) my mother was a VERY high-ranking official in Texas education that year.  If she had called up any district and said, "Give my son-in-law a shot", that would have overcome any blacklisting he might have encountered.  

As so often happens, he set up an explanation for his failure that was outside himself.  What he doesn't realize, as he does this, is that doing that often MAKES him fail.  

Anyway, he says that my stepfather refuses to see him as well, so that even if he was willing to reconcile he couldn't.  This is true.  He seemed surprised that my mother and cousin also don't want to have anything to do with him, and wants to know what he ever did to them.  The answer is nothing.  They resent him for what he has done to me.

They say my personality has changed.  They are right.  I was feeling myself becoming more bitter, more angry.  I was becoming like him, looking for slights, wondering if I was being treated as well as everyone else.  (This is a MAJOR issue for him.)  I didn't like it, but I didn't know how to stop it.  

They have seen him angry for no good reason; they have seen him withdraw his affection as punishment.  They have seen the way the children and I dance around trying not to upset him.  They watched me shoulder every burden when we came back from Egypt, and they have known that I carry the majority of the burdens most of the time.  I understand their attitude.  

Choosing to stay with him seems to them, and to me, to be  choosing, if not outright abuse, at least dysfunctionality.  It will take a very long time and a lot of work to overcome his scars, and what will I have at the end of it?

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Mar 25th, 2008 at 7:44pm
In the meantime, I will have to give up my "family of origin" as the therapist put it.  He says I don't have to, but you can't refuse to see all of them, say hurtful things about them when they're mentioned, and expect that my relationship with them will stay close and warm.

Yes, he has some legitimate areas of criticism, but the truth is he is hostile to all families, including his own.  We can't watch movies about relationships; he can't tolerate them.  I got him to see "Good Will Hunting" and gripped his arm the whole time after I realized it was about an abused mathematician because I thought he would walk out.  And he nearly did.  

As the first therapist said, hostility causes you to look for slights and hurts where none may be intended.  This is what he did with my family.  In spades.  And of course he found them.  

My family says I have spent years excusing him.  He says they have spent years accusing him.  My therapist says my situation is intolerable.  "You can't walk out on 20 years of marriage.  You can't give up your family of origin.  None of this is fair to you."  

Amen, lady.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Sakina on Mar 25th, 2008 at 9:17pm
I'm not sure what to say.  Wow, yikes and holy cow don't cut it, eh?

I have been dealing with my abusive childhood with a therapist who specializes in childhood abuse for about 4 years now.  I've had some very big breakthroughs recently and would like to recommend a book to you.  Funny, the title drew me to this book and of all the books I was reading at the time I got the least out of it.  However, I have been able to recommend it to others confidently since I read it.

"Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward, Ph.D.

May you know a moment of peace, every day of your life.  

Its one of the things I say at the end of every yoga class.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Lisabelle on Mar 26th, 2008 at 10:26am
(((((hugs))))  You gave it yout best shot.  No one deserves the crap you've been though.  After 20 years he's not going to change.  Leave him, do yourself the favor.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Mar 26th, 2008 at 2:49pm
OMG!  Emotional Blackmail is it.  When I read descriptions of emotional abuse, they didn't seem to quite fit my situation.  For my husband's father, though, emotional abuse was a perfect fit.  I mean, it was like looking at a checklist.  

Put-downs          check
Rejection          check
Inviting others and excluding you          check

There was hardly a behavior, except for sex, that the man didn't subject my husband to.

Including escalating to physical abuse.

But my husband doesn't show many of the abusive behaviors, less than half.

But emotional blackmail?

Another checklist.  


Thanks Sakina.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Mar 26th, 2008 at 4:38pm

Listen, honey. When it comes to abuse, there are 3 kinds of people: those who can deal with it and move on, those who can't, and those who won't. Your husband sounds like he may be one of the latter 2 types, which isn't good for anyone.
   Stop using his child abuse as an excuse for his behavior. All that does is give him a crutch that enables him to continue.

Plain and simple, your husband is neglecting his duties to you and your children and doesn't seem to want to change that situation badly enough to follow through. I'm sorry that you had to realize this so late in life. Where's that magical beam of insight when we need it, eh?

You already know how to resolve this situation. It's a waste of breath for anyone else to tell you. Everything you need is already there on the inside - use it. And good luck to you.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Sakina on Mar 26th, 2008 at 6:34pm
You're welcome, Texian.Traveler.  Good luck to you.  Change is hard.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:13pm
I didn't find the Emotional Blackmail book, but I did find another one.  I still want to find the EB book, because I think it will help me understand and combat it.  When my husband tried "discussing our relationship" I was able to view his comments through that lens.  It helped a lot, even with my limited and imperfect knowledge.  

But I LOVE the book I got.  It is called "Too Good to Leave/Too Bad to Stay" and it is about relationship ambivalence, which is also exactly what I have been going through.  It takes the view that you must either "stay in your relationship, recommitting to it free of doubt, free of holding back, free at last to pour your love and energy into the relationship and get back everything there is to get from it" or "leave your relationship, finally liberating yourself from it, free of confusion, free of pain, free at last to get on with a new and better life."  The worst thing, according to the book, is to stay in the relationship but not be fully committed and always thinking about leaving.  

It has 35 questions you are to ask yourself.  I won't go through all 35, just the first four, and I'll kind of paraphrase.

#1.     When things were at their best, were they really good?  The implication here is that if the relationship wasn't all that good to begin with, you can't hope for much improvement.  My answer was yes, they were really good.

#2.     Has there been more than one incident of physical abuse or agression?  Interestingly, it says that many couples have one incident of grabbing, striking, or other physical aggression.  Either the man is horrified and never does it again, or the woman makes it clear that if it happens again she is gone.  In my case, both were true, and my answer was no.  

#3.     Have you already made a concrete committment to leave?  The book distinguishes fantasizing (checking out apartments on the internet) from action (actually renting one.)  Again, no, not concrete.

#4.      If God said it was okay to leave, would you feel tremendously relieved and have a strong sense that finally you could end your relationship?     Yes!

The analogy the book uses here is of the mother chimpanzee who cannot put down her dead baby.  I found that idea very freeing.  This baby is dead!  I don't have to worry about why it isn't growing, why it isn't responding to treatment, why nothing seems to work.  It's dead!  The stuff that happened this summer was an explosion of putrescence from a rotting corpse.  You don't revive dead babies.  You bury them.

And then of course, you figure out why the baby died and what your share was in killing it.  

Oddly enough, before I got the book, a close friend said that the only way she saw of my husband and I functioning was to forget the past.  She said we both needed to just draw a line and say "We aren't rehashing the past and we aren't using it against one another anymore."  We should draw a line in the sand and say "Here is where we begin, and anything that came before this is off-limits."  She didn't think my husband was someone who could do that.  I said I wasn't sure I was someone who could do that.  

But it kind of relates to the dead baby analogy.  It would be burying one baby and creating another one together.  That I might could do.  Maybe.  I don't know.  If his therapy worked and he was a different man...

There were other questions, and some made it clear to me how dead the baby is.  

#12    Do you feel willing to give your partner more than you're giving already, and are you williing to do this the way things are between you now, without any expectation of being paid back?  Uh, no.

#13    Do both you and your partner want to touch each other and look forward to touching each other and make efforts to touch each other?    I remember this summer learning how to sleep on the very edge of the bed (you can bend your leg and hang one knee over without too much problem) so I wouldn't have to touch him, wearing earplugs so I wouldn't have to hear him, and with a pillow positioned so I couldn't see him or smell his breath.  When we got our own place, we got seperate beds in the same room.  He moved to the living room a few months ago.  

In the section on forgiveness, the question (not a numbered guideline) was asked, "Was your crime really so objectively terrible that anyone would have difficulty forgiving and forgetting (which is what he is saying) or are you just an ordinary fallible human being who screwed up only to discover that your partner has some sick need to hold on to grievances (what I am saying.)  My crime?  Having the objective, while he and my stepfather were screaming at one another, of getting them to stop.  My first thought was not that my stepfather was wrong, not that my husband needed defending, not even that my children didn't need to witness the scene.  My thought was that my mother had just had a heart attack and this couldn't be good for her.  So instead of yelling myself, telling my stepfather off, and leaving the house I tried to get them to knock it off.  Then instead of going to my husband I went back to the woman who had had a quadruple bypass less than a week before, who was one day out of the hospital, and tried to calm her down.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Sakina on Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:42pm
Relationships are sooo complex.  I'm glad you found a book to start with and hope you'll be able to get the EB book soon.

I want to say hang in there, and what I mean is keep working through the process.  No matter what eventually happens, you will need to go through your process to be better once this is completed.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:48pm
To me, an ordinary crime of human fallability.  I see where it sent the message he wasn't important, especially when I talked to my stepfather later and STILL didn't tell him he couldn't say such things.  That crime I will admit to.  I have apologized for it, but not for the other.  I take the position that it was not wrong to think of the sick woman lying in the bed rather than the healthy man causing the scene, and I won't say I'm sorry for trying to stop it rather than participating.  Apology without change is meaningless, and given the same set of circumstances I would act in the same way.  

He takes the position that my mother wasn't dying and I knew it so the excuse that I was worried about her and what the two of them screaming at one another would do to her won't wash.  What is REALLY true is that nothing and no one is as important to me as she is, not even my own children, and I am willing to sacrifice anything and everything to her, when the person I SHOULD have committed to was him and what I should have done was defend and support him.  He cannot forgive me for my betrayal, when I turned my back on him and my children and walked away to go to her.

I knew, when I stayed and took care of her instead of driving back with him, that I was ending our relationship.  I knew what he wanted me to do.  I couldn't do it.  I wouldn't do it.  I had hoped and prayed he was big enough to understand why.  Apparently he isn't.

There is some history that supports this belief that she is more important than he is.  I won't go into it here, but suffice to say that I saw him as a damaged man and I didn't trust his judgment and I wasn't discreet enough.  I didn't hide the times I asked her advice, and he has resented it for years.  He tells me I won't do anything he recommends unless she agrees with him.  Not quite true, but close.  I can see where that sent a message of unimportance and irrelevance.  I do understand that I also had a share in killing our relationship.  

But now I have a horrible fear.  What if the relationship isn't dead for him?  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Apr 14th, 2008 at 10:21pm
I tried curling my hair last night.  Actually I put it in braids.  I washed it and braided when it was almost dry.  Put the ends in rollers, put the rollers on top of my head, and slept in a satin cap.  Now normally doing this would result in a cloud of curls or waves that would be a slight bend on the ends in an hour.  (My hair is STRAIGHT.)  But this time I used a styling mousse.

It worked!

Too well!

I had a big poufy cloud that made me look like Diana Ross if she'd been bleached, only not that good.  So I pulled it back in a clip.

Big mistake!

In my desperation to save something of the style, I forgot that if I simply pull my hair back in a ponytail I will have a mat at the nape of my neck that my persian would be proud of.  Ooh wee!  Me and my friend the detangle spray had some intimate moments when I got home this afternoon.  I lost a good amount to breakage anyway.

It was just another sucky part of a truly sucky day.  It started when I made the mistake of asking my husband what he was so angry about this morning.  

I know you guys have said leave him, and I plan to.  We have been staying together because it is difficult to rent an apt. for two months, and that is all we have left of the school year.  We are both teachers, and finishing the year means a summer paycheck.  Not finishing...not, and you have the problem of not finishing the year.  Doesn't really recommend you to the next district.

Anyway, my daughter's birthday is on Tuesday the 22nd.  Two weeks ago we went to Dallas and my in-laws took her shopping for her b-day, but did not include me.  I didn't particularly mind and didn't really think about it.  

So my mother asked if we could visit her next weekend, and we would do somelthing for my daughter's birthday.  She actually said we could come either last weekend or this weekend, and I chose this weekend.  I told my husband this on Thursday or Friday of last week.  On Sunday he says, "I don't appreciate you excluding me from her birthday."  Her birthday is on Tuesday.  We had no plans for the weekend before her birthday.  We had discussed the fact that we didn't know what we were doing for her birthday.   We don't have a tradition of doing something together the weekend before a birthday.  But according to him, it should have been a no-brainer that we NOT go anywhere without him the weekend before her birthday, and that I should have ASKED rather than told him what I planned.

It became this huge thing, and he told me why the in-laws didn't want me along (apparently my taste can't be trusted among other things) and...I won't go into all of it.  I just need a sanity check.  

The only difference I see between what his mother planned and what my mother plans is that one occured three weekends before her birthday and one occurs the weekend before.  Is there something I'm missing?

This afternoon he said to me, "I thought we had worked it out and her birthday was on Friday."  I said, "No, it's on Tuesday."  Now if he thought it was on Friday I understand the reaction.  But when he found out it wasn't, did he apologize?

Of course not.  

The TAKS test is two weeks away, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that my students are not going to do well.  So I suck as a teacher.

We've already established I spent the morning, and later the afternoon, being told how I suck as a parent and a wife.

This afternoon I found out I screwed up on my bill payer system and paid the wrong electric company.  $89 to get it turned back on tonight, and $300 security deposit due on the next bill.  When the other company sends my refund check, I am going to photocopy it and turn it in with a letter of explanation.  Maybe they will waive the deposit.  I don't think so, but I lose nothing by asking.  So I suck as our money manager.  

I missed an important meeting, where I would have appeared in an administrator capacity, dealing with the electricity, so there isn't a single aspect of my job, teaching OR administration, that I DON'T suck at.  

And on top of everything else it was a BAD HAIR DAY!  We are talking some major hooveration here.

Mom says that means something really nice is coming my way.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:34am
I am sane.  I have to cling to that.  I read on the internet about crazy making, about verbal abuse, emotional blackmail, borderline personality disorder, and so much of it speaks to me!  I am sane.  I am not crazy.  He tells me I'm selfish.  He tells me I'm a bad parent.  He tells me I'm incapable of emotional committment.  He tells me ...Oh!  The things he tells me.  So much that you have to wonder what kind of saint, or martyr, he had to be to put up with me.  But he doesn't tell me all the time.  Oh no.  And he makes it sound so reasonable, so possible.  He admits he has problems.  But haven't I contributed to them? he says.  

But larded in among the oh, so reasonableness is pure BS.  I'm the one who tried to seperate him from his family?  I'm the one who's insisted on his maintaining a relationship.  I know that.  I remember that.  I cling to that memory as proof that for some reason he needs me to be evil.  I guess if I am evil he is good?  A victim?  A martyr?  But as he threw it up to me how I have downgraded him and his family and rejected them all, I clung to those memories.  Here's the most recent.

When his neice was expecting her baby I wasn't invited to the shower.  I knew it was a payback for boycotting her wedding, and I accepted it.  He was furious; he said because in slighting me they slighted our daughter.  He refused to acknowledge the baby's birth, and swore he would never acknowledge it existed.  I had to insist we visit, and bring a gift when we did so.  He has a relationship with his sister now because I did that.  So the stuff about my rejecting and seperating...?  I have yet to refuse to visit his mother.  He quit visiting mine more than eight years ago.

He lies to me.  He tells me he wants things, but when they don't work out tells me he never wanted them, he was just catering to my selfishness.  I am not crazy.  He lies.  He lies, and he restructures the past, and he makes things so I am the one at fault, and he says things he doesn't even mean just because he's angry and he knows they'll hurt.  He lies, and then blames me for not loving him enough to see past them, because clearly if I loved him ENOUGH then I would realize he was giving me what I wanted and would know telling me it's what he wants too is a lie which I can't see because I don't love him enough but any person capable of committment would...

So I have to cling to the idea that if some of it is BS, all of it is BS.  But it is hard.  Especially on a day like today, when everything goes wrong.  The problem is I don't know who I am anymore.  Am I the horrible, screaming person I was today, or was that because of the almost intolerable stress I live under?  Who am I when I'm not walking a tightrope through eggshells?  How much of me is real, and how much his creation?  I can't remember who I used to be, and to say the bad parts of me are because of him is too easy.  When he is gone, will I still be unstable?  

As I remember my childhood, and think about my behaviors then, I am ashamed to admit that the explosive temper has been with me my entire life.  I leash it, but at times like this, when I am under constant stress, it gets away from me.  So clearly I have to gain some anger management.  But oddly enough, my anger is not a problem he complains about.  Either it isn't that big of a problem, or my having the same problem he does gives him permission to have it.  That's probably it.

But I will say it again, because I need to hear it.  I am sane.  When I can read a checklist of the behaviors of emotional blackmail, or verbal abuse, or crazy making, or borderline personality disorder, and go..."That's it!  That's my life!", then I am not the crazy one.  And when he tells me that even after getting therapy while being seperated this summer he doesn't see us getting back together, I can think "Thank goodness."

I asked him what he wanted me to do.  He said that we had talked about doing something for our daughter's birthday.  Okay, we had.  In just those vague of terms, doing something for her birthday.  Nothing about what.  Nothing about when.  My mother said if it was going to be a problem we could cancel, because my daughter probably wouldn't have a good time.  I told her it was too late.  I had already committed the crime by not putting him first.  She said, "You're seperating.  Why should you consider him first?"  My thoughts exactly.

He's been very clear he's leaving at the end of the school year.  I don't know what I am supposed to do.  Beg him not to go?  Say I'll change?  He keeps saying that I want to be the victim, the only one who suffered in the relationship.  If the relationship is ending, why does that matter?  We can each trot off with whatever lies we need to tell ourselves, and we'll only have a problem if we try to have another relationship.  I am so confused.  He talks about saving the marriage in one breath, and tells me he's leaving in the other.

He told me to quit sending him mixed signals.  I told him tonight that every time I feel myself softening, every time I think we might have a chance, I harden my heart and steel myself from letting him know, because I know that a day like today is coming.  And it always does.

I am not crazy.  I am not crazy.  I am not crazy.  

I am capable.  I am wonderful.  I am valuable.  

I am not evil.  I am human.  I am fallible.  

I am not perfect.  I am forgiven.  

And I am not crazy.

I'm not.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Lisabelle on Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:22am
http://www.smilieshq.com/smilies/love0028.gif  No you are not crazy!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Angel Spun on Apr 15th, 2008 at 5:21pm
Tex, hon, the only crazy thing about you is that you've put up with this bs for so long.

Your husband plays the victim and makes everything wrong with his life/family out to be your fault. You're using your own memories as proof against him. His parents are accusing you of personality flaws that you don't have...


This is a dark and miserable place to be. In fact, it doesn't get much lower than where you are right now. I know because I have been there. Your husband sounds quite a bit like my ex. Yes, I said EX. And reasons like the above are exactly why.

No woman has to put up with this kind of $#&%. It just sucks that it takes us so long to figure that out.

Forget about being capeable, wonderful, forgiven, etc.
You are your own person. That's what matters.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Apr 16th, 2008 at 1:00am
Ladies, Thank you so much for your support.  It really makes a difference that objective outsiders can confirm what my heart tells me.  

You know, when I was younger I read and heard about beautiful, intelligent, capable women who ended up tolerating the worst kinds of men.  I never thought I would be one...

Today was so much better, although he still was an *@%.  He called me up, DURING CLASS.  I am figuring this is some sort of emergency.  So I excused myself to my students and called him back.  He said, "Why have you locked me out of the checking account?"  I hadn't.  When the bank redid the web system a while ago, they had you create security questions for when you log in from an unusual computer.  Since he almost never logs in to the bank, it didn't recognize his computer.  He should have known the answer to the question, since it was what high school did we live behind the year we got married.  Not phrased exactly like that, but I'm not going to post the security question for everyone to see on the internet!  Even if no one does know my real name.

Anyway, I tell him the answer and he says we'll talk later.  When we do, I tell him I have a problem with him automatically assuming I was sabotaging him.  He told me that I should have rememberedl his dyslexia makes him read words like "lived" as "left", which was why he didn't get the question and he had called me after spending nearly his whole lunch period putting in every school I had ever attended (left) and I'm thinking "the year we got married wasn't a clue?" and all the while I am reading this conversation on a website I found that I THINK is called "You are not crazy."  

This woman tape-recorded a conversation with her abuser and he was so confident that SHE was the one with the problem that he gave her permission, believing he was establishing the evidence.  A transcription of the conversation was on the website and you could click a button and it would label the various abuses as they occured, blaming, crazymaking, diverting, etc.  I was kind of scared to download it.  I was both afraid I wouldn't recognize the behaviors and afraid I would.  But I clicked on it.

Anyway I am reading this and listening to my husband and they are the SAME CONVERSATION.  I mean, not word for word obviously but the patterns are there and the ones that aren't in the conversation I am currently having (actually the diatribe I was listening to) I have heard before.  Most of them.  Some were a little more extreme than we have ever gotten but I am recognizing the pattern and I realize we have been dealing with each other like this for years.  And all I could think was, "My God, what have I done?"  I chose this man as the father of my children, and no matter how soon or late I get rid of him, this is the man they have to deal with as their father for the REST OF THEIR LIVES, and I have condemned them to this.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by Trisha on Apr 16th, 2008 at 9:08am
We cannot change our actions of the past; it's impossible.  All we can do is start anew EACH DAY and move forward from here.  Stop beating yourself up.  Start making plans for the near future, when you finally leave this man.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Apr 18th, 2008 at 10:39pm
And the drama continues!  I had an episode of vertigo about two weeks ago.  Last week I started having problems pretty constantly.  I tried calling in a sub today but the job didn't fill so I went in.  Another mistake.

Coming back from lunch another teacher commented that I was weaving.  About twenty minutes into my class the dizziness got so bad they had to send me home.  So embarrassing!  Especially since the episodes came and went, and when they were gone I was fine.  

I am 90% sure they are allergy related, but I am going to the doctor on Monday.  And the TAKS test is one week away!

My dad has been writing and demanding a key to his house.  I ignored the first letter, especially since I had gotten a notice they were repossessing the house for taxes.  But he sent me another one.  So I called him.

He was very upset about the taxes, and I told him that I saw the house as an impediment to him living his life, and I wanted it gone so he could have a better life, that that house was not his life.  He agreed the house wasn't his life, but then said something like, "Well, I need to let you go since you won't do anything to help me."  I said, "If the only conversation we can have is about the house and what I will do to help you get it back, then you're right, we have nothing to talk about."  Then I said,"And I'm really sorry about that."  

He backed off a bit, but he still wouldn't, couldn't, talk about anything else.  So I told him that if he was going to try and do anything himself I needed to let him go to do it, and we hung up.

And I laid on the bed and sobbed, because I feel trapped between these two dysfunctional men who use such similar tactics and I prayed to God for strength and I also prayed that somehow, someway, my daughter not marry a man just like her father, as I did, so that one day she finds herself with no one and nothing.  

And the thing I wanted most in the world was just for someone to hold me, some sort of physical contact, and my husband just sat and typed on his computer.  Now it turns out what he was doing was researching the tax situation online, so he was being supportive in a way, but I don't really see how I could have expected anything else.  

We are seperating; we've been very clear we are just cohabiting, why should I blame him, or even expect him, to be emotionally supportive, and consider what the woman who is rejecting him, who has said she doesn't love him, needs?  I can't.

But it still hurt.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on May 16th, 2008 at 1:04am
I know I should rename this Tex's endless whining, but seriously, so much yucky stuff is happening that if I don't put it somewhere I will EXPLODE!  

I took the job at my current school because I really liked the principal and wanted to work with him.  Now, I have to admit the guy DEFINITELY lacks some skills as a principal, a fact that became more and more obvious as the year went on.  However, he was also SET UP to fail.  There was outright sabotage, some by his staff, more by the central office staff.  

I have been trying to get out of the classroom and into administration since 2002.  In 2003 two jobs came open on my then current campus.  I was not hired for either, and had to watch one administrator bumble around when I UNQUESTIONABLY had greater skills.  I stuck it out one more year and then went overseas.

December 2006 the secondary principal of that school was demoted, and I had good reason to expect I would be placed in the position.  No dice.

February 2007 the elementary principal resigned for the next school year and I was slated to replace her.

April 2007 we had to leave the school and the country.  Bye, bye principalship.

October 2007 the principal of my school tells me an AP might be leaving and he wants me to replace her.

December 2007 she is demoted and they choose not to fill her position.

February 2008 my principal tells me he is getting an instructional specialist position the next year and he wants it to be me.

Today my principal is fired.

I am so angry for so many reasons.

Not the least of which is that, again, I have to watch a position that I virtually held in my hands...vanish.

Why does my life remind me of potato chips?


As I ranted and raged at God, I kept thinking of potato chips.  Is it because they are so easily crushed, and that is how I feel?  

I don't know.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on May 19th, 2008 at 9:42am
I'm sorry your career path has had so many stumbles in it.  It sounds like the school board/administration who does the hiring is not able to clearly identify the right kind of person for the principal's position.  That can be a major stumbling block to anyone trying to hold down that position.  A setup for failure is a horrible position to be in.

Good luck and I hope something works out for you.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on May 24th, 2008 at 5:56am
Finally an entry that isn't whining!  

I am having trouble sleeping because I am just so high from the news I got today.  Our TAKS results came in.  For you non-teaching non-Texans, that's what we call our state standardized accountability test.  My guys scored 90%!  One of the highest scores in the history of the school!  90% puts you in the top category.  If all subjects do that you are called exemplary and you get to put a banner on your school.  There is also funding that goes to exemplary schools that doesn't to others.

Now my schoool will not be exemplary, nor recognized.  The 6th grade Math scores were at 46%, and you have to get 50% to be even acceptable.  But you get to average the scores between the grade levels.  Like in my department, 8th grade scored 84% and I scored 90%, so the fact that the 7th scored 67% (acceptable is 70% in Reading) doesn't matter.  However we had a LOT of upset in 7th grade, and basically the students got only a half year of instruction.  I told the teacher that 67% in half a year wasn't bad at all.

Anyway, the math scores of the other grade levels weren't that high.  8th grade is a Student Success Initiative grade, which means if the student doesn't pass TAKS s/he doesn't advance to the next grade level.  Because the test is so important, they get two tries.  Our 8th grade got 44% on their first try.  We don't have the results of the retake yet.  I don't remember 7th grades results, but they weren't high enough that we KNOW they will compensate for the other two.

Now you teaching Texans will be saying, okay, that's good but nothing really to get high about.  Here's what makes this victory so very sweet.

My campus is 99% minority, 95% economically disadvantaged, with one of the highest rates of students with incarcerated parents and teen pregnancy in the state.  In addition, you always have some grades that are rougher than others.  I have been told by more than one teacher at that school that it doesn't GET rougher than this year's sixth grade.  And I got THOSE KIDS to pass the TAKS at 90%.

I tried to become an administrator before I went overseas.  When I figured out no one was going to make a music teacher, which I was at the time, an administrator because music isn't a TAKS subject I got an additional endorsement and tried to become a Reading teacher.  I had MULTIPLE interviews where I was told, "You're a music teacher.  What do you know about teaching kids how to read?"  Apparently, A HECK OF A LOT!    

This also was sweet.  The 6th grade writing teacher is in her second year of teaching.  She told me that the way she and I taught this year was COMPLETELY different from the way she and Ms. Davis taught last year.  She said last year they drilled and drilled and drilled and everything was TAKS strategies from the word go.  And she said, with a note of wonder in her voice, "This year, we just taught."  Again, non-teaching non-Texans won't understand, but you have a significant number of teachers tell you they can't do fun, interesting lessons because they have to focus on TAKS.  Hah!

I am vindicated on SOOOO many levels!

And though it is petty and small of me, I am glad because of this too.  I applied for an assistant principal job at my school.  Ms. Davis was hired instead of me.  I understood why.  She was a known element who achieved an 88% pass rate last year.  I was an unknown.  But it rankled because I was fully certified and Ms. Davis was not, and according to state law the certified candidate gets hired over the non.  So the district broke the law to hire her.  I could have fought it, but that's the kind of battle you lose even if you win.  

Unfortunately Ms. Davis, in addition to being a very capable teacher, was also bi-polar, and like many bi-polars she did not take her medication consistently.  As one teacher put it, "You never know who is going to show up for work, the nice Ms. Davis or the mean Ms. Davis."  She was demoted mid-year and the district chose not to replace her.  So I AT LEAST wanted to equal her.  And I did!

Now the scores may drop, because there is some adjusting that needs to be done.  There is something called a "snapshot" day.  Whatever students are on your campus on snapshot day get credited to you.  Students who aren't don't.  For example I had a student who arrived literally THE DAY BEFORE THE TEST.  She passed, but unquestionably that was not due to anything I did.  So she will be taken out of my 90%.  Other students who were there and have gone to other schools, like the three girls who were smart as whips but couldn't keep their hands out of teachers' purses so they are now in alternative school, will be credited to me.  But if any of them failed TAKS, it was from spite.

So now, when I go for job interviews, I have the proof of what I did.  But of course they are going to want to know how I did it, so I can show everyone else.  I am trying to think about that.  I haven't come up with any hard and fast conclusions except for this.  Honest to God, it was beleiving they could do it, and telling them so.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on May 27th, 2008 at 4:01pm
Congratulations on the good results.  I'm sure your students appreciate it as well!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on May 29th, 2008 at 10:39pm
How, how, HOW did I manage to wash my son's cell phone...AGAIN?!

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on May 30th, 2008 at 9:32am
LOL!!  Probably the same way I keep washing hubby's pocket knife - over, and over and over.....  

At least the knife doesn't have any sensitive electronics!! ;D

Title: F!!
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 3rd, 2008 at 5:55am
Grrrrr!  I spent 45 min. on a post, then when I went to post it lost my internet connection and the post!  Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be read.  

I was helping my unconscious mind process.  It gave me such a weird dream, and when I couldn't go back to sleep I figured it was asking for help.  Typing helped me process, a bit.  The only conclusion I have come to is that I have to talk to my husband about his intentions this summer.  

And that my subconscious wants me to leave him.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by bikerbraid on Jun 3rd, 2008 at 10:02am
Sounds like you need to continue to process those thoughts.   :-/  Good luck - I hope you can work things out to give you your inner peace.

Title: Re: F!!
Post by Jerry on Jun 3rd, 2008 at 6:46pm

texian.traveler wrote on Jun 3rd, 2008 at 5:55am:
Grrrrr!  I spent 45 min. on a post, then when I went to post it lost my internet connection and the post!  Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be read.  

I hate when that happens >:(


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 10:54am
Okay, more processing, and the internet better behave itself!

Maybe I'll post about my dad's coin collection first.  Except it's linked to the processing...Oh stop waffling and get on with it!

My husband, T, moved out.  I went to visit my mother last weekend, and when I came back his closet was empty and his bag packed.  We went to Dallas and spent two days at Six Flags, then I came home and left the kids there at his mother's with him.  We still haven't told them, although they would have to be absolute idiots not to have figured it out by now.  Anyway, I was cleaning out the closet and found my dad's old briefcase.  Inside is a coin collection.  The coins aren't protected (at least most of them aren't) and most are in very bad condition.  But I have at least 50 Roosevelt silver dimes, multiple indian head pennies, some silver dollars from 1896, a buffalo nickel, who knows what.  

I plan on getting a "Blue Book for coins", but then what?  Oh, and as an aside, did you know our government used to make half dimes?  I didn't.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 10:57am
I arranged to attend a PBS convention this summer, and I am also attending the TCWSE convention.  I found out I was going to the PBS one the week before school was out, and TCWSE maybe a month before that.  I thought I was having surgery before both, but had enough trouble scheduling it that I wasn't able to get it till after, which really is a good thing because I don't have to mess with crutches while there.  

Meanwhile T and I haven't talked about what he is doing over the summer in months.  And I realize that I haven't made any arrangements for a family member to be there after my surgery, which is assuming he will be there, and that is not fair since we had decided he was leaving.  (As an aside, I wish I could break this habit of switching to present tense when I'm typing these things.  Okay, present tense it is.  I hope.)

So the last week of school I ask T whether he is going to be there.  I mean, I didn't want to ask him to be there, because that is using him and sending mixed messages.  On the other hand, asking him NOT to be there is rejection and I didn't want that.  Plus if my children want to be there then he kind of has to be.  So I simply asked if he was.  He told me he would think about it.

This is a common occurence.  When I am trying to finalize something that he doesn't want to deal with, he asks for "think time."  Think time then extends a substantial period, in this case two weeks, and then when I ask again several variations occur.  One, I get criticized for pressuring him.  Two, I get criticized for asking him at the last minute.  (That's what happened this time, even though my surgery was 20 days in the future.)  Three, I get criticized for not having the patience to wait for his answer, which is then given with a bad grace.  Four, I get told he is still thinking.  (See One.)  The extended period of uncertainty is also my punishment, because he knows I am the "get it settled and done" type.

So I ask my mother if she can do it, since I haven't gotten an answer from him.  She talks to my cousin, and together they decide that since she is bringing me some furniture (I don't have a couch) my cousin will come take me to the surgery and take care of me the first few days while getting my house together, then my mother will come for the next few days.  But the question is what are my children going to do?  So I call T and ask if the children want to be there, because it seems to me that the first couple of days I am going to be out of it and there won't be much for them to do besides watch me sleep.  And T lets me have it.  

First he points out that he can't ask the children that question without telling them we are separating.  Okay, I can see that.  I'm out of town until next Wednesday, and we agreed that telling them while at his mother's was not fair to her, so T. was going to bring the kids down the two days I am back in town, and we were going to tell them then.  Oh I forgot the part where I got criticized for making plans like attending the conventions and not asking T what his plans were and whether having the children with him was convenient.  I do see his point, but I am still confused.  His plans consist of job hunting, which I didn't know because he has made it very clear that I am not involved in his future plans and so do not need to know them.

Job hunting is done during the day, and the children are more than capable of taking care of themselves during the day.  They had to when their school got out a week before ours did.  So unless his job hunt plans involve an overnight stay, what is the problem?  And if his job hunt plans do involve an overnight stay, what is he doing looking for a job so far from his family?  I admit to making some assumptions.  He knows we are going to stay in Waco.  I made the assumption that he was looking for work within a reasonable driving distance.  I understand wanting to be ASKED, and I admit to making the assumption that he was going to sit on his rear end the entire summer and not begin looking for a job until August, like he did in 1999 when he quit his job and like he did last year.  If having the children with him wasn't convenient, they could stay with my mother or his.  And as my mother poinlted out, my plans wouldn't have changed even if I had known his.  I didn't point that out to him, but he knows it anyway.

So my question about the children turns into this long diatribe about how he is always an afterthought.  I have never loved him.  He has never come first.  I am using him and I have always used him.  He has been unhappy since the third year of our marriage and he stayed with me only because he had promised to put me through graduate school, but he figured once I had achieved my goal of becoming an opera singer we would go our separate ways.  

Now back when we were dating, I participated in an opera.  Rehearsals were on Thursdays, which were our "date night."  And T told me I was going to have to choose betweent the opera and him.  Okay, he didn't exactly say that.  He started making noises in that direction, and I told him to be VERY SURE he wanted to say that to me, because I might not make the choice he wanted.  And he realized he was being unfair, and he didn't ask it.  I told him that performing was part of who I was, and I wouldn't give it up.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 12:39pm
So I graduated and taught for a year, and then got married and taught for three more years, and I didn't do any performing until we had been married three years, which meant it was four years since my last show.  And T said that he wanted to do theater too, maybe build sets.  And I said no, that theater was my thing and I wanted it to stay my thing.  And that was the start of our problems.  He says now he would sit alone in the apartment and think about how it wasn't supposed to be like this, that he was supposed to have a partner.  Now when I did shows I was careful not to do them back to back.  If I had I would have been at the theater seven days a week.  Instead, I was either rehearsing Sunday through Thursday, or performing Friday - Sunday.  But he said that wasn't enough.

I have thought about why I did that, and in retrospect it was selfish and a mistake.  The only explanation I can come up with is this.  His mother made his dad the center of her world.  There wasn't a thing she did he didn't control.  She spent her life waiting for him to come home, which he did when felt like it.  The only thing she could do without his direct approval was shop, and she would only do that when it was unlikely he would be coming home.  She did this gladly, because he was everything to her.  Wherever he was was where she wanted to be, so she wanted to stay home because he was there or might be there.

When T and I were first married, he had to know where I was EVERY MINUTE.  I never felt it was coming from control, although it retrospect it probably was at least partially, but more concern and also uncertainty.  When his dad walked out the door you never knew when he would walk back in.  It took about five years before I felt like T really believed that I wasn't leaving without warning.  

So when I said, no, this is my thing, you keep out, it was because I was afraid of being swallowed up.  I didn't want what his mother and dad had, and I was afraid he expected it.  He had no friends that I knew of, no interests, he had me and only me.  I wanted him to find something else.  I wanted each of us to bring something unique to the table, something we could talk about and share.  I wanted him to find HIS thing.  I admit I did nothing to help him find it; I simply pursued my thing.    

I think one of our big problems is we have completely different views of marriage.  I see marriage like a decorative braid.  You have loops where each thread swings out on its own, and you have places where the threads are bound together.  Part of the beauty is what each thread does independently.  I think T sees marriage more like a fabric, where the two threads are completely intertwined.  Or maybe like the braid that consists of two lines straight together, never separating.  

Anyway, that was the year before I started graduate school.  He tells me now that he planned on us separating after I graduated and started my career.  My question to him was, "Then why did we have a baby together?"  He said he didn't expect to have kids.  I reminded him that my going off birth control was a mutual decision, and one we consciously made.  He said again he didn't expect to have kids, which is NONSENSE.  Or maybe his brain was working that illogically.  

Anyway, that is his explanation of why I have never loved him and only used him.  I finally asked him, if you were so unhappy why did you stay?  He told me that real men stayed, that they put their family's needs before their own, that he wanted to be there for his children since his children needed him.  Oh, and by the way, everything has become "you asked me to leave.  You threw me out.  You were unwilling to try."  The number of times he said to me, "Baby, if this is all I have I don't want to stay" don't seem to matter, although I've reminded him of those words.  He always answers that I was the one who said get out FIRST.  

He blames me for taking everything.  He says he gives and gives and all I do is take and take.  I have thought more than once, "You know, it is possible to tell me no."  If he was so unhappy and thought we weren't going to be together, couldn't he have said, "No, stay on birth control.  I'm not ready for a child." if he didn't want to come out and say, "I'm not sure I want to be with you."?  And if he was so unhappy, why didn't he ask for counseling a lot sooner?  It took him threatening to poison the cats for me to say, "That's it; we're getting therapy" and then it comes out that I've ignored his needs and he has been unhappy for sixteen years.  Why in the name of goodness didn't HE do something during those sixteen years?  This is really our fundamental issue.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 1:16pm
There is a book called "Kingdomality."  It places people into personality types; white knights, black knights, bishops, explorers, etc.  I am a benevolent ruler.  And one thing I remember about that personality type is this.  We prefer CHAOS to stagnation.  I'm not sure what type T is.  But as an example, I was desperately unhappy in my job and I saw no way out.  So I sacrificed EVERYTHING to change it.  I sold my house, my car, moved my family overseas (sacrificing relationships) and ultimately sacrificed my marriage, although honestly this was coming.  Moving overseas just made it come faster, and maybe changed the character a little bit.

T told me several things last night.  Most of them were true.  He said I looked to a job for happiness, that I have always sought happiness in what I did rather than in relationships.  That is true.  He told me that this job I might get, that I have spent eight years trying for, won't make me happy.  I am sure he is right.  He said that he would have fought for me, defended me against any attack.  That is true.  He said I couldn't do the same for him, that to this day I have not told my stepfather he was wrong about T, that T isn't the most worthless man he's met.  It doesn't help, of course, that my stepfather's son, M, is a drug-user who has stolen from his family and molested his daughter, so by saying that my stepfather was placing T below him.  

I told T that I had realized I needed to do that, not for him but for me.  I understand it was a serious lapse on my part, and I cannot expect to have a relationship with any man if I am not willing to defend him.  (I didn't tell T that last part.)  I have asked myself if it had been someone else, someone that I loved, someone who had not failed me over and over, would I have defended him?  And to my shame, I think the answer is no.  So clearly this is something I need to explore.  Maybe T is right.  Maybe I am not capable of love.

I know I find T's definition of love scary.  He says that when you love someone nothing and no one is more important to you.  You will do anything to protect them, anything to defend them.  Their happiness is more important than your own, and worth any sacrifice.  That is what he wants from me.

I don't want that.  I want a companion.  I want someone who enriches my life and makes it better.  I want to know that I enrich their life.  I want to feel that someone can say, "Hey, you're being a jerk right now" and know that they say it for my own good.  I want someone to say, "I would have never known this or felt this without you" and know they mean it.    

I bet T is a white knight.  White knights go charging off, slaying the dragon, getting banged up in the process, and then they come back and don't understand why the villagers don't show more gratitude, and they're bitter they don't get a reward.  Black knights, on the other hand, negotiate clearly and up front what the dragon slaying fee will be, and THEN they go out and slay it.  No bitterness, no recriminations, on to the next village.  Maybe I want a black knight.  I know I don't want a white one.  Especially one that thinks if he faces a dragon for me I should do the same for him and that if I don't I don't love him.  

Anyway, so my question about do the children want to come to my surgery or not turned into two hours of everything that is wrong in our relationship and what I am going to have to do to get him back.  He told me that he would be there for me if I wanted him there, but that I had to say I wanted him there because him being there would be comforting.  Well of course it would, still, but he has also berated me for sending him mixed messages.  If I tell him to be there, without being ready or willing to do all the rest (I devote my life to you, nothing is more important to me than you, I will tell my stepfather off and if that means that I have no relationship with anyone else in my family so be it, because nothing and no one is more important to me than you) I am sending a mixed message.  And I am using him.  But if I tell him not to be there, then I have said unequivocally I reject you, you have no part in my life, you have no more meaning to me.  

All I want is to go our separate ways and still be friends.  Or at least civil.  He tells me that is impossible.  He says that while I will INTEND to be supportive, and not drag him down, I will say little things and gradually over time the children will come to reject him.  He says I won't mean to do it but it will happen.  Probably because he saw that happen with my father.  My mother never said anything.  But his insanity became more obvious when she wasn't there to mitigate it.  And gradually my relationship with him deteriorated into the non-existence we have now.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 2:02pm
Wednesday and Thursday we went to Six Flags.  They have instituted a new policy, and they do no allow anything on the platforms of the high speed coasters.  Instead they have lockers at the bottom, and you pay a dollar and put your stuff in that.  Well, we normally carry a backpack with a change of clothes in it.  On most coasters, we could ride two and two, and just hand off the backpack to the two not riding.  On Wednesday, the Titan wouldn't even let us in line with the backpack.  So my son and I went to ride, and when we got back T was waiting for a supervisor.  He refused to ride the ride, and we spent 30 minutes waiting for this supervisor to show.  I had suggested putting the backpack in the car, but T said they would just hassle us about the drink cups instead, which might have been true since they weren't allowed in the lines either.  Personally I think they might have been cooler about us handing off the drink cups than that huge yellow backpack, but oh well.  It put a damper on the day for awhile, and I was thinking about how we can't go ANYWHERE without one of these scenes.

So on Thursday we leave the backpack in the car.  And my son wants to ride the Texas Giant but T and my daughter don't want to.  So they go to ride the Chapparal cars.  When we get off the coaster, T is waiting for a supervisor again.  This time the ride operator wouldn't let my daughter ride solo, even though the line was really short, there were plenty of cars, and four people in front of her had ridden solo.  So we sat there on a park bench for fifteen minutes or so, waiting for the supervisor and then waiting while T talked to him, and I leaned over and said first to my daughter, then to my son, "You don't have to act like this."  My daughter said, "But he does have a point.  He does have something to complain about."  And I said, "Yes, he does."  And I left it at that, but I thought to myself that I hoped in raising the children alone I would get a chance to show them you don't have to complain about everything EVERY TIME.  Some things you can let go.  You can say to yourself, this isn't worth ruining my family's day.  It didn't, by the way.  We're all so used to it it only put a damper on things for 30 minutes or so.  I don't think even that long for the children, but then they are REALLY used to it.

And going back to something I said earlier, I pointed out to T that there were two things wrong with his, "stay even though you are horrendously unhappy" philosophy.  One is that it results in bitterness where you take out your unhappiness on your partner.  Two is that it teaches your children this is normal behavior and all they can expect from their relationships.  He said something like the children would understand what we had wasn't normal, and I thought "can you really be that delusional?"  

So I am supposed to be deciding what I want T to do, and he wants me to talk to my therapist, which I can't do until Wednesday at the earliest, and I am supposed to leave my mother and my cousin hanging until then.  

I just want to be civil.  I just want to say, "It didn't work out."  I don't need the recriminations anymore.  There was a time when I did.  T says I attacked him.  He is right.  I did.  T says I don't listen, that I will never understand him and where he is coming from.  He's probably right.  But he doesn't understand either.  He says he feels betrayed by therapy; that he felt we were getting somewhere and then I turned on him and said, too little, too late.

We weren't getting anywhere.  I said, "I have pain and you caused it."  He said, "You caused me to cause you pain.  You caused me pain first."  I said, "I can't listen to how I caused you pain because I'm in too much pain from what you did to me."  Then he said, "I wouldn't have done that to you if you hadn't done this to me first."  You can see how this was a vicious circle.  We went a month or two around the circle and then another month when we just sat in place.  Somebody had to shut up and listen.  Finally I decided that, as on so many occasions before, it would be me.  And I tried.  I tried listening to his blame without responding and defending, hoping that at some point the resentment I felt inside would stop, understanding that he couldn't listen to me until he felt listened TO.

And then he showed me that it didn't matter.  Even if we got all the emotional stuff worked out, there was still the fact that he wasn't the go-getter I wanted him to be.  

I did a job interview recently, and the interviewer, who was a friend of my mother's, told me I am too honest.  The therapist said something of the same thing.  And I told T something he will never forgive me for, and is now taking out of context, applying to areas of our lives it never applied to, his normal thing.

We worked in two schools together.  I got an up close and personal view of how he interacts with his bosses and coworkers.  And I realized that he will require just the right environment to succeed.  That he is too mercurial, too temperamental, too dependent on having just the right boss.  Couple that with his unwillingness to look for work, and you have someone whose career prospects are not great.  This year is a case in point.  He resigned in February.  He should have been putting in applications since March.  Maybe he has.  He doesn't tell me his plans.  But I'm willing to bet he didn't.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 2:14pm
Anyway, I realized that it wasn't possible for both of us to have careers.  That he needed SO MUCH support to succeed, it would take everything I had.  That he couldn't worry about children, or the house, or anything.  I can have a career by myself, but for him to succeed would take two of us.  And I couldn't do it.  I couldn't devote myself to him; I couldn't sacrifice my dreams for his.

And that is his definition of love.  

And I made the mistake of telling him that I realized both of us couldn't have careers, and that I wasn't willing for it to be him.  So now I am the selfish one willing to sacrifice anything for her career.  Which probably has more truth to it than it should.  But how could I tell him the reason was I saw him as deficient?  Better for him to think me a selfish, grasping b.... than to understand I think him incapable.    

So, what do I do now?

My goal of a civil "I don't recriminate you; you don't recriminate me; we both work together for the sake of the children" separation clearly is not achievable at this point.  I don't know what he hopes to achieve by what he is doing.  Does the "let me convince you how evil, scheming, selfish, and manipulative you are" have a purpose?  Is it to shame me into staying?  Is it to goad me into rejecting him so thoroughly whatever he does afterward is justified?  Is it just to release his pain?

What do I do when every practical conversation about "what are we going to do?" becomes a conversation about a)how I have failed him and b) how I am failing him now and at the end of it I still don't know what we are doing.  Is it going to be like this for the next seven years, until my son is 18?  Of course, at 13 children get to choose who they live with.  Maybe his dad will have gotten enough therapy to be a reasonable being at that point.  God help my son if he hasn't.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:30pm
So I called my husband and told him my mother was coming for my surgery.  He was hurt I didn't want him there.  I told him he said he didn't want to be used.  He said he didn't want me to say I wanted him there when it was convenient, but to go away when it wasn't.  I told him I don't WANT to use him.  I don't WANT to send him mixed messages.  We've separated.  He's moved out, at my request.  Actually the words "I want you out" have never left my mouth.  What has been said is, "If that is the way you feel then I will leave" and I have said, "okay."  Under those conditions, how can I POSSIBLY say, "Come back when I have surgery and take care of me"?

I told him I had slept on it, and thought about it, and that he had told me what he wanted and what he needed and that I didn't think I was that person to give it to him.  I told him I thought if I said I wanted him there for my surgery, that I was saying I could be what he wanted and needed, otherwise it WAS using him.  It WAS saying "be here when I want, but only when I want."  I told him he wasn't a yo-yo.  He said that this time there were no strings like that attached, that he just wanted to know that I wanted him there because it was him, not because it was convenient, and that there was none of that other stuff in there.  Yeah, right.

Maybe he actually believes that, now.  But I guarantee had I said "yes, I want you there, and just because having you there would make me happy", and then continued our separation, it would have become a weapon to bludgeon me with.  I've experienced stuff like that too many times.  

I don't know the rules anymore.  I'm trying not to out and out reject him, because we do have children together and the more amicable our relationship the better for them.  That's why I asked if he was going to be there, in case it was something he wanted.  But it's like he won't accept anything else but rejection.  That's why I heard two hours of how awful I was and am and how victimized he is and why it ended with "Choose me to be there because you want ME."  And now he is hurt because I didn't want him.  

And in fact the truth is that I do, his presence would be a comfort, but I can't pull him back and forth like that, holding out false hope.  I feel like a doctor with a burn victim.  They have to remove the dead skin, which is excrutiatingly painful, or there is more scarring.  I have to keep causing him pain, and myself pain, because I can't live with his dysfunctionality any longer and to give in to things like wanting him there for my surgery only prolongs the agony.

But when I got home to my empty house and said, out loud, "T doesn't live here anymore", I cried.  And I wished that T COULD live here.  A happy, functional T who reaches out toward life and chooses to live it well.  And I cried because I couldn't tell him I wanted him.  That I had to pretend my rejection was total and absolute, because to do anything else was cruel.  I can't live with who he is, and I won't become who he wants.  

It upsets me that my mother assumes I don't still love him, that I don't want him around, that my attitude is, or should be, "good luck and good riddance."  Once she moved out, and she was the one who moved out, she never saw my dad again except at a divorce proceeding and my wedding.  Of course I was 18 and driving, so she didn't have to.  It was like he ceased to exist.  I had thought that was her, since she never mentioned her first husband, my brother's father, either, but now I realize that she was in the same situation I am.  I know she was, because Dad was still expecting her back on the 20th anniversary of her remarriage.    

I have been thinking about what to tell the children, and how, and when, and all those things.  And I know I can't say anything like "Daddy and I don't love each other any more."  For one thing, if we can stop loving each other, then we could stop loving THEM and no way am I even going to imply that.  But I can't say I still love him either, because there is a belief in our society that love overcomes all things.  Jesus said it does, so that must be right.  But right now, I feel like Tina Turner had it right.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 18th, 2008 at 8:16pm
We told the children today.  They cried, of course.  And of course, it took about an hour of T yelling at me, telling me how unreasonable I am, telling me why things are unacceptable, reiterating how selfish I am, before we got to what we were going to DO, which was how we were going to tell them.

And something very telling happened.  He always objects to the fact that I make plans and then give him options.  He feels I should consult him at the beginning.  So I said, "Okay, list our options."  He said, "Well, what is going to happen with this?"  I said, "That is still basing what you are going to do off what I am going to do, which is what you are objecting to.  Pretend I have no plans.  Pretend I've never said anything.  What do you see our options as?"  And there was this silence.

He doesn't know what he wants.  He only knows how to object to what I want.  So he tried again, saying something like he couldn't make a plan without more information from me.  And I refused point-blank to give him any.  I had given him my input, and all I got was how it was wrong and I should have never made those kind of plans without him.  So I wanted to know what he thought we should do about how to tell the children without any input from me.  And in the end, he refused to do it.

I told him today I wanted to work on two things in therapy.  One, how do I have a practical conversation with him without getting an autopsy of our relationship?  Two, why didn't I defend him this summer and why have I still not?  I strongly suspect the reasons have less to do with how I felt about HIM and more to do with being a people-pleaser who can't stand to have people mad at her.  

The children tell me they'd rather live with their daddy.  I told them we would decide that when their daddy had a job, and we saw where it was and what kind it was.  I know I was focused on school a lot last year, and the children spent more time with him than me.  I understand I won't be able to do that this year.  Mom tells me that I have lived with irrationality so long, I don't even recognize it when I see it.  I am not worried about him harming the children.  I am worried that if they live with him, irrationality will become the norm.  Case in point, Six Flags.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jun 22nd, 2008 at 9:22pm
My 20th anniversary was yesterday.  I did not call my husband, even though I knew he expected it.  He sent me a text message, to which I did not respond.  I hate having to hurt and reject him all the time.  And yet...

Something happened the day after we told the children.  We were on the bed in the living room, and the kids rolled in toward me and said, "Squish Mom!"  And they squeezed against me saying, "Squiiiiiiish!"  And I thought, if this had happened when T was here, I would have done one of three things.  I would have found a way to de-emphasize the moment, gotten up so it wouldn't happen again, or found a way to divert the childrens' attention to their father so he wouldn't feel neglected or rejected.  Now if you told him this, he would say he has done nothing to imply it was necessary, and this was something coming strictly from me and my own warped perception of reality.  And I couldn't point to any one thing that would have caused me to think it was necessary.  But it would have been.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jul 7th, 2008 at 4:04pm
I had my foot surgery on the 23rd.  My mom came to stay for the first two days, then my cousin came.  I went back home to Fredericksburg with her because there was no one to take care of me here.  She brought me back on the 29th.  T met me here in Waco with the kids.  My cousin was still here, and T was FURIOUS.  I got all these long text messages about how selfish I was, how unimportant he was to me, etc.  Apparently I didn't remember that he had requested my cousin NOT be there when he arrived.  He asked me, when he was about 10 min. away, if she was still there and I said yes.  Apparently that was my reminder of his request she NOT be there.  

My point was, okay, even if I'm selfish and I don't remember your requests because you're not important to me, you can still do something like call me when you see her truck in the drive and remind me she isn't supposed to be there or send me text message or do SOMETHING besides throw a temper tantrum.

Anway, on Wed. the 25th, two days after my surgery, I got a call that my dad had been admitted to the hospital because his dementia has progressed to the point where he doesn't eat or drink.  He was there over a week.  They sent him home today and I am enrolling him in Hospice.  Once I've done that, I'll call my brother and see if he can get me up to Dallas to say good-bye.  

The hospital originally was calling T, because when we put Dad in the facility we were living with T's mom before going to Egypt.  So he knows about all this.  And once again, he is letting me have it.  I could have prevented this.  I could have done something.  I could have done something about his house.  T looked up all this stuff for me so I could do something and I didn't.  If he procrastinates about jobs, I procrastinate about my dad.  I am teaching my children how to treat their father, which is to ignore him.

And I think my brother is right.  This isn't about love.  It's about control.  How, if he has even an iota of love left for me as he says he does, can he lay that kind of guilt trip on me when my father is dying?  But I didn't do what he wanted, which was get him involved because I can't make it without him, so I got blasted.  Every time something like this happens, it just confirms how right I was to say "enough."  

I started the seperation thinking it could be just that, a seperation.  Not anymore.  

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jul 22nd, 2008 at 9:28am
It gets better (or worse).  My father died on the 10th.  I told my husband I didn't want my children there for the service.  I really didn't want anyone there except my brother and myself.  This was in part for him.  He hadn't seen his father in 6 years and I really thought he didn't need an audience for the emotions he would be dealing with.  My husband disagreed with my decision, and got angry again.  

The inurnment was yesterday.  We came down from Waco on Saturday.  My two nephews are in a rock band that was competing on that day, and I told T that we would be going to that.  Then a friend called and told us her son was having his sixteenth birthday party that day and we could come.  My daughter couldn't decide what she wanted to do.  We had discussed T picking up the children after the performance.  I called T around 4:30 and told him we were almost to the hotel in Fort Worth and that my daughter was still undecided.  So he said he had to take a shower because he had been doing something hot and sweaty and to let him know what she decided.  She decided to see her cousins.  When I called T and told him, he was furious, and said I would have to bring the kids there; he wasn't going to get them.  I got a text message about how once again I wasn't holding to what was agreed, I had kept him hanging all day, and I was d&%m inconsiderate.  There was no mention of this when he thought the kids would choose to spend time with HIM.

I couldn't stay with him since I was leaving him and the children out of the ceremony, so I stayed with my brother.  It was a very nice visit, aside from the reason I was making it.  On Monday, we picked up dad's remains at the funeral home, then went to the National Cemetery.  The service consisted of military honors and then my brother and I said a few words.  As we were leaving, here came T and the children.  He brought them, even after I had said I didn't want them there and they had said they didn't want to go.

I have to address this.  I know he feels that I was wrong to leave the children out.  I know he feels like I disrespect him by disregarding his wishes, like with my cousin and on Saturday.  But that doesn't make what he did right.  Even if it was the wrong decision, it was MY DECISION.  It was my father, and decisions about his burial service were mine to make.  He basically told the children that I cannot make good decisions and it is up to him to "save" them from them.  Even if I deserved the disrespect, by disrespecting him, is that how he wants it to be?  Tit for tat, and an eye for an eye?  As Ghandi (and Tehvye) said, with that philosophy the whole world will be blind.  

I talk to my therapist on Wednesday.  I am thinking about waiting on confronting him on this until after I have spoken with her.  

To top it off, that evening my brother and I were in Chili's having a margarita when T called.  His neice's contractor had done a bunk and she needed a lawyer.  He wanted to know if my mother knew of one.  I gave him the name of the lawyer she used for her divorce.  Then I just sat back in shock at the sheer effrontery of the man.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Jul 29th, 2008 at 11:35pm
Of course T found a way to blame me for bringing the kids to the funeral.  His position was that leaving them out was so potentially damaging, he had to stop me from hurting them in that way.  I called and told him he was wrong to override me like that, that even if it was the wrong decision to make, it was MY decision.  It was his position that it was his father-in-law and it was not just my decision.  Also that the decision was so wrong it was his duty to override it.  

T's position also is that the things he said to me when my father was dying were justified because a) we were estranged and b) it was so contemptible of me not to visit him when he was hospitalized.  He said he just asked himself how I could do that, not visit my dad when he was dying in the hospital.  The despicableness of that act justified him saying those terrible things to me.  And I told him that if he could have seen me after my surgery, he would not be asking that question.  They wouldn't let me get out of bed for three days unless I was using the bathroom.  I couldn't have my foot below my heart for three weeks.  It has only been one week that I could have my foot below my waist without it swelling like a balloon.  I did contemplate going to the hospital, but just didn't see how I could manage it when I couldn't handle crutching to the kitchen to help my neice microwave a hotdog.

When I called him about overriding me at the funeral, he got the vilest he has yet.  He told me he never believed in me.  He told me the reason why my mother, who is quite a big deal in education here in Texas, hasn't helped me get a job as an administrator before is because she doesn't believe in me either.  He told me I was going to crash and burn in my new position as an instructional specialist because I don't have what it takes, and he never thought I did.

I'm waiting to see how he justifies that one.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 1st, 2008 at 11:42pm
I sent T an e-mail about having the kids visit him before school starts.  He sent me an e-mail saying he refused to discuss the kids by e-mail.  I had told him, since we seemed to be miscommunicating all the time, that I wanted to ONLY make arrangements for them by e-mail.  He refused, saying his children weren't animals or property.  I don't understand what difference it makes.  It seems to me that this would protect HIM, since he claims that I am the one who always changes the agreement.  Unless, of course, things are as I suspect, and he has been taking advantage of any nebulousness in the arrangements to CLAIM I am changing the agreement, when in fact nothing of the kind was ever discussed.  Nah, couldn't be that.  (Sarcasm.)  I didn't call.

So he called me.  The last time he sent me an e-mail, I hadn't responded within four hours, so he called and accused me of ignoring it.  He said, "I know you read it."  And I thought, "You've been logging on to my e-mail."  So I changed my password.  He didn't say that this time.  Last time he called, I told him I had our daughter in the car and I couldn't talk to him, but I would call him later.  Then I sent him an e-mail.  This time I had my son in the car.  So when I said I'd call him back, he said, "Will you REALLY?  You didn't last time.  I'm still waiting for THAT call."  And I said, "Well it's just because you're so pleasant to speak with."  And my son sighed.

So after our movie (We went to see The Mummy) I called him.  He is looking for jobs out of state.  He took the opportunity to blame me, again, for not being able to do it in June.  How was I to know he was willing to forgo his kids that much?  It never even occurred to me that he would leave Texas.  But he says he is, or is thinking about it.  Clearly we are not talking about visitation every other weekend and Wednesday nights.  I told him we would work something out.  Probably I'll do what I planned if he went to Saudi, which was to take the kids to visit his mother instead.  But the only teaching jobs he is looking for are online jobs at virtual schools.  Interesting.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by texian.traveler on Aug 13th, 2008 at 8:41pm
I had determined that I was not going to mention visiting T unless the kids did.  When we got back from our beach vacation, my son asked "When are we going to see Daddy again?"  So I told him to call him and ask.  And T said he didn't know.


Even if you are looking for jobs out of state, just make the decision to see your kids for Pete's sake.  So I told my son that it wasn't that Daddy didn't want to see him.  I said that Daddy was just so focused on finding a job he couldn't focus on anything else.  My son hasn't mentioned it again, or told me he is hurt.  I hope he isn't.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 4th, 2010 at 10:34pm
I was starting another blog and reread this one and thought, "Wow."  There is so much I had forgotten.  And I think I might keep this one because there is so much there.  And not nearly as whiny as I thought it was.

So much has happened in the two years since I last posted.  T and I are divorced, and have been for over a year.  It would have been longer, but T wouldn't sign the papers so that delayed things.  T has not been able to get a job in the two years we have been apart. 

I got a job that would have been a step into the administration job I want, but the principal turned against me, and I returned to the classroom.  I spent the summer trying to get a different job, and very few people even looked at me.  Nothing has worked out the way I thought. 

I traveled overseas because someone in my old district told me it would be seven years before I could even expect to move into administration.  I was forty and didn't think I had that kind of time.  I will be forty-six in a few weeks and the administrative job seems no closer than it ever was. 

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 4th, 2010 at 10:42pm
I went to personnel today.  I told the director how Ms. L had treated me and that we didn't need to be together.  She basically said that if Ms. L said I was deficient then I was. 

Never mind that Ms. L is disliked by most of her faculty.  Never mind that half of them left campus because of her.  Never mind that she mistreated and lied to me. 
Never mind that I have twelve years of outstanding evaluations and recommendations. 
Never mind that the year before, when there wasn't a potential replacement on campus, Ms. L herself gave me an acceptable evaluation.
Ms. L said I was deficient, therefore I am.
And the horrible thing is, she did exactly the same thing to my ex.
He had fifteen years of outstanding evaluations.  One year with her and he hasn't been able to work in the two years since.
My mom says I have to find a way to get her on my side.  I'm not sure I wouldn't rather never make it than think I had to have her help.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 4th, 2010 at 10:50pm
I have a choice.  There might be a music job at an elementary opening up tomorrow.  I have to decide whether I am going to try for it.

On the one hand, it's going back to elementary and music, two things I never wanted to do.  Two, if I try and I don't get it, I will have revealed what I am willing to do to get away from her.  Three, it would mean losing about $1000 in salary since I will be teaching Science part of the day this year and there is a stipend for Science.  Four, if something DID come open, I would have NO COMPUNCTION AT ALL about leaving her.  I would leave her on the first day of school.  I would leave her the day of the TAKS test.  If I transferred, I would feel honor-bound to stay until the end of the year.

On the other hand, it means escape.  And since I am convinced it is only a matter of time until she targets me again, that is no small thing.  I will never advance as long as she has any control or influence over what happens to me.

I think I'm going to sleep on it, and see how I feel in the morning.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 4th, 2010 at 11:00pm
My kitty has no teeth.  I haven't seen her yet, but that is what the vet tells me. 

I took her in because her teeth had moved and were protruding out.  You could feel them when you scratched under her jaw.

The vet said she had significant decay and needed a cleaning.  I wasn't surprised.  The smell told me that.  The only surprise came when the vet said it could be a sign of feline leukemia.  (It wasn't, thank goodness.)  So I took her in for the cleaning today. 

I got a call around 9:45 and the vet said there was so much damage she might only have one or two teeth when she came home.  She said that in Siamese, it is unusual but not unknown for the body to reject its own teeth.  Mish is only four, which is really young to have so much tooth loss, so she is one of those whose body does this.

I got a call later around 12:00 and the vet could save none of her teeth.  She will be completely toothless.  I asked if there was anything I could have done and the vet said no.

So one of the questions I have is, do I have to pay for the cleaning or just the extractions?  Since every tooth went in the trash, am I going to be charged for the fact that it was clean when it went in? 

Another question is, how is this cat going to eat?

And the last question is, do cats' lips fall in when they have no teeth, the same way people's do?

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 4th, 2010 at 11:52pm
Okay, since I can't say it out loud, even in an empty house with no kids and only one cat in it, I will write this.  What I wish I could tell Ms. L.

I trusted you.  So many people told me not to, my ex, an assistant principal, other teachers, and I just thought that I needed to make my own path, that maybe you would live up to my expectations, that maybe they were wrong.  I mean, I knew what T was like, and the AP was a lying thief, and teachers do a lot of talk.  I thought maybe the sources weren't reliable.  They were.

T told me to record every conversation, to only believe you would hold to a committment made in writing, to force you to make all committments in writing.  I thought that was an incredibly mistrustful way to work.  I refused to let the bitterness of his relationship with you sour the one I had.  I didn't do it.  I should have.  Because the only committments you hold to are the ones you've made in writing.

You lied to me.  You betrayed me.  And somehow, by some miracle, you have such influence that those in power are willing to believe the problem is me.  But lady, you only have so long.  Somehow you will be taken down.  Someday you will betray the wrong person.  Maybe that person isn't me, maybe I won't be the one that tips the scale, that forces the district to face who and what you really are.  But it is coming.  Oh, it is coming. 

Part of me wants to see it.  Part of me wants to be the one.  Part of me wants you to target me so viciously you will have no defense when I reveal it.  I let you off the hook last year.  Three times I could have filed grievances against you, and I never did.  So part of me wants to say, Go ahead.  Take me on.  I have tried to get away from you and I can't so I have nothing left to lose.  If I am trapped here with you, then by God I will record every conversation.  I will restate everything you ever say in an email, and phrase it so that no reply means I'm right.  I will document your every word, every action, I will let nothing slide.  There will be no directive you give me that I will not document, so when you pull your crap of reversing yourself I will have evidence.  And even if I go down instead of you, I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I will have put some sort of chink in your armor. 

Because acting ethically is beyond you, and someday that utter lack of ethics will be revealed.  Too many people are like me, they let things slide because they know how viciously you target those who oppose you.  There are already questions raised about you, but you are too useful right now.  You do two things well.  Raise money and fire people.  The ability to build and nurture is beyond you, and beyond your understanding.  That is what you have against me.  You know that I can do the one thing you cannot, and you know how much power there is in the ability.  You fear the power and you fear your inadequacy in not having it, because you understand that as the principal you should.  What you will never understand is that the power comes from trust, and trust comes from ethics.  Being able to write grants will save you when the need to have someone fire people is gone.  But oh, do I want to see those flames when you go down.

But another part of me isn't willing to self-destruct to harm another, even one so deserving.  No matter that I would only be documenting the harm she does, so often the whistleblower goes down.  That's why so few people do it.  They don't survive the process. 

So the question is, how much harm does she do?  Does she harm teachers?  Most of the teachers I have known that she targeted were in fact deficient.  It is probably what strengthens the case that I am also.  It's like what I learned when I was a kid.  Tell the truth most of the time and they'll believe you when you do decide to lie.  Target the ineffectual people and when you decide to go after the one who is too competent, that you see as a threat, they'll believe she is incompetent too.  Does she harm students?  Only because she targets their teachers.

A different part of me doesn't want to see the destruction, even self-destruction, and know that I had a hand in it or even wished it.  That part of me understands that when the inevitable fall comes, I will be sorry for her. 

Another part of me says to consider myself first.  If what I have to do to be successful is make nice with a lying, destructive, unethical betrayer then that is what I have to do.  I can't save the world.  Look at how many people told me what she was, and look how many of them I believed.  All I need to do is get away, and the easiest way is to get her on my side.  I mean, T fought her, and look what happened to him.  But how much respect will I have for myself?

I am sleeping on it.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 5th, 2010 at 2:13am
I realized that in all that earlier nattering I never said the words. 

I hate Ms. L. 

I really do hate her.

I haven't felt hate since the seventh grade.  I seriously thought that the emotion wouldn't occur again, because everyone's emotions are more intense at that time, and the hate I felt then was the most poisonous, destructive emotion I have ever felt.  I thought I had learned.  I thought I was older, wiser. 

What I feel now isn't as intense as I did then.  It doesn't bother me that she walks the earth, or breathes the same air I do.  But if I could be guaranteed she would fail, be absolutely certain she would not achieve her goals, have her dreams taken from her and shattered, have her current life destroyed, but only at a cost to me, only at the cost of my own, never achieve myself...I just might agree. 

When the harm of another is more important to you than a benefit to yourself, that's hate, and I just now realized it.


Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by melusine on Aug 7th, 2010 at 12:30am
You can try killing her in your imagination in the most painful, degrading way possible.  I like hanging, drawing and quartering.  If you can really visualize it, then you can smile at her the next day, knowing that she is really dead to you.

I am a teacher, too, teaching communication theory and public speaking at a junior college.  Fortunately, I like the people I work with and they seem to like me.  You have my sympathy.  I have been in your shoes.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 25th, 2010 at 5:29pm
I found out Ms. L is still at it.  We had a new band director this year.  She forced the old one to retire rather than continue dealing with her.  I had noticed she was having many of the same difficulties with the new one, and I had wondered if she realized that the problem was not the person but the type. 

Anyway, I am helping out on the first day of school and I walk into the band hall.  There is Mr. F, who is (was) the choir director, and he tells me he is the band director now.  So I ask someone what happened to the old one.

I knew there were going to be fireworks between him and Ms. L eventually, but I didn't expect a Fourth-of-July kind of display.  Apparently they had a show down which resulted in him receiving a citation and the issuance of a restraining order.  He resigned in lieu of suspension.

This is the second teacher she has had this kind of experience with.  When, oh when, will the district figure out it isn't the teachers?

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Aug 30th, 2010 at 2:48pm
I had been assuming that the kids would visit their dad over the long weekend.  I found out yesterday I was wrong.  I was kind of looking forward to a weekend by myself, especially since there is a cast party on Friday and I wanted to go and drink, which I don't really do around my children.

Anyway, I knew S had been talking about her dad going to a hotel once his mother moved.  See, he has been living with his mom for over two years, ever since we separated.  She built a house with his sister and is moving into it.  Now what makes sense to me is for him to stay in her old house until it sells, especially since he doesn't have a job.  Still.  After two years.

But apparently she is tired of him being unemployed for so long, and he is being forced to move as well.  Except without income he has nowhere to go.  He is probably living in his car, if it hasn't been repossessed. 

The kids can't stay with him under those conditions. 

I haven't pointed out that he is probably living in his car.  I didn't really realize it until today.  I will not point this out to my children.  But I'm not really sure how to deal with it.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 1st, 2010 at 5:55pm
Another one bites the dust...

I found out earlier this week that we lost a second teacher.  This one made it the first week of school, but then quit because he said he couldn't stand the disorganization and chaos.  I have never seen anything quite like the start of this year.  I have students coming and going in my classes; Monday was basically the first day of school all over again because I had a completely different schedule and almost all of my students changed periods if not teachers. 

They are going to have to either take away a conference period or assign a second person to the dyslexia program to serve all the students.  Not sure which they will go for.

I care only because I am not thrilled about being the dyslexia person for no extra pay and getting one less conference than everyone else.  Although in actuality few people will get the second conference.  Most will have to sub the extra period on days when we don't have enough, which are most days.  So only having one conference will protect me from that.

I just want out of here so badly.

I remember when I was in C, and I was trying to be an administrator, and I wasn't having any luck, and I am teaching my class, and all of a sudden the knowledge that I was NOT doing what I was supposed to do sweeps over me in a great wave, so strongly that my mind goes totally and completely blank, just as if it were sand wiped clean by the ocean.  I mean, for one second I didn't even know where I WAS, I was so disoriented by the power of that emotion.  And that was BEFORE I had been an instructional specialist and summer school administrator. 

That was over five years ago, and I can still remember the power of that experience.  I don't want to go through it again. 

I look every day, several times a day.

And I wait.

And I pray.

And I wonder if I can combine several low income jobs to replace the one I have.  For truly I would rather be a custodian several times a day than to wait for Ms. L to attack me again. 

Or to watch as she destroys others.

Two down.

How many more to go?

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 7th, 2010 at 1:12pm
Now the real challenge begins.  When I returned to the classroom last year, I thought, "This is okay.  It's only until the summer and then I'll be in charge of summer school."  I got through summer school and I thought, "It's okay.  I'll get the lead in the theater production."  I didn't get the lead.  I thought, "That's okay; I'll be in a new job, and I can't start a new job and have the lead too."  I didn't start a new job.  And I thought, "It's okay.  I have the show and I get energy from that."  The show closed.  Now I'm stuck in a job I hate at a school I hate with people I hate and no prospects of anything changing or getting better.  And I have to work, when someone hands or tells me anything, at not saying "I don't give s*^&."  But I don't.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 7th, 2010 at 3:14pm
I don't give a flying &*^# what Ms. L wants or needs.  God, if I could destroy her without destroying me I would do it.  If I could get another job that paid equal to this I would do it, even if it meant never teaching or working in education again. 

I look at my reflection and my inner dissatisfaction is all over my face.  And I believe that I am really this sunny happy person but then I think of when this has happened to me before and how bitter and angry I was and I am not sure which me is real.

And I can't blame T's influence because he is gone.  And I can't blame the behaviors learned under T because I can choose not to use them.

But God, how I understand. 

How I understand his desire to harm her, even at a cost to himself.  I understand the people who bring weapons to their workplace and blow everything up before killing themselves. 

They see themselves as both avengers and protectors.  They are avenging themselves on those who destroyed their dreams, and protecting those whose dreams have yet to be destroyed. They are angry.  Deeply, bitterly angry.  Angry at a future from which they see no escape.   

You know how I escaped last time?  I moved to Saudi Arabia.  The knowledge that I was going to a job fair in February got me through November to then.  The knowledge I was leaving got me through the rest of the year.  Up until then was a very black time.  Very black.  I survived, but I honestly believe that if I hadn't gotten the idea of going overseas I wouldn't have. 

What do I have now? 

My daughter said something last night.  She said that when I do theater home seems like home and not just a place I go when I am not working.  And I realized that home hasn't been home for a long time.  Home is where I am when I am not someplace else.  And I don't know what would make it home.

I thought my kids coming back from the summer would do it.  But it didn't. 

Not having to choose between buying school supplies and food might help.  $800 a month.  Between T not having a job and not paying child support and the money I lost going back to the classroom, that is the difference in income this year.  That is where some of the pressure comes from.

But honestly, not all of it.  I just want to do what I do best.  And teaching ain't it.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 8th, 2010 at 1:04pm
I told T off last night.  It's a long story, but basically he got our daughter to committ to something that he agreed to pay for then didn't get a job and is out of money and can't pay for it so I have to even though I am $800 a month short.  And our daughter got injured and couldn't do it and he had the NERVE to criticize me for not continuing to pay for her sitting on her butt.  And I finally said, "Look, I have not had the kind of day that is conducive to listening to a bunch of crap, so before I say something really rude like _____ YOU, I'm going to hang up."  And I did.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 9th, 2010 at 5:24pm
Lies, lies, lies.  The lies I tell.

I'm fine.

I'm doing good.

I'm just upset about...(something I am upset about but not the real thing.)


What would we do without them?

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 9th, 2010 at 5:27pm
I can't do it.

I found out today I'm teaching the wrong thing.

I haven't sent out something I should have sent two weeks ago.

I'm not modifying for SPED students.

I have no grades and they are due Monday. 

I'm supposed to be at a meeting right now.

Why, oh why, did I ever think I was any good at this?

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 12th, 2010 at 8:55pm

I have so much hate.

I have worked all weekend grading papers and realizing that I have taught my students nothing.

And all I feel is hate.

Toward myself for failing them.  Toward myself for not being able to do anything else.  Toward life for keeping me where I am doing what I am doing. 


My constant companion.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 12th, 2010 at 9:31pm
How do I hate thee?

Let me count the ways.

I hate thee with every beat of the heart you betrayed.
I hate thee as I pick up every piece of the self-confidence you shattered.
Your selfishness broke my dreams.
As I breathe in I hate thee, and as my breath leaves my body my hate does not.

It clings; it festers.  It coats my insides like tar on a sea bird.  I gaze inward to a shriveled, blackened soul, and I desire nothing more than to be clean.  How can I free myself from you?

You sail free, unfettered, dropping your poison on unsuspecting fools who know no better than to stand, mouths open, mistaking fertilizer for food.

If you could be crushed...if I knew others could be safe...No, I lie.

I want to be safe.  I want to know you can never again harm me.

Love my enemy?

Love is dangerous.

Love, or forgiveness, means you can hurt me.  Love means risk.

Extend my neck so you can guillotine it?  Lend a hand so you can chop it off?  Never again.

Blackened, shriveled, poisoned and deformed I and my hate may be but we are as we choose.  You choose to harm, but I choose to hate. 

I can't choose where I work.  I can't choose what I do.  I can't choose whether I will receive recognition for what I do.  But I am completely free to choose my emotions.

My internal landscape is completely my own.  And I choose to hate you. 

Should I never be released from your presence, before I cease to draw breath, I will but hate you more after death.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by melusine on Sep 13th, 2010 at 12:06am
Texian, I am very worried about your postings.  Having suffered from depression myself and remembering how I felt, I wonder if you are in a deep depression.  Please find someone to help you, as I did.  It is only an imbalance in brain chemicals, and the proper medication will help you feel much better about your self and your life.

Please let me know that you are seeking help.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by melusine on Sep 27th, 2010 at 5:56pm
Texian, are you ok?  We haven't heard from you in a couple of weeks.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Sep 28th, 2010 at 4:55pm
Thank you guys for being concerned.  I knew better than to read the posts at work, but thank God I wore my crying mascara.  I usually do, just to be on the safe side.

I know I am depressed.  I have been on medication once, when all the world was going to hell (divorce, father dying, foot surgery...all in the same month) but the last time I tried that medication it made me throw up.

And I don't want medication to be the answer.   Because medication means acceptance.

I refuse to accept.

I refuse to accept that I deserve the things that happen to me.  The world seems to be telling me that I don't have value or ability.  When a school that everyone says "Are you sure you want to work THERE?" won't hire you, you must really be trash.  I will not accept that, nor will I medicate myself into acceptance.

I am beautiful, talented, and truly gifted at administration. 

I don't deserve having the job I want and that I am truly good at within my grasp three times, each time having it snatched away.

I don't deserve having to wait six years for something that I have turned my life upside-down to get.  For which I have sacrified money and time and relationships.

I don't deserve having to choose between buying batteries for the smoke alarm and buying food. 

I am the one nobody hires.  After six years it has become my identity. 

I don't deserve it.

And I will not accept it.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by melusine on Sep 29th, 2010 at 11:21pm
If you don't prescription medications, you can try St. John's Wort.  I take it every day, as well as Omega 3 (the Inuit have no incidence of depression despite month-long nights), and Black Cohosh (good for women's mood changes).  I am doing very well now.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Oct 5th, 2010 at 3:29pm
I got a call out of the blue for a job I applied for a month ago.  I had given up on it. 

I thought this might be it.

I thought the interview I went on last week was prep for this one.  (It was.)  I thought that I would learn from all the mistakes I made then and not make them.  (I did.)

I thought that the reason I didn't get the other job was because this one, that I wanted more, was waiting for me.

I went to the interview and it was great.  One of the best I've ever had.  I asked them what the ideal qualities for the job would be and they said all the answers to their questions were the right ones.  (Not quite what I asked but okay.)  I even wrote thank-you notes out in the car and took them in after.

They haven't called to check my references.

And when I called today and asked their timeline they said they had a week's worth of paperwork to do.

You don't have to do paperwork to offer the job.  You have to do paperwork to hire.

This is like being tortured.  The jobs appear and I apply and I get called and I think "I'm out of here!" and then I don't get them.  It so resembles when I was pregnant with my son.

I would sleep for an hour and a half.  I would get up and go to the bathroom and then the contractions would start.  I would endure four - six hours of excruciating pain until they stopped.  I would then sleep for another hour and a half and then my daughter would be ready to start her day.

I went nuts.  If I had been a man, the experience would have been called Torture instead of the discomfort of late pregnancy.  The worst part of the experience was each night thinking that this was the end, that I would deliver and it would all stop.  But night after night it never did.

It took all my energy to hide how crazy I was from my daughter and family.  I wasn't successful in hiding it from my husband, and I didn't really try.  I trusted him.  When we divorced, he betrayed that trust by telling me the kids weren't safe with me (13 years later) because of the way I acted during that experience.

This is like that.  Each interview I think it will be over, that my problems will be solved, and each time they never are.  Unlike a pregnancy, however, this doesn't have an end in sight.  Even though I felt like I was in hell and that the pain and torture would never end and I had been pregnant forever and would be pregnant forever, part of me knew that eventually I would deliver the baby. 

But this?  This could go on until the day I die.

I understand they need a man for the job.  If they had a man apply, even if he wasn't as good, they should have hired him.

When you are dealing with a school full of troubled boys and girls you do not need an all-female administrative team.  Especially when the students are older.

I don't know if that's why I didn't get it.  I don't actually know, officially, that I didn't.  But the tone of the principal's voice wasn't right for someone who got it.

I am so tired of trying and failing.  I am so tired of teaching, which I don't want to do.  I am so tired of not being able to afford a movie, or a dinner out, or treats for my students.

I want to be able to look in my refrigerator and know that I can eat what I want and there will be enough money to replace the food that is there.

I don't want to wonder if I print a paper if I am trading food for the ink.

But most of all, I want to be the best I what I do.  And I will never be the best as long as my heart is longing for something else.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Oct 10th, 2010 at 7:53pm
The Pennebaker Method.

I just read about it.  (I'm supposed to be doing school work.)

But I can't focus. 

There seems to be a veil between me and the world.

Sounds don't make sense. 

I mean, I hear them, and I understand them, but I don't see any point.



Those are habits.

I looked at people in Wal-Mart today, as I was waiting for the tire I couldn't afford to buy to be installed, and I couldn't figure out why they were there.

Life really does seem like that Claritin commercial, when there is a film over the world.

Only I don't know how to lift it away.

Were those people happy?  How?  Why?  They smile, they buy food, they raise their children, but why?

So they can fail them?

So they can fail themselves?

Or am I the only one?

Which is worse?

To be alone in failure, or to have company?

I can't lie and pretend I wanted the new job for my daughter. 

I wouldn't have been trying for six years if that were true.

But what is true is that I became so desperate this year in part because of her.

She is a senior, and she has never had a car.  I can't give her one.  She will never experience the freedom and independence I had because with having to take Karate for PE outside of school and having to visit her dad every other weekend she can't get a job. 

If she had a car she would have more independence and flexibility.  Maybe she could somehow find a job that would fit in to her crazy schedule if her crazy schedule didn't have to mesh with mine.  But it does.

So she is left with spending her days in isolation, and I can't make it any better or any different.

And I wanted to, so much. 

I have watched her trade her life for a relationship with her dad, and I wanted, somehow, to be enough so she wouldn't have to.

But I'm not.

I don't have enough value.  No one wants me enough.

And I WILL NOT make a decision that depends on him.

If I could depend on him I'd still be married to him.

I can't even depend on him enough to put food on the table. 

I failed her.  I know she doesn't care but that's because she doesn't know what she is missing.  But I do. 

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Oct 10th, 2010 at 8:09pm
Okay, that was a pile of incoherent crap, but the truth is there among the poop.

Speaking of which, I went to a party last night and someone put dye in the cake icing which has resulted in deep green feces, and let me tell you that if that one don't freak ya out and all I can say it I hope the *%^@ stuff comes out of my underwear...

To state things more coherently...
I feel like our daughter has been failed by her father, who has spent the last two years without employment or the ability to truly support her.  (As of this moment, the man owes me over $8,300.)  I just muddled along the last two years but this year I really, really wanted to get a promotion so I could buy her a car.  I will not do anything that relies on his contribution because he is so unreliable, so I tried to get a job that would be equal to his contribution but only relied on me.  In essence, I tried to be both mother and father in a financial sense.  Failure not only meant I could not provide the luxury of a vehicle, but that I could also not provide the basics of food, clothing, and shelter at the level I had been, since my demotion resulted in a loss of $300 per month and his lack of employment meant I also did not get his contribution of $530 a month.  (We have been divorced for sixteen months, and I have gotten child support for eight.  I have never gotten the health insurance though.)

I have watched my daughter choose between having a social life and having a relationship with her dad.  I thought a car would ease that choice.  I thought it would be a necessary step toward independence.  By not getting the job, I feel I have failed her.  She remains trapped, and so do I.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Oct 10th, 2010 at 8:30pm
I was rereading old posts and something struck me.  I had asked, "When he is gone will I still be unstable?"  Oh God, the answer is yes.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Oct 11th, 2010 at 3:52pm
I wrote this down on a paper, but I really need to get rid of the paper since it will be too dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.


Teachers don't trust each other to implement changes.

Teachers don't trust the district to support them.

Teachers don't trust the principal to support them.  (Ie:  what I teach now I will continue to teach.  If I am deficient I will be supported, not disciplined or removed.)

More and more, the adversarial relationship between teachers and administration becomes evident.

Do your job.  How many times have I heard "Just do your job."  Here is my answer.

Do your job?  Yes, with these conditions.  Do your job without support or direction, with the understanding that improvement is solely your responsibility and only deficiencies will be recognized.

Okay, now I can throw that paper away.

Title: Re: Texian's Travels
Post by TexianTraveler on Oct 19th, 2010 at 2:52pm
I understand now why I have never gotten an administrative position.  It is because I suck.

Anybody know of a job for an ex-teacher that pays around $45,000 a year?

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