Thursday, August 30, 2012

PYHO: What Hurts The Most

I'm a day late with this link-up and I know I probably won't get much return readership because of it, but this is a Meme I've been considering doing for a while now.  From now on, Wednesdays will be my PYHO day, where I share something close to the heart, something that is bothering me or weighing on my heart and mind.  Please be gentle...I am a Pisces afterall...

I think that everyone has a need to feel important.  You read all the self-help stuff, inspirational quotes and such that tell you to "love yourself", "be important to you", etc, and all of that is fine and well, but it truly isn't the same as feeling loved and important to someone else.

These are feelings that we're supposed to get from our family, be it the one that raised us, or the ones we raise and most especially from our partner.

I never had it as a child growing up.  It was missing in my first marriage.  I had hoped that my 2nd marriage would be different, and sometimes it is, but lately...well, lately I'm just not feeling it anymore.

My husband works out of town Sunday through Thursday.  He's worked for this company before, and they worked out of town on a job for almost a year and it was a spectacular disaster.  Granted, at the time, we were pretty young and I was going through what I didn't know at the time was a false pregnancy, I got diagnosed again with Hypertension and I had a handful of other health problems flaring up.  I needed him home and he couldn't be and it caused a lot of arguments.

Fast forward to last May, when he brought up working for the company again.  I wasn't over-joyed with the idea.  I remember what it was like before.  But, we're both older and I thought life had settled down some since then.  He basically told me that this kind of work (which isn't what he'd been doing since leaving the company) was the only kind of work that had ever made him happy.  What was I supposed to say?

I told him that if it was what he wanted, go for it, but we'd really have to work together to make things work with him being gone all the time.  He agreed.

Since then though, when he's gone during the week, it's almost like he has a different life.  One that doesn't include me.  Our communication, even at night when the work is done and their at the house they're renting down there for the night, is next to non-existent.  We barely talk.  When we do, he's distracted and talking to the guys he works with, one in particular.  I've tried and tried to feel like we're still connected, still a team, even when he's gone, but he just doesn't seem to be interested.  And we're fighting again.  A lot.

I've tried targeting shows we normally would watch together if he were home and asking him if we can watch them together now and either talk on the phone or text while we watch...give me some kind of feeling of connection.  He says he will, then gets tied up doing stuff "with the guys" and is a no-show, or is late, or he falls asleep.  He'll put his phone on charge and forget about it for hours and won't answer texts or phone calls and say he lost track of time.

When I confront him with it, he claims it was an honest mistake or whatever and gets mad at me for being upset or feeling let down.  When I say we won't make those kinds of plans anymore since he's obviously too busy, he insists that we do and promises that next time will be different, but it never is.

I've even suggested that maybe we needed to separate (which I really don't want), even just for a while, while he decides what he wants because it feels like he's no longer in this with me and he freaks out and begs me not to leave.

 I don't know what to do anymore.  He's the love of my life, and our relationship has SO many good points to it when he's not working away from home.  I kept telling myself that it was only until the end of the year and I could suffer through it, but now I hear rumors from one of the other guys wives that the company is planning to bid on another job there, which means another year (or more) of them working there.  I honestly don't know if I can take another year.

He says he needs to work for them for 3 years to get the experience he needs to apply for the same kind of work locally, but I just don't see me being able to do it if it continues to be like this.

I'm at a loss and seriously don't know what to do anymore.

I know that no one can tell me what to do about my life, or my marriage, but I just needed to get it off my chest and I really don't have anyone to talk to about things anymore, so I figured I'd do it here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Unexpected Make-Over

Last night, I was working on a post and doing a little site-work.  I wanted to put in a comment system instead of just using the one I had, so I started trying to install one.

Let me tell you, while I enjoy using IntenseDebate on other people's sites, it is a pain in the tush to install!  I'm sitting here minding my own business and it tells me I need to save my template and copy and paste this and that and before I knew it, my html had gone screwy!

Luckily, my good friend @PonderingMama was up and watching her Twitter and came and bailed me out.  Somehow, I ended up getting a make-over I had no idea I wanted or needed until she did it.  I love the new look of the site and all my social media.

Now, I'm all excited to get started with blogging again!

I got a little frustrated because there aren't a lot of meme's out there to get involved in for Pagans (at least that I could find) and I felt that getting my site out there and gaining a readership wasn't happening the way I wanted.  Then, I had some personal stuff going on that I will talk about in other posts over the next few day, and before I knew it, the blog was sitting here unloved and unused.  

Now, I have a new look that I'm all excited about and I'm thinking about going back to the Meme's that I was doing before a few days a week and then just blogging in general the rest of the week.

I'm so excited to be getting started again!  I hope you are, too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not happening

I spent most of my weekend and the first part of the week feeling like this...
Click for credits

I had some problems come up over the weekend where I was being harassed by someone about their problem with someone else.  I felt like I had been invaded and violated.  I set everything to private everywhere and almost deleted my blog.  Again.  I went silent on all forms of social media for a few days.  I was so frustrated and aggravated, and yes, angry.  Angry enough to want to hop on a plane and probably get myself into trouble.  I didn't do it, but for a minute, I seriously wanted to.

You see, I spent most of my life hiding for one reason or another.  When Mom got sick and everyone started to realize she wasn't going to make it, our family - which had never been close to start with- scattered to the winds.  When she passed, I felt I was finally free to just be myself and not to have to hide anymore.  In a moment of panic, I reacted on instinct and did what I'd always done.  I hid.

I was grumpy, ill, angry, stressed and just not a good person to be around in general for several days.  I felt like I did as a child, knowing that I could not be myself, could not express myself, because of the thoughts, views and opinions of someone else.

I decided to take some time to sit down and think things through.

I knew that I personally had done nothing to this person and had done nothing wrong in general.  The person was taking their anger out on me because I am the only person they have to take it out on.  When I refused to tell them what they wanted to know (because I don't have the information they were originally after), they lost it and took it out on me.

I tried to be a good, decent person.  I tried to show a little compassion, and I got attacked.  It was as simple and as complicated as that.

The truth is, I really don't have a family anymore.  Really, I don't think I ever truly had much of one anyway.

The only member of my family that appears to still even be talking to me is my sister and she's been estranged from the rest of the family for years.  Loosing Mom broke what little connection there was between me and the rest of the family.

What this person obviously doesn't know, is that I have always been the black-sheep.  I have always been the out-cast.  I was only ever tolerated by my family.  No one ever listened to anything I said, they didn't care how I felt and my opinion counted for nothing.

I have been estranged from my family more than I have ever been part of it and while I loved my family dearly, the feeling was not mutual.  They have always meant more to me than I ever did to them.  I kept trying to insinuate myself into a family that openly told me they didn't really want me around.

Even when I was asked to come and help through Mom's illness, it was made clear to me that no one wanted me there, but they needed the help and felt they had no choice.

I should have said no, and sometimes, I wish I had, but they were my family and I loved them.

Now, none of them will even speak to me.  This has been a tender subject for me and this person brought all those painful feelings to the surface.

I realize that they obviously know little of the true dynamics of our family.  I'm sure they thought that we were a "normal" family, but sadly, we aren't.  Our family is the poster-child for a dysfunctional family.

So, after giving it some thought, I decided to ignore it all from here on out and go on with my life.  I was left, yet again, in the position of someone either trying to blame me for other people's crap, or expecting me to clean up someone else's mess, and I'm just not doing it.

Honestly, I have accepted that I don't have a family anymore.  Although it hurt me for a while, I have come to terms with it and I have decided that I don't need the stress anyway.  I have my husband, my daughter and the extended family I have made for myself.  I have my sister when she chooses to be around.  That is enough.

It has taken me years to find any kind of peace with myself over the reality of my family situation, but I finally did, and I'm not going to let anyone take that away from me.

So, here I am.  I will not hide, I will not act as if I have anything to be ashamed of or as if I have done something wrong.  I am not the rest of my family and I am not responsible for the things they have done, or not done.  It is not my job to fix their lives or solve their problems, just as it is not their job to do so with mine.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Phases: The Next Step

Draco and I have been really focused lately about getting our lives back on track.  We took the years following Mini-Me coming to live with us (I was a Weekend-Warrior until she was 13 - not by choice) to raise a family.  At the same time she was leaving home to start her own life, my mother's health began to fail and we dedicated the next 2 years of life to trying to help my parents.  For the last several months, we've been staying with our wonderful friend, E, and her daughter, Mini-Diva.

We really hadn't planned on changing anything until some recent developments.

About a month ago, we applied for a loan for the first time in years, in an effort to rebuild our credit.  As a young couple, we messed our credit all up, not realizing how important it really was to being able to live a normal life.  In the last 7 or 8 years, we really haven't touched our credit at all.  It was bad, we were broke, so there wasn't much we could do anyway.

We went to the loan company prepared to offer collateral because of our now non-existent credit, but without much hope of actually getting approved.  We couldn't even get a bank account until recently because our credit was so horrible.

We did get approved, which came as a shock to us both, but not for very much.  We also got some advice while we were there based on why we only got approved for such a low amount.

Now, the car is acting up.  We have no clue what's wrong with it, so we don't know what to do to fix it.  Dad recently purchased a "new" car from a local dealership's used lot, and it got us to thinking about those "Buy Here, Pay Here" places since we're attempting to rebuild credit anyway.

We checked out a few, but since I have a licence, but only work at home and Draco works but has to get his licence back, they won't sell us a car.

On a whim, we went to the dealership my Dad recently used.  We looked at 2004 Ford Taurus.  Not a new car, but newer than the Saturn, which is a 1996.  We didn't think we could actually get anything, but after talking to the salesman, we got approved for that car.  Albeit with a down payment we can't quite afford right now, but still, we got approved.

The salesman decided to impart some advice as well, just as the loan company had, and it was a repeat of what the loan company said.

Our loan was so low and our down payment was so high because of our situation.

We have lived with someone for years.  Although we were at my parents for 2 solid years, it obviously doesn't count because nothing was in our name.  Here at E's, it's the same way.  They all want us to have our own place (doesn't really matter if we rent or buy as long as it's under our name), utilities of some sort in our names (even if it's just a cable bill or home phone bill).  Residential stability (find a place and don't move), work stability (Draco has worked with this company for about 5 years now total, but has left the company a few times when work was slow and has only gone back this time a few months ago).

We were surprised to find out that while I have no credit score at all, Draco has a mid-line credit rating (we have no clue how since we haven't used his credit in years until we got this loan recently).  He has what is considered "slow credit".  In spite of my lack of a score and his mid-line score, we could have gotten more on the loan and a lower down payment on the car if we had met the stability terms.

So, basically, in order for us to ever be able to rebuild our credit and have anything, we are going to have to get our own place again.

We haven't started actively looking for anything as of yet, but we have explained the situation to E and she understands.  We're keeping our eyes and ears open for anything that becomes available in the immediate area and we're about to start trying to save up for deposits.  It's going to be a process, and it means I'll be spending some time alone with Draco working out of town, but it's a step we need to take to get our lives back on track.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Box

The house was dim, like someone had forgotten to turn on a light on an overcast day.  Obviously, it was time to move again.  Boxes lined every visible wall and seemed to reach for the ceiling in the gloom.

Faint shuffling noises emanated from the direction of the kitchen and I turned and headed in that direction.

There was Mom and Dad, pulling boxes from a corner and shifting them in the direction of the doorway.

I approached them and held out my hands for the first of the boxes, passing them to Draco.  It struck me as odd that he would be there.  I knew somewhere deep inside that this was a dream.  A familiar dream.  An echo of a memory stirred somewhere in the back of my mind and I knew that something had changed, although the feeling of familiarity held.

Then I saw it.  It was the box of nightmares past.

I had dreamed of this box since my teenage years, and never quite understood why.  I knew enough to know that I feared this box on some deeply rooted level that I couldn't explain.

Mom calmly pulled the box from the corner and passed it to Dad, along with a look I couldn't define.  I realized then that Mom should not be in this dream.  Mom was gone.  Almost 2 months now.  Was she now haunting my dreams?

Dad took the box and sat it on the freezer at his side and avoided meeting my gaze.  This was odd because in dreams past, the box had been kept from me.  I had experienced being in it's presence, but had never touched it.  One of my parents, generally my mother, had always taken the box away almost immediately, like something being hidden from me.

I reminded myself that I was an adult, not a frightened child, and willed myself to reach for the box.  Still, my hands would not move.  I stood, rooted to the spot and stared at the box, trying to remember why I should be so frightened of a silly box.  I could feel everyone watching me without looking directly at me.

The box was the same as I remembered, but was showing the signs of age.  A darker brown, dog-eared flaps crisscrossed the top.  It seemed to bulge a little at the top where the flaps didn't quite make a complete closure, as if something had repeatedly pushed against the top from the inside or it held something that didn't quite fit.

I felt Draco looking at me with curiosity, somehow sensing my hesitation.

Finally, I held hands that trembled out towards this seemingly innocent package.  I picked up the box with determination and turned and headed towards the door instead of passing it to Draco as I had the others.  I could feel his presence behind me and knew he wanted a private moment to ask about the contents of the box.  I wanted a private moment with this box.  I wanted to know what the box held that had been kept from me all these years, but at the same time, I was afraid of finding out what was inside.

As I crossed the living room, I could feel the box tremble in my hands.  I tried to tell myself that it was me that was shaking, and I was, but I knew that the box was vibrating of it's own accord as well, like it knew that I was the one that held it.  It only ever seemed to react this way in my presence.

Without warning, the sounds began.  The growling of a trapped animal.  The box somehow knew that I held it.

It was then that I realized that it wasn't the box I feared, but what was inside.  Memories flooded my senses as I remembered fragments of other dreams in which this box had made an appearance.  In my mind's eye, I could see the tiny eyes peering out of the space in the top of the box where the flaps didn't quite meet.  A flash of some kind of fur...

I nearly dropped the box and headed for the door, but somehow I felt that this box and it's contents were mine although I couldn't say what or how.

Instead, I turned the corner and headed into my parent's bedroom and set the box on the first empty surface I came to.  I took a step back involuntarily and stared at it.

As Draco came along-side of me, the box began to shake violently and I knew that whatever was in it wanted release.  I felt a moment of compassion for what was trapped inside, along with a kinship I couldn't explain.  I thought about throwing caution to the wind and releasing the flaps, allowing freedom to the thing trapped inside but something stopped me.

As I watched, a little furry head forced its way through the opening in the top and it looked at me with curiosity as if it were just as curious about me as I was about it.  Somehow it didn't look as frightening as I had thought it would and I felt that pang of sympathy, once again, for something trapped inside a prison defined by others.  Caged for what it was.

It looked like it should have been a dog of some sort, but somehow, it wasn't.  I knew all too well how it felt to know that you should be something you weren't and to be hated for it.  I knew from years spent in my room, what it felt like be locked away like a dirty secret.

It was then that I realized that this box, and the creature in it, represented me and my feelings about my place in my family.  The place where my mother had put me.  In my room, a figurative box.  A prison with a view of a world I was told I would never fit into.  I could see the outside, but I couldn't be part of it because something about me was different.

As I looked this creature in the eye, I knew that it was a part of me.  It was all the parts of me that I tried to hide from the world in an effort to fit in.  It was a representation of everything about me that had ever been "different".

As the first tear slid down my face, I reached for the box once again, this time without fear or hesitation, but with compassion and understanding.  I pulled the tiny creature from the box and embraced it and felt whole for the first time in my life.

*Author's Note:  I have had variations of this dream since I was about 14.  Roughly 2 years after going to live with my Mom.  I believe in my heart that my Mom somehow attempted to return to me something we both felt she had taken from me in this dream, and for that, I am grateful.  This is the first time I have dreamed of my mother since her passing on June 13th of this year.

It should also be known that I have always been a vivid dreamer, and I have found that more often than not, my dreams hold meaning either for me or for someone in my life.  I don't always know what they mean, and in this case, it has taken me over 20 years to finally understand the meaning.  I have never written about my dreams before beyond private journals, but I'm finding that I like it and I will most likely start writing about them here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gone too long

I could smell the damp, earthy scent of the bark on the trees.  The rich black soil beneath my feet was like a sponge as I ran, absorbing the sounds of my footsteps.  My breathing came fast and hard like I was being chased by the long-ago boogie-man of childhood.

I ran alone.  Searching for something...some place.  I knew I should know the way, but I had forgotten, the memory only a faint whisper in my mind's eye.  Panic begins to set in.  I realize I'm becoming more and more hopelessly lost with every step.  My mind screams at me to stop and take stock of my surroundings.  Make an effort at getting my bearings, but my heart pushes me onward.

I need to find this place.  This place out of time that was once mine and mine alone.  I need the embrace of knowing I am exactly where I belong, like coming home.

It was getting darker and darker, like ink spilled on paper, reaching out to absorb it's surroundings in an attempt to consume it all.

Night sounds come alive in the ink blot running hard on my heels.  I know that I should not be afraid, but the fear licks at the corners of my mind like the flames of a bale-fire.

As the darkness reaches for me, I begin to see little flickers of light.  I chase after them, feeling a deep-rooted rejection as they outpace my frantic feet.  Somewhere deep in my heart, I feel a kinship with these lights.  I know that if I can just keep up, I will find what I'm looking for.

The panic reaches deeper into my soul and I can feel the hot streaks marking the tears on my face, I can taste the salt of my fears.

Hopelessness consumes me.  I can feel myself giving up the fight.  I just want to feel safe and I begin to realize that I will not reach my destination this night.

My steps falter and I realize that one of the lights has slowed it's pace to match mine.  Then, it too, falters and circles back.  As I slow, I realize the sound that I thought was the displaced air rushing past my ears is actually a whisper.  I strain to hear, knowing I should be able to understand.

As I focus on the sound, the light takes shape and I see the tiny wings, the little face that seems to glow from within is before me.  The whispered sounds take form, just as the light had taken heart breaks as I hear her words and I close my eyes...

You have been gone too long....

I open my eyes to the sun beginning to peek through the curtains of a familiar room and I realize that I am once again in my bed.  My faithful companion of this world, curled and sleeping at my side.

A feeling of loss consumes me and I know that I will not reach my destination this night.