Promises, Promises

Ever hear all the things you wanted someone to say but said too late?

When I wanted and needed to hear that I mattered all I got was condescension. When I begged for help and support I was given excuses and left to struggle alone. When I was craving adventures and new experiences I got lethargy and demotivational arguments. When I needed to have intellectual conversations I got insecure rants.

Now I’m being promised the world. Except, it’s by the wrong person.

I’ll take care of you, we’ll go on adventures, I’ll join you in your hobbies, you’ll feel loved and appreciated every day…promises, promises.

I can’t even say, “if only I believed him” because at this point all the honeyed words fall on deaf ears and a closed heart. I never thought I could look at someone and feel so detached as they cried out their pain in front of me. I didn’t realize just how badly he’d damaged me until he promised me everything I ever wanted and it didn’t even spark a second of consideration.


I Love You, but I Love Me More

This last weekend was all sorts of messed up. I am not going to go into detail but suffice to say the crazy level has gotten too high for me to ignore. I’ve been so desensitized by all the things that have happened in my life that almost nothing shocks me anymore. That isn’t necessarily a good thing. I shrug off things that most people think are highly inappropriate because I’ve learned not to let them touch me. If I don’t care it can’t hurt me right?

Problem is, my ability to endure unhealthy situations allows me to let situations go on longer than they should. I’ve faced so much confrontation that sometimes it’s just easier to hide, or run. I always want to help others, even to my own detriment, and if you couple that with my tolerance my kindness often gets mistaken for weakness. I don’t want to feel like I destroyed someone else’s life, or brought them harm, but when it’s killing me to accommodate them I have to harden my heart and walk away. I have a feeling I haven’t quite hit the darkest hour yet, but hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel is just around the corner.


Killing Us Slowly….

We bought the worst house possible. Several months after moving in (and having to move onto the front porch just to be able to breath) husband was injured while at work and eventually lost his job while still on work comp for being unable to perform his job duties. He was in pain and now unemployed. Soon I had to move back in with my parents because I couldn’t stay at that house even on the front porch due to all the mold. We didn’t live together for over 4 months, although husband had 2 of his friends living at the house with him. During that time I only saw him a couple of times a week. He was always in a bad mood and it was hard on our relationship. I didn’t know it but he was taking prescription pain pills (he didn’t have a prescription for) on top of all the pot he was smoking. He hid that from me and I also heard rumors that he was having an ex girlfriend visiting him at nights. I asked that we go to counseling. He rejected the idea. His behavior became so dark, and his mold poisoning so bad, that eventually I dragged him literally kicking and screaming from the mold house of doom under threat of commitment in a mental facility and divorce if he didn’t.

After several days at my parent’s house he seemed to be feeling better and started acting more normal. I didn’t realize it at the time but he was detoxing from the pain pills. I attributed it to mold but the problem was deeper. I tried to repair the fractured relationship I had with him. I wasn’t ready to call it quits yet even though a large part of me wanted to. If I had known then what I know now things would have gone differently. Instead we forged ahead. He began working on the house again, trying to strip it down to the studs so we could spray it down to treat the mold and rebuild it all. The next 11 months were hard. Progress on the house was slow. I was paying a mortgage on a place I couldn’t live at and contributing to my parent’s house, my commute to work was long and I was miserable at my job. I was burning through my savings because husband was still unemployed and not receiving any income. At the point where my money was just about to run out and I was going to have to decide which bills weren’t going to get paid husband finally found a new job. It paid next to nothing but it was just enough to keep us from defaulting on the mortgage.

He moved back to the mold house and continued working on it in his evenings after work. Part of me was relieved to have free weeknights to spend with my friends. I didn’t really feel married and deep down I was happy about that. One morning on Halloween of 2011 husband woke me up at 4am to tell me that the house was on fire. I groggily got up and drove the 30 miles to the house, arriving after the fire had been put out. While husband and the insurance agent were discussing money out front someone broke in and stole our laptop and a TV husband had in the back bedroom he’d been sleeping in that was untouched by the fire. Shortly after we realized the fire was still smoldering in the roofline and reignited causing the fire department to make a second trip out there. This time they smashed every window and sprayed every inch with a foam retardant. The house and foundation were soaked through and through and winter was coming. The foundation ended up crumbling as a result. In the aftermath of the fire husband and I clung to one another, who had time to contemplate how broken we were when we had just lost so much?

It would take almost a year to get insurance to settle with us on a total loss payout. The contractor we eventually hired was the absolute worst and in the unending saga of drama that was my life with husband I continued to ignore the signs that we were not right for one another. We were living in a condo (temporary housing) and husband didn’t wait more than 2 months to offer our spare room to one of his friends, rent free I might add. This was a pattern of behavior I had never understood. In all the time I have lived with that man less than a year of it has been alone with him. He seemed unable or unwilling to live with just me and I took it personally that I had had to put up with him housing so many of his friends. This friend was probably the best one he had and I have been grateful many times over the years that he has been our roommate (still lives with us now)  but it was still a blow to me at the time that he seemed to need a buffer in the house.

That year in the condo ended up being the happiest year I had in my marriage. I was close to my friends and my job and I loved living there. Still, eventually the new house that was being built was ready to move into. It wasn’t actually finished but our allotted money for temporary housing had dried up and we didn’t have a choice. Back to St. Paul I went, back to a house I still didn’t want to be at. I figured I would make the best of a stressful situation and put all my efforts into working on my marriage and that stupid neverending fucking house. I tried to be happy but husband was emotionally abusive and clearly so unhappy himself. He eventually got a better job and then another better job and I was hoping that him bringing in more money than me would finally help alleviate some of my frustrations about paying for everything. He just started spending even more money on non-bills the more he made so that I was still stuck paying for all the necessities while he splurged on non-essentials.

Then my niece died unexpectedly and it hit me very hard. I grieved for months and while I grieved he was creating dating profiles online and signing up for hook-up sites because he felt like I was ignoring him. He was never sober and I felt like nothing was ever going to change. I felt trapped. I vowed if nothing got better I was going to file for divorce but another year went by and I was too drained to do anything but hope my life would get better. I watched my family fall apart after my niece died and tried to hold it together but I was more overwhelmed than I let on even to myself. I took my brother on a 3 week road trip with husband and I hoping it would help him in his grieving. I tried to repair all my damaged relationships but kept wondering at what point do you just throw in the towel? I made the decision to put in one last ditch effort to do everything I could to make my marriage work. To accept that I would just have to pay for everything and that husband would always smoke pot and I would have to be ok with that because he wasn’t going to change.

Then my dad died unexpectedly. Not even a week later the police came to my house to do a search and seize my laptop thanks to husband’s late night antics. I was deep in grief and in that moment I realized I had just lost my past and my future. No father to lean on and no children to raise, it destroyed something inside me. If my father hadn’t just died I would have kicked husband out. Instead I was an emotional wreck and couldn’t handle losing them both at the same time. I tried to make myself believe husband when he swore the police wouldn’t find anything on the computer and this was all a mistake. I told him if he was lying it would be the end of us. He promised he wasn’t lying. I waited and tried to compose myself. It took a little over 3 months but the police came back one day to arrest him and charge him with 14 felony counts of possession. I knew then that my marriage had to end. Not over what he was being charged with (although that alone was more than enough reason) but because I would never be able to trust him again and more than that I had to be able to trust myself and if I went back on what I said would be a consequence I would compromise something I wasn’t willing to compromise.

I stood by him while he faced court appearances but I was pulling away every day, little by little. I didn’t want him to use my leaving as an excuse to avoid facing his demons. I started focusing on making changes in my life that were positive. I had lived for so long ignoring what I wanted and needed because I was focused on making sure he was ok (so I wouldn’t have to deal with emotional abuse or manipulation) and happy. I was done with the dysfunction but the ties that bound us were so damn intricately tied together. I had become dependent on his ability to get things done that I didn’t know how or didn’t want to do. I didn’t know if I was ready to take on the responsibility of the entire house and knew for sure I wasn’t able to swing things financially on my own. I was scared to make that clean break. During this time husband resisted admitting he was guilty of his charges. He lashed out at me and tried to share the blame for his actions with me, stating I had let him down and he was in this mess because of me. That was the final push I needed. I filed for divorce and was granted it in a matter of days. Except he was still living there and nothing seemed any different even though I wasn’t legally tied to him anymore.

In the subsequent months since I got divorced ex-husband has suddenly decided that all the things he would criticize me for are now amazingly attractive traits. Now he wants to change all his bad habits and become the man I always deserved. He doesn’t understand that I have just had enough and all I want now is to start over. Even in his attempts to be nice and spoil me he is being disrespectful because he is essentially telling me that what he wants is more important than what I want. He is trying to convince me that if I refuse to have a romantic relationship with him he will go to jail because he will have too much therapy to complete before his next court date. He is still trying to manipulate and control me so that his life can be better. He says he wants me to be happy but if that were true he would respect my decision. It took the better part of a decade but in the end our relationship died…slowly but surely. Now I just need to figure out a way to put that final THE END on it once and for all.






Killing Us Slowly…

Vows were said, pictures taken, a dance or two danced with some cake and all the jazz. An exhausting day ended with a disastrous hotel experience and us sleeping separately. Our first room was super dirty and we had to wait for a new one, the next one had a used condom in the bed and by the time they put us in our final room it had been several hours and I was tired, hungry and cranky. We ate shitty pizza from the hotel kitchen and it made me feel sick. He felt rejected that I was tired and felt like crap and wasn’t up for being amorous. He slept out on the couch of our 2 room suite while I slept alone in the bed. Our morning wasn’t really any better, they messed up our breakfast and my front tire was flat when we went to leave. Our first day as a married couple and we were off to a rough start.

A week later we watched 2 more of my friends get married and after attending both weddings we got in my car and headed off to Florida for our honeymoon. I fell asleep and woke up several states later, he felt like I was ignoring him the whole way. It was a quick trip and we got down to Miami the next afternoon. Some more snafus with hotel rooms (it would become a theme throughout our marriage) ended us up in an upgraded room for less money. We dropped our bags off and headed out to meet up with his old hs friend. We saw sights, we ate gelato, we relaxed on the beach and I learned that my new husband really liked to browse through “adult” stores. He informed me he was a on a mission to find a particular “toy” he wanted us to use together. I tried to be open minded but I felt like he was springing it on me. How did I marry someone without knowing they wanted to use a strap on in the bedroom? I wondered what else he wasn’t telling me.

After our honeymoon (where we were not intimate at all btw) we settled into married life. He worked all the time and I never saw him. I ate dinner alone, I slept alone, I did not feel married at all. I told him I felt alone. I told him he shouldn’t work so much especially since they were not paying him. I even went up to his work late at night to check and see if he was actually there. I felt frustrated and didn’t know what to do. He developed a VD, then I did too and I freaked out. The doctors told us it was from that darn HPV everyone has but I wondered why it hadn’t shown up before. Mine went away immediately but his never did. It felt like too much too soon but we were in the process of buying a house. I wasn’t a quitter. If I had known what was coming maybe I would’ve cut my losses and walked away then.

To be continued…


Killing Us Slowly

Our relationship eroded over time much like the arctic glaciers at the cruel hands of an indifferent humanity, and for similar reasons. Selfishness, fear, insecurity and denial slowly chipping away at the massive solid hunk of love that was the foundation of everything that bound us to one another. Melting away, adding some more, re-freezing, sometimes falling away in large chunks and repeating on and on until one day there was no more freezing and no more building back up and that was the beginning of the end.

We met in the spring of ’08 when I finally responded to his online message a day after he deleted his dating profile on the site we were both using. He got notified anyway and reactivated his account. We went on a date where (unknown to me) he laid his part of the foundation of our future relationship with falsehoods. I laid mine with honesty. We ate, we walked around, we held hands and made plans to see each other again. I thought he looked like one of my (female) cousins I wasn’t sure where things would go.

Several dates later we went to his family’s cabin for the weekend. I met his extended family, we went sailing, I fell in love with that place and asked him to be exclusive. He figured out why I had been feeling so weird, he tested my apartment and found a lot of mold there, hiding in the carpet they’d washed but never dried the morning I’d moved in. I stayed at his place while I fought against my apartment to get my unit cleaned or to be released from my lease. They refused to do either and won the court case even though I had ironclad evidence and they didn’t, the judge didn’t want to set a precedent. He was my rock through all of it, helping me, supporting me and loving me. I felt like I was home when I was with him.

The holidays were coming up, we’d been living together for many months and he started talking about what kind of houses we’d buy when we got married. The first couple times he brought it up I’d blow it off, we weren’t engaged so why talk about that. Eventually I got annoyed and asked him if he wanted to get married, he said yes, it was very anticlimactic as we sat in the car waiting to get tickets to a drive in movie. I told him he could resume talking about houses now. When I got back to our apartment I put on my grandmother’s engagement ring I’d inherited years ago. I guessed I was engaged, people seemed happy for me.

We planned our wedding for a year out, two of my friends got engaged around the same time, one of them had already taken the date I wanted so I moved mine up a week. I made him learn the flamenco and insisted we do our first dance to the song “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” and he grudgingly agreed. The year leading up to our wedding was going smooth, then his cousin died unexpectedly right before my 26th birthday. He took it very hard, he started working more and I saw him less. I tried to talk to him about it and he told me not to worry and thanked me for loving him, he asked me to be patient and let him grieve. I did and the wedding date loomed closer.

The month before our wedding his uncle died and I found out he was smoking cigarettes again. He said he’d started up again to deal with the family deaths. He promised to quit before we got married. The day before our wedding I found out he owed 6 months in back rent from the time he’d been battling cancer (before I met him) and the landlord suddenly wanted the money asap or we’d be evicted. He didn’t have the money and I ended up having to pay it. I wasn’t happy about it but he’d let me live with him for the last 5 months of my lease without asking for any money so I tried to rationalize it, but it contradicted his previous assertion that he was financially responsible. I decided I would be in charge of the finances and prepared myself to say “I do” anyway, after all, I loved him.

…to be continued.

Paint, Piss & Death

I walked inside my back door tonight to the smell of fresh paint, death and human urine…

The paint I didn’t mind so much, husband decided the main floor living room and hallway ceiling needed a fresh coat of paint. I thought the ceilings were fine though the walls could’ve used another coat. I’m used to having to endure people fixing things that aren’t broke in lieu of taking care of legitimate issues, what’s one more?

The smell of death has been pinpointed to the area behind my washer/dryer. I think the white cat brought a mouse in and it’s perished back there somewhere. I asked husband to move them so I could look but instead he built a skill course for his drone rental business and then fell asleep on the couch, so I went out to dinner with a lady friend.

As I walked inside tonight I immediately took a deep breath and held it walking past the laundry area so as to not gag on the stench. I hurried into the bathroom and breathed a sigh of relief only to notice the floor was wet with splatters leading towards the toilet. As I approached the bowl I smelled the unmistakable odor of urine, it was like the smell of a seedy stairwell in a grimy downtown parking lot. I looked down and there was urine pooled to the left of the bowl, splashed onto the sides of my vanity and dripping down my trash can. The bottom of the vanity was soaked in it, as well as an errant tissue that had fallen besides the trash can.

I called for my husband to come explain why the floor was covered in pee. He shrugged and tried to blame the cat. I told him it smelled like human pre and had clearly originated from the toilet bowl as there was also urine drops on the back of the bowl behind the seat. He shrugged again and said maybe it was his friend from earlier who helped him paint. I had used the bathroom before I left though, which was after his friend had gone home and there was no pee then. He shrugged and said he’d been sleeping on the couch the whole 4 hours I was gone. I told him next time he sleep-peed to please do it inside the bowl or he’d have to clean it up. He got upset and said it wasn’t him. I told him the urine was fresh, the pee-soaked tissue still warm, he made no comment and went back to sleep.

I don’t think I ever imagined having to spend my Friday night mopping piss off my bathroom floor, scrubbing pee off my trash can and trying to figure out how to get urine out of particle board. Yes I know I said I want a baby but jeez there’s better ways to prepare me.

I still need to get rid of whatever dead thing is stinking up my laundry area, maybe I will be able to put that down for tomorrow’s what’s going right installment.

Why Is This So Hard?

These past several months have been hard for a number of reasons. Despite the setbacks and grief and drama I have been focused on starting a family and have refused to let the events in my life stop me.

What I wasn’t counting on was how my body would stop me, over and over and over again.

When I was young I did everything in my power to keep from getting pregnant and now all I want to do is see that positive test result. The problem is I keep failing month after month. If it was just that I didn’t have my timing right I might not be so upset right now but my issue isn’t in getting pregnant it is in staying pregnant. The pain from this issue is both emotional and physical and I don’t know how many more times I want to endure this.

I don’t want to wait another 6 months before a doctor is willing to discuss the problems, after all I am not getting any younger. I’m sick and tired of not being able to vent about this or express my disappointment to my support network, there’s still the general consensus that people don’t talk about miscarriages. Except they suck, so much and the more of them you have the harder it gets.

On top of everything else I don’t want to deal with this reoccurring almost every month, and I know this is something I could just stop trying for right now but I have a feeling that if I do give up now that will just be the end of it, I won’t try again because something else will come up or there will be some other detractor. There will never be a perfect time to try and if I am going to do this I have to keep at it until I get the results I want. I just wish it wasn’t so hard. If I am quieter than normal on here though, this is the reason why.

So That Happened

Friday night I went to stay at my mom’s house because I was going to be driving her to and from my cousin’s wedding 3 hours away Saturday. I thought I would be sleeping on the couch out in the the season porch like I normally do but my mom waited till I had situated myself to ask me if I wouldn’t mind letting her sleep out there and would I please just sleep in her bedroom.

Her bedroom used to be my bedroom before I moved out. I had, in my teenage years, expressed my angst and creativity all over that room. The walls were a hodgepodge of paint colors and textures. The doors to the closet and room were covered in drawings, song lyrics, tags from my friend and comic strips I thought were funny. I even had fantasy graphic wall plates on the light switches.20150814_232336_resized

When I moved out in my early 20s my brother took over that room, when he had his daughter my parent’s gave him their downstairs master and moved back upstairs. In the eleven years since it was last my room no one had ever bothered to repaint or replace any of the doors or wall plates.

Not only was it weird to sleep in my parent’s bed, avoiding what used to be my dad’s side at all costs and sleeping on top of the covers, but it was doubly weird to look up and see the same painted ceiling and glowing stars on the closet door like I had thousands of times before. The other thing that was keeping me up all night was the palpable feeling of sadness and depression that was pushing at me from all directions. You could literally sense the sorrow and it permeated every inch of that room. I did not get much sleep and there were no dreams which is weird for me.

Saturday arrived and my mom dragged her feet getting ready to leave but eventually we got on the road and headed west. Eventually we got to the church and waited for the ceremony to start. It was a small wedding and, I later found out, purely ceremonial as my cousin remains married to his first wife still, the divorce not yet finalized, so I drove all that way for a charade. Oh well, it kept my mom’s mind semi off the fact that it would’ve been her 35th wedding anniversary that day.

Made the long drive back to my mom’s and then grabbed my stuff and drove myself home. It was more than enough time spent in the car for one day. I am happy that I did not get any salmonella poisoning from the raw chicken that was nestled into the salad I shared with my mom at the Mexican restaurant in Little Falls. Got home and fell into bed.

Spent Sunday working on the basement trying to figure out how to reconnect all the switches and outlets we had to disconnect to work on the walls. Small progress but progress nonetheless.

Had some uneasy feelings of impending doom today which is weird because I found 7 five-leaf covers this morning on my walk. 20150817_090020_resized

Hoping that this feeling goes away soon and my countdown to vacation starting is now down to only 4 days away. Hoping nothing happens to prevent that much needed relaxing family time.


This last weekend was exhausting, both mentally and physically. On Saturday we began the arduous process of cleaning out my mother’s house. There is almost 3 decades of accumulated goods and memories covering almost every inch of the house, garage and yard.

I was instructed to get a 20 yard dumpster, I had stated I thought at least a 30 yard one was needed but everyone else outvoted me. My aunt, uncle and mother started in the basement and I decided to begin tackling the garage.


It was soon evident to me that I had bit off more than I wanted. Without my mom around I didn’t feel comfortable chucking the majority of the stuff in the dumpster. I organized things into piles of like-goods and when my cousin showed up I moved into the foyer and began de-cluttering there.

Before finishing the foyer I got distracted by the dirty fridge and then spent the next couple hours cleaning that out, along with some kitchen cabinets.

My aunt took a break from the basement and began cleaning the bathroom, my uncle wandered back out to the garage, my mom just sat in the living room looking lost and overwhelmed. I asked her to decide if things from the kitchen were going to be saved, tossed or donated. I felt like I was on an episode of hoarders.

All too soon the dumpster outside was full.


The garage is still full of items that need to be tossed or donated, especially the rafters which we didn’t even begin to explore. The shed in the back is full of stuff I think just needs to be tossed. The basement is still full of things, the crawl space is crammed full of items, there are closets and cupboards and nooks and crannies all just waiting for us to come play the keep, toss or donate game with their contents. We barely made a dent.

It was hard, so hard, to keep from letting my emotions run me all day. I kept telling myself “this has to get done, we need to get this place ready to sell, the garbage has to go” and then I would see some memento from my childhood, or a cherished item of my dad’s and I would feel the tears welling up and threatening to stop my progress. I can’t even imagine how much it was affecting my mom.

The next day I spent the afternoon photographing a family reunion for a co-worker. It was a nice distraction but I felt like I should’ve been spending time with my mom. She was clearly upset by the previous day’s purge and insisted she just wanted to sit alone at her house and go through some things. She will be heading back to stay at her house today, now that my brother is back from WA. I will miss her. I will worry about her, and her dog, when she is no longer there. It’s been a hard weekend but I hope that maybe the path of progress has had the first stones laid and we can continue to build it together.

Depression Dependants

Husband is caught in the pit of depression. I can see him down there, hanging out with my mom. We were all down there together but I couldn’t stand it and clawed my way up.

It’s dangerous down in that hole of negativity. There’s a cold sense of comfort that comes from wrapping yourself up in misery. Nothing good left to lose. No rug to pull out from under you. Slow death disguised as coping.

The problem is that while I might not be stuck at the bottom with hubby and the momma I am still dangerously close to the edge. Depression is like a large black hole that is constantly trying to suck everything else into it. It takes immense strength to pull yourself out of it and almost as much strength, if not more, to keep from getting sucked back in.

I see them imprisoned down there but am not strong enough to lend them a hand to pull them up. I don’t think they’d take the hand even if I could offer it. Their presence down in it adds to the gravitational pull of the depression. Makes it that much harder to stay out of the pit. The negativity is contagious even to the strongest positive immune systems.

I don’t know how to motivate them to fight their way out of this. I know I can’t carry them but I feel guilty about it. I know logically I shouldn’t feel guilty but that doesn’t stop me from wrestling with it. Part of me want to distance myself until I can build up my reserves but I am more afraid to leave them alone.

I wish there was a magic phrase or action that could inspire them to want to challenge the hold depression has on them but I know from experience that each person’s battle is unique to them and their motivators will be different. What works for me doesn’t work for them. They feel safe in their negative blankets, they’ve bought into the lies whispered at them from the recesses of their minds. The self-fulfilling prophecies of pessimism reinforcing their belief that they deserve to suffer.

Battling depression is so much harder if you’re surrounded by willing participants.