July 15, 1999
Well, I guess I have some summarizing to do. The last weekend in June I got to visit my children. I only got two hours of sleep before I did the six hour drive back to the city I used to live in. I stayed at a friend's house and still managed to fix them some nice meals. *chuckle* During the custody hearing, my husband trashed my cooking. The kids like it, and so do most everyone else I cook for. Of course, he doesn't have a sense of smell and insisted that I use the cheaper ingrediants most of the time. Hardly makes him a good judge of cooking. He asked me if I was taking the kids to church, saying that he was going to be there. I told him, "Of course". He never showed up. As a matter of fact, he was wearing the same t-shirt and jeans when I took them back to him. He also had a pile of stuff to load up on the truck to take back with me. I keep telling him he doesn't have the right to choose what I get and what I don't, but he keeps insisting he's being fair. I take it, because he usually packs things I really do want with the crap he wants to get rid of. Besides, I can always give some of the stuff back, though a lot I am just tossing because he likes to give me the broken stuff.

The two things I am being insistant about is getting the washer and dryer. I will have the kids with me most of the time and his work has a service clean his uniforms, so I will need the washer and dryer more than he does. I also already have washer/dryer connections in my apartment and I doubt the apartment he's thinking of getting will--considering the price he's quoting. (He's going to let the house go into foreclosure, unless we can get someone to assume the loan. He says he can't afford it. I would like to know what the hell he is spending his money on.) Anyway, I told him that he could keep the freezer and gave him my reasons for me having the washer and dryer. He got that stupid pout on his face and told me because I had the truck and the computer that I had more stuff of value than he did, and basically I should be grateful for what he was giving me. Strange, he has the TV, VCR, camcorder, dining room table, our nice large tent, a 100 slot cd player, more videos than you can shake a stick at, all the good stain glass equipment (he still hasn't given me the ceramic kiln like he's promised), the refridgerator, and tons of tools, power and otherwise, and so forth. When I pointed out that he had over $3000 worth of tools (a figure he had given me about seven years ago) in the garage, he started calling me a lying bitch. I told him he was delusional. The kids were inside the house, but I found out later that the kitchen window was open. *sigh!* Anyway, instead of backing down and trying to keep him calm, I took a step towards him and stood my ground. Shocked him, but I kept eye contact and tried to keep myself from yelling too loud. (I don't think I succeeded very well.) I tried to keep my arguments logical, while he called me a lying, lazy, fat bitch. And I told him he was delusional several times. A friend was there the whole time. She said that I did use more logic, but I sounded about as uncontrolled as he did. Oh well. He did sound pretty stupid when he said that he didn't pick up after himself because I didn't let him. My friend also saw something that I didn't. While I was keeping eye contact, I did see him look over my shoulder and freeze for a short moment. She said that he had made a fist and was pulling it back when their eyes locked. Then he immediately let the arm relax. She's positive that he would have hit me if she hadn't been there. She also seemed worried about me saying goodbye to the kids while they were in the house with him. I told her that Sylvia was already in charge, marched up to the door, rung the bell, and said goodbye to my children. After all, as she has pointed out before, he likes people to be scared of him.

My mother in-law was there for two weeks. The in-laws who I am talking to said that my husband asked her to come down because he found watching the kids to very emotionally draining. The kids still went to the babysitter while she was there. When I asked what Grandma did while they were at the babysitter's and Dad was at work, they shrugged their shoulders and said probably watch TV. I think she probably did some cleaning, but I can't know for sure. I really don't know what to make of it all.

The next time I called to talk to the kids, my husband was all sweet and reasonable. I kept thinking, "Give it up. It's too late now, you goofball." Someone once told me I had a calming effect on some people. They may be right. My husband had been doing mood swings like nobody's business lately.

You may have noticed that I'm not calling the bastard my ex-husband yet. That's because I can't get a hold of my lawyer to get her to file the final papers and he's probably not going to. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who wants this done and over with. I'm planning to fax my lawyer a note stating I want this finished.

And of course, during the middle of all this crap, the truck blew a tire while I was on the way to work. God was with me, however. I realized what happened quickly enough to pull to the side of the highway before I ruined the rim and a very nice Christian man stopped about ten minutes later and changed the tire for me, so I didn't end up destroying one of my best dresses. My brother in-law's wife told me she was praying for my husband, not because she was on his side (which she is not), but because she felt God was already watching over me and that my husband wasn't going to ask God for help himself. That's fine with me.

I visited my kids the first weekend in July too. Outside of one fight between the kids, things went well. My mother in-law had already left to go back home by the time I brought the kids back. I don't know what she said to her son before she left, but he was rather calm when I had picked up the kids and when we came back, he was mad at the world. I can't see how it could have been something I did.

Talked to the kids this past Sunday. Their father still sounded irritable. When my daughter got on the line, she shouted, "We're coming back next week to live with you again! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" I'm sure that didn't do much to help his mood. I know that when they get back, I won't have any time to myself and they will run me ragged, but I couldn't care less. I am so happy knowing they're coming back. I am such a mom!

I finally gave up on a relationship with a friend who seemed to want more than just friendship, at least at one time. Maybe I scared him off. I don't know. All I know is that I finally sent him a current picture of myself and he stopped writing me, except for sending a webpage saying that friends will always be there for you. Nice sentiment, but actions speak louder than words. I know it was an awful picture, but he kept telling me that looks didn't mean anything. I guess he wasn't as open-minded as he thought. On one hand, I did tell myself that if I ever did become available, he would probably disappear and I guess it's nice to know that I was right. On the other hand, it hurts like hell. I must agree with the song sung by Vonda Sheperd:
"I'd rather you be mean, than love a lie.
I'd rather hear the truth, and have to say goodbye.
I'd rather take a blow. At least then I would know.
But, baby, don't you break my heart slow."

At least he wasn't the reason I left my husband. I'm not that stupid.

As for my husband, my theme song is Cher's "Believe". It fits my marriage totally. Someone can leave you and still live in the same house. I truly feel for the next man who tries to win my heart. He has one hell of an obstacle course to navigate. Maybe it's not fair, but I have been too accomodating in the past and it has only hurt me. At least I have good judgement at picking male platonic friends. They're the only reason I haven't decided to condemn the whole gender. But when it come to my heart, my judgement stinks like a garbage dump.

Of course, that still doesn't mean I'm all that happy about my own gender. Someone who I had considered a good friend has been betraying me. I should have realized it when she seemed so tickled about the fact that my husband had a crush on her. Of course, she insisted that she would never betray her own husband and it's not like there has been any real opportunity for her to. But he had a crush on another friend of mine and she was offended that he would neglect me and our children to help her with things she just mentioned offhandedly. As a matter of fact, she was the one who first pointed out that I should examine my marriage.

The second friend is still one of my dearest friends. The first one has made her true loyalities show whether she realizes it or not. When I tried to tell her about what I was going through, she told me she didn't what to know everything, because someone needed to be there for my husband. (Yes, I am stupid.) Then she said that she didn't want to choose between the two of us and promised that she wouldn't tell my husband anything I told her and that she wouldn't tell me anything he told her. She kept that promise with him only. While he was on the stand during the custody hearing, I found out that she told him where the kids and I were, as well as my plans to divorce him - she probably neglected to mention the fact that I would have reconsidered if he had gotten himself some professional help. There were a few other things that he mentioned that he could only had found out through her.

Of course, she is probably is justifying herself by saying that I am the flaky one--after all, she has always enjoyed retelling the few times I've been overwrought and seems to forget the times I've been strong. Whenever I did mention this tendency before all this happened, she would always told that she knew I was a strong person and that everyone needed someone to unburden to. And I was too stupid to see the knife handle in my back. She also believes that my soon to be ex would never hurt anyone, because he was so upset when he heard how her first husband treated her. That is the worst logic in the world. Very few people admit they would hurt people. My own mother will condemn parents who do some of the exact same things she did. And I have seen him hit our children hard. The only reason I never reported him was because there were never any marks to prove that I was telling the truth. I usually tried to be there and step in before he could react and I glared at him whenever he did hit them, which is probably why he told the judge that I wouldn't let him discipline the children.

If, by chance, this person did leave her husband and went to live with my husband, I'm sure she would find herself in a very bad situation. You see, part of the reason he has never hit me before is because I instinctively know how to avoid physical confrontation, thanks to living around my mother. This is not a figment of my imagination, even some of the professionals I have seen have commented on this trait. This person doesn't have a clue how to not to escalate things. She will cower for awhile, but every so often she lashes out and ends up black and blue. (Not by her second husband, though. He's a pretty decent guy, but then her cat picked him.) My husband has told me that he has no problem with the concept of hitting a woman if she "asks" for it. Like I said, if she ever did live with the bastard, she would be in big trouble and God help her, because I'm not sure she could live through it. Heck! She still talks to the psycho she was first married to. It's in her divorce decree that she has to talk to him twice a year, or something like that. That has got to be one of the most insane agreements I have ever heard of. It shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that the lawyer for her divorce, who she praises so highly, was the disbarred one who refered my husband to the criminal lawyer. I may send her a thank you note after this is all over for helping him get such incompetent help. I did consider confronting her after the hearing, but decided it wouldn't serve any useful purpose. If she has any sense at all, she'll give me wide berth, because I won't bother with the "friend" charade.

July 21, 1999
Well, we signed an agreement to let someone lease our house until he can qualify to assume to loan. I had to drive all the way back there to sign it, instead of my husband meeting me at the halfway point and trading custody of the kids there. I swear the man is doing everything in his power to make me spend my money. He never feeds the kids before I pick them up, so they are always hungry. One of my sister's thinks he's on the verge of a serious mental illness and she may be right. He makes more money than me and he keeps insisting that he's on the verge of poverty. He has even told the kids that he will be living out of the van after he moves out of the house. I wonder how the judge would react to the kids visiting him while he's "homeless".

Oh! And he's also going to help that "friend" and her husband move from Louisiana to Ohio here soon. Draw any conclusions you want--I'm not even going to speculate. At least he's going to let me have the dining room set.

Meanwhile, I just remembered that I had created some more pictures to go with my Mythic Path a few weeks back, but I forgot to include them. So, here they are:




You know how everybody likes to tell you that reading fantasy is just escapism? Well, after doing some visualization this weekend to deal with a problem that just wouldn't let me be, I hit upon a truth about myself and fantasy--I don't really escape into it in a normal sense. I know lots of groups of people who like to pretend they are someone else whenever they can. They love having me around at first, because I do have a flair for creativeness, but when they start mixing their fantasy with their realities and begin to destroy their own lives, I ignore the "we are our characters" rule and basically end up saying something to the effect of "Grow up and stop lying to yourself. It doesn't solve anything." What makes it worse, I actually live this philosophy 90% of the time, which iritates people even more, because if I can face some of the more painful parts of my life and make an honest change, then all their excuses for not doing the same themselves are worthless. I couldn't begin to list the people I have alienated because I didn't want to play with lies any more.

You see, I am not only a poet and writer at heart, I'm an engineer. Didn't finish my degree in it, but the training's still there as well as the desire that lead me to the field in the first place. I believe that problems were meant to be solved. To me, fantasy is a laboratory, not a resort or hide-away. There, I examine concepts at different angles and imagine many alternate scenarios. I find it more invigorating than relaxing. And sometimes, after a very fruitful session, I feel like I just won a marathon--tired, weak, but very happy.

I want to be a successful writer. Though you might not be able to tell that here. *grin* I almost never run a spell check on these journal entries, and usually only give them a look-over or two before I put them up. They are usually written late at night, when I am exhausted, or when I am emotionally worked up about something. Frankly, I'm surprised they come out readable at all sometimes.

Anyway, I just want to be successful enough to take care of my children and feel that I have done my best. I don't want celebrity-hood. I don't want to have to deal with people who only want to be around me because they think the brush of Fame will cure their own low self-image--especially if they are someone I know now or have known in the past, who have deserted or abused me because they thought I was not useful enough to them. If I'm not good enough for them now, then I sure as hell don't want to have anything to do with them when I become successful. I don't believe in wasting my time with shallow people, if I can possibly avoid it. If I have to cater to the selfish needs of others, I might as well be a prostitute--at least I would be paid for it. I won't be a bitch, if I can avoid it, but I will not let them latch on to me, because I know it would be the spotlight that they care for and not me.

And if one of these people end up famous--well, good for them, but don't expect me to treat them differently. A jerk who is famous is still a jerk, only with more things at their disposal to make other people miserable. I would probably just ignore their existence--I seriously doubt they would have anything to do with me anyway, unless they really screwed something up and wanted "Good Ol' Fribble" to bail them out. But since I resigned from being "General Rescuer of the Universe" I haven't had too many of these I-know-I-was-a-jerk-but-could-you-help-me-please! petitions anymore. I kind of want to keep it that way.

July 28, 1999
I've been meaning to put up an entry for days, but when I finally get some peace and quiet, I don't really feel like writing lately. Guess I need to be stern with myself.

First off, I had to get a different shift at work to accomodate the sister who is sitting my children. I don't mind, but I'm still not sure about how I'm going to work out Saturdays. I supposedly have a possible canidate for sitting on Saturdays, but I haven't had a chance to talk to her this week. I am also looking for another job--one that goes Monday to Friday. I hope I find something soon.

In other news, I sort of have a date with someone in a month. He called me yesterday morning and asked if it was okay if he flew down to see me. I told him it was fine as long as he wasn't looking for anything more than friendship. I don't trust myself anymore when it comes to romantic relationships.

I found something a week ago that made me smile. It's a quote from the French mathematician, Pascal:
"There may or may not be a God; I may or may not believe in Him. The only way I can lose is if there is a God and I do not believe in Him. Therefore I shall believe in Him to minimize my downside risk."

I could go on and expound on this and other spiritual subjects, but frankly, I'm beat.

July 30, 1999
Today was a good day. One company called me to see if I would be a good canidate for a position they had open. I didn't have enough experience in one area for them, but it was nice to know that I had impressed them enough back in April that they still are trying to find a spot for me, even though I spent eight years being a full time mom. There may be another possible position for me there opening up in a few weeks. It's nice to feel wanted.

I also had an interview today for a possible promotion to a different department within my own company and that went quite well too. I should know by next Friday if I get the job or not.

I have a sitter for my childern tomorrow and if I get the promotion, I won't need a Saturday sitter. Also, one of the customers I helped today said I was the most helpful person he had ever dealt with from my company, though actually he was refering to our client company. It really made me feel special.

Got to the school open house just time to take care of everything. I was a frazzle and misunderstood what the PTA president was trying to say to me, but she was a sweet person and realized I was about to drop from the heat and such. I finally figured everything out a little later. The kids will start school this Monday.

When we got home, I was really too beat to fix something, so I had pretty much decided we were going to munch on leftovers. Then we realized that the apartment complex was holding the summer pool party in the pool behind our apartment. The party was suppose to have happened a few weeks back, but got rained out. We feasted on pizza, played, talked, listened to the DJ, and won movies tickets and $150 off our next month's rent. It was so wonderful to just relax and not worry about anything.

The only downside to today is that one of my friends from work is in the hospital. He had been coughing up blood last weekend and didn't go to the emergency room until Tuesday night. (Several of us were badgering him.) He had the beginnings of an ulcer he told me, but I suspect it's more. He did come to work Wednesday, but went home after two hours. I think he may have stayed his whole shift yesterday, but since I go home before him, I'm not sure. Today, he called and said he was in the hospital.

I suppose you may wonder what good I can see in this. Well, there is a great deal. My friend has a suicidal streak and I was afraid it was going to keep him from seeking medical help. Now he's showing a desire to live. I promised him once that I would write his biography one day. I reminded him of that promise Wednesday. He first muttered that his life was boring and then he perked up and decided that maybe it wasn't that boring after all. I'm trying to talk him into letting me start writing it now. God knows writing about my own life has helped me put thing in a much better prespective. I think it may help him heal too.

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