Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for July, 2014

Your Reputation vs Your Character


I mentioned my brother in law is staying with us.

I had joked previously that that neighbors must be talking. And it had nothing to do with Mike. Brad has had a lot of driving jobs this year, so he gets a rental car and drives home Thurs. nights and we take the car back to the airport Friday morning. Then, 45 minutes later, we are home with his car. So, this year, late Thursday night, various cars have pulled in. An Outback, a Ram, a Flex, and Fusion, an Impala, a Taurus, etc. Now, Mike is there, so one night it was a Stratus, and then he took it back to sis and took her car, so the next night was a PT Cruiser. These cars are all there while Brad’s car isn’t.

Well, Mike is concerned now. He keeps apologizing for ruining my reputation. Or…further ruining it, I guess.

It got me thinking, and I told him my thoughts, but I wanted to write them here as well.

Your reputation is what people think of you, your character is who you are. I think there is a strange element of pride in worrying about your reputation. I could let my pride stop me from helping out someone who needs me…so that way other people think I’m a  better person.

Do you see how ridiculous that looks when you word it like that?

I can help him and look bad. Or I can look good and let him suffer. Why on earth should I worry about what other people are THINKING while I’m DOING?

My brother said it the other day…”Punkie, you are who we go to when we need help. Because you help. You don’t worry about it. You just help fix it. If we need hugs and prayers we’ll go somewhere else. You aren’t so good at those things.”

So, my reputation may not be so hot, but who I am is pretty cool actually.

And, I told Brad when we discussed it. Mike is in a really bad place. I’ve been there. I’ve had the “I’ll pray for you” with no actual help given. Mike has fallen down a hole, and people are walking by shouting “I’ll pray for you” and “Well, maybe you should have taken some rope so you can pull yourself up.” and just a bunch of crap answers. And, they continue on their merry way, nice and clean and pretty and looking like good people, and they can tell their friends about how they saw this person who needs their prayers, down in a hole.

And here I am,  climbing in and out of the hole, filthy, I certainly don’t look like somebody you want to talk to.

But the people who are seeing the circles under my eyes and the mud and the scratches and judging, don’t know I’m taking him food and water until he’s strong enough to climb out with me.

I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back. I’m saying this to say, help where you can. Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t worry about your reputation.

Once I let go of trying to save everyone else’s thoughts about me, I was able to actually help and do and fix things. And, it’s been really nice.


I’ll Tie the Last 2 Posts Together

My family and my tiny house.

My family is huge, and untangling is not an easy feat. I have a brother in law I love to death, Mike. He’s married to evil sister.

Mike is living on our couch for the week. I’m not sure what after that.

I see no reason to be mean or hurtful to Mike. I actually have no intention of being mean to evil sister.

I deleted my family from various social media sites while back. So, I missed the exciting start of yesterday.

Where calm, cool, and kind of wimpy Mike outted my sister, and her affair, to her 1200 friends.

You know why evil sister got that name? She’s mean first of all. But, as my marriage was falling apart, she was SOOOOOO in love with Mike, and their lives would be prefect and they would get married and ride off into the sunset together, and God would bless them because they were virgins, and that is why my X and I had so many problems, we didn’t wait till we were married. When my ex cheated, it was my fault, I could have/should have been a better wife. She knew exactly how she would keep Mike happy every moment of every day, and they would never deal with that.

When she found condoms in my bathroom, I was a whore.

When I got dressed to go to work, where I was a bartender, she lectured me about how I must have such low self esteem if I was going to show strangers my cleavage.

And, when I refused to change clothes, she tried to convince my parents, whose car I was borrowing at the time, that I was racing their Wrangler, I was irresponsible, I was the reason it was having a problem, and she really needed it more, so she could get to church, while her husband worked. And…IT WORKED.

I spent many, many years, being called a whore by her and told I was going to hell.

And, I held my head high, and moved on with my life, and am in a good place. I let my life and my actions speak for themselves, and I quit taking the bait she was giving.

Yesterday, Mike found out ES has been cheating on him, for about a year. He found out months ago, but was assured it had stopped. It hadn’t. He found out it was still going on, he found out about other guys. And, he left. ES said she’s not sorry, the other man is her one true love, she never loved Mike. she doesn’t see any reason to try to work it out, she planned to leave him once he was done paying for her degree anyway, her plans just got pushed up a bit.

She called the other man’s wife. Who is 7 months pregnant.  And, basically taunted her, saying OM didn’t love her, otherwise he wouldn’t cheat. He would stay, but not be happy. And, he could cheat whenever he wanted, because the wife would never leave and he knew it.

Sis decided to do damage control and come tell me first. She was too hysterical to understand at first, but soon I realized the tears were from embarrassment and losing her boyfriend. I bit my tongue. I didn’t gloat. I told her she was wrong, about everything. I told her I was sorry to hear that she’d done that to her kids. I told her the OM was not a true love, and she wasn’t special. She asked me a couple general divorce questions, and then she left.

So, we called Mike. He came over late last night. He ranted for a few hours, then we told him he needed to sleep, and everybody went to bed.

He’s a wreck.

I’m going to Cleveland tomorrow, otherwise the husband might be concerned about him being here. But, Mike needs someplace. The things she said to him were designed to be as hurtful as possible.

I went with him today to get his car and her wedding ring. I guess my whole family is telling him that he can win her back, don’t give up. I’m the only one who said “pawn the ring, file the paperwork, she can win you back if she realizes her mistakes.” and he’s thanked me for it.

A friend said “well, I hope you helping him doesn’t cause a division in your family.” You know, there already is. And, I’ll take Mike’s side and deal with the fallout, if any.

Though, today as I helped Mike load his things, my brother pulled me aside.

“I’m impressed Punkie. You are cool and calm and even being nice. But, don’t pretend,there is a huge part of you inside that is thrilled this is how ES’s life is turning out.”

No…not thrilled. Sad for Mike and their kids. And, I guess, there is a part of me that wants to say “I told you so”. There is a lot of me wanting to say “What the hell? I was single with a boyfriend, and I was a whore? But, you can commit adultery, with another married person WITH A PREGNANT WIFE and that’s cool? You can use Mike and then trash him? You owe a lot of apologies.”

But, I don’t think I’ll ever get one, because she’s different, and this is special, and I don’t understand. And, trying to get one just stays entangled with the crap. So, I will help Mike, because he is rightfully devastated. And, he needs a sofa and a hug more than I need a battle over who is more of a slut.

Mike did apologize for the crap she’d said, which was sweet, but not his responsibility.

My house always seems big enough for one more. And my family just isn’t worth any of my time or efforts. Two facts that are being driven home more and more often lately.

A Houseful


There are currently 8 boys in my living room. There will probably be more later. It’s raining out, so they are all in here.

When I had my boys, everyone wanted to joke “are you going to keep up with your parents?” I’d just respond “No, I don’t actually like kids.” Everyone thought I was joking, and I was serious. I liked MY kids. And, I have been told on more than one occasion, I have no maternal instincts. I won’t argue with it. I remember clearly, sitting in the car, crying to my husband, that I was not cut out for this mom thing.

But, apparently, once children turn 8 or 9, I like them. I like preteens and teenagers. I just am not crazy about little kids.

It would seem all the kids in the neighborhood missed the memo that I am not good at this parenting thing.

Brad laughed at me the other day “Well, Miss I’m Never Having More Kids, how do you feel about your decision now?” You know how I feel about it? Great. If I had more kids would I be as patient? Would I be as willing to overlook the messes? Would I accept one more hug after having little hands pulling on me all day? Would all these boys enjoy being here as much if there were babies eating their Legos and chewing on the Pokemon cards?

I am loving being the spare parent. The person here when there are no other parents here. The one who hears about this one’s fear of lightening, or that one not wanting to tell his parents about his report card. I was happy yesterday when the 13 yr old came up to me in the kitchen and told me of the epic battle that resulted in 5 stitches in his ear, then he got quiet and leaned in “Hey…have you ever had stitches? Does it hurt really bad to have them taken out? I’ll be ok, you know?” I’m there handing out popsicles while another boy is telling me he isn’t worried at all about the mass they found the last time his mom went to the doctor. And, she’ll be ok, right? I mean, doctors know what they are doing, right? I’m the one holding the 8 yr old girl on my lap while she cries because one of the boys called her ugly, and I’m the one yelling at the boy who said it and making him apologize, even if he meant it as a joke.

These kids are getting to the ages they can be left alone, and they are left alone, often. And, they seriously just want somebody to talk to. Somebody to attack hug. Somebody who can calm them down about mom, so they don’t have to upset mom.

I wondered why the kids were here all the time. This area has 200 hundred houses, all built in one of 5 styles. We have the smallest one, and back when Brad bought it, he purposely got the smallest yard, so, why are these kids here all.the.time?

A mom came by the other day to find her kids, and we got to talking. She thanked me. She knows why they are here all the time.She just got started on OCD medication, because she realized she was mad at her boys all day, every day. Because they were boys. And they were messy and loud. She wanted everything perfect, all the time. And, when their 11 yr old selves were less than perfect, she got mad. She was glad they had a safe place to play and make messes and just be kids. And, after sending home messy, exhausted kids all summer, I am the reason she realized something was wrong.

So, I guess I will keep having my tiny house full.

And, it will seem tinier as time goes on, since already the 10 yr olds are my height and they aren’t getting any smaller.

I Feel Good

We had a party on the 12th. We just wanted a party. My parents showed up super early, which was frustrating, then I found out they weren’t leaving when they said they were, which then caused a conflict. I was trying to explain. It wasn’t going well.

It ended up with my mom bawling, my dad screaming he was never abusive, and I was just mad because they took away my flying lessons when I was 16 because I was doing drugs. He stood on my deck and shouted that I did drugs, I do drugs, I am a druggie. I said “I have no idea what you are talking about, I have NEVER done drugs.” and he said “yeah, because we stopped you.” For me to explain the absurdity of ANY of this would take days. Allow me just to say, I’ve never done drugs, I was told I couldn’t fly anymore because it was too expensive. Now, I think it was because I had just been accepted to college, without telling them, and they were punishing me. But anyway, I was never even OFFERED drugs until I was 24. I’ve never even seen pot. Seriously. It is almost embarrassing how naive i am when it comes to this topic. I have joked with my husband many times that not ever doing drugs is the ONE thing i’ve even done right in my life. And then to come out with this? In front of my neighbors? My kids’ friends’ parents? Plus, his “proof” was an actual impossibility. Luckily the party hadn’t started yet. I told him to leave, he wouldn’t. Brad made him leave. Mom left too.

We had our party, it went alright. Then, we left for a few days in Canada. I haven’t heard a word from them. And, I feel good. They were/are toxic. And, I have multiple siblings who will back up my version of events, that my parents insist never happened. I don’t think you can fix something no one will acknowledge is broken.

I couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be making so many enemies lately. A friend made sense of it for me though. For almost 30 years I have let people walk all over me, I’ve tried to keep the peace. I’ve decided to put my own boundaries in place. I won’t try to change or fix you, but don’t make me deal with your issues. And, since I can’t be easily pushed over anymore, they’ve decided to come full force. I was able to recognize what my mother said as manipulation, and what my father said as crazy. I’ve never been able to do that before.

Brad and I explained to the boys we wouldn’t be visiting them anymore. They took it better than expected, they saw the whole thing. Then, they let loose with their own rants and why this was a good thing for them.

Then, we took the kids to the pool, and Brad and I hit the hot tub and I said “well, I suppose this will make our holidays less hectic”. We began to talk, and come up with a plan. And, I’m actually really looking forward to implementing our plan this year.

I just feel like so much stress has been taken off.

The funny (not funny amusing, but funny strange) thing is, while my mom and I talked, before dad joined in, she said “what did you want me to do?” I said “stand up for us once in awhile? Not just let him rant and rage and then tell me I’m too emotional.” Dad came back, and ranted and raged, for probably 10 minutes and I told him to leave. He left, I turned to my mom and said “I never, not once, have ever done drugs.” and she said “I know. I suppose you want me to leave now too, you’re obviously too emotional to talk.”

My dad is insane, and I’ve never liked him anyway. I won’t deal with the crazy. And,my mom asked what she could do, was given the perfect opportunity, but still let him embarrass me in front of the neighbors, in front of my husband, in front of my kids. Her parting words made it clear, she had no intention of working on this, just attempting to manipulate me back into “behaving”.

She walked away with a final “what Punkie? If I divorce him now will that be enough for you? Will you be happy then?”

No, I won’t. You couldn’t even say “stop that, she’s never done drugs.”.

The straw that broke the camel’s back.



Church, huh?

My husband and I don’t attend church. There are many reasons, but we’re just going to leave it at we don’t.

But, we also don’t run screaming when we are near a church. Last week I went to a lovely service at the oldest church in the USA. Right now, we’ve ended up at my parents church many Sundays, because my ex-inlaws go there as well. My kids are with my ex every other sunday, the church is between our homes. So, he sends the kids off with Grandma, and I pick them up, or vice versa. I can NEVER get the timing right to get the kids. And, we’d rather be early than late, so, we usually end up hearing a good bit of the “sermon”. Once, we heard about how everyone needed to own a gun and you could shoot the bad guys faster than the police could get there. I have no idea what that sermon was supposed to be about, we only heard the last half. Which was all about gun rights.

One Sunday we walked in to get the kids. The screens in the foyer were just showing black with red writing, something about a Muslim parade. And a website. There was a guest speaker. We couldn’t see, but we could hear. We never go into the sanctuary. Now, as the talk went on, Brad and I are getting really mad, and Brad muttered something like “this is why I don’t go to church”. The whole sermon, that we heard, was about how Muslims are taking over, and they are ruining the country, and they want to kill us all.


So, it ends, we go to find the kids. They are in the sanctuary with grandma, grandpa, their father, and my 3 brothers. Ok, cool, whatever. We leave.

We then spent the next week hearing about the “sermon”.

Apparently, the woman speaking showed pictures. Of people with their hands cut off, of a body with the head cut off, and a man holding a bloody knife, charred remains of people after bombs went off. Video clips of people saying “we couldn’t find any whole pieces to bury”. Talking about murdering children. The kids were traumatized.

I told my ex-mother in law, the kids were not to attend sermons there anymore. I told my parents the same. I told every single adult they should have walked out with the kids, that was inappropriate.

While I talked, my brother said something like “they didn’t know she was going to do that, she said she was coming to talk about missions.” my mom said “what were we supposed to do? just walk out?” I shouted “Yes! If they’d flipped on ‘barely legal teens and their first interracial gang bang’ you would have ran out. You wouldn’t have worried about how that looked!”

I looked at the church’s reviews that day. Several people were outraged, saying the church owed everyone an apology. Those reviews have been deleted.

My ex-mother in law said they got an automated call, apologizing. The people in charge had no idea that was going to happen.

First of all…bull. You can search for the nicest bathroom in New Hampshire on google. You mean to tell me there was not ONE time she had done this before,  and somebody complained? Or maybe people did complain, and the church just deleted the complaints.

Second, great, you recorded an apology, that I was told about. What about the people who don’t want your automated spam? What about the guests? You didn’t ask to speak to the 10 yr old who couldn’t sleep that night.

Again, the reason for not stopping her was they didn’t know if they should. The senior pastor was out of town, and they didn’t want to upset anyone. My argument still stands. If I get up there and play some porn, apparently they are just all gonna sit there and watch it, because they aren’t sure if it is ok or not.


New Beginnings

I am a member of a forum about infidelity. I’ve been a member since 2008, when I was dealing with my ex, toward the end of our marriage. There is a sub-section about new beginnings. Often, the people in that section are obsessed with being a husband or a wife. They liked being married, obviously the problem was their cheating spouse, now they are divorced, so they can move right on to somebody who “deserves them”.

The problem is, very few people are perfect. While you are dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, it is easy to put your self on a pedestal up on that moral high ground. Yes, I gained weight, but I didn’t cheat. No, I didn’t do the laundry for 3 weeks, but I didn’t cheat. So what I have a temper, I’m not a cheater. Obviously, those are not reasons to cheat, but it doesn’t mean they are good things either. I think often growth is stunted during that phase, because you can’t see your flaws in comparison to someone else’s. I know, I’ve been there.

As I healed, I looked at my ex-husbands complaints. Yes, I’d gained weight. Yes, I had a temper. Yes, I was a slob. No, picking up his phone was not a valid complaint. No, asking him to take out the trash was not a valid complaint. (yes, one of the reasons he gave for cheating was my “emotional abuse, by asking him to take out the trash”)

Now, I’m pretty happily married, and would like to stay that way. Was there really anything my ex said I needed to work out. The temper and the slop thing were big. And, while my husband loves me, and has always known me heavy, he also wants somebody to DO things with. If I can’t keep up, he will be less happy. And, honestly, those “flaws” made ME less happy.

As I approach my 2nd anniversary, I began to write about how my life was so great, because of my husband. But when I thought about it, I realized, my new beginning wasn’t based around HIM, it was things I had done, for me. Things I had learned. I am nothing like I was when I was married before, and, quite a bit different now than I was when I met Brad.

My new beginning includes

  • Graduating college
  • Learning to be independent. There is no one telling me I can’t. I can take the subway in a strange city, and drive through Manhattan without a problem. I had always been told those things were too hard and too dangerous. Last week I spent 10 hours a day, and 3 days, in Boston, by my self. And, I did it. I remember being terrified to navigate airports by myself, and I do it all the time now.
  • Losing weight, which isn’t necessarily what I’m excited about. But, the process of getting there has made me stronger and happier, I sleep better, I feel better, I’ve made friends. This past weekend, I was at a museum when my son wanted to go on a simulator. 2 years ago I would have told him no, because he was too little to go by himself, and I certainly wasn’t going to embarrass myself when I didn’t fit. Last week though, he asked, and I looked at him, looked at the ride, and said “come on” climbed in and put on the seatbelt without hesitating. It was a lot of fun.
  • Learning that I can. I know that is vague, but I don’t know how else to word it. I just can. I can walk 10 miles a day, I can figure things out, I can do it. After a couple decades of the subtle abuse, the being told, over and over and over again I couldn’t. Big things, being told I was so stupid, I was a fucking idiot. or I’d be so lost on my own. to little things “No, you need to stay with us, you might get lost”. I was an 18 yr old, with a 10pm curfew, because it was too dangerous to be out with my friends later. I needed to be home, where I would be protected.
  • Getting a tattoo. I haven’t gotten it yet, but I’ve wanted one for about 15 yrs now. I always put it off, because, it was a sin. I was told over and over how it was a sin, and since you were stuck with it forever, you would always be sinning. That is why a man cutting his hair and shaving was ok, because if you decided it was a sin later, then you could stop sinning. Well…by that logic, I will always have my son I conceived before I got married, so, I will always be sinning. I have the rough draft drawn up, just waiting to get back from a trip, because I plan to enjoy the hot tub while I’m away, and I can’t with a new tattoo.
  • I’ve learned to be content where I’m at. Previously, I was sure I’d be happier if we had more money, if our bills were paid off, if we had a bigger house, a different car. I’m happier now. You know what changed? nothing. I changed my attitude. I decided to he happy, to be thankful for all the good we do have.
  • And, really, what prompted the whole post…I’m the new 3rd and 4th grade soccer coach for my boys’ soccer team. I was asked, and started to say no. Then, I tried to talk around it, like Brad can coach, and I will stand there on the sidelines. And…no. I’m the coach. I know nothing about soccer, but I guess I will learn quick. I VOLUNTEERED to do this, on my own. A year ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago…no way. I couldn’t do it, I would do it wrong, I would embarrass myself, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the kids, people would laugh at me. Now? I don’t care what people say. I CAN keep up with the kids, And, I’m a fast learner. If I do it “wrong” there were plenty of other opportunities for the other parents to step up.

I’m a better person, I’m a more complete person, not just because I have Brad in my life, but because I worked on my flaws and my weaknesses. I LIKE me now. I don’t know that I could ever honestly say that before. I think, today, i am the best me I can be. And, tomorrow, I’ll be better.

Yesterday, I saw home decor on Pinterest. It was giant letters on a living room wall that said “it is well with my soul” and, it really is. It’s a nice, but very foreign  feeling.

Odd anniversary post, but, there it is, all true. Maybe next week I’ll write a gushy post about how amazing my guy is.

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