Four months since Mom died. I feel a presence near, only lately. I don't recognize this person, but truly I never knew my mother. I knew a lazy, selfish drunk most of my life and a tiny gentle little person who was a child in every way towards the end of hers. I've missed the peace of the rest home and I've missed that little soul. But that is not my mother. I feel this presence and my sister Dessie at times and it's nice. No big deal. Just nice.
I've ordered stones for Mom and Dessie's graves---heart-shaped and matching. Modest, but lovely. They are buried on either side of James. Bill and I were at the cemetery a couple of weeks ago, tending the graves and Bill asked, "I thought Dessie buried over there (pointing to Mom's grave), who's in that grave?" He's losing it, you guys. Old age is right around the corner for some of you, brace yourself.
Bookslinger, you asked me to post about holidays. Well, I hate all holidays and the necessity of properly celebrating them and I'm a total moron about celebrating holidays. We had a nice New Years Eve; I made a candlelight dinner with steak and shrimp and salad and dessert. Wait, maybe that was last year. Anyway, one year, I did that. LOL.
Valentines comes two days after Bill's birthday--he's 62 now. I hate both holidays. Because he has everything it's impossible to buy for him. It hits right when we're paying the piper for christmas, although this year, not so much. I wanted to take our grown up kids out to dinner at Outback, but he nixed that idea---too expensive. We ended up having friends over for dinner and cake. No, maybe that was our anniversary.
Valentines---what an excuse to spend money! I got him a box of chocolate covered cherries and he got me a stuffed dog that sings "I Feel Good." He always gives me sentimental cards and I always give him funny ones. I used to give him sentimental ones, but now I can't find ones that say, "Remember when I used to worship the ground you walked on? You're still okay, but I no longer feel that way. Maybe I will again, but for now, Happy Birthday." so I try to find funny ones that show the affection I feel without waxing poetic. I think---I hope---sometime I'll feel differently.
For now, our relationship is sweet and peaceful. I'm afraid to trust that, though. Bill is going to counseling and trying so hard. But we're avoiding difficult subjects, like money. I get pretty tired working full time, but it's worth it because it pays for my health insurance and buys me personal freedom. I also, of course, am going to counseling and working on my own negativity and pessimism.
I'm struggling with my testimony, but I feel part of this is the lack of attendance due to my job and part is due to the residual bitterness from the terrible sexual abuse situation in my ward. They changed our ward boundaries and we have a lot of new strong members who aren't in any way a part of the situation, but the pall remains. Our leadership, in what I think is a tribute to stupidity, put the former Relief Society president, and mother of a victim, in as primary pianist and the former Young Womens president and mother of the perpetrator, in as primary chorister.
The chorister has a strong and vibrant personality; she's full of hubris. The pianist is quiet and strong. She's also seething. I'm sure it bothers her to hear her "enemy" telling the little girls how special they are. The thought bothers me. The hypocrisy in the way her actions contradicts her words is mind blowing. Another friend said awhile back, " 'chorister' " said, 'I don't think 'pianist' likes me.' " I think she and her family, because the other woman is so quiet and I'm so loud, though I was the organizer and the one with the strongest feelings about the issue. Neither was true. I was the most conflicted, loving them both.
Now, I'm sick of the both of them. Both thought their butts were made out of gold and were seriously offended by the situation and the way it impinged on their elite status. The rest of us just got hurt---the girls got hurt twice. The former RS president told me strongly to stay neutral and stay out of two sexual abuse---actual rape cases--in our ward. I refused. She sure wanted me to take a side when it involved her, but she never stood up for the others. If her child wasn't affected, she'd not have had an opinion in this either. If the womens' situations were reversed, I think they'd both still be equally offended. It's not about the issue, it's about their ego and pride.
So, obviously, I've got some residual resentment. And some of it is toward my husband. He said last night that he feels attending Sunday School where the perpetrators stepfather teaches is a betrayal of me. Three years later and all that bad treatment, he thinks THIS is a betrayal? I didn't say a word, though, I simmered. Hell, I could give him his betrayals, line item.
Well, holidays. I like St. Patrick's Day. You don't have to buy anybody a card. I made corned beef and cabbage, which we both love.
Easter, I cooked a ham. No Bill cooked it. He overcooked it, actually. I bought my grandchildren some new clothes and actually went to church. Not because it was Easter, I didn't realize it was that sunday, but because I'd promised a friend we'd go together. We're both trying to re-enter the church LOL. She didn't make it, but I did.
Bill asked Friday morning, "do you need me to get eggs to color?" I said, "No, I don't do stuff anymore." Last year, I'd just left him and he bought eggs and dye and had the grandkids over. this year, they did it at their mom's house.
One year since Dessie's death. It seems like yesterday and I miss her so. I can't believe she's gone. I have reconciled with my baby sister, though, as a result of the events of last year. We've found a new respect for each other and I am enjoying her immensely.
Sarah's wedding brought out all the problems in my marriage, but I handled it differently. The moment he started objecting to giving Sarah money---he'd told me he'd give her $1000, a goodly sum, for her next wedding, I said, "okay, I'm out of this. You work it out with Sarah." And boy did he sputter. I kid you not. I said, "If you don't have any money, tell her, don't tell me to tell her." Of course, he's always broke, according to him. At that point, he made the decision to just write her a check and let her handle it herself. He said, "I'm not going to make her come to me for money." I just stared at him.
Then Sarah was going to have a garden wedding in the backyard and have her dad grill pork ribs. Well in April we have snow in the backyard in Cedar City. I was trying to tell her this and she got mad and started telling me how I wasn't supporting her and I said, "I will support you in whatever you want to do. But you have to do it. I work, too, and I don't have the energy to put on a wedding. You will have to plan it and put it together." And she, like her dad, sputtered. Suddenly the wedding got simpler. I ended up "only" making potato salad for 200 people. I never want to look at potato salad again as long as I live.
But I didn't do much, she budgeted, and his family pitched in and it was a beautiful wedding.
In AA we have a saying, "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got." It's true. I'm sick of being the go-between and whipping boy for my husband and my kids. Bill doesn't want to be seen as cheap, he wants me to do it for him.
We haven't had a real major fight since I've been back though. We hardly even speak meanly to each other.
I can get on a roll and blame this on the fact that Bill pays for very few of my expenses and is saving a bundle on my health insurance; I get caught up in resentment then. But I'm making an effort to look for the silver lining. Maybe Pollyanna wasn't so far off. I'm only beginning to realize how very negative and sad I've been. I'm also starting to look at the bad spending habits I've developed in the last five years and hope to make some positive changes in that vein, as well.
I'm on DHEA and a health food store supplement that stimulates HGH. My research shows that stress depletes this and that this is becoming a standard treatment for fibromyalgia/CFIDS. I feel better. I love my job. I'm content, for the moment, in my home and in my marriage. My kids are stable. I think I'm finding a new authenticity as I'm not the caretaker I was in my friendships and in my ward. I am who I am and I don't have the energy or physical stamina to be anything else. I'm leaning on God in a way I never did before.
Perhaps I'm coming out of the dark. Knock on wood.