Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane update

Well, the news media is showing tragedy and destruction: flooding, fires, winds. Here in Pearland, we have, um, flickering lights. That's it! The winds are picking up a little bit, palm trees swaying back and forth, but it's not even dramatic enough to scare Muffin and her friend.

It's interesting watching the news - I can't seem to tear myself away. It's macabre, I tell you. "Oh, look - the storm has moved 5 miles! Wow!"

The worst item at this point is simply that all the winds seem to have stirred up pollens that my nose does not like. And the lights do keep flickering. No telling how long they'll stay on - or how long they'll be off once they go out for good.

Until they do, hold good thoughts. We're high and dry!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who invited Ike?

So, looks like we'll have this unwelcome visitor: Ike. Muffin and I are staying put. In fact, my mom's even coming over to be with us. I was frightened earlier today, but have come to realize that a) I'm complying with the officials' emergency directives, and b) I'm doing the best I can with what I have. So, my wonderful nephew came over to help me move the patio furniture into the garage, I brought my trash back into the house, made an last-minute run to HEB, and got all the ice out of the freezer so that I can refill it tomorrow. I'm doing last-minute loads of laundry, and will clean the bathtubs and fill them with water tomorrow afternoon. After that, I'm not sure what else I can do, so I'm calm and confident at this point.

By the way, HEB rocks! I went out at 5 this afternoon, drove past the boarded-up and close Wal-Mart on my way to the well-stocked HEB. They even had batteries! People were calm, even joking and friendly. One nice young couple even offered to carry my groceries out to the car for me. (Jeez, I don't look that old, do I??) Kudos to the store, for being well-stocked and well-managed!

I'll try to keep posting as long as I can, until we lose power. Hold good thoughts!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Who's in control here?

So, conventional wisdom says that even if you can't control what's happening to you, then you can control your response to it

If only that were accurate! It's far from it, for two reasons. First, is the Clayton Williams model. Remember him? He lost a 1990 bid for the Texas governor's seat after observing that bad weather is similar to rape. If it's going to happen to you anyway then you may as well lay back and enjoy it. EXCUSE ME? The ex dumps a load of crap on me and since I can't prevent it then I may as well enjoy getting f#*ked?? Puh-leaze! That implies that since I can't control these I may as well enjoy it.

The second reason conventional wisdom isn't so wise is the conflicting conventional wisdom which says that when something sucks that it's more than OK to acknowledge and to feel that pain. So, how do I "choose my response" as beng reasoned and calm, while simultaneously acknowledging and feeling the eviscerating pain? Doing both doesn't seem terribly feasible.

So...then what DO I do when the ex pulls yet another one? Like decreeing that it's OK for Muffin to do things with him and the mistress in a pseudo-family setting but not with the three of us because she will "misunderstand". Or packing up, moving out and leaving rooms full of mess and junk that he just doesn't want to deal with, but that I get to clean up? (AKA a metaphor for this whole process!). Or having the mistress teach my kid to ride a bike?

I'm going to keep looking for an answer. I can't "not let it bother me," but I also can't seethe over it endlessly. I'm sure there's a third option, but I don't see it yet. I suspect it's in that category of "forgiveness" - of acknowledging that such behavior is just part and parcel of who he is, and that expecting anything different would be tantamount to expecting him to breathe water. It just cannot happen because he is constitutionally incapable of it.

Does that mean it's acceptable when he pulls this garbage? No. So how do I deal with it? I'm not sure yet, but I'm going to keep searching high and low for a healthy way to do so.

And breathe.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Puddle? What puddle?

Oh - me. That puddle. The one who sat in the corner of her bedroom sobbing for two hours yesterday, convinced that she was a horrible person and completely worthless because so very many people are now telling her that she should be over the pain of this divorce. I actually was feeling as if I didn't want to face the whole world. Wasn't going to kill myself - just didn't want to come out of my corner. Ever. One person even went so far as to observe "You know, I don't know that she wants to get over this."

Huh? Doesn't want to get over the feeling that my guts are spread all over the floor and the very viscera of my being is oozing all over the world? Doesn't want to get over the exhausting pain, throbbing through my marrow every minute of every day? WHAT THE F*#&;?? Of COURSE I want to get over this!

The other school of thought among my friends says that my problem is that I've not allowed myself to fully experience the pain. Well, of course not! Allowing myself to experience the pain results in me sitting in the floor sobbing for hours and what good does THAT do? I just end up exhausted at the end of it, and embarrassed!

However, one wise person did point out that it's about time for me to try forgiveness. What does forgiveness mean? It doesn't mean saying that the way I was treated was acceptable. It doesn't mean telling the ex that what he did was OK. Far from it. I think it just means not holding the actions of the others against them. The litany is long, and includes things like this:

1) In December, the now-ex comes home giddy about the job candidate he's interviewing, making sure to tell the wife how "hot" she is and that she's a former model.
2) In January, the now-ex and wife go to a function the former job candidate (now employee) chairs. Afterward, the husband e-mails his best friend about how he'd like to have sex with the woman.
3) In February, after the now-ex and wife share their Valentine's dinner, the now-ex calls the woman and spends an hour on the phone with her, giggling and being silly. The wife doesn't hear the entire conversation, but at one point he's holding the phone to the dog's ear, so the woman can talk to the dog.
4) From the day the woman is hired, she and the now-ex spend numerous nights "working" at the office, the two of them staying alone until midnight - and later.
5) In March, the wife overhears the now-ex and the woman saying how they love each other.
6) In April, the husband and the woman make a bet involving the NCAA final basketball game. Loser gets to tie the winner to the bed, and must bring whipped cream, restraints, and champagne.
7) The wife, growing increasingly suspicious, starts checking the now-ex's Blackberry. She finds e-mails between the two of them: "I love you."

So, when the two of them announce in August that they're getting married - but that No, they weren't having an affair, I'm supposed to a) believe them and b) forgive them? HUH?

Actually, it doesn't matter. It's completely irrelevant whether Tab A actually went into Slot B or not. They may or may not have actually had "an affair," but they were rude and disrespectful. Forgiving them means understanding that the two are inherently irresponsible, disrespectful, and inconsiderate. They truly see nothing wrong with any of their actions - just like a hurricane sees nothing wrong with its actions. The wake of havoc it leaves behind is merely an artifact of its nature, not the result of any conscious choice.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that their behaviors were good or even decent - the behaviors are merely artifacts of the character of the two of them, and it's pointless for me to waste energy worrying about it. The two of them are NEVER going to understand that their behavior was irresponsible, inconsiderate and disrespectful. They're never going to come close to apologizing for it. However, I'm going to try very hard to stop wasting energy on them. I'm not going to let it get to me - for past behaviors, or the myriad future ones I'm certain are to come.