The time markers

What used to be special days that I’d anticipate, are now days I typically dread, want to just get behind me, and hate the feeling that they marked time. 

Yesterday, my youngest child became a teenager.  Her birthday is shared by her oldest brother.  It’s also our anniversary (this has always been a non-event).  A couple days from now will be one more birthday (another son).  Throw in Father’s day, and you might understand why when my kids were all little , I sometimes referred to this as hell week.  It was hard to throw three parties together and an event for their father, all in a few days back then.  Many of those years, I was either pregnant or nursing or chasing a toddler.  It’s not quite as challenging in those ways now, but still not something I look forward to.

Isn’t that sad?  In another lifetime, I used to love birthdays.  Long ago, I used to keep a birthday folder/calendar, plan and buy cards and gifts ahead of time, and feel excited about making it a special day.  I used to feel that way about other holidays too.  Now I see the holidays and birthdays as marking time, and demanding money and energy in scant supply.

My daughter was excited to have her brother actually here with her, and while he didn’t seem to give a hoot what happened himself, he fondly listened to all her ‘conferences’ with him to decide the lunch and dinner menus, and which cake to choose.  (It was hotdogs, coleslaw, and homemade oven baked beans for lunch, then meatloaf, Irish mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli with cheese for dinner.  Oh, and carrot cake for dessert!) 

The birthday breakfast is traditionally that the birthday kid goes to breakfast with their father.  I started that tradition when we just had our firstborn.  I think it was a prescient intuition to allow special attention from a passive father.  In hindsight, I wish I had never initiated and encouraged that.  Oh well.  Now it’s an expectation and every year he gets to be the fun birthday breakfast dad, while the worried tired mom tries to pull a rabbit out of the moneyless hat.

This year it was the same old.  Except to make the week more exciting, the vitamix died (not under warranty anymore).  I depended on that vitamix because on a bad day, I’d have dark green smoothies (kale, spinach, parsley or cilantro, a few blueberries, and one inch of a banana and water).  On a bad day, it’s sometimes the only thing that doesn’t cause discomfort for me to eat.  He dug out an ancient little blender, but it just doesn’t work the same.  A bigger blow was that the second car we recently got for a thousand dollars made a bad funny noise that turned out to be a two thousand dollar repair.  Goodbye second car.  Now it’s back to one old car again.  I told my daughters that the thankful place is that it didn’t kaput on the highway at high speed, and so no one was hurt.  That part I really mean.  I’ve had the call from the emergency room, and never want to again.

I plan to get my daughter a used bike (hers is getting too small) for her birthday, and she’s quite patient to wait for it.  She was very sweet about the special meals, and I did manage to get her to a movie matinee of Maleficent with her sister.  It’s one of those times where you wait for the inner or outer reminder of ‘how much worse’ it could be to keep perspective, but just one year, I’d like to be able to get her gift ahead of time, and not worry about money.  And be in the place where I’m dressing normally again and going out normally again.  It’s difficult to not be angry with myself as though beating myself might change something.

The strange and awful thing about yesterday was that it was a terrible physical pain day.  I woke up and felt almost crippled by the pain.  My knee was much more painful, and suddenly in the morning yesterday, I could barely walk on the opposite ankle. It felt like the bone was stuck or twisted.  The old arthritis in my left hip flared up with a vengeance, and physically I was absolutely miserable.  I literally limped and hobbled through the day. 

I could say ‘what the heck’ and wonder why and how I seemed to deteriorate so fast, but I actually suspected that I knew why.  It was our anniversary. 

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13 Responses to The time markers

  1. Amanda says:

    It will get better – hang in there! You can’t change the past but you can influence the future. Your daughter sounds like a very precious gift. I saw Maleficent last week – fairy tales have certainly changed since my day. The knight in shining armor turns out to be a woman with killer cheekbones and lips to die for and prince charming looked like he would only be capable of picking out a pair of decent Jimmy Choo’s with you and maybe some scatter cushions at a push.

    I’m getting on in years and life is getting confusing…………

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exodus says:

    The worst part of living with the PA man is that they seem to suck the life energy right out of us. I sometimes remember Christmases and how much energy and enthusiasm I had to decorate and plan presents way in advance. Slowly, little by little, year after year the enthusiasm and energy died. I don’t even recognize myself anymore. My stepsister’s daughter graduated and I didn’t even send her a card!! She’s worked so hard and heading off to Notre Dame this summer and I completely ignored her. There was a time when I never let the grass grow under my feet. If I needed to do something or I wanted to do something, I did it right then. Now, I can barely even muster the breath to inflate a single blood cell.

    Like you, I often found myself intentionally creating circumstances where my husband would be thrust into playing the part of a caring ‘ father’ to our dogs. I would tell him that Mollie was excited that it was Friday and she knew that he would be home to take her to the beach. Oh my gosh, how truly pathetic of me. I also tried to make the dogs feel like there was a reason to be excited when daddy pulled into the driveway.. My pathetic attempts to script normal into our lives was truly sick. I realize that now but at the time I was so desperate to create anything happy and positive.

    I dread the upcoming holidays. I don’t think I’m going to do anything. It’s so much work and I’m the only one left who ever cared. I only decorated and celebrated for myself and my dogs- together as a family. My husband was just a fortunate ‘guest’. My dogs loved the holidays and loved wearing their bells around their neck and standing next to their stockings waiting for a treat. There’s nothing childlike in this house anymore except for my husband who has the childlike spirit of Damien Thorn. Maybe I’ll replace the standard boxwood wreath with a pentagram.

    PJ’s. Have you considered just taking a weekend ‘ off’ and going to a B&B or even a Motel6? It makes a huge difference in our mental and physical energy to put ourselves in unknown territory. When I left a few weeks ago, I had absolutely no idea where I was going or what I would do. I would have been happy just lying in bed in a hotel all morning and then walking to the lobby to drink coffee and read tourist maps. Actually, I did find one pamphlet about kayaking and so I decided to do that even with my bum shoulder. I figured that it would be good for me to replace all my psychosomatic pain with real hard-earned pain from over-exertion.

    Your Vitamix died? I thought they were supposed to last forever!! I gave my husband one for Christmas one year..hmmmm let’s see….2004. It’s truly the best mixer out there. I pour black coffee in mine with some ice and some 1/2 and 1/2 and that’s my daily fog lifter. I quit making the raw smoothies because I realized that they were extending my life. Why would I want to do that?! See if you can buy a new one on their website with the monthly payment plan.


    • Seeing the Light says:

      I just saw this comment of yours, Exodus. I don’t know if you will see this, but I have to tell you your Damien Thorn/pentagram remarks got me laughing so hard I still can’t keep a straight face. (Thank you :)) If only it wasn’t so close to the truth!!!

      “I quit making the raw smoothies because I realized that they were extending my life. Why would I want to do that?!” Because you are either to get away from “Damien” one of these days and you can live for that precious piece of life you have without him in it!


      • Seeing the Light says:

        Oops, that was supposed to say “Because you are going to get away from…”


      • Exodus says:

        Good Morning Seeing,
        I must confess to you that I even contacted a ‘ ghost buster’ company once because I felt as though evil had possessed our home. I even spoke to a minister who lived across the street and asker her if she had noticed anything strange about our house before we moved in. When I use the word ‘ evil ‘ to describe what I live with, I literally mean evil. I live where the Revolutionary and Civil wars were fought and so, I even considered colonial ghosts on our property.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever read anything about the properties of energy ( positive and negative) but, I truly believe that my evil husband attracts more and more evil to our home and my life in general. He’s a magnet to evil. It’s so bad Seeing that I always know when he’s really full of rage because several light bulbs will suddenly blow-out or the stove element will blow up or other appliances will quit working. The other thing is that since my husband moved in this house ( I was actually here before he was), more and more evil people have moved into the neighborhood and the good folks have left. The man next door is a psychopath who tried to murder his first wife. Then he purchased a bride from the Phillipines who has a daughter and he’s certainly not the man he pretended to be when he first brought her to America. He’s so mean to them now. At first, he dressed nice, carried his Bible with him all the time, plastered all of his cars with ‘ Jesus’ bumper stickers. Anyway, on Good Friday of this year, I was checking my surveillance cameras and there he was, standing next to my garage, drinking a beer at 8am and smoking a cigarette ( I guess that is how Christians celebrate Good Friday? ) staring at my house like he was in a trance. Saturday morning my dog woke up unable to walk or sit down or sleep and 2 days later, my dog died. The other creepy thing is that the man brings animals into the home for the little girl but then the animals disappear. Anyway, I’m surrounded and it’s depressing and quite frankly, scary. Since the man moved in, he’s verbally attacked both my husband and I, threatened us and even convinced my husband and other neighbors to cut down trees, hedges, etc.. He set up a wifi account and wanted the neighbors to use it. I knew something was terribly wrong with the man but at the time, I didn’t know he had attempted to murder his wife. I felt very uncomfortable living next to him…my female intuition was telling me that he was obsessed with me and as it turned out, he was. He even made his wife photograph the inside of my house so that she could duplicate my decorating. Even creepier, he keeps photographs of his exwife all over their house. Eventually, one day when I was here alone, he verbally attacked me again and that time I called the police. I was so unbelievably upset I could barely stand being in my skin. I was crying and shaking and called my husband at work and asked him to please come home immediately. My husband took his sweet time of course and then accused me of causing this man to attack me. That was another deal breaker in my marriage. ENUFF said.

        My husband tends to side with shysters against me all the time. A few years ago my husband wanted to buy a new car. I didn’t want one because I knew we couldn’t afford it but he came home with a car one night just to test drive. I never even looked at the car but the next day when we took it back to the dealership, I told the sales person that I simply could not afford the car. My husband blew up at me in front of everyone in the dealership and accused me of being difficult and never wanting to have any fun. Fun? Car payments for 5 years are not what I consider to be fun and the financing was horrible. Being in debt is not fun. I was so unnerved by my husband’s attack that I just walked away and as usual, he came out after me and seated me comfortably on his roller coaster. He began his sweet and endearing seduction and before I knew it, we were in the finance office signing papers for a lease which I was VERY opposed to. Then they sent us to this other woman who tried to convince me that we need to purchase an additional expensive coating on our leased vehicle that would exposed to acid rain. I told her that I as not the least bit concerned about protecting a leased vehicle and secondly, I’ve had cars in this area for over 40 years and none of them disintegrated from acid rain. My husband blew up at me in front of the woman and basically said that 600 dollars was nothing and that it would keep the car looking good and blah blah blah and that I was always trying to be difficult. As you can guess, the car supposedly got coated. Yeah, right.

        It’s nothing shy of hell living with my husband, living in this neighborhood. I absolutely hate it but I have to stay positive in order to counter the abundance of negative energy surrounding me. This is another reason I won’t bring another animal into my home. I truly do feel as though I’m bringing them into hell.

        I was actually considering contacting my exhusband about renting me a room in his house. I’m so desperate to get out of here!


        • Seeing the Light says:

          Can you get out of there, Exodus? It really sounds like the evil, demonic stuff is serious. That neighbor is frightening, not to mention your husband. How plausible is the idea of renting from your ex-husband? If it’s even a remote possibility, go for it! Please know that your situation is heavy on my heart these days.


  3. Jane D. says:

    So I am sitting here, in my pajamas, reading your blog, and it is like reading my life.

    I have even developed some chronic health problems after 20+ years with my husband; it seems that happens to many of us.

    I have gotten to the point where I dislike holidays. Well, actually, I love them but it is SO MUCH WORK to overcome all of the “bad juju” that my husband puts out. Some of my best friends threw me a 50th birthday party a few years ago and I felt so blessed! My husband was cut right out of the loop on that one (although he was invited to the party) and I LOVED my party. (Yes, I’m five.)

    One year, when my daughter was about seven or eight, it was Christmas morning. We got up early so she could open her presents and my husband sat around moping. Asking him what was wrong/bothering him went no where (does it ever go anywhere useful?) . I just could not take another holiday where he moped around all day, casting a damper on me and daughter. While he was in the shower we both got dressed, and I grabbed her Christmas presents and put them in the car. We left the house and I called one of my friends and told her we were coming. My daughter doesn’t remember much about what an ass her father was that day, but she does remember it as one of the best Christmases she ever had.


    • Jane D. says:

      I should clarify on Christmas – daughter and I left the house without my husband. It was like heaven!


      • Seeing the Light says:

        Good for you, Jane! I love hearing that you didn’t go along to get along (which is impossible with a passive aggressive husband anyway) and gave your daughter something special instead 🙂


      • Exodus says:

        Ditto what Seeing wrote. I’m so glad to hear that you had the courage to leave and create your own happiness for you and your daughter. Jane, I’ve had to do the same thing- actually, I threw my husband out and made him live somewhere else for Christmas. I love your description of ‘ bad juju’ because that’s exactly what I have to deal with. If I had children, I would do the same as you because it’s one thing for me to have to deal with his negativity but I become absolutely intolerant of it when it affects others or my dogs.


        • Jane D. says:

          Exodus, from what you describe your situation is truly “bad juju”. My husband’s “bad juju” is more like a black rain cloud that follows him every where and that he tries to foist off onto others. My daughter is part of a girls’ group, similar to one that I was part of as a girl. Some of the activities are for families (if the family wants to come) and I’ve worked truly hard to NOT bring him. At first it was because I was a leader in the group and so busy at the event, there simply wouldn’t have been time and energy to cater to him. Later it was definitely a more of respite from him.


          • Exodus says:

            Jane, it’s all negativity no matter what we call it or how it presents itself. PA people have negatavistic personality and they are always creating darkness. My husband will swear to you that he’s not angry and that he always smiles because he’s happy. He doesn’t want to understand that PA is all about keeping that smiling image while unleashing negativity in their actions. None of us should be living like this. The energy we use just to maintain these hideous relationships could be used to nurture healthy relationships.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Hi Jane D, and welcome! That’s such a great story about how you salvaged Christmas for your daughter!


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