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I Do Not Have All The Answers


I'm figuring it out as I go along because...well...I have no other option. Someone has to figure it out. Sometimes, that can be you, too. It doesn't always have to be me.


If you don't start taking care of some of this crap, I'm going to lose it and tell you to grow the hell up.

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Well.....I Hope I Don't End Up Regretting This


After much thought and consideration and a few conversations, I've done something that I am hoping I don't end up regretting.


My credit has always been good. Even when I had stupid-high credit card debt and was making barely enough to support myself, I always paid on time. Unless someone has had, say, a catastrophic medical incident or divorce or out-of-the-ordinary event like that, I find it really hard to understand how people end up with bad credit.


Anyway, after I was downsized in 2008, I took a long, hard look at my credit card use and decided something had to change. I very rarely use credit cards anymore and will pay for things in cash or use a same-as-cash option if it is offered. I read a lot of books about getting & staying debt free and made a lot of changes. (....and meanwhile my husband was melting the numbers off his plastic with frequent use, but that wasn't something I was aware of until recently...even if I had been aware of it, it's not something I could control.)


So, I'm the kind of person who gets various pre-screened/pre-approved credit card offers frequently. A few weeks back, I got one that was offering 0% interest for 18 months on balance transfers. So, long story short, 3 of his smaller card balances have been consolidated onto the 0% card. It is an amount I am confident I could pay off before the promotional rate expires (...although the plan is he is going to be making the payments) and totals a little over 20% of his total debt. The day after the transfers were made, I thought to myself, "ooooooh, girl, I hope you don't end up regretting that."


I have told him I will help him as much as I can, but I am not paying this off for him. What that means is I will pick up the household expenses he was paying (gas, electric, cable) and he is to use the money he was paying those bills with to pay down his credit card debt. Well, once he gets another job...for the interim, I'm footing the bill for everything. I also told him if something like this happens again, I'm not going to be this understanding/forgiving/supportive. I don't know that he understands his actions are f'n with MY sense of security.


His having a fetish girlfriend doesn't bother me....but his actions threating my financial future...that is NOT acceptable at all. Heh. I remember the astrology reading we had with Francis Dunnery last month...he looked at my chart, looked at me and said something along the lines of "you're all about getting paid." In my head I was thinking, "damn skippy." (Which reminds me...I have VO clients I need to invoice...but I digress.)


I don't know if he understands the ramifications of me starting to pay all the household utility bills, either. This is letting me see if I can cover all the household expenses on my own without putting myself in a bad position. And that bit of knowledge could be extremely useful to have depending on what he chooses to do from this point forward. I mean, if I know I can cover the expenses it takes to live here on my own, that does give me more options to choose from if he doesn't straighten himself out.


I hope it does not come to that. I hope his future choices do not put me in a position where I have to decide it's time to "sell the boat." Because, in the end, I have worked too long and too hard to let someone else torpedo my financial security and my financial future with their irresponsibility.

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Looking Back


During a recent bout of insomnia, I ended up reading the last 1.5 to 2 years of entries on this thread. But I was able to read all my whiiiiiiiining knowing what I know now about the credit card debt he was racking up at the time.


Every "got my head bit off" conversation about finances, every conversation about working and/or jobs, every conversation about doing VO work full time/free lance...all of it...with the perspective of he could never be a full participant in any of these conversations because he was trying so hard to keep that debt hidden. It put a whole new spin on his comments, his reactions (or seeming lack thereof)....everything.


When it was happening, I had this crazy idea that his reactions had something to do with me or something I'd said or done. Knowing what I know now, my likely-more-accurate-guess is his reactions had very little to do with me and much, much more to do with his own situation, his own agenda, and keeping things hidden. Makes me wonder if most of the interactions we have with other people have more to do with them - what's going on with them, what goals/agendas they have - than it does with anyone else.


The next time I hear someone wonder or whine about "Why did this other person act this way or that way?" I'm inclined to say something like, "I don't know, but I do know that it probably didn't have much - if anything - to do with you."

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Stupid Brain


Most of the time, I love my brain. I love the way it works. I love the way it keeps me entertained. I love the way it makes connections between things. I love the way it figures things out for me. I don't recall when I started to notice that it does work differently than a lot of other people's. But I love the difference between the way my brain works and how other peoples' work.


Until my brain starts crafting dreams that bring up things I'd really rather not be reminded of. Like the dream I had this morning shortly before it was time to get up. In this case it was an former attraction from 12 or 15 years ago. Yeah, yeah, yeah....I had the hots for that idiot for a while, but having the faulty picker I had at that time, he turned out to be another addiction-plagued poor excuse for and poor example of a human being. Must my brain remind me of the fact that I did find him attractive at one time? Must it remind me of and add embellishments to experiences I had with him? Apparently, it must because it did.


I hate it when I wake up cringing.

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Note To My Brain

Y'know, that dream itself wasn't so bad...the only bad part was my brain used images of that particular person. Had it used images of, say, some celebrity type I find attractive or the guy from high school who still shows up in my dreams from time to time....I would've been ok with the rest of the dream.

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The Non-Crisis Crisis


It's funny how things work out. How I found out about the credit card debt and had time to process it for myself before bringing it up....how I brought it up when I did...right before the stupidity happened at his former job and how that would've *forced* him to tell me about it...and how, on the first job interview he got called for, he got offered the job. (And, yet again, it was gotten through networking....a couple people he used to work with at his former job now work for this company and, when they heard he was looking for a job, encouraged him to go apply there.)


He starts in about a week. All in all, his lack of income for a little over a month will barely cause a blip on my financial radar. To hear him talk, though, the last 4-5 weeks have been a huge eye-opener for him.


We'll see.

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Heeding My Own Advice


Why do I think my situation is any different? What makes me think that discovery and a few discussions are going to change a pattern of spend-and-hide behavior that has been going on for years?


No, I haven't found out anything new. As far as I know he hasn't done anything else to dig the hole deeper. I just ran full-tilt into a big ol' wall of pissed off. Some part of me that watched various exes consistently NOT change when confronted with bad behavior -- whether that was the Alcoholic's various poor choices or the Old Man's tendency to keep looking for dates while claiming to have an exclusive relationship. No amount of anything I said or did made either one of them do anything other than exactly what they wanted to do.


I think of how difficult it is to change habits...even when one wants to...after they've become ingrained and dysfunctional ways of dealing with life.


This part of myself rose up the other day and had a real stern talk with Pollyanna-me and asked what the hell was I thinking? Thus far, I have not snapped. Thus far. I figure this is my own to work out. Getting pissy with him isn't going to change anything or make anything better. I never wanted to get into any fight over this. But as we move through this continuing unemployment and life keeps happening, I find myself getting angrier and angrier.


Oh, yeah, he's got another job. Did all the paperwork and that. The next training class doesn't start until later this month, though. His unemployment claim was approved, which is unusual for his former employer. He had spoken with several of other former employees from that company, and all of them told him their initial claim was denied but approved on appeal. None of them were involved in quite the same circumstances in being let go, and their experiences are over the time frame of the last 2-3 years, so perhaps some company policy has changed since they were asked to leave. I don't know. But now that he's had time to sit and think about what happened, he wants to go discuss it with a lawyer.


I don't necessarily disagree with that, but I suspect he's going to find out that there's not much he can do (without spending a whole lot on legal services, exaggeration and bending of the truth....much like the person who filed the lawsuit against the company that resulted in him getting fired in the first place...). It's just another thing to add to my file of "reasons why you never fully trust an employer and why I am moving toward full self-employment." However, the lawyer will likely (and rightly) want to be compensated for his time to look the situation and advise on it. Is it too much to hope that he chalks it up as a free consultation if he finds nothing there?


It is difficult to sort out this anger. There are multiple facets to it. Some of the reasons for it are valid (IMO) and things I should rightly be angry about....and some seem to be more for dramatic effect. On some level it seems like he shouldn't be getting off this easily -- he didn't have to fess up to what he'd done -- I very calmly, casually and non-accusatorily let him know I knew about it....then re-arranged my plans to help him. So, essentially, he up big time, doesn't get his head bit off for it, and then gets help from the person he's kinda over. What the hell is wrong with this picture?


I tell myself that it's because I have that larger goal -- sticking with this marriage thing, being a decent human being, demonstrating the kind of treatment I want to be on the receiving end of -- all that stuff I claim to believe in. But holy crap is part of me pissed. Deep-down, seething, rage-filled angry. It's a very dark place that I can visit if I'm tired or don't feel well and he does or says something that strikes me the wrong way. Then it's zero to "how dare you even say that/ask me that after what you've done???" in a matter of seconds.


It's not good.


But I suppose if he's all gung ho to spend money on a lawyer, then I am also entitled to spend some money on things to help me deal with the anger caused by his BS. Things that fall into the category of "stuff I do to take care of myself." I thought about contacting new-agey therapist lady for a session or two. Other than here, I've mentioned this credit card mess to maybe one or two other people...but not anyone I really want to really discuss it with in any personal detail. No one I really want to wail and cry and complain to...but maybe that's what I need to do to get past it...I dunno. I think that would also have the potential to make it worse, too. Given how we create that which we focus on. about it after the fact would tend to bring up more things to about, not necessarily things which would assist in moving on from this.


Sigh. I dunno. I'm starting to get the idea that this may be a bit too much to manage by myself....yet at the same time, it's a little dicey trying to decide who would be able to provide appropriate assistance. My default answer is a paid professional of some sort, and perhaps that is the best option.

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Yeah, I Didn't Think So....


So, he went to talk to a lawyer who had done some work for us in the past. The lawyer did not not charge us. And although there's nothing to be done (it's an at-will employment state and his dismissal did not involve anything regarding race, gender, religion or sexual orientation), the lawyer also thought that it was a pretty messed up situation. He also thought since the instigator of the lawsuit that started this whole episode was spending a lot of money on legal fees for nothing. Since that person chose to resign and leave the situation, it was unlikely for them to be getting any sort of settlement.


The lawyer did tell him that it is amazing the lengths some people will go to if they think they might be able to get some money. He said, "they could act like your best friend at work one day, then turn around the next day and say the worst stuff about you if they thought they could get paid." I'm sure in his job he has seen things that would make me cringe and hate people more than I already do. On some level, though, I wouldn't be all that surprised. Everyone has a price, and some people's price is a lot lower than others. Stab someone in the back for a shot at a cash settlement? Some people would jump at the chance. That's just how it is.


Anyway, at least he knows that's that. It won't bug him and it didn't cost us anything to find out. This whole incident certainly didn't do anything to raise my opinion of employers in general, though. It will probably cause me to start looking askance at my co-workers now, too. I find it hard to believe there was a time when I didn't have & keep the kind of wall between "work" and "personal" that I do now. That wall just got a little higher and a little thicker after watching this mess play out

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Karma Is Sitting On Your Head


I don't know what you're supposed to learn from this, but I do know when the Universe takes this kind of huge, corn-studded dump on your head, it's meant to be a wake-up call of some sort.


I have opinions, sure. But you don't need to hear those right now, so I will keep them to myself. You need to figure this out for yourself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Keep On Keepin' On


Yeah, that's what I'm doing because that's what I do.


The job he was supposed to start this week (the one he had filled out all the paperwork for and stuff) fell through. Given what I believe, I think he was really better off that it didn't work out. He's gone on several interviews since. One place in particular is looking promising.


To my surprise and delight, though, I am learning that I have gotten back into a position where I could be my sole support ($-wise) if necessary. This is important to me, and important to me to know this. I haven't run into any additional pockets of anger since the last whine here, so that's probably good too. Life deals us the hand it deals us. We can choose to play it to the best of our ability and watch for opportunities that inevitably arise....or we can look at the cards and whine, fold, and walk away from the table. I'm not here to quit or roll over and die just because I got a hand with no Aces. This hand will play itself out, another will be dealt, and life will go on.


The one year anniversary of my father's death recently passed. Other than thinking, "Oh, hey, that was about a year ago, wasn't it?" there was no other reaction. Then again, I'm of the opinion that there was plenty of reaction (grieving and mourning and wailing and gnashing of teeth) years ago when it began to dawn on me that the stories I had told myself my entire life (up to that point) weren't the truth. Fairy tales made up to make me feel safe when I was a child. Once again, I marvel at the awesomeness that is my brain for creating something I could function in enough to get the hell out of.


Heard a song from 97-98ish and was thinking back to that time in my life and what-all has gone on since then. If there is one thing I know from looking back it is this: The stuff you are going through that you think will go on forever and have no end, does not last forever. It does end. And if you are putting more effort into your life than just letting it happen around you, it does (eventually) get better.


There is nothing about my life in 97-98 that has a role in my daily life now. The things that I thought were SO earth-shatteringly important then...pfffft...through the lens of hindsight, not all that important. The things I despaired of ever being able to create or have....some of them are part of my daily life now. I apparently wanted them enough to put forth the effort to (eventually) make those things happen. Perhaps if I'd spent more time focusing on what I wanted to create and where I wanted to be and put my time, effort and attention towards those things, rather than agonizing over the stuff I agonized over, I coulda gotten to a better place sooner.


Must remember this next time I want to go on an anger-fueled whine-fest. Change the focus to "what productive steps can I be taking right now to move from this place to a place I want to be?" Then, take them. That's the only way things change.

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Odds And Ends


Him: Y'know, it's a good thing we didn't meet 20 or 25 years ago

Her: Why? We woulda killed each other by now?

Him: I was gonna say we'd probably be married, but same difference, really.




About a month ago, it dawned on me that I could arrange my schedule so that I could go back to the drop-in yoga class I used to go to back before I got cut from the radio station. It was the yoga class that I compared all others to (and found lacking...). I started going again a few weeks ago. It's good to be back, although I don't know how much longer the instructor will be able to/want to keep teaching. I mean, ok, you love what you do and all, but at some point, don't you not want to work anymore? I'd say she's a good 15 or more years older than me, which would put her in her mid- to late-60s. Enjoy it while I can, and I'll figure out what to do after it ends when it ends, I guess....




I seem to have resigned myself to the fact that I will be working at the car dealership full time and attempting to build my business for an undetermined period of time to come. I'm pretty sure this wasn't what I wanted when I started actively doing freelance VO work 5 years ago. I thought I'd be doing full time freelance by now. Well, girlie, that's not going to happen, is it? Not now....and not in the foreseeable future, anyway. There may come a time, but when I take a long, hard and as objective-as-possible look at my spouse and his (lack of) money management skills, the cold, hard truth is that time is a ways off. The really raw, overwhelming wall of anger has dissipated...but I'm not sure what this is that's left in its wake.


The urge to make snarky remarks, "Oh, please, let me just derail all MY plans to bail your ass out (again)," or "Oh, no, no...I insist on covering your basic living expenses for an indefinite period of time" is overwhelming at times. Fortunately, the urge to find a shoulder to cry on about the whole mess has passed. I wanted to. I really did. I had even gotten so far as creating a list of possible People To Cry To in my head. Then I realized they all fit that pattern I have -- older, fatherly/teacherish types who I so want to believe will swoop in and fix it all for me with a "there, there my darling girl" -- and I told myself there was nothing but crashing & crushing disappointment on that path. So, with a lot of effort, I chose differently. I looked around, told myself this was the hand I was dealt, and it was on me to play it the best I could because no one else was going to do it for me. Put on my big girl panties and quit whinin'...or something like that.




Something that has been guiding my words and actions in regard to my husband since the massive credit card debt was discovered and then the resulting job loss happened is this, "How would you want to be treated if the situation was reversed?" Had I not been making a conscious effort to filter my words and actions through that question before speaking or acting, I'm sure there would be a lot of ugliness and nastiness to deal with on top of the financial issues (which are challenging enough on their own, thanks....I don't need to be dealing with with a lot of drama and arguing on top of it.) I can see why financial issues are a contributing factor or cause of many divorces. Trying to stay civil and polite when confronted with things that can get to one's sense of security is not easy. Some days, it has taken remembering every scrap of everything I've learned about money and prosperity and "having enough" and all the things I claim to believe and then choosing to act in line with those things, even if I really feel like being a ranting and raving (w)itch.




I thought this was how it was supposed to be -- you run into some rough times, your spouse helps pick up the slack. I didn't get that when I was in career transition. I still came up with the house payment on my own (and it was before I refinanced, so it was like $850/mo), the car insurance, the groceries....all the stuff I was responsible for before the budget cutting axe landed squarely on my head. He gets canned and without missing a beat, I pick up most of the stuff he was responsible for. Somehow, I know he will not pick those back up when he is working again. In some ways, I don't know if I want him to. Initially, I know I will not allow him to - I already decided I will cover living expenses - mortgage, electric, gas, cable, water, groceries - so he can put most of what he makes towards that massive credit card debt. I don't want to consider the possibility that he won't be as committed to this plan as I want him to be, and, instead, will figure that he's free to squander his earnings since he doesn't "have to" pay for electric, cable, gas, etc.


Yeah, I don't want to consider the ramifications of that. So, I'm going forward with the assumption that he wants that debt gone and is willing to do what he needs to do to pay it off as quickly as possible.


Is it bad that part of me is standing back and going, "Uh-huh....I'll believe it when I see it."


I want to believe the best of people - particularly this person - but the realist in me says, "Prepare for disappointment."



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Gosh, I Thought It Might've Been Apathy


From the outside, apathy CAN look a lot like this, too. I think it probably feels different, though....


Symptoms of Inner Peace


1. A tendency to think & act deliberately, rather than from fears based on past experiences.


2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.


3. A loss of interest in judging others.


4. A loss of interest in judging self.


5. A loss of interest in conflict.


6. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.


7. A loss of ability to worry.


8. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.


9. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and with nature.


10. Frequent attacks of smiling through the heart.


11. Increasing susceptibility to kindness offered, and the uncontrollable urge to reciprocate.


12. An increasing tendency to allow things to unfold, rather than resisting and manipulating.

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...or numbness...or denial...or complacency...whatever you want to call it. I've been indulging in a (un?)-healthy dose of it lately. (and by "lately" I probably mean a few months...probably.)


I was reading entries from around this time 4-5 years ago...that would've been the first year I started actively pursuing VO work...and I notice that drive, that fire isn't really there anymore. Some logical (?) part of me says that sort of intensity cannot be sustained over the long haul. You need it at the beginning to get things moving, but you can't stay in that state indefinitely. It's sorta like the honeymoon phase.


Oh, sure I still do VO work....I have a regular client base...I have my marketing program...but I'm not scouring audition invitations and actively recording and sending auditions like I used to. I still get a similar number of gig notices from voice123 as I did back then, but I can't seem to find it in me to go over *every one* and audition for *every one* that I thought would be at least a tolerable fit.


There is a sense of futility that wasn't present before. Like I wanna smack the part of me that says "I'm just a visitor here" in reference to the gig at the car dealership. Honey, you've been there five and a half years. You will be there for the foreseeable future because you need the income and because of the benefits. You've been working there longer than you did at your last radio gig. You've been there for over half the time you've lived in this city. You. Are. Lying. To. Yourself.


And rather than make any sort of appreciable effort to deal with that, I've been choosing to spend upwards of 25 hours a week on the Warcrack. This also effectively eats into the time I have to deal with my husband and his, erm, "situation." If I'm busy chasing down new gear or crafting mats in game, I don't have to give much thought to the miserable financial mess he created and hid. (Translation: He. Was. Lying. To. You.)


Ok, just so you know what you're doing. It's an option, and I'm not foolish enough to think saying "you can't..." is actually going to stop you from keeping your head in the sand. As long as you're not taking it out through dysfunctional ways of eating and/or relating to or self-harming with food, I'll leave it be. You are aware of the choices you are making. You are aware you can choose something different. In the name of being kind to myself, I don't see a reason to berate your by-some-measures extensive Warcracking the last month or so. I mean, you're not missing work, you're not blowing off VO clients, you're not gaining 10 pounds a week, you're making use of the gym on a regular basis, you're still taking care of the laundry list of things one has to do in order not to end up on Hoarders...if you're choosing to spend the remainder of your waking hours with your head in an imaginary world, maybe that's what you need to do right now.

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Because There's Nothing Like A Trip To The ER To Make A Weekend Complete


Went to bed last night feeling fine, woke up at 2 am with a distressingly familiar pain. Got up, was hoping it would subside. It didn't. It just kept worsening until, at about 3:30 am, we packed up and went to the ER.


After 5 or 6 years of relative silence, my gallstones decided to go to 11 last night...this morning...whatevs. An Ultrasound, an array of blood tests, a urine sample and a couple of doses of Dilaudid later, I was told that yes, it was gallstones and yes, I should probably have the offending organ removed, however, it didn't have to happen right then. Other than the pain, all the tests they ran were normal so there was no infection, no inflammation, no malfunctioning liver....just a gallstone in a bad spot. They gave me prescriptions for pain killers and anti-nausea meds and sent me home around 6:30 this morning.


Came home and immediately fell into a drug-induced sleep....well....after puking in the driveway because the ride home made me carsick.


I'm telling you, I really know how to make a weekend fun.


Once I woke up this afternoon, I felt a little bit like I'd been hit by a truck. But it's a few hours later now, I've had some food, and I'm feeling somewhat normal again. Have to call hunky soap opera primary care doc on Monday and start figuring out the next move....but I'm kinda thinkin' surgery's in my near future.


It's weird but I'm not all that freaked out by it. Probably because it wasn't any big surprise. I've known about the stones for 6 years now. They've been silent for the last 5 years, but I know damn well they don't go away. It was really just a matter of time before they let their presence be known (again).


Thought I might be able to drag my ass into work for a few hours today...but it didn't happen. Had someone else scheduled all day, so it didn't really matter. Emailed her before we left for the ER and after we got back so she knew what was going on. But it doesn't look like my absence was noticed beyond that. Just as well. It was probably about time for me to have a few days off. This is not the ideal/recommended way, but the end result is still a 3 day weekend.


Heh. I haven't had surgery since I had my appendix out in 2007. Guess I'm about due, huh?

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I Always Said


Ever since I first learned I had gallstones, I always said I was gonna have the surgery when I got decent insurance again.


I looked up details on my coverage.


I have $600 left to go before I meet my deductible for the year. After the deductible is met, everything else is covered 100% (for in-network providers)


I have over $1000 in my HSA to cover the remainder of the deductible.


The ER visit will eat up the deductible.


The hospital, the surgeon they referred me to and hunky soap opera primary care doc are all in network.


I'd say it's all come together to be the right time.

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Some Things Don't Make Sense


Well, really, a lot of things don't make sense but I guess that's just the way life on this earth is.


Visit with hunky soap opera primary care doc went well. I love that I am at an age and life experience level where I can just blurt out what I *really* think instead of being quiet and agreeable and trying not to piss people off. I hear the things that come out of my mouth now and there's part of me that listens and goes, "You didn't just say that, did you???"


At any rate, between the ground covered in that doctor's visit and some other things that have gone on this week, I feel like I have accomplished a lot in the last few days. My consultation with the surgeon for the gallbladder surgery is next week. That'll be the doc visit that goes, "Hi, nice to meet you....yup it needs to come out....when can I cut you open?" At this point it's just a formality, really.


Another month has gone by with the spouse not working....and another month has gone by where I have covered all the bills without any difficulty. To me, this feels like a tremendous accomplishment. Like I got something back. This "covering all of one's living expenses" thing was a routine event in my single life. I took it for granted...I mean, who else was going to do it? But 11 years married, and particularly with my whole job transition and starting the VO business...I think it got a little muddied. Not that it's in my plans, but there is something to being armed with the knowledge that, yes, you could manage to support yourself if you became single again.

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Not Gonna Do It


This week, I made some choices & decisions that were, to me, a demonstration of "I'm not going to let your bad decisions limit my life."


Yeah, you may have racked up a massive debt load....but it's not MY debt, and it's not my responsibility to pay it off...(well, other than the portion I agreed to transfer to a credit card in my name so you could get 0% interest for 18 months...in the credit card company's eyes, that part is now my responsibility. However, if you like having the life you have, you will make sure I don't end up paying that off.......)


So you bet I'm going to enjoy the new toy I bought myself....with no regret whatsoever.

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That Was The Week That Was


Surgery's been scheduled. About a week later than I would've preferred, but it needs to be done when the hospital's equipment is not already booked. At my consultation with the surgeon, I learned that the vast majority of gallbladder surgeries are now an outpatient procedure. The only time they keep you in the hospital now is if they have to do the surgery the old way with a 6" incision. If they can do it laparascopically, they send you home the same day. That was good news. I've recovered from large incisions before and it takes a good long while.


The last couple days, I my brain has not been in a good place. That pervasive sense of my efforts being pretty much futile in the face of what I'm working against has been very strong. The probably justifiable anger I have about the credit card debt has flared up again, but I'll be damned if I can figure out some constructive way to address it. I mean, I know it needs to be dealt with and all, but how do you do that without some big ass argument or leaving a trail of destruction in your wake? You cannot keep telling someone repeatedly how badly they f'd up. It doesn't really inspire them to do better or be better....mostly (I think) it just tells them they need to get better at covering their tracks. Unless *they* decide they want to change and stop doing the crap that got them into this mess in the first place, and then actually start doing things differently, telling them they f'd up and need to change is a waste of breath.


But what do I do with this? You racked up about $25k in credit card debt over a course of 6 or 7 years. You repeatedly chose to do things that created that situation and repeatedly chose to hide what you were doing. If I hadn't discovered it on my own, you would've continued to hide it until it wasn't hideable any more. By the time I brought it up, you were close to that point - the minimum payments and household bills you had agreed to pay were more than you made....and then you ended up losing your job, so you were definitely gonna have to say something at that point....well, maybe you would have and maybe you wouldn't have. Fact of the matter is, I took a huge burden off you by bringing it up. Was it my responsibility to bring it up? Probably not. But I got stuck with that task anyway.


And (for now) I'm stuck paying all the bills. And I'm stuck trying to live my beliefs and be the person I want to be, even when I can get so angry at times I just want to go punch a baby or kick a puppy.


While I like to tell myself that my recent large purchase was a rational/logical decision and a deal too good to pass up, I also know that part of the decision was fueled by this anger. (witness the post above this one) It was not a frivolous or irresponsible purchase -- I did not put myself in a worse position by making that choice -- but I think I would've made a different choice had I not been experiencing the on-and-off anger I've been experiencing since I found out about the credit card debt. There was definitely a good size dose of FU happening when I was making the purchase.


On the surface, though, it sure looked like I was simply taking advantage of a great opportunity that presented itself.


I don't know what to think anymore. I try to sort it out and it just gets all convoluted...and I get too pissed to think clearly. So I just log onto the Warcrack and distract myself with meaningless imaginary tasks in a fake world.


How long can you keep doing that, though?

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If I Wasn't Supposed To Be Here....


I'd be somewhere else.


That's what my belief system tells me. I got a reminder of that recently (along with several other things I needed to be reminded of). I don't know that being reminded of these things "helped." I still feel as if this set of circumstances is something to be endured and gotten through, knowing that things change over time even if you do nothing.


We talked (not argued or fought but talked) a bit about the difficulty I'm having getting around the whole "pattern of behavior that went on for half the time we've been married" issue. He has nothing to say or contribute, really. What can you say? I mean, you either find a way to get around it or you don't. If you don't, you probably end up parting ways. Other people in a similar situation would (and likely have).


There is no doubt in my mind that other people confronted with what I've been confronted with would be well into the divorce process by now. It's been a bit over 4 months since I found out about the debt. Really not all that long in the larger scheme of things (I guess). Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself to have found a way around it by now. I don't have the time, energy or desire to get into a knock-down drag out fight or even a heated discussion about this. It solves nothing and would likely serve to feed/perpetuate the anger I do have.


I have an upcoming surgery to distract me. Perhaps I should let it. It occurs to me that the metaphysical, "it's all connected" types would cluck knowingly and find some meaning or symbolism in the surgery coming up now. Especially when you figure the first gallbladder attack I had would have been sort of around the time his credit card issue started...within a year of it starting, anyway. Well, I suppose it's all out now...both for that and for my gallbladder.


Logic says these things are not connected and have nothing to do with each other. I have nearly every risk factor for developing gallbladder disease...many of those factors were present long before he ever entered the picture. (Genetic history, weight, yo-yo dieting, female, dietary choices, long-term birth control pill usage....) It would've been a bigger surprise if I hadn't developed gallbladder issues.


Sigh. I should go back to bed. Early morning pondering is usually not good, not clear, not logical and doesn't serve to solve anything.

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Somebody That I Used To Know


I happened accross a short, meant to be humorous article/picture item on a website about being a college radio DJ. The truth of it made me laugh in recognition.


Shortly after this I saw one of those little meant to inspirational/insightful things people post on facebook that said "Passion is the difference between having a job and having a career."


I used to have that. I was reminded of my time in college radio....just learning about the mechanics of being on the air, of recording audio, about the radio business....I remembered the passion and joy I used to have working in the business....managing to support myself doing what I loved....how it made me feel somehow more special and more blessed than ordinary mortals.


I don't have that anymore. I haven't had it for, oh, about a decade now. Now I feel some level of pity and "oh, you poor bastard"-ness for anyone who displays that kind of passion for their work. Like, I know what they're leaving themselves open to and I hope they don't have that passion used against them...but I'm pretty sure at some point, it probably will be used against them...


We are coming up to the 10 year (!!) anniversary of my work-created mental meltdown. I suppose such thoughts are inevitable as we near the anniversary of such a significant and defining event in my life. I may be in for a rough several weeks here (and not just because of the upcoming surgery).


I used to be that person...so, so, so in love with what I did for a living...with who I was when I was on the air...with the fact that I had set that goal for myself and accomplished it mostly by my own hand and with my own efforts....


That college radio DJ I used to know about 30 years ago. If I could go back, I'd tell her - like it, but don't love it. It won't love you back and there will be people who will use that love against you without a second thought and will leave you broke and broken without looking back when you are of no more use to The Company. Save your love for yourself....not a job or a career.


Because, really, the money made having a "job" that you like well enough pays the bills just as well as the money you make having a "career" that you're "passionate" about.


The hospital called today for some sort of pre-admission screening/paperwork prior to the surgery. The nurse asked what medications I was on. I told her the two medications I am taking - one to stop my aging reproductive system from bleeding all over me and the other to regulate my blood pressure (which continued to be normal at one reading and "how the heck are you not having a stroke right now" at the next reading). She said, "Just two? That's great!" Meanwhile I was thinking, "What do you mean 'that's great'....I was thinkin' it was two too many......."


It dawns on me that even though I feel like I am falling short or downright failing at "being healthy" most of the time, I might, in actuality, not be doing too badly compared to others around my age. Must talk to hunky soap opera primary care doc about this when I go in for a post-surgery follow up visit. Maybe all those sources that would like to convince me I'm getting it wrong are, in fact, wrong themselves. I mean, if I was getting things right enough of the time, I wouldn't have any use for whatever product or service they were selling, would I?


At any rate, the humorous piece about being a college radio DJ and the theoretically inspirational/insightful bit about "passion" for one's work....I'm wondering if those things aren't a little misguided as well. Maybe it's enough to y'know, sorta like your job or think it's ok...maybe, in the long run, it's healthier than being blinded by some whacked-out ideas being passionate about or loving what you do.


Maybe doing enough is...y'know...enough.

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I Wasn't Using That Organ Anyway....


I feel like someone knocked me out, cut me open, removed body parts and sent me home.


Oh, wait. They kinda did.


Surgery's over, I feel like crap (but not as bad as if they had done it the old way with a 6" incision....at least that's what they tell me). I'm doing my usual post-surgery "up for an hour, get tired, sleep for a couple hours" thing. I do feel better than when I've been kept in the hospital overnight after surgery. Definitely more rested. For comfort, I'll take my own bed over a hospital bed any day.


For my next trick, I'm actually going to attempt to record and edit some scripts clients sent me yesterday.

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I Must Be Getting Better


My level of annoyed/irritated took a big jump yesterday. Prior to that, I was much more, "hmmm...is it time for another Percocet yet? I think I'll take a nap now."


Except for the actual day of the surgery, I have still worked on something every flippin' day this week. Oh, I'm off from the office gig and haven't really done anything for them except answer 3 questions via email. But wouldn't you know it, I've had about 4 clients decide they need something or the other this week. Not a huge deal, really. Not like we're talking "heavy lifting" or strenuous work, here. Not like I had to get dressed and go someplace. Toughest part was a little soreness/raspiness due to the breathing tube they used during surgery. Well, that, and working around the drowsiness from the Percocet.


Yeah, I'm thinkin' by the time Monday rolls around, I'll be ready to go back to the office gig. I may tire easily, and I may not be up to a 7.5-8 hour day, but I think I'll be out of the "oh, I just need to rest phase."


Moving has gotten easier every day. Mostly it's moving from sitting to standing or lying down to sitting or standing that's been ouchy. Walking's not too bad (although I haven't done markedly more than walk around the house). Yesterday was the first time I left the house since surgery day, and I only rode in the car. That was enough. The jostling from the ride was enough to make my guts go, "Yeah, that's a little too much movement down here...we're not liking that."


On the whole, though, I think I'm doing my usual quicker-than-the-average-person bounce back from surgery. So far, I haven't run into any dietary no-nos. Not that I've been pushing the boundaries yet. The "worst" was about 2 days post-surgery when I was having some odd and very definite craving for Wendy's chili. I sent him out to get his lunch and get me a small chili and that went down, stayed down, and made it the rest of the way through my system ok.


I'm not really sure what to expect from a digestive standpoint. I've read some things that say I can resume a normal diet with no problem and free from the possibility of a gallbladder attack. I've also read and heard some things saying anything greasy is off the menu and one particularly "helpful" person who informed me someone she knew had the surgery 2 years ago and has, "had nothing solid come out of their rear end since." I have to remind myself of 2 things: 1. Most people don't share the details of their pooping activities with others...and I'm really thankful for that. 2. People who have surgeries that fix their problem and who had realistic expectations about what the surgery could/couldn't do don't tend to talk about it nearly as much as people who want to complain about how the surgery didn't work or didn't do what they expected.


So, I decided I'd just go with my default answer, "Everything Always Works Out For Me," and stop trying to find an answer in other people's outcomes or in meant-to-be-reassuring medical literature. I mean, I managed to figure out the right combination of dietary choices and have the right amount of luck to have for-the-most-part silent stones for the better part of 6 years, didn't I? I wasn't tearing off to the ER with an attack every month or few weeks, was I? In other words, I figured it out. Just like I will figure this out. "This" being my newly altered digestive system. What it can and can't handle, what works better and what doesn't work so well.


During that process, I really don't want/need to be responsible for figuring out what he wants to eat. If it wasn't for the Percocet, there woulda been a blow out over that crap again. It's not a game I like playing when I'm feeling good, so my tolerance for it is less than zero when I'm definitely not feeling good. I did manage to refrain from making some comment about isn't it enough that I'm responsible for keeping all the bills paid these days and I'm not going to start being responsible for feeding him and dressing him, too. I didn't go there (though I was sorely tempted), and I would like to give myself credit for that. But still, I do think it gets at a larger, underlying problem. One that I don't know how to bring up and address in any sort of productive/constructive way. One that has been present for a long time (maybe the entire length of the relationship), and one that I could see being instrumental in getting me to the point where I just sigh and say, "That's it. I'm done."


How do you tell someone they need to grow the **** up? How do you do it in a way that is constructive and actually leads to the desired (or possibly necessary) outcome?


Maybe, when the financial stuff stabilizes again (read: when he is employed again), I should look into some short-term counseling. Sometimes I think my brain is close to exploding with some of the things I want to talk about, but then I look around at my options of people to talk to and none of them are appropriate. So, I write....and I have imaginary conversations....and I think things like, "well, maybe it's time to get a professional involved."


During the last several days of pain-med induced sleep, I had a dream. It was about when I was in radio...and there was a certain level of "realness" to the dream. Arguing with a co-worker about some details about how things were set up at the radio station and then trying to figure out *why* these things were important. In the dream, I was looking at these things, and I knew that I had some knowledge about them - what they were for, how to use them, why we did stuff this way....but I was completely lost on *why* it was important. In the half-awake/half-asleep state when I stared to come to, I realized those things haven't been a part of my daily life for years now...and *surprise* they were no longer important...and they may have never been important. That was followed by the thought that maybe some of the things I get irritated about now aren't that important either.


Then I woke the rest of the way up and had to deal with someone who wanted to play, "I'm hungry but I don't know what I want to eat....you tell me what I want to eat." And all that stuff about "this is not important" kinda fell out of my head and all I wanted to do was yell, "I don't know what the **** you want to eat and it's not MY responsibility to figure out what you want to eat!!"


And then I thought, "Yeah, it's probably just as well you're scheduled to go back to work on Monday."

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Good To Go


No pain meds today, only took one nap, went out for dinner and did a little shopping afterwards...not wiped out and dinner is getting through the first portion of my re-vamped digestive system just fine.


I think if I had taken another week off, it would've been more "vacation time" than "recovery time."


I have a follow up appointment with the surgeon Tuesday, but I'm guessing that'll be quick & easy & the last time I'll be seeing him for this particular issue.


My track record of bouncing back from surgery quickly remains intact.

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Something To Remember


When looking up information on a medical procedure, illness, disease or other health-related items, keep the following in mind:


People who had a good outcome with the procedure, the illness or management of the disease generally don't write about it online or talk about in person. They're too busy getting on with their lives. On the other hand, people who had a poor outcome with a procedure or illness or disease (either due to incompetent health care providers or unrealistic expectations on their part or failure to follow directions like taking their meds or making lifestyle changes) are more likely to tell everybody/anybody using whatever means possible about how horrible and/or hard their life is.


I'm too busy getting on with my life. That's why, less than 10 days after surgery, I'm standing out in my driveway shoveling the snow off it and the sidewalk. Granted, it was maybe 2 inches of light, dry, fluffy snow and not, like a foot of the real wet, heavy kind of snow, but still.


Besides, I never seem to get the information that I really want to know anyway. Whether it's about health related stuff or how to change an electrical outlet or what any other kind of situation is like. Because, at the base of it, what I usually want to know is more along the lines of, "How am I going to deal with this/handle this?" The only one who can answer that question is me. So, let me give myself an all-purpose answer to look up when I run into a time of doubt again:


You will handle this like you have handled most other things in your life. You will freak out a little initially, but the back of your brain will already be working on solutions, fixes and workarounds. You will make any adjustments you need to make and you will go on having learned more and walking away stronger and wiser than you were before. Ultimately, everything always works out for you because of your attitude and beliefs. You will get on with your life because you don't like to wallow in misery and "what-if"s for very long.


And that, m'dear, is what you can expect.

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