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I Miss (The Idea Of) You


I don't know if I can really miss "you," because we never actually met. I know I don't miss the upheaval interacting with you brought into my life.


But I miss capturing the lightning in a bottle. I miss the shoulder to cry on and the "there, there, my dear."


At the same time, I don't miss feeling like I've chosen to play the weak & pathetic victim in my life after one too many "there, there, my dear"s.


So I miss the idea of you (or someone like you) in my life...all the while knowing that it would just be a time-consuming distraction that leads to exactly nothing to have someone like that around.


Yes, as a matter of fact, it is hell living in my brain. Thanks for asking.


And here is what I blame it on: a lack of drugs.


I had my annual at the gyno a couple weeks ago. We decided to have me go off the daily dose of progesterone I've been taking so I don't bleed uncontrollably, let that work its way out of my system, then do a blood test to see if I've gone into menopause. I had the blood drawn a few days ago, so that means no synthetic hormones in my system for the last 10 or so days.


A few internet searches have provided conflicting information about the role of progesterone in female libido. Although the articles I've found about progesterone calling a halt to libido in females perfectly described what I've experienced since I've been on the daily dose of progesterone.


So now, my brain is stewing in whatever hormonal/chemical mixture it makes on its own....and I have noted a difference.


If my blood work comes back with the hormonal profile that indicates I'm menopausal, my gyno said we could look into hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams for symptom management if I was interested. In a way, that's feeling like someone handing me a gun...."Here, you can use this to protect yourself....or you can use it to shoot yourself in the foot....Good luck!" It was something of a nice break/relief to be completely unconcerned/uninterested in anything even remotely sexual for the time I've been on the progesterone. I'm not sure having that distraction back would be all that welcome, really. It tends to lead me into situations that complicate my life in one way or another.


Or as the pithy saying goes, "Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself, thanks."


Heh. The blood work will probably come back negative. "Nope, sorry, you still have to deal with this transition for a while longer. You might want to get back on the daily progesterone before you bleed all over yourself..."

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Drama Queen Waiting In The Wings


Yeah, just as I was missing the idea of you...the reality of you decided to start talking to me again outta nowhere. It irritated me and I didn't respond well nor did I respond like you had hoped and/or expected.


Just as well, really. Because the easiest thing for me to do is nothing...which is exactly what I'm doing. Which is driving that residual bit of Drama Queen in my psyche totally crazy. She wants to lob loaded questions, accusations, anything that could stir things up and distract me from my day to day reality. Sit yer ass down, little queenie...you're not going anywhere and you're not stirring anything up.


And here's the day to day reality I'd like to distract myself from: Seven months. This is month #7 I have had to cover all or most of our living expenses. It's wearing me down...and building up resentment. Especially with the latest wrinkle. We heard a commercial for a bankruptcy lawyer and I said, "Did you ever think of looking into that?" Turns out he has been thinking of it since around the first of the year, but hasn't got off his butt to find out a damn thing! , d'ya think you could at least go get the free consultation and see if you qualify and see what the pros and cons are if you do?!?! I'm not gonna do it for you. You're an adult, you sort your own out. But, no, you're gonna just sit there and watch me bust my ass so you can piddle around and not do anything that requires any hard decisions or work.


And that was when I realized what I noted a few posts back...that under the right set of circumstances each and every one of us will throw someone under the bus. It doesn't matter who they are in relation to us or how we claim to feel about them, we'll still sell 'em down the river in a heartbeat under the right set of circumstances. Apparently avoiding adult responsibilities is more important to you than any financial discomfort you've caused me in the last 7 months or dealing with the financial mess you've created in the last 6 or 7 years.


You need to deal with this. You need to deal with it in a more effective and pro-active manner than you have been. If you do not, I will have to look out for myself. And you will end up being sorry that your actions (or inaction as the case may be) taught me that I can cover the expenses related to living in this house on the income I generate. If you're not here, those expenses decrease. If I've been able to cover it for both of us, I'd definitely be able to cover it for myself. Had you dealt with your , I wouldn't know that. So, whatever happens, you have only yourself to blame.

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And Then It Dawned On Me....


Those recent posts I've made about human nature...how we'll throw anyone under the bus in the right circumstances and how the odds are on the side of self-preservation...they're not only cynical observations and a low opinion of people. They are a reminder to myself. A reminder of what I will likely (have to/need to) do if he does not straighten out his financial . Because I'm not going to go another decade or more bailing his ass out and scraping by and struggling financially in the hope/belief that it'll get better after some future date or future event.


My latest source of annoyance is the cell phone bill. What I want to say: Given your huge debt, do you really think it's a smart move to be paying a little less than $400 a year just so you can have the Internet in your pocket? Is this something you really need or is it something you just like/want? We no longer have a home land line, so the cell phone is a necessary evil, however, we could get basic phone service more cheaply than what you have set up. I've resigned myself to the fact that we're stuck with this until November...because you signed some ridiculous contract so you could get an iPhone. (And, as it turns out, you only qualified for that "device upgrade" because the "device" associated to my number hasn't been changed for years) But, really, $400ish a year just so you can access facebook whenever/wherever you are seems like a poor decision to me.


So, those realizations were a reminder to myself...self-preservation will trump things like "love" and how the relationship is in other areas because ("the right circumstances") I am tired of supporting both of us due to your continued and on going poor decisions financially.


I don't want a boat. I want a partner.

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To Ask Impossible Things


I don't need a man to rescue me or take care of me. But for as long as I can remember, I've been looking for a man who *could* do that and who *would* do that.


They're two different things, really. There have been times when I've had some sort of relationship with men who could do those things, but wouldn't...and also men who would've done those things but couldn't. I don't know which is worse -- dealing with someone who has the means (financial, emotional or otherwise) to rescue/take care of, but who chooses not to....or dealing with someone who wants to do those things, but doesn't have the means to do so.


They both suck, really. Because the end result of both is that I end up having to save and take care of my own ass...and sometimes I am called upon to save and/or take care of them, too.


Resentment. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

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The Next Step In This Line Of Thought


I always thought my husband fell squarely into the "would rescue/take care of me, but couldn't due to lack of means to do so" camp.


But as this credit card debt-unemployment-and-dealing-with-those-things situation has played out, I start to wonder if my assessment was accurate. Looked at a certain way, the choices he's made over the long haul make me wonder if he's also part of the "could but chose not to" camp as well.


The more I mull this over, the more I am drawn to the conclusion that "could but chose not to" is more repellant to me than "wanted to but couldn't."

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Are You Seriously Asking That?


"So, if I can go ahead and file bankruptcy, I guess that means I don't need to get a second job?"


You're asking for my permission? My approval? What am I, your mother?


I can't make you do anything (that's howlingly apparent). But given that your decisions put me in a position where I had to blow through most of my savings to make mortgage payments and keep the lights & heat on, you might want to ponder what you decide to do very carefully.


Your extended adolescence needs to end. Sooner rather than later. I don't know how much longer I can watch it keep unfolding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

10 Years After


It's been 10 years since I resigned from Dysfunction Junction. 6 years since I was budget cut from full time radio.


I don't miss it...but I find myself wondering how the hell I ended up in my current reality. I was going to say "work/career reality," but then I realized it's more than that.


How did I end up here? And do I really want to be "here?"


I am getting sick and tired of trying to figure out what to do with the resentment. I've taken to googling phrases like "how to let go of resentment" and "letting go of resentment in a marriage" and "resentment towards your spouse" and so on. Haven't stumbled accross anything profound or earth-shattering.....or anything even slightly helpful, really. All it makes me think is no one knows how to deal with this in any sort of effective/efficient way. It also makes me think, "Oh, so that's why every story similar to this ends up with the couple splitting....because no one f'n knows what else to do." So, what the hell, scrap it and start over.


Except I'm not convinced I want to scrap it and start over. It'd be easier if I could just look at it all and go, "Y'know what? I'm done...peace, out." But for a laundry list of reasons, I can't and/or don't want to. So what would happen if I just refused to carry the steamer trunk full of complaints and resentment? What if I just said, "Screw it, it is what it is, you can't change it. He did some unbelievably stupid , but you're not exactly blameless in the Doing Stupid department, either. Move on, do better and make sure he does better. And if he doesn't, maybe then it's peace out time....." Deal with it in one of the ways I deal with my on-going depression. Looking at what I'm doing and going, "Yup, my brain chemistry is f'd...and I'm making bad choices because of it, so step back and make better choices even if your brain chemistry doesn't want you to."


It's kinda like toward the end of my relationship with the Old Man...when I practiced observation and detachment. Sure, I ended up leaving, but the drama quotient went way down after I made an on-going and constant decision to observe and detach.


No one tells you what it's really like....being in a marriage for a long time. (Not that 12 years is all that long in the larger picture) But no one tells you what it's really like...that there will be times you will hate each other, that you will both do stupid that may or may not be forgivable, but you will find a way to live with it because you decide that living with it is less of a pain in the ass than leaving....or maybe because you still think that there's something honorable or right about sticking to the marriage vows you took....or maybe because as crappy as it gets, it's a better crappy than throwing it away and starting over....or maybe you're just piss-scared to find out that it was just plain dumb luck that you ended up married and you'd still do the same ridiculous stuff you did when you were single before. No one tells you what an un-flattering picture of yourself you will be presented with over the years.


I have walked away, cut off or drop-kicked outta my life other things, people and situations that made me miserable. Maybe I just wonder if I could stick with something less than ideal and make it better. I dunno.


What I do know is waking up resentful, going through the day at various levels of annoyed/irritated, and going to bed still nursing the anger is getting old....and tiring.


There is very little I trust in the world anymore. One thing I do trust is my ability to land on my feet no matter what and to take care of myself. If it gets to be time to go, I trust my own good sense and sense of self preservation will know. It doesn't know, so it must not be time.


And it's not much of an answer, but it's all the answer I have right now.

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I Miss (The Idea Of) You, Part 2


In my life, I have lived through periods of time and series of events that made me think, "Y'know, if I turn around really fast, I can probably catch a glimpse of the cameras getting out of the way because this is like something out of a movie and can't really be happening."


I am living through such a series of events this week.


It started after the last entry. I was in a despondent and in woe-is-me mode, so of course, it was the perfect time to pull his credit report. Just to see. The last time I pulled it was back in July when I found his stash of cards and first learned of this pile of credit card debt. For the most part, balances are very, very slightly down from the credit report in July. Pretty much what you'd expect of cards that are not being used but are being paid on at or slightly above minimum payments.


Except one.


A few months back, in an effort to help out, I transferred about $5k of his debt onto a card in my name that was offering 0% interest for 13 months. I know, crazy, trying to help out my spouse after all his stupidity. But I still have some silly ideas about what it is to be a good spouse and I still occasionally try to live up to them. I'm not sure why I bother, but I think it's pretty solid proof that I haven't learned much in the entire time I've been having romantic relationships.


Anyway, I pull his credit report earlier this week and one of his cards included in that transfer has magically grown a balance of slightly over $500. I mean, I see the 2 months of zero balance after we did the transfer payoff. Then I see it go up to where it is over the next 3 billing cycles.




The last time we had a conversation about this I asked him if he was still using any of his cards and he said he wasn't. This does not look like a change in behavior to me. When I calm down enough, I will give him a chance to explain it. I think I've settled on showing him that portion of his credit report and asking, "Well...do you want to tell me what's going on here?" But I think it's best to wait until I'm fairly confident I can do it without ripping his head off....or provoking him to bite my head off for asking.


Other than here and my therapist with the parrot, I don't really talk to anyone in my life about this. Oh, I've made a few comments to people I'm close to at work, but that's just to blow off a little steam or explain away a day where I'm not up to par. But they don't get the whole picture or the level of frustration. I don't think it's appropriate to share that much with people I work with. Strangers on the Internet, no problem...people I know in real life, not so much. Which is kinda weird if you think about it too much.


But I digress.


So in the midst of dealing with this latest wrinkle and all it has brought up, I turn to my distraction of choice and go a-wandering in the imaginary environs of the Warcrack. And then this happens: I get the explanation/confession/statement that brings up the curtain on the drama. I didn't lob it out there. I didn't invite it. I didn't say things to coax it out. My "game buddy" just blurted it out in a tell. It caught me so off-guard that I had no idea how to respond, except to have that moment where I wanted to turn around real fast and try to catch the camera crew moving out of the way because that didn't really just happen, did it?


Not quite a statement of undying love...but an explanation for why he backed off. What he didn't/doesn't quite get was that I was backing off at about the same time, so I didn't take his (in)action personally. Hell, I'm not even sure I really noticed it that much at all at the time because I was sorting out my own stuff in my head about the whole episode. Truth be told, I still am sorting it out. That whole "husband's hiding $25k in credit card debt" put a new spin on his mean & (w)itchy behavior, my reaction to his behavior, and how I got to the point where I was susceptible to taking up "game buddy's" offer of shoulder to cry on.


I'm living in a bad Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Right down to the timing of game buddy's big confessional. It's like he picked up on some weird signal..."Oh, she's reached a low point of frustration and resentment and is about ready to throw in the towel...I'm gonna rush in and toss around a few 'there, there my dears' and try to look like some kind of hero."


One of the lines of thought I was having (a few hours before game buddy's confessional threw me for a loop) was this: "You know why this is happening?" I asked myself out loud in my car. "This is payback for all those times when you were single and dared to be judgmental about someone else's marriage/relationship. All those times you'd talk to, overhear, or hear of people who said they were unhappy in their marriage but wouldn't/couldn't divorce and were in or looking for something on the side...all those times you heard those stories and judged those people harshly when you'd never been married or been in that situation. Here's your payback. Stick those shoes on your feet and walk in them a while. That'll teach you to have some compassion. That'll teach you not to sit back and judge others. That'll teach you things aren't as simple and black and white as you think they are."


Maybe I should just make some popcorn and enjoy the show.

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I'm Starting To Get It


I'm starting to get why every other "my spouse racked up debt behind my back" story I've seen ends in divorce.


It doesn't have to do with them so much as getting sick and tired of feeling and dealing with the anger and resentment.


I cannot live like this long term. I've been living like this for about 10 months now. Tonight I'm questioning if I can make it through another week like this.


Do you stop feeling the anger & resentment after they are gone? Or is it more a matter of it's not a main focus anymore because they're not there to fuel the fire?


I'm starting to think I can't do this and perhaps my efforts would be more productive if applied them towards arranging things to work toward a split that doesn't leave either one of us financially devastated. Although, I'm not sure that's a realistic goal for both of us to be on solid financial ground. Maybe the brutally honest (and attainable?) goal is "working toward a split that doesn't leave me financially devastated."


Crap. I never should've done that balance transfer for him. Shot myself in the foot on that one, I think. I wonder why am I even bothering trying to be a "good spouse" anymore? I've been lied to and financially sabotaged going back to sometime between 2005-2006 (the dates the first of these credit card accounts were opened), then I've been subject to his Captain Asshat behavior when the stress of the debt and hiding it started mounting up. Would I have been less susceptible to game buddy's initial offer of a shoulder to cry on if the reasons for Captain Asshat's arrival weren't there? Without the debt, would Captain Asshat have arrived anyway? I mean, I could make the argument that if he didn't have the stress of the debt, he wouldn't have started in with that long period of meanness and I wouldn't have had any need or interest in a shoulder to cry on when game buddy crossed my path and made the offer.


But there's no way to know what I would've done if his debt and the stress of hiding it hadn't been there. Maybe I would've started talking to game buddy about personal stuff anyway. Maybe I wouldn't have. I don't really know. It'd be so easy to say that I never would've gone there if I'd been getting treated well at home, but honestly, I don't know if that's true. There's no way to know. And, if I would've started talking to game buddy anyway, would my husband have left when he found out? I mean, I'm pretty sure he wanted to leave when he found out (a whopping 6 weeks into the interaction....apparently I'm not nearly as competent at hiding crap as he is), but given his debt he clearly didn't have the means to pack up his stuff and go. So why not stay and let your (virtually) straying wife support your ass, right? Probably serves her right.


Today, I found myself idly wishing that he had picked up and left then. If he had, I'd still be blissfully in the dark about the credit card debt, about 2.5 years past the leaving at this point....and well on my way to being back on my feet and getting past the mess and drama. Oh, sure, there'd probably be some *other* drama, but I kinda doubt it'd be as pervasive, all-consuming, and gut wrenching as watching what was once a good relationship go into a slow and seemingly inevitable death spiral.


I look back at the other relationships I've been in, and, for the most part, I have not been a "fast leaver." Looking back, it seems like I have hung on and kept trying until the very bitter end and last shred of hope is long gone. Maybe that's why I don't keep in contact with exes (with one exception)...I know there is absolutely nothing left there for me. I am tired in a way that 7 or 8 hours of sleep is not going to fix. I have felt this tired before, and I know that this kind of tired is a harbinger of difficult decisions that demand to be made. Much as I try to put them off or fight them off, they demand a choice and will not let me rest until it is made and moving forward.

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If you want to follow a path of self-destruction, that’s your choice to make. But you are not taking me with you. If that means I have to travel alone, that’s what I’ll do.



That sprung into my head on my way to the office gig this morning. It was the conclusion from a day-long, difficult conversation yesterday.


After he got up yesterday, I confronted him with the credit report I pulled last week. He had no real good answer for where the $500ish balance had come from other than “I had to buy gas and didn’t have any money….and I was late on a payment to another card and had to make a transfer.” When asked why he had lied and told me recently that he wasn’t using the plastic anymore, he tried to make it sound like he’s doing me a favor. “I didn’t want you to freak out.” Ummm…is finding out about it this way preferable?


It was then I very calmly told him that I think my efforts are going to be better directed if I applied them to constructing a way to come to an amicable parting that doesn’t leave either of us too financially wrecked rather than directed toward staying married.


That’s when the self-loathing came tumbling out. He hates himself, he hates his life, he can’t stop doing stuff that he knows won’t help, doesn’t know what to do so he does nothing blah blah blah. I told him he needed therapy. I can’t help him…and furthermore, I’m not going to continue helping him. I’m not going to figure out his insurance benefits, I’m not going to find him a therapist, I’m not going to figure out how to pay for therapy. If he wants it, he’s going to have to do it on his own. Much like the bankruptcy. If he wants to file bankruptcy, he’s pretty much on his own. I provided some documentation he didn’t have when he asked (my check stub, a copy of our tax returns), but other than that, he dug this hole, he’s gonna have to get out of it himself. I’m truly sorry I tried to help him with that balance transfer and that’s the last thing I’m doing to help him.


He can continue to live in my house and I will continue to pay the bills, but if he doesn’t get his together, that will not be an indefinite situation, either.


I constructed a timeline of events for myself, and looking, back, this is not a sudden turn of events at all. I can see where I may have started separating from him as far back 4 years ago as I look at it:


2005-06 - According to his credit reports, this is when the first of the credit card accounts were opened.


April 2008 – I am budget cut from the radio station and unemployed for 6 weeks. Even “unemployed” I am working at the radio station 1 day a week. I get hired part time at the office gig and start that job in June 2008. I will work 25-30 hours there and 1 or 2 shifts a week at the radio station and start my freelance VO business in the following 18-24 months. He does not help pick up the slack from my reduced income. I do not miss any payments on anything. I do this by careful budgeting, going without, and dipping into my savings.


April 2010 – First major appearance of Captain Asshat. There are a few vague entries around the time that happened, but I never went into detail about it here. It’s enough to say it was unpleasant enough to leave a lasting impression and was the first time I witnessed such a blatant display of pure selfishness and total lack of consideration from him towards me. So, at this point, he’d have been working on the credit card debt for about 4 or 5 years. There must’ve been some sort of tipping point with that, because he had never treated me like that before. I was stunned…and came to a conclusion I didn’t like: He wasn’t like this when I was making good money….and when my income dropped and didn’t recover all that quickly, now he’s being a jerk. I refuse to continue this line of thinking when it comes up because it will lead me no where good. Looking back, I think this is where I may have first started thinking this wasn’t going to work out.


May 2010 – I get hired full time at the office gig. In the next 12 months, I am able to pay off my credit card and, taking lessons learned during 2 years of part-time income, I transition myself to a cash-only way of living.


Summer 2011 – Game buddy starts entering the picture. Captain Asshat is making regular appearances at home. I spend most of the time I’m around my husband walking on eggshells and watching what I do and say so as not to set off Captain Asshat. Anytime there is an unexpected expense or I try to talk about any financial issues or bills, I get my head bit off. Game buddy notices…something (?) about me…maybe in the comments I make in gchat or the way my husband and I interact in raid chat…but he starts messaging me privately in game and is so sympathetic and kind and encourages me to talk. I initially turn him down, it feels too potentially dangerous, but I’m just miserable enough that his offer ends up seeming like an incredibly-timed gift.


Fall 2011 – I get busted from my husband discovering an email that is more than platonic between myself & game buddy. As he snoops, he also finds an email setting up an appointment with a local divorce attorney. It dawns on him that I’m not happy and may be fixin’ to do something about it. This is a warning, he seems to heed it and after a short time, things seem to improve. Things fizzle out with game buddy – partially by my choice and (in light of new information he dumped on me last week) partially by some stuff going on with him. I figure it’s for the best, nurse my wounded ego and move on.


Things at home continue on what appears to be an upswing. I think his discovery that I went to speak to a lawyer put him on notice that something needed to change. He is nicer. Unbeknownst to me, it’s just a façade….he’s still racking up debt, he’s miserable in his job, he’s miserable within himself…but he talks himself out of doing anything to change any of it. I continue to work full time and keep up my efforts to increase my freelance income.


July 2013 – I find out about the credit card debt….thus begin 10 months of living my life with a 2 tone spectrum of emotions – anger and resentment.


September 2013 – he gets fired from his job. Before he is forced to tell me about the debt, I bring it up over labor day weekend because I can’t sit on the knowledge anymore. He files for unemployment, but after 6 weeks screws it up by taking a job he doesn’t like and quits. He is unemployed for a total of 4 months, with no benefits for a little more than half that time. I pay everything – including his child support and credit cards – during that time. I’m not (w)itchy or complaining about it. I try to treat him how I’d want to be treated if the situation was reversed (even though I didn’t get that when I was unemployed) and live up to my own ideas of how a good spouse should behave.


November 2013 – Try to help him when I get a credit card offer in the mail offering 0% for balance transfers for over a year. I transfer $5k of his debt to the 0% card that is in my name.


January 2014 – He starts working again. Agreement is he is to contribute $50 per check to the household expenses, but most of what he’s making is to go to reducing credit card debt. I will cover the rest.


March 2014 – We hear a commercial on the radio for a bankruptcy attorney, I ask if he’s ever thought of looking into that. He says he’d been thinking about it but hadn’t done anything. I strongly encourage him to at least see if it’s an option.


April 2014 – Pull his credit, find out one of the cards I balanced transferred for him now has a balance of over $500.


So, there’s my timeline to help me make sense of what’s gone on. I started piecing it together on Friday and, with help from my journals, continued piecing it together over the weekend. I had a clear picture in my head of the sequence of events when I confronted him.


Yesterday was difficult. On the plus side, there wasn’t any yelling/screaming or anything that could be classified as an argument. I went to bed exhausted and slept for about 10 hours. And on my way to work this morning, everything coalesced into the lines that begin this entry.


He is free to follow the self-destructive path he’s on. I can’t make that decision for him…but I know I am not going that way, and I will not be dragged along that path any longer. My destination, my destiny is elsewhere…and if I have to travel to it alone, well, that’s all just part of the plan.

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And Then It Dawned On Me (Part 2)....



I figured out why the cell bill annoys me.


It's not my bill.


I didn't ask for this phone, I didn't want this phone, I didn't choose this provider, I didn't sign this contract. He got a phone about 4 years ago and they pushed "you can get a second line for an additional $10 a month" on him. So, he got me a phone. I rarely use it. According to the bills my line uses less than 100 minutes a month...and uses texts only when someone insists on texting me (which I discourage).


When we got rid of the landline home phone, the cell became a necessary evil. I get that. But having the internet in your pocket isn't necessary for me, and other than he wants that, likes that, and has gotten used to having that I don't see where it's necessary for him, either.


So, I started shopping around for a cell phone provider that offered something to fit my needs better than what we have. Because the current provider's smallest plan is still 700 minutes a month. I found something I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with and that lets me pay for only what I use. However, because he used my phone to get his "upgrade," I'd have to pay nearly $200 to remove my line from that plan before the contract is up in November. It's really stupid -- they'd only be making another $60-70 off my line anyway.


Way I figure it, here are my choices - pay the $200 and have my separate phone account now...or pay an approximately $100 a month bill (on an account that is not in my name) until the contract is up in November. Or, put another way, how much is the price of freedom?


Sigh. I think I see me taking the $200 hit.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Switched my cell over to its own account on the pay-as-you-go carrier today. It went very smoothly with no disruption in service. Now I just have to pay the old carrier their $180 fee for leaving early, then I'm done paying that bill. If he can't pay for his phone, oh, well...I guess he doesn't have one. I also took my payment card info off of his gym membership. When it comes time to renew, he'll need to figure out how to pay for it himself. I also took him off my credit card as an authorized user...so he'll no longer get to ride the coattails of my credit.


These are things I've done quietly and steadily over the last week or so. Every time I've accomplished one of these things, I feel like I'm sticking to my decision to stop helping him. Beyond providing the basics of a place to live & groceries (which I'd have to pay for even if he wasn't here), I'm not doing anything more to give him a more comfortable life. Been doing that the entire time I've known him and look at what it's gotten me.


I see other people on here with threads and posts about wanting to get into a relationship, and all I can think is, "Why?" Why do you want to do that to yourself? Do you think it's going to improve things? Do you think it's going to make you like yourself any better? Because, guess what....it probably won't over the long run. It'll just give the Universe new and different options to make your life challenging and present you with learning opportunities.


Ugh. I'm angry, bitter and pushing 50. Pushing 50 so hard that AARP saw fit to send me not one...but two...invitations to join in this week's snail mail. One was sent to my maiden name, the other to my married name. Covering all the bases, I guess. Here, take my $16 and give me the damn discounts.


But really, what I came here to do today was print off some stuff for my next appointment with the therapist & the parrot. So, I guess I'll do that.

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Should It Be That Easy?


I find myself wondering this in the aftermath of his visit to the bankruptcy lawyer. He was there for about 2 hours going over all the information they asked him to bring to the appointment - debts, income, tax returns, and so on. After going through it all, they determined that he qualified to file for the type of bankruptcy that wipes out everything and gives you a fresh start. So, after they file with the court, it's about 6 weeks before it's finalized. In the interim, the lawyer said it was kind of a waste to continue paying on the credit cards since they were going to be wiped out in about 6 weeks anyway.


So, that's it. Pay the lawyer, pay the court costs and he walks away free and clear of the credit card debt. Well, except for the $5k that I stupidly transferred to a card in my name to help him. However, if he has the slightest shred of desire to stay in this relationship, he'll make damn sure that gets paid off with all deliberate speed.


But, that's it. Boom. Done. Few hundred dollars and some paperwork and you're off the hook for nearly a decade of one poor financial decision after another. It doesn't seem right, really. It seems like there should be more...I dunno...punishment? (For lack of a better word) Like, you should be compelled to take and pass a course on personal finance at the very least. I mean, maybe the punishment comes in the aftermath of doing this. I have seen people with open and recently discharged bankruptcy trying to purchase car and while it's possible, it's certainly not easy or financially sound. So maybe you're penalized with a couple of years of difficulty anytime there's a credit check involved.


Still, it seems too easy to me. You get to walk away from it because you have some papers from the government. All the various crap I've had to deal with in my life, and I don't know that I've ever got off that easy. Seems like I've always had some sort of uphill battle that required me to figure out and find a solution that wasn't always terribly comfortable or simple.


So, now he's not subsidizing 5-figure credit card debt anymore. There had better be a BIG uptick in his contribution to the financial aspects of running the household. There better not be a new parade of baubles and trinkets and crap coming into the house. I'm not terribly inclined to say anything, though. I don't think it's my job to police him. I have other stuff I need to spend my time and energy on. He's got to make these changes from an internal motivation if they're going to be anything more than cosmetic or done to appease me....and that means I can't be nagging and micromanaging him. It also means I'm giving him enough rope that he can also choose to hang himself and leave me no option but to boot his ass to the curb.


I'm hunkering down and making sure my ass is covered. Why? Because, in the end, self-preservation trumps all else. Doesn't matter who they are in relation to you - spouse, friend, family, parent, child - when your own ass is on the line, you'll sell them down the river to save yourself if you have to....and I'm pretty sure I'm no better than that, too.

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Addition To The Timeline A Few Posts Ago


How could I have forgotten this?


May 2011 - start having panic attacks for no apparent reason and start taking Cymbalta.


"D'ya suppose a year of dealing with Captain Asshat had anything to do with developing panic attacks?" she asked sarcastically.

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I Miss (The Idea Of)....You? (Part 3)


Guess who has gone "poof" after the "big revelation" he dropped on me about a month ago? Yup. Game buddy. Drop that bomb on me then disappear. Last weekend, I saw a couple episodes of the tv show Catfish link removed, and I started wondering how much of what game buddy ever told me was true. It was a thought borne of curiosity. I have no desire to do any sort of research to find out more. Just another observation to keep in the file in my head about that time and interaction.


So, thinking about that, and other various events in these last 30 or so years, I had an observation about what life is. Goes something like this:


Life is a series of random, confusing events that make absolutely no sense whatsoever, that may or may not have anything to do with each other, and that we try to weave a story out of.


I mean, what was the purpose of crossing paths with this cast of characters I have crossed paths with? Like...Pete the boy messiah, Mr. Be A Writer, Lady Shark, JD, and so on....


Oh, speaking of Mr. Be A Writer, I shared the news of the 5 figure credit card debt with the ex-Mrs. Be A Writer. I think I've gone into a new phase of dealing with things, because I've started to "share" what's going on with other people who know both of us. Like my ex-college bf and the former Mrs. Be A Writer. I don't know if that's a good sign...I don't know if I'm looking for support or trying to prepare those close to me for news of a (potential) split. At any rate, the former Mrs. Be A Writer went through the same thing with Mr. Be A Writer....only his credit card debt was about 3.5 times as much as what I'm dealing with. He also filed bankruptcy and she also had the same thought after watching him go through the process. The "Really, that's it? It's that simple? That doesn't seem right," line of thought I was pondering an entry or 2 ago.


As I've told other people here over the years, humans have found no new ways to screw up. We just have better tools/technology that allow us to make our mistakes faster and more publicly than ever before. However, we're really not covering any new ground in terms of ways to screw each other over.


I am not the first person married to someone who screwed them over financially...and I won't be the last. I am not the first person to be drawn in by a kind stranger when a spouse is being a jerk...and I won't be the last.


I am not experiencing anything new. Maybe "new to me," but definitely not "new."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Were We At The Same Event?


So, I got a connection request on LinkedIn recently. At first I'm staring at the name going, "Do I even know this person?" A couple hours later my brain put a couple pieces together and, yes, I do know this person.


It was a fund-raiser that my station at Dysfunction Junction took part in over 10 years ago. I was told "we" were doing this fund-raiser, and then not given any resources or much in the way of help to make it happen. It was the first major event during the time I was running the station that showed me how things were going to be. Here...here's some old bent up paper clips and stretched-out rubber bands and some scrap paper...go make a radio station.


Anyway, the LinkedIn request came from someone from the charity we were doing the fund-raising for. They referenced that event and how they remember it being such a great time. And all I could think was, "I lost tooth enamel doing that event because I was grinding & gritting my teeth so much due to the stress & frustration level." Oh, this person did their part from the charity's end of things, and I have no issue with them. But the overall experience of putting together a major event like that with very little help from Dysfunction Junction was horrible. Just horrible. I was so exhausted at the end of it that I went home and slept for about 18 hours straight. I do not look back on it with fondness thinking we did good or that it was impressive or that it sounded great on the air or that most of the effort that went into pulling it off was my own effort and work and creativity... Nope, if I look back at it at all, I just see it as a horrid foreshadowing of the work-related mental meltdown that happened 8 months later. I hadn't thought about it in years. The last time was probably the Great De-Radio-ing of my resume. The person who was helping me with that project was saying I really needed to highlight what I did putting that event together and how much was raised. Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Um, I'd kinda like to forget it ever happened, really."


So, now, via LinkedIn, I am reminded. Not only reminded -- but reminded by someone who remembers it in a completely different way than I do. I stifled my impulse to reply with, "Huh. That's weird, I don't remember *that* event you describe...I do remember an event that sucked up about 2 months of my time prior to it actually happening, then going 3 or 4 days with next to no sleep during the actual event. I remember watching other departments at Dysfunction Junction totally fail to assist because the event wasn't being sponsored by the CHR or Rock station in the cluster....it was "just" the AC station, so it wasn't "important" or "fun." And once I managed to pull off what I did as well as I did, that became the expected level of work and effort from me....All....The....Time. So I really try not to remember that event and hang on only to the lessons it taught me about doing the minimum to get by, especially when we're talking about work-related stuff. Nice to hear from you!"


Instead I edited my reply down to just, "Nice to hear from you!" The rest (or maybe the lack of anything other than a meaningless reply) was sort of implied.


We have these interactions and experiences with people...and sometimes, we look back at them the same way...and sometimes there's so much of a difference between our memories that it's hard to tell we're talking about the same thing.


I have no problem with the person on LinkedIn. Had we met under other circumstances, I could see some sort of relationship there. However, because they are so inextricably tied to the collection of experiences with that event I perceived as horrible, I'm kinda hoping I don't really hear from them after the obligatory "request & accept the connection" exchange. Don't really need to dredge up that level of crap from a previous version of me & my life, thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

...And The World Moves On


Coming up on the year anniversary of discovering the credit card debt. His court date for the bankruptcy is almost a year to the day that I discovered it. It's been about 10 months of me footing all the bills.


Therapy is doing what I expected it to. The overwhelming, constant burning anger isn't there anymore, which leaves me in a more logical, detached, reasonable frame of mind to evaluate things.


Someone on my facebook feed posted a graphic of this:

The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.”


That sure doesn't describe what most people seem to think love is or how a relationship should be...but, really, after the last couple years, I think this is closer to the actual truth of it than a lot of the other ideas I've read and heard and seen.


How many other people presented with these situations I have lived through in the past 3-4 years would have gone through with a divorce? How many people have gotten divorced when faced with similar situations? What ends up being harder? What ends up being better? So, I dump him...or he dumps me (because I've certainly given him reason to...)....and then what? You go off and start the whole process of discovering another person from the beginning all over again?


No one is who they initially appear to be. No one. Who we think we are, who our actions say we are, who other people think we are, and who we really are....also a lot of mis-matches between those things, IMO.


If Captain Asshat had never taken up residence in my house for a year and a half, would I still have fallen for game buddy? My knee-jerk reaction is to say no, of course not, there would be no reason to. But that is a lie. The honest answer is: I don't know. I don't know if that would've played out differently if I hadn't been living with Captain Asshat for a year and a half. I've seen it with myself, and I've seen it with other people -- what you *think* you would do in a hypothetical situation and what you actually do if that situation becomes real are not always the same thing. When I witness people proclaiming what they "would do," in the back of my head I scoff and think to myself, "Oh, really...?" Especially if they always claim they'd take the high road and come off like they're superior to whoever is really in the situation that is a hypothetical to them. I want to say, "You're just as imperfect and flawed as the rest of us, so get off your high horse before it throws you." But I just keep my mouth shut and figure it's not my place to disrupt whatever image they have of themselves. Life will do that for them far better than some off-hand comment I make.


So, (nearly) a year after the big discovery, I find I am the wiser, sadder and more humble rabbit.


And that's probably not all bad.

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Nope. I can't say my....episode...with game buddy wouldn't have happened if Captain Asshat hadn't taken up residence for a year and a half. But after much thought, I am pretty confident that it would've been less likely (perhaps even "much less likely") to have happened.

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Progress, Not Perfection

Backslid into the pit of anger the other night. Worked through it and got back on track ok. My natural brain chemistry requires constant management of some sort to keep it on the right track. It was easier when I was taking the Cymbalta. (insert longing sigh here.)


Then again, I was on Cymbalta when I got involved with Game Buddy. Come to think of it, I wonder how or if that played into the situation. If I was in the same set of circumstances minus the Cymbalta...would it have played out differently? If so, how?


Apparently I love to think up questions there's no way I will be able to answer. Pondering them keeps me out of trouble, I guess....


After 6 or so months of being depressingly slow, voiceover work has started to pick up again. Good projects...interesting and decent paying projects. I have been actively auditioning for stuff on v123 again, and gotten my stats there to an acceptable level again. Within 2 months of renewing my subscription, I had more than earned back the subscription fee.


One of the projects I did recently was an internal piece for a major food manufacturer. Video company doing the piece is a client I have done projects for before. Anyway, he emails me in a panic....they've already had 2 other female VO people read the script and neither of them worked out and now they're on a stupid tight deadline. He sends me the other 2 reads so I can get a handle on what the end client doesn't want, then he gives me the non-specific, nebulous description of what the client thinks they want now.


I ignore all that and go record the script as an audition. I send it to the video producer, who reviews it with the client....who flips out and proclaims, "That's IT!!!!" I go record the 2 minute script - for real - and bill them the $400 they said they had budgeted for this. In total, we're talking less than 1 hour of actual time spent working...and a client who is thanking me profusely for knocking out exactly what they were looking for so quickly and saving his ass.


At this point, I go back to hear the first two attempts at narrating this thing. Whoa. Really? I don't know who the other potential narrators were, but jeez....they both sounded so stiff and stilted. They sounded like they were reading....not telling a story. I mean, I took a look at that script and - internal corporate piece or not - it was written to be told like a story....not rattled off like you were reading a grocery list or instructions on how to assemble furniture (which, btw, I have done...).


I drag my husband into my studio and say, "Listen to this..." and play the first two tries and my read. He listens, then says, "You realize there's no comparison here, don't you?" I mean, I get he's biased, but I was kinda thinkin' my read was way better than the other 2, also.


In fairness, I suppose there are projects that those other 2 VO people could do way better on than I could. But on this one....um...no. I ran rings around them both.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nope, We're Tourists Now

Spent part of the weekend taking a trip to where we used to live. It's been a little over 10 years since we moved here, and after this last trip, I realize that when we go back, we're tourists now. My husband kept saying, "no, we used to live here." And I'm like, "We are tourists now. We lived here long enough ago that this is no longer 'home.' And while I can still sort of find my way around, very little looks the same. It's not familiar anymore. It's like how I can find my way around Vegas even though I never lived there...just visited 4 times...but I am a tourist there...and I'm a tourist here, now, too."


All the same it was a good trip. Was glad to be heading back to "the big city" when we left, though. I know there was a point in my past where I lived in that smaller city and was happy there...but that time in my life is gone. I doubt I could be happy living there anymore. Drove by a couple places I used to live while we were in town. Not sure I'd live in those apartment complexes if I was still there today. Weird how things sort of deteriorate over time.


So, in the last week, the one year anniversary of the discovery of the credit card debt has passed, as has his court date to finalize the bankruptcy. Somewhere in that week, we also passed our 12th wedding anniversary. As we sat outside at a Sonic...eating cheese sticks & slush and watching random fireworks...we talked about various things we've been through in that time. "How is it," I said, "that we have maneuvered through things that can and have made other people break up or get divorced...and we're still here?" He didn't have much more of an answer than I do to that question. Just something about being raised by his grandparents who came from a generation that didn't throw things away when they broke....they did what they could to repair them. I guess it's as good an answer as any, really. Probably a better answer than mine that has components of it having to do with laziness and not particularly having any desire to start the whole process over with someone else....


All the same, I'm extra-watchful of things financial and keep an eye towards making sure my own ass is covered - whether he's around or not. Weird headspace to be in, but it's probably a necessary one for now...and maybe this is my permanent reality, too. I don't know.


These thoughts I have had about the passage of time and different times of my life brought up this little factlet: Next month marks the 20 year anniversary of when I met the Alcoholic. Wow. In some ways it seems like it really has been that long, and in some ways, it feels like there's no way it could be that long ago. I remember the mug shots of him I turned up in a google search about a year and a half ago. Yeah, hidden credit card debt seems not so bad compared to where the Alcoholic ended up....


So, a year later...it's better. It will never be what it was again, but what is what it was after a decade or more goes by?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Places I Don't Want To Go...Ever


I had an experience this week I'd really like to write about. I haven't done so yet because I've been trying to come up with a way to tell it leaving out identifying information and still have it make sense.


So let's try this.


Long story short...I witnessed someone who was a former local celebrity (FLC) standing around chatting with customers at a business we both happened to frequent a few days ago. The FLC was showing off their "announcer voice." Granted, when I walked into the business, the conversation I heard was already in progress, so I don't know how it came about. But when other people entered the business, the people the FLC was chatting with would be sure to inform the just-walked-in that was right here! In ! Listen...it really is ! At which point the FLC, right on cue, would "perform."


As I did what I went to that business to do, I was thinking, "Yeah? You're gonna get impressed by that? Guess what...there's actually two FLC's in here right now, but I'm not going to perform - for free - for your amusement, sorry."


Huh.. come to think of it, my reaction was the same reaction I had when I was still a local celebrity and I'd see one of my co-horts acting like that outside of the confines of work. I am nothing if not consistent. I don't have the temperament/ego to seek out the center of attention...never have....and have a hard time understanding people who do. In some ways, it's a wonder I ever got into the line of work I was in at all.

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Conversations With Myself


In the "feminine care" aisle at the mega-mart.


"Ok, so I need to buy tampons...but do I buy the small package to get through this round of bleeding....or do I buy the big box? I mean, I don't know if this is the last time I'm gonna have a period or if this is gonna continue for another cycle or 2 or 3 or 4.... Also, I don't know if this cycle is going to end on its own after a few days...or if we're going to have that 14-days-straight-need-medical-intervention-to-make-it-stop kind of period again. , one hardly knows what to do...or what to buy..."


So, I got out my calculator and figured up the per-tampon cost of each package. The big box won. Frugality gave me a guideline to follow.


It wouldn't be a big deal if I had someone I was close enough to that it wouldn't be weird to pass along any unused portion of the package...but I don't. That just seems to me to fall into the TMI category.


And how do I figure out THIS equation? What's going to be more economical - keep buying tampons or get back on the daily progesterone and stay on it until the plumbing shuts down on its own? Gah. Stupid uterus. Stupid hormones. They're on their own timetable and aren't going to supply an itinerary.



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What Do You Mean You're Leaving?


Had lunch with the engineer from the radio station a few days ago. He has taken another job and will be leaving in a few weeks. Holy crap. There goes my (free) tech support for the home studio. It's a good opportunity for him and will likely be a cake job for him to finish out his career. He is about 10 years older than me, so he's getting to that time in his working life.


He has occupied an odd position in my life - close enough that I have complained about my husband to him, has enough character to not take advantage of that, and distant enough to come up with objective observations that I'm too close to see. At the "once-a-season" lunch we have done since I left radio station, I reported my overview and how I approach things regarding my marriage now. I gave him the boat analogy, and opined that it's not much different than a man who is the primary breadwinner supporting a wife/family who doesn't work or who only works part time. It's just the genders are flipped. And since I have stopped expecting him to be a fully functioning equal partner, I'm happier. I can't make him grow up, but I can change my expectations. Unless you're living on an island, a boat isn't going to be a very practical vehicle to have. It's something enjoyable but not practical or useful outside of very limited contexts (vacations, weekends, nice weather...).


So, that's what I have. And after a lot of thought and observation, I prefer it to being single at this stage of my life. I will be the Al Bundy to his Peggy Bundy link removed...and that's the hand I've been dealt. It's better than what some people have and worse than what others have, but my goal is to make the best of it and not pine away for some other life that's not mine.


What people think relationships...particularly long-term relationships...are like and what they are actually like are very different. Not being able to accept and work within the confines of those differences likely causes a lot of people to split up. If you can't be flexible and tolerant and accepting, my prediction is you'll end up breaking up. Sure there are things that shouldn't/wouldn't be tolerated by a healthy person, but I suspect the list of things that shouldn't be tolerated is a lot shorter than most people think.

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All You Need Is Drugs


After 2 (more) days of brief but extremely heavy bleeding, I give up. I wave the white flag before I bleed all over it, too. Back on the 5mg progesterone a day ASAP. Expense be damned. I'm ready to be done with this. It's grossly fascinating, but at this point it's all repeats.


Pick your poison...spend your money on progesterone or tampons...either way, someone else is getting your money.



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