Tag: marriage

Stranger and Stranger Still

My mother recently called me and informed me that one of her closest friends had committed suicide. She found out the day after it happened- just after the Fourth of July. We will call my mom’s friend Shirley* to protect her identity. A family friend called my mother and told her what happened.

Shirley and her family went to a party to celebrate the Fourth. Shirley was happily married with a son about to be married. His fiance was a blonde girl with two mixed children, a little girl and a little boy. They all lived together at Shirley’s house and the daughter followed Shirley around like a shadow.

It turned out to be a shadow that haunted her. Shirley lost a child twenty years ago. She had cared for and utterly adored a special needs little girl for eight years of her life before she regrettably passed. They say that she had been speaking about her deceased daughter more often lately. She was going through menopause and her mother said she suffered from depression.

Even so, no one expected what happened from her. There was an altercation between Shirley and another woman and they left the party. Everyone went back home. Shirley said she had to go to the bathroom, and asked the little daughter to stay in the living room with everyone else, she’d be right back.

She went down the hall to their bedroom. She collected a shotgun her son had gifted her and wordlessly carried it with her to the bathroom. No one noticed anything until they heard the shot.

Her body fell against the door. Her son had to hack at the door and break it to get to his mother. There was nothing they could do, no help to get. She was gone. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law came to clean up the mess. Everyone was shocked and grief stricken.

My mother said it didn’t sound like her, she couldn’t believe it. I caught my mother in the throes of denial. She half way wondered if there could have been foul play. It was so utterly unlike Shirley to do this to her family. Her son was supposed to be wed the very next month. The family friend said that her husband was in shock and that her son was angry beyond belief. Who could blame him? My mother insightfully said, “But you know what? Being mad at her is probably what’s going to be what gets him through this.”

When we went to the Celebration for Her Life, I was touched by the amount of people gathered. There were well over a hundred people there. Her death touched so many people. Suicide robs everyone of you. It is so horrible. I know no one knows the pain she was in, but to see all her loved ones gathered makes you think about how you can’t take them for granted.

That’s what I was thinking as I sat next to my mother and squeezed her hand. But even as tears dripped down my face, they weren’t for Shirley. I was secretly terrified the same thing could happen to my own mother.  She lost her son. What if she broke one day, too?

Afterwards in the card, I even told her, “Don’t you dare ever do this to me.”

My summer has been saturated in death and mortality. So many griefs and shocks. My cousin passed away. We found out my Grandpa has cancer. My mother has been pressuring me to talk to my dad for her and I can’t bear the rejection of him not speaking to me. He can ignore her all he wants, but God forbid I try and he doesn’t. The fear of rejection is strong. I couldn’t find the words to tell her that.

My birthday was an affair to remember. The week leading up to it I was a bundle of raw nerves. All I could anticipate was based on past experience and generally my birthdays include crying at some point. Not Happy Tears. I lived in fear of my husband’s temper and belittling attitude and cried in dread of the day. I cried to my mother that I didn’t want to be alone with him because he’s so insensitive and I can be so fucking fragile.

Doesn’t sound like a happy marriage, does it? I have always struggled to get the respect I deserve. I actually specifically asked my husband to be nice to me on my birthday. I just said he always found a reason to yell at me on that day and it would be nice if he didn’t this year. He miraculously didn’t. He loves me, I know he was trying. I guess he actually listened for once.

After the debacle that was my birthday, we had another hurdle to jump as a family. Or so I thought. Toby’s birthday came so shortly after his passing, but we were all supposed to spend it together. It wouldn’t turn out that way.

On his birthday, I called my uncle and he informed me that my mother wasn’t invited anymore. His wife struggled with drug addiction in the past and now she had been found out again. She relapsed and blamed it on my mother. Yes, my mother had a part in it. But she was to blame also for imploding the family dynamic.

Now relationships are strained and we still haven’t all agreed to be in person yet. My mother and aunt had been healing old wounds before. My mother used to hate my aunt more than anyone and they were becoming friends over my cousin’s illness. Now that has been ruined again. My uncle is barely speaking to my mother. Rightfully so.

In tandem with this secret family drama, there is other family drama afoot. My Grandpa has the misfortune of getting diagnosed with cancer shortly after admitting to a life of lies with his wife.

My Grandpa cheated on her. She was willing to forgive him. Then she found out that some family members such as my mother were involved, and now my mother is a trigger in their relationship and she won’t let my Grandpa speak to my mother. He told my mother not to call or text him, he’d get in touch with her. It is heartbreaking what this woman is doing. He’s fucking dying and she’s cutting him off from his family. Her final, bitter revenge for ruining her life with a faithless man.

She’s right to be upset, but there’s a limit. They are bound to separate, it seems. She has been one of my Grandpa’s longest relationships. But he needs his family, and they need him, too. Everyone hates her even though Grandpa is the one that cheated. We live in a topsy turvy world.

To put the cherry on top, I finally had the courage to call an intervention helpline for my mother’s sake and was immediately discouraged. How could we ever pay for rehab? The answer is we can’t. I have to look harder for the answer but I feel so afraid. What if it doesn’t help? She doesn’t sound willing to go. So much effort in a doomed pursuit. I don’t know if I have it in me, and that makes me feel ashamed.

Welcome to my life.

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How is married life treating you?

“Not very well, I’m afraid.”

But you’re not allowed to say that, are you?

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Jake and I have been having a heck of a time in the bedroom. It’s terrible and I just don’t know how to fix it. He regards me as a cold woman and won’t come onto me. He has claimed that I always refuse him, which is not necessarily the case.

I have to come onto him every time, no matter how foul his mood. It’s even worse when he rejects me. We both know I don’t want to do it, but if I don’t “milk him” then his aggression piles up on top of each other every day until he’s downright hostile towards me and the tension in the house could be cut with a knife. I regrettably told a girlfriend the other day, “I should probably be worried my husband knows how much a divorce costs.”

*hangs head in shame* It’s just not going well. We’re both depressed and getting in each other’s way. He wants me to clean house and I want him to leave him be. He doesn’t clean house either, so why don’t we help each other? No, he’d rather play his game which is his form of escape.

But what is he escaping? Me, Us? Are we so horrible? When was the last time we asked ourselves if we were truly happy? We don’t seem happy. He’s always mad at me. His temper is so short. He treats me poorly. I’ve cried to my mother more than I should have about our state of affairs.

Sex is one of the root causes. He says that his only stress release has been turned stressful by me. He no longer wants to even try and salvage our physical intimacy. He never tries to woo me. We barely act like we like each other.

We’ve come to take advantage of each other, and it’s a vicious cycle. He’s mad at me, I’m mad at him for being so emotionally unavailable and unforgiving. He pushes me away and I let him, frustrated and at a lose for what else I should do. I know he doesn’t want to push me away, and I don’t want that either, but he’s so damn prickly it’s like trying to comfort a cactus. How do I soothe his ire when it is directed at me so?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

He’s at work. You know this because you have taken great pains to pay attention to his schedule. He’ll be leaving around 4:30, and it’s 11:00 now. It would be considered nonchalant if she dropped by and brought him food. Men regarded women getting them food warmly, and she was eager for his smiles.

She brought him a subway sandwich she knew he’d enjoy. When he saw her, her pulled her in for a brief hug. It was enough to satiate the yearning inside her enough to almost make her pleasurably sigh in his arms. Almost. She held back, and she smiled up at him, her heart in her eyes.

He never kissed her. They were very careful about that, although the opportunity had come up every now and then. She was sorely tempted. She was smitten, in love. She would take what she could get.

She was married. She should not be craving another man so ardently, but it’s happened. He treated her with such care and friendship it made her ache to be away from him. He listened to her petty woes and concerns and he didn’t get bored talking to her. When they had worked together on calm Sunday nights, he was the one to come and find her. He was the one that kindled their friendship.

Before he came around, she felt a certain distance between herself and her other coworkers. She noticed when her bright and flirtatious coworker Sara was around, people perked up and came visiting at the front desk. When it was just Carmen by herself, she noticed the same people rushed by with things to do rather than stopping to chat with her. Chad was the only one who approached her even though she was standoffish at times.

He lingered by the front desk and wormed his way into her heart. He was such an apt listener, she found herself saying things to him she was afraid to say to anyone else.

She should be able to have such conversations with her husband, but he was uninterested in the things that made her worry through the night. He was quick to soothe her frazzled nerves by telling her it was time for her to smoke, distracting her from the fact he wasn’t willing to share himself with her. He would rather she smoke and fill her head with false pleasure.

Chad listened to her. Chad said uplifting things. Chad was understanding and encouraging. Chad reminded her she had power she’d forgotten she once had. He was nice to her, and he asked her things. He spent time with her and shared himself with her. When she left that job she worked with him, she was dry-eyed with everyone else as she bid her goodbyes. But not him.

It was only Chad that made her weak. She managed to hold back the tears in front of him, just barely. She walked with him out to his car on their final day together, and she slipped him a letter she’d written.

She gave him a heartfelt hug and honestly said, “Thank you for being a friend to me.” She doubted he had any idea how much that meant to her; it meant the world. She felt wrong telling him goodbye.

When she looked into his face, a flash of everything they could have had in another world came to her. She missed him already, and her arms were still wrapped around him.

Afterwards, he got into his car and she walked away. She didn’t look back as she rounded the corner of the building away from him. Farewell. Her heart was pounding, and she couldn’t hold back her hot tears any longer. Parting was such sweet sorrow.

Get to Know Me Survey

  • What does your ideal day look like?
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    An afternoon spent outdoors, reading a book with nowhere to be.
  • What did you want to be when you were younger? A writer, songwriter. When I was really young I wanted to be a singer like Selena 😛
  • Who are you most inspired by? Why? I am inspired by my husband and his pragmatic view on life, and his loving nature. He’s went through a lot but he still helps those who are less fortunate.
  • Who would you love to meet? What would you ask? Harriett Tubman. I would just want to hear more about her experience working for the Union during the Civil War.
  • What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?
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    Smoking would be a good habit to kick for my health. I would like to someday be the type of person who gets exhilarated at the thought of working out. (Currently, that is the not the case.)
  • Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person? In my career, I have found myself thinking of my previous boss Latta lately. I want to be as good at my job as he was. He was a very supportive and cool boss. He got to know you, talked and joked with you, and bought you lunches- sent you on runs when you got stressed and needed to get away. More than anything, he trained you to do your job well so his would be less of a headache. He was an empathetic leader, rather than boss.Image result for leader boss
  • How do you like to relax? Relaxing with soft music and candlelight in the bathtub
  • When was the last time you did something you were afraid of? It was in my career. The last thing I was afraid to do was apply for the front office manager position a few months back. I was terrified because I didn’t really want all the stress that went with all the responsibilities. It worked out for me, because I didn’t get the position. My manager did not feel I was ready, and I hated to agree with her.
  • What are you most proud of? I am proud that my life doesn’t revolve around alcohol and getting fucked up, forgetting myself, anymore. I have moved past that urge and stage of my life, all because of my husband.
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  • What are you most afraid of? Probably being raped, or held up at gunpoint or a scenario where both of these events are likely i.e. the apocalypse or zombies
  • If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing? I would die regretting how things have become between my mother and my self. I can (and am) write a novel about the sorrow and disappointments that we’ve had together.
  • Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why? I miss my Grandpa. He has always supported me and loved me, even if he doesn’t know me that well. It’s not anyone’s fault, we’re both just busy and the whole family has fallen apart since Granny died.
  • What qualities do you admire in others? Creativity, quirkiness, outgoing behavior
  • What practical skills do you wish you had? I wish that I could master basic cooking and/or baking. Skills in the kitchen would be nice. I would also like to know how to clean and cook fish properly but never done that before.
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  • Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell? I would tell about the enormously successful life I’d had as a published author and screenwriter and all the money I earned; the nice house I lived in with all my foster children and loving husband.
  • What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?
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    My favorite book in the entire world is Gone with the Wind. I am rereading it for the 8th year in a row as I do traditionally. These two characters were made for each other in a way that no other two people have ever been. The world that Mitchell created is so immersive and well-crafted. I loved how the characters went so well together and I absolutely loved the character of Melanie Wilkes. She reminded me of my grandma; a great lady. The way that Scarlett changed as the world changed around her was very gripping and hard to put down.
  • If you could make one change in the world, what would it be? I would take down Mcdonalds/discourage widespread commercialism for fast food restaurants/make America slimmer & healthier/make healthy food popular, fast, and easy to get
  • What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)? I like to give compliments to people.
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  • What excites you? Art and writing; geeky TV shows
  • What do you wish you did more of? I wish that I worked out more, and worked on my art/collages more often. I am much more creative than I have acted lately.
  • Pretend money is no object. What would you do? Buy a new house and hire a professional decorator to do the house. Build a tree house in the backyard. Get a bitchin’ car. Pay for my mother’s rehab. See a therapist regularly.
  • What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? The best section of my life right now is my marriage. My career has been in a rut, and my family life is dismal.
  • Which area makes you feel the worst? Why? The family life is bad, and it’s bad because none of us are putting in any effort. We never try to see each other anymore. We’re all “busy” and we don’t know each other anymore. Splintered, apart. Sad.
  • Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year? I would like to secure a better paying job and tweak my career some. I am open to new avenues and exploring different options. I’d like to have a job that was monday through friday, sitting at a desk somewhere. Making a lot more money, sitting comfy. I want to have gotten rid of a substantial amount of our shared debt.
  • What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
    Five: “Don’t let everyone push you around, you deserve your own opinions just like anyone else.”
    Sixteen: “When Granny goes into surgery, spend more time with your mother. She’s scared and anxious and she just needs you around. Be more patient; go with her to the shops when she goes to look at plants. It doesn’t matter that you hate plants and find it boring. Don’t be an asshole and sit in the car reading manga ignoring her. She needs you, you’re going to be her only person. It feels weird and tense right now, but your rocky relationship with your mother is only going to get worse. She’s going to fail you someday, and you should concentrate on trying not to be so disappointed when it happens. Be strong.”
    Twenty-one: “You’re doing you, just fine! You’re going to look back on these days fondly. But for heaven’s fucking sake, when Joshua comes into your life with his poetry and artistic streak, don’t be tempted. He will ruin you, and there’s nothing beautiful about it. Don’t risk yourself on him. Get back together with Hakim immediately when he asks.” (A Great Regret of My Life)
    Now: “You need to care more about yourself, try harder. It takes effort to maintain a positive attitude, but you can’t afford to let your depression overwhelm you and take control of your life. You’re not your best when you’re depressed, so fight it. Pay attention. Be mindful.”
  • How do you want to be remembered in life? Someday, I want to be the kind of Mom my Granny was to me. I want to love some little light with all my might. I want to love them, praise them, and turn a blind eye to all their faults. I will build them up, make them loved and supported. I want to be the kind of mom that doesn’t have to scold you, the look of disappointment on her face is enough to make you feel ashamed. I want to raise good kids, whether they are my own or not. I just want to share my love and make the world a better place by raising children to be empathetic, kind adults.

It’s A Small World After All

Alternative title: Almost, But Never Was

The other day I went shopping at Wal*Mart and I ran into an old acquaintance. Of all people, I ran into Asta- Hakim’s Grandma. It was a pleasure seeing her. One thing I regret about discontinuing the friendships I had with my exes was my right to know about their loved ones~ Both Tyler (my first bf) and Hakim had grandmothers that I adored and they liked me, too.

Hakim’s family called her Dada, which is what I always knew and called her by as well. Seeing her was so weird and funny because it just reminded me of how different my life could have been. I kick myself every time I think about how I chose Joshua, the no-good drunk of my life, over Hakim, a perfectly stable and nice young man who loved me and missed me. He tried to get me back after we broke up, and I stupidly chose Josh thinking I was deeply in love.

Deeply deranged in the head, maybe.

If I had chosen Hakim back then, he would have likely became my husband instead. I love Jacob so very much, but I wonder sometimes how much happier I could have been with Hakim. Hakim and I were very similiar, that’s why we made a good couple. We were both sensitive people who enjoyed the same things, were spontaneous and liked to be involved in cool things. My relationship with him was easily one of the most stable relationships I ever had, and I miss those times sometimes. We had a lot of fun together. We had a lot of common interests.

We went out all the time. Hakim had a very good job and he drove a nice car. He was so sweet and thoughtful and generous. He bought people presents just because~ for no reason, he just wanted to spread cheer. The first date we ever had remains the best first date I ever went on to this day.

I suppose I’ve been thinking about it because I am slightly disappointed in some aspects of my marriage. I dislike how stagnant things are sometimes. Jake is stingy when it comes to going out. He refuses to go to expensive restaurants. In fact, the last nice place we went for dinner was an absolutely miserable date because he thought we might end up spending $60 on the  meal, including the tip amount *rolls eyes*

I crave the experience of dressing up and going out. I want to look nice and be on my husband’s arm, have him be proud to take me somewhere rather than grudging. I haven’t felt very attractive lately in his eyes either. I feel like I am starving for compliments and sweet endearments. I just want him to say nice things about me to me, and how pathetic is it when you have to ask???? No bueno.

Our sex life is pretty much in the same boat. We never do anything new, and it’s not my fault. I might be just a little too adventurous for Jake. And by that, I mean I actually enjoy and want to try different forms of foreplay but to him that would just be a big waste of time. He’s too impatient to get on to the sex, and I never feel wooed. Just pressured. Our sex is like clock work, something I have to do in a timely fashion before he freaks out that I haven’t offered. God forbid he spend some time making out with me or heavy petting me to put me in the mood, oh no.

He doesn’t kiss me passionately. He doesn’t stare into my eyes like he loves me. I know he does, I just sometimes wish he could be more expressive about things. S0metimes I feel like we lack intimacy since he rushes things so much.

We’re definitely comfortable together, though. We have fallen into a routine. Come home, smoke, eat until it’s time to have sex and go to sleep. We both love to eat. We eat out of boredom. We both have been known to binge eat. We both love playing on our computers and watching the same TV shows. I am happy. I have found what I was looking for when I first got together with Jake;

“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

I needed someone who would never tire of me. I somehow got what I wished for; Jake is obsessed with me, I am his one and only. I am his wife and his best friend. Jake doesn’t like to spend time with anyone else, he has no other friends. I am his everything. He wants to be by my side always, literally. The only time I can be away from him is when I am at work. It gets tiring, but they do say “Careful what you wish for.”

Something Hubby and I have been doing it catching up on all the latest and greatest shows on TV. I feel like all the characters on Hulu are my friends now. These fictional characters took the place of my real friends. Lately we binge-watched the latest season of Walking Dead and I would be remiss if I didn’t share one of my favorite things from season 7: