June 28, 2018

Tired.

Well, the end of an era is officially here, this fall we will be empty nesters.  Getting The Girl graduated was a hard job.  She was so focused on getting out she lost sight of the process, never have I had to push her so hard as I did this school year.  But, she finished & she's been formally accepted by her chosen university.

sigh.

One battle at a time.

Ex & fam came to her graduation, we played well together & they went straight home.  Not after he carefully & smoothly slipped his way back into the good graces of some old friends.  I don't know what his agenda is but I do know that if he is deciding to try & come back...I'm leaving.  Yeah, I know that sounds extreme & reactionary but I've enjoyed the peace & solitude that has come from knowing he hasn't be here to permeate my life.  I was angry when he first left because I felt like he ditched his only child and me.  He left me holding the bag & I had to make compromises that he never had to face.  To say I've been jealous is putting it mildly.  For a long time I felt cheated & then I went back to college.  That was some thing I didn't even consider back in those days.  The rare moments when I'd look at online schools, he'd look at me & tell me one of two things:  we couldn't afford it or I had to find a way to pay for it all on my own.  Seeing how much better my personal life has been has shown me what a blessing in disguise it's been to have him so far away.

This year has already brought about some major changes, there are still more to come.  I have no desire to have my life affected by that particular part of my past.  Every battle that's been fought thus far:  business & money woes, medical nightmares, school problems...has made us stronger & better prepared for later life.

I've been told that it's useless to dwell on situations that you've no control over, people who are not like you, or past events.  However.....................
It's very hard to take hit after hit after hit while the one who abandoned you lives a seemingly charmed life.  To know that he's still using the tired line, "I was broken, I had to leave so I could be a better parent."  Ya know...you kind of have to be around to be a parent, much less a good one.  You kind of have to contribute more than a monthly stipend, maybe inquire about their grades, well-being, social life...
I don't know what I expected.  I guess I knew deep down that I'd do the work & he'd swoop in just as credit was being acknowledged. 

Along with the coming of age of my daughter came the end of his court ordered financial obligation.  He began inquiring about how to stop the wage garnishment that has been in effect for the last couple of years.  He started with my attorney who didn't answer him because...well...she was hired by me.  Conflict of interest anyone?   He then turned to me to dig and find when/if/how the support ends.  I was polite and did a little bit of preliminary research and then I stopped.  I stopped because it should never have been my responsibility to provide him with information he can just as easily get.  He had copies and access of all the same papers I have.  He has an internet connection to look up information.  Reason two:  He doesn't trust me.  OK, that's totally fair I did some heinous shit back in the day.  Also, he's always believed himself to be much more intelligent than I.  Considering all these factors...why, on Gaia's green earth, would a man in his position rely on someone like me or my cohorts for information??  Seriously, what sense does that make?  I guess it makes perfect sense if you're lazy and seemingly privileged. 

To add insult to...insult...he ended up filing a very poorly executed motion on his own.  The very fact that he sent a scribbled up document to the courthouse for filing was asinine.  It showed his impudence and audacity, I felt as though he was mocking the whole system.  Well, the motion was useless (which I knew because I looked up the law on child support orders), when I went for the hearing I found out at the courthouse that it was cancelled.  A little wasted time.  I'll be OK.

Then I spoke to the clerk about fees.  You see, all the time I've been involved with this man it's cost me, literally, in money.  He couldn't have a bank account when we met so I was foolish enough to put him on mine.  He bled me dry when I was in the military and we always fought to have money while we were married.  Three separate times over our 20 years he has taken tax returns that I had a right to at least half of.  I paid for the entire divorce and ended up paying his court costs for all the child support hearings.  All of this on top of him still having outstanding fees in our county.  Why are those fees my problem you ask?  Community property and mortgage.  Let's say my husband and I buy a new home or try to mortgage a business, there could be repercussions for my name being attached to outstanding court fees.  Again, more money that I have to shell out for his responsibility.

I'm tired.  I'm over it.  While I'm happy about my success and that this hellish chapter is over...there is still so much lingering hurt and anger.  I ask myself often, how could I have been so foolish? 

Ah well, enough is enough.  This chapter is closed.  On to the next.


May 03, 2018

Milestones

I'm graduating college.

I'm finally graduating college.

I'm graduating from university.

In 8 days, I will be a college graduate.

Sorry, I'm still trying to convince myself that this isn't a wild, Percocet induced dream.  My one and only daughter will also be graduating this month, one week after me.  She has fought one hell of a battle the last year and a half, she's done an amazing job.  My little family has been through trial after trial the last couple of years.  Dark shadows clawing at the health of my husband, my child, and perhaps even myself.  The strain on our home has been overwhelming, but we still have a house and we still have our vehicles and we still have food.  And for now, we still have a place to work.  We all got this far, we'll continue to fight until the shadows abate.

I still feel strange doing this at 40.  I know there are a lot of people proud of me for returning and finishing, it's not something everyone gets to accomplish.  My time in the military came back to serve me and it will serve my daughter next fall as well.  It's not a lot, but a years worth of paid tuition is a big help.  She's ready to fly the nest and take on her next steps in life, I'm not sure that I'm entirely ready for it.  I hope I've prepared her enough for what's coming, I hope she has enough armor to combat the world around her.  I was watching the most recent episode of the Handmaid's Tale last night, all I could think about was the character and her mother would be My Girl and myself should our country ever fall to extremism.  She'd want to live her life and hope for the best while I was raging against something that seemed invisible.  My greatest fear has always been that my issue, however far removed, would see martial law and possibly war in their own country.  I desperately fear oppression plaguing my intelligent girl.  All I can do is arm her and hope for the best.



When I was putting up my senior exhibition I felt somewhat out of place.  I've mentioned in the past that I often felt boorish and unrefined around my instructors and peers.  Peers being an odd word, given that my general life was in line with my instructors but my learning level was with that of the students.  Either way, 15 years in industry added some rough edges that are hard to shape down.  My work became very similar.  No matter how hard I tried to make it polished and perfect, I simply couldn't.  I wound up taking a steel forming class this last semester and that opened me up to a whole new world.  Our show was very female heavy, all the visual arts works were made by women and feminism was a constant theme.  Here I was with these heavy, overt, somewhat garish pieces in a room full of soft paintings, pictures, and etchings.  Tiara's of steel tools and items of trade embellished with metal leaf.  I liked what I made, I just felt out of place...as I usually do.

Trying to maintain an air of humility as well as being proud of myself is another internal battle that continues to rage.  The last thing I want to do is give off an air of superiority.  Yes, I'm a university graduate, but I was blue collar way before I was bonafide.  All fears aside, I'm happy that I took this leap, I certainly never intended to.  All during my enlistment I said I would never go back to college, it was too much and I was never in love with school to begin with.  I went back in an effort to salvage my family's sticky financial situation, military housing pay is nice to have when paychecks from your job can't be counted on.  As with joining the military, and working in a warehouse, any action I've taken over the years has been for the preservation of my child's well being.  I rather like security.  Having a side bonus just makes the sacrifice that much better. 

So here we are.  A husband with a fresh look at life and business.  An 18 year old graduating high school, got her own car, about to leap into the world.
A 40 year old with an art degree, looking at new paths hoping to DO something with her life before it's too late. 

Contrary to popular belief, I do look before I leap....sometimes it's a glance, but that's still a look.

Tired.

Well, the end of an era is officially here, this fall we will be empty nesters.  Getting The Girl graduated was a hard job.  She was so focu...