August 18, 2016

You Get What You Give

Right now the universe is giving our home a hell of a ride.  Torrential rains are leaving a lasting impression on everything south and people are losing what they worked very hard to maintain.  It's heart-wrenching to watch.  I have been able to donate a little bit, not as much as I'd like but it's what I could do so I have to be OK with that.  Unfortunately Honey and I have our own battle to fight with an ancient leaky building and no funds to do a proper repair.  We just have to wait for the rain to finish what it's doing so we can try to address it as best we can.  

There has been many a night in the last few years that Honey and I both have looked at what was dumped in his lap and asked..."what did I/we do to deserve this?"  He certainly didn't ask for it, in case anyone was wondering.  But..he's got it.  It's there and it isn't as simple as ditch it and walk away nor is it as simple as drain a bank account to fix one problem out of 50.  If there was ever a tighter catch 22, I've not seen it.  While there are good days where things are going well, tenants are paying rent in full, systems are functioning, water pipes are piping...there are just as many bad days where a main pipe bursts under concrete.  When tenants are affected by the local economy and can't get rent in on time or in some cases--at all.  When heating or cooling systems are too pricey to even repair much less replace and the funds don't exist.  Many repairs have come straight out of Honey's pocket, therefore our household budget.  You see there's this recurrent theme regarding outsiders' opinions on what he's got on his hands.  There is this notion that there is a supply or stash of funds somewhere that isn't already delegated to something else.  There are moments where anyone on the outside looking in can't comprehend that taxes trump new air conditioning units.  They can't seem to understand that the seemingly small cost of a bucket of pitch for the roof is actually the massive cost for several buckets for the repair to make an actual difference.  This doesn't include man power and time.  Not everyone keeps late hours or has the luxury of no family or second job responsibilities plus an unlimited credit card.  And not everyone has a perfectly healthy body or capable, trustworthy help.  It's kind of sick that it even has to be said that way....just as sometimes someones lack of knowledge isn't willful stupidity, but simple ignorance....lack of progress isn't laziness, it's lack of necessary resources.  

I've sat back and questioned this life since the day I entered it back in 2010.  I moved in with a man I wasn't ready to move in with, but it was a necessary thing.  It was the best decision at the time for my daughter and I.  How many people would stick by someone knowing this kind of battle was waiting for them?  You see, all this junk began before I married him.  I very easily could have cut and run and at one point I was of a mind to.  I stayed because I knew this is where I needed to be.  It's not easy by any means, but it's a better life than I had and at least I can say that I'm loved and appreciated.  The last little while has not been the most positive time in life-in general.  I am not Little Suzy Sunshine, I don't fake happy or sad.  If it's bad, I say it's bad.  If it's good, I say it's good.  Period, the end.  I typically carry enough of a facade in public that when I'm with people I believe I can trust, I let the guard down and expose just how bad or good things truly are.  Of late, I've had that trust slammed back in my face.  I'm perfectly aware that I have good things going, as I mentioned in my previous, there are plenty of things I am grateful for in my life.  There are things going on with my personal health and that of my child that are not small issues.  I'm not going to walk around and act like everything is roses when it very well isn't.  I'm not going to act like I'm not bitter or hurt over a huge betrayal when that's exactly what I am.  I don't owe anyone anything in this particular part of my life.  For once, I'm not the one in debt, I am the one indebted to as a matter of fact.  A debt that I will never collect on.  At this point though, that is the least of my worries, I have far bigger problems that are more important.  

As a general rule I don't stand up or make demands for myself.  Ex would fuss me all the time, he would tell me that I make myself a victim.  I never saw it as self-victimization....I saw it as keeping the peace.  If I truly wanted to claim what is mine?  To right the injustices the way I would do it would be an ugly situation, so I simply bow down.  Because Honey gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, he and I are cuddled up in the same boat.  His take on other people is that there is no need to set boundaries, people with common sense and a moral fiber should know where to stop pushing the envelope.  This attitude has gotten him in many a scrape and he is almost always left holding the bag.  While I try to set boundaries, I simply want people to like me so I give and fold and allow them to walk all over me.  It's not a trait I'm proud of.  Hell, even my physical therapist told me, my resistance to standing up straight is contributing to the backwards curve in my cervical spine.  My own body is too humble!  Sadly, he and I give.  We give.  and give. and give. and give.  Until there is nothing left and we wonder where it all went.  We give our children the last of what we have, we allow what we think are friends to take whatever they need from us regardless of consequence, we allow family to ditch us with roles and responsibilities that aren't ours to have.  And then feel guilty when we can't give to the people who lost everything in a flood because we just don't have it!

No.  We're not martyrs.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  We're average people, trying to run an average life and stay afloat in it.  Neither of us has as extensive bank account anymore (thanks oil field recession), nor do we have every tool to fix every problem.  What positive have I done lately?  I saved three little kittens who were premature and abandoned.  The one survivor is my little pride and joy.  I've given my step son advice that worked for him and he's in a good place.  I helped one of my best friends clean out so her baby room was ready and was there the afternoon she gave birth.  I've had a conversation with my ex that wasn't awful or a screaming match.  I've remembered why my husband and I are a good team, made conscious effort to promote that and heal the little hurt bits between he and I.  I learned the hard way, be choosy to whom you spill, and never down talk your spouse.  To anyone, friend or not.  I was incredibly wrong for trusting a situation, I know that now.  I was also incredibly wrong for not laying down extremely clear boundaries and directives when I had the chance, I have no one to blame for those follies but me.  Now I have to accept that that's not where I was meant to be.  I consider it my sacrifice in lieu of something better suited to what the Universe wants for me.  I am giving in.  

So what do we get in return?  We get the chance to leave the past behind and start over fresh and new in something that belongs to he and I.  We can focus on what is truly important:  each other and our family--not the business, not the rentals but US.  We have the support and backing of some great people who have already walked this road and can guide us where we need to be.  Honey gets his horses back.  I get a real shop with proper tools to work my craft.  We get a quiet place where life can start fresh.  I've been told your life completely changes every 7 years.  Well we're in year 6 right now, and we're ready for that change, both of us.  I am so ready for this I can't see straight.  If I've got to face down some scary things, then I want to be able to face them on my own turf.  My healing has begun, my daughter still has a journey in front of her.  I am trying very hard to go where I am directed, it's not always easy...but I'm trying.  

So do you get what you give?  Yes, you do.  Just sometimes, it doesn't look the same from the other side of the glass house.  

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