Words From The Wise

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

– Abraham Lincoln

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Dear Jack

I hope you never have to know what it feels like to be in my shoes. 

I hope you never think that your kids would be better off with someone else, someone who can give them the best of everything, because you failed them.  Because you failed yourself. 

I hope you never have to hear your parents tell you how ashamed they are of you.  Or what a disappointment you’ve become. 

I hope you never have to feel as scared and alone and hopeless as I have.

I hope you really appreciate your good job and having a great education.  It’s no small accomplishment earning a degree and amassing 15 years of experience in your field.  I don’t have either of those things and it makes life more difficult than you can imagine.

I hope you never have to struggle to find a decent job.

I hope you never have to give up everything in order to support someone else’s dreams and goals.

I hope you never lose your way.

I hope that you never have to chose between buying something that you really need or spending that money on something fun for your kids.

I hope that you can always afford to take them on trips, to the movies, and out for meals.

I hope you never have to worry about how you will keep a roof over your kids heads. 

I hope you never have to wonder how you are going to afford groceries AND gas for the week.

I hope you continue to be successful.

Most of all, I hope that you find some happiness again.

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Behind Every Beautiful Thing, There Is Some Kind Of Pain

Yesterday was a rough day.

In fact it was so bad, and I felt so hopeless and desperate, that I seriously considered checking myself into a hospital.  I looked up suicide crisis centers in my city, just in case, and wrote down the numbers for several help lines.

Sometimes life and the nastiness of this situation become so overwhelming that I fear I am not strong enough to carry on.  I know that suicide is a terrible, selfish thing to even consider, but when you feel so depressed and so certain that you can’t possibly make it through the disaster that you’ve created for yourself, sometimes it seems like the best option.

I thought a lot about what I would write to the people in my life.  To Aiden, V, my parents, Jack, and my kids (to be given to them much later in life of course, when they might understand).  What would I say if I knew I was never going to see any of them again?  What would I want them to know?

I would tell them that I was sorry for not being better, more resilient, more capable of standing up for myself.  I would tell them that I really did try my best, but that at the end of the day, it just wasn’t good enough.  I would tell them, each of them, that I loved them and that I hoped they would remember me the way I was before all of this started.

After spending more time than I care to admit writing these letters in my head, and formulating a suitable plan of self-execution, I decided to sleep on it because I never like to make decisions impulsively.

This morning I woke up, and for several glorious, groggy moments, I was just myself again.  The pain and the anguish from yesterday was gone and I was warm and safe and happy in my bed.  I completely forgot the horrors of my current state of affairs, and I was, dare I say, really happy.

Unfortunately those moments never last, and reality punches me in the face like an angry drunk.  Still, for those brief, amazing, and beautiful moments, I remembered why life is worth living, no matter how bad it seems, and that really, I can’t lose much more than I already have.  If Jack is determined to drive me right into the ground during the course of this divorce, well so be it.  I can only trust that he will at least leave me with joint custody of our kids, and whatever money and possessions I “earned” by giving up my education and a career in order to raise our offspring.

Today is a better day.

Tomorrow is yet to be determined.

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The Dreams In Which I’m Dying Are The Best I Ever Had

There is plenty to report, but not much that I am willing to say.  Unfortunately, it may remain so for quite some time.

Aiden has moved out, and now I divide my time between his place and what now feels like Jack’s house.  My schedule generally involves work, picking up the kids from school, doing homework with them, making them supper, eventually tucking them in, and then going to Aiden’s to make my lunch for the following day, throw in some laundry, take a shower, and then head to bed.  Weekends are a little less repetitive, but we haven’t yet worked out a rotation of who-has-the-kids.

I changed positions at work, and moved into a full-time spot (I was part-time previously).  Aiden is no longer my supervisor, which is perhaps for the best.  I think I will really like my new department, and my new supervisor is extremely trusting in my ability to get things done with minimal input from himself, which I like.  Full-time also means more money in the bank, which is important now that I actually have to support myself for the first time in almost a decade.

It’s terrifying and hard and depressing, but it’s also sort of liberating and satisfying at the same time.  When Jack and I were first together I struggled with feeling like I didn’t really contribute because I didn’t work or pay the bills.  I was resentful, off and on, of giving up any hopes of a career while raising younglings.  Yes, I worked some over the years, and for a while I had that same liberated, satisfied feeling.

It’s strange and sometimes uncomfortable to have to operate within a rather restricted budget (hopefully only for the time being, until better employment comes along for either Aiden or myself).  I became accustomed to a rather cushy lifestyle, and although I still retain ownership over a vast number of objects, I no longer enjoy the luxury of things like eating out, purchasing clothing or other extras on a whim, or driving hither and yon with no thought to how much gas I might be burning.

While there are times when it’s difficult and aggravating, I’ve also come to appreciate the finer things in life in a way I haven’t in many years.  When I *do* get to eat out, I don’t take it for granted.  I make more conscious choices when it comes to where I spend my grocery money (which is not only beneficial to my wallet, but my waistline).  I don’t waste money on frivolous items that serve no real purpose.  I’ve learned better methods of managing money, keeping a written budget, and saving for things I want rather than just buying them immediately.  It certainly ensures that I prioritize.

I read an article sometime ago regarding ones satisfaction level when something, like a vacation, had to be scrimped and saved for, rather than paid for with little to no impact to ones finances.  Apparently many people report feeling a greater sense of enjoyment and satisfaction when their trip had to be earned and planned for over a period of time, as opposed to those who could afford to travel on a whim.  I have no idea if that’s true for everyone, but I am beginning to understand what they meant.  I’ve only been living on a reduced budget for a month and some, but my perspective is changing.

Jack and I continue to struggle with relating to each other, and keeping things civil.  It seems as though we rotate between good days, bad days, and days when I wish the earth would open up and swallow me.  Our trust in each other has been eroded to the point where neither of us feel that we can put much stock in the other.  I hope that changes with time.  It’s difficult to endure what I perceive as his intense dislike for me, and I am certain it is just as difficult for him.  There are times when I look at him, and I’m not even certain that I know him at all.

Separation changes people.

We’ve become bitter and filled with resentment and anger.  There are times when we have been so truly ugly towards each other, I’m not sure I recognize either of us anymore.  I’ve been cruel and malicious in ways that I wouldn’t dream of inflicting on my worst enemy, let alone a man that I once loved more than anything.  It never begins that way, but it seems as though when conflict arrives, rather than acting as sensible adults, we are reduced to rabid, snarling animals.

I want so badly for us to be able to work together, for the benefit of our children, who are totally innocent in all of this.  I hope that we can come to some sort of understanding, and move forward in a more positive way.

For the time being, it feels dangerous to hope for anything beyond good days eventually outnumbering the bad ones.

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What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?

I’ve been mulling over what to do with this blog, and with my now inactive Twitter account.  I’ve debated deleting them both, after offering alternative contact information to anyone that would like it.

I don’t think that I have it in me to continue tweeting, and now that I’ve been away from it for over a week, there is no real draw to return.

As for this blog, I don’t think that I will take it down, although the domain comes up for renewal in May and I am not yet entirely sure if I can afford to keep it going.  I suspect that I shall renew it for another year, and then see if I use it before letting it expire.

The content herein could still prove useful to some, and so rather than allowing it to vanish into oblivion, I shall likely export it to a free host (WordPress) and then leave it be.

I don’t know, maybe I will take it up again.  Right now it seems pointless due to the fact that I feel uncomfortable writing about my feelings for fear of inciting conflict over here in my “real life”.  Things are extremely sensitive in this house, as Jack and I struggle to discuss and compromise with each other and avoid all of the venom and spite that leaks out with unfortunate regularity.

Just to give a brief update, last night Aiden put down a damage deposit and paid his first month’s rent on his own place.  He will be moving out over the first part of March.

Today Jack is going to visit his family and tell them what is going on.  My family will likely have to wait until next weekend as I am working full time these days in order to pay all of my own bills, and I don’t get a lot of days off.

I already came out to my aunt, who is my closest family member.  Apparently she already suspected, as do my parents, that we have some sort of an open relationship.  She was surprisingly calm and extremely supportive, although I could tell that she was struggling some with the reality of the situation.  It was weird but also liberating to just be honest about everything.  I am not sure that it’s the best course of action when it comes to my mum and dad, but it’s rather nice that at least one more person knows the facts of the matter.

At any rate, I may continue to update sporadically, or as time and consideration for others allow.  I really do wish that I could share more, but for now it’s better not to.

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These Walls Surround Me With The Story Of Our Life

Earlier this week I wrote a sizable post, speaking about our current state of affairs, but after allowing it to sit for a few days, and consulting other involved parties, I’ve decided against publishing it.

The fact of the matter is that Jack and I are separating.

Despite outward appearances and the timing of everything, this actually has almost nothing to do with Aiden, and Jack will attest to that if you had the opportunity to ask him.

Currently I have moved into my own room, and we are gradually untangling the finances and discussing the future of the children.  There is plenty of pain and sadness to go around, but we are doing our best to keep things extremely amicable.

I understand that people will have their opinions, and rather than locking the comments, I’ve decided to brace myself and leave them open.  I hope that if you chose to remark, you will remind yourself that this blog is only a glimpse into our reality, and that behind it all we are real people, with complicated lives.

As things are rather raw, I likely will not share anything more detailed until the dust has settled.  For now, I simply take each moment as it comes, and do my best to remain true to myself.

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Better Than Playing In Traffic

Last week I decided to randomly cross something off of my Life List, and made some homemade playdough with my kids.  They seemed to particularly enjoy picking out food coloring with which to dye to dough, and then making it into all sorts of fun shapes.  We never had play doh from the store when I was a kid.  My grandmother would make it for us at her house, and I think it’s preferable to be able to give my kids dough that I’ve made myself than the concoction of chemicals in the yellow plastic can.  Plus homemade playdough can be baked in the oven if your children want to make ornaments, models, or anything else that they can keep or give as gifts.

394. Make my grandma’s homemade playdough with my kids

That makes four things so far in 2011. Not too bad 🙂

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There's A Sorrow Hanging In The Air Between Us

On Saturday night the three adults that live in this house sat down together to have a family meeting.  This is not unusual for us, however, the outcome of this particular meeting happened to be that Aiden is going to be moving out of our home.

It saddens me just to type it, and I toiled with the idea of saying anything here at all, due to the fear that someone will feel blamed or painted as the villain.  However, I promised myself that I would do what I could to detail our relationship as it went along, and although I know I haven’t done that to the fullest extent possible, this happens to be rather pivotal.

When it comes right down to it, Jack came to feel that he and Aiden could no longer live under the same roof.  The reasons for that are…complicated, and I am reluctant to comment on them, as we are all rather wounded and I don’t care to rub salt on anyone.

It feels like a massive personal failure, but I must remind myself that failure is subjective, and that perhaps all of this is the catalyst for something greater.  We made a good go of it, and now we are moving forward in a different direction.

What will become of us, you might wonder?

Thus far the plan is that Aiden will have three more months with us, during which he will be able to save up to get his own apartment.  At that time he will move out, and I will spend half of my time at his place, and half of my time here with Jack, and the children will also spend time at each residence.

Unfortunately, it has been left entirely up to me as to how I divide my time.  This task becomes daunting in the face of taking on more hours at my job, and while attempting to keep everyone involved happy.  I say it’s unfortunate only in that it feels as though the happiness of three different people rests on my shoulders alone, which is a heavy burden to bear.

The future is murky.  I don’t consider this any indication that poly is unmanageable, only that for the three of us, co-habitation is (at present) not agreeable for all those involved.

I will admit that I am struggling with feelings of resentment, and anger, and pain.  Some of them are not caused by the current circumstances, but simply aggravated by it.  Like opening up old wounds, to bleed along with the new.  In attempting to contain them, it would seem that I am simply becoming cool, withdrawn, and emotionally disinterested.  That sucks, but it’s the way I roll at the moment.

There could be more on this, maybe once I feel less raw, but for now we are simply picking up the pieces and attempting to rearrange them in a way that is more satisfactory for everyone.

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I'm Not Even On Drugs, I'm Just Weird

Jack and I recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary (10th anniversary as a couple) and he surprised me with a limosine ride to the Calgary Tower, where we had dinner at the revolving restauraunt.  It was such a surprise, totally amazing, and not to mention, crossed TWO things off of my Life List:

85. Ride in a limousine

116. Eat at the revolving restaurant in the Calgary Tower

The limo he rented was white, very modern, and gorgeous inside. It was really unexpected, and so wonderful. We got to the tower and went up to the observation deck, where we walked around looking at all of the city lights. I’ve never been up there at night before (and it’s been around two decades since the last time I was up there even in the daytime) so it was very special.

The revolving restaurant was recently re-done and is now very upscale. We got a romantic spot, right beside the windows. It was a bit of a weird feeling to be turning like that, and at first I was afraid I was going to feel ill, but you get used to it quickly.

We had a bottle of wine, and a cured meat platter for an appetizer. The food was spectacular! The platter included venison salami, duck, maple salmon, tuna, scallops, pork pate, and some accompaniments. It was delicious.

Cured Meats

For dinner I had a pulled chicken risotto, which was delicious. Likely the best risotto I’ve ever had. Jack had the steak with potatoes and asparagus. It was also very yummy.

Pulled Chicken Risotto

Steak!

While we ate, we enjoyed the amazing panoramic view of the city, and talked a lot about the past and about everything that has happened over the decade we have been together. It was nice to reminisce and remember all of the special times we have had.

Dessert consisted of sticky toffee pudding for me, and maple cheesecake for Jack. Our waitress, who was wonderful, brought them out with candles for us, as she knew we were celebrating our anniversary. It was incredibly sweet.

After we had finished our wine and dinner, we went back down to the lobby, and out to where our limo was waiting.  The ride home was relaxed.  Jack had brought another bottle of wine for us, but we were both so full, we didn’t drink it.

Once we were home, we crawled into bed for cuddling and other more lascivious activities 😉

It was a very special and wonderful anniversary.  I was really touched that Jack had chosen to do some of my list items as part of the celebration, and the whole evening is one that I will never forget.

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You Taste Like Grandma

We are only two weeks into 2011, and I’ve already managed to cross something off of my Life List, and I am half-way though a second item!  It’s shaping up to be a productive year.

Jack got me a wonderful dehydrator for Christmas, which made it easy to make our own beef jerky!

325. Make beef jerky from scratch

We picked up some suitable beef, and I sliced it into pieces, marinated it, and then popped it into the dehydrator for five hours.  When it was finished, we had delicious jerky for a fraction of the cost of buying it.

Jerky

Finished Jerky

I was really happy with how it turned out, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with other recipes and flavors.

The other item I am currently working on is a gift for Aiden’s Granny, and for his mum and dad.

382. Make a scrapbook for someone as a gift

I should be crossing that one off within the next week or two, as Granny’s scrapbook is almost complete.

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