So one of the reasons that I have not been here, doing the online journaling thing, is that I have been spending more time doing this.

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I know that there are about a 100+ people, out there, in the world, reading this journal. Some of them I know are family, and few friends, who like to keep up with what is happening in my life. This is one way of not having to have, a dozen different phone calls about the same event. Then there are a few people, who will remain nameless, who read this, to find out how I’m failing. Pfffft!! Then there are a bunch, of complete strangers who are reading this, and I’m still not sure why. If I have said it before, I’ve said it a dozen times, I’m not here to entertain you, or anyone else. I write for me. Just me. Only me.

That said, every now and then, I find that taking a pen to paper, suits me. Sure, there are no cool photos to help tell the story. No horoscope entries to give me a jumping off point. No humorous meme to help us all laugh at ourselves. Yet, it does give me a chance to be completely honest, in a way that online journaling doesn’t. Knowing that I’ve got this ‘audience’ sometimes I write like I’m telling a good story. And a lot of my entries are just that – stories of my life experiences. Like any good storyteller, I leave out parts, that I don’t think help the story. Sometimes I don’t share in the parts of my story that are sad, and disappointing.

I’ve had a conversation with my friend, Mahee, about this subject. He’s looking into online journaling as well, thus finding out what all is available. I have thought about making this journal completely private, and not allowing anyone to read it until after my death. Or 50 years, After my death; just to be on the safe side. Unfortunately that would then negate one of the purposes of my journal, and letting my family and friends know what is going on in my life.

You probably noticed that not every entry here is readable, by everyone. They are password-protected entries. Things that I want to share with some people, but not the whole world. Usually its about something that I’ve already written about, but want to add more depth too, and expand upon, in ways that I am not sure how to deal with. Events / places / people/ situations/ thought-patterns, that I need some more time, and space, to express.

It should be pointed out that there are some entries that nobody gets to read. (*until after my death – password is in my Will*) Entries that take the event/ place/ person/ situation/ thought-pattern even deeper than I want anyone to know about.

At one point I thought about typing up my hand-written entries here… No. Freaking. Way…. I don’t have that kind of time. LoL

I don’t usually publish stuff on here that is written by others, such as this. This has touched me soooo deeply I couldn’t let it go. I’ve watched it a dozen times in the last few days, since finding it on FaceBook. This woman has written my life. She has been able to put to words my journey, in a way that I haven’t been able too.
My gratitude to you Lucy.

Click this link to find a short movie called “Mine”

He was my comrade. Sinking into the trenches.
I wanted to rescue him…
If that meant bearing his loathing… his insults.
If I could have swallowed his sadness….
I would have.

But I wasn’t his comrade.
I was a prisoner of his war.
Until a friend made me listen (*thank you Elena*)
After 20 years, I made a break for it… (*with my children in tow*)

I am not a casualty of his war.

I am mine.

These words remind me of not “allowing time to soften the edges”. The Ex-husband has been kind lately. He actually said “thank you” to me. I know. I know. Shocking!!!! He has even taken the time to ask about the health of a friend. It makes me remember some of the things about him, that he was capable of. The things that I fell in love with. That made me want to stay by his side, and to heal his demons.

Then I remember. I pause before I fall over the side of that ledge again. I take a deep breath and pull myself back from that very dangerous ledge… of loving him. Of allowing my guard to come down and let him anywhere near that vulnerable part of my self.

I needed Lucy’s words… to remind me of the horrible things that he is capable of. Of the insults. The anger. The nights of fear for my life. The lives of my children. Of the night he was chased down by the sheriff’s dog, and arrested. Of his demons that wanted to kill me alongside of him. To remind me of what is Mine.

And what isn’t.

It was a “tater tot” sort of day.

That day when all you want to do is lay around, and fill yourself up with tater tots. Those little balls of ‘not-good-for-you-at-all’, ‘nothing-but-chemical-crap’, that when baked to a golden brown, make you feel better.

They aren’t the best thing to eat. They are better than filling up on something worse, like vodka. Which I don’t drink, ewe. So I’d have to replace my glass with tequila. Patron with a slice of orange, please. But knowing what sort of day it is, I can say that I knew better than to fill myself up with that.

The bag of tots though, sat there, already opened, and getting freezer burn, so it really was a win-win situation, in my eating them. Not a whole bag, mind you. Bronwyn and Russell helped me eat them. And it was just a 3/4th’s full bag. Okay, it was the largest bag possible. I only buy them big, you never know when you’ll need more tots. Its always a good thing to have on hand.

The bag is gone now… I wish that I could say the same for the reason I ate them all.

There are posts to be ‘posted’ – many of them written down in my paper journal, and working their way here. There are some I’ve written but not posted in public that really should be opened up. There are some that I don’t have words to express, so they stay hidden away in their fragmented state.

I guess you could say that I’ve been hiding. Well at least these last couple of weeks. Some of life’s experiences have been rather harsher than I would like to admit to anyone… least of all to myself. Hiding seems to help that problem. Its amazing the things you can ignore, here in the shadows of a shell. The things you don’t want to look at. In the world around you. In the people you know. In yourself.

The previous couple of months have found me spending more time ‘living new experiences’ rather than ‘writing new experiences’. Which has been good for me. Which I am oh so grateful for. I am so blessed by all of the people, places, and experiences I’ve gotten to meet, see, and do. I know from having tried it this way for the last couple of months, it doesn’t work too well for me either. I need time to ‘think’ and to ‘write’ and to ‘let go’. It gets too jumbled up in my brain otherwise.

Beyond my normal feelings of wanting to just be quiet, in the normal ways… I have been feeling this pull to sit in the west. To sit in introspection. To be still and quiet. I started feeling it around my birthday. I thought it was just my moontime coming. But stronger than just a normal moontime. It is more than that.

I looked upon the calendar, and the stars, for some clues. To the astrology of the planetary alignments, for some hints. To the people around me, and their knowledge, for some understanding. Not too many answers in any of those places that could explain to me, why I was feeling such a strong pull.

So I looked to me, to where I am… and there it was. Becomes Her Vision. 13th Clan Mother of the cycle that I follow.

I’m 12 now… and on my birthday I completed 12 years of sitting in The Circle. I step up now, and walk into my 13th cycle. I have noticed each year as I follow this path, that I find myself spending a great deal of time with one clan mother, or another. I can remember my 1st year, and the newness of everything in my life. In the circle. How I was just learning my rhythms and how to listen to my own inner voice, let alone the world around me. Then in my 7th year, and the lessons of forgiveness. Both in the people I loved, and in myself. My 9th year. My 11th year. Each one, so colored by the stories and lessons of the next mother in the cycle.

This past year I have felt more gratitude and been shown more ways to count my blessings, than ever in my life. In those moments of doubt, and hurt, I find myself turning towards the lessons of thankfulness, for each one. Knowing that in their teachings, I am shaped into the woman that I am meant to be. I know that there is nothing to regret in my life’s journey, because each ‘so-called’ negative thing, is really a beautiful lesson to be grateful for.

So I sit now, with Becomes her Vision… I look inward and try to see the “Who” and “What” of who I have become so far. I open myself up to the Dream time, and all of the possibilities of “Who” and “What” I can yet be. Which takes time away from the world. It takes time of shutting off the phone and not answering each email as it comes across the wires. It means laying on the sweet grass, in the moonlight, staring at the stars, from which we came.

I’m trying to find a balance between this need and the world.

Its following me everywhere I go!!!!

Family politics.  Family drama.  Families members who simply can’t seem to get along with each other.  They even argue about whether the sun is coming up in the east or the south.  Pfft!!

I give up.  I quit.  I am just done with families.  And especially their dramas.  Their old hurts and even older grudges that they can’t seem to let go of.  If it was stuff that was happening now, or some sort of current rudeness, I could totally understand and support a hurt.  But this is decades old stuff.  Decades!!  As in last century!  Get over it already.  Move on.  Grow up – and let go.  Stop making your choices based upon the past – and start looking at what is right in front of you.  Your siblings are no longer 12 or 22 – they are in their 30’s and making better choices.  Honor and respect where they have come from, and where they are going; as the people that they are now.  Not who they used to be.

And if you can’t – leave me the hell out of it.  I just want to count your money, clean up your books, and help out your accountant to give you a better understanding of how your business is doing.

So there.

I had to give it up, to my Aunt Roby last night. I think I’ve uttered the words: “Not okay. I’m sad. I wish that I wasn’t the only one who was sad. This seems so wrong. Why can’t anybody talk about her? Just even admit that she’s dead. Dead. Never going to come back.” to just about every person, who has politely inquired, as to how I am doing.

She patronizingly patted me on the shoulder, just like all of the others. Unsure how to react to my expressions of emotions. I just shrugged it off. Once again, I would put out there, my honest opinion and have it walked over. Just one more thing, that somebody didn’t want to hear.

Then at dinner, she stood up.

I know. Right? Someone stood up for me. Truly a miracle.

She told the others in the group that she was feeling sad. That she wanted others to feel okay with feeling sad. That she wanted to share those feelings, out loud, and in public; about her sister.

Yep – like I said: miraculous.

So a few shared. My daddy was one of them. Sometimes he does things like this, that give me some small sliver of hope, that I wasn’t switched, in the hospital, at birth. That my real family is out there somewhere, with their child, who is always cold and unable to express emotions; and likes avocados, okra, guns and other Republicans. That they are out there, searching for me, with their emotional compass pointing towards loving the earth, and hands full of non-GMO vegetables, white wine, and independent thinkers.

I expressed to her this morning, my gratitude. I hugged her and thanked her: “Thank you for hearing me.”

She said, “Well I wanted to do something like that for a long time.”

I don’t think she got the point of my thanks. It wasn’t for sharing. “I told a lot of people this weekend, the same thing I told you. You were the first one who actually heard me. Heard me. Thank you for hearing me.”

There really is a difference between listening and hearing. A vast huge difference. I find that I listen each day to the birds outside my window, but do I really stop and hear them, is the questions. I know that in my past, I have a tendency to repeat myself. To raise my voice, and say the same thing, but in a different manner. It drives my kids nuts.

I realize now, because of what Aunt Roby did. Because of what my aunt’s friend did. I do this, to feel heard. I don’t feel heard, most times. I share from inside of me, and then am given a blank stare, in return. Or a response that is in complete opposition of what I’ve just expressed. As though, the person I was communicating with, didn’t Hear, what I was expressing.

Its like this journal. On the rare occasion I will get a comment, not many; if you look. There’s not exactly a world-wide following, on my day-to-day life, thoughts, feelings, and ruminations. But occasionally I will get a comment, that let’s me know that I’ve been heard. Which makes me re-look at the world, and wonder if people are just listening to me, or hearing me.

Although, its a good thing to point out, again (and I’ve said this a whole bunch of times) I don’t write here to be heard. I write here to get the thoughts out of my head. To work through a situation. To make note of life experiences that seem important to me at the time. To give my future grandchildren a chuckle.

So yes, I had to thank my aunt; for hearing me. For not just listening… but for hearing.

I know that she heard my gratitude; because she just smiled that little smile that she has (she has several of them, all unique), bowed her head a bit, hugged me hard, and said: “You’re welcome.”

More like a mutual truce.

I don’t think that my father is ever going to understand how his actions have hurt me. Or sent a message to me that he didn’t agree with my choices, in regards to my marriage to, and subsequent divorce from, Barry. He even told me tonight: “it was the right thing to do.” when he had Barry living with him after his arrest for harming me.

He started out the conversation telling me. “Those emails you sent weren’t very nice. Do you still believe all of that?”

I held my ground with him though. I said: “Yes. I do. I don’t think that you support my choices. I feel like you choose Barry over me.”

He said: Well Barry’s family is all in CA. His friends are in CA. What should I do?

me: Barry could have made friends here. He’s been living here for 17 years. He has chosen NOT too. He had made friends from his job. His previous jobs. There is Blaine. Keith. Any number of people that he could turn too. But he doesn’t. His choices.

Dad: “Well with my birthday I’m supposed to tell him that he can’t come to my house?”

me: “Sure you can. Its your house. Your choices.”

He didn’t have anything to say to either of these statements.

Then he went on, “Well when he was there. He was really quiet. He didn’t interact with anyone.”

me: “Well he told me that Mom didn’t want him there. And had made it clear to him that she didn’t.”

Again: no response from Dad on that one. Not that Dad would have taken Mom’s feelings into account anyhow. She claimed right on FaceBook, in front of the whole world, that she did not like having Barry living with them, when he was arrested, and under court order to stay away from me. She had no choice in the matter. Which is opposite of what he tells me.

He even told me, that according to him, when Barry and I got married we were joined forever. We became one person. That when he bailed Barry out of jail, and had him living with him those months, “I consulted with your mother. It was the right thing to do.”

He continues to deny that he ever had any knowledge of anything Bad happening to me by Barry’s hand. He said to me that he didn’t know about the abuse. That he had no utter clue. At all. That he asked Momma about it. She also claimed to him that she didn’t know anything about it. They are going to deny that until they die. He said that I should be able to come and tell my parents anything.

I told him: “I came to you several times. I tried to tell you. I got lectures on marriage. Even when the police agreed with me. When the DA refused to drop the charges. Its not like I was going to start screaming it from the rooftops. Its embarrassing and humiliating.”

Does he respond to this with any sort of apology? Nope. Sensing a pattern yet? I did at this point.

He said to me: “Well we just want to help you.”

I asked him: “And just how do you think I need help?” I’m readying myself for the ‘you need psychological counseling for wanting a divorce’ speech. Instead he blows me away with an equally unsupportive comment.

He says that I shouldn’t have to do this alone. I’m thinking GREAT… he’s going to support me in my choices….

NO!!

He says that he and Mom feel like they have to support me financially. Financially?!?!?! *shakes my head*

I tried to explain to him that I didn’t want his financial support – I wanted his love and approval for what I was doing. That I would have thought he would be proud of me for being able to stand up on my own 2 feet. To support my 4 kids the way that I have. No… he says anyone can do that… anyone can buy a car. Keep a job. Make a mortgage payment. But it takes a real woman to raise kids. And that as a single mom, I shouldn’t have too.

I object to this, but told him that the only thing I want from them is their emotional support. Their pride in my accomplishments.
I told him: “I want you to be proud of me. I want to be able to come to you and say, I’m getting a divorce because I deserve better. And have you agree with me. To hear you say, “You’re right you don’t deserve to be treated that way. Good for you for standing up for yourself.” But that isn’t what I get from them. I don’t think that I ever will.

He did say that I was doing a good job raising the children. He was proud of the job I was doing for that. So at least that is something. I guess *shakes head* – Again.

Then the subject turns to my dealing with Barry. He said that while Barry is no longer family, he is still the kids’ father, and as such, he would have to be invited to things. After all, I was still in contact with Barry. I tried to explain to him that I was doing what I had to do, when it comes to dealing with Barry – because of he still scares me.

I even told him about the time that Mike stayed around, at the restaurant, because Barry was in a foul mood. How Barry had demanded to see me. “I want to talk to my wife!” (this was after the divorce) How I listened behind the door, as Mike stood in front of it, and told Barry that I was busy.

I tried to explain to Dad that I deal with Barry the way that I do – I’ve learned over the years – that I do those things to AVOID getting hurt. I do my best to not engage him. I don’t piss him off. I don’t let him know that he upsets me – when he says things like how I won’t be near the kids this Christmas.

How Barry used to tell me all of the time “Well you won’t get a divorce from me, you’d never see your family again. They love me more than you.” How, “Even after the divorce Barry would dangle the information of how much he hung out with Scott, and You; and how ya’ll talked about what a bitch I was for divorcing him.”

Dad didn’t have anything to say about this. Neither acknowledging it. Or denying it.

I told him what Scott had indicated to me, when I tried to explain to my brother, Why I was getting a divorce. How Scott told me that he didn’t agree with me and basically that I was terrible for divorcing HIS Brother. Then in the same conversation, told me that Barry had access to his guns. How this conversation is why I have such an animosity towards Scott. That I was under the impression that Scott would support Barry in harming me. Even going so far, as to allow him access to his own gun.

Dad actually thought that was wrong. Nobody should agree with someone hurting me in the way of shooting me. So I guess that’s something.

So what does Dad do. I’m thinking that he will say something to Scott. That he would say how maybe I might be doing something right. No. Dad wants to buy me a gun. A gun!!

I told Dad that I am not getting a gun. Ever.

Its not about guns being around the kids. I don’t worry about that. I know that he locks up his own. He has 6 of them. I know that Scott locks his up. He has 4 of them. I know that Mindy locks hers up. She and Tyler have 8 of them. I am not like the other people in my family. I am not a gun person. I do not want one.

Again, Dad wants to show his Loving Support for me by arming me. I told Dad that all I wanted was his support my decision to divorce. How all I wanted was him to tell me I was right. How I tried to get that from him for years. But instead I got lectured on marriage. I reminded him of the conversation when we sat out on the dock, one night. I had come over to tell him that I wanted his support in getting a divorce… and he gave me a lecture on how divorce was bad for children. He said that he remembered that conversation.
I told him : “You do realize that since the divorce the kids are actually doing better in school?”
He had no response to that.

I told him about how Rebecca and Daphne were released from therapy on Monday night. That its taken a year, but in the in their final therapy session, they each admitted to the abuse in our home. At their father’s hand. They no longer denied the things that had happened, and how they had been treated. They were able to clearly identify it; and voice it. So that perhaps they can change the pattern of abuse. I told him of my hopes, that through all of this; they will never have to live the way that I did. That even when asked by their therapist, “What do you think will happen when you have kids?” Rebecca had been the one to say: We will hurt them, and do the same things.

The therapist told them: “That’s why you are here. So that you can learn differently.”

And once again… a major lesson for Dad… and it goes unacknowledged. Unsupported. Untouched. It is like talking to the proverbial “brick wall”.

In the end: He wants to support me. But he wants to take me grocery shopping. He wants to throw money at me, and make it all better.

For me: I want his emotional support. I want him to say to me: “I’m proud of you.” Or, “I get it.” Or, “I see your point of view.” Or, “I’m sorry for my part in this.” Or, “Thank you for changing this.”

I would like to be acknowledge for what I am doing. To be thanked for having endured this hell of a relationship, so that I can learn it, identify it, and change it. To be told that, all of the hurt I endured was worth it, to some one. To be apologized too, for the pain I suffered. By him, for not only, not helping me get out of the marriage, but also turning me away. At his hand, as a child. And taught by him, that it was, normal. I’m never going to get any of that from him.

So instead of looking backwards and trying to heal the past, that won’t, can’t, or doesn’t want, to be healed. I can only try and heal the future.