Posted in divorce, Faith, family, fear, God, Uncategorized

53 days to go

I must be out of my apartment in 53 days and the above signs express things which have been running through my head. I can’t say I agree with the sign on the left. I agree we can choose where we make our home, but I don’t think it only exists in your mind. So many things go into making a place a home. It is not about the location, the size or the cost, it is about the memories. When I was a young mother, I had so many great ideas and plans. Then so easily was distracted by the day-to-day responsibilities I forgot all the plans I had. My daughters and I did make many happy memories and we are in the process of adding more memories all the time. But right now, not having any place to “call home” has caused me distress.

For me personally, I need a secure, solid home base and I don’t have it. In fact I am not certain I will ever have it again. Much was lost when I divorced and leaving the area I called home for thirty years was one of the most difficult choices I’ve ever made. It was if I was a mighty oak tree with deeply planted roots which was ripped out of the ground. But rather than being directly transplanted into a rich soil, the beautiful tree (me) was sat to the side and forgotten. And since that time in January 2013, I haven’t found the place where I belong.

If money was unlimited then I’d have a long list of places I would like to go because I would have the ability to travel and see my children as often as I like. But with no job, very limited funds, and no job in my foreseeable future, my choices are very limited. I failed to make the right choice years ago when I learned my ex-husband, Doug Erickson, an AA pilot, was a sexual deviant wanted by the police. I stayed married because I was afraid to leave and now ultimately I am paying a heavy price for not leaving in 1999.

So the sign on the right shows how I feel. Do I go right? Do I go left? Do I move near my oldest daughter for the next three years and when she and her husband move hope I can afford to follow them? Or do I run the risk of being left in the middle of Texas with the closest airport over two hours away? Living near my younger daughter is not an option because she is still in pursuit of her career and not settled on one place. My fear has me paralyzed. I have a very real fear of being homeless of belonging nowhere. I know my readers know this. I am thankful for all the prayers they have said for me. I am praying I will hear God’s voice and know his will, so I make the right choice, the right move for my life this time.

 

Posted in Experience, Faith, Uncategorized

God didn’t take me to Rome

Luke 24:1–3 (ESV) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.This week I have been thinking…

via But This Isn’t Rome! — Out of the Boat with Jesus

Posted in divorce, love, Uncategorized, WordPress

Stepping outside the comfort zone

 

I have taken photography lessons but never really have just gone out and taken photos. Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson , Texas is abloom with native wildflowers. Fields of flowers are protected from mowing. They can’t be mowed down until they’ve turned t seed. This insures the flowers return next year.
As I drive I see a sea of bluebonnets interspersed with buttercups. I can’t see these flowers and not think of my grandmother. I moved to Dallas in April 1985 and the weather had been perfect to produce a spectacular show of color. I remember her telling me the common names of all the flowers. It’s a poignant memory because she is no longer with us and the life I was starting in Dallas all those years ago was destroyed over time by choices of my ex.

Now I’m in Austin. A young and vibrant city where they love music, the environment, good food and life. I’m having to search for my youthful spirit because it was lost due to abuse and time. Can I turn back the internal clock and feel and be young again.

Posted in divorce, God, Uncategorized

It’s over

I’m throwing in the towel. God has sent me a very clear message and it’s time I give up. My husband dumped me after I forgave him time and time again for betraying me and our vows. He has gone on to a younger girlfriend although she looks like the wicked witch of the west. He bought her a house nicer than anything he ever bought me and he spend more time with her brats than he ever spent with his own daughters. In fact he has completely disowned them and so have his parents? Why you ask? Because they refuse to interact with a man who is an alcoholic and sexual deviant.

I’ve sought employment for three years and every time the door slams in my face. I received two more rejections yesterday. I’m done. I want nothing more to do with anything and anyone. My girls while they struggle financially have strong self esteem and deep faith in God. Clearly a God who has chosen to abandon me. That’s fine. I accept it. I’m not going to fight it anymore.

Posted in television, Uncategorized, Writing

It comes to an end, Downton Abbey

downtonabbey

       Above is a photo my daughter took when she visited Highclere Castle in England. We are all Downton Abbey fans and now we are just waiting for the final episode. Why are people so enthralled with the show? Why do we want to watch the ups and downs of a family across the sea? I can only answer these questions for myself.

    We live in a world where manners are almost non-existent. Rarely does anyone dress up anymore. You see a variety of shapes and sizes in tightfitting, torn, faded, old and inappropriate clothing on pretty much everyone. There was a time that people took pride in how they looked and I am not talking about a six pack abs or a surgically enhance breasts. Their clothing spoke to the world about who they were. Now you go to church on Sunday and wonder if the women went straight from the club to church. There are short, short skirts, tight dresses, 6 inch heels, heavy makeup and more surgically enhanced body parts than you could ever imagine.

     The people in Downton Abbey, both the family and the servants took their jobs and position seriously. Whether they wore the same black maid’s dress every day or changed multiple times like Lady Mary and Lady Edith, they took time to look their best.

   Manners ruled the day. Now I am not in favor of going back to the rigid rules of the early 20th century, I am in favor or restoring basic courtesy. No more cars cutting in front of me on the freeway. No more parking spaces stolen. No more awkward questions by nosy people about things that are none of their business.

    Communication was slow either by post or the newly installed telephone. Words carried weight and people didn’t send off a letter in haste. Writing out your words helps calm the strongest passion or hatred. Now with a simple click you can share your most outrageous thoughts in an instant. And once it’s in the cyber-world it is basically irretrievable. Words said in haste, a moment of anger or hurt can’t be retracted. I know from personal experience having blasted off a few not so nice texts and twitter posts.

   Watching people live their lives with standards for themselves and the way they interact with others is refreshing. Seeing the opulence of the upstairs life with all their problems and seeing that the downstairs staff while they have their problems still have joy and happiness with much less. In our money hungry society where a person’s worth is determined by his/her bank account rather than the size and quality of their heart, I could whisk myself away into another time, a world more refined and kinder.

   I shall miss spending my Sunday evenings with Lord and Lady Grantham, Mary, Edith, Sybil, Dowager Countess, Tom, Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Patmore, Daisy, Thomas, Anna and John Bates, Moseley, Isobel Crawley and the many, many folks that came and went in the past six years. It was a respite from the harsh and ugly world of today

Posted in book review, books, family, Uncategorized

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

  

    Secrets, everyone has them. The question is what do we do with them and what do we do when we learn other people’s secret. This is a tale which I can relate. Cecilia has what she believes is a perfect life, a handsome husband, three wonderful daughters, a successful career and an active volunteer life. While that isn’t exactly a description of my life, it comes close. The there is Tess married with a son and extremely close to her cousin Felicity. Close as sisters they share all aspects of their lives. Rachel, a still grieving mom whose only daughter was murdered, now grieving the departure of her son, daughter-in-law and only grandson to New York City. This new grief catapults her into an obsessive belief the school PE teacher killed her daughter.

   It all comes crashing down when each woman learns a secret. Each reacts differently but all causing more chaos in their already damaged lives. Cecelia must decide if she should keep her husband’s secret. In making the choice to keep the ugly truth secret many lives are affected and changed forever. All three women’s lives are intertwined through St. Angela’s Catholic school. As each woman faces choices concerning a secret they struggle. What is the right thing to do versus the best thing for their families.

  I understand how difficult it can be when you learn an ugly secret truth about your husband. Hindsight is 20/20. I can see how my choice to keep the ugly truth to myself, I caused damage to myself and my daughters. As difficult as it would have been to face it whe it happened, I would have been able to reach out for help. I could have avoided the deep sadness and depression during my marriage and post divorce. Secrets destroy a soul. That’s is what Cecilia learned. That is what Tess learned. It is what Rachel learned. It’s a lesson I took a long time to learn. 

  Liane Moriarty has an ease in her writing that captures what most of are honking. Whe. Cecilia thinks to herself, I can hear myself rambling and chattering but I can’t stop. I talk when I’m nervous, I thought that’s me”! When Tess wondered what she was lacking that caused her husband to look elsewhere, that was me. And when Rachel becomes obsessed with “justice” and “vengeance” that was me too. Life in Melbourne, Australia isn’t very different than life here in Texas.

  

Posted in books, characters, costumes, Faith, love, Uncategorized

War and Peace and Life

  
Okay I admit that I never attempted the gargantuan novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. The idea of reading about Napolean’s invasion of Russia and the lives of people affected never appealed to me. I am however a sucker for a big, beautiful costume drama. So I watched all six hours of Lifetime’s presentation of BBC’s production.

It was a complicated story with many characters. It required my full attention to follow the storyline. This is one time I wish I had been able to watch the last scene before I watched the entire story. Why? Because while War and Peace does tell the story of lives affected by living during times of War and Peace, I realized (maybe slower than others) that it’s a metaphor for what we experience internally in our own lives. 

We all have time that war is raging internally and we must pretend we are at peace. Or we all know at least one person who is able to experience internal peace regardless of what is happening in her/his life. Andrei and Pierre both are drawn towards Natasha because she is one of those people. And it isn’t until Andrei and Pierre have suffered life altering situations that they realize the importance of just finding joy and love in each day. Without those experiences they would never had understood the secret to a joyous life. The question is would they give up that knowledge to avoid the pain they experienced? I’ve had to ask myself that question. Is the peace and joy I experience now worth the pain of my divorce? It’s been a journey for me just like it has been for Andrei and Pierre but I agree with Pierre. What follows is a quote from the movie. Pierre is contemplating his life and was his experience as a prisoner of war worth the lessons he learned. He decides if being a prisoner of war was the only way to reach the peace and joy he experiences now, than he would do it all again. He would suffer in order reach this peace in his heart.

“When our lives are knocked off course we imagine everything in them is lost. It is only the start of something new and good. As long as there is life there is happiness. There a great deal, a great deal to come.”

Posted in Blogging, choices, daughters, depression, divorce, Experience, Faith, family, fear, friends, friendship, Health, help, Hiding, love, marriage, men, mistakes, Moving, New life, questions, relationships, sons, Uncategorized, values, women, WordPress, words, Writing

Fear, Silence, Homelessness

homeless

We read stories everyday of women that have been abused by a man. And sadly these women tend to repeat bad choices and go from one bad relationship to another. For anyone with a solid self-esteem and self-worth, it is incredulous that any woman would stay in such a damaging relationship. Here is something that so many people fail to understand; the abuser rarely walks in and begins the abuse immediately. There is physical abuse and emotional abuse. They go hand in hand but emotional abuse can happen without physical abuse. That is my story.

Why didn’t I share? I was embarrassed and ashamed. Slowly over time my sense of independence was destroyed. Over time the belief I was lovable was destroyed. Day by day comments, looks, turning things around so I would begin to question myself believing somehow I caused him to cheat and having my concerns being dismissed and ignored regularly created a complete sense of instability. If my ex-husband was home I was always tied up in knots because I was worried I wasn’t making him happy. When he was out-of-town I was tied up in knots because I worried about what he was doing. Should I have left years ago? Of course, but he didn’t reveal his true-self all at once. He did it slowly over time. Think of a bucket being filled by one drop of water at a time. It takes a long time before the bucket overflows. So don’t judge your friend who finds herself in my position. Listen to her. Don’t rebuke her for not leaving sooner. Hug her. Offer support anyway you can. Don’t exclude her because she is no longer a couple. And certainly do NOT remain friends with her abusive ex-husband.

If I could give advice to any woman who is living with a narcissist, it would be to read as much as you can about narcissism and how narcissists manipulate their victims. I would encourage her to find someone to share any secrets i.e. his cheating, his addictions, his crimes. Had I come forward the first time I found out what he was doing, I might have received support from my friends. However the shame he created in me, kept me silent. Silence is a killer. It kills your spirit. So speak up. Leaving is scary. I am facing homelessness at 56 because I was a stay-at-home mom and with no full-time work experience since 1984, I can’t get any business to take a chance on me.

Why do I write about this again? I write about this again because I can’t just dump the over-flowing bucket of abuse. It leaves as slowly as it came. Now I have a small hole in the bottom of the bucket and daily a little more of it drains out. It is just going to take time, a lot of time. Sadly I don’t have time when it comes to a job. While my ex enjoys a life in the lap of luxury, ignores his children and pretends he never destroyed lives, I work to survive and they learn to accept life as fatherless children.

Posted in Blogging, book, choices, communication, Dreaming, Experience, fear, Fun, Goal, love, Moving, New life, novels, people, questions, Uncategorized, vacation, WordPress, Writing, Writing 201, writing lessons, writing101

Experience Passport 

  
I am a collector of books. Typically I read every book I buy but sometimes I buy a book that requires interaction. This summer I purchased the above Experience Passport from  Chronicle Books. It gives 45 ways to broaden your horizon without going anywhere. Since my life circumstances have changed, it is unlikely I will be doing any extensive traveling again. I thought this looked like a way to have fun and push myself out of the cocoon I have created for myself.

Some of the suggestions are easier to accomplish than others but all will open up my life to new possibilities. You don’t have to do them in any particular order. I’ve done #2, #7 and #26. I will share some of the things I learn while using my experience passport. Care to travel with me?

#26 Favorite quotes from an award winning piece of fiction. I will share one quote from Still Life by Louise Penny. 

“Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still and the rest of the world is surging ahead.”

Posted in Blogging, communication, God, New life, poetry, Uncategorized, WordPress, Writing

Life as music

 
 Wordpress poetry camouflage  assignment 

Love sings a song, melodic and sweet

Begins as a chant, in unison, in rythmn

Accelerando as life quickens and blooms

As the years go by settled into adagio 

Unexpected atonal life, no specific tone or key

Chaos, madness life with castrato husband

Dissonance ensues, grave, drone, because life isn’t an operetta

Toneless life finds Forte, timbre and theme

Hearing an overture to a new life

Finding a key signature 

Dynamics changing  adagio again

Time for Modulation, legato

Develop a motif and resonance 

Into a hymn of life

God is the conductor of the song  

Of my song