I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. (Psalm 77:1-2) ............................................ A journal chronicling my struggle as a woman, to find my way out of an abusive relationship, and to find myself again.

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Location: Georgia, United States

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Don't Have a Clue

I did not sleep at all last night. I had taken an early-evening nap, but still, I shoulda slept. Thoughts kept me awake.

'Talked' to Dale last night on IM. Funny how he is still so disapproving, when it can't possibly matter anymore. And shouldn't matter to me at all. Old habits die hard. But die they shall!

Physical pain is my companion now, and a persistent one; much closer than any I've had in, oh, ever. I keep making appointments, canceling, rescheduling. When I am angry, I rebel, and oh, this makes me angry! So I am rebelling against this pain by trying to ignore it. Not working. I am ready to do so much...ready in my mind, but my body is not cooperating. There must be a reason for that, but I haven't figured it out. Probably fear, and maybe I just have to push past it. I'm not sure I know how to do that without a crutch of some kind. A man, or self-abuse, or depression, or wrapping myself up in someone else's needs; someone else's approval. Now the only one who has to approve of me is ME, and boy, is that scary. I've never approved of me.

How can I? How can I do something that will make me like me, when I don't have a clue what it is I might want to do?

don't have a clue
what to do
don't have you
to say what's true
about me.

Well, on that measly note, I'll end for now.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Beautiful Day

Today was an absolutely perfect Spring day. I didn't sleep late, and so was up to watch the birds at my feeding station. Lots of sparrows, a cardinal pair, red and yellow finches, of course the noisy and greedy blue jays, doves and even a woodpecker. Hummingbirds, too. Oliver sits up on his new kitty condo and watches them...kitty TV. Anna, our collie, is here now. We went to Tracy's for dinner Sunday, and brought her home with us, because Dale is taking her to Louisiana with him on Thursday. It's so good to have her here with me for a while. I miss her so much, and now I'll rarely get to see her, but I know she's going to be very happy in her new home. Dale will spoil her silly, and she'll have goats, sheep, cows and two precious little girls to herd, which is her favorite thing in the world. Anna loves children, and I know Cassidy and Sydney will fall in love with her, too. She's almost 11 years old now, grizzled around the muzzle, but she still prances around like a puppy. I hope she can still keep up with two energetic children. I imagine she'll be happy to see Travis again, too.

She and Oliver have been getting along well, as always. Oliver is 8, so Anna has always been a part of his world, the only dog he doesn't despise. Besides, Oliver likes dog food, and Anna cleans out the crumbs from Oliver's bowl that he's too finicky to eat. Oliver will cry when Anna leaves, and hunt all over the house for her, as he always does when she visits. I guess I'll cry, too.

We went to see Emily today and take her a few more of her things and hang some curtains. Her dorm room was a mess! I love saying "her dorm room." Everyone who hears that Emily is going to college is surprised, which bugs Emily a lot, but, hey, I'm still surprised, too.

After seeing Emily, we went to look for some bookshelves, with no luck, and then to wash the car. It needed it badly! I've never had a car I cared about so much. It was good, sweaty work. Abby drove part of the way. She's really doing pretty good with her driving, but is afraid to go over 30mph. I've got to start giving Emily lessons on the weekends, too, because hopefully she'll have her own car in a few months.

Dale is leaving the day after tomorrow. Well, actually tomorrow, since it's early morning Wednesday as I write this. He's barely half packed, and is going to leave a terrific mess, but what the heck. I'll be whistling while I work!

Saw fat brown bunnies today, too. Like I said, just a beautiful day.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Beginnings, Endings, and More Waiting

Time to write. I've been reading Dean Koontz, Dark Rivers of the Heart. He always inspires me; makes me think on things I don't quite grasp. My reach exceeds my grasping, which is good. It hasn't always.

It's raining. The weather report said it would storm, but so far, just a boring rain. Too bad; I love storms. Maybe later. But hopefully not tomorrow afternoon, because I have to go see Doc. That'd be Dr. John Alexander Connell, my shrink of about 12 years.

What kind of nut sees a shrink once a week for 12 years? Not counting hospitalizations, when I'd see him every day. I'm rarely hospitalized anymore. Pretty much gave it up about 4 years ago. I did go in once last year, because of a new burn...I don't know why I did that; it sure doesn't help like it used to. Just frustrated and angry, looking for a relief that drugs don't give. I'm only on a small dose of antidepressants now, and the occasional valium. Maybe when Dale leaves, I can give up both of them.

Abby was upset yesterday, just about things in general, but mostly because Dale and Emily are both still here, which wasn't supposed to be the case. Dale's first check came, the girls' checks came, but so far Dale's big check hasn't come, and he can't leave until it does. He has to pay for Emily's dorm room with it, so he will stay until that happens. I understand Abby's extreme frustration...It seems like this will never be over. Even though I know it will happen, and things are truly much better now, we want our apartment to ourselves again, NOW.

Amazing thing: I paid all of my bills this month, including the pharmacy bill. I even paid some on the past due cable bill, with the hope that I can soon pay it off and get cable again; Abby and I aren't big on movies, but she likes her Nick, and sometimes I'd like to actually watch the news, such as it is, and not just read it on the Internet. I get my news, that's no problem, but I have so many sources that so many people don't seek out, and sometimes I'd like the perspective of what the average American is learning, if you can call it that, from television. I also very much miss The Daily Show and Jeopardy. Is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire even still on? They are nice distractions, like crossword puzzles and Scrabble.

Oh. I forgot where I was headed at the beginning of the previous paragraph. I paid all of my bills, bought groceries, and had money left over! Yes, I actually have a bit of a cushion this month. I can't begin to convey how that feels, after all this time. No gut-wrenching fear of how I will buy groceries, feed the cat, keep myself in (those damned) cigarettes. Hey, maybe I can even quit them again when my home and my mind find some peace again. That would be most excellent.

I'm slacking off big time from my political work. I saw my grandbabies and something changed. I don't feel driven right now to DO something, even though I never really accomplish much of anything. I feel more laid-back; more at peace inside. Holding little Owen against my chest, breathing in his sweet babyness, made me realize there is more to my life, really, than beating my head against a brick wall in hopes of changing one tiny thing in this world. I didn't realize how depressed I'd been, until my trip to Louisiana brought back so many memories of sweeter, happier times.

Seeing Rachel, pregnant out to there, no longer the scared little sixteen-year-old I met 7 years ago, seeing her adorable husband, the nursery she has decorated so beautifully, well, that was a wonder in itself. The child who had been lost to me is no longer a child, and even though I didn't get to be her mother, I will get to be a grandmother to her child. What a life it is; what a surprising life.

And oh, yeah, the ocean is still beautiful.

I got to experience the beginning of life...Rachel, so pregnant, and Owen, so new. And then seeing Mama Mildred (Mama Mil), 94 years old, in the hospital, touching her, reminiscing with her, kissing her cheek, her forehead, her hand, presenting to her the grown man who was her "Bookie", her great-grandson, my son, and now her great-great grandson, Owen. Feeling the love of a woman who was a GRANDmother to me, even though not my own, feeling that bond again, after all these years still unbroken and strong. She made me promise to come back, and I will, even if it is only to her grave.

Tracy and Steven are leaving for Chicago in early May. Once Dale leaves for Louisiana, it will be only me and the girls left here in Georgia. I don't how to feel about that. This has been our home for so long. Travis moved back to LA 6 years ago, Tyler Zada has been here and gone, here and gone, but it's still been me and Dale, Emily and Abby, Tracy and Steven. It will be hard to say goodbye to my Tracy.

But not hard to say goodbye to Dale! I asked him yesterday, "So, who's filing for divorce, you or me?" It's very strange to talk about it so casually, like,"Who's going to pick Abby up from school?" There was a time when I was terrified to even contemplate it. Now I can't wait for liberation day. Dale said he would do it. Maybe I'll send him flowers.

Peace, y'all.

I hope it storms when I go to bed.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Much Happier Camper!

I'm taking a little time to write tonight. I've finally almost caught up on emails that accumulated while I was in Louisiana for a week. My new grandson is precious, of course, and I loved the opportunity to hold him and talk to him and just smell his sweet baby smell. Cassidy and Sydney are beautiful, smart little girls, and I had so much fun being around little kids again. Man, they wore me out.

The reason we spent a week in Louisiana, instead of the three days we had planned, was because two days after we left, one of the big settlement checks came. Tracy came and got it and overnighted it, but it didn't arrive overnight, so that tacked on two extra days. The day it came, I went with Charlie to her bank and cashed it, and Dale put a deposit on a trailer near Travis'. He is really and truly leaving! Going far, far away. It will be nice, though, to have him LA, because when I go visit, I'll have a place to stay instead of a motel. Tracy & Steven, Zada & Greg are planning to go in July, so I'm planning on taking the girls and going, too. The whole family together for a while will be so nice. I imagine we'll go for Christmas, too, but maybe not.

Anyway, my house is full of packing boxes, among other things, which I'll get to in a minute.

The girls are good. Emily is going to college! She went with a friend and applied at North GA Tech, and was accepted. She'll be getting plenty of grant money, and Dale will be paying for her dorm. That is, if she gets a room in one. We still don't know about that yet, but I hope she does. It is amazing to me that she has done this by herself. Proof that no kid is ever hopeless. She seems to be maturing before my eyes. She'll be taking computer courses, and already knows so much. She's even teaching herself HTML.

Abby has gone back to regular high school after having dropped out and then going to night school. There's a story behind that for another day.

I am fixing up my apartment. I've been looking for a decent desk, and finally found one I liked at Office Max. On the way to buy it a few days ago, I decided to stop in at Trash & Treasures in Cleveland, and found an antique desk I love. It was cheaper than the one at Office Max, and of course much more sturdily made. It's really beautiful. When we got it home, Dale was looking for a maker's mark or something on it, and found confirmation of what I suspected before I bought it. The lady at the store said it had just come in, so apparently no one had yet had time to look it over well. It looked like mahogany to me, but that didn't jive with the price. It could have been mistaken for cherry, and I wasn't sure, and didn't ask. But it IS mahogany. Now I just have to get a glass top for it, to protect the wood.

I also bought a large carpet remnant that fit my living room almost perfectly. It was about two feet too long, so now I have some extra to make a few small rugs for high-traffic areas. It's a sort of cream color. Very nice. It's amazing what a difference it makes in this room. I got pretty new curtains, too, very cheap at Ross. It's really going to be nice. Next we'll work on Abby's room.

The other thing I got, with the first settlement check, is a 'new' car. It's a RED '98 Monte Carlo, in terrific shape and I absolutely love it. A very good deal price-wise, too. Finally, I have my own car again.

I'm going to try and keep up better with my blog. I don't know where the hell my time goes anymore, but I do know I'll have more control over it once Dale is gone.

Things are good right now. I intend to make them stay that way as much as I possibly can. After all I've been through, I deserve it. Abby, too.


PS: Hi, Mikey

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Unhappy Camper

I am not a happy camper. Actually, going camping right now would make me happy. Just to get away from it all for a while. Dale is house- and pet-sitting for Tracy and Steven while they take Zada to Chicago. They left Thursday and will be home Monday. I went to Gainesville last night to take some stuff to Dale, and almost as soon as I walked in the door when I came home, I got a call from the Helen PD. Abby got arrested for shoplifting. She and Laura got caught at Betty's. They had candy, gel pens, White-Out and permanent markers (for sniffing) and a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade. So, she is charged not only with shoplifting but also with underage possession of alcohol. Lovely, just lovely.

I go to Betty's all the time, and they know me, and know Abby is my kid. I'm going to take her down there Monday and make her apologize. But she also has to go to court over this, and I imagine they will give her probation. I wonder if I can get them to tack on some community service, too?

I am at my wit's end with Emily and Abby. I've already raised one family, and they are all fine and good, if somewhat flaky, people. I never had any problems like this with any of them. Oh, they weren't perfect, but it seems the trouble they got into was just normal teenager stuff. This is very different. I'm the same mother, so why are these kids so different? Is it genetic? The others aren't Dale's, after all. Mike was no great shakes as a husband, but he was a good Daddy when he was around, and law-abiding and didn't do drugs. Smarter than Dale, too, although Emily and Abby, as well as the others, all have very high IQs. So, what is it? We were poor when the others were kids, too, and they didn't go around stealing stuff.

One difference is that we were Mormons for most of their childhood, and that ended when E & A were still babies. We weren't always the best of Mormons, but most of the time I certainly tried. Travis, Tyler and Tracy always got up very early to go to seminary classes before school every day, and we had the missionaries at our house all the time. God, I remember their teenage years with such fondness! Always tons of kids coming over, Travis going fishing, Tyler starting the environmental club at Gainesville High, Tracy winning many debate tournaments. Not that there weren't bad times. There were, especially after Dale left, and when we moved back to Louisiana for a time. But I guess the core values were there, whereas E & A grew up during the worst time of my mental illness, saw their Dad smoke pot all the time, and took a lot of ribbing from the older kids, who thought E & A were very spoiled. I guess they were. We had money when they were little kids, and they lived in a fine house with many luxuries. Losing that, instead of never having had it in the first place, must have hurt a lot. It sure hurt me, and I'm an adult.

The divorce had to have hurt, too, especially Dale's affair. Abby will never forgive him for that, for the night he walked out and left her sobbing. But the older kids went through mine and Mike's divorce, too. I hid so much from them, though, especially my emotions. Then, too, they had to deal with the death of their beloved little sister, their Aunt Amy and their cousin Shannon, and I don't really know what could be harder for a child.

I just don't know. I'm so tired of it all. I talked to Dr. Connell Thursday, and told him that Abby had reminded me that my deadline for kicking Dale out was the end of September. She wants so badly for him to be gone. But now that Dale's case is before a judge, it really shouldn't be long before we get a court date and get all of this resolved, and Dr. Connell said to tell Abby that my condition was that "if nothing has happened by Sept. 30, I will make him leave" but that something now has happened, the judge should set a date soon, and it would be counter-productive, not to mention making all this agony pointless, if I was to make him go now.

So, that's where it is today. Oh, and Emily's probation officer called and said she would ask the judge if Emily can get an early release. I hope it happens, and before Oct. 17, so I can take her with me to see Cosy Sheridan at Julianne's. Who knows? Maybe it will help them both more than I can hope for.

God, I love them so. Why isn't it enough?

Maybe I should become a Witness after all. Obviously church made a difference. Well, something did, anyway.


PS: Dale has the van in Gainesville, so I am driving Steven's car, which is a stick shift. Fun! I'd forgotten just how much fun my little GEO was to drive. Also, Zada got me a beautiful magenta and purple silk sari, henna for doing mehendi, lots of jangly blue bracelets, and a gorgeous shawl. Sunday was a very good day.

Friday, September 24, 2004

So little time....

Not much time to write tonight. Not much time to write at all lately, because lately my late-night time is being taken up with calls from Alvin. So strange. He comes back into my life periodically, but never to stay. He's a fervent Jehovah's Witness and has been for years now, and we talk about that a lot. Intriguing, but then, I've always been intrigued by religion, and I listen. But me, a Jehovah's Witness? Ain't no way. Just another set of practices, another belief system that tells me I must do this or that or be condemned. Been there, done that, not looking anymore.

But we talk about other stuff, too. We've got a lot of uneasy history between us, and it is cathartic at times to discuss the whys and what-ifs. We've got my dead sister, and our dead baby, too, and he is really the only one who can understand what that's all about. So, I enjoy our talks.

I have no idea how or what Dale thinks or feels about it all. He knows Al well, and they were friends for a time, and he has no animosity towards him that I know of. I think we've gone well beyond jealousy in our 'relationship', too. Why be jealous when you know you're leaving? So, anyhow, that's the main reason I haven't been writing so much.

Abby came home Monday, and it's good to have her noisy self home. I missed her! She seems happier, although that may be the meds she's on. Doesn't matter, as long as she never again tells me she wished she would die. I wonder, if I'd known that depression was in part inherited, if I'd have had children at all? Probably. I certainly don't regret it, I just regret that they have to go through these things. It sucks for us all sometimes.

Emily called tonight, and Dale, Zada and I are planning to go see her Saturday. those 5-minute phone calls once a week are never enough. Sunday we are going to Tracy's for dinner and presents from India! I know one of mine is a sari, and I hope it fits and that I don't look ridiculous in it. Can't wait to see everyone else's presents, too.

I am in a fairly good space right now. (knock wood!)


Monday, September 13, 2004

Abby Gone

Abby is in the hospital. She got grounded and came unglued, and asked me to take her "somewhere, anywhere, just away from here." She also said that she wished every night that she wouldn't wake up in the morning. I told her to tell me what she wanted me to do, and she just kept saying she didn't care, but to do something. I asked her if she felt she needed to go to the hospital, and she just kept saying, "I don't care." So, the last of the Farrars has succumbed. I took her to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, and from there she was taken to
Riverwood. I talked to her this evening and asked her if she'd like me to try and get her sent back here to Laurelwood, and she said no, she thinks Riverwood is nicer and she likes it. Now I've got to figure out how to get down there and take her the rest of the stuff she needs. It's mid-month, and that means the money is all gone. I'm going to ask at her church if they can help us with gas money so we can go see her. She doesn't want Dale to come, but I really don't like the idea of driving through Atlanta alone. I am so very tired of it all.

Dale says he talked to his attorney today and was told that now that his case was before a judge it would be "20-30 days" before we'd know of the court date. 20-30 days goes beyond my self-imposed deadline, and that puts me in a quandary. What if it is not 20-30 days, but 40-50? 60? 3 months? Can I really manage another month, even? Should I? Oh, I know what my advisers would say, but what do they know of my life? What do they know of not having enough money for gas to go visit my girls? Of not having a working washer or vacuum cleaner? Of not having enough money for food to last each month?

Saturday was such a good day. Deitra came to visit, with her Jack Russell, Sadie. She's looking for a playmate for Sadie, so we went to the animal shelter, and I found out that Sabbath had been adopted. Then we went to the co-op and stayed and talked to Vicki for a while. Deitra has some new photos she brought, and they are beautiful. I hope she sells them all. Then to La Cabana for lunch, Deitra's treat. Then I had to come home and get ready to go to the PCG meeting at Laura's. It was so good to see everyone! Dinner was scrumptious, and we watched a film, 'Guns and Greed' about the School of the Americas. Very unpleasant film, but necessary information. I read an article from Peaceful Tomorrows commemorating this third anniversary of 9/11, and a poem. It was sort of strange to do something as a part of the group, but felt good, too. The only bad thing was that Lorraine was there, which apparently no one had been expecting, and lots of old feelings bubbled up, but I didn't let it bother me much. Everyone was talking about what they were doing for the Kerry campaign, and I wish I could be involved in that, at least a little.

But today was hard. There are no kids in the house! I slept a lot, again trying not to let having no smokes get to me. Now it's late and I'm awake, thinking of how in the world I can get to Riverwood to see Abby. I have to go to the school, too, and get her work. I could do it, if Dale and I didn't both have appointments at the pain clinic in Habersham Wednesday, but I don't think it would be wise to miss that. I already had to reschedule my app't with the opthamologist that was supposed to be today, and I also have an app't with Dr. C on Thursday, and it's too late now to call Logisticare for a ride.

Guess I'll go see if I can beat the crap out of the computer at Scrabble.