Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fuck you two

May I just share how tired I am of two? I have had a two-year old for almost two years now. The first one passed fairly easily. This one? Is trying to kill me.

She refuses to listen. She is openly defiant. She knows the things she is not supposed to do, and she does them anyway. She sneaks out of bed, ostensibly to go potty, and uses up half a bottle of soap, on purpose. Twice. She puts things in her mouth that she knows she's not supposed to, things that are not food, things that could choke and/or kill her. She knows she's not supposed to put non-food items in her mouth*, and yet she does it anyway, and mocks me with this "so what are you going to do about it, lady?" attitude.

I am so sick and tired of this. The Bear is almost four, and she's much more reasonable, easier to handle (usually), and when I have only her to deal with, I can manage. When I have both, I find it so much more difficult, and I think it all traces back to Tank. Seriously. I get that all children are different, but this one is a serious trial to me. It's gotten to the point where I don't enjoy being with her all the time because she just refuses to listen. At all. Ever. It's a damn lucky thing for her that she's ridiculously adorable. If she wasn't so sweet, I probably would have sold her to gypsies long ago.

*Her track record so far? Cigarette butts, trash, ant poison, a dead toad, rocks, more rocks, cat food, bottle caps...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Playdate from hell

In an effort to take a break from depressing divorce news, I bring you this update.

Today was our first real live "playdate." Playdate in the sense that the Bear begged and begged for this kid to come over, and so I called his mom, and scheduled a time, and he came over to play, and oh, god, is it awful.

We've played with other kids before, sure. The girls to go school 5 days a week, and they have all kinds of small friends there. But we don't usually invite people over. The two girls are so close in age, we're pretty self-sufficient that way. So I was a little uncertain about how this would work, and not particularly looking forward to it.

Anyway. It sucks. Oh, is it awful. First off, this kid is a boy. Now, I have nothing against boys, as a rule, but I don't really know how little boys work. I only have girls. Boys are... different. This kid is rougher in his play, and less communicative, which at 4 is super frustrating.

Also, he's on the autism spectrum. He's definitely not autistic, but if I had to use all my experience to figure out where he's at, I would probably peg him as extremely high-functioning autistic or closer to Asperger's. Mom doesn't see anything wrong, and he's been observed/evaluated/tested, with inconclusive results. So, he doesn't interact well with, well, anyone at all. And I have known plenty of kids on the autism spectrum, and they're all great and unique and different, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that interaction with other kids is difficult.

So far today, he has:

refused to share
wandered off (234987 times)
freaked out about noise
refused to share
grabbed each of the girls to hold them back from doing something at least once
made the Bear cry at least 3 times

And yet, she keeps following him around like a lovesick puppy, trying to get his attention and make him happy. I foresee an abusive boyfriend in her future.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Truth in cliche

You know that old saying? Two nice people not meant to be together?

That's us.

I always thought that divorce was for people who hated each other. Husband and I don't hate each other, not at all, so how did we end up here? He doesn't drink, he doesn't beat me, and he only fucked around the once. twice. whatever. anyway...

It turns out, we are great friends, lousy spouses. There's nobody I'd rather talk to, nobody I'd rather hang out with, go to the movies with, go to sleep with, than him. But when I got married, I had a whole host of silly, antiquated, antediluvian notions how what marriage was supposed to be like, and what a husband and father should be like. I was young! Naive! Doe-like in my innocence.*

And then, reality.

I think, perhaps, that I'm just not a fan of reality. I had my mind made up about how it was going to be, and that's not how it was. And it sucked. I have never been so disappointed in my entire life. Truly. And for a while, I was willing to grin and bear it. Well, bear it. I don't do much grinning anymore. And then I realized that I didn't have to bear it anymore. And everything broke wide open, and we've never been happier.

I wish I was joking.

*I'm assuming that he had certain notions too, but then again, maybe not. I'm not really certain. Must ask.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Did you ever open your eyes under the ocean? You know that salty burning feeling you get? A constant stinging under the lids?

I'm a thousand miles from the ocean, but I can't escape that feeling. There are tears just behind my eyes, waiting for an opportune moment to spring a leak.

Last night Husband and I made love for what will probably be the last time. I'd rather not share a million details on the internet, but it was bittersweet to say the least. I cried the entire time, not voluntarily, not really even consciously. I tried so hard to memorize the sensations - skin on skin, fingers in hair, mouths touching - hoping against hope to imprint the memory of his skin onto mine. I tried equally hard not to remember the hundred thousand times before this one - the first time, the times our daughters were conceived, the reunions, the partings. It was so indescribably sad for me.

I have loved this man so fiercely for so long - have sacrificed to be with him, have defended him, cried over him, screamed at him, wanted him, hated him. Never in my life have I felt such intense emotion toward another human being. How can a love that strong not be enough? How can it not be enough?

There's more. I'm ovulating. And for one brief moment, I prayed that a miracle would happen, that something would slip, that we'd get pregnant again. Even though I know that it's a logical impossibility, that it's the worst possible timing in the world, that it wouldn't save our relationship, I still wanted it. Just for that moment. I know that it's not possible, and I'm glad that it's not, but all the same, that yearning was overwhelming.

On a logistical level, I know that this separation is a good thing. The best thing for our family right now, in fact. And on an emotional level, I know that it's right for me, and that what's right for me is, by extension, right for the girls. But on a visceral level, it hurts. I've discovered before that it's possible to be so incredibly sad that you actually feel it physically, as a pain. It's as though the emotion can't be contained inside, and comes shooting down your bones like fire. This is like that. The sorrow is near-constant, and when I think about it too hard, the pain comes knocking, just another reminder. There was a time I would have walked through fire to be with this man. I would have followed him to the farthest corners of the earth. He was love and life itself to me for years. And now? Farewell. How is it possible that a love like that was not enough to make this marriage work? Over and over, I kept saying to myself, as we moved quietly together - how can this not be enough? How?

It's not.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Super, thanks for asking

How am I doing? The answer to that really depends on when you ask.

Some days, I think I'm doing great. I'm ready to make a positive change, ready to get the hell out of this situation, ready for all that clean break, clean slate bullshit that people in these situations love to spout. I'm creeping up there on 30, and I have no qualms about being a single mom. Husband and I are completely in agreement about this whole situation, it's very amicable, and it sounds like a really great solution all around.

But other days, when I'm feeling a little less optimistic, a little more realistic, I wonder. Who will update my iPod? Who will tell me if my shoes go with my outfit? How will we afford this on our budget? Will he really want to take the girls as often as he says? What if he uses this as an excuse to bail out completely? Am I still going to be okay with that? Why isn't he more upset that I'm leaving? Does he think that this is some sort of joke?

On a completely unrelated note, I've been playing with my meds, and it's just plain weird. I quit taking my mood stabilizers cold turkey around the first of the year, and I've been slowly tapering down on my antidepressants for over a month now, and I'm almost down to nothing at all. The particular medication I was taking has some nasty withdrawal side effects, and by tapering I've been able to lessen them, although they're still annoying. Cold turkey on this med is just about impossible. Still, I'm almost there, and hopefully the annoying side effects will be gone soon. I'm not sure where I go from here. I'm less enthused about the typical meds pushed by the Big Pharmaceutical companies than I used to be. I've been researching alternative ways to treat Teh Crazy. But then I find myself going from Perfectly Serene to Screaming Obscenities in less than five minutes, and I realize that I probably do need some kind of psychoactive medication to keep me from flying off the handle if I want to have any hope of raising normal children. So, that's another issue on the table, and it needs dealing with just as urgently as the other one. Still, guess which one keeps me up at night?

So, end of the school year, students crazy, work hectic, me unmedicated, trying to find a place to move to and a way to pay for it on a budget, not to mention trying to work through the details of a separation while maintaining as much normalcy as possible for the kids' sakes. It's not easy, but it's not boring, either...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Whenever I get nervous in any particular way, my stomach is always the first system to fail. Back in my younger days, before a performance, I would wait in the wings, and I would get such bad gas that my stomach would cramp into a million knots. Before any job interview, I always have to make at least three emergency trips to the bathroom. Whenever I sense conflict in the offing, I get this horribly nauseous feeling - I'd rather throw up, but I can't. It just sits there, lurking in the pit of my stomach like I've swallowed a brick.

For the last two days, I have been so incredibly sick to my stomach, I can't describe it. It feels a lot like those surreal first weeks of pregnancy, where the mere mention of certain foods can send you running for the bathroom. Trouble is, I'm not pregnant. I have no decent excuse for my nausea except that my stomach always knows a little more than it lets on.

Every time I think about the future, another wave of nausea hits. It could be the excitement - there are parts of my plan that thrill me down to the bone. For brief moments, I'm almost giddy with the sense of possibility. On the other hand, it could be the sheer terror of the unknown. Change doesn't always come easy to me, and when I don't know exactly what the outcome of any given situation will be, I tend to imagine the absolute worst, whether or not it's even realistic.

At this point, I just want to make the change and be done with it. These last few weeks before the change-over are the worst: reality is never as awful as my imagination. Better the devil you know then the devil you don't...

There is a major financial component to all of this - if two main things don't fall into place, this can't happen. I'd planned my move for the second week of June, but if my ducks aren't all in a row by then, then I'll have to keep pushing back the date, which seriously keeps screwing with my stomach. If I was a praying person, I would be down on my knees right now, begging my deity of choice to please please please make this all work out soon. But I'm not, and there's a nagging little corner of my brain wondering if my refusal to pray about this is causing an angry god to punish me with a slow real-estate market. Of course that's ridiculous, but still, I want to get this over with so badly I could just scream. It's the ripping off of the band-aid. You have to do it quickly. Prolonging the act doesn't help anyone. If I had any luck, I'd buy a PowerBall ticket. If I had a death wish, I'd rob a bank. If I lost all my pride, I'd go begging to family. None of those ifs apply to me, though, so it's all down to watchful waiting and hoping.

I feel a bit guilty for being so excited for this move. It's not as though I'm excited at the prospect of leaving my husband behind, the idea that my marriage may not last a lifetime, the idea that my kids might not grow up in a traditional nuclear family. At the same time, though, things have been so bad lately that the idea of maintaining the status quo is just untenable. Something has to give, and this may be the ticket.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Making Lemonade

It's time. I'm moving out. The girls are coming with me.

Husband is not.

Nothing is permanent, yet. Boundaries are still fluid, roles still evolving, emotions shifting from one second to the next. I'm content with my choice (and it was my choice), but terrified, nonetheless. I have no idea how this will play out, or even how I want it to play out. The laws of physics should prevent people from feeling happy and sad and the same time, but apparently I'm an exception to this rule.

I'm not giving up on the dream just yet, even though it's been more nightmare than not these past weeks, months, years. Somewhere, deep down, I think I still believe that we may all live happily ever after. And we may. And we may not. Who can tell these things?

I don't know where I'll go, or how I'll pay for it, or what will happen, but I do know that right now, this is what's best for me and my girls, and hopefully for him, too. And that's what's important, right now.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

To Do

Things I Am Working Through That Will Be Blogged About Sometime In The Near Future:

Good Pagan, Bad Pagan

Meds (and/or the lack thereof)

82 Ways My Husband Pisses Me Off (and some ways that he doesn't - for variety!)

Why I Can't Lose Weight*

Money/Class/Privilege (general thoughts, and specific applications in our situation)

Why My In-Laws Are Driving Me Crazy

Unfortunately, none of this is getting written tonight. This weekend was brought to us by the Letter P. Poop, puke, pee - you name it, it was on someone's sheets. I've changed all three beds three times in three days (apparently, this weekend also brought to us by the Number Three). I did seven bodily-fluid-related loads of laundry today, and after each I had to dig around inside the machine to clean out the washed-up bits of vomit and/or diarrhea. It's way easier to analyze what your child has eaten after it's been laundered and sanitized. We're all out of size-2 undies - both of the girls ended up going commando today after their second pairs were sullied. Even the cat had a damn hairball on the carpet last night. Seriously. Plus I'm tired and just a little out of it, and we're just doing our best to keep our heads above water. So, as I find time to think about these things, I promise to come up with coherent, thoughtful, organized posts. Really, I do! Just not tonight.

*Hint: Mostly because I can't stop eating...

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Oh, my god. Two is killing me. The Bear was a perfectly reasonable and delightful two-year-old. Tank, on the other hand, is singlehandedly attempting to live up to every negative stereotype that's ever been made about two-year-olds.

She cries. Constantly. At the drop of a hat. She wants Mommy. No, she doesn't want Mommy, she wants Grandma. When she gets Grandma, she wants Mommy. I can deal with the changing-your-mind-every-two-seconds thing, but when the changes are expressed with screaming and crying and hyperventilating, my patience wears a little thin.

Then there's the defiance. The doing the exact opposite of what I ask. The "NO" to everything. The running away in public. The dashing out in the street. The wandering off in stores. The "NO" to everything. The refusal to eat.

She's like a ticking time bomb. I can never tell if she's going to be happy, or furious, or sad, or why. I know that's kind of the way of two-year-olds, but it's still so frustrating, and disconcerting, and irritated, and I just wish I could understand her better, or communicate with her better, or fix whatever the hell it is that's wrong with her. She's such an amazingly cute and charismatic kid - ridiculous curls, gigantic grin, the devil's own sense of humor - and I hate the fact that I don't always enjoy being with her when she's like this. I don't want to fast forward and miss these days, but at the same time, it's like the same bad day over and over again sometimes, and I don't really want to keep reliving it, either.

Yeah, well, she's asleep now, however fitfully, and there's some fantastic teenage vampire literature waiting for me in my own bed, so...