Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's Tuesday: An Update

Well, I'm still here plugging away in La La Land.  I hope my readers are all doing well today :)

Just some stuff:

1.  I'm determined to cut our darn grocery/food bill down to a sustainable level.  We've been spending in excess of $13,000 a year which is ridiculous, despite the fact that I have been tracking expenses for almost a decade now.  This is how long it takes me to lose my 'support' systems!  And yes, food has most definitely been a support.  And don't even ask me how much money we used to spend when we had 4 teenagers in the house.  We could retire on that amount alone.  Anyway, I wanted to really make the effort this time to cut the food bills by 50% and, at the end of this first quarter, I am on track.  I don't want to spend much more than $6500 for 2017 onward.  It has been surprisingly easy on this particular 'food challenge' attempt to stick to the budget.  It hasn't been anywhere near as painful as it once was, so there's progress!  I'm sorry to sound so pathetic.  Many of the blogs I read are headed by determined men and women who just get on with it.  I, on the other hand, have spent a lifetime just trying to function in a non destructive manner and, up until 10 years ago, failing terribly.  The past 10 years have been good though!  Varying degrees of progress but the trajectory has ultimately always been upward, I will say that.  One step back and two forward.  So, I need to make some adjustments for April in order to make it to the end of that month bang on target. I'm pleased.

2.  We've stayed out of restaurants and have turned down numerous related invites.  This has made us pariahs both inside and outside of the family.  Friends have copped an attitude and I'm about to dump a long term friendship over the snippy manner in which one particular 'friend' is handling herself.  She has turned from a support into a competitor somewhere along the way, always having to prove me wrong even going so far as to bring supporting documentation every time we meet for chrissakes.  Get over yourself, lady.  You're becoming toxic and I don't do toxic. 

The family is both bemused and bewildered at our complete lack of desire to eat oversalted/greased/sugared food outside of our own kitchen but we've stuck to our guns.  I can't believe that we've FINALLY succeeded at conquering this particular heretofore expensive problem.

3.  We're taking our first trip of the year soon.  It is going to be completely self catered, as in no restaurants.  All food and cooking supplies/utensils are in the process of being packed.  I'm planning this with military precision as we've never done anything like this before.  It'll be fun, I tell the spouse.  He cocks an eyebrow and looks skeptical but is, as usual, along for the ride.  It's an experiment and I'll post the details of how this goes in a future post.

4.  We are consulting with Cardiothoracic surgeons.  The spouse has a very major health issue.  Unbeknownst to him, he was born with a major heart defect.  Major.  How the hell can one get to a certain age/point in life and not already know about such a thing?  Throughout his life, he's been told one minute he has a heart murmur and then, the next, that he doesn't.  No one thought to do any tests when he was a kid.  Well, he DOES have a fucking murmur, stupid doctors.  We found out about this some time ago but I never mentioned it here.  Along with everything else that goes on in my life, now I am dealing with another life or death situation.  Don't get me wrong.  The spouse is healthy as an ox and asymptomatic.  The heart issue was only discovered several years ago by an excellent cardiologist (who has become our friend) when the spouse was about to get on a plane on company business.  So, anyway, now we know and we have known and the time is drawing near when something is going to have to be done about this condition before the spouse drops dead.  The cardiologist thought that the spouse had some years left yet before surgery would be necessary but the results from the last CT scan show that not to be the case.  It sounds like a daunting situation and it is BUT .... the spouse's condition is a silent killer and we consider ourselves lucky that we even know about it at all.  The surgery will be as major as it gets.

See now, my UK family have been aware of the spouse's health issues all along and yet still manage to continually behave like massive, spoiled, selfish country bumpkin rubes.  I think it's obvious, now, why I had to cut them out of my life.  I just couldn't deal with any more crap and I am barely emotionally recovered over the past 6 months from our last visit to the UK anyway.  ALL of my emotional resources are needed for the here and now, for the people who TRULY love me.  The spouse has taken good care of me for decades and now I am going to make sure that he gets the best of care and attention and gets through this thing in one piece.  So fuck off 'dad', we don't have time for your shit.

5.  As with all addicts, I will have to replace one addiction with another and I'm trying to start a new obsession and become 'addicted' to Health.  This will of course benefit the spouse too.  He is doing pretty darn well on his diet regimen, not bad at all.  It's all about the diet and exercise.  Speaking of, I am doing pretty well on the weight loss side of things.  It's very slow and steady because it's emotionally difficult to lose one's 'armor' but I'm getting there.  I am seeing progress and I'm not backsliding the way I always used to do.  It's hard to overcome those fundamental cracks in one's character when PTSD is the base one has to work from.

6.  The appraiser is on hold for the minute.  With the news that the spouse is facing surgery, we cannot take on any more extra work or stress until the most important issue is resolved.  We will have more news on this in a few months.

7.  House work.  There'll be some of this going on in a couple of months.  We need to finish up and put in the new flooring upstairs. 

That's all for now.  Peace.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Decision Has Been Made

Well, it has been decided.

We are selling our beloved home and going out on the road.

My job tomorrow is to find an appraiser so that I know what my asking price should be for this house.  Our real estate market keeps on going up so ... it's now or never.  We need to sell and bank the money.

I am going to miss this house.  It saved our asses back in 2009 and it will always occupy a special place in my heart.  This house has good vibes.  I knew it was 'home' the second I walked in the front door.  It's going to be hard to sell and leave.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ooh babe ......

Don't leave me now/How could you go?/When you know how I need you
To beat to a pulp on a Saturday night
Ooh babe, don't leave me now/How can you treat me this way?
Running away
Ooh babe
Why are you running away? ~ Pink Floyd

I have been struggling with depression for a little while now.  Going back to the UK as I did last September has indeed proved to have been a massive mistake with regards to my mental health, and it is a mistake that will not be repeated again in this lifetime.  I had been doing so much better emotionally in 2016 but then I had to go and sabotage myself, as I always seem to do.  The chaos, violence and shame of my childhood is like a stain that won't wash out.  It will not wash out, I get that now without any doubt.  I cannot change who or what I am.  I lived with a sociopathic abuser for so long that it has made me an extremely flawed individual, full of self doubt and insecurities, constantly in survival mode, with an inability to listen or to trust in my gut feelings.  I made a vow to myself some time back that, in future, I was not going to ignore my instincts.  When my gut tells me "That's a bad idea" I am trying to listen.

Yesterday, a friend - in a roundabout kind of way - made it known that she felt I had given up.  Well, she doesn't know the half of it as far as my life is concerned.  She only knows what I've told her and it's a highly edited version of my past and present.  She has no freaking idea what I've had to survive.

And yes, I am a survivor.  I take pride in knowing that paradoxically I seem to be made of some strong stuff.  I wouldn't be alive today were that not the case.  And, of course, my spouse takes big credit for bringing me this far in life even though I've made his life intolerable at times.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, be kind to your children if you have them.  It's a huge injustice to affect another person's life in such a negative way as this.  Many times I feel unlovable and unwanted, even though that just isn't true!!  That inner voice that has been relentlessly triggered by being around my awful male parent again keeps telling me that I'm ugly, worthless, shameful, stupid.  I'm still that little girl cowering in fear, wondering if the psychotic bully that is my father is about to kill me and bury me in the back garden.  That was a regular threat.  Among others.

My extended UK family have been keeping me informed with regards to the goings on with my parents.  I will no longer have anything to do with my father because he turns me into a raging, irrational, hysterical individual.  That is not who I've wanted to be in the decades since I left the UK and moved 6000 miles away.  However, every time I get near this man I want to smash his face in.  I want to tell everyone what he did to us.... my mother, sister and me.  On the occasions when I have told people what this sociopath was like to live with, they cannot relate.  They see a charming, funny, 'good' man with strong 'values' and could never imagine him capable of the violence and spittle inducing rage into which he devolves when things do not go his way.  They don't see his massive hands like shovels, capable of knocking a woman or child into the middle of next week, or the hair trigger temper that cocks off on a split second.  And then I feel devalued even further, incapable of fully relating what a monster this man truly is.  He continues to trick people to this day, the latest being my brother in law.  They are drinking buddies. DUI partners in crime.

I have gone No Contact.

Cut a longer story short, my male parent has been in the hospital multiple times since September 2016.  The heart issues that he claimed to have had for years were debunked finally by a cardiologist.  The sperm donor was told that his heart was fine, as fine as it could be for a 78 year old man.  Following that, two surgical operations were performed including a knee replacement.  The knee replacement was two weeks ago and he has been back inside twice with complications.  Personally, I think the knee replacement at his age was a big mistake because, if it fails, he will be wheelchair bound.

Meanwhile, my mother's dementia has gotten worse and she now needs assistance to wash and dress.  She cannot read or write or talk on the phone, so if I was so inclined to phone my parents it would be pointless.  I don't want ~ and have never wanted ~ to speak to my male parent.  I was only ever interested in my mother and seeing as how she can no longer talk to me, well ....... the point is moot now.  My mother is deteriorating quickly and probably doesn't remember who I am anyway.

My sister, despite having 3 grown children, has never learned to cook so her husband has been doing all the cooking.  He takes my parents their meals.  A house cleaner was supposedly hired some weeks back but has never put in an appearance and so the house continues to be filthy, hence my male parent's latest bacterial infection involving cellulitis of the lower leg.  He is such a cheapskate that keeping my mother locked up in a filthy house is preferable to paying for her to receive proper care.  The last thing he wants is to have to pay for a nursing home.  I think I'm the only person to realize this fact but I have made a point of telling the extended family so that at least they are aware that Mr. Sociopath is up to his usual tricks.

When my spouse first met me, I was a raging bull.  I kept it all inside mostly but every now and then my spouse would get a glimpse of it.  My outlet for years was spending, hoarding and engaging in risky behavior of every kind: DUI, spending every cent, gambling, befriending sociopaths, smashing the house up.  And that was the stuff that people actually saw.  I won't go into the stuff that people didn't see.  That stuff can't be allowed to see the light of day.

There has to be an end to this.  At some point, will I ever be free.  Will there ever be a day when I can put these 3 people ~ my mother, my sister, my male parent ~ out of my mind and keep it that way forever?  The 4 of us share such an unhealthy dynamic, my sister is still full of rage.  The spouse was astonished by the barely concealed level of it this past September.  He had never realized before but this time .... wow.  She was like an unsprung bear trap.

Guilt, rage, shame, hatred, revenge.  I think of my broken male parent, chair and house bound, stuck, in agony with infection from a knee op that is possibly failing and a wife who doesn't know him anymore, and I feel a perverse pleasure.  What sort of person does that make me?  This hurt runs so deep that it is indeed pathological.  I think to myself, Now you're getting yours, 'Dad', and it feels good in a sick way.  I admit it.  I want him to feel the terror of isolation, the fear of being forgotten, the pain of injury, the realization that he is a piece of shit.  OK, he probably won't realize that last one because that would entail taking personal responsibility and he's too damaged for that.

The spouse told me back in August to think really hard before booking those tickets to the UK.  I knew I should've listened to him because that trip has set me back years emotionally.  I wish I could turn the clock back, listen to my gut, keep making those excuses to my UK family as to why I couldn't go back there, can't ever go back.

Oh, I can't get the time off work.
I have a house full of pets and no one to take care of them.
So-and-so has to have surgery.
I have to become a citizen before I can leave the country.

I'm sick.