Monday, December 24, 2012

Einstein, FTW!!

Once the wedding was over, I almost shrunk into myself even more if that’s possible.  My relationship with my son was deteriorating and his problems at school were coming to the forefront.  Freddy had been held back in first grade because I was moving jobs and he had gone to three different schools that year.  When we landed where we landed the teachers and counselor recommended that he repeat the first grade for his own good. At the time, it didn’t seem like a huge deal but it came back to bite us in the ass when he failed 7th grade and summer school was not an option because he couldn’t make up the necessary work.

He came to me with tears in his eyes and was so ashamed of himself for failing.  I tried to tell him that this was just as much my fault as it was his.  I had been so wrapped up in the disaster we were living that I’d let my motherhood duties slide.  Although we had fought through his ADHD with no medication and I had spent so many hours advocating for him at school, it just quit being as effective in middle school. 

I tried asking the principal for a 504 representative to help with a special education plan for my son but was told that wouldn’t make a difference, he’d have to repeat the 7th grade.  The principal and my relationship had declined into an adversarial association. Freddy had gotten into trouble for fighting and for being restless and disruptive in class and the principal had little to no people or management skills and there was no gray area to him. Kids were either good ones or bad ones.  It should be noted he took a demotion the following year and was no longer the principal.  It didn’t help us however, Freddy was doomed to repeat the 7th grade and what made it worse in a tiny town with the entire K-12 in one building, he’d be in the same classes all day with his little sister. 

I was cleaning the bedroom and hanging up clean clothes and I had pulled Tucker in to talk to him privately about Freddy. When I told him what had happened and how upset Freddy was and he could see my obvious upset, he told me that Freddy was playing me.  I looked up at him in complete disbelief, stopped in my tracks with hangers in my hand.  Of all the reactions I thought I’d get, this one did not occur to me.

“Playing me?!”

“Yeah, he’s playing you.  You’re his mommy and you always rush in to defend him even when he’s wrong.  You’ve turned him into a first class momma’s boy pussy that comes crying to momma when things don’t go his way.”

“You know even if that’s the case, even if I decide he’s being a little player and pulling the wool over my eyes, what do you suggest I do? Put him in the same grade with his sister?” I looked at him with what I know could have only been interpreted as disgust on my face. 

He studied me and was silent for a tick and then quietly said, “It would teach him a lesson.”

“Yeah,” I said. “What lesson is that...that I don’t give two shits about the fact that he’s been struggling and he’s been affected by our lives being drastically and systematically flushed down the toilet over the last four years?”

He came unglued then.  Seriously unwound.  I could see it coming and I knew as soon as the words were out that even though I meant them, it was the worst possible thing I could have said. 

He got up off the bed where he’d been sitting and came towards me, “You think I have ruined your lives? You think that everything is MY fault when all I’ve tried to do is support my family and take care of them?!”

I just looked at him, I couldn’t speak. I was paralyzed between wanting to say, “Yes you egotistical, maniacal sociopath.” And “Honey, that’s not what I meant.” 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Should Have Known Better

The rent was beginning to be more and more overdue.  It was awful, ducking the landlord when he was out on the property, hiding in the house hoping he wouldn't come and ask me for money when I had no answer as to when it would be there.  I worked and worked and Tucker spent and spent and I felt like things were going right back down the toilet.  The wheels in my mind were spinning overtime. I thought that the few good horses we had that were worth money would go automatically to his older kids if I didn't try to make a claim on them somehow should something happen.

So…I figured that in a community property state, I would be due half of our community property, if we were married.  I would have some security if he had another heart attack or if all the shenanigans he was up to were proven to be anything that would take him out of the picture.  He was running about with some meth head that was buying and hauling cattle with him.  Horses and cattle came in and went out but we still seemed never to have any money. 

He had been pushing for the marriage and I had always said there wasn’t enough money, or it wasn’t the right time.  I had tried to gather myself to leave him so many times and now suddenly I was saying, “Yes, let’s get married.” It was as if I had given up the thought of leaving any longer.  I loved him, of course I did.  I told myself it was the thing. I think I knew better. I should have known better.

I had been married twice before, once to someone whom I barely knew and then to the father of my children.  The first wedding was a quicky done in front of a JP in upstate New York on a very snowy night and I don’t even remember saying “I do.” We signed divorce papers on the second anniversary.

The wedding to my children’s father was something more special though I was seven months pregnant with Freddy at the time. I had put off saying yes for almost the entire pregnancy until Lutheran guilt got the best of me and I decided that I didn’t want my son being born a bastard.

So this time, I settled that money or no, this wedding would at least be something I wanted and it would be the way I wanted.  I searched for a dress, a cake, a “venue”. I tanned and dieted.  I carefully thought that tax time would bring the money needed but it somehow was mostly sucked up by Tucker and what he needed anyway.  I was the picture of the perfect bride to be, excited and on a mission.  I ordered a dress online because I never had the time, opportunity or freedom to go dress shopping.  When it arrived, it was too small I had to take it for alterations because of my bust size and it arrived only two weeks before the wedding and I was already out of money.  I had sent the money for the cake to be made by a friend; I had put the money aside for catering for 50.  I handmade the invitations and mailed them.   I had to have my ex-mother –in-law pay for the alterations. My parents were surprisingly supportive. I think they just wanted me to have what I wanted and my protestations of love convinced my step-mother I think to come aboard.  It seems though most weddings are fraught with last minute details and things that don’t go exactly right but nothing went right with this wedding.

The night before I wanted him to go and spend the night at his parents so that I could arrive when I wanted to and we could have that whole experience but he lent my car to the meth head’s wife the night before and there was no extra transportation.  He had no suit and had to go off the morning of to go and borrow one.  We had two boys and two girls to get ready and the older kids hadn’t been heard from.  The wedding was supposed to be at 6:00 and by 4:00 I was still sitting at the house sans fiancĂ©e with two girls and I couldn’t get ready because I didn’t want him to see the dress. I was frantic and pissed off, in tears and wanting to not do any of it.  At all.  If I had had a way to run off right then, I would have.  I know I would have. That’s how badly I felt.

When we finally arrived at the beauty shop that his sister owned which was right across the street from the “venue”, a converted pool hall that his parents owned, I was ready for beers and Xanax.  Let’s top all of this off with the fact that I had had auburn red hair just a month before.  I decided to go back to blonde for the wedding.  After much professional intervention, I ended up with some lovely peach colored tresses. And…and…and…I got my fucking period and bled all over the slip of my dress.  My hair was a mess.  I hated it.  The dress never fit correctly but I had to say fuck it and take it like it was.  No one showed up except his family and mine and about 10 people we’d invited. Oh, and Tuckerette called about an hour prior and said she wouldn’t be there to walk with her brother so we had to get Tucker, Jr.’s girlfriend to stand in.  I’d spent hours listening to music for just the right pieces and no one was there to run it properly and it was all fucked up.  I was so pissed and disappointed and just so let down and I should have known better.

Tucker was so happy though.  He had practically bellowed his vows.  He was smiling and glad-handing and telling stories and drinking champagne.  He even danced with me once.  He never danced because he told me dancing was only done to get pussy but he’d make an exception just because he loved me so very much that day.  I should have known better. It felt like everything I obsessed over and everything that I wanted to go right and everything that I deemed important was just poo-pooed by him. I should have been used to that by then. I should have known better.

Every single thing about that day made me upset.  I smiled in the pictures and inside I felt like I was the biggest liar that ever walked the earth.  I felt the life being sucked out of me. I almost felt though, that I deserved every disappointment, like I should have just expected it all to be so shitty.  It was as if I couldn’t have been happy even if it had gone perfectly because I wasn’t doing it for love.  I was doing it for what? Horses? I still don’t know why I felt the need to push it and make it so.  Everything felt wrong because it was wrong.  Ultimately, all it did was made me guilty by association and force me to carry around a name that is notorious in certain circles.

I can’t say with any certainty how I felt once it was over except I was relieved.  I was the most solemn I can remember afterwards.  I was all at once relieved and doomed. I can tell you with certainty however that there is no reason I should ever marry again and I never will because now…now, I do know better. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Judy and the Hulk - Fridays at 8/7C

I went to court today.  I took all the papers that I had painstakingly filled out and then gone to the courthouse and filed myself with the help of my mother’s $238.00 and I sat in a miniature court room.  Waiting.  Waiting for someone to tell me that I was all through with it and there weren’t any more claims over me. I got there early, too early and sat in a silently contained panic.  Hoping he hadn’t conned anyone into bringing him in for the official court date. He had after all, managed to get them to let him use the phone in someone’s office to make the series of phone calls it must have taken to track me down at my new job.  The return addresses are torn off the envelopes of the incoming mail and he somehow had convinced one of the jailers to give him the address and then Google it for him so that he could lovingly tell me we were only separated by 17 miles. It’s what he does. He most certainly could have had them transport him the short distance to the courthouse if he tried hard enough.

I watched the lawyers and the clients and the people angrily glaring at each other from just a few feet apart as they filed in.   It seemed as if they were trying to be as obviously visibly hostile as possible without saying anything.  I just kept thinking, We get it. You don't like each other. Grow the fuck up.

Then the judge came and began to call the cases. She was a sweet looking lady with a fluffy blond grandma wig on and she seemed overly solicitous and sweet to everyone.  The lawyers were droning on and on about mediation and custody and this one was pulled over for DUI and that one hasn’t seen her kids in 18 days and that one over there just wants her kids at her wedding.  Awesome.

Relief begins flooding in at this point however because even though I know I’m last on the docket, I also know they would have had him there on time if he were coming.   I stared down at the papers in my hand and knew it would soon be my turn up there all alone, no lawyer and no formidable foe.  My eyes began to sting.

No, no, no, no.  What the hell are you tearing up for???? Stop! Just stop! You are not sad.  This is a good thing.  This is the right thing. He is a bad, awful, evil man and you are going to be free. You are not abandoning him.

The pep talk in my head was making it worse. The sting spread to my nose and I knew I was about to break out in wracking heaving sobs . The last thing I need to do sitting here all alone was start to fucking cry.  Then it happened.

I heard the judge getting louder and louder, her sweet grandma voice gaining a hard edge as she struggled to speak over a slight girl standing opposite her mother and her mother’s attorney. The girl was maybe in her 20’s, short, great haircut, decent clothes and teeny tiny but she was raising her voice every time the judge raised hers. 
She said she didn’t like the orders they were bullying her into.  It wasn’t lawful.  Her mother had obtained information by illegal means and though she couldn’t afford a lawyer she was there to defend herself and defend herself she would.  She was talking like that, like she was on Law and Order. The stinging stopped as I stared with my mouth hanging open. I have been raised and have lived as a doormat and would never ever ever dream of even making a peep after a judge in a court of law had told me to stop talking.  And Judge Judy had definitely told her to stop talking. 

Judge Judy quietly said, “You need to step out into the hall young lady and calm down and we’ll revisit this in a moment.”

Tina slammed her papers down on the desk and shouted yet again, “THIS IS UNLAWFUL!!! SHE HAS OBTAINED INFORMATION BY ILLEGAL MEANS AND YOU CANNOT IGNORE ME!!! I WILL BE HEARD!”

The very large bailiff walked over and started to usher her out without touching her, sort of corralling her to the back and out the door and all the while she is shouting out like the cameras are hot and she’s about to have a guest spot next to Mariska. 

Her parting shot as the giant bailiff pushed/herded her out, “I’LL HAVE YOU DISBARRED!!!!!”

I wasn’t at all teary anymore.  I had a huge stupid grin on my face.  It was thoroughly perfect.  Judge Judy called my name next and bailiff Hulk came and stood next to me at the bar.  I am 5’ 11” and was wearing 3 inch heels and I still had to look up at him to say, “I’ll be good, you can sit down.”

Judy and the Hulk both laughed and laughed and I was feeling more and more like I could handle it all and I would not be despondent or emotional. I felt like this was going to be a piece of cake. 

And it was.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Prince Charming

There we were in the country.  Things were sort of evening out. I was able to go to work and not have to wait on rides or get him rousted to take me in every morning.  The kids were in a little country school and liking it a lot.  The other shoe eventually dropped though since when things were more settled, Tucker got bored.  We also had more privacy in a bigger house and that meant I had to have sex more often than I wanted.  I would often wait until he fell asleep on the couch and barely try to wake him and go to bed hoping he’d stay there all night.  As I said though, he got bored and that meant it was my responsibility to entertain him.

Entertaining him often meant sexual escapades.  I’m not a prude but I was no longer myself at this point you see? I was broken down and almost resigned to my fate most of the time. I felt like little more than an implement for him to gratify his baser needs. There were times that I narrowly escaped because we had to stay home with the kids or there wasn’t money enough to indulge in the hedonistic activities he craved.  When that happened he would be hateful to everyone and sullen. Those nights I would cringe when he came to bed and pretend to be asleep hoping I could escape having to submit to him.  If I turned him down, he would fight and pout and slam doors until the kids were up and asking what was wrong.  It was easier to give in. When I did give in on those nights when he didn’t get what he wanted, it was always depraved.  It was always humiliating. It was always something I didn’t want to do and I didn’t get the luxury of cocktails beforehand.

When he harped and harped about wanting to do things like go to the adult book store and sit in a dark room while strangers watched us and pornographic movies flickering in the background, I balked but did it.  Why? I don’t know anymore, except that he made the rest of my life more miserable until I gave in.
Constantly saying things like, “I just want to enjoy myself before I die. I only want you baby.  I just want to have fun.  Why don’t you want to make me happy?”

I had to be drunk, really, really drunk and he didn’t care that I needed altered consciousness to satisfy his needs. He only cared that I did what he wanted.  I remember going to a massage parlor and his telling the woman who barely understood English that he wanted to watch while she massaged me.  She knew I was uncomfortable and reticent.  She tried to make me calm but he kept pulling out money and pushing her to touch me everywhere until she did it.  He had her sit in the corner while he crawled on top of me and consummated my disgrace. I was ashamed because I gave in when I didn’t want to. I was ashamed because I could feel her discomfort too. I was ashamed because I felt soiled.
I would tell him afterwards that I didn’t want to do this or that again and he would just dream up something else. We went to swingers clubs where I would get so completely shit faced that I barely remembered half of what went on.  Letting strangers touch me, having strangers watch us have sex.  Having him make me be with other women so that he could jack off in the corner, it was all too sordid and it made me sick if I stayed sober.

The thing was that once it was over no matter what he’d made me do, he treated me like a queen for a while after that.  I still apparently cared that he cared. He was Prince Charming for those couple of weeks afterwards.  I couldn’t see the master manipulator. I couldn’t see I was being trained like a goddamned puppy.  It just never occurred to me. He couched everything in the “I’ve never done so and so, I want to do it before I die, Don’t you love me” so often that it made me think that we’d eventually do everything he wanted to do and he’d stop pestering me constantly to do more. 

He never stopped.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Aerial Cherry

I told no one what had happened.  No one.  Harlow knew because she was there but agreed not to tell Freddy so as not to turn him further against Tucker.  I decided that the epic ass kissing was good.  The feelings of watching him jump when I said anything were so good to me. You know when it’s really cold in the mornings? So cold that your fingers ache? Then you wrap a towel or warm blanket around yourself and feel the slow crawl of heat to your extremities as they start to thaw out; the delicious feeling as the warmth radiates and envelopes you? Like that, but waaaaayy better.  Plus, I was still in the same spot.  Still no vehicle, no money put back, not able to figure out which way to turn or which way to take us. Mostly paralyzed by fear and overwhelmed by decisions.

Thankfully during this time with us all crammed into this apartment, the sex life had devolved to a dull, extremely quiet, very dismal routine that served only to put him to sleep.  It meant the sexual shenanigans had come to a stop for the most part and I was glad of it.  Tucker kept on just trying to make me happy but things just seemed to be harder and harder on us.  I can remember waiting until midnight for the food stamps to be deposited on the card so that I could go and shop at midnight for food for us. It was worse and worse day by day.

One day in the midst of this, I’m not even sure what sparked the initial argument,  but I had many such days  breaking up Freddy and Tuckerette.  He, again, was an outspoken child and resented the fact that since she was supposed to be an adult and he was supposed to mind her but yet she didn’t work and she barely did housework or took care of the baby. We had given Tuckerette some money to take care of her checking account and she had double spent so that she ended up with bounced checks.  She ended up further not paying for them and laying the blame on her father.  Freddy had been privy to at least part of these conversations inadvertently and of course had run wild with the information.  He never ceased to give her a hard time and I was ever the peace maker.  On one particular day she was griping about not having something…clothes, money, I don’t really know what and Freddy told her if she would go out and get a job maybe she’d have something.

At that moment Harlow was busy rocking the baby because he’d been teething and fussy.  Freddy and Tuckerette were busy yelling at one another and I stood watching, not sure what to do to whom first. I had told Tuckerette constantly not to engage him, he was after all a 13 year old and she was 23. I had constantly told Freddy to shut his mouth to an adult and talk to me if he had problems with the situation.
Freddy had retreated to the top of the metal spiral staircase and turned and opened his mouth and said, “Well if you were enough of a grown up to have that baby, you ought to take care of it instead of letting my mom and sister do it all the time.”

Before I could stop her, Tuckerette crossed the room and put two hands firmly in the middle of Freddy’s chest and shoved him, hard.  He fell backwards with his arms windmilling and caught himself after he’d fallen down two steps. I had to lunge to catch him before he caught hold of her hair as he bounded back up the stairs. He was screaming and lunging and I had to stop him and calm him so I could see if he was alright.  He was cussing still and I told him that was enough.  I sent him down to his room and turned to Tuckerette.

“What in the hell is wrong with you?! You could have seriously injured or even killed him. Don’t you realize that?”

She spun around and jerked the baby from Harlow’s arms. He began to scream and she was yelling about how she didn't have to put up with this shit and he was a kid and couldn't talk to her that way and she was taking her baby and getting out. I stopped her and said, “You can go where you want but you know you’re in the wrong here and you owe that boy and me an apology.”

She proceeded to take her screaming baby and load up in the truck she wasn't paying for and drive away, presumably to the barn.  I called her father and told him to be expecting his daughter shortly and that she’d almost killed my son.  I told him things were changing right then and she needed to get a job or go back to her mother’s.

He sounded disgusted and worn out and I didn't care.  I knew he was juggling money and cattle and horses and had a tenuous grasp at best on financial matters.  Case in point, I had gone to the barn one day to get my mustang out and saddle him only to find that he’d been sold without so much as a, would you mind or we need the money. After I hung up with him, I took the computer and started looking for a place I could afford for me and my children without anyone else.  I knew that even though my parents had co-signed for the apartment we were in, they probably would be okay with me walking away from it if it meant I were walking away from Tucker.  Tucker came home to find me searching for someplace to live which spawned another argument and yet more emotional terrorism.  All of which I bought into yet again.  My son looked at me in utter disgust and defeat and my daughter said nothing. Since most of it couldn't be kept private in the tiny apartment, they had heard most of it.

The following months led to Tuckerette moving in with her boyfriend, Tucker, Jr. being arrested and held for a week on some vendetta that a former business associate of Tucker’s had telling Tucker that he’d drop charges against Tucker, Jr. if Tucker paid the $10,000 he owed.  So, Tucker came up with $10,000, the charges were dropped and meanwhile we continued to get eviction notices and scrape gas and food money together. 

I found a place that we could afford and sent Tucker to check it out.  It was 40 miles from town and I didn't know how we’d afford even more gas money but it was half the rent we were paying. It was a shithole that we worked on for two weeks cleaning and painting before we could move in and packed up and moved. Leaving our lease, leaving my parents holding the bag and still in just one truck. 

The move prompted a new beginning for us though as Tucker came up with money for a down payment on a car for me and I finally had my own vehicle and the kids were happy for a new house with lots of room and no Tuckerette. I thought that this would be the time for me to make it all happen. I thought I could finally make things right and better.  It was the never ending cycle of my pipe dreams and pie in the sky. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

It took me much longer to find a job than it ever had before.  It was 2009 and it was an employer’s market.  I had my lovely Associate’s Degree but now it seemed that was little better than a high school diploma and almost dismissed in most cases. I looked for three months.  It had never taken me that long to find a job but I realize how lucky I was to get the offer.  It was less money than I’d been making and it was really menial office work but I didn’t care.  I took it. I snatched it up quickly.

Tuckerette of course was not working.  She was helping to spend the money alright but even with her doing the feeding and taking care of the animals, what little I had begun to make was doing naught but disappearing almost as soon as I made it.  I got myself a checking account and flatly refused to get any checks for the account.  Tucker acted wounded and I told him he could go cry in a bucket...but then there was work. Sweet sanctuary.  I could leave my madhouse for 8 hours a day and feel smart and important and not worry with all the bullshit.  I was slowly starting to feel myself, just a little anyway. 

Tucker it seemed had decided to work some angle with bank accounts between Tuckerette, Tucker, Jr. and some DBA he had started. I was flatly told over and over not to worry about what the fuck was going on. I knew though that we didn’t have enough money even with my check to cover bills and for all of us to eat.  I cannot count how many times we ate dollar McDonald’s for supper because he had managed to scrape $30 together before I got off work.  He didn’t believe in my cooking and us having groceries in the house unless I was going to be home to cook them.  

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any crappier, summertime arrived and so did the two younger Tuckers.  I now had an apartment with an 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old in it along with a whiny, lazy 23 year old and an infant.  Plus there was the grandbaby…bazinga!!! I went and got food stamps.  I wasn’t going to watch all four of the younger kids starve to death and survive on McDonald’s for the summer and then I forced Tuckerette, Jr. to go and get WIC for her and the baby.  Tucker was furious about the “charity”. 

I told him, “It’s not charity, it is welfare and we won’t continue to receive it unless you participate in their work program.”

I think we can all surmise how the rest of that conversation went.  He wasn’t going…fuck them…and their goddamned charity…blah, blah blah.

Things smoothed out a bit during the summer and we went on a little vacation of sorts.  Tuckerette and Tuckerette, Jr. had taken the baby and gone to see their mom.  Freddy had gone to his Granny’s and Tucker, Tucker, Jr. Jr. and Harlow and I went to a swimming hole I’d read about online.  Hiking and swimming and picnicking.  We headed back to the house as it was getting dark and were driving through a construction zone.  I was driving because Tucker’s license was still expired and it so happens I was going 70 in a 65 and got us pulled over.

The officer took my license and my insurance and went back to sit like they do, where you’re sure they’re pulling up everything that’s ever happened to you along with your bank account information, internet history etc. etc.  

The police officer stepped up to the window and said, “Ma’am is there another licensed driver in the car?”

The taste in my mouth was copper pennies.  “No.” I said shakily.  

“Well we’ll figure that out in a minute, could you step back here behind the truck please?”

I slowly looked in the back seat at Harlow.  Her eyes were huge and questioning and fearful.  “It’s fine baby.  It’s fine.” I told her and didn’t believe it for one second.

As I stepped behind the truck the officer asked me to place my hands behind my back and he handcuffed me. “Ma’am, I’m placing you under arrest for theft by check on a warrant from That County.” He read my rights to me and I began to tremble and cry. Tears running down my face that I couldn’t wipe away and I was unbelieving and kept thinking, This. Is. Not. Fucking. Happening.
My daughter watched me get handcuffed, placed in a police car and taken away.  What followed was humiliating, horrifying and not the worst thing that anyone’s ever endured but at that moment, for me, it was the end of the world.

I remember standing there at the counter, in handcuffs, sobbing and the female jailer asking, “This your first time in jail, honey?” I looked at her and nodded but thought, No, I’m a hardened criminal, I do this every weekend.  

After having to strip, put on a fucking orange jumpsuit, be fingerprinted, have my goddamned mug shot taken and then ask the male jailer for sanitary napkins since of course the lady had disappeared, I dragged my mat into the cell and laid it down on the floor.  I curled up on it and stared at the urine stains on the floor and thanked my stars there was no one else in there with me.

I lay there for hours wondering what check I could have possibly not picked up.  What was it? When was it? Who had it? And why had I trusted him when he said he had it all taken care of? I was in that cell from 10PM until 2PM the next day.  I had a lot of time to think.  A lot.  I was furious. I was scared. I was defeated. I was tired. I was so hurt. I was alone. I was worried for Harlow. I was wondering how in the fuck I was going to get out. When I was finally arraigned the next day next to drunks and thugs, I ran the gamut of emotions again but mostly I was just still in that place where you don’t believe this shit is happening.

When I walked out into the sunshine, I was not free.  There he sat with my baby girl waiting.  She ran from the truck and hugged and hugged me but I refrained from crying.  The rage was too great.

He walked up to me and I held my hand up, “Somehow, someway, this is YOUR fault.” I told him, “I know it and you know it. Don’t fucking talk to me, don’t apologize to me.  Let’s just get home so that I can shower and eat and think about what the fuck just happened.”

“Baby, it’s fine.” He had a look on his face that was unreadable to me.  I looked down at Harlow and back to Tucker and decided not to lose my shit on him outside the county jail I had just walked out of lest they drag me back in.  I walked away from him and got behind the wheel.  I drove us home without a word.

When we got home he left immediately and I was happy to have the time without him in my vision.  I took a shower, wrapped up in a robe and curled into the recliner in front of the television.  Harlow stayed by my side but was exhausted because as she relayed to me they had stayed outside the jail all night waiting.  They had run all over town trying to find the judge to get him to come to the jail and arraign me.  Tucker had discovered that the charge was not for the check itself but for unpaid court costs on a check that I had not written but one that he had signed my name to at the feed store.  I was less than pleased that my 12 year old daughter had been through all this but she had refused to leave with Tucker, Jr. when Tucker had him come and get Tucker Jr. Jr. 

Tucker walked back into the apartment and brought me some food and went back downstairs without saying another word to me for the rest of the night.  Harlow told me he had worried himself sick all night saying things like, “She’s gonna leave me for sure now.”  

I could have.  I should have. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Movin' On Up

Now Tucker was going to be a grandpa and after he got through calling her stupid and irresponsible and a few other choice words he decided he was okay with it.  Tucker’s specialty was ranting and raving, hurling insults that cut you to the quick and then apologizing later and heaping praise on your head afterwards.  Much like having the shit beat out of you followed by flowers and gifts.  As I’ve said previously, there had been a trade-off taking place where the sweet words and love were so badly needed that I endured one to get the other.  Only it seemed I had endured them so long that in the interim, my livelihood and independence had been surrendered voluntarily in the name of our togetherness. In an effort to demonstrate my devotion to him, to show him that I was different from all the rest, I stayed and acquiesced. I had been raised by a tyrant who treated me in much the same way and only was now beginning to realize that I had replaced that bitch with this sonofabitch.  It’s oddly comforting to fall into old patterns no matter how abusive or painful they might be.  

So Tuckerette had the baby.  She came to see us and I have to admit that watching Tucker with that new baby and being able to hold his little swaddled, diapered butt close made me happy.  Tuckerette came to party with her friends and left the little peanut with us and since Tucker didn’t do diapers and was helpless with formula and bottles, I got to have a purpose and watch him adore us both.  My kids were dubbed Aunt and Uncle which made them both puff up a bit. Even Freddy was sort of proud to be “Uncle Freddy”.

Tuckerette went home eventually, back to her mother and the house she had rented for her there.  She was not working and they were paying all her bills there, except for that truck note of course.  I couldn’t find a job and Tucker continued to demur on that point.  Tucker had reconciled with Tucker, Jr. and decided one day after “discussing” it with me that we were moving to the larger town 2 hours away where Jr. was. He reasoned that we would be closer to the sale barns; he would be able to move more cattle and horses and yadda, yadda, yadda.  It didn’t much matter what my part was of the discussion.  I consented because the closure of my accounts had caused more bounced checks and I had spent the prior 3 months running around town gathering them up and paying people back.  It seemed that my time in that tiny town was spent.

My kids were not happy.  Their granny was there, their dad and cousins and friends were all there and they had friends there.  It was a smallish town and they felt as if they belonged.  They were not excited.  I pushed them into it and encouraged them by telling them of all the fantastic things there were to do in the larger town and how many more opportunities we’d have for lots of other things.  Freddy hated Tucker and only kept his mouth shut out of the ever decreasing respect he had for me.  Harlow did whatever I needed her to and had trepidations but clung to my side steadfastly. She was my little bastion of strength and so often kept my head above water without even knowing she was doing it.  Crawling into my lap for hugs, telling me she loved me, spelling out curse words instead of saying them when she was mad, telling her brother off, helping me cook…she just stayed there under my wing making me feel ten feet tall and like I was someone’s mother and that I was doing it right.

We moved into an apartment because it was all we could find. An upstairs downstairs conversion and Tucker and I had the upstairs to ourselves for exactly two weeks. Can you guess who moved in with us? Guess...guess…that’s right.  The room right next to us was soon occupied by Tuckerette and the new grandbaby.  Her boyfriend was close by (not the baby daddy by the way) and so it behooved her to be in our house instead of the one her mother had rented for her 4 hours away.  The baby moved in and I decided it was high time I became employed.  I love little babies but the smooshy little peanut newborn types.  The kind that eat, sleep, poop and coo, not the whining fussy, teething, need to be Ferberized kind. I love my kids but I often thought I should have never been anyone’s mother.  I couldn’t do it.  I needed out of there and I needed out STAT so I began to search for gainful employment much to the chagrin of Tucker.  He did not argue too hard since our rent had doubled, we now had to pay barn rent, the baby and the Tuckerette and everything else had grown our expenditures exponentially.  I ditched my barn clothes and wild hair.  I went and got a smart bob, went to Goodwill and bought some work clothes and began papering the town with my resume.

I thought I was taking that tiny secret step as well.  I was going to get a great job, start rat holing money and get free.  I was going to get right. It was going to happen.  I was going to break the patterns. I was going to stop the trade-off.  My stock was going to sky rocket. The pep talk was internal and ongoing and silly me…I totally believed it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Am Not a Lunatic

So the dust settled. After which I discovered that he had no plan. I had suspected as much but just in case you were wondering, I never got to go and tell that poor bewildered bank manager to go and fuck herself.  Not that I would have but still.  I got lucky I suppose.  The bank was a national one and happened to be bought out by another bank.  Consequently, my debt was sent to a collection agency and I still get calls from them to this day because let’s face it, I don’t make enough money to  pay off a bank debt for $23,000 most weeks much less feed us.  I was recently told that the FBI had been involved in the investigation which scared me to death along with the fact that when I tried to open an account at one of the banks locally, I have “Suspected bank fraud” on the little record that they mail to you with the reasons why you can’t open an account.  Lovely, right? Yeah.

So I guess instead of sitting in a federal prison somewhere, I got lucky and just ended up with some severely fucked up credit. I don’t know how you define luck but staying out of jail worked for me right then.  I was car-less, job-less, now bank account-less and feeling so hopelessly lost.  I kept thinking there were no more decent jobs in this tiny town and no way out except turning back to the man who had taken me from an independent woman to a simpering depressed blob. 

I was just cooking and cleaning as much as I could minimally do and laying in a curled up ball the rest of the time.  I went to the doctor who gave me Wellbutrin but it didn’t help much.  Though I’d never really seriously considered killing myself, the thought of slicing through my arm sprang to my mind numerous times in a day.  The flash of a blade through the tender skin on the underside of my arm; that was sick enough in and of itself but it came unbidden over and over in my head a million times a day.  I knew though that I needed to make sure my kids wouldn’t suffer any more than they already had.  My son still not understanding why I was letting him and his sister both suck hind tit behind Tucker and his offspring, my daughter not excelling at anything and me just doing nothing to make it better.  We simply existed in Tucker’s world and I was desperately trying to just be present with a brave face that said, “I am not a lunatic.”

Tucker decided that we should get married.  I suppose part of me still wanted all that with him for what reason, I don’t know. I was weak and easily manipulated by a man who was good at it and I didn't think enough of myself to stand up and say it wasn't right. I mean it wasn’t awful every single second outwardly.  We went to rodeos, we worked horses, we traveled around, and we spent time together. One could not then see the inside of my head was a tangled web of worry.  You remember those choose your own ending adventure books? My brain was endless scenarios followed by infinite mazes with options for how things could work in the end. The money came in and went out and less and less of it went to take care of day to day expenses so of course I started looking around to plan a wedding.

I had finally finished my Associate’s Degree but I don’t really know how.  My best friend at the time had was privy to most of what was going on with Tucker and was often in the midst of her own relationship hell and we leaned on each other heavily to share our misery.  Hindsight tells me that I should have realized that we were only feeding each other’s wretchedness and were sticking to each other’s side in order to have some place to dump. She came with me to look for venues and helped me with a few minor details but ultimately the wedding never happened because Tucker and Tucker, Jr. had a huge fight whereby Tucker, Jr. left town and moved 2 hours away. Tucker said he wasn’t in the mood to celebrate anything.  His son had left him under stormy and sad circumstances and it made him depressed and his feelings were always the most important.  I think he had changed his mind and used it as an excuse but since the manipulation was in overdrive all the time, I hung in there.  I had to prove I wasn’t like everyone who had “abandoned” him.  Even after all this drama the BFF told me she was glad it hadn’t happened and that I needed to leave him.  Part of me agreed, part of me hedged, clinging to the idea that this was all going to be okay.  I still resented the sudden lack of support and commiseration.  I dodged her calls more often than I took them but I still did her homework and took her money because I needed it. 

Shortly following Tucker, Jr.’s exit, Tuckerette decided she was moving 6 hours away to her mother’s.  She had supposedly found a great school there and was going to get a certification in dental assisting or something like that. She came in, packed her shit, said she was going and she left.  This all added to Tucker’s feeling of abandonment and he sucked up as much pity as he could over it.  We didn’t hear from her for close to six months.  Of course we didn’t get a truck note either but whatever, anything for his darling children.  When she did finally call, it was to tell her father that she was pregnant. Seven months pregnant.  Fresh hell? Yes, please.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grape Jelly

So I quit my job, my good, state, government job.  Thus began my indentured servitude at the barn.  I got up, got the kids to school, went to the barn, fed everything, saddled what needed to be saddled and then went back to the house to pick up Tucker.  He was either ready to go or sitting at the computer playing internet poker, chain smoking and scratching his balls.  If I rushed him, he told me he was in no hurry and that meant, obviously, I shouldn’t be either.  I lasted about 2 weeks before I wanted to run away again.  Once we did leave, we’d go to the barn and work cattle for hours and then ride what needed riding. Come home exhausted in time for the kids to get home. Feed everyone a snack and head back to the barn for more. It really wasn’t much better than when I was working except I got all his work done for him in the mornings.

Tuckerette was blowing her paycheck on God knows what and we were still paying her truck notes and insurance every month.  I was at the bank every morning begging the bank officer to cover checks and making deposits etc. etc.  The whole bank account thing was getting more and more out of control. The checks were either being paid and then we were paying the overdraft fees or they were going back and we were paying the overdraft fees.  I sat down and figured up the all those fees in a six month period on both accounts when I got my hands on electronic statements and it was thousands of dollars.  THOUSANDS.  In overdraft fees. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


Blog requested. 
Subject Hope. 
Challenge accepted.

Hope – A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

Who doesn’t have hope every day? I hope that will happen. I hope this will happen.  As it turns out though even a pessimist will hope for something to happen and yet not quite believe that it will happen. 

So I’m not so sure hope is all it’s cracked up to be and seriously when I hear  the word hope, all I can hear in my head is Palin saying, “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin out for ya?” in that fucked up half Minnesota/half Fran Drescher voice of hers.

So here goes for hope…I hope that I can afford school clothes since my daughter already wants glitter covered tennis shoes that cost $55 dollars. I hope that my son will forgive me and start acting like what I say matters. I hope that my daughter doesn’t get knocked up in high school because she falls for the first boy that pays her real attention.  I hope that I can continue to lose these depression pounds and be able to tie my shoes without getting red in the face. I hope that they find a cheap, foolproof cure for cellulite. I hope that I can stop smoking (all the way).  I hope that I can afford Lasik. I hope that my cat is not pregnant again.  I hope that I get to see my parents more often. I hope that mastopexy can be covered by my insurance as medically necessary.  I hope that I can find someone I can respect that wants to get old with me even if that turns out to just be me.  I hope I can get this tattoo covered up before I’m too old to even be IN a tattoo shop. I hope he goes away and never comes back. I hope this Friday turns into 5:00 so I can go home and try to make zucchini noodles.  I hope I get to see my horse again. I hope my hair grows out (and looks fabulous). I hope my kids end up happy. I hope when I die it turns out we're all headed for the mothership. I hope that can wear a bikini again in public someday and not show up on People of Walmart.  

I hope that I do some small thing someday that changes the world in some small way, even if it's infinitesimal.  

Ok so my favoritest blogger The Klonopin Chronicles, says I  must challenge others to post about hope as well. I hope (see what I did there?) that they have the time and don't think I'm a doofus. 

So if I tag you, then: 

Step 1: Write a blog post about hope & publish it on your blog.
Step 2: Invite one (or more!) bloggers to do the same. 
Step 3: Link to the person who recruited you (me, in this case) at the top of the post, and the people you're recruiting at the bottom of the post. 

Apparently Melanie Crutchfield is doing "Closing Ceremonies" around August 10 which is already today but if you have time then link her on the blog post as well.

After all this I'm challenging, 

Confessions of a (Not-So) Super Mom to write us something about hope if she has the time.