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.