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.