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Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

I think of that conversation often then over the past week, it seems to have come up several times. I suppose I should write about it and maybe that will release it.

I was talking to a new-ish friend the other day (on Facebook Messenger). We were kind of filling in our pasts as new friends do, catching up on things in our background. She asked me why I never remarried after my divorce. Why did I end up all alone at the age of 62?

Good question. The answer? I guess it was a choice. A choice that I didn’t realize I was making until it was too late. At the time of my divorce, I had three children, ages eleven, eight, and two. We didn’t live near relatives. I had a lot of friends but they were all married with their own family obligations so I had to rely on myself to take care of the every day needs of my children, as well as their long term needs.

And I couldn’t help but remember a conversation I had overheard years before. It was a conversation between my mother-in-law and my husband. We were visiting the in-laws and my mother-in-law asked my husband how his sister was doing. Was there anything new with her? We lived near his sister, about a four hour drive from my in-laws so we were often the go-between because we visited with them more often than she did. He told her that there wasn’t anything new with her. She was still working on her degree and taking care of her little girl. Then she asked about any new men. Was she dating anyone serious? They both went on talking about the “alphabet soup” that she dated. Apparently, in their eyes, she seemed to date a different person every few weeks, never staying with any one man for long. They kept referring to her dates as the alphabet soup and joking about the men. It was obvious to me that, in their eyes, it was a negative thing. They seemed to think that she was concentrating more on her dating than on her daughter.

I thought about it and it made a lasting impression on me. I’ve always been one to worry about what others say. I know that’s not important. I’ve learned it now but in those days, it was important. So when I divorced, I was determined to put my children and their needs ahead of any needs I might have. So I didn’t date. I kept busy with my children and when they were with their father on Wednesday nights and alternate weekends, I visited with friends from my kids’ elementary school. There was a group of us that were all divorced and we would get together at the home of one friend who was married. We would eat and drink and talk and her husband taught us to play poker one night. On weekends I just stayed at home, sleeping in and watching movies I couldn’t watch when the kids were home. Years later, I had a friend from college that would come over on Wednesday nights and I would cook dinner for him and we would talk and listen to music. He would stay the night and leave early the next morning so he could make it to work on time. Once in awhile, I would have alumni functions on weekends so I would attend those and sometimes cook for those. I got a reputation for being a good cook so I was the one that did all the cooking for our functions. I would always go alone and come home alone. I didn’t want anyone to say that I was dating an alphabet soup or that I was ignoring my children’s needs. They were my top priority. Anything I needed or wanted, came last.

And, if I am being honest about it, I was protecting myself from hurt. I had been severely broken, and profoundly hurt when my husband went straight from my house to his secretary’s. Yeah. I thought he was better than the stereotype but I was wrong. So I protected myself by not ever letting myself get involved with anyone. For a long time his leaving us made me question my judgement. How could I have been so wrong about him? And more importantly, how could I trust myself to be a good judge of anyone else?

And here I am. Twenty-six years later. Alone. No pets. No one here but me. Few friends and most of those are “virtual friends.”  No alphabet soup for me.

Some conversations stay with us for a long, long time.

 

 

 

 

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Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Diane

This was one of the most difficult things she would ever have to do. She wasn’t protecting her husband, not really. It wasn’t that and now that it had gone on for months and months, she had to tell people. She wasn’t sure how she would do it but it had to be done. It had been so hard to manage on her own, with absolutely no help from anyone. It had to stop.

From the start of her marriage, from the very first argument, she had decided how she would handle these things. She had watched her siblings as they unloaded on their parents whenever they had problems with their spouses, even the tiniest of arguments. Then when things got better between them, their parents would still harbor that resentment against the spouses. She didn’t want that and so she had decided long ago that she would not discuss her marital problems, however minor or major, with anyone in her family. That’s what had set the scene for the past months but it was time to come clean.

When her husband of the past decade left her unexpectedly one early Sunday afternoon, it had been a shock. There had been no warnings. He just packed a duffel bag and was out the door. She thought he would be back. Soon. And so she didn’t tell anyone. She didn’t want anyone, not her family or his or any of their friends, to know that he had left her for someone else. Diane even kept the truth from her kids, saying only that Daddy was taking a break to think about whether he wanted to live there anymore. She didn’t tell them there was someone else, a much younger woman.

The months went by and she kept making excuses for why he was missing all the holiday get togethers and for why they weren’t going on their normal vacations for the holiday or even for Spring break. As summer approached, some people might have suspected that there was a problem but no one had guessed the truth. Several of her friends asked if he might be critically ill. Did he have some disease? Cancer? Was that the cause of the dark circles under her eyes and the constant fatigue as she kept up with as many of the normal activities her children were involved in. You know, Scouts, soccer, gymnastics, art, all of those extra curriculars. It was all taking a toll on her and it was showing, much more than she had realized.

Finally, she decided that if she was asked out right, she would not deny it. And she figured it was time to make that phone call to her mom. She wasn’t sure how she would say it or if she would have the guts to tell her mother. Would she be blamed? Would everyone think it was her fault that her husband had gone off and looked for some kind of excitement elsewhere? Had it been her fault? Had she been too busy? Had she missed the signs?

Oh well, too late now. She had heard from the children who saw their father on weekends, that the girlfriend had moved in and that they were planning a Hawaiian vacation. So he wasn’t coming back. Not now. Not eight months into this hell. She needed help. She needed her friends and her family to understand that she needed their support.

It had to be done. Diane reached for the phone and dialed her mother’s phone number.

Alexa

Babs

Curtis

 

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Today’s whine: I had to go into the Social Security office today. I was turning in documents on an application I began last week. I had an appointment for one o’clock. I drove to the building and it wasn’t there. I was a health center. I had been to that building several years ago but, apparently, they moved! They are still on the same street so when I was told on the phone that it was on Division Street, I figured it was in the same place and I wasn’t given the address. Luckily, I had left home an hour early. (Yeah, I’m that person that is afraid to be late so she leaves super early.) I got to the right address but there were no parking spaces. The two handicap spots were taken and so were the “low emission fuel vehicle” spots (which I was surprised to see and there were four of those). I had to park on the street but the closest parking was about four long blocks away. So I gave it another go and got there just as someone was leaving the handicap spot so I grabbed it. Yay! I signed in with time to spare but the guy my appointment was with was late back from lunch so he was a half hour late for my appointment. In the process of applying, they had to update my name because the last person put my middle name (which is my married name) as the last name and hyphenated it with my maiden name (which is now my legal name). After reviewing all of the documents and making copies, he changed the name to Corina Martinez Carrasco, leaving off my middle name which is Joy, because my birthday is on Christmas Day. So in the process of filing for spousal benefits (he’s old enough to retire, I am not but I can get his retirement benefits), I lost my Joy! I want it back. I think I might look into the process for a legal name change and get rid of the Martinez and get my Joy back! See, he’s still taking things from me, like my Joy!

The wine today is actually from last night. My daughter took me to Trader Joe’s for some Two Buck Chuck which used to be two dollars but is now actually three dollars. It’s pretty good wine for the price. I owed my daughter three dollars because she bought me a box of coffee pods so she said she would take a bottle of wine instead so we got her bottle and I got three to put away for myself, one of which I will most likely take to the birthday party on Saturday because it’s a BYOB thing. I’ll share a bottle of white zinfandel.

And the more! I’m enjoying writing letters. It is bringing back a lot of memories, like the one from the previous post, Sealed With A Kiss. When was the last time YOU wrote a letter? Why not try writing a few this month. You don’t have to go full out Incowrimo but you could write a few!

Gotta run! I’ve those letters to write!

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If we were having coffee, I would have cleaned up the front porch so we could sit out there. It’s a little chilly (about 57 right now) with some 12 mph wind gusts but oh that sun! We haven’t seen Mr. Sunshine for some time and he has come to visit us! So let’s take our coffee out to the porch and I’ll grab a couple of light cover blankets so we’ll be more comfy.

There isn’t a lot to report this week, other than the fact that we got more rain and wind during the week than we got during that so-called storm that never materialized last weekend! We’re kicking in the rainy season all at once. One day it was sunny and warm and the next day it was very wet and cold! And this week the National Weather Service modified their winter projections for the Pacific Northwest. It now seems we will be colder and wetter than normal which equals snow. We’ll see how we fare. My daughter ordered a small generator than we can use if the power goes out. We’ll see how it works if we need it. In fact, I’m thinking that if I can get some money together, I might get one, too. I think she only paid about $140 on amazon warehouse deals. If we get anything like we got in 2008, I would not even be able to get to her house from mine and it is about a 1/4 mile. We got so much snow that year that it was up above my knees (I’m 5 feet short) and I couldn’t take even one step! So if that happens and the power goes out, I would be stuck here with no power, all alone.

I’m still trying to get some money to pay rent past December. I actually have a check that will take care of it but I have no bank account and the closest branch of the bank the check is drawn on is in the San Francisco bay area…a day’s drive from here (about 12 to 14 hours). So if I can get them on the phone and make sure they will cash it for me, I will be making the drive to the bay area next week. Not looking forward to it but if that’s what I have to do, then I’ll do it.

And in the hearing department, I found the lost hearing aid. It had fallen inside of a shoe that I would not be wearing again until spring! Good thing I got down on hands and knees and pulled everything out! It was just in time, too because the one hearing aide I had been wearing is no longer working. I’ve tried changing the batteries and the tubing. It’s dead. So for the meantime, I will be praying that the one that is working will keep working! I hadn’t realized how bad my hearing is until now. It’s so bad that I don’t hear the phone sitting 8 inches from me even on full volume ringtone! And I don’t hear what the boys are saying which frustrates us all when they have to repeat things ten times before I can figure out what they are saying or they give up. Not good. Crossing fingers here.

This weekend, my kids, all three of them, are at a family wedding in the SF bay area. Family. Their father’s family. It has made me think again how devastating my divorce was for my kids (and the rest of us). Not that I wanted to be there but we are family so perhaps I should have been invited. It makes me a little sad that they are all together as a family and I’m not there. There will be other times like this, too. This is the first of the cousins from that side of the family that marries. So it will happen again. I’ll get used to it.

Well, time is getting away from me. I have a lot to do this weekend. I need to clean up and reorganize the corner where Anderson and I work. He is doing a great job with reading. He can read Green Eggs And Ham and The Foot Book all by himself now. He is starting to use phonics to sound out words on his own. And although he is only starting first grade, he is doing math from the second semester of second grade and it’s too easy. I think we will be ordering the third grade math by the first of the year. I don’t want to hold him back if he can do it.

What has your week been like? Plans for the coming week? Books? Movies? Do tell!

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. Come have a chat with us! Everyone is welcome!

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She had not gone with them one that Sunday. She was sick in bed. They were off to get pizza and play at that mouse pizza place. A couple of hours later, she knew they would be home soon so she got up and got dressed so she wouldn’t be in bed still sick. She knew she should make an effort to look well and get out of bed and join the family. As she washed her face, she caught sight of herself in the mirror and she paused and smiled at her reflection. She thought how lucky she was to be in this marriage and have her three beautiful children and a husband that loved her and that she loved in return. Then the moment was over and she finished getting ready just as they walked in the door.

Her husband went into the kitchen to put the leftovers in the fridge, pausing in the den to turn the TV on for the kids. Then, when he came into the room, he went into his closet and got out his duffle bag and started packing clothes. Confused and thinking maybe he had a business trip she had forgotten about she asked him where he was going.

“Away.”

“Where? Did I forget a trip?”

“No. I’m just leaving.”

She felt a chill down her spine and a thought flashed through her mind: nothing would ever be the same in her life ever again.

“What do you mean? Where are you leaving to?”

“I don’t know. I just have to get out of here.”

“Why?” The rest of the words were stuck inside her head.

“Just because. I’m tired of being here. I’m tired of being married to you.” He kept packing, putting his shaving things in the bag.

“Did I do something wrong? What did I do?” She didn’t want to cry so she said as few words as possible.

“No. I’m just tired of it. I need time and space.” He headed for the door as quickly as he could. She followed as she asked if he was going to say something to the kids. He said he was not. So she did.

“Kids, come here quickly. Come say good bye to your dad. He’s leaving now.” They came running and asked where Daddy was going.

“Away. He isn’t going to live here anymore. He wants to live alone.”

“I’m don’t want to be away from you guys. I just have to leave. I can’t stay here.”

“Give Daddy a hug and a kiss.”

They did. They were confused, more so than she was but they still said good bye and kissed their father.

Then he was gone.

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Thanksgiving in 1992 was a turning point for my family.

On the fifteenth, just eleven days before Thanksgiving, my husband of many years walked out the door saying he needed time and space to himself so he could figure out if he still wanted to be married to me. For Thanksgiving, we still weren’t sure what was going on, or at least the three kids and I weren’t sure. I had not told my family that he had left. I learned before I even married that I should keep any problems with my husband from my family or they would be very harsh on him. So I didn’t tell them. His family didn’t know either. I felt it was his place to tell them and he didn’t want to tell them. That left the kids and I with nothing to do for Thanksgiving. I wanted it to be a special day for the kids and I was still very much numb. So I did the only thing I could think of. I took the kids to Disneyland.

I reserved the Disneyland Hotel for Thanksgiving night and the kids and I drove to Anaheim late Thanksgiving morning. We checked into the hotel then went to the theme park. We had not gotten to make our reservations for Thanksgiving dinner in one of the restaurants and they were full so we decided on a Thanksgiving buffet with the Disney characters visiting the tables. No reservation required for that but because we were hotel guests, we got to cut ahead of the line when we got there. So we stayed in the theme park for a while and when it was time for dinner, we headed for the buffet outside the park, next to the hotel.

The kids loved it. They got to pick what they wanted from the buffet and leave the rest behind. The wait staff was incredibly friendly. We were alone but we weren’t. There were lots of people around and everyone one was in a great mood. Strangers helped me get the kids’ plates filled and carried back to our table. Then during dinner the characters came around to the tables. My eight year old was crazy about Tigger and was delighted when he came to our table and my two year old was all over Minnie Mouse! My son was eleven then and he was the best helper I could ever wish for. He helped with his sisters and he helped get me through the day. He could intuit Mom’s sadness as well as my need to make things as special for them as possible.

After dinner it was a walk around the grounds and then back to the rides in the theme park. We watched the last parade of the evening then headed for the hotel. The kids watched Disney movies for free on the hotel TV and later on we ordered a late night room service snack. The kids thought it was very special to order hot chocolate and cookies from room service.

The three kids had a blast and I got the satisfaction of knowing that at least on that day, my kids were happy. That year, the first one the three kids and I spent alone together, I was most thankful for being able to keep my kids from the harsh realities that were about to hit our family.

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