“WOW”. Amazing how many times that word has left my lips in the last week!! I am so excited and grateful for all the universe is sending my way these days! Who would have thought that a deteriorating relationship resulting in my relocation would bring me so much clarity and deliver so many new tools to apply into my journey?
I am learning to rejoice in what may appear to be a snag, and keep an attitude of gratitude no matter what the situation may seem to be. Rejoice over having a broken down truck on the way to look at a new room-mate situation? C’mon really? Who does that? I do. Because of a disabled vehicle, so many opportunities have revealed themselves to me. I found a room, an avenue to work on a wonderful child empowerment project, gained a life coach and accountability partner, and am a part of a dynamic, talented family! Gratitude at this level of intensity has no nomenclature.. it just is. So be it!
Wow. Here I find myself, through choices only I could make, with yet another situation I must figure out how to deal with. If only I had not been in such a fearful place, in such a frantic push for survival eighteen months ago, I know I would have chosen a different path to today. However, the ramifications of my decisions are my problem alone. Alone is not bad. It’s just alone, and I’m not exactly sure how to behave within its parameters yet.
I am in a very fragile place. I cried today, for the first time in quite a while. I am not stressed out, but there are periods of anxiety. I accomplished many things this weekend, including a two-day yard sale which netted me $0 after vehicle repairs. At least I paid for the repairs without touching my divorce budget, or my regular monthly income. I now must buy insurance and transfer the truck into my name tomorrow. How I am going to get there is another story. Once upon another lifetime, I would have just taken my truck – balls to the wall – and gone the 5 miles to get it done… suffer the consequences if I got pulled over. But at this stage of my life, I know suffering. I don’t want to submit to any more of it than is absolutely unavoidable.
I have to move. I don’t know when, because that changes in a matter of hours some days, and at least twice a week a new strategy is employed by my ex-boyfriend living 4′ outside my front door in a trailer. He has been gone this time nearly 7 weeks, but is not really gone. This is his apartment. He offered to rent it to me in May 2010, and then we became romantically involved and the living arrangements became shared, as well as the bills and budget. No lease or rental agreement was ever enacted, and I have paid the utilities for over a year (the only money he used to pay his mom toward said utilities was paid by me for the last year at least).
Ex boyfriend is a Bipolar Alcoholic. I know, I know… He was sober when I met him and on his medication. We got along so well. Nary an argument for over 5 months. Then, he started drinking again… and stopped taking his meds periodically. Still, for another month or so he held it together. Then, his self-loathing began to ooze out of him on to me. He began throwing fits, throwing things and throwing words. Accusations of having a crush on his best friend, and more recently his brother have come my way. He blames any and every thing else in the world for his issues, and takes no responsibility for his behavior. He has become irrational, and infantile. He is attempting to flip my most painful triggers in order to get some kind of emotional response from me, which I will not give him. I can no longer allow his choices to affect my life. I am better than this.. and I have to take care of myself.
So a few days ago, ex comes in to my house (which he constantly does without knocking – availing himself of water/coffee/shower/bathroom whenever he so pleases) and says – “I need for you to start looking for another place to live. I can’t move on with my life with you living here, and my sponsor :cough cough: says that I should give you 60 days to leave. I say, ok… I’ll try, but I would like to harvest all my veggies in the garden (I dug and fenced the whole thing myself). ”Well, you will just have to come back for them. I would like you out as soon as possible” he says. Well, his brother, sister and him own this property in Trust, and they do not want me to move. In fact, they refuse to sign an eviction. I told him, “look, I will move, even though you told me I could stay just last week and pay rent. But I will not be run out of my home. I pulled my weight. I need time to save for a deposit, and fix my truck”. He went off. I told him his siblings would not let him kick me out. He freaked and called the civil division of the local sheriff, telling them he was “the caretaker” of the property and wanting to know how to get me out. (this is just a lie)
He came in with a receipt… a tiny receipt and told me to “sign this”. I said “what is it?”. ”Your eviction” says he. I would not sign a 10 day eviction notice on a receipt when there is no lease agreement. He bluffed it up to 30 days… “sign”. ”nope”…. and he walked out. Next day, “I love you please dont’ leave”. NO EXBF – not being held hostage romantically for a place to live. So tomorrow is my payday. He paid his mom this month… and will not discuss what my portion will be. I am assuming he wants me out, so I pay nothing if I hear no more about it. I will save the money for my own place – elsewhere. I refuse to live like this. I have way too much going for me to take this shit.
The first thing I want to do with this post is say thank you!! Thank all of you who participated, donated prizes, and helped me destash yarn for helping me get to a place financially where I can at least see a Modest Means Attorney, and ask the judge to defer the filing fee (let me pay on a payment plan). I will never forget the kindness of those of you who generously gave of yourselves. It will not go unrewarded by the universe!!
Without further ado I put everyone’s name on a spreadsheet when they sent in their gift, assigning numbers in order as the donations came in. Some people gave more and therefore had more odds of winning more than one prize. Then I took the total number of participants, plugged it into Random.Org and kept letting it give me numbers… throwing out the duplicates… thereby giving me the winners associated with those numbers below:
#1 – Krysta
#2 – Kathleenspins
#3 - Krysta
#4 – Fiberjewels
#5 – Linda
#6 – MonkeyButtons
#7 – Kathleenspins
#8 – Kathleenspin
#9 – Emcbets
#10 – FiberJewels
#11 – Cyn557
#12 – Emcbets
#13 – Emcbets
#14 – Linda
#15 – Cyn557
Ok….. now the prize picking goes like this… #1 winner gets first choice and so on. Since I previously asked you all to send me your first three wishes…. I have prizes assigned to the first 5 winners. MonkeyButtons – I’m sending you an email to get your choices… and you need to respond in the next couple of days, or you will lose your ability to get one of your first choices. I will contact those of you who need to choose beyond your first three after that. As I said in the original post — I will have these prizes sent out by the 15th.. as long as I receive all the information I need to do so by then.
Again – thank you all so much, and I hope you enjoy your prizes!!
July 26th -Last week of the raffle, and I am so humbled by this experience.
Fund has reached $200!!
I must say I’m getting pretty excited about finding out the winning numbers, packing up and mailing out prizes. I hope everyone that wins is gets one of their top 3 choices for a prize!!
On the bright side… I’m getting all my belongings sorted through, and am quite close to getting the yard sale underway. Lots of cleaning and organizing has gotten done.
I have contacted a Modest Means Attorney, who thinks we may be able to do this with very few $80 Lawyer Hours, and a small consultation fee of $35. I will still need to come up with the filing fee ($400) but we are getting there, and I am encouraged by all of you who have donated, participated, and been supportive in so many ways! I appreciated every kind word, message, and phone call as well. I really do know some wonderful, supportive people – and some of you are supportive even though you don’t know me and that restores my faith in humanity somewhat,.
So… since the response to my flailing attempt to raise funds has been sparse. I guess it’s like, “Hey, we all got problems.. why should we help YOU?” I figure I should provide a reason or few, as to why:
- You have 16 chances to win with one $5 entry.
- I am on Social Security, and if I could take a job to get this done I would.. really I promise you I would.
- My monthly income on said disability is a lousy $14 more than I could make to get Legal Aid.
- I have tried to get Pro Bono attorney assistance to no avail.
- I am destashing on Ravelry as well, and did so last month to buy most of the prizes on the raffle. No response whatsoever to my current destash post and I lowered prices.
- I am also going through (what’s left of it) my belongings this month and holding a Yard Sale.
I’m really trying people. I’m busting my butt, and “things” just keep happening to set me back.. all vehicles in my household are currently broken, bills that I didn’t know exhole made are showing up, bank accounts are frozen… yada yada yada. I’m not just asking for a handout here – I’m offering prizes…
I’m trying not to get discouraged, but its a tough cookie to eat. Yes, I know I made this mess… I just need to start fixing the problems I created one at a time, and this one takes priority over all the rest.
Check out this great contest to win one of two Knitting related books.. and this is a great blog as well!! Check post title “Zombie Alert”
I am holding a fundraiser/raffle with prizes to fund my divorce. Previous posts will explain how I made this mess. A fellow Ravelry.com member hosted such a raffle to help with her foreclosure and was successful, so I thought I would give this a try~~
There are 16 Prize Packages. Each is worth between $30 and $60 retail. Most packages have been made from my yarn/book stash. I also have had donations of prizes from kind individuals and businesses, and will list the donors with the prizes where applicable.
Winners will be chosen by random number generator on August 1st. Numbers are assigned on my google spreadsheet as entries come in. Please leave me a way to contact you should you win. Winners will also be posted on this blog and will have 3 days to respond or their prize will be sent to the next winner on the list. Entries cost $5, packages will be assigned as follows: Winner #1 will get first package choice, Winner #2 second – and so on. One $5 increment equals an entry .
One $5 increment equals an entry .
Update - My attempt to do this via Chip-in has resulted in yet another adaptation… I cannot link my PayPal account to a bank account that does not belong to me, and currently am working to pay off negative balances due to “exhole” emptying and abusing joint accounts. As of now, I cannot accept Chip-in donations without a “verified” Paypal account, but I can receive funds for Gifts, goods and services straight to Paypal… Therefore, the way to donate has changed as follows:
To enter, submit your donations to my Paypal account: Indulgence420@yahoo.com. Use the box “Gift” under the “Personal” tab, and in the notes section please annotate your 3 favorite prize packages, should you win.
Response has been so amazing and people have been so kind, as of this weekend 7/16/2011 through the end of the contest, I would like to offer an additonal way to enter… I’m aware that not everyone has an extra $5 to just donate to my cause, but some of you may know someone who is. Therefore, if you refer anyone who makes a cash funded entry, and they annotate your name in the “notes” section of their PayPal payment - YOU will also be entered FOR FREE!! This goes for previously entered contestants as well as those who have not been entered, or have been unable to contribute themselves. I want everyone possible to have a chance at these prizes!!
I appreciate you all so very much… and I will update this page with totals as entries come in right here.
Update – I am so excited!! This morning 7/12 – we crested the $100 mark!
Update for 7/16 – I can’t tell you all how honored I am that you are willing to extend a helping hand!! The kindness of individuals has touched my heart, and I will never forget that there are still those who are willing to reach out and grab my hand to boost me up the ladder I’m voraciously climbing to get out of this hole. Today the fund is up to nearly $150!!
Update 7/17 – Over the $150 mark (via destash) come to Ravelry.com if you want to help me destash.. (Ravname: Indulgence)I’m saying goodbye to the yarns that I have no time to give attention to in the near future, and sacrificing some things to ease my conscience asking you all to give of yourselves. I have plenty of yarn to keep me knitting forever (well, not forever – but for quite a while), and I can always trade to replace anything I find I really did need, or wait until I can afford it again.
NOTE: From today 7/23 to the end of the contest, all orders on my Ravelry.com destash over $5 will be shipped free to US addresses, AND all orders over $10 will be 20% off!!
This will get done – I will be free from this jerk, and I will continue to move forward in my life. Yes, it’s a pretty big obstacle to get around on the road of my life, but that’s why I drive a 4×4 right? (when it runs anyway :smiling:
I have a goal of $1k… that’s what it will cost to do this with an attorney – but if I can get the $400 it will take to file – I will make an attempt to “do it yourself”… I am stunned at the kindness and generosity of people. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Thank you all for the overwhelming response, I am truly grateful, and best of luck to all the entrants!!
I would greatly appreciate any sharing of this contest you might do with others… I can use all the help I can get, and they can WIN PRIZES! Post on your Facebook, share in your Ravelry groups… anything that will help me get out of the bed I made myself.
And now (Drum roll please…) the prizes!!!
Spinner's Package #1
“Sun Shinin’” Batt donated by Dingbattz on Etsy (3 1/8 oz.), 4 oz. Handpainted Wool Roving from Arizona, and a Tour De Fleece Orifice Hook handmade and donated by FiberJewels on Etsy
Sock Lovers Package
Handmade custom Project Bag donated by Kmessier on Ravelry (in colors of your choice – shipped separately), 2 sk JL Vinca Superwash Sock, 2 sk Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted Sock Yarn in “Seven Dwarves” colorway, 1 sk Wool ‘n Weave by Tracey Shuch Wool/Nylon Blend – 300 yards.
The Perfect Row Counter/Stitch Marker Set
Donated by FiberJewels on Etsy: The Perfect Row Counter/Stitch Marker Set in Black Onyx/Red Agate for needles up to Size 11, with bonus A-F Stitch Marker set for up to size 6 needles. This is truly the Perfect Row Counter, and I would love to have one with every project!!
Spinner's Love #2
Beautiful Art Batt from Atomheart on Etsy, and 100+ yards of Wool Pencil Roving
Blue Mutt Handspun
Beautiful Handspun by Blue Mutt’s Designs in “Violets”, 250 yds each skein.
Handspun, Sari Silk, and Yarnplay
1 skein Handspun yarn, Correspun Merino/Bamboo blend, 4oz/50 yd – Super Bulky~4-5WPI donated by Raggamuphinz on Etsy, with 2 balls Purple Sari Silk Recycled blend and Yarnplay Book
Closely Knit Book and 8 Sk Katia Diana
Closely Knit Book, and 8 skeins of Katia Diana
Tahki Cotton Classic - 7 skeins Bright Yellow
7 gorgeous sunny yellow skeins of Tahki (by Stacey Charles) Cotton Classic yarn, donated by AbbyNormal on Ravelry, perfect for a nice summery knit!
Romantic Style, Rowan Kid Classic, and MALABRIGO Lace
Romantic Style Book, 4 skeins Rowan Kid Classic, and a skein of Malbrigo Lace Baby Merino in Cosecha colorway donated by AbbyNormal on Ravelry
Crochet That Fits Book, 3 skeins of Cascade Quatro (one is caked)
Multi-talented Fiber Artist Package
For those of us that use hooks and sticks, here is a package! 9 skeins of Schenemyer Nomatta Balino, and the book Knitting Loves Crochet
Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor
This is such pretty yarn, I wish I could keep it! Offered is 6 skeins of Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor for your favorite Mohair-like project!
Rare Noro Hoto Pure Silk, and a little Lily
OK… who doesn’t love NORO?? Here are 8 skeins of Noro Hoto - Pure Silk (6 in Dark Blue, 2 in Pale Blue), and 2 skeins of Noro Lily Cotton in Aqua and a summer green.
10 skeins Katia Danubio
10 SKEINS!! Surely enough Danubio to make something special!
Vintage Phentex Sweater Kit and Bonus Ironstone
Here is a Vintage Phentex Mohair Sweater Kit with 4 patterns, and to spice it up – or just in case you see more than one pattern you love – 4 skeins of Ironstone Herb Garden to make the next one from!
Last but not least… this package contains 4 skeins of Joanne’s Sensations Licorice, and 4 skeins of Casual Boucle.
Note: I do reserve the right to add prize packages until the contest closes.. as some donations of prizes have not been received yet. So check back… there may be more!
I also would invite anyone with questions to comment here.. I will respond asap. I would also like to communicate with those participating my utmost gratitude for your assistance. I’m doing a Yard Sale this month, as well as destashing to collect as much toward this end as possible. I also have a broken truck, so I need to fund that with any leftover donations.
PLEASE leave me contact information with your donation/entry!! Email, FB page, Ravelry name… some way to get in touch with you to select your prizes, should one of your “top 3″ you sent with your entry should already be assigned.
Just a few “fine print” details: If you choose to participate, you are giving a gift toward my Divorce Fund. You are not receiving anything in return. After all donations/gifts are received, I will present those that donated prizes with a “thank-you gift”. Recipients will be chosen by a random drawing on August 1, 2011, they will be notified via the email address shown through their Paypal gift. Winners will also be posted to this blog. Winners will have 1 week to respond to request for a mailing address, if there is no response, an alternate winner will be chosen. Yarn prizes will be mailed by August 15th, with Delivery Confirmation.
Around my birthday that November 2008… (my first alone incidentally) I started a friendship with a fellow singer that I had met at the KJ’s wedding a few months prior. He was going “through hell” with his five children’s mother, who made numerous attempts to kill herself, one being the night of the wedding – where she sat down in the middle of the highway across from the house where the wedding was held, in front of a truck. She was taken to the ER that night, and I offered to give her boyfriend (who at the time I had just met) a ride to the hospital. He declined, and I stayed to help clean up after the reception.
As my birthday approached, the relationship with “Fast Eddie” (his Karaoke handle) was evolving, and he was now a single father of five. I gave them rides to town, doctor appointments and the like… until one night after Karaoke, Eddie kissed me. Things progressed, and being the unwilling recipient of both widowhood, and empty nest syndrome all in the same year, I was glad to have something besides the negative stuff to focus on. I could make a difference in these little lives, and the life of their father, sometimes even impacting their mother with my wisdom. He asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve, and we held off until March. It was a whirlwind, and he said all the right things, did all the right things to make me forget what I was doing working on myself, and my problems.
My kids wanted nothing to do with this idea, and couldn’t see what possible good outcome could arise out of this decision. They tried to talk sense to me, but I took it as jealousy, as thinking I wanted to replace them, and I rebelled. They eventually gave me an ultimatum that only further drove me away from my entire family… exactly what “Fast Eddie” wanted – me isolated. Within a few weeks after the wedding, everything deteriorated… all of the facade he had held escaped him. He was actively using drugs, lying (and accusing me of lying for no reason), cheating, emotionally trying to completely destroy me… spending all of my money on what I later found was a list of things he intended to acquire on my dime, before he either had me locked in a mental facility, or killed me himself.
I spent thousands of dollars on those kids – who didn’t even know they should bathe everyday, or how to dress themselves properly, or clean their own rooms, never had a bedtime story, or bubble bath – they needed to know what it was like to have more than one pair of functioning shoes at a time. I saw indications that their father was abusing them, as well as the neglect that would have occurred had it not been for me taking 100% responsibility for this family… and their mother, well, lets just say that she is completely devoid of a mother’s instinct, and these are just the most recent 5 kids she’s given up. There are 2 more, that have never lived with her more than 6 months. About September of 09, I was pretty certain that I was being used… I was definitely tired of the lying about the drugs, the other girls, etc, and I was trying to hang on to what was left of my savings… when money started disappearing from the bank, and he was telling me I was forgetting things… telling me he thought maybe I had Multiple Personality Disorder – anything to destroy my assuredness in myself. Started being very verbally abusive and scaring me. One night, I almost killed myself. Won’t go into details now, but suffice it to say I am alive… and I understand the dilemma that the kids mom faced.
January 2010, I lost my house to foreclosure, and had to find a rental. It was the very last dime of the life insurance settlement. After I finished unpacking (did I mention Eddie was also a hypochondriac? 15 trips to the hospital between 11/08 and 1/10) everything (this was making me a real bitch – by the way – and during all of this I tossed a undercounter microwave 50 feet!! Those suckers are heavy) he surfaced from his dark bedroom where he laid for a week, and shit hit the fan. Of course it did, my bank accounts were empty, and he could drain no more out of me (or so I thought). He started a knock-down drag out fight – all verbal – until he spit on me. I slapped him as hard as I could – and he accused me of punching him! (huh – if I punched you, you would still be on the ground asshole) Police came, and made him and the kids leave… oh yes, all in front of the kids – and I tried to prevent this for a year.
I quickly packed their belongings over the next 3 days, and put them all in one room of the house. I ended up having to deliver most of them myself, just to get them out of my house… over the next few weeks. I realized that Ed had a key to the Durango (I had traded my brand new Corolla for to haul the family) and I might wakeup one morning to an empty driveway, so I traded it fast for a 4×4 Toyota Pickup with a V6 Chevy engine in it. It only had 5K on the new engine, so I thought it was a good trade. It was a good trade, only because today I still have a vehicle and that would not have been the case had I not done it right then… as days later Ed was calling me a bitch for trading HIS Durango for a piece of shit.
I had a date, in February up in Eugene, miles away with a dude I had met on the internet. It was a nice meal, a nice guy.. and my fricking truck did not start. It took me 3 days to realize it would take me at least 3 more to have the part, so I got a ride back to my house. When I opened the door, something was wrong. It took me a few minutes to realize that my late husband’s entire blown glass collection, and all of my medical crop was gone. I didn’t report it. I know what happened.. landlord and neighbor were both aware of my being stuck away, as I had landlord feed the animals for me. Eddie either sent someone, or came and took it all.
I started packing my own belongings to go to storage, had them (most important and most valuable) staged in the kitchen. I grabbed a few changes of clothes, and what belongings would fit, and headed back to Eugene to complete the repairs… I was there a day or two and called my late husbands friends to tell them I felt things weren’t safe there and they should go and get the welder’s I had given to my son, of his dads. I got a frantic call that Ed was there, with his kids and their mom, and they were throwing my shit out in the rain. I rented a Uhaul…. and showed up with lots of “help” to move. I don’t know why there was nothing I could legally do other than file for my property rights in divorce. But that’s what the landlord and the cops said. When I pulled up… Eddie was wearing the sunglasses my husband had died in on his head!!! My closet was empty, artwork from my imprisoned brother -framed and matted -GONE, the list goes on, but basically he had been there for 2 or 3 days moving all my shit somewhere, and when I got there most of it was literally vanished – MY CLOSET WAS EVEN EMPTY!!! He said he thought I took it. Bullshit….. this was all part of the original plan, I later found out.
I found out through “friends” who “didn’t want to start anything, or get involved” that not only was a “Fast Eddie” a con-job, but – this Fast Eddie – had even shared with a few people he thought were his friends, that he was going to “get what he could” from me. Even told a girl who ended up becoming a real friend to me, that he liked her, and to “let me see how far I can take this bitch, and I’ll come back for you after I get her money”. I was a fool, a grieving widowed fool, who just could not face her own fears of being all alone, or having to develop a personality autonomous, and not a wife of someone, that I stuck my head so far up my ass I couldn’t even see, much less breathe, and it almost killed me more than once.
So, now I need a divorce. By November.
During the first few months after becoming widowed, I was a shell. I couldn’t knit, read, focus on TV or a movie, even checking emails, or taking phone calls was excruciating. I think I didn’t want to be reminded that I was alive at all. During this time I saw a psychic because there was no resolution with the accident reconstruction, and I needed to be sure that it was an accident. I was so afraid that my illnesses, and his recovery from an accident in 2004 that killed 4 people, and almost ruined his life with survivor’s guilt were enough to make him want out. Losing his job the Friday before the wreck was devastating for him, and he had been drinking – going to the bar after work – since we moved to Oregon in 2006. I didn’t want to think it, but I pondered whether he just decided to end it all.
I didn’t tell her anything, at all. When I sat down, she said, “You lost your husband, and he’s here. He’s Earthbound, and he refuses to move on until he knows you are safe.” Whoa. I was paying attention. I asked outright, “Did he take his own life?” She responded with “He says ‘no’, but it was about choices”. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but over the years I have pieced together lots of information, some factual – some spiritual – some subjective. He chose not to pick me up that day for the ride because in the dream he had, it was me who died – I went over the top of him when he hit that wire and landed in the middle of the highway with a broken neck. He chose not to remain in his body and try to recover. He chose to die on his dream bike – a Custom American Ironhorse Classic. He chose to take that ride, to exactly the spot he knew he would wreck if the dream came to reality. He did choose. I don’t blame him really.. though I’m still mad as hell that he left me here.
In June, one of my friends was going to the coast with a friend of hers from out-of-state. “A girls getaway” she called it. They were renting a cabin overlooking the beach at Whaleshead – really nice, with a jacuzzi on the deck, kitchen, bedroom, living room, and loft. She invited me and my youngest daughter to go. She begged me to do something, anything to just get out of the house – she was very concerned about me moving along in my grief – and didn’t want me to isolate. I didn’t want to. I fought it – hard. It had only been a couple of months, and it was going to be a “party” kind of thing, going out to the bar (ugh) and drinking – what would normally be “fun” once in a while. I did not want to go to a bar, nor did I want to have any fun, and I’ve never been a fan of the alcohol buzz anyway, much less the ensuing hangover, or vomiting. I was convinced by my best friend (and youngest daughter) that it would be good for me. “You don’t even have to GO out, if you don’t want to. It’s a cabin mom, across from the ocean. If you aren’t ready to go to a bar, don’t. You can stay in the cabin when we go and do just what you are doing here – absolutely nothing – but the view will be awesome” she goaded. I went. I went to the bar. I drank Patron. I got drunk, got sick all night, got that hangover I was anticipating, and had to drive an hour home with it. It was not fun – well, hanging out with all the girls was fun. Bar – not fun. But it got me out, and it was good. It was a start anyway.
Incidentally, I had a 2 week argument with my late husband from the grave before this… about my wedding ring. I was still wearing it, and had no intentions of taking it off. His statement to me was this, “What kind of guy are you going to meet wearing a wedding ring? Some cheating, creepy piece of shit? What if you do meet someone and he sees your ring, and you miss a chance to get to know someone awesome?” Well, I was not into meeting anyone, piece of shit, or Prince Charming… but he was right. I took it off. I had wondered when the time would be for that anyway – six months, a year? I guess the whole thing just happens when it happens.
I started going to the local bars (2 of them) with my daughter for Karaoke a couple of times a month, eventually a couple of times a week. I didn’t have anything else to do, and singing is my outlet for emotion. I was very emotional – on the inside. I started incessantly doing. I woke up with a plan, and laid my head on the pillow each night (or sometimes morning) exhausted. I was doing any possible thing to stop myself from thinking about my situation. I was using diversionary behavior to blot out my reality. I was in Lollipop Land, and not all of the flavors were palatable. Some of those suckers were nasty. One night in the bar, the cutest guy started hitting on me. I was not used to this… as a matter of fact, I was so in love with my husband, that if people had been hitting on me previous to this night – I was oblivious. The guy was young, but I figured at least 21 (we WERE in a bar, right?) and he wanted me. I needed release, and I took him home, we did not sleep in my bed (oh no way). The sex was sex. That’s it. The guy was nice enough, but like me at 47 gonna be with a 20-year-old? My baby boy turned 18 the next day.
Yes, I forgot, when I was bringing some KID home, that my son was turning into an adult the next day. I was not in my right mind… and this shit continued for months. I dated a 26-year-old loser after that, and then a guy my age that was so needy I convinced myself to get the fuck out. Quick.
I realized this on my trip to see my birthmom and brother in Reno. I had never been on a car trip alone before. I had never met any other birth family members other than my mother and brother, and it was my Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party that weekend in Sacramento. My birth mom really wanted me there. She wanted to present me to the family. She had given me up for adoption when she was just 15, and I finally met her in 2005. Once. I didn’t realize it until I was driving home… but this trip was something really cathartic for me. I felt like part of the hole in my spirit was filling up. I had faces, names, and numbers of all kinds of people with my DNA running through their bodies!! I was especially tickled with the fact that all us LaPlant’s have the same laugh! These people looked like me, and even had similar mannerisms. I was astonished. I was happy I went, and it was good for me.
I didn’t want to ever date again, and I’m not good at it. I’m terminally monogamous. But, I was distracting myself from reality, big time! I was partying and running all over the place, traveling at a whim, going to concerts, just whatever I felt like doing to keep me from doing what I should have been doing, which was finding out who I was. It would take years for me to do that.. and I wanted not to feel! I medicated myself with food, men, and dabbled in a little coke even, every once in a while that first few months. I just didn’t want to face my reality on any level.
I came very close to breathing water in the jacuzzi the morning after Russ died, and he said “Not if you ever want to see ME again, you won’t”. I guess that was pretty clear, and the thought left relatively quickly. Thank goodness. I had no idea how to be me. I was married the first time at 17. I was a mother at 18. I was a daughter, an aunt, a neighbor and a friend. I was a part of another human being – till death do us part – and I didn’t want to be apart, nor did I know how to just be a part – without the whole.
I have to do everything the hard way. I have to learn by fucking up. It’s always been this way… all my life. I met with many opportunities to find myself sooner than I did.. but that would have meant succumbing to this new reality I did not want to live in, and admitting that I didn’t know how to do it alone. I should have gotten counseling, went to support groups – anything but what I was doing. I didn’t. You will see what that cost me as I continue this saga in my next post.
So, I became a widow – at 47 – on April 22, 2008 at 3:38am. I was going through all the motions, dealing with the Funeral Home, the Organ Donation things, Memorial plans, Life Insurance, Police, Investigators, Attorneys, the house and family/friends that just wouldn’t seem to leave me alone for any length of time. I was oblivious to reality. It was as if I was walking around in another dimension, when I could function at all.
I had to pick up the ashes, and ordered bracelets/pendants for all the kids with compartments for ashes, so they could keep their dad with them all the time. I bought a small blown glass urn, in green (his favorite color) for some of the remains, and made plans to send a cup of ashes off through the funeral home to have a Lifegem (diamond from ashes) made. I had to wait for the insurance settlement to pay for all of this stuff, and did so as soon as it came.’
The organ donation organization sent me cards/letters about and from recipients for what felt like forever, and thank you notes. There was always something in the mail I received from them directing me to counseling which I never took advantage of.
The memorial was beautiful. Just a group of people who loved him. Friends and family barbecuing down by the river at the Lumber Mill Company park. We had pictures of him, and family set up on a table. A microphone, and a guitarist to accompany my rendition of Freebird. As I sang, balloons were signed and grouped together to release (my balloon was in my hand, already scripted with my message to him) at the moment when the lyrics stop and the music speeds up. The bouquet of balloons and mine, traveled separately until almost to the sun (visually speaking), when my balloon caught up to it, and they all reached the sun together. It was a good day. I made it through without any public sobbing, and it was good to see how many people he had impacted in such a short time here in Oregon.
- Up Up and Away
- Fly n High
- Reaching the sun together
The Life Insurance people came and we did paperwork right at the house.. the settlement came within a few short days. It wasn’t enough to pay off the house, as we had planned when we bought it in Arizona for the one we built there, and we never increased it when we built the new one. I knew I had to make some decisions quickly as far as where I was going to live since I am disabled on a pension that would not cover even the house payment.. but couldn’t deal with it right then.
I had to deal with the Oregon State Police.. not only to beg and plead for them to do a complete accident reconstruction (which they did not) and to investigate further what made him move to the side of the road. They did a simple accident investigation. They found the presence of alcohol. They left it at that. I requisitioned a copy of the 911 recording and had to travel all over Southern Oregon (It was like a wild goose chase – each place sent me to another, each jurisdiction said it would be available at another level – like they didn’t WANT me to have it). I played it before I sent it on to the attorney.. there were 3 calls, not one – as the police report had said – yet another fishy thing about all of this.
I had contacted an attorney when Russ was still comatose, through BAMM (Bikers Against Motorcycle Manslaughter) at the suggestion of his parents, and he came down from Eugene the following week, meet my daughter and me at the accident scene and took pictures of every inch of the site. He also loaded up the bike from the wrecking yard and put it in his storage facility for the investigator to go over. There was absolutely no doubt that Russ was responding to some sort of road hazard, and the small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream did not contribute in any way to the accident or impair his ability to maneuver – as evidenced by the length of controlled skid he left on the side of the road. His expert riding ability was also a factor, as he had raced Desert Motocross, and test rode for Harley Davidson. No response from anyone to the ad in the paper looking for witnesses, though there were 3 calls to 911 – nobody was talking about who was on the road at the time of the accident besides Russ. The eventually full investigation solidified the idea that someone left the scene, but the insurance company (motorcycle insurance) could not pay a Phantom Vehicle claim without a witness to the effect that another car/truck had been involved. This attorney would not let me give him a dime. Not even storage fees. He is a true angel.
All of these things I needed focus to be able to deal with.. and I had none. I didn’t know which end was up, or what to do next. I did nothing. Literally, nothing – after I dealt with the things that HAD to be done, for 2 full months. I woke up every day either already in tears, or about to cry – knowing when I opened my eyes that it was not all just a bad dream. This, was my reality. I was alone. I was scared. I was abandoned. I was numb. I would walk down the hall to the kitchen, make a cappuccino, take it to the end table next to my spot on the couch by the fireplace and sit there. Staring either out the french doors to the woods out behind the backyard fence, or the round stick-on wall protector that prevented the handle from putting a hole in the wall. All day. The television would usually be on if someone else was home, but I never focused on it… I didn’t even hear the noise coming from it most of the time. People would come by, bring food, try to say/do the things they needed to do in order to feel like they DID something – some effort to do the right thing – though there is/was nothing they could do. I felt like no one in the universe knew what I was going through. My kids lost their dad, but I lost a spouse. His parents lost a son, his sister a brother.. many people lost a friend.. but I was different. I not only lost my husband, I gained a title – a label – that I never wanted to wear.
I became a widow… and I didn’t know what that was. I was a long way from knowing what that meant back then.. and months, miles, and many tragedies away from knowing who I was, or where I was going to end up.