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Avoidance

It’s a good thing.  There.  I said it.  I should remember to do it more often.  If you avoid the conversations, you don’t have to talk about it.  You don’t have to remember the pain.  Denial is good.

 

P.S.- I haven’t forgotten Dishy’s lovely gift.  I’m going to pre-post something for the weekend.

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Long, short, ugly.

Indie: Bite me, Dad.  Bite me, Anna. (a quick nibble by each of us) Now, fire!

 

I’m guessing it was a mistake to let her sit with us while we watched the schlocky 60’s vampire flick.  She would have to pay attention for the 2 minutes of movie where the Van Helsing-esque character gets bitten and then sets his own arm on fire.  Oh well, if I can forgive her giving us her cold, I can hope that she’ll forget that 2 minutes.  I’d worry about it more but they live in a trailer with no fireplace or anything.  If Mull leaves out candles for her to stick her arm into, somebody should get their ass handed to them.  I can totally forgive her for my swollen glands and itchy throat and the snot that will soon follow.  She’s developed a fondness for kisses.  She wants to give you a dozen kisses all at once.  It’s heaven. 

Mull didn’t wait to start crap.  She got an early go of it on Thursday by once again demanding that Paladin give up custody of the children to a church friend rather than her because she was going to be working until 11pm Sunday.  Ummm, NO!  A thousand times no!  How many times does she have to be told how chain of custody works?  I guess she figured that since the agreement was finalized, Paladin would let her do whatever she wants.  He told her “ok” to shut her up because they were in the Army DEERS office and he didn’t want to start a scene.  This touched off a discussion (not quite a fight but hard feelings nonetheless) between he and I.  He intended to agree to shut her up and then take it up with her when he picked up the kids.  I hate that.  I hate that he gives her even an inch because she pushes that inch just as far as she can.  It didn’t escalate into a blow up between us and that’s got to show some progress on the therapy front.  So when Paladin picked up the kids, he pulled out the agreement and explained to her that the section she was pointing out actually meant that whoever had the kids was responsible for getting them to their activities NOT that she could send any serial killer she found to pick them up.  As usual, she made things hard when they didn’t have to be.  We just kept the kids longer than usual and took them to church ourselves.  Simple.  This could all be easier Mull.  We want to help.  Stop being a bitch.  We overlook you being a whore.  At least for the moment.  Lo and behold, Mull got off work at 6.  Did I mention that the store she works at closes at 6 on Sundays?  It’s not like they don’t post that right on the door, Mull.  If you wanted to go home and have some extra time alone with Blind Ass Idiot Boy, just send the kids things.  We’ve told you a million times that we want any extra time with them we can get.  I’m guessing that’s pretty much the definition of “ass monkey”.  *sigh*

The kids were great.  Savvy’s 9th birthday was Friday.  We promised her we’d bring treats to her Girl Scout meeting.  Paladin sat out there waiting for people to show up for half an hour before he finally tracked down the Preacher & his wife who told him it had been canceled.  Gee, and Mull didn’t call.  Odd.  Savvy, fortunately, has the attention span of a fruitfly, and was so thrilled with her Hanna Montana fest that she wasn’t upset by missing out on a birthday party at Girl Scouts.  Nearly every single thing she got was Hanna Montana.  She was so excited when she found out that because we have them on Halloween she gets to be Hanna Montana for trick-or-treat.  Mull hates Hanna Montana and won’t let her watch it or have anything Hanna Montana.  Why?  I mean, it’s annoying as hell, but the kid loves it.  Let her have this.  I got her a locking diary.  It was something she mentioned once and I kept it in mind for her birthday.  She was thrilled.  She got all hot tween stuff here and Mull got her a Barbie doll so she got little girl stuff there.  So, all the bases were covered.

Sunday was more crap (I need to find a better way to describe this little annoying stuff).  Savvy was campaigning heavily to be signed up at church to be a helper in the little kids class.  Paladin was against Savvy being baptized because she just didn’t have a clue as to what that meant, and he’d talked it over with Preacher and Mull (ok, with Mull you don’t talk…you say things and watch as she tunes you out).  They ignored him and did it anyhow.  In fact, Mull didn’t even tell him about it so that he could attend even though he’d made it clear that he wanted to be there.  That bugs me so much.  We’d have made sure that she’d gotten a beautiful white dress and I’d already been thinking about buying her a nice cross.  Instead, it was like a trip to McDonalds.  Just ok.  Well, as I’d told Paladin all along, he needn’t have worried about it.  Savvy is bored out of her freakin’ mind having to sit through the actual sermon and is starting to hate going to church.  It’s unfortunate, but I knew that would happen.  These kids see church as fun time and aren’t getting the message.  I’m betting that happens a lot in the carnival churches.  Instead of Mull cleaning up the mess she’d created, she told Savvy to get Dad to sign her up to go back into the little kids class as a helper.  So there it fell into our laps.  Paladin and I had a talk with Savvy about how she’d made a promise to God and to the pastor and to the other church members that she could handle being a full member of the church and that means attending the sermons.  In short, we had no intention of letting her out of it.  We told her she could sign up, but only after Christmas.  A few minutes later, I came into the living room and Savvy was all, “I don’t want to go to church.”  Nice try missy.  You’re going.  Paladin took them up there, and he signed her up to be a helper after talking to Preacher and the lady over the little kids and telling them about our decision.  I wasn’t happy that he’d signed her up anyhow, but according to Preacher, Savvy would be about the last person they’d let do it because they save that priviledge for teenagers.  We’ll see.  I have to say that if Savvy ends up doing it in the near future, I think that calls for a face-to-face meeting between Preacher, Mull and Paladin.  If Preacher pulls some shady crap, we will find another church.  I suspect that Mull just tells Preacher whatever she wants to get things from the church though.  A face-to-face would give Paladin a chance to set Preacher straight on the situation. 

The second situation was also church centered.  Paladin came home and grabbed me.  He was in a slight panicky looking mood.  He was definitely hyper.  I finally got him to explain what had happened with Savvy (I don’t go to the sermons because there’s a chance Mull will be there and I’d rather not have her show her ass…she would too).  Then he told me that he was shocked that all of a sudden Bell converted.  I was like, “What?”  As in, repeat that.  At the point of the sermon where they ask people who’ve felt the spirit to come forward, Bell went up and knelt before the altar.  A second or two later, Bell came past and I stopped her and said, “I hear that you found the calling.”  I started to say, “I’m happy for you.”  But she stopped me with, “Oh I just felt like going up.  I still feel the same way about religion in general.”  In the past, she wanted to join the church of the flying spaghetti monster if that gives you a clue to her leanings.  That made me want to throw up a little and I was seriously disappointed.  I told her, “You know, if you’ve really felt the spirit, you’re allowed to feel that way.”  But, nope, she was just going up for the hell of it.  Again, with the sick feeling.  That’s just so….WRONG, insulting, and a few other words too.  I told Paladin who felt better that she wasn’t actually converting but at the same time he felt as sick as I did that she had done such a thing.  I’m guessing that Sanjaya2 caught on because they didn’t leave her room all afternoon and when I sent Savvy to get them for dinner, she came back saying that Bell was crying.  Sadly, it’s just what I’ve been fearing all along.  Her only example is Mull and she is following it.  Act how you think people want you to be in order to get what you want from them.  😦

Therapy was yesterday afternoon and it was good.  Dr. Mark talked with us about the weekend and my lack of trust when it comes to Paladin handling Mull or the kids.  Hmmm…giving in to Mull and signing Savvy up…neither one of those was going to win him more trust from me.  It’s not that I don’t understand his position and I know he feels caught in the middle (my gut wants to yell “then get on my damned side!”…it’s not like I don’t have his or the kids best interest at heart), but I know from experience that I can trust him to give in any time they beg or scream.  That’s just the way it is.  And, I feel minimized by that.  I feel less important to him because of that.  If we have a decision in place or an attitude in place to deal with these situations and he foregoes it, it feels like a slap in the face to me.  It’s something we’re going to be working on for a long time. 

Dr. Mark focused on Paladin for most of the session.  He wants him to stop feeling so out of control in his life and to find a way to deal with retirement.  I brought up the word “depression” but I think Dr. Mark was wondering that too.  I think Paladin has had a low-grade depression going on for months now.  I know it’s coloring his thinking.  He needs to feel useful and there just isn’t enough stuff to keep him busy around here.

The best part of the session?  Paladin looked over at me and said, “I don’t know if you want to bring up the other thing or not.”  I honestly didn’t know what he was talking about.  I thought maybe it was Bell’s church incident.  NOPE.  It was sex.  Poor Dr. Mark.  LOL  I so wish I could film him during these sessions.  His expressions are priceless.  He definitely does not have a poker face!  The minute Paladin brought it up there was this flash across his face and you could so tell that he would have loved to cover his ears and go “lalalalalala”.  Dr. Mark tried to handle it delicately at first, “Is there not enough frequency or too much or…”  I saved him the trouble and put it straight.  We had a conversation the night before about a lack of experimentation in the boudoir.  I seem to have a knack for finding men who aren’t willing to push the limits of what they’re used to.  It’s sex.  It’s supposed to be fun, guys!  I’ve even gone so far as to find a sex map online and point out a few things to Paladin.  But, I’m old fashioned.  I want him to be aggressive and take control of this.  As I put it to Dr. Mark, if I have to pick out my Christmas present, wrap it, and put his name on it, then it’s just not exciting.  Dr. Mark turned to him and said, “She’s saying she wants to hang from the chandeliers.  How about you look a few things up and take her up on it?”  AMEN.

Musicians

I know a lot of people who play instruments and who like to think of themselves as musicians.  To me, it’s like being an “artist”.  In my eyes, you’re only an artist if you live for creating or make a living from it.  The people I know who play instruments do just that: play.  It’s a matter of focus.  That’s why it always impresses me when I see someone doing something that they truly are passionate about despite the expectations of others.  I get kind of a sense of that when I listen to this:

Friday’s Five Words

5 words from Karen a day early!  I’ll try to ignore the evil blonde expectations.  😉

Evil–  It doesn’t exist.  Strong view, I know.  But, I truly don’t believe in it.  I think “evil” gets blamed for the horrors perpetrated by man/woman that we can’t wrap our heads around.  The truth is that evil is our invention.  It’s our name for the things we do that go beyond what is allowable in our society.  It’s incredibly subjective.  I know some people point to this murderer or sadist and say, “There.  There is evil.”  But their mother never saw it.

Oh, and this is not to be confused with “ebil” which is what Pascal is when he’s being a meany-butt.  He is ebil, ebil, ebil!
Sand Castle– I guess when I think of sand castles I see blue sky and sand for miles, but since I’ve never even been to the Gulf much less the ocean, the thing I really think of is: 

hate_sandcastles-3-300x199

Is that a face or is that a face?  😀  I have no idea where I got that pic.  I wish I could give someone credit for it.
Expectation– A dirty word.  Purely evil.  Ooops, I don’t believe in evil.  Oh well.  Expectations lurk around every corner for me.  They come in the form of baby hopes.  They come in the form of marriage hopes.  They tend to disappoint, in short.  Not marriage, but the expectations I place on those around me.  Over the years, I’ve learned not to expect much from most people.  I still expect a lot from one person in my life.  Maybe it’s because the life we’re trying to build is the one each of us longed for all through the years before we met and that we tried to build with other people.  Mostly, I think it’s because he’s worthy of me allowing myself to have expectations of him.  I know he’ll try to come through for me.  I know the only time he’ll disappoint me is when he’s trying to make the world right for others instead of us.  That hurts a little, but it’s better than the alternative of him not trying at all.
Blonde– This word makes me want to tell a bad joke.  But, it also makes me think of Blondie’s hair: almost platinum and always falling in her eyes.  It makes me smile. 
Peer– Makes me think of college and study groups.  I hated that crap.  Try to find an actual peer anywhere.  Go on.  I dare you.  The true peers I’ve found in my life have been quite accidental, quite fortuitous.  They remind me that there are people left in the world with brains and humor.

 

This makes me think of five words I’d most like to hear everyone’s thoughts on.  I guess they’d be:  honor, security, family, meaning, and blood.  I’d love to hear every persons thoughts on those things.  I think we’d all be surprised.

Coolness Limits

I have ’em!  😀

So I’m wandering around the web today and every new blog I clicked (ok, there were only 2) had music up.  One was a Karen follower who had a song that was really great to the point where I hunted down the song and paid for it.  I’m a rebel when it comes to the whole not wanting to be sued by Universal thing.  It’s by Waylon Jennings’ son.  I’ve since looked at a few of his things on Youtube, and I really like it.  That’s usually how I find new musical things…accidentally or by hearing it on a tv commercial.  I ain’t hip.  This I know.  There are some blogs that I read and go, “Uh nope.”  I may even add them to my reader.  I may try commenting a time or two, but in my heart I know that, as fascinating as I find them, I fit in there like a purple chicken in a swamp.  Easy to spot and devour.  I actually like that though.  It must be hard to try to be hip all the time.  It reminds me of that King of the Hill episode “Uncool Customer” where Peggy meets this gal that knows all the coolest things and near the end of the show you find out that this lady spends most of her life online trying to keep up with the next hot trend.  Sounds exhausting.  That’s one of the great things about getting older.  You learn to let go of the exhausting.  Easy ain’t half bad (another great country song title waiting to be written).

This week has been easy.  It’s been nice.  Paladin and I have been easy.  Therapy was almost fun yesterday.  Not because it was easy.  Far from it.  But, I did enjoy watching Dr. Mark try to talk to Paladin about co-dependency vs. the Zen ideal of the self being a non-entity.  It was hard not to go, “SEE!”  It was nice to see someone other than me try to get through the Paladin logic.  Eventually, Dr. Mark acquiesced and changed the subject.  Well, that and we were running out of time.  If he hadn’t had another appointment, we’d have been there until closing.  🙂  I do almost feel sorry for Dr. Mark when we come in the door.  We are the hardest of cases not because our problems are devastating or taking over but because they are in the finer points.  It’s those little fiddly, nagging things that can send people over the edge.  And, unfortunately, we are two people who think.  We have brains and we actively use them.  Paladin is always worried that we’re over-analyzing and making things harder on ourselves.  I feel like Lisa Simpson in that regard: the only way to be really happy in life is to be an idiot.  If you don’t know what’s happening, it’s easy enough to ignore it.  From what we’ve been reading about ourselves, that’s not going to happen. 

One of our homework assignments last week was to take a co-dependency quiz.  This was the best one we found.  Feel free to play along.  I got a 6 and Paladin got a 10 (I honestly would have scored him at a 13).  When I told Dr. Mark my score, he said, “Oh so, you aren’t really at all.”  I corrected him.  Although 3 of those answers related to the past, my 6 answers are a picture of who I used to be and who I sometimes struggle not to be.  I’d call myself a recovering co-dependent.  I’ve learned to be selfish.  It was an uphill battle and there are still times when I’ll buy something for myself and feel like I’ve taken something away from those I love.  I’m worse about that when it comes to time.  That’s one reason why I didn’t blog this summer.  I gave up my time to those I love and in doing that I gave up myself in large part.  Not a great way to try to live indefinitely.  I need to get better at this time as currency thing.  I shouldn’t feel guilty about walking out the door alone, but I do.  Even though I’ve been going out to Mom’s, it’s still not the same as being alone; it’s just a way for me to get out of the house without feeling too guilty.  I know that it’s going to catch up to me soon and I’ll have to get over my guilt for taking time for me alone without my family or friends.  Sadly, even when I am seeing friends, it’s more a chore, an obligation for me than fun.  I hate saying that, but it’s true.  Everything in my life is a chore, a hurdle to be forded.  I do wish I could relax and let go and enjoy the people around me, but I’m too wound even in the easy moments to do that. 

Of course, therapy is doing what most treatments do.  It’s bringing things to a head, making things worse before they get better.  When Dr. Mark changed the subject, he chose to focus on the upcoming kid’s weekend.  I find myself tensing up the second that subject comes up.  It’s become such a no-win for me, and that’s a very depressing thought.  He was asking if there were an example of a way in which Paladin could make the kid’s visit better for me.  The truth is that when they are here I’m so busy trying to set an example for them and to teach them to care for themselves and their family (it’s like a blind spot there…they interact with one another only in 2’s…there’s no sense of family between the 5 of them) that it becomes about trying to take advantage of that window of opportunity to better their lives.  At home, from their own mother, they seem to either be ignored or treated as playtime.  So when they’re here, I try to show them that you can work together and be happy too.  Life doesn’t have to be compartmentalized into this person is for fun, this person is for work, this person is for figuring out whether they are going to be work or fun.  I explained to Dr. Mark that when it’s just me and the kids, we get along really well the vast majority of the time.  We do a little work (I do dishes/clean…they do whatever I’ve told them to do) and then we rest (sometimes we pile in the living room and watch tv…sometimes we retire to our own interests as in they disappear into tv’s or their room and I go to my room where I’m generally followed by at least one or two kids).  It’s not hard living.  It’s simple and easy.  The kids know their boundaries with me.  We know what we expect from each other.  That’s the way I like it.  But, Paladin feels the need to move, and that’s what the kids are used to.  They are used to family time meaning, “We go out and ignore each other in public.”  Sometimes I feel like they’re almost afraid to just sit and talk to each other.  Like they’re trying to fill up the spaces so that they don’t have to know one another.  It’s just not me.  It’s not the way I am with anyone much less family.  I’ve met strangers in Walmart and have gotten more emotionally close to them than these children are to one another and their parents.  I wish I didn’t see that.  I wish I could turn a blind eye to it.  But, it makes me sad to see it.  It’s not “FAMILY” to me.  Know what I mean?

Getting back to Dr. Mark, I told him about the different changes I’ve made in the dynamic that the kids have going.  I focused on Indie and how clingy she tends to be and how I’ve had to pretty much force Paladin and the other children to make Indie act more independently.  And how much Indie has changed!  She has become so independent and open with people that even I do a double take sometimes.  When the kids first came, the Borrowed Girls (3 youngest kids…age 8 to 3) didn’t even brush their own hair.  Bell, the oldest, did it for them.  That’s ridiculous to me.  Ok, I do put their hair up if it’s a ponytail or something like that, but they brush their hair themselves.  Paladin tends to baby them.  He loves them and misses them and has a lot of guilt about not being able to stop some of the things that have been going on in their lives.  In other words, he becomes a bowl of jelly.  He tries to do everything in his power for them.  So right away, we have two opposing goals for the kids.  He wants to make their lives easier to give them a haven, and I want to make their lives harder (so that they know even when things are hard they can make them better on their own…that they can stand for themselves). 

When I told Dr. Mark what Paladin could do would be to back me up more instead of stepping on me, he asked for an example of a situation where I felt things had been left to Paladin and then just got dumped on me (my words…Dr. Mark was far more PC about it).  He got two instead (I don’t remember how one morphed into the other).  I started with Mull’s intent to emancipate Bell.  The short version of this told Dr. Mark a bit more about what we’ve been up against with Mull, and he had at best a disdainful look on his face when I explained how Mull and Bell had come to an agreement that Mull would help Bell get emancipated (I don’t know if I’d gotten into that here or not…basically, we found out that Mull had been kicking Bell out of the house which made Bell happy because she’d go stay with her boyfriend, Sanjaya2…then Sanjaya2 had to move to a nearby town…so now Mull kicking Bell out would mean Bell would have to come to us, a huge downside for Mull…instead, they cooked up this scheme to let Bell and Sanjaya2 get a place of their own).  I found all this out by Paladin coming into our room and telling Bell, “Ok, tell her. ”  (I’d went to bed early because I knew Paladin and Bell were going to have a discussion about her going off without calling to ask…and I wanted him to do that parenting)  I was put in the position of being the hard-ass parent and telling her straight up, ‘”NO WAY.  No, judge will do that unless you meet certain conditions for a start, and even if you meet those conditions (which Mull was going to help them do), your Dad & I will be right there telling the judge, “We don’t agree. Send her home with us.”  It’s not that we hate you or Sanjay2, but we’re not going to let you ruin your life without a fight.’ 

The second situation was again with Bell.  She came in telling me that Sanjaya2 was probably going to break up with her and he didn’t feel welcome here anymore and I needed to fix it (aka it’s all YOUR FAULT!).  Oh yeah, all this was because we didn’t drive her over to his place at 9:30pm to drop off a trinket she’d bought him at the zoo (I picked her up from his place at 8:30 that morning…it wasn’t like they’d been apart forever).  Don’t you just love teenagers?  During the entire thing, Paladin stood there watching.  After she left, I asked him, “Where were you?  Weren’t you going to say anything?”  He swears that he had no idea what the conversation was about and didn’t realize we were arguing even though he was within 2 feet of us (which is understandable…she was crying and pouting and I was being a no-nonsense hard ass during it…we weren’t yelling but the conversation was heated if you weren’t listening to the words you wouldn’t know).  But our conversation quickly turned into Paladin telling me that I didn’t know how to parent and that the only kid I’d been a real parent to ended up in jail.  I almost laughed aloud.  Dr. Mark got this whole “oh no he didn’t” look on his face.  I half-expected him to say it.  LOL  I was just like, “Yeah, he did go there.”  Unfortunately, Dr. Mark got a call right about then that his next appointment was waiting.  He barely even had a chance to give us some very vague homework along the lines of “try to be mindful of each other while the kids are there”. 

No, it’s not all roses here.  But, I’ve been much more calm and at peace this week.  There’s been a lot more of the glancing across the room and thinking “I love him” stuff.  I love spending extra time with Paladin and focusing on us and not every other d**ned thing in the world.  I want us to have more of that.  I’m going to demand it, in fact.  We are going to have our time apart this week and hopefully a trip to the zoo together!  My supervisor is coming out, yet again, on Wednesday and I’m going to spend the night at Mom’s on Thursday; so no blogging from there.  😦  But I’ll be around off and on until then.  And for the weekend, I’m going to leave a pre-post with some of that music!  🙂

Doesn’t mean that I won’t rearrange your face, Paladin.  Nah, I’m just kidding.  🙂  I haven’t wanted to rearrange your face all week.

We ended up staying an extra day in San Antonio, and you should really be glad.  Otherwise, I definitely would have ended up offending some Texans.  The entire blog would have sounded like, “@#$%^& Texas @#$%^&*.”  What is with the giant green “Crossover” signs every 10 seconds and only posting a “Blank Town 23 miles” sign when you hit said town?  Are they afraid you’ll actually find the town?  It’s like baby steps across Texas.  Actually, I didn’t blame Texas so much as Paladin and I having entirely different ways of driving long hauls.  I drive like a trucker: in the middle of the night and taking the easiest route.  Paladin drives like a tourist: hunched over the wheel ready to scream at the rush hour traffic in downtown Houston.  There’s a sight that’s embedded in my brain now.  Well, that and him calling the other drivers “ass monkey” every third of a mile or so.  Next time, we do it my way.  Sorry, hon, but we just are. 

And we’ll be doing it come November.  After the initial drive over, we were going to stick to the shuttle from Ft. Polk, but that’s before they decided to rearrange Paladin’s face and put in silicone implants.  Nah, he’s not getting boobs…which is good because that would be weird.  He doesn’t like me playing with his man boobs as it is.  Earlier this year, Dr. H put a fat extraction into his vocal chords to make it easier for him to talk.  It worked really well but Paladin lost much of it because of coughing and it’s not a permanent solution anyhow.  This time they’re going with silicone which should mean that other than a follow up visit we won’t have to be at Ft. Sam Houston every few months. 

Ft. Sam Houston is small but it’s a nice enough place.  This visit let me scout out what there is that’s nearby and convenient considering that chances are I won’t try to drive in San Antonio traffic much at all.  They have a beautiful WFSC facility (Army for family center) where you can checkout books and videos; they have a full kitchen; and people donate a lot of small items like toys, toothbrushes, coffee, games, etc. for the families of recovering soldiers.  As with any major military medical facility (the base is small but it partners with the Air Force hospital), there are a lot of Afghanistan and Iraq vets.  I think I may try to bring over some puzzles and things to donate myself.  I’m already planning to visit the equestrian center there on base.  I’m so tempted to do the horseback riding, but its been aeons since I did that.  The visit is going to be long and rough on Paladin, but we should have time for just a little R&R between the two surgeries.

That’s right, two.  I vaguely remember Paladin telling me that they wanted to reconstruct his face when he was there last time.  He wasn’t interested.  Who can blame him?  He’s been cut on enough for 3 lifetimes.  This time Dr. H didn’t give him time to argue he just called in Dr. Chinwithitsownzipcode.  What’s up with a plastic surgeon who looks like a caricature of Kirk Douglas or Mr. Bottomtooth from Family Guy? 

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At any rate, they are going to do it this time.  They’re using the muscle near his temple to attach to his mouth (aka a mid-face lift like all the contestants on Extreme Makeover used to get).  The result is that he will be able to smile, in a very Mona Lisa fashion, by gritting his teeth.  They’re moving some stuff in his left eye around too which means he’s going to be miserable for the first week we’re there.  If it had been me, I’d have let them do the forehead lift too, but he refused.  Heck, I kept wanting to ask if they’d slip me some Botox on the side since they seemed so eager.  As it is, they’ve been nice enough to arrange it so that he’ll get the face lift just before the weekend and then get the vocal chord implant a little over a week later.  That keeps us from having to go back and forth to San Antonio at first, but after the implant surgery, we’ll go home and come back a week later.  Right in the middle of the holidays.  😦  It’s going to be a rough November.

If ya’ll have any tips on getting around in San Antonio or any cool spots to check out, tell me all about them! 

I picked up a ton of those tourist leaflets, but the truth is that I’m a lousy tourist.  Most of that junk just isn’t all that interesting and it’s there just to get you to spend money.  I’d much rather hit some superb bargain hunting spots or flea markets.  But, I am pretty determined to try to do one of the Ghost Tours of the downtown/Alamo area.  Apparently, 2 of the 3 tour companies have a Sharks vs. Jets style rivalry going.  So, I’ll take #3 if given the chance.  Why would you advertise your rivalry?  Don’t you know that people aren’t going to care enough to listen to the whole “I really AM working on Ghost Hunters International and he’s a big doodoo head” crap?  Ok, so I won’t get to use actual ghost hunting equipment if I skip ya’ll, but I’ll live. 

All in all, it was a good trip.  Sure, most of it was spent shuffling around to appointments, but we spent so much time talking and doing our therapy homework.  It was great to be able to be together without everything else in the world on top of us.  I think it proved what I’d said to Dr. Mark on our first visit.  Most people hear our story and they think, “24/7 together?  I’d go nuts too.  Get away from each other!”  But, the truth is that we need more time together.  We’ve tried going out to dinner alone and whatnot, but a couple of hours isn’t enough for me to relax much less in a crowded restaurant.  We need to be just me and him and not me, him, Brian, kids, family, friends, internet, fleas.  Yeah, fleas.  We hadn’t gotten inside the gate when Brian rolled out to tell us we had a flea infestation.  It’s fixed now but it sucked coming home to more crap even if it was minor crap.  We need to be newlyweds before we end up on that Newlywed: Nearly Dead tv show.  I think the homework is starting to pinpoint some areas that need work that hadn’t occured to anyone initially and that’s great but scary in a way.  It’s hard to get used to someone as they are and suddenly see that who they are may change dramatically in the coming months whether that change is emotional or physical.  We talked to Paladin’s Dad last night and I told him about Paladin talking to him and then calling me and telling me that things between us were over.  The poor guy was like, “WHAT?  All I said was take some time apart to figure things out.”  You really have to watch what you say sometimes around here.  Paladin and I have been two downed electrical lines for months now.  San Antonio gave us a break where we only had to take care of each other.  I know it won’t be as nice come November, but at least we’ll have a bit of a breather.

I better shuffle off to see ya’ll now.  Byes!

 

P.S.- Tabitha, if you saw a fat gal with a giant ass with blond braids near the hospital last week that was probably me!  😀  If she was walking with a guy with a psycho beard and jean shorts, it was definitely us!  lol

 Oh, and we did stop at Buc-ee’s.  Like I said, I’ll take the truckers.  The place was way overpriced and I didn’t see anything especially friendly about it much less any celebrity sightings.

Life? What life?

Hmmm…how to sum up my weekend…

Friday- Fought with Paladin.  Started to get over it.  Kids came.  Freaked out and hid in my room whenever I could.  Finally got to sleep about 1am.  Both Paladin and I were pissy.

Saturday- Awakened at around 5am by Savvy moving around in her room.  Let it slide to try to save my sanity.  It didn’t work.  Got up and went to Walmart to hide.  Tried to bide my time until Paladin took the kids fishing.  Came home and watched Indie almost get killed by a 1/2 ton work truck.  Lost my ever lovin’ mind!  LEFT Paladin. 

Tina came to pick me up.  Talked to her and Brian about quitting the job and exchanging all my belongings for the green car that belongs to Paladin (Paladin’s idea that we keep the car…he agreed we should break up).  Decided not to do anything rash until therapy Monday.  Left a note for Paladin to call me at Mom’s.

Paladin called and we talked for an hour where he agreed to come out Sunday as planned with the kids.   Felt tons better about things and started to think about whether to go home immediately or wait a day to give us extra decompression time.  An hour later Paladin called telling me unequivocally that it was over, OVER.  Talked to him to try and find out what had happened in an hour to change everything.  Mutually agreed to drive out to Paladin’s to talk face to face.  Got there.  Talked.  Paladin seemed cold and detached for the most part.  He thought it was good.  I thought it was the end.  The real end.  Still agreed to go to therapy on Monday.  Talked to Brian before I left.  Brian said Paladin didn’t seem cold about things when he talked to Brian.  Headed home at 3am.  Prayed and cried every second of the 80 mile drive.

Sunday- Woke up in a twin bed alone believing to my toes that it was over.  Tina came in to hand me the phone.  It was Paladin.  He had changed his mind and wanted to bring the kids out.  Helped give Mom a bath (it took 2hrs even with me and Tina).  They came.  We talked.  

Long and short of it:  unreasonable expectations of the therapy; unreasonable expectations of therapy homework (a prescribed 3 hour hiatus each week where Paladin is to leave the house and give us some time apart…truth is I needed to get out of the pressure cooker that is home too, not just Paladin and I should have said so in therapy); lack of belief that we can get through all of this together; admitting that I’m not the only control freak in the family; understanding that other people’s opinions have to be taken with a grain of salt and that we are not them (turns out Paladin’s Dad talked to him about how therapy didn’t help him & his second wife JoDee even over years…that was a big part of why Paladin called me back an hour later telling me it was over…truth is that from the moment I suggested therapy Paladin saw it as the end of our relationship…yeah, guess who used it as the first step to break off their marriage? and me leaving played right into that in the worst way possible).   

Paladin asked me to come home.  I waited a while for extra decompression but went home early Sunday evening.  More talking.  More making up.  Completely worried that underneath it was dead because of Paladin’s coldness on Saturday night.

Monday-  Went to therapy.  Dr. Mark gave us the WTF??????? gaze, but eventually gave us some serious flack about not thinking before we spoke to one another.  He also assured us that ANYTHING can wait for therapy (at the original start of this fight on Friday I asked Paladin if we could stop the fight and talk about things in therapy…he didn’t take that well and insisted we keep “talking” aka fighting).  He gave us a TON of homework (poor fella didn’t really know what he was up against with us…I think he’s starting to get the idea though…it’s not going to just be some “how to fight fair” lessons).  Before therapy, I had already told Brian and Paladin that I needed to be at Mom’s once or twice a week minimum to decompress and help out there which alleviates some of my guilt for leaving Tina with all of that burden.  Dr. Mark agreed that was a great idea. 

Came home and Paladin and I had to get ready to go to San Antonio the next day (I forgot about his appointment here at Wilford Hall when I talked to ya’ll last).  Sat on sofa watching the CBS lineup (which I hadn’t done in FOREVER! I got seriously way too happy over that).  Paladin asked me about Aunt Flo.  I was a week overdue.  Paladin insisted we get up and go to Walmart to pick up a pregnancy test.  I went…beyond reluctantly (Paladin had a vasectomy years ago).  Came home and took one of the tests.  Negative.  Duh.  Paladin was disappointed.  I wasn’t but hated taking it and hated knowing I’d have to take it again in the morning to get a good test.

Tuesday- Woke up to second negative test.  Duh, dos.  Drove to San Antonio through nothing but rain. 

HORRIBLE bathrooms!  Seriously, who the heck decided that it’s a good idea to have an open floor plan where nothing but a hallway separates the stalls and the store?  WTF???  And don’t even get me started on the Buda, TX bathroom.  I wish I’d had a camera because anybody who knows me would never in a million years believe I’d actually used that bathroom.  I spent a solid hour searching for a place to buy hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes after that since I’d forgotten those when I packed up.  How do you have a store bathroom so cruddy and not have hand sanitizer to sell there?  And what was with the 4 kinds of shaving cream and 3 different no-name brands of diapers?  You have those but no hand sanitizer?  Or, did all the unfortunate women before me buy it all up?  Seriously, buddy, you could make a fortune on the stuff there! 

Oh and Buc-ee can Bu-BiteMe.  The road signs for the Buc-ee truck stop got weirder every time.  Examples:  Have you seen a beaver lately?  My overbite is sexy. Have you had beaver nuggets?  But apparently, I could have met Robert Duvall had I stopped there.  Sadly, now I think I may have to stop there on my way back to La.  Apparently Buc-ee’s has a serious following and a wordpress blog of its own.  Then again, their whole thing is to be a truck stop with no truckers, and I’d feel like a country club a-hole for going there.  I am one with the trucking brethren!  “Convoy” is on my mp3 player, dammit! 

Did I mention that I’ve had about 3 hrs. sleep here in the hotel room?  And, that it’s like 4am?  Yeah, I better try to sleep again. 

Obviously, I haven’t been on your blog yet.  But, I’ll meet you on Friday!