People. Hermit crabs. I want to be a hermit crab.

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So wow. It’s um.. June. Apparently I’ve slacked off on the blog, but I’ve been keeping busy in my physical journals, so it’s all good. Honestly, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block for the last few months, and I can’t seem to break through. Most of my journaling has become diary-esque entries, just to empty my brain.

I haven’t really wanted to write anything political on here. Well, because it’s too easy. Has anyone seen the state of our government or current administration? Red or Blue, it’s basically a shit show, and nothing I say is going to change anything at the moment anyway. I’ve stuck to picking fights on facebook posts to amuse my political side.

Other than that, everything is pretty good. Jon’s daughter is here for the summer, she’s a few years younger than Noodle, but they get along well enough. No blood has been shed anyway, and they both have someone to play with if they want. Definitely a cool little squirt though, can see a lot of her Dad in her. Although there is some issues with her mother, Jon’s been trying to get a hold of her about some things he wants to discuss regarding their child, and she hasn’t been answering for almost a month now. I’m willing to bet that this is going to go the same way my past relationships have re: lazy baby mamas. Joy. Whatever though, thanks to the last two major relationships, I have enough experiences with boyfriend’s exes to tide me over for a lifetime and a half.

Jon is home for the summer too, switching jobs currently, looking at working at a local PD. So while he tests/trains for that, he gets to hang with the kids (which is also a bonus because we avoid childcare then). Plus, I think it’d be nice for him to get to spend the summer with his squirt, who knows what shift he’ll be working next.

However, with the kids being home all summer, I’m definitely not minding going into work nearly as much as I normally do.

I jest.

Kind of.

Beyond that, the garden is in and thriving. We’ve got 3 different pepper plants (one of which is bearing fruit), 4 different tomato plants (including, cherry, roma and an heirloom). 2 different kinds of lettuce, carrots, green onions, green beans, cucumbers.. and my blueberry bushes are actually producing this year! I’m thrilled.

My health is actually okay. I still have some bad days with the headaches, crohns and IST, but it’s much more manageable now. When I have a flare up or episode, it’s more of an annoyance instead of a do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200-go-straight-to-bed.

Noodle is doing great too! 10 years old now, she just had a birthday a couple weeks ago and a family party at the house. Spoiled kid got even more spoiled. She’s been having fun this year riding her bicycle and little dirtbike, now she’s got roller blades to learn. She’s definitely growing up so fast, and I’m more than proud of the lady she’s growing into.

Well other than all of that nonsense, it’s business as usual here. Thought I’d pop in and write a little. Hope everyone is having a great summer.

 

 

Dodged THAT Bullet

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Whenever people meet my current boyfriend, Jon, all I hear afterwards is how good of a guy he is, and how I really dodged a bullet with the end of my last relationship. I always kind of just nod and agree. Jon is a great guy, I love him to death (and I’ll gratefully buy his tombstone after I annoy him into an early grave), so in par with separating myself with the past, I just agree.

The sometimes a blast from the past just hammers what you already know home.

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Yup. I got that right after I had gotten out of the shower, after a long day’s work. That’s my ex boyfriend Ryan’s sister, Jessica. This message was followed up by:

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News Flash Jessica! What he did is no longer just his business, it’s everyone’s business, that’s what happens when you diddle kids.

I guess I must’ve forgotten the whole 4.5 years we were together though. I seem to remember him being unemployed or working for $6 an hour for the first 4 years until he got a union job. I also remember working 70 hours/week in management the first 2.5 years, then back to 40/week for the rest (I still work at the same job as I have when I met him). The hospital thing.. well.. Go Crohns! Maybe she thinks that I did that on purpose? Who knows. *Shrugs* Either way.

This is what she was talking about:

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I made this post after a friend of mine did, her daughter went to this school, and I was so ENRAGED that some creep did this. Just this ONE post.. I’m sure I’ve mentioned him.. like twice in the last year (since he finally picked up his dog) but I guess that’s what “all the time” means now. Why did I mention Ryan anyway? Might as well get it out there. If I’m going to get harassed about it, I might as well be truthful.

Well, he is a sexual predator listed on the Sex Offender Registry for Illinois for aggravated sexual abuse on a minor between 13-16. The offense was before I met him, and I didn’t find out the severity until years into our relationship. I should have ran when I first found out and it was “just once” with a “17 year old”.. instead of when it turned into a “15 year old”,”multiple times”, “included oral sex” and “in a home he shared with his wife”.

I had such low self esteem when I met him, I wanted to believe he was a good person so bad, that I just went with it. I kept telling myself that he was just a good guy who made a mistake. -Insert old news of years of narcissism, cheating, sex hotlines etc-

So I was wrong. That reinforced my idea that people like him cannot change, and they shouldn’t be allowed back out into the world. Some people are scum. As you can see from the post, he wasn’t the point of it. The sicko who videotaped middle schoolers was. However, a couple people found out that he was a sex offender from it.. and it spiraled out of control from there.

The conversation went on with Jessica for quite a bit, but honestly, I’m too lazy to screenshot all of it. She baited me into responding for a little while, making a feeble defense for myself as I was being told I was just desperate, he doesn’t want me (uh good?) and other crap. Honestly, I was just more in shock than anything. Eventually I just said peace out and go away. Her last text was:

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Ha. I’m a hoodrat. Most of you who know me in real life are laughing your asses off right now. Whatever. Then my phone goes off again.

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You might be able to tell.. but I kind of lost my temper. I had to go step outside for a minute. So now, I had his new girlfriend (conveniently with the same name as me.. wtf that makes 3 exes in a row!) texting me.

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So I tried honesty.. (Backstory, I had bought, with my own money a really nice copper wind-chime. The 2nd time Ryan robbed me [and threatened to come take my daughters bed too if I called the police] and I was too chicken to make a report, he took that as well to be petty. So now, when I get stuck behind his ass in traffic the joke is “I don’t miss him, but I want my fucking windchime back”.) ..and just got a snarky admission to keeping my things. Claaaassy. Did she even see the post? It’s not like I screenshot his mugshot from the registry webpage??! Whatever. Not interested.

Then…

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Right. Of course the next logical step would be to have the ringmaster of crazy text me.

All of this when I’m sitting on the couch with Jon, my after-work-cup-of-coffee in hand and kid trying to tell me about her day. All of that over an article I posted on my private page… that blew up because he tried to hide his felonies from people he knows.

I sat there and radiated hatred. My afternoon, fucked up, because those 3 decided the logical step was to barrage me with messages (because obviously that’ll un-rape that teenager). I’m sorry, it’s not my fault that he’s a rapist. It’s not my fault that he likes under-aged girls. It’s public knowledge, hence the registry. He screwed me over, and regardless of whether it’s 2 times a year or once a god damn day, anyone who does what he did to someone, more importantly destroys a 7 year old? I think I’m allowed to be bitter once in a while. So fuck all of that noise. Jesus what a headache!

So after all the shit he had put me through, the manipulation, the cheating, the screaming, and leaving my daughter and I with an empty house.. somehow the powers that be thought it would be okay to let them interject into my world again a year and a half later? Then I looked over.

Sitting there next to me, rubbing my leg, trying his best to comfort me and not hunt my ex down was a man who means the world to me. Someone who looks at me with nothing but love (and maybe a tinge of annoyance as his ribs are so fun to poke) in his eyes. A man who loves my daughter and I despite what we’ve been through.

It hit me like a freight train. I dodged a bullet.

I love a man who picks up my daughter from school just to make my day easier (note: is also legally allowed to be on school property) and to spend time with her.

I love a man who will sit down and discuss a disagreement with me, and exchange apologies with me. (Instead of screaming at me, that I was in the wrong, and at fault for it all.)

I love a man who works his ass off to cover his half of the bills, and takes great pride in what he does and has done. (Combat Vet/Manager – which I am very proud of. Was pretty hard to be proud of someone who you could google and end up on a government registry.)

I love a man who holds my hand when I hurt instead of picking fights with me while I have an NG tube.

I love a man who loves to sit and watch stupid sci-fi with me, instead of hiding an affair and 20 hours of sex-hotline phone minutes.

I love a man who loves me for who I am, who treats me with respect and like an adult. I love a man who I am not afraid of, nor would he ever give me a reason to be.

Sometimes, you need to get a reminder about how lucky you are, and how good your life really is.. even if it’s by three numbskulls who might as well be arguing through AIM in 1999.

A quick police report was made, and then we settled down and snuggled for the rest of the evening. (Yes, I made a police report, not because I actually think Jessica will harm me, but her maturity level would be on par with stealing something or egging my house or some shit. Better safe than sorry.)

Basically, it took a bit of hell and harassment to be reminded of the wonderful man who I have by my side. I love you babe, and I’m sorry if I don’t always show it. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

The Importance of Feeling.

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Feelings. Sure, I claim that I don’t have any, or that I have just one left. However, they are there. For me, I stuff my emotions deep down inside and rarely let them out. I’ve built up my walls so high to keep everyone out that the only way I can keep from exploding is through writing (unless I have writer’s block.. then it’s all downhill from there).

Unfortunately for a lot of us in life, we get hurt after sharing what’s inside of us with others. So walls get built, and walls get reinforced as we get older. I’ve had a rough couple of decades, so my walls I built are basically impenetrable. It’s been a major issue in past relationships. I have such a hard time communicating, but it seemed as though as soon as I’d let some real emotion out, it would come back to haunt me.

So I try and pour all of that rough unbridled emotion into pages of a journal. Or if I need to express myself and I didn’t see a way around it, a letter directly to someone. It always seems to help to let the words flow through my fingers and get it all out. However, it’s not as good as just telling someone.

There’s a different feeling there, being able to tell someone that something hurt you, or that something scared you. Being able to just spill it all out. It’s refreshing to let people see that you’re not “the strongest woman” (or man) that they know.

I was at my breaking point yesterday. I was in immense pain, from pretty much all of my joints as well as my chest and stomach (IST and IBD). The pain was so horrible I was having a hard time keeping the tears back in front of my daughter. Then to pile on the financial stress (because I’ve been so sick lately, I’ve missed work under FMLA. Daycare is very expensive even if I work overtime, so missing work put me in the situation of paying the mortgage vs daycare, food vs. daycare, Christmas presents vs daycare. So after 2 months, it’s up over $1000, and frankly I don’t see a good way to fix it) it just broke me.

I went home and holed up in my room with the intention of writing in my journal. Which I did, I wrote page after page after page. Yet, no matter how much I spilled onto paper, I didn’t feel any better. The pain obviously doesn’t go away with writing, but I was hoping if I could get rid of the turmoil and stress snowballing in my head, I might be able to handle the physical pain.

Then Jon came in. He had visited me on lunch, and I had basically hopped out of the car because I thought I was going to cry. He came in the bedroom, and gave me a hug and I just lost it. I don’t know if it was because I was in physical pain, or what, but it all just came pouring out of my mouth. Everything, with tears and all. Over the course of 20 minutes, all my demons roared out and I just let it go.

After a little while, I felt better emotionally, and was able to deal with the physical pain. We didn’t find a solution, and I still don’t know what I am going to do to catch up on my daycare bill, but I have ideas to cut the costs in the future. Either way, I was able to tell someone else what was bothering me/scaring me (losing my daycare.. losing my job) and I felt a lot better afterwards. I was able to talk for a while, and then take some pain pills and get a little sleep.

That was a good first for me. I don’t open up to anyone, usually. It’s something I’ll need to work on in the future. I don’t want to muck up this relationship with my communication issues, so I’m really going to try. Either way, knowing that not everything is on your shoulders, that you’re not the only one carrying the weight is a feeling I want to feel again. I’m just glad I have a partner willing to help me take on the world.

A bit jaded, but not broken.

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If you had asked me a year ago if I’d be in a relationship now, I’d have broken the nearest chair to stab you with a shard of the leg. If you had told me I’d be falling asleep smiling and waking up to a good morning text every day, I’d have laughed at you. My, oh my, how your life can change in a short year.

More than a year ago, that wreck of a relationship Ryan and I had ended. It ended brutally too. I had caught on that he had been cheating on me for about a year (I’m guessing), and when I confronted him about it, he left. Not only did he shred my trust, but he hurt my daughter, as he was a father figure to her. To top it off? He took pretty much everything out of the house, from furniture all the way down to the ranch dressing and peanut butter.

At the time, I was heartbroken, especially having to face replacing normal household things right around Christmas. It was hard, and I was very cynical, but my friends, family, and coworkers (my 2nd family) rallied around my daughter and I and made sure everything was replaced and we had a wonderful Christmas.

Still. I was pretty intent on staying single. I had a couple pseudo-relationships over the spring/summer. One of which, almost 5 months later requested that I give back a gift he had given me to track my heart-rate (because of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia) in order to get back some books I had lent him back. The other one, stole my medicine and was a closet drunk! Trust me, it was fun (sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell). Regardless, no feelings were hurt on my end, beyond a touch of anger. So coming into the end of summer and fall, I was content to just be me.

I continued to enjoy my solo evenings with a cup of tea, and the random beers with friends. Hanging out with my kid, and keeping up with chores. Wasn’t looking for anything. However, as the saying goes.. when you stop looking, is when someone steps into your life.

Enter stage right; Jon. We’ve been dating a few months (? – I’ve never been good at keeping track of this kind of stuff) and for the first time in my life, someone is showing me exactly what my daughter and I deserve. From the way he includes my daughter in everyday things, to the way he helps around the house for no other reason than he is there and I deserve the help. I’ve been blessed with a man, who (not only isn’t on the sex offender registry haha) works, takes time to see me, and does simple things to show me he cares, like stopping by my work because I said I needed a hug.

It is unbelievable to have someone who doesn’t treat my “sick-days” like an inconvenience, or throws my fatigue in my face. Someone who puts as much effort into every day things as I do. While he does buy me little things he thinks I’ll like, he doesn’t try to buy my affection with extravagant gifts. He’s a grown ass man, who understands, that if he gives me a gift, it’s out of kindness, and he doesn’t expect anything in return. (Word to the wise guys.. just because you buy a girl something, doesn’t mean she has to like you or have sex with you. Just sayin’.) From my mopey-depressed-I-hate-everything days to the I’m-on-top-of-the-world-don’t-need-anyone days, he’s there, and he’s got my back.

Now I’m just working on fighting through some of my baggage with relationships. Surprisingly, I haven’t had many thoughts or worries of him cheating on me. When I found out Ryan cheated, I immediately imagined throwing literal baggage into my brain. Cute little suitcases with skulls and flowers on them. So meh, I’m not arguing that, just chalking it up to being too lazy to worry about it. However, I do apologize for damn near everything. The last couple of years with Ryan, he spent complaining about me. From how I cleaned, to being sick, to having a down day or even how much or little I worked. So now, if I have a mopey day, “I’m sorry” slips out before I even have a chance to catch it. It’s still just a habit. Jon lets me know that I have nothing to be sorry for, but still.. it’s there. I even catch myself saying sorry, or flinching about stupid shit that used to start a fight, but I know it’s silly. I’ll get over it at some point. Finances? Even though we’ve only been together for a few months, I still feel compelled to explain where I got the money for a gas station coffee. Through the thin times (when just I was working or when Ryan started working and bitching about paying his share) Ryan and I would fight because I’d scrap together change for something for me. I manage to catch myself now, because god dammit I deserve a coffee once in a while, but I still get mad that that’s a habit I have.

I just keep thinking, so this is what a normal relationship is like? No anger, no yelling, no belittling, no gas-lighting. No probation officers, he can take my daughter to school if I’m sick, or come to the park with us. Child-related crap doesn’t just fall on me. Hell, far far far down the line, if we ever bought another house, or if he was interested in buying property with me up north, we can buy anywhere.. not just 500 ft away from schools. For Christ’s sake, there’s been no bomb falling like “oh by the way, your house is going to be on the registry now”. There’s no staying out all night coming home with hickeys and such. There’s no drinking behind my back, no missing meds, no expectations of more with a gift.

So here’s to something good, something that will hopefully last. Am I bragging? Maybe. However, after the shit I’ve been through in the past 15 years? I’m going to enjoy this wonderful person who fell in my life. Why the fuck not? It’s about damn time.

 

xx

Fear and Loathing – IBD/IST and New Friends/Relationships

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Hi. My name is Sarah. I like animals, crafts, and the outdoors. I like to read and write, and oh yeah! Before I forget! I also have a couple random chronic conditions that unfortunately occasionally put my butt in the hospital, and require paramedics. Don’t worry about that though! You can save up all of your bitterness for years down the road and throw it in my face when we argue! It’s all good.

Yeah, I’m not very good at meeting new people. Friends, Lovers, or otherwise. I’ve had the same group of friends (most of whom I consider my family) throughout the majority of my illnesses. It took me a long time to cultivate those friendships from hospital beds, and ambulance bays. I learned who my real friends were, and I also learned that my being ill, can destroy relationships quicker than a bullet to the gut.

I’ve learned that even the most caring people can’t take loving a friend with a chronic illness. Romantic relationships seem to take the hardest hit. Eventually there is just this large amount of bitterness, resentment almost, because I intentionally or unintentionally change plans and lifestyles. Over the last decade, I’ve watched relationships crumble, friends fade away, and family get frustrated. It’s not for everyone, and it takes an extremely strong person to stand by someone with a chronic disease.

Naturally, after all this time, I’ve become almost.. paranoid about telling people about my illnesses. I try to take care of it right up front, just to get it out of the way. That way some people just back out right then. Either way, it’s out in the open. However, if I’m actually sick, like most other people with chronic illnesses, I tend to hide it. I walk through the pain, I make excuses for when I cancel plans, I pay extra care to my make up and clothes. We are experts at hiding what’s going on inside of ourselves.

Of course, I meet someone when I’m sick. I meet someone when I’m headed down a rough road. So of course, I try to hide it, “I’m fine” and “I’m okay, I’m sure”. However, sometimes you just can’t hide it, no matter how hard you try. The truth is right out there, in their face. Right out in the open, obvious. You. Are. Sick.

Well, here I go, I guess it’s just another risk I have to.. no, want to take. I just have to learn to be honest, and up front. Hiding it from someone I care about isn’t fair, they won’t know what’s real, and what’s fake.

So, hello. My name is Sarah. I have a chronic illness called Crohns Disease, as well as Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. My life isn’t simple, but it’s one hell of a ride, welcome to it!

 

Christmas Time Lessons

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When I was in 5th grade, Christmas was looking pretty much like hell. My mother was dying of cancer, bills were abundant, and my parents were miserable.

My parents friends and co-workers got together and bought us presents, all of us, dressed someone up as Santa Claus and showed up at our house one night. That was looking like a really hard Christmas, and thanks to the goodness of our community, our last Christmas with my mom was great! I remember tearing through presents, while my mom sobbed with happiness. As I got older, every year I’ve reflected on it and felt blessed.

A month ago, my ex left. When he left, he took things I’m still discovering are gone. I came home to an empty house, with a beat up couch, the freezer, 2 plates and some glasses left. I was given one month to get a replacement for the couch and freezer on top of trying to figure out how to afford pots and pans, lamps, tables, plates, utensils.. the list goes on.  I had to figure out how to replace stuff I had taken for granted since my first apartment.. then pay my ex’s portion of the bills he flaked on. It honestly looked like Christmas was out of the question. My heart broke, not just because I was betrayed, but because it looked like I wouldn’t be able to give my daughter a decent home AND Christmas presents.

So after I cleaned up the mess he left the night I got back home, I put Ashley to bed and sat on my kitchen floor and tried to figure out what I was going to do.

In the month since, I’ve found out horrible things about my ex, heartbreaking things, it’s been rough facing them, but this whole time? My family, friends, even people I haven’t seen in years, even people I’ve never met in person have rallied around Noodle and I. From couches to tables, to plates and silverware, pots and pans to hand towels started arriving or being dropped off. Books and pens, more cards than I can count. So while I covered bills, people who care about us covered what I needed, provided support and an ear. More recently.. presents. Noodle has received presents from family I haven’t seen in forever, and dear friends, I’ve gotten a few too. Hand delivered, fed exed, and left on my doorstep. I had managed to use what little money I had saved to get stocking stuffers and a few small things, but friends chipped in so I could pick out a few more.

A month ago I felt lost. I was worried, in tears and scared. Almost two decades after family and friends took care of my family the first time, it happened again.

The best part of everything that has happened? In one month, I went from feeling so incredibly sad and alone, to knowing I’m far from alone. In one month I learned how much people care for Noodle and I. I was lucky enough to watch a community rally behind us and stand with us, not once but twice. I am lucky enough to know, that while things will be rough for a little while, I know that we’ll be okay. I know that I have friends, that we’re not alone. I went from dreading Christmas to looking forward to it.

I think I learned the best Christmas lesson, twice. The world may be a scary place, but there are a lot of good people left. Knowing this, is the best Christmas present I could ask for.

Decency and favors. Love and Life Lessons. (Plus a realization)

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(I’ve refrained from writing about this on my public blog for two weeks now. Mostly keeping my comments to my private Facebook. However, I’ve neglected writing for some time now, and writing is how I heal. Sometimes journaling is not enough. So here we go. I’m taking back the things I care about, and my blog is one of them)

So I was informed today that I am not a decent person. Apparently because I got myself couches and moved my exes couch outside and asked him to pick it up.

I was informed that he was doing me a favor by letting me “keep the couch so you had a place to sit”.

Right. Because not putting it on the curb, along with the motorcycle and all the other shit in the shed isn’t decent. Because watching the dog that’s not mine until he finds a place to live isn’t decent. Because I didn’t do him a favor by standing by him for 4 years even though it put my family at risk. I didn’t do any favors supporting him financially and emotionally, through the toughest time in his life. Because it’s obviously my fault that he walked out, and can’t fathom that I’m not going to rearrange my plans so it’s convenient for him.

He did ME a favor by cheating, moving out and leaving us with next to nothing, just in time for Christmas? Taking all of not only his stuff, but stuff we bought together and things of mine? Just to put them in storage? He’s the decent person because he let me borrow a couch?

Right.

You know what? He did do me a favor. He taught me what love is, and what it isn’t. He taught me that I should never be dependant on someone else. He taught me that real men don’t cheat on someone they promised to love forever. He taught me that real men don’t break a child’s heart, then take even the toothpaste out of the cabinet on their way out. He taught me that I can do this all on my own, that I deserve better than all of that.

He DID indeed help me out, but it wasn’t letting me borrow his couch. It was teaching me that there are people will help us if we need it. People who love us and stepped in to give us a happy holiday. It was teaching me what commitment and devotion is. It was teaching me that someone who loves me won’t sleep around behind my back, putting my health at risk. It was teaching me what I want, how much more I deserve, and that there are good people in the world, in my world.. He taught me that he didn’t deserve to be part of it.

I hope on his quest for happiness, he finds what he’s looking for. I do. I just hope he stops hurting everyone who loves him along the way.