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Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

She’s Dead

The Hunter’s mom died a few days after his birthday.  My wish was granted for her not to die on his birthday.  I just spent an intensive 24 hours with his family and gained a lot of interesting insight into his familial dynamics.  I talked to the Hunter about some of it last night as we drove home, and he is now digesting my thoughts.

Families are interesting communities and the Hunter’s is no different from most.  The Hunter was the youngest — the youngest cousin, the youngest in his family (his sister is 7 years older).  He was, like I said previously, that active, annoying little brother who was always into everything, tagging along and getting into trouble.  That’s his role in the family and even now, at age 50, that’s how the family treats him.  He reacts that way too sometimes because he’s playing his role.  More about that later in this post…

I told the Hunter that his sister’s eulogy was lovely — it was, but it represented parts of his mother that he didn’t always see.  He agreed.  I told him that I am sure he is full of conflict because he saw a side of his mother others didn’t.   I asked him if perhaps his mom beat him so much because he is the spitting image of his dad?  That gave him pause and he’s thinking about it.

The reason I said that was during the waiting, night after night, for his mom to pass, his sister told him quite a revelation.  Apparently his dad was quite the player (apple didn’t fall far from the tree) and had several women friends that would pay for his company.  One of his dad’s many jobs was as a maitre d’ at a nice restaurant and a couple of women apparently enjoyed his companionship outside of the dining experience.  These relationships endured for many years and his mother was aware of them.  His sister remembered their most epic fight was over a bundle of cash his dad had stashed away and his mother spotted it.  So his dad was a gambler, womanizing, handsome guy while his mom was the June Cleaver of the neighborhood — cooking great memorable meals, planning all the family get-togethers, sewing amazing outfits (that she later sold).  I could see where there could be some tension….

I ended up being the odd woman out on this family occasion which wasn’t a big deal.  I knew several of them and was able to have some great chats, but oftentimes I simply sat and observed with a pleasant expression on my face.  The younger generation (Nino and his cousins) found me to be hip and cool.  The older set found me polite and warm.  I stuffed my face with great food.

When his cousin sat beside me to tell me that the Hunter’s mom, who passed due to complications of advanced Alzheimer’s, was waiting for the Hunter to say good-bye, I swallowed my cynical thoughts and mildly said, “really?  Why do you say that?”  She told me that she knew due to her 5-years of home health experience and that she was clearly right because his mom passed away 12 hours later.  I, of course, am a bit too realistic to think that her brain was still connected to her soul at that point.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and I think his mom had been gone a long, long time.

I also saw, but didn’t speak to, Nino’s mom — the Hunter’s baby momma aka common law wife.  She was not what I was expecting.  The Hunter and Nino took care of her and I later told the Hunter it was nice that she showed up to pay her respects and support her son without becoming a problem.  She stayed 20 minutes, said her hellos, made one mildly snarky comment and left.  Perfect.

I scored major brownie points with the Hunter’s sister.  She didn’t include him in the service and at the last minute came to me asking if the Hunter wanted to speak.  She had asked him and he had said he would put something together with me, but he never told me.  I suggested that perhaps he could thank everyone for their support and love.  She loved it, I arranged it with the Hunter and he said a beautiful thank you — especially to his sister for all her love and care for their mom.  It was perfect.

I also saw a family that is full of love.  Two children (8 and 4) dropped by and everyone doted on them.  There were stories of gatherings, parties, dinners that were wonderful.  After all the viewings, service and burial, the closest family (including us) went out to a nice dinner that was full of laughter and memories.  I went home with a very full belly and pleasant thoughts.

I don’t know if his family can change their approach to the Hunter and if he can change his reactions to them.  I can see where old habit die hard, but perhaps it might be worth another attempt.  She’s gone and his dad will soon follow because he’s 86 with dementia. It sucks getting old….

Resilience

I had a long, lovely chat with Taz today — she had time, I had time so we had a gab fest.  She wanted to ask me questions about my upbringing — something I rarely talk about with my kids because I have little good to say about it.  I will openly answer any question, but I will rarely volunteer information.  During our conversation, Taz had two interesting comments:

The first is that she believes my mom was a borderline histronic personality.  I just read the Wikipedia link on borderline personalities and wow, that is my mom.  Geez.  I never realized it. Then as I began reading about it and the effects it has on children, it dawned on me — my Ex has many of those same symptoms.  Wow.  I’m going to have to think about all this.  I always thought my Ex was somewhat like my mom….

The other, and more cheerful, comment Taz had was that I am the most resilient person she knows.  When she thinks about resiliency, my face pops up.  That was sweet.  She couldn’t believe I didn’t recognize that in myself.  I guess I am, but I don’t think too much about it because it digs up the bad stuff that made me so damn resilient in the first place.

I was also reading back over this blog from about 2 years ago — the beginning of my relationship with the Hunter.  It’s interesting stuff now in context with my current situation.  I have been talking to a former colleague and remembering the dark cloud that was my work life.  This colleague told me that within a week of me leaving my old firm he realized why I left.  Now 6 months later, he can’t believe I stuck around as long as I did.  I felt validated.

Life is such an amazing journey.  The twists and turns, the beautiful sights and sounds, and the lows — it all makes for an incredible journey.  Now it’s Friday and I deserve a glass of wine.

P.S.  The other good news:  Taz, the data-sucker, will be off my cell plan by July 1st.  She laughed when I asked her today and said that her Hubby was still on his parent’s plan (he, his brother, sister-in-law — 3 adults).  Taz & Hubby decided it was time to grow up.  Woo hoo — in the span of three months she has saved me over $6,000/year.  That’s going straight to my 401k.

The Hunter Turns 50

Happy Bday HunterToday is a big day for the Hunter.  It’s his birthday, but I have made it a point to have celebrated throughout the month of May.  We took a fabulous road trip, which was too short, but so much fun.  We had a great dinner with his son, Nino, and Nino’s girlfriend over the weekend.  We hung out with my dear friends and spent a beautiful day on their boat.  It has been wonderful.  He is not big on presents, because he gets shy and thinks I have done too much for him already.  The trip was a present and he’ll be getting some much-wanted work clothes, but he isn’t getting that “Oh My” present.  It’s simply not one of our Love Languages.

In the midst of all this great stuff, he has a very dark cloud looming.  His mom has very advanced Alzheimer’s and over the weekend hospice has moved in for the final days.  That woman better not have the audacity to die on his birthday.  That is my most fervent hope.

The Hunter has a Love/Hate relationship with his mom (and his extended family) that really sheds a bright light on the man he is today.  His parents are immigrants.  Neither finished high school and they worked hard their entire lives.  His sister is about 8 years older than him and she went on to become quite successful financially.  But this is a family of very negative attitudes.  They constantly belittle and snipe at one another.

Apparently the Hunter was the runt of the litter — the youngest.  With an older sister and much older cousins, he was that super-active, sometimes annoying kid in the background.  He was a behavior problem at school at times.  His mother, according to the Hunter, beat him every day.  Yes, beat him.

Apparently the worse beating that really left him scarred was when she forgot to pick him up from baseball practice.  After waiting and waiting, the coach gave him a ride home.  She beat him until his sister finally interceded because “you made me look bad”.  Yes, this is the type of household he grew up in. She finally stopped when he turned 14 and grabbed the belt out of her hand…..

It’s interesting, from an armchair psychologist view, to see the child/mother dynamics of an abused child.  The Hunter tells many stories about his mother’s great cooking, meals she would make, her amazing domestic skills — she could sew pretty much anything.  He has many good memories of her, but then he has ugly ones too.

However, his parents always sided with his son’s mother, the Hunter’s Baby Momma, when Nino was young.  They never defended him, only blamed him.  Now obviously I am hearing only one side of the story, but….  hopefully you are getting a picture here.

In any case, the Hunter had to spend a very long afternoon with the family as they all paid their last respects to his mom.  The mom who beat him.  The mom who years later denied ever touching him.  The mom who never defended him and only berated him.  He is paying his respects with a family that he refuses to spend holidays with.  One that continues to belittle him and not support him.  It’s difficult and complicated. Actually, as I was wrapping up this post, he walked in with an old photo album he brought back from her house and we spent about 45 minutes looking at his childhood photos.  It was lovely and he enjoyed the memories.

But, the Hunter is worried that his mom’s death will send him spiraling into a depression — it happened before, after another death which ended up destroying his marriage.  I can’t do much for him except listen and love him.  I feel his pain and conflicted feelings.

He wants to have a family for the holidays, so I have told him that we have our children and, in the future, their children plus friends that we love.  I told him that we will create our own family.

That bitch better not die today.  It’s the Hunter’s special day, not hers.

Mother’s Day – Bah Humbug

mothers-day-throw-up

I am slowly cleaning my house today and once again it sends me into a meditative funk – LOL. My future housekeeper may be more about mental health than actual housework! In any case, I was thinking about Mother’s Days past and how I slowly came to realize that the day had very little to do with my desires and it was all about everyone showing how much they celebrate and appreciate moms.

Here is the lesson to all moms of babies and very young children – insist, absolutely insist, that YOU define how Mother’s Day will be celebrated.

My first Mother’s Day was about 3 weeks after Taz was born. My Ex is one of 4 kids and we were the first to have a child. They arranged and insisted a brunch at TGI Fridays which was relatively close to home. What a cluster fuck.

I was a breast-feeding, over-whelmed, first-time mom in an age where breast-feeding in public was still pretty taboo. Brunch on Mother’s Day is restaurant hell and the 2-hour lunch was difficult. I hadn’t learned to just hand off the baby to anyone willing to hold her – I thought she was my responsibility and that I should be able to handle the situation. Plus Taz had undiagnosed reflux at that point so she was a hot mess. It wasn’t much fun and alcohol couldn’t smooth the rough edges because of the breast-feeding (I needed copious amounts and one mimosa wasn’t going to do that).

From then on it was a series of Mother’s Days that included brunches, pool parties at my house, outings to where my Ex decided would be fun for the family (boating, beach – not too bad), movies, nice meals, etc. When I was asked for my input, it was routinely pushed aside. I was given flowers – I don’t really care for flowers because they are over-priced and short-lived with my black thumb. If I asked for what I truly wanted: a day away from my responsibilities, alone at a spa – I was deemed selfish and unappreciative.

Interestingly enough, when my no-nonsense sister-in-law had her son about four years later, she attended one Mother’s Day brunch and was done. Too much work, she stated, and from then on she spent the day just with her mom doing something special. Smart woman – I should have followed her lead.

Now, of course, I had some lovely moments. My kids showered me with their version of the absolute best gifts a mom could want: a Lion King coffee mug (I used it this morning with a smile on my face), homemade gifts that made me feel special, lovely cards and the most precious gift of all – their time and love.

I’ll be spending Mother’s Day with my son and the Hunter. They have asked what I wanted to do and I want to spend it at the beach. I anticipate a call from Taz, who has over-scheduled the hell out of her next 30 days (don’t even ask, it’s dizzying), and the day will be low-key and mellow. Just the way I always wanted it…..

By the way, I’m not the only one hating Mother’s Days. As I read some essays from others who are in the “I Hate Mother’s Day” camp, they brought up some excellent points about how this day causes people pain. Pain from lost mom, abusive moms, lost children, the list goes on. Here are some great essays backing me up on this:

Fellow Ranting Moms:

http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/526033-ill-just-say-hate-mothers-day/

http://www.bluntmoms.com/i-hate-mothers-day/

Here are some compassionate folks thinking of others (I really need to work on my empathy)

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/mother-confession-why-hate-mother-day/H7yh8oVRwBfBEtj4EwRd7L/

http://forward.com/opinion/spirituality/371609/why-i-hate-mothers-day-and-why-all-women-should-hate-it-too/\

A Difference A Week Makes

The difference of a week in my life. The work rollercoaster for me is approaching the crest. My projects are beginning to align and I see some nice pay days in the next 30-45 days. What a relief!! I just sat down at my computer and had several projects move forward with good, positive results that should result in $$$. Thank goodness. I read another book on time management and this one clicked with me, so I am slowly trying to implement my new lessons.

But let’s talk about something much more fun – sex.

Last weekend the Hunter was feeling feisty. We had some great romps including one oily roll in the bed that left me breathless and slippery as an eel. It is such a wondrous thing to have a relationship and a man that after two years, he can still pull out something new and fun. We spent Easter with old friends of mine who really like the Hunter and we all get along splendidly. It was a lovely weekend, but on Sunday evening I was feeling a little off.

Monday morning, I still felt off. I had to pee, slight burning. Oh dear, God, NO. It continued to build all day. Please, NO, NO, NO! Yep, by Monday early evening I was in agony with a full-blown UTI (probably has to do with all the baby oil unfortunately).

Now I have come to realize many truths about myself (and this may end up being a post all on its own), but one primary truth is that I am a lousy sick person. Bitchy, whiny and generally miserable. A UTI escalates those traits 10-fold. The Hunter, truly the kindest, most emphatic person, is getting ready to take me to the UrgiCare when it dawns on me – Taz is a fucking legit doctor albeit not in my state and she’s studying to be a surgeon, but she’s an MD who can write prescriptions!

I text her and within 10 minutes she has phoned in my prescription. Within half an hour and $10 later, I am on the road to recovery. The other cool thing – I am her first family member prescription. I am so honored and it’s actually quite hilarious that it’s for a friggin’ UTI. A friend told me I should save the Rx bottle as a momento. I’m not sure Taz and I want the the memory of her first Rx being for her mom’s UTI – LOL.

Can Somebody Loan me some Patience?

OK, Gentle Readers, this is one long bitch fest, so if you aren’t in the mood of hearing bitch, bitch, bitch, skip this and drink a glass of wine instead.  I have to vent and this is the safest place. 

I just need to be more patient.  I just need to hang on a little bit longer as Maggie & Co climbs up the steep hill of success.  I feel the momentum building.  Some weeks are better than others, but I do know that I am taking consistent action and more action than many of my colleagues.  It’s just that I have a short runway of time.  My money is running out.  Do I tap my retirement fund…again?  I don’t think I’m going to have much of a choice. Sigh.

I am a bit calmer.  I went to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday.  My son joined me but the Hunter opted to go hunting instead.  The weekend was a lovely respite, even though the flights were hell.  We made an unscheduled landing for a medical emergency.  That was a first for me and we landed 2 hours late.  The return was delayed 2 hours as well. Thank goodness I wasn’t on United!  Anyway, the Hunter and I were apart for about four days.  Four days to think and boy, he did a lot of thinking.  He’s made changes to the Kracken so that nutty dog now stays outside most of the time.  He will give up the dog if he needs to, but I have told him that I want the dog to stay.  I see daily improvement with the dog, so once again, I just need to have patience.

My dad’s birthday weekend was great.  It is really nice to be in your early 50’s and be one of the youngest people at a party.  I felt young again – LOL.  It was a wake-up call to see all of my family with secure, well-provided retirements as I am scrambling for everything at the moment.  Sigh. But it was great to reconnect with family.  It felt good.

I came home with a huge, nasty cold.  I am the crankiest, bitchiest sick person on the planet.  I don’t want people to even think about me much less talk to me.  I huddled up on the coach as the Hunter drove 10 hours to get home from his hunting trip.  He brought me soup and avoided me for fear of me snapping at him.  I held my tongue, watched TV and vegged until the cold subsided.

I am in the middle of renewing the lease on this crappy house.  I’m not happy about it, but I don’t have the Fuck You money to move somewhere else, so I am forced to negotiate with a landlady, who for whatever reasons, has been under my skin from Day One.  I have a residential realtor friend coaching me through this and even she commented that she has never seen me dislike someone as much as my landlord.  I am usually cool and calm through negotiations and I find myself writing vicious emails, holding them for a day until the anger subsides and then editing them into something businesslike.

I have to buy a car this month and I really am not looking forward to it.  My lease is expiring and I’m over on miles.  I know the overage will continue, so I’m forced to buy something.  Yep, right when money is tight I have to come up with money for the mileage overage and a down payment.  Joy.  Add to the fact that there are too many choices of cars and I have been stuck, weighed down by indecision.  The Hunter is helping and we have finally identified the likeliest candidate — a 1-2 year old compact SUV.  Now I have to drive one and negotiate terms in the next two weeks.

With all my bitching and moaning, I have to say that I feel good things coming.  I feel momentum from all my marketing efforts.  I feel like I can do this.  I know I can do this.  I went back through records of when I switched firms and had to start again.  I looked at the income stream and where it came from.  The scary thing is to see how many clients bit the dust for various reasons, but it also shows me how many fish are out in the great blue sea. The Hunter’s business is picking up momentum also and he is slightly ahead of me, which is great.  My earning potential far exceeds his — fact, not boasting — so I need my ship to catch the winds of success also.

I feel like Robin is discouraged.  I know she is because I have my discouraged days as well.  When I have them, I call someone because when I don’t have courage, I ask other people to share theirs.  It has worked for me in the past and it works for me now.  I try to be her courage.  Even with the projects we are currently working on, the money won’t be enough to hold us for 6 months.  It will hold us for 2-3 months at most.  Hopefully that buys me enough time to create new opportunities.  Every day I look at my Vision Board which is full of Patience, Underdog, Pushing Through, Stay Focused — you get the idea.  Every day I work on business development more than anything else.  That’s what will generate results.

Now I am going to the gym.  I joined a cheap one because I realized that if I am going to sleep and stay sane, then I need to exercise.  I’ll write something zippy and happy in a day or two.  I am an Amazon.  I can do this.  I can do hard things.  I am an amazing woman who will be successful.  Yep, I need to get back to my daily affirmations.

patience belief

Meltdown Aftermath

Yeah, I lost it over the weekend.  I find myself questioning the life I am now living —again.  I’m in the ‘burbs with a 70 pound incessantly barking puppy, renting a place I don’t love in a neighborhood that, well, I’ll be honest — it’s not my socio-economic level.  Yeah, I’m a snob and I’m not proud about it.  I want nice things.  I want to better my life.  So if that is what I want, I need to keep working hard to achieve it.

The Hunter and I talked on Sunday evening.  I drank 2 glasses of wine and spewed forth my resentment of the dog and how things are right now.  I asked him to step it up on the household cleaning stuff, among other things.  He looked at me and said, “we have been over this before.  Why are you bringing it up again?  You are just like other women — never happy.”  Ouch.  He wasn’t particularly mad.  He continued by saying, “we want different things.  I’m a simple guy.  I try to show you each and every day how much I love you and how much you mean to me.” Ouch again.

I don’t know what I want.  I want a lot of things and they involve money.  I want to walk down the winding country roads of Tuscany and eat dinner at different inns and hostels.  I want to go to a beautiful resort in the Caribbean with a private villa so I can make love to the Hunter in the pool.  I think what I need is a good vacation, but that’s not happening.  Not right now when Maggie & Co. is still in its initial stages.  I need more clients.  I need more business.  I need more money.  I need, I need, I need……

The other problem/issue/cloud on the horizon is that the Hunter, as sexy a man as he is, has minimal interest in sex.  He said his doctor had told him a year or so ago, during a check-up, that he has low testosterone.  He just isn’t wanting to pound my pussy with any regularity.  He claims it is not about me or my appeal to him, but his lack of libido.  I gave him a look, according to him, that basically was “WTF, go to the doctor and get that shit fixed.”  Ah, the look that says the thousand words….  But this makes me feel insecure.  I feel like I’m fat and dumpy and unappealing to him.  Sigh.

I have to be honest.  I am having doubts.  I am having doubts about what the fuck I am doing with my personal life these days.

I told the Hunter we need some date nights.  He told me the truth and I know it’s his truth:  he’s a loner.  He claims he doesn’t have any friends (which isn’t quite true because he talks to and sees hunting buddies and old childhood friends on a more regular basis than I hang with my besties).  He prefers to be alone, so any date nights will be when I plan them.  I’m actually OK with this, but here is another truth because this post is really about my deep inner  unspoken thoughts and feelings.

He has sabotaged outings in the past.  I wanted to go to a festival — he was sick with a migraine.  I wanted to go to a concert, he went and was bored to distraction (OK, it wasn’t a great concert, but I had the tickets and was going regardless).  He dragged his feet and made us late to a comedy evening with some of my old work friends — I was so pissed that night.   I could go on, but there is a pattern….

I don’t want to bury these problems.  I don’t have another 25 years to toss away on a relationship that isn’t making me happy.  Am I happy?  I honestly don’t know.  I have an eye twitch, I’m under immense pressure these days with work, money is tight, but I see a small pot of silver in the horizon so I feel OK.

I imagine my life without the Hunter and it’s lonely.  I know that.  I know that the Hunter’s new business would not survive without me and where would that leave this very good man? See, there is another pressure:  the success of his business is also partially my responsibility also.  I’m the marketing/business development force behind it.

Someone had recommended a book on Adult Attachment on ASV’s blog.  I got it and have just started it.  No big revelations at this point.  I finished another book on Morning Rituals for successful people, so I can work on my self-discipline.   My go-to move is always to find a book and try to research the answer.  I have pulled out and analyzed my business plan over the weekend — what am I doing right, where can I improve.  I revamped my marketing program and sent it to my business coach.  I created a series of marketing pieces (quite brilliant, if I do say so myself) that now need to be printed so I can use them as mailers.  Oh yeah, I have my taxes to gather up, my corporation to renew, finish up my mom’s estate, replace my car since my lease is up in 3 weeks, renew the lease on this crappy house for another 6-12 months because it expires end of May.  I’m headed out of town for my dad’s big 80 birthday celebration next weekend and I have no meaningful gift.  I did manage to book plane tickets for me and my son about 10 minutes ago. The list goes on….

Now as I read through all of this, I realize that I need to slow the fuck down.  I’m under so much stress and deadlines that I will make hasty decisions that I will repent in leisure.  I just need to get this year under my belt.  Give myself some breathing room by making enough $$ to pay the bills.  Now, I have to go join the gym down the street and get to a networking event.  Sigh.  I hope nobody notices my twitchy eye….

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