Betrayed OR Liar Lair Pants On Fire

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So Thursday B walked in the door ashen and with tears in his eyes. After 14 years of being the president of his company he was sacked. I said and did all the right things, loved on him and told him everything would be okay. I was the perfect wife.

After several hours of being at home he decided to download all the family pictures from his phone onto my computer since he was afraid his company would turn off his phone. Since then my computer has been running slow because he added over 2,000 pictures to it so today I decided to delete some after moving them to The Cloud. As I was going through them…SURPRISE!!!! …..I found a naked picture of a woman. Long story short, it was our tour guide from Viet Nam. The woman I had been sending money to occasionally to help her family….guess she decided to go after a bigger fish…B!

B confessed that he has been communicating with her for 1 1/2 years.  That he has thought of going to see her….wonder if that is why he was so adamant that I could not go to China with him? I asked him if he has communicated with her since he gave me the commitment ring…he has…yep, that is commitment for you! I told him I wondered if that was one of the reasons he got fired because IT saw numerous naked pictures on his electronic devices.

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Frankly, I feel good. Glad to know that my suspicions were not unfounded. Glad to know that these past two years have really been about him and not me. Glad to find out that he is a sex addict according to him. Yes, I am glad to know all of it. Glad to know he gave me the commitment ring on Christmas and talked to her after. Glad to know that when he sent the text from Boy Scout Camp that he wasn’t sure he had the passion or love to sustain our relationship, that he had just received naked pictures from her. I am glad to know all of this because now I know that I need to believe and trust in myself and I know without a doubt that he had one foot out of the door and was not giving me his all. And now I know what I need to do.

P.S. And to all of you who have told me so…I am sorry I didn’t believe you or kinda didn’t believe you. I was a fool.

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Veterans of War

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Last night I eyed the little old man sitting across from me in the Taco Bell. He was wearing a WWII veteran cap full of medals and although almost ancient he sat ramrod straight as if an officer might call him out for sloppy posture. In his hand was a Sudoku book and he was busy placing the numbers when he wasn’t looking around the place. Suddenly, he looked directly at me, his shiny blue eyes piercing my soul and gave me a smile that warmed my breaking heart. Then he went back to his game.

I had come to Taco Bell after sitting alone at a table in a restaurant waiting for my fellow book lovers to show up for our annual party and book exchange. As I waited tears would well up as I thought about the previous evening when B and I decided to divorce after I realized there was no hope that his feelings for me would ever change. I was devastated and contemplating life alone or, God forbid, someday dating.

Sitting there in a room full of strangers I felt more alone than I have in my entire life. Crazy thoughts of “my family would be better off without me than putting them through this ” circulated around in my brain, and although I knew I would never act upon them, tears leaked silently as I contemplated how my 30+ year marriage had reached such a gut-wrenching low. As I scanned the email to ensure I was at the right place I realized I was a week early and decided I needed to escape all the holiday merriment going on around me. That is how I ended up at the Taco Bell across the street.

I watched the old veteran for several minutes. He looked happy yet I felt a sense of loneliness cradling his well-worn soul. I decided to take a chance and invite myself to dinner. When I asked if I could join him he looked delighted. He introduced himself.

“Ken?” I asked, wishing that my soon-to-be hearing aids had arrived.

“No Kent,” came the reply. “Like Clark Kent, superhero, although I am afraid the red suit would look a little wrinkly at my age.”

We both chuckled.

Kent was 92. He had been married to Doris for 65 years and she had died four years ago. They used to come to Taco Bell and sit across from one another enjoying each other’s company while playing Sudoku. He missed her and the life they had built together.

“What is my purpose here?” he asked me soon after introductions were made. “I just want to know why I am still here and what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life. I have no clue.”

“Well, that is obvious,” I replied. “You are suppose to be sitting here eating dinner with a sad middle-aged woman and telling me the story of your life.”

And so he did. He spoke of being too young to join the war when the United States was attacked on December 7, 1941, and how two years later, on December 7, 1943, the principal of the school told all the young men that he would grant them their diplomas, a semester shy of graduation, if they would only go and serve their country. Being the good All-American boy that he was; Kent went and signed up that day.

When he went home to tell his father, a WWI veteran that he enlisted; his father told him that he would regret it, but he didn’t believe him until his first Christmas far away from home, with guns firing in the distance, with regrets that flew fast and furious like bullets around his head. On that wintry night narrowly escaping death he realized his old man was right after all. He just wanted to be home.

“When staring death in the eye, men act in three different ways. There are those who want to flee, those who cry, and those who pray. I was one of the later but if I am honest there were times I experienced all three as I fought in the Pacific,” he explained.

Kent still marveled at his first airplane ride and laughed as he re-counted his complete and utter embarrassment at getting air sick and throwing up in a hat in front of the pilot. He talked about endless days at sea and wondering if their big boat would be someone’s prize target. And he narrated the story of a fellow veteran who was in the Merchant Marine, whose ship was stopped by the Japanese, after delivering supplies to the troops. For an entire hour the enemy shined a light on the American boat until turning off the light and slipping into the night.

“Why didn’t they kill us?” his friend asked the commander.

“We were high in the water so they knew we didn’t have any supplies and they didn’t want to waste their ammo on us. They just wanted to give us a bit of a scare,” came the reply.

Eventually, Kent ended up in Saipan surrounded by water and the Japanese. He recalled how the enemy would slip into camp and night with a wire garrote and strangle an unsuspecting solider and how they learned to walk with their back to the huts so no one could attack them from behind. But by far the saddest day of the war for Kent was the day a plane load of soldiers were flying home soon after the war had ended. As the plane took off over the base personnel could hear the sputtering of the plane and watched as soldiers tried to parachute to safety only to hit the roofs of the buildings because there was not enough time for their chutes to open.  The ones who didn’t jump drown as the plane went down.

“A whole plane load of boys who had survived the war and were jubilant to be going home only to die as they were taking off. It never made sense to me,” Kent said with a far-away look in his eyes.

We spent two hours talking about the mundane: weather, walnuts (he was a farmer) and dogs and important topics like war and marriage.

When asked how he stayed married for 65  years he offered this advice:

“You wake up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself that come hell or high water, and am going to love this person no matter what. When you get to be my age you realize you just don’t remember those bad days but you do remember the good and the good far outnumber the bad anyway. Why hang onto bad feelings when you don’t have to?”

I told him my story. Married 30+ years, six kids, travel, building houses together and multiple moves to a man I had adored until he no longer adored me and did everything in his power to try to get me to leave. The night before, I had read him what he had written a year ago about how he loved to feel my touch and how much it meant to him. When I asked if he still felt that way he said, “No I don’t…. I’m just being honest”  which is his newest mantra. It was then I knew that it was time to end, what had been for the most part, the happiest years of my life with the person I adored most in the world. This veteran of marriage was being discharged.

“That husband of yours must be crazy,” Kent said quietly as he leaned forward and looked into my eyes. “Too bad he doesn’t realize that he’s got a good woman if she comes up and invites an old man to dinner. My wife used to do that too. Believe me when you are my age you are lonely and you appreciate someone taking the time to show you a little love and concern. But don’t worry, a nice good-looking gal like you will find love again. Just don’t waste your love on someone who doesn’t appreciate it.”

Sometimes it is amazing how God puts someone who we need right in our path when we need them which implants a beautiful facet of multi-colored lights within our soul.Yet, I have found that most of the time it is up to us to seek out for ourselves what it is that we need whether it be companionship, a safe haven or the quite assurance of a hug. For it is in the seeking that we find out what we truly need, that we become confident and brave, and it’s how we realize that we are never alone in this world even though it often feels that way.

Thank you Kent for being my guiding star last night. Your light helped to lead me out of the darkness into a world that is open to possibilities for this old broad. Your purpose in life seems fairly obvious to me…you are a beacon of hope offering your light to those that will take the time to listen.  I can hardly wait to see you next week when we meet for dinner again.  You truly are a great first “date” and you have given hope for the future.

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Attaching With Nothing In Mind

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Okay, I will admit it. I have a slight attachment issue that stems from childhood that I am working on with my therapist. This issue makes trust more difficult for me than the average bear.  It puts doubt ahead of belief and fear ahead of calmness. Needless to say, with the odd things that have been happening of late regarding my marriage; my attachment issues have been magnified. Not to the point of  extreme anxiety but enough to make me feel uncomfortable that I can trust what I see in this relationship.

You would think I would have attachment down. After all, I adopted four children and worked extremely hard on creating an environment in which attachment could occur as easily as possible. I read every book ever written on it. And I followed all the advice on how to attach to a child who has been through trauma. Turns out, I should have been working on myself in regards to my adult relationships too.

This week I told my therapist, “Let’s get on with this. Let’s not dance around the edges of these attachment issues. Let’s tackle them head on.”

“You have been,” she replied. “You are learning to attach to yourself again.”

“I want more.”

So she gave me this assignment.

Just work on accepting the moments that are good. When B reaches for my hand, don’t question the act; just savior the moment. Notice what it feels like in that moment. Accept the emotions that you feel. Don’t analyze, just enjoy.

Well, of course, I had to push back.

“Why attach myself to someone who may not want me? Surely, if we divorce it will make it hurt all the more,” I moaned.

“You need to do this for yourself to feel closeness if only for a minute,” said THERAPIST. “You become more attached to yourself when you are able to let down your guard and discover yourself through your relationship. This process opens yourself up to you. You owe it to yourself to go work your way through it so you can become a stronger you.”

And so I am giving it a try with my whole heart. Just accepting his love, his touch, his words without over analyzing, questioning, or doubting. It is hard after being together for so long and both having a way that we interact with one another.

I’ll let you know how it goes as I try to trust myself and this process.

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Negative Chatter

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My inner spirit has yet to be rekindled. I may have written about the importance of it a couple of weeks ago but for some reason I have yet to feel the spark. I have not been taking the time for me and as a result negative chatter is filling the air around me and is so thick I could cut it with a knife.

THOUGHT #1

“Why keep trying? He will never love you like he did again.”

THOUGHT #2

“Yes, I could have bet on the fact that I would be unable to reach B while he was at dinner with FRED and by golly I was right. Why is this? What is going on here?”

THOUGHT #3

“Can I ever trust again?”

Yep, my brain is suddenly like a chipmunk after a peanut…darting here, there, everywhere…but no place healthy or good for my soul.

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My headmaster just keeps churning out negative thoughts day in, day out. But why?

Is it because I am still so unsure of myself?

Is it because I am so unsure of my relationship?

Is it because I feel I am not being true to myself?

Is it because increasingly I feel like abandoning ship because I feel like nothing I do is ever right?

Or is it because I am just plain tired of the constant pushback that two boys with autism seem to relish every chance they get?

Whatever it is I know that I need to work hard to get rid of it. Because all this negativity is like wallowing in a shit-filled cow barn. If the methane doesn’t kill you the stink certainly will, coupled with the fact that there is so much of it piled around that I am afraid that I will get sucked down into it …never to return.

So, I am trying to implement past strategies that have worked.

I am shouting in my head “CANCEL, CANCEL,CANCEL” when a negative image or thought appears. I then look around and make a running commentary of what I see:

“Wow the sky is blue today. Look at that big fluffy cloud overt here. It looks so clean and white”….and so on.

Today I meditated and practiced visualization. I am trying to exercise more.

Yet, nothing is removing that chipmunk, whose cheeks are filled so full of negativity, from my brain. It’s kind of like having Alvin singing “Christmas Time Is Here” in your head 24/7 meaning that the A on Alvin’s shirt doesn’t just stand for his name.

 

I read this piece to my therapist. She says the rekindling has not begun because I am not using the proper things to build the fire with. The first being self love which has diminished so much since the “I might want a divorce.” Somehow that love of self has wafted away like the smoke that comes from lighting a fire. It no longer feels like I need a bit of kindling. Instead, it feels like I need to burn down an entire forest to revive my inner spirit.

My therapist also says that living with no air conditioner in 110 degree heat 43 C also fries your brain. She says she suspects this is what I am actually suffering from today. But all I know is the part for the air conditioner won’t come until Monday and someone better hide the matches because something is about to go up in smoke!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Violet-My Sex Life In Tibet

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This is for Violet. Because Violet wants to know how my sex life went while over in Tibet. She wonders if this 29 year married couple who are temporarily without the bat ears of their children will fare as they explore Asia together. I promised I would give her the juicy details about whether or not you can have sex in a monastery… I am a woman of my word.

January 11- Leave San Francisco for Shanghai. The plane is cold. I rub strategic spots on B’s body in hopes that he will warm me up under the flimsy cotton blanket. No dice. He’s not that kind of guy. Reminds me of the time we were naked on the nude beach in Kauai. He passed then too but to this day swears it was the pneumonia he was in the process of developing that waylaid his libido while on laying naked on the sand all those many years ago.

January 12-Arrive at Shanghai after an 11 hour flight. I survived. I can only assume it is some sort of cosmic miracle but hell we have 7 more flights to take so I am not taking bets yet. Eat some incredible Chinese food and crash after promising one another that tomorrow will be our “special” day.

January 13- Take green subway line to subway line 16. Take bus 1068 to Xinchang where we enjoy the “Venice” of Shanghai. Reverse process only it is rush hour. We are packed into the subway like sardines when I feel someone grab my left boob. I turn and smile at Dave for being so frisky…only it isn’t Dave at all. It is an intoxicated old man with missing teeth. I give him the death stare and he smiles. Okay, that is one “feel up” for the day, zero sex. We get back to the hotel room and defrost our parts. Since we understand you can get in serious trouble (think prison) for “doing it” in front of an open window we opt for something more like home…the bed. Great foreplay. Fantastic sex. No children anywhere around. No wonder!

January 14- Land in Lhasa, Tibet. Upon touchdown I get an immediate headache. Altitude sickness descends. We get to our room which has old single pane, handmade wood framed windows. The walls appear to have frost on them at first glance. We see our breaths all night as we talk across to one another in the rigid, very hard and not going anywhere twin beds. We decide that self-preservation is our best bet as we crawl under yet another blanket in our light thermals, heavy thermals, 2 pairs of socks, pajamas, gloves, blacava covering our heads and a coat on top. Wake up numerous times during the night feeling like an elephant is sitting on our chests as our hearts think about giving out. It is doubtful anything is going to rise this night as frost bite is a definite possibility.

January 15-It’s gotten colder. So has our room. Need I say more?

January 16-Can you believe that it is still colder? Our room is cold enough to be used as a morgue except that unlike a morgue there is nothing stiff in this room. I am thinking the next vacation will be to a warm clothing optional place with free booze. Lots of free booze. Even tho I am not a pot smoker I suspect that the next trip will involve it because after this journey I am sure I will be missing parts and will need a medicinal high to forget the feeling of phantom pain where my limbs used to be.

January 17-Shigatse. Well what do you know…a warm hotel room…with twin beds. What is it with the twin beds for goodness sake!!!! Luckily, love is in the air along with an unidentifiable smell that is not either one of us even though we had not showered for so long. No…it is something unique and different enough to turn your stomach. But we refuse to let it defeat us and we do one for the Gipper. In the morning everyone in our group wonders why we are smiling so much that our teeth hurt. Of course they are all under 30 without children… but someday they will know why those smiles were plastered all over our faces.

January 18-Bad news. The Rongbuk Monastery is closed. I am deflated with this bit of news as I really wanted to be faced with ethical decision of whether it is proper to have sex in a monastery and see whether the devil or angel on my shoulder would win out. Sigh. Instead we are booked into a hotel in Shegar a small town of about 1,000 way out in the middle of nowhere but about three hours from the Mt. Everest base camp. The good news…dinner is a delicious full bodied noodle soup. The bad news (I know you are asking how could you have BAD news on a vacation you whiny, spoilt b****)…the temperature is -16 while the sun is still up. There is no water in our room and the bucket that you fill with water to flush the toilet is frozen solid. This time we sleep with one pair of light thermals, 2 pairs of heavy thermals, gloves, three pairs of socks, blacava, sleeping bag and down parka in TWIN BEDS. But really we don’t sleep. Instead we gasp for air and watch as my coat emits thousands of static electric charges as it lights up the room. SEX…doesn’t even enter our minds as we just struggle to survive.  The next morning we find the people who run the hotel sleeping around a huge coal/dung stove. They are walking around with smiles on their faces….hmmmm!

January 19-After almost being blown off of Mt. Everest by the wind we make it back to Shigatse. Half our group look like death warmed over but when we end up at an Sichuan restaurant eating amazing food and there is no yak in sight, the color returns to the faces of all. The room is once again pleasant and warm. Two blissful sighs are heard around the world and Mt. Everest rocks.

January 20-Back to Lhasa and the first hotel only this time I ask if we might have a room with something other than twin beds. So we are put in room 207 which I am happy to report it is an inside room and is at least 20 degrees warmer than the first room. Are you spotting a trend here, Violet? Warm=happy=sex. Yet, during and afterwards we are panting hard like we just ran a marathon and seriously question whether our hearts will explode due to this high altitude exertion. Getting old should = purchasing larger and larger amounts of life insurance especially when getting it on while in the two mile club without the benefit of an airplane.

January 21-Fly back to Shanghai by way of Xian. We are exhausted and spent when we land at 9:30 p.m..

January 22-Wake up at 3 am for an early morning flight to Jinan. B has business. Attend a late night dinner of fish, fish and more fish.Eyeballs of fish linger in our psyche and we can’t get past that tonight.

January 23- Violet, its warm…do you even have to ask?

January 24-Fly back to Shanghai. We leave tomorrow for San Francisco. I’ll leave this one for you to fantasize about my dearest Violet. I leave for an 8 hour trip in the morning.

 

 

Sex… And On Being A COLD B****

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Okay, I leave for Tibet/Mt. Everest on Monday. I am still terrified of going. Why? I have no clue. I have traveled so many places and never have I experienced the sense of doom I have regarding this trip. In fact, this sense of death is so foreboding that I gave my girlfriend my password to my blog with instructions on what to write should something bad come to pass. If I could, I would up the amount on my life insurance too but at my age that would take a overnight fast, a blood draw and numerous other personal questions that I would have to lie about should I be asked. And just to make this absolutely clear…this sense of doom has NOTHING to do with B… just airplanes, icy goat roads that when you look down its 1000 ft to the bottom, freak snow storms and COLD. BITTER COLD.COLD SO COLD that a word hasn’t been invented for it yet.

So what does one take to Everest in the middle of winter? Who the hell knows… but I have come to suspect that a dash of crazy is probably useful if not mandatory. Better yet…a jigger of vodka which you are cautioned not to drink (makes the altitude sickness worse). Yet, if pressed, I would have to say that the most important thing about being at the Everest Base Camp in the middle of winter is for you to be warm NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. Unfortunately, if the past dictates the present, one might say that when I am cold I revert to the personality of a full-on bitchy badger. Yep, where I am concerned: cold =trouble=misery=down-low-bitchy-self.

Since we are going on this trip to celebrate the fact that we have managed to stay together despite B’s pronouncement that he might want a divorce back in July; I have decided that in order to remain married I will need to convince myself that I am in the middle of the desert when in fact I am in the middle of a snow storm with air so thin that just taking in oxygen wears you down and out. So to keep the peace and to promote harmony and ditto that “good will” stuff; I have invested an obscene amount of warm weather gear and “feel-good-about-going” stuff including:

  • One warm -40 weather degree parka from Land’s End snagged for $136 on sale (not sexy)
  • A blacava (sexy in a bank-robbing-bad-girl sort of way)
  • 2 pairs of light thermals in black (sexy…black makes me look 10 pounds thinner)
  • 2 pairs of arctic thermals (sexy if you are a bear)
  • 1 fleece lined pair of pants/shirt (sexy if your mate is a sasquatch)
  • 1 pair of mens polar arctic under your pants wear (sexy if your mate is a gay man and he thinks you are too)
  • 5 pairs of heavy socks (I’m too sexy for my socks!)
  • 1 pair down mittens that have proven not to keep me warm at night in the middle of the CA desert (might prove useful for certain hand work)
  • A second pair of special hand mittens to fit in said down mittens (sexy for that more intricate hand work)
  • 5 paris of chemical hand warmers (I’ll let you see mine if you let me see yours)
  • 5 large patch body warmers (I need to check if there is a warning on where NOT to put them)
  • 5 pairs of chemical foot warmers (for playing footsie)
  • special caches of toilet paper (come on… my world would cease to exist in a meaningful way without the stuff and I would NEVER shake your hand without knowing there is some around)
  • thing-a-ma-jigs that you put over your boots so you can walk safely on ice (hmmmmm…new sex toy?)
  •  I am trying to find waterproofing for my boots (which would be sexy if you sprayed it all over your body and jumped in a pool)
  • Three accidental life insurance policies (sexy if you are the beneficiary)
  • One evacuate you out on a helicopter insurance policy (sexy if you are doubled over in pain and know there a good drugs when you land)
  • One foreign hospitalization policy (sexy in certain countries)
  • One water bottle with water filter (clean water is sexy water)
  • Various antibiotics, car sickness pills and stop-the-poop pills of various sizes and colors
  • A small diary to write a note to my children should the need arise (not sexy but isn’t anything involving your children is anything but sexy)

 

There. Now you know all the thinking that has been involved for the past three weeks and if you saw me with all this warm wear on you would think I look like an terrifying 300 pound arctic snow beast. Even worse for B, there is no such thing as sexy lingerie that comes in flannel, down or polar fleece.

Frankly, what I have come to realize is that this was an impulse vacation for the hubby and I don’t think B thought this whole thing through. If he wanted sex (which he always does) I would have thought he would have picked a deserted island with a clothing optional theme but Everest in the winter…in a tent or monastery…well, I would have to guess that his chances are about as good as when hell freezes over. Sexy and Everest…they just don’t fit together…and it is doubtful that we will either!

*** Oh…Happy Birthday, Mom. Ironic that I would be posting this on a blog that has B**** in the title because you never were one. Not once. You were a kind gentle soul who suffered much heartbreak over your short 50 years. Hard to believe you have been gone 30 years now. At times I still miss you desperately but rest assured  when a smile still lights up my face I am most probably thinking of you. Gone but never forgotten.***

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