Divorce…Who Ever Said It Would Be Easy

'Hello, Haratty, Pearson and Smythe, messy divorce specialists!'

I think one of the reasons that B and I waited as long as we did to divorce is because we didn’t ever want to be at the point we are at…asset and spousal support. This part really sucks because all it does is bring out all the hurt and anger that were brewing before I left on the part of both of us.

One of the things B has said to me numerous times is that my attorney sucks so I have decided to take his advice and yesterday I hired a new attorney at a large law firm…we shall see how well B likes dealing with THE FIRM. Thank you B for pointing this out to me. I think that YOU will be forever in my debt.

We have been trying to handle this ourselves and use the lawyers sparingly but alas I think we are past the point on no return and we will be pulling out the big guns now. This makes me sad, confused, and hurt. I guess I feel like if you are really as sorry as you have claimed then this should be a slam dunk. Just give me what I want after all I am being fair and reasonable. When I went to get my things I left him almost everything except my personal family heirlooms, some artwork, and my personal items like books and clothes.

Part of the problem with settlement is that B wants me to sign an agreement which would allow him to stop paying alimony in 2025 but I won’t do it. Obviously. Here in the State of California, after you have been married over 10 years, the court is always in your business in regards to spousal support basically for the rest of your life. This means until one of us dies we can go back into court and, in his case…try to stop or significantly reduce support…or in my case…try to increase support. Needless to say, the rest of your life has significant meaning and I suspect we will see each other in court many times in the future.

Yesterday I received an email from B stating that unless we came to an agreement by May 26 that he was beginning the process of getting jurisdiction changed to Texas. I think he did this because: A) the CA court just set out divorce hearing now to NOVEMBER and from what I understand it is because of COVID. B) Texas is more favorable to him and only grants spousal support for 3 years maximum.  Well, good luck on that one. The court fight would last for years.

Another thing that this divorce has brought on is a major increase in the severity of my fibromyalgia. Last Thursday and Friday I was in so much pain I spent the days pretty much in bed. Obviously, for me stress increases the number and severity of the flare ups and I don’t like it one bit. My anxiety is also high which makes looking at anything B sends worrisome because I feel as if he is always trying to be sneaky and underhanded about what is ever on the table. This isn’t surprising since he lied to me just about everyday for five years. With him I don’t trust what appears to be real anymore because most likely it is not.

The good news is I am spending a lot of time on the coast with my daughter and our new puppy. Since the coastal house is going up for sale due to the divorce and this is where my heart feels safe and warm; I am trying to spend every minute that I can here. Being here helps keep me centered and I don’t ruminate over all the lies and deception that B spread like manure over our marriage. Here I am free.

 

Going Back To The Gaslighter

Tomorrow I leave for Texas. It will be wonderful to see my kids but it will not be wonderful to see their dad. Every time i am there I am terrified that he will do something…what I don’t know but I do know that I do not feel safe. Physically I feel safe but mentally I do not. When someone has screwed with you for five years and everyday was just new lie waiting to be inflicted on you…there is no way to feel safe ever again.

I did make it to the doctor regarding my Fibromyalgia. She prescribed the usual Cymbalta and was concerned about how my legs were in such crippling pain. I have some blood work to do and back to see her in two weeks. My therapist had an interesting take on the matter. She said I needed to honor my fibromyalgia in that it was telling me to slow down and take time for myself and that the more I try to deny my anger at this situation I find myself in regarding the divorce; that the worse the Fibromyalgia is going to get until I give myself the mental and physical rest it needs from five years of mental abuse. I guess she should know. She has been on this journey with me from the start and she knows exactly what B did to me and just how conniving and destructive it was to me and the kids.

In a similar vein, someone I love and respect sent me this video of the new Dixie Chicks song, Gaslighter, and said, “How fitting. Someone made a video of your marriage just change the words from “we moved to California” to “We moved to Texas.”

Even more true to just how much B’s affair and our impending divorce has just about done me in over the past five years. I can relate as Maines sings. “I’m your mirror, Standing here until you can see how/You broke me.” Just insert my photo in Maines place and you can see how broken I really am. In fact, this song feels like a personal anthem dedicated to me.

So I leave you with this wonderful new video and if you have your own gaslighter in your life I hope that you get some strength knowing that you are not alone in the situation.

P.S. Thank you for all the lovely responses and comments. For whatever reason I am unable to respond or reply. Just know that I so appreciate your support.

Pain In The Neck

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For about 25 years I have lived with chronic pain in my back and neck. It was the result of two on the job injuries one of which involved trying to catch and patient and his ventilator as he began falling off a gurney on the way to the shower. This was followed two weeks before or later (I no longer remember) when I caught an old lady who was going down on the floor. Several years later I was in a car accident. All of this has added up to chronic pain in my neck, shoulders, and back. If I don’t go crazy the pain/spasms are manageable but certain things set me off like repetitive bending and sitting for long periods of time. After all these years I have gotten pretty good at knowing where I can go and what I can do without setting myself up for painful back spasms.

Recently, my primary care physician sent me to a doctor who specializes in pain management. He is a nice guy who listens well and treats his patients with care. I had a workup and in the end he thought it would be helpful to have injections in my trigger points to break them up and hopefully provide some relief to the pain. I had had those same injections soon after the original injury and I passed out cold in the doctor’s office so I wasn’t looking forward to the procedure. In fact, I have been dreading it.

Well, today was the day and luckily it wasn’t as bad as it had been previously. I had ten shots in my neck/shoulders and while it made me woozy I am happy to report I remained upright and conscious the entire time!

I am now home with a massive headache and a lot of hope that this treatment will help decrease the chronic pain that I have endured for so long. Living with chronic pain has affected my life in so many ways. It has made me tired, grumpy, and hesitant to do/try things. It has made me uptight and has decreased my self-confidence. Usually I have managed to keep my discomfort under wraps so as not to burden others but not always. Sometimes I just got grumpy with those who love me the most and I am sure it contributed to my “maybe divorce.” I also believe that it is the root cause of my fibromyalgia.

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Happily, today, I truly believe that this time the injections will help. Like so many things going on in my life at this particular point and time, I expect to have a fundamental shift in how I interact with those around me and in how I treat myself if I can decrease or eliminate this pain. I am excited and am blessed that I live in a country in which this option is available to me and I can hardly wait to jump for joy again as chronic pain becomes a distant memory.

Reminder: If a loved one suffers from chronic pain…believe them when they say they are hurting and lighten their load if you can. Until you have endured you will not understand how daily doses of pain effect you and your family. Be kind, be patient, be gentle and ask what you can do to help. Who knows, someday the table may be turned and you will want the support that someone who has lived lived with chronic pain because they will understand what you need and will be there for you. Indeed, what goes around come around!

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Fast Pitch

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Well the condo is looking pretty good these days…wish I could say the same about myself.

It all started when I was on a ladder in the shower painting (a lovely shade of very pale gray, if I do say so myself.) Because laziness is a basic necessity while painting; I tend to stretch and paint rather than go up and down the ladder creating unnecessary stress on my knees. It would appear at my age that this type of thinking is a big mistake. For as I was reaching far further than the span of my wings; I fell backwards off the ladder and as I did, my armpit went over the door frame to the shower, while my body went forward. Ouch! Okay, it felt worse than ouch it was more like OUCH!

All week my shoulder and arm hurt but I kept thinking it would feel better soon. The next weekend I decided to be playful and tried to wrestle my husband on the beach. He promptly flipped me over like a grill master with a hamburger and as he did he accidently pushed down on my shoulder. OUCH!

And so for the past two months I have been in pain. Pain sleeping, when putting on my seatbelt, when reaching up, etc. Constant unrelenting pain that I have grinned and bared with grace.

Finally, I decided to go to the doctor who promptly sent me for an MRI which confirmed that I had a slap tear to my bicep. This would be fine except for the fact there is nothing that they can do but surgery in which they cut the bicep in the back, place a screw in your shoulder and re-attach the muscle into the screw. If you choose not to do the surgery, eventually that tear starts fraying and ” sawing” into other areas in the vicinity creating even worse damage resulting in a more comprehensive surgery with even more down time. As it is I will be in a sling for 4-6 weeks as this muscle kind of grows into the screw.

Surgery is set for November. The same weekend B and I were to go away together. Instead, I will be snoozing, with the help of some pain pills, in bed by myself. Another weekend shot. But I am okay with that because I am “re-inventing” myself and plan on telling everyone that the injury was due to my incredible 100 mile-per-hour fastball pitch which sounds much more impressive than falling off a ladder.  Even better, I will be stronger both mentally and eventually physically after mending and maybe this ole’ dog might even be able to learn some new tricks!

Life is good even when its not!

Fibromyalgia

I am a very lucky person. I have fibromyalgia but it is not as debilitating for me as it is for many. It used to be that I had tremendous pain on a fairly regular basis for days at a time but since I started following R. Paul St. Amand, M.D.’s protocols, I have found that for the most part I can live a fairly pain free life. That is why when I woke up in excruciating pain the other morning I was more than a little surprised and very disappointed.

It started with that deep ache throughout my legs as if a truck was laying across them. Moving didn’t help. Shaking my legs didn’t either. Massage didn’t work and beating on them to relieve the pain was for naught.

“Crap,” I thought with a sigh reaching for the aspirin before climbing out of bed. “I am getting old.This sucks.”

It was when I stood up that I realized what was happening. I could barely walk and when I did I looked like a 90 year old lady doing the Downtown Shuffle. I knew that the fibromyalgia had returned with a vengeance and I was pissed. Actually, I was pissed at myself because there are some things I can do to myself that trigger the pain. Yet, the day prior I  had ignored those triggers and ate myself into a sweet oblivion. Yes, sugar is one of my culprits and yet I dive into it like its a cool pool on a hot summers day.

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Usually, I don’t share the pain that I am in. Family members don’t understand why I can feel great one day and a week later be in so much pain. So I usually hide it…until I can’t. The pain makes me grumpy and I either can’t sleep or sleep to avoid the pain. I have serious brain fog (constantly) but I am thankful that with Dr. St. Amand’s help my days in pain are kept at a minimum.

I keep thinking that someday I will “get” it. That I will get tired of feeling crappy. That someday I will care enough about being pain free that I will actually “THINK” about what I am doing BEFORE I put things into my mouth that are going to hurt me later on. That I will care enough about myself to be mindful of what is going in and on my body. And it also occurs to me that perhaps this is some form of self punishment. I mean after all who would knowingly do something when they know they will severely pay for it later?

For now I will do what I can. Drink a lot of water and get out there and force myself to walk…miles. While it used to be I avoided movement when I felt this way, I have come to understand that for me, exercise, even if forced, seems to help alleviate the pain. And tomorrow I will try to stop crucifying myself once again.

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Doughnut Daze

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There are times in life in which you want to just down a couple painkillers, get back into bed and drift off to sleep. This is one of those times.

Saturday night while minding my dreams and sleeping peacefully; I was awakened by someone screaming. Turns out that person was me. For as I was dreaming away, my knee locked; and when I moved it something very bad happened but what that very bad thing that happened is; I will not know until Tuesday when I see the doc. Getting old sucks.Period.End of story.

In the meantime I am laying here, half-conscious, in pain, and worried about how this is going to play out weight-wise. Because I have lost twenty pounds in the past two months by going to Pilates and walking with L in the morning and B and night. And I am finding I love to do these things. But no walking for me yesterday or today and when I stepped on the scale this morning it was up THREE F****** POUNDS. That’s right…not one…not two…but three…all in one day which according to my calculations means that in precisely one week I will have gained back every pound I have lost… and then some.

So after this morning’s fiasco on the scale I realize I need more than I originally anticipated.images-1

I need a greater number of painkillers along with something for depression if I am going to make it through the day. And a doughnut…definitely a maple creme one. SIGH.

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338 Days To Fix This…Can We?

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The other day I looked at something on Facebook that spoke volumes to be. It said:

THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO TO A PERSON WITH AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS IS MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE THEY NEED TO PROVE HOW SICK THEY ARE

Wow! Just wow! And I say this because that is EXACTLY what I have been thinking I have had to do to prove to B that I love him….and frankly that sucks.

Let me take you back.

About 15 years ago I had two work injuries within 2 weeks of each other and each concerned rescuing patients who were falling. As it turned out I had damage to my L1L2 and my C6 C7 with lots of muscle/soft tissue injury. I was even rated. I also developed Fibromyalgia. Eventually I opted out of my profession and went into a different one which was easier on my back and neck but even with that I was having some issues. It was only when I stopped working because we could financially afford for me to do that, that my back issues improved. I would work around the house, sit, work around the house, sit and do what I could as my injury allowed. My house was not perfect. My friends rated it a 6 on a scale of 1-10, not so messy that a bomb looked like it had been detonated but never clean/neat enough to make the cover of House Beautiful.

Unfortunately, my husband is a House Beautiful kind of guy.; nothing out of place, not a magazine in sight, not a dish in view and dog hair that magically walks itself to the trash can. He wishes that his wife would meet him at the door with a plate of steaming chocolate chip cookies and if the truth be told she would probably be wearing a French Maid Costume to boot. Hell, I wish I had that too especially if she wore thigh high black boots!

Ever since B mentioned D.I.V.O.R.C.E. I have attempted to and succeeded at improving what he feels is important in order for us to stay together (and he is trying to do the same according to the list of changes I presented to him…it is not a one way street) Anyway to meet his expectations I am not yelling (day 26 I think), I am exercising, and the house looks great because I am cleaning 4-6 hours a day. And frankly, I am pleased with the results…but at what cost? For the past three days I can barely move. My back is killing me and my neck can barely turn. And the PAIN. THE PAIN IS BRINGING TEARS TO MY EYES AND IS MAKING ME CRANKY. Sure I could live on pain pills but I have kids to drive here and there. And addiction is something I do not want to add to our gigantic list of issues.

And therein lies the problem. For years I have been fairly pain free because I have taken care of myself and made that a priority. And now it order to make B happy I am doing what he wants and expects which means that I am incurring an immense cost to myself in the form of severe pain. I am not happy with that trade off.

Now some of you would say, get a housekeeper to come in once a week and do the heavy stuff. Unfortunately, B believes that hiring a housekeeper is a sign of supreme laziness on my part and it will never happen. If your wife is at home there is no need for a housekeeper. Hell, if you are both working there is probably not a need for a house keeper in his mind. We have never had one even when we were both working two jobs. It it certainly doesn’t matter that you have an autistic son who believes that where ever a wrapper is removed it should fall, that dirtiness is next to Godliness, and that toilets should be able to flush themselves without human intervention. And it makes no difference that Andre is an episode in the making for Hoarders and he would be a Hoarder star if it wasn’t for the fact that we are constantly on him to clean up after himself which involves ME standing there the entire time making sure he does it while he whines, tantrums and manipulates.

And so I go back to the original quote:

THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO TO A PERSON WITH AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS IS MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE THEY NEED TO PROVE HOW SICK THEY ARE

And to this I would like to say:

Trust Me. Trust My Motives. Trust That I Would Move The World For You. Trust That I Hear And Respect What You Want/Need And That I Would Do It If I Could. In A Heartbeat. Trust that:

I am not trying to force you into doing more around the house.

I am not sitting around watching tv and eating bon-bons all day

I am not lazy and I am not faking anything.

I am just trying to make myself as pain free as possible so I can function in a realistic way.

Please, I beg of you to just trust that I do what I can do at any particular moment in time and accept my limitations as real and true. Don’t make me prove to you how much pain I am in or how much pain I can endure. Believe me, I want to make your life easier. I want you to be as happy as possible as you can be in this relationship. And I would love to give you House Beautiful if I could. Just don’t force me to have to climb down into the pits of pain hell to prove my love to you because the further I go down that ladder the further it will be for you to bring me back up.

Love me for who I am. Love me in spite of my limitations. Love me if my best doesn’t always match what you could do. Just love me in spite of myself just like I do you. I don’t ask you to prove yourself to me please show me the same respect.

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