Another three years…

July 27th, 2018

Times flies when you’re having fun… and also when you’ve been having cancer.

I’ve been through chemo, radiation, and fairly radical surgery to deal with Stage-3 breast cancer. I’m doing well now, but it’s amazing how time-consuming cancer has been, and how much energy I don’t have these days. But I’m taking things slow, and plugging along nicely!

My sister has moved in with me, which is awesome! Our wonderful next-door neighbor passed, which was very sad. On balance, though, life is good, and I’m gonna try to get back into recording things, blessings and “warts” alike.

Been busy, I swear!

May 13th, 2015

Okay, I know I’ve been busy, but this is nuts. No posts in more than two years? Wow!

Returning to the intended topic of this blog, I would like to recommend the book “Not Trauma Alone“, by Steven Gold. (You can find my review on Amazon, by the way.)

This book is written for the clinical or research professional, but I found it to be generally accessible. The author seems to understand that the problems which tend to lead to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or codependence are based in childhood experiences which generate complex-PTSD along with measurable physical changes to our brains.

One chapter is fairly heavy on how the practicing therapist should apply the author’s schema with clients. He stresses that, far from being “manipulative”, we BPD’ers are actually flailing helplessly. It’s just that we were raised — we were explicitly or implicitly trained — to do things in manners which appear (to the uncharitable or uninformed) to constitute manipulation.

A few examples: One of our customs is to shower gifts on people who we want to have like us or do something for us. This is what my parents expected of me and my sisters. If we wanted something (food, say, or a third pair of underpants), we were explicitly required to “earn” it. It was expected that we shower the parent with care, compliments, gifts, whatever, in order to soften them up for our request. Another custom of BPD’ers is that we don’t say what we want. When I was a kid, making a plain and simple request (“This toothbrush is two years old. May I have a new one please?”) was guaranteed to result in punishment. Another habit of BPD’ers is to “help” people (as though we are trying to curry favor) even when those people haven’t asked. We’ll even get pushy with the “help”, or get upset when our (idea of) help isn’t immediately accepted. In my case, this stems from my upbringing. My mother would scream at me, “How DARE you FORCE somebody to ask you for help!” I was explicitly required to provide help, instruction, and directions, no matter what.

Rather than us BPD’ers being some sort of evil geniuses who effortlessly control those around us, we in fact tend to be clueless and generally not in control of anything. We were raised this way, and we really don’t know any better. We feel like everybody else must be reading from some manual that we’ve never even heard of, like the rest of you have some vocabulary that we totally don’t understand (perhaps because we were raised with different definitions for those same words). We’re really not trying to control you; we’re trying our best to get along and be agreeable. It’s just that we were trained in entirely wrong ways to do that.

Rather than telling us to start being “nice” or “honest” or “straightforward” or whatever (we don’t have the correct definitions of these), or telling us to “get over” the abuse we’ve suffered in adulthood and “recover” our childhood health (which generally never existed), therapists need to understand that we need to learn that basic childhood stuff in the first place. We have to start at the bottom, at the beginning. Rather than assuming us to be slimeballs and “problem” clients, they should assume that we’re missing years of normal background, history, and training. They can’t assume that we know normal stuff. In fact, they need to assume that we do NOT know that stuff.

Which seems obvious, really, when we’re in the middle of the situation. But, as “normals”, hardly any clinicians seem to have any clue.

About what, exactly, was he “sorry”?

March 27th, 2013

Recently, my ex claimed that he was “very sorry for everything that happened in the past.” It’s now two and a half weeks later. He continues to be in contempt of, well, everything, and still isn’t supporting his child at all.

He brags about how he “got saved” and is doing things that “the Lord put on [his] heart”. Odd kind of god he’s got, who “puts on his heart” to be a liar and a deadbeat dad. But then, his wife has the same god, and she’s been committing fraud for years, including identity theft not too long ago.

Is it any wonder that “Christians” have such a bad reputation?

Praising the Lord at Hooters?

March 13th, 2013

After my ex dropped off “all” of my stuff (ha, ha), he made a big deal of saying, “I just wanted to say that I’m very sorry for everything that happened in the past.”

Had he brought a check to pay any of his tens of thousands of dollars in past-due child support? Had he brought any of the paperwork he was required (by court order) to provide months ago? Did he give any evidence of meaning anything he’d said? No, of course not.

But before I could say anything in response, his whited-sepulcher of a wife chipped in with a cheery “Praise the Lord!” I replied, “Show me your faith by your works“, referencing writings from her religion that tell people, in effect, to “put up or shut up”. She had the gall to say that she totally agreed, and that she was “working on it!”

The ex just recently started going to Hooters. I wonder if she goes with him.

She actually admitted it!

March 13th, 2013

My ex finally deigned to surrender all (he claims) of my and our child’s belongings in his possession. You know, all the stuff he whined to the judge had been clogging up “his” house, preventing his wife from moving her stuff in and getting in her son’s way of leaving for college. (I have no idea how that works; I’m just telling you what his story was.)

When he finally showed (with me having a cop and a third-party witness on hand), all of our piles and piles of stuff that we’d so rudely “forced” him to store for us “for free” for so many years — fit in the back of his Honda Civic, with room to spare.

And, funny thing, when I asked him what had happened to our child’s clothes, his wife volunteered that she’d gotten rid of all of our child’s things when she’d moved in. Just like I’d told the judge on January 24th, she’d donated them to charity for the tax deduction. She actually admitted it!

I’ve been feeling unmotivated

March 13th, 2013

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been feeling singularly unmotivated. I don’t know why. I could come up with some excuses, but that’s all they’d be; they wouldn’t really be “reasons”, and they certainly wouldn’t be justifications.

Maybe sometimes I just need to be unmotivated or frustrated, keep plugging along minimally (enough to keep food in the house, right?), and then get back to business. I don’t have to hate myself for not always being optimally “useful” or “efficient”.

The crime of perjury doesn’t really exist

January 26th, 2013

My ex’s psycho wife was the surprise witness on Thursday. My ex’s attorney ambushed me with her. In her testimony, she made clear that her husband had lied. Then she went and did some lying of her own. My witness, unfortunately, was injured on the job and was in the hospital on Thursday, so I had only a police “incident summary” to back up the facts.

The judge refused to view any of the written evidence (which confirmed the ex and his wife to be lying) and ignored my testimony (for reasons unknown to me). As a result of discarding the evidence and my testimony, the judge claimed that there was “no evidence” of any misbehavior on my ex’s part, and dismissed my petition to get my belongings returned to me.

I’ve done some research, and have learned that there is, in practical terms, no penalty for providing perjured testimony. Government officials (like state’s attorneys, etc) don’t prosecute it, and the injured parties are barred by law (or custom) from seeking any redress.

I’d long been disgusted by how often my ex’s contradictions and lies succeeded. I’d had no idea that his conduct was actually supported by law and practice. No wonder I’ve been losing: I’ve been playing by the rules, telling the truth, and thinking that the evidence had some relevance. Go figger.

I “lost” today

January 24th, 2013

I lost all three of my motions today at court.

The two child-support motions were always long shots. “The” verdict, when I ran this by various attorneys, seemed to vary with the person. Losing this hurts financially, but it was child support that I wasn’t likely ever to have received anyway. And, on the plus side, I did get the ex to admit, in a sworn filing, that he had owed the amounts.

I’d really thought I’d had a chance on the motion to get my non-marital property back. But my witness was injured at work and is in the hospital today, and the ex’s attorney was allowed to spring a surprise witness on me, who of course lied through her teeth. I should have had the sense to subpoena the police officers who’d been present because, contrary to what the lead officer had told me, the report he’d written was not accepted as “evidence” by the presiding judge.

Live and learn.

As my sister pointed out, my ex hadn’t gotten the second “industrial-strength” shredder as part of the decor; he’d locked himself into his private home office and shredded documents by the hour because he’d been destroying documents. Of course my documents don’t exist any more! And the ex had told me, in early 2009, that he was “making piles of” my stuff to donate for the tax deduction. Of course my stuff isn’t there any more! He’s donated our child’s things, too: all the clothes, toys, cell phones, school supplies, etc, that I’d paid for and supplied to the ex for when our son was over there.

Now I’m stuck providing a list of things to the ex’s attorney (that is, giving him an itemized list of things to destroy) to pass along to the ex, in hopes that the ex will suddenly “find” my things and return them.

He escaped the contempt finding by claiming he’s been holding my things for years. Whaddaya wanna bet he escapes returning any of our things by claiming (again) that none of my things were ever over there?


But my sister is right. Nothing “real” changed today. The ex is continuing not to support his child, and to get away with it. That’s nothing new. And the ex is getting away with having destroyed my things. I was lucky to get out with as much as I did.

Now I need to start composing a Motion to Compel. The ex has done almost nothing he agreed to do in the divorce decree, and now, due to his own successful claim, he can no longer make excuses based on stuff from before that decree was entered.

Time to get to work. And, hey, I wasn’t heard for three and a half years when I had attorneys. Sure, I lost today, but I was finally heard! And it only took me four months.

How much bigger can he get?

January 23rd, 2013

My son is now wearing men’s size-14 shoes. I told him that Noah could have used his shoes as pontoons on the Ark.

Thank Heaven the store had one pair of sneakers in the size he needed. His “nice” shoes still fit him, he says, and he’s worn his riding boots (size 13) frequently enough that I think they’ve kind of “grown” with him. But what on earth am I going to do when he needs to replace them?

The boy already outweighs me, he can lift me, and he likes to tell people that he’s “five foot twelve”. Just how much bigger can he get?

First time ever

January 11th, 2013

This past holiday season was unusual for me, in that it was enjoyable. I had a lovely time with family and friends, and my boyfriend surprised me with a beautiful sparkly necklace.

Nobody ever gave me jewelry before.

Sometimes “new” can be very, very nice.