Sliding Glass Window Oberservations From A Grenade

Yesterday I watched from my sliding glass window, five young men wearing the same color suit. Four of them wore ties folded in Windsor knots. One of them wore a slick bow tie. There was a sixth man. A photographer wearing khakis, took candid shots of them as they changed from gym to dress shoes, straightened each others ties and goofed off, like young men do. My guess was, they were the groom and attendants for a wedding. Or maybe they were an a cappella group. Who knows?

My apartment complex is set back in a wooded area, so the photographer took them behind the building to get more shots. They left their gym shoes and back packs resting on the hoods of their vehicles. Their doors were left wide open. When they returned, they grabbed all their crap and jammed themselves into their vehicles. They and the khaki panted photographer headed off to parts unknown. I was excited to observe them as they smile radiantly and wore the same color suits. Four of them with ties folded in Windsor knots. The other, maybe the groom, wearing a slick bow tie.

Often, my observational posts begin on my personal Facebook page. An idea hits me and I have to write it down. I’m sure it drives many of my friends crazy because my posts can get a little lengthy. Whatever, then take me out of your news feed! On second thought, please don’t, because I want you to read my observations. Looking at my window is about the only place I can draw inspiration right now.  I’ve kinda been stuck in my apartment for 70 days.

My focus waned and I didn’t write much more till I arrived home from My Trivia last night. At 1:00 a.m I began writing a lengthy email to a friend, when the following quote popped into my Sparkly little head:

 I wanted to know that he would be okay if I did. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of the people I loved.–John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I wrote to my friend, I am a goddamn grenade.

I realized that in my married life and when I was raising my kids, I was a grenade. I was a malevolent force that ruined everything in my path. I was an F5 tornado or category 5 hurricane. And I was hell bent on self destructing. The self destruction included being a horrible drunk, a slow suicide with food and conversing with men that I had no business talking to.

I don’t want to be a grenade, anymore.

My ultimate goal is to try to find peace within my stormy, passionate and romantic heart. My ultimate goal is to not judge others and somehow rise above the transgressions of my past. I’ve sought forgiveness from God. I can’t go back and change anything. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not even looking for forgiveness from Roger Darling, Meggie or Adam Boy. All I can do is keep my mouth shut, my mind clear and try to be happy.

I wish for the three I’ve hurt the most to be happy, because I don’t want to be a goddamn grenade, anymore.

I talked to my mother today and I asked her when I should stop saying I’m sorry for all the havoc I wreaked? Her response was as soon as put down the bucket of guilt I continued to carry around. I may never be completely forgiven by my children or the man I shared 24 years of my life with, but I’m going to put down that bucket. I’m sure there will be times in my life that I will pick it up again. There will always be a part of me that knows that I fucked everything up.

I’m also acutely aware that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life because of what I’ve done. I have to be okay with that.  I have to realize that there is no such thing as unconditional love, except for the love we give our children. On this journey to myself, I’ve discovered I am a child of God. I am a sinner, but even sinners need to forgive themselves.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me…

He watches over Meggie and Adam.

And I know, He watches over Roger Darling.

 

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Journal Entry-Happiness and 180 Days

Happiness“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”-Confucius

Yeah, I know it’s been awhile, but I’m back.

The holidays were different this year, but none the less special. My ex-husband, Roger Darling and I shared the expense of buying gifts for our four kids. We prepared dinner together. Prime rib, mashed red skin potatoes, and a wonderful salad bar. We ate heartily and laughed exuberantly. Even though our family is now fractured, there is still happiness and laughter.

We spoiled our children with good gifts like we always have. And filled their stockings with everything they could possibly want. Thank you God for the dollar store!!!

The kids drank wine and beer, but it didn’t bother me. I drank Diet Coke and quietly celebrated my own milestone of another day without a drop of alcohol. I know Roger Darling keeps track of my sobriety, which I’m kind of honored by. I will never understand how a man who’s heart I shattered could give two shits about me. Never mind, I do know. Even after everything we’ve been through, he still loves me. I may not love him the same way, but we will always have a connection. We were a family, once upon a time…

In this New Year, I celebrate that I’ve been sober for over 180 days.

Many times I’ve stood in the liquor aisle and stroked the bottles of flavored vodka. They called to me like they were my lover, but it is a siren’s song. I knew if I took a drink, I would crash into the shore of my own self-destruction again, and again, and again.

I made myself walk away from those bottles of poison, more than once. No matter how lonely, depressed or angry I got, I never drank.

I just knew the next day would be full of hope, promise and at least one reason to smile.

I’m still finding my way back to happy. It isn’t in the bottom of a vodka bottle.

It’s within me.

My heart, mind and soul are happier, sober.

I’m no Pollyanna. There are days that I can barely get out of bed. I force myself to get up and face the day. Just waking up without a hangover and going to work is blessing enough.

Happy New Year my dear friends. I hope that 2014 is a better year for all of you. May you all let go of fear, and live the lives you desire.

Love,

A sober and somewhat happy Sparkly Girl

Quoteful Thursday-FDR and Fear

quote-the-only-thing-we-have-to-fear-is-fear-itself-franklin-d-roosevelt-157985

I wondered if I was going to be gutsy enough to write about the recent goings on in my life. But I’ve been too afraid. For so many years I’ve been ruled by fear. Fear of what others would think about me. Fear of being alone. Fear of losing my sanity. Fear of not having enough money. Fear of death. Fear of unemployment. Fear of being a drunk. Fear of being fat. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being found out. Fear of leaving my husband and making him sad. Fear of upsetting and hurting my children. Fear of just about every fucking thing you could think of.

Hell, I can’t even grocery shop without feeling the icy cold grip of fear wrapping around my heart. No, I’m not standing in the freezer section with hardened nipples. I’m trying to slow my thought process down and not be ADHD girl. To be fearless and say I can do the simple task of shopping without crying. I’ve always had Roger Darling to rely on, but not anymore. After 24 years I’ve decided to separate from him. I care very deeply for the man and we’ve had a good life, but it’s time for me to move on. I’ve tried for years to change my feelings for him. To try and love him again. There is no solace in knowing that I’ve broken his heart and the hearts of my children. I’ve broken apart my family.

I’m not asking for pity or empathy. The only thing I ask for is understanding. I pray for it everyday.

In a week I will move out of our home and into a little one bedroom apartment. I will leave all that I’ve ever known. I have not lived on my own since 1989. People, it is 2013 and I am 45 years old. I’m scared as fuck but I’m ready.

I have so much shit to pack. All I really want to do is go to sleep, wake up and have it be next week. I’m tired of hurting myself and those around me. I don’t know how it works, this moving on without Roger Darling. This not talking to him everyday. He’s been my confidant, lover, and friend. I want us to continue being friends. To not be the normal ones that go our separate ways. We’ve never been much for normal anyway. Hell, we raised our children to be outspoken, rebellious and fearless. We tried to live our lives that way too. I guess I didn’t comprehend the memo though.

I’m hopeful that in time Roger and I will be able to meet for a cup of coffee and conversation.  I know we’ll talk mostly about our children and what they’re up to. Meggie, the teacher. Adam, the lawyer. Chris, the lumberjack. Claire, the scientist. But I hope we touch on the subject of our past life and how good it was for the most part. I’ll want him to know that although we are no longer together, I’ve never regretted being married to him.

It was my destiny to be Roger’s wife and Meggie and Adam Boy’s mother. Unfortunately, I have to change the end of the story and go it alone.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Dostoevsky

“Mom, why do you drink?”

It’s none of your business. I leave the reasons why I drink at the AA meeting table.

“I guess it’s between you and Dad then.”

“Nope, it’s none of your Dad’s business either,” I stated. “Sometimes I don’t need to explain shit to you. I just want to get better.”

“Okay Mom!”

“Is there any way we can repair our relationship?”

“Don’t know.”

As my tears spill, I tell him, “I don’t want to be your peer, I want to be your mother.”

“That’s all I ever wanted you to be,” he says in reply.

My Adam Boy, the one that I thought understood me the most, never did at all. I created the divide between us, but so did he. I am not going to shoulder all of the blame anymore. The burden is far too heavy for me to carry on my own.

There is such thing as respect for your elders. While I was teaching the kids to do so with other adults, I forgot to include me in the lesson.  I thought they respected me, even when I was being a nonsensical drunk. Should I have put a boot in their ass more often? Maybe. Maybe not. Should their father have demanded that they respect me more? Maybe. Maybe not.

They think the world of Roger Darling. Me, they liken to a cartoon character that gave birth to them. I’m a weirdo.

I can’t go back and change a thing. All I can do is move ahead, and ask that they think more of me. That what they say and do to me can hurt.  I am their mother. I’m also their elder. I’m not a peer and I’m not supposed to be. Someday, I will be the grandmother to their children. I will be the wise old sage that will tell their children what not to do. I hope that their children will come to me for comfort when Mom and Dad’s rules are too much for them. Because I will be sure to teach them  to give their parents the respect they deserve. We live and learn, and we share our lessons with the next generation. At least, that’s what we’re supposed to do.

A few years ago, after having dinner with my mother, cousin and daughter, I got a phone call.

“My darling daughter  I love you,”  my mother stated in her most serious tone.

“I love you too Mommy, but I just saw you like, two hours ago,”  I giggled.

“After the argument you and Meg had at dinner, I just wanted you to know that someone liked you, that I like you.”

“Mom, I’m okay, or rather, I will be.”

During our phone call my thoughts returned to the conversation during dinner. My 18 year old daughter knew everything about college while I knew nothing. My mother gazed at me as my brow furrowed and smile faltered. Mom and my cousin continued the conversation, while I sat mute and tried not to cry. It wasn’t about the subject matter, it was the tone with which I was spoken to that made me clam up. My heart broke, and I was done.

I don’t write this post to demand respect of Meggie and Adam Boy. More so to learn to respect myself in these early days of sobriety. The respect from them will come in the passage of time. As they see me heal, they’ll heal too.

Teach your children the meaning of love, honor and respect. Don’t forget that these three principles are a two-way street.

To love, honor and respect ourselves, is to teach our children how to love, honor and respect others.

Love and kisses,

Plain old Renee

(And I’m just fine with that!)

The Divine Truth on Guilt and Triggers

chuvsto-viny

Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element. –Audrey Niffenegger

Trigger happy, gun shy, and a horse named Trigger. I always thought my triggers for addiction were shame, boredom, sadness, and a host of others that aren’t coming to mind as I write this post. Turns out my trigger, my worst damn enemy, was plain old guilt. For my past, present and future. I keep trying to squash it, with humor, food and booze. I keep failing, miserably.  Then, everything turns around. I try to control it with healthy eating habits, exercise and abstaining from alcohol. Fuck not being humorous. Being a sarcastic shithead is my forte!

The truth didn’t come easily. Lessons freshly learned, no matter how important they are, will piss us right the hell off. As the dust settles in our hearts, we become comfortable with the truth. That lie you’ve been telling yourself, will become your saving grace. My moment came, in a confrontational argument with my Adam Boy.

Mom, sometimes I think you wish you didn’t have me.

Son, that is not true. You and your sister are the best things I ever created. Better than any story I could write. Any food over-eaten or drunken bender I’ve been on.  You are of my heart. My soul. I would die for you.

I gave my children the strength to speak out. I never wanted them to be afraid of the repercussions. To feel guilt or shame. I wanted them to know that I loved them even when they were confronting me about my shortcomings. Call me on my shit for the love of God, so I’ll stop being a dick!!!! My son did that. Dear God, I know he’s going to be a great lawyer some day!

Roger Darling left Adam and me outside so we could argue. I kept looking at the back door, feeling, guilty. Guilty because I was talking to my son and not hanging out with him. Guilty because I hadn’t finished the upload of Meggie’s wedding photos on my flickr account. Guilty because I hadn’t scrubbed the bathtub for two weeks. Guilty for not doing the fucking dishes after dinner. Guilty because I don’t act like a typical grown up.

Guilty, guilty, guilty. Blah, blah, fucking blah!

I believe in the Divine. That there are powers bigger than ourselves at play. We have epiphanies and revelations. Moments of clarity, that speak volumes without one word being exchanged. Sometimes they come to us in an argument with another. A blog post written by a dear friend. The tears of a loved one. Or a simple email from a co-worker. These divine moments happened to me, in a span of 24 hours. I can tell you, I have not felt this much peace-in years. Words are finally flying around my head and there is a smile upon my silly face.

Today, is a good day. Tomorrow, I pray is even better. If it isn’t, that’s okay. I can’t let guilt be my trigger. To over-eat, drink to excess, not write or reach out for help. Realizations, be they divine or otherwise are valuable teachers. We must heed the lessons they bring us. If we don’t we’ll never truly live.

45 Can Suck my Dick!

this-is-40-01407e5bd71c42d5

Fuck 40. 40 can suck my dick!-Debbie-This is 40

As I tried to drag my tired ass out of bed this morning, all I could think about was the movie I watched last night. By myself of course, because Roger Darling had a stressful week. He’s recently been promoted to assistant manager at the direct care group home where he is employed. I have to say when Leslie Mann bemoaned the fact that 40 could suck her dick, I agreed completely. Of course, I’m now 45. That age can suck my dick too.

What the hell have I become but a hamster on a wheel? I have to work out for an hour to eat a cupcake. Hell, to even take a bite of a cupcake, and not have it go straight to my ass. Forget carbs. A woman my age can no longer even enjoy a fucking bagel without calculating how many miles she will have to run to burn off the calories. This sucks!

I sit here in my workout clothes waiting for RD to get home so I can trot my ass to the gym and run a couple of miles. Of course, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done any kind of workout. I’ll probably keel over and die on the way home.

I miss the days when Diet Coke and a cigarette were dinner. If I did that now, my blood sugar would plummet and I’d end up in the ER. This getting older shit ain’t for sissies. I swear to you I’ve seen more wrinkles appear on my face in the last six month than I have in the past few years.

No more complaining. It’s time to get up off my ass and head to the gym. Drink more water and eat healthier too. Just once I’d like to go back in time and slap the 17 year old me and tell her to lighten up. To have more fun and run more. To go to college. Not to smoke! Don’t worry, I quit that habit years ago. I had to because I would lose my breath when doing the dirty, dirty, and no one wants that!!!!

I’m not looking for positive comments and ah grrrrlllll, you can do it pats on the back. I just wanted to bitch. As the title states, 45 can suck my dick!

Off to the fucking gym!

Love,

Sparkly Girl

Tunesday-A Beautiful Mess

This is for my Roger Darling. Nothing more needs to be said except, I love you.

Here we are… Yes, here we are…

You’ve got the best of both worlds
You’re the kind of girl who can take down a man,
And lift him back up again
You are strong but you’re needy,
Humble but you’re greedy
Based on your body language,
your shouted cursive I’ve been reading
You’re style is quite selective,
though your mind is rather reckless
Well I guess it just suggests
that this is just what happiness is

[Chorus]
Hey, what a beautiful mess this is
It’s like picking up trash in dresses

Well it kind of hurts when the kind of words you write
Kind of turn themselves into knives
And don’t mind my nerve you can call it fiction
Cause I like being submerged in your contradictions dear
Cause here we are, here we are

Although you were biased I love your advice
Your comebacks they’re quick
And probably have to do with your insecurities
There’s no shame in being crazy,
Depending on how you take these
Words that paraphrasing this relationship we’re staging

[Chorus]
And it’s a beautiful mess, yes it is
It’s like, we are picking up trash in dresses

Well it kind of hurts when the kind of words you say
Kind of turn themselves into blades
And the kind and courteous is a life I’ve heard
But it’s nice to say that we played in the dirt
Cause here, here we are, Here we are

[x7]
Here we are

We’re still here

[Chorus]
And what a beautiful mess this is
It’s like taking a guess when the only answer is yes

And through timeless words in priceless pictures
We’ll fly like birds not of this earth
And tides they turn and hearts disfigure
But that’s no concern when we’re wounded together
And we tore our dresses and stained our shirts
But it’s nice today, oh the wait was so worth it

Mirrors and Tattoos

Infinity

Infinity tattooed on the left wrist. Roger Darling and I decided that life was better, together.

I’m looking right at the other half of me…..

It’s been a tumultuous few weeks. Oh hell, it’s been a tumultuous few years. Who am I kidding? I’m fucking crazy, and life will always be tumultuous. However, it will most definitely never be boring. I have struggled with a lot of issues over the last 25 years. Roger has been with me every step of the way.

Last Saturday morning I awoke with a smile and Dashel, the Wonder Schnauzer barking in my face. He was standing on the side of the bed, staring into my eyes and pawing at my arm. Heidi Jo, his lovely daughter was laying the bulk of her fat body on me and licking my nose. Roger Darling walked in and laughed at me.

“Five more minutes Ma.”, I murmured as the dogs continued their happy assaults on me.

“Nope, get up we’re going to the gym.”, he replied.

After a cup of coffee and clothing change, we were on our way. I whined and bitched during the entire five minute car ride. Roger did not falter. He made sure we got a work out in. I looked at myself in the mirrored wall and cringed. It was time to run. We both did, without complaint.

Afterward RD went to lunch with friends and I showered and drank coffee. I caught up on Friday Fictioneers and tried to write a little. I wasn’t feeling very inspired though, so I kept reading.

Roger came home and sat next to me on the couch. We’ve been snuggling so much. Laughing. Touching. It’s been a time of rediscovery. We’re happy. He makes me want to be a better person. He makes me better by loving and understanding me when no one else does.

With the springlike weather we decided to head to Ann Arbor and wander around Main Street. There were no big plans made. No reservations. Just us, clad in jeans, and holding hands. We shopped at the M Den and Cherry Republic. Roger held the door for a nice couple.

“Thank you, you are such a gentleman.”, she told my husband.

I looked at her and replied, “I kinda like it when he isn’t.”

She and her husband laughed and she fired back, “I’m not going there.”

“Not to worry honey, I already did.”, I exclaimed.

All four of us continued laughing as we made our separate ways around the Michigan based store. We partook of free samples, our sweet tooth momentarily sated.

We meandered down a few blocks and had a dark brew at The Arbor Brewing Company. The beer was smooth and quickly went to our heads. I sent a picture of my beer to Adam Boy. Explained how he should be working at ABC. He’d fit right in with the other hipsters.

“There’s a tattoo parlor on this street!”, I blurted. “Let’s go get our couple’s tattoo.”

“Are you serious?”, Roger inquired.

“Yes, let’s do it!”

Turns out Name Brand Tattoo could get us in. In an hour. We partook of dinner at The Blue Nile. We munched on curried meats and vegetables. Licked the food from our fingers and ate traditional Ethiopian bread.

“Tell me about the emotional affair you had.”, he said.

“Honey, I don’t want to hurt you any more than I already have.”, I explained.

During the course of our meal, the story slipped out. Not all of it, but enough. The thing was, he never got mad at me. That’s my sweet husband. Don’t think he’s a pussy though. He’s not. He’ll defend me with his dying breath. Don’t test him, or me.

With dinner finished, we headed back to Name Brand Tattoo. Cole inked us up and then it was time to go back home. To our little town, dogs, and warm bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I looked at my tat and smiled. It was the same as RD’s. It was infinity. A bit of destiny too.

I am Worth Loving

Worth Loving

I stood in a roomful of people on Saturday afternoon and wanted to scream, LOOK AT ME! LISTEN! GIVE TWO SHITS ABOUT ME! From across the room, Roger Darling could see the frustration on my face. My brow was furrowed. The wrinkles between my eyebrows made prominent as I tried to hold my emotions in check. He came up behind me and rubbed my back. It gave me reassurance that at least one person in the room “got” me. There was another person there that had my back too. We sat and chatted. I wished that I could sit in a quieter room with him and shoot the shit. I love the man that looks like Tommy Lee Jones. He loves me too. I always thought I was looking for love and validation from him. Turns out, I always had both. He’s proud of me. And my little family too.

Rog and I made our way out to the car. I told him I was so glad we were going to see our kids. I needed to laugh. Hell, we both did. We’d had a sucky ass week. As we made our way to Ypsilanti he looked over at me and asked, “are you okay?” I replied, “fuck no.” Tears streamed down my face. I lost my breath and shook my hands in the air. “Honey, we’re going to see the kids, it’ll be okay.” That’s my Roger Darling, always trying to make me see the positive in the middle of a negative situation. I told him, “I just don’t understand why they don’t like me. What’d I ever do, but be born different?” He stroked my hand and let me finish crying. That evening there was laughter and conversation with our kids. It more than made up for the few moments of unhappiness earlier in the day.

As we made our way home Saturday night, I checked Facebook on my iPhone and saw the quote graphic by Danu Grayson. I shared it with my FB friends and found that there were many others that felt the same. RD voiced, “you could have been the one that penned that quote.” I heartily agreed and cried again. Not for long though. A post was already noodling in my brain. One about love and acceptance. I decided right then and there that I could cry over a few people that don’t “get” me. Or, I could accept the fact that they never will. Instead, I’ll revel in the glory of all of those that do. For they far outnumber the ones that don’t.

I am loved. I return that love, every day. With word, gesture, touch, smile, laugh, advice and story. I know that I will always be loved. Always.

Fancy a Brew?

Thank you my dear friend The Reclining Gentleman for the tag. I love coffee. It is a necessary evil in my life. It works to keep me focused because of ADHD. If I didn’t drink it, I’d be even more crazy than I already am. 🙂

1) How many cups of coffee per day? At least three cups. Starbucks dark roast preferably.

2) What is your favourite caffeine delivery system? Coffee of course. I’ll drink Coke Zero though. Yum!

3) What was your best cup of coffee? My favorite coffee is Komodo Dragon dark roast from Starbucks. It is bitter and earthy. Add a little ground cinnamon and I’m in Heaven.

4) What was your worst cup of coffee? Oh hell, I don’t know. Probably the gas station we stopped at a few years ago when we were driving to Florida to go to Disney World. It looked like old bathwater and tasted like burnt bacon. Sure, I’d love to drink the bathwater of Ryan Gosling or Johnny Depp, but not in my coffee. GROSS!!!

5) What does your favourite mug say? LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE. What else would you expect from a fiery wench such as moi?

Live Laugh Love

At work, I use a mug that’s covered in flowers, because I’m such a dainty maiden. I need one that’s animal print though. I’m sure  it would go better with my goofy personality. Or maybe I can find one that has the F word repeated all over it. Roger Darling would love that I’m sure.

6) How do you take your coffee? Caramel syrup, real cream, and two Sweet and Low. My dear husband tells me I’m high maintenance. Even with my coffee. I do believe he is right.

7) When was your first cup? I was a latchkey kid, so probably when I was 8 or 9. I was always sneaky and doing things I shouldn’t. Hell, I started smoking when I was 13.

8) Have you ever gone on a coffee tea date? Yes, with Roger Darling of course. And a few of my girlfriends. Starbucks is a favorite place to hang out. It’s nice to sit and chat with a dark roast, Venti.

Now who will I bring into the clatch, hmmmmm? Carolyn, Sheri, Benjamin, CharlieZero1, Ajay and Seyi. Happy Monday to all of you. Now go out there and enjoy a cup. Then write, write, write!!!!!