Whimsy and Sterling

Christmas afternoon 2007:

My ex and I arrived at his parents house for our annual family dinner. It was kind of a weird time during the day because we had been bouncing around different celebrations with various friends and family. We walked into the kitchen where the family had gathered as his mom finished up the meal preparations.

That year was the second Christmas I’d spent with his family and the first where I had actually bought gifts for his parents. I don’t remember why I didn’t get anything for his sister, or maybe I did… I just really remember the gifts I got for his parents. My ex handed them each the envelopes with gift certificates I’d found at locations that he recommended. His mom tossed hers on the counter and continued finishing up dishes or some other kitchen chore while his dad took his envelope and opened it.

I really remember his dad’s reaction because it made me giggle. When he was handed the envelope he was apprehensive. Like what is this? Why are you giving me a gift? You could like see the wheels turning. He was really disinterested in the whole thing but being polite. I don’t know what he thought it was, but he definitely was not expecting what he got. He opened it, read it and responded with the most genuine: “Oh, thank you!” I’ve ever heard from an adult. He folded it and tucked it into his shirt pocket, thanked me again and immediately shot a death glare across the room at his son.

His mom had quietly opened her own gift during the surprise from his dad, and walked over with a dish towel in one hand and a small gift box in the other. “Thank you, dear. We’ll go together and get you some real nails so you don’t have to wear those cheap press on things. Although they are appropriate with your jeans.” She quipped. I’d purchased her a gift certificate to her favorite local salon/spa. The jeans remark was a stab at me for our last encounter during my ex’s birthday. It hit it’s intended target and while I started to reply that my nails were in fact acrylic that I had merely repainted to match my Christmas outfit my ex quietly shushed me instead.

“This is for you dear.” She said after folding the dish towel handing me the box.

I opened it. Inside I found a sterling necklace with gold kanji inscribed across the small round charm. It matched the earrings she had gifted me the year before.

“Isn’t it beautiful? I saw it and I immediately thought of you. It means happiness, and I wanted you to have it because you deserve happiness dear.” She explained. “Don’t you think she deserves happiness?” She directed across the room at her husband.

“Most certainly. She deserves happiness, loyalty, honesty and someone who treats her well. Don’t you think so, son?” He replied.

Now, mind you, this entire conversation is taking place with my ex (their son) standing less than two feet away. I was kind of offended and thought it was rather insensitive of them to be speaking about their son like that when he was standing right there so I ran over and gave him a giant hug and a kiss before he had a chance to reply to his dad.

“I am happy. He makes me happy. He treats me pretty well.”

Dad started to correct me, but before he could get the first word out Mom interrupted and asked him to help her carry food to the formal dining room. Which is where we had quite possibly the most awkward Christmas family dinner I’ve ever participated in. I felt really bad for my ex at the time because his level of abuse, dishonesty and other shenanigans hadn’t yet come to light.

Looking back on this exchange later, when I’m older and wiser I understand that his parents weren’t actually being cruel or insensitive, but merely trying to hold their son accountable for his behavior. He wasn’t treating me well, he wasn’t loyal or honest and I didn’t deserve to be miserable even though I didn’t yet understand that I was. Back in the day I took it very personally that his parents kept encouraging him to end the relationship. That’s the biggest reason why I never took the initiative to get to know them outside of basic pleasantries. I loved their son and listening to his bullshit about them never caring about him, or never loving him (ie never enabling him) I really had no interest in knowing them at all.

Which is one of my only regrets about how the entire relationship with their son panned out. I wish I had taken the opportunity to invest in building a relationship with them outside of their son. I wish I would have asked about his dad’s military career accomplishments, I wish I would have met his mom for lunch even if she did think less of my jeans, and I wish I would have really listened to his sister when she was sharing her experiences about her own life.

Anyway… can’t go back in time and change it now so: long story short(ish) the relationship ended and when it did I didn’t bother to keep the jewelry his mom gave me. I wrote about it back in December of last year I think… A friend of mine asked for the pendant and I gave it to her. The earrings disappeared in the shuffle of moving a million times during my young adulthood, but I never particularly cared until recently. Almost 12 years later lol.

Ever since I realized the true sentimental value I’ve been looking to replace them. Mostly the necklace since I can wear it at work and don’t have to worry about this kids running off with it. The earrings would be nice but impractical until the kids get older. I’ve been searching high and low all over the internet hoping to find something similar if not an exact match for almost a year now. It’s not something that I really put a whole bunch of effort into, but here and there when I have a moment to browse shopping sites I’ll look for them. I still haven’t found anything exactly like what I lost, but I did find this which is fairly close.

It’s sterling, the kanji is the same so I figured it was about as close as I could get after months of unfruitful searching. It was definitely better quality than all the costume jewelry alternatives that kept populating my search results so I bought it. After it shipped from the seller I discovered that it’s even closer than I thought. The damn thing is from Central Ohio, and the seller acquired it in a large lot of vintage old stock at an auction.

Excuse me while my BRAIN EXPLODES. Like I said it isn’t an exact match to my original set. Those were round, sterling and gold. This is square and completely sterling that’s tarnished to have a black patina behind the kanji. If anything it just happened to be made by the same designer/artisan but still… I’ve searched high and low for almost an entire year literally across the globe to find nothing even remotely close to my originals until this thing pops up in Central Ohio auctioned off in a lot. The seller didn’t remember the exact details of the auction, but she’s had it for a while.

It does make me wonder… the last time I spoke my ex’s mom she said she wanted to have lunch because she had something for me and wanted me to call her so we could get together. I never followed through with the phone call, and never spoke to her again after that. Since I’ve never been able to find anything else like her gifts anywhere else besides Central Ohio and this was lost in storage for who knows how long before it made it to auction… well now. That’s one big af coincidence right there.

It’s kind of neat to think about. This tiny little charm finally finding its way to it’s home over a decade later… Of course realistically it probably is just one big af coincidence. Lol. It certainly would be amazing if this eventually found it’s way here after so many years, but I doubt it. It’s been well loved and maintained during it’s previous life. The edges are worn and the careful polishing over the years has left tell tale scuffs and buffs ingrained into the sterling. It brought someone else many years of happiness before it wound up in a box at auction.

Regardless of it’s origins it does give me an idea for a new book, and coming from Ohio adds a layer of whimsy to something already sentimental. Winning all around!

The Story of Kim

Once upon a time my ex told me the Story of Kim. Kim was allegedly his first girlfriend and they had a fairly lengthy relationship in high school. His mom absolutely adored Kim and was disappointed when the relationship finally came to an end. I heard a lot about Kim honestly lol. Never really enough to interact with her in any way, but kind of a lot for some random girl he used to date.

Anyway… I don’t know why this managed to stick with me so many years later. The details of the story itself I’m certain are exaggerated or embellished somewhere, but there was enough truth there to prick my conscious when it crossed my mind recently.

Basically, in his outlandish yarn my ex also confessed to forcing himself on this girl. Sharing details with me of another sexual assault/rape more than likely to normalize the way he had been abusing me in our own relationship. Back then I wasn’t healthy enough or really aware enough to catch the inferences he shared with me. I just thought it was a crazy story that was very on brand for my ex and the way our relationship worked. It wasn’t the first story I’d heard about a former partner and it wouldn’t be the last.

Now, being healthy and socially aware of how he essentially confessed to another rape it made me worry about her. Which sounds absolutely insane. I know. Why the hell should I be worried about this woman whom I’ve never met and only really know because the ex boyfriend who still (?!) will not leave me alone always talked about her?? My concern was mostly born from the way my he chose to end the story.

The story goes like this: he snuck over to Kim’s place while her mom was out running errands. They ended up in her room, one thing lead to another and while Kim wasn’t interested in actually having sex my ex decided that he was. So my ex gets his way through coercion but Kim’s mom comes home early and Kim freaks out putting herself and my ex in a compromising position.

Mom comes up to the room to see what all the commotion is about and catches them. Awkward phone calls and conversations ensue, Kim is ashamed and embarrassed by it all and never speaks to my ex again. She eventually dropped out of school and disappeared. That was it as he told it with most of the embellishments and details left out.

Me being empathetic me immediately felt awful for this girl even back then. My ex nonchalantly brushed it all off (of course) like it was no big deal and insisted that Kim just didn’t want to be embarrassed at school. At the time I thought that made sense, but now realizing the fact that he actually assaulted/raped this girl believing she eventually dropped out of school concerned me. What if she didn’t have the support she needed? What if she fell into a spiral of depression and substance abuse? What happened to Kim??

So I set about finding her a few days ago, and in the process sifting through more of the bullshit my ex left behind. I don’t really know why I felt compelled to look for her. It’s not like I could help if she was struggling or ask what happened between them, but my mind would not let it go so…I found her. Or at least I found someone that matches what I remember but now knowing how entirely full of shit my ex actually is the person I found could just be a random classmate. He’s attracted to a very specific type and this girl matches his type in addition to the other random details I remembered about her. For the sake of my own sanity, I’m going to assume it’s the right Kim. Lol. Mostly because she’s doing quite well at least as much as she chooses to share on social media. She didn’t drop out, and went on to finish college and begin her career not long after. That gives the Story of Kim as I “knew” her a very happy ending, and gives me peace of mind. Yay, Kim!

Ugh, more tangled webs from my ex. Going back each time a random memory won’t leave me alone, now (without my rose colored glasses) some of his lies actually make sense but the majority just don’t. The Story of Kim is one of those that just doesn’t make any fucking sense. It was like he wanted to confess, but couldn’t bring himself to really say the words. Kind of like the way he started to break up with me so many times; then took it all back and wouldn’t let me leave. The same was he started to tell me how sick he really was so many times; then denied it in the next breath. In our most recent argument the man lied about lying to me. So… yeah. I don’t know.

Maybe he only talked about Kim so much while we were together because the circumstances between us reminded him of what happened with Kim. Maybe it was only because both of our names start with K. Lol. God only knows. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Wild Weekend

Friday afternoon after enduring a particularly hectic shift at work Thursday I got a call from my husband about five minutes before she was due to arrive in the driveway after leaving work. I have his departure and arrival times down to a science because he doesn’t have his phone when he’s riding his bike. Getting phone calls from him at any point after the “I’m leaving now” text and hearing him pull into the driveway is nerve wrecking.

Especially when he says: “Hi. I’m checking to see if I’m leaking anywhere and the bike still runs. I about got hit by a semi.”

Part of me wanted to scream, part of me couldn’t breathe enough to form a scream, and the rest of me was trying to be logical and thought “well he’s calling me so he can’t be hurt too badly”.

Needless to say Hubs survived a near miss. He did a little off roading, bruised a hip pretty badly, and we still haven’t had a chance to get his bike in to the shop. But he’s alive, and mostly unscathed.

Apparently he was coming up on an intersection and a semi driver didn’t see him. The semi swung out completely into Hubs’ oncoming traffic lane and came within six inches of a head on collision with Hubs. Hubs could have touched the front bumper if he hadn’t been busy careening into the four foot deep ditch and hanging on for dear fucking life as his bike rocketed up into the air at least twice before he could come to a complete stop in the middle of a random driveway.

Hubs was traveling at 50mph somehow managed to hang onto his bike, and safely come to a stop even through the ditch going airborne and 1/4 mile of slick grass. I don’t know how he managed to do it. Hubs doesn’t even know how he managed to do it, but my God he did.

Only one car stopped to see if he was okay. Six others flew past without a second thought, and the driver of the semi took tf off. Thankfully Hubs called and filed a police report, and we have the name of the trucking company. Boy they are going to get an earful when they open tomorrow let me tell you.

So this all happens at about 3:15pm. Little is scheduled to get out of school at 3:40pm and Hubs needed me to come up and meet him at the accident site while he filled out the police report. Well I don’t know that he needed me there, but he wanted me there and I wanted to be there with him so I snatched the boys out of their beds tossed them into the car in their boxers and took off before I really noticed the time. Thankfully Little’s school was on the way to the accident site and I was able to pick her up early.

I called the school office and said that her father had been in a minor motorcycle accident and she needed to leave immediately. The office staff had her called down and waiting for me when I arrived, carrying both boys in their undies into the office waiting room. The staff didn’t tell Little why she had to leave early and instead left that up to me. Me, the frazzled mom with two 40+lbs half naked toddlers, one in each arm, with an upset confused first grader asking a millionty questions.

Somefnhow I managed to remain calm, sign my big kid out while holding on to my little kids, and explain that Hubs had been in an accident but he was okay. Little took the news really well, which is a testament to my own ability to somehow remain calm during all of this.

Of course as soon as I get all the kids back to the car and into their car seats Hubs calls. He doesn’t need me anymore, the officer took his information and filed the report. Hubs didn’t need obvious medical attention, and the bike was running enough to at least get Hubs home. So that’s where we went.

We all went home.

And once we arrived safely, we stayed there all evening as the shock wore off. I’m still not sure if it’s really sank in. The gravity of the situation I mean. Hubs almost fn died Friday night and I can’t quite wrap my head around it.

I don’t even know how to articulate how I’m feeling/felt because I didn’t. In the moment after so much other stress piling up over the week I just didn’t feel a thing. Which I’m sure will come back to bite me here in a day or two. Probably when he leaves for work in a few hours actually.

Idk… all I know is that this was one wild weekend.

Focus

One of the only good things about enduring boat loads of trauma in my 32 years is my ability to think clearly during a crisis. After whatever crisis my body goes haywire lol, but in the middle of it I’m calm, clear headed, and quick thinking. It’s very beneficial for parenting and dealing with various injuries, but it’s also beneficial for being able to help others.

A coworker of mine has a medical condition that causes loss of consciousness and seizures every once and a while. She’s had a few incidents at work before, but I’ve never been there to witness it until last night.

I’m pretty proud of my crew overall honestly. Everyone reacted really well. No one really panicked, and we managed to shut the restaurant down in a few minutes to give the EMTs room to work. Everyone did exactly what they needed to do and we used our teamwork skills to accomplish it as quickly as possible. One person called her family, one person called 911 and myself and two other team members rolled her onto her side and protected her head as best as we could during her convulsions without restricting her movements.

She’s not a small person height wise and fell sideways in the kitchen basically pinned between the boards where we make the orders and the stand up freezers where we store the ingredients to make the orders. It’s about a four foot hallway-ish space and she is a 6ft plus person. The other person helping man the boards who’s shorter than I am managed to catch her before she hit the floor which was quite an impressive feat.

She’s doing well. She came out of the seizure and other than the underlying condition I’m not aware of anything else that really triggered the incident so all things considered it ended well.

I’ve worked in food service for a long time, and I’ve encountered a millionty different emergencies. This one was handled by far the best by the entire crew. Front of house and back of house staff. There wasn’t any “BUT SALES WTF?!” from the upper management, and no one even hesitated to close early to assist our fallen team member. AND once it was all said and done and the EMTs arrived my team stepped back and went right back to task like we handled emergencies as part of our normal routine every day. A few hugs were exchanged, a few stress tears were shed, we paused to check in with everyone; then we picked up and finished our jobs.

This is why I love my job. It doesn’t have anything to do with what I actually spend my days with. It’s who I spend my days with. My entire team is on it at all times. Our priorities are the people who man the various restaurant positions before sales and as a bonus of taking care of our team we’re killing our sales goals, but that’s not our main focus and that makes all the difference.

Forgot to mention this earlier…

I made one phone call and took my own ass down to the local office in 2009 and took care of everything to do with my other past mistakes. I didn’t even need help from my dad… *ahem* to take responsibility for myself. That’s been done before I ever started to come to terms with the rape and abuse I endured with your husband.

It’s not in my book because my editor thought it distracted from the bigger story of overcoming the abuse. I’m not hiding from it and I don’t blog about it because ITS NOT HERE BOTHERING ME ALL THE DAMN TIME. It’s been done for ages and it rarely crosses my mind anymore.

He’s in California last time I heard by the way. We bumped into one another at Meijer a few years back before he moved. The conversation was very civil for a big alleged menace in my life. Everyone else moved up to Chicago, out to Montana or back to New York so it would take a hell of a lot of effort for them to trek back to Ohio just to egg my apartment or slash my tire. Much more effort than the almost 40 year old man child living just a few minutes away.

And you would think if someone else was really after me or really wanted money for something and they put all the effort, time and travel into getting to Ohio that they would have at least made sure they got some money before they left. But all my electronics, most of my prescriptions, debit cards, credit cards, all of that wasn’t even touched during the break in.

Damn, there’s that logic making an appearance again. 🤷🏻‍♀️

BUT… a lot like my memory repression, denial can be a bitch of a coping mechanism to overcome. So there’s no point to argue about this anymore. I know I already ended my long ass vlog with that; then came back with this. This is more for my own records though. Idgaf if you read or respond to it as long as the Vandalism Fairy doesn’t pay me a visit in the next few months.

For realz now. Lol. Nothing left to say. 😴😴😴

Simple Syrup

In an effort to cut back on my frivolous spending I decided to buy some flavored syrups and make my coffee at home vs buying it all the time. I bought little dispensers and made the entire adventure really cute and mindful etc etc etc.

The boys watched me fill the dispensers and place them where I thought they would be out of reach. This was my first mistake… two days later I walk into the kitchen to find most of my syrup spilled all over the floor and two very sticky three year olds. One dispenser was still mostly full so I put it back on the counter and forgot about it until I went to make my drink this morning.

Champ, my youngest, was standing right next to me as I pulled the syrup out and put my usual “pumps” into the cup before filling it with coffee. I stirred it around and took a sip, but I couldn’t taste the syrup so I poured a little bit more in and received the same result. As I was doing this Champ started to giggle.

Hearing his sly little giggle made me turn from my coffee to my son and ask: “Champ, is this water?” Before pulling the pump out to get a taste of the “syrup” itself.

He laughed his adorable little HAHAHAHAHAH laugh and replied: “Yes.”

My not even four year old genius child replaced my syrup with water so he wouldn’t get in trouble for drinking it. 🤦🏻‍♀️ HE’S NOT EVEN FOUR YEARS OLD YET. How he already possesses the capacity to problem solve in that way I have no idea. I just know I’m in trouble if he can already be so sneaky.

Boxes

One of the best skills I’ve mastered in recent years after beginning my EMDR is the ability to compartmentalize my emotions. Instead of having everything explode and fester indefinitely, I’m able to feel them and then pack them up and put them away.

Fighting with my ex or his wife is entirely pointless. I’m aware of how pointless it actually is, and yet I choose to engage with them at certain intervals to keep them away from my family. It seems a bit counter intuitive to engage with their bullshit to keep them away, yes, I know but this is just what I’ve learned over the course of this 12/13ish year battle.

When they can take my blog and parade it around for their own validation it satisfies them for the moment. I might look foolish, but that’s really what they want. They want to use my emotions and reactions against me. Sometimes I give them what they want. In the past it was indefinite, now it lasts only for a moment before packing it away and living the rest of my life.

Even Hubs has noticed how much of a change I’ve made recently. Even just two years ago if I had a pissing contest with my ex it would have sent me into a dark emotional spiral for several days if not weeks and required an appointment with my therapist. It would have triggered flashbacks and intrusive thoughts and I would have had to really try to crawl out of it.

This time? I wrote my response to appease him in five minutes after I got home from work, took a deep breath, shook it off and spent the rest of the evening outside playing with my kids. I got to watch my daughter ride her bike without training wheels for the first time, play ball with my son, and enjoy a hotdog on a blanket in the grass with all of the kiddos for an impromptu back yard picnic.

Hubs and I watched a movie, laughed together about my ex and his antics; and went to bed. This is the first time I’ve really revisited the entire thing. My usual allotted “free writing time” in between work, school, kids and everything else.

It’s a huge personal victory in all honesty, and I’m damn proud of myself for reaching this point. There is a little bit of guilt/uncertainty about engaging with my ex at all. Right now it seems like the best solution, even though I’m aware that in most ways it contributes to the overall problem. It’s like a choosing between a bullet or poison. Both of them will kill you, but one is faster than the other. Right now I’m opting for poison until I can find another solution that doesn’t require me giving in to his demands, or sacrificing the safety of my family.

It is what it is for now, and I’m putting it back in the box until we fight again. Surely there is some other gullible rube out there he can swoon with his bullshit who’s reactions will have a sweeter taste than my own.

Here We Go

Boy you two really need to talk before you post stuff conflicting one another’s version of events. She’s the one who tried to claim your parents gave you an alibi. Public post. December 2018. I have the screen shot. Go look. I never had any issues with your parents while we lived in the apartment, nor did I ever approach them when I saw them out in town BECAUSE I RESPECT THEM AND THEIR PRIVACY. Of *course* they don’t care or remember three years later. That’s the entire point!! You are being completely ridiculous.

We do this every year. Your wife gets on my nerves, I tell her off, she gets upset; then gets you all wound up and pissed off at me for calling her out and then you do stupid impulsive things to get me back and defend her honor. 🤦🏻‍♀️ If you actually read what I wrote last month, you’ll see that is *exactly* what I already said.

Also… I already took care of my other debts years ago. Nice deflection, but I still believe my kid. She’d never seen you before and she picks you out of a line up every damn time. Even the old ass picture I found of us at Christmas: she knew. If it wasn’t you in my apartment, I guess you have an Uzbek clone with a matching mole. Which isn’t actually hidden by the beard btw. Obscured, maybe but not hidden.

ONE MORE THING: you, your name, her name, and anything to do with you is black listed from the blog. You can comment all day long and WordPress automatically deletes it. Why? So you can’t accuse me of violating your privacy by posting your legal names all over the place and tying your damn self to my writing. I’m protecting your identities because it’s the decent thing to do. Integrity. You should try it.

Ask your dad about that.