Where Do You Come From?

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I first began researching my genealogy while I was going through my divorce. I didn’t have a job at the time, so I figured it would keep me busy during my down time until I found a job, which didn’t take long. I began with my dad’s family on his mom’s side, which took me back to the late 1600s. When I researched one line back to England, I was hooked. I’ve been knee-deep in research eversince. My dad and I take turns researching. He’ll hit a wall and I pick up and take my turn at it and visa versa. We’ve had much success researching our family. My mom’s family has been the real challenge. Both of her parents are gone and although her mom’s family kept up with their family history, her dad’s family didn’t. Hence, the challenge. I’ve utilized many resources over the years and a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a DNA kit through Ancestry.com. I got my kit a week ago and sent it off the next day. I check my account daily to see if they’ve received it yet and begun to process it in the lab. I can’t wait to see what they find! If you’ve never researched your family history, or even had the desire to try, I encourage you to do so. I’ll admit that it can take quite some time to find what you’re looking for. I’ve turned it into a lifelong passion of mine, But I will tell you this, it can be very exciting and rewarding and something that you can pass down for generations! Happy hunting!

Remembering and Forgetting

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Today is my youngest daughter’s 17th birthday. If you have kids, you realize how quickly the years fly by. It dawned on me this morning as she was getting ready for school that her father, my ex-husband’s birthday was 4 weeks ago. I’ve always been one to help remind her of his birthday and Father’s day, even when he and I weren’t on good terms. My ex-husband is one who gets his feelings hurt easily. He’s always been one to get down on himself, he doesn’t have any self-esteem, absolutely no self-respect. Even when he was with SHB for all those years, I would remind Tater of those specific dates. Ironic that he gets his feelings hurt when he’s never had any regard for mine or how bad he’s hurt me during our marriage and after. And then, this morning I remembered his birthday. Oh darn, this year it completely slipped my mind. I’m sure he spent his day at his best friend’s house drinking beer and feeling sorry for himself.

Those of you that are new to my blog are wondering, I’m sure, how I can be so cold-hearted when it comes to him. You’re probably thinking I’m just another woman scorned. I was years ago, but I got over that long ago. I’ll give you a quick recap on my ex-husband. I met him when I was just 24, very inexperienced in life and especially dating. I was blown away by him. He had a child from a previous long-term relationship, his high school sweetheart. He portrayed himself as the dedicated, doting father and I fell for it. I fell for everything. He seemed like such a sweet, caring guy. Until I married him, he completely changed the day after we married. It was like he has a complete personality change and I married a stranger. It didn’t take me long to realize that he wasn’t a good parent at all. When it was his weekend, he would drop his daughter off at his parents house and never spend time with her, ever. He was and is very controlling, very jealous and very hurtful towards me with his words. He constantly put me down, very verbally abusive. He told me I would never find anyone else to love me. He was also sexually abusive – he made it a goal (no, seriously) to hurt me during sex so I could tell I’d had sex with him.

After we were married 2 years I got pregnant, he told me he wanted me to have an abortion. He said we weren’t ready, even though I already had 2 kids and he had 1. He said that we could have one in 5 years and if I didn’t want to have a baby with him, he’d find someone else to have it with. When I had our daughter, he wouldn’t call my family to let them know that I was in labor. In my family, we never missed being at the hospital for anyone in our family. He said it was late so we could call them in the morning. He said there wasn’t anything they could do anyway. His parents weren’t there, they hated me. I knew I was having a girl, but I didn’t tell him because I couldn’t handle the disappointed look on his face because he wanted a boy so badly. But I had to see that look anyway when she was born when my doctor announced that we had a girl. Once they took me to a room, my ex only complained about the room so I told him to go home, he did but I doubt that he actually went home. I spent the night in the hospital by myself, I should have taken that opportunity to call my family. The next morning my doctor told me that I was so anaemic that if it didn’t improve, he would have to do a blood transfusion on me. Luckily, it improved. When I got home from the hospital I was so weak for 3 weeks that I could barely walk or get out of bed. My ex told me that I needed to clean the house, that I wasn’t crippled. He took every opportunity to make fun of me, but that was all the time.

He cheated on me many times during those 4 years and didn’t really try to hide it from me. He was cruel. Even when I was pregnant with Tater. Our marriage, by law, lasted 5 years but I only stayed with him for 4. I left a week before Christmas, we’d just hit the 4 year mark 2 months earlier and it took me a year to pay off the attorney before the divorce could be finalized. There’s more to the story, but I won’t go on.

I will say that I must have fallen and hit my head or something when I took him back 3 years ago. I guess I suppressed all the bad memories, or maybe it was as simple as needing closure. What a nightmare. Anyway, I found over the on-and-off 2 years that we were together that he was still verbally abusive, only more subtle than before. He was also still sexually abusive. I ended up having to see a doctor after one of his…having to prove to himself what a ‘man’ he was and I had to lie to the doctor about how I got hurt. He would help his friends out financially or any other way he could no matter what it cost him. But, he would never do that for his wife and kids. Funny how that works out. His bff has borrowed thousands of dollars from him and has never paid him a penny back. But he keeps on helping while his bff spends his money on weed and whatever else he does. My ex keeps helping though.

For my daughter’s sake, I remained friends with him. Something to the effect of I didn’t want to kick someone while they were already down. Why? Because he had a drinking problem, and a pretty serious one. He may still have one but I’m not sure. A couple of months ago, I had a near-meltdown. I’ve had to help my two oldest kids out financially. One in college and the other with a young family. Needless to say, it put me in a big financial bind. I was desperate, which is not a good way to be. I turned to my ex, we were friends and he always said he’d do anything for me so I took him up on it. What he never told me is that there are stipulations when it comes to me, even though I’ve always been there for him no matter the circumstance. I was facing losing my home and I turned to him. He began getting ugly with me and took that opportunity to start putting me down. I got angry and told him I was sorry I turned to him. He apologized and said he would help. He also suggested I just quit paying on my house altogether because he thinks it’s a piece of junk, even though he lives in a trailer and I live in a very nice 100k home that only needs repainting. He told me that I got in over my head and suggested I file for bankruptcy. Something I didn’t feel comfortable doing, but I didn’t tell him that. Again, desperate. That was the stipulation, I do what he says or he wouldn’t help. He never came out and said that, but he didn’t have to. I’ve known him 20 years, enough said.

Tater’s prom night, he came over to take pictures of her. He called me about an hour after he left and asked if I did any research on bankruptcy. I told him I hadn’t. Hello, daughter…prom night? I haven’t heard from him since. I regret turning to him, not because he didn’t help, but because I sunk that low to turn to the person that didn’t want our daughter in the first place. The same person that resents me because the state takes child support out of his check because he wasn’t paying it on his own. The same person that, despite what our divorce papers say that were signed by a JUDGE, has never payed his half of all of our daughter’s medical bills. I am, however, proud to say that I pulled myself out of my hole and got caught up on everything without having to depend on anyone, especially him. And when I sell my house and I WILL sell my house, despite my ex telling me that no one will ever buy it, I’m going to shove it in his selfish, jerky face.

Oh, and so sorry that I forgot to remind our daughter that it was your birthday asshole. I guess you should have taken the time to be an actual father to her instead of just texting her ‘good morning’ every morning and never actually seeing her except for no more than an hour once a year even though you live 20 miles away. I hope your birthday was swell.

Some Things That Make Me Smile

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My cat Snowball

My cat Snowball

My favorite tree, and it's branches are filled with Honeysuckle...such an amazing smell.

My favorite tree, my Crepe Myrtle – and it’s branches are filled with Honeysuckle…such an amazing smell!

Texas State Capital

Texas State Capital

Looking up!

Looking up!

 

These are only a few of my favorite things. I added pics of the Capital because I think it’s beautiful. But, anytime I’m having a bad day, there are things that can bring a smile to my face. My fur-babies, a favorite smell, squirrels :), birds singing, daisies, a pretty sunset, rainbows. It’s always good to stop and appreciate what you have around you, even the little things 🙂

Closure

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This is something I’ve sought for the past 5 years, although I’ve spoken to no one about it. It all started 5 years ago when my oldest daughter found her sperm donor through the internet. She reached out to him and he came to town. For a brief time, we fell back into the possibility of an us, it didn’t work out. But on the upside, I finally got closure that I should have gotten 17 years before.

And then I allowed the ex-hubs to come back into my life. I didn’t go into it with the intention of getting closure, I truly gave it a chance. As time went on, part of me wondered if that’s all it was…allowing me to get closure from something that had gotten cut short, jsut as it had with my oldest daughter’s SD. I let the relationship continue until I jsut couldn’t stay in it any longer. This time it was a lot easier to walk away from than it was the first time. He’s a douchebag, always has been and part of me wishes that I would have seen it from the get-go, but I have a daughter from my only marriage that’s beautiful both inside and out, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Then I allowed an ex-bf to come back into my life, it lasted for a short while. At the time, I didn’t know what to expect from that but I went with it. I got closure from that time of my life that had once again evaded me years before. Even though I never got answers from him about why things happened the way that they did, as I had from the previous two, I don’t feel that I’m haunted by it all.

There is one that evades me and always will. My first love, I was barely 18 when I met him and hadn’t even been out of high school for a week. He’s the one that taught me what a relationship is, what love is. What I was willing to put up with and what I wasn’t. He’s the only man who ever proposed to me, even though there wasn’t a ring involved. He’s my first-born’s father and I ended our relationship 24 years ago after being off and on for 3 years. He wasn’t a part of my son’s life, but had he tried to be and kept himself clean, I would have let him. But sadly, he never really tried and I wasn’t going to force him. Had it not been for the drugs, I would have never left him. It killed me to do that, he had goodness in him that not everyone saw. I see a lot of his personality traits in my son. My son, now having a family of his own, has met his dad’s family. He’d met them once when he was 14, but they never pursued maintaining a relationship with him. Now, he doesn’t care if they maintain a presence in his life or not. They all met up again and he was able to introduce them all to his wife and his son. It’s amazing what a difference a baby makes in a family, even though knowing that my son is his dad’s only child.

His dad got really bad into drugs after we had broken up, even more so than what he was when we were together. He racked up a criminal record along the way and is now in a nursing home where people care for him. He has to use a walker too. There was a time when he was experiencing memory loss. I pray that it wasn’t the loss of having me in his life that pushed him over the edge. I never wanted that for him. I find myself living with a lot of guilt, for not sticking it out and seeing if he would turn things around for himself. I’ve told no one that. But I live with it. We both grew up here, so there’s always the memory of places we used to go. I’ll hear a song on the radio that will remind me of time we spent together. Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, basically any song from the late 80s, early 90s…they all remind me of him.

For a long time, I pushed it all to the back of my mind. I know that what he put me through was not good for me, he changed my life forever in more ways than I could ever imagine. But I have to learn to forgive myself, even though I know I gave it everything I could until I jsut couldn’t give anymore. I am thankful that I have the best part of him in my son and maybe, jsut maybe, his family who are notorious for keeping to themselves, won’t turn their backs on my son, and now his family, again. I asked for forgiveness long ago from God for walking away from that man who absolutely took my breath away jsut from the sight of him, from the very mention of his name, from him jsut looking at me like no one else ever has. Like he was looking straight through to my soul and saw me for who I was. Maybe, one of these days, I can forgive myself even though I was too inexperienced to recognize what was going on with him and not knowing how to help. I recognized back then that I was a co-dependent, but I didn’t see jsut how serious his situation really was and that it was only going to get worse. I only knew that I couldn’t let him drag me down with him. I hate that I couldn’t help and I think that’s what bothers me the most. It’s times like these that I have to remember the Serenity Prayer. This picture that I posted is a cross I have hanging on the wall in my room next to my  bedroom door. Of course, it’s only a part of the Serenity Prayer, but he’s the reason that cross hangs there.

 

Fast Forward Thirteen Months

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I’m single, and thankful that I am. Things with the ex-hubs jsut got to be too much. The always drinking, any time we went out…Bud Light for him, and me…unsweetened tea. Wherever we were or he was, he had a beer in his hand. He drank it like some people drink cokes. He’d wake up with a hangover every day. I remember one time he insisted on taking me to a concert at one of the local bars. People from work were there and he was drunk off his ass. He was hanging all over me and I asked him to stop because I don’t like it and people would stare. He’d get right in my face and say in his drunk voice ‘fuck them baby’. Ugh..jsut thinking about it. Last Christmas came around, I don’t even remember what he got me, if anything. All I do remember is that he acted as if my family had the plague and would barely interact with them. It made things awkward for everyone. He was that way any time he was around my family and they were always nothing but nice to him. He never spent any time with Tater, wouldn’t even call her. He’d jsut tell me to tell her that he loved her. Things jsut kept getting worse and worse. New Years…Valentine’s Day, with each holiday and birthday I was made to feel even more unimportant.

My oldest daughter had moved to the same town where the Hick (my ex-bf)  lives for school. The ex-hubs went with us. My son, my daughter’s bf, Tater and my daughter-in-law and her sister all went to see her off. I was having a hard time with it, she and I have always been close. We were all having a hard time with it, we were all crying. The ex didn’t understand why it was such a big deal and he was being an ass about it the whole time. I needed support and he was jsut being a dick. He said we were all acting like someone died. He was being his usual douchebag-self. That made a lasting impression on me.

The ex-bf, the Hick, in my life continued to stay in contact with me, as he always had. He told me that he missed me and kept asking me to come see him. I finally gave in around the end of March. I had made plans to go visit my daughter, but then the ex-hubs decided he wanted to go four-wheeling, but I’m not into that kind of thing. (With him, it was always what he wanted to do, never cared much for what I wanted.) Imagine, him putting himself before my kid! He wanted me to go because he said he knew I ‘like nature’ and all. I got sick the night before we were supposed to go, thank goodness. I wasn’t faking either, I was seriously sick. Maybe I was physically sick of him. So, he went without me. I was feeling better later that morning so I went to see my daughter. But while I was there, I went to see the Hick..the first time in 8 years. It was good to see him, I missed his face.

I saw the ex-hubs 3 days later and I broke things off with him. I gave him back his ring, cried a few tears, but they were more of tears of freedom than sorrow. He continued drinking, would send me drunken text messages, call me and cuss me out for breaking his heart even though he never took care of mine. Tried his best to make me feel bad. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad it got. I was glad I had finally opened my eyes and got away. I went back to see the Hick the next weekend. That time he kissed me, many times. That wasn’t expected, he made me feel wanted. I missed that feeling from anyone. As soon as he kissed me I wondered why I had stayed with the ex-hubs for as long as I did. I wasn’t being treated the way I deserved or getting what I needed from him. I continued to see the Hick for the next 3 months. But the funny thing is, when I started visiting him, I stopped hearing from him. He used to text me all the time and send me stuff on FB. As soon as I started seeing him, nothing. Finally, one day he made my daughter a promise that she could come over and go fishing and didn’t follow through. He gave her this lame excuse. That evening, he texted me saying she didn’t show up like she was supposed to and he kept trying to text her but got nothing. I called her and asked, she said he texted her once and she didn’t answer. Now, you can screw me over, but when it involves my kids? That’s a big no-no. And that was that with him. Figures. I honestly expected more out of him. Maybe I thought too highly of myself that he would never treat me that way. Or, maybe I’m giving him too much credit…;)

 

 

My Bogie Boy

Rest in peace, sweet Bogie

 

Bogart was our Keeshond (pronounced Kaysaun). We’ve had him since he was a puppy. My sister purchased him from a breeder in Conroe, TX. I remember the day we went to pick him up, how the breeder taught us to brush him because he has an undercoat. My kids grew up with him. Four years ago, my sister moved into an apartment and couldn’t keep him, so he came to live with me and the girls. Everyone in our family loved him, we couldn’t have asked for a better family dog for my kids. I remember one time, we lived in a mobile home and we were all outside with him. Somebody stopped on the road in front of our house to look for something in their car. They left the door open and Bogie ran top speed and jumped in their car. One of the ladies in the car started screaming. He was so full of character like that. Brinkley, our sheltie and Bogie’s best friend, died on 12/11/08, 4 months after we bought our house. I was off that day and was taking Brinkley to the vet to have him checked out because one of the pads on his feet turned pink. I was going to get Brinkley and then pick up my daughter and we would take him together. She had declared he was her dog from the moment we brought him home. I had the leash in my hand and went out in the backyard and called him, but he didn’t come. I walked past the house and to my right, Brinkley was laying down and Bogie was laying right beside him. I called out to Brinkley again, but he didn’t come.  He had died and Bogie was there with him. That night, I kept Bogie inside. He slept on the floor in the living room and howled a very mournful howl in his sleep. I knew he missed his friend, they’d been together for years. We adopted a terrier a few months later. It wasn’t the same and neither was Bogie. There wasn’t that bond there and you could tell. He went from being a happy boy, playing with his friend, to an older boy. This past year, he started really going down hill. He started losing his hearing and would potty in the house. And then he started losing his eyesight. I have 2 steps going down into my living room. Each time, he’d trip on the steps. When he’d sleep, he’d whine in his sleep. He had arthritis and you could tell he wasn’t comfortable. I tried brushing him about 3 weeks ago. I had to hold him down to brush him because he kept trying to bite me from the discomfort. This morning I had my daughter ask my sister to take a look at him. She brought the medicine with her. She said it was time, he no longer had quality of life. I wanted him to go peacefully with his family by his side and not die alone. I’m glad Brinkley had him there by his side. This was a very tough decision for me to make. I called my mom and she cried too. We all loved him. He went peacefully and we cried the entire time. I’m going to miss my sweet Bogie boy. Now, he’s joined Brinkley on Rainbow Bridge and I’ll be happy to see them both when I get to the other side.

 

 

Oh the stress of it all…

bills…they’re never-ending. I have not-so-good credit. One house note takes up 85% of one paycheck, so I try to conserve half of my paycheck each time I get paid for my house note. A year ago, I got horribly behind, by 3 months. I’m not proud of it, but unexpected things come up that you jsut can’t foresee. I was scared out of my wits that they would take my house. But I called my mortgage company (aka the federal government) and explained my situation. Lucky for me, they put me on a workout agreement and I have held up my end of the bargain. I still have $1100 to pay back until I’m caught up and then my payment goes down a hundred bucks. I have a loan that I’m now two weeks past due on and my washer & dryer bill that I financed – the same amount of time behind. Yes, things are tough. Tater’s show choir teacher likes to spring things on us and gives us about a week notice that she’ll need how-ever-much money for whatever thing they have going on. The latest was their weekend retreat where they go 100 miles out-of-town for the weekend – $185. Out of my last check (which was this past Friday), I paid my house note, $48 for something unrelated at school and the $185 check that I jsut knew was going to go bouncy-bounce after looking at my bank account. I have $80 left in there and had overlooked that the check had already cleared. I didn’t know it because my bank failed to send me that nice little text letting me know that it had cleared. I didn’t find out until I checked my email this morning. SO has always been wonderful at keeping up with his finances so I’ve decided that I’m going to FINALLY take after his good example. That was there is never any doubt where I stand on my bank account. Sighs.

Two Years Ago…Yesterday….

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I let my guard down and accepted an invitation to go out with my ex-hubs. We’ve had a couple of rough spots along the way, and when I say rough spots, I mean a break from each other. But here we are today, still together. I look down at my left hand that displays his great-grandmother’s beautiful diamond ring and I feel honored that he chose to give it to me and not my replacement of 10 years. I’ve loved this man since I was 24 years old, in February it will be 20 years ago. I’m grateful to have him in my life. There are things about him I wish were different, but at the same time, when you love someone – it should be unconditionally and you love all the things about them. And I love him. He brought up us getting married again a few nights ago. Lots has happened in the past couple of months, good things and I knew it would stir something in him to start thinking about it again. On a sour note, I’ve realized that his bff’s gf is jsut like the habitual liar that I used to be friends with and permanently cut out of my life…in the sense that she likes stirring up trouble. Sighs. Anyway, I’ll give an update in the next few days on things that have been going on, but right now, I have to jump in the shower 🙂

Today in the world of Meh

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Yes, I’ve decided to post again. I haven’t felt like doing that much lately. But today, I have a few things to say. A couple of weeks ago, SO picked up Tater and they spent the afternoon together. I think it was good for them both. Afterwards, SO and I talked. He admitted that he’s been drinking a lot over the past few years. This started after his dad passed away. SO also has problems with depression, add the drink to it and you don’t get a good combination. It’s all turned him into a personal ball of destruction. I love SO, I have for many years…I jsut buried it deep inside myself for a long time. He and I actually talked about that a couple of nights ago. About everything.

Anyway, back to the story. He’s hidden from me the amount he’s been drinking. I had no idea that it got to the extent that it did. Until I started getting the mean, drunken text messages from him. A couple of weeks ago, he woke up one morning and everything hit him at once. That he was in a self-destruct mode and he was about to lose everything that mattered to him, especially me. He came clean about it all. I suspected, but I never knew for sure. I admitted to him that I have started putting my walls back and begun pulling away from him. I told him that it had all jsut became too much. He would no longer confide in me, he kept everything bottled inside because he didn’t want to burden me. I told him that yes, I have problems of my own. But my problems are monetary, his are emotional. And we’re supposed to share that with one another. He quit the amount of drinking that he had been, his fridge is now full of water instead of beer. I no longer see bucketfuls of beer bottles and cans sitting around. He was turning into an alcoholic and his health was in jeopardy. He admitted that he had woken up each day, all that time, hungover. I never knew. I knew something was going on, I jsut wasn’t sure what. I was confident he never cheated, and he didn’t. He was too busy drowning inside himself. Although I was pulling away from him, I didn’t want to walk away from him. And I’m glad I didn’t.

He and I both know that things won’t get back to normal right away. It will take time. I’ve lost trust in him and he knows it. But we are openly communicating with each other now, he said he likes waking up in the morning feeling good. He talks about the fact that his parents never raised him to be the way that he was and he knows they would have been disappointed in him. He’s behaving like SO again, not like this person that I didn’t even like or want to be around. I know that all of this will take time.

In other news, I’ve kept up my active pursuit to find another job. I applied exactly a week ago today with the largest home improvement store in the US. A couple of nights ago, I received an email from their Corporate recruiter wanting to set up a phone interview. I jsut got done with that a half hour ago. I would be making well over what I am now. He said if they want to move forward with me, I will hear from him by the end of the week or early next week. I’m praying this all turns out the way I want. I’m so excited! Y’all send good thoughts and vibes my way, please!