Thursday, October 24, 2013

Never Good Enough

Lee hasn't even been gone a whole week, and I want him back.  I'm aching, begging, dying without him.

I see all these happy couples... happy families... and that's all I want.  I don't think it's too much to ask.  I just want to be with a man I adore, who adores me, and we can adore our kids together.  And I just want Lee to come HOME so that we can be that.  So we can have that.  That's all I've ever wanted.

We don't have that.  We can't have that.  He doesn't adore me, and I don't know if he ever did.  I don't adore him anymore.  Love him, yes.  Miss him, terribly.  Adore him, no.  I used to.

I just want my happily ever after.  I thought I HAD it, and it turns out it was all based on a lie.

And when I say I miss Lee, I DO miss him.  I miss him terribly.  I miss HIM... his goofiness, his silliness... the unique and myriad things that make Lee LEE.  But... I don't really miss him as he was... the selfishness... the me-first attitude.  That, I do not miss.

I miss the fantasy I had built in my head of how Lee was supposed to act, of what having a husband would be like.  And lets be clear, I don't think my fantasy was unreasonable.  I just pictured him taking care of me when life got hard.  I also pictured myself taking care of him when life got hard.

But after 6 years of always being asked to give, and never, ever receiving... after 6 years of always being told that what I was giving wasn't good enough, wasn't the exact right thing... wasn't grand enough, large enough, enough enough... That I wasn't giving enough, and I always needed to give more, more, more... and if I gave this much, THEN he would in turn have something to give to me... so I pushed myself to give that much, only to be told that I didn't do it right, and I needed to do it THIS way instead... after six years of turning myself inside out trying to give him ENOUGH so that I could get my needs met too... I have come to the realization.

It will never be my turn.

I will never be able to give enough. The bar will always be set higher.

I will never have my happily ever after... and we will never be a happy family.

Not without some changes.

Lee says I need to make some changes too.

To which I say.

You first.

It's my fucking turn.

And I miss you... God I miss you so much.  But the you I miss... isn't real and never was real... and never will be real.  Life without you sucks... and its hard... and we belong together in a way that I can't even begin to describe... and I miss you so fucking terribly sometimes I can't breathe...

You being gone sure as hell isn't getting my needs met either... but you being here... me constantly begging for scraps and crumbs and being told that I don't even deserve the scraps and crumbs you're throwing my way because I didn't take care of you good enough.

Fuck that. I'm done.


It is my turn.

Friday, October 18, 2013


So, it's official.  Lee is moving into his sisters' house on Sunday.  We've worked out a tentative child-sharing agreement, plan for child support... it all seems so formal.  And yet, it's not really formal.  We're not getting the courts involved just yet.  It's not OVER over... this is a last ditch effort to get both of us the space we need to heal individually.  We'll be getting couples counseling as soon as it can be arranged, and hopefully have regular date nights.

But I have to say... I don't have much hope.  And so the closer it gets to Sunday, the clingier I get.  The tighter I cling to Lee, desperately begging him to fix this so he doesn't have to leave... so I don't have to lose him.  The closer it gets to Sunday, the more I start wondering... was it really that bad... am I over-exaggerating... can't I live with how it was, wouldn't I rather live with how it was than live without him?

No. I wouldn't.  But I'm still broken-hearted that I'm going to lose him... and though it's hopefully temporary, I'm going into it with the mindset that it is probably forever.  I'm probably going to be saying goodbye to Lee as my husband forever.  Sunday will be the saddest day of my life.

And the motherfucker is EXCITED about leaving.  No, seriously, Lee is EXCITED about moving out for awhile. And I'll tell you why he's excited.  No, this isn't why HE says he's excited, but it's still the reason.  It's because his sisters are going to spoil him.  They're not going to make any demands of him, let him do whatever he wants, and probably do the bulk of the childcare FOR him during his parenting time.  He is going to have the cushiest life ever.  Meanwhile I'm going to have to go be a single parent with next to no support.  To two kids, because yes, I'm pregnant.  It wasn't on purpose, but we weren't exactly taking precautions either.  And I'm excited about this new kid, I love him or her, but what rotten timing.  I feel so guilty for bringing a child into this mess.  I'm going to have to struggle and stretch and go without... and he's going to have all his creature comforts handed to him on a fucking silver platter.  No wonder he's excited.

And I actually think, as far as struggling and stretching and making do goes, I'll be better off without Lee around to demand the impossible.  But still. Pregnant, with a toddler... on my own.  My life is going to get worse.  And his is going to get so. much. easier.  Fuck him.

Because a big part of the reason we're separating is because he doesn't get it.  He doesn't get the burden he places on me when he decides that his illness prevents him from being a functioning member of society.  Maybe it DOES.  Maybe it does.  But then he has to make sacrifices.  And he can't.  He wants it ALL... and he wants me to provide it ALL while he doesn't lift a finger.  Well, fuck that. I tried, for two years, to give that to him.  Bullshit. I can't DO it.  I can't.  I'm not superhuman.  But in leaving, I was hoping he would get it.  But he won't, because his sisters are going to take care of him and give him everything he wants.  So this is not going to be a learning experience to him of how hard it is to live in the real world and how much he was asking of me.  Nope.  Instead, he's going to get reinforced at how "mean" I am to insist he pull his own weight.  How "mean" I am to tell him that we just don't have the money in the budget for all his creature comforts.  How "mean" I am to tell him that after working and stressing and taking care of Olivia all day, I cannot ALSO clean the house even though a clean house is "so important" to his mental well-being.  How "mean" I am to not just accept him the way he is.

The clingier I get, the more self-righteous Lee gets.  The clingier I get, the more he tells me that I can keep him if I "do what it takes" to keep him.  Which he defines as "accepting" him.  As far as I can tell, "accepting" him means letting him do whatever he wants with no repercussions.  He says I need to take responsibility for my own part in all this.  And I agree, I do.  But as far as I can tell, the bulk of "my part" is insisting that he act like an adult instead of a spoiled child.  He thinks I'm punishing him.  I'm not.  I'm just not protecting him from the consequences of his own actions anymore.  This is how the real world works.  Learn to live in it, or learn to live without me.

Problem is, living without me seems easier for him than living without him is for me.  I'm leaving because it's my only currency to get him to start acting like a true partner.  Turns out, my currency isn't worth anything.  So, I still have to go, but it is KILLING me that it hurts me more than it hurts him.  I'm the one suffering.  He's looking forward to it.

But isn't that how it's been this entire marriage?  I suffer the consequences of his actions while he goes blithely on his way.  At least I'm not the one enabling him anymore.  Apparently I've just passed that job along to his sisters.

Friday, October 11, 2013

When It's All Over But The Crying

I can't start mourning the end of my marriage quite yet.  After all, it isn't over until the fat lady sings.  But, barring a miracle, the fat lady is warming up in the wings.  I just got a new job, one that will require me to move in the next couple months.  In all likelihood, I'll be moving by myself.

I can't... I can't even handle that thought right now.

And the thing that bothers me most is that to me it feels so inevitable.  I have given all there is to give.  I have bled, I have cried, I have tried. There is nothing more I can do. I cannot change the situation.  LEE has to change the situation.

But Lee acts like it's so inevitable too.  Like he's resigned himself to losing me.  And I'm SO ANGRY.  I want to shake him and scream at him and say "FIGHT!"  "FIGHT DAMN YOU!!!"  "It doesn't have to be this way.  It doesn't have to end this way.  It is entirely up to you.  It is in YOUR hands.  All you have to do is accept responsibility for the way you've treated me and change and make it right.  It's a tall order, but I don't think I'm asking too much.  I'm asking for you to be a partner. To treat me as an equal.  To love me as much as you love yourself.  To ask for more from this marriage then that I will exist to make your life as easy and pleasant as possible at my own expense.  FIGHT! Please... don't let me go... I don't WANT to go... I want to stay... I love you so much and I want nothing more than to stay and love you for the rest of my life... PLEASE fight for me!!!!"

But he won't, or can't, I'm not sure which.  Either way, it's the hardest thing to accept.  Because if he won't fight for me... then he doesn't really love me.  Oh, yes, he loves me but... not the way I need to be loved.  Not the way I deserve to be loved.  Not enough.  Enough to want me around when I make his life better but not enough to do the hard things it takes to keep me.  I am not worth the hardship to him.  And he is my everything... and I am going to lose my everything.

I think he thinks I could make this all go away if I would just shut up about it all.  But I can't.  My eyes have been opened and I can shut them no longer.  I can no longer bear all the burdens alone, put up with the nagging, the insults, the emotional control. I can no longer let his failings drag the whole family down with him.  I have to protect myself, and protect my kid.  I can't do it anymore.  Believe me, if I could, I almost would... it would almost be worth it not to lose him... when I love him so much and I'm losing my damn mind imagining a world without him in it.

But I can't. I deserve better. I know myself now, love myself now, respect myself now.  Problem is, I can't convince him that he's really done something so egregiously wrong.  And its the very fact that I can't convince him that makes the marriage so doomed.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Are Things Worth?

So, Olivia wants to be a dinosaur for Halloween.  And I've been searching for a dinosaur costume for her.  Most dinosaur costumes are cheap and flimsy and deliberately designed for boys.  And while I didn't MIND her wearing a boys costume, it was bugging me that all the dinosaur costumes were for boys.  Hello, girls like dinosaurs too, particularly my little girl who is OBSESSED with them right now.

I happened to stumble across a seller on Etsy who makes spiked dinosaur hoodies and strap-on tails.  I liked the idea immediately, because the hoodie would be something Olivia could wear all the time (and trust me, she will wear it all. the. time.) even after Halloween was over.  Also, we could customize the colors of the costume.  Only thing was, it was forty three dollars. Plus ten dollars shipping. Which is a lot of money for a Halloween costume, especially since we'll still have to buy a cheap pair of sweatpants to match, not that she can't get a lot of use out of a pair of black sweatpants.

So I weighed my options. I could buy this super-cute, customizable, reusable outfit for a lot of money, or I could go to a Halloween store and buy a flimsy, generic-looking costume that would be only used one day, but would cost me half as much.

We went with the Etsy seller.  Black, with pink and orange spikes.  Olivia loves pink and orange.  It's super adorable.

My mom took one look at the costume and said "it's cute, but you know it's not worth 50 dollars, right?"

Well, no, mom, I don't know that.  Shipping was 10 dollars.  That seems a reasonable price for shipping something bulky and awkward like the tail.  The materials themselves probably cost AT LEAST 20 dollars.  That only leaves about 20 dollars for the labor.  Now, I would guess this seller is fairly skilled and, since she makes a lot of them, can whip one out in a couple hours.  But that's still only about 10 dollars an hour, which is barely above minimum wage.  I don't know anything about this seller, but I imagine that this is something she does to supplement her family's income.  10 dollars an hour is MORE than reasonable and fair.

I'm really sick of people acting like other people's labor isn't worth anything.  That it would be unfair to raise minimum wage or pay fast food workers a living wage, because heaven forbid I pay a little bit extra for a burger.  That burger isn't worth that.

Maybe not, but people's lives are.  People deserve to make a living wage.  Labor costs are PART of what makes a product "worth" the money you spend on it.  Because when I spent $50 on that Halloween costume, I was paying for the costume, yes, but I was ALSO paying for the labor of the person involved in making it.  More than worth the money I spent.  Plus, I was supporting small business, rather than big box chains.  I was supporting someone who can demand her own wage and profits, rather than a company that makes tons of profits off the backs of workers in Indonesia or Bangladesh or where ever who live in horrible working conditions and make pennies a day.  Yeah, you'd better believe that's WORTH $50 to me.

Look, I'm pretty poor.  I don't always have the money to buy the fair trade, more ethical options.  And, the way our society is set up, I don't always even have the option to do so.  But whenever I can, I try to support small businesses, local if possible, or companies that I know treat their employees well rather than ones that treat them like dirt.  The way our society is set up, its almost impossible to avoid exploiting people when you make your consumption choices.  But I did NOT exploit the person who made my daughter's Halloween costume.

But you know what? It's not like I was thinking about all this global and ethical stuff when I made the purchase.  No, the seller just made a good product that was worth it to me to buy.

Worth $50 mom? Why yes, I think so! On every level.

If anybody who reads this is interested to know where to buy a super cute, customizable and practical dinosaur costume, check out

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why I'm a Feminist

So, I have a friend who doesn't believe I'm a feminist.  Mainly because he has the impression that feminists hate men, and I don't hate men.  But I don't want to paint him as a bad guy.  He's not, and he agrees that men and women should be equal.  I think, like a lot of men, he's a little blind to the ways that men and women are still not yet treated equally, things that women are naturally more sensitive to.  But we have rousing discussions and we still respect each other and its all good.

But I thought, for him, I'd try to write a post that explains what it means to me to be a feminist, and why I'm a feminist.

See, I have another friend, Seth.  Seth recently converted to the orthodox church, and he's been trying to sell Lee and I on it.  So I asked him a quite natural question.  Do they ordain women?  To me, this is one of the most important questions in deciding a church denomination, not as much for my sake but for my daughter's.  And it sounds like there's a lot to like about the orthodox church, but do they ordain women?

Seth's answer broke my heart.  "No, they don't.  I don't have any problems personally with female pastors.  Females can be great pastors.  But not a priest.  A priest is different, and a woman couldn't handle it."