I’m back.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, for several reasons.  I’ve become quite focused on the book, and my writing has taken up most of my free time.  Between my two jobs, my writing, and dealing with my man, time just slips away, like the song says.  It’s summer now, and I have much to be grateful for.  I think it’s time to share some positive once again, and touch on some of the haunting negative that is not unique to me in any way, but is simply a part of life for many women who are addicts in the process of repairing a shattered life.

One great thing I can report, is that I have just returned from a trip to my hometown to watch my 17 year old daughter graduate from high school.  Because of lacking funds, I asked to crash at my ex husbands house for the five days of my visit, which he allowed.  Being a self proclaimed “living legend”, rocker, writer and (believe it or not) teacher,  he is also quite a drinker and smoker.  He took off from work for the length of my visit, and proceeded to stay completely inebriated the entire time. I didn’t mind at all, in fact it made things much easier for me in the long run.  However, he jumped at every opportunity to slag me to my daughter and her boyfriend who was staying there for a short while as well.   I took his verbal assault in  stride, having prepared myself for the onslaught of bitterness long before I hopped on the plane.

The house was filthy.  I cleaned and cleaned but never really got it right.  Since he was partying all week, my daughter, her many visiting friends and myself were privy to him prancing around in his underwear with a margarita in his hand, talking about amusing things such as the time I promised to have sex with him but gave him a blow job instead, and how pissed off he was by that.  Charming, right?  Believe me, I know, but that’s life in my world and I take it as it comes.  Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing…who’s to judge?  I do the best I can with what I have to work with.

So, it occurs to me, that although I was a bad person for many years, I was only marginally so when I was with him.  I did drugs, but with his blessing.  I tried to get clean, but he brought me more drugs.  I loved to get high, I’m an addict, so it was just impossible to refuse.  Our break up was actually brought on by his mother’s refusal to accept me. I had never been mean to her, or done anything bad that she ever knew of, but, as she put it, she “just didn’t like the way I looked.”  Unfortunately, my husband had what you might consider a sort of split life.  He was this offensive, hard rocking vulgar man in the world, and a momma’s boy at home.  He visited her constantly, and she drove him nuts about me.  After 10 years, the pressure drove us apart, piece by piece, heartbreak after heartbreak.  It didn’t help that I was a junkie, but we both were guilty of our indulgences, yet he remained a father because of his momma’s support, and I was basically paid to leave. It’s hard to explain, and probably even harder for any good mother to understand, but I hadn’t the fight in me anymore to do battle with him.  He could be so vicious, and he knew my weaknesses so well, that I became useless and depressed under the strain of his daily ranting.

As I scraped layers of rancid food out from under the microwave, and chipped layer after layer of blackened nastiness off of the stove top, I thought.  I thought and thought and thought.  Why?  Why do some people get all the breaks regardless of their choices, and others (like me) who would give their right arm to be supported through hard times, end up loosing everything, including their child?  I saw the conditions they were living in and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could have done better.  If I hadn’t been cast out and lost my child, I would never have ended up on the street doing what I did.  But as the saying goes, when you have nothing left, then you have nothing left to lose.  Once I experienced that loss, not once but twice, I lost hope in my life and lived as if I were already dead.  Being cast out of your family is the worst kind of emotional pain.  I just can’t describe it any more than that right now.

Despite this bitterness on my part, I have to say that my ex husband did manage somehow to raise a beautiful, smart and talented young lady, so, all in all, who am I to judge, I guess.  I still wish I hadn’t been driven out, but what’s done is done.  After the first day or so, he started to warm up to me, and I do believe that we somehow managed to bury the hatchet in many ways.  When you love someone, that love has a life of it’s own and never completely dies.  It may change forms, love and hate often tangling themselves up together, the mischievous little skallywags that they are.  Still, the love is there, and if it’s given a little consideration, it blooms once once again.  You can know in your heart that a portion of your life is over, but you can still hold on to the love that keeps you alive, even if it’s no longer in the present.

Okay..so what’s the “great” part of this, you ask?  Well, I was able to GET there, and reconnect with my daughter after years of being apart.  I saw her walk across that stage and receive her diploma and honors, and she was so proud and so happy to have us both there.  It was good.  It was in fact, absolutely amazing, and if it wasn’t for God and my new life here, it wouldn’t have been possible.  I hurt each day as I watched her in amazement, walking and talking and taking control of her surroundings quite often.  She is intelligent and in many ways a dominant type of person, which gives me a deep sense of confidence in her decisions and commitments.  She kept a sort of safe distance from me, while still maintaining a warmth between us.  It was tough, but a huge step forward after so many years apart.  She won’t be taken advantage of or stepped on, I can see that for sure.  She’s not at all like her mother, and everything like her father.  The only thing I think she may have inherited from me, is the heart not to harm anyone ever, at least not intentionally.  That’s one character her father lacks from time to time.

So, I’m back at home.  I’ve spent a lot of my trip on the phone with him, either texting or talking to him to reassure him that I’m not there to rekindle a romance with anyone.  He didn’t believe me and was quite worried that I would never come back.  He would write me poetry, then freak out when my I didn’t answer my phone right away.  It was exhausting to continuously have to coddle him while I was trying to work through my situation with my ex and daughter.  I made it through it all though, and once I got home, I was showered with love and almost smothering affection.  It was bordering on scary at times.  He gave me a Forever ring, the kind that has a ring inside a ring that spins inside of it.  He also gave me a pretty cross necklace, both of these gifts are things he has never done for anyone before.  Then, the very next day, the nightmare started all over again.  He took me out to dinner and got drunk and really abusive.  The gist of his tyraid was that I had somehow cheated on him when I was away.  This went on for days.  Each night has been a fight, each morning when he wakes up for work at 4:45 AM, he wakes me up to apologize and ask me if I”m going to leave him now.  Last night was a little better, I hope this will wear off.

Staying positive, I look at the beauty in my life and revel in it.  Today, as yesterday and the day before, I got to wake up after dosing off again when he left for work.   I open my front door, take a deep breath and walk through my little garden.  I took a bike ride to go tanning (I still give in to vanity quit a bit), and then a little trip to the garden store where I purchased odds and ends to round out and beautify my little personal Eden.  It’s truly euphoric for me to dig in the dirt and watch things grow and bloom.  We live in a low income, dirty little trailer park, but our space is an oasis.  For that I am so grateful.  I love the morning ritual of watering my treasures as the sun starts to heat up the day, and I am proud to be the kind of person who can take care of them and keep them alive and thriving.  My friendly ferrell cats come to watch me and rub  up against my legs, talking to me as I shovel out their breakfast, and I think…wow, I really could have been a good mom, if only someone had believed in me. But, I’m good now, and now is all there is.