2011 in Review

2011 Summary

This has been the hardest year for me to summarizeBecause it has been so ugly and distressing it has made me sick just re-reading about it all.

The ugliness starts at the end of 2010 when it became clear to me that my x-husband was again doing drugs, culminating at Christmas when he ended up stealing all of my son’s Christmas money.  I had to tell my son that his father is a drug addict; very painful, but had to be done.

My son has had such high hopes about his father living near us.  I hate the man for the pain he has caused my son, and dealing with all this has been an incredibly, disgustingly large part of my experience this year.  I have gradually cut him off more and more but even after significant periods of time with no contact when I finally start to breathe again, he always seems to suddenly jump into my space once more.  I find myself reacting instead of knowing how to proactively handle things.  It has been an excruciating year in this regard and has left me with self-doubt, self-recrimination, and anger – at him and at myself for somehow not being able to take charge of this situation instead of unwittingly letting myself be victimized.  It has been dreadful.

Child Support has stopped and because he no longer is contributing in any way to Dalton’s welfare, and since I was already cutting things close, this has been a substantial blow.

I did manage to start the year out good despite all that, but it didn’t take long for things to conspire to drag me down.

January

Dalton and I spent time on New Years with Louis & John.  I have been seeing Louis now for over a year, and although it hasn’t turned out exactly like I had hoped, Louis has been a good thing in my life.  He provides affection and companionship and has been a lot of help.  He is a good man.  I just find myself wishing that the relationship could be different somehow.  But I am grateful nonetheless.  He has joined in my family get-togethers and fits in really well.  I get irritated at myself for being dissatisfied.  But I feel that we have less in common than I had initially thought and I find myself sometimes wanting to go out alone to see what I can see.

And I have started out doing really well with setting myself goals and completing them, keeping to a balanced productive schedule, getting regular exercise.  I’ve been going to a free yoga class once a week, walking daily, doing a lot on the house and working a lot – January is always a busy bookkeeping month; just doing better in many ways – much more so than is usual for me this time of year.  Winter has never been my best time.  But I’ve been making progress in many ways – planning my days, using my time wisely and getting things done.  Experiencing and noting Gratitude, using my “31-point plan.”

When I attend “Goals Group” this month, I encounter major conflict re making money vs. creative goals; I experience surprising levels of pain and emotional distress.  Then I have some insights:  Am I experiencing fear?  Am I making excuses?  So I set the goal of working on my “Purvis” project to completion, no excuses I can do this.

I attack doing the illustrations with enthusiasm and am pleased by the results.

I apply for food stamps.  My main client has no work and cannot pay me, yikes.  I find myself wondering if I need to UP my ADHD meds.  I start taking the 2nd dose earlier with good results but then feel I could use more later… (And why then did I ever end up cutting the dose in half??????)

My “schedule” gets sidetracked all the time by Louis coming down to see me.  But he is good to me, gives me cash, buys me groceries.  I am starting to feel beholden to him.  What can I do?  It is all too hard.  Being sidetracked from my plans causes frustration and depression.

Then there is the day I guess I feel compassion for My X’s attempt to be a dad (and to fix his life) and I take a bag of groceries to him.  He couldn’t afford to feed Dalton breakfast when Dalton spent the night. (At least he still has a home at this point.) I have told his sisters what is going on.

February

I am still  doing my schedule of balanced goals (work, creative, house, etc.) and seem to do so until right after I complete the first illustration.  This coincides with increased difficulty dealing with x-husband and getting ready for Dalton’s birthday.  And maybe more importantly, I seem to be constantly engaged with trying to make things work financially on a day to day, dollar by dollar basis which consumes massive amounts of energy. But I manage to pull off a decent birthday for Dalton – although his dad takes all his Birthday Money and does not even give him a card.  But I did what I could.  No party this year, but all in all, we’re ok.

I realize I would not be making it if not for Louis.  But I feel like I am just a body to him.  That he does not really see value other than sex?  This is disturbing to me.  And this financial situation is extremely stressful.  But I am still doing the WORK, keeping that BALANCE.

And I’ve been six months now without smoking.

Finances are dire – My X is causing me too much stress.   I decide to apply to Bookkeeping jobs from Craig’s List – all I can find.  I type up a cover letter and get to it; do the same to CPA offices.

Dalton’s been sick a lot –  Stress over what his dad is doing most likely – and his dad owes him nearly $300.  We are very broke here.

I examine my concept of God and decide that I need something more concrete because I believe prayer works and have left myself without anyone to pray to.

Half way through the month I realize I have not been doing my 31 pt plan, I have been sleeping too much, not getting any exercise and I am depressed.  I haven’t been getting enough sunlight.  Dalton calls me lazy – but he’s been home sick so much – and with all these school holidays, I have no time to myself.

SB starts borrowing my car.  He’s been living at the Motel 6 now for weeks.  He had his car impounded.  He’s admitted to using drugs, messing up – says he’s sorry and determined to turn the page and live right.  I give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.  But I do not want him having my car.  He is so manipulative.  This is all so hard – for me and for Dalton.  I am in touch with his sisters again. All I know is he keeps getting money from somewhere.  It is one day at a time.  He gives me money for food here and there and I SO need it.  But my life, my time is being compromised big time.  I decide that if he starts using drugs again I will tell his sisters to ship him back to Kansas– it is their fault he is here in the first place.

I am working on my Purvis drawings, discover that my scanner does not scan the colors right – but my mother’s (in the kitchen) does just fine.  I use my laptop to connect to it and scan my drawings.  I learn how to edit them on the computer.

I hear from a CPA I marketed to; she wants to meet with me in the event she needs someone to refer clients to (and which I did do).  (But I’ve never heard back from her.)

I have an emotional meltdown one night at Group from the stress of dealing with my X and his manipulation and intrusion, Dalton’s behavior – due to his stress about his father, and the financial situation, and I fall apart.  I manage to go to Group anyway and am told I should just cut the man off completely – I have let him stomp all over me.

I just want things to be “normal” again.  I feel like I’m about to fracture into a million brittle little pieces, like glass under pressure.  But at least I’m still drawing, still doing what I need to, but it is so hard.  I am dreaming a lot.

To end the “X” nightmare, I end up, with Dalton, taking the man to Hercules to arrange release of his car and then to Richmond to get it.  I am angry beyond words but hopefully this is the end.

I keep borrowing money from Louis.  I think I owe him $1500 now.  This is the only way I have been able to manage paying the rent since my savings ran out last October.

March

Still hanging in there, trying to keep my ducks in a row.  Drawing is wonderful, I’m doing the Purvis illustrations one after the other.  But it appears that my “31 point plan” and daily goal setting/schedule drops by the wayside with the increase of stress due to dealing with lack of enough money and with my X’s intrusiveness.  I seem to be just trying to hang on and I throw myself into my art to the exclusion of much else.

My client is still struggling to pay me, but it’s coming in little by little.  Dalton is sick again… Then I get sick.

Still dealing with My X’s craziness.  Why?  He is a mess.  Poor Dalton. Dalton tells me that it would’ve been better if his dad had never moved out here.  At least when he was in Kansas he visited once a year and was able to show Dalton a good time.  Now he’s a disaster.

And I’ve begun to sleep in so late given the chance, it’s sort of awful.  I’m messing up.  Everything has just been so hard. Dalton’s been sick a lot.  But I am drawing!

Spring is coming, my hope arises.  I hear Mockingbirds singing, the plum trees are in bloom.  Hope arrives.  I am working a lot on my client’s year end/tax stuff.  Maybe I’ll have it done in time this year. Who knows when he will be able to pay me, but it still must be done and I have assured him of my continued loyalty to getting his tax work done.  He is grateful.  And he is a really nice guy, it is worth it.

I am seeing that my money always runs out mid-month.  The first couple weeks feel pretty good, we live right.  The last two weeks are tough – pinching pennies, going without, being worried and afraid.  It sucks.

Dalton’s having difficulty in school, with so much homework, more stress – he’s been home way too much.  I feel so bad for him so I haven’t been as hard on him as I perhaps should.  He is still doing ok with it all though – with his grades.  I think about how it was for me when I was a kid, I missed so much school – I was depressed and pretended I was sick.  I just could not face getting up and going to school.  Is that what this is?   And I am sleeping too much these days.

I agonize about what to do about Dalton’s father – Dalton still has hope, still wants to see him, but it invariably makes him miserable.  This is so hard, takes so much of my energy.  What to do…

I also wonder if Dalton would be better off in a different kind of school, it concerns me but perhaps he would do much better if I could remove all of this stress.  And having him home so much compromises my ability to do what I need to do.

My front door handle falls off.  Weird…. another pain in the butt to deal with…

It is raining a lot.  My brother comes over to fix the door handle.  I realize that every time I sit down these days, the cat wants to snuggle on my lap.  Now I know why it was always so hard for my mother to get up – she never wanted to remove the cat.  He is so sweet and warm.  And insistent!

Experiencing significant lethargy these days.  All I seem to be able to do is draw.  Working on these illustrations – almost like I’m obsessed.  Determined to finish this project.  Maybe it is a way out of my current situation – although I’m afraid to hope.

Spring Break – rains the whole time.  At Group I realize that part of my problem interrupting and talking so much is that I go a whole week without ever getting to talk to another adult.  Not good.

Dalton is frustrated about his room.  It’s small, it’s a mess.  I know, the whole house frustrates me.  I can’t seem to do anything about it though. Dalton is so hyper, cranky, driving me nuts.  Not getting enough sleep and complaining. Dalton is so angry at his dad.  So am I.  I entertain thoughts about HATE.  Do I need to hate him?  Is that beneficial in some way?  Molly says it is more likely that I have let him have power over me and am being a victim.  I think about this.  He has fucked up our lives and I hate him for hurting my son.  How dare he? And he has compromised my ability to be a good mom and provide a good life for my child.  I hate him.

I am depressed.  My tax refund comes in – yay.  I would really like to get my hair done.  But pay credit card instead.

I worry about Dalton having so many play dates, sleepovers and him missing school.

I want to get this house fixed up – when the weather changes I want to start having yard sales, getting rid of this stuff.  I ask if Corey will come help me do yard sales.  At least the first one, since I have never done this – nor have I attended any, except hers.

I am so sick of my X, I call Kansas child support – I am hoping they will extradite him.  But they won’t do anything.  He is in California now so they will close their case – I am urged to open the case here.  This is disappointing.  I want him GONE.

Dalton decides he doesn’t want to be with his dad on Wednesdays (for Group) so I arrange for him to be with my sister.

I take a break from drawing pigs and decide to draw peacocks.  (Except I never did really do much with this).  It seems when I am feeling bad, the only thing I can do is draw.  Am I avoiding?  I don’t know; when I am being plagued by something I can’t draw.  After I do something worthwhile, drawing seems like a reward.  It helps me get through the hard stuff I guess.

I am really feeling like a mess.  The advice I am getting in Group I am rejecting.  Like taking away Dalton’s cell phone so his dad cannot keep calling him – but I think that would be unfairly punishing Dalton when he is already being punished in this way.  It doesn’t seem right.  I am being too disruptive in Group.  I am starting to feel very insecure and misunderstood again.  This does not feel good.

And I am feeling so much grief for what my sister is going through – so worried about her husband, will he come through this?  It is so awful.  I feel for her.

I am so angry at having to expend energy being angry at my X.  I am confused about why I can’t seem to cut him off completely; I just can’t see how to do this.  This is causing so much conflict and interfering with how I am dealing with Group.  I need to see Molly individually to get a handle on this but how can I afford it?

April

The weather gets nice, I want so much to make things right again, to be able to live good, to feel good.  I need to solve this constant problem with finances, I am so sick of it.  I want to get on with things and live like I want to!  And sunshine feels so good…

My dysfunction a month or two ago when I was too wrecked to pick up Dalton from Corey and it was so complicated and confusing – caused her to really be angry at me – again.  But I talk about it with my sister and figure out what it was about.  I try to fix things with Corey.  I seem to have difficulties even dealing with friendship.  I am trying, I meet with Cindy, I ask forgiveness from Corey even though I feel justified by what I did.  It doesn’t matter.  Friendship matters.

I kind of grind to a halt Depressed, not sleeping well – sleeping during the day to compensate.  Not doing anything I should do, not working, not drawing, not working on the house or any of that.  I remember my “Emergency Kit” idea and work a little bit on that.  It helps.  I then get a little bit of work from someone who still has my Recorder ad from years ago.  Attorneys are strange….

I talk to my friend Cindy about stuff – she helps me see that I do not need to let my X derail me, to manipulate me or have my quality of life be so subject to what he does or does not do.  I need to accept that he is the way he is and will do what he does and not give it emotional weight or the ability to trash my boundaries and my life.  I can choose to do or react however I choose.  (I think I must have forgotten this directly after hearing it though.)

I am not sleeping well, not drawing at all.  I know I need to get back on track.  I am sleeping all the time and can’t get myself up.  I feel comatose half the time.  I read, contemplate doing an “illustrated journal.”  But feel I have nothing interesting in my life to draw and do not feel comfortable going somewhere to draw.  I think I would like an art class, or a writing class.  Or even an acting class.  All I am doing here is ruminating.  Turning into a couch potato.

I know I should get back to sticking to a schedule, getting some exercise.  My sleep habits are out of control.  I feel like I got ship-wrecked, capsized.  I have two big goals:  To finish my “Little Pig” book and to clean out this house.  I keep getting sidetracked.  I got derailed, but am determined to take it back.  I start making plans.  I am determined to FORCE balance back into my life.  And I manage to do all that – for a while at least.  But I am feeling so much inexplicable  FATIGUE.  And I always am afraid that I will slip back and fall out of it again at any time.  It is always at the tip of my awareness.  This sense that I am unable to build a habit and it will always be a situation of my concerted efforts at holding to a schedule are a hair away from just slipping by the wayside.

I also notice that I get almost manic about being busy when I do this and my weekends, unscheduled, become trying.  I realize I also need to plan my weekends – my free time – or else I end up at wits end.

I do some thinking about “Quality of Life” and realize it needs to be an intrinsic thing, not subject to external realities.  It is about being in the Here and Now – and not putting happiness off for a better situation.

My X is still lying to me about child support, so I keep hoping.  But why do I keep believing him?  The 2nd half of the month is still just HARD.  I end up spending a ton of time and energy trying to come up with money to survive.  But I am still being productive, getting things done.  Still walking, still working on the garage, working on my Purvis illustrations. And on work, billing my 8 hours a week.  I am also finding time for naps it seems.

But troubles with Dalton not getting his homework done and then being late to school puts my schedule behind and then dealing with money issues interferes and I get in a bad mood, discouraged, irritable.  Don’t do what I am “supposed to.”  It is frustrating.  But I am so far doing ok.  Getting up 8:30 or 9 on the weekends, being productive.  Getting increasingly TIRED though.  [I fear I might be staving off depression here]  I think I am getting better though at doing what I want to do in a intentional way – summoning the “muse.”  I am finding it can be done.  I think it just takes practice at focusing.  It takes INTENTION.  And it feels so powerful and gratifying when I do what I intend to do.

Then my X starts trying to impinge on me again but I refuse to help him.  It is hard enough to take care of me and my son.  He gets angry, storms off, is horrible.  I worry about how Dalton is dealing with this.  It occurs to me that maybe playing his violent video games is a good outlet for him.  He seems to be remarkably ok.  Better than me I guess.  I have no outlet for my anger and distress!  Maybe I should play video games and shoot bad people and aliens!  I could pretend they are my X.  Who knows, maybe Dalton does that.  I would not blame him.  He is such a good boy, such a great kid.  I love him so very much.  I hate his father.

May

Starts out not so good.  I feel kind of lost.  I am again being too disruptive in Group.  I feel humiliated, like I am just losing it completely.  I am not functioning well.  I am sitting on the sofa watching Home & Garden TV all day.  I realize that ambiguity is deadly to my productivity.  It immobilizes me.  Feeling powerless and helpless because I have no money and don’t know what will happen.

Mother’s Day: Dalton got up and made something sweet for me; gave it to me when I got up.  He is so sweet.  His dad is supposed to take him to breakfast this a.m.; Dalton asks me if I mind since it is M’s Day.  I say that it is ok, but after he talks to his dad on the phone he is in tears saying his dad lied to him again; said he had other plans. Dalton was heartbroken.  I hate that man for hurting my baby.

I get a client to do a resume for from Craig’s List ads.  And I’m trying to get with it to do a yard saleHaving motivation problems – fatigue, lethargy.  School is nearly out and I have not yet picked back up with my daily scheduling.

When it’s about money, I just go in circles:  lack of money, depression, fatigue, fear – and I stay stuck.  I have no belief that anything I do can make a difference.  I have always had financial problems even when I worked all the time.  If I go to work, I’ll still have financial problems but will not also be sacrificing my dreams and goals and my freedom.  And that does not feel very hopeful.  I have written tons about this issue – and for years.  It doesn’t ever seem to really change.  I just NEED a situation that WORKS for me!  Why is it so hard?

June

Group has ended for the summer – Molly is still letting me see her for group rates.  I am grateful.

I begin to take birth control pills to deal with hormones (and quit 6 months later).  It has made me feel kind of bloated and fat.  But I also think it has helped me quite a bit emotionally and with sleep.

I am now having trouble sleeping in late too much, especially with school out.  The weather is not like summer – still getting rain.

I am trying to get out more and be around people.  I am realizing how much I miss having friends, having a group of friends to hang out with sometimes.  I always just end up finding drunks.  But I keep hoping…

I realize that I am depressed again.  I try to take stock (other than it is raining in the middle of June, weird.  And I am feeling like my antidepressants are no longer working):

  • First, my mother died
  • My x-husband arrived
  • I quit smoking
  • Menopause
  • Financial problems
  • challenge of raising pre-adolescent boy
  • father is hindrance rather than help
  • sister’s husband may be dying
  • turned 50
  • started drawing
  • met a man
  • can’t seem to find myself

 I feel like I have fallen “out of time” somehow and am just hanging in the cracks, trying to move, but being unsuccessful, being stuck somehow.  I function at minimal, necessary levels.  That is all.

I realize I need to find something each day to look forward to.

And I realize I need to not get so annoyed when Dalton has a friend (Tyler) over.  It is ME, not them.  Unless it is them and then I simply do something about it.  Not really a problem.  It is ME being irritable.

I am taking vitamins – revised my web site.  Doing Purvis drawings.  Not working much, nor doing the house.  Sleeping in too much.  Wanting to do a yard saleI am really cranking out Purvis drawings.

July

I get Dalton in camp.  Having a lot of strange dreams…

I go to a children’s book writing conference in Sebastopol.  Wonderful and informative – I enjoyed it a lot.  Inspiring. I am nearly done with the illustrations for Purvis.  I am really focused on finishing this project.  I have sort of let everything go by the wayside to get this done.

The beginning of August is one whole year since quitting smoking.


Louis invites me and Dalton to go stay at a beach house near Bodega with him and John for the weekend.  It was nice.

I’m disappointed that I couldn’t provide a better summer for Dalton this year, but at least we got to do some things.

His dad is creating massive stress on us.


I finish my Purvis illustrations.
  Still having lots of weird dreams (including one in which I was dating a serial killer?)  I am ashamed of my house.  I feel guilty for spending so much time drawing when my house is so bad.  I hate life without drawing and I abhor housework.  I have to draw – I’ve wasted too many years.  And I STILL had a mess.

I am having thoughts  about how tired I am of struggling, of being poor, of having things be so unsatisfactory right now.  But then I get a visualization of myself transcending all of this, of having published my work doing what I love to do and enjoying some success.  being able to live better and not struggle like I have been, to feel better and find myself living well and able to remember the time – this time – of struggle as being a transition time, I am doing the work.  There is my sacrifice, but I am doing the work.

It’s scary though, the rewards may not come.  But I just cannot lose hope.  I try to schedule my time again but end up sleeping after taking Dalton to school – it is too hard.  I have these goals:

  • to look and feel better
  • to solve the computer frustration for both me and Dalton
  • to have a functional office/studio
  • for the house to be cleaned out and organized and feel free from all this
  • for my income to adequately exceed my expenses
  • to earn decent income from my art and writing/artistic endeavors
  • to be able to get a dog for Dalton

September

School has started.  Hard to believe Dalton is in 6th grade.

I try to jump-start my drawing again after finishing the Purvis pics and I draw these little cat things that I decide to turn into magnets.  Maybe these could sell.

I begin to have a problem with fleas in the house.

And I find myself unable to pay the total amount of the rent.  This is dreadful.

I start a new Group.  My X is still intruding on my life – borrowing my car now all the time.  Which ends when he gets my car impounded, causing me a real trial.  And Dalton has to walk to and from school – it takes a week to get the car back and about $800, some of which I have to get from Ken – owing him $975 for rent still.

The good news is that Ken is betterhe finally got a transplant.  And he comes and mows down all those big horrible weeds in the back yard – and I feel guilty.  I tried to deal with it, but …

I have cut off My X to the best of my ability at this point.  I focus on trying to finish up my Purvis book to be able to submit.  I put all my artwork up on my website.  I stopped taking the birth control pills.  I write to the author I met at the conference and ask her to review my manuscript.  I never hear from her.  I am putting a lot of thought and energy into how to sell these magnets.  I am feeling bad about my house.

I tell myself this has been about Process.  I have for 2 years been unable to get this house put into the shape I want and it has plagued me.  But for 2 years I have been going down this path of creative endeavor, always thinking that I need the appropriate environment in order to really be able to create and do what I want, but then I stop doing anything.  So I go back to creating, just feeling this lack of something in the back of my mind.  But there is this:  this path of creating has caused me to put aside other things for later – like I must reach this certain place in what I am doing before I can turn my attention to the other things.  And maybe this is just what the process is here – if I manage to sell my magnets, start earning some money from my efforts; publish my book and earn an advance – then that kind of success will give me the energy, the “space” in which I will be able to focus on making my environment better.  Right now I feel too much in limbo – can’t afford the rent; it’s like why do I want to go to the trouble of working on this house if I am not going to be able to stay here?  No matter what my common sense tells me, it just is apparently lodged there in my head and affecting my actions.  I feel like I am stuck until I have the security of knowing I can afford to stay here.  And the only way I know how to give myself a chance of that happening is by selling my creative work.  So I get obsessed.  But it is also scary and nerve-wracking.

I feel like I am on a “proving ground”  and so, this is my “process.”  And I decide that instead of viewing my creating now in the light of having wasted all these years when I could have been doing this – I need to look at it as that things maybe couldn’t have been any different and that THIS TIME, HERE is the right time for me to do this.  And in fact that is true because things ARE what they ARE.  You cannot change what WAS.  So thinking about it any other way, with regret, is just stupid.

And I know this is what I am supposed to do now – this is what I have always been meant to do, it just feels so right.

October

I do not know exactly when I stopped taking my 2nd dose of Concerta, but I am getting depressed.  I tell myself it is because I have not yet heard from the two people I sent my manuscript to.  I am not doing any drawing at all.  I am really out of sorts.  And lonely.

I am urged to make efforts to meet people and I start looking at this meetup.com.  I decide to join the walking thing – and I find community.  I didn’t even know what that was before.  I do the Aqus crawl, this is all new, but it is good.

I am suffering – having bad dreams about my failure to clean out this house and to pay my rent sufficiently.  It feels very bad.  But I’m trying to take some “baby steps” in the right direction.

Very depressed.

November

Very, very depressed.  I decide I need to take my meds as always though – why did I think I should cut it back?  My sister is going to help me with the house – and in fact she has started doing so.  I met with “landlord” Ken – he’s going to give me a chance – I will try to rent out my mother’s rooms with Cherie & Ken’s help.  I am trying to get help to pay December’s rent – so I can buy Christmas gifts, especially for my son.  It is nerve-wracking and depressing.

Thanksgiving is good.  I have a parent-teacher meeting and plan what to discuss in order to get help dealing with Dalton’s lack of organization, remembering, etc.; enlist teachers to assist.  My “dragon” story has stalled.  I seriously need a new computer.  So does Dalton.  It is horribly frustrating.

December

Still depressed.  Trying to function though – sort of numb actually.  I did manage to do another original Christmas Card though.  

I do not know how I am going to pay rent, get through Christmas – how I am going to do anything.  I have been feeling really stuck and do not know how to get through anythingPerhaps it is just time to LET GO.  Perhaps.

To summarize:

After my mother died, I felt so fragile – like a newborn chick, and then cautiously, I joyfully stepped forward on to the path of recreating myself and my world.  And it was wonderful and special, though tenuous – filled with delight. 

But then three huge BOULDERS thrust up through my little world and have ever since gotten in my way and made me ill – made my world threatening, ugly and scary; have interfered with my ability to pursue my goals; have set me back in personal progress.  Actually it is more like two Boulders and one Shark:  my x-husband is the Shark and the Boulders are Finance and the House.  And I feel so helpless where these things are concerned that I cannot even think straight.  I feel like I am drowning beneath the weight of these burdens.  And I have no energy left for anything else but just trying to survive and keep my head above water.  But I haven’t even done that adequately.  I hate it and am near despair about things ever being better.

In writing this Summary, I decided to highlight in color the places where I write about my x-husband, so I can clearly see the impact he has had on me this year, and it is substantial.  He has stomped all over my Boundaries and negatively affected nearly all areas of my life and well-being.

Because he was always calling and coming around and asking for things, it impacted severely on my ability to work and be productive.  It frequently derailed my schedule, compromised my goals and wasted my time.  It impacted on my home and possessions; he left trash in my yard, cigarette butts all over; he broke things, took things, and messed up my life all over the place.  He lied to me, manipulated and took advantage of me, verbally abused me and frequently disappointed and broke my son’s heart, and it all combined to leave me totally traumatized.

As for the state of my house, it is true that the house had already gotten in not-so-good shape before my mother died.  But it was different then, it was my mother’s house and it had not yet become the “boulder” it is now.  I think this whole thing is so emotionally charged and so connected with every other area of my life that it feels completely out of my control.  It has made me rather ILL and out of my mind.  It has become urgent because I have recently lost the ability to pay all the rent.  It’s like it got too hard and I just couldn’t do it anymore.  This has been awful.  Ever since my mother died, I have not felt like this is really my home.  I do not feel “ownership” here.  It is unsettling and unpleasant.  And it has started to affect my son in a negative way.  I think this whole situation has made me insane but I don’t really understand it.  I have beat myself up over it, over and over again.  Of course that does not help anything.  I feel humiliated and stupid and incompetent – sort of like how I feel about Money.  It is all connected.  And it makes me want to RUN Away!!!

But, with my sister’s help in cleaning/clearing it, and with Ken’s patience and help to rent out my mother’s rooms, then perhaps there is hope.  I cannot really see it or feel it yet, but there is hope.  

And my finances were not ever in very good shape either, but I did have more work, I was getting child support, and when I applied for and got SSDI I was hoping that this would make up the difference for what help I’d been getting from mother.  But things did not go in the direction I’d expected and instead I was left to handle what has become an impossible situation on my own.  There has been too much for me to know how to deal with.

I have done some amazing things this year– the least of which has been to again quit smoking.  I finished my children’s book.  I did all the illustrations; edited the manuscript.  I am pleased with it.  But now what do I do?  I created some “cat” magnets, filled with ideas for things – but I have crashed.  Have not done anything with my creative aspirations in months.  Real Life has crashed down on me like a ton of bricks and it is crushing me.  I try to still HOPE. 

And, interestingly, until this year, I did not even know what the word “Community” meant.  But without understanding, it seems I sought it out anyway.  And was amazed at what I found.  It has been a HUGE benefit.  I am not able to get involved as much as I’d like due to being a single parent – but I am being patient.  And I am grateful for what I have found.  I feel much less alone.  I have always needed this.  I just forgot. 

And with my x-husband, who moved here less than a year after I lost my mother, I never expected things to go the way they have with him either.  I feel completely shattered, traumatized.  I do not know what to do; I want to push these boulders back down to nothing – blow them up to smithereens.  I want my joyful little world again. 

I think I have lost all sense of safety, or permission, or freedom.  If I could just get rid of the boulders, I would feel such relief.  Right now I feel once again very worm-like.  I need help.

And THIS is my Unfinished Business.  There might be other things I need to deal with, but I do not think anything else matters until I fix the Boulders.  And get the Shark to stay away of course

The “theme” for this year?  I think it is HELP!  I just need HELP.  

 

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