choosing to survive

except
i chose to be alone
i did
i did not
i did not choose
for my ex-husband to be an 
asshole
but i did choose
to live without an asshole
in my life
which meant
i was left all alone
& lonely
i accept that i have ultimately
made that choice
& am also
choosing
not to simply let anyone
any warm body
be
the company
i so desire
so
yes
i choose
to be alone
even if
i would rather not
be
lonely.

i felt that it was important for me to acknowledge this to myself. to know that i am not just a victim of my life. i make choices to try to be stronger & to try to heal the pain and damage i have suffered. though i believe my decisions of late will help me in the long run, that doesn’t mean i enjoy the immediate effects of them. 

meanwhile, i went to iowa city to check out their developing eco-village. it was beautiful & the people were really cool…but i do not have anywhere near to the money i would need as it requires actually buying a flat or duplex. 
i will talk to them to see if there are any options for a broke-ass mama like me…but i don’t think it is someplace i can move to anytime soon. so i am still trying to figure out my next move, a move back to community and away from the isolation of my homestead.
but i was happy to–briefly–be back in iowa city. i wish i had never left. 
i wonder what that parallel universe looks like….

on the topic of money. i have decided that i have to actually demand child support from my ex-fucker. i mean, dur. or rather, i shouldn’t even have to demand it–he should just be paying it. but that is not ever going to happen. he is paying just a token amount because i let him get away with that & now he actually has a job where he could afford to pay more…but he is not. he is not supporting his children because he doesn’t think he should have to. 
this makes me so sad. 
and i really do hate being the heavy.
and he is so good at making me feel like shit whenever he puts me in the position where i have to ask him for anything. 
oh! 
and i did tell him, when we did the minion swap, that if i were using him as a punching bag (as he likes to accuse me) that would mean i was angry about something else & taking it out on him. 
i let him know that he is not my punching bag because the anger i am directing at him is anger that i have at him–my frustration with him…appropriately directed at him.
fucking manipulative motherfucker. 

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tumbling down

i have lived my life
like falling down
a flight
of stairs
except
of course
i was totally pushed
or
at least
tripped
before i fell into my own life
half-assed
&
so totally
not
paying attention
hitting each step
as i fell
(i’m picturing one of those
circular, iron
staircases
you know
one with lots & lots & lots
of unyielding steps)
now i am
sprawled
at the bottom
of my own
life
…fuck it
time to get up
i guess.

so i was living in madison, wisconsin, attending UW madison, studying art & writing. i was pretty happy…except dusty didn’t like to work & did like to have girlfriends on the side.
i was having trouble affording rent in madison…and was losing myself to my fucked up relationship with dusty.
i told dusty he could choose between his girlfriend & me, the mother of his children & his supposed soul mate.
i told him i would leave madison if he did not choose me.
he did not choose me.
so as 2015 ended & 2016 began, i packed up the minions & moved 2 hours north to rent from a friend in manitowoc, wisconsin. there i started to get involved with the grocery co-op they were starting as well as getting involved in the local farm to school program & the local community garden. i felt like i was finally finding the community i wanted to be in.
six months in, after learning that my parent’s place was available to me, my “friend” kicked me out of her house. i still don’t know why. but dusty (who since i had left him all of a sudden decided to choose me) was on board with moving to illinois and had me convinced that the end of times was coming with the 2016 election. did i want to homestead–or was it a reaction to an unstable economy & society? a paranoia that dusty fed every chance he got….
did i want to move to rural illinois…or did dusty? he came with me and lived here for six months before i kicked him out.

now i’m here alone with a yard full of animals that cost more than they benefit…with a house that is too much for me to care for…with no support system or community in sight….

and i’m pissed off.
i thought i was doing what i wanted to do, but looking back, i think i did what i had to do as well as what other people wanted me to do.
and i’m pissed off.

i know that i can live like this if i have to (butchering my own meat & raising livestock.) and i do want to continue with living sustainably and continue growing my own food, but i was doing that when i lived in town & had access to a community. i don’t have to isolate myself to bumfuck illinois to do that.

crap.
dusty always was good at covertly isolating me. now i’m locked in some fucking tower waiting for him to rescue me?
fuck that bullshit.
i’m building a ladder.

adrift

he is so good
at handing his problems
over to me
waiting for me to fix them
so he can blame me
when they just aren’t
fixed
does he even know
what i struggle with
every day?
he is so good at showing
his injuries to me
getting me to cry
over every little bump
& bruise
to his heart & soul
does he even see
how my injuries
bleed out
next to his
& leave me
empty?

okay. maybe you will understand. dusty thinks i have written him off because he was “honest” with me & told me about his still being in contact with hello kitty fuckface (not her real name.) he refuses to comprehend that the reason i am telling him to fuck the fuck off for good & forever is that fact that i have been asking him since 2013 to end his contact/relationship with her. that there should be absolutely no reason for him to be “honest” with me about her because she should not even be part of the equation.
five years.
five years of his using this other woman to manipulate me. holy fucking shit. why have i let him do this to me for five years?
seriously. what is the psychology behind that? am i a chump? a masochist? a desperate & lonely soul? that fucking desperate? that fucking delusional. that fucking dedicated to a happy ending?
what the ever-loving fuck.
and now i find myself having to learn to just walk away. it is so hard…so hard to just walk away. to suppress that urge to have the last word. to suppress that need for him to understand–to just fucking get it for once. i have to walk away. every word i say to him. every conversation i have–it’s the sticky strands of a spider web. his spider web. to keep me engaged…he just wants me to stay engaged…because then he somehow wins?
i don’t fucking know.
or fucking care at this point.
he keeps talking about how we need to talk…thing is, he never talks to me. he never listens to me…he just manipulates and plays me like a fucking pawn in his demented game.

guess what, motherfucker, i quit.

feeding the scavengers.

the predators
come at night
whether you believe in them
or not
the predators
come
at night is when
you should leave
little sacrifices
gifts
so that those
scavengers
know
they are welcome
if not wanted
that yours is a protected space
give them a little
but not too much
& send them
on their
way.

something is living in my compost. or, at least, visiting every night.
i bury things, he digs them up.
every night.
and i wonder if i should dig a deeper hole, or just leave the scraps on top and hope for the best.
he dug up the remains of the lambs (the remains of the lambs an anthony hopkins mash-up coming soon to a theater near you)…and digs them up again every time i try to put them to rest anew.
so the other night, i butchered a duck. i went ahead and did it on top of my compost and just left any unused parts laying out for my compost dweller.
my thinking is that if i keep the critter fed, it won’t set its sights on any living creatures in my yard.
is this faulty thinking?
i don’t think so.
there is enough for all of us…i can live & let live as long as my compost companion does the same.

in other scavenger news…
dusty will not stop texting me. fuck a fuck a fuck. seriously? he is trying to evoke a response from me, and i am seeing what he says for what it is–bait. manipulation. espousing his own reality as if it were fact.
it is nice to be able to spot the bullshit…but i wish i did not have to.
he is due to visit saturday morning through sunday for iggy’s birthday.
i am trying to mentally prepare myself…but mostly i just feel pissed off & stressed out & filled with dread.
then i remembered another fucking thing. april 22nd, the day after iggy’s birthday, is the 8 year antiversary of our divorce. i divorced him 8 years ago.
eight years.
why haven’t i managed to move further away from him in those 8 years????
but at least i’m moving now.
i’m moving now.
watch me go.

wondering

wonder
wondering
feel…feeling
so overwhelmed
by what goes on inside me
trying to decipher
this
chaos
what is good
what to hold
onto
what is bad
what to let
go?

i have let go of dusty. again.
i have no desire to have the same argument with him…explaining my feelings until i am blue in the face & he responds by saying, “yes, but…” and asking me to explain them again in a different way.
i’m done.
i am so done.
i have no desire to talk to him, to see him.

of course…this weekend iggy turns ten…and i have already invited him down/agreed to his coming down. with his sister & his sister’s girlfriend and their child.

how am i going to do this?
how am i going to not ruin iggy’s birthday?

sigh.

when he turned aggressive in a text exchange today, i simply turned off my phone. i do not want to engage with him anymore. he is too good at drawing me into a fight. he exhausted all efforts to appeal to my empathy…so then he just turned accusatory. it’s my fault…it’s all my fault.
oh, i remember this game.

so, again, how do i not ruin iggy’s birthday?

just leave me alone

you want me to be the mirror
to your healing
but i can only see the person
you have always been to me
you haven’t changed
you’ve just gotten better
at faking
you want me to be your validation
that you are
different
but i can only see the toxicity
the same toxicity
with more sugar coating
i know you are hurting
i know you are afraid
but i cannot save you
cannot heal you
cannot bear you
in my life
anymore.

dusty just won’t fucking stop. funny how once i wanted this attention so badly. once i would have eaten up his words as if they were the only thing keeping me alive. i wanted to hear him say these things to me so many times when he was cold to me. when he was treating my like second..third..last choice….

of course he is saying the words, but they are lies. he is saying the words, but if i don’t listen & respond & believe, he quickly switches back to the old script. the script where everything is my fault. the script of blame.

dusty can’t keep his disguise on with me for very long if i don’t play along.

he does this thing.
he will woo & woo & woo & flatter & lament his own faults & stupidity…and i will say “no, i’m not buying it. goodbye.”
and, literally, the very next thing out of his mouth is:

we need to decide what to do about the kids.

or something to that effect. something that triggers my anxiety about losing my minions. ever since fidgit was a baby–whenever things get rough & i say i am leaving:

i want the kids half-time.

why is that a go-to move if he is so eager to fix things between us? if i play along and pretend we have a future, he never pushes the child custody envelope. he never asks to see them more than one week out of a month. i know he loves seeing them, but he often resents them as well. yes, sometimes i resent them too–or no–not them–but my decision to have children with him. i resent that he has control over me via the kids. i resent that i do not have a partner willing to support me as i mother our children–willing to parent beside me, sharing the work of it equally. i resent that. being only human, sometimes my resentment effects my mothering…i wish it didn’t.

he has anxiety now. i never noticed it before. maybe it’s because he has cut back on his pot smoking?? but now he has terrible anxiety and it emerges as obsessive texts to me, begging me to talk to him. it is ridiculous. i mean, i am sorry he feels anxiety…i can remember trying to cling to him to ease the madness of my own anxiety…i wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  but i am trying to take care of four kids and a small homestead and a sick turkey and a neonatal kitten and a household of laundry, dishes, meals…and he is freaking out because i haven’t texted him right back.
half the time i don’t even know where my phone is.
i feel sad that i have learned not to let myself feel that need to soothe him.
i feel angry that after everything he has done to me he still turns to me to soothe him.
i feel hopeless that anything will ever change between us.
he says all the right words–but if they don’t work–he says all the wrong ones.
and he has rewritten our history to suit his own needs.
i think he might be delusional.
the alternative is too scary to think about…that he knows exactly what he is doing….

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