The Valley

It’s taken me the better part of two hours this morning to get here and start writing. Overall, it’s taken me nearly a month to just go to this site, forget about writing anything. Since my last post, the DSS case was closed and E’s deferred sentence was over, so barring anyone doing anything really stupid, it looks like we pretty much have “the government” out of our lives. Oh…we did get a little help for the food budget with TANF every month, and of course, that will help and I’m grateful. I am working on budgeting, portioning, cooking things I know he will eat and not worrying about leftovers (unless it’s something I know I’ll eat later). But this isn’t a post about cooking or feeding a teenager. It’s so easy for me to get distracted into those things and veer away from what I really came here to write about.

Since that last post, and maybe longer, I don’t really know, I have been in a real slump. Nothing seems to matter. Apparently, the only things I really want to do are read (when I can stay awake long enough to be beyond two or three pages), watch TV or movies (I recently discovered Game of Thrones on Netflix…I’m a total fangirl now), and play on Facebook. I just can’t seem to get motivated to do much of anything else.

I did mange to get my bicycle here, thanks to a friend with a truck, so that is now set up in the living room on the trainer (I even bought an indoor/outdoor rug to protect the existing carpet) and I manage to ride it every couple of days. I have actually worked up to 20-30 minutes at a time. When I started I could barely do ten, so that’s progress at least. But it is hard, HARD to make myself do it. It’s much easier to lie on the floor next to the bike and do some stretches while I, yes, watch Mr. Robot on demand (dystopia much?).

Of course, I could chalk most of this up to my work schedule. I am nearly 2 years into this overnight/weekend thing, and I think it’s really affecting me. I know that this schedule had its part in the breakup. There were days when I just could not be present or available. Funny, there were so many days when SHE wasn’t present or available due to her health problems and I managed to be okay with that, but hey, that’s just me. The blackout curtains are working pretty well, and I close them on Friday night and don’t open them till Tuesday morning. It’s kine of like being in Vegas…if you sat in there without a clock, you would never know what time or day it was. I think that has to have something to do with this funk, but it’s not everything. I think I’m really, really angry and maybe I’m just now realizing it or allowing myself to realize it.

Example: You may or may not know that over the last three or so years, I started quilting. G. picked it up a few years before and for a long time, I was oh, meh, quilting. But then, years ago, E had done this little project in elementary school, “Quilting for Math” which ended up being a Christmas tree, and I had told him I would make it for him. Well, I figured if I was going to do it before he graduated, I should take a class and learn how to quilt. Bottom line, I really enjoyed it, found it quite creative, loved playing with fabric again. Once upon a time, I used to make nearly all my own clothes and my daughter’s when she was little. Now, it’s almost cost prohibitive to do that unless you’re truly a seamstress, but quilting is completely different from sewing clothes. It’s very mathematic and exacting, and oddly, it’s the only creative activity that I can do entirely without my glasses. So, I started getting into it, and planning projects etc.

In the house, we had 2 sewing machines. One was G’s that she bought and the other was one that had belonged to a friend of hers (ours) who had moved to CA a few years ago. G said she would keep the machine for her, even though the woman said she didn’t want it and that’s why she didn’t take it with her. I was using that one and it worked fine. I started to build up a “stash” of fabric, I did some projects and gave them for gifts, started playing around with ideas for bigger things, etc. So, when everything went down, I thought I would be able to take the machine with me, since I happened to be in the middle of a project that was/is to be a birthday gift.

Oh, no. She was adamant that I could not take that machine because she had “promised to keep that machine until (this other person) died, just in case she wanted it back.” Other person is in her 7os. She also started out being adamant that we could NOT take the 2nd TV (which was going to be E’s) because (at first) “he didn’t deserve it.”


I worked really hard at not being royally pissed off and just kept repeating the mantra “pawn shop, pawn shop” in my head. Fine, if she wants to be dog-in-the-manger about the sewing machine and the TV, great. We’ll get others. They exist.

In the end, she relented on the TV because, really, now many TVs can you watch at the same time? Of course, by that time she had purchased another $7,000 sewing machine (that was the sale price, she bought the floor model, list price was $15,000) for her embroidery projects. But, hey, I still couldn’t take that other one, no, ma’am. So, when I moved, I also left my box of fabric (why take fabric when you don’t have a machine?) which she said she would keep for me.

Fast forward a couple of months. I’m meeting a friend who is moving to Denver and who also retired as a transcriptionist. She has a ton of MT books in various specialties and offered them to me, so I meet her at a restaurant to get the books. In the course of our conversation, I mention not having a machine, and lo and behold, turns out she’s got an old one that was going to a garage sale and she will give it to me! And I take it! So, now I have a great little machine (all metal!) and it’s coming out of the shop tomorrow and I got my box of fabric when I got the bike, and I am going to be able to do some projects, even though now I have to replace ALL my quilting supplies, most of which we shared, but a number of which I bought myself, but left because…no machine.

And, oh, yes, G. sold the house and has moved into a 12 x 12 shed tiny house on other friends’ property. And all the other stuff, I guess, is in storage. And after THIRTEEN YEARS of being told “If anything happens between us, I will never screw you over,” let me tell you, I feel royally fucked. It’s not what she did, so much, because I expect people will be idiots when they break up (me included). It’s what they do. It’s being TOLD over and over and over that you will be treated a certain way and then being treated the exact opposite. Dumped and done. “You’ve paid for half this house.” “This house is half yours.” I did. Technically, it was. And it’s not even, still, REALLY the money, although, if she did sell the house for above what was left on the mortgage, it would be nice to share in that, it’s, again, about being basically lied to by someone who “swears by their word.” Yeah, right. We see how very much your “word” means. The same reason I run from any service provider who describes themselves as “Christian.” Talk. Is. Cheap.

Stupid me, eh? Stupid me.

Here’s the kicker. She contacted me a while back, all frantic, because when she started the sales process, the title company wanted me to sign a quit-claim deed. I don’t really know why, as I never signed anything pertaining to the house in the first place, but whatever. I could tell she was really dancing around, “gotta get it done NOW” kind of thing. I wanted to say no so bad. I wanted to say you realize I could put a huge wrench in this whole thing, right? I could FUCK YOU OVER. But I didn’t. I went to the title company and signed the damn document. And then…THEN…she wanted to take me for coffee. She wanted to HUG me. Hadn’t wanted to touch me for 2 years before, but now I’m huggable? Sorry. No.

But the purpose of this post isn’t to go on and on about the house or the sewing machine or any  physical thing in particular. I’m trying to explore the causes of this often crushing ennui that I feel most days. I’m trying to re-discover whatever dreams I might have had earlier in my life, and the sad thing is that I can’t seem to remember. I don’t remember ever having any particular burning “dreams.” I do remember in college definitely NOT wanting a “career” of being laced in a suit, sitting in an office, selling something or measuring “metrics” for the rest of my life, and hey, I have certainly accomplished that. The down side is, not selling yourself to EvilCorp (reference Mr. Robot, above) means that financially things are on the iffy side. Again, were it just me, I would be 100% fine with that. Minimalism suits me (says the woman worried about having a sewing machine).

Maybe I’m just trying to get through these next three years the best way I can. Maybe I’m just coping. I don’t know. I confess I’m a little aggravated by friends’ silence. I know it’s up to me to make my needs known, but for once in my life I’d like to be on the receiving end of interest and caring. Not that they don’t care, but I’d like a little pro-activity on THEIR part. Yes, I’m pouting. Deal with it. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who thinks about things, who NOTICES things, and even that seems to be fading. There are times when it feels like I cannot hold two thoughts in my head at the same time, and I used to be able to carry on five or six conversations in my head at once. I used to remember EVERYTHING related to work, and now I truly can’t seem to hold on to even one thing for more than 15 minutes. Is it just getting old? Is it menopause? Depression? I don’t feel depressed. If I were, I’d probably be sleeping a lot better. Or more, anyway. I just don’t know. And maybe, for me, not knowing is the scariest part.

Today, before I started writing this, I decided that I would have to be okay with this. It’s all a process, grieving maybe, for lack of a better term. I don’t miss G. at all. There, I said it. I don’t. I don’t miss having someone. I’m relieved not to. I don’t want to be in a relationship ever again. I don’t want to do whatever it is you have to do to “make” yourself attractive, to “put yourself out there.” Done with that. I don’t want to be attractive. I just want to be me, and do the things I enjoy. Maybe right now, it’s watching Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot. Maybe I’m just fucking tired of “should.” Should eat this, should exercise this many minutes every day. Shouldn’t watch too much of this, shouldn’t sit too long, should/shouldn’t until I’m so exhausted I can’t move. Fuck should. Fuck shouldn’t. This is me. I’m going to be me. I can’t be anyone else anyway. And if you don’t like it, you’re welcome to change the channel. I won’t be bothered in the least.


About GratefulGran

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...
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5 Responses to The Valley

  1. Crazy Mom says:

    Can I call today? let me know what time….

  2. pugwantstoknow says:

    Who pays 7,000 for a sewing machine? Was she using it for income purposes? Why did she sell the house and move into such a tiny place? Your memory problems might be menopause. Welcome to the club. I realize you are not interested in relationships but some kind of a group would provide you with social contact. How about a quilting club?

    • GratefulGran says:

      Hi. I do get out and do things, I’m not a complete recluse. I do volunteer work for the County Extension office, worked at the Farmers’ Market this summer, etc. Plus the boy’s football games, and all that. And I do have friends here. It just feels like I do the lions’ share of initiating everything and sometimes I just get tired of it. I’ll live.

  3. efrompdx says:

    You have every right to be angry, GG. You have every right to call Bullshit on her two-faced behavior. You have every right to withdraw and tell the world to fuck off. You get to do those things until you don’t feel like doing them anymore. And then you will do something else.

    Aside: I know this isn’t specifically about G, but I can’t help but comment. She is crazy. She is poisonously crazy. She is mean and punitive and small-minded. She is selfish and lacks even the smallest amount of compassion. You are better off alone than with someone like that.

    About the ennui: I’d say that it’s delayed shock probably compounded by depression. Not depression over the end of the relationship, but depression over being treated badly, feeling isolated from friends, fatigue at being the one who has to initiate everything. Your schedule may also contribute to your feeling out of sync. I sure as hell couldn’t do it.

    I maintain that you are a hero. You are saving your grandson’s life. He may not realize that for years and years, but you should know it. And, really, three more years of high school? That’ll fly by. As time does. All too swiftly!

    I have plenty more to say, but I think this is plenty for a blog comment. I’ll email you this week with the rest of my blathering…

    Hang in there, woman! You are on the right path.

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