There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A little history, the wounds of war, a love story.

There was a special segment on one of the morning TV shows this last Sunday. It marked the anniversary or was a remembrance of the photo of a young girl named Kim running naked down a road in Vietnam.  She had been burned with Napalm. There was an interview with the now 50 something Kim. She is badly scared but happy.

Wars; the horrible things humans do.  Young men and women lost, those coming home walking wounded....some of them anyway.  

I met my second and third husband (same man, different marriages obviously) early 1968. I'll call him Bob.  I was a single mother of two living partly on the welfare system, cleaning houses for the rich, and going to cosmetology school.  Bob was just home from Viet Nam.  He had been in the motor pool and while he wasn't on the front lines I eventually learned he had been exposed to horrible experiences.  He was the second most handsome man I had ever seen; the first was Omar Sharif.  He was Hispanic and American Indian, had long, black hair that he tied back with a leather thong, was muscular and brooding.  I saw that as mysterious and a sign of strength I guess.  He was damaged. He was that way before he left for Viet Nam I am sure, but the war just compounded the issues already there.  He came back an alcoholic and a drug user. I knew he drank, but the drugs were another story. 

By the summer of 1968 we were married and in June of 1969 our son was born. Let's call him Alex. Here is how the first marriage went: Alcoholism, domestic violence, calls to the police, arguments about drinking and drugs and not being home, cheating constantly (him), domestic abuse over and over, more police calls, crying, lost jobs (his), frightened kids (all 3), and more of the same. We tried marriage counseling, several times. We divorced.  He saw our son regularly, but he always picked him up at either his mother's house or my parents home. 

I heard from his sister that he was in therapy.  So was I.  Again. Three years went by.  I was dating....lots of first dates, only a few second ones.  By chance we saw each other at a club.  The "romance" started all over again; we saw ourselves as "healed." 

Here is how the second marriage went:  OK for the first year.  Then, see the above first marriage, add child abuse to that list of misery, and at the end, things more horrible than god awful horrible.  The divorce was ugly.  He was only allowed to see our son with a court monitor.  He saw him once. 

Fast forward to 1998.  Steve and I are in Idaho, my son Alex is getting married.  Of course he wants his dad there.  Seems Bob had married again and divorced and had another son.  In the 4 seconds that I was sitting alone at the reception, he came, glass in hand, and sat next to me.  Hey, good to see you, how are you doing? he said. Get the fuck away from me.  Now.  I said; and he did. 

About 8 years ago, Alex called me in a panic.  He couldn't find his dad.  Their communication was sporadic at best.  He was a full blown alcoholic (I don't know how to describe someone that is beyond being just an alcoholic) and had been having health problems.  Alex had found out that his father had lost his job, his condo had been foreclosed on, and no one knew where he was.  Alex wanted to know what to do.  I told him to call the local jails, hospitals and start looking for his SUV at the bars in the town where he lived. 

Alex found him living in his SUV in back of a supermarket.  He was collecting cans to support his drinking, a little gas and food.  Alex offered to help his dad;  his dad declined.  The next time Alex saw his dad he had broken into that lost condo, the SUV had been repossessed, he was cooking Raman on a hibachi, there was no power, water, no nothing but a seriously ill man and his booze.  Alex became a one man interventionist.  Somehow, he managed to get his father to agree to go to the Loma Linda VA. 

The VA got him dry and into a program, treated his diabetes, heart problems, blood pressure and found him campus housing.  He was granted VA disability and when he was ready to leave campus living, he was placed in a sober housing complex.  That lasted less than a year. 

Since then Bob has moved 5 times, survived a near fatal single car accident, lost toes to diabetes, had 2 respiratory arrests, one cardiac arrest, been treated for kidney failure, had a 5 vessel bypass, been in the hospital more times than Alex can count, had his bypass incision infected so badly he was in the hospital for a month, started on dialysis, and has never stopped drinking.  In August this year he was found non responsive in a strip mall parking lot next to his car, bagged broken beer and wine bottles under his head according to the police report.  He was released from the hospital a few weeks ago.  Alex can't find him.  He has a DNR in place; Alex has power of attorney.  Alex is waiting for the call to come.

My son Alex is a remarkable man in spite of his parents.  So are my two other kids; just remarkable humans given what they lived through. The three of them have forgiven me for the choices I made.  Forgiving their fathers is another story. Yes, there is a story with husband #1. 

Back in the 60's and early 70's our family was called dysfunctional.  Therapists either had a field day with our dynamics or didn't know what to do.  Now, the terms used are more advanced, more descriptive...PTSD, co-dependent, enabler, substance abuse disease, and several listings in the DSM-IV....or is there a V or VI now?

Bob was doomed long before I met him....a broken home, alcoholic mother, fraternal uncles killing each other, another uncle drinking after shave to feed his addiction, a sister that committed suicide, a brother that walked away from a deeply homophobic family never to be seen again, and on and on. 
Compared to Bob's family, mine was almost normal.  My dad was an alcoholic and my mother had affairs....what's to complain about?

Did I love Bob?  I did.  Obviously it wasn't a healthy love, or even close to one day of happiness love.  It was, in the end, just fucking miserable for both of us and the children we brought into our hell.  I take responsibility for my choices.  I don't wish Bob dead or in more pain than he brought on himself or what Viet Nam piled on top of that....but, he made his choices just like I did.  No regrets though.....I have Alex. 






Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Update: Vacant space available

Quick update.....saw the surgeon yesterday.  Steri strips removed and a few pieces of skin in the process.  Stray dissolving stitch removed.  Incision cleaned.  It looks just OK per the surgeon.  Keep it clean and non stick dressing.  As little tape as possible.  See you in a month.  You owe us 35 bucks.  Bu-bye.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Nothing important happening in the attic

Attention:  Started this before Tiffany wrote her blog post I Cyber Love You, Man.

This one gets bad towards the end.

As the title says....just another beautiful day in Idaho.  I used to call it paradise here, but I've changed my opinion lately.  I'll write about that someday. Not today because I am in a good mood and I don't want to spoil it. Should there be a semicolon after someday and then a lower case n?

So, the Louie thing really fast....my incision is infected although the surgeon won't admit it.  If anyone wants gore and purulent stuff, let me know.  No pictures.

Steve has jacked up his back from T12 through his sacrum per his MRI, and I'm talking bulging discs, stenosis, nerve root impingement....just everything that can happen to a lower back.   He can't get in to see the neurosurgeon until December 9th.  I hate to see him like this....all hunched over and walking with a cane.  He is miserable I know.  I am picking up the slack the best I can, but I am going to have to draw the line at lifting the 40# bags of corn he gets to feed the bambis that the craping turkeys steal.  If I knew how to use a gun, they'd be dead. The turkeys, not the bambis.

No more mowing the lawn.  Fine with me. It's not growing anymore because it is too cold and there are pine needles covering it anyway. 

The HELOC was an exercise in lying credit union people.  Another long story for another time.  See the above gun reference....only substitute loan people for turkeys.  Although, turkey and loan person might be interchangeable.

The cats are fine.  We have sort of settled into a routine with Emma and it is working!  She gets blue stuff cat food in the morning (I have no clue what kind of fish pate it is) and we sneak the tuna flavored phenobarbital in it and then she gets some kind of green cat food at night (there are actually 3 flavors of green so I stack them apart so I know which one she got the day before) and sneak the tuna medicine in again.  She gets kitty crack at night, but just 10 of them and she can freely eat her regular dry cat food all day long.....and night too.  Then On Monday and Thursday she gets an appetite stimulant pill (it is 1/4 of a pill and about the size of 1/4 of a pea).  We have to use a pill shooter thing to get that down her because the pill apparently tastes like shit if we judge her reaction to it before we got the pill shooter.  Her reaction?  She spit it out.  We love this cat a lot....and I mean a really lot. 

Izzy is still on a rotation with Emma and Guido.  Every other day he is upstairs and they are downstairs.  I wish he could behave and just calm down when they are all together, but he is the way he is and I love him no matter what. 

The dogs....they are just dogs.  Violet is getting bitchier and losing bladder control.  That's not actually accurate.  She just stops mid walking somewhere and potties.  Wes still reverts to puppyhood every once in a while, and Pete is still asking if we are going to throw him away like his last parents did....no, Pete, we are not.  We love you.

Sunday 10.18.15

OK....so, I was in a good mood when this started.  Not now.

In case any of you have wondered or whispered: Is Rosemary depressed?  Why, yes she is.  Officially....diagnosed years and years ago.  I have been through therapy and told my story way too many times.  I refuse meds...just because I hate taking meds period.  It got way worse after I had my heart attack and my doc really, really wanted me on meds.  Nope.  My kids and one grandson call me Debbie Downer and Steve worries that my stress level is gonna kill me...but, I am what I am...a worrier and a bit gloomy.  I apologize.  But, at this late date I am probably not going to change.  I do have my better, maybe even really good moments.....occasionally.

Things haven't happened to me....I picked them and the fallout on my kids and extended family has been pretty bad.  I carry that in my head, my heart and I am sure if I have a soul it is there too.  It's called guilt and sometimes I call it regret.  I tried finding God again...or as Lorraine said to me once, I was looking for religion not God.  Whatever it was, he or she has not spoken to me in a long time....and then there are those weird, abstract things I have mentioned in the past about clouds, fog and other crap. 

Anyway here is the truth:

Fucking Louie has won for now.  It is almost 4 weeks since surgery...my incision is still open, the edges of said opening have healed, it is still draining some neon yellow shit and I cry about it every day.  If the doc doesn't do something, if he tells me it is looking ok I am going to lose it. 

This whole loan thing is overwhelming.  I vacillate between being pissed and something else I can't put my finger on...murderous, maybe?  We have been in financial trouble for 6 years now....we lost almost all of our retirement  in the recession, Steve, after he retired was at loose ends and started a "hobby"......buying coins and paper from the mint and hid it from me and amassed credit card debt beyond numbers I want to even put out there. I kept buying little things for the house...shower curtains always made me happy for some reason, and nic nacs that have since been sold in yard sales.  Anyway, we got ourselves into this money mess and now have to figure out Plan B. 

The kitties are my everyday happiness, Violet's pottying is driving me nuts, and the F.U.C.K.I.N.G. turkeys are dirty shit machines. 

I am spending way too much time just reading at The Knock.  I love the humor and it makes me smile.  I love reading blogs, but that next blog thing in the middle of the night is addicting and does not help my inability to sleep. 

Moving to Idaho, while a good idea in 1998, is no longer a good idea.  I am not looking forward to winter, Steve can't/won't be able to handle the snow, I ended up hauling not only the 40# corn bags, but the 50# seed bags too, I miss my kids more than I can even figure out how to express.  Yes, I was fried, burned to a crisp with being a nurse and the get-em-out-quicker-and-sicker mentality, moving 1500 miles away was not the answer.  We can't afford to travel to them and they can't afford to come to us. Holidays are spent alone...well, with Steve.....and I am over the whole Pioneer Woman thing.  There is no solution because Steve won't leave Idaho.  Period.  And....this sounds really awful....he is here all of the time.  We have few friends because that's what Sandpoint is all about....refuge from the masses....even two people are considered a crowd. 

So, there you have it. I'll understand if you all just sort of back quietly away.  Really, I will.  But, I'll still snork around Facebook and the blogs....so, be careful if you talk about me....because I am probably paranoid too! 

No spell check and Tiffany can correct syntax, commas etc.  I need to post this before I change my mind....umm, I can always delete it I guess if things get too weird, right?  PS....Can someone tell me how to post pics to my blog because I am to old too figure it out....some little circle thingy just keeps....circling.

Love you all, me..... warts, pimples and all