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The Blotted Blemish

Sometimes when the crash is too intense, one has the option of simply losing themselves. That’s what I chose to do. After my dream was over, it was easier for me to lose track of time, to ignore the event and place one foot in front of the other in some lackadaisical semblance of, and attempt at ‘this too shall pass’.

School is a fantastic way to simply plow through days and nights. Children laughing (or fighting) helped to grease the passage of time, and just plain old ignoring it saw the night/day axis blur for a few months. Determination to rebuild new dreams – if only for spite, bolstered defenses. The biggest casualty lost was my faith. I thought “is it faith or luck’? Turns out I now believe more in luck.

Whatever the method I chose day-to-day, brings me back here once again.

My Big 5? I am a workhorse where I am right now. School is where my heart is and I’ve an ‘A’ average and am trying, despite severe money woes, to stay pat. Dating … not so well. Faith has been released to the wind. Accomplishments come steadily, but so slowly.

Time has moved and taken me with it. Still here. Here again, moving up.

The sun has risen again.

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It Was Only Today

It began as most every other day begins – opening the door just before, or exactly on the stroke of midnight. He could always tell the time because the clanging bells from an old church gonged faithfully, and steadily each hour. This time, there were three gongs left as he locked the door behind himself.

A chill escaped from the region of his lower neck through his upper back that caused him to shiver ever so slightly as he took off his coat and hung it up. It was the date, he knew. That date had come again.

Rich in self-loathing, he muttered an “Oh God” and drew on a freshly lit cigarette while he stared down at the empty street. He thought of the semi-celebratory opening of a beer, but was tired enough to deny the impulse. Standing in the shadows and grappling with a bout of ennui were to be the circumstances of the moment. He knew that today would not be unlike many of those days in the past. The past that alarmingly seemed to be distancing itself from his memories.

The church bells had gonged one AM before he realized how long he had been staring at the night zenith and mulling out of focus, listless in his stance with his broad shoulders drooping.

Sleep was alternatively deep and on occasion, frustratingly light – waking for no reason and without even a remnant of a dream sequence that might have caused him to awaken so sharply. Bright early morning came with the reminder that because he hadn’t slept his normal and consecutive hours in a row, he would probably take a late afternoon nap. A reminder that the date was just another to later tear off of the daily word of the day calendar.

Moments came that would bring capricious bouts of apartment cleaning spasms, but flickered and were extinguished within minutes. A brief, forced march to the outside world and through a local park had made him shower, dress and reintroduce himself to the warm sun above. The white noise of the busy city washed his brittle thoughts, and people watching as he sat on an empty bench handed him distraction.

The bells of the church gonged twelve times, each stroke deeply resonant and uniform with the last and the one after. The day was moving forward and already half had been lost forever.

“Is this how alcoholics begin?”, he wondered as he sipped on a long-necked beer back at his kitchen table. The growling that had begun as a plea had now grown to a snarl and he peered into the freezer for a morsel of microwaveable late afternoon snack. None called him to attention so he grabbed the closest package, heated it and gobbled even as it sometimes burned his mouth causing him to suck in air sharply to cool it off quickly.

Even more frighteningly than spending the day alone was the thought that if the opportunity presented itself, he was comfortably within the frame of mind that he would politely refuse. It would have seemed forced and would have come out of pity. The invisible barrier between his determination to make it alone and the unsettling shouting of loneliness had eroded to gel thin. What he wanted did not coincide with what he needed.

Six in total were the distinct reverberations of the gong. That meant six in total left. Six more to mark in sequence before it ended, lost to waves of eternity.

The inevitable call came later. First on the line sounded upbeat and he could almost touch his smile through the voice box. Second came, and with some enthusiasm expressed happy thoughts of love. Third spoke and uttered in teenaged monotone. It always happened the same way during this act: he asked more questions in order to keep the conversation flowing then they did, he always told them what a wonderful day it had been and that no, of course not, there’s more planned for later. “I Love You” to each having been dispensed, the line was vacated once more.

Inspiration to venture out once more was doused. Enthusiasm was strained from the nakedness of the phone call. It would have been a sham to drive somewhere random, find a seat at the bar, order a beer, have a small meal and smile. He felt that his thoughts would have been on display as if continually flashing on a rolling, red-lettered neon billboard circling above his head. Better to lazily lounge in the environment in which he was at ease with. One that knew the widening boundaries of his frustration and self-pity. One that knew with certain clarity what was stealthily bubbling up ever so incrementally and would be erupting soon enough.

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Where To Now?

Post no-offer. It was almost audibly crushing my not getting the offer yesterday. I was nearly perfect in many ways for the job, yet the one thing that stopped them was that I left my last job before securing myself a new position. She said that it was strange to do that in this economy and they worried that I was a short-term employee, a job-hopper.

If the incident did not happen at my last job, I would still be there and on my way to three years of service! So, effectively, the incident at my last job not only caused me my job at the time, it also cost me my future job.

Heartbreaking for me.

Last night I met my old boss to pick up my belongings from my old position. They were already piled into cardboard boxes. It was such a bright, neon reminder of how I had ended many, many times before – a cardboard box or a plastic bag filled with my belongings when being shuffled from foster home to foster home, moving from one dirty apartment rooming house to another in my early twenties and seeing the five white baggies and a cardboard box with random items in the backseat of my car when I had to move out as my divorce was happening. And now, the image of cardboard boxes while facing the dread of my bleeding cash reserve highlighting the incoming doom of leaving my apartment.

Today, I am in an orientation for a per diem position. Funny, I never thought that I would have made it this far without a full-time position being secured. But now, here I am, sitting for a day, not able to go look for a position, preparing for a once in a while shift. And, the same tomorrow.

My anxiety is ever-increasing as the holidays approach. Am I going to be able to get a position before Christmas? Will everyone be holding off until Christmas and the New Year have passed? I wouldn’t be able to hold on that long.

What about you? Any ideas, strategies or comments? Any thoughts or December assurances?

Isolated Oasis Found

Usually, I have a specific need to write something down before I come here to blog. Today is a day where I find myself so full of new thoughts – on a precipice between despair and hope that I can’t quite fill into a theme, a title, of where I am and what I feel right now.

Granted, I’ve been a total ‘downer’ since I’ve started writing. I’ve gushed and droned about my misfortunes, my ugly situation and the tar-black feeling I have about my life and indeed, about myself. I been entwined in thick silt made up of guilt, sadness, my life, my divorce, unemployment and my children.

However, call it by grace of God, call it happenstance, call it whatever you will, but in the last few days I’ve stumbled on blogs that, though not close enough to my situation to have me relate totally to them, the few that I’ve read (including their past historical posts) have helped to (dare I say) inspire me to pick up a foot and tenuously place it in front of me believing that it will turn out alright.

Most are blogs concerning moving forward after divorce written by women. Some are just plain happy, uplifting and brimming with confidence. Though there are blogs written by post-divorce men, most of them don’t seem to be able to reach beyond the ‘macho-hype’ that we’re all so used to as males – at least the few that I’ve seen so far. Although, I’m sure that it could be that I’m needing more soul-comfort than gender specific comfort, the woman who write post-divorce blogs have more of the emotional latitude and gut feelings that I need to feel for right now.

But, then again, of those blogs that I’ve stumbled on that are written by women, none seem to be close to my circumstance or age – I’m older. But, like it is when you randomly spill your guts to a stranger, I’ll take comfort where it is found. There are a few in particular that I’ve been reading recently. These are the ‘logs in the water’ that I’ve clung to right away. I’m sure I’ll find many more as I hop from link to link.

As I said, they seem to be mostly women, younger, with or without children, and a smattering of blogs from men writing about divorce.

 Though it’s been two years since my own divorce, I realize that I still have multiple, unresolved issues revolving around guilt, anger, letting go, children and moving forward toward a life filled with quality, fulfillment and joy. The posts from these blogs at least had material that caught my eye, engaged my intellect and held a few of life’s similarities to my own. However narrow the situation to mine, I have found a small oasis amid myself.

For giving sight to the blind – no matter how different I am from them, I am giving profound thanks.

All nudges to links that you feel I may enjoy are also gratefully appreciated. Any suggestions?

Thanks

I have my angels until Friday at 5:00 PM.

Although life would be more sustainable with them as inspiration if I were with them 24 hours a day, I will try today to imagine – suspend reality, that this is just what I have. Intercede their constant bickering with a gentle reminder of the joy of being with one another. Accept the nano-syllables or silence of my oldest when I talk to him, ignore the smart-aleck under the breath comments from my middle one and politely ask my daughter to put down her game player and interact with us.

I didn’t have a family growing up.

I shuffled foster home to foster home until I was old enough to be on my own. I sorely see the result of never acquiring the wisdom that comes from guidance, someone to steer me away from bad decisions and the pain of suffering in silent, solitary, mental confinement while others always had someone to help ground them. My experiences have always been as an individual apart – not with a relative, even a distant one, to help steer me one way or another. So, I’ve the proclivity to self-isolate. To live through joy or pain alone.

But my children, the only family I have ever known, are with me today.

They have each other and I hope that they need me. I see it as a twinkle ever so often, but sometimes I have the overpowering sinking feeling that because of divorce, they are quite used to, and adept at, being without me. Someone they must shuffle to from time to time. You can see how my past has affected my present.

But, today, I will endeavor to induce a chuckle, try to get them to watch part of a parade on TV, see if I can entice them to put away the games for a short while, try to play a board game with them, prod them to come outdoors and toss a football, help in preparing the turkey and fixings and make it a goal to capture a smile on film.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my children and the opportunity to teach them how monumentally important it is to have family. A lesson that nobody was able to teach me.

God help us, everyone.

A Quiet Breath Above The Foam

The way I figure – what else can go wrong?

Nothing.

Thus, my timid resolve, after reading a lot of positive blogs, to move ahead. Inspiration? Surely the many single mom’s who get it done. A good fact? That my speciality is still hiring – have to get out and look, but something will come up. A healthy word or two? Someone that I’ve re-contacted and who, for some glorious reason, came back without hesitation.

It’s out to a rumored opening to fill out an application, then to the former employer to tender my resignation (so I can get my very small severance pay that I badly need), over to unemployment to fill out the paperwork and then to try to gather a little money to buy food for the Thanksgiving feast that I will have with my three angels tomorrow.

More good news will come. It must and I demand it!

I have faith that God is with me.

—————————————

Well, I did apply for that position but no one was able to meet with me. It’s an application among applications.

I tendered my resignation at my now former employer – everything is very amicable actually and they gave me several leads.

I walked over to the unemployment office and everything is in the computer.

I prayed a quiet rosary while driving around.

I have to begin thinking about my list of food for Thanksgiving and prepare for my angels to be dropped off. I can do this, can’t I?

Officially, the new book is now being written.

Reaching Up to Zero

The worst happened – I lost my job.

Though my bosses both told me that they knew that the multiple charges against me were trumped up, to fight back against them – all of them, would be futile. There are just too many of them to isolate one at a time and defend. There are just too many, and the long, drawn out attempt to take on line item upon line item would only weaken my integrity, ability to lead others and bring into question my character. I’m given the choice of either trying to fight or willfully resign.

We hugged, she shed a quiet tear and told me that she knew that it was bullshit, but there it was. We left on good terms. But, the reality of it comes down to money.

If I resign – signing a letter saying so, I get my built up vacation pay. Without it, I will have had no income for two weeks. However, I received bad news about resigning: resigning will not allow me to collect unemployment. Unemployment will give me a sort of safety net if I can’t find a job right away, which, obviously, I desperatly need.

I must get out immediately and find another job. Now. Though the pain and desperation cling to me as a wet and cold sheet – I don’t know … but, I need to get out there today. Thanksgiving week.

I had my children this past weekend and told them. They, as children, took it well and didn’t have any questions after I told them. What I didn’t tell them is that Daddy will only have enough money to cover December’s rent and possibly even January’s rent. This doesn’t take into account phone, cable, electricity, gas … and food.

This is Thanksgiving and I have them this year for Thanksgiving. I need to spend money for turkey and all the fixings. Each time that I’ve spent even two dollars, I receive a sinking feeling that I’m two dollars closer to living on the streets.

And, I know I couldn’t survive that.

I did go to church yesterday and my youngest son wanted to go with me! He watched me well up as I sat there in the pew and recited my rosary. I felt weak, vulnerable and pathetic knowing he saw me. But, seeing all the couples with their young children brough back such torturous memories of us going to church when we were together that I couldn’t hold back the remorse or the begging to God to turn back the clock.

These are not the boisterous thoughts that I thought I would have at my age.

Is there anybody out there?

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