Life Isn’t Waiting

“Move on because life isn’t waiting.” ~ Unknown

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Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I’ve spent a lot of time waiting on other people . . .

Waiting for them to do what they said they would do,                                                                                                                                          what they offered to do,                                                                                                                               or what I’ve asked them to do.

Sadly, it seems folks just aren’t interested in keeping their word.  Maybe they get busy, or sidetracked, or forget.  Maybe they didn’t mean a word that was said.  Perhaps the offer was made in a spur-of-the-moment interaction with no real meaning behind it.

This is one of the things I struggle with.

Being of the logical and analytical mindset, I was also taught “what you say is a promise” and I believe words have the power to heal but also the power to destroy.  When someone tells me they will do something and then it doesn’t happen, I feel as if the offer wasn’t important to them or I’m not worth the effort.

And sometimes the offer or action can mean a world of difference in what I can accomplish.  Sometimes the offer that is made is something that I cannot physically accomplish due to distance, or size, or whatever.  When I rely on an offer of assistance, and it doesn’t materialize, I am left feeling discouraged, upset, frustrated and even at times . . . depressed.

Before I moved, someone offered to help load my furniture on a trailer and bring it down here, parking the trailer here while he went on to Florida.  He changed his mind.

Someone offered to purchase a replacement battery for my minivan that they had borrowed, and then didn’t.  I cannot get it inspected and licensed if it doesn’t run.  Without the minivan running, I have no way of getting my larger pieces of furniture to Alabama.  After four months, I began asking about the battery.  Today I was rudely texted and chastised for asking about it. *sigh*

There is the oft repeated phrase, “If you need anything, let me know.”  So I let the needs be known, friends offer to help . . . and then said friends bail or let it go with excuses.  It gets to the point where you quit asking, and realize you have to figure it out on your own.

As difficult as it is, I have come to realize that I will no longer ask for help, yet I will not offer help either.  It’s easier to realize you are responsible for everything versus expecting integrity and follow-thru and not seeing it come to fruition.

Time waits for no one,  At this point, neither do I.

 

 

Gone with the wind . . .

I don’t even have a picture for this one.

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Correction:  I found a picture.  An appropriate picture even.

Last night, the EMA for the county sent out a notice for high winds.  And high winds they were indeed.  Estimated to be at 60 mph.  (Not that I stepped outside to personally measure the windspeed, I took the estimation for what it was worth.)  The winds were SOOOOOO high that it literally blew down a section of my privacy fence into the neighbor’s yard.  And then another section blew into MY yard this afternoon.

Actually, the fence that landed in my yard did not actually BLOW . . . I mean, it blows that it’s laying down in my yard, but it more likely just . . . fell over.  It’s a 10-year old privacy fence.  When Sam and I attempted to pick up the section in the neighbor’s yard, pieces of it broke off in my hand, yet the section was heavy enough that we couldn’t lift it. And that part sucks!  Additionally, there are several tree branches that blew out of the tree in my front yard scattered about the house.

I am so thankful that nothing was broken, no windows were struck by branches, my car wasn’t damaged by flying objects and most amazing of all, I was able to get back to sleep rather quickly after waking up momentarily to the sound of the wind pushing against the house.

Hopefully, soon, things will be on an even keel around here and I can get back to spending time working on around-the-house projects.

Looking back . . . why my move shouldn’t be surprising

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It’s always interesting to me when I’m on Facebook and the ‘Memories’ page pops up.  You click on the link and have the ability to scroll through various posts that you’ve shared on this day in history.  Some bring giggles and laughs, others are more contemplative.  Always the option is available to share.  Today I shared the memory below from 3 years ago and added the comment: “And 3 years later. . .I did! LOL

From 3 years ago today:

“I just want to move . . . far, far away.”

From 9 years ago today (at this point we’d been divorced for 7 months and I couldn’t get him to move out of my house):

“MOVING – the act of taking one’s personal belongings from one house and putting them at another house.  Involves the use of boxes and energy – no magic included or needed.  Just do it!!!!!”

As I re-read these posts, I knew EXACTLY to whom they were referring.  Nine years of exasperation, patience, self-control, and attempting to be fair and understanding (which by the way is useless when dealing with a narcissist).  Nine years following our divorce of having to hide my feelings, keep my thoughts neutral, speak kindly while being chastised and berated both privately and publicly at any time he felt threatened or eclipsed by my accomplishments or personal successes.  Nine years of being depressed, never knowing when the (usually) paranoid and ridiculous barrage of vitriol would be thrown.  Having to block him from my Facebook page because he couldn’t stop assuming that any negative post was about him.  I’ve made no secret of my feelings, obviously, from the aforementioned FB posts, albeit tactful and without concrete finger-pointing.  However, from the comments on each post, it was very clear that the majority of those who read the posts knew precisely to whom I was referring.

I will not apologize for moving 700 miles away to remove myself from the proximity of a narcissistic controlling person whose behavior is toxic.  At this point, the only control he can attempt to exert over me is through the children, and that he does: picking them up late or dropping them off late, refusing to make a parenting plan, refusing to go to mediation, choosing to go straight to an attorney resulting in massive legal fees for both of us, and refusing to assist with transportation or associated costs. As an individual with Asperger’s, I operate from a very logical, concrete standpoint.  I have always believed that if I could explain my position, the other party would have to at least acknowledge my view.  Not so with a narcissist.  He has the uncanny knack of twisting anything and everything said to make himself the victim and me the bad guy.  I believe strongly that children need both parents in their lives.  Our divorce decree states that we both have to work to ensure “frequent and meaningful contact” with the children.  The narcissist, believing that such constraints as divorce decrees don’t apply to him, is not going to aid in anything which will benefit anyone but himself.

Looking at the pros and cons of the move, it is obvious that making the move was necessary and needed to occur for quite some time:

  •  Having frequently had headaches, often for several days at a time, I now only have headaches on the days I have to attempt to drop-off/pick-up the kids
  •  I am blatantly happier – friends and family say they can hear it in my voice, I feel it
  •  I feel safe and relaxed in my new home knowing that it is too far away for him to constantly drive by and peruse any home improvements or cars in the driveway or visitors
  •  I am doing a job for which I trained and went to school and which I absolutely LOVE
  •  I am able to disconnect when his texts become purposely obtuse or inappropriate.  Distance has given me the ability to discern more clearly when he is attempting to control a situation.
  • I am learning that it is okay to feel the way I feel and to express those feelings.
  • Time, distance and shielding work great for toxic relationships.

The signs have been there for years.  It’s been a long-time coming and it took a lot of love and support from some very special people for me to take the necessary steps to break the cycle.  While the biggest con to this situation is the distance from my children and family,  the benefit to my physical and mental health is astounding.

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Finding strength

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

The verse above has been one of my favorites for many, many years. When I’ve gone thru times of doubt and fear, it was a reminder that someone bigger than myself was in control.

Still is. Always will be.

This week, I had an opportunity to be the person who helped someone overcome fear. One of our students had made it through the class to the practical exercise. This is a confidence building exercise — in the newly learned skills and in the equipment. As we entered the chamber to check the fit of our masks, he was shaking and obviously nervous. I stood beside him under our respective hoods and touched his arm to get his attention, reassuring him that we wouldn’t allow anything to happen to him. This young man grasped my hand so tightly, visibly shaking, and so. . .for the 8 minutes of activity to ensure a qualitative fit, I held his hand. As we exited the chamber, I motioned to him that I would keep my eyes on him and stayed with him as he performed his skills.

How often am I like that young man? Nervous with the circumstances around me, shaken in my faith, and afraid of failing. How often is God holding my hand but I’m so focused on my own inadequacies that I don’t notice or (worse) I refuse to hold onto His hand? How often does He keep his eyes on me but I fail to remember that He sees everything around me?

My circumstances may not be the best right now: Long on bills and short on cash. Unsure of the situation with my kids. Wondering how to accomplish all that needs to be done.

However, I’ve been here before (albeit many years ago) and a fresh start is always scary. I’ve survived every single worst day of my life so far which makes my success rate 100%.

Those are pretty great odds and a pretty great reminder that I’m not in this alone.

. . .they shall have adventures.

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.” ~ Unknown

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For a few weeks at least, my children are here with me.  It’s been a change going from being alone to having them with me, but it has been an adventure as well.  As difficult as change is for most people, having autism makes it even more difficult for Sam to adjust to new places, new faces,  and new routines.  A new and different home, a new work schedule for mom– having mom home every evening and every weekend, a new church, new pool, and let’s not even get into the 12-hour drive cooped up in a small sedan!

So far, in the first week:

We’ve gone swimming at the local state park, climbed the observation tower on the highest point in the state and eaten dinner at the restaurant overlooking the valley at dusk (and got to watch a wedding rehearsal in progress on the outside deck).

My employer had a “Family Fun Day” at a local recreational camp.  There was a cook-out with an ice cream dessert bar, swimming, hiking and a zipline that ended with a cool splash-in-the-lake water landing.

This week my sweet neighbor invited us to attend the Vacation Bible School at her church, and next week our own church is holding a Vacation Bible School and Savannah has already signed up to assist.

I have always been an adventurer, possessing a deep desire to travel and take in as much of the world as possible.  Savannah has a bit of the wanderlust but Sam requires the safety net of familiarity and comfort.  While they were both excited at the prospect of moving when I first talked about this job in Alabama, one person’s reaction transformed their excitement and tempered it with an underlying base of fear which saddens me.

In the end, they will soon enough be adults and capable of making their own choices as to how fearful life truly is.  In the meantime, I hope to use these few weeks together to show them adventure is waiting to be discovered, if they’re curious enough to search for it.