Sunday, May 26, 2013

Latest thoughts and influences

So, Carter had a long weekend with Graham and his parents for the holiday weekend. In fact, he is still with them right now. To avoid boredom and sadness, I stayed at my sister's house all weekend. We saw some movies, hung out in downtown Seattle, and watched TV. Then, spent the day watching shows on Netflix. Yeah, I know, real healthy, but Arrested Development doesn't get released every day on Netflix, right?!

Anyways, the movies I watched this weekend had a great effect on me. We saw the new "Great Gatsby" in the theater on Friday night. My sister's co-worker asked her why she was taking me to a movie about a big liar.. but I didn't really think of it that way. I read The Great Gatsby in 11th grade, and had to analyze the symbolism in it a million different ways. The story read differently to me this time around, although I wasn't reading it. I felt sorrow for Gatsby, that he felt the need to gain a huge amount of material possessions in order to impress the woman he loved. Also, the green light on Daisy's dock was one of the most obvious symbols in the novel and movie, symbolizing envy, jealousy, desire, unrequited love.. something that Gatsby was living for but could never obtain in reality. When watching that movie, I felt Gatsby's pain and desire. I felt that strong desire for a normal life, a love that will last forever, for a man that I love.. but, unlike Gatsby, I have had a chance to live that life that I've always wanted.. but, I want it even more now that I've had a taste. Almost never has a movie invoked such strong emotions in me before, until I watched "Anna Karenina".

So, I'd heard about the story by Tolstoy, about Anna's suicide at the end, but I'd never heard the whole story. I had no idea Anna was married and had a family, and yet she chose to indulge an obsession and have an affair. Spoiler alert, but she abandons her family, goes crazy, and commits suicide at the end. One quote that really stuck with me was by Constantine Levin. Levin says: “Impure love is not love…. Sensual desire indulged for its own sake is greed, a kind of gluttony, and a misuse of something sacred which is given to us so that we may choose the one person with whom to fulfill our humanness.” (This apparently is in the movie, but not the novel.) He was discussing admiring and envying another man's wife. As a married, aging woman, I sometimes still feel the need to have other men think I'm attractive just to validate my ego and pride. I see how someone like Anna, although her marriage was passionless and boring, could fall into moral transgression by having someone young and attractive like Vronsky pay attention to her. This movie really made me realize how important marriage and family are to me, and how my attention needs to be on those things instead of my outward appearance.

This also made me think about Gatsby's obsession with Daisy. He just couldn't let go, even though she was married. When I was a young 17 year-old in high school, I was rooting for Daisy and Gatsby's love because it seemed more pure and genuine than Daisy's relationship with Tom. However, now that I'm married (albeit separated), I was quite upset that Gatsby had the gall to pursue a married woman. I strongly believe that the structure of society is within the family, and to challenge that stability just to satisfy lust and desire is something I cannot comprehend (and my thoughts also agreed with Tolstoy's feelings on the matter as well).

Anyways, I know this isn't my normal blog style, and that this is a little long and rambling, but I just felt like writing about it..

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Passive Aggressive Neighbor

So, we live in a somewhat ghetto townhome complex in B-town. To be nice, the neighbors in general are not super classy. With that said, we have an middle-aged neighbor who is different. Graham said that she's disabled, which I can see somewhat. She seems a little slow. She also has a 20-something daughter that lives with her that's a little slow as well, possibly developmentally delayed. These are the neighbors that had trouble opening their front door when a large planter pot fell in front of the front door.. and when Graham helped them move it, they said, "Oh thanks! We would have been stuck in the house all day!" (Nevermind the fact that they have a door at the back of the house.)

Anyways, when Graham and I were both working out significantly last year and early this year, we made a lot of noise. Graham did Insanity, and I did Turbo Fire, which both require lots of jumping. We tried to make it more quiet, but no matter what we did, it still made noise. Mind you, the exercise was not completed at weird hours of the day. We mostly stuck to evening times, between 7-9:30 PM. Also, we only have one shared wall, which is with Carter's bedroom. So anyways, these neighbors started banging on the wall when we were exercising, which was annoying at first, but infuriating as time went on. Please tell me why the hell can I not exercise in the middle of the day on a Saturday?

One day last year, our neighbor saw Graham getting the mail and asked him if we work out a lot, or if we have a treadmill. He explained that we do workout videos with jumping, and we try to do it an non-offensive hours. The neighbor replied that it sometimes "shakes their whole house", which is ridiculous. I realize that the construction for the townhomes is crappy, but seriously? The whole house? I solved this problem one Saturday when I was doing a HIIT workout with lots of tuck jumps, and our neighbors started banging on the wall. I usually am totally considerate and try to "roll through" up and down the balls of my feet when I land from a jump, to soften the blow on the ground and my joints. But, not this time. I let them have it. I landed full-footed on the ground. HARD. Like, shake my picture frames and DVD cases hard. Several times. Bam. Problem solved. They haven't banged against the wall since.

Fast forward to this Saturday.. Graham had driven up early Saturday morning to watch Carter while I worked. Graham was driving me to work at 7:15 AM, and I saw the neighbor peering at us through her screen door as we got into the car. I thought it was a little strange, but I thought that she was probably being nosy because Graham had been gone for like 3 weeks. When Graham and Carter got back home after dropping me off, our neighbor approached Graham. Apparently, Carter had woken her up that morning. He regularly wakes up around 6 AM when I do, even on the weekends, which is not a big deal. He doesn't yell, scream, or cry, but he mostly cries out, "Mommy, I awake! I awake!", every morning. This morning was no different. He played around the house, but nothing too loud or disturbing. His voice is just piercing. If he is awake in the house, then so are you. Back to the story.. Anyways, the neighbor complained that Carter had woken her up early. Graham responded something like, "uh yeah, he's a kid.. what do you want?". So, this neighbor wanted us to apologize for a toddler waking her up early on a Saturday morning.. WTF?

Let me remind you that our only shared wall is along Carter's room, which borders the 2nd bedroom in the other townhome.. not even the master bedroom. So lady, are you sleeping in the tiny bedroom or are your ears pressed against the wall? We have lived here for 2 years, including when Carter was a baby, and NOW you start complaining that he's making too much noise? Just you wait, lady. Just you wait. I can only hope Carter starts yelling even louder in the morning.. especially Sunday mornings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cynical Sherri

So, before I met Graham, I was pretty sarcastic. Often, my sense of humor wasn't well-received with people who didn't know me well. Once I met Graham, he made me happy. So, I became less sarcastic, less cynical, and more goofy.

Now, I feel my old ways returning.

Example:
Graham told me that some of his family members may be contacting me, with some encouraging words, like, "God loves you", or "hang in there".

My response:
There's nothing anybody can say that'll make me happy, except, "Surprise, you're on candid camera!", or "You've been punked!".

Sometimes I wish this was all an elaborate joke.. but no, it's all too real.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

So, this is my first Mother's Day alone... Can't say it was too eventful. I honestly couldn't think of a single activity to do by myself with Carter, and the thought of getting ready to go anywhere sounded like way too much effort. Church was not an option.. still too soon. I knew I'd cry the whole time. Plus, they always do something special for women on Mother's Day, and I'm still too emotionally fragile for that. So, Carter and I hung out alone at home all day and did nothing. Yes, I am his mother, but it was a bit much. Let's just say he went down for an early nap. We also Skyped with both grandmas today.

I only cried once today.. and for that, I am proud. Carter is at his cutest in the bathtub, so he always makes me smile. Tonight he made me cry because I just couldn't see us as being one big happy family again. That special time in his life with his mom and dad both at home is done. Carter saw me crying and told me to stop. It broke my heart today, again, when we Skyped with Graham's mom and Graham. Carter kept saying to Graham, "no, daddy, be HERE".

Carter is incredibly insightful and empathetic for a toddler. He always notices if someone is sad, and will come and try to cheer you up. Also the other day, I was listening to one of Maroon 5's new songs, "Wipe Your Eyes", which I have been obsessed with, even before this all went down. It's a bittersweet song about a man who is hurting the woman he's with, but still offers to wipe her tears from her eyes. In fact, Graham listened to this song with me once, and remarked how messed up this song was (and yet, that's exactly how he was behaving--so ironic). So anyways, as I was listening to this song the other night, Carter said to me, "mommy and daddy's song... daddy get better." Which, of course, only made me cry.

I'd say the hardest thing about this right now is the huge, gaping hole in my heart. Before Graham and I met, I always felt incomplete (as cheesy as that sounds). I filled the hole with shopping and other things (good thing I don't drink alcohol). When we met, it was just kismet. No other way to describe it. We were meant to be. I felt unbelievably happy and complete. When we got married, I felt like I'd found my role in life--Graham's wife. I LOVED being his wife.. cooking for him, supporting him through trials, treating him well, making his favorite things, and helping him become the man I thought he could be. At the time, I loved Alicia Keys' "Like You'll Never See Me Again", and I would cry, thinking about what would happen if something happened to him.

Then, over the last few months, I felt some cracks in our relationship, which I hadn't felt in some time. I started filling the cracks with temporary satisfaction, like buying more clothes again, although I used the excuse that I'd lost a significant amount of weight to justify the expense. I felt like I needed other men to find me attractive. And now, I've cracked wide open, and I don't know if I'm ever going to be healed again.

I'm sorry if this makes any of you readers uncomfortable.. but this is therapy for me, and you might find some comfort in reading about my trainwreck of a life.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The next chapter

And so the next chapter of my life begins..

My mom is still staying with me this week, but she leaves Wednesday night. The dust hasn't settled yet, and neither has reality. I still feel a little bit numb on the inside, but raw on the edges. Don't worry, I've only burst into tears once so far today, and it was alone in my office.

First things first.. I am staying here in Washington. My lease is up June 1st, so I started freaking out about it. I was going to try to get a month-to-month lease, but my property management company wasn't being too obliging. So after my mom and I examined my finances, we saw that I could stay here and make it on my own without having to move back to California and rely on family for rent/daycare. Also, there is not a single full-time Dietitian job available in Sacramento, so that wasn't looking good. I immediately felt peace when I decided I was going to stay (at least for another year or more), so that was a huge relief.

Carter will be staying in his daycare. His tuition is going down next month, so that'll be another $80 per month saved. Carter has been doing awesome with my mom. He's been his normal, happy self, and seems to be adjusting well so far. He's only asked for his daddy a couple of times, so it hasn't burned too much to hear him say it. He has told me that he'll make his daddy better by getting him medicine, and by putting a band-aid on his foot.. and that just broke my heart right there with his simple innocence.

I have the most amazing support from family and friends. Honestly, I had no idea that I had so many people in my corner. I've received lots of messages and texts from people that I didn't think even cared about me, so it's been a blessing. I've felt like my sister and I have been able to repair our relationship and get close again. Luckily, she turned down a job in San Francisco to stay here with me. My parents and brothers have been there with overwhelming support. I will never be able to repay them emotionally or financially. My friends at work and here in WA have been amazing as well. My co-worker even offered her mother-in-law apartment if I needed a place to stay.

Anyways, Graham has started therapy and will hopefully be able to re-enroll in school down in Portland in the fall. No matter what happens, I hope he can be successful in his endeavors, so he can be there for Carter as a positive male role model. He is staying with his parents and looking for jobs down there.

Carter and I are trying to fill our summer with fun activities and stuff to do outside the house. We are signing up at the Y for swimming lessons and other activities. We are planning a vacation to San Diego in August, and possibly down to Disneyland for his birthday. Carter's daycare is closed for a week in July, so I think I'll let Graham's family take him to Idaho for their family's reunion that week.

I went to church yesterday, but it almost felt too soon. I started crying during the first hymn. I don't like other people to see me as being vulnerable or emotional, so it was terrible. Next Sunday may be worse because my mom won't be there. We'll see how it goes. I know that the women are trying to be nice to include me, but it's almost insulting because they've been told to do so. Plus, I am a WORKING MOM. I CANNOT ATTEND DAYTIME PLAYGROUP!!! But, that's besides the point.

So if you are still reading this, please pray for us. Please keep us in your thoughts.

Delays and Delays and Delays and Delays...

Ok, so here's the home building update... and mind you, this is coming from a point of frustration. We still have not closed on our co...