Saturday, October 25, 2014

Redeemed From the Poo Pit

For those who have felt concern for me the past few months, here's an update on what's going on to keep me away from doing the things I want to share with you here.  Hang with me on this post and read the whole thing because it does finally get around to the start of a happy ending!

A couple of days ago, I was stretched out across my bed reading scriptures.  I was working through a challenge to complete the Book of Mormon before the year ends, in particular.  Now... I've read these verses thousands of times before but on that day different phrases caught my attention and spoke as if they were written just for me.

Mosiah 27:28 says (emphasis mine): "Nevertheless, AFTER WADING THROUGH MUCH TRIBULATION, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God."
Mosiah 29:20 says (again, emphasis mine):  "But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power IN ALL CASES among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him."
Photo courtesy of Dairy Carrie.
I had a picture of the "poo pit" at Cannon's Dairy Farm come to mind when I read about wading through much tribulation.  (If you don't know what I mean, follow the link under the photo for a good explanation and more pictures of her farm from Dairy Carrie).  I imagined being called on to go muck out the poo pit and so I put on my tall rubber waders and it was still too deep and flowed right over the top of the boots.  That's a pretty accurate mental picture of how my life has felt most of the last year... no matter what I tried to do about it I was just wading deeper and deeper into poop (equate poop with tribulation) until it completely overwhelmed me.

One of my tribulations is knees with arthritis that suddenly and severely advanced... more in 6 months than the previous 6 years combined... and has now caused a curvature in my spine because I had no money and no insurance and therefore no way to see a doctor for treatment.  I also had some issues with my thyroid replacement drugs and a slow descent into a horrifyingly bad clinical depression triggered by the medical stuff and what was going on in my relationship with Derek.  I found out about several instances where he'd lied to me and made promises he had no intention of keeping, some big things and some little.  I found out that he'd had an affair (I suspect more than one) with another woman.  He abused my finances to the tune of $30,000 in credit card debt including opening new accounts in my name and a host of other offenses.  I learned that I was never a priority in his life - at best I ranked somewhere below marijuana, snacks, video games, cigarettes, one of the dogs and his mother.  He called me "worthless" and "lazy" and a "non-contributor to the relationship."  When our problems first started I told myself it was a temporary stress over his job situation (he's not been able to hold on to a job our entire relationship) and that we'd find a way to work it out if for no other reason than commitment.  Sadly, we weren't equally committed.  His ran out just about the same time my money did.  Coincidence?  I doubt it.

Now I'm trying to wade out of the poo pit instead of allowing myself to dwell in bitterness over it all.  I guess that equates to the scriptural phrase above of "repenting nigh unto death" and hoping that God will deliver me out of this bondage... hoping mine is numbered among ALL cases in His sight.

And I think it just might be.

This past week I found out that I have a "Presumptive Approval" for disability and will be receiving up to 6 months of SSI payments while they finish collecting data and doing whatever all the official steps are that must be completed.  It's not a lot of money but it will keep the lights on and the boys fed.  It also gives me access to Medicaid and with that the ability to do something about the pain in my knees and back.  The same day I received the letter informing me of this, I received a packet from a former employer and have a small window of opportunity take a distribution from their pension plan.  That hasn't been an option before.  I know there are tax ramifications but in my case, I think it's worth it.  This will enable me to get a basic transportation kind of car come mid-January and possibly begin to address the debt situation.  That's some big stumbling blocks toward recovering my life knocked down to a more manageable size!!  There are a few more things that still need to fall into place and I am beyond excited to tell you about them when they do.

So... See?  My story is going to have a happy ending!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Fry Cutter Incident

Since Derek and I are in the midst of splitting but are still sharing the house this may seem a little like sour pickles to be posting stuff about him.  Oh well... I can live with that.  Besides I want to preserve these memories as much as a reminder of how miserable he made me sometimes so I don't ever make this mistake again as for the comic relief that a life stranger than fiction can sometimes provide.

A couple of nights ago we had an incident involving a french fry cutter.

You know I'm a die-hard Idahoan in my heart and nothing but fresh cut potatoes make real french fries... those over-processed garbage things from the freezer aisle are not real.  They are plastic fries.  And we do not eat plastic at my house.

Mine isn't this fancy but it works the same way.  It's
just a $10 "As Seen on TV" jobbie from Walmart.
The cutter pictured is from Rawsie.
A little before bedtime Derek poked his head in my office and asked me where the fry cutter was.  I went down and pulled it out of the cupboard because that was just easier than trying to explain...  Never thinking that he needed remedial fry cutting lessons, I went upstairs and did my thing and got ready for bed.

Around 2 am some loud banging from the kitchen woke me up.  Followed by a little cussing...  While I was still trying to decide if I should get up and see what he was doing or let it go, he came and poked his head in my door and said "I broke the fry cutter."

I was incredulous and asked "how?"  I don't know if he answered or not since even in my half asleep state I was thinking "how the H. E. Double-Toothpicks does one break a fry cutter?" but I followed him back down to the kitchen to see what mess he'd left for me this time.

Sure enough.  Remedial lessons should have been given.

The insanely obvious take it out of the box, set it on the counter, lift the top, put your potato inside and push the top down... I guess was somewhat less than obvious to him.  He took the whole thing apart.  Even parts I didn't know came apart!  And then jammed the top down over the base an inch farther than it should go and without the blade inside.  And it was stuck together.  I mean stuck!!

I tried pulling it apart and wedging a knife between the parts to get some leverage to wiggle them apart.  A table knife, not a sharp one.  I'm may be reckless but I'm not stupid!  Before I could get any movement, he took it away from me.  Just grabbed it out of my hands... same as the time he grabbed the new breaker thingy out of my hands and electrocuted himself on the breaker box because he took too much of it apart and touched an exposed wire.

Heaven forbid that I might know just the tiniest bit about what I'm doing...

Anyway, he still couldn't get it apart.  And he started wailing about the lack of assembly instructions on the side of the box.  I was miffed because he grabbed it out of my hands.  And he was angry and frustrated because he wanted fries and couldn't make them.

Yes, I said "couldn't."

Go ahead.  Roll your eyes.  I did as I said I'd just cut them with a knife and figure out the cutter in the morning.  So he hands me a big butcher knife.  The biggest one out of the drawer.  Like I'm gonna clean up potatoes and slice them into french fries with a gargantuan knife meant to hack a side of beef into all those different cuts?  Right...

I asked for a smaller knife.  And he handed me the next one down.  Again, too big for the job.  But... I took it and did what I needed to.  Nicked my thumb and it bled all over the kitchen.  I wrapped a clean dishcloth around it and cut his fries and then went and put a bandaid on my owie and crawled back in bed.

No thank you was proffered.  No inquiry if the cut was bad enough to need attention.  Nothing.  How rude, right?

The next morning it took me less than 10 minutes to work the fry cutter pieces apart.  It really didn't need all the cussing and pounding and wailing in the night.  So, yes I am going to refer to him as "dumber than a fry cutter" from here on out.  Maybe only in my imagination, but still!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pirkle Truck or... Purple Truck?

After my round of screw ups I wrote about nearly two weeks ago, I've only had one more big one that had the potential to be life threatening crazy.  Lots of small stuff, but thankfully only this one last biggie!

Picture by Linda Deal on
Coming home from my therapist's office right after we'd talked about the dog fight and the knife I saw a purple semi truck and found it so distracting that I started turning the steering wheel to drive head on into it...  My mind wasn't, however, completely blank like in the previous incidents.  I was remembering Myrtle Olsen and a phone conversation I overheard, anyway I heard her side of it, at the drive-in restaurant she owned in Shelley, ID when I was a kid.  Now this was back in the days before everyone carried cell phones and trucking companies depended on GPS tracking to know where their trucks (and drivers) were at every possible second... and a dispatcher for Pirkle Transport had called Olsen's Drive-In, knowing that the driver she was trying to reach with an urgent message about his load, frequently stopped there.  For at least half an hour Mrs. Olsen, getting ever more frustrated and angry at the disruption, insisted there was no purple truck parked outside.

Simple misunderstanding, I'm sure.  "Pirkle truck" does sound very much like "purple truck."

But still... that little flash of memory had me headed toward plowing right through his grill.  And that was disturbing enough that I had to pull off on the next road and get myself together to finish driving home.  I was truly scared that my mindlessness was going to cause real bodily harm, or even death, to someone.  Maybe even me.

These are the kind of things that make driving exhausting!  I feel like I have to keep an iron grip on the steering wheel and have a constant stream of self-talk reminding me to keep my eyes on the road and not on trees, junk, road kill, advertising signs or whatever might be off to the side.

My therapist, his name is Tom and I guess I should start calling him that because it's easier to type and... it is his name... Tom thinks I'm still over-thinking about mindlessly letting the dogs out in the yard together and causing that huge bloody fight and that's making me read too much into a simple mistake.  He said more experiences that turn out ok along with time and self-permission to simmer down the hyper-vigilance about it will show me that it's ok to forgive, forget and move on with life.  I hope so!  It would be so nice for something to feel normal and right again.