Posts Tagged ‘Guilt’

Guilt: The Devil’s 4am Workshop

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Pets
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Did you ever have one of those moments where one thought .. or one comment .. just bounces around in your mind like a pinball.. and it leads to another thought and then another thought and then another thought and so on and so on and so on??

Welcome to the Devil’s 4am Workshop on Guilt.

So for the past hour or so I’ve been wrestling with some major, major guilt over Bella.

If you don’t already know the story of Bella, then basically all you need to know is that I found her about 12 or 13 years ago when she was a savagely abused puppy roaming the park next to my house.

She was only a few months old.. covered in fleas and ticks. Her tail chopped off.. paws burned.. rope so tight around her neck that it started to embed in her flesh. I already had two other dogs but there was really no other thought then to keep her.

I was still married to the Spawn from Satan’s Ass at the time. We lived in a good sized home (for 2 people anyway) with more then enough ground for three dogs to run around on. We also had a doggie door so they would go out whenever they wanted.. stay out for as long as they wanted and come in whenever they wanted.

And no, I never had to worry about anyone coming through the doggie door. My other two dogs were German Shepherds.

Inevitably, there came a time when Bella was the last dog we had .. the other two having passed within a year of each other. This was the first time that Bella didn’t have any dog companions and my ex and I were at a point in our relationship .. well, there really wasn’t a relationship left .. but there was no way that I was going to bring another animal in the house. He didn’t work anyway, so it was very rare that she was alone for long periods of time.

When his alcoholism and bipolar-ness became too dangerous to live around, I left and moved in with my mom.  Initially, I took Bella with me but moving into the inner city row house the size of a shoe box with a 2×4 cement yard was a huge adjustment for her. Plus, both my mother and I worked and she did nothing but howl and cry all day.

Not fair to her OR the neighbors.

So I talked with the ex and I brought her back to him. I don’t think he necessarily mistreated her in anyway.. but he used her to get to me and there were times when he would call me up threatening to put her to sleep or drive her down to my mother’s and leave her tied to her railing.

It was manipulative and stressful and so so unwarranted but that’s what I was dealing with at the time.

When my ex went to jail for his second DUI, I tried bring Bella to Chief’s house one night but at the time Cat 1 was around and he definitely wasn’t dog friendly. Bella had never been around cats before and there was a tense moment where I was afraid for her safety. So as much as Chief kept telling me to just move Bella in, I was reluctant and for about a week I left her alone at the house.

I would get up at 5am.. drive over to the house.. feed her.. spend a half hour or so.. go to work.. stop back on the way home from work.. feed her.. spend some time and then leave.

I did what I thought was best at the time but in reality, it was the wrong thing. For a dog used to having constant company.. and then to be alone for 23 out of 24 hours.. I think it did something to her psyche.

Maybe I’m putting human emotions onto an animals but it’s how I feel and so it is what it is.

It was obviously too much of a strain on Bella AND too much stress for me and so I didn’t have any other choice but to move Bella into the house.

Even though I worked and the kids were in school, Chief had started his lay off period from his job so he was home with her and made sure that Cat didn’t make ribbons out of her eyeballs. It was still a big adjustment for her .. especially because here, there was no doggie door. So there was many, many, many nights that you would find me and her walking the neighborhood at 2am because she had to go to the bathroom.

Or.. because.. she wanted to go home. To her home. There was no way to explain to a dog that this was the way things were now.. it was just time. Time until she got used to things being the way they were.

The thing is now.. and why I’m up at now 5am typing this between sobs and wet tissues is that at her age, she having a hard time holding her pee. Every day there’s a new wet spot on the bedroom carpet. She doesn’t do it purposely .. and it could be when no one is home OR when we’re all home.. I think basically she gets up and she can’t hold it. It gets taken care of as soon as it’s discovered but it’s still frustrating.

So tonight.. Chief got up to go to the bathroom and as soon as his feet hit the floor next to his bed, he hit a wet spot and it isn’t so much that he freaked out.. but it wasn’t exactly something that puts on in a GOOD mood in the middle of the night. So he tells me that he doesn’t want her in the bedroom when we’re not at home and it isn’t so much that I took it personally or that I thought he condemning ME .. but it just started to bounce in my head that me and Bella have been on such a long journey together and I started to question whether or not I made the right decision to take her from her home where she could come and go as she pleased and put her in a situation where she’s getting yelled at for doing something she can’t help.

Eventually, the ex did get out of jail and I forced his hand to sell the house. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. Maybe, if I had agreed to still pay half the mortgage, Bella would be in a better place. Getting the exercise that she needs and the freedom that she had.

It’s difficult playing the COULDA WOULDA SHOULDA game and the way parents do what they need to do for in their kids best interest, I think the same way about Bella.

Let me just say that I don’t do the whole dress up your dog and paint their nails pink thing. I know she’s a dog.. but she’s my responsibility and she relies on me to do what’s best for her and right now, I don’t think I did and it hurts. A lot.

I’m carrying a lot of guilt that I’m sure any junior league psychiatrist will tell me that I don’t have to.. and logically, I know that they’re right but if anything has my heart completely it’s this dog.

It’s hard to admit that I’ve been negligent.. but I have been and I’m going to have to change that.

Devil, please go away .. I need to get up in an hour!

… ok.


I’m still going to post about what happened between me and Chief last week but wanted to get this out there first because.. well.. the two are actually related in a way.



You know.. when you’re in a situation where you’re living with non-adult kids that aren’t yours it’s hard. It’s especially hard when the canal used to birth those kids is a fucking ignorant crack whore who wants nothing more then to undermine any type of authority or rule or wish of the FULL CUSTODIAL PARENT of the kids because she’s a miserable crack whore who can’t stand to see her kids happy or healthy.

Get the picture?

HEADS UP: I will be going on a rant here and it may seem as though I’m being bitter or unfair but in all sincerity, I’m only relating the facts. You can judge yourself whether I’m being bitter or unfair.

As long as I’ve been with Chief, the crack whore has been breezing in and out of the kids lives. At her discretion, mind you. She isn’t one to put anyone other then herself at the top of the list. But then, she’s a crack whore so what do you really expect.

It is my firm belief that she cannot stand the fact that Chief is happy without her.. that the boys have a strong female role model and support system that doesn’t come with an addiction.

Her idea of being a “mother” is to basically buy them. As long as she’s shelling out money.. or lets them to what they’re not suppose to do.. they want to be around her. She thinks that that means that they prefer her over me. I think that the last thing you would want to do is “guilt” your kids into thinking they had to chose between their biological mother and their step mother.

But that’s just me.

At any rate..

In order to have the following make any kind of sense, I’m going to have to go into the fall out with Chief. Just a little anyway. But basically what happened was that I walked into the shop to find him cutting a lunch meat order for her. She said “hello” to me and I told her to not even bother because I’ve been harboring animosity towards her since the last text exchange we had.. we wound up getting into an old fashioned ghetto style shouting match with  me calling her out on all her bullshit and Chief telling ME to stop shouting.

That didn’t fly too well.. as I guess you can imagine.

Anyway.. I told her she wasn’t allowed in the store anymore and when she finally left I told Chief that I couldn’t believe that he had lied to me about him going to tell her she wasn’t allowed in the store anymore… that I can’t believe that he didn’t have MY back and that how dare he tell ME to stop yelling after everything that I’ve been through with her.

I’ll go into more detail about all that in another post but the result was that SHE was going to take on the “Mother Of The Year” mantel. Because.. you know.. she has all this money burning a whole in her pocket.

So the next day, she picks up Bubba from school :: oh yea.. she bought a car :: to take him clothes shopping. A few pairs of jeans.. a few t-shirts.. a hoodie and two pairs of nylon basketball shorts.

NOTE: Just a side thing to put this into perspective, but Bubba wears a size 40/34. She bought him 42/32.

When he came home that night, we were just sitting down to dinner and he starts going into how she was telling him about the blow out that she and I had. He was speaking cryptically because Spaz was there and he just LOVES tormenting him when he knows something that Spaz doesn’t.

Right away, I nipped it. I told him that she had no business telling a 14 year old something that should be kept between adults. Chief concurred and said that that was one of the reasons why he can’t stand having anything to do with her because she does not have the ability to act like an adult OR to not drag Bubba and Spaz into things they shouldn’t be in.

The following day she was taking Spaz out shopping and Bubba had mentioned that she wanted him to stay at the crack den while they were out so that all the things she had bought wouldn’t be stolen.

Ok.. now..

In one breath you say that there is nothing illegal going on at your place.. that there are only reputable pillar of society gracing you with your presence and yet.. and yet.. you’re worried about stuff getting stolen from your place.


Better call Gil Grissom and the CSI crew for that one!

It turns out that she takes Spaz but Bubba remains home because he wants to do something with his friends. Fine. Whatever. Spaz winds up sleeping over there and that’s fine. Whatever. Not my decision whether they stay or not.. it’s Chief’s. I’m tired of that dog and pony show.

Spaz comes home that Sunday night and tells me that she bought him other things then the two t-shirts and pair of jeans that he came home with but that he’s keeping them over her house for when he sleeps over again.

Whatever. I really don’t care.

NOTE: Just a side thing to put it in perspective, Spaz takes a size 18 Husky pants. What size did she buy him? 32/34. TWO INCHES longer then the pair she bought Bubba who is at least a good foot taller then Spaz.

Ok.. so whatever on all that.

Fast forward a week and Bubba stays home from school sick. He really was sick.. in fact, he was ground zero for whatever me and Chief wound up catching. But he doesn’t want to stay HOME.. he wants to go over to the crack whore’s because well.. at least there would be someone at his mental capacity to talk to :: she only has a 7th grade education and Bubba isn’t the brightest crayon in the box :: and she would make him stuff to eat.

Fine.. whatever. I really don’t care. I drop him off there before taking Spaz to school and return home to the glory that is a Nyquil coma.

Oh but when he comes home? He comes home with a laptop that she bought him. A laptop that Chief INSISTED that he wasn’t allowed to have because he has this thing about computers being in the kids bedrooms until their 16.

Too late though.. because Chief finds out AFTER she already bought it and Bubba has it in his hands.

Personally, I would have taken it right off him but in a lot of ways :: more then he really should be as a parent :: Chief is a pussy when it comes to the boys.

I don’t say anything. By this point.. I’m just over the whole deal and I’m not going to give my input or advice or concerns or anything.

By Friday, I’m so sick that I’m trying to buy a ticket online to cross the River Styx and am gluing half dollar pieces to my own eyelids that the kids have to get to school on their own.

I wound up not seeing Spaz until last night because he spends the weekend at the crack den.

Whatever.. I can’t hold it against the kids for wanting to be with someone who is showering him with everything he wants :: like a fireproof house safe with a digital lock.. don’t ask :: After all, he’s only 11.

But this morning… this morning.. things really set in cement.

Every Friday, Spaz receives a behavior report. He’s in Emotional Support classes at school :: read that as Special Ed for kids with a lot of baggage :: and the report has to be signed  by a parent and returned the following Monday.

Anything that has to do with the kids and school is my responsibility. I’m more then willing to put the time and effort into what they need because Chief is at the shop.

So this morning when I was putting Spaz’s lunch in his schoolbag, guess what I find? The behavior report that the crack whore signed and included a note about how SHE was to be contacted regarding anything to do with Spaz’s education.. behavior or needs.

SHE being the parent that has ABSOLUTELY NO LEGAL RIGHTS OR CUSTODY since she was arrested for her 4th DUI on the day she was suppose to appear in court for her 3rd DUI.

And of course, she signed it MRS :: complete with an underline ::

So.. am I the only one who read that as a “FUCK YOU”?

So right then and there I was done trudging the uphill battle for these kids and their future. If she wants to be mother of the year.. then have at it. She can do the homework.. talk to the teachers.. volunteer at the school.. do all the things that she will surely tire of after the novelty wears off or when it begins to infringe on the things she wants to do OR when she just gets tired of doing it.

I emailed Spaz’ teacher who is VERY AWARE of the situation :: she was his teacher when the crack whore went to jail :: and basically told her that even though it isn’t my intent to put her in the middle, she needed to be aware of any situation that was going to cause Spaz to act out in class. I explained why I was removing myself and that she was going to be dealing with the crack whore. I explained that it may be conceived as throwing Spaz under the bus but it has to be the way it’s going to be.

On the drive into school, I explained to Spaz that he can’t just let the crack whore sign his paper.. that his father has to see it too. He said that he forgot and then I went on to explain to him that he can go over to her crack den after school to do his homework and that she will be the one that deals with his school and stuff.

He asked why and I explained to him that even though I never talked bad about her to him, she seems to have issues with me. He said he knew.. that she tells him things. I told him that he didn’t need to either listen to them or feel as though he has to choose.. that I am here for him no matter what but that right now, she wants to control certain things and I’m tired of the constant tug of war with her. And maybe.. maybe.. this time she’ll step up to the plate and be the mother she wants to believe that she is.

I didn’t say it to him in those words but you get the drift.

So I drop him off and head to the shop .. kind of emotional because I know that this is NOT in the kids best interest but wrestling with the fact that I’m the only one who seems to have their best interest at heart and tell Chief about what happened.

His face gets all twisted and torqued and he tells me that I should still do what I want to do and I tell him that I can’t. It’s self preservation time and if truth be told.. THIS is probably the reason why all his other relationships’ failed. He said something about whatever not being a competition and I told him that I’m not the one competing for anything.. that the crack whore is. All in all, he told me that I was doing the right thing because the kids are at the age that their going to have to start learning for themselves the kind of person she is the hard way and all we :: read ME :: can do is be there to pick up the pieces.. again.

Not two hours went by when the shop phone rang and it was Spaz’ teacher calling for Chief. Spaz was acting out.. refusing to do his work.. saying that he hated everyone.. and generally being uncontrollable.

She put Spaz on the phone and Chief told him in no uncertain terms that he was not going to tolerate this behavior anymore and that he was grounded.. no computer.. no video games.. etc.

I felt horrible because it felt like I set him up. By having the conversation with him like I did in the morning, it affected him in a bad way and because he does have issues and baggage I feel like it was my fault.

I told Chief about it and he said that he knew this was going to happen.. but didn’t think it would happen THIS soon. I told him that I didn’t say anything to Spaz that was negative and in fact, made it seem like a positive thing that the crack whore wanted to be more involved in his school.

Chief said it wasn’t me.. he knew that SHE being involved again was going to cause a problem.. because it ALWAYS causes a problem and because she’s so fucking confrontational about everything and doesn’t want to do what’s best for the kids, the suffer for it.

Seriously… you want to buy them things? Great.. but shouldn’t you ask what they need? Shouldn’t you confer with their father about purchases like a laptop for a 14 year old? What are you really teaching them? That rules don’t count? That you don’t have to work for anything as long as there is someone who will get it for you? :: Well.. that is how SHE lives after all :: Isn’t it ever parents goal, biological or step, to have your children succeed and surpass you in life?

I have to be honest.. I didn’t feel that bad about it after.

I know.. deep in my heart.. that everything I do for the kids is for their best interest and future. I know that it also puts the burden on me to always do the right thing when no one else it. But for now.. and maybe this is a risk that is going to burn me in the ass.. I think the BEST thing for them is let everything blow up around them so that Chief will see that the way he does things isn’t always the best for them.

We’ll see..

But as of right now, Spaz should have been home from school. He isn’t which means because of his punishment, he is probably at the crack whore’s. Which means.. that he is telling her about our conversation this morning and Chief should be getting a phone call… right.. about… now.

I’ll keep you posted.

… it’s no secret to anyone reading this that I’ve been struggling with some pretty heavy feelings about my relationship with Chief.

Make no mistake. I love this man. More then I thought I could ever love anyone. Sometimes I stare at him sleeping or secretly watch him doing something mundane and my heart flutters and I get this rush of love that envelopes me.

And regardless of how horrible I’m feeling .. no matter mad I am at him or the kids or annoyed or angry or frustrated or feel like throwing in the towel.. all he has to do is so absent-minded and simple :: like draw a heart on my coffee cup:: and he can just turn my mood around.

I both dated and had relationships with other men between my divorce and meeting Chief and although some of them were great :: other’s were just downright freakin’ bizarre! :: no one had ever filled my heart so completely.

Excuse me if I posted on this before but the first night we talked :: for about 3 hours :: I remember asking him what he was looking for, relationship wise. His answer:

Just to be loved

And I knew when he said it.. the way he said it.. that I could do that. That I wanted to do that.

The first night we actually met, I drove to his :: ours now :: house. The boys were home so he suggested we go for a walk and grab a cup of coffee or something.

So I went in and sat down on the couch. He sat on the chair next to me and when our knees brushed accidentally, I could tell that he was nervous.

NOTE: I also caught him staring at my cleavage and when I said Like the boobs, huh? He had the good sense to blush!

He was the first guy that I met who didn’t make me feel nervous.. who I felt immediately comfortable with. No pretense.. no “best behavior”.. I was just me.. with all my dry sarcastic wit and randomness and he loved it. In fact, he was just as random and dry and sarcastic as I was.

While we were walking to get coffee, I felt his hand keep brushing against mine and I told him he could hold my hand if he wanted to. He did and after walking another few feet he stopped.. pulled me towards him and kissed me.

It sounds cliche… it sounds like something from a bad movie script.. but it felt like time stopped. Like there was nothing else in the world but the two of us kissing in the middle of a suburban street.

We may not make out like teen-agers like we used to but I still feel the same way everytime he kisses me.

Okay.. enough tripping down memory lane. But the thing is.. all that means something. How he makes me feel means something. All the good memories in our relationship mean just as much as the bad ones… it’s just that the bad ones stomp on the good ones a lot.

In trying to sort things out in my over-active mind, I made a comment that for whatever reason, God has put me here.  I have a firm believe that nothing is random :: except my sense of humor :: and that I am where I am suppose to be at this moment in time.

I also firmly believe that not only does God NOT give us more then we can handle but He gives us the things we NEED as opposed to the things we WANT.

I don’t profess to know what God’s plan for me is .. only that He has one and my internet angel Auroracoda suggested that maybe I think about why God gave me this relationship and situation.

And so I did. All day in fact and I believe I grabbed onto something that I may have buried deep down in the back of my brain.

Given the way I grew up.. given my first marriage.. I think that I try WAY TO HARD to have things in neat little packages. It’s probably why I rock at being a revenue analyst.

In my first marriage, I had to make all the decisions. About EVERYTHING. Literally.  Big things like what kind of car to buy to small things like what type of deoderant he should wear. Honestly, the man never bought his own clothes or shoes… couldn’t dress himself :: I mean, he could put the clothes on but I always had to pick them out :: .. didn’t even know what size he wore.

I was always the “go to” person.

That goes for my mom also.. after my dad passed away, she needed to make certain important decisions that she wasn’t used to making so she would ask for the Golden Child’s advice :: aka My Brother :: but everything else, she would ask me to make a choice for her.

I didn’t realize it then.. but that’s alot of pressure.

And when my marriage was going south and I was trying SO hard to keep my shit together and cement and mortar the facade .. I would see other couples and wondered why I couldn’t have what they had.

Why couldn’t I have my family over to MY house for holiday dinners? Why would I always be sent on the guilt trip of hell if I wanted to do something for ME that didn’t include my mother or the mindless minion? Why couldn’t I be with someone who wouldn’t tell me to buy my own birthday gifts or Christmas presents because “.. I don’t know what you want anyway” even though you’ve been married to me for XX years? Why couldn’t I be with someone who I could just be me with? Why the hell do I have to feel guilty for liking reality shows for Pete’s sake and NO, I DON’T LIKE GUNSMOKE, DAMMIT!

What’s all this have to do with Chief?

We all carry scars of one kind or another.. we all have damaged psyches to some extent and I think if you’re really honest with yourself I think you’ll find a time or instance where you’re self esteem took a serious blow. And although the new person shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of the old person… they do. It’s unfortunate.. but it’s a fact of life.

NOTE: Sorry for being so long-winded here but everybody else is asleep so this is my quiet time and I’m taking FULL advantage of it

So here’s the thing…

When I met Chief.. and when I knew that I would be a lot more then “very willing” to spend the rest of my life with him I promised myself that I would not repeat the mistakes I made with my previous relationships. I would not sacrafice myself or my likes / dislikes.. I would do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it without guilt. I would be me and allow him to be him.

But old habits die hard and what I’ve been doing is reverting back to the mindset I had when I was married. There’s a fine line between putting the needs of others before your own unselfishly and putting everyone else ahead of you.. if that makes sense.

It might not. It’s late.

This past year and half I was trying to have the perfect relationship.. the perfect house.. the perfect step kids. I’ve been busting my ass to prove to everyone else that not only is MY life better but THEIR life is better because of ME.

And what dawned on me earlier is that I’m trying so hard to prove it outwardly that I’m totally missing that important thing.. and that’s what’s inside.

I honestly believe.. right now.. that God didn’t put me here for THEM.. he put me here for ME. To show me that I am too controlling at times.. and I am more focused on making things “perfect” that I am discrediting what IS perfect.

Chief.. and Bubba.. and Spaz are people. They have personalities and feelings and faults and baggage and damage. They’re not puppies that need to be trained.

NOTE: That would be Ernie, The Terrorist Puppy in need of training

I’m missing compromise. I ‘m missing the joy of time. Chief was right when he said that sitting down to dinner was more important then worrying about the kitchen being cleaned becaues the kitchen is going to be there.. the time spent as a family wouldn’t be.

I was SO intent on being “right” .. that I completely blew off the sentiment of togetherness. Nothing should be more important then the people I share my life with.

To put it simply… Is it more important to spend the 10 extra minutes in the morning snuggling OR using that 10 minutes to get up and make the bed?

I hope you get what I’m saying because for me, it’s almost as if the clouds parted and the angels sang. Actually, it was more like the Wil E. Coyote Acme Anvil falling on my head.

Tonight.. for the first time in a long time.. I feel truly at peace.