Changes

Seven years ago today was both the best and worst day of my life. My niece was born, but I wasn’t there, I had missed the one day I waited for an entire 9 months for because I was also in the hospital. See my best friend was out there bringing life into this world, and I was somewhere else trying to take a life out of it. My own, I had been in such a toxic and abusive marriage that I seriously thought the only way out of it was to end it…. and I don’t mean the marriage.

Most days that part of my life feels like it didn’t really happen. Most days it feels like a bad dream I tell people about over coffee. Most days I have pretty much forgotten about the three years my ex spent destroying my life, or my nervous breakdown brought on by his abuse or everything else that went along with being married to a sociopath.

I spent several days in that hospital where they tried to convince me that I just needed to get away from him, but eventually diagnosed me as bipolar (which I would later find out was PTSD misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder) and sent me home. I don’t really remember who visited me, but I remember that he didn’t, but he sure did call me when the cable and internet got shut off because he never paid a bill the entire time we were together and I wasn’t there to take care of it.

I was discharged from the hospital just in time to hold my niece for the first time before they were discharged from the hospital as well. I came home to find my ex unconscious in our bathtub. I left for the first time shortly after. I was gone about a month before he convinced me to come home because “things would be different” It took me months to catch up on the bills he didn’t pay while I was gone.

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Me the day I was released from the hospital

He spent our entire marriage convincing me that he abused me and treated me so poorly because I was unworthy of love and deserved everything he did to me. He constantly tried to make me feel like I was crazy to think he was cheating on me despite the days he would go without coming home or the lies I constantly caught him in. He made everyone else believe I was crazy for not believing that he was clean when in reality he was setting our house up to look like it had been robbed so he could sell anything we owned of value for heroin.

I was so paranoid because he had convinced me that our neighbors were climbing in our windows while I was asleep and stealing money out of my purse that I used to sleep with my purse so our rent money wouldn’t get stolen. I would go days without eating because I was constantly so upset that I couldn’t hold food down. I was down to 140lbs which for a woman who usually sits at around 190lbs is small, and I didn’t look good. When I was released from the hospital I started on the meds they gave me and quickly started to gain weight, I couldn’t function on the meds and lost my job, after that things between us got worse and eventually reached a point where I realized that if I stayed with him I was going to die and as much as I had thought that was my only way out at one point it wasn’t actually what I wanted.

I finally had enough proof that he was cheating on me to bring myself to throw him out, that was around the same time that the people in his life started to realize that he was still using drugs and that I wasn’t as crazy as he had led everyone to believe. The police started showing up at our home looking for him. Multiple people connected to him approached me and told me that I needed to leave him or I was going to end up dead or in jail. I realized when HIS friends and family were telling me I needed to end it that there was no way I was the problem or the reason for all of his issues.

He quickly got engaged to the girl he had been cheating on me with which I reacted to in any way any normal woman who had been cheated on by a heroin addict who stole all her money and sold everything she owned…. by throwing our mattress off the third story balcony.  After that, I didn’t hear from him for four years when he finally decided we should get a divorce which was two years after I had gone and gotten the divorce myself.

After the great mattress meltdown of 2012, I jumped into another bad relationship just to prove to him and myself that I wasn’t going to be alone for the rest of my life. I jumped into a career that I didn’t really want just to prove to him that I wasn’t going to be a failure.I went back to school and agonized over keeping a 4.0 because he said I wasn’t smart enough to do it. I gave years of my life to prove to a person who literally did not give a shit about me or how much they hurt me that I was worthy of something.

Before I met him I had plans for my life, but I put them on hold for him, and that didn’t work out but then I spent even more time trying to prove him wrong so I let almost my entire 20’s pass me by and now I’m 28 and I’m in a rut and it’s time to start doing the things that I really want to do.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to move to Florida. Before I met my ex I was looking into going to college there, but then I met him so I didn’t go. He and I had talked about going but obviously, he was a scumbag so that never happened…. which was honestly for the best because things probably would have gotten even worse if we had moved 1100 miles away from my family. I started thinking about it again after I had dealt with some pretty serious health issues this year. I had even gone as far as to look into jobs and housing, but I started to feel guilty about leaving my job because they had been so good to me during my health stuff and I had met a guy I really liked and kind of wanted to see where things went so I stopped looking as hard as I was and settled back into the life I wasn’t incredibly happy with.

Then the guy dumped me and the job laid me off (which was a blessing I was miserable) and a few other irons I thought I had in the fire didn’t work out and now I’m running out of good reasons not to do it. I mean I have friends but I only see like one of them regularly. The biggest thing that was stopping me from doing it now is that I don’t know if I could deal with being that far away from my mom. Right now if I was in a situation where I really needed my mom one of us could get in the car and be there in under an hour, but if I moved 1100 miles away it would take some planning and a whole lot more than a tank of gas, but even my mom doesn’t think this is a good enough reason not to go.

I have again put the things in my life that I really want to do on hold for things and people who really didn’t care about me.  Most of the “friendships” I was afraid to leave behind have ended and anyone whose opinions I value that I’ve spoken to agrees that it’s time for me to get a fresh start somewhere else. So I’ve decided that June 1 when my lease is up I am going to finally pack up my dogs and my cats and move to Florida.

The decision just makes sense. My rent goes up 100$ a month every year, I am unwilling to pay $1700 a month on an apartment that stays exactly the same, as much as I love Worcester I have never been able to make it my home, I have no ties here. I thought that moving back to the town I grew up to work in the restaurant I grew up in would help me to find some sort of direction but I realized that I don’t actually have a life there either and I can’t make a life doing the same things I’ve been doing for more than half my life hoping for a different result. My friends have all started their lives and families so I am for the most part alone and if I have to be alone I may as well be alone on a beach, and as much as I hate to be that far away from my mom I know she’s still going to be there.  Plus with the amount of money, I would have needed to save to move to a new apartment in Mass I can literally pack up my life and move to Florida and have money left over.

This isn’t something I just woke up one day and decided. I have been thinking about it for years, and when I lost my job I decided to go and visit some family who I hadn’t seen in three years. I arrived last week and saw some family and hung out on the beach and perused the local tinder specimen.  I didn’t get a chance to go on any dates while I was there but a local homeless guy did give me his phone number and offer to drive me to the airport when I stopped to pet his dog at a beach bar.  But the more time I spent there the more I realized that I was happier, and not just because I was on  vacation because realistically I didn’t really do many things that I wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t on vacation, and that the only things I was really badly missing from being at home were my dogs.

I won’t lie and say I’m not scared shitless because I totally am, but on the brightside, if I do down there and things don’t work out I can just slap on my marshmallow suit and find the nearest alligator swamp, which would also solve my student loan problem. Or like I could take the more rational route and just go back home. I have family there so I won’t be totally alone, and my cousin can actually cook which means I might get a home cooked meal every once in a while. My biggest obstacle now is figuring out how to save money in my already tight budget and learning how to stop spending money like I’m the long-lost Kardashian. Even though the cost of living is cheaper in Florida I probably won’t get far on the $16 I have in my savings account right now.

So, if you’ve done something like this and have any sort of advice on how to do it let me know. Also looking for advice on how to make friends without wondering if the person you’re trying to befriend thinks your hitting on them. If you know me, and your reading this know that you only have about six months left to get your fill of me before I head off to make either the best or second worst decision of my life.

Also, my dad is really concerned about whose gonna check my oil so if someone wanted to teach me how to do that my dad (and me) would appreciate it.

Confessions of a Domestic Failure

I am really bad at being an adult- Like I really aspire to be one of those women who drink Kale and eats organic and does yoga and has well-behaved dogs and has a spotless apartment, or at the very least can keep a plant alive. I’ve tried- I really have, but my reality is more like- I spent $70 on groceries I don’t know how to cook, set the fire alarm off in my apartment building making toast, and I have to muzzle my dogs and take them on separate walks because one of my dogs tried to knock my neighbor over and steal the socks off his feet when we were coming out of the elevator, and the other dog won’t stop trying to eat her brother. I am basically the embodiment of a Pinterest fail. I’m lucky if I left the house and remembered to put my shirt on. As I write this I’m staring deep into the eyes of a pile of laundry I am putting off doing knowing damn well that I had to buy socks to wear today because I was completely out of clean ones. I should be cleaning because my mom is coming to stay with me,(who took this video of me cleaning my apartment? )and I know if I don’t she will. Which is great because she does a much better job than I ever could, but I’ll never be able to find anything ever again.

I can’t cook- like at all. I used to think I could cook but after a couple of years of eating what can only be described as prison food and multiple visits from the fire department, I charliehad to face the reality that much like that time I went to hairdressing school, me and the kitchen were not a match made in heaven. I am really good at wine, and I can load a mean dishwasher but when it comes to cooking dinner I think I top out at heating up a frozen pizza. I did try blue apron for a while, but cooking one blue apron meal took every pan in my kitchen and three days to clean up after and I don’t know about you but I just don’t have that kind of time. Not to mention it was costing me a small fortune. $60 just on three meals and you still have to eat for the rest of the week and I eat more than one meal a day, and while these three meals were giving me three days of lunch and dinner, I wound up spending like over $120 per week on food for just me (not including cheese) which is double my normal budget. Plus everything had Kale in it (Kale is a great source of nutrition but let’s be real it doesn’t belong in every meal), and if you found something you really liked you can never make it again because you can’t find half the ingredients in the grocery store. I also tried a lot of recipes from Pinterest which were usually a disaster. I had so many dinner failures from Pinterest recipes that I was starting to think the problem was Pinterest and not me. Here is one recipe that I have had really good luck with.

I moved to this city a year ago to advance my career. I really love it here, because I’ve always dreamed of living in a place where I can get breakfast delivered. Moving here that dream a reality. Sure- I haven’t actually done it, because why would I spend $20 to get pancakes delivered when I can just make them at home, but I am really attached to having the option. You can pretty much get anything delivered here- Laundry, groceries, tinder guys,- it’s probably my favorite part of being here, but I am kind of bored. I have been trying really hard to find some sort of hobby that doesn’t involve tinder, vodka, or cheese.

I never really had time for hobbies because I was lolaalways taking care of grown ass man babies, or in school, or working a million hours so this is a like a whole new world for me. I’m kinda like Aladdin except instead of falling in love with a princess I just have a lot of free time that I’m not used to having.  I used to do yoga so I thought about going back because it was a healthy and productive thing to do with my spare time, plus I felt really amazing and was in really good shape when I was doing it.  The problem is most classes are catered to people who don’t work 9-5 Monday- Friday so it has been tough to find a class that fits into my schedule, and since my version of “doing yoga” is rolling around on the ground and swearing at someone under my breath for an hour and 15 minutes twice a week I am not sure I want to part with the $30 a week which could be spent on vodka.

A few months after I moved here I watched my moms dog for about a week and noticed what a difference in my dog’s behavior having another dog around made. I thought maybe the reason Charlie was so stressed all the time was because he needed a friend that wasn’t a cat. I decided to adopt another dog. I got the ok from my landlord and was set up with a rescue by a friend. The rescue only had one small dog- she was blind and I was hesitant to take on a special needs dog because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to give her a good home because I had no experience with anything even remotely close to caring for a dog like her. I agreed to at least foster her, in retrospect I knew she was coming home to stay. It has been a struggle. I was prepared for it to be hard, but its hard in ways I was not prepared for. Her blindness is the least of her issues, but no matter how hard things get with her she is still the best thing I have ever done. Taking home a dog like Lola has taught me a lot about patience and has shown me an entirely different meaning of love. Sure- my two dogs are not the worlds greatest friends like I had hoped they would be, but bringing her home has brought an entirely new dynamic to our fur family.

So my dogs don’t like each other and I can’t cook and my house usually looks worse after I’ve cleaned it than it did before I cleaned it. But my rents always paid (I mean it’s late but its still paid) and I have managed to keep five animals alive (no plants but the pets are good). I always feel like everyone around me is just crushing life and I am just out here spending money like I’m a Kardashian, barely wearing pants, living off of $4 champagne, cheese and too much vodka, and tripping over things while getting constantly barraged with dick pics- but I feel like I am not the only one out here living her best life but like her best life is just kind of a little bit of a disaster.