Life update-Things are good

I didn’t post about it, at the time. But, in June we got a letter saying we were being sued for a medical bill. The next day, we got an letter about filing for bankruptcy. I was very dismissive of it, and went to throw it away, and Brad stopped me. He said maybe we needed to think about it. Wait…what?

After some time, and back and forth, Brad told me how we had about $30k more in debt than I knew about. All the credit cards were maxed out, the min. payments were more than we could afford. We probably did need to file for bankruptcy, actually.

I was in shock. My nice life was ruined. How could he not tell me? How did this happen? I was furious, I was scared, I started to open my mouth to say something, and the words just wouldn’t come. Thanks MS. I literally could.not.say.a.word. I cried, and we didn’t speak for 3 days.

I’d been asking him, repeatedly, to let me help with the money stuff. Because, if something happened to him, I had no idea what our financial situation was, what bills we had, who I had to pay. I was brushed off time and again. Well, now I wasn’t going to give him a choice.

We sat down and laid out everything. Our bills alone came out to about $400 more than he brought home every months. That wasn’t counting food or gas or anything like that. So, we canceled cable. We rolled one cell phone into another plan. We had some tax return left we could put on a credit card. That helped some, little things had our bills down to exactly what Brad brought home. I turned off the A/C and opened the windows…in GA…in June. I hiked a lot in June. The kids were in Indiana, I was furious at Brad, and it was free. We changed his withholding, we paid off a credit card, we called and got some interest rates lowered.

I made him write down everything. Every dollar we owed, every asset we had. Up until then, he said he had a handle on things, but, he didn’t actually know how much we owed. Payments came do, and he clicked pay. We ate a lot of ramen and mac and cheese while the kids were gone. And, I told him we were going to have a big budget meeting every 3 months.

So, fast forward…we’re now 6 months in. We were able to pay off a small credit card right away, with left over tax return There were a couple instances of random money coming in…an overpayment to a dr coming back to us, a MS survey I took that paid, and, at some point my ex went to one of those unclaimed money websites and found the state owed him $3000…well, he owed me more than that. So, when we clicked to cash out, it came right to me. Another credit card got paid off. Those payments rolled into the next credit card payment.

At the last budget overview, I was able to cross a debt off the list and I told Brad “Next year, I want these 2 things paid off”. He said he didn’t know how that was going to happen, but,  if that was my goal, we’d work toward it.

Around June, Brad was also offered a “promotion”. But, his boss wouldn’t tell him pay, or responsibilities. The company had a history of doing this, Brad had gotten 3 “promotions” that never came with the pay raise he was promised, and meant he continued to do his old job while they piled on more responsibilities. So, Brad said he’d love the title, as soon as he knew pay and responsibility. For about a month, his boss pushed. Brad kept repeating himself. They then forced the job on another guy. Who hated every minute of it.

New boss comes, in late Sept. Other guy makes it clear he’s not going to keep the “promotion”. New Boss (Who is also the VP of one of the departments) goes to Brad, asks Brad where he sees himself in the company. Brad goes out on a limb and tells VP  “Actually, I want your job.” VP takes it well, is very encouraging. Brings up the promotion again. Brad lays out his terms, again. In late Oct Brad is told the job is his, he’ll get paperwork. We’re skeptical. He hears “you’ll get it tomorrow” for a few weeks. Things seem to be moving along, but, he still doesn’t know pay or responsibilities. He starts backing out of responsibilities for current position, to prep for new position. He picks the guys to replace him. (Yes, they had to promote TWO people to do the work he was doing. A fact that was causing a decent amount of stress for everyone).

The day after Thanksgiving Brad gets the paperwork. It outlines the new position, and his 20% pay raise!!!! He signs it and sends it back in. So, he has less work, he’s looking forward to the work he has to do now. He thinks it’s fun. And more money.

After I saw that, I said “Remember how I said I wanted to pay off those 2 debts next year and you said you weren’t sure how to manage that? I think you just did.”

All in all, in 6 months, we’ve paid down about $9000 in debt. We’ve still managed to have fun. It’s really opened up our communication, because Brad has tended not to tell me things because he’s afraid I’ll get mad. Well, this happened and it was a pretty big deal. And,I got mad. And…guess what? We were ok anyway.

His promotion also came with a requirement to be in CA for one work week a month. Which sucks. But, it’s great for the frequent flier miles account. And, that lets me fly the kids to IN to visit their dad, instead of having to drive them. If this had happened a few years ago, I don’t think we’d still be together, California weeks used to be really, really rough. But, we’ve grown a lot and now they are just annoying. I did tell him if he’s gonna be out there that much, I’d like to go out once or twice a year too. Especially since the plan is to live there in 10 yrs or so.

In other news, my MS is basically a non-issue anymore *knock on wood*. There are days I hurt a lot, or I’m tired. But, it’s been just over 2 yrs since the diagnosis and they told me to be prepared to be in the hospital a couple times a year. They told me the medicine I wanted wasn’t strong enough to prevent a relapse. They told me it was really bad…and, I’m fine.

My kids are doing well. They have adjusted well to the move, and the new schedule. They are getting used to flights to see their dad, and him driving down to surprise them. He’s getting married Jan 1. Because they wanted the kids there. I told him I’d fly them up for his wedding, but they picked a date the kids would already be there. They’ve been dating like, 2 months. But, the kids seem to like her, so, that’s nice (and a definite change of pace.).

I tried to change out my nose stud for a ring, and my nose is not happy about it. But, I really love how it looks, so, I’m spending far too much time using the saline solution trying to get it to heal up.

 

No, I don’t

Zoey is gone.

I came home from football practice last night, and there was a man on my front porch steps. I rolled down the window and he said “Can I have my dog back?”

He showed us pictures. Said a woman from his church saw me walking her and told him I took his dogs. Zoey (Allie) had been gone for almost a week at the point. She was happy to see him.

So, I opened the gate. He yelled for her to get in the truck and she ran to it.

He informed us she’ll live on a chain now because she runs off.

She has no shots.

She is not fixed.

I said we could keep her if he didn’t want her.

He said we don’t want her, she has fleas and chews up garbage.

I told him I knew she had fleas. I was taking her for a bath tomorrow, and 2 days ago I gave her flea and tick meds. I told him we had an appointment to have her microchipped tomorrow.

He took her.

She already had sores on her tummy from sleeping on concrete.

My kids are heart broken.

I Was That Girl

We went to Disney World on Monday. I have a friend who works there, and he got us in free. And…it wasn’t worth it. He has a new fiance. They’ve been together for 6 months or so, getting married in 3 weeks because she’s pregnant. I spent the whole day hearing about her infertility, gestational diabetes,  lupus, cancer, PCOS, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and extreme social anxiety. None of which she’s been diagnosed with, but she researched them online and has all the symptoms. She’s 12 weeks pregnant, and was being pushed around on a wheelchair the whole time because she’s just “so big!”. Brad and I spent most the drive home trying to make ANY sense of anything she said.

Her and my friend also spent a large amount of time talking about not shopping at Target because of “everything going on”, abortion (I always pick Disney as a good place to have this conversation) God, judging others, etc. Brad and I said little, but certainly never agreed with them.

What finally did me in with her was when I was stumbling while I walked and she was like “well, I guess you can use the wheelchair” and I said no. She asked why, and I said because people like you judge. I don’t want to just be the fat girl who can’t walk. I don’t look broken, you can’t see basically dead spots in  my brain, and that my nerves are eaten all the hell. You got all pissy because you saw someone who didn’t look disabled come out of a handicapped bathroom stall, and I don’t feel like being judged today.

And with him…Disney has a policy not to let people over 14 wear Disney costumes. My friend went on the teacup ride with the boys, there were 6-8 girls on the ride. The girls were each dressed as a different princess. So, I watched as Belle, Jasmine, Alice, and Cinderella posed for their teacup selfie. I watched Ariel, Aurora, and Anna beg one of their mom’s to take one more photo. These girls were having a blast. They got out and Barb (the GF) says “they are too old for those costumes”. They were tall, I will give them that. But, they all looked very young. So, I said I thought she was wrong. She says maybe, but Belle is definitely older than the other girls. I say I’m not so sure, and even if she is, all her friends are dressed up, she wanted to too. So, phil (my friend) gets off the ride. He is made about these girls. He is going to report them, they are obviously older than 14. I’m still fairly certain they are 11-12. I tell him, if my 10 and 12 yr old walked through the front door holding any of these girls hands, I wouldn’t bat an eye. He’s going “look at them! They are not 12, they have boobs and hips and asses.” Now I’m mad. “Look up a little higher then! Their faces are kids’ faces! If you’d stop creeping at their boobs you’d see their faces and they can’t be older than 12.” and he’s still arguing with me. Brad is agreeing with me. Phil is like “12yr olds are not 5’7”. I’m almost shouting, yes they are! My 12 yr old has a 12 yr old female friend who makes me look like a 12 yr old. She’s closer to Brad’s height. And, she’s not the only friend who makes me look tiny when she’s here.

Phil finally says “they didn’t make 12 yr olds like that when I was 12”. And, I said “yes they did dumbass. Because I was that 12 yr old. I was the D cup who couldn’t fit her hips into anything smaller than a woman’s size 8. I had an hourglass figure at 12. And, I spent all of 6th, 7th, and 8th grades being told I wasn’t old enough to act/be treated like i was 16, but, if I did what my 12 yr old friends, who hadn’t hit puberty, did, I was inappropriate. And, it was bullshit.”

I didn’t say this, but I should have. And just because she makes your penis happy doesn’t mean she’s an adult, you are still responsible for yourself,so, your thoughts are on you. Don’t look at a 12 yr old you think is hot and say SHE’S the problem. When you would notice she is 12, if you just looked at her. As a person. You are the problem here. Because we looked over and saw a child playing dress up and having a fun day with friends and their moms, you looked over and saw boobs and said she was inappropriate. These little girls had on knee length dresses, they had no cleavage showing, they had on Converse high tops, and you looked over and sexualized them and saw adults where there were none because placing the blame on these little girls makes YOU feel better about yourself.

He finally threw up his hands and went “well, i guess I hit a sore spot, I just think the rules need to be enforced and 12 yr olds aren’t your height.” And, I stopped, because I was honestly furious. And…I’ve been this tall since I was 11, but short of calling my parents, I couldn’t prove it. And they’d be on Phil’s side anyway, because men can’t control themselves, so, women need to be modest and chaste.

The Wrong Day

We celebrate Christmas on the wrong day. We have for years, and that made it easy when we wanted to move to GA. My ex-husband wanted Christmas Day. Ok, not a big deal for us.

It started because I have a little boy with terrible social anxiety, and all the Christmas stuff on that day was just really bad for him, he was always sick. We couldn’t convince anyone else to have their celebration on another day, so, we moved ours. Every year, we have it before the 25th. We wake up early, we do presents, we have a nice breakfast, the kids play with their new toys and then in the evening we do something fun. Previous years it has been go-karts, or a hockey game.

This year, we had our Christmas yesterday. We woke up early and did presents. We all climbed in our bed and watched the Grinch. Then Brad and I fell asleep again. When we got up, everyone got to enjoy their presents. I made a big breakfast. We had a nice lazy afternoon. Then, Brad got tickets online for Star Wars last night. We went to the theater, I dropped them off, and I went to target,  I bought a book, then I went across the street to Starbucks and read quietly for a couple hours. After the movie, I picked them up and we headed home. The kids were asleep just a couple miles in to the drive. We got home and everyone went to bed.

Everyone always apologizes to me when they find out I don’t have the kids for Christmas. But, honestly, I love OUR Christmas. I love that the gift stuff is over now, and we get to enjoy two more weeks of the holiday season without having to rush around to finish our mile long to do/shopping list. I like that when I need to get something from the store for the holiday, it’s still there. I like that now long lines aren’t really bothering me. I can go to the store, or not. Or I can go at midnight, or I can go to a store that just has groceries…and shorter lines. I like that we can go do that fun activity, because places are open. And, we don’t have to feel bad about contributing to making people work on the holiday. The rest of our holiday season is stress-free. We went out for lunch today, and the waitress asked if we were ready for Christmas. We didn’t figure we needed to give a long explanation, so, we just smiled and said “Yup, all ready” and she said “Wow! You are the only people I’ve asked who have said that.”

On the actual Christmas day, Brad and I will have our own tradition…we will wake up and turn on the Christmas parade, and we will undecorate the house. We’ll pack away ornaments while watching the parade. We’ll probably fall asleep on the living room floor, in front of the fireplace like every other year, but it may be too warm for a fire this time. And, maybe we’ll make new traditions. I’d like to go hiking, if we can. And, my in-laws invited us over for dinner. Christmas eve we were invited over to a friend’s house to eat junk food and watch Christmas movies. And, since we have no other plans, or things we must do, that means we actually do get to spend time enjoying our friends and family and not stress about it.

I’m at the point now, where if my ex offered me the actual holiday, I think i’d turn him down.

Not Completely Broken

I believe I’ve mentioned a couple times on here about how the MS has effected my sex life. My libido has been tanked. Most the time, I’d much rather sleep. If sex isn’t hurting it is because I’m completely numb and can’t feel anything. More than once Brad has decided to play with my breasts and about gotten punched in the face because it is so uncomfortable. He’s had me almost in tears from fingering me…And, he isn’t doing anything I didn’t used to enjoy!

The other day though, I was sitting at the kitchen table, and he walked around behind me. He kissed that curve where my neck meets my shoulder. And, I about slid out of the chair. Holy shit…I was getting turned on. This hasn’t happened in SO long. How have we not thought of this before? I know it isn’t the first time he’s done it. but, i guess he hasn’t done it in awhile.

Later that night we went to bed, and he started kissing and biting there again. It was working, again. Probably a little out of habit by now, he saw I wasn’t cringing and decided to hurry up before something went wrong. So, he fucked me, and it was good. I haven’t enjoyed this in so long, I can’t even begin to describe it. He finished, and got up to clean up. He was standing by the bed when he asked if I needed anything. I said “you, to get your ass back in bed. I’m not done.” He was pretty happy about this, because, seriously, I haven’t let him do anything for me, in months. We’ve had sex, but it’s been very focused on him and his pleasure, because I had, literally, no interest. When he tried to do anything for me, it was uncomfortable and just ended up irritating me.

So, he climbed back in bed, and he was careful, and slow, and was understandably unsure as to what I wanted, could handle. I finally said “Brad, I’m feeling really good right now. I’m enjoying the time with you. You do whatever you want. I’ll tell you if it isn’t working for me.”

You’d have thought I just told him we won the lottery. He got to playing…spent probably the next half hour, 45 minutes touching and playing and making me orgasm over and over again. He even did a couple new things, including one thing I loved, but never asked for, because I was so certain he’d never do it. I don’t think he would have, previously, but that night he was in to whatever he thought might make me moan.

I woke up the next morning with bite marks all down my neck and shoulders. And, very, very satisfied. But, the best part is, I’m still wanting sex and it’s been a couple days since that. He left for work yesterday, but he’ll be home tonight, and I want him. For the last…6 (?) months or so, the best I could do was wanting to want him. I missed wanting sex. This is nice.

One Month Later

 

We’ve been here just over a month. And,I really love it.

I was a bit unsure…we’re really in the middle of no where, we live in a housing addition, but, every house has .5-1 acre of land, so, there are not a lot of houses. But, the kids have made about a dozen friends so far, which is pretty good, especially when you consider they don’t go to school.

I don’t know that I can claim any friends yet, but, I’m meeting people. I’m trying to make friends. I joined a walking/fitness meet up group and the leader sent me a message saying the others had asked about me and when we’d join them again. That was nice.

We went to a fall festival thing last weekend, everybody was really nice.

Brad is home about 50-75% of the time now, it’s weird. But, we’re adjusting. I have 3 friends coming down for Thanksgiving! Brad had a co-worker over when he was in town. The boys father came down a few weeks ago, he stayed here, but, he really just slept on the sofa in the basement, took the boys out all day then they’d come back and watch movies until late, in the basement. It really worked out well, actually.

The move ended up being good for Brad’s job. They’d been wanting to do more regional stuff, and the Atlanta area has been neglected for years. So, they are thrilled Brad is here.

I’m loving the weather. It snowed, twice last year by this time. Today it is about 73 degrees. It rained hard this morning for awhile, but, then it turned in to a beautiful day. I love how pretty it is. We go hiking about every Wednesday, we’ve found beautiful creeks and waterfalls, the leaves changing are gorgeous. Today we went to a 175 year old cemetery.

I love sitting on my front porch every morning and drinking my coffee, and I love walking the dog afterwards and not needing mittens.

I’m not pretending things are perfect. I wouldn’t mind being a little closer to things, but we’d probably lose the big yard in that case. The library system here is really disappointing compared to the old town. We get crappy internet and pay a lot for it. The nearest grocery store is horrible, I’d rather drive to the one 30 miles away. The traffic can be a bitch, and it makes me nervous driving through Atlanta, today we were the first car immediately behind a really terrible car accident, we watched the whole thing, while I slammed on the brakes and yelled “I’m stopped, I’m stopped, I’m stopped!!!!Don’t hit me, don’t hit me don’t hit me!” and the semi behind us, also doing 65 mph swerved to avoid us. I sat there, breathing hard, in the middle of the interstate thinking “Nope, this is no good. I like my old town, where the traffic wasn’t insane”.

Getting used to Brad being around more, but not available has been difficult. I love him, but having to readjust your whole routine, your whole life, and not really being able to create a new one is frustrating. Last week he was gone Mon-Wed.But, had to work in ATL on Friday. This week he’ll be gone Mon-Fri. A couple weeks ago he was home the entire week. There is no more set schedule.

I miss the convenience, and the lack of traffic where I used to live. I miss the library. I miss people I could understand. I miss the gym. But, I know you can’t have everything, and overall, I like it much better here.

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I have more pictures, but my computer isn’t letting me put them on here. I’ll have to try later.

You Look Great!

Please let me say, I like compliments. Don’t get me wrong, but, I’ve noticed something, and that is what this post is about.

I’ve not been shy about the MS thing. Most people know.

So, ever since people started finding this out, I am told constantly “You look great!” Actually, it is usually “Hi! How are you feeling”…”Oh, well, you look great!”

I think it is funny. I’ve been told I look great more in the last year than I have in the 29 before it combined.

What do people expect me to look like? What does “looking great” mean? I don’t look sick? I look pretty? I accessorize amazingly? The other night we went out. I looked cute. I had on a dress, and my hair was cute, and I was in a good mood, and I looked pulled together. And…I was walking SO slowly, I needed my cane. So, do I look great?

But, the next day I was fine. We went out to grab a bite to eat with Brad’s co-worker. I had on yoga pants, tennis shoes, a t-shirt and my hair in pigtails. But, no cane. I walked normally. Do I look great? I was told I did. I basically went out in pajamas.

I appreciate hearing I look great. I am glad that a lot of the time nobody looks at me and immediately wonders what is wrong with me. But, sometimes, it is also frustrating that there is nothing obvious. Sometimes, it is frustrating that “I look great”. Because, when I look great, you won’t realize I have no idea what you just said, because it won’t register in my brain for 13 more seconds, so you are impatiently tapping your foot waiting for a response.

MS is a brain disease. The problem is my brain. Yes, it is all in my head. Yes, I look fine, because the problem is not actually one in my leg or in my hand. And, you can’t see my brain. Some days I can’t walk, because my brain won’t let me. And, some days, I can walk fine, but I can’t speak, because my brain won’t let me. Some days, my husband and his father are trying to fit the fridge in through the back door and realize they need a screw driver, but they don’t know where one is, and I do, but all of a sudden I can’t find the words, and I shout “Oh, I know! It’s in the…the…*point at the door* the one…the side…not Dad’s! Brad’s! Outside!” and my father-in-law looks really confused and my husband tells our 12 yr old “It’s in my truck! On the side of the door! Go get the screwdriver!”

“You look great” doesn’t mean I look great. It means “You don’t look as sick as I thought you were!”

And, that’s great. I’m glad I don’t look as shitty as I feel most days. But, some days, most days, I don’t feel as good as I look.