Hearings and Uncomfortable Meetings

I started “getting settled” as good as I could, considering the state of mind I was in.
P**** had been calling me.  She was under the impression that I was going to be traveling and thought it would be a good idea if I called her to talk while I was driving.  She called me one day and excitedly asked “guess who called me?”  I told her I didn’t have a clue.  She said “B*****!” Apparently, they were becoming best buds.  P**** said “you should call her and thank her for the card she sent you.”  I guess B***** told her that she sent me a Mothers’ Day card and I didn’t respond.
Maybe I should feel horrible.  Maybe I should feel an overwhelming sense of guilt.  Maybe I should feel unbearable sadness.  Maybe I do and am just too dead inside to realize it.
I remember telling J*** that my heart was full of holes and I should be dead…but for some reason, I was still alive.  Maybe those parts that could still feel are now comatose and there is little to no chance that they will ever be revived.
P**** went on to say “I think she misses you.”  I said “B***** had three years to miss me.  It’s a little too late now.”
She repeated that “I should call her and thank her.”
It’s easy for somebody to give you advice, when they aren’t and haven’t been the recipient of somebodys’ wrath.  I didn’t want to hear any more.  I didn’t want to hear about future trips or past “wonderful visits.”  I thought just the very idea that she would (even unintentionally) tell me things like that was cruel.
J*** had said once that “P**** had no center.”  I think it’s that she just doesn’t have the ability to empathize.  Maybe that’s why J*** and P**** have always gotten along so well.  Maybe that’s why P**** told me that if I ever wanted to “get rid of him” to let her know.  Of course, that was before they got into a fight after K****s’ wedding.  After that, he was an “asshole.”
It was time for the “temporary hearing” and I didn’t even want to show up.  I drove to the court-house and sat outside, waiting for my attorney.  I had never seen him or met him, so that was going to be interesting.
I had brought some more things to give to J*** and I had asked him to return a few things to me.  We agreed to exchange them after the hearing.
I was sitting on the courthouse steps and I looked up and saw a “suit” walking toward me.  I just glanced and then looked away.  I thought it was just another lawyer.  When he got closer, I realized it was J***.  He had long ago abandoned suits and I was surprised at how “respectable” he looked (even though he almost had the Albert Einstein hair thing going on again.)
He walked up to me and acted like he wanted to take my hand but I didn’t offer it.  He just softly “smacked” it and said “well, this sucks!”
We just sat there and talked until our respective attorneys showed up.  We went inside and actually sat together until it was time to go into the court room.
I had asked for temporary support until the divorce was granted because I had no idea how long that was going to take.  In fairness to J***, he was sending me half of his pension check and until he retired, he had given me half of his paycheck but he still had the bulk of the money.
My attorney had a ridiculous “affidavit” ready, which was about two sentences long and full of errors.  When we were going over the papers, he said that when he first saw me, he thought I was J***s’ attachment.  I was insulted and let him know.  J*** had written his own affidavit but I didn’t get to see it.  My attorney said he would give me a copy later.  It’s probably a good thing that he didn’t let me see it at that point.
The judge decided to just leave things the way they were until the final hearing, so….J*** won.  After that hearing was over, J*** and I walked down the street to get something to eat.
As soon as we sat down, he said “you look nice.”  I wondered if he was being sincere or just grappling for something to say.  Or, maybe it was more placation.  He still wanted to know what I was going to do but I didn’t tell him anything.
We talked about the person who had watched and followed me.  He completely rejected the idea that it could be somebody “he knew.”  He cut his eyes downward and to the left, threw out his hands and said “I’m incensed!”  As soon as he said that, I immediately spotted a micro-expression on his face.  It was a smile.  That means he either knew about it or he got pleasure from it.
He asked again what my plans were.  He said he knew me well enough to know that if I had a plan, I was going to follow through with it.  His questions were under the guise of “caring” but I knew it was pure curiosity and/or control.  If he didn’t know where I was or what I was doing, it meant he had no power.
Maybe that’s why he spent forty years searching for B***.  Finding her re-established a form of control, albeit loose, distant and anonymous.
I expressed that belief to J***.  I told him that my entire life had been about control.  My mama had control because she knew that I would have done anything for her love.  His mama had control because she knew that I knew he was always going to choose her over me.
His attachment thinks she has control when she’s questioning my right to visit a state or communicate with “her man.”  Her thoughts are laughable and only prove one thing, which I will leave up to each person to interpret any way they choose.
I remember looking at him and it was like looking at somebody that I didn’t know.  It was so hard for me to try to capture anything that even remotely resembled affection or even sadness.  He asked me once if he was “never going to see me again” after the divorce and I told him that he wasn’t.  He said “that’s not the way I want it.”  I was beyond caring about what he wanted and I wondered why he would say that.  Again, that begs the question.  Did he think that he, his attachment and I were going to be a “friends?”  What the Hell is wrong with him?
I told him that when you give something up…you give it up.  He said “you mean like coffee and milk?”  I said yes.  I had given up coffee many years ago and had recently given up milk.  He said “and this is coming from the person who never lets anything go?”
He wasn’t talking about “not letting him go”…he was talking about “not letting my memories go”.  I told him I was also the person who…when they say they were done….they were done.
He was one example of my stance on “letting something go.”  You have to let some things go or they will hit you even harder the next time you bump into them.  I had been hit enough.
There is usually one thing in everybodys’ life that they know about, think about and even dream about…but will never get to have. 
That “thing” is something that J*** should have known about me but he never knew what my dreams were and he didn’t care.  He was only interested in his dreams.
I told him about a story that I had written.  Even though he had complimented me on my writing skills, I knew that I could never even begin to attain the level of penmanship that he possessed.  J*** had always wanted to write the “great American novel.”  Truthfully, even today I would love to read something that he wrote.  Realistically though, I know that I never would.
Who knows what kind of captivating expressions would emerge from the abyss of that brilliant, complicated, self-obsessed mind and jump into the pages of a book?  I can only take for granted that it would be a masterpiece.
I was never blessed with an imagination.  I do however, have a dark and twisty soul where conjecture is bountiful.  I also have the remnants of a child-hood dream of wishing on stars, believing in angels and once a year, desperately hoping that reindeer could fly.
My story was much like something you would see as a movie on the Lifetime or Hallmark channel and was titled “Do You See That Woman Over There?”

A Shameful Send-Off

I sold my house but it was going to be a couple of months before we would close.  Another Mothers’ Day had come and K**** and E* took me to lunch.  I got a card in the mail but it didn’t have a return address.  It was from B*****.  If I known it was from her, I wouldn’t have opened it.  That may sound harsh but this was a card from a child who hadn’t spoken to me in months and she signed it, “I love you.”  Yeah, I sure felt loved.
I didn’t get another card from J*** with a bunch of meaningless dribble written in it.  I emailed him and said “what, no Mothers’ Day card this year?  I’m hurt.”  I was kidding but he emailed back and said that he had looked a long time for one but couldn’t find one that he thought would be appropriate.  Was he kidding?  I’m sure he found a couple that were appropriate for his precious mama and his attachment.
There was a “temporary hearing” scheduled in S**** C******* at the end of the month.  I was hoping that everything could and would be finished before the hearing but I was dreading seeing J***.
He was still pushing me to let him know where I was going and what I was going to be doing.  I had asked him to come see me before I left and he said he would…but he wanted to know why.  I said…”so we can say goodbye.”  He said he didn’t want to say goodbye.  We were doing “the thing.”  The thing where he pretended to care and I pretended to believe him.
J*** asked me if I still prayed.  I told him it had been a long time since I had prayed.  God didn’t hear me anymore and if He did, the answer was still always “no.”
He said he prayed every night.  He said he prayed for me every night.  This is coming from a man who not only claimed to be God, but had always ridiculed me for my strong religious beliefs.
To most people, that would have probably meant something and they would have been grateful.  To me, it meant less than nothing. 
Had he prayed for me after he had cheated on me the first time?  Was he praying for me when his attachment was crawling into his bed every night?  When they were getting ready to try to have sex, what did he say…”hold on a minute, babe…I have to say a quick prayer for my wife?”
He was saying other things that surprised me.  He said he was “living with depression and an absence of hope or even motivation to be happy.”  WHAT?
He went on to say that the was “in trouble, mentally and emotionally…was smoking to the point of being suicidal and drinking too much…on his own, without company and no encouragement outside of his own selfish motivation.”
Then he said that it was ironic…about the drinking, since every bad thing he had done was due to his alcoholism.  He mentioned his mamas’ “terrorist activities” being due to her alcoholism.
NOW, he was confessing that he had a problem with alcohol?  NOW, he was acknowledging his mamas’ behavior and treatment?  NOW, he was admitting that his mama was an alcoholic?  NOW…thirty years too late?
I immediately asked him if he was trying to “play” me, since he had never exposed his soft underbelly to me in forty-one years.  He said he wasn’t.
He had never told me how he was feeling or what he was thinking.  Given his track record of being absolutely incapable of telling me the truth about anything, I filed that away with all the other lies he had told me.  He had comfortably lied to me for years because he didn’t respect me enough to tell me the truth.  It had become fascinating though, listening to him lie when I knew the truth.  The saddest thing is that he thought that I was still too stupid and too trusting to know that he was lying.
Not being educated didn’t mean that I only had half a brain nor did it mean that I hadn’t learned from his past duplicity.
I didn’t know what he wanted.  Maybe he wanted me to feel sorry for him and agree to have the court records sealed like he requested.  If he was so concerned about what the court records were going to say, he shouldn’t have committed adultery, again and again and again.
He had created his own storm and was now woefully crying “shit.  It’s raining.”  What did he want from me…an umbrella?
He wasn’t sorry about what he had done, but he was very, very sorry that he had gotten caught.
I had already told him that I wasn’t going to protect him or lie for him or hide the truth anymore.
K**** had asked me to “store” my furniture in F****** so that it would be easier on her when I died.  I told her that I was going to store it in N**** C*******, where I had stored things before.  I also told her that it would be the same when J*** died.  She would have to make the trip up to S**** C******* to go through his things.  She said “dad doesn’t have anything we want.”  It didn’t matter and it was really a moot point anyway….everything he had would go to his attachment.
I never promised her that I would store my things down there.  Everything was going with me and I was leaving F******.
It was moving day and I called K**** and E* to ask them if they wanted my plants and outdoor lawn furniture.  They came over to get it.  I guess it was clear then to K**** that I wasn’t going to store my furniture down there.  It went well until they got everything loaded into their truck.
Then K**** came into my kitchen and tore into me like a wild animal delivering the fatal blow to its prey.  She yelled “I asked you to do one fucking thing for me and you wouldn’t do it!”  She wasn’t though tearing me to pieces.
She literally screamed “I DIDN’T DO THIS TO YOU!  I DIDN’T DO THIS TO YOU!”  I thought she was going to shred her vocal chords and burst every blood vessel in her head.  I just stood there, listening, while she all but turned into R*** and my mama.  I was so accustomed to that kind of attack that by then, I guess I was just numb.  When she was finished, she slung my favorite saying at me….“I love you.”  Oh, yeah.  I sure felt loved…again.
E* popped his head in and casually said “okay, bye.”
One of the movers came in and asked me who that was.  I told him it was my daughter.  He said it was the most disrespectful thing he had ever witnessed.  He said everybody in the neighborhood heard her.  He gently put his hand on my shoulder, shook his head and walked out.
We got everything loaded and left.  It was late and I was tired but I wanted to get out of there.  I started driving and didn’t stop until the next day.

Getting Ready To Leave

I didn’t think I’d have any problem selling my house, so I started packing a few things.  I ran across things that J*** had given to me or things that belonged to him and I started separating them.  I intended to return everything.  I went through my scrapbooks and got every single card and note that J*** had ever given to me, tore them up and put them in the box.  I got every picture I had of him and threw them in the box.  I still had pictures of us together and I tore the side with me on it off.  I had made a wall hanging from a picture of me, J*** and B***** when we were at H******.  I was going to throw it away but offered it to K**** and she took it.
I threw in the little necklaces and teddy bears that had come with the flowers he was sending me when he was trying to buy my forgiveness as well as the vases the flowers had come in.  He had gotten me a t-shirt that said “you’ll shoot your eye out” because we both loved the movie “A Christmas Story.”  I threw that in the box.  I’ll never be able to watch that movie again.
I sold a few things, like the treadle sewing machine that he had gotten me for our eighteenth anniversary.  I thought it might make me sad to see it leave the house, but it didn’t.
He had literally slaughtered so many things in my life.  He hadn’t died.  He had just betrayed me over and over so there was absolutely no sentimentality attached to any of those things.
He had broken my spirit ten years earlier but I had managed to glue myself back together for a while.  Now, he had all but destroyed it. There’s nothing deader than a dead spirit.  Spiritual, mental and emotional death is such a fixed part of my life now that I am no longer mournful.  It’s just become a way of life for me.
If I didn’t have that remarkable, despicable memory, I could be just like him.  He never remembers anything so he never has to feel guilty about anything…but…ah, he’s missing out on wonderful memories that are forever lost to him.
Even though he hated my memory, now and then he would tell me that he wished he had it.  He wanted to remember all the stories that his daddy had told him.
I could recount them for him, verbatim…like the boy (I even remember his name and I remember why) who kicked his daddy when his pilonidal cyst was acting up…or the time his brother J** came home drunk and ran the car into a tree…and all the escapades his daddy had as a little boy.
J*** will never hear those stories again and they will now live only in my memory until I put them into a small, insignificant box and toss them into oblivion…along with J***.
All I had to do now was get rid of his name.  He said that it might be easier for me if I kept it.  Did he really think that I was going to keep his name?  I’m sure he thought I should be honored to keep it.  I regretted that my children had to carry it but I didn’t and wouldn’t.
I still sometimes get mail with that name on it.  I don’t know if it’s anger or nausea that strikes me when I see it.  I believe it’s a combination of both.
I had asked him to return his wedding ring and the quilts that I had made for him but he didn’t want to.  I told him that I didn’t want them to “conveniently disappear.”
I reminded him that when I asked if I could have his first wifes’ ring to make into something else, he said “you can throw it away for all I care.”
He said he would give his ring to K**** but he wasn’t going to return the quilts.  He said they were “his most prized possession.”
I thought his most prized possession was his attachment.  I told him that since she was “going to college” maybe she could enroll in a sewing class and then she could make him some quilts.
My view is that he didn’t deserve to have them when I made them and he certainly didn’t deserve to have them now.  I figure they will probably “get lost in a move” and end up at the nearest Goodwill store.  Since he doesn’t remember anything and notices even less, he wouldn’t even miss them until years from now, if ever.
The next time he came down, he brought the ring but not the quilts.  We went to the little place up the street to have lunch.  He looked at me and said “you know…you are clearly insane.”
That’s interesting.  There have been three “main” women in J***s’ life.  First there was B***, then his first wife and then me.  B*** left him, probably after P**** (who was then his fiance) showed up unexpectedly and decided to stay.  After B*** left him, she was “absolutely crazy.”  After P**** left him, she was “a nut job who wanted to be married to her father.”  After I left him, I was “clearly insane.”
I wonder if it ever occurred to J*** that he either has a knack for attracting “insane women” or possibly…just possibly, there is a flaw in his character.  “Everybody who leaves J*** H*** is insane?”  There has to be a reason his women kept leaving him.  Maybe it’s because none of us were with him for his money.
Betrayal and countless other faults can be overlooked and forgiven…for financial security.
R*** kept telling me that I was “crazy” and “made up the craziest stories.”  J*** is telling me that I’m clearly insane.  J*** and R*** both have fearless dominance.  They have self-centered proclivities and being pure egotists, they blame others for their mistakes.  It was my fault that the family was fractured because I wouldn’t tolerate R***s’ drunkenness.  It was my fault that J*** cheated on me.  It was my fault when J***  cheated on his attachment.  God knows, neither one of them did anything wrong.  These traits are the mark of  a true sociopath.
I didn’t care what J*** said or thought because that “caring” had long since passed and the tighter that attachments’ grip became, the more vicious his attacks became.  He could rave all he wanted.
Since this was going to be the last year that we were going to file joint tax returns, J*** was anxious for all of my information.  I kept very good records so it wasn’t going to be a problem getting them together.  He had always waited until the last minute to do the taxes but said he wanted to get them done earlier this year.
He asked me if I could get everything to him by the week-end.  I told him I had been really sick but promised that I would do my best.  I worked all week-end, gathering information and sending it to him.
I didn’t hear anything from him and wondered why he was in such a rush if he wasn’t going to even acknowledge that he had received them.
I understood when I got yet another picture and message.  It was a nice picture (the same…the attachments’ arm wrapped tightly around J***s’) and the message said “we’re having a wonderful time in Myrtle Beach.” 🙂
He was pressuring me to get things done so he could relax and take his attachment to Myrtle Beach?  What a guy!
I finally said something to him about it.
N**** had seen the pictures and notes but J*** wasn’t going to believe it for one minute.  It was much easier to blame somebody in my family than admit the possibility that they were coming from the person I think they were coming from.  Even if he knew (and I’m not convinced he didn’t), he would dismiss it after being easily manipulated…not to mention the huge ego boost it was.
WATER SEEKS ITS OWN LEVEL and so do some people, so what more needs to be said?
Word got out that I was selling my house.  Even J*** found out.  He said “you know how I knew you were selling your house?  I googled it to see how much it was worth (for the divorce) and saw the listing.”
I told everybody (including J***) that I was going to put everything in storage and then “travel.”  There are places that I have always wanted to go and things I have always wanted to see, so I “pretended” that was what I was going to do.  I had always wanted to go to Las Vegas and J*** promised to take me but he never did.  He’s been several times and I imagine he’ll go again, but he won’t be taking me.
J*** wanted more information about where I was going and what I was going to do.  When he had visited before, I mentioned that I would like to just “disappear.”  He looked at me and said “you don’t think I can find you?”
He had always known where P**** is.  Now, he had finally found out where B*** is, although it only took him forty years.  He didn’t find her on my watch.  He found her on his attachments’ watch.  I imagine he found her during one of his marathon “bathroom visits.”  Unless he has changed drastically, his attachment wouldn’t be allowed in the bathroom during one of those visits.  I wonder what she would think if she knew that he was secretly “looking for another woman” while she was in the next room?
Maybe while she was posting all of her “broken-hearted” sayings on social media about her married lover betraying her, somebody should have posted one for her to read.  “If someone cheats with you, they will cheat on you.”  But that already happened, didn’t it?  I wonder why she didn’t care?
It must be true love……..of something.

More Painful Losses

My relationship with K**** and B***** was becoming even more strained.  K**** didn’t like to be around me.  She said “you just look so sad.”  I understood.  I would call her and suggest that we go to lunch on one of her days off.  She would always say “that sounds good.”  I would tell her to give me a call and let me know when, but she never called.
J*** had come down for another visit and we met B***** and her children at Starbucks.
K**** and E* were going to show up later for lunch.  J*** and I were sitting outside, sharing a couple of smoothies.  I noticed that B***** had J***s’ contemptible, disgusted look on her face.  She didn’t say anything but she didn’t have to.  Her face said it all.
K**** and E* drove up.  I don’t think they were expecting to see us together.  We went into the restaurant and had lunch.  J*** and I were swapping things off of our plates, like we had always done.  I thought it was a good lunch and I enjoyed it.
Later, K**** blasted me and said that she was more uncomfortable than she had ever been in her life.  B***** added her two cents worth as well.  I asked both of them if it would have made them feel better if J*** and I had thrown plates at each other.
B*****s’ husband had made an excuse not to come.  He is a contradiction.  He was infuriated when he found out that I had given J*** a key to my house.  He said “he took your youth, he took your trust, he took your job and you’re giving him a key to your house!”
He said that to me, yet he opens their home to J*** and regularly keeps in touch with him.  I wonder if there were “rules” for J*** to be allowed to see his new granddaughter, that is if J*** had ever been interested in seeing her.  I would hazard a guess and say “no.”
T** and B***** had both “damned” me for essentially ruining their wedding pictures.  They said there “wasn’t one picture of you smiling.”  They didn’t know about J*** screaming at me when he told me to put I**** down, or when he had intentionally poked me, hoping he would wake me up or noticed the drunken insults he was slinging at me…and they wondered why I wasn’t smiling?
If I lived to be a thousand years old, I would never understand the double standards that some people have.
That was becoming a common theme.  Nobody cared if they hurt my feelings, made me mad or attacked everything I stood for…it was all about them.  They were becoming J*** H***.
I lived right in the heart of downtown M**** D***.  I used to walk downtown to just look around.  When we lived in F****** as a family, I used to drive there to go shopping.  I was sitting in a little cafe one day and a man came up and started talking to me.  I thought he was very nice.  We started meeting every few days and it was something that I looked forward to.  He was the most soft-spoken, gentle-natured man I had ever met.  Until I was divorced, I considered myself to be married and there was never going to be anything even remotely resembling a romantic gesture…not a kiss on the cheek or a touch of a hand.  Instead of finding fault with my views, he applauded them.  He told me that I was beautiful.  He made me feel like I had value.
I could see the potential for maybe having a future relationship with him.  Not wanting to do to somebody what had been done to me and being required by law, I divulged that I had Herpes.  He was very understanding and like J***s’ attachment, “thanked me for telling him.”  A few days later, he called and said that although it broke his heart, he couldn’t continue to see me.  He didn’t have Herpes and he didn’t want it.  Who would want that horrible disease?  I sure didn’t.
I told B***** about it and instead of being outraged or sympathetic, she said “well, mom.  That’s just something you’re going to have to deal with.”  Just something that I’m going to have to deal with?
What were my chances of finding a decent man who already had Herpes or who would cavalierly say “if you care enough, it doesn’t matter?”
I could walk into any bar or pool hall and pick up somebody who already had it and “didn’t care” but that was somebody elses’ strategy…not mine.  Or, if I was looking for somebody who could financially support me, I could hang out in bars or pool halls and hope that some pathetic, lonely schmuck would walk in, who was so desperate for companionship, it would be an even trade.  I’d get money and support and he’d get companionship and Herpes.  If a man is desperate enough, he’ll settle for ANYTHING.
Not long after that, was when I was talking to B***** on the phone and she hung up on me.  She never spoke to me again.  T** emailed me and attacked my character and then said “if this pisses you off, tough shit.”
I couldn’t take anymore…being chastised for not decorating, being damned for not smiling, being accused of wanting to keep living in “my dark place,” having my character assassinated, being accused of trying to break up J*** and his  attachment, being criticized for falling into a ditch, being hung up on and now, “just having to deal” with the fact that there was little to no possibility of ever having another relationship because J*** H*** HAD GIVEN ME A FUCKING DISEASE.
Losing B***** was almost unbearable.  She had been “my person.”  She could ask me anything and could tell me anything.  I always believed that she was the one child who understood what I had sacrificed through the years.  Now, she had clearly chosen J*** and his attachment.  That was fine.  They could “be there” for her now.
I decided to leave.  I put my house on the market and started making plans to get out of F******.
Right after that, I noticed a car started parking up the street.  I didn’t think much about it at first until I started seeing it all the time.  I finally decided to walk up and ask them if they were lost or something.  As soon as I got out of my gate, the car reversed and took off.  It was a nondescript car.  It wasn’t flashy and it wasn’t a junker.  It had heavily tinted windows and of course, had no tag.
This went on for weeks.  One night, at ten-thirty, I was sitting outside and a man walked up and said “hey, P****.”  It was not the “hello” kind of hey.  He asked me “how things were going for me.”  I got a little scared and went inside.  My son had been staying with me for a few weeks and I told him about it.  The next night, I thought I heard somebody walking around my house.  I decided that I was being paranoid but I mentioned that to my son, too.  He said that he had thought he had heard somebody in the yard the night before.
I went to the police and talked to them.  They said they didn’t believe it was a stalker because a stalker would walk right up to me or up to my door.  They believed it was a private detective.  They started driving by my house periodically.
I called my attorney and told him about it.  He told me to be “very careful.”  He said if somebody even suggests that you are committing adultery, that alimony is going to disappear before it ever starts.
He suggested that J*** was having me watched so that he could “get out of paying alimony.”  I told him that was ridiculous.
I said “J*** wouldn’t spend one dime trying to catch me doing what he’s doing because he KNOWS that I would never do what he’s doing.”  My attorney suggested “somebody else.”  I asked him who and he said “put it this way.  Every penny J*** doesn’t have to give to you, he can spend on somebody else.”  That was food for thought.
I was still getting messages, and now they were being accompanied by pictures of J*** with his attachments’ arm wrapped tightly around his.  The latest one said “just so you understand, he belongs to ME now.” 🙂  Hmm.
I was being followed to the dentist.  I was being followed to the doctor.  My email had been hacked.  My phone had been hacked.  One week-end I was on my way to get N**** for a “girls’ week-end.”  A car had followed me all the way to her house and was still behind me on the way home.  I pulled off the road real quick and then pulled back on and caught him at a red light.
I motioned for him to roll down his window.  I asked him why he was following me and he said “I thought I knew you.”  I asked him if he thought he knew me the last several weeks when he was following me.  He told me to “have a nice day” and quickly sped off.
I never found out who it was or what they wanted.  If somebody was trying to try to catch me committing adultery, they wasted a lot of money and was very disappointed.  The alimony “did not go away.”
I didn’t tell anybody that my house was on the market and since nobody ever came to see me, the “for sale” sign wasn’t going to be an issue.  My son and N**** knew and they were supportive.  They understood that I just had to get away from all the animosity….and the memories.
My sister and her boyfriend made another trip to F******.  I thought they had come to see me before I left.  They showed up and the first thing P**** said was “you look like a fucking skeleton.”  They spent the night and the next morning, I asked them if they wanted to go with me to have breakfast with N**** and I****.  P**** started acting nervous and said she didn’t think they’d have time.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that they had come down there to spend the week-end with B***** and T** and were on their way to their house.  They had used me for one nights’ stay because B***** had been on shift.  They couldn’t be bothered to see N**** or I****.  I guess, like me, they weren’t worth having anything to do with.
They spent the week-end with B***** and T**.  K**** and E* came over and they had a cook-out.
P**** couldn’t wait to call me on their way home, to tell me what a nice guy T** was, what a good cook he was, what a darling little girl B***** had, how much she liked B*****s’ nightgown and what a wonderful time they had.
I don’t think it ever occurred to her to try to imagine how that must have made me feel.

I’m No Angel

For as long as I can remember, I have had a steadfast black and white view of life.  To me, it is either up or down, in or out, good or bad or right or wrong.  I believe in an eye for an eye.  If I care about you, I will not hesitate to take a bullet for you…but if you’re the one holding the gun, when you pull the trigger…it had better be a kill shot.
My beliefs had been ingrained into my very soul and were unwavering.  My faith had always been unshakable.  My honor and integrity were unquestionable.  My loyalty was unlimited.  My inner strength was unbreakable.
There is one thing that destroys almost all of those and results in complete emotional death.  That is when you discover that you have been betrayed by the one person you trusted above all others.
I never forgive.  All the rhetoric about “freeing yourself” by forgiving those who have destroyed you, is unfathomable to me.  If you forgive somebody, you free them and allow them to continue to do what they did to you or to somebody else.
I never forgive anyone who questions my character.  B*****s’ husband did.  J*** did.  R*** did.  My mama did.  My character is the one thing I have left that is above reproach and I will not allow it to be impugned.
I never forgive a mistake that is fatal.  When somebody knows that what they’re doing is wrong and knows it is unforgivable but keeps on doing it…that is a fatal mistake.
The most remarkable person I have never met is Jesus.  Not everybody believes in him and I have no problem with that but I believe he “died” for everybodys’ sins……..and look at the world.  It’s full of liars, cheaters, murderers, adulterers, and abusers….. and he forgives them.  God should be grateful that I wasn’t “his only begotten son.”
I never forget.  If you forget, you are vulnerable to the merry-go-round effect.  You set yourself up to have the same things happen to you….over and over and over but….I also never forget a kindness.
I never allow excuses for mistreatment or betrayal.  There is a difference between a reason and an excuse.
I am sometimes unreasonable to a fault.  I’ve been accused of having to have everything my way.  That is true if it conflicts with my life-long convictions and I will not bend.
I have been called “rigid.”  If something is illegal, I will not do it.  If something is unjust, I will not condone it.  If something requires the abandonment of my morality, I will not capitulate.
I am capable of seething, intense and unyielding hatred and I am not willing to hide it.

I wasn’t a good child.  I tried to be.  I prayed.  I was respectful to my mama and daddy.  I never answered them without the proper “ma’am” or “sir.”  I made good grades in school and I never missed a day.  I saved small animals’ lives.  I appreciated natures’ beauty.  I believed in God.
Sometimes, in my youth ( but never now), I would allow myself to delve into the “what ifs.”  What if I had been raised in a different environment?  What if I had been given a chance?  I’d like to think that there were endless possibilities to what I could have done and who I could have been.  I wasn’t a good child.  A murderer is not a good child.
If my mama and daddy were still alive, they wouldn’t say “she was a good child.”

I was not a good mother and my beloved children paid a price.  I did the best I could under the circumstances but I didn’t have a template.  I was alone with them most of the time.  A good mother wouldn’t have complained about that.
I was the enforcer.  I didn’t control my disappointment or anger.  A good mother would have never lost her patience…under any circumstances.
I was frustrated with having to raise them almost all by myself and I resented interference by people who were not qualified to offer advice…such as R***.
I resented that J*** got to travel, got to stay out as long as he wanted to, and had friends he could “hang out with.”
I resented that it seemed the only time he acted proud of the children was when they were scoring goals in a soccer game.  A good mother wouldn’t have resented any of those things.
B***** called me one day, in tears.  She was watching her husband and his son playing.  She said “mom, the only thing I ever remember dad doing with J***** was yelling at him.”  A good mother would have defended J*** and come up with a “reason.”
I did my share of “yelling.”  I would swat them with my flip-flop.  I would send them to their rooms.  I made them cry.  A good mother would never do that.  I would be mean to them when they didn’t do what I thought they should do.  A good mother would have been grateful that she had four wonderful, smart, healthy children.
I wouldn’t want them to drive very far.  It was a joke for years that “mom wouldn’t let us drive outside a five-mile radius of the house.”  It was true but it wasn’t because I didn’t trust them to be careful.  I didn’t trust everybody else.  A good mother would have kept that fear to herself and it wouldn’t be something that they all remember to this day.
I didn’t want any of them to drink or smoke or have sex when they were in high school.  I wanted them to be like me.  I became painfully aware that none of them wanted to be like me.  A good mother would have understood that no child wants to imitate a clearly damaged, impatient and unreasonable mother.
I could attempt to counteract my inadequacies with a plethora of “good” things I tried to do, but it doesn’t really matter.  As I said before…one or two foolish acts can kill a thousand other great ones.
Despite my many flaws, my children have become wonderful, talented, gifted, intelligent, and mostly “sane” human beings, but my children will never say “she was a good mother.”

I wasn’t a good wife.  I didn’t play the game.  I didn’t ignore J***s’ and his friends’ drunkenness.  I resented them coming to my house, turning my trash can upside down (dumping the trash all over my floor) and using it like a drum.  I resented J*** not saying anything to them.  I should have ignored it…a good wife would have.
I resented them coming to my house and spilling alcohol all over my floor and furniture, breaking my crystal and not apologizing.  I should have ignored it…a good wife would have.
I know that J*** resented me.  He lusted after hard-drinking, bar-loving, “I don’t care if you’re married,” court-holding, educated queens.  I was not and never would be that kind of woman.  If I had been a good wife, I would have recognized that and tried to change.
A good wife would have figured out a way to get an education, even if it meant dragging all four of her children to class with her.  A good wife would have wanted to do that so her husband wouldn’t be ashamed of her.
I should have endured my drunken mother-in-law.  A good wife would have at least pretended to condone her actions instead of being unmovable, which resulted in her complete alienation from her husbands’ family.
If I had been a good wife, I would have sacrificed my “holier than thou attitude.”
I was never going to tolerate somebody who literally made my skin crawl.  I should have overlooked it…a good wife would have.
I should have ignored the other women and been happy that J*** was with me.  A good wife would have.  I should have enjoyed the gifts and money that he substituted for attention and affection.  A good wife would have.
When J*** was spending almost all of his time after work at a bar, it shouldn’t have made me angry.  I shouldn’t have questioned it.  A good wife wouldn’t have.  A good wife would have been thankful that he came home at all.
J*** told me that I had “really harmed his career.” I should have apologized to him and tried to do better…a good wife would have.  I should have turned a blind eye to the antics and what I considered to be the barbarianism of some of his “friends”…a good wife would have.
A good wife would have raised our children without complaining.  A good wife would have never gotten petulant about being ignored.  A good wife would have appreciated the fact that J*** was an excellent provider.
A good wife would have waited up for him until two o’clock in the morning, just to have a chance to talk to him.  A good wife would have overlooked his drinking and understood that it was part of his life.  A good wife would have even had a drink with him…just for the attention.
A good wife wouldn’t have laid in bed, night after night, smelling beer breath and hoped that her husband didn’t try to touch her.
When J***s’ daddy died, I should have gone to be with him but I didn’t.  His daddy had never give me the time of day until he was on his death-bed and even then, it was all about R***.
J*** didn’t come to be with me when my mama died.  He didn’t even ask me if I wanted him to.  This is not tit for tat.  I just didn’t think he needed me.  After all, he had his beloved mama and if he had to choose between me coming to be with him and being with his mama…..he would have chosen his mama.  A good wife would have understood and accepted that.
I should have forgiven J*** for betraying me.  A good wife would have.  I should have known that (as R*** said) “obviously, J*** wasn’t getting what he needed at home” and tried to change.  A good wife would have.
When J*** gave me Herpes, I should have echoed his sentiments when he said “if you care enough, it doesn’t matter.”  A good wife would have accepted getting that disease…because she cared enough.
I should have put aside my beliefs.  A good wife would have.  I guess on top of all my other faults, I’m selfish.  I could only think about myself and my anguish, my sense of worthlessness, the death of my belief in fidelity and my unassuageable grief.
I should have learned to play all the games.   A good wife would have.
Maybe I should have found comfort in somebody elses’ arms, like J*** did.  If I had been happy, it might have been easier to be a good wife.  We could have presented ourselves as that “perfect couple” (who everybody quietly whispered about because they knew we were cheating on each other) but at least I would have been a good wife.
I should have been willing to be the “lady in the lounge, the queen in the kitchen, and the whore in bed” and not cared whose bed it was.  J*** wouldn’t have minded because those three things would have made me a good wife.
A good wife would have done all of those things but I was not going to compromise my values for anybody.  If I had…I would have been just like HIM. 
I would have been no different than all of his attachments, past and present, who have absolutely no moral compass.
I wasn’t a good wife, but J*** has emerged unscathed and is still revered.  His family, his friends and his attachment know the worst possible things about him………..and it doesn’t matter.  He is loved.
He would say that “I was never really what he wanted.”  He would never say “she was a good wife.”
I am now sixty-five years old and I have never known how it feels to be loved.  I think my mama said it best when she said “what in this round world have you ever done to make anybody love you?”
How could anybody possibly love me?

Fait Accompli

B***** had given birth to another little girl a few months earlier.  She was still reeling from my “attempt to break up J*** and his attachment” so we hadn’t really been speaking.  While she was still in the hospital, I emailed T** and asked him if it would be possible for me to come see the new baby.
He said I could…..but first I had to have a “long overdue conversation” with my daughter.  There were conditions for me to be able to see my grandchild.
There had been “boundaries” with B***** and truthfully, I had overstepped them several times by mentioning her brother, N**** or J***.  Now there were conditions from her husband.  I don’t know why I wasn’t given a list of “rules” on a piece of paper that I had to sign, like I had been given when I was a child…..begging to go home.
I called her and we met for coffee at Starbucks.  We had done that for a long time but had stopped.  It was good seeing her and getting to meet the new baby.  It was a little awkward but I was hoping the rift could be healed.  The attempt would prove to be futile in time.  I think too much damage had been done.
Thanksgiving was coming up.  I had always had the entire house decorated by then but I hadn’t done anything. I just didn’t have it in me and even though I tried to mentally dismiss it, I knew that I would never decorate again.
K**** invited me over to her house for Thanksgiving dinner and I was planning on going until…..I heard by accident that K****, B**** and their families were planning a trip to S**** C*******.  They were going to meet J***s’ attachment, see J*** and R*** and then travel up to N**** C******* to see my sister.  I mentioned it to B***** and she said that she had planned on telling me when we were at K****s’.
I just didn’t feel like I could go after that.  I felt not so much like I had been betrayed again but that it had been intentionally kept from me.
I didn’t go to K****s’.  I spent Thanksgiving alone.
I called P**** and asked her why she hadn’t told me that my children were coming to see her.  She said she didn’t want to tell me because she was afraid I would get mad.
My daughters hadn’t told me that they were going to S**** C******* and it had been planned for a while.  P**** hadn’t told me that my children were coming to see her and it had been planned for a while.  J*** hadn’t told me about his attachment and she had been around for a while.  Each one was a fait accompli.  Why would I think that I deserved to be included?
P**** and her boyfriend had come down earlier in the year and had made plans to have dinner with B***** and her family.  I didn’t know about the plans, of course.  When she told me, I mentioned that I would like to go with them.  B***** was still mad at me but it never occurred to me that it would be an issue.
P**** called to ask B***** if she minded if I came.  B***** said she didn’t want me to.
I told P**** that if the situation was reversed…..meaning that if her son and I were planning on going out to eat and he told me not to bring her……I wouldn’t go.  It didn’t matter to P****.  I watched them get ready and then off they went….leaving me at home by myself.
When they got back to my house, they said they had a really good time.  I guess they did.
I was unhappy that K**** and B***** were going to go to S**** C*******.  I was particularly upset that B***** was suddenly going to embrace that drunk who had treated not only me like garbage, but her as well.  B***** excused it by saying “when someone keeps reaching out to you, you eventually have to do something.”  I guess she meant “someone” besides me.
She had refused to invite R*** to her wedding, but now not only was she going to travel nine hours to spend the holidays with her, she was going to eagerly spend them with J***, his attachment and then, my sister.
Nobody came to see me on Christmas.  There were no gifts, no cards, no calls.  N**** and J***** texted me “Merry Christmas” but it wasn’t merry.  It was excruciatingly painful and even now while writing about it, I am stricken with immeasurable grief.
That marked my decent into even greater depths of depression.  I knew I had fallen into a black hole and B***** was not shy about reminding me.  It seemed that everybody who meant something to me….shovelful by shovelful, were slowly covering me up like I was a dead animal.
I had always believed (and so had my children) that I was made of steel.  Like a faded actress who one day wakes up and realizes that she is no longer a leading lady…..I woke up and realized that I was made of glass.  There had been scratches over the years….pieces had been chipped off….but now, I had been shattered into a thousand pieces.
K**** and B***** made their trip and came back with gifts from R*** and J*** (and probably from his attachment.  That would make her look like the “good guy.”)  J*** had actually gotten gifts for them.  He used the gift cards that were given to him at his retirement party so he didn’t have to spend much, if any, money.
When they got back, I was talking to B*****, telling her that I wished she had brought the children over to see me.  She angrily said “why would I bring my children over to somebodys’ house who didn’t even bother to decorate?”  I guess maybe I thought she would like to bring her children over to see me.  I didn’t know it was all about the decorations.  I was talking to her on the phone a few weeks later and made the mistake of mentioning J***.  She hung up on me.  She has never spoken to me again.
J*** and I had emailed back and forth.  It was clear to me that I was going to have to use different tactics to reach him.  Not only was there the alimony issue, I had discovered another account that he had “forgotten” and was refusing to divide.
Once again, I had to hone my acting skills.  I would send an email addressed to “my darling.”  He responded that it had been a long time since I had called him darling and he really appreciated it.  What an idiot.
He had started calling me darling after I asked him how long he had called both me and his attachment “babe” and “sweetheart” at the same time.
I have never seen anybody who could be PLAYED easier than J*** H***.  Anything….anything that stroked his ego, he consumed like a child in a candy factory.  I put on my best and sweetest southern belle persona and made him think that I still “cared.”
J*** came down in January and we continued our discussions.  I decided to approach it not only with the fake affection but also from a business standpoint.  He understood our “business relationship.”
I asked him what his attachment got him for Christmas and he said “a coffeepot.”  He said she didn’t want him to continue to use the one I had given him.  Poor jealous thing.
I asked him what he got her for Christmas and he said “I don’t remember.”  Since I was playing the sweet, little thing, I just smiled and let him think I believed him.
He finally agreed to pay alimony and split the other account.  Making him believe that I still cared about him, putting my request on a business level and calling him darling had worked.
I had re-filed for divorce in S**** C******* and he had been served.  The server reported back to my attorney….”this one’s going to be a real piece of work.”  I understand that J***s’ reaction was less than cordial.
He had filed against me the day after I filed, saying that we hadn’t been living together.  I asked him why he filed when he knew that I was going to and he said he didn’t know that I had.
Then he looked down and said “and you filed for adultery….and it will be public record….but I guess you get some kind of satisfaction out of that.”
Was he thinking that I would file for divorce because we had “drifted apart?”  Again, he didn’t want to take any responsibility for what he had done.  He wanted protection.  It was all about him.
He got in his car, looked at me and said “I miss you every single day.”  I wanted to say “do you miss me when you and your attachment are camping…..or when you and your attachment are at the bar drinking……or when you’re crawling into bed with your attachment every night?”  He missed me every single day?  Who did he think he was talking to?  He’s a great con artist but that crap didn’t work on me anymore.
I have to take a break from this.  My next post will be to do what I deserve to have done.  Bash myself for who I really am.

Hear Me Roar!

J*** and I exchanged a few emails after our last meeting.  They were strained and full of insults (from both sides.)  I turned the emotional thermostat up all the way and opened every single vent.  I ended one message by telling J*** that he had never failed to remind me that he liked “strong, self-confident women who pushed back” and asked him how he liked “a woman who roared?”
He replied that there was “a difference between pushing back and being a vindictive bitch.”
Ah, the sweet darlin’ was going to regret saying that to me.
He calmed down and later wrote an apology.  He tempered his insults by telling me that I “was a really good writer.”  Coming from arguably one of the best editors who has ever been in the business, I took that as a compliment but I am keenly aware that J*** can successfully placate most people with what he refers to as his “fatal H*** charm.”  He also has unapologetic expertise when it comes to pretending lugubriousness.
I decided to write him a twelve page letter after the “vindictive bitch” comment and I did not hold back.  I would describe it as scathing and unmerciful but it was exactly how I felt.  In that letter, I told him that when I asked him how he liked a woman who roared, I meant it.  I told him that “I had roared and he was going to hear it.”
I decided to enlighten people about what had happened to us and I spelled it out in great detail.  It had been nine years since I left J*** and during those years, I imagine he had told everybody what he said he was going to tell his mama and daddy, which was that I left him because he had been fired.  He didn’t seem to be concerned with the implied assumption that I was nothing but a gold-digger.
I know he had never admitted what he had done because he is a coward.  He was much more comfortable “throwing me under the bus” than accepting responsibility for destroying our marriage.  Had he admitted what he had done, he couldn’t have enjoyed the enormous amount of sympathy that he received, especially from women.
I wrote letters to people I knew and I wrote letters to people I had never met.  A few of the people gave the letters to J***.  Most of them didn’t, although they told him that I had written to them.
Was that being “vindictive” or was that a roar?”
I’m not sure J*** really knew what to think about what I had done.  It was territory that he had never had to face.  The real J*** H*** had been exposed for exactly who he was and now people knew what he had done.
The impact of those letters remained dormant in his mind for a while because our next grandchild was about to be born, not to mention that he was relishing the prospect of his impending retirement.
Our son had been named after J***  just as J*** had been named after his daddy.  It was fully expected that this child would carry on the name because we knew it was going to be a boy.
Our son called me and told me that the baby had arrived.  Right after, J*** texted me and said “it’s an old stinkin’ boy” and then asked me what I thought.  I said that I was happy for them but I was also a little bit worried.
J*** texted back and said “NOT ME!  J*** C**** H*** IV!”  He wasn’t concerned about how our sons’ girlfriend was or what the future held for them.   ALL HE CARED ABOUT WAS THAT GODDAMN NAME! 
Did he really believe that name still had any value?  He had basically destroyed our family with his past and present adultery, had tarnished me with an incurable disease and was leaving behind a life-long profession with a reputation as being one of the most abusive tyrants who had ever darkened a newspaper doorway.  Even one of his closest friends had said “nobody denies that J*** has talent, but everybody hates him.”  That name to me, was about as valuable as if it had been Manson.
Our grandson was ultimately given another name and as of this posting, more than a year later, J*** has never seen him.
I received a letter from the L*** C***** courthouse but I didn’t even bother to open it.  A few days later, I got an angry email from J***, asking me what the hell it was about.  He had gotten the same letter but he opened it.  It was a summons for both of us to appear in court.  I told him that I would call and find out what was going on.
I called the court and told them that J*** lived five hundred miles away, couldn’t come down and that I had asked for a postponement.  The clerk said “obviously, it wasn’t granted.”  I asked her what would happen if he didn’t show up and she said he would be in “contempt of court.  This is not a request.  This is an order.”  I asked her what my options were and she said that I had none.  I told her that I could drop the suit and she said I could and suggested that I come do that.
I did and then let J*** know.  He said that I had done the right thing and that he thought it would be easier for HIM to file in S**** C******* and for me not to assume any negative meaning when he became the “plaintiff.”  He wanted to file based on “living apart.”  I had done some research and………….that was not going to happen.  I didn’t tell him that I intended to retain an attorney in S**** C******* and would be filing for adultery.
It was November and I had to make another trip up there to get my things out of his storage unit.  We met and had breakfast first.  While we were eating, I asked him why he lied to me when he said that he and his attachment weren’t living together.  He threw out his hands and said “she has a house!”  I said “yes.  She has a house that she’s not living in because she’s living with you.”  He was trying to deflect the question by offering information about her “residence.”
He knew that I knew that they had been living together since before I had asked him in June.  He shamefully looked down and in almost a whisper said “she’s there most of the time.”  Finally.  The truth reared its noble head.
This man is the king of many things and he believes that his deflections are credible but he forgets that although I am not educated, I am far from being an idiot.  I asked him if it was absolutely impossible for him to tell the truth about anything or if it was just impossible for him to tell me the truth about anything.
J*** looked at me and said “did you send J** a letter?”  I told him I had not…..and I knew why he was asking.  J*** had to go to C****** and had emailed J** to see if he wanted to have dinner.  J** had cavalierly answered “can’t make it.”  J** had also been invited to J***s’ retirement party.  He had declined that as well and had waited until the last minute to send his regrets, which were the same…”can’t make it.”
To J***, it had to have been my fault that he had effectively been minimized to unimportant.  It couldn’t have been that J*** had completely ignored J** for almost fourteen years.
J*** always thought that he could disregard people and because he was the GREAT J*** H***, when he snapped his fingers, they were to jump at the chance to be honored by his presence.  J** was his own man and didn’t tolerate that kind of self-serving attitude.
J** said that he had toyed with the idea of going to J***s’ retirement party and taking me as his “date.”  I can only hazard a guess about to how that might have gone but I think it might have been hilarious.  Obviously, I wasn’t invited.  I wonder why?  If I had been, J***s’ attachment and I could have toasted to what a wonderful guy he is!
J** abandoned the idea and stated the real reason.  He said “P****, he wasn’t worth the airfare.”  J** had teased me about “not getting a letter” but he didn’t need one.  He had known all along what J*** had done.
J*** said “I have no idea how many letters you wrote.”  Those letters had obviously made an impression on him.  He asked me if I had gotten any responses and I told him that I had gotten responses from everybody.  He asked me what they said.  I said “put it this way.  Not one person defended you.  Not one person defended your attachment and not one person portrayed either one of you as fine, upstanding citizens who were a real asset to the community.”  He curled his lip and attempted a laugh.
I told him that I wanted to tell him before I forgot, that if he wanted his children and grandchildren to have anything for Christmas this year, he was going to have to do it himself.  I wasn’t going to do it for him anymore.
The conversation shifted and he became defensive.  He said “everybody thinks I’m trying to be a better man for (my attachment) and that I want to be a good influence on her daughter…….I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT HER FUCKING DAUGHTER!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT HER FUCKING DAUGHTER!”  Wow.  I wonder how his attachment would have felt if she had heard him say that?  Maybe I should send her the recording.  It would not only be difficult for him to deny what he said, it would be interesting to watch him try to lie his way out hearing his own voice.
I went on to tell J*** that I had decided that I wanted alimony.  He looked at me like he was getting ready to pull out a knife, literally eviscerate me and then with his familiar clenched teethed, rabid dog snarl said “I’m not paying you fucking alimony!”  If rage had been dynamite, his face would have exploded and wiped out the entire Huddle House.
I wondered if he had ever looked at my face and been able to see the complete and utter contempt…..or if he had ever been able to see the obvious repulsion…..or if he had ever been able to see the almost total disconnect……or if he had ever been able to see the unmistakable lack of anything even closely resembling love…..but I’m sure he didn’t.  Who could NOT love J*** H***?
I had brought a few more things to return to J*** and when we got to the storage unit, I gave them to him.  One of them was this huge, glorious clock that he had given me for our thirty-fifth anniversary.  His shoulders dropped and he quietly and mournfully said “not the clock.”  I had really enjoyed that clock but I couldn’t have it around me.  I was thinking that it might make a nice Christmas present for his attachment.  I wouldn’t put it past him for one second to give it to her.  As long as she didn’t know I had it first, she would think he had given her a very nice present.  As I said, J*** has no qualms about re-gifting when the opportunity presents itself.
When we were leaving, he said “so, what now?  You want to take my fucking social security?”
He never ceased to amaze me.  He was whining about what he thinks I want to “take” from him.  What had he taken from me?  More importantly……what had he GIVEN TO me?