Take Me to Church

Spoiler alert: IT AINT CHURCH.

Where the fuck have I been, you ask? Oh, didn’t ask? That’s okay, I’m taking liberties today so …. buckle up.

But first, a joke…

An Eskimo’s car breaks down. He brings it to the local mechanic, who pulls the whole engine apart and finds the problem. He says, “looks like you blew a seal.” The Eskimo quickly wipes his face and says, “oh no, that’s just mayonnaise.”

There are days that people try to shit on my parade. I have a few Zox* bracelets I wear – currently “Radiate Positivity” is on the wrist – and so far it works like the talisman I intended it to be. The other one is KKMF – knock, knock, motherfucker – and now ya’ll know what that bracelet says.

Halloween weekend I went to the restaurant to see mom and a friend, sat at the bar, ate some food, and we laughed our asses off. It was a much-needed respite from ***waves hand at everything***. I got to see some other old friends – one in costume was a dead ringer for Bette Midler’s Hocus Pocus character.

Anyway, Mom dropped something on the front of her black top and I pointed it out and said, “don’t worry, it’s just mayonnaise.” An old joke the two of them used to tell back when we were all twenty+ years younger. I thought the three us would fall off the bar stools. Laughter is medicine and guess what? There’s no hangover.

We’ve had a very tragic death in the family that bears mentioning because it has affected several people that I love dearly. It is an unimaginable pain that I have no right to elaborate on, but it has had a profound impact on my feelings about estrangement and healing, and it has hit me squarely in the gut. Please don’t send me condolences. If you must, please pray for the ones who are trying desperately to make it through each day.

That said, there are some people in families that you just wish would fall into a hole and never be seen again. I think most everyone can relate to that. Another thing I have learned is that acceptance and avoidance are key to survival. Until one of them fucks with my family. Then, all bets are off and bitch you better step back because I am coming for you.

Why are you always so angry??

My kids have not lived with me for nearly two years. Am I angry about that? No. As long as they’re happy, I am happy. I would love for them to be a more active part of my life and I stated my piece several months ago. V responded almost immediately and we have had several phone calls between us since. O stepped full into what I thought was reconciliation by asking to meet with me so he could speak his piece.

From all appearances, it seemed the three of us might move forward and put the ugliness behind us. V and I shared some laughter on the phone, but I still have not laid eyes on her since March of 2021. O – I was able to wrap my arms around and it changed so much.

It seemed to be going well until I found out, quite by accident, that X claimed V on his taxes without telling me. I legit asked him about it because my accountant suggested either her identity was stolen or he claimed her. Honestly? I don’t care. It’s not that important to me. But he could have at least had the decency to tell me, which I kindly pointed out. I’m guessing he didn’t like that.

Exactly EIGHT days later, my son cancelled our lunch date and told me, by phone, that he just cannot accept that I have not yet apologized. For what, you ask? That is the million-dollar question. The real problem is that we do not remember things quite the same way and, until I acknowledge his version as truth AND apologize for it, he cannot have a relationship with me.

This was followed by a 40-minute phone conversation with Veruca, where I managed to acknowledge how I could have better handled her request to live with her dad and told her I was truly happy for her that she was doing so well. End result? She cannot have a relationship with me until I divorce Todd.

Stop laughing, ya’ll. It certainly came as no surprise that one of them would double-down, only that it took so long for that demand to be made. So I called my lawyer right away…

Nah, not really. It truly is breathtaking, how a human being who claims to love their children would influence them in a way that has done so much damage. There are years and years of psychotherapy ahead for my two children, if they ever acknowledge a problem and/or their own culpability.

Am I angry? No. Sad? Yes. I’m sad for them that they have been manipulated so much that they cannot see the forest for the trees. But guess what? They love me. They will always LOVE me. You cannot rewrite the history of maternal love. I know this. I also know I cannot save them. But the truth always comes out, eventually. And oh, it’s going to sting when it does.

In the meantime, I continue to follow my faith. It is the only thing that settles my mind, spirit, and body. Took me a very long time to recognize it, but there it is. I receive scripture everyday in my inbox and, not remarkably, it is always spot on. I’d say it hits the nail on the head but perhaps that’s a bit inappropriate? (You know, nails and God and all.) I can’t believe you said that, blah blah blah… yeah, yeah, yeah, Jesus loves me AND he thinks I’m funny. Fight me.

What else I know? You cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. This is the hard, sad truth today. But I did. I did want to be saved and I SAVED myself. And I will not ever live inside that hell again and it is glorious that I decided that, NO, you don’t get to tell me how to live my life. They are the same words Veruca heard. YOU don’t have the authority to tell me how to live.

You’re always so angry.

This is what I told Fred at our poker night last weekend and he said, yes, you are, so embrace it. The message was clear and with a house full of dear friends who love and support us, the truth rings loud and beautiful.

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