Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections of 2011

I started realizing something was wrong last year at this time.

I received a random text from my husband on New Year's Eve last year that said "pills."  I realize now he must've been texting a dealer, but didn't realize that at the time.  He said it was an "auto correct" mistake.  I knew it was fishy, but I hadn't connected the dots yet.

When I look back, I wonder if I should've connected them sooner.  I knew money was disappearing, but he always had an excuse.  "I had to buy tools for work.  Money fell out of my pocket.  I loaned some money to so-and-so because he needed to buy groceries for his family."  I just thought he was incredibly scattered and irresponsible.  Turns out, he's a damn good liar.  Or I'm an idiot.   Or maybe a little bit of both.

I just really did not realize someone you love, trust, and rely on would lie like that.  Bad people should come with a sign on their forehead.  I guess I shouldn't say "bad people."  Perhaps good people do bad things.  Well, actually I don't believe in "good people."  I believe in people.  No one is all good or all bad.  We are sinful and selfish.  It is only by the grace of God that we can potentially overcome that.  Sometimes our nature rears it's ugly head.  Some of us more than others.  But we are all depraved.

I thought someone into something like drug abuse would look a certain way.  Poor hygiene or sagging pants or something.  Not a middle class guy you met at church.  A guy from a good family.  A guy you married.  A guy I married.

We are all depraved.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I've been working on cleaning and reorganizing the house lately.  I'm hoping to establish (and more importantly, maintain) a better system for mail, laundry, dishes, etc.  I think I'm just grasping at straws, trying to feel like I can control something in my otherwise roller-coaster-of-a-life.

My house is currently a disaster.  The other night my dog was growling at the back door at about 11:30 P.M.  Even though I have NEVER heard her growl before, I wasn't worried.  I knew that anyone wanting to come into the house would be prohibited by the impromptu booby traps.  There's no way they could make it through this gauntlet!  This process has got me thinking that life can be very counterintuitive.  

To organize, we must make a mess.
To learn, we must experience disequilibrium.
To gain peace, we must let go.
To show love, we must enforce boundaries.
Courage comes from facing fear.
Healing comes from exposing wounds.
Faith is developed by experiencing the unknown.
Strength is developed by embracing brokenness.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chairs wanted

So I bought this round black pedestal kitchen table a few years ago.  I had an eye on it for a while and it finally went on sale, so I bought it.  I figured I'd eventually find some chairs to go along with it.  I had just repainted and reupholstered some stools and didn't think it would be difficult to find chairs to coordinate with that table.

While I've found many potential chairs, I refuse to pay $100 for a chair.  That just seems unnecessary.  So, here I am, four years later, with a wonderful table, but no chairs.  I got some money for Christmas and started looking to see if I could find some chairs.  I've looked at stores online and craigslist, but tonight I went to a few stores when I went out to grab dinner.

I went through Pier 1, but again, I refuse to pay $100 for a chair.  After that I checked out Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but they didn't have much in the way of black wooden chairs.  My last stop in that shopping center was World Market.  I was introduced to that store about a year ago when my sister-in-law asked me to pick something up for her.  I always thought it was like a weird food store for all the international students at the local university.  I fell in love immediately on my first trip with the many fun (and reasonably priced) embellishments for the home.  I'm just entering that stage in my life where I think about decorating a home.  In college I went for function.  I'm still there in a way.  I don't like to spend money on stuff that's not useful.  I hardly like to spend money on stuff that is useful.

The store was pretty empty tonight.  I headed over to the kitchen section to see what was available.  "Yellow" by Coldplay was on in the background.  I've always liked their sound.  It's so calm, yet rich.  Chris Martin is great for harmonizing with, too.  I started humming along and began to realize how sad I was.  I felt so alone in that great big store.  I was looking for chairs that had no one to sit in.  For a table that wouldn't share family meals for a very long time, if ever.

I miss my husband.

My husband.

I hardly feel married.

I feel alone.

I know I'm not alone.  I know that God is always with me.  I know that He is my strength, comforter, provider, and friend.  But I still feel alone.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My wedding ring

My wedding ring has been through a lot.  I have an engagement ring that sits in one of those "enhancers," which is really two bands saudered together.  The first time it broke was about two months after we married.  I must admit, it seemed a little ominous at the time.  The sauder holding the bands together broke.  I had just washed my hands and was in the cafeteria before our daily morning assembly.  I pulled the set off to try and dry underneath and the top band just snapped off.  I took it into the jewelry store where we bought it.  They sent off the bands, then when it came back the bands were too close together for the engagement ring to sit in between.  So, they sent the whole set and told me to always send it as a set for future repairs.

A few months later, I noticed a diamond had disappeared from the corner of the engagement ring.  Not a big one, but part of the "halo" around one of the big ones.  They said the set would be gone up to a month and gave me a "promise date" to expect it back.  It was around this time that my in-laws and I confronted my husband and he went to detox.  It seemed more than a little ominous and became like a metaphor.  "Hey, turns out that this ain't perfect.  Something wasn't as secure as you thought.  You expected more endurance than the ring could give you."  So, I was thinking I would send it off for repair and it would come back good as new.  Boy, was I mistaken.

When I called on the "promise date" I had a hard time getting any information about it.  I received a call a few days later from a manager.  Turned out they lost it.  Completely lost it.  Gone.  They ended up replacing the entire set with one just like it.  They even threw in a $100 gift card.  That did not happen with my husband, though.  Nobody lost him at detox.  He came back (without a gift card, mind you).

Now as I sit here almost a year later, with another diamond missing, I realize that the battle was certainly not over.  Addiction isn't cured by "getting clean."  It's like setting a broken bone.  There's still a lot of healing that must take place.  I'm kind of afraid to send my ring off again.  I don't want it to disappear.  I also don't want to start any rumors while my husband and I are separated.  So, even though it's kind of ghetto looking - it's my wedding ring.  What difference does it make that it's missing a diamond?  Was my expectation reasonable that it would never need repair?  Or could I expect that one repair would fix it for good?  Does it hurt anything to miss a diamond for a while?  Or am I just worried about what it looks like to other people?


There are no words to describe how pathetic it feels to hear your mom say, "Put some of that Christmas gift on his commissary."  I didn't even know what commissary was until two weeks ago.  (For those of you fortunate enough to be oblivious to jail terminology - commissary is like an account that inmates can use to buy items like snacks, phone cards, etc. to have while their in jail.  Kind of like when parents put money on their kid's lunch account at school.)

The bad part is that I really don't even want to put any of the money on his commissary account.  He's wasted so much of our income on doctor visits, prescriptions, non-prescriptions.  I just want to go shopping.  I know that's selfish, but, good grief!  Mama needs a new pair of shoes.  Seriously - my tennis shoes are falling apart.  And a new pair of boots would be nice.

I know he can buy phone cards to call me with his commissary account, but I know he'll probably spend it all on junk food.  Especially if they have ramen noodles.  He loves those.  Yuck.  It's like those kids who blow all their lunch money on snacks, then they have to eat the gross ham sandwich.  They have a thing in the cafeteria where the lunch lady can restrict their snack buying privileges.  I wonder if I can do that in the jail.  "I'm sorry, sir, your wife said you can only buy phone cards with the money she sent."  I'm sure that would go over REAL well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My first date

So, today was my first date - at the county jail.  Not very romantic.  I don't recommend it, gentlemen.  But I didn't have to pay or put out, so I guess that's a plus.

I thought it would be one of those window things like you see on tv.  No, it was like Skype meets pay phone.  I guess he's in another building, so it minimizes inmate transfer.  Makes sense.  Sucks.  But makes sense.  Safety and efficiency really are their priorities, as they should be.

The visit was good.  We didn't really discuss anything serious.  While I'm kind of glad that their giving him Seroquel for insomnia, I really don't like that they're also giving him Tramadol.  I am so sick of hearing "it's non-narcotic."  Good grief, crack's non-narcotic, too!  It doesn't make it good for you.

I know they can regulate the dispensing of the meds, so that's good.  But I really think he needs to learn to live without any substances.  It's like he doesn't believe it's possible.  If he runs out of one thing, he just gets some other script.  If he can't get that, he drinks until he passes out.  I'm not going to worry about it, though.  If God sees fit for him to go without, he'll make it happen.

I go back next week.  I just know I'm going to end up seeing one of my students there eventually.  Awkward.  Maybe it'll give me some "street cred," though.  Yeah, probably not.  (Almost) Thirty year old white women probably shouldn't even say things like "street cred."  I think the quotation marks I used also negate any chance of getting said cred.

Yeah, I'm weird.  I know.


Here I sit on December 21st.  Christmas shopping - done.  The dryer's running, but otherwise, the house is quiet.  I'm a little chilly, but figure I can tough it out because I don't want to get up for a blanket.  And my husband is in jail.  I repeat - my husband is in jail.  Words I never thought would apply to me.

I knew nothing of this life or things like it.  I didn't know this existed.  I had no idea.

Kind of like my husband's addiction.  I had no idea.

There were a few red flags, but I wrote them off.  I didn't know people could look at you and lie like that -  handsome people who said they loved you.

I'm supposed to visit him today.  I wonder what it will be like.  Is it like the airport?  Do I go an hour early because I'll have to wait?  Will I get patted down?  Do I have to take my shoes off?  Should I leave my purse in the car or take it in with me?  Should I try to look pretty for him or just go with the day-to-day look?

I can't stand it anymore.  I'm getting a blanket.

That's better.

My blanket.  I love my blanket.  I sound like a 3 year old.  But, seriously - it's soft, warm, cozy, and dependable.  It's everything a blanket should be.  I bought it when choosing my "college dorm decor" after high school.

Even in our kind size bed, we were still using two twin blankets.  Was that bad?  Was that some indication that we hadn't really accepted our married state?  Should that have been a red flag?  I thought we just agreed that we didn't like the top sheet, but maybe it was deeper.  Maybe it was a metaphor that we couldn't let go of our separate wants and put unity above our desires.  Then again, maybe it's just stupid blankets.