Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Yesterday morning and then again this morning when I opened my back door the fog had silently covered my entire world.   It swirled around my little back deck, with wispy tendrils slipping in and out of the leaves of the plants.  I breathed in the cool moist air and felt the new day cling to my skin. Slowly my eyes adjusted and I could see beyond the deck to the shadows of the plants in the yard. The glow of the morning sun coloring the fog in shades of cotton candy.  Then Bob, ball in mouth, broke though the fog in pure joy of another day.  It was good.

Last night I had dinner at Judy and Denise's house.  The food was delicious and they have a wonderful and whimsical house filled with color and each of their passions.  Judy is a California girl.  She also spent a lot of time in Texas and fighting fires out west.  So there is a lot of nature and south western art.  Denise is originally from Puerto Rico but grew up in NY.  And she has some amazing art from Spain and Puerto Rico.  Lots of her art is of doors and steps, but there is a little picture in the apricot bathroom of a Royal Poinciana that I really loved.  And their animals happily move in and around their home.  It is a magical place with part of the property cleared and the rest wooded with so many potentials.  And to listen to these two ladies, there are lots of wonderful ideas.  We took a walk around the property and a couple of quails completely ignored us and did their little evening song and dance around us.  It was good.

Today I felt good and got up and went to work.  My Ex-husband got here a week ago Saturday for a couple of days and is still here.  This is not good.  He has been "helping" me around the house.  By his action I thought he might not have a place to live, so I tried to be patient.  But this is a man with lots of problems.  He is paying for his past actions with tough consequences.  I knew it was not the best idea to let him come here, but I tried to be the better person.  How stupid is that?  I took care of him while he was here, I cooked, which was for my benefit as much as his.  He got to spend time with Maggie and Harry, our dogs.  They didn't seem so thrilled, but they have been through as much as I have with this man, and here I go bringing him back into their lives.  This was bad.  

What was I thinking?  I guess in my insane world I would feel good helping him out, although for the last several years, that has been my role in his life.  I tried to fool myself that this would help, this would change our last together from horrible to friends.  It did not turn out that way.

He had wiggled another part day out of me by promising to finish cleaning the carpets.  He did do a few things while he was here.  He put three screws into the chicken door, he did get the lawn mower going, which did take him a couple of hours.  He did work on the golf cart and if I need to use it I can always hot wire it.  Hmmmm, don't think that is fixed.  And the rest of the week he kept asking for another day based on him wanting to help me and clean the carpets.  The reason there is carpet in this house is because he insisted  when we were doing some work on the house, and of course, I once again had tried to compromise.

I knew he would try and stay longer.  I called around lunch to let him know when I would be back home.  I told him that I would be happy to take him to lunch and to buy him a tank of gas.  I also had gotten a little cash to give him to help him out of my life.  Well...... it was ugly.  

First he had been drinking vodka.  He was drunk and sick from drinking on an empty stomach.  he demanded money.  I again offered to take him to lunch and to fill his gas tank and yes, I had a little money for him.  He was incensed,  he demanded money again.  I told him that you can 't black mail someone who has done nothing but help him.  He pointed around him and said look at all you have and I have nothing.  Oh, that was such a wrong thing to say to me.  He got the majority of what he had together.  I kept this place, he got our commercial piece of property on Pine Island.  If he had used his head he could have made a fortune on that property.  We got it for a steal, and he if would be patient and wait for the property values to come back he could have named his price.  Otherwise, he could have sold it back to our partner and still made more money then this little property is worth.  I mean I live in a single wide trailer here.  Yes, the property is beautiful, and I have worked hard to make it even more wonderful with gardens and orchards and vineyards.  He has stolen from me, lied, been hateful and then when he finally left I got stuck with that Home Depot bill.  I mean how stupid can he be?  How stupid can I be?

How did I get rid of him?  Well at one point I slapped him across the face.  I have wanted to do that so many times in our life together.  And he was so drunk that the slap knocked him down.  And as I walked back to the house I realized that I had just assaulted him.  If I did call the sheriff, what was going to stop him from charging me with assault?  Would the sheriff see this drunk man and this woman with cancer and take his side?  Justice is blind  I should have never hit him.  It is so not me to hit someone.  OK, it did feel good.  It felt like closure.  I didn't slap my Larry.  I slapped the man that had taken my Larry away from me.  But I didn't call the sheriff, I called Mr. Moon.  And Mr. Moon was on his way here to put a little whoop ass on that man.  But I didn't want Mr. Moon to have to do this, or take a chance of anything happening to Ms Moon's husband.  So I acted like when I called Glen that it was the sheriff.  He didn't know.  Then I drove his truck off my property and I said, "If the sheriff comes you might get taken away to jail.  If you get in your truck now and leave, I will give you a $100."  It worked.

So was it stupid or wrong or just insane to let him come here?  YES!  But did it finally give me the closure and to see the side of him that I didn't know.  Here for the first time in all his scabs and sores and faults was the man that stole my husband.  My future.  The life we had planned so carefully and worked for early on in our marriage.  

Judy suggested that I call the sheriff for real and tell them what happened and just ask them to drive past the property after dark.  They said they would be happy to.  So if he is still in the area and thinks about coming back, hopefully this will deter that thought.  I am not sure if I am going to work tomorrow or not.  Maybe I will stay home and rest, and let it settle in that it is over.  And I can walk around my place and appreciate it more.  I worked hard to get here.  I lost a lot when he turned into this person.  We had worked together to have a wonderful retirement, and then slowly it started to disappear.  When I realized that I could loose everything, my home, my health, my job all because of the stress I was dealing with because of staying with him, I stood up for myself.  And now, all these years later it is done.

So that is my life, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Again, I am so thankful for friends.  Friends who didn't say, well, how stupid are you, or I told you so.  No, they were just there.  Worried for me, not judging or critical, just supporting me.  And now I must go give my dogs a milk bone.  They have been through enough this week.  And it is not that he would ever hurt them, but he talks very loudly at times and they don't like that.  And he doesn't smell like anyone they know, so they treat him even a little standoffish from a normal person.  Well, except Bob.  Anyone who throws a ball for him is OK.  And he really didn't interact with them much, and they did not seek him out.  

I wished that this wouldn't have happened, but I stood strong, maybe a little too strong, when it comes to the slap, but I protected my home and my kids.  I did my best by him, that fact that he had to make everything so ugly here at the end is well, the end of the story. 


  1. I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with all of this on top of everything else. That just plain sucks. But I'm glad that you're all right and know that you have so many people who love and admire you, ready to jump in whenever needed. As for the slap, well -- I'm thinking it was well-deserved.

  2. Kathleen- your heart is so big that you have to give everyone the very, very biggest chance to prove themselves. And you did that with Larry and I think that finally, you saw him for what he is now and I'm sorry you had to do that. BUT- how good it must have felt to slap him, to finally say all the words to him that you have been holding back for all this time.
    And that part is done.
    Let's go to the beach again soon. Okay?
    I love you.

  3. It sounds as if alcoholism took the man away from you. It is ugly. I have been so enraged over things that the alcoholic did that I wanted to do harm to myself. Now I see it for the disease that it is. And I can hate the disease but not the person. I am grateful to now feel compassion for those that are sick and suffering. It doesn't mean that I want them in my house, but it means that I have compassion where before I just had a lot of anger.

  4. Oh Kathleen, that was a tough few days with the ex, but it sounds like some good closure was experienced.

    You more than deserve to be the #1 person you are taking care of these days. So glad you have good friends to come to your aid. x0 N2

  5. Standing up for yourself is so very important. I'm sorry that he was such an ass, and yet, you stood up for yourself in a big way, without letting it drag on. You set your boundary and maintained it. Beautiful! Sounds like you have really cut the ties this time, which must feel great. I think it was smart to let this thing come to a head and get him out of your life so you can use all your energy from here on out for healing yourself.

    xo m

  6. I'm glad you slapped him! A slap is not a bad thing! It only hurts for a minute and it feels so good to deliver one! You are so strong and I think anything you do that reminds you of that is good. I'm also glad that he's gone, because you already have enough children to take care of. I love your heart, Kathleen, I truly do.

  7. I hope you have some peace at the end of all this. It isn't the ending you wanted , but as you say, it is an ending of sorts . Your reactions were beyond admirable. Wow.

  8. Kathleen,
    I am so sorry that you had to deal with a situation like that.

    I wish you peace.



  9. Way to go Kathleen!! Wish I could have been there to haul him bodily off of the property for you. The absolute nerve of him!!!!