Pants – #JusJoJan 2018

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

Soon after a major event in her marriage took place in the South and she returned home, she spent a lot of time at her kitchen table. A cup of tea and her computer in front of her, she would write, then cry, then write some more. She smiled when she thought of her tea. He had always laughed at her health obsession although it helped him too. Her tea was tumeric/ginger/lemon and was a detox agent though a delicious one. It helped her focus, but it seemed nothing could stop her crying. Talking to friends and family helped.

She thought back about him and their marriage this morning. She knew, intellectually, that he had committed fraud when he married her, only interested in money. Deep in her heart that was hard to accept, so she found herself examining their marriage.

Not long before their scheduled trip south, more than two months ago now, she noticed some real behavioral changes in him. Their relationship had not been good for a while, certainly two years or more. Suddenly, he began making remarks to her, acting in peculiar ways. She asked him to talk to her. She was met with stony silence.

One afternoon, a few months before the trip, she was washing dishes. The dishwasher was beside the kitchen sink and he started to unload it, even though she had not asked him to do so. He looked up at her and said, “I’d rather be living on the streets than with you.” She was so shocked that she just stood there for a moment. Then, she turned and walked toward the bathroom, her heart pounding in her chest.

She grabbed the edge of the bathroom sink, feeling as if she would faint. She looked up at herself in the mirror, her breath coming hard, in pants.

“What am I doing with this man?” she thought. She had no idea why he had just said what he did.

She had a gut feeling.

”Someday, he’s going to hurt me.”

 

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan 2018 Challenge. Here is the challenge and the rules

 

 

Advertisements

Indelible – #JusJoJan 2018

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

She was awakened this morning by one of her recurring nightmares. He was trying to steal her dogs again. She sat up quickly on the side of the bed. So many things that had happened in her first divorce from him had made an indelible mark on her psyche. Harper, her small dog, who was lying on top of her bed had been nudging her. Maybe that had triggered the dream from events that took place 25 years ago.

That divorce and the involvement of the dogs she had at that time hit her like a battering ram. He had tried to use anything she loved, or anything or anyone that loved her, against her. To hurt her. To ruin her reputation. She knew that, this time, this ending of the second marriage, he would do it again. The thought made her lose her breath and feel nauseous.

She let Harper outside and her mind drifted back to the custody fight he had started over her three dogs all those years ago. He had warned her that he was going to take them from her. He didn’t succeed, but he cost her a lot of money and worry in order to keep them. During their first divorce hearing, the judge ruled that she would have custody of the dogs, her precious corgis, even though they were legally considered property. But, he gave him visitation rights. Since he had two pit bull mixes at his house, she let him come to her house to see them. It was a nightmare and everyone knew he was there to see her. She was disgusted.

Over a year passed. She finally received a letter from his attorney. Extortion, she called it. He wanted money in exchange for the cessation of visitation rights. One of the dogs was her mother’s dog. Her mother was terminally ill and lived with her. The middle dog was crippled from birth and a rescue from a breeder. Then there was her precious Kelly. Her dog. There was no choice but to pay the ransom. $25,000. She paid it and kept her dogs. As she watched Harper in the backyard, running and playing, she felt, deep in her gut, that it was about to happen again.

She would not let it. She would take matters into her own hands.

 

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan 2018 Challenge.

Recover – #SoCS – 01/06/2017 and #JusJoJan 2018

She sits and wonders if she can ever financially recover from the devastation he has caused due to this fraud of a second marriage. That’s what it had been. A fraud. A marriage for financial gain under false pretenses. She was so stupid. She had fallen for all the old, “I’ve changed,” clichés. She’s not even thinking about the emotional damage he’s inflicted. That’s a given. The financial impact is huge and will be worse.

He was a gambler but he had quit before they reunited. He had also quit drinking. She knew both had been hard for him. She had watched him struggle. Now she knew why he had done it. He was looking for a bigger payoff. Except he couldn’t wait. He’d thought that her illness was so severe when he had learned about it before they remarried that she surely would not survive very long. It only goes to show you that he didn’t know her very well. After all the years he had known her, he knew so little about her.

He didn’t know that she was already in the process, before they got together again, of grabbing that illness and wrestling it to the ground, getting it under control. It had been the hardest thing she’d ever done, but it was still under control and she would keep it under control. He knew it. He grew tired of waiting for her to slip up, for her to let it get the best of her, for her to die.

He decided to give that illness a little nudge. He was still nudging it, even from afar. Still hoping for that ultimate financial payoff. But, this time, she would win.

 

This post is part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness challenges.

Memories – #JusJoJan

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

She remembers the first time they met. What’s it been? Oh yes, 43 years ago. A lifetime of memories. They were very young. The first thing she noticed about him is that he was very kind. They started dating. No boy that she’d ever dated had been this kind to her. After several months passed, they moved in together. Living together was popular in those days. They decided to eventually marry.

They married and those were the halcyon days. Theirs was such a calm household. She’d never lived in a tranquil household. She’d grown up in a household filled with hysteria, yelling, upheaval. When she looks back, she thinks that’s the reason she married him the first time. Her search for love and peace. Her parents weren’t brave. They didn’t discourage her. His mother was brave. She took both of them aside individually and advised them against marriage. She knew they loved each other, but they came from such different backgrounds. His mother knew it would never work out in the long run. They didn’t listen to her and she was right. She died a year later.

It’s been a long time and memories of that early time, those early years, have faded now especially since there are so many bad memories. But, she remembers the early years as good, fun, romantic. Something she only recently learned wiped away some of it. He told her he had an affair for the last ten years of their first 18 year marriage. She’d had no idea. She had been crushed and nothing had been the same since. He had persecuted her so badly during their first divorce for the things she had done.

Their second marriage to each other was a mistake. She had to walk away now from the good memories and the bad ones. The good ones broke her heart. The bad ones would make her old and bitter. She didn’t quite know how to walk away from the boy she grew up with and the very different man he had turned out to be. It had all gone so terribly wrong.

She hung her head and cried all night as the telephone remained silent.

 

This post is a part of Linda Hill’s #JusJoJan writing challenge for 2018.

 

Passionate – #JusJoJan

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

She couldn’t remember the last time she felt passionate about him. She was capable of such passion about so many things. Sex and love in her marriage used to be two of them. Her husband only cared about sex in their marriage and when she was ill and sex was not possible for a time, he became resentful. Without sex, he withheld love. Without love, the desire for sex with him died within her. She knew they were at a stalemate.

The longer the stalemate went on, the more resentful about sex he became and the more embittered about love she became.

Resentfulness turned into aggression and combativeness on his part. He became deceitful. Without love, she became contrary and morose. Feeling passionate toward him didn’t seem  possible any longer. They were estranged while living in the same house. He wouldn’t talk to her, wouldn’t communicate about their situation.

She tried to do things that would make him happy. It was late in life to divorce, but she couldn’t see how they could stay together. It was so uncomfortable. It took a shocking turn of events for her to remember the mental illness that plagued his family and the symptoms that he was exhibiting.

She was afraid and she ran.

 

This story is part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan 18 challenge.

Boisterous – #JusJoJan

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

He spoke in a most boisterous way, telling her he was never coming home. Asking her where home actually was? Telling her he had no home. That home certainly wasn’t with her. He even emphasized it. He said he was never, ever coming home.

She had given him the run of the place since they had married. It had become his home more than hers. He did whatever he wanted. He’d changed it. With tools and carpentry, certainly, but also just with his argumentative, aggressive presence. Everywhere she looked, it was his home. She knew what he meant. She hadn’t made it official. She hadn’t gone to the courthouse. Put his name on the deed. She was afraid of doing that. One other time, he had essentially blackmailed her into giving up her home. Another city. Another house. In another time. She couldn’t take that chance again. She had never put any constraints on him here.

Now he was using emotional blackmail. With every word he spoke, it became too late. In his rough, tempestuous manner, he was killing anything that was left between them. He hung up the phone. It was done.

 

This post is part of Linda Hill’s Just Jot Jan Challenge 2018

Drama – #JusJoJan

13A2427B-123D-4C63-B819-338D243369AC

Drama. What a word to start off the Linda Hill’s Just Jot Jan Challenge 2018 !

There are lots of definitions of the term “drama.” The current popular usage of drama is when emotional conflict is caused by a person or a situation or surrounds a person or situation, for whatever reason. Drama also describes the production of certain types of plays or television shows and branches of literature. It always involves conflict.

At this point in my own life, I like to avoid drama, but drama is not avoiding me. I am undergoing a change in my living circumstances that has turned into something fairly dramatic. Not of my own choosing. I find myself wondering why, at my age, can’t people just be adults as opposed to badly behaved children? Particularly when the change in living circumstances was their idea! I’m likely to think of the word “drama” pretty often in the early part of. 2018. At least I hope it’s only in the early part of 2018 and not in the later parts of the year. Going back to the definition of drama, I can be certain that conflict will be involved which I dislike even more than drama!

By this time in 2019, I hope all drama and conflict in my life will be long past and the future will be bright once more.

Rules for the #JusJoJan 2018 Challenge

Here are the general rules to follow for Just Jot it January:
1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!
2. I’ll post the daily prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5), every day except for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness (SoCS) prompt–you’ll find that one on Friday morning at 9:30am. That daily post (i.e. this one) will be where you leave your link for others to find in the comment section. There will be a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday.
3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will appear at the top.
4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.
5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!
6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link or close to your pingback.
7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge so that others can find your post more easily.

Incomplete

img_0425

As she walked along Main Street of this funky little fishing village, turned artsy community, she knew that she would feel incomplete when she left it. It was just a small village, but she had visited it many times. Every time she was here, she was afraid it would be the last time. She felt like it should be the first. She felt she belonged here.

Have you ever found a place that felt like “your” place? A place where you felt perfectly at home. Like you could fit in perfectly. That’s how she felt in this village. Like she had finally found home. She didn’t know what made her feel this way. Maybe because the village was full of creative people. Eccentric people. People who had gotten tired of the ways of the outside world and had somehow found this village to escape whatever they had to escape. She liked everyone she had met here. Odd. She didn’t like many people these days. She liked the people here.

Here, in this village, she could smile again. It had been a long time since she had smiled. All her cares seemed to slip away here along with the bad memories. She didn’t think about or remember him anymore. The one who had hurt her so badly. She didn’t even think about the one she had left. It felt like a fresh start here in this small village.

She had to leave it at least one more time, even though leaving left her feeling so incomplete. She had to at least go back home and wrap up her affairs. Then, she could come back here and stay forever. She could study the ecosystem as they tried to re-establish the wetlands. She could write her novel and get this second novel placed with a publisher. She could live day-to-day and not put any value on the material stuff of life.

She had already rented a place to live here. Her new life before her was exciting. She thought he had ruined it. He had certainly tried. If she was honest, she would say that he had ruined parts of it. She wouldn’t ever feel anything again for a man. At least she could still feel for a place. This magical place.

Elusive

img_0472

Sleep was always elusive for her. Her battles were fought when she was awake. She lived the consequences during her sleep at night. She had fought too many battles. This last battle had marked her deeply. It wasn’t over yet. In fact, it had barely begun. She was divorcing her husband of many years. They had not gotten along in years. So many years, she was surprised he wasn’t relieved that she wanted a divorce. Then again, she’d always known he’d stayed for money. She had been right.

She finally had to have a break from the animosity between them so she had come to her favorite place for awhile. She had found tonight that the night terrors were especially bad so she was out walking. She could hear the palm trees shake in the wind and smell the ocean. She felt the crunch of the sand beneath her feet instead of the squish of the clay dirt back home. She had no fear walking at midnight on this island in the Gulf of Mexico. She would never have done this at home. She hoped the sound and smell of the surf would chase away the latest bout of night terrors where her husband played a starring role.

Wasn’t it time for her? No one knew how much time we had left. She didn’t want to spend her time with a man who made her miserable. Sure, she loved him but like her family, not like a mate. He didn’t even realize he was abusive. There was no one who had been in his life who had been a role model. She needed years of peace while she still had years to spend.

She knew she’d have no one when the divorce was over. Her family was mostly gone with only a few remaining by her side. Friends tended to vanish when you became that one single woman in their lives. They didn’t quite know what to do with you then. She’d witnessed that at Christmas this past year. She thought she would probably sell her house and move down here, where the sea oats bloom. Make a new start. So what if she were alone during her golden years? Did it really matter? She didn’t think so. Contentment perhaps mattered more than anything. It was time to depend on just herself.

As she was walking back to her short-term rental, she thought of another alternative. Making it work would be elusive. Perhaps it was the answer. When she wrote, she could write under a pen name. No one would know who she was. She would simply just….vanish.

img_0425

Transcendent

img_0425

She was only 19 years old. He was her best friend’s neighbor who lived just down the road. He was also working with her dad on a civic project. They were good friends. Maybe not good enough. He was a professor at the local university and she was a student. His student in just one class. Just another student. He was a young professor, a new Assistant Professor. Only ten years older than she was. He was married with a beautiful little girl.

He was tall, blonde, incredibly handsome. She was mesmerized by him. In class, when he came to her house to see her dad, when she was at her best friend’s house and they watched him and giggled at the window. She had a little crush on him as student’s sometimes do on their professors. Everything he did had transcendent importance to her. She never dreamed anything would really happen between them. She was speechless and tongue-tied around him.

Then he started flirting with her a little. She thought she was imagining it. She flirted back, but she thought it was just a game. Back when she was 19, a lifetime ago, that wasn’t very old especially not in the environment in which she had grown up. She had only one real boyfriend and that had ended badly. She had grown up very sheltered. She hadn’t been allowed to stay out late or date many people. She was living at home while she attended college.

The flirting grew and he asked her to join him one night when he had to drive to another nearby town. Just to talk, he said. She was so incredibly flattered that she didn’t even think about the fact that it was probably wrong. The wrong thing to do. He was, after all, a married man. She rode with him that night.

Thirty-five years later, he had moved on to another university in another state. She had married, divorced, and married again. When he was in the vicinity, he still called her and asked her to take a ride with him. She still saw everything he said and did as transcendentally important. He had affected her in a way that lasted the rest of her life.