You're notes checking up on me have been so sweet. Thanks for being here. I feel so lucky to have connections with so many of you. To answer many of your questions, I am doing well. Thank you for asking and please forgive the slowness with which I answer emails.
For my first post back, I thought I'd write something fuzzy and nice. But this isn't always that kind of blog, is it? A few ideas and experiences have been itching in the back of my mind the last few weeks which I can't seem to spit out on paper. So, here it goes...
Years ago I decided we needed a cat. Mr. Scabs said "no".
"No" was one of his favorite words. And in our marriage, I hadn't once done something Mr. Scabs didn't agree to, until I decided to get a cat.
Eddie-Jumper-Cat meowed from the little cardboard box which sat next to my daughter in the back seat of our car. I handed over some green bills for the animal shelter adoption fee, bought some cat nip and we fell in love! A week later, Verna, a crazy, feline-smelling, white-haired, cat-lady told me the desperate tale of another abandoned pregnant cat. Her husband had said,"no" and so did Mr. Scabs, but with defiance in my heart I took the cat to the vet, got her shots, had her spayed and bought her a pink collar with the tag: Twyla-Girl-Cat. This is how we became a 2-cat family.
Mr. Scabs, the addict, is stingy. Scroogy and miserly. He always bought the cheapest crap cat food. The rock-hard, dry, sandy, tasteless kind. The kind your cat sniffs wondering why crusty tree bark is in her dish.
Change at our house has been slow but sweet. Over the last year, as he has changed and as we have been experiencing the Big Thaw, I've noticed a sweetness and compassion that didn't exist before. Mr. Scabs has begun to care for things outside himself. Empathy. He buys the premium cat food.
There's a rotten reality underlying all this and I want to acknowledge it; many addicts don't change. Many of our marriages will end in divorce. Many of our children will feel the pain of the world far to early. Terrible things can happen. Things that have no explanation. Things that make no sense. Sadly, there are no guarantees in life, even if you do everything "right".
Lots of cats don't get the premium cat food.
My BFF was recently pregnant, then suddenly miscarried. That is a loss all it's own. I've already told you of my friend James who felt so hopeless that he took his own life. Today, I looked into the puffy eyes of another friend who is grappling with the fuzzy unknown of her husbands infidelity. I ache for another friend dissolusioned by her husbands endless cycle of addiction. I watch another friend hardening with denial, whispering to herself. "everything's fine. everything's fine." I stand by the side of another friend deeply damaged by sexual abuse as a child, the abandonment of her first husband, the terrible death of her twins and the rape and domestic violence of her second husband. She is navigating life again as a single mother. And on the darker side, just the other day an old man, a grandfather, a retired police sargent a community leader was arrested as part of a Federal investigation into a child pornography ring. Our community is reeling.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that life can be so hard. A lot of times it's hard because of the choices of others, the repercussions of another's actions. Abuses of sexuality in our lives is terribly difficult for me to tolerate. What we accept now with grimaced faces is what our daughters and our sons will come to know as normal. Boundaries are paramount.
In my circle of BFF's we have been asking ourselves, "How do we protect our children from all this?" And, this is when I think, from no fault of our own, sometimes we don't get the premium cat food.
Is this incredibly depressing? Sorry :)