Mail Call

Confession Booth time: I have a crushing fear of mail.  Well, fear might not be the right word, maybe just laziness. It overwhelms me, all of it.  Even a few pieces.  Cue #firstworldproblems tag immediately. I let it pile up, I put it in bags to “open later”, I pay my bills online so I don’t have to deal with it and no cute organizing system from Target can probably make me change for any length of time.  Two things about me: I don’t like calling on the phone and I don’t like mail. I adore technology for these reasons.  The only exception is I adore writing thank you cards and invites.  I refuse to use eVite, I know, I don’t get it either.  Not sure if it’s the technology that made me this way or vice versa, but whatever, it is me.

I officially apologize to the Post Office.

What has this “fear/laziness” done to me?

  • I just paid $2,000 for dental procedures that weren’t covered by my insurance because the dentist I chose was out of network.  Had I opened my policy, I would have known my company switched providers & could have saved probably $1,000 or more.  I found this out midway through a root canal.
  • I was missing over $20k in my 401k due to a “administrative error” that I only found after I had to take out a small loan to cover my divorce.  I would have known about it a YEAR earlier.  I handled it and they paid me interest, but still.  I cringe to think the money I lost in investments.
  • I overpaid on a bill by a LOT and am now riding out a credit that I didn’t need to accumulate.  (i.e. I could have used that money elsewhere more effectively.)
  • I am probably not investing the way I should or could.  I let “someone handle it.”  This is the very opposite of me in every other aspect of my life.
  • When I need something like tax returns or information for banking purposes, it takes me ages to find it and track it down.  Often hunting through bags like a hoarder.

 God, just writing that makes me feel incredibly embarrassed.

Lately I have been very very overwhelmed with life in general and decided to start at the “external spots” to get myself back in step.  i.e. I’m kinda sick of my own internal voice trying to fix my thoughts, feelings and concerns, my relationships, etc. so I’m going for the exterior portion for awhile.  It’s like a vacation from analyzing everything and still making progress!


I’m working out, I’m eating better, I overcame my fear of the dentist, I made a very strict budget for 2012 to get me on track financially, including some big financial goals (buy a house, fix my teeth) and now it’s time to get the clutter in order.  I’ve been spending Wednesdays while my kid is away dwindling this down.  I’m throwing out bags of baby clothes, getting my closet down to the bare essentials, I’ve started doing the No-Pants Challenge (HIGHLY recommend signing up for this e-newsletter, btw).  It’s all working and I’m feeling lighter than ever.  Physically and emotionally.

 As for the mail…I’m tackling it too.

I’m currently going through bags of mail that I just never opened. I’d stash it in a plastic bag and hope for the best.  Now I’m going through it to get things in order like my 401k, shred unwanted papers (which most of it is thank Goddess).  I’ve been bringing in a bag every couple weeks and throwing it in the shredder at work after I leave.


However, a weird bonus feature is happening.  I’m walking down memory lane and sweeping up the last few bits of marriage crud on the drive.  I’m finding bank statements from when I first separated from my ex-husband, including tax returns, how we split the money, and his doctor bills that came through on my insurance. I just figured out I never took him off my car insurance so I’m going to call and see if it lowers my rate!  (Note: It doesn’t.  I lost the “marriage” discount.  Oh well, best $20 I ever spent.) This feels so incredibly freeing.  It’s like cleaning up scraps I didn’t know were there still.  I’m literally cleaning house.


I found an old “bill box” from when we were married and it was FULL of all of his work-outs, screen-printing documents and my old budgets where I tried to piece together a life from our salaries and from when he wasn’t working so he could just “work out.”  I can’t tell you how GOOD it felt to throw all of that out.  I saw how hard I was trying to make our lives work with those budgets, the re-working and number crunching, our life blood.  Me trying to keep us afloat while his concerns were himself.  It felt incredibly good to throw it all away.  I think I threw away the last bits of anger I had over it along with it.


I did give him his print-outs, but I kept the bill box and now it’s all labeled and organized with MY life.


 I also found all my little lists when I first moved out: i.e. “What I want in my own place” and “What I need for my place” And I compared it to what I actually have in my place.  It almost matches.  I really did take care of myself for the first time in my adult life and I still am.

I never knew going through mail could be this scary and yet, comforting.  This bagged way, once-a-month thing is better than any cute organizer from Target, for sure.  Suddenly I’m only embarrassed about not doing this sooner.



Turns Out I Won’t Swing.

Previously on Bebe’s Planet:

If you dared to read my post Down in the Dumps you obviously shared in my bizarre revelation and epiphany about where I was in life, and how the bountiful bowel movement changed the course of my life. God I cannot believe I can truthfully type those words. Or you know, I guess I can believe it.

I have been in hiding for many many months. I was on the verge of a very serious breakdown. I had just broken apart. My body broke down and my mind melted. If you are a regular reader of The Crab Bucket I am sure you noticed a pattern in my writing as it became more and more like a personal journal, and less and less like a fun blog about crazy mother stories and weird son anecdotes. I wrote sporadically because the words just got a bit deeper and deeper and I backed away because I felt I didn’t have much to say anymore, and I certainly didn’t think you would want to read my diary.

My company had turned to shreds, long profound friendships and relationship that bloomed in our unique office became fractured because the family had been forced apart. It was a systematic and needless breakdown of something that was very important to all of us. It broke my heart. After years of joking about the man, the man really did flex his muscles and punch me in the gut. My work, and my work friendships (which have since just become friendships, no adjective needed) provided me with a home away from home. I laughed, I talked, and I took pride in everything I did. It was a shelter. And it was gone.

My home life was strained. We only have one income, which only put my work issues on volume 11. We have a learning disabled son and my husband is still recovering from spinal surgery. It’s been the hardest 5 years of my life, and I have had a lot of hard years. I had become bitter, sad, and angry. I cried at everything, eye contact was almost impossible for me, and I hurt every day. My neck and shoulders felt like I was literally balancing a picnic bench on my shoulders, all day and every day. I found no joy in my home life, and I no longer wanted to be any kind of caretaker for my family. I was done. I sat in my bathroom and stared at the shower curtain wondering if it would hold me. If you know me, you know it wouldn’t. I laughed. Even then, I was able to laugh at myself because that was just so absurd. But when I walked into my garage to get something to drink, I looked up and saw the rafters. Suddenly, my absurd thought wasn’t so absurd anymore. It was quite doable. When that became a viable option for me, I knew it was time to seek some help. So I did.

I made an appointment with my husband’s doctor and as soon as he asked me what was wrong, I just mumbled that I couldn’t take much more stress and I needed to function again. I cried a little, and he was really good about it. He wasn’t convinced my neck and shoulder pain was emotionally based though, so he took x-rays and he was right. I have bone spurs and neck straightening. That is where most people have a natural curve in their neck, where mine is straight and rigid. Having this my entire life, I had no idea that it wasn’t normal. When he tried to get my neck to move, it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t crack, it wouldn’t stretch, and it wouldn’t budge.

He made me promise to commit to working hard to make myself better, and he put me back on medication for insulin resistance that I gave up taking ages ago because I gave up on myself. He prescribed a very low dose of an antidepressant just to help me up and out of this hole I was in. I didn’t want to not feel what I was feeling, but I didn’t want to sob my way through talking myself out of hanging in our shitty garage. That is not a stylish way to kick it. He signed me up for six weeks of physical therapy for my neck, and told me that he would hire me in a second if he could. I walked out of there hopeful.

Physical therapy was a dream come true. Three days a week of deep tissue massage, stretching, and electro-heat therapy for a month and a half? Uh…yeah. After a few days of that, I was driving and turned my neck all the way to the side for probably the first time in my life. It was unreal. Every day got a bit better. I was able to wake up in the morning. I was able to stop crying, but not at legitimately sad things on television, which is what I wanted. I wanted to work through this, not fly over it.

I made the decision to look for another job. It was time. I realized that if I was going to make improvements in my life, I had to go all of the way. I wasn’t going to let them eventually push me out, and I wasn’t going to walk into the office every day and circumvent all of the bullshit and navigate around douche bags if I could help it. I found an opening at a highly respectable place with a brilliant reputation. Someone I had known professionally for almost a decade through my current position worked there. I took a deep breath and emailed him and asked his advice. He told me that after 8 or so years of me helping him, it was his turn to help me. He submitted my resume, and after many hoops, I was hired. It’s the work I love doing, in a place that wants me to be happy and healthy. Yeah, it’s still the man, but he is polite and well mannered, and instead of being beaten over the head, it’s a long slow massage. I will take it. I will make more money, have better benefits, and work in a calm atmosphere. In this day and age, to say I am lucky is an understatement. This gentleman stuck his neck out for me based on all of those years at a job that I loved and had to give up. That makes it all worth it, and that is probably one of the proudest accomplishments in my life.

I said goodbye to coworkers and we had a big party. They miss me and I miss them. I was thinking that some sad moments in life are some of the happiest. When you have the problem of people loving you so much that they are sad to see you go, it’s really not a bad thing to be sad about. It’s a bittersweet joy in life that I don’t think people realize. When I think that way, I know that my meds must be working. But maybe not, because I have always been a fruity eccentric Oracle Delphi. I buried my guinea pig in my yard when I was 10 years old and had to comfort the neighbor kids. I just knew Herbie was in a good place. What I didn’t know was that burying him in sand on a dirt bike trail probably wasn’t the greatest idea. Give a girl a break. You can have inner peace at 10 years old but you aren’t an earth scientist.

When all of this came together, I lost 15 pounds. I caught on at the new job and people are getting to know me. My husband and I are working hard together to keep our family afloat and focusing on getting through each day and respecting the basics in life. A roof over our head, an education for our son, and food on our table. Lots of laughter at ourselves, and a fight or two when we need one. Things are looking up for us in a few different ways and we are slowly planning a party at the right time to celebrate our life as it is, and surviving 10 years of marriage. We want to renew our vows, and show our family and most importantly our boys that we can do this, even when it seems like we can’t. It’s fun to have something to look forward to and plan.

Every night without fail I take my medicine, still the same dosages, still with the hope of staying functional without pickling myself. I think the changes have affected the whole house. The Mr. and the boy went away for a week to visit family and left me alone. And I was lonely. I don’t think I was ever really lonely before. I know, a working mom with a chance to be alone is a miracle. And it is, and on behalf of all of my other working moms out there, I respected it as such. But I felt the absence of the very thing that I wanted to run away from. No, I stand corrected. I wanted to cease to exist, and free them of me, and me of them. This time around, I just wanted them near me. It was such a relief. When they did come home, my son, who is never really affectionate, wouldn’t stop kissing and hugging me, and hasn’t stopped since. We make a game out of it. Whatever clicked in his little mind regarding me was a welcome change. He was able to determine that I was gone, and he knew he wanted me back. With most kids that’s a given. With a child like the boy, it’s a gift. Actually it’s a gift for any parent. But for me, it was and is by far the most thrilling thing I have felt in a long while.

I was snapped out of this funk by the fact that I shit my pants and laughed my way out of a coma. It carried on because the shower rod was too flimsy to hold me when I thought about swinging from it in a moment of desperation. I obviously don’t need the shower rod anymore although I guess technically the thinner I get the easier it would be. How ironic. I am not going to lie, I am petrified of sneezing now and constantly think I am going to shit myself all of the time. It’s the equivalent of that fear of falling asleep we all had in the 80’s after watching Nightmare on Elm Street the first time. I think that I might need therapy for it one day. That’s okay though. It’s a healthy fear that I can definitely live with.


You’re Fuckin’ Perfect

“You’re so mean, when you talk, about yourself you were wrong.
Change the voices, in your head, make them like you instead.
So complicated, look happy, you’ll make it!
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game.
It’s enough! I’ve done all I can think of.
Chased down all my demons, I’ve seen you do the same…”

I’m at the homestretch now.  Our divorce should be final on Monday.  I’m so tempted to put my Facebook status as “Don’t forget to set your clocks back to 1997 folks, my last name is going back!”  However, for as cynical as I am and a slave to comedy, that isn’t very respectful.  So fuck it, I’ll put it here.  🙂

I’m trying to do some summing up, some sort of “and this is what I learned” but quite honestly I’m just tired right now.  I have a bajillion thoughts in my head and reviews aren’t always my best trait.  But I want to get some things down.  Some truths I’ve discovered in this last year.

Here’s what I know:

  • A song or a picture or a comment can still make me ball up on the couch and cry.  For instance, I was searching for some extra candles I had in a cabinet in the dining room and I found a picture of theEx & I dancing I had tucked away.  As my daughter did find the candles and was climbing all over me “See Momma!  I found em!” I sat on the floor holding the picture doing that thing where we try not to let our kids see us sobbing but we can’t really stop.  So I stood up and put the picture in her room for her.  While this sobbing used to scare me, to make me think I had made no progress whatsoever in healing, now it comforts me that I am truly feeling everything 100%.  I am no longer numb.
  • I have been underestimated for years by people in my life who I thought were the only ones that had my back.  But nothing is worse than how much I underestimated myself.
  • I will never be and can never be someone’s f*** buddy, someone’s casual thing, an afterthought.  Maybe if I go through a long dry spell I might call up an old trusted friend one day, but I will never be to someone what I was to my husband or ultimately, to myself: the background.
  • I’m done worrying about my body being perfect in the eyes of anyone but me.  This has been the most surprising thing for me actually, as I have battled with my weight for YEARS to try to impress my Ex. Though I am not anywhere near a jeans size I was in high school, as long as I work on being healthy, I actually and wholeheartedly am starting to love myself on the outside as much as the inside.
  • My daughter & I are going to be just fine, no matter what.  No matter what bill I can’t pay, what evening I just curl up and watch awful Dora videos instead of teaching her math, what little injustice we endure at the hands of her father…I have her back like noone else.  WE are going to be more than fine, we’re’ going to be fucking perfect because we have each other.

And with all of these things on the above list, I want her to see all these about herself way before she has to go through what I did.

Baby, “Please don’t ever feel like you’re less than fuckin’ perfect.”


Hid My Soiled Hands Behind My Back

I had a concert ticket for myself to see a band that I love at a venue I’ve always wanted to go to, tonight. Even had my daughter’s care all lined up so I could go. Instead I chickened out.  I didn’t go.  I bought the ticket when I was 2 days on my own, Miss Empowered, Miss Independent.  4 months later it just makes me sad that what I really wanted to do was experience that band, that venue with someone I love.  So I stayed home and scrubbed the hell out of my toilet and gave the ticket to a girl at work that I respected enough to give the experience to.  Plus she had a date, who was hot, and more power to ya, my single sister.

The CD of the band is the last anniversary gift my ex-husband gave me while we lived together.  I realized that this morning when I was trying to decide if I should go or not.  You could say that sorta sealed the deal.

So I’m sitting here in my living room feeling topics swirling around in my gut.  I just finished a call with a dear friend going through the same thing and as always, it gave me a lot to digest.  So now I’m forcing you to join me in the digestion.  Welcome to my intestines, my dear-hearts.

We talked about a lot of things.  One of which was that I finished unpacking the storage shed boxes that my ex dropped off.  Guess what was in the last box in the interior of the last tub?  Our wedding mementos.  Cards, lists and plans I made, receipts for his suit, our rings, pictures.  Everything.  Why it was tucked away in a box like that is probably telling, but even more symbolic, it was the very last thing I had to deal with materially between us.  And of course he left it for me to go through, something else symbolic entirely.

I didn’t throw it away, I couldn’t.  It represented a lot of hope and happiness and I used the excuse that my kid might want to see it one day.  Plus, there was a card from my great-grandparents in there who have since passed.  So I tucked it away for fresh heartache the next time I have to get in that box.  I hope I don’t have to get in that box.


We also talked about how some of our loved ones have no idea how to comfort us.

You might not know me too well, seeing how I’ve never met you in person, we didn’t grow up together and hell, I don’t even go by my real name on here.  You see, I’m the girl that always takes care of herself.  Oh, trust me, I take EXCELLENT care of everyone else.  But I’m the strong one, the one people lean on, the one that gets shit done, the powerful one.  I pay my bills, I host excellent parties, I fold my laundry and I know how to talk to strangers.  No one worries about me.

So any idea how I can get them to start?

Because any more of those surprise boxes, those unused concert tickets, those dirty toilets and I’m going to need to wave the white flag.


I also came across some old emails today at work.  Emails back and forth between my ex & I when we were working out hte details of moving out, custody, etc.  All peaceful and positive and it reminded me, like a punch in the chest, that I loved him once.  All this anger and sadness has blocked that out.  In one email we thanked each other for allowing the other to find this space we needed, and we signed it “Love You.”  How did we get to short conversations with so much underlying anger in 4 months?


So this is everything I’m digesting.  I’m so ready to let go of it.  To let it pass.  Thankfully, Biology class taught me that the next step for all of this is to go through my ass and out of my body.

Flush, flush.


All the Single Ladies

Everyone, and I mean everyone, even my hairdresser has told me to just “get out there,” “let a guy take you to dinner,” “just have some fun” and eventually I thought “fuck it why not.”  Well, what I found out was that there are a million reasons for why not.  At least, why not yet.

I did the respectable thing first: I cleared it with my ex-husband.  I didn’t ask for permission but I’m trying to be very sensitive to this tricky situation.  I want to keep a friendship with him and I want to be respectful because we are still married technically and I would appreciate him asking me my feelings.  Our kid is the main reason for any of that.  I hold my tongue and check in with his feelings even when I am seething with anger because I will cut off my legs if it means keeping this family a family, separate houses or not.

I also wanted to set some ground rules should one or both of us find some true love one day.  No parading dates in front of our daughter, the dates would know our situation up front, and they would HAVE to be okay with us being friends and raising our kid together or no deal.  He agreed and I knew he would.  A good match for me, maybe not, but an excellent caring father?  Totally.

Plus, I suppose in a tiny subconscious way, I wanted him to say “No!  Come back!  I’ll change!” or show some emotion.  Sadly, his initial reaction didn’t show much concern at all.  Sigh.

So onward to  I uploaded a profile, co-written by BeBe herself, put some decent and realistic pictures of myself on there and waited.  Uncomfortably.  It wasn’t the 50 guys that “liked my profile” that were either shirtless, smirking or emailing me to ask to wrestle, but just the idea of dating in general.  I could tell I wasn’t ready, serial killer dudes or not.  My gut was talking LOUDLY and the alarm bells were ringing.  Still, I’m an ambitious bitch and when I say I’m going to try something, I follow through.

Got several hits of guys I thought were kind of interesting, they could spell, used punctuation and didn’t list “working out” as one of their main hobbies, but mostly it was weirdos.  I had one guy ask if he could drive from Minneapolis to wrestle.  Another asked if I would like to go for drinks but he nicely warned me of his “small package.”  I even got one marriage proposal.  I’m also 100% confident I’m not being conceited, it was just mostly a sausage party and I came with the bun.  In fact, anyone with a bun would do for these dudes.

I emailed back and forth with a couple, mostly guys that lived way too far to actually meet (thank you subconscious), but my overall reaction was a mixture of “FUCK THIS I WANT OUT WHERE IS THE ESCAPE HATCH” and “see how many I can collect & show my girlfriends for fun.”

Then I saw a guy that seemed decent, quiet, interesting, and could spell.  He asked me to a movie and I got all school-girl giddy and went.  I spent the day preparing my outfit, what I would talk about, calming my nerves and when we met it was fine.  I was nervous but after a few emails and phone conversations I felt like I already knew him enough.  We had a good enough time.  The movie was fast paced and fun, the ride to and from were full of conversation, no empty silences.  It was overall, okay.  I pushed away my disappointment at being taken to a movie (clearly he didn’t want to talk to me in person) because he seemed sweet and just as nervous as me.  And honestly, it was okay.  Not head over heels, but okay and I still had my torso on me and not made into a jacket, which was another fear of mine and online dating.

A day later and I’m staring at the phone, over analyzing emails, he’s sending me weird texts and turned 180 degrees from the nice guy at the movies and I realized all too suddenly, I didn’t like this one bit.  I was ALREADY compromising myself for some guy because I was lonely, because he took me to a movie and spent money on me, because he thought I was pretty and smart.  Really?  That’s all it takes?

I quickly realized I started to slip back into the girl that hid in a marriage that wasn’t right for her for years for fear of change.  It was absolutely startling.  I removed my profile online and have decided that until I have reached the end of the 7 steps to grieving I am in no way shape or form ready for any boyfriend hunting.  So who knows, maybe after a year, if the Mayans weren’t right about 2012 anyways, and my divorce is final one day, some guy will sweep me off my feet.  But for now I am closing up shop on this heart and the dating world until I am 100% secure in what I want.

Right now I want just want to crawl back in bed, I’m not done crying.


I’m angry

So I’m here, I’m a little drunk, I just went grocery shopping at 10:30 p.m. at night on a Tuesday, the day my daughter stays with her father.  Do you know how depressing it is to get random groceries like a stoner in a short skirt and heels at 10:30 on a Tuesday??

I am in a skirt & heels because I got dressed up and went out tonight with my girlfriends to see Sex & The City like a good vagina carrying person on this  planet and it was fun.  But afterwards?  I come home to a dark house, I listen to sad music (have you heard the Pink album Funhouse??  It’s MADE for break-ups) and all I want to do is rage and break shit and cry.

I’m not good.  I’m not.  I try.  Oh how I try.  But in reality it’s hard, especially the nights.  I’m tired, I’m sad, and I’m so incredibly angry.  I’m angry that he gave up so easily.  He didn’t even fight for me for one second.  Nothing.  And hasn’t acted bothered since.  I feel mad that it bothers me that I’m so incredibly worthless to him after 12 years that he can’t even show any emotion.  HE can’t be bothered.  And I am no longer in love with him, I know this, but it still bothers me that he doesn’t love me?  Fucked up logic, I know.  But vanilla vodka is flowing so bear with me.

It’s not all his fault, I am not saying that nor have I ever.  But I know the effort I put in.  I can account for the tears and the heartache and the hope and the yearning.  And he says things to me to this day that show he never knew me at all.  12 years?  12 years of growing together through our 20’s and he probably couldn’t tell you my favorite flower.

I’m just so hurt and mad and angry and I’m desperately trying not to become bitter.  I won’t give this divorce that part of myself that is caring and trusting and loving.  I won’t, but it feels so slippery to hold on to.

I tried dating, online (ugh) for the first time and it bit me in the ass.  Thought I met a nice guy but I have a feeling I’m getting played.  We will see.  After this I’m done for awhile.  I cannot give any part of myself to someone new when so much of me is taken up wiht this anger.  Yet on the other hand, I’m incredibly lonely and longing to be held, to be treated tenderly in a way my marriage never did.

I want someone to notice me and then keep noticing me.

Where do I put all of the hope I had for us?  Where do I focus the energy I had trying to compromise and deal with our problems?  My kid?  My friends?  Myself?  Please tell me.  I’m taking suggestions and until then, if you need me, I’ll be on this cold dining room wood floor with my cocktail, my bare feet in this short skirt and all of this poison in my heart.

Probably shouldn’t refill my glass.


Dusty boxes

And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.-Anais Nin

I’m at my new house.  I’m settled in, I’ve unpacked the necessities, I’ve decorated, I’ve placed everything where it needs to go except myself.  I’m not sure where I fit here. 

I’ve found a place to land and I’ve jumped off the cliff but I’m still freefalling in a sense.  I’m in-between.

I’ve left a world of sadness and anger and unrest and hurt for a world of sadness, anger, unrest and hurt but freedom.  I don’t doubt my decision, not for even a second, but I’m just not sure where to go.  I know I will not go back to sleep.  I won’t become bitter or hateful or alone or shut off.  I’m just not entirely sure I know where to unpack a few of things I brought with me to my new place.  Where it fits in this new life, alone.

For instance, should I put all of the hope and the plans that we had as a married couple on a shelf in my new sunroom?  It doesn’t really look good there, but the front closet is already full to the brim of all of the longings and curiosity of what we’d become together in our old age.  Hell, I can’t even open the door without that toppling over and nearly crushing me.  And I had tried to hide all of the ugly anger and sadness over not being noticed on a low shelf in the dining room, but I swear it still catches my eye and completely clashes with my decorating theme in there.  Not to mention the boxes and boxes of hopes for more children, understanding, love piling up in my living room.  I just have all of this extra junk lying around that I can’t toss out because it’s apart of me.  I’m sentimental to these hole fillers, darn it.

One afternoon, very soon, I’m going to eventually take a huge box, one from my move, and put them inside it.  I will pack away the resentment, the longing for affection, the energy spent and wrap it in newspaper and haul it down to the Salvation Army.  Maybe they’d let me trade in some of this for an open heart and self discovery.  Though I don’t know why someone would leave those behind.  Then again, why have I?


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