Crossing My Bridges

The Waiting Game:

I am waiting for my menstrual cycle. I am waiting for the sun to come up. I am waiting for our kitten to stop running all over our house. I am waiting for our house to be finished. I am waiting for plumbing. I am waiting for my mother to show up. I am waiting for life.
How is it that we as humans can get in such strange situations? I watch as the man I am hoping to soon be able to marry, roll over in the bed taking all the blankets with him. I clap my hands together loudly in hopes that it will get our kitten named Metok to calm down.

I think of my life as a bit of a story. I look around the room and I wonder what adventure lies ahead of me now.

I have lost my medical insurance since I made the decision to come back to Kentucky from Seattle, Washington. I look at the window at times feeling another pang of itching from a very unwanted mosquito bite and I wonder if moving here really was worth it.

However, the very moment I look into Robert’s eyes, the hardness within my heart fades away and I fall. Sometimes, I fall to pieces because I am scared of getting hurt. I am scared of being alone and I am scared of being unwanted.

What brings about these feelings within me I could never begin to explain. Maybe it all has something to do with every second of my past that has made me become a fighter instead of a kind compassionate loving person like I long to be.

I wrote a letter to my mother a while back asking her for forgiveness, although I really feel I did not need to ask for her forgiveness because I still feel I did nothing wrong. She responded to it in a way I never thought my mother was capable of responding.

So here I am in Kentucky, waiting for my mother to actually show up at the door. I swore I would not write this book until I had good enough reason to and I guess the waiting has gone on long enough.

I have emailed my mother begging for her company. Just to have those loving arms that my very marrow seems to scream out for. I guess the older I get the more I seem to have this need for “MOM”. I have even discovered that I do not want any other mom. I just want my own mother.

I think about that statement and I chuckle. After everything that woman has put me through? I still feel a longing to be near her? Maybe abuse is a bit of an addiction to the human Psyche.

I can remember when I was married to my second husband ( more on that later). My mother was this loving person that I had grown to really have deep affection for. Then My step dad comes back form Iraq and that woman I had begun to fall in love with, disappeared. It was like my mother was put into a dark locked box and no one could find the key to it. I almost feel like this person I have grown to love was nothing more than a fleeting memory and I wish I could forget it.

Unfortunately, the memories haunt me like an angry ghost. It whispers in my ear all the time. “You miss me. You w=know you need my affection. Come find me.” I remember the late night trips to a restaurant in Winchester called Waffle House. My second Husband, mother and I would venture out into the wild abyss of food and then a late night rendezvous at wal-mart.
I remember the times we three bought walkie talkies and we would walk around the store and talk into them. It was such a great time. My mother would invite me over and almost make me go in her bedroom and take a nap when I was pregnant.

She had this tall four poster bed and the pillows were like lying on clouds. Over the egg crate foam she kept clean sheets that smelled of fresh clean laundry. The bed spread my mother always kept on her bed was baby blue with cloud print all over it. It was so soft that I felt literally like I was in heaven.
Every time I would get to take a nap at my mother’s house I would fall into that bed feeling so much peace. Perhaps somewhere within my mind I felt as if I was going back into my childhood and the bed was somehow the safe refuge of my mother’s arms that I never really experienced.

Somewhere along the lines, something snapped. A step dad returned from his second tour in Iraq and I was left abandoned like my mother always seemed to do. Like the clouds on that beautiful bedspread my mother’s love was not real.

Let the Games Continue:

I try hard to let go of the pain of those memories. From what I understand, living in the past never really gives you a future. Supposedly, a human is supposed to move on from their past and live for the present. However, This human being that I am in this life, seems to be stuck with a loss of someone that unfortunately is still living.

After my mom read the letter I had wrote to her, she promised that we could try to develop our friendship and put the past behind us. My mother even mentioned a birthday present she was going to send to me the day I turned 28.

Vulnerability reared its ugly head into my spirit as I once again gave into the false speech that my mother was giving me.

After a couple weeks, my birthday present had come in. It was a $ 900.00 bill from Direct TV. I lived in Washington. There is no Direct TV in Washington that I am aware of. I was there sitting beside my mother the day she ordered Direct TV in my name.

Because, I lived under her roof, I felt as though there was not much I could or should say about it. I just let her do as she wanted. I thought for sure there would be no hassle or issues with it. But, The bill was my little birthday surprise from her.

I confronted her about it and she never really said two words about the bill. In fact, she stopped talking to me for about three months over it. My mother tells my Soon to be Husband that she loves me. I beg to differ with her pack of lies. If she loved me wouldn’t she call me? If my own birth mother loved me, wouldn’t she come by or give me her address so I can come see her?

Apparently, my mother still has more mind games to put me through. Another bottle of Anxiety pills have come my way and I have already tried to take my own life with my Migraine medicine. Some people can only take so many mind games before they begin to fall to pieces.


Laundry detail:
My soon to be husband and I went over to his grandmother’s house where we were given permission to do laundry. His grandmother has Alzheimer’s and apparently change upsets her.
I wonder why change upsets people. We are so stuck in our own comfort zone that we seem to forget the reality of growth and change.

I sat at the kitchen table, talking to the father of the man I have loved for 17 years when I was told that we needed to leave. I was in shock. The only thing that keeps running through my mind is thoughts of the sneaky little red headed devil that seems to like to stir up trouble. If there could be a nickname that I would give to Robbie’s brother it would be “tornado.”

I swear some people thrive on causing drama and issues for other people. I almost feel like this man has caused so much trouble for Robbie and I due to sibling rivalry. I have heard the tornado mention how he is jealous of Robbie because supposedly his dad loves Robbie more. I think to myself “how old are you now?” but unfortunately out of respect for the family I keep my tongue tied.

In a rush with a promise of the blankets being finished and what was in the washer moved over to the dryer, Robbie and I packed up the two loads of laundry we had left to do and took off towards a local laundry mat to spend $10.00 that we really did not have.

I will say it is nice to sit on a bed that is clean. The one thing my mother carried over into my life is that cleanliness is important and I have a serious phobia of germs.

So finally, after a stressful drama filled day, I have decided to sleep. Its 2 am and to me that seems early. I shall play “Karen’s Theme” by the carpenters to drown out the noises I am hearing on our back porch and play game of solitaire on my blackberry to ease my mind.

Don’t kill it.
He is snoring again. Every time I go to have Robbie roll over, he says ok but stays in the same position. However, I love to watch him sleep but, I am such a light sleeper that sometimes I have to reposition myself in the bed so that my head is at the foot of the bed just so my ears will not be filled with the musical orchestra of my one man band.

I cover up, and then sleeping becomes a sweet past time that I truly enjoy, Until Robbie steals the blanket again and a random fly that the Gods only know how it got inside in the first place, lands on my leg and wakes me up.

I want to swat at this germ filled creepy crawly but being a Tibetan Buddhist, I find it against my religion to swat at an insect.

In fact, there was a time when I was standing at the back door. I had remembered to feed our black lab chow mix named Shadow. As this reminder flooded my groggy brain cells, I turned and went towards the bag of food that was sitting in our not so wet kitchen sink.

A black wasp somehow took a nose dive straight for my foot. As this little creature moved he stung. Each little crawl it took upon my right ankle his stinger sunk into my fleshy skin.

All I could manage to do was scream and yell for Robbie. I was frozen in solid fear. I did not want to react out of anger and squish the wasp yet I was afraid he would continue stinging me. Finally, Robbie came to my rescue and knocked the wasp off me without killing it.

Robbie knows how I feel about insects and all living beings. When I first moved in with Robbie, he had a friend whose name I will not mention due to chances of getting sued or lied about. Anyway, this 18 year old boy starts swatting at a little harmless bug and I came to the rescue trying to save it. I used all my strength to fight for that little helpless insect.

This friend became so upset with me because I fought to save that bug and he thought that I was so rude. Apparently, life to some people only consists of human beings. A mormon couple came over to the house one day and Robbie and I gave them the time out of respect for their not so agreeable beliefs.
I got into a bit of a debate with the snobby female that was there at the table with us. She stated that the only life worth letting live were human beings. I mean no harm or offense, but no life has any more value over the other no matter how big or small.

As I am writing this mind wonders to a final thought for this chapter. Who really gives us the right to take away life anyway?

What is that smell?
The smell of death enters my nose as I wake up to a rambunctious kitten trying to play with my feet. I lay in bed for a while refusing to get up. I just knew something unpleasant is awaiting me outside.
I am not sure where the smell is coming from but I mentioned it last night as Robbie and I were finally back home. I knew I smelled something dead. I just cannot figure out where it is coming from and I refuse to look under our porch where the smell permeates the once fresh air.

I finally step outside because I know our dog needs fed and is probably starving and right at the foot of our back door, I look eye ball to eyeball at a dead squirrel. I have heard it said that when your animal brings you a dead animal it is a gift of respect. However, This is one gift I refuse to accept. I do not want or require animal sacrifice.

I wonder how I can stop this beastly mutt from killing anymore living beings. Perhaps, he really should be put back on a chain in the middle of the yard, but freedom is a very precious gift that should never be taken away.

What will we find beneath our porch? I still have not looked and fear to look eats away at every part of my heart. We have a bird and cat buried in our back yard and I would rather not have to bury anything else. Death continues to surround me and all I want is to see life flying, swimming and dancing around me. Will someone bring a monk out here and do the “lama dance” for us? I truly pray that our dog’s karma does not reflect upon our home. If I may quite Robbie: “This dog is bringing us a yard full of death.”

Food for two and shopping
Robbie came home yesterday from hauling scrap. He does not work a full time hourly paying job, but he gets things done and he provides. The truth is I would like for us to have more but due to his seizures probabilities I know he is doing the best that can be done.

When he came home, he woke me form a long afternoon of heavy sleep and was excited to have gotten $ 80.00 for the day’s work. Robbie with such kindness in his heart, wanted to take us out to a nice dinner.

We both agreed we wanted to just hit the road and drive so we went to Winchester. All together that took $20.00 in gas and then as we got to golden corral, we were surprised to know that the prices have been raised yet again. The dinner cost us $13.00 a person and we could only afford to tip the waitress $1.00.
Naturally, I felt the waitress really did not even deserve that because when I asked for water she acted pretty snobby and refused to let me have a second glass because Robbie and I “appeared” to be done eating.

The truth is we were done eating but, no one ever says that eating and drinking stop at the same time. I am a type one diabetic. I like my drinks.

After the $26.00 adventure we had $23.00 left in our pocket and Robbie and I needed to take a trip to the Dollar Tree. It might be poor living, but I would rather pay one dollar for something rather than Five dollars when it has the same usefulness.

Once again I was reminded of the little trips my mother would take to the Dollar Tree with me and my second husband. I remember the monkeys she would always get me. She would either by me a monkey or some sort of figurine. II remember the snow globes she would buy me.

I cannot help but wonder what happened to that woman that loved me so much? When she disappeared behind the black cloud of a selfish man, I hope she knows that she is sorely missed.

Snapping back into reality, Robbie surprised me by picking out a surfboard figurine for me. I love Island, tiki, tropical, brightly colored décor and I was so impressed. I told him I would love to have it. But then he saw the flamingo figurine and then asked me which one I would prefer.

I found one with a surf board and flamingo and said “This is a great compromise for both.” We then began the process of purchasing that figurine, until I get the brilliant idea of changing my mind.
By this time, in our shopping cart we had blanket storage bags (I cannot stand dirty blankets) one DVD and one healing garden CD and a few other necessary things for our life in our home.

The most important part of the contents within our buggy were the potholders. We were using soda can cartons to grasp hot pans with and it just felt so wrong. I have a passion for cooking. I started to go into the field of culinary arts but, I just do not have the energy for it. My point is that there was this cute little chef set, of potholders and towels and I thought doing the kitchen in a chef theme would be really cute.
Until, I saw all the Luau tropical stuff.

I wanted it all. I wanted to decorate the whole kitchen in every object that was on those shelves. My brain went into creative over drive and I imagined where every piece could go and what I could do with every piece.

All I could think to myself is Oh if only we were rich. I kept telling myself that Robbie would kill me if I did the kitchen in this kind of theme but, Robbie being the frame of the house, said I am the interior decorator of the home and he does not mind how I want to decorate.

The simplicity of Robbie’s heart sometimes gets to me. He is content with everything. He is the very perfect person that I sometimes wish I could be. For example, his brother as I have mentioned before is not a really good person. I can just feel the deceitfulness seeping right out from the veins of Robbie’s brother. It is a bit concerning.

Robbie can forgive within a second. He feels that doing good to a person who has done bad is good karma. His belief falls right along the Buddhist path that I try hard to follow. I just stay on guard a lot when someone stabs me in the back and then for me it is so hard to do something kind and nice because I feel like they do not deserve it and I am not about to be taken for granted or advantage of.

Yet, Robbie continues his kindness towards his brother. He continues his kindness towards his dad and towards me when I say things to him that truthfully I do not really mean. I could not be more lucky. I found him 17 years ago, and Robbie has always had my heart. Now, I understand why.

The sun is melting my skin from the inside out. So it feels like. The weather reporter on the stereo states that the heat index was 102 degrees and the only response I can give is ” Gee thank you foe telling me because now I feel 10 degrees warmer.” Sweat is dripping form every crevice of my body.

The nice thing is I am sitting on the bed with a fan blowing on me. I have a pile of book reviews to write and one movie review that I just feel will never get done. It does not matter though, without the internet I cannot really submit the articles I have written no way.

I want the energy I used to have. I think as I sit wondering why I am so tired. I have taken three pregnancy tests. All of which are negative but yet, two months have gone by and I still have not had a visit from “Aunt Flow.” It would be nice to start my menstrual cycle but it seems to not be happening.
To most woman this would be a dream come true, but not when you are trying to get pregnant. Robbie keeps insisting that I am pregnant but without that positive test, I cannot say I am.

I had a doctor appointment, but the very day it was scheduled, my Medicaid from Seattle was cancelled. The next plan I guess is to visit the Health Department. We all have rights to be healthy right?
Speaking of health, I have noticed obesity is an obsession now. Has anyone ever considered the fact that food is so expensive now? I think since food costs so much, we are all just trying to get our money’s worth. However, I am losing weight.

My legs are skinnier; my clothes are falling off of me. I feel like what nutrition I give my body seems stripped away by some invisible force. I do not eat healthy as is, I drink a lot of water but I am obsessed with rice, pizza and of course, burgers and fries.

Fast food is a rather terrible addiction to the human being. We like the salty taste, we become addicted and then we crave more. This cause what I would like to call a wallet vacuum. All our money usually goes to gas and fast food and I cannot help but think if only my stomach were not so stubborn, I could save more money.

A Change
I was sitting at McDonald’s when my mother emailed me. I was trying to get some work done. But, something more important was coming up. My mother needed me. She stated she has been trying to get a hold of me and that she needs me to come over. Skepticism played around in my mind. I wondered what sort of game was up her sleeves this time.

I read further into the email and my mother began to explain the situation to me. My step dad had left my mother. He took the car and lots of other important items that belongs to my mother and my brother and sister.

Robert, My best friend Scott and I made it to Richmond. We did not even make it into my mother’s driveway before the tears began to fall. My mother stood in her yard crying. As the tears fell down her cheeks she said over and over again “I want my baby.” I looked at Scott before the truck was even parked and told him to get out and let me out. I was after all, sitting in the middle of the truck.

My mother and I hugged for what felt like the first time ever. The boys got out of the truck. Then there were introductions and a smiling mother. My mom sat on the porch lit her cigarette as Robbie smoked with her.

We all talked and talked and talked until the sun went down. Finally, mom invited me in and I was greeted with the surprise of my little 4 year old sister and 5 year old brother. No, my mother did not give birth to them. They were abandoned by my birth brother and his wife and mom decided the best thing for these two little ones was to adopt them.

I used to be so jealous of my little brother and sister because they were taking my mother’s attention away from me. Needless to say we had a huge argument about the kids last time we talked (before our reunion).

Now, I see where my mom was going with the decisions she had made about the kids. I was upset because she would not let my sister in law see the kids. However, as I see the medicines they have to take and the constant anxiety that my five year old brother has I am aware of exactly why my oldest brother and his wife should no longer see the kids.

So the past is behind us, and a new future has begun. Only now I sit back and worry that my own relationship may suffer the same fate. I am on edge with Robbie and I have no idea how to make sure I trust him. Robbie and I spent almost a week at my mom’s house catching up and helping her with everything around the house.

The only thing I could not help her with was her emotions. I wanted to keep her from feeling the pain. But, how can you really keep someone from feeling the pain of a husband leaving you after 16 years?

Three Generations
My grandmother flew in from Texas to be with my mother. I had some serious anxiety over the way she used to be. She was usually a very uptight no sense of humor kind of old fashioned grandmother, but this new person we picked up at the air port was light hearted and funny.

I promised to cook spaghetti for dinner the day my grandmother arrived and in spite of my nervousness, my grandmother and mom loved it. We were three generations talking and having such a great time.
Unfortunately, sad news had come. Robbie called his dad to check on him and our home. Robbie looked at me and told me he has a job to do and that he is going to have to come back home.

I wanted to cry. I did not want to have to leave my mother but I also knew it was a good thing because her and my grandmother could have mother daughter time. It was so amazing to see new starts and new chances all in one room.

We packed up all the STUFF my mother had given us and then we drove home. Robbie and I began talking and listening to music all the way to Bowen, Kentucky.

Now, I sit here in the house alone. It is almost five o clack and I sent Robbie out at 10:30 to go do a small job for his dad. It was supposed to be a weed eating job. I have no idea where he is and I am getting worried. Truthfully, if I had known I would be staying inside this house all alone with no brother or sister talking to me or even whining for that matter, I would have stayed at my mom’s and let Robbie come back by himself.

There is a bitter truth in how I feel about our relationship. I think he is losing interest in me. I am gaining weight. I do not have a period anymore. ( I do not think I am pregnant) and I am very worrisome and scared.

Robbie keeps telling me he will never cheat on me, but don’t all men say that? Doesn’t ever cheater say that they will always be faithful? What is his reason for being gone so long? I feel very alone right now.
I miss the hugs from my brother and sister. I miss my mother’s laughter and I miss conversations. It has not even been 24 hours since I have left my mother’s house and yet I am filled with worry, anxiety and fears.

I have looked at the door plenty of times thinking to myself. “Shouldn’t Robbie be here by now?” We have no phone to call each other and I am worried. I remember a time when we cried because we had never been apart before. So much for the inseparable love we once had!

Oh my heavens. Look at my reflection. Is that a double chin I am getting? I cannot tell the difference between my cheek bones and my jaw. I feel like a fat blob of a cow. For the first time I saw a couple that was closer than we were. Robbie and I promised not to let our love become like others. We promised each other we would not appear to be a million miles apart but here we are. He went outside of McDonald’s to smoke instead of sit beside me.

Of course when a woman becomes pregnant her appearance can change. At the very moment that the pregnant woman looks into her mirror she can become mortified to see the person staring back at her.
“Is that really me” I found myself questioning the mirror. Am I really looking like I am five months along already? I am only 15 days away from being three months. I look like human version of the good year blimp.

Too bad my complaints caught up with me, I miscarried and the depression did not set on so suddenly. Because of the stress my grandmother was putting me through with bossing me around, not letting me get the proper rest I needed, and bossing my fiancé around, I was unable to relax my mind and my body.
Time and time again after I had been washing dishes from a family of six, I told my grandmother that I needed to sit down and rest for a moment. She would get so mad at me because I was not going to do what she needed me to do right then and there.

Things with my grandmother took a huge turn as I tried to explain that I was miscarrying. All she could manage to tell me and my mother was that she was jealous because she never got the luxury of resting while she was pregnant. I often ponder uon my grandmother’s statement. As I do, I consider perhaps she never really let herself rest. I do not really believe it was anyone else’s fault, only her own.

The monster of jealousy
I kissed my soon to be husband. What a joy kissing him really is! As he kisses me, my grandmother looks over at us and tells us to stop. She does not joke about it like she tells mom she is. Her reaction to our love is pure jealousy.

My grandmother made that fact that she is jealous very clear when Robbie would go to hug me and she would somehow weasel her way right in between Robbie and I. Another thing my grandmother would do is catch Robbie and I spending a moment in each other’s arms on the couch and immediately she would ask him or I to go do something ridiculous that she is very capable of doing herself.

Finally, after she began demanding my mother to clean her house every day. Mom got pretty fed up. The whole week Robbie and I spent there in Richmond with my mom, my grandmother kept telling us we needed to leave. She gave us stuff for the house and in an instant she took it all back. My grandmother even took the bed that she had given my mother back and gave it to someone else. Apparently, it was the preacher fellow that she puts so high on a pedestal.

I was appalled when I heard the phone conversation between my grandmother and her preacher as Robbie was helping my grandmother load up her stuff. I was so upset to know that such an “Indian Giver/ backstabber” really existed in the family.

So, as Robbie and I were helping my grandmother move from my mother’s house, I decided to wipe that woman out of my vocabulary. Now that I have, I do not feel the scrutiny of her hawk like eyes watching my every move.

It is August 17. I am riding a long in the truck with this man I someday dream of marrying. We have about forty bucks to our name and I am wanting to go to the family dollar to pick up a much needed shelf.
Robbie however stated he had other plans. Next thing I know, the little white ford ranger we were riding in is headed towards Stanton with a life changing purpose. Robbie said since we have the money he wanted to marry me right then and there. I was so shocked. We make it to the courthouse around 2.

Robbie and I fill out the paperwork for a marriage license. We are told we could marry today if we like so we began the search for a magistrate or some other person capable of performing marriages. This search led us to a garage that belongs to a man named Henry. Then we drove back to the courthouse just to catch a sheriff who could marry us. Finally, we stood in the sheriff’s office saying “I do.”

Of course, I happened to be wearing baby blue pajama pants and a white t shirt while Robbie wore army pants and a grey army t shirt. It was not a traditional wedding but I am now Mrs. Spencer. I have been waiting for that name for 17 years.

MORE TO COME………………… Stay Tuned in for more words from yours Truly………….
April Spencer

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