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October 2014
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Shit Sandwich

Shit sandwich was the term our counselor came up with to describe everything I was going to have to go through while Johannah beat me up over every real and imagined slight in counseling.

He told me after she had left he was surprised I wasn’t the one to leave because she had made no effort to really make things better.

Counseling sessions were always so frustrating. I wanted to get better. I wanted to be a better man. I wanted to save our marriage.

Johannah also wanted those things, but she was fine as she was.  She didn’t need to fix anything. But by the end of our marriage she was a drugged fucked up selfish mess. God bless the psychologist that she manipulated into giving her all those drugs.

In the end, I was the only one left that honored our marriage vows and put pride aside to try to save our marriage.

I wonder what happened to the amazing and caring woman that I married. Who is she throwing her panties at now?

Childs letter to counselor revisited . . .

The thing that really gets me about this letter is that she takes absolutely no ownership of her own contribution to our marriage troubles. Not one place.

Hi _________,

Sorry to write on Christmas [who the fuck writes on Christmas telling your counselor you're going to end your marriage?], but hopefully you are checking your work e-mail during the holidays, any way.

I think I’m done.  I don’t think I want to spend the rest of my life “working on it”.  I just got home from 10 days in Arizona.  I stayed with a friend, met new people [She leaves out that she had an affair that violated our agreement to be monogamous until we had resolved our marriage difficulties], had fun [Oh there.  She did mention the affair.  Of course you had fun, you were on fucking vacation - speaking of vacations I hadn't been away in two fucking years.], worked some [She worked very little actually, Kitty had sold that she would make a lot of money, but she only made around $600 if she's to be believed.  For some reason Johannah was not a "hobbiest" hooker.  She rarely made money from the guys that like to go to prostitutes.], but not as much as I thought I was going to.  Being away (and not at a brothel working to exhaustion) [OK so going to the brothel was the fault of our relationship?  Then why do you still go to the fucking brothel?!  Perhaps because you're a lazy cunt?] made me realize how much of my energy is constantly in use trying to keep this marriage on an even keel.  Having some of that energy freed up, even a little bit for a little while, felt really good.  [That's awesome.  Ok a few thoughts here.  She only went to the brothel a few times each year.  2009 I think she went three times for around 2 weeks each.  The rest of her time was spent doing nothing but tending her gardens, obsessively web surfing and making dinners.  I'm really sorry that marriage is work sometimes; I know that conflicts with your fucking fantasy.] Now that I’m home I’m back in my cloud of anxiety and stress [And a haze of alcohol, Wellbutren, Lexapro and Clonzaepam] .  Half of what comes out of his mouth is a subtle criticism, a passive aggressive complaint, or frustration and grumpiness about stuff that has nothing to do with me [Imagine that.  Your husband would be upset you disappeared for 30 hours and when you resurfaced you announce that you've had an affair.] but I get punished for anyway.  [We didn't argue Christmas morning, but I did tell her my feelings were hurt because she hadn't bought me a christmas gift.  For Christmas she bought with my own money, a tiki mug and a $50 dollar dinner for her and a friend] I feel like I’m always waiting for the next shoe to drop.  I’ll have a heart attack at 35 if I continue to live with such stress and anxiety [Jesus Christ, get off the cross Mary, we need the fucking wood].

I don’t know what to do next.  I just really think I’m at the end of my rope.  This is no way to live.  I just keep thinking “I could be so much happier.”  I don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that if I leave him all my problems will go away [Good point, for example you're still going to the fucking brothel you lazy cunt.  Whose fault is it now?] and I’ll live happily ever after [How's that working out for you?   You're 30 and still working at the brothels you hate so much.], but when I’m not around him I’m a lot more relaxed and have more fun.

I’d really like to hear your real opinion about this.  I know that our relationship is your client (even though I pay the bill ;) ) but I really want to know what you think.  [This last line is just so fucking shitty.  I pay the bill, so I expect special treatment.] Thanks.

Epiphany at the Bookstore

This is long and rambling, I hope it makes sense.

I had a great weekend. My girlfriend and I bought a Christmas tree and had a holiday party at the house. I’m making friends here finally. H. has finally changed jobs and once again I get to spend my weekend mornings wrapped up in her arms under the warm covers. It’s nice. I feel very close to H. right now.

I recently finished my second painting for behind my bar, it’s pretty big, 36″X 50″, and a vibrant red. I showed photos of it to the local alternative art gallery and the owner asked me to paint him two or three so he could try to sell them. Hell, I don’ t even know what the heck I’m doing, let alone creating two or three new paintings.

I had one of those epiphany moments this weekend. I’m at the bookstore and there was a book in the relationship section about getting back together with your ex. I picked it up and leafed through it. I have often wondered if our lives had really improved apart or if we were meant to be together and just needed time apart to realize it. God knows I’ve missed her. I once prayed she would take the steps to contact me and build a new and equal partnership / relationship and we’d end up married again. But as I flip though the book I realize, truth be told, I’m pretty happy right now with things as they are and she’s never going to change who she is beyond fulfilling her immediate needs.

I do wish that a year ago she would have had the strength, conviction and courage that marriage takes during the bad times. Then, I would have gladly carried any burden in exchange for her loving smile and thoughtful kiss. I just wanted her to love me and be kind to me. I wonder if she ever thinks back and realizes I really wasn’t that bad a guy and despite my humanity, I did love her and was working hard. Frankly I doubt it. As her Pasadena guardian said – the only thing Johannah cares about is Johannah when she can no longer use you she moves on.

As I look at this relationship book I realize that while my new life isn’t perfect, I’m no longer involved in a conflict where both parties are unwilling to work on changing themselves to better the relationship. Johannah never matured in our relationship. She wanted things to match her perfect world fantasy – I worked while she got to sit at home with her fantasy handmaids. While I miss her and certainly valued her companionship, no longer being held responsible for her unhappiness is a huge relief.

She’s not a bad person, but she’s not very sympathetic either.

It’s easy to realize her motivation was for leaving was her selfishness and her own personal weakness. Easier to live in a fantasy in the dirt of Tucson than put in real work and save what could have been a loving marriage. As our counselor pointed out after Johannah bailed her enthusiasm will wear off, her new life would be much like all her other projects: Incomplete and unfulfilled. I imagine that her new life is probably a lot less fulfilling than she imagined it would be. Like her mother, I imagine her life will be one failed relationship after another until her looks give out and she’s a lonely spinster. Or she marries a client. Either prospective isn’t that attractive.

I wrote to her last week to give her last one opportunity to claim her family heirlooms including her great grandmothers sewing machine.  Surprisingly she wrote back and even sent me a photograph of my dogs! I’d like to think it was out of respect to our relationship, but I know she only responded because there was a tangible reward for her. She asked me to send her a handful of things to her father in California.

I get it; Johannah doesn’t trust me so she’ll have me ship her things to her father. Christ, it’s not like she’s probably that hard to find or contact. It’s funny and hurtful that she feels she’s got to protect her location from me. But she always had a habit of vilifying me throughout our marriage. She indicated in her journal she would make up stories in her head about things being much worse than they were. I imagine that now those stories are doubly worse. It’s what you do when you walk away from your commitment to your partner / marriage to make yourself better.  I can tell you from personal experience when you’re the one that leaves, you don’t take ownership early on, you blame your partner for the failure until you take a deep, introspective look into your own soul and actions. Only then do you realize how badly you’ve hurt your partner and you’re a lot more responsible for the failure of your marriage than you’d care to admit. I wonder who she blames now for still being a
prostitute, because last time I checked Starbucks is hiring.

I guess the epiphany is that I’m happy but I wouldn’t mind having her back in my life if she were really open to making personal changes and growing as a human being. She would also have to learn to be patient and loving as I learned to grow as a human being and forgive my mistakes. But a leopard doesn’t change its spots and I know it. She was a selfish, lazy person, willing to blame everyone else for her life and take no ownership. You can wish for things all you want but you have to really work for them if you expect to get them. I understand I’m the only one in the relationship that would probably pick that book up and even look at it. To save our relationship she’d have to take a hard look at herself and that’s not going to happen.

The woman that I loved and married doesn’t exist any longer; let alone live in Tucson Arizona. Tucson: where dreams go to die.

Counseling Notes

These were her notes on why we should stay married.

Angry Unsolicited Correspondence

[I sent this to my x via email.  I had been feeling a lot of anger over the whole situation.  Some things just need to be said I guess.]

Dear X,

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re right. I’m a bridge burner from way back.

But before you cry to anyone who will listen to what a victim you are, let me help you take stock of your actions over the past year.

You lied and cheated the final year of marriage creating ill will.

You never choose to forgive me.  You barely participated in counseling, going silent when things got tough.  You turned your heart into a useless stone.  Suddenly you realized through counseling that things were going to have to change and the change couldn’t come from me alone.  You refused to redefine yourself and our relationship to save our relationship.  You want to be the spoiled kept woman and nothing is going to stand in your way.

You called the police and then ran out like a cowardly thief in the night, not even telling me where I could find the car.  You filed for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty and sued for support because you were mad I closed my bank account to protect myself.  You were shocked when I choose for the first time in my life to not roll over but to defend myself against your baseless allegations.

You gave me and our marriage no regard as you accidentally sent me photos intended for your girlfriend only days after filing for said divorce.

I set aside my pride and begged for you to reconsider saving our marriage.  I plead.  You told me our marriage has “run it’s course” with all the emotion of a woman ordering a taco.  I still have no idea what excuse you worked out in your head to justify your actions in breaking your marriage vows.  I suspect it’s as you always do.  When times get tough, [name] just runs to the next sympathetic ear.  You ran from your mother.  You ran from our marriage.  What will you do when the fine people of Tucson realize what a sponge you are?  Unless things go your way, you have no patience.

You continue to treat me without respect or courtesy.  You erased a 6 year marriage because you couldn’t put in the work needed to save it.

You took the dogs back to Tucson with you.  You promised through lying lips to send me photos every once in a while as I say good bye to Nick and Nora for the last time.  Heartless.  You cannot afford me the simplest act of kindness.

I have no pity for you. You deserve to no longer have a home of your own and a lush garden.  You deserve to live in Tucson, garden in the sand on land you don’t own and to work in Reno.  You  can no longer blame me for being a hooker. You could be going to work at a real job and going to school.  Instead, you put as little effort as possible into your life and you are f***ing someone to pay the bills.

I relish that you have to embrace the work you loathed just to survive.  It’s your own personal hell.

As Dahlia told me shortly after you left – “Johannah was always so lucky…She had you.  The rest of us would have killed to have a stable, working guy in their lives.  Things are very different when you have to F@#k to buy a roll of toilet paper”.  I know you feel no guilt in leeching off your family; taking money from your parents and grandparents. Have you ever asked  yourself, can they afford it?  Probably not.  Their lives don’t matter, only yours.  Right?  You want to be an adult, but you expect everyone else to pay for it.  You’re not rebuilding your life, you’re trying to maintain getting as much as you can with as little effort as possible.  The only money you respect is the money you’ve earned on your back, everyone else is your personal ATM.

You’ve given up so very much.  Lost so very much.  No matter how you try to justify it, you’re a selfish person that is incapable of doing anything more than expecting everyone else to take care of you.  You spent our marriage pushing me to support you.  “Help your man make more money”.  Even your fantasies involved me going to work while you sat around the house with your g-d damn hand maids. You never loved me for who I was, only what you expected me to be and provide for you.

You are a new person.  Someone I don’t respect and owe nothing to..  Any goodwill I had for you is gone.

We have no history.  There is no love.  Gone is the woman I stood in front of and vowed the rest of my life to.  At least I can finally see you for who you are.

You are doomed to repeat your mistakes the rest of your life.  Wandering without purpose until your outer beauty runs out.  Truly intimate with no one.  Always working the con.  Then you’ll have even less than you do now.

I fixed the website – I think you’ll understand the joke. www.redlightruby.com

Now there’s some good news . . .

I hadn’t talked with my counselor in a long time.  As much as I need to go to counseling, I don’t have the money to go.

I called him Friday.  I feel awkward because I can’t pay him but he always takes a moment or two to talk with me and give me some guidance.  It had been months since we had talked.  I just really needed some help today.

I told him how depressed I had been and he corrected me.  It seems I’m not depressed, I’m grieving.  I hadn’t really thought about it that way.  It does change my perspective on things a little.

This entire thing is so horrible.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone I knew.  The feelings of loss are painful and intense.  I don’t sleep well and I’m struggling at work.  I miss her despite the fact that rereading this page I can she she clearly was a cunt to me.  It’s hard to tell your heart that someone is terrible for you.

But grieving is far different than being depressed.  In short grief ends eventually.  I just have to be patient and find my way through it.

I owe my lawyer about three grand.  I’m thinking about taking a loan from my bank to pay her off so we can finalize the last few things in the divorce, so I can lower my payments and make it back to counseling.  Right now I give her $400 a month – I really need to get the divorce finished.  All the x owes me is the paperwork giving me sole ownership of the house and the car.  Everything else is just garbage.

Bless my girlfriend who has struggled to give me some peace and love.  I know she wishes she could do more for me, but she’s done a lot already.

Decree

I’ve been notified that she’s signed the divorce decree.

Emotionally that hurt. I know it’s the right thing, but that doesn’t stop the hurt.

The “prove up” is next. Then we’re divorced. I need to see my counselor when I have the money.

T-minus 90 minutes & counting

I’m minutes away from her walking into my life one last time. Oddly I’m calm. A little sick. Ready for it to be over.

My lawyer said we could be divorced by Friday. 6 years over in 3 months.

Counseling Form

I heard from my counselor today:

Well, an “If I were you” statement is way further than I am trying to go. But let me try this.

Yes, she is not acting and you are trying to interpret this. She has stated in her words fairly clearly that does not plan on getting back together. I respect that her indecision in her actions feeds your desire to repair the relationship–I even understand your desire to repair the relationship–but your are interpreting her actions to mean what you want them to mean. You are not interpreting them in terms of her history of not acting on plans to move her life forward–she does actually have a history of saying she is going to do things to improve her situation and not doing them, so this just fits that pattern. And it may not say anything about wanting to get back with you or even that she is indecisive about that.

Okay, so if I were you I would make a list of what she actually gains by signing the divorce papers. Include in this list ways in which you imagine her life will be changed in a day-to-day basis by signing.

I suspect that the shortness of this list can shed some light on why she is not signing the papers–she does not actually gain anything she doesn’t already have for all practical purposes by signing the papers.

Okay, so now if I were you I would make a list of things she gains by signing the divorce papers. Include in this list ways in which you imagine her life will be changed in a day-to-day basis by signing.

Again, I think you will find a short list. I think she has no real motivation to finalize the divorce, nothing practical anyway, so why act? Following through on plans has not been her strong suit, what makes you think this situation is different? I suspect she has wore out what ever initiative she had–used it all up by changing her life situation, which she has.

Okay, now that all being said, might she be uncertain and be coming back–yes, obviously. But YOU are choosing to live in limbo out of hope. YOU are allowing yourself to be uncertain.

If I were you I would make a list of ways in which your life is better by waiting on her to come back than by moving forward as if she is gone.

If you move on with your life–which you seem to have started to do–then what have you actually lost? She appears to be moving on with her life as if she is not coming back, so why shouldn’t you? Make a list of reasons if you need to, but then make a list of ways in which you are better off by moving forward as if she is not coming back. You are not going to move forward with your life and then she comes back and you guys are going to be any worse off than before she left

Again, let me emphasize that this will not make the pain go away, but by moving forward you do reduce your experience of that pain. I honestly believe that a big part of the pain is driven by your holding onto the idea that she is coming back. I do not think you gain anything by that to counter the pain.

What does the Darling Wife gain by Signing the divorce papers? What does the Darling Wife lose by Signing the divorce papers?
  • Bills & Responsibility
  • Having to hook to make ends meet
  • Things to do / her own social life
  • Tucson heat
  • Brothel trips
  • She has to lie to her family about how she makes a living
  • Loses her 1st love & Husband
  • Home & garden
  • Security & Stability
  • Medical Coverage
  • Family
  • Air of respectability – she has to deny being a hooker to her family, she has to lie about what she’s doing.
  • Her “things” – Clothes & Dogs
  • Not having to hook to make ends meet.
  • Someone to take ownership when she needs help.
  • No real demands on her.
  • No one to create websites or do photographs for her work

Then it’s my turn:

What do I gain if we don’t divorce? What do I get if we do divorce?
  • My “partner” back.
  • Unresolved issues
  • My marriage
  • My family
  • Companionship
  • Help
  • Compassion
  • Comfort
  • I set my own destiny
  • I can travel if I want
  • My own home
  • I could meet someone who would be kind to me.
  • I’m responsible only for myself
  • I can pick any job I want – I don’t need to make a set amount of money
  • I can live how and where I want
  • I can make less money
  • I will make much more money living by myself

Counselor Correspondence . . .

To some degree she has you on the fence. But at the same time, you are allowing her to put you there.

As to whether or not she is having second thoughts or is half-hearted about this, I don’t know. I think she has a pattern of not really following through on things. I think that definitive action is more rare than the norm for her.

What does she actually gain by signing the divorce papers? How does her life actually change? What motivates her to finalize the divorce? Conversely, what motivates her or in what way does she benefit from coming back? Looking at those questions might help you better understand what she is doing and why she is not acting.