Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Chapter 1: Meet Sarah December 19, 2020

Filed under: life — rainey46 @ 3:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

Sarah sat in her weather beaten Adirondack chair sipping from a full glass of white wine and gazing up at the sky. It was a clear night and she could see hundreds of  twinkling stars lighting up the darkness. The full moon seemed thrown against the backdrop of the stars. She let her mind wander over the events of the past week.

Her divorce to Sam was now behind her. Thankfully, they had decided not to have kids, so she could walk away from this chapter of her life and never see him again. She won the house, all the furnishings, and her car in the settlement. Sam had, at first, tried to fight it, claiming everything they owned was due to his efforts, his hard work; but after her lawyer showed him the lovely photographs of Sam with his girlfriend in various, ah, poses, he stopped fighting. Hiring the private investigator was the best idea ever, Sarah thought to herself. Not that Sam cared that he got caught cheating on his own wife after eight years of marriage. What really got to him was the threat of showing the pictures of him participating in embarrassing sexual role play. Sam was all about appearances, and those pictures would not be the appearance he wanted the world to see. So, without another whimper, Sam gave Sarah everything she wanted. She knew she could have gotten alimony, but Sarah wanted the entire nasty mess behind her. She just wanted to never see Sam again.

Now, here she sat in her large, two bedroom, two and a half bath house. Alone. A sigh escaped her lips as she thought about her future. She still worked at the day care, answering the phone and greeting the working moms and dads of America as they dropped off their various children for the day. It was a pleasant job, for the most part, but not particularly fulfilling. Sarah had a college degree in art history, but Sam had always made fun of it and teased her about making a career out of ” looking at dead people’s paintings.” Honestly, there wasn’t a great demand for an art history major in the Florida suburb where she lived. Sam berated her for not working, so she took the first job she could find. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible, either. Now she had a decision to make. Her job only paid minimum wage and would not be enough to cover the bills now that Sam was gone. She either needed to sell the house and move to something smaller, or find a better paying job.

Sarah looked around at the house. This had been her home for the last nine years of her life. It was a two-story modern with a detached two car garage. When she and Sam first bought the house, she only agreed to it because Sam was so insistent. He loved the sharp, angular look with the stark white interior, but Sarah secretly thought of it as a white box with no personality. But because he loved it, Sarah agreed. Now that she thought about it, that was how their entire marriage worked. Sam liked the classic look of the BMW, so that is what they bought. Sarah hated saying goodbye to the old Honda Civic she owned before they married, but Sam insisted she drive a better car that fit their new lifestyle. Sam wanted the house in the country club neighborhood, so that is where they lived. Somewhere along the way, Sarah stopped having a say in what they bought or where they went or what they did. She realized now that she had even given up all her old friends, including her best friend Margie. Now the only friends she had were the wives of Sam’s business associates. Ever since she and Sam separated a year ago and Sam moved to the new condo on the golf course, it became clear that her so-called “friends” were not friends at all. Not one person returned her phone calls when she tried to arrange a lunch outing. When she ran into Eve and Linda at Macy’s, they wouldn’t even look her in the eyes. They were so “busy”, maybe they could get together “real soon”, they would “give her a ring some time.” Yeah, right. Bitches, she thought now.

“Bitches,” she said out loud, liking the way the word sounded in the night air. Sarah took another sip of the wine, then grimaced at the taste. She looked at the crystal wine glass still half filled with the amber tinged liquid. I don’t even like the taste of wine, she thought suddenly.  All these years, she and Sam had sipped wine from the set of crystal wine glasses Sam had bought her as a present for their first Christmas together. She had grown used to the fancy wine they served at their parties, but she never really enjoyed the taste. “Then why are you drinking it?” she asked herself out loud, then giggled. She was a little tipsy, she thought, since she was beginning to talk to herself. She held up the glass, closed one eye, then gazed at the moon through the liquid like she was peering through a microscope. Slowly, very slowly, she tilted the glass until the contents spilled out on the tiled porch. She watched it splatter and spread into a small puddle marring the pristine floor. She felt a jolt of power when she realized Sam was no longer around to tell her the porch was a mess and needed cleaned. Giggling again, Sarah allowed the stem of the glass to slip through her fingers and she watched it fall as if in slow motion. The crystal shattered with a delicate sound when it met the concrete flooring of the porch. Startled, she sat up and looked around to see if anyone was watching. All of the lights in the nearby houses were out. She looked back down at the concrete and saw beauty in the scene. The splattered drops of wine, the spreading puddle, and the shattered crystal created a statement, it seemed. Sarah didn’t own a camera, so she grabbed her cell phone from the arm of her chair and began taking photos of the image. She liked the way the wine and the broken pieces of crystal gleamed in the moonlight. Satisfied after taking several shots, she went inside her house. Cleaning up the shattered glass could wait for another day.

After tidying the kitchen, programing the coffee pot, and readying herself for the night, Sarah sank onto her bed. She arranged her pillows just so, then settled in to sleep. The sleeping pill she took nightly since the divorce tugged at her eyelids and she soon slipped into a dreamless sleep.

Sarah’s eyes flew open and her brain registered a sound in the same instant. Coming fully awake, she lay without moving and tried to determine the source of the sound. She held her breath and glanced around her bedroom. The time on the bedside clock registered 3:07 a.m. Everything was as it should be. Sarah eased out of bed and reached into her nightstand drawer. For a moment she felt panic as her hands searched in vain, but she drew in a settling breath when her fingers finally grasped the handle of the small handgun. She felt less alone with the solid form held firmly in her left hand. She sent a silent prayer up for her stepfather, who had insisted that she knew her way around a gun.

She crept slowly and silently to the closed bedroom door. Sarah opened the door and jumped out with the gun in her outstretched hand. She saw nothing, so she tiptoed to the stairs. Standing completely still for a full minute, Sarah listened intently but she could only hear the distant hum of the heater clicking on.  She took her time going down the steps, being careful to avoid the third from the bottom because it squeaked. At the foot of the stairs she could see into the living and dining rooms, both empty. Rounding the corner to peer into the kitchen her heart was pounding in her chest. Nothing. No one was there. Sarah went immediately to check all of the doors and windows in what had become a nightly ritual. Everything was locked as it should be.

She sat down heavily on the sofa and put her head in her hands. I can’t go on like this, she thought to herself. Every single night this week, she woke up in the early morning hours because she thought she heard a noise. Every single night she had found exactly nothing. Her nerves were getting the best of her and she had to put a stop to it right now. Sighing, she forced her tired body off of the sofa and padded slowly upstairs to her bed. Sarah dove under the covers and decided tomorrow would be a day of action. She didn’t know exactly what, but some things in her life needed to change in a very big way. Having made that decision, Sarah fell into a fitful sleep.

 

Shattered May 24, 2014

When she goes off the deep end, I break inside. Every tiny little piece of carefully built hope shatters.

I live every single day with fear, hope, and dread. Fear of what she will do, fear of the unknown horrors the day may bring. Hope that we will both come through this day unscathed. I live with dread. Dread invades me with every text or call. But I also live with happiness. Happiness fills my heart and soul when we roll through problems and make it to the other side. I’m happy when the day goes well.

She started drinking again; binge drinking alone in her room. I suspected it, but had not confronted her. I called her at 3 in the afternoon because I needed her to meet me somewhere. She had to admit to me that she couldn’t because she was drunk. (She just got off work at 2:45.) I couldn’t help myself; I was filled with rage. I didn’t let it out at her though; I simply made a statement that she was drinking a lot lately and then said I’d talk to her later and hung up.

She, of course, could not let it go. Text and phone calls began…”Are you upset?” “Are you mad at me?” I tried to ignore, but I finally answered the phone. I didn’t let it all fly, but I told her the truth…I am angry. I am angry because you are choosing an old crutch…drinking..that I thought we’d conquered in the past. I said I wish she would learn how to live through the tough times in life without using a crutch that made things worse.  She got very mad at me and said I was being mean and I had no right to be mad at her because she wasn’t doing anything to me and why did I say these things to her? I reminded her that SHE called me, and I was trying to keep my distance until the anger passed. She hung up.

I was looking forward to this nice, 3-day weekend. In fact, I left work a little early yesterday so I could get home. Instead, I drove around for a while, did some shopping, did anything to avoid going home to her because I could feel the storm brewing.

We avoided one another at first. A couple of hours passed before she came at me, screaming, “Are you not going to talk to me?” I told her I was still angry and felt it was better if we didn’t talk right then. She kept on. Usually I can remain in control of my emotions, but honestly, I’m just tired. Work has been hard, living with her is always difficult, and I feel the tiredness like a disease deep in my soul. I tried to explain to her that I am allowed to have emotions, too, and I’m tired of holding them in because of her. I didn’t unleash the fury of what I felt, but she saw a peek. She turned it around on me and said I made her feel like crap for having addictions. That I was the only one she had to turn to (which is not true). I told her I couldn’t be her “only one” that sometimes I needed a break. She became furious and stormed out, got in her car, and left.

She began sending “I’m sorry” and “I just want to die” messages to her sister and a friend. I couldn’t even find the energy to be worried. Does this make me a horrible person? I didn’t really even get scared because it felt like another manipulation game. She was trying to punish me for being angry.

She eventually came home…after I gave in and played her game. “Please come home so I will know you are safe,” I wrote in a text. Her sister went out and found her and convinced her to go home.

We had an event that my daughters and I were to attend this morning. They went without me. I just don’t want to be around her, or the world right now. She is fine today, happy and having fun. Me? I’m tired. I’m shattered. I’ll be here alone, trying to put the pieces back together so I can make it through the next storm.

 

 

Finding the Happy Middle December 1, 2013

We did it. We went, we ate, we talked, and we made it out: alive and still friendly with all family members. Thanksgiving 2013: conquered.

On to Christmas. Tis the season to be jolly….to overspend on crap we don’t need…to eat until we gain weight… That is how it has felt for me the last few years.  But this year, it feels different. Not the way it was when my daughters were young, and everything was over the top. I seem to have found my Christmas spirit for the first time in a few years. I’m actually putting up a tree and a few decorations. Keep in mind, prior to 5 years ago, my house was the glow you could see on the horizon. Every bush and every tree sparkled and glowed. Icicles glimmered from the roof line, and trees peeked from every window. Then my spirit abandoned me. I didn’t even want a tree, and buying gifts was a chore.

I seem to have found a  happy middle. I’m kind of liking this.

 

Despair November 27, 2013

Filed under: about me,all — rainey46 @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I feel a depth of despair that makes me physically have pain in my chest. J took 5 Xanax last night with a half a bottle of rum. She also informed me that she has drunk almost nightly to quiet the voices in her head.

Her doctor is at a loss about what to do. Her thyroid is messed up from the medicine she has tried for bipolar/OCD. The medicine for the thyroid causes horrible side effects. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, seems to work for long, and if it does, she develops side effects that are so bad she has to stop taking the original medicine.

I feel selfish. I want to run far, far away and never come back. I want to kick her out of my house so that I can have a normal life for at least a few years before I die. I want to leave her, him, and everyone else I know and drive off, never looking back.

Instead, I will continue to cry myself to sleep at night while hubs stays up to avoid seeing me like this. I will continue to fill my days with meaningless words and motions while I dream of better things.

 

Time Will Tell November 17, 2013

I stumbled upon a Facebook page of my old high school. I live within thirty minutes of where I grew up, but high school was not a good time for me so I put that time of my life behind me- along with the people I knew then. For some reason, I scrolled through a few screens of people trying to reconnect, or announcements of class reunions, and a name suddenly jumped out at me…the name of one of the men who gang raped me when I was 16. I closed my eyes and almost didn’t look at the page. After a moment, I looked: it was his death announcement.

I followed a link to an online obituary that showed pictures of him: with his wife, then children and grandchildren. The younger pictures looked just like the man I knew: cute, almost shy smile; slightly mussed blonde hair; and clear tan skin. As he aged, he got a little heavier, but seemed to maintain his “boy-next-door” good looks.

I expected to feel rage that he lived an ordinary life when I lived so much of mine in emotional pain. I expected to feel relief that he was dead and had suffered from the ravages of cancer. But I felt neither of these emotions.

I really felt….nothing. Just a little twinge that someone I once knew was dead.

Does this mean that I’ve really finally healed? Did I take back my power after all these years?

I hope so.

Only time will tell.

 

Parts Sag and Things Hurt October 7, 2013

This weekend, I went for a trip on the motorcycle. I had a great time, but my butt hurts from riding 1,100 miles. And my back hurts from two nights on a brick-hard hotel bed.

I’m also sun burnt from an October sun that didn’t know it was October.

I woke up late this morning because I set my alarm for the wrong time. It wasn’t terribly wrong, but just enough to start my day off-kilter.

Got to work on time, but no time to spare. In fact, no time to spare all day. After my normal morning meeting, I had a meeting with the bosses to brainstorm and problem-solve. When they left, it seemed as though everyone on staff was lined up outside my door with a different problem. I guess it is good that I am needed at work.

At the end of the day, I had a nose bleed. Not bad; just a little one. I haven’t had one since I was a kid.

On the way home, my left eye started twitching. It does that some time for no apparent reason.

Sometimes, it’s a bitch getting older. Parts sag or don’t work and things hurt, but my mind doesn’t know we are getting older. It wants to go and do like we always have. I still have fun, but fun hurts more now than it did.

Did I mention that today was my birthday?

 

 

 

Wise Words September 24, 2013

Filed under: all — rainey46 @ 7:32 pm
Tags: ,

“When life is hard, you have to change.”

Wise words sang by a man who could not change. Knowing what needs to be done is not the same as doing it.

 

Cracks in the Veneer September 14, 2013

For days, weeks, and even (if I am lucky) months at a time, my life is shiny; covered with a beautiful glossy coat. Everything rolls along and falls into place as it should. Even the bumps in the road are handled with humor and navigated well. Good times are enjoyed, bad time are endured, and average times are sweet.

Then, for some unknown reason, the glossy veneer of my beautiful life begins to crack.

It always starts small. Something I forgot to do, and hubs mentions it. Or the boss mentions it. Or maybe no one mentions it, but I know and I feel it. It sours things just a wee bit, and the first tiny crack appears in the glossy veneer.

Even if I immediately take care of it, whatever caused the first crack haunts me. It reminds me of every other time I screwed up. It makes me feel like I am in over my head in this life; that sooner or later, I will be found out. I’m not good enough and everyone knows it. I am just living a lie.

So what is the difference? How is it that I can handle things so well for periods of time, then suddenly it all falls apart? I need to know, because I can feel the cracks creeping in, and things have been so good for a while now; I don’t want the darkness. I will fight it, but it always, always wins.

 

Ready to Shed Summer September 1, 2013

I’m ready to shed what is left of this lukewarm summer. It is time for cool autumn winds to blow this humid, heavy air away until next year.  This summer has not been a good one for me, and I am not sorry to see it go. I am back at work, with more responsibility than ever before. It is what I need.

I have a goal to not let work and everyday life get in the way of enjoying….LIFE. The weekend before work started I went on a quick trip to the mountains, just hubs and I. It rekindled something for us. We are good together, but I’d forgotten that we could be GREAT together. I don’t want to lose that.

I also don’t want to lose my art. I have this habit of immersing myself so fully in my job that I leave time for nothing else. My art releases so much for me, and I want to continue to learn and grow. I cannot do that by only creating a month or two out of the year. I have a need for art in my life.

Autumn….I am so ready for pots of homemade soup; crisp brown leaves crunching underfoot; brilliantly colored leaves decorating the mountains; and the smell of wood smoke drifting from chimneys. Autumn is my favorite time of year.

 

 

I Took Back My Power From the Rapist June 9, 2013

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape

It’s strange how J mimics my own life in some ways. I wish it wasn’t so.

She saw her rapist at the grocery store.

The same grocery store where I saw mine.

Years ago, as a very young and wild teen, I was gang raped by “friends”. Long story….I know I wrote about it already, but I don’t feel like searching for it to create a link. Maybe later.

A year later, I moved on. I made all new friends, cut my ties with that so-called group of friends (all of them, not just the ones who raped me). I literally moved on to a new boyfriend (who became my husband) in a new town. The first town is about a 35 minute drive to the town I moved to. I grew up, married, had kids, and became a teacher. My life moved forward, but my soul did not. Just as I did with the molestation I endured as a child, I covered it up and pretended it didn’t happen. If I don’t think about it, it can’t hurt me, right? Or so I thought.

One year, one of my students happened to be this weird little dude I will call Paul. I taught fourth grade, and some little boys having a crush on me was the norm; it goes with the territory. After a week or so, they usually get over it and fall for a more appropriate love interest, like the cute blonde with freckles who sits next to them in class. Paul, however, persisted to fawn over me all year. Like I said, a weird little dude. I met his mother several times during conferences and we laughed together over his strange infatuation with me.

At the end of the year we had a big awards ceremony. The day before, Paul gave me a strange smile and said,”My dad is coming to awards tomorrow.” I was slightly shocked,  as Paul’s dad had not attended any events that year. In fact, Paul NEVER talked about his dad, so I assumed he was a very un-involved parent. Then Paul said, “My dad knows you.” He giggled and ran off.

I truly didn’t think anything of it until the next day. I was standing in my classroom when Paul’s dad, my old friend and rapist, stood in my doorway. Time stood still as our eyes met. The world around me faded away and all I could see where those eyes in the darkness. I was unable to blink or breath until he smirked and turned away. He told his son he would see him at the ceremony and then he was gone. When I was able to move again, I looked at Paul, who stood there, staring at me, with that same smirk. Like he knew.

Somehow I got through that day. I pulled Paul’s records and realized I lived one street over from my former friend. We lived one street apart and I never knew until that day.

But he knew. He knew the whole time that I was Paul’s teacher.

That summer I saw him again. This time at the grocery store. I left my groceries in the cart and walked out.

It began to eat away at me. I couldn’t sleep without nightmares. I began spending most of my waking hours doing the “What If” game. What if I had pressed charges. What  if I called him out in front of his wife. What if…

Finally I realized this was very counter-productive for me. I had to take my life back. I could not run from this anymore. A few days later, in the same grocery store, I saw him. I followed him. When he saw me, the blood drained from his face. I was angry and I did not look away. I would not back down. I took back my power when I looked him in the eyes and loudly said, “Fancy meeting you here. Does you wife  know you are a rapist? Does she know how you gave an under-aged girl drugs until she passed out, so you and your sick friends could rape her?” I saw true fear in his eyes for the first time. In that moment, I got my power back. He and his fear no longer controlled me.

Life is funny. That was years ago, and I have not had a chance encounter with him since. He still lives one street away, but it no longer haunts me. In fact, I hadn’t thought about him and those events in a long time.

I wonder how long it will be until J gets her power back.