How to Survive Year 1…or the seemingly never ending morass of bullshit you must endure now that your spouse is gone


So, dear reader, we did it! We survived the first year! Congratulations. Pat yourself on the back, because obviously, no one else is around to do that for you! So…..now what?

You thought that things would be a lot different, didn’t you? Ha! Nope. You only survived because you don’t know how to not survive. You put your head down and put one foot in front of the other. Every. Fucking. Day. Because you had to. If you’re like me, you didn’t inherit a metric fuck-ton of money when your spouse died. You inherited an entirely new set of headaches that no amount of fuckitall is going to take away.

I thought that I would have my house paid off and I would be living somewhere else by now. Nope. My lawyer assures me he is working on it, but since he’s never in his office, and certainly doesn’t answer phone messages, I have no idea whether or not this is truthful or not. How hard can this be? The only thing in the estate was the house. But this has brought a completely new set of headaches. For one thing, I now owe more on the house than I did when Andrew died. Totally fair, right? No.

Also I can not change the name on my insurance account until the house is settled. Because God forbid what would happen if the whole thing burned down around my ears? Well, I know the answer to that. The insurance agency would issue a check that I could not cash in Andrew’s name to cover the contents of said house. Which brings us squarely into this week’s drama.

So, apparently the insurance company has been overcharging us for years. Thank you, Farmers. Not applying the correct discounts. So when I added the new car, apparently this brought this little black seed out into the light and they have been fixing it. One small refund check at a time. The bank said to sign his name and then mine and add “representative payee/personal representative”. Which I have dutifully done on every single check I have received. Until this week. Suddenly, the bank has decided that this is not their policy and that I have to get the check reissued. In my name. Sounds simple, right? Nope.  I call Farmers and talk to an agent who gives me a phone number to call. I call the number and get “virtual voting has ended”. Click. I call Farmers back. They give me 2 new numbers to call, one of which calls some black hole in outer space and never connects and the other, interestingly enough to Bank of America. Or at least, a class action lawsuit for them. Because apparently, they’ve  been overcharging people for years. So, I call Farmers back and get a girl who tells me that they just have to change the name on the billing account to me. This change should take 24-48 hours and I will get an email notifying me of this change before Friday. Email never appears. I call Farmers again. Different lady tells me that is not the case at all and that they can only issue the check to Andrew or to Andrew’s estate. Which does me no good. I call the bank and they tell me that they can’t cash the check because Andrew was never on my account. Grrr.

So this morning I went to the downtown branch of the back and cried. Playing the widow card with as much enthusiasm as having a whole hand of Aces at the Poker table. I have all the paperwork. I cry. I talk. I cry. The guy I’m talking to looks at paperwork. Looks at ID. Looks at paperwork. Goes and talks to someone. Comes back. Looks at paperwork. Says “follow me” and leads me to a teller who he tells to deposit this check. Sigh. WTAF. It never should have taken all of this effort a week after Andrew’s one year anniversary to do all of this. It’s insane. They should all be ashamed.

I know you thought I’d be living some kind of charmed carefree life by now. I’m not. Nothing has changed. I’m still barely making ends meets. Still working. Still trying to get Autiezombiegirl off the ground. Still barely surviving. Interestingly enough, I discovered the bottom of the depression barrel this week. Yeah….I’m in the basement of that, right now. But who wouldn’t be? Fuck. I can’t move on. Hell, I can’t even move until all of this crap is settled. So, I just sit. Spinning my wheels.

Bank of America sends me a little Asian guy every other day to hand me a yellow envelope that says “Please call immediately” and take my picture.

These are just a few of the things that I am still dealing with. A. Year. Later. In other news, I have also discovered that my heart is still absolutely broken. My tolerance for frustration is at zero. And I honestly think that I am heading straight to Applebee’s after  work and ordering drinks by color. Because I can. And because that’s how I adult. I feel like I have just put up with WAY too much this week. So, if you happen to be around…..

I’m disappointed. I really thought that things would be different in some small way outside of my husband being dead. It just all feels so….depressing. Sigh. You know me dear reader. I’ll get up and do it all over again tomorrow. But it is still overwhelming. And heartbreaking. And I hope that you don’t have to deal with this kind of bullshit if your spouse dies. Because it sucks. It really does. There are days that I just go home and go to bed because I cannot deal with even one more thing. I don’t know how to end this blog, today. So I will just end it with a period.

Anniversaries from the brink of the edge of nowhere


.facebook_1471892102149Oh dear readers, we are racing at light speed toward the one year mark. It sits on me, the weight as vast as the entire universe. I won’t lie, this year has been jam packed with all of the dips and highs of this insane roller coaster ride. It has been nothing that I either expected or wanted to happen this year. Most of the time I have just floated, keeping my head down on the difficult days and breathing, taking one moment by impossible moment. If someone had told me a year ago that this would be my life, I would not have believed it. How do you even predict this? Or cope with it?

This week feels heartbreaking. Full of moments of afraid to breathe because if I start crying now, I will never stop. Will I?  I have many people that tell me that I will. But I am not so sure. So I thought that I would share some of my favourite pictures with you.

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This is him in his Sears uniform. Way back 16 years ago when we first met. This is how I will always remember him. Those startling blue eyes and those boyish good looks. He never really changed. Of course, now I can let the secret out that I dyed his hair for 16 years. Laugh. He wouldn’t let me stop!

He was goofy beyond belief.

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This was the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame trip that I gave him for his 40th birthday. He had a blast. These guitars were all over Cleveland and I think we took pictures of most of them.

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This was after we won our first title of Crab Race champions. 2015.

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He never missed a chance to take pictures of us together. This is our first year together, he was still living in Van Buren and I was spending my time between Muncie and his trailer.

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This was our vacation in Cancun. I wanted to spend all our time on the beach and he actually only got to microplan a couple of days from the whole thing. For those of you who don’t know, he could microplan the fuck out of a vacation. I often came home needing a vacation from our vacation. This one, he only got 2 days. But he was a water baby and he would be lying if he said that he didn’t love the beach time.

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This is the picture we used for the obituary. He is playing my cousin’s 1952 Gibson and he never looked happier or more in awe of anything in his life. He loved playing music and his guitars were his favourite and most prized possessions. I have way too many guitars for a girl that doesn’t play, but he loved them and now so do I. Our lives were full of music. He dragged me to many a festival, concert, bar and outdoor performance. I didn’t like all of them, but I went because I was his built in concert buddy. We had a concert budget and went to anywhere from 50-200 shows a year. We planned vacations around them every now and again. I have gone to some shows this summer. It’s a hell of a lot harder to find someone to go with, but I also go to more things that I like and less things that I don’t, now. LOL.

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This was the last concert that we went to (the last show was the 1964 Beatles tribute). It was the Rolling Stones at Speedway. He was ticking off his bucket list the last ten years and I didn’t even realize it. But here we are at one of those last few shows. This was 10 days before his mom died. About 8 weeks before he did. It seems like now that there isn’t anything music that doesn’t bring him back to me. Because our entire lives were indeed music.

I miss him immensely. Those of you who are FaceBook friends are often entertained by the “Conversations with my husband” series that show his more blonde, silly, and just plain not thinking things out moments.

I will forever curse Timehop and FaceBook for having apps that bring me the joy and the tears of all of these photos that I forgot about or haven’t looked at. I will forever cry when a text message comes up on one of those apps with some inane thing like “what’s for dinner, baby?” or “what do you want to do this weekend?”. Wishing that it was some profound profession of our love. But being with someone for 16 years isn’t about profound professions of love. It’s about profound love that is SO there that you don’t have to say it every day. You just know that it’s there. You trust that it is there and you hold it in your heart above all the other things. Because you know it’s safe and it’s yours.

This year has made me step so far out of my comfort box that I am not even sure where that damn thing is anymore. This year has made me take stock of what is truly important. This year has made me count up all the good things, discard the poison ones, and push other things that are just not worth bothering with away. This is good and bad. Above all, this year has made me appreciate the person that I become with this wonderful guy and I treasure the fact that he weaseled his little blond haired, blue eyed self into my heart. I don’t know how he did it, but he did. I am grateful that he did. Look at the things that I have done in the last 16 years. This barely scratches the surface of all of the amazing trips that we took and all of those things that we experienced because he planned them so amazingly well. It barely touches all of the shows we experienced and the joy those shows brought to either of us. It can never come close to making you experience the love that he so obviously had for me.

I hope that you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Here is one last thought. A pendant that a friend made and his ring.

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Closing in on a year and other tales of survival (or who let me adult? WTF?!)


Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday. He would have been 54. I was bombarded all day with memories from various social websites reminding me of this fact and of all the birthdays in years past and how we celebrated. Mostly it was concerts. Because our whole lives were concerts. But mostly I woke up feeling lost because for the first time in 16 years I did not wake up to snuggle his  crazy blonde curls that I affectionately called Rooster head and tell him “You’re 8 years older than me”. July was very special for us. Our first date was July 15th and for years (including that first date) went to Muncie for Shakespeare at Minnetrista and later on BSU’s campus until they did away with it altogether. His birthday came on July 19th and 7 years 7 days and 7 hours later on July 26th came my birthday. It seemed our whole world revolved around 7s. Now I have had to add the anniversary of his mom to July on the 14th. In the past, our little group of 3 couples celebrated four of our six birthdays in this week. Starting with Drew’s birthday and ending with mine. It seems a little weird to start on a different birthday this year.

It also seemed weird to sit quietly at home and go to bed fairly early last night.

We plan to celebrate a little with a lantern release tonight. Just the few of us getting together and remembering a man who made so much impact on all of us and left such a giant gap behind. It’s important to go through these rituals of remembering and feeling all of the feelings that come with it. It makes us…..(swallow) human.

If I had known a year ago that my life was going to be so drastically changed and forever altered, I don’t know if I would have acted/behaved/done anything differently. But I do know that I would have still put my head down and moved forward with everything that is inside of me because I am too stubborn/dumb/pathetic to do anything less than that.

So this year has been filled with all of the firsts. Which suck. Every. One. But still I move forward. This year has also been filled with lots of changes. I changed jobs, hairstyles, focuses, relationships, coworkers and cars. I didn’t get stuck but am often debilitated by the thing that brought all of these changes. I am not happier in these changes, per se, but I am feeling a hell of a lot less stressed about life in general. I have found support in places that I did not know existed. I have learned that we take life way too seriously and that we worry about far too many things that…..Just. Don’t. Matter. And we also let life get on top of us in ways that…..May. Just. Kill. Us.

Think about those things for a moment. Meditate on them. Use them for a mantra. Life is way too short to fuck around with people who make us miserable and far too precious to waste time doing things that don’t make us happy or lead to a way to make us happy.

Afterall, I decided that after 2 years of being stuck in a job that I hated and that had become some sort of demented antagonist in my life, that I was moving on. With or without a replacement job. Luckily a replacement job came along.  I have learned to appreciate little things in life. I consider nothing wasted time anymore. Roger wants to take a car ride?  Let’s go! Chance to take a day off work and take my kid to see our lads <bows head in reverence> Liverpool play on US soil? Fuck yes! Take my friends and kid to concerts? Hell yes! (Side note: you have not lived until you realise that you prolly played WAY too much Violent Femmes while your kid was growing up because you are standing next to him at that concert and you both are screaming the lyrics “why can’t I get just one fuck” at top volume.)

Have a written a word outside of a few blogs since Andrew died? No, I have not. But let me tell you why. I sit in front of the screen writing a blog and I cry my eyes out. I am not ready to write anything else right now. Writing is intensely personal and intensely emotional. I am just not ready to share that much with anyone right now. I haven’t stopped being creative. I have been working on the Autie Zombie Girl shop and things are starting to come together in a way. I have a working website: Weird gifts for Weird people. For now, this is satisfying my creativity. I will go back to writing. But right now, there is so much to do!

I challenged myself this year. It would be very easy for me to go inside, shut the door, lock the latch with that satisfying CLICK and….Never. Come. Out. Again. But because that is the easy answer, I did not do that. Instead I put myself out there. I go to the market every Saturday. Good or bad weather. Good or bad sales. I signed up to do some local shows. That is definitely not in my comfort zone. But without Drew to buffer the world for me, I have had to learn to do it for myself. I do occasionally still hide. I still have Asperger’s for fuck’s sake. But I had to get strong enough to do things on my own. I always have. I have always had this pool of getupandgoness that makes me move forward in a generally lucid manner.

I am now also LITERALLY my husband’s brother’s keeper. Not many of you know that Drew has a brother with an extremely awful mental illness. He is paranoid schizophrenic. When their mom died, Drew and I promised we would look after Mark. When Drew died, I thought that it was my job to fulfill that promise. He was arrested a few months ago in Family Dollar arguing with his voices and destroying merchandise. We got him a placement in first our local mental health agency and then our state mental health hospital. The guardianship hearing was a hoot. Drew’s real father showed up to contest it. He’d succeeded in putting off the hearing for a month. He attempted to make it a three ring circus, but did not succeed. He told the judge that I was crazy and that I was famous on the internet because “her people call her auntie zombie girl”. He also tried to turn being weird into a bad thing. He told the judge that I was proud of being different. So the judge told him that he could see I was different from where he was sitting and he was going to give me guardianship anyways. Bam!

I have been tempted often in the last couple of months to send him a letter and tell him that this is  not how good Christians and Believers behave. That he should be happy that someone has stepped up to take care of Mark. Afterall, he’s just as crazy if not crazier than Mark. He does not see it that way. Thankfully, I have people on my side in that family. Drew’s cousin told the rest of the family that I was obviously the best person for the job. Afterall, his own mother trusted me to take care of him in her absence. I also made sure to dispel the myth that Drew’s mom died atop a giant pile of money that was earmarked for Mark’s care. This is not the case at all. It’s hard to make people who only use money and their own rewards/benefits as a basis for helping others understand that sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

I continue to clean the house and to put his items away that will eventually go to an auction and be used to pay for his headstone. I continue to find memories of what our life together was and what it meant to him. I believe he was truly happy. Not just with me and our marriage, but with his life. He loved his little part time job and he loved fixing things. He was starting to put together a little network of people that needed things fixed. He enjoyed the freedom of doing what he wanted when he wanted and taking as long as he wanted to so that the job was done right. He was truly in a very good place in life.

So ahead of us are the last few firsts. My first birthday (in 16 years) without him. My first year without him. It’s a struggle that I feel immensely under equipped to take on. But here we are. How would I have done this all without the love and support that I have? I have no idea. Prolly not very well.

I miss his smile. I miss waking up every day and told how pretty I am. I miss his gentle kindness. I miss his confidence. I miss the confidence that he gave me in myself. I miss having a built in concert/movie buddy. I miss everything about him deep into my soul. Life is not as happy without him. Music is not as good without him. My house is so quiet and empty without him. He was my best friend.

The Other Side of the Worst Year EVER….and other tales of survival


I know that I have been terribly negligent of you this year, dear reader. I’m sure that you understand. It hasn’t been an easy year. I wouldn’t even describe this last year as awful, because in reality there have been moments that were much worse than that.  There have been days where I cried with broken-hearted sobs that would rival the depth of the Grand Canyon. My sorrow has been indescribable. I have tried to find the words, but they are lacking.

I am sitting on the eve of the one year anniversary of my beautiful mother-in-law’s death. I don’t know how things would have changed if I had known that moment was only the gateway that would change my life irreparably and forever. On that night when about this time in the evening I sent my husband and my father-in-law to have a lie down because upon my arrival at the in-law’s house, I knew it was the end, I had no crystal ball to tell me that it was only the beginning of the end. Of a lot of things. There was no way to know that on that night, though. Instead I sat gently beside this woman that had given birth to the man I loved with all my heart. I read to her. I read to myself. I whispered with her. I told her it was okay for her to go whenever she felt it was time. I listened as her breathing became shallow and almost non-existent. Many times I held my own breath, waiting to see if she was done. I gave her drops of morphine upon request because there was no other comfort that anyone could offer her. I was sure she’d made whatever amends she felt necessary. I cried for all of the indignities that this wonderful woman had felt that she had put us all through. I didn’t feel that way at all. I felt as if it was the very least I could do for this woman who had given me her eldest son and the chance at a happy life.

In the last year, life has changed so much. I had no way of knowing that this simple natural event would change everyone’s life so fundamentally. None of us did. It seems like an innocent moment. We buried her in a beautiful British ceremony that was exactly what she wanted and what she had planned. So many people came to say goodbye to her. She had touched everyone she ever met with her gentle kindness. Those of us who were lucky enough to be close to her had no idea how truly blessed we were to have her hands on us every day. No one has ever had an unkind word to say about her. This is how one woman made an indelible mark on this sad and sorry world. She truly left it a better place than she found it.

In the last year, little things have popped up in our efforts to put our lives back together. Sometimes it is a photo. Sometimes it is a little thing that was left behind. Untouched in these last 12 months. With my mother-in- law it has been photos and these amazing letters that we keep finding. She wrote these amazing Christmas letters to people over the years. In the words of my father-in-law “Today is the one year anniversary of Caroline Hart Krumel’s passing. In the 54 years that she spent away from England, she must have written hundreds of letters and notes to family and friends. She so enjoyed that. She wrote with a simple, perfect eloquence I admired. There was a quiet optimism you could sense. Her Christmas letter of 2009 was is a wonderful example of her writing. Take a second to read if you will. There was no complaining in her writing. Reading this letter brings Carol back to life, for this day.”

Follows is the letter of that year: “Dear Family and Friends, We wish you peace and prosperity and hope you have had less worries and more happiness this year than you had last year. I feel more like an old person than in previous years. I take naps…in fact I fall asleep everywhere I go. In the car, int the bathtub, you name it. I stare into space more and it takes me until lunch to find my way to work. Roger and I are still making awnings and renting tents (marquees) but right now we wish we were walking on the beaches of North Carolina and Florida. This year of 2009 has been very unusual. Family came to visit. Actually it is the first time in 46 years that family has ever came to visit. My cousin Michael and wife Pauline appeared bearing an artfully restored family heirloom in the form of an antique mirror. Carefully packed in a wooden box and transported from 3,999 miles away…amazing! Roger found a brother he didn’t know existed. Carter McNamara an extraordinary man tall, handsome, and funny and he came to visit with his beautiful wife Teri from Minnesota. This visit was a time of sharing and catching up on the lost years and preparations for a reunion in 2010 of family they have yet to meet in North Dakota. My brother Richard made his way to England to meet his son Alex. A visit that was long overdue, thirty-five years in fact. I have heard that everything went well. For those of you who didn’t hear from me this year, I apologize. I will try and do better next year. No particular tragedies occurred this year, they all occurred the year before. My granddaughters, Cassie and Chelsea are actually making money and supporting themselves much to the delight of their father who thought their university days would never end before he retired. Daughter Judy at age 46 is still looking for a break into the acting world but is undiscovered and disappointed as we speak. When advised by her parents to seek a part in local theatre productions as a beginning, we are told they don’t pay. Meanwhile she is house and pet sitting around the country. My only grandson, Jeremy, who we see very little of when asked why he doesn’t visit, says he has too much homework and could we send him petrol money. A girlfriend, Bree, is prominent in his life. Our house in Warren, Indiana, for sale now for 2 1/2 years finally sold to the neighbors when an aunt and uncle gave them the money. Some things are looking up. Business is down 65% but Roger still goes to work every day. When I arrive at noon, I find him on the phone looking for buyers or on the computer and the work is waiting for me. My son Andrew has been researching his Boller ancestry and finding many skeletons in the closet. As yet, he hasn’t touched on the Harts, Robertsons and Aylings. My son Mark at age 44 has yet to find his way to a job. My daughter-in-law, Katey Jayne has two jobs now. She is persecuted endlessly by her ex-husband who imagines she owes him money. She has spent more time in court this year than church. I am thankful for many things, a warm house, sunny days, shade, great bird watching in the garden and a husband I can laugh with who takes me to all my favourite movies. We hope your lives are as good.”

And that, dear readers, is that beautiful understated eloquence that only the British culture can instill in one. I hope that you enjoyed this. My heart is still broken, but somehow lighter. We are on the edge of the first year. This bizarre and worst year of my life. Those of you who know me, know that is no small feat. I have had a very strange life. Keep posted, dear readers as I work my way through the six weeks. We will see what the end of the time brings.

First Mother’s Day in 5 years and Other Sordid Passings


I’m sorry that I’ve neglected you for so long, dear readers. As we have moved through life in the last couple of months, what little energy I have seems directed at other projects. Funny how life sneaks up on you like that and overtakes you. It scoops you up and drags you along in the current of it and threatens to roll you into the undertow. Attempts to drown you in the feeling of it all.

Wee Geek is on a more even keel. Getting patient assistance for his meds and keeping him going on them has made a huge difference. He seems to feel better all the way around too. He seems to have a better grasp on this relationship thing, too. Always a good thing. He gets it more than I did at his age, thank goodness.

Wee Geek turns into a greater and greater kid with every day that passes.  He asked for Mother’s Day off and fought work over it. He went to Dayton to pick up my mom and bring her to Muncie for lunch at Outback and to go see “Dark Shadows”. It was a fantastic day in that respect.

I was struck by how truly happy that moment made me. I sat across from my son in the booth and could hardly wipe the stupid grin off my face. I was so grateful for this moment that I have been deprived off for 5 years. What no one realises is that when you go through what we did there is so much emotional crap to wade through. I know that back in 2007 that idiot judge did not care in the slightest that it was the Friday before Mother’s Day. Or maybe he did. Maybe that was the ultimate punishment. Maybe that was the point. Some days I am in absolute certainty that it was exactly what he meant. Other days I know without any uncertainty that it is just the corruption that oozes out of every pore of the Delaware County court system.

I don’t know if they knew that I would spend 5 years doubting all sorts of things about myself. I spent a lot of time questioning everything I’ve ever done for Wee Geek. It is difficult to hold your entire life under a microscope and examine it. It’s worse to watch others do it for illicit purposes. Suddenly, every decision, every word I’d ever spoken, every word I hadn’t spoken, every fiber of me was being looked at and criticized. Beyond harshly, too. It was as if I was dead and they’d given my ex-husband a platform or at least a license to stomp on my body. I’m not a person who can afford to wallow in self regrets and bad choices. If I gave in to that I would get nothing else done. EVER….

But 5 years of questioning and turning every moment around and around in my head took a real toll on me personally and emotionally. It has taken me awhile to stop looking at everything and trying to second and triple guess what my ex and the lawyers and the judge were going to piece out and decide to penalize me over.

I feel in my heart and soul that I always made the choices for Wee Geek that I did because I was using all of the information that I had and with the best possible intentions. It makes me very angry that all of these people who did not live in my life and did not have to live out the consequences were making all of these massive decisions in my life. Terrifying. It’s easy to make a heart breaking choice when it’s not your heart that’s breaking, I guess. I wonder how they would have behaved with their identities being completely yanked out from under them. That is essentially what they did to me. My entire identity was Wee Geek’s mom. Suddenly I wasn’t a mom anymore. I was just this empty shell of a girl who’d lost everything that meant anything.

So I thought about all of these things as I sat across from my son. In my happiness, all of those horrid angry feelings had relocated. They have been entertaining the little guy in the back if my brain for a few days. He’s easily amused.

I thought about some other things as well. How life goes in circles mostly. It’s a very strange path that we travel on in this life and we must follow the road whether or not it is paved with yellow bricks. Mostly not. At least in my case. I’m sure that my ex takes a great deal of pleasure thinking that he’s gotten away with something akin to murder. He also revels in the thought that he’s ruined me financially, while he sits and never pays for for anything that he’s done in any way once again.  It very much feels like that. I hate to dwell on it or to even feel as if I’m dwelling on it, but it’s difficult to muster up any feeling that is not ill will when every day is a reminder that I can’t help Wee Geek with something or that he’s not able to follow his dreams because his dad is a selfish bastard. It’s not fair to anyone. But it’s most not fair to Wee Geek and that is what upsets me.  That he continues to have to pay for the mistake I made.

Past that, there have been other happenings in this past few months. Things that have reminded us of what is important. We continue to struggle to keep Wee Geek where he is and independent. However, we also continue to see the giant blinky yellow arrow sign of doom that points out the road back to home. He worries about this. I worry about this. We keep trying to put a rosy face on this uncertain future. It will not be easy in the coming months. He’s afraid that he will lose his independence. I keep telling him that there won’t be much difference and I cannot seem to make him realise that you have to move forward even when the future feels so awful and uncertain. Of course, that uncertainty is almost the kiss of death for an autistic lot. We’re getting throught it.

I have lots of thoughts that have gone through my brain as of late. Thinking of Wee Geek and how we are getting through all of this. How will we survive? I have no idea. I only know that we will.

I have once again made connections with my past that are amazing. I am always happy to make connections with old friends, but this one is certainly a cherished one. This particular old friend wandered away when I was being isolated, however, it was not because there was no friendship there. It was because there was nothing left to say or do.  Sometimes when friends can’t help you on your path, they have to let you go on your way and wait for you. That is what this friend and a lot of others did for me. This friend reminded me today that I was instrumental in his choice of name when he changed it. That is amazing to me that I did that for a friend. So this connection is an important reminder that you cannot escape your past, but it is not always unpleasant. At a time when much of my past feels immensely unpleasant, I am grateful for this reminder that not all of the things associated with that time in my life are awful. Some of them were good.

We are standing on the precipice of another event in our lives. Best Buy guy’s oldest daughter gets married this weekend. We spent the weekend looking for a dress. After buying two dresses at a department store, one of which I hated and one of which BB guy hated, I wandered into Goodwill and found a great dress that we both love for $3. Can’t beat that with a sharp stick in the eye, so I’m going with it. Took the other two dresses back. We’ve spent the biggest part of the evening looking for a father daughter dance song. He’s decided on something, I think. It will be all right.

I have this feeling that there are a lot of things that we are standing on the edge of. The summer will come to pass and we will see what it brings. I am standing and facing it with this brave little face. I know no other way to do it. Great old world resolve inside of me, I suppose.

I will go forward. Trying to hold the torch high for Wee Geek to follow. The future will bring whatever it brings. We have no choice but to follow the path. Wherever it leads.

Break Ups and Gray Areas


Wee Geek called to check in and had news that he has ended things with the girlfriend. It’s very difficult to console him. All of the things that I say come from the broken pile of miles of relationships that didn’t work for one reason or another. I know that it takes a very special sort of person to be with us. We are not easy people to get along with because for us life is black and white. We don’t do shades of gray well at all.

This is difficult for people who we have relationships with to understand. You love us or you don’t. There is no sort of land there. We are intense people. That is a given. Even the Best Buy guy will testify to that intensity. It is usually wonderful, but I’m sure there are moments that it is completely maddening. We don’t do maybes. Not well.

My heart breaks for him. But I know how strong he had to be to leave his dad’s and how much pride he had to swallow to call his mom after all of the horrible lies he’d been told. But he did it. I know he can do this, too. It will suck and be uncomfortable, but he will survive. The bad thing about being on the spectrum in this kind of situation is that we get so mired in the feelings that we can’t see past them. I can’t tell him how to get through it. I wish I could. The only way that I know how to get through things is to put your head down and put one foot in front of the other.

Relationships are so much harder when you don’t understand how other people operate. Relationships are harder when you’ve been mentally abused by an asshole father who used your insecurities against you. My best advice was not to play his dad tapes in his head. It’s difficult to do. When you suffer through the things we did, it’s hard to make things make logical sense.

It’s one of those things that you look behind you and see all of the unfinished, half finished and broken things behind you and you tell yourself that you are the common denominator so therefore the problem is you.  It’s not though.  It’s just really hard to realise that when you are in the hole and you feel like some asshole is up at the top throwing shit on you.

I really hate that I don’t know how to get him through this stuff. I guess that’s just being a parent. He’s upset with himself because he feels stupid. He says all his motivations for working and staying in Ohio are tied to her. I understand. I told him that he needs to shift his focus to doing this to remain independent. He is pretty proud of himself for all the independence he’s managed. I’m proud of him too. It’s not easy to be independent when you are a neurotypical kid. A kid on the spectrum has a hundred kinds of odds stacked up against them. He feels very against the odds and beat down. I understand that all too well. I hate watching him go through all of this.

I’m also watching the Best Buy guy go through these hard decisions with his dad. To him it’s a very simple equation of keeping his family name on the farm. For him the farm is so tied to his memories of his grandad that I think sometimes that he thinks the farm is his grandad. Before I break into Cure lyrics…..lol.  I think it’s important too. His nephew wants to work on the farm and we are watching him going through this huge growing process. He asks tons of questions because he’s trying to figure things out and it’s interesting to watch. It’s also interesting to see how much like my husband he is in temperment. The Best Buy guy has been the only guy who has ever been stable in his life and that’s kind of sad. But it makes me very happy to think about them working on the farm together. Maybe Wee Geek, too. Hard work that doesn’t actually require a lot of thinking is sometimes the best thing for our chaotic autistic brains.

I do see this path that he is desperately trying to avoid. I feel like everything keeps pointing him in the direction of coming home. He is fighting it. I’m supporting the fight. But I wonder if it’s inevitable. We’ll see what happens.

On a side note….it is autism awareness month and I feel compelled to mention it. I’m a little underwhelmed with the idea of there being a special month for it. I am acutely aware of my autism every day. I guess we are as worthy of a cause as anyone else. It’s also national child abuse month. That is an interesting contrast. Considering that being on the spectrum prolly triples your chances of being abused if not more. I’m all for autism awareness. Don’t get me wrong. I just question people who don’t strive for it everyday.  Not only awareness but tolerance. I don’t mean tolerance like “oh god, I have to accomodate this stupid autistic person with their weird shit again”. I mean the sort of tolerance that says  “I understand that for you to function and me to function and for us to do it effectively together, we need to make these little adjustments”.

So I strive to do this with a very distinctive voice every day. I do it with humour. If you can’t laugh at yourself when you make a mistake, then life isn’t worth living. I’m the first to jump up and admit when my little autistic moments are funny. The literal pictures that fill my brain are worthy of their very own laugh tracks. The machine that blows sunshine up your ass is always funny. I don’t care who you are.

So cross your fingers for Wee Geek’s broken heart. The bright spot if the day was finding out that he was approved for the Rispirdol drug card. So he can get his meds and it doesn’t cost him anything for the time being. We continue to use our evil powers for good trying to get this college thing resolved.  It sucks to think that my husband followed the rules and got screwed on his kid’s college and Wee Geek’s dad doesn’t follow the rules and gets out of doing his job. Life isn’t fair. That is for sure.

Sorting Through Relationships and the People Who Model the Process


   As I watch Wee Geek navigate through the universe, I am struck by the ease that he does it with.  He, of course, thinks he is horrible at it. He isn’t, though. He has so much more grace than I did at that time in my life. So much confidence. It amazes me. I had no idea who I was at 20 years old.  For that matter, I didn’t even have a very clear idea about who I wasn’t. When I think about it, now, it terrifies me.  Not having a clear sense of who you are is fine, but not knowing what you aren’t opens you up to all sorts of problems. I was like a giant magnetized mindfield for problems at that age.  Which made relationships a nightmare. I had no idea whatsoever about who I could trust, so I defaulted to trusting everyone.  Now I default the other way, I trust no one until they prove that they are trustworthy. That’s a pretty lengthy process in this little corner of the universe.

So I watch Wee Geek navigate this first very serious relationship and my feelings range from cautious for his heart to broken hearted for him. He’s at bad at unsaid and unwritten clues as I am, and girls send out pretty confusing signals sometimes. A few weeks ago they had agreed to take a break.  I don’t know what this means, but apparently it was a signal for Wee Geek to cool his jets a little.  Instead, with his medical insurance recently and so kindly stopped by his dad and a dwindling supply of meds, he was plunged into a heart breaking depression that seemed to have no light.

I understand this so profoundly.  Relationships are especially difficult because we often have no idea why the other person gives up on us. This isn’t to say that we weren’t told, we have a tendency to just ignore it and hope it will get better and the other person will realise that we can’t live without them and stay.  We are forever oblivious to the idea that this might be exactly why the other person bails out. Ironic, huh?

So, I watch him go through this first hard love and try to give him advice that doesn’t sound horrifically motherly.  It often sounds exactly like that, I’m afraid. I just try and make him understand that sometimes there isn’t an answer and sometimes we can’t get the closure that we need from the other person.  Unfortuneately, most of the time, that’s the part that kills us most. Not knowing how things got to be so awful and not knowing how these things can be fixed. We can’t stand not fixing things that go wrong in our lives.

Wee Geek has had so many odds against him since he left his dad. This weekend really highlighted that. He just got his car fixed a few weeks ago. It was a fairly pricey fix and sent him into a huge meltdown for about three days. This stall out occurred on the way to the dance that they DID eventually end up at as you can see from the photographic evidence. He was already so stressed feeling and then on the way there his car breaks down. He calls frantically and I spend a great deal of time trying to remind him that  this has a fix of some sort and that we will deal with it. I want him to start being able to put himself through the checklist so that he can minimize his meltdowns. I know that at times, this is difficult. It’s hard to think about whether or not you are safe when you are so frustrated.

I think about how many times I’ve needed Mazaria to guide me through this checklist when I’m in full scale meltdown. Are you safe? Are others around you safe? If you’re not or they’re not, what can you do to change this as quickly as possible? Are you breathing? If not, then start. What’s the most important thing that is happening right this second? Now start calming yourself down. Breathe. Stim a little. Okay, are you feeling better?

So, I’m trying to teach Wee Geek that this is definitely an integral part of managing your stress when you are on the spectrum.  He’s slowly learning. It’s a great big trial and error process because once you are in full meltdown, there’s no going back.  So, he also has to learn how to catch it so that it doesn’t go into meltdown.  I hear evidence that he is starting to learn to manage this great feat.  Because this is something that can occasionally be insurmountable.  I love watching him learn this and I cheer when he masters it and I cry when he doesn’t quite make it. It’s part of life. Managing and not managing and knowing who to call when you’re not managing.  Tied to this is learning to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Other relationships keep popping up. Today is Mazaria and I’s 25th anniversary. It’s so hard to believe that we have been friends that long and I am amazed knowing that there is someone in my life that I’ve got so much history with. We have been through everything together and we have remained soul mates for all of this time. I feel sorry for our husbands sometimes because in the event of an apocalypse they become zombie fodder fairly quickly.  I take a great deal of pride and confidence from this relationship because it means that I’m not broken. Ccome to think of it, it might mean that someone is more broken than me. LOL. Well, that certainly puts a different spin on this relationship….

When Wee Geek’s car broke down, I had to call my dad to help me go and get him. Not necessarily my first choice, but the only option at the time. It turned out okay. But I am hugely grateful that I did not have to leave my car with Wee Geek and ride back with him and his wife. That relationship is still more complicated than I can manage. I especially don’t welcome parenting advice from someone who spends most of their time in lala land and who was never anyone I would want to model my parenting skills after anyway. I feel parts of the relationship with my dad coming back slowly, but for the most part, I still feel as if this relationship is permanently ruptured and it can never be put back the way that it was. I will forever resent that he put his wife’s needs to present the “happy family” to the world over keeping his relationship with his daughter intact.  That’s crazy to me.  Of course, none of my relationships are completely devoid of those little insanity moments. Since I cut my brother off from stalking me on Facebook, he now stalks my blog and bitches to everyone about what I write. Yep, I’m calling you out. Don’t behave like my ex-husband. If you want to know what’s going on with me, call me. You have my phone number.

As I look at all of the relationships that I’ve had in my life, these little hints help me to navigate the future better. We are making decisions about Wee Geek’s living arrangements and as long as his dad continues to live under the Scott-free program, then we will eventually have to make the important decision about whether or not he has to come home. He is terrified that he will lose his independence. I just look at it from an ever practical view. We do what we have to to keep him going. Sometimes these things are uncomfortable for everyone.

There are other complicated relationships, the Best Buy guy and his dad are once again bumping heads about the clean up of the farm and it has become so serious that we may lose the farm completely. This is a farm that has been in his family for 9 generations. It would be a shame to lose the farm. We have finally decided to pursue guardianship before things get any worse. this has not been an easy decision. I dread that I might have to do this with my parents some day. I am grateful that I have the experience so that laater if I do have to go through this, it will be easier. It’s very difficult to prioritize what needs to be done because so many things have to be done. There’s so many things that have to be done first, as well. I sigh sometimes when I think about all of the work that is ahead of us. I’m glad that the Best Buy guy’s nephew is now helping out. It’s still too big of a job for just the two of them, but it makes it a little more manageable.

Now, I am exhausted. Thinking about all of this stuff is very stressful sometimes. I’m also having a major allergy attack that is interfering with my thinking.  Pollen is through the roof right now. So, dear reader, until the next time, we must part ways. I’m working feverishly on a new short story for another PMP anthology and still trying to get the zombie book under control. I promise that something will squeak through this year.