Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Moonlight Sleeping on the Midnight Lake

Tomorrow is STBEW's 46th birthday.

She'll celebrate it by being homeless.

I don't know the reasons behind it, and I don't care to know, but the lease on the DSS*-funded studio apartment where she had been living for the past year expired today, and she has no place to live. She's known about it for months; hell, she may have even instigated the separation, but she had to leave, and she had no place else to go.

Well, not entirely true. She's got some other social services network that's supposed to kick in soon--hopefully within the next ten days--and for now, she's staying with her ex-boyfriend. The one she started dating when she broke up with her second boyfriend. The one she broke up with right after the new year to get back together with her second boyfriend, who she is in the process of breaking up with as he's helping her move into the apartment of the one...

Fuck. I lost the thread.

Anyways, she has a place to stay.

Plus, she's renting space in my head, too. Well, not renting. I'm giving it to her for free.

That phrase 'renting space in your head' is a favorite one of my friend Mike. He went through all this crap too, only he did it in the mid-eighties. It's his way of describing what I did all day today.

Which was worry. About my ex, and about all the perhipherals involved: watching my kids, where she'll be, all the crap she has to go through--none of which is in any way in my control.

At least I'm not asking myself "Why am I doing this?" I know the answer to that, and it's not really that interesting of a question anyhow.

Nor is it the question "Why can't I stop?" I can stop. I have the tools. I know the techniques.

The question is: "Why don't I stop?"

Why indeed. I'm still working on that one. But I'm pretty sure it all comes down to fear. I think I'm equating her situation with mine.

No, I'm not getting evicted. And I don't have troublesome relationships with a number of women.

I think it has something to do with change.

Sometime in the next week, I hope to sit down with a grant-writer. He and I will be discussing funding for a documentary that I have been approached to direct. It's all very tentative right now.

But it's change. A massive change for me.

For me to do this doc, I would have to quit my job. No two ways about it. I would be on my own. It's a scary situation. Even if I made the film, there would be no guarantee of future work.

I would have to rely on my own skills, and little else.

When I started this post, it was a bitch session about STBEW. It's not that any more. She has her own road, and if she trusts her higher power, and just keeps doing the next right thing, she'll be fine.

And that's something I need to do for myself: figure out what the next right thing to do is, and then do it. That's really what faith is all about, isn't it? Doing what you think is the right thing, and not worrying about the consequences.

Not worrying. That's the key.

For now, STBEW will be getting the kids off the bus at my house, and watching them here until I get home. And I told her that we'll talk about her getting the kids for overnight stays after she gets settled. I've got a list of requirements that she will have to meet for this to happen. I didn't mention that to her, though. She's got enough on her plate as it is.

I also bought her a birthday card. I'm putting $20, and three lottery tickets in it for her. I'm going to request that she spend the money on something fun. We all need some fun in our lives.

I'm pretty sure this is one of my worst posts, yet for some reason, I feel I should thank you for helping me with this.



*Department of Social Services


Blogger Jessica said...

Why don't you stop? Because you're a born storyteller.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Didn't I read somewhere that your STBEW wants one of your children to live with her?
A documentary! A film maker OoooO!
I'd give my left nut to know what the documentary is about...wait I don't have nuts

7:00 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Once again, great post man, plenty ot think on and thanks for sharing.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Timmy said...

go for it! you can do it!

12:30 PM  
Blogger terry said...

one of your worst posts? hardly.

i am again so impressed with the generosity you're able to show your ex, time and time again.

and OMIGOD, a documentary? fantastic. go, pirate, go...

1:25 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

There is no "worst post" here.

I think it's beautiful- $20 to be spent on something fun!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

well, i don't think you have to worry about the custody thing anymore

good luck on the grant proposal!

8:53 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

Maybe you can get a leave of absence from work. Do you have an understanding boss? Be honest and keep the bridges intact.

I am constantly amazed by your support of your STBEW. Just remember to take good care of yourself. Keep writing; we're all behind you!

8:25 AM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

"Why don't I stop?"

because you still love her

because even if you have made the rational choice to leave and to separate, you still love her

and sometimes hate

and often are angry


might have beens, should have beens, could have beens


i don't think the question is so much "Why don't I stop?" thinking about her, as why couldn't it have all worked out?

when you are able to lay to rest, or allow yourself to understand that what happened was elemental - like weather - and that you may need to just move on because there will never be a satifactory answer

then you may be able to proceed to "Why don't I stop?"

[i haven't laid to rest the question of why couldn't it have all worked out? for myself, so i'm not preaching]

12:51 PM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

if you have a realistic plan to make sure you can survive after the documentary is done, you should do it (in my opinion)

does anyone in our modern world really have a guarantee that they will work for more than maybe the remainder of the year...?

so are you really giving up more then the illusion of security? (i know that in the US there are medical benefit questions that we don't have in Canada, though...)

i think the question you are asking yourself about your decision is about whether you are being irresponsible in your decision by leaving the relative security of a relatively secure job

are you making a conscious decision to spiral out of control (like your wife)

you understand the responsibility you have to provide security and stability for your kids - and know that there is no-one else (like a spouse or responsible co-parent) to provide a safety net

but is there anyone else? if things "go to shit" because of a decision to do the documentary, do you have a planned/rational landing spot for all of the potential worst case scenarios? are your parents alive? if they are, are they near enough (or able) to provide shelter in the event of disaster? do you have anyone else (like other family) that you can make plans around going all the way from good to really bad.

that was one of the things that helped me through my choices - knowing that even if things went truly sour, i wouldn't be on the street (and neither would my kids), and that i had the ability to recover

1:06 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Cad: Right now, the only decision I'm facing re: the doc is: do I meet with the grantwriter or not? That's a simple answer--yes, I do.

But even though it seems a simple answer, there was a time when I would have made it complicated.

After that, the questions will most likely get more complicated, but I will deal with them at that point, and not now.

And here's something to wrap your head around: even if I decide to do the documentary, and the whole project comes crashing down around my head, that doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong decision to make.

The outcome doesn't matter. It's the process that counts. It's me having an unshakeable faith in my decision that is important.

And regarding my ex: Wondering "Why couldn't it all work out" is not an interesting, informative, or useful question at all. She's an addict; I'm codependent. End of story.

For me, the interesting questions all deal with today and the future, and they all can be pretty much summed up with one question: How do I keep from acting out of fear?


10:39 PM  

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