Servitude

I’ve learned servitude from preschool years.

I always wanted to serve. I always lived to help people. Servitude? I always thought of servitude as an act of voluntary service. So what is it?

ser·vi·tude

noun: servitude

I thought of it different. I thought of servitude as a combination of gratitude for what you have and wanting to help others who don’t. I never thought of it as slavery. I don’t think by serving the needs of others I am enslaved to them. I help (serve) people as much as I can in any ways I can.

So I was surprised to learn what this means. If someone feels like a servant to you? They feel like they are your slave.

I only looked it up because Paul told me recently I treat him like a servant. “I guess i’m expected to behave as your servant, to be who you want me to be when you want me to be it? ” (direct quote from writing)

This was in response to many things I won’t go into but I can say, at least, treating him like a servant wasn’t at all what I thought was going on.

I thought I was in servitude to him. Not the definition I just learned, but in the idea that I just wanted to serve and help him in every way I can. Instead? He feels like my servant in the traditional sense of servitude (I can tell that from the rest of the note written that I won’t get into in this post).

I take care of him. I want to. My servitude came from love, not slavery.

I wanted to make sure he had his meals cooked, his clothes washed and everything else done. I wanted to make sure he had a roof over his head.

Here’s the thing about servitude and wanting to help. You can give it out as much as you want. But as soon as you ask for some in return? You’re a slave driving cunt who only takes. (how I feel after reading his note)

Paul never worked for a long time. In the five years we have been together as a couple he’s had a job for total of three months in AB and two weeks (as of two weeks ago) in BC.

Yes, he had all the property and means to bring us to AB because he saved from old jobs. That was all lost in the arrest and I was the one who worked to replace and recover. Yes, he has worked odd cash things at times to help us get by. However, he hasn’t worked longer than three months in more than five years to maintain it.

And when he had the opportunity to get that property back? He hasn’t been the one making phone calls and sending emails to recover his property, I have! He went and did the driving/moving work. He should be commended for his part. But I should not be cast aside because my only part was in all the phone calls, planning, set up and emails to make sure Fish and Wildlife officers would come in on days off to make it happen.

Different situation altogether? I worked for two months full time in a Christmas kiosk in a mall while he was in jail so I could afford to find us an address for him to be released on bail to in Alberta. I risked losing my disability income over working. I risked my mental health/anxiety working in a mall kiosk in winter season just so he could be out of jail.

While out of jail and awaiting court? He got a job!

And on the day his benefits kicked in? He quit because he couldn’t deal with his ‘female boss being so bossy’. The day his benefits kicked in. He couldn’t keep it up another month for our eyes and dental, but he blamed me for the next two years about his teeth and eyes.

My drinking was why we couldn’t afford to get that stuff done. I am bad at budgeting. Not him quitting his job. Not that he wasn’t working and we couldn’t live off what I make on disability. Me.

While still in Alberta I took a job. I worked full time+ as a nanny for a friend. She was a friend so I worked cheap. Basically I worked for $5/hr five days a week to make sure we had everything we needed like food and rent paid.

He? Not sure. He was always home when I left and always home when I got there. I did all the cooking and cleaning and laundry. I’m not sure he even left the bed in those months.

And get this? I was happy. I was okay with all of it and dealing with it as much as I could.

Until? I started being blamed for being the problem. Doesn’t like my attitude. Or how much I drink. Or who I spend my time with. Or how he doesn’t know where the money is spent. (Who’s money? How does he even get to ask?)

Our rent has never gone unpaid even once. Our internet and other bills? ALWAYS paid on time. The food I cook him is in our fridge so he can make it himself if I don’t. He never went without for someone who wasn’t working.

But if we did run out before my payday? I sure got a shitstorm of flack for it. Not an apology for not having contributed or an offer to work, just a crapload of ugly attitude and behaviour.

Disability pay is not an easy life and I like wine. So, yes, there are times at the end of the month we need to wait a couple days for laundry to be done or weed to be bought. Because I drank wine.

I wait on wine those days and I don’t complain. I wait on weed those days and wish I had some but accept I don’t. I don’t understand how it’s okay for others to complain about things they aren’t getting when they haven’t contributed to in the first place.

If I was in that position? I would be overboard grateful every fucking day that I had a roof over my head. I would respect their space, the way they want it kept, regardless of what I want/think.  If someone was paying my bills and also risking their health to go the extra mile. I would gladly be in servitude.

Paul has been working two weeks now. I am so grateful he found work he seems to be happy at and wants to stay at. It gives me a great deal of alone time to do the things I need to do around the house and take care of ‘us’. He also does do a lot to help us.

But to say I have been treating him like a servant? I was so angry when I read that. My servant? After all the things I do….  he thinks he is my servant? If he was my servant he would be fired because it regularly takes him three days to take out garbage when I ask. He has no clue about being anyone’s ‘servant’.

And how is this for a guilt factor? I feel a need to defend my own feelings and defend him by saying I feel like my attitude has been super angry about Paul when it comes to this topic.

I am angry and defensive but I want it said, “My anger about certain issues does not negate all the ways he does do things for me every day.”

Please remember, as you read my emotions, there are always two sides to a story. His side doesn’t get heard here. There are ways I am super sick, daily, that he helps with. There are so many more personal ways he helps me. I need those things and I am willing to work on the other problems to have those things.

I am not looking to disparage him, only to vent my own thoughts and emotions.

 

 

 

 

 

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Just An Update

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like I could just relax. I’m not even there yet.

I’m tired. I’m sick almost every day but it seems like every day there is more to do. My septic needed a new hose. My water froze so I had to get a heat tape to go around my hose. My tarp shredded in storms so I had to replace that as well. I say HAD TO because I had a leak from one of my lights. And doctor appointments. Galore.

It’s about two days until I find out if I have an income after January. Paul is still in jail in limbo and I am waiting to hear from his lawyer. Waiting on things is killing my spirit.

I’m so worn down. I’m exhausted but can’t sleep. I get a few hours here and there. I puke my way between the hours I am awake. My eyes are raw from rubbing away tears.

I know I am cared for. I should be grateful, not crying.

I just can’t help but thinking…  this isn’t what I signed up for. And then I think… do we really sign up for anything? What is life except a shitshow of issues to resolve? And why do I want to do that? It’s not like I have kids or a job. What purpose do I even serve?

Those questions are not an indication of anything, by the way. I have those kind of morbid thoughts but never those morbid actions. I’m too chickenshit to take action.

But that is my brain tonight. I feel lost. Tired. Sad. Anxious.

The Cheque

I hate it.

Today I got an envelope from my ‘step-mom’ (the woman married to my father when he died). It had a cheque in it. It was the last thing I expected.

My dad was poor. A war vet who lived in a re-furbished barn.

When I heard my step-mom had asked for my ‘legal name’ and address I figured she was sending me a package of some kind. Maybe memorabilia, pictures. I was hoping for maybe some long lost letter that told me about things I’d asked him for so long that he ignored. About my heritage.

As we wrote recently? He told me very little. He was sick and couldn’t write a lot. So he tucked notes with tiny, teasing bits of information but no real answers, in with gifts of seeds for my garden or books and occasionally an American $50 to help me get by.

Tomorrow would have been his birthday. November 11. “Stop the war, a hero’s been born”, is how he talked about his birthday. Probably why he joined the military.  I’m guessing though. I asked but never got answers.

But I have this stupid cheque. If I didn’t need the money? I’d tear it up because I wanted something so different.

I wanted knowledge of my heritage. I wanted my health questions answered. I wanted more TIME. We only just got to talk again.

And all I have is this stupid cheque.

 

 

Killing My Best Friend

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It seems like forever ago that Jake died.

Jake and I met through mutual friends. I had recently dropped out of Bible College and moved in with a girl. That fell apart. I was alone, scared and confused when the universe brought me one of the brightest lights to shine on my life. He moved in as my roommate the day after we met and we were best friends from then until he died.

He was the ‘maid of honour’ at my wedding to my first husband. He cared for me all day, ignoring things like eating, and making sure it was my special day in every way possible.

At my wedding, we didn’t have a big dinner/dance reception. My parents are very religious and we decided to respect their beliefs with our reception. We had an afternoon tea. However, the man I married is Russian so, after all the ‘day’ stuff was done, we had a party back at our new apartment  with all of his friends from the old country. Russian vodka was flowing along with wine, champagne, import beer and anything you could imagine.

I wasn’t much of a drinker at that point in my life but Jake was an alcoholic. And he matched all my husbands friends shot for shot on the vodka along with polishing off the 26oz bottle of rye I gave him to thank him.

He came to me at one point and told me he was going to be sick. I told him, “If you puke on my white carpet on my first night in my new place, I’ll kill you. Go sleep in my husband’s bedroom.”

That’s the last thing I said to my best friend. I went to wake him the next morning, to come with us to the post wedding brunch, and he was blue. We hadn’t gotten phone hook-up yet so I went across the hall and introduced myself to my new neighbours and borrowed the phone.

Police came. Because of the party circumstances we had to leave our apartment for a week while it was investigated and an autopsy done.

That’s a sad story. And I’ve told it to people who reassure me I wasn’t responsible.

So let me shed some light on it.

My first marriage was a huge lie. Literally. My ex had applied for refugee status and it was denied. I met and became friends with him because he drove pizza where I worked. I had been asked to help him with his English. Another friend of his explained the situation and asked if I would marry him.

I was a closeted lesbian who thought she could make her parents happy by giving them a straight wedding. I had compassion for his situation and wanted to help. I disagreed with Canada’s immigration laws so I convinced myself this was some kind of political protest. For so many reasons, I agreed to marry him.

It was shrouded in secrecy. I got private coaching from others who had gone through the process. It took over a year to set up, convince family this was real and have an entire ‘relationship’. We had to tell the least amount of people possible. But I told Jake.

He begged me not to do it. After everything I was doing to try and come out of the closet? He told me I was running right back in and hiding behind a wedding dress. At first he refused to have anything to do with it.

And I got upset with him. I threatened our friendship if he wasn’t willing to help me pull off the biggest bamboozle of my life. He succumbed and stepped into my big lie with me. And then spent that whole day taking care of me, instead of himself.

He wouldn’t have been there if not for my lie. He would not have been there except I threatened loss of love. When he could have gotten sick and maybe had a chance to live? I told him I’d kill him if he puked.

I have often shared the pain of losing Jake. But I’ve been hiding the incredible guilt I feel over being responsible for his death. I’m not sure yet how I am going to accept responsibilty, forgive myself and move past this. But I’ve come to understand this has affected me much more deeply than was willing to admit.

There are people that still don’t know the truth and I will need to be honest and ask forgiveness. It’s time to stop hiding in the shadows of this dark secret. Hopefully bringing light will also bring healing.

 

 

Being Alone

I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness today even though I have all kinds of friends available if I want to talk. I could have left the house and gone for a walk but even though I feel lonely I don’t want to see anyone

I can’t shake the desolate feeling and I’m not sure what to do about it. How do you deal with loneliness when you don’t want to be around anyone? How do you cope with it when what you need the most at the moment is time and space to be alone and reflect?

I know that if I let this feeling take hold I will get swallowed up in depression. So I want to find healthy ways to manage the loneliness which will naturally be a part of my life right now. I accept that it will come from time to time. I just don’t want to embrace it.

Tomorrow I am going to challenge myself to discover a new hobby that will help me to enjoy my time alone and get through the lonely feeling faster.

 

When Do You Deal With It?

I know my drinking has been affecting many areas of my life. But I can also see a pattern now where I have always replaced one crutch with the next. Or a combination.

So I keep finding reasons to justify the drinking.

Better alcohol than hard drugs. Better alcohol than obesity. Better alcohol than promiscuity. Better alcohol than using others. Better alcohol than anything I abused in the past.

And I don’t know what I will turn to next. That scares me. How do I give up this last crutch when I have nothing else to turn to but facing pain?

I THINK I am getting close. Last couple times I’ve had wine it tasted like vinegar. Vodka is giving me cotton mouth so bad I can’t breathe from it. I accepted the ability to change and the universe is making it so I can’t re-neg on that.

But I am still so scared. All this change is happening so fast. I’m very worried about how I will cope.

Rape

I’ve been raped twice. I never reported it to any authority.

The first time I was living in a house with multiple roommates. I flirted with one of their friends who acted like he wasn’t interested. After I went to bed I woke up to him having sex with me. I thought it was a dream and had to ask my roomie the next day if it actually happened. His buddy confirmed he had done that. His own friends taught him that isn’t acceptable and I left the law out of it.

But I moved out of the house immediately. I didn’t have much of a place to go so I moved in with someone I had just begun seeing. And it ended up being a relationship I would describe as dormant. We were both lazy, overweight and not interested in anything but indulgence in food. Our sex life was minimal.

And then one night, two years in, he wanted things I wasn’t prepared to give. And as I cried and asked him to stop he took what he wanted violently. Then he went to watch TV. I cried and put on some clothes, left the house and never returned.

For a long time I pretended I was just so forgiving that I didn’t need to deal with it. But I haven’t. And I don’t think it is the source of why I am drinking. But it could be causing other problems that make me want to drink.

For example, my husband could never get close to me in my sleep. Something he craved. And he would tell me over and over he understood but then threw it at me when we fought.

Also, for a long time afterward and before I abused alcohol, I abused my body sexually. That screams out loud that I haven’t dealt with something. But I have been sexually aware for a long time. And I was raised in an environment where I grew up feeling like a deviant. So maybe I excused my post-rape sexual behaviour as ‘sexual freedom’. When in fact it was covering something.

I am willing to accept this part of my past is probably affecting me more than I thought. I’m not sure what to do about it but part of my healing is facing it all.