Saturday, November 21, 2009

Independence Day (therapeutic blathering)

People ask how I ended up here in Bubbaville, because it really isn't considered a target destination for ... well for much of anybody or anything. I answer, 99% truthfully, that this was as far as I could get on a tank of gas when I left my ex.

It was eleven years ago today that I landed at my sister & brother-in-law's homestead out in Bubba County, having made the decision that it was time to get away from TMFKAH*. At the time, I wasn't sure the move would be permanent, although I knew that my actions would change everything one way or another.

Separation wasn't a decision made lightly -- how could I not consider the implications of breaking up a family? -- but in the past eleven years there was never a single moment when I doubted I made the right decision, both for myself and for my daughter. Now that she is older, I hope that she can see that it was TMFKAH's sickness that destroyed any chance she had of a relationship with him, and that little by little, her hurt goes away.

That has been the hardest thing these last several years, watching her suffer, confused, because her father would not return her calls or answer her letters. I know now, however, that he could have inflicted much, much worse hurt if he'd remained in her life. It helps us, too, that I've maintained a relationship with my ex-in-laws and they've always support my decision fully, and love my daughter as much as they can, from this distance.

Life in Bubbaville has been pretty good, in spite of all the complaining I do. Most important of all, I had the support of my sister & a safe place to stay while I decided what to do next, and the years have mostly been good ones. Sure, I have to drive 25 miles to see a movie or buy a bottle of wine, (and to work since I prefer making above-minimum wage), but having the freedom to do so makes the drive worthwhile, and knowing that I have a peaceful home to come back to is worth the journey.

Just a few highlights of life in Bubbaville:
  • I haven't actually been shot at -- not intentionally, anyway. (The afternoon I arrived, pheasant hunters in the pasture below my sister's place peppered her kitchen windows with shot as we sat there having coffee. My brother-in-law ran out of the house yelling at the guys, who apologized, "We didn't know the bird was gonna fly up towards your house.")
  • I only had one wild animal enter my house uninvited. (One afternoon while washing dishes, the living room window exploded with what sounded like a shot. Shaken, I turned to see that a grouse had flown through the window,landed on the sofa, and expired. Shaken, I called my sister to help clean up the mess -- I still found shards of glass when I moved from that house years later. My brother-in-law ate the bird, and my sister made me a pair of earrings from its feathers.)
  • I have herded renegade cows (actually they were Holsteins), disentangled my sister's angora goats from barbed wire while pet-sitting, and chaperoned 6th graders on a field trip to Dollywood. You guess which was more challenging.
  • I have made some new friends who have brought music and joy back into my life. I hope that somehow I have brought happiness to them, too.

So...Happy Independence Day to ME! I will now return to my customary cranky, bitchy posting.

(*TMFKAH = The Man Formerly Known as Husband)


  1. Good for you. I love this post! Although, it has taken me five years (four?) to find these things out about you. Except of course, I did know that you are in shotgun wielding Bubbaville, I just never knew why.

    I will say I thought TMFKAH stood for The Mo Fo Kinky Ass Hoodo.

    As you know, I am the father of two beautiful girls, and as such, I could never not be a part of their lives. Besides the fact that I fell immediately and forever in love twice (after their births), I think it is partly because my father never tried to contact me. And even though I've come to terms with it, I simply can't understand why a man would proceed that way, especially with such a neat daughter as yours. Maybe Mo Fo is more appropriate than Man Formerly this case.

    One other thing, I am impressed with your Ms. Boone adaptiveness. Glad to hear YOU didn't eat the bird, however.

    I now return to my customary smartass self.

  2. Those decisions aren't easy but it sounds like you definately made the right one. Tough situation for intellikid but as you say, she'll find her way through it all one day and understand what you did for her. I agree that sisters are wonderful; like a calm port in a storm.

  3. PS Happy Thanksgiving day for later in the week. I'm thankful for interesting folk like yourself who share a little bit of themselves to make the world a more interesting place.

  4. Divorce with children was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But it has all worked out. My kids, now grown, love to see me and me them, and I'm friends with their mother. We're lucky. You are too, Intelli. You're living in paradise. I would take bubbaville to the city in a heartbeat. Like you, I can't figure out a way to make a living in a small town, there are only so many slots for any occupation and no slots for many, but I keep trying. Great post.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Somehow comment posted twice, so I deleted one.

  7. Happy Independence Day, Intell. I'm not articulate enough to say more :-)

  8. Jaded, I don't like to post a lot of the really personal stuff here, but this seemed a momentous occasion. It has taken a while to come to terms with what could be considered running away from a problem instead of working harder to fix it, but I know that the man himself is broken, and will never ever see that he is the source of his own misery.

    Ans by the way, the cosmos thank you for being such a conscious parent!

    Lou, I appreciate your perspectives as a single mum, too. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Mr. C -- I do love the mountains. The first time I came down to visit my sister, it felt like I was coming home (and others have said this same thing about the area -- not about visiting my sister. Although she is quite hospitable.) But I do miss the big city amenities and diversity. For now, though, I can go visit my kid in Boston to get a culture fix!

    Doug, you articulated just fine -- thanks!

  9. Happy your independence day.

    But equally looking forward to the return to customary, cranky, bitchy posting.

  10. Now that's an independence day worth celebrating! It sounds like you have a lot of joy and happiness in the life you built there.

  11. great read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you guys know that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.


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