I need strength.
Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2019 1:55 PM
Life is tough, my darling, but so are you. - Stephanie Bennett-Henry
I have a lot to say today. I'm going to start with the boring stuff to get it out of the way. The sprinkler system has been successfully installed and there weren't any mishaps with the well or a random gas pipe. Once again, I worried something would happen and then it didn't. It's a good thing I don't have a bad habit when I get extremely nervous - like smoking a pack of cigarettes or chewing off my nails.
The Church Job: I didn't get it. The woman they hired, H.B., is the head of the altar society, taught preschool for them for years, and her husband is the head of security and the main usher. My dad said I had no chance running against her. She already works for them, they know her very well, and she has a history with the church when it comes to tithing. Both my parents don't understand why they even interviewed other candidates, but I think they did it to make it look like they were giving people a fair chance.
Of course, I went through a slew of emotions from disappointment to rejection. The immature side of me wanted to lash out like a child and quit the church completely, but the adult in me rationalized with the child and kept things under control. I had signed up for the retreat last Saturday in hopes of making a good impression. Of course, I went instead of wallowing about in self-pity. While at the retreat, I noticed how faith driven all of the attendees are. There were numerous moments of self-reflection and prayer, one of which I spent writing on a piece of paper to keep myself awake. They had a young woman dance ballet, and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. She was talented, but the dance didn't fit the music at all. While I watched her dance and thought these thoughts, I realized I was very uncomfortable sharing my faith and spirituality publicly. My need to laugh at the ballet was not because the dance was funny, but because I was extremely uncomfortable watching her religious expression. While some people are able to evangelize their faith and express it outwardly, I am not that person. My faith is extremely private. I don't even feel comfortable praying in a group. Is it because I'm an introvert? Is it because I'm shy? Or is there a completely different reason for the embarrassment this causes me?
As for the receptionist job, I realized I wasn't the right candidate. It's not because I was upset or because I wanted to react negatively towards the priest and the lady who interviewed me. It's because for years I have struggled with Catholicism. Ever since my brother came out of the closet, I have questioned the religion and my place in it. Catholicism does not accept his lifestyle, so why should I belong to a church that rejects someone I love?
Pope Francis stated in 2016 that all parishes needed to open up their arms to homosexuals and divorced couples, to let them know they are welcomed in the church and are accepted. I think he's trying hard to transform Catholicism so that it doesn't disappear completely, especially with how much religion has changed with globalization. However, the church still considers both a sin. It's like, "Come into the church and feel our love. Be gay. Don't be ashamed of who you are, but don't live the lifestyle. Don't commit the sin." To me, that's basically saying, "We'll allow you to love, but only as long as you don't love sexually. We'll allow you to be who you are, but you can't be 100% you. Only 50% you."
I have an issue with that. I believe God made us all in his image. I believe that if God didn't want homosexuality (etc.) to exist, he wouldn't have made it genetically possible to be born desiring the same sex or both sexes at once. He wouldn't have made wild animals like orangutans and dolphins bisexual. As for divorce, I can get an annulment and my failed marriage is forgiven. I can break all ten commandments, but as long as I repent and go to confession all my sins are forgiven. How is that fair? It's not. And this is coming from someone who wanted to grow up to be a nun.
Kent: For over a week and a half, I hadn't heard a word from Kent. I wrote down in my hand-written journal last night that I would contact his dad's wife to make sure he was still alive in about two weeks. Ironically, he called me last night just ten minutes after I finished writing that entry.
When I answered the phone (at 11:00 PM), the first words out of his mouth were "How are you?" said in an extremely gruff voice.
At first I didn't understand so I said, "What?"
He repeated himself in the same gruff voice, "how are you?"
I told him I was fine and that it was nice to know he was still alive. He then began to ramble like a mad man. He said I was no longer blocked. (Why would I be blocked? I have nothing to do with his family drama). I don't remember everything he said but he told me he was in town but he wouldn't tell me where. He would text me where to pick him up, but I wasn't allowed to tell anyone he was in town.
I said, "who would I tell? I don't talk to your family or friends."
He started to argue with me. He kept saying, "Don't argue with me."
I told him I wasn't arguing with him, but that turned into an argument. He then told me I had to meet him for 30 minutes and he'd explain everything. He kept saying it was very important that I come visit with him because there were things that needed to be said to clear the air so that we could both move on (I have moved on. I think.). He then went on about how his dad and Ronda blocked him from being able to access his bank account, and that if I wanted the full version of the story I should call his Uncle Larry. I told him I wasn't going to call his Uncle Larry, especially this late at night. He went on about starting a ministry and basically implied that he left J. City behind.
"Did you leave all your stuff behind?" I asked, trying to figure out if he had moved here or if it was a temporary visit.
By me asking that question, he got extremely angry. He started to accuse me of being materialistic. He then went on saying, "I signed it over to the black kid who was living in the trailer next door to me. All of it. Every single thing inside the trailer is now his."
I responded, "Okay," while thinking to myself, "the trailer next to his was abandoned and marked for demolition so if this guy actually exists, which trailer was he actually in?" I went on saying, "Don't assume. Stop putting words in my mouth. It's your stuff. You can do what you want with it."
Kent went on and I couldn't help but wonder if he was on drugs. "You care too much about the stuff," he said in a combative voice. "I know where you stand now. All you care about is material stuff. That means you aren't ready for us. You aren't ready to move forward. You're not in the right place yet. If I had a match and I lit it and threw it at my stuff and burnt it all down, you'd be too busy wigging out."
I told him, "No, it's your stuff. If you want to destroy it, that's on you."
Although, part of me kept thinking about the expensive washer and dryer, the nice furniture, the two computers, and every single one of my expensive suitcases he took off with. I didn't think about the refrigerator because he said he had given it to his Uncle Larry - after telling me he had sold it for money, I might add. I hope he gave Larry the washer and dryer, too. The two expensive TVs, according to Kent, are at his dad's place sitting under tarps outside where they have been for over a year. I'm hoping that's a bullshit lie and that his dad and Ronda are using them. I do wonder if he signed over all of his personal heirlooms and tubs to this "guy" or if he just gave him the furniture. In the end, it doesn't matter. He got them all in the divorce and it's just stuff. Doesn't stop me from feeling slightly angry at him, though, because he put me through hell to get that stuff.
Anyhow, back to the phone conversation. As if he wasn't listening to a word I was saying, he just kept half-screaming that I was materialistic and then hung up on me. That's when I was bombarded with an abundance of text messages. I will type them out just as they are written, even if they don't make sense. Most of it will make sense, but because he uses voice to text, some of it doesn't. If you can decipher some of it, feel free to leave a note stating what you think he's saying. Where I know what it means, I'll put it in parentheses. Here they are:
11:13 PM - Okay Jessica I understand they're just so you know the way is clean from my end when you're ready you will know where to find me and I will have to tell you but you may never be ready and I accept that and I am okay with that because that is beyond me don't want you break free from your binds that you're in your thirst (?) and these are the last words you'll hear from me and I do love you and I did love you and I will always love you and there's always a place for you but there is not a place for you now because you are not ready for it.
11:20 PM - These things will make sense later it is not a requirement that you understand now I'll do it when I'm a neighbor family (? I'll do it when I'm in another family) happy.not happy because we would be together again but happy because I know you would have found your happiness to because it is not with me as a husband but it might have been just me or something else and because your (you're) materialistic about s*** and your first thought goes to an object that has a monetary value you've answered my question so now I ask yourself this what would Jesus think about that f****** s*** huh honey cuz I did and I was given the answer a free hug may you get to justify that because you made that decision.
11:22 PM (My response) - You assume too much and put words in my mouth. I'm glad you are alive and okay.
11:25 PM - I will give you this much, I am going to build my ministry and I don't even have to ask anybody to listen to me they will do so under armour record (they're own accord?).
11:27 PM - my mother wants (once) told me and Michelle validator (validated) that that she would rather see me go be the man that I am then be the man that everybody told me I was supposed to be or wanted to be turn that it's the fundamental truths of life but nobody understands until they really do understand it and I will stop texting now because as you've got inventory (?) you haven't and it's irrelevant talk so what are you do (whatever you do) or don't do because you know even Jesus said you can save everybody.
11:34 PM (My response) - Just be safe and careful. You know, you could have asked about my job search but you never really ask about the things I'm going through. (I was trying to point out to him that everything is always about him.)
11:34 PM - Now truly goodbye and you can't respond to me you're blocked but you do see this Matt (?) really is all that matters remember I will always love you and I will never judge you.meet up with the world as it was presented to you with Tiana toys (?) you had which is profoundly sad by the way but it is not your fault either.
11:35 PM - Love................ (Matt?)
11:40 PM - I will say though dad and Rhonda (Ronda) froze my account because they don't like the idea of me doing my own thing so now I get to see (sue) the f*** out of there (them) the only unfortunate thing is I have no one to you (?) tonight but I will deal with that tomorrow and I'm going to sue them into Oblivion.
11:45 PM - I thought I'd give you one more thing for now you may hear from me again but I doubt it I know I know I hear from you just try to live a good life be a good person the rest will fall into place but either way be nice.
I went to bed thinking perhaps everything he said was just mind games. I figured he was in town for surgery this morning, which made more sense than him dropping everything, giving it away, and coming here to start a ministry. I was wrong.
Fast Forward to this morning when I'm not awake and my phone is on silence:
5:36 AM - I will unblock you. Meet me for lunch and then you can ask me anything you desire. (I have no desire to ask him anything. What is there to ask?)
5:40 AM - It's important for you to do this. There will be no other chance. (Okay, then!)
Then around 12:40 PM I get a phone call from him. He says, "I'm at the Hawthorne off ____ and ____. Come get me."
I respond, "I can't. I have to work."
Of course, he hangs up in the middle of me saying that. I then receive these text messages:
12:46 PM - I'm only asking for 30 minutes of your time for the rest of this lifetime you can do this one thing (uh, no, I can't. I have to work.)
12:47 PM - I sure hope you haven't told anybody where I am (may I reiterate, who would I tell and why would I tell them?)
12:47 PM - I'll explain everything to you and I will unblock you in 10 minutes (how are you texting me if I'm blocked?)
12:50 PM - ? Well
12:55 PM - You coming?
1:00 PM (My response) - Quit the dramatics. I have to ask my boss if I can. I can't just drop work.
1:05 PM (My response) - My boss says I have to work until closing.
He thinks I no longer work for my dad. He thinks I still live under my parents roof. I worded my texts the way I did to make him think I no longer work for my dad. I want him to know I can't just drop everything in my life to take care of his needs. I called my parents and told them what was going on. My dad, aka my boss, told me I had to go to work, therefore, my text was not a lie.
My mother, bless her heart, went on and on. "He's never going to leave you alone if you go. You need to change your phone number or block his number. Can you block his number? Tell him to contact JR. Let his son deal with him!"
I responded, "I am not changing my phone number. I am not putting him on block. JR has blocked him and disappeared."
To which she responded, "His own son blocked him? That's not right. I know you love him, but he's going to raise your blood pressure again and you're going to gain back all the weight you just lost. You don't need this in your life!"
My response was, "I'm not letting him back into my life, and he's already accomplished raising my blood pressure for the day. I told him I had to work, and now he'll leave me alone for a little bit."
"You told him you had to work until closing time. He's going to want you to pick him up at closing time now."
"No, he's going to be insulted that I didn't drop everything to go get him. He's going to put me on block and ignore me for a week or two. I won't put him on block because I love him, and I need that connection to make sure he's still alive."
She said, "Oh god. He thinks you live here. Is he going to show up at our door looking for you?"
I told her, "No. First of all, he can't drive unless he takes an Uber. He can't take an Uber because his dad put a block on his bank account."
"His dad can't do that. That's his money."
"I think they just don't want him blowing through all of the money haphazardly, especially since he's acting all weird."
"You mean they don't want him blowing it on starting up a ministry."
"Yeah, something like that like."
"But it's still his money. If he wants to spend it all, that's on him. He's 43 years old."
"I know that, but his dad won't be alive forever. I think his dad just wants him to have some security."
"How's he staying at the Hawthorne if he doesn't have any money?"
"I don't know!"
"He probably sold all of his stuff to that guy to get money to get here. Is he trying to stay with you?"
"He might have sold all of the stuff. I wouldn't put it past him, but he thinks I live with you and he knows you don't like smokers so I really doubt it. Anyway, I'm going to go now. I have work to do."
There has been no communication between Kent and me since my last text. Yes, he threatens that he won't ever contact me again, but he will. He always does. He tells me I must do this or that. What I know is, I don't have too. He says I can do "just this one thing" for him. Thing is, I won't. All of this is combined with his other manipulative tactics and random put-downs. I am SO sick and tired of the manipulation. I am tired of the drama. I am tired of the mind games. It's one of the main reasons I divorced him. Combine that with his strange and esoteric behavior, and my mind is screaming that this is not the man I married. And if it is and always has been, then I definitely married a stranger 10 years ago.
Right now, he's stuck in victim mode. The world only revolves around him and what's happening to him. Anything that happens is not his fault. It's everybody else's fault. Whether he's bipolar, suffering depression, on drugs, drinking, going through random bouts of anxiety, or a combination of any of those things, he's stuck. I can't save him, especially since he has no idea what he needs saving from. That's his path to take and his issues to figure out.
What I do know is that he's on the run. The thing is, he doesn't realize that the one person he's trying to escape is himself. He'll never outrun himself, so all I can do is pray that he finds the strength to fight his inner demons. I can only hope that he doesn't continue down the strange rabbit hole he's ventured into lately, but that's all I can do. Hope.
It's very hard not responding to him. It's very hard not jumping into the car to make sure he's okay. It tears me up inside, but at the same time I know that if I did any of that it would just continue the bad cycle. The only way to break the cycle is to toughen up, stick it out, and remind myself that it's not my responsibility to save him from himself.