Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clingy caiques

The caiques continue their clingy ways.  Max has, too, though I don't have any pictures of her.  I suspect they can sense things aren't right with Thomas, so they are seeking reassurance from someone that actually loves them.

The problem with clingy caiques is that they don't really get along, but if they are both near me, they are rather close to each other, which means they have to be on alert and maybe attack each other.  I do my best to keep them as separated as possible!

Calypso, on the table (he had been eating my breakfast right before I took this picture) and Beeps, on my lap:
And Beeps, again on my lap.  I find it is pretty safe to keep him here as he's a bit lower so Max and Calypso have a harder time trying to get him.  He has been so incredibly loving lately, I really am going to try to find a place that will allow me to keep him as well.
I hope that once we get into an apartment and establish a new normal, they will go back to being more independent.  It was really tough cooking tonight when Beeps kept flying to me and the others were walking around, pecking at my feet, and begging to be picked up!

I feel like I should give a personal update at the end of each entry for the foreseeable future.  Things continue to go well.  My best friend and I went to dinner yesterday and then saw the movie Anonymous.  It was only $1 for the show!  And it was a really good movie.  Of course, I love historical fiction films that take place in Tudor England so I am biased.  Tonight, I met my dad for a college basketball game at his alma mater.  Unfortunately, they lost, but we had a great time.  My divorce is resulting in much more bonding with my family and friends!

On the job front, there has been an interesting development with the job that I talked about earlier that said they wanted to go in a different direction.  The second in command called my recruiter and said she wanted to talk to me about possibly taking the position even though her boss thought I didn't have enough supervisory experience.  Isn't that strange?  I don't know what will happen, but I'll update here.  How can the second in command go behind the first in command's back?  I wasn't very high on this job in the first place, and I refuse to be anyone second choice (see: my marriage) but I will listen to what she had to say.  I had a phone interview yesterday and I have one tomorrow.  The one tomorrow is with a company that I'm super excited about, so hopefully all goes well.

And, in somewhat exciting news, I have a date on Thursday!  It is my first first date since 1998!  I know it's probably too early to date, but he knows I'm not interested in anything serious.  He's a friend of a friend and we've been exchanging e-mails for a few days.  We get along really well via e-mail so we're going for coffee Thursday evening.

Countdown: only 4 more nights under the same roof as Thomas and since he was already in bed when I came home tonight, I'm not sure I should count tonight, which brings us to 3.  It's so close!!!  The negative energy of the dark cloud of doom and gloom has only limited time remaining here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Investigating the cabinet and personal update

Things are slowly attaining a new normal here at home.  Thomas does not move until until next weekend, but he's barely spending any time at home.  We are all happy about that!  It's truly amazing how much happier everyone is when he's not around.  His negative attitude was so pervasive and we'd gotten used to it, so having him gone is like a breath of fresh air!

Max was wandering around the counter last week, and climbed up on my honey to investigate a bit.  Under the cabinet:
Thomas's coffee bean grinder:
Back to under the cabinet:
It's been several days, and she hasn't been back, so she must have gotten her fill that day!

Personally, I am just amazed at how well things are going.  I went to therapy last week, and my therapist told me I'm such a "glass half full" person which is how I survived so many years with Thomas and didn't even realize anything was amiss.  She said that if I were in a concentration camp, I'd find ways to rationalize why it wasn't that bad!  Which is un-PC, but it really drove the point home to me.  I need to work on trusting my gut more and not being so quick to justify the actions of people who treat me poorly.

I've been thinking about trying to keep Beeps.  Since Thomas has been gone, his behavior has improved markedly.  He's been extremely loving, following me around the house.  I think it would be hasty for me to rehome him now.  I'd thought about rehoming him since he didn't seem to be that bonded to me compared to Max and Calypso, but I realize he just shows his feelings in a different way.  I'm hoping I can find an apartment that will allow me to keep my three remaining parrots.

I didn't get the job I interviewed for last week, which was probably a blessing in disguise since I didn't really want to work there, but I do want to get a job so I can get an apartment near work and start my new life!  The problem is the timing.  Due to severance and bonus due to me, I need to stay at my current job until the end of March.  Many places don't know what openings they'll have April 1, and the ones with current openings aren't willing to wait so long to hire me.  However, every day gets us one day closer to when they would consider hiring for April.  Until then, I stay in the house.

I had another full weekend.  Thomas was so antisocial that he insisted I not befriend our neighbors.  I waved and we were superficially friendly, but that was it.  (Not surprisingly, Thomas never waved, which they remarked upon!)  Last Friday, I told her what was going on so that she wouldn't be surprised when a "For sale" sign went up at our house.  They invited me over for dinner Friday night, and we had a fantastic time!  I have so much in common with them.  We discussed the animals that inhabit our yards (they were watching the squirrel with no tail as well) and our travels -- we'd been to many of the same places, like Turkey.  They invited me to go kayaking with them, and it's possible we will forge a friendship that survives my move.  What a waste that we lived next to them for over 5 years and only when I'm moving is when we become friendly.

On Saturday, I went out with friends and had a fantastic evening.  Today, I went running with my normal group and then rushed home to get ready.  I met my family for a classic movie (Hitchcock's Rear Window) and then a late lunch/early dinner.  I have movie plans with a friend tomorrow night (A historical thriller from Tudor times - Anonymous) and am going to an NCAA basketball game with my dad again on Tuesday evening.  My goal had been to go out at least two times per week so that I didn't sit home feeling sorry for myself, and I've exceeded that.  Not sure I'll be able to keep going at this pace, but it's been a lot of fun.  I have many years of missed outings to make up for!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Max tries to get attention

Max tries very hard to get head pets.  Of course, she is ultimately successful!
video

Monday, January 23, 2012

Butternut squash and the parrots

One of the things I'm really looking forward to as a single person is experimenting more with cooking. Thomas was so strange and didn't really like to try new things. He was also very critical when I'd try something and it didn't work out. With me and the parrots as my only critic now, I can't lose!

Yesterday, I decided I'd better use up a butternut squash I'd had for a few weeks:
I may have to see if I can get this frozen instead.  It's a lot of work to turn the above into the below!

I modified a recipe I found online.  It needs some more work, but I was pretty excited out the first try.  Once I get it better, I'll post the recipe.

Another exciting thing about being single is that what used to be a meal for one evening now becomes three meals!  This will be helpful if I need to bring lunch at my next job.

Ready to serve it up:
I got some ringing endorsements:
Back for more:
It appears that all that squash makes her thirsty for some water:
Beeps had some as well, but he's become extremely camera-aggressive, so I let him eat his dinner in peace!  Max and Calypso have been hanging out with me in the kitchen while Beeps keeps to himself in the living room mostly.

Yesterday, someone asked about Beeps.  I am still looking for a home for him, but I haven't actually done anything other than think about it!  I need to get going, but sometimes it's hard to motivate myself.  I will try to contact the person who said earlier this month they might be interested in him to see if it might work.  He's such a great guy, it just makes me so sad to think about losing him as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Max and Calypso explore my bedroom

Max and Calypso are settling into their roles in a reduced flock.  I think they are both pretty excited to have more attention from me.  Calypso, in particular, is happy that Thomas isn't around as much.  He's always climbing down from his cage to come and find me.  When Thomas was around, he didn't feel comfortable enough to do that.  It's exciting to see him come out of his shell more.

Yesterday, I was packing to spend the evening with my parents.  Max flew to the stairs and then walked up the rest of the stairs to find me in the bedroom.  Calypso walked to the bottom of the stairs and then beeped expectantly until I brought him up as well.

The two of them wandered over my (as yet unmade) bed while I packed.  They were good supervisors:
Calypso eventually made it over to my pillow, which reminded me of the Arrested Development episode where Buster was upset because there was a (wild) bird on his pillow.  I wasn't upset by the bird on mine, though!  I thought it was cute.
I predict that the three of us have many good times ahead!

My update

Personally, things are going really well for me.  I don't think I realized the underlying stress I had with living with Thomas.  I thought I was happy, but that's just because I'm a positive person.  I've realized that the dark cloud of doom and gloom affected me more than I thought.  Everyone is remarking on how good and happy I am now.

Today, I was reminded of an example of this.  I was running with someone that I'd only met 4-5 times before.  It was quite icy, and I fell down.  Immediately, he stopped, helped me up, and made sure I was OK.  You know, normal, pleasant behavior.

Last year, Thomas and I were running quite a bit together since we were training for several marathons and a 50 mile race.  On three separate occasions, I slipped and fell on the ice.  Every time, he yelled at me for being so irresponsible as to fall on the ice.  These tirades were laced with expletives about how stupid I was since I knew it was icy, so why wasn't I more careful?  He even asked me for the house key as he was just going to go on without me and I could make it home on my own and he'd open the door for me.  He never once stopped to see if I was OK -- he just kept on running, and only came back when I asked him to, and then just to yell at me.  Once I thought I might have broken something and wasn't sure I could get up, but he just yelled at me for being melodramatic and didn't help at all.

When a relative stranger is nicer to you than your own husband, that's a sign that something is wrong!

I think I just put up with it because we were married and I am a loyal person.  Divorce never even entered my mind; I just made excuses for him.  His true "excuse" is that he's a narcissist and sociopath who has no conscience or regard for anyone else.  That's why he is able to leave the parrots so easily.  He never really cared about them or me -- it was all just an act.

Although I am sad that I wasted over 13 years of my life with him, I am glad that I got out relatively unscathed and early enough that I can still have a great life.  Also, since we don't have kids, I never have to see him again once the divorce is final (late May) and the house is sold.  I can't wait!

Things are progressing on all fronts.  I had a successful first interview last week and I meet with the CFO tomorrow.  If all goes well, it's possible I'll have a job offer by the end of the week!  Once I have a job, I can get an apartment near work and move out so that I can start my new life.

We have to sell our house, and at a party on Friday night, I met a really nice guy (I'd met him briefly a few times before) who happens to be a realtor!  He also lives in my town, so we're going to get together to run a few times while I still live here and he's going to sell our house.  He did tell me that he wanted to punch Thomas in the gut for how he treated me, so I will have that mental image with me when they meet :)  I know he'll act professionally and restrain himself from violence.

I spent yesterday with my parents and sister, and we had a wonderful, stress-free visit.

I thought that without having to cater to Thomas, I'd have more time on evenings and weekends to do things like catch up on blog reading, catch up on book reading, etc.  However, my social calendar is filling so much that I find I have even less time than before!  I'm not sure if this will continue, but it's nice while it lasts.

I hope that everyone reading has been having a nice time as well.  I am so excited about my future!

Updates on all who have been displaced due to my impending divorce

I have updates on everyone who has had to leave my house due to my impending divorce.  In order of their departure:

Stella is doing amazingly well.  Her vets visited her at home last week as they are friends with her owner and they just love her.  She is very lucky to have gone to an amazing home.  She is loved by her owners, by her flockmates (especially the severe macaw!), by her vets, by everyone!

Here is a picture of her on her new kitchen counter.  Isn't she as gorgeous as ever?
Rocky is up at the rescue, but doing really well.  He enjoys all of the activity and rarely screams.  He comes out on his stick and steps up for most people (still not me, though -- I must use a stick!)  He lives next to a female severe macaw, and the two of them have stuck up a friendship through their cages.

He sings, talks, and is having a great time.  What a resilient guy!  I hope to get him in a home soon, but severe macaws are difficult to place, so I'm glad he's somewhere where I can keep an eye on him until we find the right home.

A few pictures:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stella update

As I've mentioned before, Stella is in a fantastic home.  She lives with another CAG (Ellie) and a severe macaw (Tango.)  Tango loves grey parrots, so he is beyond happy to now have two girlfriends.  I've been getting near daily updates and pictures on how well she's doing, and the one I got last night really made me smile:
I hope you had a great weekend.  I can't believe we've only had Stella for a week already.  We celebrated with french toast.  She is a very good eater. It must be a grey thing cause they are not picky like Tango.  Who by the way is in heaven with his 2 girlfriends. They all hang out together in their room and talk back and forth Tango does most of the talking but Stella is making lots of noises back at them. They are all so sweet my little loves.
I just received this additional update that made me laugh out loud:
They all throw kisses back and forth amongst the 3 of them in there its like a kissing festival. Too cute.
I am so happy for Stella and thankful that she is in an amzing, love-filled home!

Parrot breakfast

With everything going on in my personal life, I probably haven't been as attentive to the parrots as I had in the past.  I am making a conscious effort to change that!  Max and Calypso were out with my for breakfast.

Max cheered my up by eating with gusto from her spoon:
My boss bought the juciest, most delicious oranges he'd ever had, and was nice enough to bring me one.  Calypso was one of the lucky beneficiaries.  He got every last bit of juice out of the orange section:
The three of us are looking forward to starting our new life together!

Sunday

Sunday morning did not start out well.  I'd been able to avoid Thomas most of the weekend, as I stayed in my room until he left to run in the morning and he'd left for work by the time I got back from my run.  Additionally, he was out on dates with his married mistress at night, so I was back in my room by the time he got home.  The dark cloud of doom and gloom was still present in my life, but not overpowering.

And then Sunday morning happened.

Unfortunately, I was unable to avoid him as he'd gotten up later than usual to run and I had committed to volunteer at a race.  I stayed in my room until the last possible minute, but went downstairs to eat and get ready and he was still home.

Things were not openly hostile until he went to leave and saw that I'd left the key in the front door when I'd gotten back from my run the day before.  This is obviously not ideal, but we live in a very safe place and nothing had happened.  Also, he's done this dozens of times over the years and I just take out the key and don't say anything.  Obviously, it was a mistake.  In this exchange, the swear words that I will abbreviate were actual words coming from him.  Plus there were lots more peppered in -- you get the idea.

Thomas: Do you know who left the key in the front door?

Me: It must have been me since I was the last one home from running yesterday.  Sorry; it was an oversight.

T: I don't understand why you left the key in the front door?

Me: It was an accident.  I was cold and tired after a long run.  I didn't mean to.

T: Why the F did you leave the key in the door?  Are you trying to get me killed?  How can you be so irresponsible?  (More yelling/complaining/swearing/blaming,etc.)

Finally, I left my breakfast and went into the bathroom until he left.

Later that evening, when he got home, he was congratulating himself on realizing that I was upset because he's trying to be more empathetic.  Of course he wasn't hostile at all; he was just trying to let me know that I'd left the key in the door so that I don't do it again; excuses and more narcissistic excuses.  What a wonderful guy!

Now that the blinders are off, I am realizing more and more what a jerk he is.  People had been telling me for years that he was emotionally and verbally abusive to me (even some comments on the blog -- you guys are perceptive!), but I didn't believe them.  Now I can see the truth and am remember many incidents from the past where he was abusive.  I always made excuses for him -- he was tired from work, sore from his arthritis, he had a bad childhood, etc.

He should be out of the house by the end of the month, and our divorce should be final by the end of May.  I can't wait to be done with him!  I just don't understand why he's being hostile to me.  I was loyal and a great wife -- even he admits that.  He's the one who had an affair (with someone who could be a clone of his mom) and destroyed our marriage.  You'd think he'd be apologetic or at least happy since he's getting what he wants.  Instead, he's ramped up his abuse of me.

After that upsetting exchange, I went to my volunteer position, where I had a great time as I was assigned as a sentry with one of my friends.  We had to make sure that runners went the right way along the course:
It was held at a zoo, so this was our long-range view of the closest enclosure:
Zoomed in: a pacing cheetah.  Probably jealous of everyone running by!  I've done this race before, and the deer/moose get so excited.  They start circling their enclosures and running with the racers.
After our volunteer shift was over, my friend and I went for our run.  I don't even want to think what my mental state would be right now without exercise.

I am doing really well.  I will be doing much better once these things are complete: getting a job, getting an apartment, moving to the new apartment.  And I will be wonderful once these additional things are complete: selling the house, completing the divorce, never seeing Thomas again.

I'm still trying to figure out why I put up with his bad behavior for so long.  I suspect that he has a combination of antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.  I do know that I was frequently embarrassed by his behavior around other people.  Why didn't I do something earlier?  Would I have lived like this forever had he not had an affair?  I thought I was happy (I have a high happiness baseline) but can I be even happier?

My new life is beckoning!  I am changing back to my maiden name, and I've signed up for several races using my real name.  I also called the art museum to see if they could back-date my new individual membership since I was the driving force behind our membership and there are perks the longer you're a member.  I was told no, but that I could just take over the membership, so I did.  That was one little victory for me!  My new art museum membership cards, with my new name, should arrive next week.  I can't wait!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday

I had a great morning!  I met one of my favorite running partners and we had a great chat for 2 hours as we ran.  I have signed up to do a 50 kilometer (31 mile) race in May, so I need to get out and do some longer distances than I have the past few months to train.  I ran 15.1 miles this morning, which put me at 40 miles for the week and allows for an extra beer with dinner tonight :)  I don't even want to contemplate what my mental state would be without running.

I have been trying to avoid Thomas as much as possible.  I stayed in bed until after he left for his run and I left for mine a bit early so I wouldn't be here when he returned.  Unfortunately, there's about a 0.2 mile section where I would be going out and he would be coming home that we could run into each other.  I mean, what are the chances?  100% in this case.  I just waved to him, as I would any other runner.  He has become someone that I used to know.

Then, I met my mom for lunch and some shopping.  We had a great afternoon!  I had a phone interview for a job yesterday (my current job ends on March 31) and found out that they want me to come in for an in-person interview next week, so I had to get a new suit, which my mom bought for me.  The last time I wore a suit was in 2003 and I'd already donated my old suits, thinking I'd never have to wear one again.  (You know...I put Thomas through medical school and then he allows me to follow my dream of going back to school or working or starting my own nonprofit.  I held up my end of the bargain...)  I also bought another pair of pants since I only had one pair that fit me, having lost weight due to the stress of my impending divorce.

I came home and spent some time boxing things up and getting ready to move more things to my parents' house.  I want to get down to just the essentials here in case Thomas gets violent and I have to quickly leave the house.  That's part of the reason I'm trying to get the animals placed as soon as possible, with smaller, temporary cages at my parents' house if Max and Calypso have to stay there until I get an apartment.

Almost real-time blogging; these pictures were taken about 30 minutes ago.  Thomas is currently out on a date with his married mistress; the parrots and I are enjoying an evening at home.  We hope he stays out until they go to bed and I go upstairs to my room.

Calypso, who does not realize his dreams are about to come true and he will soon be rid of Thomas forever:
Max, who knows something is up and has been extra loving to me in an attempt to reassure herself everything will be OK:
Basil, who returns to his home a week from today.  He loves his owners, so will be very happy to see them again.  The plan is for him still to be willed to me at some point.  I can't keep him now because he's too loud for an apartment, but by the time he needs to be rehomed, hopefully I will be in a house and he can come back to me:
Beeps, who is reacting to the stress in the house by being increasingly aggressive, but just to Thomas (and when he sees the camera, as usual):
I've gotten daily updates and pictures on Stella.  She is doing remarkably well in her new home.  She always seemed to want to befriend Max, but Max was not interested.  In her new home, Stella's grey companion, Ellie, appears to want to be friends, so we're hopeful things will go well.  Additionally, she lives with a severe macaw who loves greys.  When he was at the rescue where I volunteer, I'd take him around with me to greet the parrots.  He'd ignore everyone except the greys.  When we'd stop by a grey's cage, he'd blush a bit and say "hi!  hello!" and flirt a bit.  He's enjoying his little grey harem (from afar -- they don't physically interact, he just talks to them.)

Rocky is doing really well at the rescue.  I visited him on Thursday but forgot to take pictures.  He's housed next to a female severe macaw, and the two of them go to the bottom of their respective cages and interact.  I took him out and he seemed rather happy to see me.  He was talking, singing, and dancing.  He's extremely resilient and will be OK.  He's enjoying the activity of the rescue and I will be involved in finding him a great home.

Thomas has not asked about Rocky or Stella at all and has basically ignored the parrots we still have at home. It's so strange how someone can change so much, or possibly that they were able to hide for so long and then reveal their true self.  He fooled me for years, but now that I look back on things, they weren't as great as I thought they were.  I am doing some writing exercises to understand our relationship and heal.  One was to come up with 5 nice things he'd done for me over the course of our relationship and then 5 upsetting things.  I could only come up with about 3 nice things and stopped at about 32 upsetting things before I realized I was supposed to stop at 5!

I just rationalized and made excuses for a lot of his behavior.  I'm pretty sure he has a combination of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, so I'm pretty lucky to be able to get out and start anew.  It's just too bad that the parrots are affected by his behavior.

My friends, both online and in real life, have been amazing.  Even my massage therapist has been calling to make sure I'm OK and gave me his cell phone number in case I ever need to chat.  My mom and I have made tentative plans to go to Europe once the divorce is final (possibly with my dad and sister), and my favorite running partner is going to hook me up with one of her friends who loves to go birding and would like a companion.  2012 is going to be a fantastic year!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

He's back in the house :(

Thomas was supposed to come back tonight, but apparently his mistress's husband returned from his trip earlier than expected, so he returned last night instead.  He's not sure how long he's going to stay -- it could be days, weeks, or months.  I may be out before he is!  And then we have to sell the house.

The dark cloud of doom and gloom has returned.  It's very stressful.  The negativity is palpable.  He was like this before, but I always minimized and rationalized his behavior.  It will be a challenge to live together while we continue along the path to divorce.  If he's going to be here, at least he could try to be pleasant.  A cider or bit of wine makes him nearly tolerable.

Yesterday I went birding with a few friends, leaving work early.  Some short-eared owls had been sighted, so off we went.  After seeing them fly around a bit, we lucked out on one that was standing in a ditch on the side of the road, only about 15 feet from our car!  We watched him for a few minutes until he took off.  Simply breathtaking!

After that enjoyable experience, I had to return home to Thomas.  Not fun.  We came to an agreement on the property settlement, in an attempt to avoid going to litigation on the divorce.  We wrote it out and both signed it, so hopefully he will uphold his word this time.  As opposed to the part of our marriage ceremony where he promised to forsake all others.  You might be able to see that I'm not overly optimistic about this!  I didn't get what I feel I deserve, but it's reasonable and two lawyers told me that if we could agree to this, I'd be better off than taking my chances with litigation where I'd probably get a bit more but with lawyers' fees and the stress of litigation. 

Despite my negative tone in this entry, I am doing quite well.  My eyes have been opened and I've reviewed our relationship.  There's a big difference between sharing values and sharing hobbies.  We certainly shared hobbies, but our values are opposite.  I value honesty, integrity, family, kindness to animals and people, etc.  I'm really lucky to escape from this relationship at a relatively young age, so I still have years of happiness ahead of me.

I have some leads on jobs (mine ends on March 31) and hopefully will secure something in the next month or so.  Once I know where I will be working, I can rent an apartment and Max, Calypso, and I can move out.

Once again, my family and friends (including all of you!) have stepped up and have helped me through this process.  I have been overwhelmed with how supportive and loving everyone has been.  I have heard more compliments in the past 6 weeks than in the previous year.  No one can understand how/why this happened.  And if they met her, they'd understand even less!

The past few years have absolutely flown by, so now I'm hoping the next 6 months do as well.  I am excited about my new life and can't wait to get started!  It's just hard to do here with him around.  I feel like I'm currently stuck in neutral and I just want to move on.

Rocky's last day at my house

The day after Stella went home, Rocky went up to the rescue.  I was hoping to place him directly in a home to prevent his return to the rescue, but I was unable to find a place for him.  He was very unhappy at my house with Thomas gone.  He would scream, non-stop, for hours.  It was stressing me out terribly, at an already stressful time in my life.

I had a friend come to my house to help me move his cage.  Thomas refused to help out.  He's basically checked out and has not been helpful at all.  He's the one who destroyed the marriage, and I'm the one who's having to do most of the work now.  It's just unfair and I can't wait until this is over and I can start my new life.

Here are some pictures of Rocky on his last day at my house:
In the carrier, about to leave for the last time:
I heard that he's doing OK up there.  I will be up there tomorrow and I can see how he's doing.  I feel terrible that this is what happened to him.  Once again, he was just supposed to be a foster, and Thomas begged me to keep him back in 2006.  I acquiesced, and now Thomas abandons us.

Rocky's a tough guy, and he's living near two other severe macaws.  I'm hoping that his resiliency will serve him again until he can find a new home.  I will update on his progress, perhaps with pictures.

Stella's last day at my house

Stella went to her new home last Saturday.  She is in great hands -- I've received daily updates so far as to her progress.  She is settling in well, making noises, and talking a bit.  She is nicely stepping up and integrating well.  I only hope that Beeps and Rocky will fare as well as she has.

I took some pictures on her last morning with me.  She is just so adorable and I miss her terribly!
One of the last times that she and Max were near each other:
I'm trying not to be too hard on myself that I couldn't keep her, but I still feel as I failed her.  She was just supposed to be a foster, and Thomas decided he couldn't live without her, so she bonded to us and then we disappoint her.  It's just tearing me apart that Thomas's selfish and unreasonable actions have had far-reaching implications on these innocent creatures.  Stella is one of the lucky ones as she's currently in a great home.  I still can't believe that it's not mine.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A good day

I really will try to get some pictures up soon.  Maybe even later tonight if I don't get caught up in a book!

I had a fantastic day today.  I updated my resume -- something that I'd been putting off because Thomas had promised me that once I put him through medical school, I no longer had to work in my profession.  I was excited to have the time to explore some hobbies, maybe go back to school, or spend time volunteering at or starting my own nonprofit.  I upheld my end of the bargain, but six months out from him finishing after I supported him through applying for school, 4 years of school, 3 years of residency, and 2 years of fellowship, he decided to no longer uphold his end of the bargain.

I went into my profession not because I was passionate about it, but because I had a talent for it and I knew I'd always be able to support myself.  For many years, I thought I'd been foolish not to follow my passion since I'd married someone who was becoming a doctor.  And now I found out that practicality won out after all.

Rocky and Stella are out of the house.  Stella is in an amazing home.  They have updated me as to how well she's adapting.  Rocky does not currently have as happy of a story.  This is the first night he'll be spending at the rescue where I volunteer.  I had hoped to directly place him into a home, but his near-constant screaming meant that he and I were both extremely unhappy.

However, there are two female severe macaws up for adoption right now, so he's getting reacquainted with some of his own kind.  I am hopeful that we'll find him a great home.  (If anyone is willing to travel to the midwest and wants to adopt Rocky, let me know!)

I am listening to Tchaikovsky (if you have not heard his Violin Concerto in D, please do so soon!) and having a wonderful evening with the rest of the parrots.

Earlier in the day, I went to lunch and then shopping with my best friend and her family.  This is someone that I neglected far too long due to Thomas's social issues that I had previously explained away or made excuses about.

I expect to have great days to come.  Things might get a bit challenging as Thomas plans to return home on Wednesday.  I believe that his mistress's husband is returning from a month away and will be moving back into their marital home .  (Thomas has been living with his mistress for the majority of the past three weeks, except for the times when he said he wanted to try to reconcile with me and spent a night or two here before returning to her.  Until I put a stop to that, realizing that I deserve to be no less than #1 in my partner's life.)  Since we jointly own the house, I can't kick him out.  He has nowhere else to go, and I can't leave since I can't trust him to properly care for the animals.  At best, I can hope for a pleasant detente.

I will be blogging more regularly; sorry for the absence -- things were out of control, as was my mind!  But I am confident of my decision and in a great place.  I hope that everyone else had great weekends!

Thanks so much for your care and concern.  I have collated all of your caring comments into a document and will read (and have been reading) them when I get down.  I will be fine -- even better than before.  It's pretty amazing what you can get used to (I was like a frog in boiling water!) that, with hindsight, was unacceptable.

I look forward to spending the next few months working on myself and hopefully finding the true love of my life in the future.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Another update

I can't believe that so much time has passed since my last update.  I think that had I been updating about the divorce on a near real-time basis, it may have come across as if I were the crazy one.  Thomas kept changing his mind from one day to the next about whether he wanted to try to work things out with me or stay with his mistress, and I didn't really know what I wanted either.

Since he knows about the blog, I think it's probably best if I don't go into too many details here until after the divorce is final, if at all.  Suffice it to say that earlier this week I took the decision out of his hands and told him that I was done.  I am no one's second choice, and after some of his actions earlier this week, I realized that I could never trust him again.

My biggest concern is with my animals.  When we adopted each one, I really thought that they were in their forever home.  It breaks my heart that Thomas's selfishness will make that not happen.  Worse, he's the one who wanted to make most of the adoptions permanent instead of the fosters they were originally supposed to be, and then he leaves me with the mess to clean up.  Currently, all of the animals are still at home, but that won't be true 24 hours from now.

Stella's new family comes to pick her up tomorrow afternoon.  It's a great home, and I know she'll be very happy there.  I'll get frequent updates, and she'll be living with another CAG and a severe macaw.  I'll be sad to lose her, but I don't worry about her at all.

Basil will be going back to his owners sometime this month.  We are trying to finalize schedules.

Rocky was scheduled to go up to the rescue earlier this week, but Thomas convinced me to keep him at home because Thomas planned on staying home to see if we could make our marriage work.  That lasted less than two days and he's back living with his mistress while her husband is out of town.  Of course that means that Rocky is screaming nearly non-stop again and raising the stress level in the house.  I am going to get him up to the rescue as quickly as I can; probably early next week.  I will continue to look for a home for him while he's there, but it will not be easy since he's such a challenge.

My boss is going to take the fish in my tank, so we will move those over early next week.

I have a couple of leads on where Andreas, my uromastyx lizard, can go.

Max and Calypso will stay with me, though they may have to temporarily live with my parents until I am in a stable living situation.

That leaves Beeps.  He can stay at the house for a while until we figure out what to do.  Worst case, he goes up to the rescue as well.  At different times, Thomas has said that he'd take him, but he has proven to be untrustworthy and later changes his mind, so who knows what will happen.  I know that in the comments, someone expressed an interest in him.  When I feel up to it, I will contact you to see if it might work.

I know that I haven't been updating here, responding to e-mails, phone calls, or texts.  I apologize, but I just can't seem to find the energy.  This is the most stressful thing I've ever had to deal with.  There is so much uncertainty and unpleasant work in my future -- rehoming the animals, finding a job, finding an apartment, moving, selling the house, working out the divorce settlement, etc.

I am overwhelmed.  My friends have been great, and I have been taking them up on going out as much as I can.  I am forcing myself to go out at least twice a week to do things.  It's tough because all I want to do is curl up in bed, read self-help books, and try to make sense of what's happening to me.

I think that my blog will take on a very different look over the next few months.  Obviously less about the parrots, since I won't have as many, and more about turning the chaos that currently is my life into something even better than it was before.

I do have some pictures/stories about the parrots on my camera that I will post when I can.  I just haven't felt up to it.  It's all happened so quickly -- in just over a month.  Taking 13 years of hopes, dreams, and plans, and having them squashed in 30 days is exhausting.

I hope to start posting on a more regular basis, but I guess it depends on how I feel. Thanks for being there and for caring.  I know I will get through this; it will just take time.  I'm already feeling much better than I was a few weeks ago.  I do think that ultimately I will be better off without Thomas in my life.  He put on a good front for over a decade, but ultimately, he could no longer hide who he really was.  It's too bad that he had to hurt so many of us in the process.

I will be taking time to be alone, reflect on things, and emerge happier than ever.  Hopefully that will be reflected here over the next few months!  I believe that once I get a job lined up and am in a new apartment, it will be easier to move on.  While I don't want to wish my life away, I wish it were a year from now and this pain could all be in the past.