No word exists in the English language to quantify how abominable, appalling, atrocious, bad, calamitous, deplorable, deplorable, dreadful, horrible, intolerable, miserable, repulsive, tragic, unbearable, and wretched year 2011 was for me. Combine every adjective you just read and multiply it by a million. That’s my year! We’ll steal Minnie Jackson’s terminology and refer to it as the ‘Terrible Awful.’
Temporary catharsis is all I seek. Factors beyond my control dictate the terms for certain grievances….and I have no choice other than to carry them with me into the new year. Obviously there is a massive Terrible Awful that makes all others pale in comparison– and some of these seem more innocuous than others– but this is my time to complain.
So let’s knockout my woeful [and oftentimes incensed] lamentations as quickly as possible. Without further ado, 11 things I despised about 2011:
1) Sloane versus Child ‘Welfare’ Services. I’m not even going to dignify them with three sentences so we’ll end here at two.
2) Never in my life do I want to make another appearance in a courtroom in the county of San Luis Obispo. Much to my chagrin I can think of at least two more dates where I’ll be scheduled to appear. Whether it’s custody issues, my divorce, or testifying in another case the legal process drags on ad infinitum. This is neither the time nor the place for me to discuss why I’m a VIP in the courts here, but I wanted to take this opportunity to assure you that I’m not a criminal– my little wrists have never felt the cold metal of handcuffs!– nor have I been charged with anything. I’m a law abiding citizen who has done nothing wrong, though as you can imagine from the categories I mentioned above this is seemingly endless red tape.
3) My marriage came to a screeching halt. While I’m not divorced [see #4], it’s completely over, and that upsets me tremendously. Will and I were estranged for over three years of our marriage so I’m used to him not being in the picture. Yet I was [naive and foolish] so hopeful that our daughter could allow us to have a fresh start….for a very intelligent woman isn’t that a stupid thought? And it’s not myself I worry about– I’m fiercely independent and prefer being unattached– but my children. They deserve a loving and attentive father who provides for them, a father who treats their mother with courtesy and respect even though they are no longer involved. I want to be able to co-parent and have a dear friend in my former spouse. Given the circumstances that simply can’t happen. We’ll never be a Bruce and Demi. The union of Sloane and Will didn’t just succumb to ‘irreconcilable differences’ or fizzle and fade. How do I explain this to the kids? “Sorry Adam, Daddy can’t come with you to Father/Son day at school because it violates the terms of the restraining order.”
4) Residency requirements are not my friend in the state of California. Until the marriage is dissolved on paper, any custody issues are infinitely more complex, as is anything that pertains to domestic violence. I want to give birth to Tatum and come to our cozy apartment to recuperate and spend quality time with my children. My biggest concern should be separation anxiety from my infant when I return to work, not dealing with a divorce. Because as luck would have it– of course!– I don’t exist on paper in the state of California until one day before Tatum’s arrival.
5) Being homeless– can we say major no bueno? Granted, I was never on the streets panhandling and sleeping on cardboard…but there was a period of two and a half weeks where Adam and I lived in a motel. I cannot even begin to describe to you how agonizing and stressful it is to not know where you are going to sleep past the next few nights, especially when you have a child. The ‘transient’ time between my unexpected departure from the women’s shelter and my joyous arrival in my apartment was brutal. And the troubles hadn’t even started!
6) Would you be surprised if I told you I was unbelievably homesick? Between a period of not having a home– literally– and being 3000 miles away from the place I’ve known as home for the first quarter century of my life. The overwhelming majority of the amazing people I call friends are east of the Mississippi River clustered around the Hernando DeSoto Bridge [a.k.a. the new bridge]. I even miss Memphis. Around here all the financial establishments sound so….corporate. How could I possibly trust anyone with my personal accounting that doesn’t work for Mo’ Money Taxes?
7) This is quite difficult to discuss but once upon a time I had a car. Not just any car, a gorgeous BMW X3 in a dazzling silver color. It was glorious. Beyond glorious. When I drove alone the speedometer went to 345943945435943 in no time at all. When driving with Adam I trusted my safe and reliable vehicle. Sometime during the hour where Alyssa and I were getting acupuncture in our ears [trying valiantly to cleanse ourselves of bad juju and stress less, unbeknownst to me, my car met its untimely demise while it was a certain someone's DUI chariot.
[[ Sidenote: When I took this picture I moved his car seat strap down so he would smile. It's clearly not secure and that's not how he rode while we were actually moving in the vehicle. You can never be too cautious with clarifying these things. ]]
8) Sloane, meet poverty. There is nobody to blame for this except yours truly but I had zero savings when I needed it the most. Even cheap motels get costly. Come apartment time, I had to furnish it [though I received tons of generous gifts for which I am so thankful], and then they wanted rent again after already getting the first month and a security deposit?! Then came the introductory bills for various places. And Christmas. Blah, blah, blah.
9) This was a lousy, sickly year for my health. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritiually, I was simply not healthy– which understandably took its toll. I should have known what to expect when I went for a ‘wellness checkup’ the second week of January….and slipped on a patch of ice dislocating my knee, almost tearing my MCL, and getting a swollen and inflamed meniscus. Well then.
10) What the hell was I thinking when it came to dating?! My first ex of the year I wish nothing but the best for….it simply ran its course. We were both reluctant to jump ship and it should have ended a lot sooner. I thank him for handling it like a gentleman and having the courtesy and respect to not talk poorly of me, just as I do for him. Next one of my very best friends and I tried our luck at being a couple for two weeks: epic fail. Then there was….I’m scared if even mention it in too much detail I’ll hear a knock at my patio door and he’ll be outside with an ax despite the fact that he’s thousands of miles away. He’s said it himself he’ll “never stop harassing me.” Suffice it to say he’s a deranged stalker who is profoundly disturbing and highly unstable. And finally there was that attempted reconciliation with Will. That certainly ended well!
11) People. Behaving. Badly.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,