Alabama in the City

Life is better. I’m happy, getting happier. With myself. I haven’t found a place of my own yet but I will as soon as I find a renter for my house. My aunt cooks dinner for me. My uncle entertains me. I haven’t lived with anyone since I was 18.

I work downtown in the middle of high rises. It’s amazing. I told Beau that when I’m walking downtown amongst all the other people in their business clothes and tennis shoes, crossing busy intersections and riding the bus or light rail that I feel like a grown up. Alamaba in the City! I never even imagined.

I lived in California but I lived in a small town in the mountains. We were surrounded by trees. I knew every one. The pace was slow. It was an awesome place to raise my boys.

That feels like another life. I was another person. Was that the real Alabama? The Alabama who woke up at the crack of dawn and hit the ground running? Get up, make sure Beau was headed towards the bus stop and that he had his backpack. Wake up Wyatt. Drew was always up and getting ready. Shower, dress, blow dry, yelling at the kids to jump in the car with their backpacks. I dropped them off at my mom’s. She fed them breakfast and took them to the bus stop.

Off to work and then usually someone had baseball practice after work or they were going snow boarding. I made dinner, cleaned the house and I didn’t sit down until it was time to sleep. I loved my kids, loved being a mom.

Now, I get up at the crack of dawn and go to work. That’s it. I’m happy. The only person I have to take care of is me.

Another life. New state, new job, new friends. Am I still running or am I just becoming the real me?

Running away

Its what I do.  It’s what I’ve always done. I keep myself busy, work myself to death until whatever it is I’m running from or avoiding just fades away.  

I don’t run from responsibility or financial problems.  I’ve been on my own for so long I can handle the day to day shit that life throws at me.  Bills.  Broken cars.  Busted pipes.  I can handle all of that.

Emotion.  That’s what I can’t handle.  That’s what makes me run.  

I took care of my Nana. Always. I did her errands, took her to her doctors appointments and watched way too many hours of Lifetimes movies with her because she loved them.  

When she retired and didn’t have the money to live on her own, I moved her in with me.

When my house flooded the plumber told me that she could get pneumonia from the mold.  He suggested she leave for a week.  She went to my uncles house.  Without telling me, he put her in a home.  He got power of attorney and wouldn’t let me take her back.  I asked two of my other uncles to help me.  They chose to do nothing.  

I would go visit her and she would cry and beg me to take her home.  My  boys and I were going to shove her out the window and take her out of state but none of the windows would open. 

Nana died within a year.  I moved out of state and haven’t spoken to any of them. We were close. My mom was so young when she had me that they were like my brothers. That was ten years ago.  I’ll never speak to them again.  I’m done with them.  

Everyone betrays you eventually.  It’s usually not intentional, but it happens.  Always.  I expect it.  It doesn’t hurt when it’s someone you’re not emotionally invested with.  So I don’t get invested.  At least I try not too.  

I have trusted two people.  They have unintentionally betrayed me.  It devastated me.  Both times.  

I trusted Luke.  He was an addict.  He lied.  I kept trusting him and he betrayed me over and over. Halfway through our marriage, he told me I was cold.  He would hug me and I would just pat his back and then walk away.  I stopped telling him I loved him. He would get so hurt but I was so angry all the time.  No, that’s not true.  I was hurt all the time.  He never meant to hurt me but he did and I could never get over it.  I couldn’t run away from my husband so I shut down.  For 15 years I turned all my emotions off.  I was done.  I promised myself I would never trust anyone again.

Robbie came back into my life.  I trusted him.  I kept telling myself I was going to regret it.  I couldn’t help it.  I spilled everything to him.  All my emotions.  My secrets.  My fears and my hopes.  I fell in love with him.  He kept telling me to slow down.  He didn’t want to jump into a relationship and ruin our friendship.  I wanted a life with him so bad. He didn’t want the same.

I’m trying so hard to shut my emotions off and I can’t.  I moved.  I got a new job.  I’m getting a second job.  I’m staying as busy as I can all day, everyday day.  The second I sit and rest he invades my mind.  I can’t get him out of it. I’ll be working and he will text me.  He tells me he is just checking in to make sure I’m OK.  I tell him in fine.

But I’m not.  I’m devastated.  

“Amid the chaos of that day when all l could hear was the thunder of gunshots and all l could smell was the violence in the air, l look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true. That three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record. You’re so cool. You’re so cool. You’re so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died. lf that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, l always smile, as if l’m not gonna satisfy him with a response. But l always do. l tell him of how l would want to die. That the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn. And that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe l wouldn’t have named our son Elvis.”


A soulmate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity. This may involve similarity, love, romance, platonic relationships, comfort, intimacy, sexuality, sexual activity, spirituality, compatibility and trust.

Luke and I were driving down the road one day in his truck.  He looked at me and told  that he loved me so much that couldn’t get close enough to me. He said he wished he could be a part of me and I Got it. That’s exactly how I felt.  If you don’t understand that, then your not with your soul mate.

Luke was my life plan.  My present and my future.  I met him at 13 and I KNEW he was “THE ONE.”. I felt it in my bones, in my soul.  We were going to get married, buy a house, have kids and a dog.  Sure, I knew we would have ups and downs but when you meet your soul mate, your gonna be happy forever.  That’s what a soul mate is right? It’s your forever person.  

A few years in, I still loved Luke with all my heart but there was a small part of my heart that was starting to resent him.  Was starting to HATE him.  I kept telling myself that he was my soul mate, THE ONE, so I couldn’t give up.  Right?  

Recently, I was talking to Joey on the phone about the mother of his daughter.  He was new to the concept of soul mates so I was looking up info online to send to him.  As I was reading up on this I came across some info that blew my mind! 

I had stumbled across articles about soul mates and them being here to teach you lessons.  What did they mean? Teach us but not complete us.  Let me write that again. Teach us.  But not complete us.  I read this several times.  I was skimming through all these articles and all I could think was “had I been wrong all these years”.  Luke was my soul mate.  He was put on this earth to complete me!  Not teach me life lessons!

I know you travel through life with the same souls.  But now I’m reading that the love of my life,  THE ONE, my SOUL was here to teach me life lessons??  I missed that little part.  Soul mates are forever, spiritually but not physically.  Hello, Mother, Universe, friends, why didn’t any one tell me this?  Did I spend 30 years with Luke because I didn’t finish the book on soul mates? Did I just make both of us miserable?  

Life lessons. There are all kinds of life lessons but apparently there are three major ones we need to learn.  The first one is patience.  I’ve never had it.  I still don’t.  I just take charge and do it myself.  I did everything for Luke.  I never made him do anything. 

The second lesson is unconditional love.  I have that for my boys.  But only my boys.  It’s not that I don’t love anyone.  I DO love others.  But I don’t trust anyone.  Every one betrays you.  Usually it’s unintentional, but it happens.  All the time.

The last one is Trust in the Universe.  Do you know what I say to Grace ALL THE TIME that makes her laugh?  I say “Fuck you, Universe.” 

Things happen all the time that remind me of Robbie.  All. The. Time.  And I hate it.  I hate when I’m keeping myself so busy that I can’t think and then a song comes on that takes me back. I hate when I hear his name in a crowded room. I hate when I’m flipping through the channels and I see one of his favorite movies.  I hate that I ran away from my job, my hometown, my friends and family.  My LIFE.   And the Universe is still screwing with me.  So let me say it again.  FUCK YOU, UNIVERSE!!  I’m supposed to trust the Universe???

This is what I learned reading about soul mates.  I learned that I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.  But then I started thinking about every thing.  About Luke and about lessons.  

I know I loved Luke.  I also know I should have left a long time ago.  But since Luke died, I have changed.  I’ve changed a lot.  I started thinking about these life lessons. Have I learned anything?

Patience.  The boys and my friends always joke about me and my lack of patience.  The boys are used to it.  I can’t remember how many times I drove off without Drew in the car.  Beau and Wyatt knew that when I said it was time to go, they needed to get in the car.  Drew never did.  He was always late.  He was always standing near my car, usually with his hands on the back door of my car, Beau and Wyatt yelling at me that Drew wasn’t in the car yet. I’m amazed that I never ran that kid over.

It also drives Charlotte batty. She points it out to me daily.  When I’m ready to leave, I say goodbye and I go.  But Charlotte likes to walk outside with me after work everyday and Charlotte never hurries.  Never.  I’m standing there with my purse, at her desk because it’s 5 o’clock and I’m ready to go and we leave every day at 5 o’clock.  I mean, this should come as no surprise to her, we’ve had this schedule for years. But there I stand, waiting. Everyday.  Some days I don’t wait and Charlotte gets pissed.  But most days I wait.  I’m learning.

Unconditional love:  this is the hard one.  I don’t know if I’ll ever have this for another human that isn’t my child.  What does that even mean?  Are you supposed to love someone who betrays you?  What do you do if the love of your life cheats on you?  If your parents lie to you?  I mean, you still love them. You can’t help it.  But it certainly isn’t unconditional.  

Trust the Universe:  I have a huge issue with trust. I do believe, however, that everything happens for a reason.  I just have to merge these two together.  I’ve always been afraid to say something that I really wanted out loud because I’ve always thought that it was going to jinx it.  I’ve also read that you should “throw it out to the universe “. What exactly does this mean?  To mean, it means karma.  If you’re positive then you get positivity back.  I need to be positive.  I can do that.  I’ve been getting better.  I don’t think I’ll get out of bed tomorrow and tell the Universe exactly what my deepest desires are.  I’m not ready for that yet.  But as of today, I’ll stop telling the Universe to go Fuck herself…..

Lower case Love and CAPITAL LETTER LOVE

CAPITAL LETTER LOVE. I loved Luke so much. He was my soul mate. I’ve always believed a soulmate was yours for life. Your one true love. The one you’re destined to be with for you’re entire physical life. The one you’ve traveled with for several, maybe even 100’s of lifetimes. They are just comfortable to be around. You’re just like “You’re my person.”. You just know.

Lower case love: This is what I think most people have. You meet someone and you fall in love and you think Ok, I can spend my life with you. I mean, you love them. You also LIKE them which to me, is more important than loving someone. That sounds crazy but think about it; How often have you loved someone, like a significant other or a sibling or a relative but you couldn’t stand to be around them? But you still love them. So you have to genuinely like your person.

You’re also attracted to them physically and sexualy. You can also imagine a life with them. Getting married and buying a house in the suburbs and having kids and pets and family gatherings. All that makes your heart flutter. And I think that’s all ok, lower case love.

The thing about lower case love is that it fades. Picking up dirty underwear off the floor the next morning after an awesome night of sex isn’t adorable anymore. It used to make you feel, I don’t know, wifey. Now you don’t feel wifey, you feel housekeepery, maid-ish. And the sex that used to be awesome? It’s just mundane. It’s just missionary sex and not the good kind.

There is the missionary sex when everything is brand new and you’re in love and you still love picking up the dirty underwear. It’s the fully naked, skin to skin, arms gripping his shoulders, tongues down each other’s throats, legs wrapped around his back holding on for dear life because you love him so much and you can’t ever get close enough kind of missionary sex.

Then there is the we’ve been together for awhile missionary sex. Sex becomes a need to be fulfilled, a scratch to be itched, a DUTY. It’s the sex that’s going down and it feels good but you are also thinking about the potluck at work tomorrow and the laundry that didn’t get finished.

That can happen with CAPITAL LETTER LOVE also. I remember, after years of being with Luke and after he started drinking, I was thinking about sex with Luke. I mean, the sex was never bad but I had realized that I couldn’t remember the last time we had kissed. I’d been having sex with my husband, the love of my life, my soul mate, my CAPITAL LETTER LOVE for years and I couldn’t remember the last time we kissed?? And that makes you sad. Life time CAPITAL LETTER LOVE with your soulmate isn’t guaranteed. Bad things happen. People have baggage they can’t lose. Luke could never lose his. I will always love Luke. But he changed halfway thru or marriage. Actually, I changed. I grew up and Luke never did.

Not everyone gets their CAPITAL LETTER LOVE. You might fall in lower case love and you don’t know any better. Dirty underwear. This is what causes divorces. Lower case love and dirty underwear.

I’ve been in lower case love. Twice. The first one was Austin. Yep, Hannah’s husband. He was always there for me when Luke bailed on me and his responsibilities. Always. I knew I loved him after I saw him get hit over the head with a beer bottle at a party. I was so scared he was dead. I sat with him in the emergency room all night.

He dropped me off at my house at 4:00am. He hugged me and I knew I had fallen in love with him. I told him so, too. Sex with Austin was wild. Intense. Uninhibited.

But I’d already experienced CAPITAL LETTER LOVE with Luke and I knew Austin and I wouldn’t last. I could imagine a life with him but I also knew I could get over him. You don’t ever get over your CAPITAL LETTER LOVE.

Also, just because you’ve experiencing CAPITAL LETTER LOVE doesn’t mean that it’s going to work out. Believe me, I know. It just means that it’s gonna hurt more when it all comes crashing down around you.

Lower case love number two: Luke and I split up for a year and I started dating Jeff. I worked with Jeff. He was ten years older and such a sweet guy. He had his life together, had a good job, his own house.

I told him up front that I was never going to live with him or marry him and that there would be no I love you’s. I didn’t want that. But you sleep with someone and feelings happen. I did fall in love with him. I didn’t tell him that of course. And I did consider changing my mind. I mean, I really could have had an easy life with Jeff. The house in the suburbs with the kids and the dogs. I could have made it work with him. And I probably would have been happy. But just……happy.

On New Years Eve, at the stroke of midnight, he kissed me and he said it. I LOVE YOU. And do you know what I thought? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life picking up your dirty underwear. So I just smiled and said thank you. It got awkward after that. He took me away for the weekend because we had planned it a few weeks before. A romantic getaway at the beach. With that big, fat I love you laying right in between us every night.

I didn’t want to be with him anymore but I didn’t want to hurt him either. I just stopped answering his calls. I avoided him at work. And two weeks later I tracked Luke down and I married him. Jeff found out when they changed my name plate at work. He quit and I’ve never seen him since. Although Daisy did see him on a reality show about ten years ago.

Running away. That’s what I do best.