I’m happy to report that I finally got my new computer going yesterday. The new VESA monitor arm arrived in the afternoon. Although the Invision 450 arm was significantly less expensive than the Ergotron model I bought last week, it was a much better purchase. I did have to put more parts together, but they were very sturdy and the process was straightforward. I didn’t have to use any YouTube videos to figure out anything. In fact, the Invision had very clear instructions and diagrams that were obviously written by someone fluent in English. So, I am very pleased with that purchase, and I’m enjoying my new computer.
Naturally, the new computer needs to be broken in, which means transferring a lot of files and upgrading equipment. I finally retired some nice Bose speakers I’ve been using for about nine years. This morning, I should be getting another Minipod to use with the one I bought a few weeks ago. That will give me a nice stereo sound in my office. Edited to add: I just figured out how to use the old Bose speakers, too… so my sound system is gonna be bangin’!
Since a lot of my music is from CDs that can’t be easily moved to the new computer, I think I might repurpose my old computer for just media tasks. I ordered a new table to put in my office so I can set up the old computer for that use. I think, once everything is set up, it’ll be very nice. However, all of this change doesn’t come without significant ass pain and inconvenience. Like they say in the LDS church… “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be ‘worth it’… “. Or something along those lines.
Yesterday, I wrote about the “truth bombs” I delivered to younger daughter. I ended up sending her three emails. The first was a brief explanation about why her dad and I never had our own children. The second was to tell her the dogs are fine. And the third was an apology for not acknowledging younger daughter’s own struggles with having children of her own. I got so caught up explaining about the vasectomy and the reversal that I forgot to acknowledge her pain. So my third email was to do that, and to let her know how happy Bill and I both are to be talking to her after all these years of no contact.
Last night, we watched a video of younger daughter sautéing mushrooms in butter. She wanted to know if we like mushrooms. Bill loves them and told her so. I hate them, and told her so. Apparently, younger daughter’s husband, father-in-law, and two older kids don’t like them, either. Her baby likes mushrooms. We explained about my issues with mycophobia, which is a literal phobia of mushrooms.
Then, after he responded to the video about mushrooms, Bill made another video about what I had sent younger daughter in the first email. He explained in a lot more detail about why he had chosen to have a vasectomy. Younger daughter was surprisingly empathic about everything. She spoke about how her mother didn’t take care of her children. That was left up to Bill’s daughters, who had to look after the youngest two children or else they would be neglected.
Younger daughter said that when her mother stopped working, she would stay up until 5:00am and then sleep until noon. And that meant no adults were conscious to take care of the youngest kids. Of course, some of the stories Bill told were surprising to her, too. Like, I don’t think she knew about the time Ex traded in the family car and bought two more– a VW Euro Van for herself and a Miata for Bill. She did things like that a lot– spending money they didn’t have on things they didn’t really need. It meant financial ruin, and that was the state Bill was in when we met. It took years to recover from it.
In the course of the conversation about childbirth and Ex’s tendency to wig out from the pain, younger daughter said that Ex had epidurals for her youngest two and there was no trauma involved with their births. Why she didn’t do that for the three eldest kids, I don’t know. The two eldest were born in military hospitals, but younger daughter wasn’t. I can’t understand why she wouldn’t have had epidurals for all of their births, especially given her history reacting to pain. But… I have a feeling that was probably about attention seeking.
One thing younger daughter mentioned was that Ex would do things like “swoon”. Like, one time, Ex just randomly fell over, like she had fainted. But it didn’t appear to be an actual collapse. Other times, when she would try to speak to her mother in the mornings, Ex would open her eyes, then close them again… as if she was asleep. Younger daughter knew she was faking it, but the message was that she should go away and fend for herself.
Then she said something along the lines of, “I don’t know why she would have such a big family if she didn’t even really want to be a mom to us.”
I can tell her the answer to that question. If Ex is a narcissist, as I strongly suspect she is, she doesn’t see other people as individuals, worthy of regard. They are mere tools to her… extensions of herself. That’s why everyone in her sphere is Facebook friends with other people she knows. Her children with Bill are “friends” with Ex’s first husband, people in Bill’s family, and people in #3’s family. They aren’t “friends” with me or Bill, though, because we’ve been “painted black”. Ex won’t get anything from us, so we’re “bad”.
Younger daughter would probably happily be friends with Bill and me, if it didn’t mean huge drama with her mom. Bill has to be punished severely for not obeying her whims… for taking care of himself and his needs, rather than catering to hers. I don’t know why #1 still speaks to Ex. She denied him contact with his son for about twenty years. But I see that he and #3 are “friends” on social media.
I also think that of all of the people in Ex’s life, Bill was the most devastating to lose. He has more earning power than the other two husbands combined. He has the most stable family. He’s the best educated, and frankly, the best looking. He probably treated her the best, too. She pushed him too far, so he had to get away from her. She probably sees me as the mean girl who stole her favorite toy. She probably thinks of Bill as her property that was cruelly taken from her, rather than discarded. So, because her ego is injured, she paints us as “black”… evil people who didn’t appreciate Ex’s specialness.
I’m sure she blames Bill for a lot of her problems, including being married to #3. If he had just realized her divorce proposal was “high drama” that she didn’t actually mean. If he had only not agreed to her demand for a divorce and simply acquiesced to her, just as he’d always done in the past… If Bill had only continued to be loyal to her, even though she was cheating on him with #3, right down to moving him into the money pit house that she had to have because it looked like one she’d seen in a snow globe.
Bill was paying for that house, and had probably paid for the bed she and #3 were fucking in, while she was still married to Bill. That didn’t matter, though… and the fact that he still had a scintilla of self respect after almost ten years with her was more than she could take. She couldn’t admit that she was being dramatic and work toward a compromise… change some of her habits and be a better partner. No… she had to “save face”. Lucky for me.
I came along at a time when Bill was being cast out. She was trying to teach him a lesson… force him to “rock bottom”. I ruined everything for her. Or, at least that’s how she sees it. She thought he would come crawling back to her. Instead, he fell into my arms, emotionally battered, mentally bruised, physically scarred, and financially beaten. I’ve seen Ex on Twitter, apparently showing empathy to women in bad relationships. She never lets on what a sadistic partner she is, and how anyone in her sphere is basically in her own private cult. She’s always a victim.
One thing I’ve noticed when I listen to younger daughter speak is that she never refers to Ex as simply “Mom”. She calls her “my mother”. This morning, when she was responding to Bill’s video, she said “It’s sad you can’t have a family because of ‘your wife’.” At first, I thought she was talking about me, but it was soon clear that she was referring to her mother in that way. She doesn’t want to acknowledge Ex as her mother. She’s trying very hard to distance herself from her mother. I’m sure there are many layers of pain there on younger daughter’s side… things that we haven’t even scratched the surface of yet. We may never get there.
I know that younger daughter knows Bill is telling the truth, too… as outrageous as the stories are at times. She knows he’s being truthful, because she’s seen the craziness firsthand. She’s experienced it in person. As a child, she found it easier to ignore, because it was just life to her. Just as I’ve come to realize, so has she– when you become an adult, your eyes open to the truth. You start to realize the truth about people that you might have, at one time, had great love, respect, and admiration for. You start to realize that they’re just as frail and human as you, yourself, are… and some are more damaged and dysfunctional than you ever knew.
I used to think Ex was just a mean, nasty person. Now, I think that besides being mean, she’s also truly very mentally ill, and she’s done some things that may very well eventually land her in a place where she will be exposed to other mentally ill people. It’s because of enablers like her children and husbands that she’s never had to face the consequences of her actions. I think her day is coming, though. Bill isn’t the only one who’s had enough.