Habits — by Bekkie

I spend a lot of time trying to convince my mom to quit spending so much time with my dad.

This, we can all agree, is a losing battle. So here I will present an alternative argument. Bear with me.

Earlier in the year I was spending a great deal of time with someone who wasn’t good for me. He made me dislike myself, because I was willing to let him treat me like a past time,love myselfso long as he would allow me to be near him. Not good.

This is apparently a habit of mine. I have a similar relationship with my best friend. She approaches our friendship as important or unimportant, depending on what’s going on in her life at any given time.

What both relationships have in common is that I see them both as interesting people for whom I have a particular fondness. I allowed that fondness to dictate my interactions with them. As we all know, love follows it’s own set of rules, often to our detriment.

I recently moved in to a commune. Well, it’s not really a commune, but it’s close. There are four roommates, and they decorate, plan activities, and seem a great deal like a family that genuinely enjoys one another’s company.

They were my friends previous to the move, but since that time, they have converted this restless wanderer into a homebody. It began with participation in their activities — outings to the zoo/park/restaurants; crafting; playing rock band — the list goes on and on. Then even just enjoying visiting with them when we happened to be in the living room at the same time. They make me coffee now. One of them works at Starbuck’s and brings me coffee; he leaves notes about the origin of the coffee. Another helps me make choices — my least favorite thing to do. She just decides things and it’s done and it makes me feel so happy, and secure, for some reason. She does this for all of us. And we love her for it because she has our best interests at heart.

The other two roommates are awesome, just as unique and interesting, people but I’ve already run long with this, so suffice it to say, they add to the overall pleasant picture.

My point is that, it was impossible for me to cut ties with people I loved, who were bad for me. It takes a more self-controlled person than I — or anyone I know — to simply walk away from someone you love, even for all the right reasons.

Yes. Like that.
Yes. Like that.

You can, however, invest your time differently. If you have friends that are better for you — in whatever way– (sometimes better habits, or more level-headed, or in my case, more caring) then spend time with them. Take the invitations, issue your own, even when your heart tells you to rush right to —insert bad/toxic person here–.  Don’t try to quit cold turkey. You’ll still rush there 90% of the time. But soon it will be 80%. Then 70%, 60%, and by the time you hit 50%, it’s getting easier. Your world gets a little bigger. Making the right choices about people will get a little easier.

So what I’m saying to my Mom, myself, and everyone else who keeps going back when they know better is know your limitations. If you can’t walk away, don’t. Just walk somewhere nicer sometimes and give yourself some room to see a little better.

— Rebekkah

OMG!! I’ve lost 15 Facebook Friends!!!

To You Know Who You Are:

I’m a writer, so you had to know, I was going to write about this. :-)

Anyone who has known me for about 5 minutes knows, don’t bother using club crap to try to manipulate me. It won’t work because I’ve always kept most club people at arm’s length…I always knew that this was one of those easy come, easy go situations, and I’ve seen so much turn-over in it, I never thought for a second it would last forever. In other words, there are some good things to learn from club societies, but I haven’t really ever seen any true friendships in it. It is very much an egotistical boost for most of these men, and most of the woman who are die-hard fans seem blind to the disrespect that is constantly shoved into their faces. I was fortunate for most of my time around them to be treated with dignity and respect, but once my Chef decided to be unfaithful, irresponsible, addicted, and desert his family for “club activities”, a brand new girlfriend, and new kinds of dangerous party substances, the club immediately sided with the man (it is a man’s world, after all), and it doesn’t matter what he has done to hurt his own life and family, he is automatically in the right, and has that power to shove his wife out of it. I believe in this case, though, Chef has realized he might have mishandled his power play just a tad. I was never all that interested in the patch thing, so it fell short of what he had hoped to achieve, and I can see he’s desperately trying to understand the backlash that just happened to him. For a guy who was married to me for decades, he doesn’t seem to understand me at all. That is just disheartening. I think we all want someone to understand us, and I’m thinking I might be a complete mystery to the guy.

Am I really that complicated???

Yesterday, I was 86ed. It has always been this uncomfortable joke among some of the women I know in the club that the way most of us find out we’ve been evicted from this club society is through Facebook. When you start seeing the club-related members de-friending you, you know that you’ve been kicked out of the red and gold nation. And yesterday, I lost 15 friends, got a text message from someone who thought that the club was overstepping their boundaries, a dozen calls from people who actually love me and were hurting for me and appalled by the decision,  Chef, and then one really, really interesting call about the reasons I’m supposedly kicked out, and that call just blew up Chef’s world. Here’s the thing about human nature. Some people really love to have a front seat to other people’s pain, and when I got 86ed, this woman took it upon herself to start making phone calls, and each time she opened her mouth, the story got more and more twisted. And because it was based on a lie anyways, she really went to town with, thinking that because no one in the club is supposed to ever speak to me again, I’d never find out. People, that is never, ever how it works out. It is no fun for the gossip mongers if the person being punished doesn’t know about it, so someone always makes sure that the 86ed one finds out. And Chef freaked completely out. In his own words, he can say or do whatever he wants to me, but no one else is allowed to. Yeah. A prince among men. :-)

Here’s the kicker – supposedly, I was 86ed because I was having an affair with one of the other club members. I actually had to have it repeated to me about a dozen times just to wrap my brain around it. Oh please. I’ve been around these people for years and years. I write a Christian blog. I’ve declared to any one who would listen to me in my life and in this blog how much I was so in love with my husband, and anyone and everyone who saw us together knew that. Of all the asinine lies to make up to get me away from Chef and the motorcycle club so he could pursue his life in Vanity Fair unimpeded, that one was just ridiculous, and everyone knows it. (And a bit hypocritical if you ask me.) LOL!!! That is what you guys came up with?? 

I received this text message from Chef yesterday that was actually quite apologetic and beautiful, and of course, being the sucker that I am, I met with him for dinner so he could try to explain why he had decided to get me ostracized. He insisted that when he had me 86ed, he did it to protect himself legally since I am contemplating divorce. Not sure why he needed to bother doing that, but whatever. Man, wasn’t he surprised when I told him I already knew what he had actually used as his reason, and not from just one or two people either. His face was pretty priceless at that moment.

I then proceeded to tell him exactly what I had been told about my “punishment”, along with some interesting “facts” about being followed by members of the club,  being under surveillance 24 hours a day by the club, having my phone tapped, and the fact that this woman was telling people exactly the motel I’m living in and what car I was driving. That creeps me right out. I wanted to see Chef’s face when I asked him about it. Wow. He wasn’t expecting the gossip to actually reach me as quickly as it did, and he flipped out. His explanations were a rambled mess, and by the end of it, he promised me that he would lift the “86ing” because he knew I hadn’t deserved that, he knew I had not been unfaithful to him, swore he never said that, and that people were trying to destroy his life, and he called the woman’s old man right there in front of me and confronted him about this woman spreading “lies” about me, insisting that even though we were having difficulties, he wouldn’t tolerate my reputation being tarnished like that. He promised to lift the 86ing in a few days because he had just instituted it, and he needed a few days to undo it. That is, if I remained calm and didn’t try to wreck his life. I am speechless. I still am. Who cares about the 86ing? I want to know why my hotel address is being passed around to people I’ve barely ever met? What happens if some wanna-be weirdo guy decides to gangland my butt so he will get accepted in the motorcycle club? Evidently, he’ll know where to find me!!!

I listened very carefully to how Chef was wording things, and it made me just sad. My own husband spread those rumors.

When confronted,  woman who started out with evil glee in spreading gossip about me started tossing around blame to other women in the club, throwing as many people under the bus as she could to at least not be underneath it by herself, and I had to just shake my head. I was forwarded some of her texts messages, all laced with her joy at witnessing the pain I’m in, and so the lies and blame she was trying to share with her fellow club sisters are recorded in writing, on my phone.

Lies, lies, lies. Man, I’m so sick of all the lies.

No. I didn’t buy any of Chef’s excuses or explanations about the 86ing nonsense.  Chef is a magnificent orator, but I could see a man trying to run some damage control knowing full well that some angry, bitter lies, probably uttered in a really bad moment,  had just come back to haunt him. I may lose contact with a motorcycle club, and there are a few people in it I will miss, but I’ll tell you what. I knew within 24 hours just who was a real friend to me and who was not. And there were no surprises. I always knew all along who would be true to me in a bind and who wouldn’t. And those people have earned my utmost respect and loyalty, because they put their own status in this club on the line to show that they were truly people of character.  And there were quite a few of them. I always admire people with balls. :-)

Chef and I actually had a civil meal together last evening, not touching on some of the painful things that have been going on except for that stupid lie about me having an affair, and I was able to point out to him that with each passing day, I’m getting better, but he’s getting worse. My heart is definitely on the mend, and while this 86ing thing was a small punch in the stomach, it didn’t even begin to rank with all the other stuff he’s put me through. And because he had to lie to get it done, that was yet another thing he was going to have to face himself in the mirror about one day.

But what he said last night that made the biggest impression on me and one that I will never, ever forget was this:

His exact words were:

” I did this to you so you would know that I can.”

I know the club has people who read my blog to make sure I’m not telling any “secrets”, so I know they will read this and glean from it whatever they want. So, I’m going to say this.

I don’t lie.

I have no intention of trashing this club that has rejected me, not out of vengeance or anger, but not out of loyalty either, nor do I care one way or another if Chef stays in it or not. At one time, this was good for him, but lately, I see nothing positive about him being in it. It is what he uses to manipulate me with, it is the only thing that seems to give him any self-esteem, and in the entire time I’ve ever known him, he’s never been unemployed this long. It isn’t the m/c’s fault…it is Chef’s fault. If it hadn’t been the motorcycle club it would have been something else, so I’m not blaming the club. I enjoyed the many years I was welcome in it, especially in the beginning when Chef was healthy and we did so many of the trips together. But I never expected that if things got hard, the club would do anything at all to protect me. It is, after all, a man’s club, and I’ve always known that. I will miss some of the people I used to know, and I will always focus on the fun memories, and I’ll let go of the hurt of being ostracized.

That woman G probably watched too many episodes of Gangland and exaggerated what she had heard, but the fact that she told people which hotel I’m at, what kind of car I drive, that my phone is tapped, and that I’m under 24 hour surveillance is some pretty serious stuff. I’ve never even had a real conversation with this woman, so if she knows all of these things, than so do other people, and that really, really concerns me. What happens if some wanna-be hang-around guy decides to hurt me so he will get accepted in the motorcycle club? I’ve seen some of the people who’ve tried to join, and I consider this something I need to take seriously.

And if that all covert bullshit was really happening, then wow, guys. Some one really needs to read Sun Tsu’s Art of War. Seriously. What is the point of stalking someone if the stalked knows she’s being followed?? Someone knew where I was and they are talking. Not cool.

So,  today, my message isn’t about God, or my marriage, or even about motorcycle clubs. It is about gossip and lies, and how they can really blow up in your face. People with real character, loyalty, and trustworthiness are hard to find these days. Luckily, I still have those kinds of people in my life.

— Bird