The Mundling Zone

Thoughts, rants, and raves from the desk of Michelle Mundling

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Meeting an Old Friend

Ran into an old classmate this morning while I was shopping at Wal-Mart. It sure was good to see her again; I had not seen her since our 15 year class reunion. She was (and still is) the kind of person who is pretty on the inside as well as the outside. I always appreciated her kindness in school (you know how cruel teens can be). She is truly a real, genuine nice person. My heart felt so warm with sincere, compassionate vibes coming from her. The Lord is truly strong within her.


Friday, July 30, 2004

Wal-Mart/KD's Cafe

I had forgotten just how huge our Wal-Mart supercenter is.

The other day, I had to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some items related to my job. It wasn't long before I was wandering up and down the aisles looking over everything they had. I think I'll go there tomorrow morning and plan on spending a couple of hours there. Now, if I just had the money to do the shopping I'd really like to do ;-)

At least I finally got the oil changed in my truck while I was there. The truck has turned over 70,900 miles, and those oil changes have got to keep it running for at least 200,ooo miles if I'm going to get my money's worth out of it.

In other news, some of us greenies decided to eat at KD's Cafe tonight ... just for the hell of it. I had the shrimp scampi, and it was delicious. It wasn't served the way Red Lobster serves shrimp scampi, but that's okay with me. It was a creative and tasty dish. KD certainly knows how to put ingredients together.

KD also has an infectious sense of humor. I had an argument with someone shortly before leaving to go to the restaurant. I almost didn't go because I was upset and didn't want to drag anybody down with my depression. The greenies there were very understanding and were helping me get over my frustration. However, it was KD who got me to smile and laugh. It was just what the doctor ordered. I was fine the rest of the evening. As an added bonus, the person I had the argument with was a lot nicer to me when I saw her again.

We have not had a "Greenie Party" since December 2002. It's hard to host one because there are so many of us and not everyone has large homes to accomodate a lot of people. Maybe when the weather gets a little cooler, we could rent some place for the afternoon/evening and have one then. It's pretty hot here in the south right now. I'm ready for winter again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Time Off ... So Close

As of this writing, I'm getting ready to go to work.  I'm supposed to be off work the rest of this week, but I didn't quite get all my work done yesterday.  Sure, I could leave it, but I'm one of those people who would worry about it all during my time off.

I've got projects that I have planned that I am going to take care of during my time off.  It mostly consists of the pitch-and-toss variety.  It's time to clean out the clutter and reorganize; I guess illness in the family will do that to you.  All the storage containers, shelves, and cabinets are not going to do you any good unless you plan and act.  Now, getting the energy to do this ... that's another story.  I would take one look at my intended project, get this sense of feeling overwhelmed, and decide to get on the computer instead.  I've been reading books on how to become organized, and they all say the same thing:  it's not going to be done in a day.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Infidelity and Abuse in Marriages and Relationships

I have some random thoughts about recent events happening that are bothering me, and I feel the need to express myself.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote a book a few years ago called Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives. Regardless of how you may feel about Dr. Laura, her past, and/or her political leanings, this book hit the nail on the head on why women stay in bad relationships and how they can escape from them. I have recommended this book to every female friend who was unhappy in her relationship or marriage, though I doubt any of them read the book.

In each case, my friends were justified in their dissatisfaction and/or unhappiness. However, each friend had a recurring mantra: "...but I love him, and I know he loves me too." No matter how confusing or how cruel his behavior was, every heart-breaking story of love abused and/or betrayed ended with some variation of that mantra. Sometimes, it was all I could do to keep from grabbing their shoulders and shaking some sense into them, screaming, "Are you listening to yourself? Do you realize what you're saying?" These are smart women who are blinded by their feelings for their men. If they could break free from the spell their husbands/boyfriends/significant others had on them, they'd see they were being mistreated, could do much better, and would leave. Even when it's blantantly obvious the spouse/significant other is cheating, abusive, neglectful, etc., each still wanted to hang on.

Actions speak louder than words. When your husband won't do anything around the house, but will zip out as soon as a neighbor calls asking him to do the same chore he's neglecting at home, that should be a red flag. When your husband doesn't take you out someplace, makes all the excuses in the world as to why, but then will go off with someone else to that same place, that should be a red flag. When he supposedly works all these overtime hours, doesn't get paid for these hours, won't do anything to demand payment for these hours, and still continues to work for that employer .... yes, red flag time.

Here are some of the behaviors I've witnessed or been told about by a few of my friends: unreachable by phone, acting different (short tempered, distant, defensive, etc.), neglecting chores at home, accusing them of cheating, withdrawing from family/friends, pointing out their spouse's flaws, the " I love you, but Iím not IN love with you " talk, secret e-mail accounts , up on computer to all hours , errands that should take 1/2 hour take much longer, claims to work overtime, yet no overtime on checks, too many visits to "friends", the "he's/she's just a friend" story, coming home late saying they " just lost track of time." This is a partial list compiled from http://www.survivinginfidelity.com. The complete list can be found here.

In the book Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives, Dr. Laura covered every situation, including the women who won't do anything to change the situation they're in. These women whine and cry and ask advice about their situation, but they do very little if anything about it. Dr. Laura advises them that their decision to stay in their unhappy situation should be respected. She also tells them they need to shut up and stop whining about it to other people. I couldn't have said it better myself. Years ago, some of us at work tried to help co-worker who was in a bad relationship; he was cheating on her and was blaming her for his cheating. She complained about it and about feeling trapped and asked each of us separately what she should do about it. Of course, we all said the same thing: dump his sorry butt. She did manage to leave him one time. We collected and gave her money and food to help her out. She went right back to him in less than a week. What's worse, he was overheard bragging about getting some money from her. As badly tempted as we were to ask for our money back, we kept our mouths shut. She quit work right after that. Whether it was out of shame or at her boyfriend's demand, I don't know.

No, I don't think I'm being too hard on any of them. I've been in an abusive relationship before. It was just a casual fling that lasted a little over a year, but I was manipulated and coerced into doing things that were ultimately painful. It was not until someone else showed an interest in me that I realized I was being used and mistreated. Of course, he blamed me, accusing me of "toying" with him and being mean to him. He got the message once I filed the police report against him. I won't go into detail of what I have heard about him since then, but I will say that I was wise to end the relationship and file that report. In my case, the warning signs that I should have heeded were: promises made but not kept, his not wanting anyone to know of the relationship, "don't call me ... I'll call you," "do it my way or I'll leave," blaming me for his behavior, claiming I was the one mistreating him when it was the other way around. I think that's when I decided to give celibacy a try. You know what? There's a lot to be said for it, but I digress ...

Here are some other web sites that are informative and can help you save your marriage/relationship or give you the strength to leave.

http://www.chatcheaters.com/
This site offers guidance, advice, and counseling concerning infidelity, both online and offline. It helps you spot the warning signs of possible cheating. According to this web site, cyber sex is the same as physical sex; the site explains why.

http://www.seeitandstopit.org/
Although this site focuses on teen dating abuse, the behaviors could also apply to the adult dating scene as well. In fact, a couple of scenarios grabbed my attention because some of these same abuses and excuses in the profiles were done to my above-mentioned female friends. In fact, I think this site is what started my thought processes that led me to write this entry. This site is helpful as it give examples on how to recognize abuse and stop it.

Before I close, I want to stress than men can and are abused in marriages and relationships, too. There are men who have been victimized in their relationships by women who cheated on them, abused them, neglected them, and/or took advantage of them in some way, shape, or form. I would also like to take this time to ask you, the reader, to make a donation to your local shelter for the battered and abused. It doesn't have to be money, it could be food, clothing, toys, personal hygiene items, books ... anything will help. You will help these poor souls to make that first step toward turning their lives around and giving them a chance for a happier life.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Another Open Letter to Soul Sister's soon-to-be Ex-Husband

Dude! What part of leave me alone in Soul Sister's e-mail to you do you not understand?

From November 2002 until last month, you have broken every promise you made to your wife. You'd neglect things around the house for months. However, as soon as your mistress (I'll call her Mindy) called wanting something done, you'd dash over there so fast you'd leave skid marks! Then you started using money (that should have been used to pay the household bills) and partied with Mindy and her friends feasting on Pizza Hut pizza and other take-out cuisine while your wife and step-daughter were home living on peanut butter sandwiches. You stopped paying the utility bills, so the phone and electricity were shut off. Of course, this didn't bother you ... you were staying with Mindy in her home. Meanwhile, your wife and step-daughter were driven from their home. You made it clear that you wanted them to leave. That violated her rights as your wife, but what did you care?

She eventually found a place of her own for her and her daughter. She kept trying to work things out with you, but you still chose to associate with that marriage-breaking adultress. It seemed like you came around only when you wanted something. Then, if your wife didn't give it to you, you'd turn on her and cut her down. You don't do this to someone you're supposed to love.

As she spent time away from you, she decided to go on with her life. Oh no! As soon as you found out other men were interested in meeting and becoming friends with her, you accused her of the very thing you were blatently guilty of. I can personally attest that she had been faithful to you, and your double standards don't hold water. Your accusations were uncalled for.

You even tried to make up crises as an attempt to get her attention and her sympathy. When you got in trouble with the law, she was the one who bailed you out. No one else. Just her. Did you know that paying your bail bonds left her in financial hardship? Did you ever pay her back the money she loaned you? You pushed her a little too far. The one night might have had a legitimate crisis, she decided to leave you to suffer in a mess of your own creation. Yes, I can imagine just how cold a trailer can get when it's only 24 degrees outside at night. Whose fault was it that the electricity didn't get paid?

Soul Sister realized that in order to get away from your manipulations, she needed to put some serious distance between you and her. Even her daughter was ready to leave! So, they packed up their stuff and made preparations to move. You did help her move; I will give you that. However, it got your attention, didn't it? Made it much harder for you to keep stringing her along, didn't it? Of course, that didn't stop you from trying.

Things were extremely unpleasant for her for a few months. You used that to try to convince her to move back to your town. You almost succeeded. However, between me and her friends in chat, she came to her senses.

Then she found her own place. Oh, how convenient for you! You just lost your trailer and needed a place to stay. All of a sudden, you want to move here, bring the kids and resume your marriage and family! You could have succeeded; you had her bamboozled into thinking you changed. When you left, she was loopy-headed thinking she was finally going to get her family back. However, you kept making promises you wouldn't keep. For someone who claimed to love his wife, you sure didn't show it.

You promised to fix her car, you came without the parts, you promised to come back the next weekend with the parts to do the labor, and you didn't show up. Not so much as a phone call. It was two weeks before you got a hold of her, and it was only to tell her you were in jail. Was Soul Sister too hard to find? No. You couldn't have someone else call on your behalf? No. She was counting on that promise to have her car fixed because the rental car's rates were eating her alive financially. She frantically sent you e-mails, literally begging you to hurry up and get here to fix the car like you promised. Nope, you were no where to be found. She was about to lose everything because she took you at your word, still trying to give you the benefit of the doubt even though you didn't deserve it.

You promised you'd be here with her last month. The date you promised came and went with no sign of you in sight. No phone call, no e-mail, no text messages ... nothing! It was the straw that broke the camel's back. She finally realized that she could not trust you, and the marriage was irretrievably broken.

She sends you an e-mail that plainly and clearly said, "I'm filing for divorce. Do not e-mail me, do not call me, do not come around me." Talk about opening the floodgates of communications!!! All of a sudden, you're flooding her emailbox with e-mails and ringing her phone off the hook "wanting to talk." It's too late to talk. You had your chance. You had lots of chances, and you blew them all.

What it looks like to Soul Sister and me is that you want to come around just often enough to keep her "hooked" on you because she still has feelings for you. You've been using her as your "safety net" for when you mess up so you have someplace to go or someone to bail you out if you get into trouble. The longer she is away from your influence, the stronger she gets, and the more clear-headed she gets about what she wants and how to go about getting them. Then you come around saying you love her, and it gets her all confused, just to keep stringing her along. Guess what? She cut the strings! That's why you've been going overboard with the e-mails and phone calls; you're trying to reestablish that "connection." She's onto your scheme, and she's not falling for it again.

You even had the audacity to come to her home at 2:30 Saturday morning to find out, "what's going on?" You got your answer. It was bad enough you rehashed your tired old lines to get her to take you back. However, you sunk low ... you brought up the kids and used them as leverage. When you saw it wasn't working, you brought up your mother and her poor health. When you saw that wasn't working either, you sunk lower than a skunked snake: you threated to perform a drastic act if she didn't take you back. That was the scummiest, lowest act of emotional blackmail you could have done. She and I came to the same conclusion: how dare you!

And to top it all off, you drove here in Mindy's van! I don't get it: she has stolen checks from your checking account (by your own admission) and bounced them. Instead of prosecuting her, you pay for the bounced checks and the fees. You gave her cash to pay for your probation fees and she kept the money instead and got you put in jail. Why are you still associating with her??? You claim to love your wife, but you keep going back to Mindy even after Soul Sister stated that renouncing all association with Mindy would be a requirement of reconciliation with her. And you want to know why we don't believe anything you say anymore? All you proved that morning was that you hadn't changed and you're still blaming everyone else but the real cause of the breakup: YOU.

Now, I'm going to clarify a couple of things:

First, I do not hate you. I just hate the way you've treated my friend the last 19 months. I do not trust you, especially after you made a threat concerning my job (by the way, my supervisor was advised of this threat). Ever since I met you, I have been supportive of the relationship you had with Soul Sister. I even defended your relationship against her parents and her brother. When I came to visit, I NEVER came empty handed. I helped out with groceries or gasoline expenses. I was not a mooch nor freeloader. I think I proved my friendship and support. I am not your enemy. I am merely expressing my feelings, based on my observations. I'm not out to trash you; I'd be using your real name if I was.

Second, Soul Sister and I care very much for your mother. We think the world of her. We know she's not in good health. However, it is too emotionally painful for Soul Sister to contact your mother at this time. Stop using your mother to make Soul Sister reconsider her decision to file for divorce. The emotional blackmail is uncalled for. You prevented Soul Sister from contacting your mother for a long time, claiming that your sister did not want your wife to call. Now, all of a sudden, your sister is allowing your wife to call and your mother is available for phone calls?

Your constant e-mails promising the world and your incessant phone calls have got to stop. It's time to face reality. You lost her. She told you more than once, "don't call, don't e-mail, don't visit." It means "leave me alone." If you continue to bombard her with e-mails and phone calls, you're leaving yourself wide open to be charged with stalking and harassment. Is that what you want? Considering your current circumstances right now, it would be in your best interest to back off and leave her alone as she has requested.

If you really truly love Soul Sister, let her go. It's over. Let her go.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Pardon the mess ...

If you've been to this site before, you know that this page looks radically different from the previous one. I'm making my journal the main page of the site. The site menu will be to the right. Nothing has been deleted ... yet.

I just feel a change is in order. I've done the frilly, fancy, graphic-intensive website thing, and now I'm ready to be taken more seriously for my writing. I'm not abandoning doing web graphics, but that's not the sole purpose of my site. I'm still keeping my other pages the same. This site is to allow me to express myself, whether it's my crafts, my poetry, my essays, my pictures, or my web graphics.

The biggest challenge ahead of me right now is to decide what to do with my webring data. I will probably have to move them to their own separate page or end my membership with them. To be brutally honest, I'm not getting the web traffic from them that they implied I'd get. I'm proud to be affiliated with Phenomenal Women of the Web and Designed by Women for what they represent; please don't misunderstand me. However, they have requirements as to where and how their webring information is to be placed. The trick is trying to comply without cluttering this Blogger template or creating an alternative page. Just from the way things are going, it looks like the alternative page will be the direction I take.

I love my weather decals, but I've got to figure out where the heck to put them. The missing children's banner is another matter altogether. It's important to me to want to keep it. However, unless it's placed prominantly somewhere for people to see it, it's not going to do much good.

I've removed the archive links because I'm going to create a site index page of all the blog entries. That will take some time, but look for it in the next couple of days.

So now, the renovation is underway ...