FAQ: Are You Okay? Why Are You Crying?

This frequently asked question is something I hear a lot. Like A LOT! I figured I would make a post on it and get it all off my chest for today.

Are you okay?

I will be fine. I am tough. I have been through a lot in my life. If I can survive that, I can survive anything. I always have good days. Just some of those days have moments.

I was going to put a meme here. But they are all so depressing! Holy crap! The quotes for this one are morbid.

Why are you crying?

Because I need to. It’s how I stay strong.

Because I am thinking about my hopeless future. Not trying to sound like Dotchi Downer… but I am being honest here. My future plans are bleak. I am planning on becoming homeless and living in my van. I am actually quite excited about this. Every one else, not so much.

Everyone else wants me to think positive and plan on living in a house or a mobile home or something… riiiiiight, cuz money grows on trees, guys! I kind of need to have a steady income to plan for a future doesn’t include me living in a van.

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I mean, I can plan to live in a house all I want. As soon as I don’t have an income and can’t pay rent/mortgage, I will be evicted and will be homeless. Instead of going through all that, I will happily plan to live in my van.

I cry because I just need to feel it for a moment and get it out of my system so I can keep going every day. I mean, I can only pretend that everything is fine for so long.

I cry because I am in pain. Not just sometimes. All the time. Every minute of every day. It doesn’t go away. Ever. While I can hold back the tears most of the time, there are days when the pain is a little too much to handle any more.

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I can’t live my life always high. I need to have hours each day where I can function normally and get things done. But I pay for it in severe pain. Even crocheting sends me into tears.

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I have heard it all too.

“Exercise will help.” I can do light exercise. Beyond that, I would just hurt myself to the point I can’t move for days without bursting into tears from the pain.

“You should move to somewhere you can get a job.” I have applied for jobs all over the place for the last four years. Every week I search for jobs I can do. I send out applications. I send out resumes. Moving is not going to help me get a job when no one will hire me.

ND hahaha

“You should do something from home.” I am trying that. But I am finding that any crafts I make at home, I cannot sell for a price that will help me pay the bills. Here is an example: On a GOOD week, I can make four bags a week. In person, no one wants to pay over $25.

That’s $100 a week, IF I could continue making that many a week, I never had bad weeks, and I am able to sell every single bag I make. That covers rent. What am I supposed to do for electric? Internet (to sell some online for a little more)? And every medical bill that I simply can’t pay?

“You should apply for disability.” Been there. Done that. Have you actually tried that? No wonder so many people are homeless with disabilities. I paid into the system for years and I get NOTHING!

There are plenty of people I know who need it and do get it. But I also know people who cannot work and can’t get it. I have watched people become homeless in the process… which is where I am heading… because it’s impossible to get disability. And don’t get me started on the judge in my case!

And every other comment I keep hearing doesn’t really help either. You know what helps? Chocolate. And coffee. Or Chocolate coffee. I could live off those. Or, you know, hire me!

In case you want to hire me, here is what I can do/ cannot do:

This is not the complete list. I have to end the post eventually.

  • I can lift between 8 and 10 pounds… on a good day. Sometimes I can lift 12 pounds. It just depends on how many days I have to recover.
  • I can stand for about 30 minutes. Sometimes. Not always. But I am cool with bar stools also. And I have Lidoderm patches that help.
  • I can sit upright for about 20-30 minutes. Most of the time. Then I have to lay down for a while to calm the pain.
  • I can type. I don’t know my typing speed but most everyone I know is impressed with it. So it’s probably faster than normal.
  • I love blogging! I would blog more but I have been focusing on making things to sell and practicing other computer skills that might help me.
  • I love making memes! I use them because they make me smile and it’s easier than walking around looking for a good picture or searching through the billions of pictures I have on my computer for the right one.
  • I love photography! My camera is dying a slow death so I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures lately. But I LOVE photos!
  • I can crop, re-size, airbrush, and do other edits to photos. I am still learning some of the cooler things.

I can’t really do much most days. If I crochet, I can’t do anything else or it’s just too much.

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I am better at computer work than I am at anything else if I have to be quite honest.

If you don’t hire me…

If you can’t hire me, that’s okay… I wouldn’t hire me for most jobs either. BUT, if you do hire me, I am going to throw myself into the work and do it as well as I can and try to do the best I can!

But if you aren’t going to hire me… Don’t tell me how to live my life either. I don’t need antidepressants. That’s just another bill I can’t afford. I don’t need to move because I already applied elsewhere. No one is hiring me.

If you aren’t going to hire me, please tell me so I can cry and move on to something else. Making me wait and figure it out myself is a waste of my time.

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If I am crying, I am firmly planted in reality that day. Sometimes I just need to face the cold, harsh reality of shitty life so I can go back to hoping and searching for a way to survive. Sometimes I just need to feel the pain so I can be optimistic again.

I am allowed to cry without being shot in the ass with a tranquilizer dart. Their called emotions. They are totally normal. I don’t need people telling me what to do, I need coffee, a bag of chocolate, a date with Netflix, and a good cry. It gives me a mental vacation. Sometimes, that is all I really need.

Some days, I need to relieve the emotional pain so I can live every day with the physical pain and still force myself to smile. You can add that to my list of talents.

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I am home! And exhausted! And I need to Ramble Post!

We made it home just fine. I am still exhausted from the heat and Benadryl. I have not been on that much Benadryl in a long time. I woke up each morning and took 50 mg of Benadryl. Then every drink I had (Pepsi, water, coffee, etc) had a 50 mg Benadryl mixed into it. And there were still days that my tongue and throat felt like it was swelling. My ankles and feet swelled from the heat so much that I could not put my crocs on. Don’t judge me. I have them for when my feet swell. Only I ended up wearing slipper socks because my feet wear so swollen my oversize crocs were too tight.

I spent most of the time in the apartment either crocheting, browsing Facebook, or playing Minecraft… and becoming seriously depressed. I spent a lot of time choking down tears and reminding myself that it was temporary and I would be going home soon. I have to say, the semi-colon project popped into my head a lot. I wasn’t suicidal! I want to stress that. Sometimes the semi-colon just reminds me that I can keep going because I have done it again and again… and when it looks horrible, it will get better.

Which brings me to this week. I am coming down off the Benadryl. I lost 3 pounds since I got home two days ago. I feel better pain wise and swelling wise but I still hurt enough that I am still choking down tears… even on Marijuana. I think I need to take extra doses. If I had the money, I would do that.

Today I have am appointment about my swelling and I am going to talk to my doctor about how I can’t get up for too long without my ankles swelling. I’ll see how it goes.

Wednesday I will be a bundle of nerves. I have my disability hearing. I just wonder how much Dr Vindictive screwed me over with his calling all my doctors, lying, and labeling me with a mental illness I don’t have.  I keep hearing, “Oh you will get it this time! No problem!” But I am really disheartened and I have a seriously hard time believing it. If I don’t get disability, well, I will cry for about a week and then I’ll get my big girl panties on and… plan on homelessness. I do have a year or two before it will become a reality. I will have to file bankruptcy. I would say I would be hitting rock bottom but I am already there. I’ll just have to start decorating the bottomless pit and call it “no hope/ no job/ and no one will hire me”.

So, either the blog will start directing to more happy things that make me smile or I’ll start posting my preparedness of getting my van ready to live in. I am actually looking forward to it. No sarcasm. I have worked myself into excitement over the idea of living in a smaller space that will be easier to keep up with and having my own smaller home.

On Thursday I have therapy. I am going to be a bundle of nerves. This month has been hell on me. I have no idea of my future and I do not like asking for help.

I am still trying to think of things I can do to make money. Serious things. I am crocheting but if I made a scarf, I would have to sell it for like $50 to make any money at it. None of them really made it affordable for the buyer and NO ONE here wants to pay for your time, much less the materials. So I figured the prices at minimum wage ($8.05 here), $10 an hour, and $15 an hour. If it’s $8.05 then I will add in the material prices (of the yarn, I already have needles). At the other two, I will just eat the cost of materials.

A dishcloth took me an hour to make. I don’t think any dishcloth is worth $8.05 or $10 or $15. I may be undervaluing myself or my skill but would you buy a dishcloth for $8?

A scarf took me about four hours to make. Would you pay $32 for a scarf? Or $40? Or $60?

I decided to make a fun little lap blanket. It has taken me DAYS to make. By the time I am finished, my price just for my time will be something like $320 or $400 or $600. No one is going to buy a lap blanket for that price. Or would they?

I am just feeling like a failure. Well, not really a failure because I know I have talent and I do think I do a good job at things but nothing I do will realistically make me enough money to actually pay my bills.

I get really excited once in a while about something but it quickly fades as I realize the amount of opposition I am up against. Unless I charge like $3 an hour, I am not going to sell anything. I would have to live in my van anyway.

And if I don’t get disability, I am going to feel like a complete failure. I tried finding a job. But no one will hire me (I wouldn’t hire me). I tried applying at three places I know hire disabled people. They won’t even hire me because I am too much of a liability.

I tried pep talks like, “You can do it! You can find SOMETHING you can do for work… Hell, even your aunt with Downs Syndrome has a job.” Then it dawned on me. Even my relatives with disabilities have jobs and I am still over here like, “Hey can I borrow another $5? I ran out of soap and toilet paper.”

I am depressed. I’ll be totally honest. I cry a lot these days. My eyes burn from the tears now. But I keep thinking it will get better. The only thing is, it doesn’t get better. Talent is nice and all but it doesn’t pay the bills. Sure, I can make cool things but I wouldn’t make enough money to keep a cheap apartment much less pay the bills.

So… Wednesday either I can calm down and relax or I have a good breakdown and then plan to be homeless. Either way, I am due for a really good cry with snot bubbles and all.

50 Questions: The Last Thing That Made Me Cry

 What is the last thing that made you cry?

Here is an easy question with a very easy answer. The last thing that made me cry was back pain. While medical marijuana is nice for helping with pain, there are times when I wake up, or I move wrong, or I walk one step too far where I go from “manageable pain” to “oh dear GAWD! Make it stop!” within just a few minutes. Yesterday was one of those days. I sat down too fast and the pain started screaming.

Yes, I sat down too fast. That is why my pain went from a 5 to an 8 within minutes and there you have it. Not the most exciting question to answer or anything.

SQUIRREL ALERT!

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SQUIRREL!

My coffee is almost done brewing for the morning and I have to say, I am so proud of myself! I thought I was going to need to buy more coffee before my food money for the month got here but I have JUST enough to make it until food money day! YAY! Go frugal me!

Back to the original post

Most people won’t understand this if they aren’t living in chronic pain. I have Fibromyalgia and it makes my days very painful. I take marijuana for it (tincture in the morning, vape in the evening) and while I love it and I love living in a pain reduced life, some days just suck worse than others. 

I still can’t go and do the things I have wanted to do for a while. There is no camping (yet) or long walks or running and playing. We don’t have a pool here for swimming so my exercise is a but limited right now. But it’s still a hell of a lot better than what it was. I am not crying every day anymore. I just have those days where my body just snaps and yells, “I HATE YOU!” That was yesterday.

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WordPress Changed, Trying Razors, and Physical Therapy!

WordPress Change!

I haven’t been in a great mood lately. Mostly sleepy and hurting pretty bad. That’s why I haven’t been on here much. But I do plan on getting on here more and typing on here and my other blog. Just a couple of days a week. I want to ease into it. When I logged on today, WordPress has changed! WOW! I kind of like it. It’s sleek and nice. Give me a minute while I admire the page.

Updated: Apparently that slick new layout works only when you start a new post from your “my blogs” page. I went to the dashboard to this blog and opened the post from there so I could finish it and it opened in the regular page. I am cool with both.

Trying Razors.

I was watching Philip DeFranco (link will open in a new window) and he always has some blurb about some product that he uses and then shares a link for you to check it out. If something looks interesting, I check it out. Well, today he had the link to a blade place called Dollar Shave Club. I have heard about them before but I decided to check them out for myself.

I ordered the $1 “Humble Twin” to try. It’s $2 shipping and handling which brings my 5 razors to $3. Considering that I live in an area where razors are expensive and the price keeps going up, I decided to try the Dollar Shave Club. I recently paid $11 for blades. And by “recently”, I mean like a year ago because I can’t afford $15 (the price now) for razor blades.  Continue reading

New Neighbors, Pain Relief, and Trying to Get Motivated.

I haven’t posted lately because my meds have me knocked out. But, with new meds comes relief from the ever grinding, relentless pain. Remember when I posted about giving my pain a number? Well, I can honestly say that this makes it easier to pick a number. I am not in agonizing pain all day and my mood is improving dramatically because of it. I able to load the whole dishwasher, do some laundry (a light load), fold clothes, clean the bathroom, tidy the house a little… you know, feel useful and like I am doing something. I didn’t complete everything all in one round but hey, anything is better than sitting and playing online all day!

Now that I am on the right meds (Gabapentin, 800 mg of ibuprofen, and Methocarbomal) I can totally tell the nerve pain from the muscle spasm pain and arthritis pain. VERY different. Continue reading

Relief! Sweet Relief!

I went to the doctor yesterday because my back was KILLING me. He checked me over, said he is sure I am having a disc issue in my upper back. Oh goody. My upper back is going to be just as bad as my lower back. Yea. He ordered X-rays since my insurance won’t pay for an MRI (which is what I need) unless I get X-rays first. He also told me that he hurt his neck last year and ended up having surgery. He knows what I am going through.

He told me they usually treat this with Prednisone (a no-no for me) and some other meds. I totally wasn’t fully listening at this point. He said surgery and my brain shut off. But he started me on Gabapentin, Robaxin, and 800 mg of ibuprofen. Then I went to get my X-rays and go home.

I decided to try the Robaxin first and give it a whirl for a couple of days then try out the Gabapentin if all went well. I know better than to try two new medications at the same time. Robaxin seemed like it would be promising and so that was the one I chose. I know I respond well to muscle relaxers.

Here is how it went.

I opened the bottle and gawked at the size of the pill. It is huge! Not as huge as the ibuprofen, but not small at all. I crushed both of them with my pill crusher, dumped them on the spoon, added a bit of coffee and choked them down. NASTY taste! Worst medicine to have to crush and swallow! Ew!

Then I sat and chilled waiting for it to kick in. I ended up feeling a weird warming sensation and the feeling of just turning into Jell-O. The whole idea that I was finally at a point where I could smile because the pain didn’t put me in tears was quite nice. I ended up laying down after I ate something and loaded the dishwasher. I could still feel the pain, but I wasn’t completely chair bound and crying from it. I laid on the hide-a-bed and had planned to just chill for a bit. Hours later, I woke up still on the hide-a-bed, still in the same position, and drooling all over the pillow.

I slept so well I didn’t want to move when I woke up. Parts of me were numb and I couldn’t really feel my abdomen. My legs felt like someone had poured them onto the bed. I was awake but it took a few minutes to fully wake up. I was able to move without doing Lamaze breathing. I managed to get up and move about. I think I was just so exhausted from poor sleep with so much pain that I slept like I was in a coma. It was a nice change. I felt rested (once I got moving) and I wasn’t in agony.

So far, no problems for me. I have a weird feeling of warmness throughout my body, but I’ll take that to sharp, shooting pains.

If all goes well, I will try the Gabapentin on Thursday.

Wishing It Were All Different

This is my journal for therapy. You know, that journal I am to keep but, I don’t. Why? Probably because I can’t handle going through my past in therapy so I don’t want to deal with looking through it again in a written journal. Yes, that is the lamest excuse ever. I know this. And that is why I started this blog.

A little about me: I am not really crazy. I just have a ton of anxiety issues. They medicate me to make me calmer. I take Clonidine once a day, sometimes twice a day. I am in therapy because back in 2011, my whole world changed. Let’s start just before that though.

In 2008: I left a bad relationship and became homeless with two kids. We lived in a van and a tent on the beach. We finally moved to Montana so I could be closer to my family. After three days here, my ex decided to call my dad. Understand, I wasn’t asking my dad and mom to take sides. I just needed support. They were very supportive, that is, until my ex called them.

I am not sure what he said, and frankly, I don’t care either. But after his conversation with my dad, my relationship with my dad changed. I thought it was just me but other people started pointing it out too. He, and mom, went from supportive to “I just don’t understand why you left him during a mid-life crisis”.

Quick note: Mid life crisis lasts a small while. It has things like buying a new car, wanting to drive your new Harley across country, wanting to explore the world, getting a tattoo, or something along those lines.

It doesn’t last for 12 years and include having a wife, a mistress, and a lover, trying to make your wife think she is crazy by playing mind games or holding a knife to your throat in front of your wife and youngest kid. It doesn’t include trying to get your wife and lover to move in together so you and her and her and your kids and her kids can all be “one big happy family”.  M’kay?

Back to 2008: After that debacle, I did find a job, a very good job! I was making $27,000 a year BY MYSELF! I had new friends. I had family nearby. I had a support network like I have never had before.  That was so different to my married life. Probably because he ran off all of my friends… I was genuinely happy. I don’t think I have ever been that happy, honestly.

In 2009: Life was good. That whole year was just fantabulous! Seriously! I can’t think of a better word. My ex was being an on-again off-again jerk but, I was too happy having a life to give a crap.

After a few months he started complaining that the boys, who were in public school, weren’t learning anything in public school. He berated me and told me it was my fault and I needed to do something about it. I had finally had enough and put my foot down. It was NOT my curriculum. I was NOT homeschooling them anymore. I had talked to the superintendent about my complaints and nothing changed. If he wanted something done about it, HE needed to come complain. I was done with it.

About a month later he called and said he wanted me to homeschool the kids like I was doing before we moved here. Hmmm, odd, but okay. I agreed. The next school year started and the boys were homeschooled and my ex wasn’t such a jerk after that. We started talking in a more civil way and started working together a little better.

In 2010: I swayer (in a southern drawl) that I was sick all of 2010. I ended up going down to visit my ex with my kids and got the scare of my life. There was a mass on my liver. Talk about a heart stopper. Turned out that my liver was just GIGANTIC!

I ended up going back home to Montana and got sicker and sicker. The doctors here wouldn’t listen to me. I was getting sent home from work constantly because I was too weak and sick to do my job. But the doctors here kept telling me it was all in my head.

By mid-2010 I was fed up with the doctors here and drove 500 miles away to a Navy hospital to get some help. Turns out that “all in your head” was this…

  • a VERY large liver, bigger than they said in San Diego
  • Gastritis
  • Duodenitis
  • Mallory-weiss tears in my stomach
  • Adhesions in my esophagus.
  • Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
  • Biliary Dyskenesia
  • 47 food allergies
  • Gluten-intolerance
  • and a few others. I can’t remember them all.

I went from being told I was going to die, to feeling like a brand new person. I was better, healing, thinner, happier, and back to work. I was going to live! You have no idea how hard it was to write my children letters for after I died because I thought I would be dead in a year.

In 2011: I was working hard, saving money, enjoying life, and generally on top of the world again! My children were also tested for food allergies as well. LeBraun has 37 food allergies and Leeli has 26 food allergies. They were improving in health also. We were all losing weight. Life was good!

Then June 26th happened. I was working in a nursing home. I was working with an unstable woman and she fell backwards. Out of instinct, I caught her. HUGE mistake! I ended up on Work Comp with a protruding disc in my lower back. Those things HURT!

I went to physical therapy and it only made it worse. I ended up making an appointment with the Pain Clinic. During my wait to go to them, I took it easy and went for a walk each day. I used emu oil on my back and slowly, my back started to heal. I was super positive that I would be able to go back to work if my progress kept up.

When I went to the Pain Clinic, they scheduled me for an Epidural Steroid Injection. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but my thoughts were “If it helps, cool!” And that was a huge mistake!

The day of the injection, I didn’t pee for 14 hours because I COULDN’T pee. I had to go to the Emergency Room and get catheterized. My legs were burning like crazy, my skin was hot and flushed, I was having angioedema attacks, my legs were weak and I kept falling… and so much worse! Those were the better symptoms. I ended up learning to catheterize myself so I could pee.

And the entire time, the doctor kept saying “Huh. That’s weird.” Like he had never heard of this happening before. I know better now.

I started going to therapy because the doctors really made me feel like it was all in my head again. Although, in my heart, I knew that it wasn’t. Therapy has really helped me come to terms with myself and my limitations.

In 2012: I went for a second opinion. The doctor was quite honest with me. He told me to find another career, and preferably something I could do at home because I would never be able to work outside my home again. I didn’t believe him at the time. I do now, but at that point, I didn’t want to believe I was disabled permanently.

Lat 2012, I settled with work comp and I got a one lump sum settlement. I survived on that for quite some time. It lasted 1 and 1/2 years. I was surprised it lasted that long.

All of 2013: I worked at trying to find something I could do at home. Blogging or writing seemed to be the two things I do well. I through my whole being into making it as a writer.

I am working on making crocheted items to sell, but my crochet skills aren’t the best. I am working on that though. I also made jewelry but, it seems like everyone wants the Wal-Mart price. No one wants to pay for the time it took me to make anything. It was depressing and slowly, I moved away from trying to get crafty. No one wants to pay $15 for earrings, $35 for a scarf, $50 for a bag… No one can afford that. If I sold it to them at the prices they wanted, I would be making $1 an hour, not counting the material I have to buy to make the items.

I started focusing on writing. My Adsense revenue started going up a little and I was getting hopeful that I could earn a very small wage at doing something I love. It might take a few years to get it to a livable wage, but then I would be able to actually support myself again.

I finally gave in to my limits and filed for disability but I keep getting told that I will be denied a few times and that it is hard to get on disability. But I have to try. I need an income. I can’t survive on nothing forever.

January 2014: I decided to try cleaning houses for a living. Nothing major, light housework. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t dress myself without help from someone else. I can’t clean my house without help. Some days, I can’t stand long enough to cook myself a meal. Why I thought I could make it as a housekeeper is beyond me.

I could clean for about two hours before I had to quit. I  could barely get back out to the car. One day, I ended up on the floor and was debating if I should call for help or just crawl out to the car because legs just would NOT work with me. I finally got up. But it really made me rethink the whole idea that I could actually work outside my home.

Each day, I was horrible pain. Each day, I would sit in my chair and cry. Each day, I really thought that, when I sat down and my legs would go numb, that one day they wouldn’t come back. I was so afraid of what I had become. An invalid.

I had to skip a day so I could sort of recover. By the time my friend’s mom volunteered to take my place, I finally hung my head in shame and let her. I could not do it. Who was I trying to fool? Everyone who knows me, knows that I can’t do it. My kids were worrying about me. I had no idea why I was even trying so hard. I had put in application after application for jobs too. But, now, I know I won’t be able to work at those places. I can’t even clean a little bit.

So I started focusing, again, on my blogging. I was checking Adsense every day and trying to figure out what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong, and how I could do better. One day, while I was in my Adsense dashboard, it had a suggestion. Change an ad to make it better. I thought, “Well, it’s Adsense telling me to do this. They know what they are talking about! Okay! I will!” And I did.

The next week was wonderful! My Adsense was going up. I was making about $10 a day. The ad that I adjusted was getting 98% of the clicks. Adsense really knew what they were talking about!

Then I got an email from Adsense stating that my account was disabled for “invalid account activity” and I could appeal. They wouldn’t say what the activity was, or what I did wrong. They gave me a link to their policy page.  I went down everything on the page and I couldn’t find anything I did to get my account disabled.

I posted in the forums and a guy answered my question saying I probably already found my answer to what I did wrong, I just didn’t realize it yet. Putting an ad on your blog that could cause accidental clicks is against their policy. When I set the ad to “blend” and not obviously stand out like I had it before, I had set myself up for myself account to be disabled. Because that is against their policy.

It’s the only thing I could think of that caused that. And now, I am angry at Google. VERY angry! So mad, that I took my blog that I had over there for 11 years and moved it to WordPress.

…And now: I have no idea what I am going to do. I don’t know how I am going to make an income, no matter how small.

I really can’t work outside my home. I can barely take care of my needs on a day-to-day basis. I am in pain constantly. I hurt so much. My legs don’t like to work. I have a chair that stands me up so I don’t need help standing up from someone else. I have a walker for when my legs hurt so bad they don’t want to work.

But seriously… I feel like I am living a life of punishment. I can’t have anything good happen to me. Why? I am seriously wondering WHY!? Why can’t I have ONE good break in life? Maybe I already did.

Plan for the future? sure did! I have a van I can live in when my kids turn 18. I will be homeless, but I will be able to have a roof over my head.

And now, I am finally listening to my therapist and keeping a journal. Now everyone can see how crappy my life is instead of just keeping it to myself and trying to stay positive.

At least, if there is anything good to come of all this, my ex is actually being very nice to me. He is helping me pay my bills and making sure we have enough food. If nothing else, I am grateful for that.