As you see, I've removed all posts pertaining to our recent tsunami here at the cottage. She was found. She left on her own. She's doing WTF she wants to do. That's the end of that, for now.
To say that all of this hasn't taken its toll on me (it's taken its toll on all of us, especially Nettl, but this is my space where I get to talk about myself—no disrespect or minimizing intended) would be dishonest as well as out-and-out stupid. People know better. Given my health issues and my age, I would have to be made of stone for it not to flatten me, but I'm doing better than I might have predicted. I've discovered I have an iron will where survival and not falling prey to other people's bullshit is concerned. Throughout the ordeal I felt a little out of the loop, though. A step-parent is a step-parent, after all, but I think it was a good thing. If I'd been given the hundreds of well-wishes and comments that Nettl got in Facebook, I might have absorbed the whole mess a lot more and would be in bed right now nursing a thyroid burnout like never before. I also would not have been able to be strong for her when she needed me most, so I've decided that being overlooked was a good thing and exactly what had to be. No hard feelings where that's concerned, but I admit I'm experiencing a lot of resentment where the short-lived euphoria of our wedding week is concerned. That joy, simply put, was hijacked and held hostage. After waiting and working for 15 years to be granted the freedom to marry, having that joy so cruelly stolen from us is something that will take me a long time to forgive. If I speak too plainly, I'm sorry, but the truth needs to be said and after this post I won't mention any of it ever again.
There's also the Wicked Witch of the West issue that always arises when a crisis hits us. She peers into her magic ball and sends out her flying monkeys to kick me when I'm down. Every. Frickin'. Time. This blog ands the page I'd set up to find our missing daughter were crawled by her IP about every 30 seconds of every day. Site crawler extensions are easy to install via Firefox (which is the browser she uses) and she racked up literally hundreds of hits on my Statcounter reports. Pathetic, especially since she's been creepy-crawly me for 12 years now. What a waste of the short time she's been given on this planet. But you know, I quit being intimidated by her a long time ago. Bite my ass. I just installed a redirect script and until she learns how to change her IP, she can't get in here. And if she does learn how to do that, I'll just add that IP to the code. Hell, I can block the whole of Germany if I want to. Meantime, thanks for increasing my hit counts.
Now, it's time for me to get back to what life was, although I know that's not realistic. But I can do my Alla Breve work, I can go back to writing my memoirs and I can get back to my album. I can stand with Nettl to make the upcoming holidays as happy as possible with or without a houseful of grown kids regardless of their reasons for not being here. We'll have three—my two sons and Nettl's eldest daughter. Her son will be busy at his job as a chef at Aria in the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. Don't ask me about the youngest daughter because I don't know. Hey, three out of five isn't bad!
UPDATE: Things got much better very quickly after receiving a phone call from our girl. This alone healed so many places in me and the anger and resentment are much diminished. In fact, I think they're morphing into a kind of "Glad that's over" exhalation.