While I was still in the marriage with the EXNH-Psychopath
1) I developed an interest in gardening.
2) I spent a great deal of time/energy learning about gardening.
3) I created extensive planting beds for flowers, improved our landscaping (both on my own and with hired help), and installed raised beds for growing food.
4) I gardened and composted with our children, who were very young. We loved worms, and still do.
5) I planned and installed an elaborate Butterfly Garden, using native plants.
He did nothing.
When I left him:
1) He told the custody evaluator (he demanded a custody evaluation) that I spent a lot of time gardening and it only resulted in a small bowl of lettuce.
The only thing I missed, and still miss, about my home (that I still own) with the EXNH-Pscyhopath is the garden. My children tell me about how big the butterfly bush has grown, and how beautiful the plants are, and how many butterflies come.
One day recently, my daughter expressed a great deal of upset:
1) Daddy told the NW that HE did everything. HE built the gardens.
2) The NW is using my gardening tools to work in the vegetable garden that I built with my children.
3) He still does nothing, and the NW works with my children in the garden.
The gardens, and the other land-use projects that I had planned with the EXNH-Psychopath were a trap. They kept me trapped. They took a lot of time, and I needed to get away. The EXNH-Psychopath has used the projects that I had planned, to Trap/Trick/Entice the NW. SHE is doing the projects that I set in motion. I expect HE is taking the credit for everything. For all of my hard work, for all of the THINKING it required.
So, it pains me to create gardens here, at my rental house, wonderful as it is here. I don't know how long we'll live here. Oh well. Last summer at this rental house, we had so much lettuce that we couldn't even eat it all. So much arugula. We grew the most delicious potatoes I've ever eaten. I just planted some Milkweed seeds for the Monarchs. It hurt me to do that. It brought up all these memories and feelings. Even though I don't know how long we'll be here, I planted a butterfly bush and a rose bush. I planted some other flowers too. And we have a happy clan of Salamanders living under a pile of leaves by a brick wall. We throw them extra worms and other crawlers. We'll keep them wet and cool all summer. They are our little pets.
I'm glad that my children have the butterfly garden to look at when they are at their fathers. I miss all the beautiful Echinacea plants that I chose. I wish I could see the result of my efforts. I wish I could tend to it.
Someday, I will have my very own place, big or small, where I can make a Butterfly Garden that I will never have to leave. I can plant as many flowering shrubs and trees in whatever colors I choose.
I really do mourn the loss of my Butterfly Garden. I loved it so.