1) Dear Diary,

If I don't write these feelings out of me I'm gonna wind up saying something that I regret and only make things worse. How do you tell someone – especially the man you are married to – that better than 80% of his problems are self-made? How did things get this messed up? It was never supposed to be this way.

The things he says and does hurt. The things he doesn't say and do hurt worse.

Where did this meanness come from? How can he be that way with me and so different with almost everyone else?

And again he's gone slamming out of the door threatening not to ever come home. I know it's awful, and when I calm down I know I'll feel ashamed, but sometimes I'd just about burst to be able to tell him, "Then stop talking about it and get it over with already."

I don't really feel that way. At least I pray I don't. I'm just tired of being his target. Tired of being the only one that sees him this way. But at the same time I'd be completely shamed if other people did know. It would be like admitting that I'm failing as a wife.

It isn't my fault that he got laid off … again. It isn't my fault that the hours were cut back at the hair salon … again. I've still got my regular clients but walk-ins are few and far between these days … and so are tips. We're lucky that his parents let us rent this little bungalow near Ybor for next to nothing. It used to be an apartment for cigar workers back in the 1910s. It is supposed to be "historically significant" but in reality it's just a rundown little cracker box badly in need of some serious rehabbing. But I love it. The people in the neighborhood are a little weird but they're mostly nice. And so long as the drunks from 7th Avenue don't get too rowdy everything is good.

Daniel hates it here, hates the cameras at the intersections because he complains traffic isn't all they watch; and most of all hates being beholden to his parents but I don't see any way around it, we just can't afford what he wants. He looks at the real estate listings and has all of these crazy schemes and plans but doesn't seem to know how to get from point A to point B. No matter how many times we talk about it, each time it's like he is seeing the reality of our financial situation for the first time. Sometimes I wonder where his head is. If it wasn't for my little garden and the fruit trees we'd really be hurting. And we avoid talking about the baby completely.

The only reason he seems to be anxious for the baby's arrival is because it will qualify us for some assistance. But as soon as that is out of his mouth he is ranting and raving that he'll be so ashamed and that his parents can never know. I don't want to go on assistance either. Tri-care doesn't pay for much but at least I have a good OB/gyn. I worry with the way things are going that it will be cut and I won't even have that; that I'll wind up having to go to the County Health Center and friends in the neighborhood tell me that's a nightmare of red tape and bureaucracy and it's really hard to find a doctor that doesn't have the bedside manner of a Great White with a migraine and compulsive lecturing disorder.

I don't have anyone that I can talk to about this, not even at church. His family has attended Edgewater since it was nothing but a little revival tent in someone's back yard during the Great Depression. A great grand uncle was even an interim pastor there back in the 60's. I can't risk anything getting back to them because most would just about die of embarrassment and start the blame game. That's if anyone believed me about how bad it is. They'll say, "We warned you that you were too young to get married. You've made your bed, now you'll have to lay it in." Or they'll say, "When we were first married we made it on love and air. You just aren't being wise stewards of the money God is blessing you with." They'll be nice and well-meaning about it but it won't make a bit of sense under the circumstances. And Daniel will believe them and then we'll be back to him telling me I must be spending the money on junk and not on necessities and we'll have to go through the receipts all over again which will just make him mad when he sees that he is the one that spends money on junk while I put food on the table, fuel in the cars, and pay what little rent his parents ask of us. God bless 'em for that or Daniel and I would really be hurting.

Daniel wasn't always like this. If I can just hold on. After the baby gets born everything will get better. He's just under so much stress and his leg hurts. Rotten road side bombers. If I hate anyone I think it is the man that did this to my husband. But after the baby is born he won't worry so much and things will get back to normal. They just have to.