Monday, June 15, 2009
So head on over to the new place. Wander around, check it out. I hope you love it almost as much as I do, and I hope you will all continue along with me on this journey called life.
**In actuality, blogger has been a really great place for me to get my feet wet; they have served me well, it's just time to move forward.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Story of my life. I mean, really. I have the opposite of the Midas Touch, meaning everything I touch turns into shit instead of gold (and bonus points and undying respect to anyone who knows the book in which I found that!) Which really isn't true, you know, far from it, but that is how it feels sometimes. And those of you who are regular readers have been privy to a lot of really odd and sometimes terrible events in my life over the last year. It had been a journey, all of it, and in looking back, I can see how much I have learned, and changed, and I hope grown. So why is it so hard to trust that same process now?
It feels like my life is changing again, on a variety of levels. The stress and anger and fear with regards to CF has begun to abate, and while his imminent guilty plea is a good thing, it has also brought up some really conflicting feelings in me. These, I have to deal with, simply because I have no control over the outcome; I never have, of course, but I have been able to mask some of the feelings brought forth by this simply by focusing on what needed to be done and DOING it. Now the time has come to start sorting through all of the different layers of emotions, and move forward with healing for Hannah, for me, for my family. This is a good thing, no doubt-but requires me to resolve some deep-seated issues that I would much prefer to keep buried, thankyouverymuch. Not really, but digging up the past and re-burying it in a more more pleasant and peaceful resting place is hard work, and I am not sure that I am up to the task. This is where trusting the journey really starts coming in to play; trusting that every step I need to take is going to be made known to me, even when it seems really dark and uncertain.
I am also beginning down a different road in other ways, treading a path I never thought to walk again. It is different this time, I am different this time, but that doesn't stop me from being terrified. I have been down this road before and it led only to heartbreak; can I do this again, holding onto all that I have learned and letting go of past hurts and disappointments? I don't know the answer to that, so again, I have to trust the journey. Trust the process.
Trust. If I believe in a loving God, which most of the time I do (unless I am pissed off and yelling at him, but even then I know he is there), why is it so hard to trust that I will be given what I need just when I need it? Time and time again, over and over, he has provided me with either the tools or the instruction book or a handyman who totally knows the ropes in order to get to the next step. Every.Single.Time. And yet every time in my life where I am faced with uncertainty or fear, I fail to believe that he will do it again. Talk about a major character defect, this obsessive need I have to be in control! And it isn't even that so much as it is that I don't trust that good things will happen to me. I really and truly don't. Rationally, I know that I am worthy of love, that I am capable of loving, that I have the potential to do great things; at the same time, so much of my life has been, well, NOT like that, that is hard for me to trust that this time things are going to be different. To trust that in my heart of hearts I know what I am doing, that God gave me this heart, this mind, this body to use.
I can do this. I can take each step necessary to move forward, in relation to everything that is changing in my life. I can; I have found reservoirs of strength and power I never knew existed in the last year, and I have found that I can be gentle and forgiving with my love instead of using it as a weapon. I have found that I am weak and needy, but that when I let myself, I can have friends who will left me up during those times. I have found, too, that it hurts a lot more to carry around anger and bitterness than it does to take risks with a fragile heart; love is so much lighter. I have found a power inside myself that no longer scares me because I don't have to use it to batter my way through life, but can instead use it the way I am supposed to-to keep moving forward.
And I trust (today at least) that even when the days of doubt and fear and self-loathing and despair arrive-because they are inevitable, part of this thing called life-well, I just trust that they will pass. I trust that I will then be given all I need to see it through and keep getting up to face each day as it comes. I trust the friends that I have-April and Jacquie, Steve and Rob (who called me from TENNESSEE last night on vacation to make sure that Hannah and I were okay), Janet and Camille, and all of you Internet people who are as good of friends as anyone could hope to have in real life AND online-to be there to lift me up when the dark days arrive. To see me through, just like they all have this past year.
Trust the journey. Trust the process. I am on my way.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Not so, my friends, not so. He offered to plea guilty to one felony count Lewd and Lascivious. This carried up to life in prison, but of course part of the deal involved getting as little jail time as possible. They initially proposed probation only, but the prosecutor said,"No, that just isn't going to work." They hammered out some details and this is what we are left with: 120 days in county with no credit for time served (he will most likely get work release) and treatment in whatever sex offender program is deemed necessary by the court, felony probation (which for sex offenders is usually really quite strict). He will have to register as a sex offender, obviously. I had asked for a couple of stipulations, not knowing how it worked; I had asked that the Protective Order be required until Hannah is 18, and J. said,"Oh, no, that will stay in place until he is off probation." So that is good news. My personal request was that he also not be allowed to attend Rupert AA meetings, and J. was very funny and kind when he said, "Oh, well, that isn't usual but I am sure it can be arranged."
So. This is where we are. We go on the 22nd to a hearing where he will change the plea; I am going to make sure Hannah is there, because I think it is really important for her to be able to hear him say out loud, in court, "Guilty." Sentencing will not occur for another 8-12 weeks after that, which means his house arrest will stay in effect until then, and during that time there will be the Pre-Sentence Investigation. So in approximately three months or so, there will be a sentencing hearing; at that point, Hannah and I will get to give our Victim's Impact Statements as well.
It isn't perfect; there are a whole lot of other emotions involved in this that I don't want to get into right now, though I will in time. However, for this moment, this day, I am simply going to enjoy the relief that has come from knowing that Hannah is not going to have to testify, and that CF is going to have to publicly say, out loud, "I did this." That? Is sweet.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I don't talk about the Octo-Mom simply because I don't give a shit, but I recently got sucked into an online debate about it. I have my opinion, you see, and expressed it. And then I got a reply where this woman was all like, "You are WRONG. Blah fuckety blah, I am going to use all these big words to prove to you that you are wrong because this woman is the devil and blah fuckety blah...." I had to laugh. It is my opinion; how can my opinion be WRONG? So that was the extent of my involvement in this debate. Meh, whatever. For the record, I don't think it is my business how many kids anyone has, or even how they got here. If it is okay for the Duggars or Duggans or whatever their name is, or the Jon and Kate whoever, to have as many kids as they want, then it is okay for everyone. Again, my opinion. I just don't see the point in getting all worked up over stuff that really doesn't make a bit of difference in the greater scheme of things.
There have been some big changes going on at our house this last week, and I think they are good changes but still, changes. I am working really, really hard at simply letting go of control yet again, trying to overcome a lot of my own personal fears and simply trust, but damn, it is SO hard. Just-really hard to adjust to whole new set of circumstances. Keep me and mine in your thoughts.
Despite having told several different people from the LDS church, more than once, that I do not like people to stop by without calling, we had some people-yep, you guessed it-stop by last night. I have also told everyone that not only are we not active, but don't plan on becoming active, but that didn't stop someone from the Relief Society from stopping by the house on Sunday (while I was napping) to drop off some newsletters and stuff. It drives me insane, it really does. The people who stopped by last night are nice enough, I guess, but also clueless. This time I spotted them out the front door so went outside, pointedly NOT inviting them in, but they still showed no signs of getting the "We should go" vibes. Then the woman asked if I got the stupid newsletters and do I want to go to this Progressive Dinner thing and before I could remind myself to be at least polite, I blurted out, "Heavens, no!" I could tell her feelings were a little hurt, but day-um. What is is going to take to get the message across that my house is MY house, and unless you are invited, you need to not come by? Or at least call first? Further, do I have to burn a cross on my lawn in order to make it clear that I am not interested in becoming active? No, I am sure that wouldn't help, because they would simply increase the effort. It falls on deaf ears when I say that I am not interested. I have said it more than once, and I am sure I will have to say it again and again. It is just frustrating to not be heard, you know?
Bah. Summer school for Hannah started today, which is more of a pain than anything else. I fail to see how a two-week session is going to give her all that she needs in order to get credit; if that is the case, if students can learn everything they need to learn in a trimester in two weeks, then why have school at all? Senseless. Still, in order for her to get some of her credits back, she has to go. She will go to two sessions, and will most likely have to go again next summer, but at least she will be able to graduate.
See, nothing much going on, or rather too much to make sense of. The sun is finally shining this morning, so that is good. My flowers are growing like crazy, which makes me happy, even though the rain and gloom is disconcerting for June. I learned how to make sourdough bread over the weekend, AND my bundt cake came out of the pan just beautifully. So life is good, even if I am feeling a little out of sorts just now.
Friday, June 5, 2009
***This just added on Friday afternoon. Have any of you seen this blog post about apes being ticklish? And the burning question here is does anyone besides me find it to be a) terribly disturbing and amusing that money was actually spent on studying something like this, b)odd that this can so easily be construed into a Creation Vs Evolution Argument, c) disconcerting that it is rather fun in a slightly not-nice way to go in and make gentle fun at some of these people and last, d) what the hell does any of this matter? We will all be dead soon enough and will find out firsthand; why fight about it now?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
1. Is it better to have several different pages to go through? Say, a photo page, and a Kori Dispenses Useless Parenting Advice, and a regular main page...? What are you more likely to read? What do you want to hear more about?
2. When I post the questions for my give away (and I will post photos of the items up for grabs over the weekend), would you rather have multiple choice guess or would you rather have to figure out the answers cold? Be aware, there will be none of this, "Every time you comment you get 3 entries and if you follow me that is 6 more and if you refer a friend you get a free set of knives" shit. Not that there is anything wrong with that, other than I am a simple person. The one who gets the most answers right wins. Period. If more than one person gets the same number of answers right, I will put your names on a piece of paper and let someone draw it. And no, April you are still not eligible to play.
3. Do any of you actually listen to any of the songs when a person posts a play list?
4. What should I do with my hair? Because sorry Rachael, I am just about 32 seconds away from getting dreads. And I don't think I am kidding.
5. Do you like me to respond to your comments? If so, would you come back in to the post to see if I have responded, or do you like to have them emailed? Mr. Lady asked her readers the same question, so I am thieving it from her.
Any other thoughts and ideas you might have, please let me know. I really and truly DO want to know what you think, because even though it is MY blog, I want to make sure YOU come back. And yes, I am pimping myself here. And if it were me, I would pick me up and pay me. Just sayin.'
On another note entirely, I hate the words "booty call" and Baby Mama/Daddy. they make me, how should I say it, want to vomit. Also, there is a really funny post up over the Rocky Mountains Mom Blog this morning about Pregnancy and Weight Gain; well worth the read. Head on over to Anna's place and check out the new addition to their house; it makes my ovaries scream to see the plump deliciousness that has taken up residence there. I found a new blog that I think kicks some serious ass. Check it out here. She looks to be a new blogger, so go check her out and say hi. She is really, really good. Last but certainly far from least, April has a GREAT post up over at the LA Moms Blog.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
It is funny, but it isn't. There have been so many posts in the last few days about the murder of Dr. Tiller, and then several posts in my reader about new babies or babies on their way as I write this, or babies just beginning to move lightly in their watery home, and it never fails to amaze me the variety of human experiences regarding conception and pregnancy. Each person feels how they feel; awe and amazement, fear and uncertainty, a feeling of being a sacred vessel or, conversely, an incubator. So many different things combine to dictate how a person feels about the beginning of life that it would be impossible to list them all, and futile as well.
What also never fails to amaze me is the fact that so many people believe that they have the right to tell someone else what does and does not constitute the beginning of life. Or what they should do/feel/think/choose in the event of a pregnancy. I have been actually thinking about this a lot recently, due to a couple of really nasty, deliberately hurtful comments on my Friday Fragments post about the fact that I chose adoption for a child at a particular point in my life, so it seems like to right time for me to post about the whole issue in general.
See, for me, life is sacred; at one point in my life, I had two choices: abortion or adoption. Because of my own personal beliefs, abortion at that time was not a reasonable option, so I chose adoption instead. When I posted that fragment about having made that choice, I was in no way criticizing adoption itself, just simply stating that in my experience, an open family adoption may not have been the best choice because of the fact that it changes the dynamics of family SO much. Would I go back and change it if I could? It's a moot point, because I can't. If I were in that position again? At my age? I would make a different choice; that's all.
The thing is, though, that I can only draw on my own experience. That's it. I know other women who have chosen abortion in similar circumstances and I cannot make any judgements. I can't tell you that I don't approve, nor can I say that any of these women made the wrong choice. Who the fuck am I to make that kind of call? I am not that person. I don't know what their lives were like when they made the decision to get an abortion, nor do I care. I just know that sometimes babies happen, no matter how hard you try not to get pregnant. I know that so many different things come into account when there is an unexpected pregnancy that for me, to cast stones or make some kind of a judgement based on the surface is presumptuous in the extreme. I remember one time I was talking to someone close to me, someone whose bed I shared nightly, about the fact that I had chosen adoption for a child, and some months later, during an argument, he said, "And this from a person who would throw their baby away like trash." All these many years later, that still hurts-because he knew nothing about me at that point in my life and knew (or cared) even less about why I made the choice I made. Therefore, who am I to say that someone else is wrong?
I know this, that we as women simply can't win in this arena. Taking out of the equation those who choose not to implement some sort of birth control and then abort every pregnancy, it is a catch-22. We get pregnant while being careful not to and suddenly we are sluts, single moms (sometimes) who can't keep their legs together and have no self-control. We choose abortion and we are murderers, we choose adoption and we are throwing kids out like trash. We keep the baby and sometimes end up marrying the father so are now known to have trapped some poor, innocent man into marriage. We don't end up marrying the father and we suddenly become one of "those" moms who have to go on welfare and bring down and entire nation by becoming a financial drain on the economy. In church we are told that the babies we keep are conceived in sin and therefore are marked at conception as somehow flawed, and if we choose abortion we certainly don't tell anyone-as if THAT makes it so much easier to handle an unexpected pregnancy. It just doesn't make any sense to me, and reaffirms my belief that no matter what we decide, we can't win.
Here is one of the questions that always pops up in my mind. Who, exactly, gets to decide whose life has more value? A 16 year old girl, one whose life is just beginning, or the child she might have based on a mistake? According to different religions, the baby's life is has far more value, and while I understand the Biblical concept of the sanctity of all life, I also don't think we live in that kind of a world. Give girls and their parents resources so their lives can continue to move forward in a positive direction and maybe I would agree that abortion in those cases is wrong. Until then, I have to say that I want my 16 year old daughter to have the best life possible, and having a baby at 16 does not make that possibility very likely. What about a woman who already has kids? Are those children and mama, the ones who are already alive and breathing and living, less important than a just conceived child? If maybe mom is already struggling and doing it alone and doing the best that she can, if the addition of one more child into the mix will push her over the edge and deprive not just her but her existing children of possibilities, why should she not be able to make the choice that best serves the needs of her entire family? I don't get that supposition, I really and truly don't.
There are just so many facets to this issue; we could talk about pregnancy as the result of rape or incest, or we could address the lack of options and/or education for young women when it comes to birth control (and again, thank you to George W. Bush for those fucking Abstinence Only Sex Education programs that don't address the reality that ohmygod people have SEX!). We could bandy about the issue of parental involvement and how sometimes kids are terrified to tell their parent (s) they are thinking about sex, and therefore are even more terrified to tell them that hey, guess what? We could argue to death the religious aspect of abortion vs adoption vs keeping a child, or we could look at study after study detailing the economic impact of any of the three. In doing so, we can ALL easily become confused and angry and upset, and end up killing one another over it. And all of the information in the world is not going to change the fact that we each make the best decision we can based on the information we have at any given point in time. And that decision is different for different people, and for different reasons.
I love my kids; the four I have, and the one I don't. I loved him when I found out I was pregnant with him, which is why I made the decision I did. I also loved the two children I already had, and knew that it would not be fair or right to ANY of us to bring another child into the mix. By the time I made the decision to adopt, I already had so many bitter and hurtful feelings toward the father of the baby that it would almost have been crime to bring the baby into that environment; I don't know that I would have been able to love him simply because he WAS. And I don't feel guilty, or ashamed, or embarrassed. I believe that had I made the decision to abort, it would have been for valid reasons as well, and who gets to say that those reasons, for any of us, are wrong?
So there you have it; Soapbox #765. Should I simply step down now, and hope that maybe just one person might have gotten some food for thought? Yes, I think so.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Later, she kept going to the high dive and climbing up, only to stand there for a few minutes and turn around and go back down. This happened probably five or six times in a row, this brave little girl going to the edge and looking over, then shaking her head and backing away. Several times she got all the way to the end and jumped a little, bouncing on the board a bit, but she just couldn't make herself take that leap. I noticed that every time she climbed back up, people were stopping their playing to watch her, the entire pool holding its collective breath each time as she got just a little bit closer.
Finally, she was there on the very edge, in her bike shorts and bikini top, her chubby little girl tummy sticking out, her eyes closed in concentration. She wasn't an especially striking child, indistinguishable from any other mildly cute little girl, but standing on the edge with her eyes screwed shut, balancing on her toes, she was beautiful. She stood there, trying to gather up the nerve to jump, and just stopped. The entire pool had become dead quiet, even the smallest of us just watching; and she bounced a little more, bounced again, and stopped. She opened her eyes, looked over the edge, and her shoulders slumped. She turned to go back down, the poor little defeated girl realizing that she just wasn't going to make it, and I would tell by the look of her body that she wasn't going to be trying again.
Someone, somewhere in the room, started speaking, quietly, "Come on, you can do it. Jump." Since the room was already silent, the voice carried-it sounded like a child, but everyone heard it. "Jump," the voice said, and it was a plea. The hidden voice of every person in that room-and there were probably 100 people altogether-crying out for the times each of us has been afraid to jump; off a high dive, into a relationship, out of a relationship, into anything that is too big and too scary to face alone, the voice crying out to each one of us who has had to face some personal demon. Slowly, slowly, another voice joined, and another, until every single person in the room was chanting, "Jump, jump."
She stopped halfway across the board and turned around, and I could see her back straighten up as she looked at all of us watching her, heard our combined voices giving her support and encouragement, and she walked to the edge again. She didn't close her eyes this time, but instead kept them wide open and excited; she arched her back gracefully and stood on her toes and bounced; once, twice, three times and one of the most beautiful dives I have ever seen. No form, a huge splash, but perfect in every way.
In the few seconds between the dive and her resurface, the room was quiet again; each one of us holding our breath with her, feeling the way the water engulfed her head and the way the surface shimmered underwater. When her head broke the surface, the room erupted in cheers and shouts and the sound of clapping hands, and I know I wasn't the only one crying.
I don't think I have ever seen something quite that moving, and I still tear up when I think about it. This little girl who only knows Jerome, Idaho touched a lot of lives that day. Persistence and courage, the fact that if you have people supporting you and cheering you on you can face even the biggest fears. That sometimes, standing on the edge, the only thing you can do is to close your eyes and jump.
***I also have a new post up here. Call me a blog whore if you will, but there is talk of this particular Moms blog being pulled, and we who contribute really don't want to see that happen. So go read and comment, please.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It is odd now, this new feeling of distrust. Well, in many ways it isn't new; I mean, I tend to have to know a person quite some time before I allow my children to go places or be alone with them (and in fact, it was probably close to two years AFTER CF and I became friends before I allowed him to take the kids anywhere or be alone with them even for a minute), so it isn't as if I blindly trust just anyone. However, long gone are the days when a church camp out seems both fun and harmless, a nice diversion for a son who could really use it. Because anything can happen. ANYTHING.
So anyway, it's gotten a little worse, because I know this: I know that predators can and do molest a child in a room full of people, in the stall in a restroom, in a fucking car going down the road. I know that predators like to gain the trust of a victim, even if it is a temporary, short term trust involved in, say, helping a shoe to be tied, wiping a tear, picking up a dropped backpack. I know that predators look just like the rest of us, that they appear normal and talk normal and SEEM normal.
This is why I totally lost my mind when we went swimming over the weekend. And it scared me a little bit. I don't want anyone touching my kids, for any reason. Don't lean down and help my three year old adjust his water wings; both myself and his father are right here and can do that. Do NOT offer to help my 10 year old learn to do a back flip off the diving board; that is why he has an older sibling. I flipped my lid at Steve when he told Sam, "Just go on in the dressing room and start getting changed, I'll get the towels out of your moms bag." "The fuck he IS going in there by himself!" I said, while Steve looked at me like I had grown a third eye and fangs. But that is how it FELT; this visceral fear, this gut clenching fear that someone else is going to hurt one of my kids. A little girl grabbed Owen's arm and was trying to help him down the stairs into the pool and it was all I could do to stop myself from body slamming her.
I have to get over this; Hannah's counselor says it is typical, normal, under the circumstances, and has given me and Hannah both "permission" to feel this way for now. I feel it as the kids' parent, she feels it as a protective older sibling. "If what you need to do to be okay is to make Sam go into the women's restroom with you, do it. If you need to call his name every ten minutes when he is playing outside so he can check in, do it. If for the time being you don't want to let him go into the neighbors yard where they have a ten foot fence? Even though he has gone over the jump on the trampoline before? Then don't let him." It feels nice to be supported in this, it feels good to know that this is normal, but it is also a little bit scary. I could so easily turn into one of those parents who just never lets her kids go anywhere. I won't, because I will work really hard to NOT become that parent, but man, it is a struggle.
Hm, this isn't the post I had planned, not by a long shot. But it is what came out, so I guess I will run with it. I hope you all had a wonderful three-day weekend. Despite my insanity at the pool, mine was pretty good; I'll post more about it later.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I have had two different classes for work this week, one regarding a new product one of our companies is introducing and an Ethics class. The one with the company was really neat because I know and like a lot of the people who go there; the class itself was okay, but then afterward we all went to lunch together and that was the fun part. Here is this insurance company who had something like $2 MILLION dollars in pure profit last year, yet the CEO and the VP of Marketing were the ones presenting the class, hobnobbing with us "common folk." Not only that, but it has been about a year since I have seen the VP and not only did she give me a HUG when I saw her, but she remembered my name and said, "Now isn't that baby of yours just about three now?" Well, yes, he will be three on Friday. There is some, what is it? Ego? Pride? I don't know, but when our agency was one of three there who received an award for the lowest losses (because the fewer losses, the grater the profit, both for our agency but for the company), as well as having been one of the few who showed impressive growth in the last year; the pride comes from the fact that this company only writes home and small businesses, and that is what I DO-so I had some small part in that. Also, the company is filled with really strong, beautiful professional women, and they like me-and think that I am some kind of amazing person for singlehandedly raising four kids while doing the job that I do. Come on; what red-blooded woman wouldn't love that kind of stuff?
The Ethics class was a licensing requirement, and it was excellent. The one I went to last year was, um, how should I put this...dry as dust? Boring as hell? Yes, that covers it. This one was very well-presented, and there was a lot of class participation. At first I was all like, "Oh, great, fucking small groups, WTF?" but within minutes, I felt myself particularly grateful for the opportunity. I was sitting with three agents who have been in the business for WAY longer than I, in one case since before I was BORN, and man, what a wealth of information! There was one woman there who was stunning in her beauty and very articulate, very well-educated, and she was intimidating as hell to me. But listening to her and talking with her, I found that there was no reason to be. She is a life/health agent, I am home and auto, so we both had stuff to learn from each other. Very neat. At lunch, she and I sat together (the other three on our group didn't stay for lunch) and next thing I knew, we were talking about how loneliness doesn't kill you but it sure does suck, about her unexpected second marriage that has been just as good as her first (her husband died of cancer after 27 years of marriage)...it was really neat.
Other things have happened, too; Sam had a 10th birthday, so there was the party at Jacquie's with pizza and cake, and of course different things going on with Steve (I think they are good things but time will tell), getting Hannah ready to go camping and trying to get all of the end of the school year business managed....you know how it is. I know this isn't much of a post, either, but it's all I've got tonight.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Anyway, despite the fears and worries about Steve, the weekend was actually good. Once I knew where he was and that he was safe, I could stop worrying and just keep moving. It isn't about trying to get him to stop drinking-because I can't. It isn't about trying to fix his problems, because again, I can't. But there is no way to NOT worry when you know someone is on a runner and no one is quite sure where they are. So once I knew those most basic things, I could live with it. I was quite pleased with myself when on Saturday afternoon he finally called to see if his sister could drop him off at my house and I said, "No. You are not going to come to my house drunk and pass out here. You are more than welcome to come here if and when you sober up, but not until then." He was miffed, but oh fucking well. He did come over in the evening, and that was fine; I think he was expecting a fight, or expecting me to lecture him or something, and I didn't. Because to what end? He knows how I feel, he knows what's at stake for him (on a LOT of different levels; with me and Owen, on a legal front, with his job...), he knows well I will neither lie for him nor clean up his messes for him (I don't loan or give money, I don't bail out of jail, he can't move in with me. I will feed him and let him stay the night on occasion, but that's it), so why get into a fight about it? I can't say anything that is going to make him suddenly see the light, so to speak. So me distancing myself from him in that respect felt really good-I just simply refused to engage. He kept saying things like, "Do you hate me?" and fuck, how can I say that I do? I DON'T hate him; quite the opposite. But I hate what alcohol does to him, I hate the lack of ability and willingness to work a program, I hate that he knows there is a better way (not easier, but better), and he chooses not to do the work. Every time he would say that, I would counter with, "I don't hate you; I am just disgusted with the whole situation."
Sorry; I went off on a tangent there; I was talking about the weekend in general. We had the Pinewood Derby for Scouts for Sam on Saturday morning, and that was actually a lot of fun. There were 21 cars this year so Sam didn't do as well; he made it to the last heats but then got totally creamed by the competition. However, all the boys got prizes for something, and the races were very exciting, so it was all good. I think for Sam, the most important thing was having people there to watch him and cheer him on.
Afterwards, we went home so Owen could nap, then we headed off to the museum so the kids could do their History assignment; Eli and Hannah both had friends staying over who also had to do the assignment, so we carted them there and dropped them off. While they were doing that, Sam and Owen and I washed the car-and it was hilarious to watch both Owen and Sam together trying to control the water hose. So much fun! We all got soaked and that soap stained our hands pink, but then we went to the park and dried off in the sun before picking the other kids up.
And yesterday was lovely. I got up and had coffee and made waffles, and we cleaned the house, and then Owen and I both took a long, much-needed nap. As you all know, I haven't been sleeping well for the last little while, so it was wonderful to actually lay down in a dark room and be ABLE to fall asleep, and sleep hard. O. and I both woke up much refreshed and ready for anything-which was a trip to the park with Hannah and Sam for Owen, and grocery shopping for Eli and I. It sounds stupid, I know, but because I have been so tired lately, I haven't even been able to muster up the energy to go to the grocery store-the very thought has been enough to make me weep-so even something as simple as feeling energized enough to buy groceries was a blessing. Also through the course of the day, I got the fence fixed ( I hope) so that the dogs can't get out anymore, watched our backyard neighbor get arrested, and later, the kids got the lawn mowed. All in all, a lot of sweetness in my life to make up for the bitter. And isn't that the nature of life?
I am finishing this at work; Steve called to let me know that his probation officer didn't show up (he was supposed to meet with him this morning, obviously, and I am annoyed that he didn't actually have to because it is just another opportunity for S. to escape the consequences, but whatever, right?), and that he was on his way to work-and asking what I thought he should do. I was also proud of myself for this: I told him it was his decision to make, but that he needs to stop and think about all he has to lose by continuing to work there, where no one holds him accountable, where his brother almost encourages him to drink, and then not pay him on top of it. I actually can't remember everything I said, but when I got off the phone I told my co-worked, "Isn't it lovely to have cubicles where you have to hear all my personal business?" and she said, "I am just proud of you for standing up to him and telling it like it is." High praise.
And this week has begun, and it is a good, beautiful morning. I just got my first non-garnished paycheck and damn, does that feel good. Don't know how long it will last, as I know there are a couple more out there, but for the moment it is nice to see it, and to know that even though I shouldn't have had to pay any of it in the first place, I did it, you know? The week promises to be busy, as I have meetings and another class all week, but that's a good thing. All in all, I am feeling pretty contented today. I love it when tools of recovery, tools of life, really kick in and I can be okay even when things are not okay for someone I love. I feel blessed and grateful that my fears and worries can be balanced out by the sweet things in life, feel just so, so lucky today!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Seems like when things go wrong, they really go wrong. Steve and I got into an argument a few nights ago about his drinking, and though I talked to him yesterday afternoon and everything was fine, he now isn't answering his phone nor, obviously, calling me back. Because of his history, because I know that he is in a town with a brother who is also an alcoholic, this worries me. He has a breathalyzer on his pickup so he can't drive it when he is drinking, but he also has access to lots of other vehicles, and in fact was drinking while plowing a field the night we argued. No matter how upset he has been at me in the past, and vice-versa, the only times he has ever simply not called me back or answered was when he was drinking heavily, so of course my assumption is that he is on a runner. That itself is troublesome; even though his drinking isn't MY problem, even though I have long since trying to stop him or make him stop or drag him to meetings by the hand (can't carry the drunk, can only carry the message), it doesn't stop me from wishing and hoping he will get it.
More troublesome, though, is the fact that anything could have happened. This is one of the problems with loving a practicing alcoholic; even though I am almost 100% sure that he is just drinking and trying to avoid having to deal with the consequences, there is that other little percent that worries he has been in an accident, or in jail, or maybe killed someone while drinking. Of course the very female part of me worries about stupid stuff like they went to a bar and he hooked up with some hootch and they are snuggled cozily up in her bed. I would be lying out my ass if I didn't worry about that on some level (and yes, I know that I don't want him at all ever if that is the case, but it doesn't stop the idea or worry from hurting), because hey, I am a recovering drunk; I know the things they do. I would think that if something major happened, someone from his family would CALL me, but again, I don't know. You have to understand the dynamics of their family before assuming that I would be one of the first ones to know, and I have neither the time nor the energy to get into THAT. Anyway, so even though reason says he is just pissed at me or whatever, there is still a pit of dread in my stomach about the whole thing.
Also, dad isn't doing as well as they had hoped he would be, which is worrisome. He has congestive heart failure, but they took him off some of his meds in order to re-hydrate him, which in turn has caused fluid to start building up around his heart, which has made his rhythms get all wonky. His blood pressure is also unstable right now, and I think they are simply trying to balance everything in order to keep him stable enough to start getting better. I may be going over to see him later today; just depends on what my sister says when she calls after rounds.
Sigh. So much. My newest post is up over at the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, too, should you be so inclined. Now, I have to go get in the shower because our day begins in earnest very shortly; we have a Pinewood Derby to go to, the older kids have an assignment to complete involving a two hour visit to the local museum, and then there is the relentless housework and laundry. Perhaps tonight things will be much better, right?
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tonight, I sit here waiting for the phone to ring. My sister called earlier and the local hospital where our dad lives was in the process then of Lifeflighting him to the big hospital 65 miles away. This isn't the first round in this fight by any means; we have been here before. So my sister said that she very blithely said (and please don't judge her saying this; there are valid reasons for her response),"Okay, well, he is going to a good place and I will just be there on Saturday when I am off." "No, no," the doctor said, "I really think you should come, and also call anyone else who needs to be here." So she called me and my other sisters and headed over, but since we don't really know anything yet, there isn't any sense in me going at the moment. She expects to get there anytime now, and will call if I really do need to go. I have already called Jacquie to let her know what was going on, just in case, but-nobody knows anything yet. So I wait for the phone to ring; if she doesn't call soon that means he is stable enough that she will call in the morning and let me know. We all hope that the doctor at home was erring on the side of caution, and that he will spend a couple of days in the hospital. If not, well, I guess we will figure out what to do then.
Tonight, too, some things happened before my sister called that are not helping in the sleep department any. I think I am going to have to break up with Steve. Earlier today I said that it is so hard and that my first instinct is to bail, but that isn't entirely accurate. I know that there are problems, and I think-no, I KNOW-that I have stuck around through a lot of things in the last few years, so it isn't that all of a sudden it is too hard and I don't want to do it anymore. I would move heaven and earth to make this work, but I just don't think it is going to. I know well that my emotional state is fragile right now so I may feel differently-better-in the morning after I have rested, but right now, I just don't think I can keep doing this. It is hard for me to say anything without turning him into the bad guy, but that isn't entirely the case. It just-it is what it is.
I can say all the right things and even feel all the right things at moments-how it is better to just walk away now and stop trying, that it is better and more healthy certainly to say enough is enough, I am not doing this any longer...all of that stuff that I know to be true. It doesn't matter, though, how much better or more healthy it might be when you know that you have to cut off a vital organ that you are going to miss terribly because it is diseased. It hurts. It hurts to know that no matter what I do or who I am, it isn't enough for Steve. He is never going to love me the way I deserve to be loved; he is never going to wake up one morning and think "Oh my God, I better not lose this one!" I talk about progress, and there has been some. I talk about baby steps and those are real and true as well. But no matter how much forward progress we make, it isn't going to change the fact that he doesn't love me the way I need to be loved.
But there is all this other stuff, too, that makes this so hard. That we have been together going on four years and all the kids love him. So hard to have put them through hell with my second marriage and now have to decide whether or not I should rip this other man out of their lives. Can Sam handle one more abandonment by a man he loves? Can any one of us truly and really get through this unscathed and undamaged on a fundamental emotional level? I don't have any good answer for any of those questions.
I don't know that I can. I write this and I know I am opening myself up to a shitload of criticism, I know that being so goddamned vulnerable is a terrible, terrible thing to be a lot of the time. I know that when I tell you that after my sister called and I told Steve, "I can't deal with this anymore right now. Can we just leave things the way they are for the time being and table it for a later date? Because I am not in a place where I can handle this situation right now. And neither one of us is going anywhere at the moment so does this have to be resolved right this second?(and there are a couple of other reasons that HE was in no place to even begin to comprehend this at the moment either, so for that reason, too, I just couldn't talk to him about it any longer)" you will say that I am crazy, putting it off is not way to handle it, it isn't going to be easier later rather than sooner, and you are all probably right.
However, I know that right now I am incapable of making any sort of life-changing decision, but especially when it comes to Steve. I know it is coming, me having to end this; it has been coming for ages. I am just not quite strong enough or brave enough to do it right now. The time isn't right. Also, and I do truly believe this, for whatever reasons I haven't been strong enough yet, but there will come a day-and it might be tomorrow or it might be a year from now-when I wake up and think, "Okay, sweetie, are you done?" and I will think about it for a minute or two and be able to answer, "yep, I am." It's almost like hitting rock bottom when you are a drunk; you have to get to that point where enough is more than enough,, because if you don't, you just keep going back.
So, there are these two potentially huge things vying for attention in my head, as well as the nasty phone call I got from Sam's orchestra teacher and the fact that because we have moved to the next town over, Hannah working is going to be a logistical nightmare-IF she ever gets a job. KFC didn't hire here but told her to call back next week in case one of the new hires doesn't work out (and you can bet THAT was a big ego boost for her, right?), but she has an interview with another place on Friday...my brain is overflowing and I can't make it shut the fuck up.
See what happens when you let me loose at midnight with a keyboard?
My sister hasn't called and it is almost 12:30. I am having toast and will eat it and try to get back in bed and sleep, and I imagine I will know more in the morning.
***Morning now, and no call from my sister last night. This is good.***