Monday, June 15, 2009


Well folks, apparently blogger has decided that I have loafed around here, taking up valuable web space and not paying them an ever-loving dime, long enough. They have told me to get up off my ass and go somewhere else, much like I told my deadbeat second husband.** So I have moved over to this spot, the new and much improved see kori rant. Special thanks go out to JT over at The Goth Mom for the web space, to the ever-lovely Mr.Lady for basically getting the site up and running, and a really, really heartfelt thank you to Judith Shakespeare for the web design; it is perfect.

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

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments?
Do you all know Mrs.4444? If not, go check her out and join in with the Friday Fragmenters. Lots of fun, you might get a cool little award, and hey; your name will be on a cool blog. What better way to start out a Friday?

***We got a squirrel feeder for Christmas last year, and we have a ton of squirrels where we live. We don't, however, have a tree from which to hang said feeder. So Steve hung it up on the railing on the front porch. Does anyone else see a potential problem with this arrangement, or is it just me?

***I have decided that MySpace is, in fact, evil. I had to go in and delete Hannah's profile last night, for reasons better left unsaid on the blog (for fear I will get chastised for my fucked up parenting abilities), and did you know that you can use a fake email address to set up an account? Nice. And I have also found out that no matter how vigilant one is about supervising computer use, kids up to no good will find a way to circumvent that. Like, sneak quietly upstairs at oh-dark-thirty, use the bathroom and NOT flush so as not to notify anyone that you are, in fact, up, then get on the PC and go to town. Thank heavens Steve is a light sleeper; 'nuff said.

***I have been working with some really great people on the new blog layout (and when I say working with I really mean they have done all the work and I nod my head), and it will be up and running very, very soon. Once it is, I present the questions for my Blogwarming Party; I bet you can't wait! I am a little (lot) nervous about launching this new space; it's as if I am publicly declaring that I take this blogging stuff seriously. Yikes.

***Who says blogging doesn't create real friendships? Yesterday I received a little package in the mail from one of my favorite bloggers in the world, with a lovely handmade card and some homemade soap. It was just what I needed yesterday, and this woman just amazes me. If you don't know her yet, please go see her; her words will awe you every single day.

***I saw a blackbird/crow/raven (whichever) this morning as I was having my coffee. It swooped down off the power line and in the sunlight looked almost blue, it was so black. They like the rain, these big black birds, because there are so many tasty little morsels popping up everywhere. Sometimes they sit on my fence and eye the rabbit; perhaps the squirrel feeder on the front porch is that bad an idea after all.

For more Friday Fragments, click on the link above and it will take you right to where the good are. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trusting the Journey

Every morning in my email I get a Thought For The Day from Hazelden; sometimes it echoes what I have already read in my meditation books at home, sometimes it is irrelevant to what is going on with me at that moment, and sometimes it is really a kick in the ass. Today was a kick in the ass kind of day, because it was all about trusting the process. I read it, and read it again, and I thought, "OK, FINE," to God, rather hostilely (because no matter how much I believe in him and trust him to figure out what is best for me, well, sometimes I don't. And want to take hold and see if I can manage it by myself. Because that has worked SO well for me in the past, right?). The last line of the meditation was, "The time we most need to trust the journey is when it looks like we can't," and that is the part that really hit me. "When it looks like we can't..."

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

Unexpected Court News

I had just walked in the door from lunch yesterday when I got a phone call from the prosecutor's office; he was all like, "So, this is X from the prosecutor's office, how are you today?" Now, I don't generally consider calls from him good things, so I very cautiously said, "I don't know, you tell me how I am." He said, "Well, maybe pretty good...CF just made us a deal, and I need to talk to you about it before I give them the go ahead." I about fell over and died from shock and surprise, as with the trial coming up so quickly we all sort of gave up on the idea of him offering any kind of deal. Since his only defense up to this point has been to say, "I didn't do it," we all figured he would take it all the way to trial and take his chances on a jury.

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

Bloggers Block?

I have a new post up here. And I have to say that it was hard to even get that one written. Bloggers block, writers block, whatever you want to call it, I am just having a hard time in general lately. Four or five times I have tried to write a letter to a friend only to get about three lines into it before giving it up as a lost cause. My mind is scattered in ten different directions, and pinning even one thought down seems nigh impossible; I can forget stringing all these thoughts together to create anything resembling a coherent post. So it isn't Friday, but you may just get fragments today.

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

Friday Fragments-When You Are Too Lazy to Write a Real Post

Friday Fragments?
Come on, it's FRIDAY! Join in with Mrs.4444 and her gang for Friday Fragments. It will only hurt for a minute.

***It has rained so much here that we have mushrooms growing in our back yard. Mushrooms; this is Idaho and where I live is a freaking desert. I keep hoping that they are not poisonous but will maybe make one break out in hives and some slight vomiting; maybe then they neighbors kids will leave my fucking dogs alone.

***Speaking of dogs, the cast fell off the one with the broken leg and oh my good lord in heaven, that.thing.stunk. Not just a mildly offensive odor, but an eye-watering, make-you-want-to-hurl stench. I kept looking for a dead animal under the couch or something (and in my house, that could actually happen), but it was really just her cast.

***Are you all getting excited about the new blog? I know I am. Because, you know, it's mine and I love it. Kind of like the favorite, always well-behaved and looking sweet kid I never had. I read something somewhere at some point where someone said, "Come on, it's just a blog," and that bothered me. Of course it is just a blog, but for me, it is a way to keep working at a mind-numbing desk job without losing my mind.

***If it goes the way it is supposed to, the trial is in 10 days. I am not totally freaked out about it just yet, because there is a part of me that really believes they will postpone it again, but I am more freaked out than I was last week when I wrote almost the exact same thing. It will be good if it does, because this is taking a major toll on all of us.

***I had an opportunity to be an anonymous caller on a new ABC online segment entitled, "Moms Get Real." They set up a phone call and everything, and I got to hear the show and respond when I was told, and that was fun. What was NOT so fun is 1. realizing after the fact that I sounded like an uneducated hick, and 2. realizing that the people running the show, so to speak, are actually FAMOUS. that's what I get for not watching TV, because I had no idea who they were until I googled them, and then got all sweaty and nervous. I? Am a dork in the extreme.

***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?

okay, time to head to the shower to get ready for work. If you liked these, there are lots better ones out there. Click on the link above and go check out some of the other fragmenters!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Questions For You, My Dear Readers

A few questions for you people. Perhaps you may remember that I have been talking about a give away, and my move to a new place in the blog-world, and perhaps you may be thinking, "What the fuck? What a FLAKE!" because I haven't actually gotten it accomplished. Rest assured, it is all still in the works, and with hope by next week I will be able to do it. So in an effort to involve all of you, my ever-faithful readers, in this process (meaning I am moving and I don't have a pickup; can I borrow yours? And your strong back?), I am going to put out a few feelers and find out what you think. Keeping in mind that it is still my blog and I am going to keep writing it whether all of you come along for the ride or not, I would like some input on the following things:

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

More Is Revealed

See that? That is just how much my man loves me. Yes, that is duct tape. The fridge came with the house, but it didn't have those things in the door to stop the stuff from falling out.. So Steve fixed it for me. I thought I was being all sorts of funny when I said, "Oh, and the sticky part of the tape is so handy for making sure you don't hear that annoying rattle when you open the door." He almost snottily replied, "I put tape on both sides so it isn't sticky." Some might say we are white trash, but me? I call it resourceful.

These are the kinds of things people do when they are trying really hard not to drink. They tinker; they keep their hands busy, they eat candy and fidget and try try try to keep occupied. Circumstances and events have contrived to leave Steve with little choice BUT to attempt sobriety again, and even though I hate hate hate to see the agony he is in right now, I am also glad. I can't say if this is his bottom; there have been a couple of other instances where I thought it was, and was wrong. But I will say that the things that have occurred as a result of his latest runner have left him in a place I don't think he has ever been before, and as awful as it is, it could very well be the best thing to have happened to him.

And for me, well, it has been really interesting to look at my reactions (or lack of them) in this context. Because I have been to this place before, both with my ex-husband and with Steve. When I was blogging about the issue a few weeks ago, I was reminded by some people who really love me (and thanks Mary!) that by expending so much energy on him, it was making ME crazy. And I know this; knew it then, know it now, but it requires vigilance to let people go live their own lives and make their own mistakes, and I was letting it slide a little. I love him; I want him to get sober, be part of my life and my kids' lives and hey, of his OWN life. However, as we all know, I can't make that happen.

So I sat back and watched it progress. I stopped the yelling, I stopped the anger and the hurt and the tears, because even though they were very real and valid feelings, it was a waste of time and energy because it couldn't and didn't change anything. And of course it got worse; that is what happens when an alcoholic drinks. I sat, and I watched, and I didn't confront or verbally beat him up with the fact of his drinking, it just became a non-issue for me once again. It sure didn't halt the downward spiral, but by God I felt a lot more sane.

I am grateful for the reminders because this situation brings up a lot of old issues for me, and I can so clearly see the ways in which I made it really, really easy for my ex-husband to continue the things he was doing. I turned a blind eye until it blew up in my face, then I would get all sorts of raging pissed off, and he would feel guilty for about 30 seconds and thing would get better (meaning he went back to trying to hide it again), and the whole cycle would start all over again. It hasn't been that way as much with Steve, but those old patterns are hard to break.

So when this last go-round came to an end, I had to tell Steve, "I just don't know what hope there is for you. I might have it in me to stick by you through this one, but I KNOW I don't have it in me to go through it again. So right now, I am telling you that if this happens again, I am walking. Not only am I walking, but I will take your son with me because there is no way in hell I am going to put him AND my other kids through this shit. You have one chance with me." And no, it isn't an ultimatum or a threat; it is a simple statement of fact. My friend Janet, who is hard core Al-Anon, coached me with it, and she said that the key is to lay your cards out on the table, and when it happens-whatever it is-the boundaries are adhered to with no discussion. Meaning, I have explained just what the consequences in terms of our relationship and the relationship with his son will be, and if it happens, I follow through and do not need to engage in a dialogue about it. Talk about a freeing feeling. Not that it wouldn't break my heart, not that I would be immune to the fear and worry, but to be so totally aware of my own feelings and needs and be able to follow through? THAT is powerful stuff.

Not long ago I told Steve, "I know that you lie to me because that is what drunks do. But I think you lie less to me than to anyone else in your family." He replied with something about how I am the only one who doesn't fall for his bullshit, at least not for long. He lies, and I know he lies, and he knows that I know he lies, so it makes it a lot harder TO lie. To me, that was a great compliment. And in these last few days, he has talked to me about recovery stuff and for the first time ever seems to be listening. Like, he asked, "Why don't I want to stay sober?" Because it is easier not to. "How am I supposed to deal with all of this stuff with my family?" Dude, you haven't even worked any steps and have to struggle still to not drink on an hourly basis; maybe you don't need to worry about the family stuff just yet." "How am I supposed to DO this?" he says, and all I can say is, "Go to meetings, find a sponsor, don't drink between meetings." Fuck, he says, and yeah, I get that. Because that is the simple, most true answer there is, yet there is nothing simple about it.

Anyway, I think this is a good place for him to be, though I don't know that for sure. I know that I am in a good place; this isn't mine to fix, and I get to be as loving and kind and helpful as I want to be, but on my terms. I don't have to sugar coat anything with him anymore, I don't have to worry that something I will say might possible piss him off, I get to talk to him and say "Hey what the fuck?" And THAT? Is freeing. Very few people appreciate true honesty, I have found, and often ask for opinions or advice or help but don't like it when I say what I think, not what they want to hear. And that's okay; that's their deal. This part is about me, not anyone else-that I am allowing myself to be who I am, to speak my truths and call it like I see it, and try to be as loving as I can when I do so. That is really important to me. I have friends-April, Jacquie, Janet, Shannon, Rob, Camille who do that for me-and I love it about them, even when I sometimes don't like what they have to say. Sometimes it drives people away, and that's okay, too; that, again, is their deal, not mine. So I think of that with Steve, and I love him enough to be honest with him-even knowing that it might drive him away, or might cause it so that I have to leave.

As we say in AA, more will be revealed. In Steve's life, sure, if he sticks with a program. In MY life, most definitely. I am learning how to handle things differently, not in the hope of changing the outcome for someone else, but in an effort to be happy, joyous and free. I look back at my first year sober and being incapable of dealing in ANY healthful way with an active addict as a husband; I look at myself at three years sober, finally able to do what I needed to do, but not without a lot of angst and struggles. Now, at 9-ish years sober, I am doing things I never thought possible, and you know what? It.Fucking.Rocks.

I Am Either Ranting or Taking A Stand

So there was a Roman Catholic Priest, a Methodist minister, and a Jewish Rabbi, sitting around discussing at what point life actually begins. The Catholic priest says, "Life begins at conception." The Methodist minister says, "No, no, life begins at birth." The Rabbi disagrees with both and says, "No, my friends, life begins when all your kids have left home...and the dog dies."

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.