They Didn’t Ask….

Wednesday afternoon I had a follow-up appointment with my has OBGYN.

The appointment has been sitting heavily in the back of my mind and in my heart for about 2 weeks.  The purpose was to make all sure I was healing up, but also the time when we would get all the results from the skew of tests they did on me and the baby.

Driving up to the medical park was so much than I realized it would be.  In fact, it was horrible. Just seeing the building looming over the horizon made me fall into a silent grief.  It was a terrible reminder of loss and hopelessness.

Sitting in the waiting room was hard.   Looking at the table where all the kids sat, waiting for grandparents and friends to pick them up while I was admitted to the hospital was stifling.  As we sat among women who were rubbing their swollen bellies, I fought the tears.  I kept reminding myself that at one point, I didn’t want to be pregnant…I didn’t need another baby to try and figure out how to raise on my own…or another baby to try and raise with someone else.  I tried coming up with some sort of positive mantra to keep the panic attack at bay and the tears corralled.

And it kinda worked.

The moment they called me and brought me into the examination room, my breathing became heavy.  I realized I didn’t want to know what happened to the baby and I didn’t want to know what what wrong with me.  The feeling of guilt and inadequacy was suffocating.

The moment my OB walked in, the tears spilled out.

I didn’t want to see her either.  I didn’t want to see this young, kind, compassionate woman who went above and beyond in helping me and the baby when I was in the hospital.

It was just too much.

And she sat there with me and said, “you know, if you can’t cry now and you can’t cry on my shoulder, there really is never going to be a time in your life when you can cry.”

So, I cried.

And after a bit and a series of questions and tests, she ordered another ultra sound for me.  Even though my tests came back relatively well, some residual pain in places there shouldn’t be residual pain and bleeding where there shouldn’t be bleeding put her in a bit of an alert.

And then we got the news about pathology, genetic testing and autopsy.

The results were not conclusive…but, they left clues.

I had a virus in my system.  A virus that might have been what kept me out of work for weeks in November…or perhaps didn’t give me any clues.  The virus itself could have been fatal for the fetus.

However, autopsy revealed he had no traces of the virus in his system.

Another clue was a tightly wound umbilical cord.  But, as the OB said, it was tight, but just tight in a normal realm of umbilical cords…not tight enough to be fatal.

So, two clues and no closure.

There is also a condition that refers to extreme swelling in unborn babies…which our little man had the symptoms to, but didn’t test positively for.

I guess it was meant to be a mystery.

She said, the results were positive…’hard to listen to, but positive’ — I guess the good news is that there was no genetic issue and she said we can be confident now that there isn’t anything anyone could have ‘done’ to change the outcome.   She said there was nothing I could have done differently, and there was not anything modern medicine could have done to prevent it.  She said that is positive because it means we can confidently make the decision to have another baby…if we got to that point.

And I guess, I guess in some perspectives, that is good.

But, quite frankly, I haven’t quite moved past the phase of still wanting this baby…I’m not interested in another one.

And honestly, I am not sure I ever want to be pregnant again.  Bad things happen in my life when I’m pregnant…and I am tired of bad things happening.

I want simple.  Non-complicated.

Pregnancy always tears open the bottle of extreme drama, exhaustion and complications.

And that was Wednesday.

I left the medical center and stopped and bought wine.

And tried to kill conscious thought with a bit of alcohol…enough to give me a headache to complain about and stop thinking about anything else.

In some ways it worked.

In others it just perpetuated the blocking of thoughts that eventually I have to have.

But, as I was sitting there thinking about what I shouldn’t be thinking about, I realized, that they never asked.

I have NEVER left the OB with a big discussion about birth control.

EVER.

During previous pregnancies, it was “What are your plans for after this birth” —

Between pregnancies it was a dance between pills and shots and various IUDs.

It culminated in a discussion of just getting surgically ‘sterilized’ since anything with hormones causes really horrible reactions and anything with copper creates an allergic reaction.

And I bought into that for awhile….

Until I realized it would wreak havoc on my hormones…an issue every MD and OBGYN has had to deal with and work around for most of my life.

but, this time….

Nothing.

No conversation.

No questions.

No handful of condoms.

No lecture.

No concerns.

Nada.

And for some reason that haunts me.

I think partially because it leaves a door open to having to go through all of this again.

And after an early term miscarriage and a late pregnancy loss…all bundled into one year, I’m not sure I want that.

After nearly 6 months of chaos and stress, pain and anxiety at home…I’m not sure potentially bringing another little person in the mix is comforting.

For YEARS…since the birth of my first daughter, the conversation has ALWAYS been about birth control.

And I can’t figure out why, when it will be baby #4 for me…baby #5 if you add in my boyfriend’s daughter, there wasn’t talk about how to NOT have more babies….

but, only the support for when we are ready to have another one.

I am not sure why that is so disconcerting to me.

But, it is.

And perhaps that is what the heaviest layer of fog is that covered me when I left the clinic.  I’ve had time to roll around in the loss of our little boy.  I’ve replayed the scenarios of “what if” and “if only” and have carried around a box of guilt and a suitcase of grief.  I guess his loss has become part of me in many ways already.  It is becoming a comfortable discomfort.

But, they didn’t ask.

And the words unspoken are gripping.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in moving forward | 3 Comments

A Tiny Pewter Home

Bay Area Cremation and Funeral Services.

A tiny little office in  the old part of the little town I grew up in.  The front desk manned by a blond woman with a huge heart, a warm embrace and eyes that said, “It’s OK…but I know it isn’t OK.”

I stepped through the door with my boyfriend/fiance/have no idea what to call him anymore.

And I looked up and there was a wall full of beautifully shaped and colored urns.

And a side table with business cards.

All peaceful.

Clean.

Bright.

Bay Area Cremation and Funeral Services.

How is the hell was I walking into this office?

It was surreal.

And so painfully real.

I was crying before I took my first breath.

I never imagined myself having to pick out urns for a tiny little baby.

I never imagined having to fill out papers to file with the state in some sort of registry of death.

I knew, in some way, that when we were there, we would have to pick out an urn…that is part of the whole cremation process.  But, I guess part of me just wanted there to be “The Urn” that baby boys were packed safely away in.  No choices.  Just “The Urn.”

But, they present you with this big colored catalog with a thousand different of version of vessels.  Glass and marble, etched and bejeweled.

More choices.  Decisions to be made that overwhelmed me.

Decisions that had to be made that I just didn’t want to make.

Because they are decisions that you aren’t supposed to make for a tiny little baby that never had the chance to live.

They are decisions you make when your great-great gramma dies at the age of 104 or your for your drunken uncle who outlived his liver by a decade.

Not decisions you make for a baby you aren’t ready to say goodbye to because you never had the proper chance to say hello.

I think that had it not been for the increase in anti-anxiety meds my MD suggested, the moment I stopped to look at the book would have been the moment panic set in and my ability to think clearly would have been obliterated for at least a day.

My Person (as we will call him for simplicity) wanted a little box that you set out to sea.

I couldn’t.

I mean.  It is beautiful.  In theory.

But, so scary.

I had this immediate thought of a helpless little baby floating around a huge sea in the midst of a storm and I couldn’t send my baby into that.

It didn’t seem safe or comfortable.

It wasn’t peaceful.

I found a simple little pewter urn.

And that is what we picked.

I can’t give my baby’s remains back to nature.

I’m not ready.

I’m not ready to give him away.

I guess I’m selfish.

The woman was beyond good at her job. She was kind and loving and gentle and had a calm, joyful energy to her.  She was a blessing.  She made the ugly paperwork seem easy and told us about the crematorium and how it is all run by her family and I just knew that if she were this loving, it all seemed less scary knowing that loving hands would be taking care of him until we got him back.

But, it all just seemed surreal.

Walking into a funeral home.

Filling out legal forms.

Signing documents for the state.

Picking out forever homes.

In many ways, I am grateful for the tiny little family owned business.  The owners are friends of my parents and their business is housed smack in the middle of the town where I was raised.  It made the whole  thing seem a bit more homey and familiar.  I was glad I was doing this in a place I considered home in a business my family considers friends.

But, it was hard.

My Person and I left and picked up our preschooler.

We went to Costco to fill our freezer with more Eggo waffles and frozen chicken than one would think a family of 6 could actually consume in a lifetime.

We rushed to the elementary school to pick up the other kids.

And then the chaos of cheer practice and homework and dinner and bedtimes took over.

We haven’t talked about it.

I’m not sure we are ready.

I’m not ready.

I don’t think that he is either.

We haven’t cried together.

We haven’t talked about it much.

He is worried about my physical health and healing.

He found a way to deal with it all from a safe distance.

I can’t think about it without crying.

We are both too distracted to talk about it.

I think we are both grieving.

And we can’t do it together since we are still wrapping our heads around it.

And I think that I realized yesterday that we can’t grieve together yet because one of us has to be strong — because if we both collapse, it will be too easy to let it consume us.

So, for now.

I guess we are taking turns.

I am better when the kids are home and chaos and noise and giggles and fighting fills the halls and bounces around the rooms.  It is easy to smile and laugh when they are around.  It is easier to be strong when they ask about their baby brother and when they start  to cry over their loss.

It’s easier being a mom than just being a woman consumed with emotions that are really hard to sort out.

Eventually we will get there.

I know because I can feel it in my gut and I’m trusting it in my heart.

I’m balancing on faith that he will begin the work of dealing with his addictions that are cushioning him from feelings.

But for now.

We aren’t ready yet.

I am not ready yet.

He isn’t ready yet.

And I guess,until the day when we return to pick up our little boy in his tiny little pewter urn, we won’t have to.

Saved by the bell.

For now.

Until the final one tolls.

 

 

Posted in adulthood, children, decision-making, family, grief, loss, motherhood | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Last Fantasy of Family

You know when you look back on moments in your life and you think, “Shit.  This is it.  Today is the day that my world is going to change.  My life is moving in the right direction.  I can breathe.  Everything is going to be OK.”

Or maybe you might take the leap of faith and think, “Life is good.”

or

“I am exactly where I want to be.”

I remember all those moments.  A year ago, in fact, close to the day, I think that I had all those thoughts.

And I think that in those moments, my life did change.  My life changed a lot.

I thought my life was getting to this place of stability with future.

I thought that FINALLY my life was getting back to being life.

A year in retrospect and a lot of shit has changed.

One miscarriage.

Another lost baby.

Engagement.

Moving in together.

Family trips.

Family pictures.

Family.

That’s it.

I thought that, you know, THIS is actually my turn to be part of a family.

WE are a family.

And I think that my expectations were blown through the roof.

And I think that now I understand that just maybe I’m not strong enough to be part of a family.

This morning, after a sleepless night, around 3:45 am, I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat on the couch where my fiance was staring blindly at the TV.

I KNEW that there was something off.  After his 9 hour jaunt to the airport to drop his daughter off…the second he walked in the door I knew something was different.

In fact, when he wasn’t home by 7, I started to wonder, “Is he coming home?”

At 8 I was rationalizing, “Well…he has my car.  He will at least be back in time for me to bring the kids to school tomorrow.”

The energy was weird.

And I was right.

So, I asked…..

And I asked KNOWING the answer.

I asked KNOWING that the answer wasn’t what I wanted to hear or needed to hear or hoped to hear.

I asked, anyway.

I asked bravely.

And I set my engagement ring on the couch between us and said,

“If you don’t know…then I shouldn’t be wearing this.”

I know that I am an exceedingly difficult person.

I am strong headed, assertive, and direct.

My ex-husband said I was the ice-queen.

My fiance said I was mean.

And they are talking about the same person.

The person who builds up walls so thick and tall and unbending – so unyielding that I become detached and flat.

Despondent.

The person who is afraid…knowing of pending disaster.

The person preparing for a storm and realizing that “I am in this shit alone…get strong and get brave.”

And that means…create distance.

I asked my now not-so-much-my-fiance if THIS is what he wanted.  THIS life…with kids and chaos and emotions and bumps and bruises and pain and hurt.

Or if he wanted booze.

Because, he can’t have both.

Not in my world.

I FINALLY figured out that I am worth more than the walls I build.  I FINALLY figured out that shit gets stirred…life gets really fucking hard…and that is reality…and when life is horrific, you don’t run, you face the motherfucking problem and try to salvage as much as you can.

I FINALLY realized that when someone blames me for their problems, I am NOT the problem.

I think that the worst part of this is that I had this really tiny little piece of my heart that clung on to the idea that this guy really did love me.

I had this tiny little piece of hope left that I was worth more to him than 3 beers and three shots that lay hidden in the folds of the story he was willing to tell.

I sunk when I learned the pot he told me he threw away was really just hidden somewhere in my garage.

My heart broke into about a million little pieces when I learned that he didn’t love me enough to know that regardless of the bad shit, he still loved me.

And wanted to stick it out.

Go to the marriage counselor.

Go to the substance abuse counseling.

Go to family therapy.

But.

He doesn’t love me that much.

Or maybe he just doesn’t know.

Maybe he is just too hung over to know.

I had this fantasy of building a life with someone. And now I really get it.

Family is Fantasy.

It isn’t meant to be my reality.

I wrote about the lone wolf a week or so ago.

And I think that is what I am.

The Lone Wolf.

I don’t fit in.

And if fitting in means coming in to rank of importance after a laundry list of people and substances…I guess I really don’t want to fit in.

I don’t want family if family means pain and suffering alone.

I am in pain.

I am suffering.

And the man who I love, loves alcohol.

I am still in a place of dark sadness over the little boy we lost.  There has yet to be enough sedatives to not make me cry every time I close my eyes and envision his tiny little body or feel weird contractions in my stomach or see blot clots the size of golf balls when I go to the bathroom.  After almost a week, you’d think I’d be a bit cried out.

But, the tears just keep flowing.

Because when I lost the baby, I also am learning I lost a man I love.

I guess I lost him before.  But, I’m finally just realizing it.

I lost a chance at family.

My fantasy built on hope and dreams and faith and love broke.

My kids are slowly getting up for school.

And in about an hour, reality of school and tutoring and tennis practice and cheer practice will fills the voids of the day.

While they are with their teachers, I’ll be busy looking for work to fill the pending $3,000 deficit my bank account will be suffering from come Feb. due to lack of work and lack of child support…and preparing for another semester in the dungeon of the community college  where I met, and fell in love with, the man who stares blankly at me when I ask him why.

The nights will circle back to loneliness and dreams of dead babies scattered throughout my house and others of dead people chasing me.

I remember when my life kinda fell apart before.  I was lost and angry…scared.

My life is falling apart again.

But, I’m not angry.  I am not lost.  And I am not sure I am scared.

I think that this time I am just really sad.

So sad I am waiting to just feel empty again.

And perhaps splattering my grief in the Candy Jar will help me find a bit of peace again.

Or at least fill the dead voids in the day when the silence is stifling.

Grieving the loss of my family.

Kissing goodbye the fantasy.

Posted in Bitch, children, Dating, diamond ring, divorce, family, grief, marriage, men, relationships and dating, survival, trust, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Loss with no silver lining

Although I haven’t touched much on the subject here, I guess now is the time since I’m in the middle of processing it all.

In September of  this last year, I found out I was pregnant.

It wasn’t planned for.  It wasn’t necessarily unwanted, but it was definitely unexpected.

I was diagnosed with poly cystic ovarian syndrome at the age of like 23 and diagnosed with early menopause at 22.

Having babies was not really part of my big picture.   When I was married, we went through 2 years of every infertility treatment under the sun only to be told “You will never carry a pregnancy to term” – “you might want to look into a carrier” and “adoption might be the best option.”

We chose adoption.

And then through the miracle of life, we had two little girls.

And I have never really thought much again about the whole pregnancy thing since ovulation wasn’t part of my status quo.

And then last Spring I found out I was pregnant.

On the day I went to the MD to find out it wasn’t really pregnancy, but a miscarriage.

And it sucked, and like all things that suck, you suck it up and move on.

And then September came and I learned I was pregnant.

And all seemed relatively good.  The appointments and the ultrasounds and the heart beat and all my symptoms.

All signs of a strong and healthy pregnancy.

All good until it wasn’t.

And when it went bad, it went very bad.

December 30th I had an ultra sound appointment.  And it was extremely fast and the was told, “Why don’t you head up and speak to your doctor.”

And I knew.

I knew that something was really bad.

I sent a quick text to my best friend and said as much.

And as the MD pulled up a chair in the examination room, I said, “There wasn’t a heart beat, was there?”

And she nodded.

I was admitted to the hospital and relatively soon, they started to induce labor.

And I was just stuck there.

Sitting there, knowing that the life I was responsible for, was floating around without any life inside of me.

Logic tells me that I’m not to blame.  Logic tells me whatever happened was bigger than me.

Emotion tells me otherwise.

Nobody else was responsible.  It was my body.

I can’t stop thinking about how I somehow killed my own baby.

The last 6 months have been relatively horrific months in my life.  I’ve been in court dealing with an ex-husband who is a really bad person with a really large ability to use the law in his favor.

I’ve been dealing with two kids who are struggling with the impact of the behaviors of their father.

I’ve been working about 80 hours a week to support my little family and worried about what would happen when the work ran out (which, by the way, it did).

I’ve been struggling with a now-fiance (that is a whole different story) and his struggles which are so much greater than I can deal with.   But, the struggles meant that I have been shouldering the blame and carrying the burden of his choices in attempt to either pretend they weren’t there or just counterbalance the effect they were having on me and my kids.

I hit a breaking point on December 23.

It was an emotional wall.  It was emotional rock bottom.

I was broken.

And pregnant.

And out of work.

And had nothing left.

Or at least I felt like that.

And to be honest, due to the chaos and the fear surrounding every step of my life, I’ve been questioning my ability to raise this little baby.

I said, “I can’t raise 4 kids on my own with two dysfunctional fathers.  I can’t do it.  I can’t do THIS anymore.”

And then the baby died.

Died before we knew if he was a boy or a girl.

Died before he had a chance to breathe stale hospital air into this tiny little lungs.

Died before I could hold him or see him or touch him.

He was gone.

Perhaps the answer to prayers I wasn’t brave enough to actually pray.  The solution to a problem I wasn’t ready to admit existed.

I think that I was doing OK, given the terms, until the first doctor used the term ‘stillborn.’

Miscarriage is something that I can handle.  I’ve been through that rodeo before.

But stillborn is different.

It is more.

It is a real person…one who could have had a standing chance at living if we had known he was sick.

But, we didn’t.

We didn’t know.

I didn’t know.

I was perhaps, too wrapped up being overwhelmed by everything else in my life to notice that my baby was dying inside of me.

Or perhaps because I knew he was dying, I had this deep desire to be alone and away from all the chaos and the chaotic people in my life.

Perhaps my running away was my way of spending a few peaceful hours with the little boy I would never have the luxury of holding or smelling or kissing or wrapping into my arms.

I don’t think I realized how much I loved or needed or wanted this little boy until he was taken from me.

Lifelessly.

Another unfair twist of fate.

Another serving of loss in life.

And quite frankly, another failure as a mother.

I knew that I was going to struggle with this.  I knew that not being able to hold him or see him was going to create a gaping hole I’d have to jump to create closure.  I knew that I was dealing with death in a way that was new.

I guess I was taking it all in with baby steps.

But, I lost it when the car left the parking lot of the hospital.  No mother is supposed to leave Labor and Delivery empty handed.

Driving away alone made the loss so much bigger than I realized it would be.

Telling the kids was worse.  Their little innocent tears made breathing hard for me.

And the silence might kill me yet.

The silence is where truth and emotion leak out in unstoppable waves.

Silence is filled with guilt and sorrow and regret.

Silence is filled with this sensation of a tiny little baby being curled up next to my chest.

A good friend who is surviving a stillborn birth told me, “you’ll never not have that feeling of a ghost baby.  He’ll always be there.  You’ll always notice that something, or someone is missing.  And one day you’ll learn to love that energy.”

For now, it just makes me sad.  It makes breathing heavy and thinking cloudy.

And the guilt.

The guilt is bad.

Had I been less stressed…or less anxious…or less fearful….

Had I been more excited or more connected.

Stronger.

Braver.

Just more of something.

perhaps I could have saved him.

But, I wasn’t that person.

And I ruined it.

I ruined him.

I broke him.

I lost him.

And I’m so so sorry.

I feel like I have picked all the pieces of life up off the ground time and time again.  I feel like I have had to looks at my life in broken shards spread all over the floor time and time again.

I am good at starting all over again.

I am good at finding the silver lining, sucking it up, starting again and rebuilding from the bottom of a dark pit.

but, I’m tired.

I’m tired of starting again.  Recovering from loss.  Looking for a silver lining in a black cloud of toxic life.

I don’t want to fight my way out of this one.

This is my loss with no silver lining.

 

 

Posted in children, family, Fear, motherhood, survival, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I want my fucking civil rights back

war cryI’ve started and not finished writing about 7 posts since my last one.  They all seemed incomplete, whiny or just sad and pathetic.

Partially, I’m chalking it up to being pregnant and having larger than life hormonal crazy raging through my head, heart and body.

Partially, I’m chalking it up to pure confusion and feeling overwhelmed to a point where I just can’t distinguish one line of thinking from the other.  They all blur together into one blob of intermingled chaos that shouldn’t be intermingled and will never be sorted that way.

But, today, as I sit a bit more clear minded after a few days of FINALLY getting my house to myself and hours of solitude, sleep and silence, I know that the underlining framework of so much of my stress and anxiety is still sitting on the floor of the world I can’t escape of divorce and custody and parenting.

Even as I push forward, ready to move on – and in many ways, cruising down the highway of life, debilitating cement blocks stopping me from really moving on.

And as I walked on the treadmill this morning (since my runs have long been eradicated by the fact I’m pretty sure jumping and running would entail my entire uterus falling out), I once again came face to face with the idea that I have no basic civil rights due to the restrictions the family court system has placed on me due to the mandates of my ex-husband.

I told my fiance that if there is such thing as reincarnation, I wanted to come back to life with a penis.

Because if you have a penis, you have more inherent access to civil liberties and freedom of choice than you will ever have as a woman. Especially a woman who has *gasp* reproduced.

I once again am confronted with this reality  that I have no freedom of financial success, financial security, professional advancement, social stability because of my ex-husband.  The more I work, the more money he wants from me.  The more I work, the court determines the kids should be with their father.  I can’t really work in my industry because of geographic restrictions the court has placed on me if I want to retain any sort of custodial rights to my children.  My ability to create stability is 100% determined on the whims of my ex-husband…all waiting for when he brings me back to court to take the kids away from me and take a bigger paycheck away from me with it.

As a U.S. citizen, (which, by the way, my ex-husband IS NOT), my civil rights have been taken away in the name of Family Court — to appease a man who is not even a U.S. citizen.  His penis rights have outweighed my civil rights as a citizen.

The RIGHT TO LIFE means I have the ability to make my own choices about how I am going to live.  My right to life allows me to choose where ever I want to live and how I want to live.  It gives me the right to make choices about career path, to marry, to have children and how to raise them.  The right to life is about personal decisions.

The RIGHT TO HOLD PROPERTY is an extension of my right to life.  It means I have the right to earn income and spend it however I want and that the government can’t take it away from me.  Family Court limits my ability and my right to earn and income and dictates what they can take away in the name of the Man with (not too impressive) Penis who wants to take it from me.

THE RIGHT TO LIBERTY really means I have a right to literally be free…FREE of governmental control. My life is completely dictated by the government as dictated by the California Family Court system.  I cannot make my mind up about issues without them being ‘approved’ decisions within their mandates.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS dictates that U.S. citizens have the freedom to pursue choices that give pleasure, satisfaction and self-fulfillment…assuming you aren’t breaking any laws and hurt others in the process.  The government is not allowed to dictate for you to live in a manner in which you do not choose.

These are my civil rights.

The family court system has taken these away.  My ex-husband uses the system to his advantage.  Quite deeply, I don’t think he gives a flying fuck about the kids.  They are showpieces and a paycheck for him.  They are a power play.  They are not people.

The family court system has dictates where I can work, how I can work, how much income I can earn and how much I have to give away.  They have taken away my ability to live freely and pursue happiness.

All because the one with a (less than impressive) penis has given them the opportunity to do so.

To overview, I have NEVER broken a major law.  I have, sadly, gotten one speeding ticket in the last 20 years and have probably J-Walked a thousand times.

But, when it comes to being a GOOD U.S. citizen and a GOOD human, I do my part. I work hard.  I love deeply.  I have sacrificed for the good of other people.  I have worked myself into a place of empty exhaustion attempting to live within the framework the family court system has set up, knowing, that at any minute, my ex-husband can whisk me back in there and continue to take, continue to abuse, continue to assert his demands on me and the court system will appease him.

When do I give to live withing my civil rights?

The fact I have had children with, as my therapist says, “A really bad man,” should not take away my legal, civil rights to pursue life, liberty, property and happiness.   Because I have tolerated over a decade of abuse from this man means our country should FIGHT for MY civil rights and those civil rights of my children…who are all U.S. Citizens.  . . and stop supporting the ‘rights’ of a man who lives here without paying taxers, hurting people, and stealing people’s rights to thrive.

If I had a penis, I don’t feel like I would be so trapped.

A penis is a stick of power.

It is a power of success, opportunity, voice, validity, and perhaps worse of all, abuse.

As a woman I have very little.

Which is extraordinary because I am well-educated, a hard worker, and am white.

I shouldn’t be cornered in this place.

But, I am.

And like all strong women, I made the best of a shitty situation. And when I arrived to this place of stability, the Bad Man with Penis swept it all away.

And I am tired of it.

I want equitable access to my civil rights.

The fact I have children should only be a sign of STRENGTH and additional empowerment, not a penalty.

But, sadly, they are a penalty…which only perpetuates the sadness I feel in my heart for all womankind.

I am sad for my children.

I am sad for girls and women alike.

I am sad for me.

But, I am also really fucking pissed off.

Perhaps my anger will spur change.  Perhaps it will cause fights.  Perhaps it will just perpetuate the stigma of women sucking because we are ‘hormonal.’

I want to use my hormones for good. Shake shit up.  Make people angry.  Let people know that I exist and deserve the same fucking rights as they do with their (less than impressive) penis.  Perhaps all of us women with ‘hormones’ should get together and scare the Bad Men with Penis back into their cages where they can hurt only themselves while the rest of us try and regain access to our civil rights AND children.

It’s a pipe dream.

But, I got shit else to purse.

When someone takes away our civil rights, you are left sitting in a puddle of “what the fuck” — I want my fuck back, to put it nicely.

Posted in Abuse, decision-making, divorce, moving forward, survival | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Still A Survivor

47433bee21f326eabadf038758c4dd06“I think that is the problem.  I don’t need you.  I have hit the bottom before and built myself back into a decent place.  You know I can make it on my own.   You know that I am fiercely independent and will fight to take care of my kids.  You know I don’t care how ‘moral’ or ‘just’ it is, I’ll do it because I know I have to do it alone.  The problem is you need me to need you.  The bigger problem is you haven’t given me anything that I can’t provide myself.  Once a survivor, always a survivor. I know that is the only way I know how to live.”

And that was how it all started.

After days of hiding in the shadows of my house.  Hiding from people and hiding from the conversations that I knew had to happen, today I broke down.

I told him, “If I am not ranked within the top 3 most important things in your life, that isn’t you putting me first.  If I’m not in the top 5, I’m not sure that is love.  I don’t even make your top 10 list.  That makes me a convenience, and I don’t need to be anyone’s “convenience”  —  if we are in this, I need to know that I’m important.”

I’ve learned I’ve past the stage of needing someone.  I’ve learned that if someone wants to keep you around as a  convenience, there are benefits.  In my case, there were some diamonds, cash and a down payment on a car I desperately needed.  When I’m ‘convenient’ I’ll be so with reward.

Convenience means there is some sort of transaction.

Love isn’t that.

Love is interdependence.

Love is a willingness to sacrifice.

Love is hope.

Perhaps joy.

Always trust.

Faith.

Love is making sure the one you loves understand how are important.

Valid

Valuable

Important.

Love, quite frankly, is hard.

I don’t think that it was meant to be easy.

Lust is easy.  Passion is easy.  Playful is easy.

Love is meant to be earned.

And must be continually fed.

And both parties have to feed into the jar.

I’m struggling with love.

And I think that it is because there is no interdependence.

On one hand, I’ve learned the technique of survival.

And when I feel the earth getting shaky, I set up my survival tools and prepare.  I know when things get a little bit rough, they get worse.

There is always worse.

Another shoe to drop or another storm to survive.

When you are a survivor, you prepare.

Sometimes you are over prepared.

Sometimes you aren’t quite as prepared as you need to be, but you are focused and you make it happen somehow.  Even when it is ugly and uncomfortable, you make it happen.

I’ve learned that perhaps the jar of love has been grossly neglected by at least half the party because I’ve been dancing around the pool of survival for months now and have been precariously close to jumping in.

I’ve always heard that strong women end up alone because men need to feel needed…and if they aren’t as needed as they would like to be, they jump ship and head out to find the next unstable or unsettled bitch wandering around.

The strong women remain strong.  Perhaps men are intimidated because they know that woman will be good without them.

In my head, it just means that those men need to step up their game to show what they can contribute.  They need to make themselves invaluable.  They need to create a web of inter-dependency. They need to prove to that strong ass woman that they can contribute.

And if they can’t prove they can contribute, that woman is going to walk.

I think that in my case, I’ve created this chasm.

Because I’ve gone into survival mode.

I am reclaiming any independence I might have shared because I know, I’m not someone who is loved…I am someone who is convenient.

When alcohol, drugs, card games, silly side jobs, school work and studying are more important than time with me, I understand where I fit into your life.

When you are living a secret life, that life is more important than me.

When you put on a show to the world to maintain the fascade that you are such a wonderful partner, yet disappear into the depths of your secret life, I know that life is more important than me, but the convenience I offer is worth lying to maintain.

When there are a constant stream of text messages that you jump to answer as soon as your phone beeps that you make no mention of, even when we are in the midst of a conversation dropped to attend to your phone, I know that I am a convenience and your secret life is more important that me.

When I wake up in the middle of the night and see your nose stuck in your phone, I know there is something (someone?) more important than me in your life.

Your secret life wins.

It is ruining us.

In many ways, it might have already ruined us.

And I won’t sit there and cry and try and convenience you that the life I have to share with you is more exciting or less stressful than the secret life you are living behind my back.

Because my life isn’t.

I am a suburban mom.  I work.  I try and maintain a house. I live in circles around my kids.  I thought I was living in circles around you.

I cook, and clean and run a taxi service between tennis, tumbling, tutoring and school.  I make lunches and wash dishes, fold laundry and scrub toilets.

I am not fun.

My life is not glamorous.

But, it is life with a family of kids.

Carrying the burden of everyone to make life a good one for everyone.

I made it easy for you to lie to me.

I turned a blind eye.

Because coming to the realization that you were picking substances and other people over me hurt.

It tore open the scabs of a marriage where a husband made sure he knew what a horrible wife, mother, cook, housecleaner, HUMAN I was between text messaging the woman he was fucking and the nights he spent outside of the house drinking with hoards of who knew who.

I thought you weren’t like that.

And I think I didn’t want to admit it.

So, I was your cover story.

And I got to work.

And now you can see that I am not only just good without you, I don’t need you.

And I know that hurts.

It hurts to know that you aren’t needed.

I also know in a relationship, without interdependency, there is nothing. There is no space for trust or growth or laughter. There is not a strong future and there probably is no tomorrow.

At least a functional, healthy one anyway.

And I am not interested in living another dysfunctional relationships that leaves me in a black hole of emotion.

And I know you don’t need me.  And I know I can’t provide what you are looking for.   I will never be what you find at the bottom of an empty bottle of vodka.  I will never be a smooth high of pot or the rush of winning a card game.

And I don’t need the worry and the fear your escapes provide.  I don’t need to wonder where you are at night, who you are with, if you are safe and alive.  I don’t need to wonder if you are going to walk through the door again or not. I don’t need to cover you.  I don’t want to lie about where you might be when the kids ask.  I don’t want to make up excuses for you.   I don’t want to worry about paying the bills on my own or if you are really going to be there to help with the kids or not.  I don’t need it.

I realize, I am better off alone.

Because I know I can depend on myself.  Because I am a survivor.  And I know that to survive, you learn to trust nobody but yourself and you work like a motherfucker to keep steady in shaky waters.

The more you find convenience in me, even when you claim love, the thicker I build the protective walls around my children, their future, our home and my heart.

Perhaps we are at a standstill.

I need to be vulnerable.

But, I refuse until you change.

And seek help.

And prove to me that you have something to contribute that I can’t provide myself.

And we both know, there is very little in the world I need that I can’t provide myself.

As I’ve been working like a motherfucker for months, I hand the baton off.

It is your turn.

I’ve hit a rock bottom – both physically and emotionally.

I’ve lost interest.

I am tired.

And empty.

I’ve nothing left to contribute to a jar of love.

I guess I am relinquishing control.  I am sitting on my hands and resting on my laurels.

I’ve done all I can do.

If you want it, you’ll make it your priority and change the dynamics.

If you don’t, you know where the door is.

And I’ll leave your shit stacked nicely on the driveway.

And I’ll wish you the best – because I do wish you the best –

And I’ll slowly begin to deconstruct the protective wall and start to rebuild again.

It isn’t the love story you read about in story books.

But, it is one saturated in reality.

So.

We wait.

See if help is sought where help should be.  See if changes are made that are meant to be. See if my home no longer becomes a convenience and learn if we can become interdependent.

A game in practicing patience.

A game in hope.

A game in faith.

A game in love.

Second chances.

Renewal in the New Year, right?

Until then, I’ll survive.

 

 

Posted in Dating, Faith, family, marriage, men, relationships and dating, survival | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Lone Wolf

be47913f5038261901c8753289aa4cfaWolves are typically known as pack animals.   They are seen as extremely social animals – where they live in families, what we might label as a traditional nuclear family with a male, female and their offspring

Although known to be fiercely independent, wolves in a family work together.  They are top predators and even in their hunting, they respect the authority of the pack hierarchy, but fight to feed and protect each other.

And then there is the lone wolf.

The lone wolf who is unwilling, or unable to live and interact well with other people…or animals in the case of the wolf pack. Some stories of the lone wolf, tell the story of the wolf heading  off into the dangerous lands alone, seeking solace to come back stronger and smarter than before.  In some versions, the wolf leaves because he has been ostracized for some sort of mis-guided display of wolfedness…other reasons the wolf leaves because they feel unfulfilled.

In the end, the lone wolf dies attempting to  survive alone out in the world meant to be lived in a pack.

Or, the wolf comes back a stronger wolf and can teach and lead the pack to this place of higher living….whatever that means in the wolf world.

I think that because wolves live this balanced life of family and strength and independence, people relate to them.

Fierce, but loving.

Strong, but gentle.

United, but successful within a hierarchy.

In my world, I have always loved the idea of having my own little wolf pack.  As a kid, I wanted to grow up and be a mommy.  I wanted to be a housewife and take care of a little herd of kids.

I grew up, got married and learned before the wedding date that I had gone through early menopause.

Babies were probably not in my future without medical intervention.

Fast forward a few years.

Time for babies.

But, no babies.

Between a diagnosis of poly cystic ovarian syndrome and premature menopause, even cycle after cycle of invitro fertilization left me with the false hope of pregnancy, only to end in miscarriage, or not even an inkling of hope.

“Next month….we will try again next month” my specialist told me month after month for nearly 2 years.

“I think that now you need to look into other options.  Adoption?  A surrogate?  I am not sure your body will ever carry a baby to term”

During that two year period, I mourned the idea of family and began to focus on academics.  I knew that women in academics rarely were knee deep in family life when they began (or often end) their careers, and since I wasn’t going to be part of the reproductive party, I knew that I was going to focus on academics and skip the whole family thing.

My journey as the lone wolf was born.

Yet.

Eventually, there was a big explosion of kids.  One through the grace of adoption and then two little miracle babies.

I went from nada to 3 in less than three years and it was overwhelming to say the least.

My life that had been honed to be that of the lone wolf – part of a family pack, but isolated in my little academic office, was obliterated.

Suddenly, with a life-crisis to  highlight it, I was surrounded by little people all day without much reprieve. Those of you who have followed this blog for the last 5 years, have lived the devastation of divorce and family court…and an attempt at renewal with me.

I was a lone wolf with a herd of kids.

I think that my mentality of  survival kept me afloat.  It made me meaner in many ways and also much more compassionate in others. It was me and my little pack and we were making it.

And then things changed again.

And perhaps this is where I am realizing that I was never meant to be part of a true wolf pact.  I am, truly, the lone wolf.

I protect my little pact from afar.  I don’t play well with others and I have come to realize, I am not that interested in playing well with others anyway.  I have learned to look at people from afar and never trust…because in the end, trust is what made you the lone wolf in the beginning.

I don’t think I was ever meant to be part of a real family as an adult.  Well, not the traditional kind, anyway.  I think that my destiny really is to be a single mom, raising my kids to the best of my ability, working like a motherfucker to provide, and keeping the danger as far away from my kids as possible.

The whole real family thing doesn’t fit me.  Perhaps it is because I have been on my own for too long and I don’t want to make the adaptions that are necessary to make a family work.   Things like letting other people and their behaviors dictate the foundation of day-to-day life.

And perhaps because I realize that letting people in is also this opportunity to open my family to risk and danger.

And if my job is to protect and provide, introducing people into the mix means the risk and danger increases.

I’ve raised my kids by myself for nearly 8 years.  Even when I was married, it was me and the kids.  I had a husband who dropped in once in awhile and let pennies trickle into a shared bank account (that he later drained).  Then it was me and three kids.

And we’ve survived (with the help of my wonderful mother,  I should add).

And although we still struggle with things, I’m learning that our struggles are really not that different than any other family.

I’m sitting at life at this really odd place.

I’m scared of the idea of not being the lone wolf.  The most successful moments of my life have all be as the lone wolf.

Perhaps it is an issue with control, or perhaps it is just lack of faith — perhaps lack of faith of people in general, but, I am at a bit of a fork in the road.

To continue on my path alone.

Or not.

The closer I get to people, and the more loss of emotional blood I lose, I tend to believe alone is better.  Creating even the tiniest blip of space to recreate the same shitty marriage I had before with the same never-ending divorce to follow, makes me shake.

It makes me panic.

I don’t want that.

My bestest friend ever tell me that I need to not be alone.  Because the more alone I am, the more I hide away and disconnect and do everything within my power to disappear.

She reminds me that survival as a human means interdependence on other imperfect people.

She reminds me that I’ve survived on my own for much longer than most people can and that it is time to trust someone and their flaws and start rebuilding a life.

I don’t know.

The temptation of space and freedom and solitude overwhelms my senses and nudges me in the direction of returning to the forest as a lone wolf.

The comfort of stability and support and not having to fight the fight on my own has its own allure.

A toss of a coin.

The be part of a pack.

To continue on alone.

I guess the highlight of this story is that I don’t have to choose quite yet.

Waiting for the winds to change or the tide to come in.

Patiently.

To see where the future lands me.

 

 

Posted in Cycles of Abuse, Dating, decision-making, divorce, family, marriage, moving forward, relationships and dating, solitude | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments