Monday, October 24, 2011

How I Spent 9/11

The day after the last post on this blog, I was sitting in front of the TV like so many other Americans watching the 9/11 Memorial coverage at Ground Zero.
Like I do every year, I listened as the bells were rung to commemorate when each plane hit and as each tower fell.
I listened to the reading off of the names and cried when they reached the name of the loved one I'd lost ten years ago.
I honored those lost and those left behind by lighting two pillar candles in remembrance.
I turned off the TV and went about my morning with plans to take the kids to a local 9/11 Memorial which was close to a park.
I wanted to honor the day by going out and living the life I am so blessed to have.
It was 11am when my phone rang.
The caller ID said it was PrinceCharming. The voice on the other end, however, couldn't have been farther from his.
It was his sister. She was calling to tell me that my (not yet) ex-husband had been in a head on collision early that morning and was in the Trauma ICU at a local hospital.
He's going to be ok but he wanted me to call to tell you.
Sorry, but the letters "I-C-U" and "O-K" don't go together in my Dictionary.
I hung up the phone in a daze as my 9 and 5 year olds played blissfully unaware of the new 9/11 tragedy that may or may not be playing out in our lives.
My mind went blank.
What was I to do? What do I tell the kids?? What am I supposed to say??? How am I supposed to feel????
I was alone.
And in new territory.
I hadn't spoken with my SIL in close to two years and doubted I would get very many answers from her any time soon.
Knowing she suffers the same passive-agressive tendencies as her brother, I called in reinforcements and notified every one of PrinceCharming's and my mutual friends. I needed to know the truth of what had happened to my childrens' father and I needed to know it N-O-W.
As I struggled to remain calm in front of our kids, I texted and snuck phone calls to relay what little information I had.
We're on our way and will call you from the hospital.
Our friends descended upon Trauma ICU en masse and over the course of the next several weeks proved invaluable to my sanity.
For the two days following I was with my (not yet) ex-husband at his bedside while our kids were at school, needing to see for myself the extent of his injuries and whether or not he truly would be OK.
He was intubated, yet conscious.
He couldn't speak but his body language communicated VOLUMES that only I could understand. I relayed instructions to those who were taking charge of his care (a job that once belonged to me), so they could do their best to make sure he was comfortable.
I held PrinceCharming's hand and reassured him the kids were ok and would be ok.
I looked into his eyes and he squeezed my hand in acknowledgement and thanks.

(Of course, I was referring to Hansel and Gretel whom I had control over what and how the information would be disseminated. Cinderella, OTOH, was at my SILs house when the accident occurred and was told moments before her BioMom came to pick her up. This was not what PrinceCharming wanted.)

(Cinderella had started the school year at her mother's, not by choice, but due to PrinceCharming's struggles with his depression and trying to balance a new job at an internet start-up. She has been allowed to see her father TWICE in the past six weeks, despite many attempts by me to make this situation right. This past weekend I succeeded, with his help, and was able to bring all of our kids to him for a visit.)

These past six weeks have consisted of MRIs, CT Scans, X-Rays, ER visits and long stints in two hospitals.
My (not yet) ex-husband is lucky to be alive.
He's been up against numerous broken and shattered bones paired with traumatic brain injury resulting in memory loss.
Compound all of that with post-traumatic stress no doubt added to his pre-existing anxiety and depression.
The lines of reality and perceived reality as a result of this emotional dysregulation are blurry at best.

I'm in unfamiliar yet all-too-familiar territory at the same time.
Once primary care-giver now bystander.
I'm faced with the challenge of knowing his flair for melodrama, penchant for providing minimum information for maximum impact and isolationism, while being empathetic to his situation and the indisputable injuries he has suffered.
Having to step back without walking away is difficult.
Prince Charmng has a long road of rehabilitation ahead of him.
It seems, I do too.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

The end of August, I took the kids on a week-long vacation with my Dad and Stepmom. This was a trip I NEVER thought would happen, for a variety of reasons, the least of which came down to (lack of) money.
But opportunity knocked. Just at the point in my summer when I was about to surrender and accept that there would be NO vacation - rather a STAYcation - my Dad offered the kids and I an all-expense-paid trip to a destination of my choice. The only caveat was that it had to be a place within driving distance so all I needed to worry about, was gas and tolls. Thanks, Dad!
I chose Colonial Williamsburg. A place my Dad had taken me years ago, which held so many happy memories for me, I wanted my kids to have those same memories with their Grandfather. This would be their first vacation with Grandpop, and it was especially important to make this trip knowing he and my Stepmom are moving from NJ to Arizona in just two-weeks time.
With the location chosen, our time-share was booked! A spacious three-bedroom condo from Wyndham Vacation Resorts with all the bells and whistles.
Tickets were purchased! Passes to Colonial Willamsburg, Busch Gardens and WaterCountry USA.
My coin jar was cashed in to pay for gas and tolls. My car inspected and given a once over.
All ready!
Queue: PANIC!
Eight hour drive. Two kids. Thirteen year old car. No working radio. No DVD player.
HOLY CRAP.
What am I doing? How am I going to keep them entertained for so long??How am I going to handle them by myself in an amusement park?? What if the car breaks down???
In that moment of panic and weakness, I asked the ex-boyfriend to come along. Not because I wanted him to, but because I thought I needed him to.
I was being faced with another inner conflict between the Me that is growing vs. the Me that wants to stay stuck in the past. At that moment, I lacked the confidence in my ability to handle the driving, the kids, the rides and whatever else came along. Self-doubt crept in once again.
And... as I was asking my ex-boyfriend to join us, every cell in my body was crying out NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I spent the weeks leading up to my vacation worrying and fretting over the potential consequences to this decision. Ambivalence mixed with dread over what was supposed to be a fun trip with my children.
See, the ex-boyfriend and I have been on-again/off-again many times over the past two years. Each time we'd break up for the same reasons (mainly my desire to be independent and single) only to get back together for the same reasons (mainly my co-dependence and fear).
But this break-up felt different to me and I worried he would get the wrong impression, develop unrealistic expectations based on how things always went before, and that my vacation would be ruined if things didn't go as he hoped.
(I know I've created this sceanrio by my lack on conviction in the past. By my own indecisiveness and not trusting myself enough to step fully into my independence. I kept standing in my own way of personal growth, and asking him to come along was another shining example of that.)
He promised me there were no strings attached, that he understood my feelings had truly changed and that we would have a nice trip.
I trusted in that (though I had my doubts), and decided to go.
True to his nature, the ex-BF helped prepare for the trip by cleaning and packing my car, changing the oil and driving it to be inspected while I was at work. He mowed my lawn before we left. He did all of the driving to VA. He helped take care of the kids by going on all the crazy rollercoasters Hansel wanted to go on and indulging Gretel's every request to be carried, coddled and cuddled. He greeted my with a cup of coffee every morning when I woke up, cooked breakfast one morning for all six of us, helped with our laundry while there, ran errands and overall looked after everyone's emotional well-being.
Wow. Right?
The entire week I watched and realized how abundant my life is. How blessed I am to be surrounded by such generosity - from my Dad who made this vacation possible to my ex-boyfriend who wanted to do nothing more than take care of me and the kids.
I watched as this sweet man doted on us and wondered - why isn't it enough?
The days before my trip, my boss told me how good she thought he was for me. My therapist/friend asked if maybe he wasn't the one afterall. But then I realized that my boss is the same woman who, herself, is stuck in a co-dependent relationship. And who thinks my ex-husband should be made to pay for everything (child support + child care + camp + vacations + medical)because "what happens when you don't have the money to help pay for them?" Yeah, her opinion is a little clouded. And my therapist/friend is doing her job; asking me all the right questions to prompt me to do my own soul searching to make sure I know what I want.
That's precisely what I did. And for whatever reason, all of that is not enough. And as much as I tried to convince myself during our vacation and for the week after that he stayed at my house; making the effort to see, appreciate (and want) what I could have in him, I did not feel the desire to reconcile. Not this time.
Instead, my attention and desires are being pulled in another direction.
This time, I'm getting out of my own way, and taking that next step.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Clarity

These past two weeks have brought with them amazing clarity as to where my life has been, and where it's going.

This past Saturday, my family vacation trip with the kids and ex-BF officially came to an end. After two weeks (which was supposed to be one week but was unexpectedly extended for a week thanks to Hurricane Irene and my lack of babysitting resources), I dropped off the kids with their Dad, returned my ex-BF/vacation companion- turned-houseguest home, then spent the day ALONE...reflecting and recharging. I responded to the powerful call of nature and chose to go to a local lake preserve in search of a rumored waterfall. I have never been there, even though I spent half of my time for nearly a year just 10 minutes from it.
First I stopped in a local hippie town, did a little shopping in a tie-dye boutique, and picked up an appropo lunch (falafel sandwich). I plugged my desitination into my GPS and as I followed the windy mountain road, I found one entrance to the preserve was closed due to hurricane. The other was FULL.
I then realized I had no cash for parking nor was I dressed for hiking (croc sandals do not count as adequate hiking shoes!).
I adapted my plan and pulled onto a scenic overlook, climbed over the guard rail and sat meditating on one of three rocks, looking out over rural farms of the Hudson Valley, NY ... surrounded by grasshoppers, butterflies and three hawks who continuously circled overhead.

~ Grasshoppers=good luck and abundance.
~ Butterflies symbolize transformation.
~ Three is the number of creation.
~ Hawks are messengers, bringing clarity and healing.


I was reminded that day that the future I have been working so hard to create is becoming a reality with each passing day, with each step, every risk and every decision.
It may sometimes be hazy (as was my view from the mountainside that day), but I know its there.

My life (and myself) has gone through termendous tranformation over these past 2 years.
I'm no longer where I was, I may not where I'm going...but I am on my way.

(Oh yeah, and I will be returning to that lake preserve to find that waterfall!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

This Old House: Hidden Treasures

When he first tore up the carpet in Gretel's room, the ex-BF found this floorboard. Of course the first thing he did was open it to see if there was, in fact, a SAFE hidden inside. He came up empty. However, the next day, I returned to the house to take some photos of the "renovation" process and investigate on what my intuition was telling me a little further.

First I decided to take a picture of Gretel's room without any carpet, before we painted the unfinished (original wide-plank floors). I was standing directly on the "safe" floorboard when I took this picture.

Pretty colors, right?!

And ... once I previewed this picture on my digital camera, I had to overwhelming urge to open the floorboard up and take another look this time with flashlight in-hand.


First things I found - twigs, acorns and a dead Starling. (No I did not photograph the dead bird.) I'm guessing, by the amount of NOISE from the Starlings that have taken up nest in my gutters that the dried plant debris was brought in by the little guy who became trapped and couldn't figure his way back out.

A little further inside the hole, I recovered a leather button-up woman's shoe and some pieces of newspaper. See the scalloped-edged button holes?! I was the most excited about this discovery. The psychic whom I brought in said it belonged to an Aunt/relative who lived with the family who ran the house when it was an Inn. She tended to the guest rooms and took care of their two children. We believe she had a circulatory problem (diabetes?) which made walking somewhat difficult for her. She told my psychic friend that she would frequently spend her time sitting in a rocking chair, and that she was very happy for the Bentwood rocker I had brought in to the guest room.
Even farther down the space between the floorboards, about 6ft in,  I could see a large whiskey bottle and a children's wooden block - these were waaayyy out of reach. There was no way I could fit in there to retrieve them! Eventually, the exBF managed to drag them out with a broom handle.

The whiskey bottle, the psychic told me, belonged to the town drunk and was stolen during an act of boyhood mischief and then quickly hidden to avoid Father's wrath. The apothecary bottle belonged to the Father and she believes contained some kind of vitamin/health tonic - something he took every day. The wooden block? She told me it was left behind by a young patient of the local physician who frequently paid house calls if guests of the inn would fall ill.

Oh yeah, and we also found this remnant piece of fabric. I forgot to show it to my psychic friend, so I have no information on it. I'm not sure if it was a piece to the little girl's dress, or to a doll, or perhaps the pocket of an apron. Right now, I'm using it as a primitive doily beneath an oil lantern in the livingroom.

I was told there are more toys to be found in the house, as well as a hand fan that belonged to the elderly woman/Aunt/relative. The Father/Innkeeper wanted to know why there wasn't a sign posted at curbside denoting the house as an Inn because that's what is is/was. He also asked where the carriage stone had been put - and said it was still somewhere on the property. Give us a clue dude, and I'll make it right! Sheesh.

So far, I have been unable to get anyone from the local historical society to find any documentation proving the home's history. I'm going to keep looking.

I love this old house and the stories it has to tell. And I am enjoying getting to know the little children energies that are about, even if they are taunting Gretel a little. Kids will be kids - no matter what form they take! The difference is, they're dealing with me now. ;)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This Old (Haunted) House?

Mommy my back hurts.
It's 1am and 5 y/o Gretel has come downstairs into my bedroom. She can't sleep because her back hurts.
I snuggle her and chalk it up to a gas pain (she is prone to that sort of thing). In the dark, I try to comfort her by laying my hand on the tender spot to give her a little energy treatment.
Her body tenses and she cringes in pain. As she trembles at my touch, I notice her back feels different beneath my hand. Not the smooth baby-soft skin I'm used to. Something is different. A scrape maybe? Something is raised -  definitely.
I turn on the light to investigate the cause of my baby girl's discomfort and see three abrasions along the rib line. Fresh contusions begin to swell around the newly-made tender red marks.
She cries and groans, her back muscles spasming from the recent trauma which cause her to tense them more, increasing her pain.
WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!
(Note to self, you have got to STOP panicking when your kids wind up injured because if YOU panic THEY panic! Idiot.)
She cries louder - I DON'T KNOW!!!!
DID YOU FALL OUT OF BED?
I DON'T KNOW!!!
DID YOU FALL DOWN THE STAIRS??
I DON'T KNOW!!!!
DID YOU HURT YOURSELF AT CAMP???
NO!!!!!!
She has no idea what happened or that there were any boo-boos at all.
Until I pointed them out with such grace and panache, that is!  (WTG, Mom!)
She had no recollection of anything nor could offer any insight other than her back is hurting.
WTF? How is that even possible?
Well, we know that's possible. Remember when her brother who fell out of his bed one night landing on a pile of toys and never woke up?
But not this kid. She's always been a light sleeper. Restless, yes. But, THIS?
About a year ago, she started having night terrors no doubt in response to her father's and my separation. But those have mostly seemed to stop. Thankfully!
She does talk in her sleep - a LOT.
And I have recently walked into her room to find her STANDING next to her bed having a conversation in her sleep.
(And as I mentioned in the last post, sitting up pointing at seemingly nothing at the foot of her bed, crying.)
I just can't explain what she did to cause these marks...

This was 2 days after and just before I started giving her a homeopathic treatment for bruises.
It's all conjecture and speculation at this point.
I'm guessing she fell out of her new bed and scraped her back on the wooden siderails on the way down.
But some think it has to do with the orbs.
Carol Anne?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Old House

In June, I moved out of the home the kids and I shared with PrinceCharming for six years, and moved into a cheaper home two miles down the road.

This house was built in the 1800s and once served as a stage coach inn. I LOVE old homes! Love their energy and the stories they tell. I knew as soon as I saw the massive Tara-esque front stair case and the original wide plank wood floors that I had to live here.

Even more importantly, this house was BIGGER than the house we were leaving and it had enough space to offer both kids their own rooms.

I knew as soon as I saw this room that it would be Gretel's. The purple walls were perfect, but with Hansel's asthma, I asked the landlords if I could pull up the carpets in both of their rooms. They gave me the green light and so up they came with the ex-BFs help.

In the process, we noticed a floorboard in front of Gretel's closet that was painted white and had the word "SAFE" written on it. Sadly, there was no safe when we lifted to investigate but I did find some other hidden treasures like a leather woman's shoe just like the kind Ma Ingalls would wear with buttons up the side and everything. I also found an apothecary bottle and old whiskey bottle. I had a psychic friend come in and tell me these items belonged to the family who used to live here when it was the inn. The items are now proudly displayed in the house and I excitedly share this story with everyone who has come to visit. Our very own family of Caspers!!!

It was fun to watch Gretel's room transform into a real little girl's room, just for her. The ex-BF painted her walls a pale lavender to brighten things up, a Twitter friend created beautiful vinyl flower decals which were placed to look as if they were being blown into her room on a magical fairy breeze. Favorite decorations depicting fairies and stars and all-things magical were hung, draped and displayed. New bedding and a custom painted bed fit for a fairy princess provided the finishing touches...

But...
Gretel doesn't like her room.
She prefers to sleep in the middle room which currently serves as a guest room/office for me.
Can someone tell me why this child doesn't like her room?
Is it that she misses her brother?
If that were the case, then wouldn't she have the same trouble sleeping in the guest room BY HERSELF?
Or... does it have something to do with the floorboard and the artifacts that were removed from it?
For those of you who notice these kinds of things, did you notice the orbs in the before photos?
There have been a few other strange occurences, like a strange smell in her room, me finding her one night sitting up from a sound sleep crying pointing at nothing. NO-THING.
I have some theories. And suspicions. And fears.
I'm just not sure which to act on first.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves-to get well and move on.
My abuser died last month.
And with his death rose a myriad of emotions I wasn't expecting.
Relief. Anger. Grief.
Relief knowing that no other little girls would fall victim to his sick perversions.
Anger because of the lack of adequate punishment for his actions, and the lack of protection I received from my parents during and after the abuse stopped.
Grief over the loss of my innocence and the person I could have been; the relationships I could have had but was robbed of due to my walls of armor and inability to trust.
He's dead but I still have to live with the painful memories and work through the fears.
Fear of being vulnerable.
Fear of being disappointed and let down... again.
Fear of trusting another human being.
Fear of feeling ...anything.
Forgiveness is the key to fully moving on.
I've come to understand that forgiving doesn't mean letting him off the hook for what he did to me for all those years.
It's something I need to do for myself and that it can only be achieved by coming from a place of love and compassion.
I'm closer to getting there than I ever was before, but I'm not there yet.
I know it will come. I know one day something in me will shift and that door can be closed for good.
But that door is heavy, laden with years of guilt... shame... fear... anger.
So for now all I can do is keep pushing, slowly inching my way closer to healing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On Birthdays and Breakups (Part II)

Prince Charming, Cinderella and Hansel all have July birthdays.
Last week, my ex-husband and ex-stepdaughter came to my house to celebrate Hansel's 9th birthday.
This past weekend it was Hansel and Gretel's turn to visit their Dad's to celebrate his and Cinderella's birthdays.
But before that, presents needed to be purchased and cards were made.

I know the subject of birthdays is a hot topic amongst divorced and stepparents.
Admittedly, my own opinions on this subject have changed over the years. In the early days of this blog, when I allowed myself to be bitter and angry over situations I had no control over, I had a total  FUCK YOU attitude and played the tit-for-tat game with Maleficent. If *she* didn't take Cinderella to get a gift for her Dad, then *I'm* not taking Cinderella to get a gift for her.
Later, as I stepped into the role of acceptance and rose above the pettiness - I let go of the things I couldn't control and focused on what was right for my stepdaughter, I found greater peace within and so did Cinderella.
If a present needed to be bought, I took her. If her Mom didn't help her pick out a gift for her Dad's birthday or Christmas, I took her shopping for one.
Likewise, I took Cinderella to pick up gifts for her mother because it didn't matter how *I* felt about Maleficent.
It wasn't about *me.* It was about my stepdaughter.
What right did I have to deny her the pleasure of showing her love for either parent? What would it prove by refusing to take her shopping? Who would I be hurting most?
I try to live by the mantra: Love your kids more than you hate your ex.
This applies to ALL ex's... your spouse's ex too.
In keeping with this mantra, both Hansel and Gretel were taken out this past week/weekend to pick out birthday presents for their Dad and their sister. And they were excitedly dropped off to celebrate with them on Sunday.
Though, in all honesty, it wasn't that difficult of a task.
I'm thankful I don't have the kind of relationship with my ex that *he's* had with his ex. Where celebrating birthdays, or simple acts of compassion, are forced.
I know my kids are happy about that too - for it creates a safe environment where they can express and show their love for their Dad.
Yesterday was Prince Charming's actual birthday. I made sure my kids called to wish their Dad a happy birthday, and when they handed me the phone, they heard me wish him the same.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Root of All Evil

I'm quickly running out of money.
Despite moving into a new house that's cheaper in rent (and utilities) and increasing my hours at work, I'm facing the reality that I will most likely be able to cover my rent for one more month after which my savings will be totally depleted.
I'm feeling a little panicky.
My car is overdue for inspection. And an oil change. And there's a rattle in my muffler which was *just* replaced by the ex-BF.
My MacBook Pro which is what I use for WORK so I can get PAID has bit the dust and needs to be taken to the Apple Store if I have any hope of remaining a productive asset to my clients. Estimates are it will cost +/-$400 to repair.
I'm writing this post on an archaic PC - for which I am grateful because at least I can do *some* work.
No health insurance. No child support. Bills. And an upcoming vacation booked and committed.
This is one of those times when all that I have learned over the last year gets put to the test.
I've been running through them all for the past week:
  • Have trust and faith
  • Focus on the haves instead of the have-nots
  • Breathe
  • Stay in the moment
  • Energy follows intention
  • Like attracts like
  • Law of Attraction
It'll all work out, right?
In the meantime, I'm accepting applications for a Sugar Daddy... ya know, just in case.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Birthdays and Breakups

"I don't know why [he] wouldn't want to be my Mom's boyfriend anymore because I think she's the most beautiful woman in the whole world."

Honest words spoken by my now 9 year old to his therapist, over my recent breakup with my (rebound) boyfriend.
Aside from the whole "AWWWW!" factor to his statement, it was also a glaring reminder that a follow-up conversation was needed to set some issues STRAIGHT over the how's and why's of my newly single status.
I forget that simply telling kids something ONCE, doesn't guarantee they hear me or they GET IT.
I mean, how many times do I have to tell them to brush your teeth/wash your hands/clean your room/get to bed/stop licking your brother!!! before they actually LISTEN??
D'uh.
(And if you leave a comment saying that YOUR kids listen the first time you ask them to do something, I will SOOOOOOO delete you!)
*ahem*
Anyway...
My son expressed sadness over this recent loss of another man in his life. And Hansel blamed himself for this breakup. It's no wonder, really, considering the last time he had seen the ex-boyfriend, we were disagreeing over his opinions on my LACK of disciplinary tactics and HIS lack of respect for me as THE parent.
Relationship over. Respect reclaimed.
Despite one of the first things I said to the kids regarding the break-up was that YOU DID NOT DO ANYTHING TO CAUSE THIS, Hansel blamed himself. And admitted to feeling sad about it.
So Hansel was told again - and again that HE wasn't to BLAME. That brownups break up for grownup reasons and not because of other people.
My son then admitted to being a little mad at the ex-boyfriend assuming that HE broke up with ME.
I set him straight on that one too.  The ex-boyfriend didn't break up with Mommy.  It was Mommy's choice, and it had nothing to do with Hansel or his sister, or any arguments they may have overheard. So he didn't need to be mad at him.
Hansel was then again reminded that the ex-boyfriend was still their friend and they would still see him.
"Oh really? Then I want him at my birthday party."
(And once again the lesson of doing what's right for the kids is tested, as it so often is when one is going through a divorce or breakup. GAH!)
And... so, there in the parking lot of my kid's therapist's office, I put my own personal feelings aside and texted the ex-boyfriend to extend the invitation from my son.
And this past Saturday, my 9 year old lived and experienced the lessons *I* have learned about divorce.
He, the son of a girl whose parents divorced at a similar age and whose Mom, Dad and Stepmom came together regularly for her own birthday and other celebrations, caught a glimpse into what divorce DOESN'T HAVE TO BE.
This year, Hansel's 9th birthday was spent surrounded by the people who meant the most to him, because we are all able to put aside our personal feelings for the sake of one child's happiness.  Some of those people included PrinceCharming, Cinderella, my ex-boyfriend, my Dad, my Mom (Dad's wife #1), my Stepmom #1 (Dad's 2nd wife, now divorced) and my Stepmom #2 (Dad's current wife). All of us smiled together, tossed water balloons, helped assemble gifts and stood shoulder-to-shoulder to watch this uniquely intuitive and sensitive child blow out the candles on his homemade icecream cake.



No, my dears. Mine ain't your average fairytale.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just Breathe

"Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to..."

Breaking the fourth wall of this fairytale story has become a double-edged sword lately.
This blog and Twitter have been my forum for seven years.
Both started as a place of anonymity where I could escape my reality and write, vent, wax philosophical or mindlessly ramble without feeling the need to censor myself out of fear of someone I know reading it and potentially getting offended.
Writing for me, is therapeutic. And I'll be the first to admit I've needed LOTS of therapy.
Over the years, however, I've let down my guard. Let some people in on my seekrit life as a blogger and tweeter. I allowed real life to cross over into my virtual life.
And with that has come the challenge of sometimes knowing WHO is reading, and sometimes holding back on what I want or need to say just to avoid dealing with the backlash.
And that... sucks.
Part of the healing path I have been on this past year is letting go of my need to control everything and everyone, speaking up for myself and focusing on the things which I CAN control.
I can't stop people from reading my blog. Or my tweets.
I can choose to stop writing - but that would just hurt me.
I can choose to go private and limit who is allowed to see what I have to say - but that would hurt those who look to my blog for some comfort or sense of stability or realism or whatever other reason those of you who keep coming back, come back.
Remaining public is a blessing (albeit sometimes a mixed blessing).  I benefit from the many different opinions and kinds of feedback that gets posted.  Be it positive or otherwise,  I always try to learn something from each and every comment listed.
So, I'm going to keep practicing walking the walk and talking the talk.
I'm not going to worry about who is reading, or censor what I have to say out of fear of threats to post a comment in response, or getting pissy texts and phone calls or emails criticizing what I had to say.
This blog is my personal account of the events in MY life. My emotional responses to them, rational or not. My opinions - biased or otherwise.
Take my words however you wish. Interpret them (or misinterpret) however you like.
Learn from them - or don't. It's your choice.
Just like I can't control if someone chooses to read my blog, no one can control what I write.
And if you don't like what you see, you don't have to keep reading.
As for me, I'll keep writing. No matter what.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Matter of Time

The kids are going to see their Dad today.
Technically, this weekend is my custodial weekend with them.
But the lines of custody and visitation are blurred in our home lately.
And I'm ok with that.
For ten years we were controlled by a strict custodial schedule with Cinderella, which did little to foster a positive relationship between her and her mother. Instead it served as a constant reminder of the bitter court battles, arguments and disparaging remarks out of which the custody "agreement" was born... and mostly, a convenient excuse to perpetuate it all. For. Ten. Years.
There was NO give and take. Every second was accounted for, planned out months in advance with no allowance for last minute changes or negotiations.
No compromises.
No swapping of days or weekends.
Period.
But today, the kids asked to see their Dad. And, so ... they are going to see him.
His time vs. my time?
Who gives a rat's ass.
They're OUR kids.
So it's OUR time to do with as we choose. They want to see him, and it's not about me.
Period.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Doing Everything I Can

"Keep and eye out for Cinderella and tell the kids that I love them!"

This is the text that I received 10pm Sunday night.

Since taking the kids on full time since May, they've seen their Dad only a handful of times. And have not slept over his house for months.
He's being treated for anxiety and depression; checked himself into a local behavioral treatment center TWICE and is working to find the right combination of therapy (group vs. individual) and medication. All while taking steps to get closure on certain events (like his toxic relationship with Maleficent, our divorce and issues with his mother and sister) and look for a job so he can keep his house, get medical coverage to PAY for his therapy and drugs and help support his kids.
That's a tough reality to face, even for the healthiest of individuals.
He's up. He's down.
The day before, I awoke at 7am to a text asking if I was awake.
He sent it at 6:30am.
His meds weren't working he said, so he was cycling through some kind of emotions that he did not share, because I mostly didn't pursue. I didn't push for more info. Didn't engage him or pull him in or put myself into the role of caretaker.
I told him I understood and then went about my day.
Then I get THE text the following night. 36 hours after he first reached out to me:

"Keep and eye out for Cinderella and tell the kids that I love them!"
"It's hard not to read into that text," a friend noted.
Yes. Yes it is.
"You put too much trust in a habitual liar. You're the only one who believes him," says the (recently) ex(ed) BF.
(I actually laughed at his accusation against Prince Charming, when considering his own 20+ year history of adultery and current attempts at manipulating the immigration system. A certain saying about a pot and a kettle comes to mind. But... I digress.)
Maybe I believe Prince Charming.  Maybe I don't care enough to NOT to believe him.
I mean, my energy is better spent on making sure my kids and I are taken care of and supported, than expending it on trying to figure out if I'm being told the truth or not.
His truth isn't my concern. My truth is.
My truth is that I have two children who need love and support. I can give that to them. So that's what I'm going to do.
And, for arguments' sake - what if Prince Charming ISN'T lying?
Quite frankly, I don't want the responsibility of NOT doing something. I'm sorry but anyone who receives a text with even the slighest hint of a suicidal threat is OBLIGATED to do something - whether you believe it or not.
Which is precisely what I did.
I texted him back and when he didn't immediately respond I called every goddamn number he had until he finally picked up. I advised him to call someone - his therapist, his doctor, a hotline. Threatened to call 9-1-1- if I have to. Made him promise me he would call someone and then check in with me because he was stronger than this and giving up was not an option.
Yes, I chose to believe there was some truth behind that text.
I did it for my kids. So that, in the most horrible of potential endings to this chapter of my fairytale, I can honestly say to my kids that Mommy did everything she could do.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In Need of a Muse

It's that time of year again where I put photos to music and create a birthday montage video.
Hansel is going to be NINE.
9.
The number before 10.
N-I-N-E!!

I'll let you ponder that for a moment.

Yeah, I know. I KNOW!
How in the hell did the kid in this post grow up to become this future-heartbreaker:


CHECK OUT THE DAVID CASSIDY HAIR PEOPLE!!!
I mean, really!
*swoon*
Anyway, after nine years of montaging for these damn kids, my music library is tapped.
So, I'm turning to you dear Internet people to help me come up with a song for my soon-to-be-teen hearthrob of a son.
Go ahead. Be my muse.
Please?
Ready?
Go.
COMMENT NOW.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stability Amongst the Chaos

Lots of shifts are afoot in the castle.
Custody changes. Moving to a new castle. Finding my independence. Financial juggling resulting from the aforementioned happenings.
All for the better, but difficult nontheless. My conviction is being tested constantly.
I'm just taking it day by day - and sometimes breath by breath.
But in the words of the infamous Charlie Sheen, I'm "WINNING!"
Prince Charming and I had our conversation with the kids about the custody changes. We decided he needed to come to my house, a place of comfort for them. We told them we both loved them, and that we decided together that it would be in their best interest to not have to switch between our two homes mid-week. We reassured them they would still see Dad on his weekends, and one day mid-week (if possible). Made sure they didn't think I was trying to take them away from their Dad, or that Dad was mad at anyone (this was an especially important point to make to Hansel, due to the dinner/food struggles he encounters at Dad's).
I did most of the talking. PC wasn't fully present. He tried, but even the kids noticed something wasn't right with him.
"Dad, you look tired," was Hansel's observation.
We used that as an opportunity to elude to the fact that PC hadn't been feeling well. Likening it to the kids' recent battles with cold/flu viruses.
"Daddy's not been feeling well, so he's been resting and taking care of himself for a change."
We (I) used this as an opportunity to explain that the mid-week visits with him had yet to be worked out to give Daddy a chance to rest and get better.
They seemed to take the news fine. Appreciative of the fact that they wouldn't have to remember to bring their backpacks/homework/library books/jackets back and forth between two homes. And that their would be consistent rules to follow (at least during the week).
Most importantly, they were happy to know that they would still see Daddy.
I've had many follow-up conversations with them to make sure they continue to be ok.
They've had one visitation weekend with Prince Charming since we told them. This weekend will be their second.
Last night Hansel told me he's happy with the new schedule.
I'll admit that I miss the downtime, but I'm lucky and thankful that I have my shit together and can afford to provide a stable and loving home for them in the midst of their father's own chaotic shifts.
I'm worried for Cinderella, who has to live with it full-time.
She and I have had minimal contact since they moved out last year. When I saw her last week, she seemed ... I don't know... not as joyous and bubbly.
I fear, she's taking on the responsibility of caring for her Dad, and for her brother and sister when they visited two weekends ago. I'm almost certain she has been given little by way of explanation as to what's been going on with him. 
I've been wanting to reach out and offer some of my time with her - to talk, hang out - I think that time has come. She might be in need of a little stability right about now too.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home is...

... where you hang your tire swing.



We're moving. In the midst of custody changes and emotional breakdowns, financial struggles and living paycheck to paycheck - a light at the end of the tunnel has appeared.
A gorgeous home, larger than the one I have rented for the past 6 years and CHEAPER.
Same school district. Closer to Hansel & Gretel's closest buds.
It's perfect in every way.
Judging by the joy on my kids' faces when we go visit the new place, I think they agree with me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Depression Hurts

After two days of radio silence, PrinceCharming calls to tell me he is home.
Home after spending two days in an in-patient psych unit at our local medical center.
After receiving the cryptic texts from him two nights before, I did my own research into the facility.
It's hard core. They don't accept just anyone, and they certainly do not let you check yourself in without good reason.
Good reason, I learn, is defined as I-am-going-to-hurt-myself-if-you-don't-let-me-in.
I make phone calls to the facility to make sure he arrived. They can't tell me. Of course they can't.
There is nothing I can do. This situation is beyond my control, and I realize I must stop trying to control it.
All I can do is focus on that which I can control. My own life. And my kids.
Not knowing how long he will be in, I prepare. His custodial weekend is in four days.
When we spoke, Prince Charming seemed to think he would be out in time to take the kids.
But I decide that even if he is released in time, it's in the kids' best interest that they stay with me.
He will need time to sort things out.
I arrange for weekend child care, as I am scheduled to work.
I silently wish him love and light and go about the business of living my life. Severing the emotional ties that still linger, letting go of the need to be involved and care-take him.
This is his life's path now. Not mine.
I know what depression sounds like. I know what depression looks like.
It hurts. Not just you, but those around you.
It runs in my family. And those long-term readers of my blog may remember my own experience with it years ago.
He needs to figure it out. Needs to learn how to take care of himself for once.
When he did check in with me the morning he was released, PrinceCharming sounded hopeless. Despondent.
He didn't argue when I suggested the kids stay with me for the weekend.
"K," was his only response.
He hasn't seen them in two weeks.
Hansel and Gretel haven't asked where Daddy is. I am grateful for that as I don't know what to tell them. I know it need to be addressed.
I just don't know how.  
And PC isn't in any frame of mind to figure this out with me.

What would you tell them?
How do I stop his depression from hurting our kids?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paradigm Shift

PrinceCharming has never been the one to talk about feelings. Or share the deepest part of himself with anyone.
He was raised by an mother who was emotionally absent and a father who was physically absent (he worked the night shifts at the Post Office).
This was his upbringing. These were his role models.
And this was, in part, one of the reasons our marriage failed. 
(His parents are lovely people, BTW. And there is nothing that they won't do for you. They're always there to lend a hand, babysit for their grand kids or in general help out. They just do so, on a superficial level. This was probably their upbringing as well... and so, the cycle of life continues with their family clan.)
So when the otherwise secretive Prince reaches out, one tends to listen.
"I've been having some challenges."
I find myself back in the familiar role of deciphering his cryptic statements, searching for the hidden meaning, reading between the lines so I can understand what he struggles to tell me.
His texts and phone calls these past week have been riddled with them.
What is apparent is that he's struggling with single-parenthood. Having never had to juggle kids and a career before, he's being faced with the fact that he lacks the basic tools necessary for survival. Reality is hitting him square in the face and he can't hide from it any longer.
After several phone calls, and inquiries into what exactly is going on, decisions have been made, based on what's in the kids' best interest.
Digging my heels in and refusing to take custody for lack of child support is NOT who I am. And was NEVER part of the equation, even if it might have seemed that way to others.
I'm assuming full custody effective immediately so he can work on his "challenges" and be the best Dad he can be. For this week, the kids will be told that Dad has some more job interviews and so they will stay with me again on what are Dad's days (they've been with me on his days for the past three weeks now).
"This is so hard for me to admit, especially since I fought so hard for custody of Cinderella."
The difference, I point out to him, is that he wasn't doing it alone back then. He had me to stay at home and be the parent. Parenthood is hard enough. Single-parenthood is even harder.
"I also need to do something for me. I've been pushing it off for a long time and I don't think I can avoid doing it any longer."
Again, I struggle to read between the lines. Fish for some more details, trying to pull information out of him. He dances around the words, but I know what depression sounds like.

Then I get the texts last night:

HIM: I'm going to be out for a bit. I'll let you know when I get back.
ME: Out?
HIM: Out.
HIM: No phones out.
HIM: I'll be back in touch soon.

I pushed for details, no longer being comfortable with the need for secrecy. No longer willing to accept less than the truth. What if something happens with the kids? What if something happens to him? I should at least know WHERE he will be.
I pushed harder. He gave me no more than one or two word answers. I managed to get him to say where he was going before the texts stopped.
I'm trying to learn from the past, but not get sucked back into the place of mistrust.
It's difficult though, to trust someone with whom I put so much blind faith in for so many years only to have the rug pulled out from under me.
I'm hoping I will hear from him soon. Hoping he is where he says he is.
This weekend is his custodial weekend.
For now, all I can do is wait.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

[Insert Snarky Title Here]

HIM [via text]: What is the plan for the kids going forward?
ME: I have no idea you are asking.
HIM: At this juncture, I don't think that I will be able to get / hold a job while trying to manage the kids during the week.

***
(Background Reminder: We currently have joint/shared custody. The kids spend Mon-Wed AM at my house; Wed PM-Fri at his house. We alternate weekends. I work when they are at their Dad's and/or when The Magic Mirror can watch them for me. PrinceCharming has them in FREE afterschool care when they are with him Wed-Fri so he can, in theory, work.)


Discuss.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chew On This

Hansel teeters around 50lbs.
He's 8.
Most times he looks ok. But then there's the days where he doesn't.
Dark circles under his eyes makes him look like an extra from Oliver.
You know, as in: "Please sir, can I have some more?"
Except, most days he doesn't ask for more.
He's a picky eater. Mealtimes are a struggle. A struggle that I believe has been exacerbated by my separation from his Dad.
Psychologically he is trying to control what he can in his out-of-control life.
And food is the ONE thing he can control right now.
He's stubborn and smart. So the more you try to MAKE him do something, the more he digs in his heals and fights back.
Reverse psychology doesn't work. Withholding rewards doesn't work.
I learned this a loooonnnngggg time ago. His Dad hasn't.
Mealtimes at His house are a battle of the wills which my EX is not willing to lose.
Hansel has been force fed. Made to eat his dinner for breakfast the next day. And then lunch. Punished.
All to no avail.
Now red flags have gone up. His therapist is concerned over the beginning of an eating disorder.
I've tried talking with PC, asking him if he'd rather be RIGHT or have a peaceful relationship with his son.
"If I give in, then he wins," PC tells me.
What, exactly is it that he will win????
Hansel's therapist has tried to reach out. Numerous calls have been made by her office in an effort to set up an appointment where she can share her concerns and perhaps offer some guidance.
So far, PC hasn't been available to set up a time to come in and speak with her.
"We keep missing each other," is what he says. The therapist tells another story.

At my house, I offset the malnourishment with vitamins and Carnation Instant Breakfasts with every meal.  I don't punish if Hansel doesn't eat. Nor do I purposely make foods that I know he won't try.
I make an attempt at keeping a balanced offering of foods, so he can choose to try something.
I try not to make a big deal out of it either way, in spite of my fear of him becoming ill.
We don't have the same struggles as he does at his Dad's. But he still doesn't eat well enough, for me.
My stress is sometimes palpable, and I see him reacting to it.

I'm asking for advice.
Support.
Opinions.
Something constructive that will help my kid develop a healthy relationship with food.

***
In case you're wondering, this is what he will eat:
  • Pasta (mostly DRY, sometimes w/ tomato sauce, and always with TONS of parmesan cheese)
  • Bread (wheat)
  • Waffles
  • Bagels
  • Pancakes
  • Chicken
  • Beef (sometimes, but plain)
  • Pork
  • Baby carrots
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Oh, and ketchup, hot sauce and vinegar. On EVERYTHING. 
  • V8
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Cheese
  • French fries (McDonald's ONLY, and he will NOT eat potatoes in any other form)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Filling in the Blanks

Not that long ago, a commenter pointed out that reading my blog was like reading a book with missing chapters.
I know. Sorry about that.
I realize that many of details are lost, while I have gone on with the process of living; of taking care of myself and my kids while I rewrite the fairytale so many have come to know (including myself).
So where do I begin? How do I catch you up on where my life is now?
I guess the best place is to start at the beginning.
The Beginning of The End. What was started by this post.
After we "split" it took about eight months to start to move on completely.
Eight months to fully reconcile the end of the fairytale. I went through a slow process of fully integrating the reality of the situation - that the happily ever after I had been waiting for would never happen. That the person with whom I had chosen to spend my life was NOT that person. That he would not be there to take care of me: emotionally, financially, spiritually.
I tried moving on, but did so superficially. I found someone who was the polar opposite of what I had experienced in a partner: he was supportive, patient, wise... mature. I struggled with fully trusting that, never fully letting him in, but he stuck by my side throughout it all.
(Our story continues to unfold, but that's for another post. Suffice to say, I am HAPPY with him.)

After eight months of what the legal system calls "nesting" - where the kids stay put in the the marital home, while the parents split their time in said home - PrinceCharming eventually moved out. This decision came abruptly and was fueled by his desire to keep custody of Cinderella. Maleficent was still fighting for full custody, and how could he prove he was capable when he was leaving Cindy ALONE with me half of the time?
Joint finances were hardly enough to support ONE household, let alone two, but PC was following legal advice (advice that was misguided as his lawyer had no idea we were MONTHS behind in bills, but it was too late at that point).  So in May of 2010 PrinceCharming and Cinderella moved out.
I had found a job in March 2010 - working part-time in a Holistic Wellness Center, around our shared custody schedule. By May, I had also taken on several independent contractor positions to bring in extra money while also maintaining the flexibility to work AROUND the schedule we put in place with the kids.
During this process, PC and I tried mediation to formalize our separation.
Briefly.
Then we saw how much it would cost, so we opted for the cheaper route - employing the help of my Dad and PC's Sister, to act as "independent" third parties to assist us with negotiations.
While we made some progress, things halted rather quickly. Emotions were just too raw on BOTH sides.
Next, we moved on to a mutual "friend" who was a divorce lawyer. She kindly agreed to represent us both and act as informal mediator... as a favor.
We met a few times, but this friend had been PrinceCharming's original divorce lawyer throughout the years of struggle with Maleficent. There simply was too much history there, and as much as she tried (and I am truly grateful for her efforts), she could not help but steer PC in the direction that helped THAT situation as well.
Some groundwork had been put down, but no final paperwork has been drafted to date.
PC decided how much he could afford to pay in child support - without any legal documents forcing disclosure as to how much he made, I accepted whatever he was willing to pay. For a few months it was more than enough. Child support, paired with my income, covered my household bills and living expenses. We figured it out! (I thought.)
Then... child support payments started coming late. His clients weren't paying him, so he couldn't pay me. (That's a story that's plagued him his ENTIRE career. It's a story I am too familiar with and has caused us great financial struggles on and off over the years.)
Then the Winter happened with it's snow days, holidays, vacation and sick days. Missed work days meant missed pay. Increased heating costs didn't help, and ultimately led to both of us falling farther behind in bills.
Child support payments, still being paid late, then were reduced without warning. In fact, nothing was said. One day, he sheepishly handed me a wad of bills and skulked out as quickly as he could before I had a chance to count and notice the missing $300. Via text is where he confirmed that he would paying less each month (or whenever he had the money). That's the month where the cushion of money I started to collect was spent to cover rent. I am still trying to recover it.
My landlord is a true Prince of a man. He's understanding of my situation and gives me more leeway that I think I deserve - but I take it. He's sometimes more of a husband than a landlord - taking on overtime so HE can cover the mortgage payments on my house knowing how I struggle to pay rent month to month. Can you believe THAT?!?!
(Yes, I know it's time to move and I am in the process of looking for something cheaper.)
Child support hasn't been paid for two months. 
In the meantime, I'm working some days when I have the kids now too. Picking up even more hours where and when I can, more clients, all while trying to find a balance and not take too much of my time away from the kids.
I've borrowed money from family who are depleting their retirement savings in order to help me keep a roof over my head.
My partner (The Magic Mirror) pitches in and watches the kids whenever I need him to so I can work extra hours. He contributes in ways I never knew a man could or would - and I am grateful to have him in my life. He bears a lot of the domestic burdens of the house (cooking, cleaning, food shopping), while I do my damnedest to compensate my household income while also remembering to take care of myself.
I am grateful for all of the support I am getting.
Through it all, I remember the lessons PrinceCharming and I learned from our experiences with Maleficent. I never speak poorly of him to the kids, never use them as pawns. I continually ask myself what's in their best interests when making decisions. I live by the mantra:

"Love your kids more than you hate your Ex."

There's a fine line between being amicable, respecting your co-parent and respecting yourself.
There were boundaries that needed to be drawn. Not out of spite, but out of necessity for my own sanity and self-worth. (It hasn't always been easy to tell the difference between the two.)
See... my kids deserve a Mom who is healthy and stable. And that comes from self-care and self-respect. Thanks to the opportunities that come with working at a Holistic Wellness Center, I've attend twice monthly women's therapy groups for the last year. These intense sessions have resulted in tremendous steps towards my recovery and transformation. One-on-one therapy, Reiki and other opportunities empower me to step out of the role of the victim - remind me that I am stronger than I realize and have what it takes to control the outcome of my life. And that means I am allowed to say NO sometimes.
I am learning that I am capable of saving myself. I don't need anyone to do it for me.

***

I know that by getting on with the process of living my life and supporting myself, that details have been left out for those of you who read my blog. I apologize if you've been feeling a bit in the dark.
I know it's all-too-easy to jump to conclusions to make judgments and assumptions on someone's life when you don't know all of the details. I appreciate those of you who have been following me long enough to know that for every detail that is shared, there are probably many MANY more that have yet to be.
Hopefully, you're feeling a little more caught up on what's been happening in the Castle these days. There's still more to tell, and I promise to get to it... when I can.
I don't fault anyone for their judgments. I've actually learned that when you judge someone, you are actually judging yourself. That when you are triggered by what someone says, it means there is something in YOU that needs to be addressed.
So I don't take any of the criticism that's been posted here to heart. I know that sometimes those opinions come out of ignorance.
No matter your opinion, I appreciate every one of you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ch-ch-changes

For several weeks I was getting the feeling something was up.
I can't explain how or why. Just something in my intuition was telling me changes were coming.
Subversive comments have been made during conversations about the kids; blaming our current shared custody agreement as being at the root of his behavioral challenges with 8 y/o Hansel.

Then I get the text...

HIM: We need to talk when you have the chance
ME: Everything ok?
HIM: Just need to talk about the kids and plans and stuff.

The next day he calls.  He suggests we consider altering our current custody arrangement.
"The back and forth mid-week between our homes is getting to the kids. I think Hansel is having the hardest time as a result." 
I remind him of the issue of late child support payments. And that while I am working hard at gaining my financial independence, and have come a LONG way in the past year, I am still not there yet and... well...  kids cost MONEY and having our kids full-time equals greater financial burden, so he better pony up ON TIME.
Then he says it:

HIM: I am trying to find work, but it's not here.
Me: Not here? As in NY?
HIM: Nope.

It's all becoming clearer.
Last week, he asked at the last minute if I could keep the kids on his days because he had a job interview.  Of course I said yes, because they are my kids and I would rather them be with me then shuffled between his sister's or parents' houses. Still, it was a strain on me financially.
Last weekend the kids were at their Dad's... but he was not there. Instead they spent the weekend going back and forth between babysitters (his Aunts and Grandparents).
ME: Where was Daddy?
HANSEL: I dunno... working I think. He didn't really tell me where he was.
!?!?!?!?!?!
This week, he's texted again... asking for me to keep the kids again on his days due to another interview.
Two weeks in a row of last minute custody changes.
Two months in a row of no child support.
We have no signed divorce agreement in place yet. We've been fairly amicable these almost 2 years (which mostly entails me accepting LESS THAN I really deserve and constant late payments) and focused on rebuilding our own lives separate and apart that it's been put on the back burner.
Recent events now have placed a giant spotlight on the missing documentation - the lack of anything in writing that would in theory guarantee some kind of monetary compensation.
I'm in quite the conundrum. I don't ever want to use my kids as pawns, or turn them away when their Dad can't be there for them. But the financial strain of suddenly having them FULL TIME without advanced warning and preparation is troubling.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An EXplanation for my Absence

I've reconciled with one Ex.
Another Ex is moving, most likely out of the state and to another part of the country.

There's much transformation and evolution afoot.
(Oh Yeah, I'm moving too. Don't know where yet. My landlord put my house up for sale in January.)

Needless to say, there's been a lot to process and work through in the castle.
It's terrifying. But all good. I promise.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine for My Ex

Today I am strong enough to face all my tomorrows, thanks to all of my yesterdays with you. 

Thank You. <3 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Her 5th Year

video

Some days, she sucks the energy right out of me.
But she is also the sun that illuminates the words that I cannot find...

(Music: Natasha Bedingfield, "Unwritten")