Post-Thanksgiving Post

It is Friday now, and the kids are all down the street playing at the park, so I thought I would come in and check the email and update the old blog. The office is closed today, so it is really, really nice to have my play list playing loudly and the phone NOT ringing….and, too, nice to have small break from the kids without feeling guilty. The park is just not even a block away, so they are free to wander over here, and I will wander over there in a few minutes, and everyone wins.

Just wanted to let you all know that I did end up going to Thanksgiving with Steve and family. It wasn’t, actually, as hard to tell Janet as I had anticipating it being, so that was really, really nice. We had actually had a rather bad evening on Wednesday, so in actuality I wasn’t entirely sure we would be going anywhere, but Hannah woke up feeling better and we decided if nothing else we would go get pictures taken, and then decide what we felt up to later. So Janet, in case we decided NOT to go anywhere else, brought over turkey and cranberry sauce and gravy before they left (which we will be eating today), and it was just a lovely thought.

The photo session went well; no one was really expecting the kids and I save for Steve, so I was a little unsure of what reception we would get. However, the welcome was genuine, and we were included in the BIG family photo, as well as getting some of our little family. We had some taken of Owen alone (because the other kids had them done at school, and the photographer “bought” them their school packages; he is also the same one who took the pics yesterday, and is Steve’s brother in law. Convenient, huh!), as well as with Steve and I and all the kids, and of the kids all together. It felt very good, actually, to be included in such a thing-like I said on Wednesday, it is significant the Steve wanted us there, and it was really sweet to be in that place at that moment.

We opted to go ahead and go eat with them, which was chaotic and crazy and loud like family gatherings are. I think we counted 30+ people, but at least we knew all of them. Hannah did stick pretty close to either me, Steve, or his mom, which was fine (and what she needed, obviously), but the boys all went running around with all the cousins. The food was great, as it always is, and we were home settled in with a movie buy 6:30. In bed by 10:00, too, which is excellent.

I felt very much present in the moment all day yesterday. Hannah will be 16 in a few days, and I felt very strongly that we are never going to have another Thanksgiving just like this, in this place where we are. For good or ill, this is our life, and it was really good for all of us to have that slice of it be so sweet. I am rarely unaware of how blessed I am, even when I get n a mood like I was earlier in the week, but on occasion it just comes up and spills over. I AM blessed; if nothing else, I have these great kids, and these excellent moments, and so much more than I ever thought I would 9 years ago when I was a drunk.

Thank you all, so much, for everything. Mostly for hanging with me and traveling along with me while we see what might happen next. I hope you all had a blessed day (and April, I hope D-Land was the bomb!).


A Petition (of sorts) to the Universe

Dear God/Universe/Goddess/Higher Power/Whoever it is that is up there,

Enough already, okay? It has been a really, really hard year, and I need a break. I know that you don’t cause bad things to happen, but instead give us the tools we need to get through them, but I tell you, my tools? Either you sent me faulty ones or I am not using them properly because those fuckers are B.R.O.K.E. I got nothing left;I don’t. And if I am being honest (which I know you will know if I am not) I can’t help but be just the tiniest bit pissed at you right now. So be it.

I just need a little bit of a break, so I am just going to flat out ask you for what I need and trust that you are going to help with some of it.

1. I need to have a lot more strength than I currently have in order to be able to handle the coming weeks and months with regards to the situation with Hannah. I know (and thank you, by the way) that you will provide everything I need in order to make sure Hannah and the other kids are okay, but I worry about the toll it is already taking on me. I feel overhwelmed and crazy and I can’t sleep at night, and I just feel afraid. I need for you to make sure that justice is well and truly served; I read in the paper this morning that a grown man who RAPED his girlfriend’s 10 year old daughter (and impregnanted her) was sentenced to only 5 years. Five.fucking.years. And I worry that The Guy in our case will get off. Please, dude, just take care of this for me, will you? Take care of it so that Hannah will feel vindicated and strong, and so that he can’t get his fat, grubby paws on some other little girl. Please.

2. I need you to give me the balls to tell Janet that I really don’t WANT to go to Thanksgiving with them tomorrow. You know that Steve wants us there for family pictures tomorrow, and you also know that it is signifigant that he wants us there. I know that I am a firm believer in making plans and sticking to them, so I am obligated to follow through and go with R. and J., but I don’t want to. I want to be with ALL of my kids, and with Steve, and I WANT to take family pictures with them. It IS a big thing, but I am such a people pleaser that I just can’t tell Janet no. So if you could help me with that, too, I would be grateful.

3. Dude; the money thing? It is getting more than a little tiresome. How the fuck is $6.33 suppoed to last until Monday? I could totally get it if I were irresponsible and blowing money from hell to breakfast, but really, responsible is about all Iam good at any more. Could you just-well. Ican’t tell you what to do, but there is a certain individual out there called CASEY LIN JONES who is, oh, a whole lot of money behind on child support, so if you could maybe nudge him to cough some of it up, that would help a lot. I am not asking for the lottery; all I am asking for is what I am owed. The constant worry and struggle about money is even worse now knowing that Christmas is coming up, and that I am all out of sick and vacation time and am going to have to be taking time off to get through this whole thing with Hannah. So-help? Please?

4. I am not having any luck finding a home to rent, and I need some help with that, too. We need a four bedroom where we will be able to keep the dogs. Now, I know that I should maybe be a little more flixible about the dogs, but ever since the whole CSG summer (and yeah, thanks a lot for THAT, too!), we feel safe with them and they are such a part of our family now that getting rid of them is only a last ditch option.

5. I am struggling with feeling very much cut adrift right now, and I need to feel cherished and special for a little while. I know how selfsih that sounds, and I guess it IS selfish; as long as the kids feel that way, I should just be grateful, and I am. But I need to feel a little of that, too, so….

So, Big Guy, this is the basics, and if you could help me out with any and all of htese things, Iwould be really, really grateful to you. It has been hard, and I know it will continue to BE hard because life throws shit sometimes, but I just need to get through.


A Brief Update

I don’t know how many times I have started to blog today only to get mid-way into a post before giving it up. My mind is running in a thousand different directions this last week, and I am not sure which thread I should follow.

Yesterday was a really, really bad day, to say the least. I spent the day either crying or in a fury, lashing out at everyone within reach. I am a rather toxic person to be around lately, and unfortunately those I love the most have been the recipient of my deep anger. Last night, after yelling at the kids and being THE world’s biggest bitch to Jacquie and skipping the meeting (in which I was supposed to get my 9 year medallion) because I just, I sat in the bathtub and cried for a really long time, then I got out and called Steve and cried some more for a really long time, and then I called Jacquie and….do you see a pattern emerging here?

But today I am a little better in that I have some more information about what will happen next. I called the courthouse this morning and got a woman whom I actually know, someone I helped out on some insurance stuff awhile back. She happens to be in a position of being able to access information very easily, and while it is all a matter of public record, I am finding out that even so, it isn’t an easy matter. Anyway, she told me what happened at the arraignment, and when the prelim would be, and what I need to do next, so it helps a lot to sort of know what is coming. Not the outcome, not at all, but just to know what to expect in the next week helps. It really bites ass that the prelim next week is on Hannah’s BIRTHDAY; does that fucking suck or what? Of course he pled not guilty, and even qualified for a Public Defender, which frankly baffles me; while I don’t know exactly how much he makes, I do know that it has to be somewhere around $50,000, and he has no dependants. However, he couldn’t post the bond, so that is a good thing.

I have also called to make an appointment with a counselor, for Hannah to start with but also for the whole family if needed. It was someone recommended to us by the CARES people, and they are going to “work her in” after the Thanksgiving holiday, so will be calling back today or tomorrow to set up the appointment. She is doing okay, and by okay I mean just that. Good days and bad days, and I think she is still feeling shocked and sickened more than anything else right now. At some point there will be grief for all of us, layers upon layers of different feelings that will need peeled away one layer at a time, but right now we are all focusing very much on getting through each day.

In case you were wondering, any of you, I have Hannah’s permission to write about this. She doesn’t want the details out there, which I respect. And she did pre-approve the other post about it BEFORE I put it up; this is her story, and I may not be able to give you more than occasional updates out of respect for her, and for the whole legal aspect of it. however, you all know my email, and feel free to use it. Please do, in fact; your support has been overwhelming, and I am grateful.

A Sunday Post

I don’t think I need to apologize for my lack of posting lately, and I can’t even really give any kind of reasonable explanation other than that I just haven’t had the inclination. Not a matter of not having anything to say, but instead a matter of having too much to say. So be it.

We have had an unexpectedly and wonderfully peaceful weekend, which has been much needed on so many levels. I have these amazing and wonderful friends who have been privy to the events of the last week, and they have nurtured and cared for all of us beyond any reasonable expectations. Jacquie and I went to dinner where I ate entirely too much of the wrong things (I have totally blown Weight Watchers this week; bygones.) and enjoyed every bite while doing so. We then went to AA, which was also an unexpected bonus; I hadn’t thought I would be able to go. While there, I was able to talk with a couple of people whom I had been nervous about talking to, and all will be well with them. I got what I needed from the meeting and from being able to absorb the healing available, which is SO important.

After we left the meeting, we came over to Jacquie’s house where I had the chance to talk with my friend Janet on the phone and receive some much-needed support, and then we (Jacquie, her husband Jim, and I) got into the hot tub and just sat. It was really the beginning of a period of rest, one we all needed. We have been here all weekend, and are just getting ready to head home today; we made it through the weekend, and are all the better for it.

I have and do talk about grace a lot, but I feel it again today. The unexpected lessening of worry and fear and anxiety, providing me with what I need to get through yet another really, really hard time. It is in the presence of friends who can and are willing to nurture me and my family with food and rest and companionship, even when I have nothing to say and certainly nothing to offer in return. It has come, too, in the unexpected form of Steve, who has managed to provide the exact right amount of support and distance. To show his support of me, he was at the meeting on Friday with me. I texted him (I borrowed Jacquie’s phone to text; I haven’t gotten so far as to cave in to the cell phone craze, I am not THAT fucked up yet!) on and off all weekend, but was not in a place emotionally where I wanted to TALK, and he was able to give that to me. The grace has come in the fact that because I have been surrounded by so much, I was able to have two full nights of uninterrupted sleep in a real bed, I was able to rest secure in the knowledge that there were people around for the kids to rely on, and all of that? It matters, so much.

We are headed back home on a few minutes, feeling rested and stronger and much more capable of dealing with the ball of shit life has handed us. How can I be anything less than amazed and awed by the fact that even in the midst of such sorrow and pain, we are given every single thing we need?

Grace, indeed.

Grace Arrives

Daily we are surrounded by grace, even in the midst of sorrow and pain. Daily we are given the chance to live in the moment and see that for all of the bad, there is an equal or greater amount of good. Sometimes it is just a matter of changing your perception, of opening your eyes to things you maybe didn’t notice before, or look for the good in everything. It is there, I promise you, no matter what it looks like from the outside.

This morning, I stopped for just a moment, needing to wake up Sam and get Eli to school and try to figure out a way to convince Owen that it is not necessary to immediately strip off and fling all items of clothing being put on him. I stopped-and Sam was nestled in his bed, just stirring, and I followed my impulse and climbed into bed with him. I rubbed his soft, bony little back and woke him up with sweet words, and felt filled with unutterable joy and peace. I have this-I have been given this, the gift of these four creatures, and there is grace and beauty in being able to love them.

As you all know, we have had some new trouble arise, trouble about which I can’t speak right now. What I do know is that no matter how awful it is, it will be okay; whatever “okay” ultimately looks like for us. There is grace in that knowledge, that we are capable of getting through this process one step at a time, and will emerge stronger and more powerful at the end of it all. I know, too, that in order to be better than I am today, I have to follow this through, all the way, to the bitter end. Not for me, but for my kids, and for the example that my life sets, and… yes, for me.

I know that today, there is sunshine and warmth, that I can look outside and see the falling leaves and way the light shines on the windows, and I can be glad. I can be happy in knowing that in just a few short hours, we will all be safe at home together, with dinner cooking and baths being run. Today, and going to see the grace that comes from knowing how truly blessed I am.

And you are all part of that, whether you know it or not. I rejected an anonymous comment today, thinking, “Nope, I am not going there today.” Instead, I am choosing to notice the beauty in your responses, your kind words and you heartfelt prayers, and there is grace in knowing that even though I can’t tell you what is going on, you care enough to still send best wishes. Life is so beautiful, even amidst the crap.

Running Away Seems Reasonable

I want to not be here today. Not just here in my office, looking out at the crisp, clear day, but just-not here. Not in my skin, not in my house, not in my life. I have just gotten done talking to the kids about how no, we are not, in fact, being “picked on,” but that things happen to lots of people all of the time, and it is just our turn. Finished telling them that even in the midst of great pain and confusion, there is beauty, and that really good things can come of really awful things if we are open to them. However, I am in one of those dark places where I am just not sure I can practice what I preach right now-hence the desire to just not be here. I know that running away solves nothing, so it isn’t an option even were I serious, but of course the appeal is strong.

So I slog on. I fake it with the kids until they believe that somehow things are going to be okay. They believe in me, and yes, I know what a blessing that is, but it is also a burden. I am strong for them, and I don’t let on that I am sick and worried and scared, and I pat them on the back and give them hugs and give them what they need and yet-well. At the end of the day, it’s just me.

Seems like it hasn’t been a very good year for us, doesn’t it?