It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have my first counseling appt. tomorrow

I wont go so far as to say that I'm dreading my appointment tomorrow, but in no way could I say that I'm looking forward to it. I'm not really good at expressing my feelings, especially in the company of strangers... at least not when I have to look at them. Talking about my fears, and revealing my insecurities to someone else makes me distinctly uncomfortable. I guess that's why I like blogging so much. It's fairly anonymous, and I don't have to look anyone in the eye or deal with uncomfortable stretches of silence.

On some level I feel silly that I can't deal with this on my own. It's not like I was beaten up on a daily basis, or chained to a wall and starved of human companionship. My counselor specializes in PTSD related to domestic violence - and I'm sure she is used to dealing with cases of women who have been truly, horrifically abused by their spouses. What I had was a single episode, and as traumatic as it was it was a single day... a moment in time. I feel weak for not being able to get over it and move on with my life.

What's odd is that I would never judge anyone else for getting counseling if they felt they needed it - and yet I'm embarrassed to be going myself. I don't want to tell anyone outside of my immediate family. I feel as though I'll be judged and found lacking, or that somehow I'll disappoint someone.

I'll let you all know how it goes tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's better to be over cautious...

After being up all night thinking, and consulting my lawyer, my family, and my most trusted friend Ethel I decided to petition the court to remove the X's right to send the children letters. I don't want him to have any further access to the children until he has proven to the courts that he's no longer a danger to my kids, or to myself.

I think Bikinfool is very correct when he says that it's better to be over careful at this point. And Ethel has said many times that he no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt. Quite honestly I just can't take the added stress. Getting letters like that with thinly veiled threats raises my stress level to nearly unmanageable heights. I didn't sleep last night. I don't need anything else keeping me awake, giving me nightmares, or causing me anxiety.

This will likely cause WW III with the former in-laws. I would love to say I don't care, but God help me I'm a pacifier. I don't want people to be upset. I don't want people to be disappointed in me. It's sick, I know... but I can't help worrying that I'm going to make it worse by trying to protect my children. Seriously though, I think that his mother should be more concerned with the fact that the only people who've read those words and haven't found them threatening were the man in jail for trying to shoot me, and herself. I think this is a clear implication that she needs to get some counseling herself and get some perspective.

I haven't talked to BLT about this. Actually I haven't talked to him at all today, and I don't like to burden him while he's out of town on business anyway. This decision is mine alone, and I'm sure that there will be negative fall out, but I have to do whatever is within my power to protect my children.

I don't know if the court will approve my request. All I can do is petition the court and wait for my chance to speak on my children's behalf. As of yet I am still waiting to hear about the possible extension on the Restraining Order that expires this next week. I'm hoping there is some resolution one way or another. All this waiting makes me anxious.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Letter from the Convict...

My oldest child received a letter today from the X. While he is in prison he is only allowed to communicate with them via letter, and there are rules he's supposed to follow. First I want to say that perhaps there is nothing at all wrong with this letter... I understand that I'm not a good judge in this situation. EVERYTHING related to my X feels like a threat. I see danger in every word, and every action.

That being said, I feel there is a blatant threat being made, directed at me. He knows that every letter he writes to the children is first read by me and edited in case I object to the content. There is no way the words he wrote weren't meant for my eyes.

And so here it is... Let me know if you think I'm crazy. For privacy I'm removing any names.

Dear Chef,
I can't even tell you how much I wish I could be there for your birthday. I wish I could call you and tell you how much I love you and your sisters and how I think about you all every day. Even your mom is still on my mind every hour of every day. I haven't given up Chef, I promise you that. One day soon I'll be able to hug you again and everything else that was taken away from me.

The letter goes on to describe what he asked for on his 13th birthday and goes on to promise that whatever Chef doesn't get for Christmas or Birthday he will "find a way to get them for you when I get out". So damn typical, him trying to buy affection with expensive gifts, but I digress. Back to the letter.

He then tells Chef that there are photos of the kids on his wall (wonderful... all the lovely felons can stare at my four young children, this makes me feel just dandy) and that "You and your sisters should never have had to suffer because of the decisions your mom and I made."

HUH?? He decided we were getting divorced. Then he decided to start stalking me, hack into my computer and read all my private email, have me followed, break into my cell phone account to monitor my calls and texts, and finally to bring a gun to my house and cause me physical harm. I'm pretty sure the more accurate sentence is, "You and your sisters should never have had to suffer because the decisions I made" but again... he's still sitting his crazy ass in jail not taking responsibility for what he's done.

I'm sorry, but the LAST thing I want is for him to be thinking of me every hour of every day... can we say Obsession? Unhealthy Fixation? Scary Stalker Behavior? And then the line about him promising Chef he hasn't given up. On what? Getting me back? Getting back AT me? Finishing what he set out to do and kill me then kill himself? What is he promising exactly, when he knows I'm reading these letters?

It concerns me when he uses phrases like, "and everything else that was taken away from me" It's no ones fault but his own that he lost his job, his family, and his freedom. Yet even now, a year after going to jail he still puts the blame on everyone else.

This letter scares me. I swear one day he'll try to kill me again. If I suddenly go missing at any time after March 11, 2011 then you all know what happened to me. He didn't give up, and he finally got what he wants.

So tell me friends, am I over reacting? Is my fear getting the better of my common sense? Once before I didn't listen to that nagging voice in the back of my head that said, "protect yourself, this is getting out of control" I let him bully me. I let someone I didn't know convince me that getting a restraining order would make things worse. I didn't follow my gut, or listen to the advice of friends and family and he proved himself to be both crazy and dangerous.

I don't trust myself anymore. I don't know what is a reasonable amount of caution versus hysterical fear, because honestly thinking about him at all makes me slightly hysterical. All I know is that after reading this letter tonight I'm feeling very vulnerable and I don't like it one bit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I feel anxious today and I don't know why. I woke up at four a.m., on the first day in several months that I've had the luxury of sleeping in. I wasn't able to get back to sleep - and without BLT here to talk to I'm finding myself full of nervous energy and the feeling of being "unsettled".

There's something comforting about having BLT here that calms me. His even breathing when we're laying here together in the dark helps me relax at night. His warm hand on the small of my back that makes me feel safe. Without him here I feel like an essential part of what keeps me grounded is missing.

On some level that makes me feel weak and slightly pathetic.

He's in Arizona for the next week on business and I'm going to miss him terribly. I don't want to assume that the upcoming week is going to be terrible...self fulfilling prophecy and all that. However I have to take the kids to visit the former In Laws, I have to start my counseling soon, and I'm waiting to hear about the Restraining Order... so the potential for stress and anxiety is high.

This may be a week for chocolate therapy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baby Fever

I recently got into contact with an old friend from High School. L.L is fantastic, and she's the only person I know with more kids than myself, LOL! She's also divorced, and has met someone new and moved on with her life in a grand fashion. She gives me hope that it possible to make a loving, happy life with someone new after divorce. L.L. also went through something traumatic - the death of a child, and she's been able to move on with her life.

L.L. is having her third daughter tomorrow. I'm pretty freaking excited about this, and I'm dying to get my hands on that baby! I'm really having a bad case of Baby Fever lately. Its like when you buy a certain car, and everywhere you look you see the same car. Every time I turn around there is a baby of some kind. Kittens, puppies, babies oh my!

It doesn't help any that I'm crazy in love at the moment. It doesn't help that my kids are all in school now and I don't have any babies or toddlers to focus on. It doesn't help that I'm turning 36 soon and I feel my biological clock ticking away. It doesn't help that I really loved being pregnant, and nursing... I just loved sitting with my babies, nursing them, rocking them, rubbing their soft heads and feeling their tiny hands wrap around my pinkie finger. I loved feeling my babies move inside me. I loved the first giggle, the first tooth, the first words.

I know logically I can't have another baby. I'm struggling right now to give my four kids everything they need emotionally and financially. I'm in love, but not married - and I don't plan on changing that any time soon. I have a psychotic ex husband who may very likely attempt to kill me again if he can find me and/or get me alone. I'm getting too old to have a baby without greatly increasing my chances of having a child with Down Syndrome. I don't have the time or money to care for another baby.

So why doesn't my heart want to listen to my head? Why is it that I see a newborn in a stroller and I get a hitch in my breath and a crazy urge to scoop up that baby and breath in that special newborn scent? Why is it that I have vivid dreams of nursing my babies, and childbirth? Why is it that I can picture in my head what BLT and my wee one would look like?

Maybe this is just some crazy hormonal surge and it'll pass. I hope so...

Monday, September 20, 2010

PTSD and My Mommy Made Me Do It...

Some of you, my dear readers and friends have mentioned that I might be suffering from some type of PTSD.

My most disruptive symptoms are: Nightmares, Frequent upsetting memories, Strong feelings of distress when reminded of the event, Irregular / fast heart rate, shaking and sweating when recalling details of the event, Difficulty falling and staying asleep, Having outbursts of anger at inappropriate times, Crying out of the blue at random times, Being hyper-focused on "fixing" things or on issues related to the court case/divorce/event, and Feelings of being totally alone and that nobody really understands what I'm going through.

Several of these are listed as classic symptoms of PTSD.

As the X's release date inches closer the children and I are all having a harder and harder time dealing with what happened and all of the changes we've had to go through since. I found a way for the kids to get free or at the least very low cost mental health counseling. Their first appointment isn't until the first week of October, but at least we are on the books and they'll be able to work through some of their fear and issues before his release if they can fit them in a few times before March.

After my break down on Friday my parents have decided...okay, my MOTHER has decided that I too need some kind of counseling. I personally think I've done very well. This was only my second real break down in a year, and the first one was actually during our separation, before he came to my house with a gun to shoot me.

My mother thinks all this "keeping it together" is really just me internalizing and trying to bury all the fear and memories of what happened. She's afraid at some point I'm going to just crack and really lose it. She called a victims advocacy group and figured out a way for me to start seeing a counselor as well. My first four visits are free, and then the advocacy group with pay 80% of the cost after that so that I can continue to get help (if need be) up until the time of his release. There is a free support group meeting each week after his release that I may or may not qualify for, to be determined by the Dr. after we have a few sessions.

I'm really not comfortable with this. I don't want to discuss it anymore. In a way I just want to forget that it even happened, but I can't. Every day there is some new disaster to deal with; lawyers - restraining orders - bill collectors - the kids fears. Something that brings it all back up over and over.

I really feel like being able to post my thoughts and fears here, in a fairly anonymous way is helping more than anything else. Just having a place to vent my frustrations relieves more pressure than anything else. It's MUCH harder and scarier to share my feelings, my guilt, my worries, and my fears aloud to someone else.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Okay, the pity party is over

I picked myself up by my bootstraps today, put on my big girl panties and spent the day with Ethel.

I have my kids.
I have BLT.
I have good friends.

I'll make it through this in the end. If there is anything this past year has taught me, it's that I'm resilient. I bounce back. I recover.

Back to my regularly scheduled, ass-kicking life. Now where did I put those gold stilettos?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Mother I Wish I Was

She's a go-getter, that mother in my dreams. She bakes cookies in her immaculately clean kitchen that looks like it came from between the covers of Home and Garden Magazine. She is an active member of the PTA, knows the names of all her kids teachers, friends, and her neighbors. She reads her two babies a story at night before she tucks them in, kissing their freshly washed heads that smell of Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo.

She's witty and funny. Hosts dinner parties, birthday parties, and the occasional backyard BBQ. Her older children laugh and tease with her, having an open and honest relationship based on mutual respect and genuine affection.

She always helps with homework, and remembers the capital of all fifty states without hesitation. While folding her crisp white sheets she gently breaths in the homey aroma of fabric softener. She is patient. She is kind. She is adored by her children....


And now for a dose of reality. I am NONE of those things. I want to be. I wish I was. I try - when I'm not completely overwhelmed with my life - to be like the mother in my dreams. In all honesty however I am not exactly a go getter. And baking cookies? Fah-getta-bout-it! Oh, and that kitchen I see in my head? Well let's just say I'd be more likely to be showcased in Goodwill Weekly if they had one than Better Homes and Gardens. My decorating style is pretty much, "hey I can afford that" and whenever possible, "sure I'll take it if it's free!"

I've only been to a handful of PTA meetings and I've decided it's not my thing. The women are stuck up. It just feels like junior high school all over again. The popular kids reigning over the lowly band geeks who desperately just want to be included! No thanks... pass... I have precious little time, and I guess it makes me a bad mother to say that I have no desire to spend my evenings counting soup labels when I could be doing just about ANYTHING else.

Honesty time; While I know the names of my younger two kids' teachers I haven't a single clue what my two older kids (both in middle school) teachers names are. I haven't met a single one. They don't have conferences anymore, and I was working when the open house came around this summer. Is that a valid excuse? Perhaps... but most likely not.

I don't know all my neighbors, and honestly it's just not high on my to-do list. They seem nice. I wave when I see them. I just don't have the time or energy to care to make friends at this point. I leave at the butt crack of dawn for work, and come home exhausted at night. When my kids get a bath they get their hair washed with whatever I can find, and yes, once it was the dogs oatmeal shampoo. Hey - clean is clean right? And as a side benefit they were flea and tick free for up to 30 days.

Horrible, I know. So I might as well keep on confessing that I don't read bed time stories, by the time nine o'clock rolls around all I want is to crawl between the covers and escape into sleep. I'm more likely to say, "oh for the love of baby Jesus just go to bed!!!" than to sweetly whisper gentle wishes as I tuck them in. And for their own sake they better not get up ten times or I'm pretty much guaranteed to make ridiculous threats that involve gypsy slave labor camps.

I help with homework while doing a minimum of four other things. I'm the single mom of four kids... you don't get my undivided attention. It's not possible. For this I'm truly sorry, and I have immense amounts of maternal guilt, but there is nothing I can do about that. I don't know the state capitals, I doubt I ever did. Oh Google How I Love Thee...

Shall I go on? My house is always in a constant state of flux. We clean on the go, we eat on the go. I don't have fluffy towels and crisp white sheets. You grab a towel from the dryer before you hop in the shower, and if you're lucky it doesn't have a pair of underwear stuck to it from static cling. My mismatched sheets are also a Goodwill bargain, and they've never been described as crisp. Wrinkled and Slightly Damp is the usual way of things around here. I'm just thrilled when they don't smell like dog or sweaty kids.

I'm that mom, who just today took her kids to the fair and spent the day frustrated, annoyed, and head-achy. It was horrible. We didn't bond, we didn't laugh and ride the carousel with the wind in our hair. I was cranky and on edge. They were whiny and demanding. We left after four hours - 300 bucks poorer and with a migraine pulsing behind my eyes. I was impatient. I yelled. I feel terrible. They feel terrible. This was not a good day.

I just hope someday their insurance has mental health coverage for all the therapy my kids are going to need in the future.

Some days it's just too much to handle.

The past couple of days have been rough. To be honest, the past week has been hell. With the 13th being the one year Anniversary of the crime I've been very edgy. September 10th would have been my 16th wedding anniversary as well, and while I didn't actively think about that...something had been nagging at me the whole day. Like some important that I forgot, and about two o'clock in the afternoon I looked hard at the calender for a bit and realized what it was.

Last week I finally got into contact with my lawyer in regards to extending the no contact order for my kids. I was told that it would take about a week but that she would get the paperwork to me. A week passed without any word from her. Over the next three days I called, emailed, and left several messages. She never called or emailed me back. The expiration date is quickly approaching, and I'm starting to get very anxious. I told my lawyer this several times and it didn't seem to speed the process up or encourage her to contact me in any way.

Friday I just lost it. My mother and BLT were telling me to calm down, that it was no big deal, that it would all work itself out and blah blah blah... It was just all too much. The stress, the anxiety about the no contact order expiring, and feeling ignored just built up inside my head. I snapped. I told them both that they have no right to tell me how to feel. That once they've been at the other end of a rifle, and found out that the person who tried to shoot them told their children in graphic detail how to kill themselves if he didn't come home - and that same person wants contact with your children - well once they've experienced that THEN they can tell me how I should feel.

And you know what? I still feel that way. Everyone thinks that a year passed and like magic all the fear, anxiety, stress, pain (mental and physical) and trauma should just disappear. Maybe they are right, but I feel VERY alone. Nobody knows what this is like. Nobody else has had to deal with the near daily bullshit that I do. DSHS, Restraining Orders, Collection Agents, Crazy In Laws, Lawyers - on top of the day to day stress of work and parenting. I feel bombarded, and I usually deal with it fairly well - but please, for the love of God, DO NOT TELL ME HOW I SHOULD FEEL!

Don't tell me to calm down when I'm upset over the fact that a crazy man wants access to my children. Do not tell me that it'll all work out, because my history has proven to me, without a doubt, that it doesn't. It doesn't just all work out like rainbows and butterflies, and God-damned unicorns and magic. Life doesn't work like that. It's messy, and sad, and dirty, and unfair. That's the reality of my world.

I finally decided to bypass my lawyer all together and contact the prosecutor's office. I was directed to the department where my request for an extension would be filed, only to find out that it's pretty much too late. You have to file your request with the court in enough time for a court date to be appointed so your motion can be heard. That process takes 2 - 4 weeks. If my protection order for the kids expires I'll have to start from scratch and hope that a judge will put a new one into place - and since he's in jail there is no immediate threat (except he wants to talk to, and have the kids visit him in jail which I'm 100% against. Also if they aren't not on a no contact order he can petition for information on their whereabouts... school, home address etc. Something he's been trying to do this whole time. He finds them, and then he knows how to find me.) so I was told it's not likely that would happen... an extension is easier to get however. I guess they figure if you're really all that afraid then you'll take care of it when you're supposed to.

So basically - my lawyer dropped the ball and now the kids and I are screwed. I'm going to file the papers anyway, on my own, and pray. It's all I can do.

To top all this stress and drama off in a royal fashion, my father (who is my boss) got all pissed off and yelled at me. He told me to keep my personal "shit" out of the office. Fine... thanks for all the support dad. Sorry my life falling apart is inconvenient for you.

So I spent the day crying. I couldn't sleep last night - and of course my kids woke me up at six thirty this morning, after only 3 hours of sleep. I feel like shit. I'm stressed out beyond belief. I feel alone, and sad, and ganged up upon by my family and BLT as well.

I KNOW they're tired of dealing with all this on a peripheral level. I get it. For craps sake, I'm sick of dealing with it directly - but I don't have a choice. This is what my life has become. Dealing with one disaster after another. Financial, emotional, physical, maternal, domestic... around every corner is some new craptastic mess for me to clean up.

I just can't handle it anymore...I think I'm starting to crack. I can't stop crying.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Men are so much simpler creatures

I honestly believe that. I think men have simpler needs and are better about asking for what they want. As a little girl we're taught to be nice, to consider other people's feelings. We are groomed from a young age to be nurturers and peace keepers.

"Don't make waves."
"Play by the rules"
"Don't be demanding"

Last year I was the queen of "Don't Make Waves" during my separation I agreed to move away from my family and my comfort zone to make it easier on the X to commute to work - as he was still the primary bread winner. I didn't want to make a fuss and I figured I could find work anywhere. I spend weeks separating out and packing up our belongings into boxes marked HIS and HERS. I killed myself for weeks and he didn't pack a single box. I let him bully me into having a say on where I would live, I let him threaten to take my children away, I let him manipulate me even when I knew he was following me and scary cyber-stalking behavior was going on. When the X started talking about dreaming of killing me I was told by my friends and family to get a restraining order. I was told by HIS therapist that it would make things I didn't do it... and we see how that worked out for me.

Why was I so intent on being the good girl? Why couldn't I stand up for myself, take care of my needs and tell him to go screw himself? Why would I let myself be bullied, harassed, and threatened into behaving as someone else wished? Why was I so weak?

It seems that we have a whole different set of rules for men. Growing up little boys are encouraged to be competitive and even a mild amount of regulated aggression is smiled upon. Boys are told to be leaders and to speak up.

"Don't take crap from anybody"
"Don't be a baby"
"Go get em' Tiger!"

I heard a female comedian once talk about what men need to be happy. Something along the lines of beer, boobies, and a full belly. Simple wishes. They dream of finding a woman who wants to cook them dinner and jump their bones when they're done. Can it really be that basic?

A male friend once told me that if his woman had sex with him on a semi regular basis then he felt pretty damn good about himself and he assumed their relationship was on track. If she had sex with him frequently then he knew he was a total stud. If she cooked for him, didn't nag him too much about the toilet seat, and knew how to not talk his ear off while he watched t.v. then she's probably going to be his wife someday. Simple wishes.

Women - myself included - need validation. We need to talk about our feelings, we need to feel connected. We want romance apart from sex. We want him to WANT to spend time with us, to like our friends, to hold us when we cry for no apparent reason. We are complicated.

How do we meet in the middle? How do we manage to get our complicated emotional needs met and not suffocate the man we love? How do we feel sexy, powerful, cherished, nurturing, and independent all at the same time?

How do I make sure, every day, that he knows I love him. I love him with a deep and passionate love that's new and scary for me. I love him with a comfortable, easy, gentle love that's soothing to my damaged soul? How do I ask for what I need so that I in turn know, on a daily basis, that he loves me truly and deeply as well?

Sometimes, "I love you" doesn't say enough... What are the words? Or do I, as my friend implied, accept the fact that since I fill his belly, and warm his bed on a nightly basis he's content? Is looking for something deeper a wasted effort?

I think this love business should come with an owner's manual. There are so very many ways to screw it up. One thing I do know - I'm done with not asking for what I want. I'm done allowing ANYONE to bully me. I won't keep the peace at the sake of my own sanity. This past year has taught me a lot - especially about myself. What I can survive. Whom I can depend on. What I need to be happy. These are hard learned lessons.

Monday, September 13, 2010

1 year ago today...

He called, demanding that I pick up the dogs from his house. I refused, it was after ten at night and I was just getting ready to hop in the shower.

The next thing I know he's at my door. He tries to talk me into coming out to his car to grab the dogs. Again I refuse. He tries to get me to come out to his car to get a bag of dog food. I tell him to keep it - I have my own bag.

When it's clear I won't come out to his vehicle he walks out and stands beside it for five to seven minutes. I just want him to leave. I just want a hot shower and my bed, I have to work in the morning. All I have on is my bathrobe and I feel vulnerable. I figure the fastest way to get rid of him is to see what he's doing.

On my front porch I see him grab a long, black plastic case with a center handle from his car. He says, "I told you I bought Chef a guitar right?" I think to myself, "well that's the weirdest guitar case I've ever seen, it's so narrow. I'm sure he bought some piece of shit toy thing that won't work and I'll get to fix it when she's disappointed."

I turn around and walk into my house, he follows immediately behind me. I don't notice him locking the door as well as the deadbolt. I sit on the couch, my back to him. I fiddle with my cell phone that I put into the pocket of my robe. I remember thinking, "maybe someone will call and I'll have an excuse to get him out of my house." I hear him behind me fiddling with the case and I assume he's pulling out this weird guitar to show me.

In a moment he says to me, dead calm, kind of a low, slow tone. "So we really aren't getting back together are we?"

"no... we are never getting back together"

"Well this won't take long" and like a slow motion dream I hear the familiar sound of a gun being cocked opened. Not that I have any experience with firearms at all, but I've seen enough movies. I've heard that sound a thousand times over on the big screen. I look over my shoulder and I see him removing shells from his pocket and loading them into the chamber of the rifle. It's pointed directly at my head.

I slowly stand up, backing towards the door I dial 911 on the cell phone in my pocket. When I hear the operator's voice I life the phone to my ear and say, "my ex husband is in my house with a gun I need the police NOW."

She asks me if I can get out of the house. I tell her I don't know. She tells me to run, just run and don't stop until I get someplace safe. I'm pulling on the doorknob and I can't figure out why it won't open. I see the deadbolt and I flip it open. I pull again... it still won't open. I'm starting to get frantic, I feel trapped. I'm sweating and my blood is pounding in my ears. It occurs to me that the door is locked, and I flip it open.

Suddenly it's a rush of cold night air and I'm running. I hear him behind me on the patio yelling "YOU DON'T WANT TO DO THAT!" I keep running down the driveway. It is near total darkness, no street lights and only a few lights from local houses. I head to one of those lights in the neighbors house.

A sudden explosion of pain in my right foot sends me to the ground. I land on my right shoulder feeling it shoved out of its socket. Another explosion of pain makes my vision blur. I don't feel like I can take a deep breath as I crawl on my hands and knees to my neighbor's door. I pound furiously. I can still hear him screaming in the distance.

My neighbor answers the door. I tell him what happened. I'm still on the phone with the police. I must have given them my address by this point. They tell me that help is on the way. My neighbor hides me in the closet of a back bedroom with his teenage daughter and his wife. He's also on the phone to the police. I keep apologizing over and over for bleeding on their floor. My foot looks like raw hamburger and my arm is hanging limp, useless, and at an unnatural angle.

The police arrive a few minutes later. They get me out of the closet. They hurry us out of the house. I see the SWAT team arrive as they lock me in the back of a police car. I call my best friend and his family before someone searches me and takes my phone. For three hours I'm questioned, I'm forced to write a statement with my dislocated arm. My cell phone is confiscated. I'm nearly naked - still in nothing but my bathrobe, cold, and injured. They won't tell me where my children are. I'm frantic, having convinced myself that he killed them before he came to kill me. I am honestly and truly, for the first time in my life, hysterical.

The rest is a blur. At some point the police finally inform me that they found my children alive and well at his home. My former in-laws picked them up and they are safe. They take me to the station and lock me in an interview room. After approximately four hours I demand they let me go or charge me with a crime and get me a lawyer. I demand my cell phone be returned to me. I call my best friend. She comes to get me.

At some point in the wee hours of the morning he surrenders and they remove him from my home without further incident or injury. He's arrested. My life is never the same again.

I have to tell my children that their dad won't be coming back to them for a long time. I have to make statements to the police again, get a restraining order, contact my land-lord, get medical attention, call my employer, and try not to break into a million little pieces.

One year ago today I became a person I never imagined I could be. I became a victim, a single mother, a survivor.

One year ago today I changed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Making a house a home...

BLT and I spent the weekend putting wood laminate flooring in TNT and Monkey Pants' bedroom. Last weekend Ethel and I pulled up the carpet and pad. Then I painted the room two different colors.

This weekend it's the wood flooring. Next weekend hopefully it's changing out the ugly light fixtures to something fun, to be followed by handmade curtains for the three windows with some matching bed pillows.

The last job I have for this room is going to require the use of a carpenter/handyman I know. There is no closet in this room and with two, eventually three young ones in that big ol' room a closet is a necessity. Once that's done it's onto one of my many other projects for this little blue cottage.

I can't even explain how nice it was to do a home improvement job with BLT. He was calm, patient, worked with a sense of humor I found refreshing, and best of all he told me when I was nit-picking and being bitchy. I know it sounds weird, but I love that he's secure enough in "us" that he can tell me when I'm out of line and I need to just step back and stop being a bitch.

I know I get stressed when a project doesn't go exactly right...and in a house that is 90 years old there is never going to be anything that goes as planned, lol, I need to just accept that one right now or I'll make myself and everyone else nuts! BLT, in his infinate understanding of what makes me tick kissed me and told me to chill out or he wasn't going to be able to help me finish the job. I needed to hear it. I don't always realize - mid hissy fit - that I'm being unpleasant. It takes someone to lovingly put it into perspective for me, and he does that without any blame or unneccesary critisism.

So... job nearly done. There are some really complicated cuts necessary for the last row since the walls in this old place are not anywhere close to level or square! The handyman I mentioned will come in and finish that last row, as well as instal the moulding - again, lots of odd angles and little nitches so I'm going to have a professional take care of that part to save myself the time, money, and aggrivation of doing it myself.... sometimes you should just know when to cut your losses and call in the professionals - know what I mean?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whatever you say can, and will, be used against you...

Pariah: Adj. 1. An Outcast 2. A person to be avoided 3. Your former daughter in law who has moved on with her life and is living with a man other than your son.

Yep - that about covers it. Since informing my former in-laws that BLT and I are seriously involved and living together I have not heard a word from them. Seeing as how my former father in law / uncle was in constant communication up until this point it's a noticeable difference.

Monkey Pants' tuition for Kindergarten was past due, so I made a friendly "hey, in case you didn't know" telephone call and left them a message. They chose not to call back. I did receive a check in the mail - no note attached or anything. I'm being avoided - and you know what? It's FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!!

Since I've already pissed them off it won't get any worse when they find out that I talked to my lawyer yesterday and we are going forward with requesting the judge extend the no contact order for the children for another year. It expires soon, and B.S.C (Bat Shit Crazy) ex husband wrote the children letters stating that he was working on getting permission for them to visit him. ARE YOU NUTS? Rhetorical question of course. There is no way I'm standing by and letting my four young children visit him in prison. No way, No how, Never going to happen.

Also - this would give us 7 months after his release to make sure he's going to any court ordered counseling, parole, whatever that might be required of him before he can petition the court for visitation. I think this is a good thing, he has to earn back the right to visit his kids - that's one of the consequences for his behavior. It's my job to make sure those children are protected and I will do that to the very best of my ability whether the in-laws like it or not.

So from here on out I figure it's truth time. No more avoiding them, no more discreet lies to try and salvage some king of relationship with them. I need to fully move on with my life, and that means being honest with myself and others. I don't need their approval or respect. I'll be cordial for the sake of the kids so that visits with the grandparents aren't too awkward, but that's it.

Whew...this is rather liberating! Now that they are avoiding me things are so much easier all around. This should have happened months ago!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I love it when he...

Sings out loud in car.
Washes my back in the shower.
Talks about his daughter with total love and devotion.
Unconsciously pulls me towards him in the middle of the night.
Holds the door open for me.
Puts things into perspective.
Tucks my little ones in for the night.
Tells me that I'm beautiful.
Cooks with me.
Slides his tongue across my bare shoulders.
Helps me clean the house without complaining.
Listens to the stories of my past and doesn't judge me.
Lets me sleep in.
Opens up and tells me his most personal and intimate secrets.
Makes me laugh when I need it the most.

In so many ways he's the man I've always wanted in my life. He's not perfect, but he's such a good, strong, loving man. Sometimes I find myself looking for problems. I look for the imperfections because deep down I know he's the only man I've ever given the power to break my heart, and I get scared.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

He said, "You're going to marry me someday"

Someday, maybe... maybe not.

Is it terrible that he can say something like that to me and my first response is..."well MAYBE, maybe someday...."

He loves me. He's so confident in our future together. It's me that has all the fears and the trepidation in regards to marriage. I mean really - it's not that shocking considering the fact that it was only 11 months ago that my X went bat shit crazy and tried to shoot me.

I'm so happy with the way things are at the moment. It feels right. The kids are happy, I'm loved and feel safe and satisfied in the relationship we have exactly as it is. I don't want to screw that up. He's of the opinion that living together is trying to have your cake and eat it too, and that if I'm committed to him then he wants the whole enchilada - rings, vows, and all. He's willing to wait until I'm on board, but he's sure it's going to happen. How can he be so sure? What if we are a horrible married couple? What if we suddenly feel trapped? What if we get bored of each other or the sex starts to suck?

He's never been married. I don't think he realizes how much control and how much of your yourself you give up when you take that step. It's not about how much I love him - because that is not in doubt for me at all. It's about not loosing myself ever again. I did that once, and it was the worst feeling of my life.

He wants to give the kids a "real" family. I want to show them that you don't have to do something just because its conventional. He wants to know I'm committed to him. I want him to accept that I'm his - good times or bad and we don't need a piece of paper from the state to prove it. He wants to take care of me. I want him to know I'm strong and able of taking care of myself.

Is he unrealistic? Am I too pessimistic? Is there a way to meet in the middle? I can honestly say that this is the first time in my adult life I feel that I'm truly in love. And I love him for all the right reasons - not out of fear of being alone, or a desire to have someone take care of me. It's not about looking for the "American Dream" or feeling pressured in any way. It's about me loving the person that he is, loving who we are as a couple. It's the fact that I'm a better person when he's around. He grounds me, makes me feel calm. I'm a better mother to my girls. It's about our chemistry together - amazing sex, open communication, and finding someone who understands me.

So if that's the case, why am I afraid? Does it mean there's something wrong that I can't admit to myself? I can't figure out why the idea of marrying this AMAZING, loving, strong, sexy, talented, respectful, hard working man of my dreams scares the snot out of me!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big dreams for my little cottage - and an update.

First the update. I spoke to the crime victims caseworker at Labor and Industries they claim that my former insurance was still in effect and that payment must be made by my former insurance company, and anything not covered will be paid by them.

The insurance company claims that regardless of coverage these injuries were received due to a crime and Crime Victims must pay. I told them both to duke it out on their own end, and that refuse to pay one penny.

Second... my little blue cottage! I'm starting a fun project this holiday weekend. I was given the okay from my landlord to pull up the carpet in TNT's bedroom. Due to allergies and severe asthma we can't have carpet in the room where TNT sleeps. This long weekend I'll pull up the carpet, pad, and tack strips. I'll get the floor all cleaned and prepped - and then next weekend BLT and I will install laminate wood flooring in that room. I already have Pergo downstairs in the main living area and I love it.

I have several home improvement projects planned for my little cottage. I have to paint TNT's room, build a stone path to a fire pit in the backyard, re-stain my picket fence and deck, strip the wallpaper in the bathroom and paint the walls, freshen up the paint on the little barn in my back yard, and BLT and I have instructions on building Adirondack chairs and outdoor planters. We want to make some planters for Christmas gifts and chairs for our own use next summer on the patio. Oh speaking of the patio, it needs to be power washed and then sealed with concrete stain.

Lots of plans... and very little time or money, lol. Lucky for me few of these jobs are expensive. My landlord left stain and paint in the shed, I can borrow the power washer from my parents etc. Mostly it's all elbow grease :) I'm excited to get started this weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And the drama goes on...

I got a lovely call today. A collection agent - which, to be honest, is nothing new. A fantastically fun byproduct of my divorce. He gets to walk away debt free because mommy and daddy paid off his debts while he sits in jail and I get saddled with credit card bills, car payments, student loans, collection agents, a foreclosed house, the entire cost of raising four kids AND... drum roll please....

Medical bills.

When X brought that gun to my house I got away with a separated shoulder and my foot was broken in two places. The medical bills were supposed to be paid by Labor and Industries from a victims relief fund. I was told the bills were paid. I come to find out tonight that they never were and I've been sent to collections for a total of over $3000.00 in hospital bills.

I don't have three grand. I don't have a grand. I don't have a spare twenty bucks. I also don't have the desire to keep messing with this crap day in and day out. I just want some god damned peace. I want one freaking day where I don't have some new and hideous fall out to deal with. One day without finding out there's something else coming around to bite me on the ass.

I'm not sure what my options are. The collection agent was very kind. She made notes, took down my identification number and case number and said she would work on it on her end. I may have to contact the state and try to reopen a case with them. She wanted to be honest with me though that these cases, once denied are seldom paid after the fact.

So once again... I get screwed. Screwed by the X. Screwed by the system. Screwed by the in-laws. I'm ready to cry.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Letting Someone Take Care of Me

This is a learning process, this learning to let go thing. In the past my not-so-nice X wasn't exactly nurturing. When I had Strep Throat and I needed him to take the kids to the dentist his answer was, "Jesus, I don't even know where their dentist is..." Okay father of the year, never mind, I guess I'll deal with it on my own while I feel like death.

It was more than nice, it was down right amazing, to have BLT take a day off of work to take care of me while I have this stomach bug. I apparently picked up a NASTY bacterial infection sometime in the past couple weeks and it's been sitting in my lower intestine building up enough of it's vile little friends to attack my system and kick my ass big time!! I've never thrown up so violently in my life.

BLT - being the exceptional man that he is - cooked for me, cleaned my house, took care of my kids, went grocery shopping and brought me back Gatorade and Crackers. He rubbed my head, told me I was gorgeous, and did the laundry. He took my kids to preschool and picked them up again, and was in general my hero.

And you know what? I felt totally guilty the entire time. I kept apologizing. I was sorry for being sick, sorry I was disgusting and I kept making our bathroom smell like vomit, sorry for not being able to make dinner, sorry the kids were...well kids. It was so hard to watch him taking care of everyone and it wasn't him making me feel bad. It's my own hang up. He never once complained. In fact all he said was, "Baby, stop apologizing. I know you would do the same for me." Never a complaint or a big sigh or an obnoxious eye roll.

He makes it impossible not to love him.