Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I only signed up for the full time program because the Not-So-Grand parents offered to pay the tuition. Now I'm going to be left trying to find room in my scary tight budget for tuition, or I'll have to pull Monkey Pants from the program and find a free class that has room. The problem is that I live in a very tiny town. The other two part time / free classes are full. To remove her from the tuition based class means she'll likely have to change schools... that's not an option with my daycare situation. Also that would be so disruptive to her I can't imagine putting her through this kind of change.
I'm so tired of broken promises. They convinced me to get the two older kids cell phones for safety reasons, saying they would pay for them... I put the contract in my name, and never once saw any money for those bills. They promised to put money towards the ridiculously high car payment I was stuck with when the X went to jail... never saw a penny of that money either. Now they're going back on their promise to pay the tuition. I'm done being manipulated by them. I'm done letting them use money to control my choices or my behavior.
I guess it's just more proof that they don't really care what's in the best interest of the kids... it's all about them, their feelings, their pride, their perception of control and irrational need for it.
Well you know what? They can take their money and shove it. I'll figure it out on my own.
Friday, November 26, 2010
I pushed my ex husband to buy bigger houses each time we had another child on the way. I was convinced we needed bigger cars, or better cars with more features. Somehow I thought if I lived in a "better" neighborhood, in a bigger house I would be happy. If I could have those cherry hardwood floors and granite counter tops I could feel satisfied. If I hosted Thanksgiving for 20 and bankrupted myself buying the perfect table ware and decorations then I would prove what a good wife and mother I was. I would be worthy... I would be lovable if I could be a cross between Martha Steward and Mary Poppins. I made napkin rings and place cards for goodness sake.
And you know what? I didn't feel more loved. I wasn't satisfied with my ginormous house that took forever to clean. I felt put out and exhausted, and mostly unappreciated.
This year I hosted a smaller dinner for my parents, Ethel's family, BLT, the kids and I. I used a table cloth and dishes I already had. I asked for help. I nixed the heels and fancy dress and chose instead to wear jeans and pulled my hair back in a pony tail. I laughed, I cried a little, I said a genuine prayer of gratitude for the people I love and for the blessings in my life. For the first time in longer than I can remember I felt HAPPY as I sat down to eat my Thanksgiving meal. I felt appreciated and loved.... and I didn't have to have a fancy house or new dishes, or handmade napkin rings to get it.
This lesson of simplicity and appreciation is a long time coming. I'm enjoying this new way of life.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I need nothing more than this.
I barely remember the holidays last year. Several months after the incident are just a blur. All I could do was get up, go to work, come home, eat, and pass out. I hid in sleep. I blocked out everything I just couldn't deal with. I was in and out of court, injured, unsure where we were going to live or how I was going to take care of four kids all alone. All I could do was survive and try to avoid making any major decisions.
This year I'm HERE, I'm present. I'm thankful and aware of my blessings.
I hope all of my loved ones, and friends - old and new - have a blessed holiday. I hope you're surrounded by those you love in the comfort of a warm home. And most of all I wish you all PIE... yummy, warm, ooey-gooey pie that makes your eyes roll back in your head it's so tasty!
Happy Thanksgiving my friends!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Today is Monkey Pants' 6th birthday. We celebrated with her favorite dinner - mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. LOL, weird combo I know, but hey...that's what you get when you offer to make a six year old anything they want to eat! Grandma got her a Pillow Pet and embroidered her name on it for her. BLT picked up a stuffed monkey and a Rapunzel doll - both were quite the hit. She woke us up at the ass-crack of dawn to say, "isn't there something you want to say to me?" Heh, yes she's precocious!
The boss man at work called BLT and I into the office and told us that being such a tiny company they can't afford to give us any kind of holiday bonus in cash, but we did each get a 50.00 gift certificate to our local butcher shop (mmm, and out here that means it's FRESH and usually Organic, like "get that cow out of the field because LoM wants steak tonight!) and we'll be closed from December 23 - January 3rd, but we'll get paid for all the days we are closed! NICE!! We are both very excited... we were just happy to have the time off to spend together, and for BLT to drive home to see his family for a couple days. Getting paid for it wasn't expected at all!
And now to the "bitch" section of this post. Neither of my psychotic X's parents sent Monkey Pants a gift for her birthday. Both asked when they could see her. I told both of them the same thing, that their therapist and I both agree that it's not in their best interest to have anything more than limited contact with family or friends who are actively supporting and/or excusing the X. I gave both parties my mailing address and asked them to mail any gifts or cards to her and I would make sure she got them on her birthday. In true narcissistic fashion they're more worried about their hurt feelings than my poor child, and neither of them ended up mailing her anything. And I made the damn fool mistake of telling Monkey Pants a gift was in the mail from Grandma because we couldn't get together with them right now, so she's been waiting and she was disappointed today. I feel like an ass for assuming they wouldn't punish the child because they are upset with me. What a couple of twat waffles...
So I went to the store and bought an extra gift today. If on Monday there isn't anything in the mail I'll wrap it up and pretend it's from Grandma. At least it will make her feel better, and I'll know not to make promises I'm not sure they'll keep. It's not her fault her grandparents are useless, spineless, self obsessed a-holes. I feel guilty. I feel like if I just sucked it up, and dealt with the anxiety and bit my tongue, or just let them keep abusing me then they wouldn't be punishing the kids. I just can't believe anyone would punish a small child like that...it's their own grandchild for craps sake! Who does that? Either way I guess they've shown their true colors. Now I have to figure out how to explain it to the little ones when they ask why.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
To this end I sent my former father in a law an email that told him, in no uncertain terms, that his contact with my children is limited to written communication or cards/gifts sent by mail. Their therapist and I both agree that the children should only have limited contact with any of my X's family members that are actively excusing his behavior and who are not expecting him to take responsibility for the damage he's done. The former FIL has only seen the kids 2 times in the past year and a half, and never once called me to find out if they were okay. Even when we were only 1 step up from being homeless. If it weren't for Ethel and my parents we would have had to live in my car - but that man lives in a 5000 square foot house with at least 4 bedrooms. Were it my grand-kids I wouldn't care how much I disliked my former daughter/son in law and I would suck it up and offer them a place to live.
As for standing up for myself, well my former mother in law called work and left a message for me. She wants to know if she gets to see Monkey Pants this week for her birthday. She also wanted to know what the plan was for Christmas. I stood my ground. I called her home and left a message on her machine. I told her that I wasn't ready to see her, and that if she wished to she may mail her gift to Monkey Pants and I would ensure that she gets it on her birthday. I told her that I was not ready to decide about Christmas yet, and that I would let her know. I did inform her that the children would not be attending the traditional Christmas Eve dinner and gift orgy at the Great-Grandparents house. (I heard the horrible and hateful things they said about my former father in law when he divorced the X's mother years ago... and right in front of my X and I. I won't have my girls subjected to that kind of poison) I also informed her that if I do agree to meet with them it will be at a restaurant or neutral location. I do not wish to be in their home.
I didn't tell them why, they don't need to know that it makes me feel very vulnerable. I have no control in their environment. I don't want them to know where I live, so they obviously can't come here to my home. So for now, I'm going to refuse to make plans. I'm going to play things by ear and see how I'm feeling closer to Christmas.
Whenever I start to feel anxious, I just keep hearing Ethel's voice in my head, "what can you control right now? Breath deeply and slowly and focus on the things within your control. You've got this, you're not alone."
Whewww... I've got this. I'm not alone.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
He tells me that I treat him better than anyone else he's ever dated. Is that love? Or are you just appreciative because all your former girl friends have been less than stellar? I mean it has to be more than that if it's going to last.
He tells me all the time how hot I am. And not just in the heat of the moment, BLT excels at showing me how beautiful he finds me. Which of course I love to hear....I am a woman after all. But beauty fades, we all know that.
So other than being hot and kind what is it? What has convinced him that we can make it for the long haul? I mean, I know exactly why I love him. His sense of humor, his appreciation of the little things in life, the fact that he's one of the most considerate people I've ever met. He's a good friend, and he's kind to his siblings and parents. He is patient with my girls, and he knows how to mix having fun with being a good role model for them. He makes me feel sexy. He says he's sorry if he makes mistakes, and he's an amazing listener.
I feel like an ass if I come right out and ask him. I don't want him to think I'm fishing for compliments - because that's not what it's about. I just want to know what he's feeling, what he's thinking. I need to know that it's real.
Does that make me needy? Ugh, I HATE needy people and I don't want to be that person.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Now that I've past the "mid" part of this decade they worry about the side effects. The 20 lbs I gained in the past year and a half being on the shot isn't making me happy either. It doesn't seem to matter how much I jog and walk I can't seem to get this weight off - an obnoxious side effect of the depo I'm told.
SOOOO... my doc wants me to consider two options. Either a long term IUD or getting my tubes tied. The IUD will likely cause heavy bleeding during my cycle - uhhh, no thanks, YUCK. The tubal is, of course permanent. The IUD can be done at my local planned parenthood and won't cost too much. The tubal isn't covered by my insurance and will cost a lot.
What's crazy is that I know BLT doesn't want any more kids. I know I can barely afford to raise the four I have. I know that I loved being pregnant, and the idea of a little one with BLT kind of makes me all mushy and girly inside. I know that I'm getting too old to have a safe pregnancy. I know I don't want to be in my 50's before my youngest child is out of house. I know all of this...but it still feels so FINAL, know what I mean?
So I'm trying to decide what to do. I have this irrational fear that I'll do something permanent and then BLT and I won't make it. What if sometime in the future I'm in a position where the man in my life really wants to have a baby? I mean, it doesn't change my age, or the fact that I have four kids already... and I rationally know this. So what's my problem? Maybe I'm just crazy?
Why is this such a hard decision to make?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When I came home my children had cleaned the house.. LOVE IT. BLT had made...what else, BLT sandwiches for dinner. Chef made my favorite dark chocolate cup cakes with cream cheese frosting.
BLT also had a picture to show me. It's my gift - which won't arrive for another few days due to bad weather in my area. It's an adorable Pink and White vintage style Schwinn bicycle. He is also going to let me pick out my favorite helmet and a basket for the front of my bike. I'll be able to ride the couple of blocks to the market each day, and all around my sweet little town on sunny days :) BLT said he planned on getting the same bike, but in black and red once it's available this spring. Then we can ride around town together - I think that's sweet.
I admit I was surprised by the gift, it's sweet and wonderful and something I've wanted for several years. However I'll be honest, it wasn't what I thought he was going to give me.
He's made a big deal lately about wanting us to get married. He said I would never guess what he planned on giving me, and he made it a point to bring my daughter to help pick it out.... so I thought there might be something round and gold coming my way.
I know it was ridiculous. I know that he loves me. I know that we've only been together for a little over a year and living together for 6 months. And I know that deep down I'm a little disappointed.
It's silly... I'm in no hurry to get remarried. I'm happy with life as it is. But I also know that I love the idea of "forever" with him... someday. So I'm being an idiot, and I can't let on that I'm disappointed. The birthday gift he picked out is very "me" and I love it.
Thank you to all my face book friends for the birthday wishes. It was very sweet and much appreciated!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Full Time Employment
My Running Shoes
Ben & Jerry's
A Dependable Car
A Fantastic Sex Life
My Blue Cottage
Thrift Store Bargains
Kindle Books On My Blackberry
Vintage Table Cloths
Blogging, and Blogger Comments
My Crock Pot
A Man Who Cooks
A Hot Shower
Long, Sexy Hair
My King Size Bed
Friday, November 12, 2010
You see, to me - being a fairly open and adventurous girl - I think of sex the way I think of those tasty little jelly beans. At any given point there are hundreds of flavors of Jelly Belly's, and that doesn't even count the combinations you can make if you COMBINE multiple flavors together.
So why in the world would I eat only one kind of Jelly Belly? There are so many ways to enjoy them, and heck - should I mix cherry with vanilla ice cream and not like it - well I never have to eat it again do I?...but at least I tried it once and I know I don't like it.
I look at sex the same way. Why would I only want to have one variety of sexual experience when there are so many different ways for us to pleasure each other?
Which led to the following convo:
BLT "So you're saying you want other Jelly Beans then?"
LoM "No love, you're beans are the only ones I'm interested in. I just want to pour chocolate sauce on them, or eat them in the shower now and then."
BLT "God I love you..."
LOL... ya - we're crazy - but it's the good kind of crazy that's harmless and entertaining to those around us. Now excuse me - I'm horny and I have a suger craving for some odd reason.... ;)
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"Divorce shouldn't make you depressed; it's being unhappily married that does that." Sascha Rothchild.
True enough. I know I spend a lot of time here lamenting all the bull shit my X puts me through, and sharing my fears and my struggles. But I realize that these are things I have to deal with now - they aren't going to be my whole life. They aren't what defines me. I don't want anyone to think I regret my divorce, and I don't want anyone to think I'm not a happy person.
Honestly - I wouldn't change my decision to divorce him. Even with all the crap going on I'm still happier, healthier, and in general a truer, better version of myself now that I'm not married to him.
I'm stronger, and a lot wiser. I learned a lot during my marriage and divorce. I've learned what I want in a partner and what I'm not willing to compromise on. I'm better at communicating my needs and standing up for myself. I think, most importantly, I'm a better role model for my four children.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
That being said, I realize that at any point he can find me if he really wants to. Between the Internet and private detectives (which he had following me on at least one occasion I have proof of, and one more I'm sure of but have no evidence to substantiate my suspicions) Well I know there's no way that I'll ever be totally safe.
I've taken the steps to keep myself and the girls safe. My rental is set up for an Alarm system, I just have to call and have it set it. I've received my concealed carry permit, taken my shooting lessons faithfully and I feel confident that if I HAD to I could defend us. Very soon I'll be changing all my phone numbers - home, cell, kid's cell numbers. The police and schools have our new restraining orders. And lastly I've broken off contact with my former in-laws for now.
I'm not proud of the explosive way I blew up on the phone, but it's like all the anger, fear, pain, resentment, and maternal outrage just burst out of me all at once. Once I started I couldn't hold back, and everything I've wanted to say for over a year came out in a loud, ugly tirade. While I might not be proud of my behavior I do recognize that it's an important break for all of us. I can't handle the anxiety of dealing with my in-laws, AND with the X's upcoming release from Prison.
One of the things I love, love, love about my BLT is that I feel so safe when we're together. When he holds me and plays with my hair I feel like nothing could hurt the girls or I. When he says that he would move heaven and earth to keep us safe I believe him. I just hope it never comes to that.
The best gift in the world would be my X deciding he never wanted anything to do with me again. Since it's been over a year and per his last letter my kids he is still thinking about me every hour of every day - well I don't have a lot of faith in his self control or common sense.
I know that my anxiety will increase until the X is released from prison. I know that no matter what I do I'm going to have to keep working on controlling my stress responses, to keep talking and working through my fear. I owe it to myself, to my kids, and to BLT as well. I don't want to let my fears push him away when I need him the most.
Monday, November 8, 2010
So I was lazy. I slept in (REALLY slept in, like past 10 am both days) I laid in bed. I worked on a stitching project for Christmas. I watched movies, napped, and didn't cook a single meal.
I went for one walk with BLT. I cleaned my house and checked my email. I let my kids eat sandwiches for lunches and heat up left overs for dinners...they survived just fine. I didn't accomplish much, but I feel pretty good about my decision to just "be" for a whole weekend. I really needed to get myself together after the past week and the emotionally charged call to the in-laws yesterday.
Ahhh... now I get to kick my butt into gear for the rest of the week!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I've just been pushed too far by the former in-laws however. I couldn't take it any more. His mother has spent the past year and a half excusing his behavior. Hell - she spent his entire life doing that. She has supported him financially, excused his poor behavior, his crazy choices, and his down right dangerous denial of his responsibility. She butted into my divorce when I asked her not to. She discussed the X with my children when I expressly forbid her to do so.
Having her show up in court and write a "poor him" letter to the court talking about how important it was for him to regain a father-daughter relationship with his kids, even when it's not in their best interest of my kids, was absolutely the LAST straw. I'm done.
She enabled him, once again, to perjure himself to the court. In effect she stood by while he called his children liars. I will not have a woman like that around my children. She chose to stand by her sweet baby psycho at the cost of my kids so now she'll just have to live with having a very minimal influence in their lives.
Today a difficult call was made. I told her that I'm changing all our personal cell phone numbers. She can reach me at work Monday through Friday. I told her that we no longer have a relationship. We no longer have any reason to speak with each other. She can see the kids but it will be on my terms, and in a limited capacity.
Both my therapist and the kids' have expressed the opinion that it's not in any of our best interest to continue this relationship in it's current state. So I'm changing the rules.
I am so angry and frustrated. I didn't want it to come to this. I went out of my way to try and keep things friendly. I overlooked and forgave them time and time again. But I've seen the grief on my children's faces when they've told me stories about what the X said and did in those days leading up to the crime. I can not forgive her for enabling him to call my children liars.
I'm hoping I did the right thing. There will be some serious repercussions I'm sure. The grandparents were paying for Lady Bug's full time, tuition based Kindergarten. I have no idea how I'll pay for that. She may have to change to a part time - free class if there is room. Out of anger they very well could give their bull dog lawyers free reign to make my life hell.
I did what I think is best... yes, partially out of anger and resentment, but I'm sure that we all will benefit in the end. The in-laws need to face the consequences of their choices. The kids and I need to be surrounded by people who truly support us. It doesn't seem like those two can take place at the same time.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1. I found out his mother and the X both wrote declarations to the court. In the X's he called the kids liars. Nicely legally worded of course, but the gist of it is that the man called his children liars. He claimed that he never said anything inappropriate to the children and never discussed suicide with them.
I questioned both of them again and they both gave me the same basic details, but in their own words. My 11 year old cries every time we discuss it, she can't fake this level of grief and fear. I'm their mother, I know their heart, I know when they lie.... they are telling the truth and that rat bastard perjured himself to make himself look better.
2. In an attempt to ambush me and make me feel weak his Mother, Father (who up until this moment has been totally uninvolved so why show up now?) and his Step Father all showed up en masse in court to object on his behalf. They have ZERO legal say in this and were told flat out that they don't have to like it, it's going to happen anyway.
My mother and Bestie, Ethel , ran into his Mommy Dearest in the ladies room and gave me advanced warning so I wasn't taken by surprise. No words were shared between us and I kept my back to them the entire time. There is no chance for any kind of decent relationship between us now... I've tried too many times to keep the peace and have had them shit all over me time and time again. I'm not putting myself or the kids through that anymore. They picked a side. They want to excuse the X's psychotic behavior, want to call myself and my children liars, and want to support his delusions and finance his crazy attempts to have access to the kids he's damaged so much.
3. So I "won" in that the restraining order was granted and all letters will go to the kids therapist who will decide when/and if it's ever in their best interest to have them. But I had to question my kids honesty to be sure (I hate that I had to do that, I had no doubts but I wanted to cover all bases)
The judge said, "it only makes sense that the restraining order stays in effect until he can get out of jail and all the appropriate steps are taken to follow the parenting plan."
But you know what? I still feel like a loser. I feel like the kids have lost out more than anyone else. A crazy father, grandparents who call you a liar and don't care about your safety, a truck load of emotional and trust issues, and their sense of security.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The children have discussed the letters with their therapist, and all on their own decided that they don't wish to receive any further correspondence from him. I did not make any attempt to influence their decision in any way and I excused myself from the room while they discussed it with the Dr. so that they could be totally honest and not worried about my feelings or opinions.
The two older kids came home and wrote letters for the judge- reading their words broke my heart in a way I didn't think was possible. I thought I had cried all my tears and raged all that I could. I was quite wrong.
I'm so very angry, and sad, and confused. How can anyone do this to someone they love - much less their own children? How is it possible to be so selfish? In my oldest child's letter I learn something new. Apparently their father told them that everyone had to choose sides. That Ethel and Fred chose my side - and all daddy's friends and co-workers chose his side, and that they too had to choose sides. Who does that to a child? How do you rationalize to yourself that it's okay to make a child choose between their parents?
It's one more episode of him having no appropriate boundaries, no common sense, and no sense of decency where they are concerned. The momma bear in me wants to gather them up and protect them at all costs - but there are laws and procedures that have to be followed, and some things are not within my control. That kills me inside a little.
So, if you're inclined to prayer, positive thoughts, or good mojo then please keep us in mind. There's no way I'll sleep tonight. I'm just trying not to become overcome with panic, anger and grief right now.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Did you see that Ethel? This applies to both of us Love.
Doctor Feelgood - a.k.a. my therapist says that I have a case of self loathing going on. Its all wrapped up in my guilt over the way X found out about BLT, about the kids pain and all the drama and trauma they've gone through, and my own type A need for perfection.
Whew, that's a lot to deal with - drama, guilt, pain, and the need for perfection.... I'll be in therapy for years at this rate. I have a long history of accepting less than what I deserve, because I struggle with the idea that I actually DO deserve good things. I've never felt smart enough, or pretty enough, or talented enough. I settled for a marriage to someone I didn't really love because a part of me thought it was better to have someone, than to be alone... that it was the best I could ask for because I didn't deserve better.
I let him disrespect me. I let him call me bitch in front of my children. I let him get out of being a full time father so that I didn't make waves. I didn't leave when I knew I was never going to be happy with him - because a part of me didn't think I was able, or worthy of better.
So, I'm writing it down so that it's out there. I deserve happiness. I deserve love. I deserve to be trusted and to have someone I can put my trust in. I deserve better this time around, and I won't settle for less.
At some point I have to start letting go of the guilt especially. It's the one thing that holds me back the most, the one thing that makes me doubt myself. I made mistakes, but those mistakes do not have to define me. I don't have to punish myself, or expect less for myself because of them. What I struggle with the most is that I fell in love with another man at the end of difficult and self destructive marriage and I had an affair. It was not the reason for my divorce, but it was a symptom of the cancer in our marriage. And while I don't regret being with BLT, it is not a choice I would ever make again. At heart I'm a one man woman.
I'm honest about the affair. Once it was out in the open I didn't make excuses because I believe in taking responsibility for your choices. I've been drug through the mud, humiliated, belittled, gossipped about, and questioned more times than I can say. I lost respect, and I lost friendships. My X made it a point to tell his version of the facts to every friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker, and random stranger who would listen. He exaggerated, embellished, and manipulated. It was humiliating to have all my personal business out there for everyone's entertainment. For the love of God he even told our Schwan's delivery guy, the real estate agent who sold us our house, and people he met online.... and all of those are the consequences for my choices. I can live with that.
But I'm not going to keep letting him punish me forever, and I'm not going to keep punishing myself. If former friends no longer want to be in my life, then so be it. I personally do not judge my friends by their mistakes - but by how they respond and deal with them after the fact.
I'm going to keep working on accepting myself and letting go of the guilt. I'm going to start asking for what I want, and expecting good things to come into my life, and I'm going to work on believing that I deserve to be happy.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Chef has discussed her self inflicted vomiting and the use of continued self harm to manipulate people with her therapist, and I've seen a big improvement with her attitude and a reduction in the number of angry silent bouts of depression.
Lady Bug is working with the therapist to try and decide if she even wants to see or have contact with the X when he's released. Not that she'll have much of a say - but for her own piece of mind and mental health she should come to a decision to alleviate all this anxiety. She feels better knowing that it's okay and normal to feel conflicted. It's okay for her to still love her dad, but to be afraid of him and disappointed in him. It doesn't make her a bad kid. She really struggles with that.
My own therapy is more exhausting than anything else. I'm working on retraining my body and mind to not have a huge adrenaline rush every time something startling happens. It's like my body goes to instant "fight or flight" at the slightest provocation. I've been told it's a pretty typical PTSD symptom, but that I can re-train my body to react differently.
I head back to court the first week in November. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm trying to remove his rights to send letters to the kids, and to extend the Order of Protection for another year. This will allow him to get out of jail, and then have 7 months to get his life together, and to get some counseling of his own before he has access to the kids. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect him to get mental health treatment - I mean the kids and I are all getting help, why shouldn't the person who caused all this be required to do the same? I'm hoping the court sees the wisdom in this request.
Part of me is very worried because his uber pricey law team requested a continuance in order to "formulate their rebuttal". What in the word could they possibly rebut? I have the threatening letter he sent, there is proof that he's refused all mental health counseling while in prison. He made threats to take the children and disappear on several occasions. I can't imagine what they possibly have up their sleeves, and that not knowing makes me nuts.
I guess all I can do is show up and plead my case to the best of my ability and pray for the best.