Thursday, January 10, 2013

The difference 7 years makes



I never thought I’d end up here. I’m not perfect, and neither is my life but it is good. I have a good job, make decent money, I’m getting married in 86 days. I have a baby who is almost 1 year old. I have an amazing daughter who is the daughter I always wanted to have. I have a good car; an SUV. I am, by all accounts, a happy girl.

In January of 2006, 7 years ago, I was still married to my ex. I was tremendously unhappy. I did one of the worst things I ever thought I could do. To this day, I can not forgive myself for that. No, it was not cheating on my then husband. It was something worse. Anyway, it was a reality check on my life and my marriage. We weren’t living right. I put up with too much, and let my kids suffer through too much, just to keep a bad marriage together. Somehow, I thought that the more of my own happiness I sacrificed, the better my marriage would be…someday. That someday never came. The ex never changed. He never tried. He just kept expecting me to give, give, give, while all he did was take. There was nothing in this marriage for me anymore. No happiness. No love. He wasn’t even a good dad, so there was no point in staying together for the kids.

When I left him, I left to a new state. An AWFUL  state; Arizona. I also did it in the middle of summer. That’s when you know it’s bad when AZ in the middle of summer is better than your marriage. I had no job and no friends in AZ. I also had no money. To top it off, my ex called me constantly to make me feel like shit for leaving. I did feel like shit. I couldn’t find a decent paying job. I had no way to meet people or make friends. That was my rock bottom. I couldn’t see the light of sort of happiness (besides my kids) in my future.

That’s why I am simply astounded at where my life is now. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. I am blessed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The unraveling of a man



I’m not exactly sure how it started. So many years and events have gone by. So many bitter words spoken, it’s hard to pinpoint one event or one moment to blame it on. The point is, that in my (and many other people’s) opinion, my ex-husband Joe is a P.O.S.  Now I know you must be thinking, well you married him. Yup, I did. I was foolish back then, but I did know how to spot an asshole, and would NOT have deliberately married one. As all people do, he changed.

I met Joe when I was 16. Actually, the first time I talked to him on the phone, ever, was my 16th birthday. My friend was dating his friend and his friend wanted to know if she had a friend for his friend. Silly, but that’s how it went. He was a “chollo”. I had no interest in “chollos” because I was a white-washed 16 year old, who only had eyes for blond haired, blue-eyed skater/surfer boys. I kind of blew this guy off. It was my birthday, and I was busy. I didn’t end up meeting him until a month or two later. Ugh! I thought he was SO freaking ugly. He had the worst acne ever! And he wore too much cologne, which gagged me. After we met, I wanted nothing to do with him. But he kept calling me and I guess he wore me down. He was nice to me and wanted to hang out with me. The clincher; he had alcohol and pot available. At the age of 16, that’s pretty inviting.

What did I see in him? At first he was fun to hang out with. He had no parental supervision. His mom dies when he was 13, and his dad was too busy reliving his own childhood to worry about the kids he left home alone. He had use of a car, so we went places. He was fun to be around. Always joking, always the life of the party. My home-life sucked, and this is why I gravitated toward him.
He had big talk of big plans for bit things. In my 16 year old na├»ve mind, it was all possible. He made me believe it was possible. Then shit got real. I got pregnant at 17 years old. He was already 18 and out of high school, which he didn’t graduate from. My whole pregnancy, he didn’t work. He lived with his dad, rent free, and had no other obligations. All he had for our coming child was excuses. In the hospital, after I had the baby, he didn’t even hold him. He ran off with his friend as soon as he could get out the door with lies about some day-labor job, that he later said he never got paid for. Right.

We moved in together on money I had from a lawsuit trust fund. He did finally find work, and we agreed that I would stay home. He became verbally abusive and belittled me constantly. He called me lazy and basically a financial leach for staying home with the baby. I went to work when the baby was 3 months old because I couldn’t handle all the crap he told me.  Within a few months, I was making more than he was. The first time I threw it in his face, he lost his shit. He criticized me for changing jobs to make more money. He called me a bad mother for going to work and putting our son in daycare. No matter what I did, it was never good enough.

His pot habit got worse, as did his spending on that and other things like expensive sports jerseys, video games, CD’s and eating out with his friends.  We were married and we had a joint account which he drained the day a deposit went in. Many times, it was overdrawn before I even woke up in the morning. He never had an answer for where the money went. He would get defensive, like how dare I question him. Almost, like I owed him. He manipulated me into thinking that if he bought things, it would make him happy. WE would be happy. But we weren’t. The more I made, the more I had to work and be away from home. The more I made, the more he talked shit, and the more he spent.  We were a family of 3, making $70K a year, and we were broke.  We rarely had phone service, our electricity was cut off, often. Most of our electronics and even wedding rings were in pawn. Pretty much everything they would give us cash for was in pawn. We depended on my parents to buy us groceries. He counted on it because he knew they wouldn’t let me and their grandson starve. All the while he wouldn’t stop spending, and had no explanation for where the money went. Eviction notices were a monthly occurrence for us.

I had finally had enough of living this way. I decided to take charge and stop my direct deposit and get a physical check. I cashed it and had my male cousin hold on to it. He escorted me home when I picked up my then, 6 year old son. Angry was an understatement for what Joe was. He shoved me up against a wall when my cousin wasn’t looking. He pounded his fists against the car. I took my son and got the heck out of there. That was the first time he had ever laid a hand on me. After that I moved in with my parents, and didn’t talk to him for 2 months. All the while, I had filed for divorce and child support. My son was miserable. He cried himself to sleep every night because his dad never called. We finally saw him in court, and I just couldn’t continue that way. My heart was breaking for my son. He wanted his dad back. And Joe promised us the moon and the stars. He said he was sober and had changed and would do better. And I fucked up. I believed him.
We went back. A few months later I was pregnant with our daughter. Things actually went well and he kept his word until shortly after she was born. Then money started disappearing again. He would empty a full tank of gas overnight with no explanation. He came home from work smelling like chemicals with the excuse that they had to use bleach to sterilize something. 3 months into the calendar year, he was already out of vacation time at work. He borrowed money from his family on made up excuses of doctors visits and car trouble. Then on pay day they would come to me for the money to be repaid. We even had our car, or I should say MY car, repossessed. We ended up getting a title loan on it to move back in together, and he would spend the money from the account before the loan payment would clear. He always felt like it wasn’t a big deal, or that someone would bail us out. He just didn’t care.

Again, I had had enough. I made a plan to leave, and told him I was leaving. I guess he didn’t think I’d follow through, but I did. Just before I left, he admitted that he’d been using meth, and had our newborn daughter around that. That’s where a good amount of the money went. I found out on my own, that when we split up, he started dating a girl who lived 3 hours away. That’s where all our gas, and his days off went. Oh, and he took her out on my paycheck pretty often too. I was done, I was done, I was done, and never looking back.

He didn’t want me to leave, but didn’t give me a reason to stay. I didn’t love him and couldn’t force myself to believe his lies anymore. He was always good to the kids when we lived together, so when he promised to see the kids often and to help me support them, stupid me believed him.
It has been 6 ½ years since I left him and he has seen the kids twice. He has never paid child support, and quit his job after the 2nd garnishment. The first year, he only called to call me a bitch, among other things. We are not on speaking terms anymore.
 
So how does a man, who seemed to have big future in mind fall so far? For many years he blamed me, and I blamed myself. I was too fat, I nagged him too much, I expected too much out of him, etc. The truth was that I grew up, and he didn’t. He expected me to take care of him like I was his mother, yet resented me for treating him like a child. The truth is that he never wanted to be a grown-up. He wanted the privilege without the responsibility. He is a flawed person from the inside out. He is incapable of loving anyone enough, even his own children, to do what is right. His parents weren’t great, but honestly, he chooses to be this way. And maybe he didn’t unravel much; he was never really complete on his own to begin with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 29th

Your birthday is coming up. I always think of you on your birthday. Everyone that I was ever close to, for some reason I always remember their birthday,even if we're not in each others lives anymore. It's some weird idiosyncrasy, I think. Ever since I found out 2 years ago, I feel so bad for your family around your birthday. I know they are thinking of you. If I remember, how can they not? This year you should be turning 34. But you're not.

We met in high school band. You knew me before I knew you. You had your eye on me, and I was unsuspecting and clueless. I admired you from a distance. I thought you were cute. Too cute for a girl like me; a nobody. You started hanging around, trying to be in my radar. It was strange and new to me. You asked me out and I was in shock. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. My first ever boyfriend, and he's gorgeous!

We were so innocent. You were my first kiss. So embarrassing, because you KNEW you were my first kiss! You were my first taste of love. I don't think any feeling could compare to the high of the first time you're in love. And like teenagers do, we were hot and heavy on the make-out scene. You made me feel electric. But, you were ready for something that I wasn't. I was 14, and too young and scared to go all the way. So despite being head over heels in love with you, I broke up with you. At the time, I thought it was the right thing to do. I was afraid to keep turning you down. I thought you would break up with me or cheat on me. I didn't think my fragile heart could take it. Every moment after I broke up with you, I regretted it back then. I don't think I even told you why. I used to wonder, had I told you, would you have reassured me that it wasn't a big deal, and that we could wait? The sad thing is that I wanted it. I wanted you to be my first, but I was just too scared.

We talked for a few years after that. We still got along really well. I always hoped you would know how much I still cared and wanted you to ask me out again, but you never did. We lost touch for a long, long time. Into adulthood, I had always wondered how life was treating you. I always thought of you on your birthday.

2 years ago, I found your sister on Facebook. I looked at her wall and at her pictures. There were none of you. But, I did see pictures of your son, Raymond James. He's a year younger than my daughter. He looks just like you. But where were you? So I got the balls to message your sister, and ask how your were, and ask her to pass a message along that I wanted to say, hello. 2 days later she replied. With much sadness, she told me that you had passed away a few years back. It was more than a few years. It was 6 years. You died at the age of 25. It was an "accidental" overdose of prescription pain killers. I did the math. Your son was only 5 months old.

I was tremendously sad for your son. I was also so flippin' angry at you. How could you do that to him? He was just a baby, and he will never, ever know what an amazing person and dad you could be. I know you would have been amazing. You practically raised your nephew, and he was always with you. He was your buddy. I can only think that you must have been hurting so much in your life to go out like that. I think what you did was the most selfish thing ever. It took me a long time to not be angry at you. And now, I'm just sad. You are missing out on your little boy. He is growing up without you, and knowing that his father took the coward's way out.

And there are questions. Why didn't anyone see the pain and help you? Were you stubborn? Were you too far gone to reach? Things I will never know, and will never ask your sister. It's not my place to hurt her with these questions. Especially since I am nothing to you or to her.

Every year on your birthday, I play and post a song in your memory. It's called Far Behind. I hope you know it's for you. I still think of you. I miss the person you used to be. Your sister said that you would have been happy to know that an old friend was thinking of you. That makes me feel better. You used to tell me that some day, when we're in our 40's, we would both be divorced, and find each other, and get back together and it would be just like we were in high school. The silly things teenagers say. You owe me, buddy.

Wherever you are, I hope you are well. I hope you are watching over your boy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I, like many others, am reflecting on what I have to be thankful for. I lost something this year. I lost my parents. No, they didn't die or anything like that. They are just no longer in my life. They have crossed some serious boundaries as far as interfering with my parenting. I invited them to discuss the difference in opinion with my fiance and I. They ignored my invitation and we haven't spoken since. That was in August. That was also the 2nd time they interfered with my parenting on a huge scale. The first time was Thanksgiving last year.

So anyway, we're doing our best to move on from that. Honestly, it's OK. I was never super close with them much anyway. While growing up, they didn't really want to be bothered by me, and when I turned 18 and left to go raise my oldest son and be with my ex-husband, they pretty much wrote me off for 8 years. With them it's their way, or nothing.

Thanksgiving 6 years ago, I had just left my ex-husband and moved to AZ a few months before. I spent it with my parents and my children. I was depressed and lonely, emotional wreck. I didn't feel like I had much to be thankful for that year. I met my fiance 2 months later.

Thanksgiving 5 years ago, I had moved to Mesa to work, and a week before and moved into my very first apartment that was just mine. My kids were living with my parents until I could get settled in. I spent Thanksgiving with my kids at my parent's house. I felt like an out of town visitor.  My daughter would come live with me after New Years, and my son would come live with me at the end of his school year. We visited every other week.

Thanksgiving 4 years ago was my first year spending it with my fiance. The kids were living with me, and I was finally starting to feel settled. I cooked at his house for him, his mom and brother. His mom slept through Thanksgiving. I must admit, I was kind of hurt by the thought that she didn't care less about it. She wandered in after everyone was done eating and everything was over. She slurped and slobbered a cold Thanksgiving meal by herself.

Thanksgiving 3 years ago, was the 2nd year spending it with my fiance. The kids and I lived with him at that point. His mom was living next door at that point, and slept through Thanksgiving again. This year I was grateful to not have to watch her eat.

Thanksgiving 2 years ago, I had just found out that I was pregnant about a week before. We were so excited and hopeful for our surprise baby. I remember being so cheery and just happy. 2 weeks later I miscarried our angel at 7 weeks. It was the worst thing I have ever been through.

Thanksgiving 1 year ago, I was 8 months pregnant with our baby boy, Jacob. Because of our loss the previous year, we were cautious with our emotions and attachment to this pregnancy. My fiance wouldn't even acknowledge much that I was even pregnant or talk about our baby until we found out what we were having at 19 weeks along. After that he went nutso buying baby boy sports outfits. I, on the other hand, felt like maybe planning for a baby, by buying clothes and stuff might jinx it. I was happy, and hopeful at the same time. And, I was so flippin' tired! We drove up north 4 hours and spent it with my parents. We've only seen them once since then.

Thanksgiving this year, I have everything I need. I am the happiest I've been in all my life. I have my baby boy, Jacob. He will turn 10 months old the day before Thanksgiving. He is amazing. When I look at him I think, wow. How lucky am I to be blessed with such a beautiful boy? My daughter, she's amazing. She's smart and funny and caring. She's a good athlete, and she just tries her best to make everyone happy. And my fiance. I do love him the best of everyone I've ever met. He is a good guy and sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to meet a guy like him. I know he feels blessed that he got a chance at the family and children he wanted for so long. We got engaged this year. I feel complete. I have everything I've ever wanted, and for this I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Don't forget who pays you

There is an epidemic going around. It's an epidemic of entitlement. We are in an era of hatred for those who have more than we do. I can understand jealousy. We all want more than we have; its human nature. It's what we do with that want that separates us. Many of us choose to live out the "American Dream" and at least strive for more. Then there are the others who feel that they are just entitled to to receive the fruits of someone else's labor. Why is it that people feel this way? How is it that people have the attitude of, "why should I"? How did we become a nation full of laziness? Where in our past did we go wrong? Where did this attitude start? How did a generation of parents go so wrong in teaching their children that they don't have to work hard for success; that it will just be bestowed upon them. Whoever these people are, I have a message for you; YOU FAILED!!!

So while the greedy and lazy masses are hating big corporations for having big money, where do they think the welfare money comes from? These heartless and faceless corporations employ hundreds, if not thousands of people. Hard working people feed their families with these wages. And, the money they pay in taxes contributes to welfare. But yeah, lets boycott and shut them down. That'll teach them to earn money.

Small business. We've heard that "they didn't build that". Apparently they are not responsible for their own success. So when individuals lived off practically nothing, worked late into the night, and sacrificed time with family to build their business from the ground up, lets not give them credit. Lets tax them some more because overpaid union workers paved the streets around their building! And lets not forget, these small business owners, who didn't build that, still pay taxes...that contribute to welfare.

So when you're waiving your pitchforks in the air, shouting to bring down the businesses, don't forget who pays you. If they stop working and generating income, welfare stops. You can't collect money when there is none. Lets try some appreciation for the people who contribute to you. Instead of constantly insulting them, lets just try to be appreciative of the help. And maybe one day we can ALL work, and then no one would be dependent upon the system.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yes, I DO deserve a medal for natural childbirth

I'm on a childbirth site forum. There was a post a while back about people writing about their birth experiences. I won't bore you with mine (in this post) but some woman commented that she had an epidural and LOVED IT. And then she went on about how women who had their babies naturally felt self-righteous and acted like they deserved a fucking medal for going without meds. 

Yes, I DO deserve a medal for natural childbirth. I also deserve a trophy, a certificate of honor, a Heisman, World Cup, and a fucking Nobel Peace Prize. I also deserve a Pulitzer for this blog post, damn it! 

See, women who have never had a child naturally feel some guilt and possible have some sort of inferiority complex. They feel inadequate as women because birthin' babies is what a woman's body was designed to do. Now don't get all women's lib on me. These are the facts, Jack. There is one indisputable fact here, and it is that women have a uterus. Babies grow in a uterus. Of course, women can do many other things in life, but you can't argue with nature. 

So anyway, back to the point. I don't come from a place of ignorance when I say this, because I had a medicated birth with my oldest. It was by far the WORST of my 3 births. 2 of which were without meds. I was young and uninformed about childbirth. When I got older and studied up on the actual process when I was pregnant with my 2nd, I found out how much harm I was doing to my baby's tiny little body with all those drugs. My motherly NEED to make sure my baby was safe outweighed any fear I had of the unknown of natural childbirth. 

With my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies I went to class for 12 weeks. I studied, and learned. I practiced exercises and mentally prepared for this journey of child birth. It's not like I got pregnant and then decided I would just go squat in a corner like some 3rd world villager. I worked for this birth. I earned it. And let me tell you this; it was hard work, but not terrible. It was beautiful. I have never run a marathon, but I can only imagine the sense of pride is comparable after all that work and dedication.

It wasn't a breeze by any means, but it required focus. I earned my prize of a healthy baby girl and boy. They weren't all drugged up and dopey when they were handed to me. I wasn't paralyzed from the waste down or too out of it to even know what happened. I was there and present in body and mind. I felt good and healthy and I was able to get up and walk soon after. 

I am proud of me. I did it by myself. I did what nature had planned for my babies and I. I never felt like more of a complete woman as I did when going through that. So anyone who wants to say that natural mommas don't deserve any credit, fuck them. When you have walked in my shoes and done what I've done, then you can talk. Until then, shut it. We all know that you're afraid of the pain, and that's ok. But don't judge those who have overcome the fear and come out on the other side, stronger.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I may be a bitch, but never a witch

I thought this was an appropriate post for the week before Halloween. When I was about 6, my grandmother decided to try her hand at making my Halloween costume. She went through a "crafty" phase after retirement. She learned to crochet, knit, leather work, fake flower arrangements, etc. My grandfather spoiled her, so she had all the big, fancy and expensive sewing machines. 

Anyway, she got this idea to make me a witch costume for Halloween. I don't even remember if it was originally her idea or mine for me to be a witch. So this witch costume, was made out of some type of shiny vinyl. It had reflector tape all around the bottom of the witch skirt. It had cutesy pumpkin stickers all over it, including the hat. It had reflective, swirly embellishments all over it. You could spot me from 3 miles away! This was not a witch costume that I wanted to wear. Witches are supposed to be scary, or at least normal looking. This costume was hideous!!! What can a 6 year old really say? No grandma, your hard work and efforts to make this costume for me were a waste of time because I'm and ungrateful child. So I wore the damn thing. 

The next Halloween rolls around. I talk about what I want to be for Halloween. Guess what? The witch costume still fits. Yep, you guessed it. I was a witch, again! Oh, the embarrassment at school. I was a grown woman of 7 at that point. I was in not only a nauseatingly "cute" witch costume, it was obviously homemade and from last year! My parents refused to buy me something different, so what's the alternative? No costume at all? 

My Halloween of 8, and the costume still fits. Will this thing not go away?!? At this point I was ripping off the cutesy stickers and reflective tape, hoping to "ruin" the costume so that I didn't have to wear it. No such luck. I was a witch, with no reflective tape, and only a few pumpkin stickers. My fate as an outcast at school was already sealed. This is why I will never, ever dress as a witch for Halloween. 

There were several years where I didn't have a costume at school because my parents were too cheap to buy me one. I usually ended up with whatever was cheapest, and left on Halloween Day at Kmart. Unless some neighbor or friend offered to take me trick or treating with their kids, my parents thought my joy should have been handing out candy. 

Yep, Halloween was one of the many holidays that my parents ruined for me. This is why I go all out for my kids on Halloween. I let them pick whatever they want. We decorate the house, and the yard. We have a full on graveyard in the front yard every year. They love it and are proud to show off their cool Halloween house every year to their friends. I have never offered to make a costume for the kids, even if I was broke. I made it happen for them, one way or the other. This year my daughter actually ASKED me to make her costume. I tried to talk her out of it, lol. She fell in love with these sequined horns and tail, so I agreed to make the costume around it. She was so excited that she was able to help make the tutu. 

Here it is. Not too bad if I do say so myself. I hope my kids grow up with awesome Halloween memories and never write a blog on how their mom ripped them off of good memories.