I’ll be leaving for Milwaukee in the morning on a severly shortened trip, but thankful to go nonetheless.
Nate and I are dealing with the loss of our girl, Hermione. Nate walked into the computer room the night of her death and said, “Wow, its really strange not seeing Hermione on the back of your chair.” Its really strange not to have her follow me to bed at night and sleep on the headboard as well, and, as my last indoor/outdoor cat, I am aware of an ache when I turn the corner onto my street and know she’ll never come running to meet my car again. Yes, its hard, but we know she is with her other family, and that makes it easier.
I don’t really have much else to say other than, I’m very tired. Its been a trying week. But hey, I think Jeff was sober two days this week, maybe three. Whooo hooo!!! Okay, I think I’m going to run Nate into the shower and then I’m going to bed!
Hermione – The Cat Who Lived is really in bad shape. I noticed yesterday evening that she was not her normal self and I also noticed urine on the edge of The Death Star. When I picked her up I noticed the hair around her butt was wet, she smelled foul, and her respirations had increased. I immediately jumped online to find out what time her vet closed (20 minutes) and when I turned to gather her up, she has disappeared. She showed back up around bedtime and did not appear to be any distress, other than her breathing.
I took Nate to school this morning, gathered her up, and took her to the vet. The vet said she was most concerned with the heavy breathing because it meant something other than urinary was going on. The x-ray showed a tear in her diaphragm, causing her intestines to migrate into her chest cavity. She had blood in her urine, but was still putting out urine, which is good.
I made the decision to go ahead with surgery. Her prognosis, at this time, is guarded, however, the x-ray did not show whether or not her kidney or bladder were damaged, and if so, how severely. They will find that out when they do surgery today around 3 o’clock.
I talked to Nate last night since I knew things didn’t look so well. He said, “No, not Hermione, its too soon since the fire and she’s one who lived!” Ah, my child, life isn’t fair.
The vet said it was most likely caused by being hit by a car, which is likely, since she spent some time outside basking in the sun, or, in my opinion, an asshole giving her a swift kick. She’s a very little cat, more hair than anything else, and it wouldn’t take much to harm her. I’m pretty torn up and it doesn’t help alleviate any of the stress I’m under with the other situations in my life.
When I left her at the vet’s office, I kissed her tiger striped head and told her, “Remember, you’re the cat who lived.”
Hermione passed away during surgery. I buried her beside of the others, who died 16 months ago today. I’m really beginning to hate the 28th of the month. Nate and I are not very happy campers right now but we also know we did everything we could. Thank you for your thoughts.
I’ve been Spring cleaning. Oh my hell, where did all of this shit come from????? I have several reasons for this bout of housewifely cleaning, mainly because I was shit tired of it. I started cleaning two weeks ago, a little at a time. Rearranging, doing all kinds of things, including admitting that the Holiday Tree had seen its last holiday. Too much work, too little time between some holidays, needing to get the living room in some coherent order again.
I’ve worked really hard at keeping things clean since the fire, but, it hasn’t worked totally well, better, but not as good as I would like. Having a dishwasher and The Death Star (automatic kitty box) have helped immensely. Keeping a calendar of things that need to be done and on what day is also helpful. Such as, what days to make sure the trash is out (Sundays and Thursdays), what days to clean the litter tray (Thursdays and Mondays), what days to run the dishwasher, not matter how full or empty (Sundays and Thursdays).
Plus, I have asked my mother, The Queen of Clean, to come to my house and stay with Nate for a few days while I’m in Milwaukee.
I also dipped into my stash of Adderall to assist in keeping my mind where it belongs. I’ve had a prescription for it but I wasn’t able to afford it, so, I just take it when I really, really need it. I’ve had to work all weekend, even on Sunday, because someone could afford to have us open the restaurant on our day off for a graduation party. No, not college, I mean high school. I swear they try to out-do each other on The Hill. The minimum this party is going to cost them: $3,000. Yes, I said MINIMUM.
Anyway, Nate has been entertained by the Nabes son, who I picked up Friday. Tomorrow we will be going to see Indiana Jones… and cleaning. Hope you are having a great weekend.
At the restaurant, our evening dishwasher is a crusty ole guy named Joe. When I see him I ask, “How are ya, Joe?” and he always answers, “Oh, I’m just super fine.” And then he’ll ask how I am, and I’ll answer, “Just peachy keen.” It would help to know that Joe is a former United States Marine and, of course, the “super fine,” is a play on, “Semper Fi.” Not knowing Joe to be a former Marine, you probably would think the man is super fine all the time, and not knowing that I’m THE Peach, you’d probably think I’m peachy keen all the time.
I’m doing okay and Nate is okay, although given to numerous eye rolls these days, especially over the subject of his father, which he has tired of and simply wants to be left alone by all parties. It took Jeff a little longer to get the picture. He called me on Wednesday and asked why I was picking Nate up from school.
Your eyes rolled, didn’t they? Don’t lie, I saw it from here.
When Nate got into the car I told him that his dad called and had asked why I was picking him up from school. Nate gave me the, “DUH! You gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me, Mom!” look, which is priceless. Nate then rolled his eyes and said, “Like he has to ask.”
For the most part, though, we don’t discuss it past what we have to and I keep Nate blissfully unaware of my plans, which are still incomplete, but brewing yet. The less he knows the better off he is. Although, since Friday, and the overheard phone conversation on Saturday, Nate has been quite different. Nate is well aware of the depths of my temper, as he treads around on it quite frequently.
He knows if I raise my voice, I’m only about half-way there, and not really angry but perturbed and frustrated. However, he is also aware of a quiet, calm Momma, the one who cuddles with him on the couch, sings silly songs to him in the mornings to wake him up, gooses him on the knees, and smells his hair after a bath to ensure that he actually washed something instead of cavorting around like a dolphin.
He is also aware of the other calm Momma, the kind of calm that says, “Don’t fuck with me.” Its not an angry, quiet, sullen calm, its just a very, “I’m not taking any shit,” calm. And that also means his shit. Nate hasn’t pushed any of my buttons since Saturday. This is rare.
When Nate heard me stand up to his dad, it changed him and it changed our relationship. I’ve been standing up to his dad a lot more in the past months and it has made a difference, but the big difference was on Saturday. Nate heard something in my voice that his dad is too stupid to hear. Finality.
Its like something clicked in his head, like, “Ya know, maybe I ought not to mess with my Mom.” A new respect was born.
Of course, the management at the restaurant is aware of my situation and have been very understanding of me leaving early, especially since I’ll bring Nate back or come in a little early or drop Nate off and then come back and work longer to get everything done. Owner’s Wife, who I just adore, asked if I had somewhere I could go if I had to. I thought of all of my friends and family, spread all over the US and part of the globe and said, “Oh, I could stay hidden for quite some time. He has no idea.”
Now, Owner’s Wife, she’s ALL woman, hell, I won’t even mess with her. Besides T-Bird, she’s one woman I want on my side and watching my back. She’s a helluva lady and she fucking cracks me UP! She does the bookkeeping so we work together every morning and she has similar problems with her youngest child who is a year younger than Nate, so we have a lot in common. Sometimes, I’ll ask her a management question before the GM gets there and she’ll laugh and say, “Hell, Nanner Mae, I don’t know, I just work here.” LOL!
Don’t let her fool ya, though. She was a pastry chef at The Greenbrier Hotel. The woman knows her shit.
So, for the time being, things have calmed. Nate will be spending his summer at the YMCA T.O.G.A. Camp (I’m signing him up on Wednesday). He usually spends summers with his dad, but, I didn’t think that was a good idea before Friday and definitely not an option now. Plus, I think that seeing me is all a part of it, so, this cuts down on the time that I actually see Jeff as well.
Things still on the “iffy” line are the Court ordered visitations and my trip to Milwaukee. I got the grant! Now, not sure I’m going. But, we’ll see. I have to talk to my mom and see if she can come down and stay here a few days to take care of Nate and I’ll just cut the trip short, essentially missing the “show” portion of the Bead & Button Show but I could still take my classes and only be gone three to four days, only two of which Nate will be in school. Damn snow days!
Well, that’s it from here and since I haven’t quoted Alice in Chains nor Jerry Cantrell yet,
Yeah, its fine
We’ll walk down the line
Leave our rain, a cold
Trade for warm sunshine – NO EXCUSES (Jar of Flies – AiC)
Say good-bye, don’t follow – DON’T FOLLOW (Jar of Flies – AiC)
Geez! Down the Rabbit Hole wasn’t supposed to be prophetic in any way, but it was, sort of. There are other lines to cross other than pedophilia and guess who crossed them on Friday??? Go on, guess.
Jeff got mad and decided to hit Nate in the head with his cellphone, twice, leaving two knots. This crosses that all important line of actual physical abuse. Nate hasn’t seen him or talked to him since. Monday I went to the Courthouse and got the 25 reams of paper necessary to file a motion.
I’ve also been reading a book called, “The Gift of Fear.” Its so very, very interesting and I read two particular chapters, one dealing specifically with “Intimate Relationships,” protective orders, and the like. There’s an old saying in the mountains that you never poke a sleeping bear… from the fear the bear may awake and maul you to death. Guess I’m not one much for old mountain sayings, cuz I’m pokin’ the bear.
T-Bird and I have had numerous, and humerous, conversations about this entire situation and her situation with her sister not being a parent. We both keep telling each other to stop dicking around and just do it. When, actually, we both suffer from the same affliction – hope.
I’ve hoped for years that Jeff is going to suddenly wake up and realize what he’s doing and how his actions are affecting his relationship with his children. His daughter walking away didn’t do it because he just blamed that on her mother. And he’ll blame whatever happens next on me and that’s okay. Breaking the cycle of domestic violence is daunting and not for a bunch of namby, pamby petunias.
I have two degrees in Criminal Justice and its taken me quite a while to catch on to the parts of the cycle in my life, and even more so, having the courage to break it. I did that by reading my blog. Its much easier to see a bigger picture when you read about it and notice dates and then you realize you’re reading the same thing, just in a different month of a different year, but with the same results.
The Cycle of Violence includes a tension or build up phase, a battering incident (I see this as verbal abuse, emotional abuse, as well as physical abuse), and then the calm after the storm, the honeymood phase.
Yep, I’ve seen it, lived it. The first step I took with Jeff was destroying the honeymood phase. After a blow-up he would want me to “help” him in some way, normally by looking at a legal document for some litigation he’s involved in, or looking something up on the computer for him. When he started this crap a week ago or so, he was slurring his words, talking about how he wanted me, as a friend, to read the letter from his lawyer, that he did not understand, and explain it to him. This was the day after the incident where he was yelling at me on the street, strutting around with his chest puffed out, bullying, with aggressive body language, accusing me of starting a fight in front of Nate and getting “burled” up.
I told him I didn’t want to read his letter and I walked out.
That effectively ended the “Honeymood Phase.” This started the “Tension-Build Up” part of the cycle much faster. The arguing (or silent treatment) continued. It came to a head with him hitting Nate. At first, he said that it happened inadvertently and he hadn’t meant to. This was meant to placate me, “See, I didn’t really mean to do it. It was an accident.”
No, it wasn’t. Being logical drives him crazy. Being calm and pointing out the flaws and errors in his “non-sensical” reasoning, makes him pretty angry, which he was by the time that conversation ended. Especially after he admitted that he had in fact hit Nate in anger and there was no accident to it.
It also makes his chest hurt. He was wheezing and so choked up by the end of the conversation that I was actually scared, not that he would die, I feel as though he was just trying to gain sympathy from me about how much this situation upset him and diminish what he actually did (another true mark of an abuser). It frightened me because he was that mad and it frightened me because I didn’t give two shits if he keeled over from a heart attack or a stroke right there on the phone, and thought of poking that bear some more. Because I’m evil that way.
T-Bird and I cross-examined the conversation and I told her about the book I had been reading about recognizing the markers of imminent physical danger, and I’m not talking about getting knocked in the head with a cellphone, I’m talking about my imminent death. The most dangerous time for a woman is not when she’s actually being abused (physically, mentally, etc.) but when she stands up and says, “NO MORE!”
I don’t even really believe this is about Nate. Certainly what has happened in his life has been very real, but he’s not the REASON. The reason is, Jeff cannot accept that I left him. His conversations with me about Nate, especially after an “incident,” move to, “Why did you leave me? Why aren’t we together? I still love you.” GET A GRIP!
Jeff uses Nate to keep me in his life. He uses Nate to try and control me. Its sick and pathetic.
I told Nate, calmly, that his father struggles with alcoholism and mental illness, nothing to be sneezed at, and very real challenges to the most stalworth of individuals, which he is not. However, having compassion is different than accepting abuse. Loving someone has nothing to do with allowing them to treat you like shit, especially when they’re the ones that are supposed to be protecting you.
On Friday, Nate indicated that his dad did not want him to be there over the weekend (Ha! As if that was going to happen anyway!), and he didn’t want to pick him up from school anymore (Ha, As if that was going to happen anymore!). However, Jeff called Saturday morning, at 6:30 a. the fucking m., to ask me if I was working and if so, when would I be dropping Nate off. My response, “Nate’s not coming this weekend. I know what you did and I fear for my son’s safety with you.” There was more said, but I was very clear headed as I had awoken at 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep.
Part of that conversation happened as I still lay in bed, and part of it was me sitting in the floor, tethered to the wall socket, since my cellphone was dying. When I went back in to lay down, Nate was laying in my bed, looking at me. That’s pretty damn early for my little snoozehound.
“Did the phone wake you?”
“Yep, and I heard what you said and I could even hear Daddy before you went into the hallway.”
“Really? So, how did I do?”
“You were awesome, Mom.”
Mom doesn’t feel so awesome some days and the entire weekend was a trying, hellish mess, and it has continued through today and continues even now. T-Bird asked, “Why didn’t you just file a domestic violence petition?” My answer, “Because he expects me to, and I will do nothing that he expects. My best defense is to keep him guessing, this throws off the cycle, this buys me time, it may even buy my life. A DVP is a piece of paper and thousands of women have been killed while carrying them around in their pocket, believing they are safe.”
Jeff may have killed a considerable number of brain cells in the past few years but he knows what I’m doing. He knows, surely as I sit here typing on my computer, I’ll file for full and complete custody of Nate, he just doesn’t know when. Even as surely when I told him that Nate will be spending the summer at YMCA camp, that I’m limiting his contact with Nate. And deep down, somewhere in the mess, he knows exactly why – because of his actions.
T-Bird and I are trying, we’re trying very hard, to let go of the hope, and get real. Hope has gotten us no where. We must see people for who they are, not for who we hope them to be or become. We can only hope in ourselves for the strength, courage, and intelligence to see through the right course. Not the course we had hoped for, but the right course. The course to keep our kids healthy, happy, and secure.
If you’re making a difference in your child’s life? If anything you’re saying or doing is sinking in? If the example you’re setting is being watched?
I found out.
Nate had cajoled my Mom into buying me a Mother’s Day present from him, “Chicken Soup for the Soul – A Tribute to Moms.” Nate thumbed through the book and made me read a particular story called, “How?” written by Tammy Ruggles. This mother related her and her son’s struggles following the death of her husband. She asked herself the kinds of questions I’ve asked myself through the years, although for difference reasons. “Who will be Nate’s role model? How do I teach him to be a man?” And my other questions, “Is anything I’m doing going to make a difference?”
Nate, contrary to popular belief, can be a quiet child, especially when expressing his heartfelt emotions. I have no doubt my little man loves me but I’ve long wondered what is going on inside his head. I was also a bit perplexed as to why he wanted me to read this particular story since it didn’t fit our circumstances. I understood once I got to the end of the story.
The child in the story comes to his mother and asks if she remembers all the things they’ve done together (fishing, bowling, swimming, skating) and she indicates that she does. He hands her a piece of paper to read…
The title of the paper was, “My Hero,” and the words read: My hero is my mom. I want to be just like her I grow up. She teaches me right from wrong, and she wants me to be a good man.
Nate told me later that he didn’t much like the beginning of the story but he really liked the end. I liked the ending too.
Thank you, Nate, for finding a way to tell me I’m making a difference in your life. Happy Mother’s Day to me.
There’s a good reason I quote Alice in Chains music on my blog. It saves me from having to come up with the same boring tripe I use to describe one particular facet of my life – Jeff.
Scarys on the wall
Scarys on his way (We Die Young – Facelift)
Could I say that any better?
Jeff decided to start some shit with me, over the same ole shit, when I picked Nate up. Then tried to accuse me of fighting in front of Nate and blah, blah, blah, blah. There is no better way to say that.
Why you act crazy
Not an act maybe (I Stay Away – Jar of Flies)
I mean, its blah, blah, blah, old shit, old shit, old shit, oh, you’re drunk again, irrational, bullshitty shit. Yes, I created my own word. Bullshitty! Not just shitty, ya’ll, but BULLSHITTY!
Its hard to have an rational, intelligent conversation with someone who is neither. However, I never raised my voice. He tried, damn, he tried! And I just calmly, rationally, and intelligently pointed out the flaws in his arguments, which were as gaping as the Grand fucking Canyon. When I determined that he was just bitching to hear himself bitch and wasn’t interested in actually resolving any issues, but merely flipping them over and over on the Griddle of Life (until they no longer resemble pancakes and have become dried, crusty, dead pieces of matter, much like himself), I walked away.
Hey you, pass me down that
Hey you, you can’t shake
Me round now…
Say goodbye don’t follow
Misery so hollow (Don’t Follow – Jar of Flies)
I hate that. Don’t follow. Just don’t follow. And don’t point your finger in my face and threaten that you’re going to shove something up my ass. My ass has been here for 37 1/2 years, and you have yet to shove anything up it. I wanted to quote “Pride & Prejudice” to him. You’re being “non-sensical.” You can threaten all you want but I know, deep down, you’re a pussy. You know if you take me to court to lower your child support, I’ll take it a step further, and I’ll fucking win. I’ll take four years, yes, four years this year, that I’ve been blogging, and I’ll scour my posts for each and every mention of your name.
Documentation, baby, that’s where its at. Why do you think I write about it? Because I want to remember or give it one iota of importance in the daily grind of my life? No. I write about it because I want to always look back and remember, and I want the judge to know, if it comes to that.
Swing on (this) that! – (Swing on This – Jar of Flies)
So, in the name of documentation:
1. First gripe: I had to work late. Meaning, I was scheduled by my employer to work from 9-8. It is Cinco de Mayo, chances are we are going to be busy. I tell Jeff Sunday when I picked up Nate that I have to work late (until 8) but I’m hopeful it will be earlier. Jeff says nothing… until today. He says that I’m supposed to be off work at 5 and I’m supposed to pick up Nate thereafter. Yeah, but my boss said I have to work until 8 or whenever they let me go, which, sadly, wasn’t until 8:45ish. I had already called Nate to let him know it was going longer than I expected.
I asked Jeff why he didn’t tell me yesterday that he had other plans for this evening (which I believe amounted, literally, to shoveling horse shit), and I would have made other plans for Nate’s care. He snarled back that I would have just let Nate go home with his sister. Maybe, maybe not, depended on whether or not T-Bird could watch him. I told him that I can find alternative means of child care for when my schedule doesn’t jive with his.
Then he said, “Well, you didn’t ASK me, you TOLD me.” Again, why didn’t you say something yesterday and I would have found an alternative source of child care?
2. This is when he decides to inform me that he’ll shove it up my ass about child support. I don’t even try to again explain that it only counts if Nate spends the night. I pointed out, or tried to, that he GAVE UP a custodial day. Perhaps he would like to explain THAT to the family law judge. But, he wasn’t listening.
3. I didn’t make Nate clip his fingernails soon enough for his liking. Somehow this has become my responsibility, as opposed to, say, hey, son, go clip your nails. I mean, is this something we should really be fighting about?
4. Nate’s bath taking. I let Nate take a shower in the morning because of his bedwetting issues. During the winter, Nate takes a shower every other day. But he is Nate and sometimes, that doesn’t always happen. More often than not, if it doesn’t happen, it has to happen the following morning for the above listed reason. Jeff doesn’t like this.
5. He said I was getting burled up (What? So now I’m a hedgehog or an armadillo or whatever gets “burled up?”) I never raised my voice. I wasn’t going to take his shit either. You can stand your ground without becoming loud about it and following people when they’re clearly tired of talking to you in your “non-sensical” manner. I also did not put my finger in his face and make unnecessary and baseless threats about shoving anything up his ass. Trust me, I’m trying to stay as far away from his ass as possible.
There was nothing more satisfying than to tell Nate to get in the car, shut my door, start my car, and pull away with him yelling down the street like a lunatic. I did raise my voice, just so he could hear me as I drove out of sight, and he’s still yelling about child support and how I said if he took more of an interest in Nate that it could lowered. Again, this means, overnight visits. Not an hour and a half a day. I said, “I’ve tried before and you always turn me down!” I know, I’m such a meanie.
He also said something to me about going to Indiana, which, by the way, didn’t happen. I had purposefully tried to keep that fact from Nate because I know Jeff will interrogate him until he finds out exactly what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with. As if that’s ANY of HIS BUSINESS. I find that a little sick and disturbing, very disturbing.
There’s your documentation for the day. And, I made it to Columbus before my body said, “I’m not gonna make it, I’m too tired, go home.” So, I went bead shopping at Byzantium and I went home and I rested.
Yeah, its over now, but I can breathe somehow
When its all worn out, I’d rather go without
You know its been on my mind
Could you stand right there
Look me straight in the eye and say
That its over now – (Over Now – Alice in Chains (eponymous))