Sunday, June 16, 2013

Is it all a conspiracy?

So my husband has been 90 days sober. Well, he relapsed one day and had a beer, but that was to be expected. I also expect that he will have more times like that, and that it will take much longer than a year for him to be sober for a year. So I'm keeping my legal protection in place for now. His sponsor said that was a good idea. Even Steve agreed. But I have also seen him agree to many things to get what he wants. It's called manipulation. I just see a more humble Steve, now that he's sleeping out in the open.

I have re-instated visitation, but I'm the one meeting up with him. I tried to reach out to his mother, and that woman was so cold. So I shall do as she asks: I will never contact her again. And as far as Steve's daughters...the one who feels that she knows everything, I shall leave her alone entirely, and advise my son to do so as well. She is a bad influence. When she grows up a little, she can get to know my boy. I sense that her sister is going down the same path, so I am starting to distance myself.

But here's the thing: the only thing that Steve's "family" has done so far was to get him down to NC for his daughters' graduation. They have not offered to help with food, toiletries, shelter, anything. I've been doing that. They haven't gone to AA meetings with him. I've been doing that. And his first wife sure as hell never let him see his kids much. But he's seen plenty of Steven. He will continue to do so, as long as he remains sober.

I am in contact with Steve's sister. Steve claims to not want anything to do with his mother at this point, given how she has acted towards me. What's hilarious, is that this woman keeps trying to implicate me in some crime, as she thinks that this is all my troubles with Steve amount to. She doesn't get that I could be charged criminally for falsifying evidence to attempt to get him in trouble. They prosecute for things like that here in Virginia. She's just mad, because she thinks her pride has been assaulted, or something like that. Whatever, lady. As far as Steve's sister goes, he's wary of her, but if she's genuine, I think he'll be grateful.

But I do know this: all of the people currently bashing me...not one of them is doing anything other than running their mouth. So if and when Steve gets back on his feet, it will be known how he did it. Not with their help.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Can't Win for Losing

I had posted something about my blog going private, and it still is. I would honestly like a safe place to be able to record my thoughts and be supported by those who truly care for me. The continued abuse and character defamation from people (even children, be they 18 or not) who only have a small portion of the story that comes with my family drama is hurtful and detrimental to my emotional progress. At the end of the day I have to be there for my son, and I am hoping that one day there will be just something, some part of that elusive thing called happiness, that I can call my own. All I have ever wanted was to be loved. I have known way too much abuse from people who I should have been able to trust, and what's worse, their "family" groups expect me to be silent about it. I will not. I simply will not.

I took my  homeless husband some food yesterday. Before having done so, I was struck with the idea (a very stupid one, I now see) of reaching out to his mother (who blames me completely for where he is in life right now) and asking her to take him in. His initial response to my approaching him was one of wariness, which I understand. I gave him some food, and asked him to go up to his parents and ask them if he could stay with them until he got on his feet.

The letter I sent to his mother was an impassioned one. I will not quote it here. But her response was evil and cold. This woman has blamed me since the first time I had to climb out of the bedroom window with Steven to safety, because the cops blamed me as well. She has seen my every explanation as a justification. What's strange is that while I am now in the place of the first wife who she used to say horrible things about, along with that wife's children, neither my husband's first wife nor his mother have done anything to help him. And it's not about letting him hit rock bottom. He's done that already. One of his daughters is upset about my blog, she's naive and caught in tribal mentality. Graduating with honors will not make you wise to the world, sweetie. Since you're reading. I'll leave this up another day or two so you can get your extra special message. You ain't grown. You're just old enough to go to jail for your folly now, without anyone needing to be held responsible for you. That is the only thing that changes when you turn 18. Oh, and you can get tats and piercings. Wow. Really grown up.

I left my home feeling nervous, wondering how my mother-in-law would respond, wondering how Steve would respond, if he would listen. I even gave him my SmarTrip card, so he'd have the fare. I haven't spoken to my mother-in-law in almost two years. Her response to my email was "do not ever send me or my family an email again." Fine. I will do just that. But know this: if anything happens to him before our divorce, I am still his legal next of kin, and you will know nothing. If you try to show up, you will be barred from everything. And since you think I like to call the cops so much, that's exactly what I shall do. Since you couldn't seem to get that I was telling you that your son is sleeping behind a building and needs your help.

This isn't even about her writing him off, she's in contact with him. It's about hating me, because I apparently lied to the cops all these times, and gee, we've progressed that much as a society where cops will listen to a nappy-headed distraught black woman over a calm white man. Yeah.

I'm trying not to feel hateful. I'm trying not to cry, but I do. I didn't ask for my husband to approach me with lies, and he still doesn't get that our marriage is over. He thinks that if we divorce, that we'll just get married again someday. It's not going to happen. If anything, what my mother-in-law is currently putting me through has me thinking I'll never get married again. And it's so ironic that she and the first wife now have me as a common enemy. Like the cops were never called to that other woman's house. Like she never had problems with him. Well, I never cheated on him, I never stepped outside my marriage. Not even emotionally.

I am really losing my faith in people. I'm trying not to. But it's going. The state of Virginia decrees that in spite of my husband's current state and situation, I must co-parent with him. So I am trying. I extended an olive branch, in spite of my pain. Luann can have herself and her family; my son and I are not a part of it. She will never see us. She can keep her money. She honestly thinks that I got with her son looking for money. Newsflash: my parents own five houses. We have one for leisure. My parents have never filed bankruptcy, much less two. Only in her sick little world does she equate black skin with poverty and white skin with the opposite. Only strangely enough, it's the black folks in this situation (my family) that have the money.

Whatever. Simply whatever. As much as it hurts, I'm going to move on. My son has made it as far as he has not because of Luann and her illustrious family, but because of ME. And I'm damned proud of that.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Lull in the Storm

Who'd have thought that after all this time, all this turmoil and all this shit (sorry, but it has been shit), that things would finally quiet down a bit? I'm so glad. I am honestly so glad. I'm starting to feel like things might actually work out, and this is a feeling that I don't think I've ever had. I feel like the clouds in my life are parting, and I'm not afraid of the future (right now). I'm hoping that this lack of fear continues, and that I can use this clear space in my life to create my life as I wish it to be.

Today was an entire day that I spent not in pain. It was lovely. After a week spent going back and forth to the ER, this was wonderful. When I'm not in pain I can exercise. When I'm not in pain I can take my son outside to play. When I'm not in pain I'm not aggravated and grumpy, and Steven is so much happier. When I'm not in pain, I'm happier. An entire day with little more than a twinge or two. I could get used to this. But I know the nature of my illness will probably not allow that. So if I can just have more days like this, perhaps the days I have to spend in bed will be less depressing.

Steven is learning by leaps and bounds. He spelled the word "frog" in school the other day. He can arrange the letters of his name to spell his name. He can count, he knows his letters and is learning his colors. He knows which animals make which sounds. He has a keen sense of order; the towel that I lay over the kitchen chair must be laid out properly before he sits on it. We're making potty training progress. He answers my questions, either with a mimicry of the word in the sentence that I use that he recognizes, or with sign language. My child has come out of his shell. He is having a few issues acting out at school, but it's not bad behavior, more like Dennis the Menace type disruption that I'm sure has his teacher tired by the time she gets home. I believe it's because he's wondering where his father is. He's only seen him twice since I cut off visitation. And he will probably never see him again, given the state his father is in. To be honest, I think that is for the best.

Steve has completely and utterly ruined his life. On the 23rd of May, he lost the second apartment that we had together. He's currently pissed because none of the people whose respect he spat on will offer him a couch to sleep on. Not even his AA buddies will do that...if he's even still going to AA. He posts Facebook updates about how wretched he is, and how he should just die, but he's not even trying to use the resources that I gave him before he got put out of the place we were in. What's sad, is that I put down almost four thousand dollars for that place. He used it all up, and left so many of our belongings there. I will never again put myself in a situation like that. Ever. Independence for the sake of Steven is paramount to me now.

I feel for my husband, but I know that he's a sociopathic liar, and that part of his misfortune is his inability to tell the truth. I do believe that he will not live out the year, given how he abused his health so sorely the last year we lived together. I think it's very immature of him to traumatize his children by posting statuses on social networks hollering about people not caring for him. He refuses to admit that he has abused every person who has cared for him, and that is why he is now sleeping at bus stops. I feel cold towards him most of the time; he brought this on himself. But when I think of what his end may very well be like, I do feel a little sad. Still, I have to protect Steven from this. And I dare this damned state to challenge me. What are you going to do, give my child to a homeless man who is so unstable that he would rather spend all day in AA than get a job? Could he not work and then go to a meeting on his off time? Seriously?

My son was fine until he saw that man. Seeing him brought back memories, no doubt. But Steven is too young to understand the level of his father's dysfunction (not to mention we have a protective order covering us against that man!). He will not get it until he is an adult, and I may just erase Steve from his memory. Why hurt my child by giving him the legacy of a drunk batterer with sexual issues? If Steve would have just been honest for once in his life, so much could have worked out for him. But he chose jealousy, he chose lying, he chose theft, and now he's choosing death. I refuse to stand by with my child next to me to watch. Steven will attend no funerals, he will have no more encounters with that man. It's unhealthy, it's traumatizing to his grown children, so imagine how much more it would be to a child who cannot even tell you how he feels. I've been taking extra care to be as gentle, sweet and encouraging with him this weekend (after two weeks of mischief at school), and Steven has responded very well. He just needs a little more TLC than usual I think (he was becoming very independent prior to that damned visit), and he'll be fine. So more snuggles for my little guy. We're making progress. I will NOT allow his drunkard of a father to undo that progress.

I think Steve thinks that if he makes himself pitiful enough, that the courts just won't prosecute him for all that he's done. Newsflash dude: homeless people go to jail all the time. And they find that they have a warm place to sleep, three meals a day and more security than they had sleeping at a bus stop. You're afraid of jail because you're afraid of the perversions that YOU stacked onto something that is completely natural (being gay). You hate yourself, so you do things you have no business doing. Sorry, but the rest of us want to live, so we will be stepping back so that the spray of your self-destruction doesn't hit us. I'm so sorry for you, but we created a child. He has always come first. He will always come first. It's sad that you were even jealous of that.

As for me, in this interlude, I'm thinking of what I wish to do with the next years of my life. It turns out that my parents finally get that I'm sick...and they have expressed such to me. To have that understanding means so much. I get crap every day from people who think that all I want to do is just stay home and sleep. I see it in the eyes of medical professionals, because I insist on walking with my head held high, not showing people how badly I feel that day. I hear it from family members who joke about me just laying around all day. I take care of a child who has more needs than any other kid in this huge family, I am attending school (and doing very well), I have three books in progress that will be published this summer. Someone who sleeps all day could not get these things done. Oh, and I've lost 20 pounds since November. . You can't do that lying in bed eating pizza all day.

Since it's a given that I will probably spend the next few years with my parents, I wish to work on the talents that I let die over the last decade. As well as the few that I have discovered since then. Painting, music and writing. It'll be nice to pursue these things, and who knows, maybe I'll actually be able to shape a career of sorts from them. It would be nice.

Steven has one more year with his current teacher, and next summer my parents plan to sell the house we are living in. We will then move south. I was opposed to this previously, because I thought I would be living in this run-down area only to be left there when my parents moved to a senior community. But if I do get social security, and have a chance to save over the next couple of years, Steven and I can move back to the DC area once my parents fully retire. Or, maybe we'll just stay in Ladysmith and I'll buy one of the houses in that development. The place is peppered with houses for sale. I'm sure I can find a small one for me and the little guy. If we live there, Steven will go to a private school for kids with special needs, because the county doesn't have services for autism. They don't even have a website. They have a little blurb about kids being placed in the "least restrictive environment," but that's about it. Luckily, our neighbor has a son who goes to a private school, and she'll be able to help me figure out what to do. Because I won't have Steven's future sacrificed for anyone's laziness.

The quiet honestly feels nice. I have no desire whatsoever to get into another relationship, I'm fine being single, and I need time to take care of myself. Hopefully I'll get into a health regimen that bears results, and things keep getting better. I hope so. One day at a time.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Loose Cannon

I've been very angry over the past few days. Honestly, I've been pissed for a while, but I don't like the level it's gotten to. There are some things that I simply have no control over, and keeping my anxiety and sense of injustice primed only makes me (and my son by extension) miserable.

Yes, I'm dealing with so many things that aren't fair. Steve has walked through the protective order many times, but it seems like the justice system here just wants to justify his actions by saying that if I do things like assert myself as his next of kin when he's in the hospital (I could just let him rot...), or try to get a few of my belongings before they're thrown on the street, that I'm not afraid of him. So they can't do much more than file a police report. Steve is trying to literally live 286 feet away from me. But he feels it's okay, because it's a  sober house.

It seems to just keep coming. But anger only cripples me. My son needs me. Me, the real parent. I'm just not sure how to cope anymore. And since I don't really have much of a fuse anymore, folks close to me are paying for it.

That's not who I am. Something's gotta give.

On a side note: Steven is in full-fledged potty training. I washed every single thing we own today. Well, almost. I'm just not done drying yet, and I ran out of detergent, I've washed so much. But I can't turn back. He has peed in the closet once, and he dumped an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet yesterday. I'm teaching him to wipe himself, and I think he just dabbed with the whole roll. I could only laugh. Though we've had our share of rough moments this weekend. And it's only Saturday. Dude. Still, he keeps me going. And he's in bed waiting for me. It's time for him to snore in my ear.

I shall teach him to use less paper.

Kid is fascinated with me. He strokes my eyebrows, my hair... :-)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lighten up, it's just a joke...

I know that most of my blogs are rants, but this is a huge one today. I've been trying to be calm about the storm that my soon-to-be ex husband has caused in my life, but when I see a man tell me to lighten up about a joke he chose to make about "crazy women" (how men lose lives, freedom, etc...)...

I go off. And he got cursed out.

Lighten up, it's Friday.

You're goddamn right it is. It's Friday. My husband was supposed to report for jail today. A measly 7-day sentence, which he couldn't handle because his parents taught him it was bad to be gay, so he's afraid that communal shower time will get him found out. And you know what? Me, being the saint that I am, I went to him and tried to gently tell him that my son and I would still love him. I don't care if my son has three dads and a mom, let everyone be happy and sane! Too much to ask, I guess.

Yes, it's Friday. And he sits getting pampered in the damned hospital, with no charges against him now. He appealed, due to illness. Illness he's known about for months, while I was eating one meal a day to pay for his insulin. His lawyer is treating me like I'm Manti Te'o, and that this man's written threats to me were all a lie. I am supposed to give a violent, sociopathic drunk access to my special needs child.

Yes, it's all a joke.

It's a joke that it took me 2.5 years to get my local authorities to listen. It's a joke when I see my husband, and every new ally he has (because no one who truly knows him is on his side, not even his family...he's too ashamed to tell them), glares at me indignantly in their white male privilege. How dare I ever speak up, speak out? It's a joke that the police insulted me as a mother, put me and my son out of our house repeatedly (because they couldn't make him leave, he was on the lease). It's a joke that the magistrate didn't even grant me the preliminary protective order when I sent the incriminating email to the precinct in February. It's a joke that one magistrate told me that it wasn't illegal to drink or argue. It's a joke that this idiot doesn't see what the combination of those two things can do in an already violent household. It's a joke that the officer I spoke to in February said he needed to call my husband (how do you have his number?) and "see if it's his email or not." That "we can't do these things in a few hours."

But you can cover your ass in a few hours if it's ascertained that you failed to protect a victim (who is now dead), and the media get a hold of it....I'm laughing out loud. In my head.

It's a joke that I may not be able to recover what things my son and I have left in that apartment. It's a joke that the $3400 I put down on this place has been eaten up, and he might get what little is left of it, after the sheriff locks the place, and the rental company chooses to claim it cost a thousand dollars to steal my furniture....that I can't put in storage because I live off of $300 a month (I'm disabled). It's a joke that this is the second time he has abandoned an apartment full of our things, because without me, his worthless wife (worthless=no income), he cannot pay a single bill.

It's a joke that he was on probation already, under threat of JAIL TIME if he didn't complete the terms. It's a joke that he didn't complete the terms, and ultimately just got charged. It was felt that him pissing his way through a batterer class that doesn't even begin to address violence against women, not to mention drug and alcohol treatment was punishment enough. He saw women in his class who were there for defending themselves, and told me I needed to go with him, that I could learn from it. How funny. He bragged about how he could drink through his alcohol treatment class. It's HILARIOUS that he now has what I call his "handler," his AA sponsor who looks at me like I'm the devil. Well guess what, more funnies to come. I'm in Al-anon, trying to piece my life back together.

It's a joke that this man will probably get disability faster than me. I have been sick for six years; he has imbibed his liver and kidneys to ruin, and will probably lose a foot. So he'll get all this help for being a complete and utter tool. While I am still waiting for the hearing I deserve. I hope all his limbs fall off, I seriously do. Then I can bring my son to see him (after the protective order expires, if he's still breathing in two years) and tell him, "this is what addiction does to you, son."

It's a joke that if my husband were any race other than CAUCASIAN, he'd be under the jail by now, but through theft of federal property, through repeated appearances of the cops to our house, through pinning me to the floor and threatening to kill me, through putting it in writing that he was going to steal my kid and make his face "the last thing" I should see, he has managed to avoid jail time. And yes, that was a long sentence. Deal with it. The fact that appearances have been even on the table each time he has gone off is a joke.The fact that he can even exploit this is a joke. It's a joke that each judge, each lawyer he has looks like him, and because he can at least iron his clothes and shed a tear, they identify with him, and vilify me. It's a joke when both he and his lawyers correct my use of pronouns, when it has been me and me alone who has cared for this child since he was two months old...even with dear old dad (drunk) in the house.

It's a joke that I cannot leave this state with my child without his permission, and that of the court. Even though I have sole custody for now. If I do, I get slapped with criminal charges, and I lose my child. My baby goes back to him, addiction or not. It's a joke that I have to wait until November to file for divorce; even though our marriage ended on the 3rd of December, 2011, when the cops punished me for having a nervous breakdown (they took me to a mental health cuffs with no shoes and half clothed). They gave my frightened child to a clearly drunk man. In their half apology to me later, they admitted that he was drunk.

It's a joke that CPS holds me equally as responsible as my husband for any domestic violence incident, because we have a child in common. essence, I need to just shut up and take it. I should have been psychic and seen who he was, but since I didn't achieve that, I need to just cower in a corner and hope that he doesn't kill me.

It's a joke that there are people stupid enough to say, "why don't you just leave?" Do you have room at your house? Because I could not get into any shelter (I wasn't battered ENOUGH), my family has no clue, and homeless shelters have waiting lists here. So I'm with someone who is abusive in a completely different way. So funny....haha.

What the hell?

This is funny? I need to lighten up? No, you need to get real.

But here's what's funny. Here's what truly puts a smile on my face: Karma.

Dear Husband,

Your health is failing. Your family has abandoned you. Your colleagues are embarrassed to have known you (but not me). You have three criminal charges on your record in less than six months. Your autistic, non-verbal son started talking, counting, saying his letters and proving his genius when he got away from you. He hugs EVERYONE now, instead of stimming and running away. All of this, the opposite of what he did when you were kicking dishes across the house and hiding beer bottles in the bushes.

And I will move on. Taking out at the knees every male (and female) I see who just doesn't get that this is an issue. One day at a time I will completely re-build my life. I see that now. For several months I have only been thinking of escaping the other personality disorder in my life, but I have since learned how to draw boundaries, and they're surprised. You are surprised that you can't come near your child but for two hours a month for the next two years.

Domestic violence is not funny. And YES women abuse men. But given the gender inequality that has been in place ever since settled farming, it's a fact that women have it far worse. We are told to call numbers, to speak up for ourselves...yet when we do, we hit walls. In court, in front of the police. At our jobs. In society.

So if you want to joke about this, don't do it around me. And the person who did this just told me that "it's not about you and your problems." You are right. It's not about me. It's about me and every PERSON like me, man, woman and child who have literally lost everything because of the true crazy people in this country. Not bitchass whiny men who got their paint jobs keyed for sleeping around on their women.

So lighten up. I've simply corrected your stupidity. You don't have to whine about it. It's not about you, it's about the collective idiocy of you and every fool like you.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A New Hobby

I've been looking for ways to make the time pass, while I'm in limbo. Here's what I've come up with.

I painted this tonight. I haven't put a brush to paper since kindergarten. It looks better in the photo, but I'm still proud of it. It's a start.

The pink ones are supposed to be cherry blossom trees. I'm in a cherry blossom mood right now, with all fo them blooming. Yay spring.

The teal ones are cherry blossoms as well, overlaying what are supposed to be fans. Shoot, I may try painting fans. Who knows.

I started experimenting with these things as a way to supplement my as of yet non-existent disability income. If I can make a new career path out of this, it would be wonderful.

But at least it's something to take my mind off my demons. I'm capable of something.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Processing it all...

I don't talk about it.

I don't talk about it in therapy, I don't talk about it with my friends. But it's something that is bubbling over inside of me, and I feel that I must exorcise this, or else it will eat me alive.

I am incredibly lonely. And I fear that I will never, ever get rid of this feeling that I have always carried with me, that the world is passing me by. That life is going on all around me, and I cannot reach it. I know that these feelings of insignificance were instilled within me by the way my parents chose to treat me, and were solidified by my early interaction with my peers...not to mention the five years I spent with Steve. But I feel that only I can be held responsible if these feelings continue to linger.

But I don't know how to get rid of them.

I do not want to spend the rest of my life alone, but I am terribly afraid of letting someone close to me again. I am afraid of what they will do with my vulnerability, of what will happen if I let someone in again. Not to mention, Steven's involved now, and I cannot have people just running in and out of his life.

Not to mention, I am afraid of men now. I don't show it, but I am afraid. I've come across far too many who blame women for their choice to subjugate the female sex. It is truly frightening.

But how I get when I am all alone, and I look out of my window and perceive that there is something intangible, yet necessary out there that I must attain...that mania scares me to death.

I am hoping that with my emancipation comes peace. I am truly hoping. Because I'm tired of crying when no one's looking. I live in my imagination, because reality has been so cruel. But no one else is truly in there with me, and as I weave my fantasies, deep inside I know this.


Sunday, March 17, 2013


I think that I have been in the same place for so long, that people think I will never ever move...

Well, be prepared to be surprised.

When I lived in Germany, I was schocked (loudly) quite a few times by human statues. They were so very still...curious in their poses. I would walk up to them, and these people would suddenly move!

Imagine my initial fear, then shock...then absolute admiration for this person who could literally make their breath shallow enough not to be detected.

Um...I'm moving.

Someone told me the other day that they would be an old person when I achieved my ambitions. Most likely not, but if you ever say that to me again, you will definitely be amongst those I pretend not to know...

Is 31/32 really all that old? Is it really? Because if I died tomorrow, it might be said that I died too young. Heaven knows a few people would throw up their hands and say, "good riddance."

Please don't worry...I'm on my way out of your hair.

I'm sorry, so very sorry it's taken me so long to move.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

8 of Swords

This would shock my more conservative family members, but I have always dabbled a bit in what they call "the occult". Well, when you start dreaming about people dying when you're 12, when you dream of unfamiliar places where you later end up, when the hair stands up on the back of your neck to warn you about a person (and yet you ignored it at first) who would ultimately become a danger to your find it hard to just sit one day a week and be told what to think. When my great-grandmother died, I didn't know about it until the day of the funeral (which I missed, thanks Ma), yet I was puzzled as to why she was on my mind so much that week. It started on a Monday, and culminated with the news of her death on Saturday. She died that Monday, and I was shocked to learn that as I had been preening and singing that Saturday, so sure I'd win a place in the state choral competitions (I did not), she was being buried. I have never been able to visit her grave. She meant the world to me.

The title of this blog is very significant, because the 8 of swords is a tarot card. I have been reading the cards since I was a teen. Initially it started out as just a young girl's preoccupation; this wild idea that you could actually map the future. My biggest fear was, and still is (though that is fading) the future. Tomorrow truly terrifies me...but that is because my yesterdays have such painful memories attached to them. Each time I got up the hope that tomorrow would be different, I was gifted with pain that was much the same as what I had experienced yesterday. So I don't really look at tomorrow the way little orphan Annie does. I long to see tomorrow, but I brace myself against it.

While I do believe that some instances and events can be "sensed", and while I have unwittingly answered some of my darkest questions (like the date of my father's death, though it was not phrased that way), the tapestry of life is just too complex to map out completely. We lack control for a reason; just look what is going on all over the world today...perpetrated by people who wish to control others. That is not what I want. Not to mention, life might actually turn out to be rather scary, if you knew for certain each and every painful event that would come your way. Like people bracing themselves for the poke of a needle, and making the experience much worse by their tension, how horrible would it be...knowing just when that cancer diagnosis was to come? Seriously...

In tarot art, the picture that would depict the 8 of swords would be a blindfolded woman with chains around her wrists, surrounded by 8 swords. Sometimes they are suspended in the air, sometimes they are planted in the dirt around her. There are hundreds, if not thousands of images, and some divert from what I have described above, but my description is usually the norm. There are some important things to note about this picture however, and this is why it resonates with me today.

The woman feels trapped. The general feeling associated with this image is "restriction". However, her wrists are bound by the chain in a manner that suggests that all she need do is move her hands apart to be free; the blind around her eyes has only been tied in one loose knot, much the same as that binding her wrists...and the swords around her are in such a configuration that she could easily step from in between them.

In other words, her captivity is imagined.

I have to remind myself of that in my current situation; that the imprisonment I see is just an illusion. That my jailer is really truly a coward, though her hatred for me is strong, and that I could overpower her at any time. It's just that my stregnth training has come under the brutality of her animosity towards me. I do not understand just why she hates me so much. I don't. She is the reason why I am not against abortion. I know first hand what it's like to grow up with someone who just wasn't supposed to keep you.

Still, each day brings a new change. I am determined to invest in my life, to place in it all the things that she deliberately blocked, which ultimately helped lead me to where I am now. I say "helped" because I am still the author of my own life, even if there were other contributors. I look back and see many occasions where I could have chosen to think or act differently. The fact that I didn't yet know that this was an option really isn't much of an excuse. When you break the law, ignorance of said law will not save you from the consequences. So it is in this situation as well.

My "jailer" hates the idea of my progress (and happiness), and in her little, sick needling ways, does her best to try to trip me up. But I shall keep calling her out. I fear that one day this will cause her to pull out all the stops and render me homeless (like she tried to do right before my stroke), because shelters in this area are not walk-in...not for families. I bet on the assumption that she would not like for people to see her true colors, should she put her grandchild (who she claims to love) out on the street. Me, I'm just a lazy whore (her description). But her grandson is pure, untainted by the mess that is his mother. She'd lose her status if she were to compromise him. Still, he is not a gambling chip, and I must step carefully.

When the image of the 8 of swords comes to mind, my husband represents the swords themselves. He still has the ability to cut me, even if protective orders and fear of imprisonment keep him at bay for now. He is still a sociopath, and he still tends to snap when he doesn't get his way with me. Then he tells me that he feels for what I'm going through. Sure dude...fuck you. No, seriously. Fuck you.

Ultimately I will step around him, and he shall injure my flesh no longer.

My mother serves as the blindfold and the chains. I feel like it is near impossible for me to see what my life could be, with her constantly standing in the way. Yet the true problem is that I have forgotten that I know how to walk. I can step around her. And the chains? What are they, truly? The lies she tells about me? Well, I doubt that I have to be explicit about what I think of people who would believe the things she says about me, without ever asking me for my side of the story. Especially when her greatest lie involves me nearly being molested...while she stays with the man who tried to do it...and twists the story to make me a veritable Lolita.

Truly, I am free. Even if walls and bars surround me, my mother and my husband (the two most toxic people in my world, who I will be glad to be rid of permanently) cannot imprison my mind unless I let them.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

An "ugly" business...

I am getting a bit irritated as of late with the amount of people who refer to the dissolution of my marriage and the subsequent custody battle as an "ugly business." Look people, half of all marriages in this country end in divorce, and I readily admit that I did mine wrong. I did it for the wrong reasons, and I definitely should not have done it. But my motives were pure, as they are now, as I try to end this thing.

The thing that gets me is that people view my behavior, my attempts to keep my son safe from his addicted psychopathic father as "ugliness." Really? And the situation that would arise if I allowed this man to continue to treat us as property is not ugly? Would it be better for your sensibilities if I shut up and submitted, and continued to endure my pain (and watch my son suffer) behind closed doors?

Even the courts see my situation in two different legal lights. The protetive order that I have been forced to take out is a CIVIL MATTER. How in the hell?! How? You are seeking protection from someone who is obviously trying to kill you, but it's not a criminal matter off the bat? I don't get that, but I don't get a lot of things in this backwards country. Of course he will have his day in court for threatening me, and he will say he didn't do it, just like he didn't do it the first time. Or he will fall back on trusty old "I don't remember," and I'm sure I will damn near fall apart in that courtroom. But throughrout all of this, there is this belief that I should still allow him to see my child. I did so, even after I went and reported to the police that he had threatened me. Why? Because domestic violence is not seen as an outright assault on the children. To me, when you raise your hand or your voice to your spouse, you are simultaneously abusing your children, because they have to watch...and due to the fact that YOU THE PARENT are their foundation, and the base of all they see themselves to be, they will blame themselves when you fuck up.

So why is it that a man can beat his wife, and yet still see his kids? Could it be that the equality gap with regards to gender in this country is still that damned wide?

A magistrate laughed at me in 2011, when I took out my third protective order on this man and said: "It's not illegal to argue. It's not illegal to drink in your home." No it's not, you old geezer, but the combination of those two things prove fatal time and time again. Get your head out of your anus, please.

I dropped the last protective order case because my lazy lawyer told me that if I lost it, it would be held against me in the custody hearing. While I have finally, after two-and-a-half years of struggling gotten the police to pay attention to me, I still feel like the justice system sees this whole situation as a nasty marital spat...instead of the danger to myself and my son that it truly is.

I watch my boy blossom; talk, learn how to put together jigsaw puzzles (on his own, no less), learn his ABCs, and so much more, and I think how all of that will be lost if I cannot get the judge to see that my husband is a fucking sociopath...and that I should not be blamed for neither being psychic to begin with, nor submissive enough to pacify him once he first attacked me. It doesn't matter that I have been in fear of my life for well over a year. It doesn't matter that this man has a long history of bad (and now criminal) behavior. Because of his socio-economic status, a judge can very well be swayed by his calm lying, if he can look at this man and see something he can relate to. No doubt this fool will show up in slacks and a tie Friday. Hopefully I can convince the judge to ignore that, and the fake penitence that he will exhibit.

Last night, I had a nightmare. My parents took me and Steven away for a weekend, and it was nice to feel removed from this situation for a while. I've been playing out this courtroom drama in my head ever since the detective knocked on my door. As I lay down last night, I tried to mentally prepare myself to come back here. I had two nightmares last night. In the first one, it was a replay of that night in October of 2010 when he essentially blew up at me for taking the baby to the park without him. I ran with Steven into the bedroom, locked the flimsy door, and dialed 911. I whispered to the operator that I had a protective order, but that my husband was still after me. I could see his fingers reaching around the door, his shoes kicking through it, his eyes peering through it like he was Jack Nicholson. I felt the bile rush into my throat in that dream, I felt the terror. I tried to open a nearby window without him knowing what I was doing, and I woke up saying "no." Thank goodness I didn't scream and wake up Steven. I fear that is next.

In the second dream, I saw him in a huddle of drunk homeless people (not too far from the truth at this point). He saw me, and proceeded to follow me. I awoke, and that was my escape.

Is this how I am going to feel for the rest of my life? And what will happen if each consecutive judge does not come to the same conclusion, that this man is dangerous, that he sees both myself and my son as property, and that we need protection? Right now I cannot even legally leave the state to flee.

And I'm so scared.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"You don't need that stress..."

It is amazing how completely blind some of the people around me are. Especially when it comes to their affect on me. Either I am that quiet about it, or they are just dumb. Or maybe they don't care, but why say the things you do to me if you aren't concerned how you affect me?

Living in my mother's house is like being in the middle of a cold war. Each side has their nukes primed, but as yet (meaning this year) they have not gone off. I guess I'm like Syria, in that I'm doing a little more testing than my family, the UN would like. Oh well. I'm going to keep doing it. Screw your sanctions. It's not exactly fair that you've been able to launch on me for a decade-and-a-half, and I can't even contemplate retaliation. Seriously, screw that. I've gotten a taste of what I could be, and I'm not going to sit around and wait for your permission. If I decimate you in the process of realizing this, just know that it's a casualty of the war you never should have started with me.

My mother keeps referring to my marriage as "stress that I don't need." As if living in this house is a walk in the park, as if I actually like being here. She does offhandedly refer to my living here as "perhaps a bit stressful," and I just look at her incredulously. Seriously? Just a little bit stressful, eh? You had a kid you didn't want, you abused said, kid, you lied about it, you ruined my life until I stopped letting you do so. It got to the point where I preferred living in a homeless shelter to living with you, and I may just exercise that option this summer, just to find a place of peace for myself and my son that I can afford...

...and yet you think that your asininity has been "just a little bit stressful."

We got jokes, do we?

Well wait until I start telling mine. They're a hoot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

To This Day Project - Shane Koyczan

Found this today:

To This Day

Whenever I start to feel like I can't go on, I will play this back. This man is poetic, he is real, he is so deep...he is awesome. He put my entire life in words that I have not yet been able to find, and what's the most amazing part to me, is that he was able to articulate the happy ending that I have not yet been able to reach...but know is there.

Bless you, Shane Koyczan

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ride the Wave

I feel positive today. That is a first in a LONG while. I feel like things are possible, like I can actually break free of this mess that has been my life. I'm trying to pinpoint what exactly it is that has caused this feeling. Because to be honest, as Annie put it, "yesterday was plain awful." Okay, not yesterday, precisely. More like last week. I wasn't feeling well last week, and I always feel more gloomy when I'm achy and creaky. Perhaps that's what made the week so hard for me. These diseases are up and down ones, and when I suffer I do so in silence...unless I write about it. It's funny, my mom was telling me the other day about how my pain had diminished. No it hasn't. My willingness to have it blown off when I say something has. It's still there, I just grit my teeth. I'm strong like that.

But today...I don't know what it is, maybe it's the weather (sunny), maybe it's the fact that the aches in my body are from a workout, instead of autoimmune problems. Whatever it is, I feel like it's summer, and I could fly. I sure hope it lasts. Because I'm going to need this positivity as I go through my divorce, I'm going to need it when I step out onto the music scene. I'm just going to need it.

Because I want things to get better. I have lived too long, alternating between corners, caves and the shadows of others. This is not what I envisioned for my life all those years ago, as I nursed wounds to my flesh that no child should ever have to endure. You only live once. And since I've wasted 30 years, I'm ready to turn things around.

I'm going to ride this wave for as long as it will take me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Keep moving...

Well I made it through Valentine's Day this year without any of the usual gloom that I seem to exude on this day when I'm single. I honestly hate the day, and when Steve and I were on good terms, I told him that he could celebrate either this day or our anniversary, since it was the day before. Well, I'm kind of sick and tired of relationships right now, so it didn't really bother me that the streets were full of love-struck teens with flowers, not to mention the grocery stores full of red and pink. It was kind of amusing, and I chose to be happy for others who found themselves lucky in love this year.

I honestly didn't expect to get anything, yet when Steven came home from school, there was a little something in his backpack for me.

Definitely something I shall treasure until it falls apart. I am grateful for my baby's love.

Lots of progress on the Little Steven front. I forgot to put this in earlier. He is doing very well in school, and I think that we shall have some sentences coming out of him soon. It's amazing how calm and loving he is right now, compared to what he was when we lived with his father. Today we went to the store, and as I was scanning my things, he kept going "aaah!" every time the scanner beeped. He then tried to scan his hand. I think that next time I'm going to let him scan some things. He'll like that.

He was looking at one of his books today, and when I started naming things, he mimicked me. I heard "clock" and "toy car". He's also into this ABC app on his iPad, and he looks at ABC books in school and makes sound approximations as he "reads". He's waving to people, saying "hi" and "bye"...and about to break our rickety bed. How I wish I could put cinder blocks under this thing...something. I'm so afraid it's going to collapse one day. He's already knocked out one of the support beams. 35 pounds, and he can collapse a bed. dude.

Life overall has its ups and downs these days. I can't seem to suppress the loneliness I feel, but that's mainly because I'm so isolated. In tending to Steven, I really have not touched deeply on what all of this nonsense with his father has done to me. I do feel very vulnerable. At times I do cry. Many nights I wonder if I will ever find a man who will be gentle with me. I honestly can't take any more abuse; the thought of potentially having no choices but those of isolation or dysfunction is like standing in 18 degree weather with no coat. I have been made weak by the treatment I have received in my life. But I have to keep moving.

I feel my worst when I spend a day doing little of nothing. While it feels good in the moment to just lie down because I don't feel well, I never fully shake the feeling of having wasted a day. And to me, so many days have been wasted. Not pursuing my passions, listening to the negativity of others, submitting to someone else's abuse. Now that I'm shaking free of all that (or at least trying to), sitting still just isn't a viable option. Luckily I do have a lot to keep me busy. Though I still deal with those who scorn me because I don't work. While I understand that there are many people out there working hard for less than what they deserve, there is a reason why I am at home, a reason why I gave up on what was my career. I physically couldn't do it anymore. And while I'm the strongest I've been in five years, at least once a week I relapse. No one is going to hire me like this. Not to mention a full year of employment gaps. The market is competitive, and I don't add up right now. So I must pursue other things.

My best friend has agreed to be my vocal coach, so that I can finally break into DC's music scene. I hope to establish myself as a songwriter. Who knows where things can go from there? I may be spending the summer in Vegas helping a friend, perhaps that will bring forth an opportunity. All I know is that it's not fair to me to just let my talents die, because my family never cared to invest in or support me. There will be others, I am self-sufficient, and there is a lot I can do on my own. "Self-taught prodigy" has a nice ring to it.

Some days it's hard to move. I'm still weak, even if I'm moving around more. But every day it gets a little easier. Better to bloom late than for the bud to stay closed forever.

Oh yeah, and I've lost about 15 pounds. 30 more to go!

Monday, January 28, 2013

And the sh*t has hit the fan...

It looks like I will be with Steven 24/7/365 in a few weeks. My husband is about to lose his job, having done hell knows what, and I cannot seem to get the school system to understand just how much danger Steven is in right now, due to the instability of his father. I cannot even get the principal to acknowledge me. They're so concerned about my son, what with him having the misfortune of being born to the parents that he has (because according to this state, I am just as much to blame as Steve for being his victim), but not concerned enough to actually help me protect him. When Steve loses everything, the last thing he will grab for before he self-destructs is my son. I don't want my son to be hurt or worse.

I am hoping that I can switch Steven's school (something that I originally didn't want to do) to a place that would be very hard for Steve to get to, but there is no guarantee of that. It's actually the school he is supposed to be attending; I had requested that he stay at his current school in an attempt to maintain stability for him. But it seems like no matter how hard I try, I cannot do this at all. I made a huge mistake in  my choice of husband, and now that he has finally hit rock bottom, I fear that Steven and I will really pay for it.

I have tried to talk to someone at the school, but they're too busy gossiping about this situation to do anything. I do believe that some people there are trying to be tactful, but all in all, I'm seen as a statistic. Young, unemployed, single, minority. Perfect mix for an effed up life. These things mean that my efforts mean nothing.

Well they're wrong.

I shall request that my son's school be changed, in the hopes that there will be just too much effort involved for my husband to try to get to him. Hell, it'll be difficult for me to get to him, but that barrier is the point. I'm trying to protect my child.

If this doesn't work, I will pull him out of school. It'll be hard, never getting a break. It'll be tiring. But until Steve jumps off of whatever cliff he's headed for, I have to protect my son. Until my husband is either stripped of custody, dead or in jail, my son is not safe. And that is that. And I can't live without  my little boy. He's been through enough. All I want to do is protect him.

People honestly act like Steve came up to me on the first day and said, "hi, I'm a batterer...can I take you out to dinner?"


Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Makes a Successful Life?

Steve called me a failure today. And while I know that I should not be taking judgment from someone who can't heat up food without setting off all the smoke detectors in his building, that word hits close to home.

Because I do feel like a failure. My life was supposed to be far more settled now than it is, and I can't totally blame external circumstances for that.

Still, I didn't have to buck my career (and risk my life) to have his child. I didn't have to spend the past five years parenting two people. I didn't have to sacrifice my last to ensure that someone could keep drinking.

I feel like I'm constantly being held responsible for not preempting someone else's abusive behavior. When everything hits the fan, it seems like the only focus is on how I couldn't have seen it coming. Silly me, where are my super powers?

My soon-to-be ex hurls a lot at me. He wants me to trust him (after all he has put me through); he wants to be friends. He's "working on" (or so he says) the issues that have made his own life a mess to date. Okay, so I don't have my own place and a fancy job title. To be honest, those are the only two things that I lack. Yes, they are large, but the absence of them is not permanent. At least I'm not an addict with a criminal record. Doesn't that amount for anything? In my family, and with my had I gotten pregnant as a kid, ended up in jail a few times, and have reason to go to some sort of Anonymous meeting today, I'd get more respect from these people. To be honest, I think they hate me because I have never stopped looking for a safe way to get off of this merry-go-round.

While I understand that he does not like it when I tell him things about himself, those things are true. They are proven fact. There are court records to back them up. That doesn't mean that he (or even my family) should feel they have the right to call me psychotic, a failure, a malingerer, or evil. I am none of those things. Yes, I struggle with depression.You would too if your parents abused and abandoned you. It kind of does something to you, such a situation. Yes, I am out of work. I am not alone. At one time I thought the reasons for it were legitimate, but apparently no longer. And it doesn't seem to matter that I don't intend for it to be that way for long. Yes, I am sick. But my illness is not fake. Imagine, being blamed for a doctor's unwillingness to do a few tests. It's taken me five years to get the answers I have now. No, I am not evil. I am setting boundaries. In fact, I have been laying them down all my life, but I live amongst a truly enmeshed group of people. They have no idea what it means to allow someone their individuality, everything is caught up in covering up the dysfunction of this family unit (and I mean my mom's side).

No one's ever really called me a failure before. And though this came from someone whose addiction has cost him his family and his friends, the accusation hurt no less. Because when I am alone, that is exactly what I feel like.

I'm not going to let it sit within me, though. I will get up today, like every other day, and try to keep moving. So it's a snail's pace. It's progress. That may only count for something in my world, but it's something.

I just wish someone could tell me the secret to a successful life. I'm ready for it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Poem for Homeless Children

One night I wrote this for my son, as I sought a way to put into words my feelings for him during this time of ours. While we are not homeless, moving from place to place does affect Steven. It bothers me sometimes that he will move around on average once per year of his life by the time he is five. It is my hope that someday soon we will stay someplace long term. While I want my son to experience the joy of travel, it was not my intention for it to happen this way.

When writing this, I thought about all the parents who find themselves homeless or displaced with children in tow.

So, on to the poem.

A Poem for the Homeless Child

No matter where we go child,
No matter what we do,
If we are together, we are home.
Our "home" is me and you.
I know we seem to move a lot,
You've no place to call your bed.
But the home you seek is in my arms,
Where you now rest your head.
One day it will not be this way,
One day it all will end.
We'll settle down and cease to roam,
Life will be normal again.
Yes times are hard and I know you've seen
the worry I try to hide,
Don't be afraid to lean on me,
It's quite alright to cry.
I'll keep you safe, I'll keep you warm,
I'll shelter you from harm.
Our struggle is soon ending,
There's no cause for alarm.
Now close your eyes and go to sleep,
Dream sweet dreams of tomorrow.
For tomorrow is coming and brings with it,
A cure for both our sorrows.
No matter where we end up child,
This much I know is true:
My true home has always been
Wherever I find you

I love you, Steven.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Phoenix Rising

I wish that I could draw. If I could, I would draw a picture of a woman with phoenix wings, trying desperately to lift herself out of the quicksand that she is knee deep in.  My mind is filled with tons of images, but the only way that I know how to bring them forth is through writing.

I really feel that quicksand has been that which I have been expected to spring forth from in life. And I am insanely jealous of those who actually had a solid foundation on which to build, or from which to take flight. I have no idea how I am supposed to achieve the same results that my more supported contemporaries have, without the same tools to work with. Yet I know that if I ever want to say that I am happy with my life, I have to.

It’s just so tremendously difficult.

Each and every day feels like a proverbial plastic bag covering me entirely; I can neither breathe nor move. I try to claw my way out of it, but the material is too thick. Each day I search for the tool that will serve as the blade that will free me, and each night I lie down a little weaker than I was the day before, a little more deprived of this indescribable essence that brings a light to so many faces…just not mine. I am so scared that one day I won’t get up again, and that is just not an option right now.

What do I do?

The only people I can truly speak of this with are people who are paid to listen, and while I am grateful for their service (not to mention the type of character it requires to do what they do), it would be nice to have someone listen who wasn't getting anything out of it. I do not listen to others for gain; I seek to give of myself. That is what my name means, listener. I have done so for years to people who are now too busy shining to ever contemplate coming near my darkness. That hurts.

Still, today is a new day. I shall fill my moments with movement, so that the time passes. Only a few hours until I can lie down and close my eyes again…and forget. At least for a little while. 

"Don't talk about it."

Last night I spoke to one of my aunts who commented on how I make allusions to my mother in public forums. She asked me not to do this, as this was “not me”. I paid her lip service, but I am honestly growing weary of this idea that just because the woman reluctantly (and I do mean reluctantly) gave birth to me, I am supposed to hide her sins against me.

Since when did a child not have the basic rights to being loved and treated decently? Everyone has that right, but it seems that few have that privilege.

I find it ironic that my mother and her sisters could treat their mother abhorrently for years, not to mention continue to lie about their actions towards her (even though the kids remember), yet expect nothing short of silence from their children on the subject of how said children were abused. I’m tired of the denial. My mother is a narcissist, she has borderline tendencies, and she has forcefully and deliberately messed up my life for years. So I’m living with her for a few months. So what? If she had signed my damn financial aid forms so I could go to college right out of high school, I’d be on a completely different path, and I would never have set foot back here.

She knows what she’s doing with her little offers of “help”. “Helping” me makes her look good to others right now, you can be for damned sure that every person whose opinion matters to her knows about her “wayward” daughter who, despite all of the tireless efforts from my mother, has not been able to get her life together. Notice that the truth does not come into play here.

How do you explain to someone who knows what the love of a parent means, not to mention feels like, what it’s like to be so badly abused and manipulated that your life has been practically undone? Most people hear the word “mother”, and think “nurturer”. Yeah, in an ideal world. But the truth is, some mothers are awful. They should not have had kids. They abuse their kids, they seek to use their kids for their own pleasure, and they blur the lines between themselves and their children…all of these things with disastrous results.

I’m sorry, but I am not going to keep quiet anymore. I truly feel that denial will cost me my life, or worse, the future of my son. Holding all this in has created something toxic within me. It is not healthy. It is not healthy to be around me when I’m suppressing this. I have to deal with it, get it out.

And unfortunately for Mom and her ardent supporters, that means telling the truth about her.

So the woman has money and an outward appearance of respectability. To me she was a monster. Who is anyone to tell me that I should not speak of that? Or that speaking of that is “not me”? You mean it’s not the aspect of my character that you are used to. Well, I’m sorry. Things change. And if I ever want my life to change, I have to be truthful about that which is not working.

I was abused. Severely. Physically, emotionally and psychologically. Ignoring this will only continue the cycle, and perhaps my son means more to me than I meant to my mother. I mean, at least I was happy he was on the way. I grew up hearing how pissed my mother was when she found out she was pregnant with me. Am I the only one who finds that significant? 

Don’t talk about it, indeed. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reawakening the Muse

I seriously should be doing schoolwork, but schoolwork is boring. I always manage to finish it anyway. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but school is not a challenge. Dude. That is a surprise to me, it seriously is. I was raised to think that I was dumb, and between a D average in school and folks telling me how inadequate I was, I believed it. Turns out the reason why my grades sucked, was because there was so much going on at home. But I digress...I'm totally off topic. Yes, I should be doing schoolwork, no school is not a challenge, yes that amuses me, but I really need to get to the topic of today's blog.

I have decided to go pour cold water on my Muse. She is an alter ego, and I christened her Lyricist a long time ago. Time to wake up, chica. I'm terribly bored. And when I'm bored I get irritable. And irritable Sam is not someone you want to deal with. I don't want to deal with her, so please come out and play, Lyr. Please...

I wrote my first song when I was 14, back in the days when I was filled with romantic idealism and naivete. My songs reflect it, all of them are really sappy, and not fitting my character today at all. Still, they are precious to me. These days, a love song from me would probably feature a great deal of dysfunction. Hey, you write what you know.

That first song actually took me 7 years to finish the lyrics. I'm that picky. I've penned enough since then to make an album, but the roadblock came in under the guise of not being able to actually notate music. Well, I have nothing but time on my hands now...instead of tossing and turning in the throes of my cabin fever during the day, I can teach myself stuff.

So I've started writing again...and I actually finished a song that has literally been sitting in my memory for almost 11 years. I am strange.

Next up is the purchase of a decent keyboard, as well as music production software. I have plans. If I have to sit here in this situation, I will not be idle. I can't help being poor, but I can help whether or not I'm ignorant. Stupidity doesn't fit me well. Neither does letting my creativity stifle. It's been too long.

Morning, Lyricist.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Loss of Faith

I really have a problem with a label being put upon what I am at this moment when it comes to religious belief or spirituality, because I don't know. I think that when it comes to religion, I utterly reject it at this point, because it's always been an exercise in self-loathing to me. I thought that religious community would be the key to a sort of family and acceptance, but that was never the case. I got tired of not measuring up to man's standards. Seriously, screw you. You tell me I am not adequate enough, but I look at the Proverbs 31 woman, and I'm holding it down just like she did. Yet, I don't ascribe to your creeds, dress the way you do, speak the way you do or necessarily believe the way you do, and so you cast me out. Well...what's a girl to do? Move on, that's what.

And I honestly feel better having done so. I don't beat myself up anymore, because it's Sunday and I'm home sick in bed. I used to try to "make up for it" by studying on my own, but ultimately that was never adequate enough for any religious system I belonged to. When attendance was taken, I was marked absent, and that was that.

Not to mention, the past 8 years in this country, and what I have seen people do who profess to be Christians. I cannot accept the "no true Scotsman" argument anymore. Where is all the outrage at these so-called perpetrators? Where was the uprising from the religious community, each and every time Westboro showed it's proverbial behind again, or each time a pastor started talking out his neck about putting gay people inside an area with an electric fence, so they could all die off? Where was the outrage?

I'll tell you where it was. Swaying and moving to the upbeat music on Sunday. Or at Chik-fil-A.

Unh-uh. Not me. I don't want to be associated with America's brand of Christianity, this idea that if you are rich you are favored by God, and that those who are suffering somehow deserved it. That is NOT what Jesus said. Maybe if I ever get to escape this madhouse and move to Europe, I would find a more comfortable place for the faith of my fathers, something more progressive that leaves room for the worldviews of others. But not here. It doesn't exist here.

And let's not forget the admonitions that the reason why I have had the life I have is because I'm "not ready" for God's blessing. Seriously? Can you quanitfy that? Explain to me how I have only been ready for abuse, rejection, stains on my character and illness? Explain to me what I am doing wrong that is keeping me from being loved, accepted and healthy? Please? Also, back up your assertions biblically. Thank you.

For your information, yes I am ready for my blessings. I was born ready. I was born ready to be loved, to be treated with kindness and respect towards my person. Yes. And I find it insulting that anyone would try to insinuate otherwise. Seriously, vessel of clay, who are you to tell me?

I'm at a crossroads at this point. It's not like my petitions have varied over the years. I can honestly count them on one hand. They are simple. They are reasonable. I feel like I can do one of two things: walk down the path that concludes that no one is listening (nor has there ever been), or continue on the outside looking in down the other path filled with people who feel that the support systems they were born into were God-given. So I decided before I got here that I just wanted a sucky existence?

Yeah? No.

It's a New Day

The temptation to stay in bed was strong this morning; I almost scrapped my self-imposed schedule and kept my dark curtains closed. :-) These thoughts were running through my head when Steven popped up a few hours before dawn wanting to party. He was in full-on giggle mode at bedtime last night. It's dark in the room, we're under the covers, and he's laughing like we're at a comedy show. Well in reality, his twitching was due to the fact that his diaper was wet, but he didn't seem to want to go back to sleep after I changed him. And I'm not the most cuddly person at that time of night. Seriously, leave me the hell alone...

But you can't really say that to your child, can you? So I wake up enough to be nice, bite my tongue, and pull him closer, because I know he needs the reassurance that my physical touch provides. His teacher said he was a bit clingy at school yesterday. I know that he senses the undercurrents of anxiety that surround him. My precious baby. Will we ever get out of this? Can I bring forth into reality the visions I have in my head of the kind of childhood I want him to have?

Steven's father smelled like alcohol when I went to get the baby from him this weekend. I have thrown down the gauntlet, and told him that I shall not let him see Steven again. I always told myself that I would not be "that type of woman" (it's amazing the things that I swore I would never do, that I find myself doing; note to self: stop that), that I would never keep a man from his kids. But after five years of counseling, cajoling, exhortations of unconditional acceptance, I can't do it anymore. I always thought that people really didn't enjoy being miserable (or that my mom was the only one who did). I was wrong. There truly are people who do not want to do the work required to be happy. It's amazing to me! As morose as this blog has been since October of 2010, I do want to be happy. The status quo is not acceptable, not by any means. And I know what I knew as a child; due to my circumstances, getting to that place called "happiness" would take more work than usual. It takes work for most everyone, but it was going to take an extreme effort for me, and those like me who struggle with depression.

Apparently my husband does not want to do that work. So be it. But he shall not drag my son down with him.

My biggest fear is that my husband's negligence due to his drinking, would equate to tragedy when it came to my son. I cannot and will not let that happen. Somehow, I will right this wrong. I have to be brave, only take a few minutes to sit down and cry. After that, time to get back up and keep moving.

I think that one of the things that bugs me the most is this feeling of not getting anything accomplished. Well, I'm back to list-making and schedules. I usually don't accomplish everything on my daily checklist (goodness, who does?), but at least I get some stuff done. And these days, I've decided that since I'm at the mercy of Social Security, I might as well continue my education...within and outside of the university.

I have my traditional classes, but since the library is right up the road, I'm trying to broaden my horizons (as well as unearth some old dreams). My daily schedule currently consists of school work, vocal exercises (when no one's home, I'm still shy about people hearing me after all this time), music theory, and languages when I'm done with that. The evening is spent puttering around and tending to Steven. He pretty much wants me to leave him alone with his iPad, but occasionally it becomes time to cuddle and wrestle. I love tickling him, he has the most adorable little giggle, and when you stop, he takes your hand and puts it back where you were tickling him, as if to say "do it again".

Last night he fed himself with a spoon. We are still working on that, but that is the first meal in over a year that he has fed himself, using an actual utensil. He was making progress around this time last year, but we lost that progress when we moved back in with his father. Speech, signs of self-sufficiency, all gone.

I can't do it anymore. He shouldn't have to. I told his father, that the reason why Steven clung to him is because instinct and need told him to. Steven doesn't yet have the capacity to analyze what his father does; at that age parents are deities. But I won't let my child be struck down by this one. Oh no.

Oh, what a ride I have ahead of me. But I have to keep going. I have to. No other choice. Sit down and cry for a second, get up and hustle. It's a new day.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Surviving on Fumes of Hope

Most people are psyched about the New Year, and all of the resolutions that they have planned. While I have a slew of goals and plans (not to mention some significant early weight loss...nine pounds, whoohooo), I find myself feeling a lot more cautious than perhaps I have in past years.

I slept through the New Year like I normally do, I am definitely a grinch in that aspect. I found myself quite irritated one year when I accidentally fell asleep, only to have my phone go off at what seemed to be ten-minute intervals until dawn, from all the well-wishers in my life. I (think I) kindly let them know not to wish me happy new year until the following morning in future. That was back when I actually got to sleep late.

The holidays were hard. I struggled with things that I thought I had left far in my wake; I spent this year alone, and there was one point when I was tired in a way that you should not ever feel. This type of weariness takes people from this earth far too early; I lay in bed and stared at the bottle that could very well have taken me out of my son's life. While I often feel like he is the only person who would be impacted by my death, I know that is not true, and if I achieve only one goal this year, I want it to be that I will come out of this shell I have buried myself in. Because the loneliness is killing me, and even though the pain is intense, I cannot help but be ever aware of the child in my life who didn't ask to be here. A long time ago a little girl was brought into this world unwanted. She didn't ask to be here, either. Yet she was always treated as if this were a conscious choice that she made...and I am still living with those scars. Some days I just hang my head and think that I will never escape this, the wounds that stem from what it means to be raised with little to no love. I would give anything for my son not to be me; his formative years have already been messed up enough. So, I guess the bottom line is that I no longer live for myself. If what you can call what I am doing living.

Hopefully the end of this year will see me a divorced woman. If I learned anything last year, it was that perhaps my definitions of "what is supposed to be" are not as concrete as I thought they were. I married my son's father, in spite of his abusive ways, because my parents hurt me so badly by their divorce. I felt that they could have worked through their problems, for the sake of the children who needed them. Especially me. My parents finalized their divorce before they ever said a word to me, and left me with few explanations. The years that followed were filled with the sound of my father's absence, and the pain of my mother's rage.I thought that the worst thing I could ever do to Steven would be to give him a life in which he was being passed from one parent to the other. It turns out that his father and I fought so much that the poor child prefers us being apart. I cannot forgive myself for that.

I left Steve for the final time on what was his 41st birthday. The apartment reeked of alcohol, and I got tired of looking at this person who was not the person who initially pursued me. I mean, sure, people change...but this change was too much, far too drastic. I was tired of the dance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I had had enough, and that day as we left, Steven held on to my mother for dear life. I don't want my son to grow up scared. He's been resilient, but it's time for me to stop testing that.

I have learned some very bitter lessons about what it means to be the victim of domestic violence. I have learned that the justice system will grant your abuser parental rights until he or she does irreparable damage to the child or children you have in common, that a threat to YOU is not enough to warrant your abuser not having access to your kids. So guess what? Your abuser still has access to you, even if you take out a protective order. That order really, truly is only a piece of paper.

I have learned how much women judge. The women at Steven's school, the teachers, the admins. So many people staring at me, so many whispers. The penniless woman with the special needs child, who just couldn't seem to leave her husband. So many indignant, ignorant women who just do not understand that it's usually not a case of loving this monster you are with. Me, the only place I had to go is somewhere I do not want to be; homeless shelters have waiting lists here, and I have to place myself in a position to keep Steven's educational situation as stable as possible, no matter what it does to me. I cope by withdrawal and sarcasm. My reputation in my family is that of a person who does not like others at all, but I'm simply hurting too much right now to answer prodding questions.

I have tried to tell the women who judge me for going back twice that what happened to me could most definitely happen to them, that it's not as cut and dry as they seem to think. Domestic violence is not always a knock-down, drag-out fight with the kids either watching on the couch or cowering in their rooms, with their hands over their ears, trying to block out the screaming. The violence can be so surreptitious that when the woman flees, her children may not understand...which can lead to parental alienation. The abuser will use the anger of his children to further control his wife. It happens, and despite all the testimonies to this, the courts still turn a blind eye to what is happening. The court system is a minefield for the victim of domestic violence.

Shelters are ALWAYS full, so you will not be taken until you are bruised, beaten, or worse. The court system will say that most all evidence is "heresay", and that very few things short of physical injuries or you magically managing to record your abuser abusing you (how in the hell...seriously?) will stand up in court. It's not cut and dry. I dropped a protective order last year, because the judge denied the preliminary order (in spite of what was already on record), and my lawyer told me that the case was shaky. He also told me that if I were to lose the case, that this could be held against me when it came time to file for custody. I understand that he had an obligation to be truthful with me, but none of these things gave me the confidence he wanted me to have for this case. I was asked to involve a woman with less protection than I, to risk her safety and that of her four kids so that I could have a piece of paper that would most likely just ensure that if it were violated, I would not live to be able to testify to what happened. Somehow, throughout all the fear, throughout all of this, I was supposed to muster up some sense of indignation and just walk out with my child to nothing....because that was what we ended up with each time we have lost our home. No, I am not going back. I only went back for my child, love didn't enter the equation after the second time he lost his mind. When he started threatening to kill me in June of last year (three times when sober, so claims of alcoholism are obsolete as far as I am concerned), hatred started to build once the fear died down. Seriously, it's not as easy as many women seem to think. I'm glad they have such high self-esteem, but ALL of that will flee the first time that man hits them. It will. They just don't know it yet.

I look back and see the red flags I should have picked up, the situations that should have given me pause, and I grieve. But grief is something I can only indulge in for a moment when it comes to my failed marriage. I should never have said those vows in the first place. However, had I not given this man the time of day, I would not have my child...and as a result, I would not have my life. That boy is my heart with limbs attached to it, and though I spend most of my day tired and gruff, I know that he knows that I love him.

How am I supposed to make a life out of the ashes that surround me? I have no idea. Illness, lack of formal education, a career that has stalled. No home, no money, and only a gigantic spectre of fear in front of me when I contemplate my future. Something has to give, break, materialize...for my son's sake it has to. I cannot carry this child through life on nothing. And while that which I have been surviving on for so long (hope) is a beautiful thing for him to have on his own, it cannot provide a roof over his head, food on the table, or something to enjoy at Christmas. All of that is up to me.

I sit sometimes and wonder if my life in particular is a self-fulfilling prophecy, or if I have a particular gift of premonition. These days I try not to dwell on my fears much at all, because I sit in a situation where the fears of my youth have come true in a frightening way. I feared being the age that I am, with a life that I could not be proud of....alone. For while I am surrounded by people, no one reaches me. I live out my days inside my head, my imagination tucked around me, because at least my illusions cannot hurt me. I cover my eyes and shield my heart, for in here no one can touch me. But I know that if I ever wish to truly live...I have to come out.

I am terrified. But it is a new year, and so I will emerge, bit by bit. I just hope that this year does not bring more pain. Yes, I have a high tolerance for it, yes I am resilient, yes I am strong. But one day I will break. What then? What about my son? That's the one thing that haunts me night and day. No one around me has the capacity to care for my son like I do, because due to their dislike of me, they never bothered to learn. What would his life be like in a world full of people who never sought to learn how to even talk to him?

And I am undone. My son just came over, took me in his arms and held me. There is something in me that knows it's okay for your children to see you cry; how else will they know it is okay for them to show emotion? But my four-year-old non-verbal child should not be comforting me. Still, he did; he wrapped his arms around me and kissed my forehead, as the tears fell down my face. If I know no other deep love in this life, at least I have his. And in that I am blessed.

It is a new year.