Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Domestic Violence

This post will be a lot more serious than my last one 6 months ago. A lot has transpired since then and I am still a victim of domestic violence as early as last night. When I say that, people think, "Oh, what happened? Did he hit you?" No. Not physically. Domestic violence, to those of you that believe it involves only hitting is actually defined as any type of abuse (whether it be physical, emotional, verbal, mental/psychological, fiscal, sexual, etc) by a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, even an adult child. A lot of times, as in my case, most of the above. My ex-husband verbally and emotionally attacked me for 2 hours until it ended in a fit of emails, maybe a minute apart each. 

He said I was a "child trapped in a 38 year old body". I'm 37, but that's beside the point. He said I'm a monster, I'm sick, selfish and he should make me suffer by taking money out of the kids' child support when he has to spend money to see them. He called me an abuser, insanely trivial, petty, "the nastiest person to come home to... lazy, a terror to live with... a liar." Psychopath, irrational, Hitler and in one of his final emails at 10:51 P.M. he said, "I can keep calling you nasty, lazy, a liar, selfish, etc. because they are all true." He said I bring out the worst in people, that I don't know what abuse is, evil, and that I caused all this. He was blaming me for his going ape on me. He said I "killed all the good with my insanity."

I had to endure this behavior with my ex-husband starting 2 weeks into our marriage. Because of the religion I was practicing at the time, I believed I was stuck and not able to leave him because he behaved in such a manner. So I endured it for 9 years. Then one day, after he got mad at me and started arguing with me, my 3 year old daughter jumped on him as he was laying face down on the floor. He swung around, hit her across the belly with his forearm and threw her to the ground. He is 6'2" and weighs 320 lbs. He blamed me for hitting her. My daughter had lied there, winded and crying. I removed her and my son from the room, I came back out to the living room where he still was, got in his face and said, "If you ever touch my child again, I will kill you."  I walked away, shut our bedroom door and heard a bang. I opened the door and he had kicked a gaping hole in our bedroom door. I called my parents and told them what happened. My father's advice was, "Don't call the police, we don't want 'X' to get arrested." Scared, I did what I was told, but I was still worried about my daughter's well-being and my dad told me to take her to the hospital, but at that point, my father already had me worried about my husband being arrested and I was too afraid to go to the hospital. I needed guidance at the time. I was and still am a battered woman who couldn't think straight after years of abuse and with no support system. The difference now, is that I have some footing and regardless of his threats of not paying child support, suing me for whatever reason, calling me names, raising his voice, yelling, arguing for the sake of arguing, he has no control over me.

I have been at war with this man since the day I finally left him in March 2009. Actually, I kicked him out of our home with no way of being able to pay the rent the next month and by April, was living in an okay apartment in a not so great area of a major metropolitan city. I broke that lease when I acquired a job out of State and have been in my adopted State going on 3 years now, but the abuse has not relented. This latest episode, I believe, was brought on by the fact that he's getting married again and now there is a push from this woman, whom I don't know and has failed to respect my children and myself, to acquire my children. You see, she is someone who relies on the government and since I have a disabled child (who doesn't receive benefits), I'm convinced she wants him because to her, that would be more cash. There are a lot of ugly facts to this story. A man who not only abused me and our children, but neglected and abandoned them and in the end, never cared about them. Does it hurt me? No. Not that part anymore. I've dealt with it and am working to maintain and raise well-adjusted children (so far so good). What hurts, is that he still gets away with treating me this way because no one, not my father nor his family have stood up to him, man to man and told him to back off.

So what am I doing about it? Well, since this is public and still pending, I am keeping my intentions under wraps. Rest assured, however, that I am handling to end this abuse once and for all. Legally, of course. My point of this post is to give some insight to those who have suffered, know someone who has dealt with, or is currently going through a domestic violence situation. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself, even if you have to do it alone. It sucks and it's scary, but you can do it. You are worth far more than any ugly words anyone will spew at you. Make plans to walk away. Do what you have to, legally speaking, to end it. Reach out for assistance. It is out there. Here is a place to start. The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). My only advice is, if you are accessing this information from a home computer or somewhere your perpetrator can view your history, make sure you delete your tracks. You wouldn't want to trigger an attack. To this day, I never tell "X" what my plans are to deal with his abuse. That is none of his business. Though he no longer has me in his grip, I do not trust him, and it's liable to set off another attack and I don't know when and if it will ever be one that will go too far. I've just been lucky that his motivation has never really been there, but now he has someone pushing him, so it can only mean more problems for me. I'm being proactive and staying ahead of him and trying to take care of our safety and health first and foremost and writing about it helps. If he ever sees this (highly unlikely) it will anger him and set him off again and I'll probably receive more threats via email that I will "pay for what I have done'. Yes, he's told me that too, for three years already he keeps threatening that and he wonders why I've blocked him from texting and calling. He's one of those that "will stab you and ask you why you're bleeding" types. If anything were to happen to me though, it's out there. I've made it public and I'm not afraid to talk about it anymore. I'm not afraid to discuss my actions that brought an intelligent, well-educated woman to this point. It can happen to anyone and it does. So please, if you're reading this, I hope it is of some use to you and helps you do the right thing. Domestic violence must be stopped and it begins with you.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

My "bestie" gave me a ridiculously hard time when I blogged regularly and after over a year of not blogging (for lack of time, dedication, whatever you want to call it), I am back and could care less what he thinks. Now that is liberating. Always do what makes you happy, especially if it's not hurting anyone. I have spoken in the past of the cathartic effect writing has on me. Also, on the first day of this New Year, I have no kids. They are with my ex-husband out of State. I am preparing to go get them the day after tomorrow. Hence, I now have a little time to take advantage of doing one of the things I love the most: writing. So what's new in this not-so-newly single mom's life as of today? Read on...

  • I can officially and unapologetically say I am a runner now. I ran my first race and also skipped my first race in 2013. I'm currently preparing for my 2nd race that takes place next month.
  • I also gave on-line dating a try. More on that later. The jury is still out...
  • I will be running my office solo starting tomorrow. I am so not scared either and am welcoming the challenge. I can finally get that office the way I want it. Let's see how things turn out when I get a partner again. 
  • My son, who among many things is epileptic, had one seizure last year. That is AMAZEBALLS! Let's keep the streak going!
  • My daughter is now a first grader and a blossoming reader. This mama could not be more proud. Patting myself on the back for limiting TV time and encouraging play and books over video games and movies! Try it people. The results pay off!
  • Finally, on a deeply personal note, when it comes to religion, let's just say I am a very spiritual person that believes in a higher power. Religion is something I'm still figuring out. I have a lot of growing to do in that aspect and am looking forward to what 2014 has to bring!
Happy New Year to anyone who happens to stumble across this! I'm hoping I can do this more regularly because I do love it!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dating and the Single Mother

I'm an emotional person. Not on the outside, unless it comes to my kids of course. Hard as a rock until they're involved. Then I'm a big old softie. But I'm still prone to getting hurt when it comes to dating so I'm trepidatious. And not because I fall head over heels from the gate, but because I allow myself to be vulnerable and exposed too soon. Before I know it, someone I hardly know, knows too much about me and it makes me so uncomfortable. So I keep a potential suitor in a holding pattern until I'm comfortable. Boy does that weed out the wrong ones. 

Recently, it was 38 year old Martin. Yes, I'm using a pseudonym to protect the guilty. Martin, like me, is a civil service employee. Like me, he is also divorced and a parent. Geeky and apparently sweet and fun at first. Until his dark side emerges. The one where he finds it necessary to expose himself via text. It's the most offensive thing a stranger can do. And you're a stranger if I've only known you for a few days. Unfortunately this digital age has made images like this all too accessible and given the public (who should know better) a false sense of security. What if I were the same freak who'd share said images with a pornographer for a little extra cash? Or an angry, vengeful woman who'd forward them to his department? Fortunately for Martin, I'm neither. But the next girl may not be. So I would advise that men like him be a little less trusting as well. I'd urge women who come across men who find it necessary for them to do something like this to consider the fact that if it were done to them in public, they'd feel assaulted. Because ultimately, they would be being assaulted. 

Dating has never been easy. Not when I was 15, definitely not now that I'm 36. Now, 21 years later, a lot of men are still not worth the energy, plus they have so much less to offer. And now that they should know better, so should we when we permit them in our lives. Eventually they'll be in our children's lives and one cannot be too cautious when it comes to that. Thank goodness my children will never know that mom dated until they're old enough to read this blog.

Will I still date? Maybe. It's not something I'm pursuing. It just sort of happens. Mostly I find it taxing and stressful, especially because "Martin" wasn't my first flasher, and I suspect he won't be the last. Color me a cynic, batman, but maybe I'm just a product of growing up in the 90s.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hypocrisy

This is one thing I despise so much, it's hard to put it into words, but I'll attempt to. It's so difficult to trust people even when you want to believe that most people are good at heart. I often find this to not be true unfortunately. More so with those that, quite frankly, have no belief system. Definitely with a lot of those whom I work with. 

On my last day at my old job (which I'm back at now), I was honest with someone who I playfully jab at back and forth daily. I should really stop trying to give her the benefit of the doubt because she is definitely someone who cannot be trusted. If she really is a she, that is. And I'm not saying she can't be trusted because she has gender identity issues or, as she puts it, "is gender neutral". I'm saying because either she can't keep her mouth shut and not only over shares about herself, but she over shares about me even if I don't over share with her. Or she really is that evil and just wants to keep throwing me under the bus (and I keep letting her).

As I was leaving on my last day, I gave her the birdie. Told her she was number one. You know, flipped her off. With a smile. She blew me a kiss. Several actually, and laughed heartily right after the supposed visual insult. Because of this, my professionalism (or lack thereof) was brought to my attention today, my first day back. Never mind that every last person I work with curses like a sailor, shares their weekend trysts with me and even called our administrator's alma mater a "blow job university". But I'm the inappropriate one. Hell. I'm definitely the stupid one who thinks that these crazy fools I work with can be trusted. Whether it's intentional or not, they cannot be trusted. Quite obviously!

Alas, I recognize it was my fault for not maintaining professionalism at all times, which from now on, I will. No slip ups, no boundaries to be lax about, NO exceptions. They just can't be trusted. It's funny because they will confide things in you about others and then you think, "Wow. What do you say about me?" Like one wise person who shall remain unnamed once told me, "You can go from hero to zero in a millisecond." I'll keep that in mind next time I want to share just a tidbit of my life. Thank God I didn't today. I was really excited, but decided against it. Some things are just best kept to yourself. Even if they are good news.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Writing Is Happiness

Oftentimes I write when I'm melancholy or something is on my mind that I want to get off my chest. This time, I'm actually feeling pretty good and I want to document that too. I'm happy to be writing again, for one. Mr. Negativity often ridiculed this past time as a waste of time, but again, the truth of the matter for me is that it's my healthy release. Actually, my exact words to him were "I'm sorry your only release is porn, but this is actually a healthy way of working through stress, your feelings, etc." It is. Many experts recommend it. Since he was so fond of quoting professionals. If he ever finds out what was bugging me the day we stopped talking, well, he'll have a negative and judgmental spin on that as well, no doubt. Either way, enough about that. Back to me!

I'm feeling so happy today, despite being home without pay caring for my two favorite infirms. That's why, I'm getting to be a stay-at-home mom, something else I was really good at (working with people being another one). Going back to my old job is another. I know it's nuts (pun intended), but working where I was working was "home" to me because I was in the front lines. I was greeting people, directing them, helping. It's what I shine at. You know, being a social butterfly and all. Flit, flit, flittering about. 

Another thing I'm really excited about has to do with writing on an actual subject matter: Art. I don't want to reveal much yet, because it's still in the works, but in a few months, I may have my first self-published piece on something or someone other than myself. To be able to use my skills for that is exciting! Thank you, high school creative writing teacher for getting me started. I don't think you'll ever know how much your class inspired me.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Hardest Job

It wasn't exactly a fall from grace. Two weeks ago, I was offered a new position in a new department that essentially was a promotion. I took it. After all, I came into this agency to move up and the opportunity was mine to do so. Like my new supervisor told me, they'd be taking a chance on me. A chance that ended up being a bad idea. For both of us. 

You see, last week, my daughter became sick. It wasn't horrible, but she was definitely not feeling well. So I kept her home. That was Thursday. Also, my first week at this new position. Friday, I was at work. My new supervisor spoke with me candidly. She said she was confident of my abilities, but was worried about me being out on the first week. A legitimate concern. Then came the phone call from my daughter's day care after they picked her up from school. "She is one sick puppy." Said one of the day care providers. "Okay," I responded. I was on my way to pick up a child with a temperature of 102.5 degree Fahrenheit. I picked up my son first (he goes to a different day care for medically fragile children nearby) so as to not expose the kids there and less than a mile away, I picked up my daughter then promptly took her to her pediatrician. They found no strep, no infection, just tonsils a little red around the edges, gave her acetaminophen for fever reduction and sent us on our way with notes to return to school and work on Monday. 

The weekend went fine and without a hitch.I even took her to a movie, out for ice cream (doctor's orders), and then to run an errand before we picked up my son at day care. Sunday, we all relaxed and only went out once to run an errand. She was acting like her ornery little 5 year old self. Everything seemed back to normal. That evening, Sunday, I gave her cough medicine she had been prescribed last year to help her sleep. It didn't help. She was up at one with a horrible cough. It sounded like croup. I managed to get her to sleep until 3 A.M. when she finally woke up with it even worse. I stayed up with her, giving her liquids, Popsicles, more ice cream, you name it. She had it all. She was miserable, lethargic and in pain. There was no way I could send her to school, day care or have anyone else watch her. So what was I to do? I had to make a decision. That decision was to keep my sick little girl home so that I could take her in to her pediatrician once more. 

I was originally going to take my son in to day care until he started exhibiting the same symptoms. My phone calls went like this: Pediatrician for both kids, work, day cares, transportation, schools. I managed to get them in at 10:30 and 11:00. But before I went, I called my new supervisor. She informed me that it wasn't working out and that she was going to do her best to make this a graceful transition back to my old job. My old supervisor, poor thing, did not seem thrilled. Not sure why. She's a sweet, down to Earth woman, but she's also a boss. A position I would dread to be in if I were them. Difficult decisions need to be made daily, and these women handled it well. I'm proud and humbled to be able to work for them. They are truly exemplary. As for me? I'm back to my old position as of Monday and have now "technically failed probation" making me ineligible to promote again. Maybe in another year? In an economic tumultuous time we are in, I'm just grateful I still have a job.

As far as my poor monsters go, it was croup. Ameli got a steroid injection (not fun) and Pablito got a 5-day prednisole prescription to get in front of this illness. Lots of homemade veggie soup, Popsicles, and rest are on the menu for tonight and tomorrow. Then it's back to my old new job on Wednesday, until I start anew at my old job Monday. One thing is for sure, being a parent, it doesn't matter. I'd do it all over again. I'd go work as a cashier if I would have lost my job permanently. I don't care. All that will ever come first for me is my family and I knew this when that first pregnancy test came up positive.They say that the hardest job is that of a parent. 'Tis true. And so is the cliched follow up that it's the most rewarding.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brave

I took my daughter to see this Disney film yesterday afternoon for a $2 matinee. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The mention of haggis, the Scottish accents, the barbaric men, even the shortbread. It was all very fun for me. Even the magic and bit of mysticism in it. After all, no Disney film would be complete without it. 

I called my ex-husband to let him know how it went for her. There was one bear scene that really scared her and I had to cover her eyes, so now she doesn't want it. Her 5 year old reasoning is that she's "already seen it at the movie theater." I shared this with him but he took it as us trading stories about our weekend. He was going to a bachelor party. I resisted asking him if it was his own. See, he still doesn't get that we are not friends, that I don't need to know about his life and unless he has something to tell me about the children, I really don't want to know. I tweeted yesterday morning that it was so nice to no longer have some people as your problem anymore. Yes, I meant him.

When we were in an accident less than a year ago, he went to the movies, though he knew it was serious. At the end, he told me he didn't care if I died. That's fine, I don't expect him to after he the way he treated me for 10 years, but his children were in the car. And he just went to the movies. Like nothing. I found out while I couldn't get a hold of him in the emergency room. Thinking, as a parent, I'd want to know how everyone was doing. I'd want questions answered. Did anyone lose consciousness? Did anyone need stitches? Xrays? They were fine thank God, but that wouldn't have been my reaction. Take what you want from my post, at the end of the day, it takes a certain amount of bravery to do what I did. And that was to escape my abuser. Thank God we're in different States. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.