August 15, 2013
It has gotten to the point where those words literally make me cringe. I realize what has happened in the past, how much time I wasted, the poor decisions I had made which have lead me to this juncture in my life. I realize that I could have done things differently, I truly should have done a lot of things differently, and maybe I would have if I felt it was that point in my life when I COULD have done things differently, but I didn’t, and that is the reality of it all, so why keep bringing up the shoulda, coulda, woulda?
Since I have taken on this massive war in my life, I have heard those words more then I really would like to. there is nothing I can do about the past, period. I understand that it may be due to the occurrences of the past that I am standing in the middle of World War H (WWH), but is it really? In actuality, isn’t it the action I had taken NOW that has placed me in this war?
It wasn’t until I decided to take back my life that everything had gone a muck. It wasn’t until I saw that my ex would stop at nothing with his bullying, unleashing it onto our children, that triggered my daily torment. It wasn’t until the world wide web made me realize that yes, I do have the power to dictate what happens from this point forward to my boys and I, and what kind of lives we will get to live.
It was the hardest decision I had ever made. Everything I know, everything I hoped for an wanted, was instantly stripped from my world. I longed for that broken family unit that could still operate together in order to provide a solid foundation for our children’s future. I even went as far as to pretend that we had that, always including him and his family in everything related to the children, inviting them to dinners (whether they came or not), opening my doors to them at a time of need, and ensuring that we jointly coordinated/hosted birthday parties and events for the boys. I lied to myself thinking that it was for their best interest, and mine, since we could hold one party together, not inconvenience our loved ones with two separate parties, and split the costs. I have seen it done with other divorced couples and I had wanted it to be who I was, “the ex who was still friends with the ex”. But in reality that was impossible.
August 8, 2013
July 30, 2013
Back in May, my children were dropped off at the sitters, by their father, in complete distress. They were breathless, crying, and completely emotionally broken. It was a sight a mother never wants to witness, and one I wish I could get out of my head.
I had arrived shortly after he had dropped them off to bring the boys their snacks. My oldest son was sitting on the bottom steps of the sitters with his buddy by his side, arm around his shoulders, trying to comfort my son. Tears were streaming down his face without sobs or screaming cries. He looked defeated, emotionally beaten and completely mentally destroyed. My youngest was on the sitters couch, curled in a ball, trying to catch his breath, his sobs were too much for his little body to control. They were damaged, and my heart was torn seeing them in this condition.
The story started to unfold that the evening before and that morning, while at their fathers, they were treated poorly. The series of events had unfortunately trickled horribly into their direct lives and they were punished for the fear of what they experience when visiting their father overnight. Ever since a drunken battle between their father and his now fiancé had broken out, the boys had become terrified of their Father and his unpredictable actions while drinking.
The evening before, I had received a phone call from the boys stating they wanted to come home and did not want to be at their fathers anymore. After a short back and forth discussion with their father, I was not convinced them returning home was a valid reason, but I also was not convinced that they were completely safe if he was drinking. I had waited some time, and after another text conversation where their father did not disclose details of how the boys were feeling, I decided to take a trip over to his apartment to ensure the boys were ok.
When I had arrived, the apartment was dark and there didn’t seem to be much movement going on. I assumed this meant everyone was asleep and decided it was not a good idea to go knocking on the door and waking everyone up. I was about to head home when my ex slowly drove past me and saw me in my car. I attempted to avoid this unnecessary confrontation, however, at this point it was too late and I needed to express to him the boys concerns.
Instantly an argument broke out because he accused me of “stalking”. Even with me attempting to express to him that the boys were scared of him and the he needs to be conscious of their fears, concerns, thoughts, he only became fixated on accusing me of “stalking”. Even though he saw I had just turned off my car (the interior light was still on) and had been collecting some things to take up with me, he insisted on yelling at me for “stalking” and avoiding the real issue at hand. With that said, I was unable to get a real answer concerning the condition my boys were in, and I went home.
The next morning is when everything went badly. According to the boys, their father had pushed them around, bullied them, because he was angry that the boys were scared of him and really did not want to be around him. He had pushed our 6 year old, who hit his hand on the wall because he fell from the push. He had grabbed our 10 year olds arm and squeezed it until he cried. He had taken their breakfasts away from them and did not allow them to brush their teeth, or hair, or get ready for school. He had taken our 10 year old cell phone away because he was angry that our son kept it under his pillow out of fear. And he was yelling at them, telling them that they will see what a bad daddy is really like, and that if they do not like him then they do not need to see him anymore. He destroyed them, and I walked into what was left of these poor little damaged boys.
After cleaning up tears and kissing away heart boo-boos, I still had to send them off to school in an attempt to make their day as normal as possible. Once I left, I instantly made arrangements for my parents to get them from school and take them home for the weekend where I would meet them. I called the police station and family court to see what my options were to protect my children. And sadly, what I have been learning since that day is there is very little I can do, outside of a restraining order or filing a family court motion, to help my children.
Out of fear for my boys, and myself, I decided to try the legal way and processed a motion request against my ex. The motion included 4 different requests, one of them being supervised visitation and one requesting for myself and the boys to be able to move back to my parents to start over and have a good life together. Sadly, even with the information provided, and almost 2 months later, the judge denied my request. Granted, I did not supply the correct forms and supporting documentation in the order in which a motion is supposed to be submitted, but, I do not feel that is enough to deny a request. Maybe postpone a decision until additional supporting evidence is provided, but not deny a request.
So now, our battle continues. Two months later, and one month before school starts, I have a harder battle then I ever imagined. Since the judge basically granted my ex permission to give me a hard time and do whatever he wants without consequences, I have been struggling financially, mentally and emotionally, constantly worried for my children, and trying to find another way to provide a better life for them. In addition, my little ones have started showing signs of anxiety, constantly upset that they have to go to their fathers for over-night visits, and wondering why I have to make them go when they do not want to.
The system is not right. To base the direction of a family’s life off of documentation and not granting an actual hearing is very disturbing. The fact that it is ok for the father to move on with his life but the mother needs permission is not right either. I could understand if we were asking to move across the country, but we aren’t, we are asking to move 2 hours away, to an area where the boys could have a house (not an apartment), they can do all the sport and activities they want to do, and we would have consistent help from their grandparents. It is very discouraging and upsetting that after 4 years of divorce, the boys and I are still fighting this battle. I pray for those boys every day.
June 16, 2013
Things have gotten so out of hand lately. I’m feeling overwhelmed and completely helpless. Like our cries are mute and not being heard. We are prisoners to a family that is no longer mine and I have lost all hope that we will ever be free to live comfortably and securely. I feel like I’m being completely sabotaged and I can’t do anything but wait… Wait for a possible court hearing that may or may not take place. What does a mother do to ensure her kids are taken care of and feel secure all the time in an area where everyone does everything they can to stop you from doing that?
It all came to a head when my ex finally met someone who is quite frankly perfect for him. He was finally able to get out of his moms and move on with his life. It was a moment of hope for all of us. Hope that he would stop drinking and focus on a real family life. Hope that he would finally learn to think outside of himself since he would be adopting another family. And hope that I could trust when the boys were in his custody that they would not get hurt, be ignored, or bullied. I was happy to accommodate a co-parenting life with the boys new family and had extended my assistance and support many times, including opening my home to his new family during a hurricane recovery period so they could be together. I think we all had hope for a better tomorrow, a chance for me to maybe be comfortable to meet Mr. Right because Mr. Wrong could potentially be trusted with our kids finally. But as soon as he tasted that new freedom again, and started gaining his confidence from a new job, it all started coming to a head again, and I could no longer protect my children.
My ex always had an issue with drinking and aggression. He tends to thin of himself more then anyone and has a tendency to throw adult sized temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. When he wants something from you, like his resume redone, or business cards created, or to borrow money to take his new girlfriend out to dinner one night, he is your best friend. However, as soon as you don’t do something he needs or wants, he bullies you, turns his family and “friends” against you, ensuring your entire world comes tunneling down… No matter how old you are, or young.
Our boys have always been back and forth about going to their fathers for a long time. They are close to me and of irritates him when they miss me. Our oldest has been more accepting of the visitation schedule, but our youngest still ends up displaying separation anxiety and it infuriates my ex. So, it has become a bit awkward at times when our boys go to visit him. I began to slowly learn that my ex had been droning more frequently again and the boys were being exposed to it. And on a more serious note, there recently was a domestic violence incident in front of the boys, to the point where they were scared of their father and locked him out of their room at his place. Their grandmother, my ex mother in law, was called to get the boys and I was never notified.
Shortly after that incident, a night that the boys were with their father, I received a call from the boys saying they want me to come get them. They were nervous their dad was going to fight with his girlfriend and wanted me to come. I was hesitant because it didn’t seem urgent initially, but once my ex dismissed my inquiry on how the boys were feeling, I had to go see for myself. After a confrontation between he and I outside of his apartment, which the boys did not see, I went home, sick to my stomach and wondering if my boys were feeling alone and unprotected again.
The next morning my ex decided to take his frustration out on the boys. According to them, he pushed them around the room in the morning and took away my sons cell phone, his recent birthday gift and only sense of security. He did not allow them to eat breakfast, he did not allow them to brush their teeth, and he pushed our youngest to the floor where he hurt his hand. He was making it clear that he would show them what a bad father is really like and dropped them off at the sitters in a devastated state.
This is when I decided to take action, I needed to. I probably should have obtain a restraining order in him, as others have suggested, but I filed with the courts instead, as the school suggested. Now, I wait, wait for a possible court date I may or may not get, while battling the wrath of my ex and his entire family, who had now turned against me and who were the only support members I have in this area. I fear I did not complete the paperwork properly and that the courts will not grant me a hearing. I have a great deal collected now, for a verbal hearing, but again, I may not get that and everything in our lives, mine and the boys, depends on that. I have no one here to help me and that is exactly what my ex wants in hopes to take over the kids even more… Which sadly for them means more mental abuse, exposure to unstable environments, and feeling ignored and unloved. It sickens me… And I don’t know if there is anything else I can do right now.
We need prayers. I’m asking the courts to make a lot of drastic changes, including allowing me and the boy to relocate for more support and assistance, and to be able to provide a better life for the boys. I am asking that all ties between myself and my ex, like our marital home, be sold and cut. I am asking to limit visitation to the standard every other weekend with supervision to ensure the boys do not have to endure anymore of those drinker aggressive situations…. I am asking for our freedom to finally live the lives we deserve. And all I need is to be granted a court hearing so the judge can see all of the evidence and sold facts that lead to our concerns and motion requests. So we need some prayers… For someone, anyone, to hear our cries!
June 6, 2013
This morning was a serious disaster. What started as a very smooth progression of getting ready for school, ended with the worst anxiety attack I have ever witnessed my 6 yr old little man experience. He has had his moments of worry, but they have never amounted to the level of this morning’s melt down.
As a normal morning begins, both my boys made their beds, got dressed, and sat down for breakfast. I had made a simple and quick pop tart delight for my youngest (by request) and a bowl of cereal for my oldest, and went to get ready for work. I heard whispered bantering and giggles between the two as I attempted to iron my outfit for the day and get dressed. I thought nothing of the conversation that they may have been having since I did not hear arguing or disagreements between the two.
Shortly after getting my shirt over my head, my little one appears in the bedroom doorway. “Mommy, can you die from drinking ink?” A bit puzzled, but again, not really concerned because my boys tend to ask randomly odd questions from time to time, I respond “yes, you could, but it depends…” Before I could finish my sentence completely my little one scurries away mumbling to himself.
Now I am a bit more interested in what the boys may have been giggling about and decided to follow him, almost completely clothed. I get to the kitchen area in just enough time to see him throw away his 1.2 pop tarts into the trash, proclaiming that he is “full” and didn’t want to eat anymore. With a grin, I slightly scold him for wasting food (which is money) and request that he continue his morning routine getting ready for school. Still, I really did not think much of the situation, and my oldest son remained silent (and he is always quick on the tattle-tail trigger), so I also resumed my routine of daily preparation.
Suddenly, I hear my little one sobbing a bit, behind me, where he had crept. “Mommy, I stabbed my pop tart with a pen and ate ink.” Not really sure what he really was trying to say, I became quickly frustrated with the situation that was transpiring as I was trying to remain on time and finish getting ready for the day. “What are you talking about, Sean?” I annoyingly stated as I began to brush my hair. “Please, just get ready for school, this is ridiculous!”
My men began to brush their teeth and the little ones sobs began to turn into full-fledged tears. “Mommy….!”
“Sean, I am not talking to you right now, that was a stupid thing to do and we NEED to finish getting ready, enough!”
“That’s it! Rinse your mouth and GO TO YOUR ROOM!” The frustration of my hair not cooperating, the tension from the two boys, the struggle of getting everything done on time, I just had enough whining without knowing what was wrong and I lacked the patience to wait for him to articulate what was going on in his little mind.
I followed him into his room, sat on his bed, and was ready to give him a good “what for” in regards to letting silly mindless things interfere with important priorities when he broke into uncontrollable tears.
“Mommy, I HAVE to tell you something. I ate ink, and now I might die. I want to go to the hospital. I don’t want to die, mommy. I want to grow up and have babies so you can see them. If I DIE you WILL MISS ME!!!!”
My heart completely stopped and the sequence of events from a few moments ago crashed into each other. Because of his question to me, he thought he was going to die from the pen that he stabbed into his poplar. Through chocking tears I was able to learn that he believed he would turn into the Incredible Hulk if he ate ink, like the boy at the baby sitters house. Apparently, his older brother (my other little man) had started a trend of kids eating ink in order to transform into super-heroes. He had convinced the kids that the ink had gamma rays in it and they would become the Hulk.
Confused with fury that my older son was the culprit to this idiotic theory, and sorrowful for my little ones paralyzing fear of dieing “too young”, I wanted to scream and yell and hug and kiss them both. I was able to calm my little one and convince him that he would not die, after a carful inspection of the pop tart and the stab area, but I have yet to completely address the situation with my older one.
We barely made it out of the house on time, but all eyes were dry, my anger was dwindling, and my patience was coming back. I tried a number of times to tell my boys that they NEED to stop doing things without thing or asking an adult. This is not the first time my youngest has put something in his mouth that was potential dangerous. I find myself continuously scolding him for putting bottle caps, toys, pens and pencils in his mouth, and always take them away, yet he seemed to never learn. Hopefully this is the last time.
June 4, 2013
It has unfortunately been way too long since I have written and/or posted anything, and my body know it. With the events that have occurred the past month, I have had little to know time to do anything for myself, such as write, which seems to be an unfortunate common theme lately. I swore to myself at the beginning of this year, 6 months ago, that I would write at least once a week, and sadly, I have fallen very short of that goal lately… and I have noticed that my mind and spirit have felt the withdrawal of writing.
I find myself experiencing massive verbiage overload. When I am driving, doing dishes, working with the kids, or in the mist of errands, my mind is constantly thinking about what my body is yearning to but into text. I long to document my thoughts and feeling to release them into the universe and remove them from consuming my mind. But by the time I make it to my computer, which is normally at the end of the day, around 10:00 PM, I am distracted by other tasks that have become priority or exhaustion, and rarely find the energy or opportunity to write.
I thought about other means for allowing my brain to flush itself daily, such as bringing my lap top with me everywhere and uploading the app for WordPress on my iPhone. The lap top ended up being more of an annoyance to lug around and I do not always have wireless available. As for the cell phone app, well, typing on the phone ends up being more frustrating and time consuming then a convenience. Whoever invented “auto-text” was a complete A-hole! It is a challenge reversing/deleting the word that my iPhone thinks I am trying to type, and many times it replaces the intended word with something less…. PG. Why these geniuses did not just come up with “spell check” like in Word, but for texting… I do not know. Regardless, I have learned the hard way that using the iPhone app is not as productive or time consuming as I anticipated.
So, I have been suffering from severe brain constipation, to the point where I felt that I absolutely needed to post something now, this morning, first thing at work, before I exploded. I need to some how find time, between work, the kids, chores, my current project, and my personal life to continue to write and defuse my thoughts each week. Otherwise I will find myself writing small nothings about thoughts, without any structure or meaning behind it!
With that said… I leave my rambling to WordPress and will hopefully have more to write later… maybe about my project… maybe about the beautiful weekends I have been having with my boys… or the visits this single mom goddess has encountered. All of which have been dancing around my head, waiting for their chance to shine! Either that or I may serious combust.
May 7, 2013
This weekend I, we, celebrated my son turning 10. Technically he officially turns 10 in two more days, but as most do, we celebrated over the weekend. We were blessed enough to have a weekend full of loved ones and festivities, which started off Saturday in PA with my parents, and concluded with a school friend/ex-in-laws family party on Sunday.
The boys and I had made our way out to my parents place Friday evening, after I finally kicked my first official debilitating migraine, which kept me in bed for 20 hours. It was a peaceful drive, with my “soon to be” 10 year old in the front next to me, and my 6 year old blissfully lost in Mario land. My oldest and I chatted about Les Miserables (yes, he loved the movie), The Terminator, and his new ‘mommy heart attack causing obsession’ motorcycles and dirt bikes. Apparently, since his last visit with his father, he has thought of nothing other than motorcycles and dirt bikes, and it has become his goal to drive me into an insane asylum with worry that he will end up with one of these death machines before he is mature enough to fully understand and enjoy them. (Said like a true over protective mom, I know.)
We had peacefully made it through the 2 hour drive with little traffic and even less frustration, which is unheard of with two anxious you men. The night was calm, the air crisp, the sun lingering just a bit longer bringing a couple extra minutes of outside play time in my parents yard. The mountains hadn’t looked so beautiful as they did this evening, and the skies hadn’t been as clear as they had been later that night, revealing what seemed to be every star in the universe. It was the perfect evening to drive out to PA, and the perfect night to launch a weekend of celebrating my son.
The next morning we prepared for our few guests to arrive. Mostly friends of mine and of my parents, that were dearest to us, coming to spend quality time with our family. I made it clear to my son that this was not the “party” day, but more of a family day with those that love him. My sister friend, of over 14 years, since the first month of college, had come out from NJ with her daughter and her growing belly; my parents loving neighbors with my youngest sons future wife, their daughter; and my newest dearest “sister from another mister” and her daughters had come out to spend an evening with our little family. It was small, but it was meaningful, and although I am sure a 10 year old is all about the number of presents he gets, as opposed to the quality time he is given, I know he appreciated those that came to celebrate him.
Sunday was the big party day. I had coordinated a school friend party for our son, which was supposed to be only school friends and local family members with children, but, as always, nothing planned with their father ever really stays within the original plan. I have to admit, I was guilty of inviting one personal friend of mine that was local, but I needed her there. It was bad enough that I needed to celebrate with someone I despise… but I had to also had to celebrate it with his new victim and her friends. Well, I guess I technically didn’t have to, but I was trying desperately to be the bigger person and be there for my son… and I was… but internally I was fighting the beast.
It was harder then I thought, and not because I am upset he is with someone, if I disclosed all the details of what had occurred throughout the years, by both of us, you would understand why I have absolutely no feelings left for this person, but because I don’t feel like sharing my time with my children, with people I don’t know or care to know, intimately. (Yup, said like a true divorced mother.) It was a continued internal battle of not allowing negative energy ruin my sons party. This weekend was about my son, and I would do anything for that child, so we moved on with the party… and I know he had an amazing time.
The day was perfect for a BBQ birthday. The air was crisp again, there was a subtle breeze that agreed with the soul but made disagreed with the decorations. There was a sense of harmony in the air, and a potent stench of love and pride. I was proud of my son for who he is turning into, and everything that he is as an individual and a growing man; and he was proud of his Terminator party. (Literally he had been practicing being the Terminator for over a month!)
It was nearly impossible finding decorations from over 2 decades ago, so I had posters made up of some of my sons Terminator artwork and hung it throughout the yard. I purchased black, red and silver decorations to at least go with the Terminator theme and his Grammy had a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger placed on the cake. The party came together nicely, and with my sons own little touch of a one-man Terminator re-enactment, I would say the entire 3 hour event went splendidly. No parents lingered that were not invited, and to the best of my knowledge, all children were accounted for and sent home with their designated mom and/or dad.
It still, however, amazes me, that my son is now 10 years old. It seems like a decade ago he was just an itty bitty baby, coming home in his little carrier, to two 25 year old, clueless, parents… yet it seems like just yesterday. He is my first born, my first real buddy, my first TRUE unconditional love, my first everything. He is the reason I changed my life, became who I am today, had the strength to let go of a toxic situation (a couple of times) and start my life over. He still is the reason I aspire and work hard every day, providing a life for him that I pray will continue good values, morals, ethics and gentlemanly behavior.
As I look back, it seems so long ago that I was 25, just learning the true meaning of being a mother, scared, and anticipating the future… and as I look forward another 10 years, where I will be 45 with a 20 year old, sad that time went by too quickly… I realize that I want to cherish and embrace where I am right now. It is so easy to get swept away by all the daily petty dramas and frustrations of life. I regretfully find myself there may times a week, wondering where the time had gone and how another day, week, had slipped past me. Looking at my son now, at this moment, as he sleeps peacefully, not yet a man but no longer a boy, I realize that this moment, theses precious seconds, is all that I really need to think about right now… not a decade that past.