Breakxit

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The exit from the break – Breakxit.

Well, it was a break.  I should count us grateful for that at least.  So, what was it this time?  A month?  Maybe less, as I did receive a bill from my attorney during that time.  YES, I continue to pay for current services, not catching up from past legal fees.

 

Current attorney services include the bi-weekly review of the weekly updates that I continue to provide to MrexH (week #122).  Occasionally her reviews include some contact with the court-ordered Parenting Coordinator.  While my attorney always records her time spent on my (closed but precarious) case, in almost every invoice, she marks up to half of that time as “NO CHARGE.”  She has an amazing amount of quiet compassion.  It was truly a life-saving blessing that I made it into her office in April 2014.

 

I was sitting in the secret parking lot of our local domestic violence shelter, shaking uncontrollably, completely at a loss for what my next step should be.  SonHerisme was safely in another location unknown to MrexH, and I phoned a friend who had previously worked at the shelter.  I needed to know where to go next, what to do, who was safe to speak to etc.  This friend patiently listened to me for a brief moment, then interrupted to instruct me to get out a piece of paper and pen.  She gave me the name of an attorney and her phone number.  She told me to hang up with her and before I did anything else or drove anywhere, to immediately phone this attorney and make an appointment.  Thankfully, I did.  Because this friend is typically an uber empathetic compassionate listener, I think that her abrupt interruption of my massive anxiety dump, shocked me into action and I made the call.

 

I am forever grateful to her.

 

I am forever grateful to all of my friends and bystanders who offered a listening ear, patience, and support as they were able to do so.

 

I am forever grateful to my attorney.  If I could pay her twice the amount I have, I would.  She deserves it and so much more.

 

I am forever grateful to our local Sheriff’s Department Victims Services Coordinator.

 

I am forever grateful to our court-ordered Parenting Coordinator.

 

I am forever grateful to Master, now Judge, S.

 

I am forever grateful to all of those people who work to support and guide victims of domestic violence.

 

This week, I received a letter MrexH sent to SonHerisme through the court-ordered Parenting Coordinator. This was a months ago discussed plan of action come to fruition.

 

SonHerisme and MrexH have not had contact since 2014.

 

Ironically at the beginning of all of our legal entanglements, letter writing was what I suggested.  The idea was dismissed as ridiculous and I was labled “overprotective and full of misplaced anxiety.” Yet here we are four years later…

 

MrexH’s letter is borderline illegible due to his illnesses.  The words seem appropriate enough to share with SonHerisme.  And I will do so, with the guidance and support of multiple therapists for both of us.

 

And so the spiral begins again.

 

The guilt over MrexH being so ill, the consequences of his illnesses that I did not extricate from earlier, and the part I played in bringing that into SonHerisme’s life.

 

Assuming the role of Destroyer of Fun, Destroyer of Sense of Security to SonHerisme.

 

Numbing, falling into the overall guilt hell-hole, followed by the trenches of depression, climbing up with resignation to the reality, slipping into guilt hell-hole a few more times until making it out for a while, and onward.

 

It is exhausting.

I am exhausted.

 

The break was an illusion, I realize that.  I feel SO much guilt and pain over any pain MrexH may be feeling, but recognize that I cannot afford to compromise our health/safety/lives over that, what must therefore be, misplaced guilt.

 

And so, I eat a small bowl of peppery vege-broth rice.

I take a moment to look at the Met Gala costumes and wonder about the details of construction, the feel of the fabrics and embellishments, the artistic minds of those creators and wearers.

I sit or walk outside for a few minutes and listen to things growing and being alive.

I take SonHerisme to and from school, to and from activities, to and from friends, to and from appointments.

I take my mother to and from appointments, change her bandages, help her with daily tasks.

I cook breakfast, lunch, dinner.

I clean the house (poorly), I launder the things needing laundered, I pay the bills needing payed.

I prepare food for my mother’s two little dogs and feed them twice a day, take them to and from appointments, give them outdoor time etc.

 

I continue to do all of the things that need doing.

 

I breathe.  I move.  I exist.

 

I try to keep going and I call it life.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

psst…  I’m outside trying to let the magic replace the guilt.  I hope it works!

750 Days Ago

Hey Reader Person(s)

750 days ago, after two extremely tumultuous frightening years of legal entanglement, my divorce was finalized at the courthouse with then Master, now Judge, S.  Outside of the courtroom, Judge S wears bespoke suits from New Orleans with matching fedoras.  Inside of the courtroom, he flairs with exaggerated arm movements so that his robes take some flight when he approaches his bench.

Judge S doesn’t pull any punches and seems committed to squelching any potential tomfoolery nonsense from anyone in his courtroom (including attorneys).

In case you have not been to family court in your area,

let me assure you that there is a LOT of attempted tomfoolery happening.

It’s how many attorneys make an* s-ton of money.

 Judge S should have his own show or be my bestie.  I like that guy.  I liked the other guy too (retired Judge D), but he did not wear bespoke suits, or flair in the courtroom, and his face is too pleasant.  Also, he is my friend’s FIL and I am prone to thinking he is a kindly grandfather rather than a serious law interpreter. See you at the Pop Shop, Pops!

Y’all

746 days ago, I began this blog.  I wrote the opening piece a year or two earlier but did not have the wherewithal to begin a blog or continue any writing.  Since then the opening piece here has been published in a book!

 

Fingers Crossed that I will be selected to have a new piece, not yet posted anywhere, in a new book. Updates will be available soon.

 

In the meantime, I am once again revisiting my fiction works.

 

S L O W L Y   

S L O W L Y  

Little Callapitter**

 

And so the world keeps moving.  I am getting older, farther away from things I need distance from, closer to things I need drawn closer to.

 

Time is ticking – eventually that ol’ bell will toll for me.  In the meantime, I carry on each day with SonHerisme and myself doing the best I can do in these sweet/painful/joyous/difficult moments of life.  It is lonely over here.  Sometimes thankfully so.

 

How are you?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

 

*Grammar police:  “an” is acceptable here in my opinion because saying ‘s’ sounds as if there is a vowel at the beginning.  So ha ha ha on you – no correction needed snarky pants!

 

**SonHerisme coined this one at 2!

Excuses/Abuses – Tale of a Gut Hater

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(My heart is, our hearts are, in deep pain for our world today.  Please pay attention to, and take good care of, each other. Please and Thank You)

Before my Situation (so, ‘BS,’ for short), I never understood why why why anyone would put up with being abused by another person.

Why would you be with someone who hurts you? 

What kind of person puts up with that?  Prostitutes?  Drug addicts? Uneducated people?  People bound by misogynistic cultural norms? 

Who were these adult people choosing to live these lives? 

I could not comprehend abusive relationships at all.

 

Now, After my Sorry Situation (so, ‘ASS,’ for short), I cannot understand how to develop a relationship that isn’t abusive. I just do not trust myself anymore.

I know so many people, people in my BS and ASS communities, who are in or have been in, abusive relationships (and also, healthy functioning relationships, but they are foiling my post and will be disregarded at the moment).  It is hard for me to imagine how to be in any relationship.

I do not know how you functioning couples do it.  I am not saying that in a trite way.  I truly do not know how you do it.  I admire you, as one might admire a first class trip around the world, or a George Clooney Italian Villa – it’s so lovely to imagine, but so out of my reach or reality, that it appears like a magical fantasy.

How did I go from BS to ASS?

Honestly, while I knew that something was not right with my marriage, I had no idea that I was being abused.  I did not know that my husband was abusive.

 

The Police explained it to me.

The Sheriff’s department explained it to me.

Detectives explained it to me.

Domestic Violence Shelter Counselors explained it to me.

Multiple Private Therapists explained it to me.

My Physician explained it to me.

 

My Family and Friends explained it to me.

Church Officials explained it to me.

My Attorney explained it to me (and referred me back to my Therapist, many, many times)

 

I still did not know that I was in an abusive marriage.

 

I thought that I was the problem.  If only I could do this, he would be happy and not threaten our son.  If only I would do that, he would show us respect and kindness.  If only I could do this, he would stop hurting me.

There are days now, still, where I am consumed by guilt and remorse, that I was unable to do more, to help him better, to find the right Dr for him, to provide the right life for him to sooth his worries so that he would like us.

 

On these days, I have to force myself to read some of my notes for/from my attorney, in order to remember the facts of what has transpired, rather than my own feelings.

 

This is a painful, but necessary, process. 

 

Mostly, because in my case, if I lapse and allow my feelings to guide my actions, I would be placing both my son and myself, into lethal danger.  As I type this, I know that sounds like a crazy person.  After all that has happened, WHAT kind of person would subject themselves to that kind of peril?

 

Unfortunately, it is me.

 

And many other well-educated, loved, supported, life-engaged women (and men).

 

We are not stupid.  We are fiercely compassionate.  We are intelligent.  We have a hard work ethic.  We are devoted, dedicated, and honorable.

 

So much so, that our determination to be all of those things, blinds us to our own reality.

 

If something is not working, we set our minds, hearts, and souls to problem solve and correct whatever issue is set before us.

 

We believe we can help and resolve, through love, hard work, and devotion, any obstacle which is presented to us.  Our compassion for our abuser knows very few, if any, limits or boundaries.  We see someone worthy in there and we work our hardest to comfort and support and lift that worthiness out.

 

What we do not know, is that we are worthy enough of recognizing our abuser for who they are.

We are worthy enough to expect the same fierce compassion we exhibit, from our partner.

We are worthy enough to decide when to walk away from a situation that is not healthy or working for us.

We are worthy enough to deserve to feel safe in our home, in our bedroom, in our garage.

We are worthy enough to be treated the way we would want our sons and daughters to be treated in their adult relationships.

We are worthy.

 

It took my entire community over a year to convince me that Mr exH was abusive.  I was afraid of him.  I was confused by him.  I was incredibly painfully sad for him.

 

I was shocked when it was suggested that he was an abusive person.

 

I fought for him to get help, to get support, to get medical care, to have his pillow, to have his special toiletries, comfort items and clothing…

 

He continued to abuse me, and I still fought for him, like some caricature of the definition of an abused spouse.

 

What saved me from all of my excuses for his abuses? 

 

At one point, I was so deep into trying to do “the right thing” for my husband, my attorney called me in to her office (btw, this is never good news) and asked me if I trusted her to represent me in court.

I was having a difficult time understanding exactly what the process was that we were involved in, and what I was supposed to be doing.  My attorney spelled out for me that she was there to advise me, to guide me, and to advocate for me in court.

Even if I could not understand what she was doing, she needed to know if I trusted her as a professional.  I responded that I absolutely trusted her.

It was at that moment I realized

my thinking was based on false assumptions. 

While I was still unable to pinpoint exactly what my false assumptions were, I understood clearly at that moment that my thinking process and beliefs must be flawed.

My attorney has 20+ years of experience and a stellar reputation.

Family and friends had interacted with her multiple times by this point, and all were impressed by her.

Something clicked in me and allowed me to see that even if I did not agree with my attorney, even if I could not see what she was seeing, if I trusted her, I had to believe that she could interpret the situation correctly and knew what to do.

I was in crisis, after years of spiraling toward crisis.  I had no experience.  I reasoned with myself all of the way to, “how could I know what I don’t know?”

I had to trust that my attorney knew.

 

At the same time, my therapist was also gently introducing me to the idea that I was abused.  I did not believe her, but, again, I trusted her to know what she was seeing and hearing.

 

It is hard to follow your gut and not your heart,

when your mind is screaming at you.

 

Mind says, “You are an idiot/slacker/lazy/incompetent/evil/selfish/awful person for setting this situation up”

 

Heart says, “He is in so much pain and distress.  How can I take care of helping him, so that we can all be well?”

 

Gut says, “Listen to respected resources. Get a Safety Plan. Tell trusted people.  Trust your trusted people”

 

My gut saved us.

 

My gut that hates me, because I have treated it so poorly, saved us.

 

For everyone going through similar situations, I want to encourage you to listen to your gut – not the core of your heart, mind, and soul – your gut.

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting or making excuses

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting abuses

 

Your heart, mind, and soul will be revived, comforted, and nourished to where they need to be, through counseling and other support networks.

 

Right now, you need your gut

 

I am praying for you on your journey too.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo