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!

Weekly Penance

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In the Game of Courts, your attorney versus his attorney, you must be willing to suspend disbelief and all sense of what you know as truth and logic, in order to survive.

 

Much like you do when watching a popular HBO series.

 

You must also retain the ability to blithely travel back and forth in your history, even to other lands, as others will rewrite and redefine everything you have known, even about yourself and your child(ren) as truth.

 

Much like a character in a popular Showtime (or is it Starz?) series.

 

Anywho – fun!  Right?  WRONG

 

At the end of it all, going through a divorce with an abusive spouse is as ridiculous and insane as believing any of those television shows is true.

 

Yet, throughout the entirety of the process, you will be surrounded by people trying to convince you, no, actually, DEMANDING that you accept time travel, zombies, dragon-riding queens, and magically clean/fully-toothed Scottish warriors from the 18th Century, are real and accessible.

 

They will insist that you are anxiety-ridden, overprotective, and therefore incompetent parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are sexually promiscuous, potentially introducing your child(ren) to a pornographic lifestyle, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are the one who has abused your child and your spouse, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are a lazy incompetent willfully unemployed person who is reckless with money, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are unstable and unreliable in all areas of your life, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

Divorce from an abusive person is a disgusting disorienting process.

Because abusive people are disgusting and disorienting.

 

This is how it came to be that every week, I am court ordered to pay penance for my compliance in allowing an abusive and ill man to father my child.

 

Every week, I have to send an email to MrexH, MrexH’s caregiver, SonHerisme’s attorney, and my attorney.  The email has to include facts and positive comments about SonHerisme.  Including a picture is optional.

 

Every week, I sit down and compose the same email, with a sequentially numbered attachment containing 2 facts and 2 positive comments about SonHerisme.  Each school report card period, I attach a photo of the report card (at the request of SonHerisme’s attorney).  I have also, on occasion, included a photo of SonHerisme’s school work.

 

SonHerisme has been asked many times over the past few years, by Social Workers, a variety of Therapists, Attorneys, Counselors, Friends, and Family members, if he wants to say something to his father, send something to his father, or hear something from his father.  SonHerisme has always been consistent that he does not want to do any of those things.

 

Because of this, I have never felt comfortable telling SonHerisme that I am obligated to do this weekly penance.

I have never sent pictures of SonHerisme.

After our divorce was final (FINALLY), I stopped including pictures of SonHerisme’s work.  It just doesn’t feel right.

If SonHerisme doesn’t want to send copies of his personal works, I do not feel it is my place to override his wishes.  Since MrexH has a legal right, as SonHerisme’s parent, to have access to school records, if he chooses, so I do include SonHerisme’s report cards.

 

My weekly penance typically looks something like this:

 

Facts about SonHerisme:

  1. SonHerisme attended school every day this week
  2. SonHerisme was healthy all week.

 

Positive comments about SonHerisme:

  1. SonHerisme made progress with his math works
  2. SonHerisme is proud of his forms

 

 

This is court ordered under the guise of me maintaining my cooperation in keeping MrexH informed and a part of SonHerisme’s life.

See how cooperative and encouraging I am?

I have sent 39 of these reports to date.

So consistent.

So compliant.

So still up to me to maintain, negotiate and navigate this relationship *sigh*

(Here is where an attorney would threaten me with having to pay a professional to do weekly evaluations and reports, or lose my sole legal and physical custody, if I cannot comply or if I speak about how ridiculous this process is)

 

I am sending information about my young child to someone who is basically a complete stranger to us.  Someone who is so ill and unstable that he is unable to care for himself.  Someone abusive, with a legal trail of court recognized abuse.

 

These are things that might never occur to you to consider before your life is ripped apart.

 

Sometimes I feel like an asshole sending this report.

Most of the time, it feels like my punishment.

A weekly grim reminder of the truly unfortunate and sad circumstances of our situations.

 

My weekly penance.

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

 

Milk and Car-line Pot

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It breaks any parent’s heart to see their child’s feelings dismissed or bruised.

My child has been exposed to this from infancy due to my poor mate selection.

I am no saint.  I do feel like I have a healthy strong bond with my son, however, so we are able to communicate, apologize, and move forward into compassion and forgiveness.  This is hard work.  It is hard to know that the reason your child got into trouble with you, was your fault.

For example

Me: did you finish your milk with your lunch at school today?

Him: I’m not sure

Me: check your lunchbox, please, otherwise the milk will be spoiled by the time we get home tonight.  Milk is expensive and we cannot afford to just let it spoil.

Him: okay, Mommy.  Whoops!  I did not drink my milk

Me: drink it right now

Him: okay

 

This is not the first scenario of this kind, which is why I ask him to check his lunchbox immediately after school.

Later that evening, I rush to empty his lunchbox as he rushes into the shower because we are home so late from after school activities (argh!).

Inside his lunchbox is a ½ full container of milk.

Holy Freaking Moses – I am ticked off

 

Me:  I am throwing away the milk you said that you were drinking.  I am throwing away our money (full-on angry tired mommy voice)

Him: I was confused and I forgot and I thought that I drank my milk.

Me:  You were not confused, you did not forget and you did not think that you drank your milk.  What you are doing is called lying.  What you are doing is being wasteful of food and money.  What you are doing is being disrespectful. (still angry tired mommy voice)

Him: Oh.  I’m sorry, Mommy.  I did not know.

Me:  You did know and you are sorry that you are in trouble. Mommy is not going to put milk into your lunchbox anymore.  Do you understand what I am saying to you?

Him: Yes, Mommy (super sad, worried and tired boy, walks away to bed)

 

Sometime in the night, I awaken, thinking about the milk in the lunchbox.

I give him full-fat heavy-duty organic high caloric goats milk in his lunch because he needs the fat and calories.  I begin to scramble my brain for what I have in the house that I can put into his lunch, that will provide him with those good fats and calories.  As I am working through resolving that issue, I think about bringing the milk after school, in the car for him to drink, instead of packing the milk.

 

That’s when I remember what was happening in the car the day before,

when I asked him to check his lunchbox.

 

Because of the inane timing and ridiculous bureaucratic restrictions on pick-up from the school, on that day of the week, not only are we in a rush to a sport class, but LittleMr also has to use his amazing flexible powers to change into his sport uniform, while buckled in the car as I drive. Even his pants.

EVEN HIS PANTS, people!!!  And he does it with unexplainable skill and finesse.

 

I remembered my rushed reminder to LittleMr, to stop what he was doing and to quickly change into his sport uniform, because we were running so late and were almost there.

 

And he did what I asked.

 

He carefully closed the container of milk he was drinking, put it back into his lunchbox, zipped up his lunchbox, and changed his clothes.

 

When we reached his sport activity, he jumped out of the car, ready to participate, and joined his group.

 

He did very well in class.  He always does.

 

I remembered it was my fault that he didn’t finish his milk in the car.

 

I remembered he is overwhelmed

 

I remembered I am overwhelmed

 

I apologized to LittleMr as soon as he awakened, and I gave him so many hugs.

I did not pack milk in his lunchbox.

I am bringing the milk to him afterschool

 

Parenting is hard.

Being an asshat is harder.

 

So, to the dad showing off on his lame hoverboard at the park that told my son to, “go away,” because, “I’m spending time with just my son right now”– f you

 

To the dad who pointedly ignored my bleeding crying son at a mutual friend’s party, when he volunteered to watch over the kids outside (three smaller children had to help my child into the house while you stood there with a blank stare) – f you  Also, everyone sees you shrinking down in your car to smoke pot after you drop your kids off in the morning* – double f you

 

To the male teacher who screamed at my child at his first schooling experience in first grade and told him he was not a reader, did not protect or help him with active bullies who were physically and emotionally hurting him – f you

 

To his own father who constantly berated him, threatened to leave him, told him he could never spend time with him again, called him a “giant pain in my neck” “your mother’s spawn” “brat, stupid, dumb” – f you

 

To all narrow-minded selfish people – f you

 

We are all struggling, I recognize that. 

It is difficult for me to recognize the struggles of people who are hurting my child.

Including myself.

 

*sigh*

At least I get the opportunity to recognize, apologize and move forward in my relationship with LittleMr.

Parenting is hard.

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

*not judging the use of pot, judging the smugness of doing it while driving around a school