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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Don't Protect the Abuser

Right now there is something amazing going on.  A family that has been on tv in a series and a few specials for their religious beliefs has been thrown into a scandal.  People are feuding over it.  Friendships are being tested.  Lines are being drawn.  It seems that the eldest son admitted to molesting five female children when he was a teenager.  He publicly admitted it.  He was not arrested.  He stepped down form his family centered job and apologized to the world.

Is that enough?  I don't think so.  He may be in the spotlight now and this may be the topic we are debating now.  But what about next month, next year or the next decade?  Can what happen help keep possible future victims safe?  What if his first victim spoke up and the family didn't try to hide it.  Enough reports are coming to light that seem to say the family did something to keep this from going to prosecution.  Would his future victims have been saved?  I have no idea.

But maybe we can learn something from this.  STOP PROTECTING THE ABUSER.  I did it with my ex.  I did it with my father.  I won't do it again.  So join me.  Don't protect the abuser.  Yes, terrible things happened to the victim.  But it wasn't their fault.  It was something done to them.  Don't shelter the abuser because you want to protect the victim.  If you are a victim stand up for your self.  I wish I did.  I don't know what would have changed had I left earlier than I did.  It helped when I knew I had people to help me stand up for myself.  It helped knowing people were behind me and they knew I was a victim.

If you are being abused, sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially or anyway don't
protect your abuser let others know.  Please if you know someone is being abused offer to help them, REPORT them to the police or any authorities.  We need to take a stand against abuse.  We have to do it now!  No one deserves to be abused!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I was Mugged!

Back Story...

A few weeks ago I slipped on the ice walking into work.  Yes, I live in an area where winter never seems to go away!  I hurt my left arm, my back on my left side and my left pinky.  The arm and back felt better in a couple days, but my pinky would hurt on and off.  I would forget about it and then it would hurt.  I would be fine then OUCH!!!!

Fast forward a few weeks, about 5 or 6 and my 12 year old son and I were having fun.  He is very ticklish and adorable when I tickle him.  VERY ticklish! So of course occasionally I take advantage of it and we were having fun.  Then he jammed my left pinky and OMG!!!!  PAIN!!!  Then a POP!!!  A noise that was loud and accompanied the pain.  The pain didn't go away and I called my doctor.  We made an appointment for me to get my finger X-rayed.  He had me tape my pinky and ring finger together. Urgent care wouldn't help.

So I went to the doctor's and he told me I had a hairline fracture that was about 5 weeks old.  Bonus I also had a sprain.  So into a splint I went and my finger is in semi-constant pain.  Not enough to warrant pain killers just enough to be slightly annoying.

Second Back Story...

I never take cash out of the bank.  Well, hardly ever.  Even if I do it is almost always $20.00 or less.

Today...

Except for today.  Today I had some bills to pay that were just easier with cash.  I needed gas, I needed food.  I needed some art supplies for my wish jars.  I am selling them to help make ends meet when I am out of work for the summer.  So when I was at the bank I took out more cash than I usually do.  I put it in my (Small, shuttle craft purse, that I keep in my huge purse so I don't have to always lug it around,) purse instead of my pants pocket.  (Probably because I usually don't have pockets in my pants because clothes designers think that women don't need pockets so we carry huge purses.)  I bought a couple things in the store and happily walked into the parking lot to get back to my kids and get my errands done.  I never even heard anyone coming up behind me.  I had my purse in one hand and my phone in the other.  They went for the weakest point, my injured pinky in a black splint, I saw stars!  I felt my purse being pulled out of my hand and it was gone before I could turn around.

 I turned around and saw a person running away holding my shuttle craft.  My first thought was at least it wasn't my favorite one, I had left that at my exes house the night before.  Then as I watched the person (I have no idea if it was a man or woman) running away wearing a hoodie, jeans and sneakers it occurred to me that I had cash in my purse, a lot of cash!  My ID was in it (luckily it was my exes address so...) and my bank card.  I didn't chase them.  I wouldn't catch them.

I think I sat down and cried.  I was on the ground when I finally called 911.  Eventually the police showed up.  I didn't have much of a description, they didn't give me much hope.  I got in my car after they left and just sat there.  Then I realized I needed to get back to the kids.  They had the day off of school and had been alone too long.  I didn't want a second disaster on my hands.

So here I am my first real brush with crime.  My apartment was broken into every other Wednesday between 7 PM and 9 PM (the police were no help then either, they didn't see the pattern after three break-ins) but the only item of mine that was stolen was my Kool-Aid.  My room mate was not as lucky.  Of course I never encountered the ones who felt the need to steal my precious Kool-Aid.  This was different.  This time I was injured and it was personal.

My ex gave me money that he owed me and bought me chicken wings when he came home from work.  I didn't know how to react.  I'm not used to him being nice to me.  For the next three weeks I don't have to see him as much.  He is on first shift instead of second.  Sadly this means I won't be with my kids as much.  I'll have to plan some fun for us.  What a day!!!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

It was my first mother's day without my mother.  I have been dreading it for weeks and here I am just moments after it ended.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I picked up my kids from the exes house and we went to my mom's favorite place to eat, a local hot dog restaurant.

She loved their hot dogs and always got them with everything.  When they started selling their hot sauce she always made sure she had at least one jar at home.  If we couldn't think of a gift to give her, a gift card from them was always a perfect choice.  In fact it was the last Christmas gift I ever gave her.

I imagine that I have been going there my whole life with her and love that I now continue the tradition with my children.  It may not be my favorite place to eat like it was Mom's but it has a special place in my heart.  My brother told the staff at one of the locations about my mother's love for their hot dogs and they gave my brother a cup and hat.  They sit on and next to my mother's ashes today.

The kids were eating french fries today and I mentioned that Grandma loved to eat her fries with vinegar.  So of course they had to try.  They are 12 and 10 and have not really been exposed to vinegar except at Easter when they dye eggs.  Funny I used to use vinegar all the time.  I guess somethings do change.

The look on their faces as they took the first bite of a french fry soaked in vinegar.  It was priceless.  They shook their heads and made sour faces.  Saying how they thought it was horrible and ewwww!  But they tried several french fries that way.  It was almost a compulsion.  It was probably the funniest moments of Mother's Day 2015.  Absolutely priceless!

The ex (the divorce still isn't final yet.  I don't know why it is taking so long.) Asked how long I would have the kids.  He wanted to take them to visit his mother.  So I brought them back to his house after we ate.  I had wanted to take them to the Mall, but I am trying to be civil.  So I turn the corner and see the empty driveway.  The kids inform me that Dad said he would be gone when we come back, it would have been nice if he told me.

So I call him.  I refuse to leave the kids alone and he has the nerve to be upset with me because I switch the time I would have them.  Truth be told I did, but I also let him know I made a mistake and typed the wrong time as soon as I noticed it, and he had plenty of time to adjust.  I stayed in the driveway while the kids played outside and he comes home absolutely irate at me.

He comes out of his car screaming at me.  Saying how dare I call and yell at him and find it to be such a burden to be with my kids on Mother's Day.  (SIGH!) Again he absolutely has no idea why I was upset.  He led me to believe he wanted the kids back to see his mother and did;t bother to tell me he was not going to be back.  He told the kids he wasn't going to be home.  I guess telling the other adult was too much to ask.  Of course it is all my fault again.  He screamed and yelled and had a temper tantrum in the driveway including stamping and giving me double fingers.   The as I am pulling out of the driveway he ordered me to leave.  I almost pulled back into the driveway.  He knows acutely how to make me mad.

Happy Mother's Day!  I am so used to having a huge argument with him on Mother's Day, so I guess I wasn't surprised.  How I wish I could see my children and spend time with them and have absolutely no contact with him.

Happy Mother's Day 2015 - I Miss You Mom!




In Memory of My Mother 
June 10, 1940 - August 20, 2014
I love you!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Just Two Minutes

The kids stay in one house and my ex and I change places.  I work first shift he works second shift and he gets them on weekends.  Perfect for him.  Stability for the kids.  Steals sleep from me, but the kids need it so I do it.  Over all it works.

In the last few months I have seen my old home get stripped of my influence.  New furniture, books vanishing, hockey flags on the walls and on the windows as curtains.  It is hard to come to the house five days a week and see things I worked hard to set up just disappear.  Oddly some things I did are still here.  The butterflies on the bathroom wall still fly.  The leaves on the kitchen cabinets are still clearly there.  Both are removable but remain, so some of my essence is still here.

The hardest part however is not seeing so much I organized change it is two minutes of my day.  After work I go back to the house we shared and spend the afternoon and evening with my children.  The kids have their own bedrooms and just one house.  They are not shuffled back and forth which I think is better for them.  My ex also has the house as his mother owns it.  I am the one who shuffles from one location to another.  I take the burden of moving from home to home.  My ex returns home from work around 12:30 am and pulls into the driveway behind my car.

Here is the beginning of my dreaded two minutes.  He could wait in the street and beep, he could text
me to let me know he is almost home and I can get in my car and pull out as he pulls up.  There are ways we could handle these two minute where there is little to no contact between us.  However he thinks they are stupid so he won;t do them.  So instead he blocks me from leaving until he pulls out of the driveway to let me leave.

He comes into the house and typically one of these things will happen.

  1. He will complain to me about how the house looks
  2. He will be upset with me because of a request I made that in his mind is unreasonable.
  3. Rarely we will have a real discussion about something involving the children.
  4. He will talk to me about something he loves that I no longer pretend to care about.
Sometimes those two minutes feel like an eternity.  I am amazed at how quickly I can be exasperated in that time.  He can start an argument with me the moment he walks in.  I would prefer not to see him at all for those short moments of time.  It seems so petty that I don't want to see him, but I know the tension between us can explode within seconds and make me so upset that I am screaming all the way home, a ten minute drive.  I always wonder what others think of the crazy woman driving around 12:30 am who is going mad in the car.

Somedays he just reminds me that he is selfish and really just doesn't care about others.  Yesterday was a perfect example.  He comes in all smiles and says, "Guess who was on the Howard Stern show today?"  Now you need to know that I am not a Howard Stern fan.  I have never pretended to be a Howard Stern Fan.  I don't like to talk about him or his show.  I don't care about anything involving him.  I almost stopped watching America's Got Talent because he became a judge.  My ex is very aware of how I feel about Howard Stern.

So I tell him as I am trying to walk past him to get outside to my car that I don't care, I just want to go home and sleep.  I have to work in the morning.  (I don't even get six hours of sleep some nights because he may not be home until 1 am and I have to work at 7:45 am.  When he gets home I want to leave so I can go home and get some sleep as quickly as possible.)  He looks at me and says, "I don't care that you don't care!"  And it hit me, that was a huge problem in our marriage.  He didn't care how I felt.  

Those two minutes are fast approaching tonight.  Will he be nice, will he be selfish, will he be mean? I gave no idea.  The one thing I do know is that he will pull in the drive way behind me and I have to wait for him to back out of the driveway so I can leave.  Trapped until he allows me to leave.  Two minutes of anxiety.  Two minutes of terror once.  What will it be tonight?



 


Monday, March 16, 2015

The Beginning of Closure

I signed my second batch of papers to finalize the divorce in front of the Notary.  She gave me a high five as I got up to leave.  It is strange to be so happy over the ending of a marriage.  But I am thrilled!  I want to be out of this marriage more than I wanted to be married 17 years ago.

I took his wedding band away when I discovered he was cheating on me.  I told him then that he didn't deserve the ring anymore.  I have kept that ring since then.  How long has it been?  May 31, 2011 was when I caught him cheating.  The Last Straw

Four Years!  It has taken me four years, what was my problem?  It was comfortable, it was what I was used too.  I was abused and I was in no position to get out.  June 4, 2011 (An Emotional Collapse) I took away his ring.  I have held onto that ring and refused to wear mine since then.

Today I decided that I had enough of those rings just taking up space.  I don't want to see them and I refuse to wear them.  He gave me the anniversary band on our first anniversary.  Back then he bought me gifts and back then he really loved me and cared for me.  Overtime I looked at his ring I thought of our wedding and when I looked at my ring I remembered our first anniversary and how happy we were.  I can remember where we were when he gave me it.  It is burned into my mind.  The memories just make me cry now.

So I went to a local jewelry store that advertises the fact that they pay well for jewelry you don't want anymore.  I pulled into the lot and parked.  Walked into the store and was greeted nicely by a sales person.  I explained that I had some rings I had to get rid of.  I was getting divorced and they needed to be out of my life.  He chuckled and took out a scale.  He weighed them and took a breath.  Next he explained they would be scrapped, melted down and I gleefully said good, melt them, make them go away!  He apologetically looked at me and told me I could only get $XX.xx, which was more than I thought I would get.  I could have kissed him!

The deal was made and I walked out of there with one more symbol of my marriage gone and just a little bit richer.  Good thing too, because my son managed to buy things from iTunes that he should have been able too.  I swear he is gifted at spending my money.  So instead of celebrating I had to call Apple and my bank.  Get things taken care of.  Of course the bank is quick at taking my money but not so quick at returning it.

Sigh, at least those pesky rings are gone!  Now if the judge will just sign those papers and I can have my divorce party then I will finally have my closure!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Marriage Ends

The divorce papers are signed and have been sent to the courts.  Now I just need to wait for the Judge to approve them.  So much hassle to be free of him.  My goal was to get out and not financial so I didn't worry about alimony or the like.  We had no assets so the divorce is fairly simple.

I have been separated from him legally for over a year, emotionally for about four years.  Still I have to see him five nights a week for about two minutes at a time when we switch who is with the children.  The decision was made to keep the kids in one place and because we (the adults) work opposite shifts will rotate who is with the kids.

Oddly just after I signed the papers I found some CDs that held copies of photos from when the children were younger.  Photos from when we were happy.  Photos that helped me pinpoint when things began to turn.

So many memories, so many moments of our lives.  Most when we were happy, but some of tears or moments that were less than ideal.  Moments that I thought were lost, moments I had forgotten about.  Moments that have been returned to me.



I look at the photos and wonder what I would have done then if I had known what was coming.  If I had known that out days of happiness were reaching the end.  Would I have changed some of the things I did?  Would I have protected myself or my children better?


These photos started when the children were babies and I watched them grow up again.  I watched them take their first steps and their joy at holidays.  Their reactions to life, and vacations that we will never take again.  Cuts and scrapes, mud and markers on skin.  Everyday life of a family.


I witnessed things they possessed as treasures.  Things they played with in their own special way.  Bubble baths in the backyard and birthday cakes that I used to make.  I need to start making them again.  That tree we named Viviane and gave her a face.  Holes they dug in the grass.


Sports played in the backyard and in the arenas.  Some sporting events that we went to as a family.  I remembered walking around and around the arena chasing my toddlers who couldn't sit still while their father watched the game.  Mascots they met and even some players too.


That dress we bought in Disney when she was just 10 months old.  She would have gone home with Winnie the Pooh and wanted nothing to do with Grandma.  We laughed about that for years.  My son met Mickey Mouse and went swimming in the hot tub in our hotel room.

We went raspberry picking and visited local farms.  That was before he would get upset if I spent $1.00.  We visited local amusement parks that my father built rides for.  We played in the yard together.  All of us rolling on the grass and playing with the hose.  


The kids would "steal" my coffee, they still do actually.   I would pretend to chase them.  But the older they got the more he changed.  I did too, we all did.  Sadly not all the changes were for the better and many led to tears and screaming.  But so many of those photos were moments of joy.

Some of the photos made me cry.  I found wedding photos.  Photos when the marriage began.  When I was sure I met the one I would spend the rest of my life with.  When I was walking down that aisle I never thought out marriage would end with our signatures on a piece of paper.  


And so a marriage ends...


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Just When I Think It Is Almost Over...

The divorce papers are here and I am going over them with a highlighter.  Too many little things that bother me like the kids won't be able to call anyone the other other parent marries mom or dad.  Of course he didn't have any idea that was in the agreement which means that of course he didn't read it at all.

Then he tells me the car insurance is due and I need to find my own.  Reasonable, I have no problem with that.  I did have issue with him only giving me two weeks notice after I had two weeks off of work.  Christmas shopping would have been different if I had known.  My bad, I could have looked at the renewal date but I didn't.  He didn't need to over react and accuse me of trying to scam him by asking for one more month of us being not he same policy giving me time to get the money together.

He knows I make about 1/3 of what he makes.  It isn't a secret.  Of course he won't give me any money because I don't deserve it and he owes me nothing.  I need to add it to my budget and I can get it done.  I am working more but still two weeks off with no pay is a roadblock this time of year.

But then he goes the extra step of being down right mean and nasty.  Making it hurtful and abusive.  Why did I think it would be any different?  Yes, I did cover up names but changes nothing that was written.

Tonight was a winner.  He has asked me to give him a list of food to buy for the week since I make dinner for the kids.  No problem.  Of course the last two weeks he has ignored the list and the refrigerator is getting bare.  Today I got upset to find he went shopping and bought the exact same thing I made for dinner yesterday.

He may enjoy eating the same food everyday but neither I nor our children do.  With three supermarkets within 2 miles of his house there is no excuse for it.  He got upset because the food I ask for is too expensive.  Food I have asked for and he didn't get was tomato soup, cheese soup, mustard, beef rice or beef noodles, Italian or Polish sausage, bread, cheese.  These are things he usually buys.  But when I ask for them they are too expensive.

So he shows me food in the freezer.  Food I honestly have not cooked because neither I or the children like it  I assumed he bought them for him.  Sadly I may have to resort to these items since he won't buy any other food it seems.

We of course fought over the food selection tonight.  I brought it up because P complained about dinner tonight.  I wouldn't let him have anything to eat until he finished dinner so of course I am mean.  D got upset and started screaming at me because I was unreasonable in my food choices and he wasn't going to buy food that was so expensive.  I chose not to point out the food he bought was more expensive than the soup I wanted.

Then into the driveway because he pulls in every night behind my car.  Which means I can't go home until he backs out of the driveway.  There is no parking allowed at anytime in front of the house on the street.  I hate when he comes home because I have to see him and usually he isn't pleasant.  I tell myself its for the kids, they don't need to be shuffled from house to house.  We only have to see each other for 1 or 2 minutes five days a week.  We should be able to be civil to each other.  If not just don't say anything to each other.  Well only one of us seems to want those few minutes to be stress free.

Tonight he wouldn't let me close my car door.  Yes, I felt threatened.  Then he once again wished I would get hit by a car.  Isn't he so nice to me?  I asked him in a text message to let me know when he was close so I could pull out of the driveway just as he arrives.  Eliminating all physical contact between us.  He replied that he was deleting my texts without reading them.

I save every text message he sends me.  I am going to make sure we have a section of the divorce agreement allowing a no contact way for us to change who is with the children.  Having the children in one house with us moving back and forth seemed like a good idea.  They have some stability.  I work first shift and he works second shift.  On paper it seemed like it would work.

If there was no contact physically between us it would.  Funny he says he was hoping we could be friends after the divorce.  I can't see that happening with all the hostility has has towards me.  Of course he doesn't think he is hostile towards me, he says he is just brutally honest.  I really don't want to get the police involved but he is escalating and I fear I may have too.  I should have enough money to finish paying for my lawyer soon.  I hope this doesn't become a long involved battle between us.  But every time I think its almost over he goes and does something like tonight.  Sigh!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

A New Year, Will it be a Good One?


It's a New Year and a new me.  I finally have a copy of the 24 page separation/divorce agreement and expect the divorce will be final soon.  I have mixed feelings about that.  To be finally be no longer married to him will be wonderful.  Though I see him all the time.  Five days a week I have to see him because we still are parents.  Sadly almost five days a week he reminds me why I left.  He just cannot be nice I think.

This was the first New Year's without my family as it fell on a weekday.  The kids spent the day with their father and I spent it with my extended family.  We had lasagna and played Trivial Pursuit (I won) into the wee hours of the New Year.  It felt strange not to watch the ball drop without my children.  Holidays felt strange through out this year.  Without my children I just don't feel complete.

My ex makes more money than I do and is very clear that he won't give me any money.  Even when the kids were with me he refused to give me any money.  My gas tank is on empty and I have a week before payday.  I spent my last two dollars today on soup.  During the week I take care of the kids at his house.  I eat his food.  But I sleep in my own place.  Basically all that has changed is where my bed is.

I have my own place.  I could be a single mother.  But I agreed to let the kids stay in the house where their father lives so they are not moved back and forth.  Instead I am the one who moves back and forth.  Every day I go take care of them after school and work.  I make sure they have dinner and do their homework and I do it all at his house.  The house he and I used to share.  The house that his mother owns.  I never felt like it was my home.  I never was allowed to make it my own.

Here it is a New Year and I still am in that house more than I want to be and I slowly see my influence being stripped from it.  Sports teams flags have become curtains and hang from the walls.  My knick knacks have been packed and the books are slowly being moved as I find space for them.  He still resists all new books entering the house.  He still claims they have too many.  He hasn't changed.

Have I changed.  I have lost weight, so I know I have.  I am free to practice my religion the way I need to and want to finally.  I have embraced my Paganism and won't let anyone keep me from practicing it again.  I have been dating and have discovered that I never really had a good relationship with him.  I have changed.

So I have changed, I need my life to change too.  I need to feel at home with my children.  I can't do that at his place.  He doesn't want the kids to be moved.  I feel a fight coming on and our awkward stalemate will end.  I read the divorce agreement and I am not signing it as it reads.  Looks like this new year will find me meeting with a lawyer a lot.




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When I Can't Sleep I Think...

This morning a close friend and I were talking about a woman who was being abused and left her abuser and then decided to go back to him.  Her family doesn't understand, nor do most people.  I listened as I struggled to stay awake, knowing that even though I had no sleep I had to work this morning.  I listened...

On my drive to work I thought.  That is what I do when I drive alone, I listen to my music loud and I think.  Today I thought of our conversation and how I too have been abused by the man I am still married too.  I have been hurt by his words, actions and hands.  I started writing this blog in 2009 and I knew then I needed to get out.

I wrote on and off through the years.  Some readers wrote to me with encouragement, others with questions like "Why am I still with him?" or  "Why haven't I moved out?"  and similar thoughts.  Today I can say that I have left him and moved on and I have discovered the will power to stay away from him.  Yes I had friends who helped me get to this point but I had to do the work on my own.  My brain had to figure it all out.  Of course it also helps that whenever I do see him he reminds me why I left.  His words no longer have power over me though.

Today as I drove I thought of when I went back to school, got my master;s degree and something we learned; Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  My minds was wandering as I drive, but still I stayed on the road, both in thought and action.

It is shaped like a pyramid.  Physiological is the base, what we need the most.  Breathing, Food, Water, Sleep, but Sex also is there.  Why?  Because sex is good!  It is not only how we reproduce but it gives us pleasure.  People could argue that we don't NEED it after we reproduce but our bodies and mind prove them wrong over and over again.

We will do the stupidest things for sex.  We also will do some fantastic things for sex.  Sex is something our bodies need, want and desire.  How does this go back to why someone might stay with their abuser?  Sometimes it is for the sex.  Not for me.  That I can say with certainty, but I believe for others this is a reason.  Of course sometimes it is because they provide us with our food, they are in our home, where we sleep.  The base of a pyramid is a powerful place.

The next tier up is Safety.  In that tier we find Security and Safety, Family and Property are here as well.  Why would someone staying with their abuser for safety and security may sound wrong and it is.  But to the abused sometimes to them it is safe.  it is their world and they are comfortable there.  If they stop, leave, seek help or alter their world they may change so much that they are no longer safe.  The mind is a powerful thing and it can make you feel safe in an unsafe condition.

We also need our family and property.  Sometimes knowing you have to leave people or things behind is too much and we just can't do it.  Sometimes it could be your child.  This is where the relationship is cult like.  Ex cult members talk about being shunned by their family when they leave and sometimes this need for family is so strong they will return.  Sometimes the abused return to their abuser for the same reason.

Belonging is the next tier up.  We all need a place to belong and here is where I think the tipping point lies.  It is when we have a sense of belonging that we start to be able to leave our abuser.  This tier may be smaller but it is higher in the pyramid and is strong enough to give us that extra push.  But how do the abused get this feeling?  How is it stronger than Safety?

Honestly it takes one person or one life event.  It just takes one moving pebble to start a landslide.  When one person reaches out to them especially if it is at the right time they will find the strength to leave.  Then I thought, what gave me the strength to leave?  I was miserable, I hated my marriage, I knew I was abused and still I stayed.

The tipping point for me happened when my mom got hurt and my dad needed me.  He needed me, and that gave me the self-esteem to get out and not go back.  I stayed and did all I could for them even after I got so sick I couldn't take care of everyone and me.  I also took time to get to know me again.  I was not the same person who married him 17 years ago.

When my mom did die, I mourned but I had to get away to do it.  I left.  I had a chance to leave and get further away from my ex and I took it.   Some family will say I was selfish, let them!  We all mourn in our own way.  I needed to be away from my family and from my ex.  I was weak then and it would have been so easy to go back.  Instead I ran away.  And I am not sorry that I did.

I had a safe place to stay, a job I enjoyed and people near me who were good for me.  The thing I learned was when people near me were no longer good for me then it is time to move on.  No longer was I going to be caught in my mind or in my reality with someone who was not good for me.  My eyes were opened and my spirit was as well.

This year I have escaped my abuser, I found my father, lost my mother and discovered who among my family and friends had my back and who was just along for the ride.  I met new people who were life changing for me and discovered strength inside myself I never knew was there.  I left my comfort zone and moved up those tiers.  They may get smaller but their meaning grows stronger the higher up you go.

My friend, who knows the abused woman who went back to her abuser, she needs to move up her pyramid.  It won't be her family rushing in to save her, she has to be the one to move up those tiers.  Just be there to lend a hand or shoulder for support.  Hopefully her pebble will move soon, she has to be the one to move it and recognize it though.

That was my drive into work today.  I couldn't sleep so I just thought...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn is Lonely Without Her this Year



I have always loved the season of autumn.  The colors, the smells, the cooler temperatures and the sounds.  But This year, the first autumn without my mother.  I drove home from the mountains of Pennsylvania and the trees were all changing and beautiful.  When the wind blew you could see the leaves blowing around in the wind following the patters and flow.  I was driving home and about to turn on my street so excited to tell mom about it and show her the photo and then my heart sank because she wasn't there.  She would never see an autumn leaf, she would never see them blowing in the wind again and she would never jump into a leaf pile with B and P again.

In the village we live in, I know it sounds so quaint but I can see the city from my bedroom window so it is rather urban, not all the streets run straight.  Some streets wind and turn and may start at one street but have no real outlet.  Typically these are the more wealthier homes.  No joke I was riding my bicycle down one of the streets and a woman opened her front door.  Out waddled a mama duck and all her ducklings flowing her behind her.  There houses where were we wanted to trick or treat because they would often hand out full size candy bars.

My father is like me he wants to go from point A to point B and get there the fastest way possible.  A straight line was his favorite.  My mother however was led by beauty and by sights and sounds.  If she was driving we would always go down theses streets that were windy and meandered to the next busy street.  Her excuse was she had to see one tree.  I have to admit it was a beautiful tree and when autumn came its colors were spectacular,  She would often stop the car and just sit there and watch the tree.  Sometimes she would find a particularly beautiful leaf that she just had to have.

Now that mom has gone I find myself driving home that same way.  I can't remember which tree was her favorite, but I stop and spend some time with them and remember ow aggravated I was because I wanted to get home to watch TV.  now I just want to sit there and connect with my mother through our love of autumn leaves.

I am Autumn Crow.  Autumn is my favorite season and the Crow is my favorite bird.  My mother loved owls.  I am getting a tribute tattoo designed for her for might shoulder.  I want an owl, a crow and autumn leaves.  If anyone wants to try to design it for me I would love to see your artwork.

We bonded over autumn and treasure our birds.  I miss my mom and I wish she could have seen the autumn views I saw this year.  I love you Mommy and I know you are always with me.