Friday, July 29, 2011
We talked about earthquakes and how the earth's crust moves and somehow we started to talk about California, probably because that is where a lot of earthquakes occur. P asked about Tsunamis and we talked about Japan. Then back to California and we looked for photos of the San Andreas Fault. That is why I love exploring the world with postcards. We start at Ticonderoga and go to California and Japan. They ask the questions and lead the way, I just follow and fill in the blanks.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I can feel the build up hours before the explosion. I know that it is coming and I do my best to avoid it. I remove myself from things that can increase the build up. I meditate and ground myself. I try to relax and try to keep it from getting worse. However as the day continues, more and more little things add to it. I sometimes know it is happening, but other times it just quickly builds without me not knowing why.
Today I could feel it. I know part of it is two of my children's friends. I get so nervous when they are here because one of them got hurt at another friends house and they are now being sued by these children's mother. Whenever they are here I am hyper vigilant and do my best to keep them supervised. But watching four children, two older boys and two younger girls can be difficult when they don't want to play together. It isn't like a school setting where they are in a classroom and in a regulated structured day.
Sometimes the boys go in a bedroom or in the basement, while the younger girls are painting in the kitchen. Other times one pair is inside and one pair is outside. I am sure I will figure out how to supervise them better. But today I think that is what started the pressure build up today. Then the little things added to it.
Once they went to bed I could take my meds. Luckily this is not something that happens often and 99% of the time only majorly effects me at the end of the day. I feel better now.
My soon to be ex did not react well when he found out how far away this position was. Oddly when I checked the milage it is about as far away as his job is and that isn't a problem. He already was in a bad mood because we had to give the car back to my brother. They don't have a car for a few days and even though our car is near the end of its life it still runs. It made sense to give them back the car for a couple of days until they too had reliable transportation. Then he must be realizing that an option I have since I want a divorce is to move. It is a free feeling to know I can apply anywhere for a job and move closer to the job once I am hired.
He starts to tell me that he isn't telling me no I can't take the job (Like I would let him have that power over me anymore?) but I probably shouldn't. I do understand how he doesn't seem to understand that there is no we anymore. Sometimes I have a hard time with it. There are long stretches of time that I can almost believe things might be okay, then he acts like himself again and I remember. I know he is trying to control what job I accept and where I work.
The facility is beautiful and in a country setting. The interior is pristine and calm. The classrooms are open and designed for the children to be able to move around comfortably. No other classrooms I have ever seen have been this open. They also have a the entrance designed to provide the children with a safe secure environment. So please wish me luck and send some positive energy that I get this job.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
On the way back, just steps away from my house I bumped into one of my neighbors. Her son had a birthday party earlier in the day and my son and daughter were there. B came home and the boys had a sleepover in a tent in her backyard. My neighbor and I talked and enjoyed the cool breeze. It was a about 1:30 am and she told me the boys had finally gone to sleep at midnight. P had a blast and was very well behaved. We both mentioned how we wished it would really rain. The drizzle was nice but we really needed a good soaking rain. We got what we wished for sooner than we thought.
I said goodnight to her and finally went home. I had walked almost 3 miles in less than an hour, I was ready to call it a night. We (my husband and I) had watched our TV shows earlier. I don't even know why we watch America's Got Talent together anymore. He is more like Piers and I am more like Sharon and Howie. He get so upset when anyone appears to be a homosexual, I just get upset if the act is awful. Seriously what does it matter if they are straight, gay, or transgendered. It is a talent show. I loved that the male pole dancer made it through, he was so upset and almost offended. He was asleep on the couch and I took my laptop upstairs to bed. Just then the rain started. It was a glorious sound and the breeze was wonderful. I woke him up to tell him that it was raining and it was possible that P would come home during the night because of the rain.
I was right. As soon as I got settled upstairs I heard the door open and close. My son was soaked to the skin and so upset. From what I gathered the tent leaked and his pillow and blanket were wet. If a pillow of mine can't be used or even a blanket I can use another one. He however is particular. He has a specific blanket and pillow that he uses. He knows the difference between them and look a likes. I am sure it is the aspie in him. We managed to find him substitutes and promised his blanket and pillow would be ready for him in the morning.
To me the rain was a relief to him the rain interrupted his sleepover and made his night a disaster. The temperature tonight when I walked was in the 80's now it is in the low 70's. I made myself a nice cool glass of ice tea and enjoyed a comfortable temperature to sleep in for the first time in weeks. For P I made a cup of hot chocolate and a hot bath. He needed hugs and kisses. Of course in all the madness B woke up and as I type this is lying on my back. She is amazed that I am typing all of this so quickly. I need her to sleep so I can sleep. I am pick them up an art easel in the morning. I love freecycler. I hope it is in good shape, this will give them each a way to color and paint, hopefully keeping it off my walls and ceiling.
The rain has finally stopped and the breeze is still cool. I am trilled that it rained and my son is still very sad. We both experienced the same rain, just two houses apart. Two points of view and two very different stories.
Friday, July 22, 2011
I pulled up to the building on time. I took a deep breath and went inside. It was nap time. The music was peaceful and calming, no sounds of children whatsoever. It was dark and after a short wait I met the owner of the facility. She went over my resume, I filled out a job application and we talked. I wasn't nervous, it was going well I thought. Then she brought up what the position was. She needed a part time worker for the infant room. Not exactly what I prepared for. The job itself is something I would enjoy, and if I had prepared for it like I prepared for a teaching position I think the rest of the interview would have gone better.
I may have been a bit unprepared but if I get the job I will gladly take it. I love infants and since I am not having anymore of my own this will help me get my baby fix. I do well with bottles and I am a pro at changing diapers. It may not be what I went to graduate school for but I am sure it will be wonderful. The facility was beautiful and there was such a nice peaceful feel to it.
Then of course I had to come home. I almost didn't, my new car is more air conditioned than my house. Of course it also doesn't help that I knew he would be home. The kids were visiting Grammy so it would be just him and I. I did manage to wrangle an errand for him to run so I had a little me time. I went outside and started rereading one of my favorite books, Insomnia by Stephen King.
The day wouldn't be all rainbows and puppy dogs. My soon to be ex promised to take the kids to a local carnival/festival. They have been looking forward to this all week. Then P stretched out his feet and tipped a fan (not turned on) a small amount. My husband went ballistic. You would have thought that our son had committed a major offense. He announced that he wouldn't be going tonight and he started to cry. The yelling didn't stop. Them B started crying saying that she didn't want to go without her brother. He wouldn't stop yelling and wouldn't listen to me when I tried to calm everyone down.
I thought he might still take the kids, it is a once a year event and what P did certainty didn't warrant him missing it. I casually asked if he wanted to use my camera to take photos, trying to find out what was going on and again he insisted that they weren't going. This is a pattern with him. If he doesn't want to do something with the kids or even me he waits for any little thing that he doesn't like and over reacts. He announces that he isn't going to do it and often will storm off. This time I called him out on it.
I made one mistake, my safe place in the house is my upstairs bedroom. I go there when I need to remove myself from the situation. For the second time he followed me up and continued to scream at me about how he doesn't overreact to get out of doing things. I was cornered and had to listen to him. He went back to his name calling and called me a fat lazy slob. The downstairs has been pretty well picked up and now he is upset that my room is cluttered. No matter what I do there is always something more that he wants me to do.
He knows it hurts when he calls me names and that is why he does it. He has to feel like he is in control. Finally he went back downstairs and I guess he changed his mind because they are at the festival. My daughter told me she would win me a prize. He didn't even tell me that he was going. I took my meds and am enjoying the peace right now.
When he gets home I will go for my walk, alone tonight. I need to mentally relax and focus. I need this job so I feel productive again. The money would be helpful too. I should hear from them on Monday. I think my stomach will be a bundle of nerves this weekend. The kids have a birthday party tomorrow, meaning more time alone with him. Funny how that used to be something I looked forward to. Now the thought of it fills me with dread.
Updated - they are home and immediately he complained loudly about money. I get it we don't have a lot. I know we have to pay bills. But to take the kids out to a festival he knew he would have to spend money (just like on a birthday party) and to complain that he spent the money in front of the kids is not a good idea. Then he yelled at me because I reminded him that he isn't supposed to take my car to work. My parents specifically said the car was for for my use only. The flood gates opened and he yelled again about money. The same things he had already said. This time he didn't follow me upstairs.
I only need to find a place to live now assuming that I get this job. I am looking forward to the last time I walk out the door and can get away from him.
I focused on Katrina and New Orleans. We talked about how the city was actually lower than sea level and they build levees around the city to help keep the water out. We found Louisiana on the map and zoomed in on New Orleans. We watched videos of what happened after Katrina and tied it in to some of the TV shows they have seen where people helped rebuild some of the houses. They were amazed at the photos of the flooding and we talked about what a hurricane is.
P had a bit of an idea of what a hurricane was, but didn't understand how large they are and how they work. He thought the eye did all the damage. We looked at photos of hurricanes taken from space and paid attention to how big they were compared with states. We watched videos of what it was like to be in a hurricane and talked about how dangerous they could be.
When I told them they usually form in the tropics where it it is hot and the water is very warm he did get concerned. Where we are like in many areas of the country we are under a "Dome of Heat". Now compared with temperatures found in the tropics or states that in the southern or south western parts of the United States this is nothing. But to a little boy who doesn't adapt very well to change this is HOT!!!
First thing in the morning he used to want to go outside and play. Now both my children camp on the couch fighting to be closest to the air conditioner. When he has had enough of inside and has tortured his sister enough he plays outside. We don't have a pool, but do we have a sprinkler, basically a hose with small holes poked in it. That isn't good enough for him in this weather. He turns the regular hose on sits in the backyard. Then he just puts it over his head and has a cold shower in the backyard. Too bad my camera was charging when he was doing this.
I have my clothes picked out for my job interview tomorrow. I have a portfolio made of my lessons that I have taught. I have my route picked out and now I have a car to get me there. I dread putting on nylons and pray that my hair still looks okay by the time I get there. I almost want to just get there early and find a close place to style my hair for the interview. Now I am starting to get the butterflies and I hope that I can manage to get some sleep tonight.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Why even though I know how awful he can be, and I know he can be very mean and not understand any point of view that is not his own does my heart still skip a beat sometimes when I look at him. He is applying for a job with better hours at several places this week. To help make a good impression he dressed up in a suit to drop off the applications. I didn't expect my reaction. He looked good and I was drawn to him. I didn't tell him how seeing him all dressed up made me feel. I tried not to look at him for too long. I didn't want to be sucked back in again. Just because he looked really good on the outside doesn't mean his insides changed. I feel like I passed a test. I can resist him.
Our daughter also felt that Daddy looked good. She asked him to dress like that all the time. She is only six and already starting to notice men and how they look. She told me tonight that a dancer we were watching on TV (Pasha on "So You Think You Can Dance" was hot, Mommy agreed by the way). So of course she liked the suit that Daddy was wearing. P still likes to play in the mud so he didn't really like the suit, it was not good for mud playing.
Tomorrow I finally get my own car, thanks to my parents and I have my first job interview for a teaching position on Friday. It is part time, only for the hours 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm, but while my soon to be ex has his awful night shift these are the best hours for me during the summer. I don't need to find day care for the kids and better yet because those are the hours I would normally be in contact with my husband I would see him almost not at all. For me that is ideal.
Taking our nightly walks makes the children tired enough to go to sleep quickly. That means I can go to sleep earlier so this week I have been more rested. I think that helped my mood this week too. Hopefully I can get this job so I can start setting aside money to move. That is the last thing I need to fall in place. I can see a light at the end of this tunnel, I hope that I keep getting close to it. I just have to keep away from him when he cleans up and puts on a suit.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tonight my daughter picked the route we took. My son was crushed, he wanted to. We started off in her direction of choice and my son was in tears. He was inconsolable, not even knowing that tomorrow he could pick the route helped. Then all of a sudden a white blur ran past us and stopped. It was Butterscotch and he apparently wanted to accompany us again tonight. P's tears stopped and they were replaced with laughter. Pets are wonderful for children with asperger's (neurotypical children too of course). Our pats really help P with his social skills, especially when he is their caretaker. He no longer was upset that he couldn't pick the direction of the walk. He was in caretake mode and made sure that Butterscotch was safe, away from the street, while he followed us.
The four of us made it almost all the way around the big block and were back in territory we knew Butterscotch was familiar with. Of course that was when Butterscotch decided to go his own way. There is a book called "All Cats Have Aspergers" and I think that is a very good description of how their brains work. P seemed to understand that Butterscotch could find his way home from where we were. He and Butterscotch seem to understand each other. So we made it back to our house and there were no worries.
So as we completed our walk we were followed by our beloved pet. He trotted after us pausing every so often to explore. As soon as he realized that we were getting too far away from us he ran after us. Some of our neighbors thought it was so cute to see our cat staying with us on our walk. He was very warm when we got home. The poor boy was panting like a dog and I think he drank a whole bowl of water when he came inside. Once again he has parked himself on the back of our couch conveniently directly in front of the air conditioner and is asleep. If I didn't know better I would think he was a puppy.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Our journey from the west coast to east coast concluded and we ventured outside for our evening walk. As we walked around the neighborhood we talked about other places we would like to get postcards from. P recalled that we have not had any postcards from Australia or Africa. Yikes, I need to get busy and find some people who live there.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I lived there for 355 days. Finally I called and asked for my parents to hep me move back back home. The time I spent in that small town was a pivotal time of my life. Oddly enough it was that move back to my home town that allowed me to meet my husband. It was walking that brought me back to life enough to ask to come back home. Walking in the still of the night listening to the sounds of the crickets and breathing in the fresh country air.
Walking is something I have been craving lately, walking at night, specifically. The problem with that is it is me and the kids at night. One parent, with no way to walk at night without hiring a babysitter for the kids. I thought about getting a treadmill, that would let me walk but it is being outside at night that is my magic. I am a night owl and I need a way to get the outdoors at night back into my life.
Finally this weekend I figured it out. Why hadn't I figured this out before? I took the kids with me. We watched a movie after Daddy left for work. When the movie was over we ventured out into the night. The sun had just set and the air was much cooler than it was earlier in the day. The kids were thrilled. I don't know if it was because I was going for a walk with them or if they thought they were cheating on bedtime, but they were so happy.
We smelled a skunk, luckily the scent was fading. As we walked my daughter was fascinated by the colored lights in front of many of the houses. We wound our way around the neighborhood and listened to the crickets, sadly there were no fireflies. P found a broken hockey stick blade and carried his treasure with him for the rest of the walk. He discovered that if he flicked a broken thin piece of wood on the blade that he could make music.
My daughter became the crossing guard. She protectively would put her arm up to keep us from going into the street until she declared it safe. We still need to work on how far away a car needs to be to be a risk for crossing streets. She would keep us from crossing the street if she saw a car 5 or 6 blocks away. She got a lot of practice tonight with all the streets we crossed.
We came back around the curve and saw the house. Our cat Butterscotch greeted us with a meow and trotted up to us. We all went back into the house and we went through our normal bedtime routine. I ask each one to share with me something good that happened today and something they didn't like. We talk about anything that worries them or anything they need to talk to me about. Then the usual hug and kiss and off to bed. A bonus tonight, which I am sure resulted from the night time walk was they both went right to bed and fell asleep easily.
I felt wonderful after the walk and I hope we can continue doing this almost every night. I sent out more job applications yesterday and keep looking for a place to move to. The car my parents had fixed up for me so I could get out ASAP and would have transportation when I found a place to move too instead went to my brother. They are looking for another car for me. I keep looking for a job and a place I can afford that is safe or my children. I am on a waiting list for free attorney service to get the divorce. Everything is in motion and now so am I.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Daddy eventually came home and instantly the stress level in the house increased. Of course he was upset that I spent the money he gave me today for food. The horror, I actually bought food with it, how dare I? Since we couldn't go to the drive in movie we watched a late movie snuggled together on the couch as daddy snored. I wonder where our next postcards will take us?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
So I made rainbow pancakes. Of course B wanted pink pancakes and P decided on blue, I made green for me and daddy was boring, he didn't want any color. He just wanted ordinary pancakes. I can't remember a time when both kids ate all their food and asked for seconds. I did end up making some black pancakes at the end when I mixed all three colors together. They tasted pretty good too.
Things to remember when making rainbow chocolate chip pancakes
1. The chocolate chips hide at the bottom of the bowl and need to be encouraged to be in every pancake.
2. Hide the pancake plate with made pancakes on it or they will mysteriously disappear. Coincidently the children will get mystery chocolate streaks on their face. Spooooooky!!!!
3. Pink pancakes seem to disappear the fastest.
3. Don't try to get grumpy boring dads to add color to their pancakes, they can get quite loud.
4. Make extra, you will need them.
Dinner is over and I managed to save one dollar this week to buy fudge swirled ice cream for snack tonight. For a Thursday the day turned out okay, though there are still a few hours left.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The kids are really good at identifying local landmarks and geographical locations. I am going to have to start identifying new things as we start our journey to where our postcards come. Maybe next time I will have them pick a place they would be interested in seeing as a starting point. My daughter tonight asked to see Disney World on Google Maps and we found it, it isn't as impressive from above. I wonder where they will want to start from?
For the last couple nights my dreams have not only been vivid, they have been upsetting. I don't want to call them nightmares but they were pretty close. I have dreamt that I forgot to take two classes that I needed for my Master's Degree so that's why I still don't have my diploma (When they said 6-8 weeks they meant 8-10 weeks I think.
The one dream that stands out is that I went out for the evening and I was in a museum. I saw a friend from another state there and we spent the night having fun. I don't know why the museum was open so late but it was. Then when I left I lost my car, someone i knew offed to take me home but he turned out to be a criminal and kidnapped me. I got away and knew I had to get home, I realized that the kids were home alone and I needed to get back to them. Remember this was just a dream and I have never left my kids home alone. No matter what I did I couldn't get home. I was panicking and then I woke up.
Last nights dream was equally unusual. Sadly I don't remember any details, but it was like watching a movie. I woke up once again with an uneasy feeling and it stayed with me all day. I think in the morning I could recall some of the dream. I am sure they are because of all the things bothering me and the divorce.
This year I spend half that amount on her party. I ran the party games and worked to have the kids make their own pizza's. I stayed up all night baking the cake and cupcakes and made sure to buy the minimal items I needed for it. He still thinks I spent too much and thinks I should have only spent $50 at the most. That is less than the cost of the food I used at the party. Boxed cake mix, Store brand pizza dough and toppings, and fruit that was so inexpensive I can't remember the last time I bought berries for such a low price.
So once again I am up late and know I need to sleep, I have a busy day tomorrow. I also don't want to sleep, what will my dream bring to me tonight?
Monday, July 11, 2011
It is my husband who makes birthday parties at our house difficult. He knows they are coming and he nows that money will be spent on the supplies for the party. For my son's first birthday party I went all out. I bought invitations, plates, napkins, cups and all sorts of decorations that all matched. I even got him a t-shirt in the same design. I spent too much money an learned my lesson. I have not ever spent as much on a party again.
Still party supplies to cost something. Once I suggested we buy some inexpensive plastic dishes like one of his aunt's uses, but they cot too much money so he decided that we wouldn't go that route. So every birthday party we have he gets upset. I buy the disposable party items at the dollar store. I spend as little as possible.
This year instead of buy the overpriced cake from the grocery store I made my own, the boxed mixes I bought with frosting was half the cost of the store bought cake. Instead of ordering pizza I bought the supplies to make it at home again for less than what the pizza would cost. Instead of pop I bought kool-aid type packets 8/$1.00. I even washed out pop bottles to hold the kool-aid type drinks instead of getting another pitcher, we only have one.
I told him what I needed to buy and about how much it would cost. I did all I could to avoid the inevitable and of course the inevitable happened. This time it came in two waves. First was on Friday when I bought the bulk of the items I needed. As soon as I walked in the door he attacked and was mad that I spent too much money. I knew it was coming and he didn't disappoint me.
Finally at 2 am he comes home and does help. Not exactly the way I wanted things but sometimes you have to take what you get. The giant cupcake was baked, I made strawberry mousse to put inside the hollow center. All the regular and mini cupcakes were made, though my mini cupcake wrappers were too big for my mini cupcake pan. Why are there different size mini cupcake wrappers and pans? Don't they know that sometimes moms are baking at 2 am and can't run to the store to get different mini sized items?
I woke up after too few hours of sleep and immediately went to work on the party. I put the files on my thumb drive that I needed printed for the party and got out a piece of poster board, yes I happen to have poster board lying around and I have no idea why. I came downstairs to frost the cupcakes and my husband is GONE. My son happily hands me a breakfast sandwich and has no idea where daddy is. Once again he left without letting me know the kids were not being supervised.
I call him and he just left the grocery store, no he didn't think to ask if I needed anything for the party, why did I need more, wasn't I ready. True I usually have everything I need by the day of the party but there was a sale on fruit and I knew one of the guests didn't eat pizza, so I wanted to make a fruit salad to give her something to eat.
When he got home I went out to finish up my shopping, I knew I was in trouble because he was already mad at me for over spending. Still I needed these items, I wasn't going to let a guest not eat anything. Again I looked for the best prices and I found strawberries for $1.69 and raspberries for only $1.99. Those are amazing prices. I didn't even get into the dining room before he yelled. There is less than 2 hours before the party and I had so much to do. Of course he storms out of the house and drives away. I should have known better.
I got the cake filled and frosted, frosted it and about half the cupcakes. Luckily my sons friends stopped by and actually asked me if I needed any help. My saviors!!! They set up the tables outside and got the backyard picked up. I couldn't have gotten ready without them, I let them stay for the party to keep my son company.
I looked at the clock and there was less than 45 minutes until the party started. I had loot bags to fill, I had bingo boards to cut out, I had kool-aid like drinks to make, I had a fruit salad to make, AAARRRRGGGGGGGG!!!! So I called him and asked him to come back to help me get his daughter's party ready, he hung up on me. Almost in tears I called my brother to beg him to come early to help. Thankfully he said he would. I love my brother, not just for this. He has often been a huge help to me and I hope I have returned all his favors over the years.
Finally my husband came back and grudingly assisted me during the party. I had to ask him do almost everything he did, I don't think he knew what needed to be done. One of the things I asked him was to bring the cake outside. I was helping the kids make pizza and I heard a plop and he screamed. I turned around to see the cake and half of the cupcakes on the floor. He is upset at himself and I ask him to takeover the pizza so I can try to fix the cake. Just then my daughter comes in and sees her cake in pieces in our hands. She runs upstairs in tears.
I bought extra frosting (an unessesary expense and one of the things he yelled at me on Friday) so I opened it up grabbed a knife and used it as glue to piece the giant cupcake back together. I had extra cupcakes so I put cherries on top of them and put them around the cake, it wasn't perfect but it was much better. My daughter came back down and the party resumed.
Finally the parents arrived to reclaim their children. I had a moment to breathe and I surveyed the remains of the party. My parents got there in time to get some of the last remnants of the fruit salad. They also missed all the organized chaos of the party, I think they planned their arrival quite well. They too got ready to leave with unfrosted cupcakes that I didn't get chance to get to. I waled them to the car and then the other Grammy shows up. I was in such a good mood too.
So now I have to get my daughter back outside for my MIL. There was cake, frosting and cherries on the kitchen floor from the cake incident. Bingo boards all over the living room floor and pizza fixings spread all over the kitchen countertop. I did not want her in the house to find more fault in how I do things.
We acted like we loved each other and she finally left without stepping foot in the house. I tore down the decorations and put away the tables. I came inside and sat down on the couch and I think I would have fallen asleep if I didn't have two children arguing over one my daughters gifts. He wanted to use it and she didn't want him too. Ah, the familiarity of sibling rivalry. My children were back.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
So I took a deep breath and had a conversation with my son that I don't think any parent is prepared for. He knows that my son has Asperger's and I know we discussed the obsessions that my son has. Did he use my son's Aspie obsessions to lure him? Did this man ever take photos of my son? Was there ever any "bad" contact between my son and this father?
In response to my questions my son had a puzzled face, he very rarely has any contact with this family, even though the boys are in the same grade at the same school. He thankfully replies no to my questions and we talk about good touches and bad touches and what to do if an adult ever tries to touch your private parts or wants you to touch theirs. We talk about how if an adult wants to take photos, any photos, of him they need my permission. These are things we have talked about before but I felt the need for a refresher course.
Then he asks if he can go around the block, of course I reply without thinking. He is off and I realize he is going to go right past that house. The house where that father is being monitored by electric equipment. How would that stop him from hurting a child? It only lets the police know where he is. If he leaves his house how long will it take the police to respond?
This is the talk of the neighborhood moms, I even ventured out of the familiarity of my house to visit several houses. Honestly it was a wonderful feeling to be involved in the community. It isn't like we never see each other or talk, it just doesn't seem to be that often. It is me, I have a hard time trusting people, especially people I barely know. But today we all bonded and worried about our children. Today we were united.
Then later one mom and I were talking about my impending divorce. Because we had been talking about abuse and what this father did or allegedly did I opened up a bit to her. She knows us both and has been encouraging me to forgive him. I mentioned how he talks to me and how he treats me. I told her about the spitting and the few times that he hit me. I told her about the names he calls me and how he does it in front of our children. After all of this she thought it would be a good idea to leave the kids in his care so they could be in the same school district and be around their friends. Then when I was settled to try to get custody.
Can't she see that abuse is abuse? Just moments before we were worried about this other father's children and what kind of damage has been done to them living in that house. If they had to encounter or deal with the horrors that their father encouraged and enjoyed? Then when I reveal what happens behind our closed doors her idea is that I should keep the children in that environment.
His mother thinks it is my fault, my friend down the road thinks I should forgive him. Even my own parents have encouraged us to seek counseling. Though my parent's don't know everything he has done. They don't want to know and I am not going to tell them if they are unwilling to listen. They have been very supportive and are not in denial, they just don't want details. I am in counseling, he refuses. I know I need to get out and I have the resolve to do it.
Our two houses are just yards apart as the crow flies. Both fathers have sons the same age. Both fathers have done horrible things. We moved out of "The City" for a better environment to raise our children in. I hope my next move gets us closer to that environment. I need to know that what happens behind my closed doors will be a safe environment for my children to grow up in.
We did find all these places on the map and we are learning to navigate quite easily in Google Maps. I even found a way to place pins to show where we received postcards from. By only using Google Maps and being able to place pins as we find the locations is going to make this a much easier project and something the children will be able to easily use.
I wonder where our next windows on the world will come from. The best thing about exploring the world through postcards is that there are so many different postcards out there for places all over the world. Even if we get postcards from the same place the odds are that the images on them and the information they contain are different. It also is a nice project to do together as a family.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Once upon a time I lived on my bed. I curled up in a ball and hid away from the world. The house was a disaster and it got worse, I had no ambition and was a lump. If I had to do something I could act the part, but as soon as I could I retreated back into the safety of my bed. I was defeated and ready to quit.
But I didn't. I stopped my spiral towards the darkness and fought back. I started reaching out for help and I found out who cared about me and who I needed to get away from. As much as I hated being forced to move, it was a good thing. The agony of watching most of my possessions being thrown away when I was promised they would be safe until the weekend, did almost break me. I let it go as best I could.
My house remains cluttered at times and other times it is pristine, it reflects me. So many changes and so many improvements, but still I am not perfect. I do the best I can and with time will improve. If life were black and white two years ago it would have been black. Today in my mind it is white. I see the improvements, I know the struggles and I know what changes have been made.
In his eyes, in the eyes of those close to him however I never left the black. I am still a failure and I have not changed. It doesn't matter who much I have improved, I am far away from the white. They can't see any improvement and they only see the negative.
Of course life isn't black and white, there is a lot of gray, It is in those shades of grey that I dwell. I am better than I was, but not as good as I could be. I work to improve and I struggle every day to be better. When my moods shift back towards the darkness I fight to move towards the light.
In time the clutter too will fade away, but it will take time. I am who I am and I am where I am, that can't be changed in a moment. He says he grew up, he says I am a failure. I say that I am me and if you don't like it then walk away. I am starting to walk away, I don't like who he is and it hurts.
Then after all of the chaos, after all of the lies and all of the pain he looks at me and reminds me that "We still are on one". It is what he would say to me when we began, it was full of love and hope. Now it is full of woe and dread. I am done with these shades of gray and am going to find the color.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The closer it got to the time to leave to more anxiety I felt. They were so excited though. I couldn't let my anxiety keep them from watching the fireworks. So I made the Kool-aid and we loaded up into the car. It was just me and the kids, off to face the trials and tribulations of our firework display.
Every year we have gone as a family of four. My husband drove and made the decisions about where we parked and where we sat and what we did. This year he had to work and it was all up to me. So instead of making the left turn where he always turns I went straight. I turned finally when we got to the canal and I saw that my destination parking lot was full. Then I saw the bridge that goes over the canal, and it was traffic free. I think I heard the choir of angels sing when the thought came to me. Cross the bridge, they said.
As I crossed the bridge I noticed some people had set up chairs and were facing where the fireworks would be coming from. Brilliant I thought!!! The view was ideal. Just after I crossed the bridge to my right was a parking lot with visible spaces to park in. I was thrilled.
Now as we crossed the bridge and I let the kids think it was their idea to watch fireworks from the bridge by talking about the amazing view they saw our local donut bakery and snacks were decided upon. So we avoided the supermarket with the long lines. Donut holes were purchased and back to the bridge we went.
It was the family to the right that my children bonded with. The boy sitting next to my son was mentally handicapped. My son didn't even notice, he didn't notice that he looked different and the two of them talked to each other like they had been friends for years. I was so proud! While the fireworks were being launched I found the two of them more interesting to look at. It was magical.
By the time the display ended and my daughter was applauding after every explosion the brilliance of our location became even more clear. We said goodbye to our neighbors and walked back to our car. We got there in less than five minutes. Then after we loaded in and were all buckled up I pulled into the street, there was no traffic! I knew where the traffic jams were every year, the three main roads would be like a parking lot, so instead of turning right and heading directly into traffic hell I went straight, I went to the next main road that crossed the creek. It was a little further to get home because of the detour, but I bypassed all the traffic.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sometime in the last few decades The Forth of July expanded. It became a multi-day event. Fireworks were now on more than one night. Carnivals that used to just be rides and amazing food now had fireworks every night. Awesome!!! We would see fireworks on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The Fourth always had the best display of course. But still the other days were nice to go see.
It has been like that for years. I have grown accustom to the being able to see fireworks for days before the Fourth. If on the Forth we are at a family picnic and watching local displays from a distance and only being able to see the high ones and missing the feeling of the BOOMS in our chests, I know we can catch a display the night before so we done't miss the experience.
So I of course expected it to be like that this year. My husband has to go to work on the Fourth this year. The company he works for doesn't seem to follow the same schedule as the rest of the world. They gave him the third of July off and scheduled him to come into work at 6 pm on the Forth. No problem we thought we could adjust. Instead of watching fireworks on the Forth we would go on the third.
This year the third is on a Sunday and assumed because it was the weekend and the third that we could find a local firework display. We could have gone on Saturday but my son and husband went to the movies (because the local movie theater decided not to show a Sensory Friendly Movie that morning which made me very upset). So of course we thought we would see fireworks on Sunday night. We were wrong.
Oddly enough we could have seen fireworks on Saturday night. We of course could also watch them on the night of the Forth. Other areas in the area, which are a bit of a drive for us, did have fireworks on Sunday, but nothing near us. In fact a local park has them on the 2nd and the 4th, specifically avoiding fireworks on the 3rd. So I have to take the kids to see the fireworks alone on the Forth.
The idea of taking them alone terrifies me. I do not like being in crowds. That is an understatement. They overwhelm me and overload me. There is too much noise and too much energy. I can feel the people around me. We all can do it, we all have a bubble of personal space around us and at times we all have felt our personal space invaded. In a crowd I feel like my personal space is being bombarded. The closest way to describe it is like when a sprinkler rains water down on you. The local park is also a narrow strip of land next to a river so it is very crowded over a small area of space.
Then of course I worry about the kids running off, I worry about someone running off with the kids, I worry about them falling into the river, The only thing I don't worry about is them getting run over. The local police block off all traffic from getting anywhere near the park. This of course means that there are no close parking spots and that there will be a long walk t the very crowded park. We have to carry our blanket, our refreshments, and things to entertain the children. We need things to entertain the children because the only way to get an area large enough to spread out your blanket with a decent view of the sky between the trees of the park is to get there hours before the fireworks begin.
After we have been there for hours and have gone crazy trying to keep an eye on the children who have grown bored of the things we have brought with us to entertain us and are about ready to scream at the top of our lungs because they have spilled the chips and gotten Kool-aid all over the blanket. The people who brought their dog to the park are ignoring his barking and now my daughter is scared. The couple on the other side of us has decided to show everyone near-by how much they lust after each other. Someone else is throwing a frisbee and it hits me in the head. Now the people selling the stupid glowing toys walks by and the kids "Will just die" if we don't buy them for them. We know they won't last the week but we buy them shut the kids up and start to pray that the sun sets so the fireworks will start.
Finally the BOOM announcing the start of the show sounds and the crowd grows quiet. The display is beautiful and colorful. The kids love it and are oooing and ahhing. Car alarms are going off all around us because the fireworks are setting them off. We are close enough to the launch site that we can smell the powder as they launch. Then all too soon the display peaks with the finale and then all is quiet. People wait just in case there are a few straggler fireworks that are manually set off because they didn't launch when they were supposed to.
Everyone else has gotten to their cars and we all want to leave the area at the same time. Streets are still blocked off, routes we are used to taking are closed and traffic is at a standstill. People are honking their horns, they must know that it won't help but it gives them something to do. Some people are yelling at the other cars to encourage them to move, again it does not help. A drive that normally takes less than three minutes now can take over a half hour.
This is why I am terrified of taking the kids to watch the fireworks alone on the Forth. I briefly considered having us all ride our bicycles. But I don't think my daughter will be able to get all the way home. Then what do I do? I can't carry her, all our things, her bicycle and mine. Walking is not an option, neither one will be able to get all the way home.
My husband suggested calling his mother to have her bring the kids. Over my dead body! She already thinks I am a horrible mother and wife, I don't want her thinking that I don't want to take my own kids to watch the fireworks.
I will get over my fear and I will take them to watch the fireworks. Somehow I will manage not to buy the overpriced glowing crack like toys. I will get all of us through the crowd without going crazy. I will get us home slowly and not snap. The Forth of July madness will be over and life will return to our version of normal. Still I wonder why local parks had fireworks on Saturday and Monday.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Now please don't get me wrong, I love my children and we have fantastic conversations. Though there are times when I wouldn't mind skipping a conversation about Planet Pink or how wonderful the television show "So Random" is. I crave another adult to talk to.
Even though there is another adult who lives in the house our conversations are usually the length of a sentence or two. If I try to go beyond that he gets upset. Of course if the conversation is about a topic he is interested in like hockey it can go on for hours. Other times the conversation is very close to what it is like talking with the children. Sometimes I want to discuss world events or maybe even a topic that I enjoy.
Maybe that is why I enjoy debates on Facebook. I have been known to speak up on events that I feel passionately about on Facebook. I speak my mind when it comes to such volatile subjects like religion and basic civil rights. The ironic thing is that once I was so locked in a shell that I rarely ever spoke in public or had my own point of view. I guess I have changed in the last 30 years.
Here my only tie to the outside world and adult conversation is via the internet. I used to be able to talk on the phone, but then I had children. So I either have bits and pieces of a conversation or conversations, which sadly are better, with my children. I need to get out of the house more often and mingle.
I am going to have to make it a mission to get out and talk with other adults at least once a week. I fear I am turning into an agoraphobic person. It is so easy to stay in the house and be alone. I can watch movies on cable, I have the internet and many places will deliver food. It would be so easy to just hide away from the world.
I think the only thing keeping me from being housebound is that I need to talk face to face with people. It is something I value and I need to re-prioritize parts of my life so I can have more adult conversations.