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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost Days

I have good days and bad days. I also have days where I know will lead to a bad day. Sometimes I can overcome and keep the bad days from happening. Sometimes no matter what I do the bad day strikes with such venom that I almost want to give up. Almost! Today is one of those days. Maybe I should call them almost days.

My body is tired, my muscles just want to sleep. I can feel it in my arms and legs. I know I use sleep as an escape. When my time with him gets too difficult I get away fro it by hiding in my room and sleeping. I hate when I do it, I know it is wrong, I know it is taking an easy way out. I could do so many different things, but I don't. I lose this way but still I do it.

I look at my room and it is wreck. Why? Because I gave up. How many times can a person hear they are worthless, lazy and useless before they start to live it? I lost count. He still pins all the blame of everything wrong in our home and life with me. Today he told me that I started this, my actions led to all the things I hate in this marriage. I almost believed him. Almost!

I was awake all last night. I have had a lot on my mind. I have had many job interviews and still no job. I thought I had a job and the offer was withdrawn. Whenever I get close to getting out back I fall into this horrible marriage. I am still on the waiting list for legal council. I still have no place to move too. I still have no job to support myself and my children. I have tried to get what I need done to be able to get out and seemingly failed every time.

I should have realized that if I was awake all night, I would be tired all day. I didn't. I fell asleep in the morning and started the mistakes of the day. He woke me up not even two hours into my sleep, I asked for 15 more minutes. Such an innocent request, not unlike ones both of us have asked the other many times in the last 16 years. Today however he heard it and snapped. Not with violence, he hasn't physically struck out at me since he knows I will not be silent about it. He lashed out once again with words.

It was like I had flipped a switch from ordinary to venom. He swore and called me names and said horrible things. I was so tired that I fell back asleep assuming that because he was so mad he would wake me up again in minutes and I would move downstairs and find away to wake up and focus on life.

I was wrong. I have no idea what happened, but the next thing I knew it was time for him to leave for work. I had slept through the entire day. He again was lashing out at me with his words. I know I made a mistake. I know I should have woken up and let him sleep. But he also made a mistake. He could have tried to wake me up again. He knew I didn't sleep last night. We had talked that morning when he brought me breakfast. He chose not to try to wake me up again. We both made poor decisions today.

I don't know how long he yelled at me before he left for work. I closed my eyes and refused to interact with him. What good would it do? I tried to apologize at first. I honestly had thought that only the 15 minuets or a similarly short length of time had past. When I found out I had missed the day I was horrified. I knew I shouldn't have but he didn't care about my remorse. He just wanted me to suffer for it and used his words to lash out as me.

I tried not to listen to his words as he told me to leave and if I did I would fail at whatever I did. He told me how I had no hope for the future because I was fat and lazy and was a failure. The last thing he said to me was "Go ahead eat some more ice cream fat ass!" The only thing is that I hardly ever eat ice cream. He tells me that his mother says horrible things about me, and so does the rest of his family. So much of my life I have had to hear similar things from my piers and even long ago from my own father. It was almost enough to make me lose it years ago. Almost!

I am susceptible to depression, it is easy for me to lose myself in my depression. I take my meds and I write this blog. It is my way out. When I type these words they start to leave me and I start to fight back. I know I can't hide away. I really have to pull myself back together and remember to eat, some days go by and I eat one meal. I have to force myself out of the house, and make myself interact with real people. It is so easy to hide behind the internet, and interact virtually instead of in real life.

Today is an almost day. I could have almost lost myself by curling up in a ball and not getting out of bed. Tomorrow will be another. I have to get out of the house. I have to do something. I have to go on more interviews and I have to not stop until I get a job. I can't let an almost day become a day that defeats me.

Nine Years Old

That was then...
This is now

I still remember how I felt as I walked into the hospital to give birth to my son. How can nine years have past by so quickly? It feels like it happened just the other day. I still have such a vivid image of when I first saw him in my husbands arms and how he deliberately turned his head towards me when he heard my voice. He was so tiny, not even 6 pounds even though the doctors predicted that he would be around 11 or 12 pounds. I always joked that they were off by a whole baby.

In these past nine years I have watched him grow up, I have had worry and fret over him at times but I also loved and adored him too. He was and is an active child. I heard his first sentence when he was not yet five months old, I watched him learn to walk not long after that. Since then I have always had to be on my toes. I never knew what would happen next.

So much has changed in these last nine years. He has been diagnosed with asperger's Syndrome and we have all for the most part accepted that and adjusted our world to include his. He has blossomed when participating in sports and even though I may not always hear him say "I Love You!" and don't get as many hugs and kisses as I would like I know he loves me almost as I love him.

I paused when I realized that he is becoming a young man. When did that happen? He still has a fair amount of Aspie moments and he always will but every once in a while he breaks out of the Aspie mold and shows me that he has been paying attention to me when I go Mommy on him. He has shown me that all my hard work to help him be the best person that he can be. He doesn't let Asperger's be an excuse, instead it is an asset that he can embrace and strive to be the best he can be.

He starts a new school this year, he is starting new chapters in his life. There will be new friends and new challenges. Nine years have passed and in nine more years he will be off to college. How can so many changes occur in such a small amount of time. From baby to young man in the first nine years, in the next from young man to young adult. Okay I am taking a deep breath, I think we both can handle it.

Happy birthday!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Will Tears Ruin My Laptop? Another Broken Heart

I was checking Craigslist for jobs when I saw one for an out of state job that called out to me. I went to the website and registered and spend hours filling out he application. There were essay questions on it. I took my time and made sure my answers were well thought out and made sense. Finally I clicked the final link and sent the application on it's way.

The next day I had a reply. They wanted me to answer more questions, these were designed to find out what type of teacher I felt I was. Again I took my time and made sure I answered the questions the best way that I could. One more final click and off it went. Once more I went to bed hoping that this might be the job for me. A job that would help me get out of here. A job that would allow me to follow my passion.

I woke up and I had another email. This one from one of the teacher's I student taught with. She had filled out a reference for me. By the end of the day the school district I applied with sent me another email letting me know it had received all the references that it required. Once again I went to bed with hopes in my heart. I had applied for over 50 jobs in this district. Could I possibly be lucky enough to get an interview.

Another morning, no emails though. I sat on the couch snuggling with my son when the phone rang. Private caller was displayed on my Caller ID. Usually I don't answer these calls. Usually they are annoying calls trying to sell me something or asking me to support a political campaign. I hit talk anyway and it was a Principal from the district I applied with. We had a short interview that ended with the Principal telling me that she was going to recommend me for the job. I should here from HR soon.

I had a job!!! I just had to wait for HR to call and offer the job to me. A couple days passed and finally I heard from HR. They offered me the job and asked me if I was interested in accepting it. YES! I said and they told me that I needed to get a couple more documents to them and pass a background check. I had the documents to them within two hours. I could think of nothing in my background to keep me from teaching and had already passed a couple similar background checks no problem.

The days ticked by. I called to make sure they had everything they needed in case I missed something. No, they had it all I just needed to be patient. One of the items they needed was a reference from a specific person, this person was not someone I wanted to ask for a reference again. I had asked once and even though they had only ever given me extremely positive feedback on my teaching skills, they would not give me the reference. Honestly I was worried. The district required it because I hadn't worked in the last five years. The individual sent them the reference by the end of the day.

Tick, tick, tick...the beginning of the school year is almost here. I was sure that the job offer would result in me moving there and teaching. I had two days available to go there and find a place to live. I called HR just before I left to see where I stood. There was no word yet, so we left. We listened to music and talked and joked. The mood was jovial. We went through a sun shower and saw a beautiful rainbow. I was so hopeful.

Then my phone rang, I saw it was from the school district and I answered expecting good news. I heard words like problem, no longer meet the criteria, rescind the job offer. WHAT? I of course asked why, they couldn't tell me. I was told that it could be because of a reference or from the background check. Why can't I know? The information is confidential. I have no idea why I no longer can have the job I had been preparing for all week.

I was crushed, I hung up the phone and tears flowed down my face. My husband tried to make me feel better and then he got mad and for once it wasn't directed at me. He does have good moments. He has been 100% behind me getting this job and moving out of state with the kids. He was thinking of following us down to stay close to the kids. It was almost like he was when we first were married.

Of course I have come up with all sorts of scenarios for why I no longer had the criteria for this position. Only two things had changed in the last couple days, the background check and the reference that I didn't want to ask for. So which one was it. Each one has its own implications.

What if it is the background check? Can I get a background check on myself to see what is turned up? Do I really want to know? I have invested thousands of dollars in this degree. If there is something in my background that keeps me from getting a job as a teacher it is money wasted. Maybe they should offer a background check to incoming education majors to make sure they are eligible for a teaching job when they get their degree.

But what if it was that reference. They required it because I hadn't held a job in the last five years. So if I work a year as a substitute teacher then I no longer will be required to provide such a risky reference. So I am applying to be a substitute teacher in several local school districts this week. What if they to require that reference? So much doubt is around me right now.

What if I can't get a teaching job? That is just what my MIL predicted when I started this program. She wasn't thrilled for me when I was offered this job. She thought it was a mistake for me to accept the position. She thought I wouldn't be able to handle it. The new job, new state and being a single parent all at once. I was so determined to prove her wrong. My first thought when I hung up that phone was that she would be right. I couldn't do it. I would hate for her to be right and for e to pay back those student loans without a chance of using the degree I worked so hard to obtain.

I am so miserable right now, a nice dinner didn't help much. I am all alone, he is down stairs and I am upstairs. The kids are at my MIL's house because we were going to have a long drive and they wouldn't have had much fun while I looked for an apartment. She is taking them to an amusement park in the morning. I wish I could have come home and hugged them. Maybe that would have helped me feel better. I didn't want to spoiled their fun just because my heart was broken.

Monday, August 8, 2011

He Lost the Kids

I had the chance to take a nap today. The last thing I said to my worse half was remember to take the kids with you if you have to go out. Seriously, It just doesn't occur to him to bring the kids with him if I am sleeping. He thinks that my presence in the house is all they need to be supervised. I keep telling him that if I am sleeping then I am not capable of supervising the kids. He has been much better about bringing the kids with him when he goes out and I am sleeping. Well, that is I haven't caught him doing it lately - until today.

It is 7:30, when I expect him to wake me up because he is going to work. I hear "L, wake up the kids are missing!" Of course I am instantly awake and I want to know what is happening. No judgement on my part. I am in full mommy mode. He explains that he told the kids that he would be right back. When he came back they were not in the house. They weren't at near by friends houses and he didn't see them as he went around the block.

Okay I take deep breaths I am not yet mad at him, okay maybe a little. Why did he leave the kids unsupervised at the house. He then tells me that he wanted to get me an anniversary card and they ruined the surprise. I take more deep breaths so I don't freak out. Seriously he left the kids unsupervised to buy an anniversary card. Our marriage is in shambles and about to end and he thought it was a good idea to leave the kids unsupervised so he could shop for a card to give me to celebrate our disaster. The only good that has come out of this marriage is the two children and you lost them!!!! Deep breath...Focus on finding the kids.

Then he picks up his lunch box and goes to the car. He is leaving for work. The last thing he says is the kids are grounded if they come home. "IF" seriously, if they come home! Who leaves for work when their kids are missing. Especially if you were the last one to see the kids. What if I need to call the police. How can they question you if you aren't here. He backs the car up and leaves.

I get my shoes on and grab my keys. I get in our other car and pray that it will limp through the neighborhood. It is on its last legs and could die at any moment. Just before I back out one of P's friends offers to help me look. He goes one way and I go the other. I go once around the block and am about to pass my house when I see my cat outside. The cat I had just put in the house. Then I see my daughter and son popping out the door. They are home and safe.

When I ask them where were they they say that Daddy gave them permission to go around the block. I believe them. He does things like that and doesn't remember that he does it. He answers questions without even knowing what they were because he wasn't focused enough to hear the question. He has admitted this to me so I know it happens.

I hope I get a job soon. Last night I applied for between 50 and 75 jobs in a school district out of state. Today they sent me more questions to answer. I filled out the application and was amazed at how many elementary education jobs they had open. They had 311 teaching jobs that needed to be filled. Where I live school districts might have one or two teaching jobs open and most have none.

Tonight when the kids go to bed I will complete the questionnaire and if all goes well they will contact me for an interview. How does an interview go when you are in a different state? Is it by phone or would I have to go there? Maybe both? The kids are upset that they might have to move, I welcome it. It would be a true new beginning. We have family near by so we wouldn't be all alone.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In a Funk

This week has been hard for me. I usually can pin point why, but I have no idea this week. Maybe it is not one specific thing. So much has been piling up on me that I feel like I am about ready to drop it all. I send out resumes and get very little response. I had interviews but no job offers. So now I am also applying for teacher aid positions, and positions that I am not sure that I want to do.

My worse half has been not as mean as usual, but still manages to pierce my soul with his words. He found out that I had my own bank account and was seriously mad at me that I opened it up. The same day he yelled at me for something else. I couldn't tell you what because I tuned him out and went to sleep. The kids were playing with friends and I just needed to go away. Since gas costs so much I just took a nap. As I was falling asleep he was yelling at me. It must have been the same old stuff.

Yesterday after my psychologist appointment he was mad because he doesn't get to tell his side, never mind that he refuses to go to the appointment. It is like that after every appointment I go to and every month is weighs down on my shoulders. If he is so concerned about what I say at my appointments maybe he should stop being so stubborn and accompany me. His refusal to go and try to fix the marriage speaks volumes and is a main reason why I am no longer in salvage mode. Now I just want to escape the sinking ship.

Sleep has become an escape for me this week. I play with the kids until he wakes up. Then I go upstairs and even though I do try to stay awake I fall asleep until he goes to work. I don't interact with him, but I miss so much of the day.

I hate being in this funk. I feel trapped by my inexperience and marriage. I don't want to do anything. I am noticing that I spend almost all my time in the house. I don't want to go outside. When was I outside last?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Plethora of Postcards

It's raining postcards halleluia, it's raining postcards... Sorry that just popped into my head. Yes I am a child of the 70's. The last few days have brought us many postcards. This one was fun because it was a state that I lived in for a very short time. Using Google Maps I even was able to show my children exactly where I lived. I love street view! It looks the same, My apartment had one entrance and no windows that could open. Even the air conditioner/heater was in a cage so if there was a fire I was basically dead. the best part of living there was I had to walk or bike everywhere and I lost about 30 pounds while I was there.

Then today we received the mother load of postcards. My worse half's cousin sent the kids t-shirts and postcards from Las Vegas. WOW! I never expected anyone to send the kids anything other than postcards. P picked this Las vegas postcard to find on the map tonight. He had to know where the fountain was that was pictured on the front. The Bellagio's dancing fountains. Thankfully I knew where they were so we could find them on the map. On the way we looked at the Hoover Dam and discussed how Lake Mead was Las Vegas' water source. It is a city in a desert so there in not much rainfall. They both were fascinated by how the city suddenly became desert. It was not gradual someone must have a desert across the street from their house.

Then a friend from high school sent us an envelope full of postcards he gathered while traveling the world in the Navy, at least I think it is the Navy (I'll have to double check). I am so jealous he has been to places that I have only dreamed of going. When the kids saw all the postcards he sent us they were speechless. I should have him send us postcards more often. B saw the postcards from Egypt and knew right away what country they came from. I was such a proud mommy.

D's cousin sent us another envelope with several postcards in it. Another friend of mine sent a second one from her vacation with her daughter. Bonus, other friends let me know that they recently sent us some more. I know we have at least one coming from New Zealand. We almost have one from every continent. I wonder if there are Antarctica postcards? Probably not, but that would be so cool.

We have enough postcards now that every night P & B can pick and choose the ones they want to find find out more about. When they pick the postcards they are more interested in them and I find that they ask more questions. Tonight we discussed dams and deserts. Tomorrow who knows. But I do know we have many direction to take.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Trip to the Grocery Store

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go grocery shopping. I love to go grocery shopping and sadly my darker half has taken that joy from me. He was away for the day and I had the kids with me and needed to do something. Why I decided to take them grocery shopping with me, I don't know. It must be that it has been so long since I took them to the grocery store that I forgot what it would be like. It wasn't a store I usually go to. I did a cursory look for a kids club but didn't see one so into the store we went. If you listen you can hear the suspenseful music in the background getting louder with each step into the store we too. Did it just change to a horror movie motif?

We started in produce, not that we had a choice, that is where the entrance deposited us into the store. They were excited and wanted kumquats. I wanted snack size veggies. They had carrots, grape tomatoes, pea pods, and cheese. They came with a small container of dressing. Perfect for afternoon snacks, and more healthy than the kids usual snacks. The nice thing about this store is that they have a lot of produce that P and B have not experienced before so I encouraged their exploration of this department.

Then we went into the bulk of the store. I think the major mistake I made was taking them into a store they were unfamiliar with. They wanted to explore and experience it. I wanted to get the food we needed for the week and go home. We had different missions in mind, sadly their mission was the stronger one. Maybe if I had more money to work with I would have wanted to explore all different foods more. But I only had a small amount of money to work with and wanted to get what we needed.

We found the seafood department next (listen you can hear a heavenly chorus now). I thought I was in heaven. Instead of the small seafood case at our usual store this department was at least three times larger. Oh how I wished I had the money to allow me to do more than browse. Please let me find a job soon! P was intrigued by the whole fish on display. He could see their eyes and scales. B was more interested in the shellfish. She is definitely mommy's girl.

As I walked past the Bison Steaks the kids were gaining energy. There were so many new things to experience in the store. They wanted to experience it all. The trouble was beginning and I was about to become the frazzled mommy. Up and down the aisles we went and they grew sillier and sillier. All my efforts to ground them were in vain. The more I tried to get them to focus on calming down, the more wild they seemed to get.

First P saw a train that was running up by the ceiling, then he saw a truck doing the same thing in another part of the store. He found the candy gadgets that are designed to drive parents crazy and cost a fortune. B saw princess items all over the store. It is back to school time so all the shiny new school supplies were on display. Funny how they are like me and want the nice new folders and boxes of crayons.

Then just when I thought I was escaping and almost to the registers they found the new Happy Nappers in a display within their reach. I have been hearing them beg for these reservable pillow toys for weeks. Every time the commercial comes on P declares like it is a matter of life or death that he needs the penguin one that goes from penguin to igloo. Of course B has fallen in love with the princess unicorn one. It is a unicorn that reverses into a castle. Now they were in touching range and I think if they could have the kids would have dove into the cardboard bin and let the Happy Nappers surround them.

I could see the registers and the freedom from the store they offered. Instead I fell into their trap. Mother's beware there is a reason why they put these so near the registers. Parents believe victory is within their grasp and drop their guard. Then at our most vulnerable moment the trap is sprung and we are caught. I managed to get them to put the pillows down with a promise of coming back for them when they can be good for two weeks. Point for Mommy!

Finally we get to the register. The line was short and once again I was fooled into thinking I was almost out of the store. We unloaded the cart and after I separated them from each other a few times I managed to maneuver me and the cart between them. We moved up to the cashier and he asked me if i was having a good day. I just looked up at, my hair must have been a disaster, my gaze was close to insanity. I looked at each of my children on either side of him and replied that it would have been better if there was a kids club. He turns and points to an area far away from the entrance of the store and replies that they do, it's over there.

Over there! I still didn't see it, I trusted that it was there. I followed his outstretched arm and knew it was there and I wished I had known about it earlier in the day. I wished they had neon signs with blinking arrows guiding me to the promised land when I walked into the store. I wished there was a dotted line on the floor that I could have followed to freedom. At least I knew where it was for the next trip and it's location is burned into my memory. Never again will I shop without the joy of leaving my children with caretakers while I stroll around the store and shop in peace.

He finished scanning and bagging and I paid, I was free I thought. I was wrong. My bank card worked but only allowed $7.66 to be charged on it at a time. WHY? I know there is enough money in the bank. So we try again, same thing. One more time and another $7.66. So the cashier calls the manager. I am trying to focus on this when I catch out of the corner of my eye my daughter pushing the grocery cart into her brother over and over. He was trying to stay away from her and giggling. Other shoppers were trying to walk by, I was almost in tears.

The manager has never seen this before, seriously things like this happen to me all the time. I get the kids to get back into the checkout lane and try to pay attention to what is happening with my bank card and payment for the groceries. Finally enough $7.66 transactions have happened that my groceries are paid for. I fear what my husband is going to do when he sees all these transactions. My stress level and anxiety are overwhelming now. I sign the slip and lead my two monsters out of the store. I have a new car so after I remembered what car I was looking for I found it. Somehow I managed to get home and the children stayed in one piece.

To think I chose this over a family wedding with my soon to be ex's family. Even though I have watched his cousin grow up into a young woman, become a teacher and now a bride I chose not to attend the wedding. It would have been too much for me to experience such love and joy of a new marriage while my marriage is falling apart around me and brings me to tears. I wonder if I made the right decision?