Monday, July 27, 2009

Remembering My Past, Looking To My Future

Sympathetic Character –Alanis Morissette

I was afraid you'd hit me if I'd spoken up
I was afraid of your physical strength
I was afraid you'd hit below the belt
I was afraid of your sucker punch
I was afraid of your reducing me
I was afraid of your alcohol breath
I was afraid of your complete disregard for me
I was afraid of your temper
I was afraid of handles being flown off of
I was afraid of holes being punched into walls
I was afraid of your testosterone
I have as much rage as you have
I have as much pain as you do
I've lived as much hell as you have and
I've kept mine bubbling under for you
You were my best friend
You were my lover
You were my mentor
You were my brother
You were my partner
You were my teacher
You were my very own sympathetic character
I was afraid of verbal daggers
I was afraid of the calm before the storm
I was afraid for my own bones
I was afraid of your seduction
I was afraid of your coercion
I was afraid of your rejection
I was afraid of your intimidation
I was afraid of your punishment
I was afraid of your icy silences
I was afraid of your volume
I was afraid of your manipulation
I was afraid of your explosions
I have as much rage as you have
I have as much pain as you do
I've lived as much hell as you have and
I've kept mine bubbling under for you
You were my keeper
You were my anchor
You were my family
You were my savior
and therein lay the issue
and therein lay the problem

While there are some lines that didn't apply to me, the majority of this song was my life for close to 11 years. I know that I've told you some of my past with Ex#1, but I'm not sure exactly how much I've told you, or how much you even want to know.

I was only 17 when I met him; he was 26. I met him through a friend, and I was never really attracted to him. I had only had maybe 3 dates before I met him. I was at a point where I believed that I was ugly, and that no boys would ever want to date me. Looking back, it's amazing the things that I worried about as a teenager. I didn't hang around with the most appropriate people when I was in school either. When we moved to Ohio from Indiana, I ended up in 2 different schools where the kids had been together since Kindergarten. I was a social outcast. Ex#1 was the first guy who paid attention to me. I was naïve, and I fell for it. He was not drinking at the time we started dating. I had no idea about his past arrests (trafficing in marijuana, breaking and entering, DUI's and receiving stolen property). I hid it from my parents that I was seeing him.

Then I got pregnant. He started drinking again a few months before Dustyn was born. I was very ignorant to it all. I come from a family with 27 collective aunts and uncles, only 2 sets were ever divorced. They rarely ever drank, so I had no clue of the consequences his drinking could have. At any rate, I went with the flow of it all, and I thought I was happy. I worked in a low budget salon, and had low budget clients. I seemed to fit in for the first time since I moved to Ohio. Then I changed to a nicer salon. The staff was more middle class, and so were the clients. I wanted to fit in with them. When I started hanging out with the girls I worked with, things started to change. I got my driver's license to (I was 22). With that, I had more freedom than Ex#1 liked. I didn't have to depend on him to take me everywhere. I still could not come and go as I pleased though.

The abuse started slowly...at first, I didn’t even realize that the things he was saying and doing were abusive. He would say something mean, I would cry, he would apologize a few days later and I believed him. When I left that job and started a new one, things took a turn for the worse. He would take me to work every day so he didn't have to worry about me leaving, and if I did drive, he would time how long it took me to get home. He didn't want me going anywhere or doing anything with anyone. Every time we went to a hair show he would go nuts.

I started lying about the bruises. He was also sexually abusive, which I didn't realize until years later. Everyone knew what was going on. My boss went so far as to give me the number for Project Woman because they were so worried. I started bucking him. He wanted me to quit my job. He DEMANDED that I quit my job. I left him. I had left him before, but he had always manipulated me, or threatened me, into coming back. That job was more important to me than he was. He had me convinced that I could not make it without him, which for me to believe was stupid on my part. It took me 11 long years to leave and stay gone.

One major event that let to me leaving was the night he had me backed into a corner screaming at me. He was drunk, so drunk that he fell down the steps. There was a hammer lying on the kitchen table and I was trying to will myself to pick it up and hit him with it. All I could think about was that my kids would grow up without me because I would be in prison. It never dawned on me that the same scenario was possible by him killing me. He tried to choke me that night. All this happened in front of my kids. They screamed so much that he finally stopped. I dialed 911 and he took the phone from me. I knew they would come anyway, so I went to the living room and stood in front of the window so they could see me. He came down and had a hold of my arm when they pulled in. They saw it. He went to jail and I testified in front of the grand jury. They wanted to know what the argument was about, so I told them the truth, he was mad because I would not got get him Taco Bell (it was 2am). They chose not to indict him, which dropped the charges against him.

I was frantic.

He wouldn't leave the house, and he wouldn’t let me go. I had been getting my ducks in a row with child care and some other things so I could just run when I had the opportunity. One day, I decided to just turn it over to God. A week later I came home from church, he was in a drunken induced sleep, and I told the kids to grab what they wanted so we could leave. It took the 10 minutes to stuff a few trash bags full of toys while I filled laundry baskets with our clothes. We took what we could fit in the car and we went to my parents. He was LIVID. He just could not understand what he ever did wrong. I went back with a police escort a few weeks later to get more of our stuff, and they ended up taking him to jail for threatening me (when we arived, the police could see the hole he had punched in the living room wall...it went all the way through the kitchen), so I was able to get the rest of our things.

I finally had the strength I needed, and I never went back. I was happy for the first time in my life. I had a nice place and I had friends and the kids and I were making it. What I never did gain was self esteem, which is probably why I ended up with douche bag #2. I don’t know why I let myself get into that mess, but I got these beautiful kids out of it, so it wasn’t all for not.

I have PTSD from the abuse. I have a lot of triggers. The smell of beer makes me sick to my stomach. Driving past our old house makes me tense up. Sophie's coach sets off a lot of my old behaviors. The way Dustyn walks, talks, yells, gives dirty looks, etc. all make me shiver. I know it is the reason we butt heads, I also know it's the reason I give in to him when I shouldn't (I have a feeling he knows this too).

Over the years, the nightmares have stopped. I have been so fortunate in my current relationship that he has never done anything remotely like what my ex's have done. I have also learned from my past to be more sensitive to what abuse others have endured. This is one of the reasons I have considered Domestic Violence prevention as a concentration for my Social Work degree. I think there is a need for education at a middle school and high school level on the warning signs of domestic violence.

Recently, I made the decision to agree with Sophie and look for a new ball team. It has taken me almost 3 years to realize that her coach intimidates me the same way Ex#1 did. It is not healthy for me, and it is not healthy for Sophie to see everyone bow down to him, and to expect her to bow down to him. He asked me for a commitment for her to the team a few weeks ago, and I told him that I hoped to move out of town by next summer, so I could not commit. I know he is going to ask me again the next time he gets his hair cut, and I am going to tell him the same thing. I am also going to tell him that Sophie will not be able to play fall ball for him in September because it will interfere with the only day we have to spend together as a family. I know that I am taking the coward’s way out, but I HATE confrontation, and I know it will cause one if I told him that we don’t want him as a coach anymore. She is going to try out for a team in the area where Tim lives in a few weeks, and we are searching for a few more try out dates for teams in that general area. I will admit to you though, I have told more than one person (ok, so I tell everyone that will listen) that I do not want to live in Springfield by next summer.

I have my heart invested in my new relationship with Tim. We are building a very strong bond. I want us to be happy. I want us to be forever. One day, we were at the mall, sitting on a couch talking, and he asked me why I've never been married. I told him that I had been asked (and threatened at some points) but I would never do it because I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with the men who asked. I know it was irresponsible of me to have kids with men I knew I didn’t want to be with, but at the time I didn’t think about what it would do to them in the future. Tim is the FIRST and ONLY person I have ever been able to envision growing old with. I can't imagine my life without him. If you want to know the truth, I have our entire wedding all planned out in my head. That is something I have never before even contemplated.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You Tube Weirdness




How weird is it when you check out a roller coaster video on You Tube, and you realize that the girl in the video is your teenage daughter?


This video is of my daughter Valerie, my ex (Owen and Ella's sperm donor) and his 2 younger sisters on the Firehawk ride at King's Island in Mason, Ohio.


I wonder how many other You Tube clips of my kids are out there that I have no clue about?


How Can You Look Into My Eye And Say You Don't Remember Me???


My freshman year of high school was very scary for me. I had gone to parochial schools for my entire life...uniform skirts, white blouses, Nuns, the whole shebang! I would be starting my freshman year at a public school. I only knew about 8 people who were going to be in my class; most of them lived in my neighborhood. And by 'neighborhood' I mean within a mile radius of my house...we lived in the middle of nowhere. All but about 2 of these people were only my 'summer friends' ...you know the type, they are your best friend all summer, but they snub you at school because you're that weird Catholic kid...*I've worked very hard on letting that go!*


Anyway...


The high school I went to is a very small county school; about 130 kids in my freshman class. The elementary, middle, and high school were set up like a campus. The majority of these kids had gone to school together since KINDERGARTEN!!! I was definitely an outsider. To make matters worse...I had been wearing a uniform for 8 years...I have always rocked a plus-size body, and I had NO idea how to dress stylish!


So...


The year was going along, and me and my black Payless high-tops were adjusting (just to set the record straight, this was 1985, Payless was NOT cool. It wasn't until my Sophomore year that I got my coveted high-top Reeboks!). I had made a few new friends, I liked my classes and I was fairly happy. About 1/2 way through the year, a new guy started at my school. For the sake of this post, I'll call him 'Bruce'. Bruce was in my study hall. He was a really nice guy. I was not attracted to him, nor did I ever have a crush on him (I never thought he was very good looking...'cause I'm a freakin' beauty queen ya know!). We had a horrible habit of passing notes to each other in study hall (remember, it was 1985...texting was not invented yet!). We never got caught, mainly because I don't think the teacher gave a rat's ass what we were doing as long as we were quiet. At any rate...every day for 1/2 the school year we wrote back and forth with other.


Fast forward to June 23, 2009...


Facebook. I loves me some Facebook! I have re-connected with soooo many people that I haven't seen, or even thought about, in years. I thought to myself one day last month, 'I wonder if Bruce has a profile on Facebook?' So, I did a search and I found him. The following is our email communication on Facebook:


Me: Did you go to *ruralcountyschool ?

Bruce: Yes, I did.

Me: Wow! You look the same...how have you been? It's been years!

Bruce: Yes it has been a long time. I'm having trouble remembering you. Help me!!

Me: I can't remember if it was 9th or 10th grade...we had study hall together...there was a lot of note-passing involved...A LOT of note passing!!! Oh, and I think my hair was blonde then! lol

Bruce: do you have any pictures from back then? You with blonde hair?

Me: No, not on my computer. You have no clue who I am, do you? lol

Bruce: I can't tell by the pic you have on here.

Me: We had study hall together in one of the classrooms, not the cafeteria, and we passed notes back and forth every day. I feel so unremembered! lol j/k

Bruce: what were our notes about? Did you live close to the mall?

Me: I lived on *Big Hilly Road outside of *Speedtraptown. The notes? I really don't remember! lol I just know we wrote them a lot

Bruce: you need to post a different picture

Me: lol...dont you know how to look thru the albums? I have more on here

Bruce: i tried that the other day and it would not show your pics

Me: ok i changed it.

Bruce: now I can't see anything

Me: hmmmm...weird! i can see it on my homepage but not in the emails.

Bruce: I can see it now

Me: Still no clue? LoL

Bruce:


Yes, that last one was left blank on purpose. He never answered me. How do you not remember your friend from high school? The girl in study hall that you passed notes back and forth with


EVERY


SINGLE


DAY


I am trying very hard not to revert back to that place where I was long ago...feeling faceless and unimportant. It also makes me question how many other friends of mine on Facebook have no clue who the hell I am???


I feel so unremembered...and I am NOT j/k!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Rainbow That Leads To My Pot-O-Gold


So, I have this StatCounter thing. I read about other bloggers knowing where their blog traffic comes from and how people find them and what-not, so I decided I needed to have one too.

I have not the slightest clue how to use it...

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, I'm Living Proof That God Has A Sense Of Humor, and was damn near peeing myself over this post (I meant that in the most endearing way, even though I damn near pee myself every time I move!). Helene listed some of her Google search keywords and phrases that led people to her blog, so I thought it might be fun to check out my keyword searches.

Here we go...

1) Hairy Coochie
Ummm....not sure why this was my top search keyword? One has to wonder what exactly this person was trying to gather information on...the pros/cons of sporting a hairy coochie? I can understand why someone would run across some certain Redneck blog when searching for a BLUE HAIRY COOCHIE, but I have never blogged in reference to my nether-regions!

2)Blackberry sand in my rollerball
This sounds like a personal problem!

3)Bobblehead + Guy Fieri
One word...WHY???

4)Karmasutra dust
I have an 18 year old son who can tell you all you need to know about this subject **shudder**

5)Ketchup pedicure
Again...Ummmmm...All I can think of is EWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!

6)Can Pantene conditioner in your vagina cause a miscarriage
Wow. I can't imagine why anyone would search for this? I know that I bought like 73 bottles of store brand shampoo and conditioner, some being Pantene, but the words 'vagina' and 'miscarriage' were not mentioned in that post. I just have one question...Why the hell, pregnant or not, would anyone put conditioner in their vagina? KY Jelly makes a great lube, so I've heard!

7)OCD psychology magical thinking
Owen is OCD. No amount of 'magical thinking' is going to change that.

8)BLINK YOUR EYES CONSTANTLY
MAYBE IF YOUR EYES STOP BLINKING YOU'LL STOP YELLING!

9)Think, blink, duh
Duh! Why did you even need to search this?

10)Peoples rotten teeth
Yea, this is something I really want to see more of, 'cause I just don't see enough of it in this lovely town in which I live...

11)Humpfh mean
This was obviously one of MY little kids!

12)Funny description of busy old lady
I think the answer to this would be best found by watching re-runs of the Golden Girls.

13)I'm too busy for a teenager
Well isn't that just too damn bad?! What magic answer did they think they would find for this problem? The best advice I could give them would be BOOT CAMP!

I think I'm going to have to check out my StatCounter a little more often!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sometimes, I Think It Would Be Easier If Ella CRIED At The Densist!

While I was picking the corn-on-the-cob out from between Ella's teeth after dinner, I thought to myself:

"Hey! I should post that video of Ella at the dentist on my blog!"

So, here it is:


And here's another one!



* These were my first youtube uploads EVER!

Monday, July 6, 2009

31,536,00 Seconds


It has been…


1 year.
12 months.
52 weeks.
365 days.
8,760 hours.
525,600 minutes.
31,536,000 seconds.


…since I first laid eyes on you. Since my heart first flip-flopped. Since you first asked to hold my hand. Since you first asked if it was okay to kiss me. Since I first knew what it was like to enjoy a kiss. Since the staff at Applebee’s gathered outside as we tried to say good-bye, but couldn’t stop kissing. Since we decided we wanted to invest our time and hearts in a relationship. Since I drove home in a daze. Since my thoughts became entangled with visions of you.

you


…you are amazing. You are a dream come true. You are so sweet…and kindhearted…and caring…and patient…So strong, yet so gentlePassionate and compassionate…Your embrace makes me feel so safe. My favorite place to be is snuggled up to your chest, listening to the sound of your heartbeat.


…I respect you…I cherish you…I value every second that we spend together…I admire you…I care for you…For the first time in my life; I understand what it means to fall in love.


…and it all began 1 year ago…


…and I hope it never ends…

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ella Is Staring In A New Television Reality Series Called: TOTAL. DRAMA. PRE-SCHOOL.



*editor's note: you must look at this picture sideways...as with everything else, Ella wouldn't co-operate in her picture either! No matter what I did, the picture wouldn't rotate!

Episode 1:



“Mommy! I hate my pre-school, and I don’t want to go anymore!”
“Why don’t you want to go to pre-school anymore, Ella?”
“Because when I want to play some-ping, Arianna always bees the boss of everybody!”
“What do you want to play?”
“Grrrrr….I don’t want Arianna to be the boss!”
“So, you want to be the boss?”
“Arianna always bees the boss and I goed there FIRST!”



Episode 2:



“Mommy! Arianna’s not my best friend anymore!”
“Why not, Ella?”
“Because she bees mean to me!”
“What did she do?”
She won’t let me be the cooker in the kitchen center, and I wanted to be the cooker!”
“Ella, you have to take turns when you play.”
“I DO take turns! But I wanted to be the cooker first and she always tells me she wants to be the cooker first!


Episode 3:



“I hate pre-school!”
“Why do you hate pre-school now, Ella?”
“Because Miss Cindy makes me take a nap when I’m not even tired!”
“Why don’t you just lay there like a good little girl and watch the movie at naptime?”
“I do watch the movie! Miss Cindy always bees telling us that we have to close our eyes, and when I close my eyes I fall to sleep!”
“Ella, if you fall asleep when you close your eyes, then you are tired.”
Grrrrrr!”


Episode 4:



“I hate when people call me Ella-Belle!”
“That’s your nick-name. Mommy started calling you that when you were a baby.”
“Well I hate it and I want a new nick-name!”
“What do you want your new nick-name to be, Ella?”
“I choose…….Dog Biscuit!”
“Dog Biscuit?”
“Yes! My name is Ella Julianna Dog Biscuit.”
“Oooooookaaaaay then!”