I'm old, so I apologize for using a blog for this because I can't find the jibber-jabber place to post random things like this.
You know where the ads are on FJ, right? We all do, and 9 times outta 10 I couldn't tell you what the ad was for because I just ignore them. But Sears, somehow, popped up with an ad for power tools. Lots of power tools and tool boxes. And a Windola (maybe not exactly a Windola, but I'm close). After clicking on her and finding out you can do so many different things with her I decided I'd lingered long enough on the ad. Gods know what's going to show up on the ad space NOW since I showed an interest in a poseable life-size barbie doll.
Has anyone else been blessed with this abomination or is it just me?!
One of the first things I noticed while lurking on Free Jinger, beyond the overwhelming number of fundamentalist families beyond the Duggars I'd no idea existed, was the board culture. I spent some time in the SOTDRT learning definitions and what board culture means. One of the phrases used confused me though: pet fundy/fundie. What the heck does that mean?? Is it the fundy fam you love to hate, the fundy you secretly love but hate (in that hate the sin not the sinner sort of way), the fundy you hate the most? I have decided it's one of those phrases that means what it means to the individual, though the definition I have seen most is the fundy family you follow most.
I have looked for my pet fundies. I've scoured the archives, reading about families when I was interested in them on a current thread so decided to further educate myself about their antics. I've educated myself on Zsu zsu Anderson and her Pissing Preacher. Ugh, child-abusing bitch, I can't follow them for wanting to go there and snatch her bald-headed. Lauren and her travelling circus of irresponsible parenting? Grrr, the neglect those kids are put through! Erika Shupe and the jelly bean reward system? POW! To the moon with her! The Nauglers? No, the proximity makes the idea of driving up and 1. rescuing those poor kids 2. cut a bitch (a phrase I'd never felt any connection to until I read about Joe and Nicole) just a bit too do-able for my comfort. The Maxwells? Where to even start?! The Duggar/Bates? Nope, nope no. The cover up of child sexual abuse is more than I can stand.
I'd just about decided on Jilly Rod until I saw what she's done to her poor sister Amy in the past year. The blatant Jill of it all is just more than I can bear. I don't know if I just have such a low tolerance for child abuse and neglect, patriarchy and the objectification of women, victim blaming, non-education of minds begging for knowledge, the enormous egos involved and the rampant sexuality in the purity culture that I can't pick out my pet fundy(s). I don't know how the rest of you did it, deciding which family you would expose the ugly underbelly of their hypocrisy to the cold light of day. Right now, I'm spending more time hate-reading about LoriKen, the never learning egomaniacs. Having some brain damage that sometimes affects my mood and behavior is probably the link that clicked for me with Lori and her brain tumor issues. Also, while she is still giving out heartbreakingly terrible advice to women on her blog, at least she is unable to directly abuse children as hers are grown and gone. That's a big issue for me, so there's that.
For me, my pet fundy is defined by my ability to be dragged into their life suck. I don't love to hate them, I don't know that I really hate hate them either, though I utter, "What a fucking bitch!" at least once when I read a new installment on her blog. I'm not much surer of what a pet fundy is now than I was on the first day at FJ, but I know who my pet fundy is, at long last.
It's Spring Break week here at the Hectic Household. With D4's wedding only 60-some days away, it's crunch time for getting the catering, venue, DJ, etc contracts signed, we have to manage our lists to smaller calendars and start sweating the small stuff. D4 teaches, so she shares this week off with Youngest. Her co-maids of honor took the week off as well, making my house crowded and chaotic indeed. I don't know about the rest of y'all, but every school vacation, I easily mix up what the actual day of the week we're on. D2's vacation started on Sunday, so just her being home was confusing enough. La not going to school added another layer of "Hmmm...there's a disturbance in the Force here, Vi". D3 and D4 showing up to stay for three days clinched my loss of the plot. I found myself wandering around all this week humming a line to a song I was paraphrasing I couldn't identify. So FRUSTRATING! Not only did I know what day it was, I didn't know what *song* it was either. I finally tried my hand at Google Fu, in which I discovered I have little to none. Only D2 saved me, finally asking why I was mangling the words to Blink 182.
What's today again? What's today again?!
Hello Blog. I've missed you lately. So much has gone on the last couple weeks, so very much I'd love to use this wonderful outlet to consider, examinate, share, gain advice and insight. But so much has gone on that I've had no time. Now so much has gone on I have no idea where to start!
My morning last Friday (?) was caught up thinking about an article I read in the news about a 12 yo boy who committed suicide after suffering long-term bullying at his middle/junior high school. I thought about Youngest, who I am going to refer to as La from now on here. Not her name, but close to a nickname we gave her as a toddler when she danced to every melody she heard, Lala...musical notes, geddit? La has dealt with some bullying this year, some of it so bad a teacher, guidance counselor and I had to confer about the situation.
Wedding planning is in full swing around here now that we're very close to the 3 months away mark. After almost a year of being bored waiting for it to be time to do things, it feels like now we have to do everything rightdamnnow! As I have a disorder that often meddles with my ability to do everything I need and want to do in the time it needs to be done in, I've run smack into the wall of the ugly realities of what my disability will and won't let me do without paying a high pain price. Sometimes I grit my teeth and say Damn the pain! and sometimes the pain damns me by sending me to bed incapable of doing anything for the next 12 to 36 hours. I'm pretty sure after I collapse into bed tonight, the pain is going to be strongly damning, and that's just tough noogies for Vi, because I've got therapy and doctor's appointments early tomorrow. Woo Hoo!
Today is Daughter the 2nd's 29th birthday. She's an amazing woman. She's La's co-parent, and honestly has been since the kid was born, La's Dad not exactly pitching in much to help with day-to-day parenting. Probably best that way. She manages a large hobby store, gives up one of her days off every week to travel down and help out her paternal grandmother with any and every thing from cleaning house, running errands, taking her to the doctors. She's funny, smart, caring, generous with her love, time, resources, kindness. There really aren't enough people like her in the world: they're the unsung heroines, the people who always work quietly behind the scenes getting stuff done while someone up front takes the assumed credit. She's the young woman everyone always says is the backbone of every operation, the heart in the center of the family, the person in the family who knows everyone's secrets because she can always be trusted to keep them in confidence and never hold anyone's behavior against them. She's my blessing, my best friend, my confidant. We get along tremendously well because I like the heck out of her and love her more than I can say. We've spent the day celebrating her, and when she gets back from wedding craft shopping we'll be celebrating her more. Every one of us goes all out to make this day special, because she does so much for all of us.
Yeah, I'm one proud Mom.
Sorry for the random randomness, Hopefully I'll nail down some lucidity in some point.
Oldest just successfully defended her dissertation and is now a Doctor of Science in the field of Psychology. She researches visual pathways in the brain of the older folk in hopes of helping with dementia. Could not be prouder!!!
So I've revised this blog entry six times now. Really short and sweet. So very verbose. Descriptive, very descriptive, again with the short and more short. Just like the sheaf of papers I brought in to the hearing yesterday, an oft-revised version.
Four years I'd been writing that damn speech. In my head, in a journal, in my therapist-assigned journal. Finally on Saturday, settled in to Write The Speech. That wasn't going well, so I called Oldest, J., all the way at the top of the USA, to read over the messes I was working from, to get her advice and suggestions. She'd just finished writing her dissertation last month, and will be defending it for her PhD at the end of the month, so she knows what she's talking about. After rambling through the pages, she told me to do the middle group: that I had lined out the relationship from start to finish in almost bullet point formation, and that works very well in a persuasive speech. So that's what I did. We only had 30 minutes total time to speak to the Board, so I had to make sure my talk gave Youngest time to speak as well, and leave any room for questions or clarifications.
So I'm gonna bullet point this too. It worked yesterday, and it keeps my verbosity on point.
- Hearing was almost 5 hours away, so we went up Sunday night and stayed with K and her hubby-to-be so we didn't have to do the drive all at once. Didn't sleep worth a darn, ugh.
- I forgot the most important thing: my photo identification. Realized when it was too late for anyone to get it, get back to the hearing on time. So much panic. I castigated myself beyond belief until we figured it out with the assistance of Diane, the wonder Victim Services Lady and Don, the Security Guy.
-Group hug outside the hearing right before we went inside.
-Warm, friendly, accommodating Board!!! So incredibly NOT what at all what I expected. Just mind-blowing.
-Emphasis on only 30 minutes. I started with the speech, but stopped occasionally would emphasize a point with another point or example. I felt very strongly it was important to look this group in the eyes, so I did. I asked once if I was going long, as I didn't want Y to miss being able to speak. They told me to take as long as I needed.
-Youngest had a speech prepared that was so good. Eloquent, articulate, but heart-felt and kind as well. They were blown away by her, of course. The Chair asked her, "Are you SURE you're only twelve?" She laughed and nodded. I put in, "She only turned 12 in December!" They spent ten minutes, no lie, telling her how much they admired her, the way she's handled all this, how well she spoke, how courageous they found her for coming to talk to them.
-Each member of the Board spoke to us, thanking us for coming, for speaking, for sharing our story with them. They commented on seeing our group hug when we were coming in, and how that told them volumes about our closeness.
-The Chair told us that he couldn't tell us what the decision was, of course, but that he knew what it would be, and all the members nodded. Said that we should walk out of the room knowing we'd done what we came to do, and while they didn't have to make the decision until the end of the month, I'd be getting a call before the end of the week, and we would be happy. Just unbelievable how good they were to us! We all shook hands. Diane told us it was an absolute certainty they'd be giving him the longest deferrment: 24 months. So we'll have to do it again in March 2018, but I'll never sweat it again. I also saw it was 3:15!! They'd let me go over so long! Diane told us this was the longest hearing she'd ever been in during her 10 years doing this. Also , the only hearing each of the members had spoken at the end. She said they were all completely engaged, emotionally involved in our talks. Incredible.
-Youngest turned and asked me, on the ride from the hearing, "Mom, have you ever felt a 100 pound weight on your chest, then suddenly found it gone? I feel like I'm floating." Bless her, yes, yes, I have. She hadn't realized how much all this stress was getting to her, had often argued that NO, No, it wasn't bothering her! When B, her other sisters, and I saw how dark and depressed she's gotten in the last six months. As the Mule said, "What load?"
Good thoughts, prayers, care and hope MATTER. I fully believe that along with how articulate and good Youngest is, how I went on instinct and the belief in telling the truth of what happened to me, that people who thought of us in these past weeks definitely had a hand in how proceedings went yesterday. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! So many things could have gone wrong, badly, unluckily. They didn't. I am so grateful. We are so blessed.
I'm not at home yet, so I can't say much but things went VERY well and they said we'd be very happy when we heard from them at the end of the week. Youngest was so articulate and eloquent. Won't be home til later tonight, so it might be tomorrow. So grateful to you all!!!
I've been asked a few times this week if prayers are okay to send my way.
People in my immediate family believe all sorts of things about God/gods/Goddess and a universe that wants us to do well. I firmly believe in the power of prayer. I believe good thoughts sent out on someone's behalf are prayers of a kind, I believe good intentions wanted for someone are little prayers...the list goes on.
My therapist of 2 plus years is a Christian, but she never mentions religion, spirituality, ways to deal with issues on a moral basis. I asked her last week to please pray for us before I left my session, and she replied, "I've been praying for you and your family for a very long time." She asked permission to pray with me there, I gave it, and witnessed the most loving, heart-felt, thoughtful prayer I'd heard in forever. She mentioned all the girls, asked for good traffic, warm weather, a cease to my pain so I wouldn't be distracted by it, strength, wisdom for the PB members, decent behavior from the rapist if he got out, most of all, a good outcome from the hearing. Even calming tunes on the drive there.
I'd forgotten how much hearing a prayer send for you gives you a feeling of warmth. The knowledge that someone in the world cares enough about you to ask for help for you. The love that flows, the peace it gives, the comfort realizing that you are not alone in your time of need. Even at my lowest, when my faith in anything benevolent being in some kind of control was almost non-existent, I still felt that I'd been hugged in just the right way any time someone said, "I'm praying for y'all."
So please, fj'ers, pray for me and my girls. We would so much appreciate it. I am very grateful for this opportunity to ask for your prayers, good thoughts, your good will towards my family. And thank you.
The past few weeks have been nerve-wracking. The non-smoking campaign has been going well, but it scheduled to be derailed Sunday night. I say that because I've been telling myself all week that if I absolutely need to smoke due to built-up pressure and stress that I will give myself permission to smoke for the 24 hour period surrounding the Parole Board Hearing on Monday afternoon.
Nicotine patches seem to be holding up well, 3 weeks and some days in. I did have a problem with them the first week of March, the beginning of my 2nd week of non-smoking. I couldn't get to sleep. That Tuesday I didn't fall asleep until after 2 am, and I have to be up by 5:30 am the latest to get my day started. Three hours sleep is really horrid for people with fibromyalgia. We pretty much depend on sleep as our number 1 go-to for pain relief, and the pain grows exponentially based on how little sleep we get. Wednesday night it was after 3 am, Thursday I fell asleep 20 minutes before my alarm went off. Usually if I don't get enough sleep at night, I can count on at least a couple hours nap to make it up, but not this week for some reason! Friday I ended up crashing to bed half an hour before my 12 yo got home from school, and had the worst time waking again. Not good.
While talking with the oldest about our bids to be non-smokers, she asked about how my dreams were on the patch. I told her they were vivid, sure, but not problematic, it was the non-sleeping that was getting to me. She asked what time I took off the patch before bed, thinking perhaps I wasn't giving enough time before bedtime or something.
When I told her I didn't take off the patch, afraid I'd wake up with ravenous smoking urges, she explained, in horrified tones, how much of a stimulant nicotine is, and that I'd been keeping myself awake for the past week.
I hate it when my kids show me what an idiot I can be. I know nicotine is a stimulant. I cannot believe I didn't think of that before! Happily, now the patch comes off in a timely manner, and I'm sleeping again.
And 12 yo youngest has decided, nay, demanded that she be allowed to accompany us to the PB hearing on Monday. I resisted her requests the first couple times, explaining it was just too intense and stressful for her to experience. I told her I was afraid I would be too distracted worrying about her emotions to keep my own in check. She kept insisting. Then I finally asked her why she was so adamant. Her answer stopped me cold.
"Next to you, I am the person most affected by his getting out. It will be me he comes for, wanting visitation, or something worse. It will be me he'll drag you to court for, just to mess with you. And as his child, if I don't go, maybe the people will think I want him out, if I'm not there to say I want him to stay in prison. I have as much as stake as you, I want to be able to say what I think there."
Well. What can you say to that? She's always been a really mature child, probably from living with mainly only adults and much older siblings. She's always had a larger vocabulary and very firm opinions, from an early age. I don't want her to be there. I want to protect her from any and every thing that can harm her. But that's not realistic, nor is it good for her. "Apparently March is Your Kid is Wiser than You, Vi" month. Eh, could be that's every month too.
I've smoked for 30 years now. I started while working an all-night shift in a nursing home at just 17. Everyone on the night shift smoked, they told me. It passed the time between bed checks and cleaning. There was a dreadful amount of time back then, too. Everyone was asleep when we came on shift at 11, and we didn't start getting them up until 4:30, so there was very little for us to do but go in and check every resident to make sure they were comfortable and dry. My cousin got me the job, and started on Virginia Slims, menthol. Thanks, Rhonda. Thanks a lot.
Now I'm 50, and after quitting with each pregnancy with no trouble again, and then starting back up once the baby was weaned, I am finding myself really making an effort to quit. Oh, I've tried before, as the youngest told me just on Monday, "You always quit, Mom. Just like you always start again. I'm tired of hoping."
Thump. Yeah, that one stung. Not bee stung, sting ray stung. Jellyfish colony stung. Allergic to them, hornet's nest after you stung.
She is right. I always quit. Mostly because it is absolutely more money than I can spend. But also because I'm getting old, and my health is beginning to tell me I've been a fucking moron all my life and to cut it out. Also, the smell is disgusting, I have to go outside to do it and it's winter and I have fibromyalgia; my body hates winter even more than my brain hates being nicotine deprived.
I've quit on Chantix, only to be foiled by my two smoker daughters coming home for the holidays 3 days after the Chantix supply was over. I've quit cold turkey during pregnancy, only to be foiled by a smoker husband who sure wasn't going to curb his habit just because his wife and children wanted him to do so. I think the only thing I haven't quit on yet is the nicotine patch, and quitting. I'm on the patch now, and so far, so good. Knock wood. Five days now and any time I have a flash of wanting to go grab a pack, I just find something for my hands to do, or search Netflix for a new series to binge watch.
I am a bit fearful of the week of the hearing. That's going to be Hell Week. Stressed out daughters. Stressed out Mum. I've already told smoker daughter (one of the Dramas, I found a way to not hurt her feelings!) she can't come with us because I can't be around it. Unless the family holds a meeting and votes to let me smoke for the day before and day of - and that will never happen. So I'm safe.
I'm using the threefold method to keep me on track: my patch, youngest's disdain for her quitting-at-quitting Mum, and my cheerleader, the eldest. Who doesn't succeed with detractors who love you, supporters who are beaming with pride, and a nice steady supply of the drug you are trying to kick?
Suggestions for distractions and supportive comments would be most appreciated. This ain't as easy as I make it sound, y'all.
I'm by nature a nurturer, always have been so. Good thing, since I have six daughters. Daughters take a lot of nurturing. Their feelings are easily roused, easily hurt. It's a huge responsibility, to realize this human being gets their view of themselves, and the world, from you, for better or worse. I've made a ton of mistakes, and will continue to do so, but hopefully not the same ones over again (thank you, Anne of Green Gables) because I'm a human with lots left to learn. But I try, almost to a fault, to make my daughters comfortable and happy in a world that isn't their friend. They should always know it's safe at home with Mom.
When I was raped, I shielded the girls as best I could from the details. Two of the older girls came with me to the hospital for the rape kit, K even managed to make me laugh once, which was the best thing that could have happened that night: it was a huge relief to know that yes, I'd be able to laugh again some day on a night things seemed pretty damn bleak. When the detective came in to take the statement, I asked K to leave. She was only 18, still a virgin, and though it may seem stupid to anyone else, I really just didn't want her hearing the things I'd been forced to do and ever connecting the act she'd someday share with someone she loved be something she'd ever connect with what happened to me. R stayed with me and was a super help.
When my youngest woke up the next morning, she came in to see me and found me bruised, battered, with a broken foot and obviously upset. She was only seven, so we eased her very gradually into what happened. First we just said I'd gotten hurt and that I would be okay, but needed to be quiet and rest for a little while. Eventually after asking to call her Dad and tell him I'd been hurt, we told her that he wouldn't be able to talk to her for a while as he'd had to go away. I think it was about a week from the first morning until she was all filled in on the fact that Dad had gotten mad at Mom and hurt me so was in 'grown up time out' until he learned it was not okay to do that. She knows it all now, but it came out very slowly, and she didn't find out about the rape until last summer. Her therapist agreed with me it was best to ease her into it over time, and I have to say, she seems to take it better than I hoped she would.
Once the negotiations for plea bargaining came around, my oldest took the day off so she could be there with me. All the girls were very apprehensive about the upcoming trial, whether they'd be called to testify, having to see him again, listening to the proceedings, etc. I was ready. I wanted my time on the stand. But watching my oldest daughter get physically ill just listening to the prosecutor talk about my testimony made me realize just how badly it was going to go for them all, and question whether it was fair to put them through it all. When a reasonable offer came up, I took it. But honestly? Sometimes I resent it.
When I think about having to go to a parole hearing already to ask them not to let him out, I wonder how long he would've been sentenced. Of course, it could have gone badly, they might not have convicted him, but I really don't believe that. So now I've got to deal with this again already. I feel like I'm never out from under it; there's always some new upcoming date I've got to come up against and overcome.
Now all the girls want to come to the hearing as well, though I'll be the only one speaking. My daughters are amazing, brilliant, funny, compassionate women with so much heart. But a couple of them are...hmm...how can I put this?
They're a little emotional. No, they're very emotional, and a little dramatic. I understand that, the apple didn't fall far from the Mom tree, and only experience has calmed me down. But Parole Board Day is a day I need to be able to take care of me. I need to not be the nurturer, the soother, the reasonable, the calming influence. I need someone to talk me down off the ledge when I start to hyperventilate. I'm just not sure how to tell them that. No, sorry, you can't come, you're too needy, hon. Mmm, thanks for offering, but the role of straight-up-freaked-out-lady has already been filled. I started out asking one of my Dramas to stay and meet the youngest off the bus and hang with her until we got back, but then R pointed out that those two, while loving each other very much, are fire and oil when either are in less than a great mood, and both of them will be anxious. So now we're thinking of keeping both the Dramas home with youngest, and I'm thinking that's gonna be Fire, Oil and Liquid Oxygen thrown together. The question is, how much do I really want to not have to nurture on the way up there and back, vs. how much clean up do I want to do once I get home?
All while feeling like a crappy parent the entire time, of course. Luckily I have exactly one calendar month to work it out.
I've always been a bit of a Pollyanna. I live every day trying to find the good things and work to negate the negative. This is a great policy when it comes to raising daughters; they have received multitudes of praise and reminders of their best attributes and behaviors, reminders that they have an obligation as humans to be the best person they can be, and that the world does not owe them a thing - they owe the world and can repay it by doing good, being decent, law-abiding, productive members of society. I believe in having an attitude of gratitude.
I worked hard to apply that mantra when I was beaten and raped. As I heard of other's stories, and realized just how prevalent sexual assault is throughout the world, I immediately began realizing just how 'lucky' I was.
While I was beaten, I wasn't 'badly' beaten. My foot was broken, I had assorted cuts and bruises. I'd been thrown around, hit with a chair, door and fists, but considering the stories I read, I was in good shape. I left the hospital 5 hours after I went in for the rape kit.
I knew my attacker. He was arrested 7 hours after the attack, and was given a sufficiently high bail so he was locked up until the trial date and sentencing. I spent countless hours checking and re-checking the jail's website making sure he wasn't released somehow, but I was able to comfort myself in small ways by knowing he was in a cage where he belonged. I didn't have to spend one moment wondering who had attacked me, if he'd be caught, if he was out there waiting to do it again.
I was almost eager for it to go to trial. I was ready to testify to what he'd done to me. I wasn't prepared for how badly the idea of the trial affected my daughters, however. Even the eldest, adult daughters were struggling just listening to me go over testimony with the district attorney prosecuting the case. So I chose to accept the plea agreement which gave him 20 years, but gave him an early parole possibility, rather than go to trial and subject all of us to listening to his lies.
He went to prison. I've had 4 safe years to process what this attack did to me, body and soul. I know how lucky I am, how small a number of survivors of rape get to see justice done, are allowed to live free from dealing with the person who sexually assaulted them.
Our daughter is 12 now. She was so much more vulnerable to his mind games at 7 and 8. I don't know how much of a fight he's going to put up about trying to get visitation, but I'm not naive enough to think some do-gooder MRA jerk might not actually decide the man who raped and beat his long-term girlfriend of 10 years and threatened her life with a rifle, using it as a tool of torment while the actual rape was taking place *should* have the right to see his daughter. We'll fight every way we can, and if that doesn't work, I'll do something else. But she's mature enough now to know he's dangerous and manipulative, and his "Daddy is so sad with Mommy gone, please tell her how much you want to come home so Daddy can have his girls home again" bullshit is just that.
Thank you, all of you for writing and giving your support. I was scared to death to start this blog: I needed an outlet for all this, and I hoped I'd find a few people I could get feedback from. This is more than I hoped for.
Yes, I've got a Victim Support Advocate, from the Justice Center, of all places. VINE is great (Victim Identification Notification Everyday).
I've been getting lots of counselling from her, tons of explanations of the process and what to expect. It's been very helpful for calming my nerves. Also, by some strange coincidence, my therapist is a former guard in the prison system in our state, so she's been wonderful telling me about what goes on in the prison where he is and what the parole process is like from that end.
I'm still nervous, still scared, still tons of questions. Still have to decide how to spend the 30 minutes I'm allotted, what to say to have the most impact. I found an excellent article about domestic violence murders on Huff Post with statistics from 2016 already! I think I'm going to use some of their numbers, and talk a little about the history of his behaviors the 10 years we were together. I'm honestly at a loss, floundering around. I've been given 30 minutes to plead for my life in a room with a group of strangers. My daughter's , all of my daughters, safety. Gads, it sounds so damn melodramatic when I see it there in print. I wish it were, wish it were anything but the cold, horrible facts.
I'll figure it out though. It's what I do.
Why is starting something often the most difficult part of a job? Maybe there are blessed creatures out there who spring to consciousness every morning and bounce their way from task to task, tra la la-ing along the way, but I am wary of those folk. They have some mutant strain in their DNA or such enabling them to move determinedly from one job to the next with alacrity.
Not me, not any more. A long, long time ago, in a different dimension I rushed from thing to thing, but not with cheer. Nope. I was fueled by bitter coffee, overdue bills, shrieking children and the belief that maybe, if I were very lucky I'd get everything done before two a.m. and I could sleep a straight four hours before rising up to do it all again. It was a rare, magical time when that happened. I can count those long sleeps on one hand. Being the Mom to five children, six years of that time a single Mom, and then Mom to six kids, aged 18 to newborn, takes a lot of energy, an outrageous belief that willpower gets things done, and an inexhaustible supply of humor, especially of the self-deprecating variety.
I wore out my ability to fit seventy-nine billion things into 21 hours a day somewhere around the time my brain grew an aneurysm and then slow-leaked that thing all over my poor brain. BOOM! Somehow I survived the craniotomy and clipping, came out of the coma and eventually learned how to be something other than a drug-fueled zombie. I do have brain damage. We had a LOT of fun the first few years making jokes about that: "Oh, don't mind my Mom, she's brain damaged!" sorts of things. Keeping a sense of humor is essential.
None of this is what this blog is going to be about though. I'm just bad at starting things like this...then I do, and I become an incoherent, rambling train-wreck of a communicator.
It's the brain damage. *nudge wink*
I started a blog because I'm going to a Parole Board Hearing in March to tell the board members why I do not want them to let the man who raped me out of prison after just 4 years. Four years isn't enough time. Not for me to heal. Not for him to cool off enough to decide it's better for him to go live his own life and stay away from mine. It's definitely not enough time for my 12 year old daughter, who is afraid he's going to come after me, or come for her. She would know, he's her father. She knows exactly what he is like.
I left him in May of 2011, moved an hour away and refused to have any contact with him at all besides handing our daughter back and forth on visitation days. He harassed me for months, then finally got a girlfriend, got mad I wasn't jealous, harassed me some more, worried our daughter to death asking personal questions about me, then after 10 months seemed to back off a bit. Until he heard I might have a boyfriend. So almost exactly one year to the day I left him, he attacked me.
And now he has a chance to be freed. I can't let that happen. This blog is my discussion with myself on how to keep that from happening. It's my way of communicating something other than internally. It's also an invitation if anyone has any ideas, experience, suggestions, about how to talk to this Board.
I was his victim for a long time. I'm a survivor now, and I'm not going back.