Monday, August 31, 2015

Hot Mess

I'm feeling some kind of way... Like I need to process somethings but I don't know where to start or even how to identify the problem.

Things are good, calm, easy... too easy, almost like the twilight zone, easy. It's such a foreign concept to me, that I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm so used to constant chaos that I don't know how to act right now.

Itty Bit and I went shopping yesterday for a new school outfit. Only one, mind you. She's got more clothes than any 11 year old should rightfully have. And shoes, don't even get me started. But I thought it would be nice if she could shop for an outfit for the first day of middle school. So we went to the mall. A fun, normal thing to do with your kid.  I wouldn't normally pay mall prices for clothes, but since she was only getting one outfit... also I figure she's earned some special treatment.

Things are wonderful with Mr. Security. We actually talked about how odd it is. What we have is far removed from what either of us is used to. It feels weird. It's safe, fun, stress free. We noted that we've only been dating for a month. But the way we are together is like we've been together for years. So comfortable that being together is our new normal. Itty Bit and I went to a cookout at his house yesterday. His Mom and brothers were there. And one of his best friends. Everyone got along great. There were no fights. No one was drunk or high. We all played a game kind of like charades. It was nice.

My bills are paid. There isn't much extra. Especially since it's back to school time. But I'm ok with that. We have what we need.

So why am I still terrified? 
I'm having horrible nightmares. So graphic, violent and weird I can't even talk about them. I woke up yesterday pissed off and ready to punch someone. These episodes are leaving me shaken. 

Could it be as simple as, I'm on edge waiting for the next thing to come at me? And if nothing comes? When do I finally accept our new reality?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Focusing on Itty Bit

My Itty Bit has never had it easy. From the day she was born she's been surrounded by chaos. Her dad and I fighting was probably the least of her sad as that sounds.

Her older sister despised her right from the start. I suppose it had to do with DQ being an only child for 5 years. I imagine her psychological problems also played a large part. DQ always treated her like ... I'm sitting here trying to think of how to describe this... It's hard to sum up. 

Early on, we knew we couldn't leave Itty Bit alone with DQ. There were sneaky attempts to hurt her. Physically hurt her. As they got older, no matter what DQ did Itty Bit still worshiped the ground her big sister walked on.  DQ used this admiration to her advantage. Manipulating her at every possible turn.

Towards the end, the interactions were straight up nasty and hateful. DQ had no reservations about screaming horrible things at her sister, with the intent of hurting her. At some point in the last year, Itty Bit stopped blindly following her sister, and began to hate her right back. It took 10 + years for that child's spirit to be crushed and her heart broken. But as far as Itty Bit is concerned, if you cross her Momma, it means war. 

And this poor kid doesn't get a break. When she goes to her dad's house it's a nightmare. She doesn't remember much of the fighting her father and I did. But she has a front row seat to the kind of person he is now. She put the pieces together and understands why I left him. 

She uses facebook to message me when she's there.  Often he won't let her use the phone to call me. I recall back to Christmas break, when I got a message saying, "Come get me, right now. Bring your gun."  Well of course I freaked out. Her dad lives almost an hour away. So I called the police and sent them out there. Then I got my best friend and we rode out to get her.

You know the situation is bad when you tell your bestie, "wait in the car, if I go in the house and don't come back in 5 minutes, call the police!" Oh, and we were both armed.  The Douche (ex-husband) tried to argue, but ultimately, I got her. She didn't go back to visit for almost 2 months. She didn't want to. 

In the summer, we are supposed to switch, one week on, one week off. Every time she spent the week at his house, I heard about fighting. Twice this last week I got messages saying The Douche and his girlfriend were going at it. This is my last straw.

I had previously told Itty Bit that if at anytime she doesn't want to go back, just say the word and I'll make it happen. But now, I'm making an executive decision. Enough is enough! She is not going back. I got her back yesterday morning, and she informed me that she tried to record the fighting with her ipod. 5 of them!!! The sound didn't come through. And also... they got physical, in the middle of the day with the kids watching. Are you fucking kidding me? No! Hell No! 

I told Itty Bit that I wasn't going to send her to Dad's anymore. She's ok with that. And I mentioned something like, 'If he doesn't like it, he can take me to court.' Well she sat up a little straighter and said, "And then I'll tell the judge about all the fighting and I don't want to go back."

Because you know what? It's time for Itty Bit to have some normalcy in her life. No more fighting, violence or anger. She's put up with the chaos in this family for WAY too long. At this point, everyone else can fuck off, because I'm focusing on Itty Bit. I no longer care about offending or pissing other people off. I don't care about the opinions of anyone who thinks they know best. Itty Bit and I are going to spend some time "catching up." I may spoil her a little. God Damn it, she's earned it.

Last night, Mr. Security and his son, (We're going to name him Stretch cuz the kid is over 6 ft tall) came over for dinner. After dinner I overheard the kids talking, laughing, sharing... Being kids. Stretch talks with her like she's a person. A human being that matters. They took turns sharing youtube videos. Neither dominated the controller. He didn't piss her off or make her cry or try to scare her or talk her out of her candy. They genuinely enjoy each others company. Which is wonderful, because I really like Mr. Security, but if Itty Bit had a problem with either of them, I would have to let them go.

I thought about putting her back in therapy. And I'm still sort of thinking about it. But I honestly believe what she really needs is time with me. Her sister used every bit of energy I had. There wasn't much left for Itty Bit. Now we have time. And peace. We are going to surround ourselves with good people who don't stress us out. We are going to do things that make us happy. I am going to put my energy into being the best Mom I can be for her. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mr. Security

How to describe him? He has a fantastic smile. A big genuine grin complete with dimples. When he lets it go full watt, it's what you would call a panty dropping smile. Also... a great laugh. Full of life and happiness. THAT is what originally attracted me to him. 

Later it was conversations. We get along great. We understand each other. To the point of completing sentences.  Our first date lasted 24 hours ... with no sex. Not even heavy petting.

As things progress, I find other things I like about him. The balance for one. He wants to spend time with me. Goes out of his way to come and see me. We make plans and then follow through.  On the other side of that, we take time for ourselves. He isn't stuck up my ass, depending on me for all of his social needs. He's got his own friends and hobbies. We see each other a couple times a week. We talk on the phone almost every day we're not together. Not text. Actual phone calls. There are texts too, ' I'm thinking about you. ' and so on.

Now I can add fantastic sex to the list of things I like about him. Along with a strong moral compass. Being a good dad. Doing what he can to care for the people he loves. His relationship with his mother. His level of responsibility. Itty Bit likes him. His son likes me. All great stuff, right?

No where in there do I mention how much money he makes. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't give a shit about that. As long as I don't have to pay your bills, I really don't care about your money.

We had plans for dinner yesterday, which I cancelled, because I wasn't feeling very happy and sunshiny. I didn't think I'd be good company. He called later in the evening to check on how I was doing. So sweet.

He'd gone out to dinner with his brother and his son. They were talking about going to Busch Gardens the coming weekend. He wanted to know if I'd like to come, too. Then I had to explain my dislike of roller coasters. To which he said, we'd probably only be up there for a few hours. 

Well tickets are expensive, and I point out that it'd be a waste of money to only stay for a few hours when you pay that much. His witty comeback? "Baby, you know I make six figures, right?" 

Uh, well no. No I didn't. Because it never occurred to me to find out or even care. We've known each other for 6 months and it just never came up. It makes sense though. Brand new truck. Pretty motorcycle. 2 house payments. Expensive fun toys. 

Well that's good I guess. I won't be asked to bail him out on a car payment or fund any of his hobbies. And that's about the extent of how his paycheck effects me.

What it does say to me is, he's confident in himself as a person. He didn't have to brag about money to get a girl. His charm, brain and smile are all he really needs. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

That Girl

DQ had court today. I transported her because it was such short notice that the group home didn't have time to make arrangements. Lets be clear. I didn't need to be there. The judge didn't order me to come back to court. 

I picked her up, and as soon as she got in the car, she started in on me. About what isn't important. DQ will always find a reason to start a fight. 

We get to court and sit around for 2 plus hours waiting our turn. Go and sit in front of the judge, and DQ's lawyer says his piece, DQ talks, and the judge asked for my input. She then ordered a continuance. DQ is to come back in 3 months, and if she is doing well in the group home, the charges will be dismissed.

Groovy. Sounds like a good incentive to me. I think DQ heard something different. Like... Here's another chance.... There is no consequence for putting your hands on your mom... You can do what you want because you're an invincible teenager...???

We get in the car to leave. It's hot. I need gas so I stop at 7-11 to get gas and something to drink for both of us. DQ asked, "Can I get something?" I say, "Yes, I'm getting you some water."  She starts to fuss about it and I ignore her. Go in, get my coffee, her water and pay for our stuff, come back out, hand her the water and start to pump gas. 

She sat in the car and threw an absolute fit over the water. I ignore her. Fully aware of my stomach churning and burning. Tapping my foot, listening her tantrum.

She doesn't let up on the road. So I take the bottle from her and throw it in the back seat. "If you don't want the water, fine. But there is no need to throw a fit over it." She climbs over the seat to retrieve the water, "Well, I'm still going to drink it, but I'm saying I'm angry." This goes on for another few minutes, so I pull out my phone and start recording it. On and on she goes. Until she finally opens the water and drinks it. 

We get back to the group home. I share the recording with one of the Sisters and another staff member. They are both shocked. They wonder how I have the patience not to throttle her. They say I shouldn't have gotten her anything. They say to ignore her, and tell me I need to toughen up and stop being so nice.  OK. My day was actually fine to that point. Nothing far removed from MY normal.  

And then they called the other girls in for an impromptu group. After a few minutes of chatting, things took a serious turn. This little gang-banger looking girl starts to talk directly to DQ. She looks tough. She talks like she'll stab you if you push her. At first she is angry. Telling DQ how lucky she is. And then she gets quiet and begins to weep. She starts choking on her words. Explaining to DQ that she doesn't have a mother, because the woman doesn't want her. In fact, she doesn't have any family at all. How she would give anything to have what DQ has. And then... everyone in the room is crying. Well, not DQ. She was sitting with her arms crossed looking thoroughly annoyed. I cried.

I was that girl. The one without a family. When I was in the group home, I recall saying those same things to other little rotten girls who treated their mothers like DQ treats me. When all the other girls went home for holidays, I stayed in the home. Or... if I was lucky, I got to go home with someone else and their family. Never my own, because I didn't have one. My biological mother never came to family therapy, or visits. She couldn't be bothered. 

I cried. All the way home. It's been a long time since I thought about the little girl I used to be. And I thanked God for sending me my foster Mom. I can only imagine where I would be if she hadn't come along and saved me.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Other Side

Well... we survived.  

I came home Tuesday, from work, to find DQ had broken every rule she could think of. I'll spare you the details. All in line with causing as much chaos as possible before she left.

Wednesday I decided not to go to work. I hadn't slept. My stomach was acting up. (yeah I'm eating prilosec again) I had this awful feeling that if I left her alone again, I might not have a house to come back to. She mostly hid in her room and so did I. I kept tearing up that morning. Feeling like a failure as a parent. Feeling like shit for looking forward to her leaving. Wavering back and forth between guilt and anger. It Was Not a good day.

Thursday I was exhausted. From the moment I got out of bed, I couldn't wait for the day to be over and climb back in.

We got to the group home about 1 in the afternoon. Its a small little house in the middle of a nice neighborhood. No signage or anything indicating there is a facility there. There is no more than 4 girls at a time and they all have a mental health diagnosis. 

The home is owned and run by two black sisters. Black actually matters, in that, they have this sassy, 'blood is thicker than water, ain't takin' no lip from mouthy teenager girls, you better do what your mama told you', kind of way.  I love them both already. They have the same expectations and rules that I have. 

When we first arrived, it was all "Hi, nice to meet ya", "This is an opportunity, not a punishment", laughing and talking and getting a feel for each other. And right in the middle of all that, one of the sisters got very serious. Her entire demeanor changed. She spoke to DQ with a deadly quiet tone. "I've read your file. You seem to think it's ok to put your hands on your mama. Let me tell you, no matter what our mama did, no matter how she pissed us off, it never crossed my mind to touch my mother. Why? Simply put, because she was my mother. The title itself means you automatically respect her. I don't care if she walks in the house and bashes you upside your head. You still don't get to put your hands on your mama. No one in your life is ever going to love and care for you as much as that lady. She gave birth to you. That is all she had to do to earn your respect. You don't have to like it. It doesn't matter what she does to you. You can have your opinions. You can be angry. But there is never an acceptable reason to touch your mother."

I think you get the picture. These ladies aren't takin no shit from this kid.

They ask that there be no contact for 30 days. We get an exception because we have court on Monday. Other than that, no visits or phone calls. It's a reality check for DQ and a break for me. They actually told me to go home, relax, breathe and have a big glass of wine. "Don't worry, mom. We got this."

I drove home without the radio on. Lost in my head. In silent contemplation. I am comfortable in saying, this is exactly what DQ needs.

Itty Bit and Mr. Security have been here for me the last couple days. Itty bit isn't even aware what good she does me. Her hugs and her laughter keep me out of my head. And when I kept waking up with nightmares, Mr. Security just held on tight and talked to me. Letting me know that I wasn't alone. He's been here for 3 days, offering to help in anyway he can. But most importantly, he's here waiting to catch me if I fall apart. 

So we've made it to the other side of this insanity. I think. I'm still unsure about the near future. But I'm sleeping. My stomach is starting to settle. I'm coming out of my twilight zone style fog. 

I did have that glass of wine. Ok, I admit it was more like half the bottle. I think I earned it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In Which Hell Breaks Lose

I made a prediction at the end of June (The Precipice) about what would happen when DQ found out that she would have to go live somewhere else. Long story short, she already feels like she's lost the battle and so it's game on. For the next 3 days she is going to make life hell for us at home.

Last Monday I went out to dinner with Mr. Security. We got back around 9 and DQ wasn't here. She didn't get back until almost 11. Yeah I was livid. The next day was our funding meeting for the group home. I tried to stay calm and just get through it.

That Wed. I came home from work and saw her through the window, running away from my desk. Eh hem... Come to find out she hacked my password protected old laptop. And... had been using it since before she went to the respite group home. Well fuck me. This kid is smart. 

And what was she using it for? I'll give you 3 guesses and the first two don't count. Yeah, talking to men. Not boys, MEN. She opened dating profiles on two sites. Had a skype account. Emails. Every form of communication she could possibly think of. Which leads me back to Monday. Turns out, she was on a date. With a 21 year old military guy. Who came to our house and picked her up, took her out to eat and then went to the beach. 

What The Actual Fuck is wrong with this kid???

I have no doubts that she's been seeing other "people", too. Having them over to the house when no one is home. I saw snippets of conversations she's had with at least 7 of these guys. I couldn't read anymore, it made my stomach burn. I took the laptop to SC with us. My friend Joe is a network security specialist. But more importantly, he used to do computer forensics for the D.O.D. I gave him the laptop, and asked that he find out which of this guys knew she was a minor, and get me the info I need to seek charges. By the time Joe gets done, a lot of guys lives are going to be fucked!!! 

Yesterday, while the in-home-therapist was here, I informed DQ she was going to the group home on Thursday. She lost her shit. Cursed me out and then demanded I take her clothes shopping before she goes. Really? Are you out of your mind? 

The therapist and I talked alone for a few minutes at the end. It's generally understood that it's going to be hell week here. I knew, she confirmed, DQ is going to be an asshole until the very last minute. I just have to keep reminding myself, it will be better soon. Only a couple of more days.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Clocking Out

I think I mentioned going on a mini-vacation earlier. Heading to SC to hang out with some friends, drink too much and do some shooting. Wishing and hoping became reality this past weekend. 

For the purposes of this story/blog/diary I'm calling the boyfriend Mr. Security. Meaning multiple things, seen and unseen. Moving on...

The drive down was only made pleasant by the company. It rained almost the whole way. Mr. Security drove the first leg and then handed over the keys to his brand new truck to me. With one eyebrow cocked, he kept an eye on my driving for a bit before relaxing with the knowledge that I wasn't going to destroy his new toy.  

The first night was just chill. We sat around with our friends, joking and drinking. All 6 of us taking turns at the fully stocked bar, mixing shots. There were A LOT of shots. There was also a lot of laughing. 

Saturday we got up early-ish to go to an open range. The boys brought all their toys. Each taking turns playing with each others riffles. LMAO.

I sat back and watched them. No interest in shooting something that loud with so much kick back. All three of them trying to convince me to have a turn. No thanks. But Joe wasn't having it. He pulled out a special AR that he uses for competition for me to use. It was nice. Still loud but almost no kick back. 

We did some pistol drills. Setting up a course to move around and practice target shooting. Way cooler than an indoor range where you have to wait 4 seconds between shots. I got some pro advise from the bad ass, former military, something-or-anothers. I still suck, but it's fine. I had fun.
Saturday night was good food, more friends, more drinking, and a really expensive drone. 

The next morning, Mr. Security and I got up early and went into Charleston for a breakfast adventure. The Hominy Grill has been featured on the show Diners Drive-ins and Dives. There was a 30 minute wait for a table with people milling around outside. 

Once we got our food, I was kind of baffled. Everything from the coffee to the pancakes... awful. There I was trying to choke down this "food" wondering if people in SC have really fucked up taste buds. I tried some of Mr. Security's food and his sucked too. Come to find out he thought the same thing. Like, what's all the fuss about? How is this place even still in business? It sucked that bad. And worse, the prices for this shitty food. 9 bucks for three pancakes. Nothing on the side. Just 3 nasty pancakes.  Oh well, live and learn. At least I had good company.

I'm tempted to say my favorite part of this trip was the drive back. The weather was beautiful. Traffic was good. We stopped and had decent steaks. Better than all that... again, the company. He was content to let me do most of the driving, which I prefer. We talked almost the entire way. About nothing and everything. Sharing stories. Laughing. Being serious. Holding hands. 

It was fantastic to clock out of real life for a couple of days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We Are Going to Make it

For kids from poor families, getting any kind of real mental or behavioral health help is a nightmare. We all know cash is King and if you ain't got it, well piss on you.

It was a little over a year ago that I went to the courts to ask for guidance in dealing with DQ. We've been in this rabbit hole, chasing the invisible bunny for what feels like eternity. 

It actually feels like Adventures in Wonderland. With DQ, eating this and drinking that. Getting exponentially worse. The reality of day to day life often too absurd to be believed. And logic, yeah... just forget about that.

And why all this running around like a mad woman? For funding. Because I can't afford the cost of out of home care for DQ. We had to let complete strangers into our lives, so they could judge whether or not she's crazy enough for more intensive treatment. 

Finally, yesterday, after a 30 minute meeting with a panel of "experts", she was approved for funding. DQ will be going to a group home for kids with behavioral problems. SOON! 

She will stay for 3 months to begin with. If she can make the changes she needs to, then they will release her. If not she will get another 3 months, and so on. I'm not even remotely convinced she will do a 180 in that time. 

It's a horrible feeling for a mother to feel relief because your kid is going to live somewhere else. A serious internal conflict of interest. Because you love them, you want the best for them. You want to keep them near and safe. When you realize you can't do that for them a little piece of your heart dies.

This is what's best for all of us. And I truly hope it will be what sets DQ on the right path in life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Awesome Weekend

Now back to our regularly scheduled lives...

I had an awesome weekend. Maybe I should correct that and say "we". We, as in me, Itty Bit and even DQ. Don't get me wrong, DQ did break a lot of rules, and try to get over on the adults. I chose to ignore it and pretend that things are normal.

So the new boyfriend... 
Since we were friends before we decided to take the plunge into dating, DQ knew who he was. He'd been here back in Feb. for the birthday party. I'd mentioned him in passing. He's friends with some of my friends, including my bestie. It didn't seem weird that he suddenly started hanging out more. Neither of my girls even batted an eye when he and his son came over one night last week to swim in the pool and have dinner with us. 

My girls were excited when I invited them over on Sat. for dinner and board games. I can't decide which is cooler; the fact that he and I get along so well, or that our kids do. At one point Itty Bit pulled me aside and asked, "Are they spending the night?" I said no, and she was bummed.  But then I talked about it with him, and we decided, why the hell not?

Itty Bit's best friend was here, too. We had dinner. Simple enough. And we goofed off. We played Monopoly until 1 in the morning. Then the kids set up a movie and the grown-ups went to bed. Everyone got along. There was no fighting. In fact, there was laughing. Lots of it. It's almost odd for my house to be like that.

Sunday morning I got up and made a huge breakfast. A table full of people, passing food around and generally enjoying the company. In my head, I kept saying, "This is so nice." And it was. Nice and easy and simple. 

I had to work for a couple of hours and Boyfriend had some errands to run. The kids were doing so well together, we just left them all here while we did our stuff. A couple hours later we were back at the house for another dinner and more goofing off. 

At one point I said to his son, "Thanks for coming over and hanging out with us." He said, "Are you kidding? You're an awesome cook. I like hanging out here."  His son is 15. You'd think he'd rather be playing video games. But he was more than happy to be in on the group activities. He hugged me. I was a little stunned, and honored. 

Yes, it was an awesome weekend. I'm looking forward to more of those.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blown Rod

I was going to write an entry about what a wonderful weekend I had. It was awesome. Truly. But then HotRod BlownRod had to text, and subsequently irritate the hell out of me. So now I bring to you: The Open Letter Format

Dear Ex-boyfriend,

We broke up more than 6 weeks ago. Recall the date was June 13th! For weeks we went back and forth. It was exhausting and, I realized, ultimately predictive of what any future for us would hold. I apologized and gave you more than enough time to accept the apology and reconcile. You chose to bitch and whine, and jerk my fucking chain to the point of snapping it. THAT was your choice.

 We have literally spent more time going back and forth than we actually spent dating. Let that sink in for a moment. You're wasting too much time and energy on this. You're beating a dead horse. For what? A 6 weeks relationship that almost destroyed us both? It's time to stop the negative flow of energy and find something positive. 

 If you chose to look at my blog, and keep yourself up to date on the goings on in my life, that's on you. I asked you to stop. I will not censor what's posted because you might see it. I don't care about your opinion anymore.

The fact that I chose to move on, and be happy, no matter who it's with, really is none of your fucking business. Why? Because WE BROKE UP. You didn't want me back. You wanted to play games. So this is the consolation prize. A pissed off Missy who has run out of patience for your bullshit.

How dare you try to give me relationship advise! I should behave like you? Ignore and/or blow off my boyfriend to the point where he plain gives up and breaks up with me. Then spend the next 6 weeks aggravating the shit out of him knowing I never had any intention to be part of a healthy relationship to begin with...? 

How dare you imply that I had intentions of cheating on you and call me a liar! When we were together I was all in. Unlike you who had a dating profile up the entire time we were together. Unlike you who lied to me on numerous occasions. Tell me again about how the stalker found your side profile picture on my blog but never found you on the dating sight? Tell me about all the things we were going to do together that just never happened. Tell me all of the romantic things I could expect from you or that you did for past girlfriends that you never did for me.

 Since we're giving out advice, here's a little for you. Quit being an observer in your own life. Watching the world move around you...not bothering to get up and actively participate in it. Then blaming everyone else for your own inability to make something for yourself.

I very much wanted to be your friend. But at this point, I can't tolerate anymore stress or drama. I've got enough already, in case you didn't notice. So I advise you to stop contacting me. Whatever it is you feel you have to say, trust that I don't give a fuck.