Saturday, March 24, 2012

Climbing the mountain...

...of darn paperwork! Good heavens! Whoever it was that decided that they needed to kill an entire forest for divorce papers needs to be shot. Or at least better educated on the ill effects of deforestation on our planet. You think I'm kidding? Request a packet from your local lawyer and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, that is the task I have decided to tackle today. Filling out the mountain of papers to the best of my ability and then leaving the rest for whenever the darn volunteer lawyer decides I'm worth her time to actually call back and make an appointment with. Just because she works from home and on a volunteer basis doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice for her to call me back and at least acknowledge that I've returned her call and that she'll eventually get around to seeing me. To say I'm frustrated with the entire situation would most definitely be an understatement, but as she is a volunteer and will be handling this all for free I guess I can't get too grumbly.

Not really a whole lot else going on here I guess. Except that the kids saw the STBE yesterday for the first time in two weeks yesterday. Before going yesterday our oldest, C (who is 3.5), was saying how he didn't want to see daddy so I told him that daddy loved him and wanted to see him and play with him. Then, when they came home, he refused to come in the house because he didn't want me. Ouch. I don't know if the STBE told C anything to make him say that and carry on the way he did or if it was just "normal" toddler confusion over the whole situation. Either way it broke me heart and just added to yesterday's other woes.

Also, I've pretty much decided that the end of April or beginning of May I will be taking a solo trip out to see L. The next time she would be able to fly out here wouldn't be until probably mid-June and that is just too far away for either of us. I will have to do some very creative budgetting to make it work, and beg either my mother or the STBE (or both) to watch the kids while I'm gone, but I need to go. I have been in need of a vacation for years and this seems like the perfect reason to finally take one. Going through a divorce and having your #1 support person thousands of miles away just isn't very conducive to a fully functional and sane existence. While she was here I felt so much more at ease and was able to just roll with things as they came my way. And, if needed, I'd vent or cry and she'd talk to me and hold me and things would get better.

Well, it seems my temporary silence has ended, C & R are waking up from their naps, so I better tuck away the mountain and get back to reality.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A bittersweet week

Going into this week I knew it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster yet for some reason it still completely overwhelmed me. I'm running on E and its only Thursday... To start off, C was sick all weekend and I was excited about L's visit and stressing out about my final exam for the 2nd quarter of nursing school. C only continued to get worse all weekend, L arrived safe and sound and I totally bombed my exam. And that was all just the weekend/Monday.

Tuesday was another crazy day because it was my final eval appointment with my advisor for nursing school and I totally thought I had failed out but I somehow managed to squeak by with a passing grade for the whole quarter thanks to my other test scores. Tuesday was also my first therapy appointment to help me heal from everything that happened between the STBE and me and that was incredibly draining. She has decided that I likely have PTSD and depression. Joy. L's visit was going great, the kids absolutely LOVED her (like mama like kiddos I suppose). I have never felt so immediately comfortable with anybody in my life. She knows me like she knows a favorite book, can read my moods, and darn near my thoughts, before I do. And she is just so incredibly big hearted and understanding. The total opposite of what I'm used to. Some people may be inclined to call what I have with her a "rebound" relationship but I really don't think it is. How could it be when we have known each other for so long, and loved each other for almost as long? As she puts it, we just took the rediculously long detoured way of getting together. And together we are, though I'm not sure we're going to even put a name to our relationship right now because things are just too complicated.

Wednesday was the court hearing for the permanent protection order. It passed, but the supervised visits did not. The STBE can visit the kids unsupervised whenever we arrange it. I'm not okay with this but I have no choice in the matter. My only comfort is that because of the protection order the state is now aware of the situation and if the STBE tries leaving with the kids or keeping them from me he can get in a lot of trouble. While I was in court, L stayed at home with the kids and when I came back I found the three of them snuggling on the couch, talk about melting my heart. Not too long after I got home I had to take C into the doc's office because he just keeps getting worse. Find out its a virus and nothing she can give us will help make him any less miserable. My poor guy.

Wednesday night/Thursday early morning... Where do I even start? How do I put into words all of the thoughts and feelings from last night and this morning? After we dropped the kids off with my mother (so they wouldn't have to be dragged out of the house at 2:30am), we were going to head to the store to pick up a few things but I made an impromptu trip to the beach because it was sunset and absolutely beautiful. It was also freezing cold so we didn't walk long but found a table to sit at and snuggled and talked for a little while before finally heading back to the car. After that we both got a lot quieter, the fun seemed to go out of both of us because we knew that in a few short hours she'd be back on that plane and neither of us wanted her to go. So, we shopped, we went home and went to bed way early (I'm talking 9pm here) and even though we both knew we should be sleeping we talked for a little while. I cried, she held me, and things were generally just hard on both of us emotionally. When our evil alarms finally went off at 2am, getting out of that bed was torture. Not just because we were tired but because of what it meant. She was leaving. Almost as we were ready to leave L finally broke down and cried and it was my turn to hold her.

The rest of the morning and drive to the airport was mostly more of the same, us talking or being quiet as we both thought about her leaving. She snagged a nap in the car on the way and I didn't wake her up until we got there. Dropping her off at the terminal was unbelievably heartbreaking. I never want to have to do that again. The next time she comes out I hope is for good, but only time will tell. She said she has a lot of thinking to do before she makes a huge decision like that, and while I get it I just really don't like the uncertainty. After we said our goodbyes, I watched her walk into the airport and then drove away. Crying. Again. About halfway home I had to stop and get out and walk a bit (was getting drowsy) and saw that she might not be on her plane yet so I called and luckily she wasn't. I got to say goodbye one more time, tell her I loved her again, and I could hear in her voice that she was as heartsick as I was. When we hung up I cried yet again. Yes, I have been a regular waterworks lately. When I finally got back to my empty house (remember, the kids are with my mother) I crawled into bed and snuggled with the shirt she'd left behind. Her scent on that shirt and on her side of the bed I think were the only things keeping me from crying myself back to sleep.

And to end my week, tomorrow the kids get to see the STBE for the first time in 2 weeks and I'm a wreck. C has finally just stopped asking where daddy is and is slowly starting to listen better. This is just going to throw a wrench in all the progress he's made.

Can this week just be over please?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A brand new ending

I think that this is going to become my personal statement for a while. I know its impossible to change the past, and all things considered if I did then I wouldn't have my two wonderful kidlets and that I wouldn't change for the world. So even if it were possible I wouldn't do it.

What is possible, however, is changing how my future will play out. I've already taken a few steps towards a better life, I have a few more coming up this week, and even more over the weeks and months to come.

I'm trying really hard not to be anxious or worried about the future, but as anybody who knows me well can attest, I'm a natural worrier so this is a very hard thing for me. Instead I am trying to be excited about how my life will be from here on out. I have so many opportunities to make a better, happier life for myself, C, and R, and I am going to do my best to take advantage of as many of those opportunities as possible.

This coming week alone I have some pretty important stuff going on. Monday is my final exam for 2nd quarter of nursing school (half way done!) and also the day that a very special someone will be arriving in WA. If I can concentrate on my exam in the morning I'll be pleasantly surprised. Tuesday I have my first therapy appointment to help me deal with everything that went on between the STBE and me. Wednesday is going to be the hard day this week: court. I admit I'm scared to death that the judge won't uphold the protection order and that the STBE will be able to come home. And if he does he'll find L here with the kids and likely go ballistic and try to take the kids right then and there. Even if the protection order is turned permanent its going to be an emotionally draining day and having L here will be nothing short of a miracle. Thursday morning (way too early for this girl) I have to take L back to the airport. Not looking forward to that one bit, but having her here for even such a short visit after waiting almost 6 years since we realized we had feelings for each other? Totally worth it =).

After that all I have going is Spring Break from school. I plan to ignore everything having to do with nursing for the entire break and just focus on getting reacquainted with friends that I haven't seen or done much with over the past few years thanks to the STBE's role in my life. I'm probably even going to get a new tattoo! If I do, I'll post a picture. I already know what it will be, and its really simple but has a lot of meaning to me.

Anyway, here's to a brand new (and much happier) ending!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I really should be sleeping...

Its late, I have clinicals in the morning, and I'm exhausted. So, you ask, why the heck am I still awake? As is my lot in life, the second I turn off the lights and try and sleep, my brain starts working in overdrive. I've got so much going on right now that I'm just anxious something is going to go wrong. Either my final exam on next Monday, my careplans and IPRs that are due Thursday, getting my house clean and situated in a way that has nothing to do with the STBE, and probably most prominent in my mind is the visit from L next week. By the time I post this it will be 5 days until she is due to arrive and I am a nervous wreck.

Why am I so nervous? Hmm, well lets see here, we've known each other for years and years, realized we loved each other about six years ago, and then I was forbidden to talk to her again. It broke my heart to cut her out of my life but what I felt was, I'm dead sure, nothing compared to what she went through when I broke things off with her. The fact that when I sent her an email, completely out of the blue, one month ago and not only responded, but didn't tell me to go jump off the nearest cliff still amazes me. Add in that she still had feelings for me like I have had for her all along... And we will only now be meeting for the first time. How is this NOT something to be a nervous wreck about?

If we finally meet in person and things don't feel right for either (or both) of us I will be devastated. Just being honest here. Even when I wasn't allowed to talk to her she was a bright spot in my life and I always dreamed that we'd get our chance someday. That someday is pretty much here, and we're getting our chance, but what if it just doesn't work? You may be thinking, "Forget 'what if'!" but for those who know me well, they know that questioning things and worrying is one of my natural skills. Yes, I know, such a wonderful skill. It has caused me more than my share of heartache in the past but it has also helped prepare me for the times that things have gone wrong.

Here's hoping that this is one of those times where my worrying is for naught.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It all hit the fan

So, Monday I did something that wasn't easy. Tuesday I did something completely miserable. Wednesday I did the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. Its been a horribly horrible week and I am SO greatful that its almost over. Now if only I knew for certain that things were going to be smooth sailing from here but consdering what I did this week I'm almost 100% sure that things will be anything but smooth.

**Fair warning, the rest of this blog might be triggering**

Monday I worked up the nerve and actually made it to my appointment with CADA (citizens against domestic abuse). The meeting with them was rather simple and straightforward. I told them the basics of what happened on Feb. 14th and they told me what options were out there for me that other people have pursued or utilized. Still, it was an emotional appointment and when I left it I immediately called L (she is the woman from my past who has been so incredibly supportive, and who I am falling in love with all over again). Needless to say, she once again talked me down from the crazy emotions that I just couldn't quite get under control. While talking to her I made a decision, one that I knew would not be received well at all.

I went home and asked the STBE, again, to move out of the house. As I had expected he refused. What I didn't expect, though I probably should have considering he's done it before, was that he threatened to take away C & R and never let me see them again. That sent me into a panick. My children are my life and my joy and to lose them forever.... Just the thought sends chills down my spine. Anyway, that was the last straw for this mama. Go ahead and threaten me, or hurt me, but never NEVER threaten to take my babies!

That particular argument above, as well as a rather brief conversation with a classmate of mine Tuesday morning convinced me of the next step I needed to take. It was awful, and is something I never want to have to do again. I went to the police station here in town and filed a claim with them for domestic violence. To do so I had to do a recorded interview that included everything he has done to me. All 4 instances were gone over in as much detail as I could remember and dredging up all those old memories was excruciatingly painful. While talking to the detective helping me with my claim, she made it very clear that she thought an order of protection against the STBE would probably be in my best interest, and that of the kids. As hard as it was to do, I made another appointment with CADA to fill out the paperwork for the protection order.

Wednesday was the topper to the cake, the day I filled out the papers for the protection order and took it to the country court. Talk about emotionally draining. The order was approved on a temporary (2 week) basis and we have a hearing where he can tell his side of things 2 weeks from the day the temp. order was approved. The order was faxed to my local PD and the detective I worked with on Tuesday was actually the one to serve it. She found him at the college and he was not happy at all. When an officer escorted him to the house to take his clothes and switch out the cars I had to be present and that was the worst part of the day. I could tell he hated me for doing this to him but like the detective had told me, it wasn't my problem. He brought this on himself by raping me (multiple times) and threatening to take the kids. It still killed me to see that look in his eyes. And before he left he asked if he could see the kids, who were down the street at my friend's house. I said he could and went to get them. I knew he would cry when he said goodbye to them but it still hurt seeing him so upset like that. After all, they mean the world to him just like they do to me.

Since Wednesday things have been rough. C is acting out more as we adjust to being a single parent household. He has always been a boundary pusher but it has gotten markedly worse without the STBE here too. R is just extra snuggly. I think I am now getting all of the snuggles she normally gave me plus those she'd give her daddy. And while my general anxiety level has decreased immensely since he was removed from the house, I'm still fighting a lot of sadness and am just a bit overwhelmed at being a single parent.

The light point I have to look forward to is that on the 19th of March L will be flying out. Monday after my appointment with CADA and the argument with the STBE we skyped for a long time and at one point I said how much I wish she were out here and she answered she'd love to be but it would cause too many problems. My answer to that was "f*ck the problems". When she asked if I meant what I said, I answered yes and she told me she would fly out. She just needed to give 2 weeks notice at work that she needed some time off. Tuesday her work approved her time off and she booked her ticket. We have been waiting almost 6 years for this and we are both so incredibly excited, but we are also both pretty nervous. So far our relationship has been purely long distance and what if things are different between us in person? I guess its just something we'll have to deal with once she gets here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Frustration and happiness

My life is an interesting mix lately: frustration at the housing/STBE situation and cautious happiness at rekindling an old relationship. I want nothing more than for my STBE to move out and give me the divorce I've told him I want but he has asked for a chance to prove that he can change for the better for our family. I'm all for him making good changes but I told him that they won't change my mind, and they haven't. I no longer have any interest in a relationship of any kind with him except maybe one of friendship for the sake of our kids.

I'm not sure how he thinks that he will be able to save our marriage, but apparently him finally taking care of his health and finally taking an interest in the kids is supposed to magically fix everything. And also, making the occasional comment about how he loves my body. Uh huh. What part of "act like friend only or get out" did he miss? What friend casually mentions that he's attracted to his room mate's body? This is what I get for trying to be nice. Not to mention the occasional argument about the whole situation in general. I still want him out, he still wants to stay, and whereas before he had said he'd give me the divorce and not fight me for the kids he has now changed his tune. Now that he's faced with losing everything he just can't stand it and he will fight me for them.

Enter the most supportive person in my life. Without her I'd probably be drowning in all of the stress and heartache this whole situation is causing me. If I start to panic she calmly talks me down by reminding me that in all actuality he is no real threat to me in regards to taking the kids. He sexually abused his wife, multiple times no less, and what judge would give custody to a man that can do that to his wife? If push comes to shove, I can only hope she's right.

To help lay the groundwork for the possibility of pressing charges against him for the rape(s) I made an appointment with CADA, the local domestic abuse support organization. I've been to them once before for one of the instances between the STBE and me, and I'm not sure if they still have that on record but if they do it will prove a history of sexual abuse by him towards me if I need to press charges. I don't want to, but if its the only way to keep my kids with me and get him out of my life I will.

Now for the happy part of my life lately. The same super supportive woman I mentioned above is the old relationship that has come back into my life. Immediately after the incident on Valentine's day, I sent her an email telling her that I was ending things with the STBE. I wasn't even sure if she would answer me, but I thought she would be relieved to know. We had known each other for years before I met the STBE, and only realized that we loved each other right about the same time he moved out to live with me. The situation was rocky to say the least and finally he made me cut her out of my life. My guess as to why is that she could see more clearly than I that even then he was abusing me and she was trying to make me see that being with him was not good for me. Being the stubborn person I am, I was determined to make my marriage and family work and I just ignored the truth. I gave in to his demands and cut off all contact with her to save my family.

Anyway, all that is in the past and by some miracle she not only still shares the feelings I have for her (because despite the time they never went away), but she is able to forgive me for hurting her so badly when I stopped talking to her. Naturally we both have some reservations about getting involved right now but we are both hopeful for the future. I have no doubt that once things are final between the STBE and me that we will finally be able to have a real chance together. The biggest obstacle is going to be the distance though as she lives halfway across the country. That, however, is a small obstacle all things considered.