Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Its Final

The near disaster today in court was averted by an embarassing show of emotion on my part and a very sympathetic and understanding judge.  Because the Ex never completed the state required parenting class we almost had to delay the divorce another month to give him time to do so.  Only, when the judge saw how defeated I was at hearing that she asked a few questions of me then talked a bit more to him before deciding that she didn't want to punish me simply because he didn't get his act together on time.  As it stands now, the divorce went through and is final but he has until the middle of October to complete the class or he has to go back into court and find out what the judge has to say to him.  She informed him that she could decide to revoke his visitation or even go so far as to give him some jail time if he didn't get it done.

Anyway, once all was said and done today in court both he and I got what we wanted.  I got the divorce finalized and he got the protection order dropped.  I am officially no longer legally tied to my abuser except for the fact that I happen to share my children with him 3-4 days per week.  Its a huge weight lifted off my shoulders knowing this, yet at the same time I still feel like not much has changed.  And probably not much will change until L's arrival in December unless he does something incredibly stupid like not completing the parenting class.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

On a little side note, today I am also finally making this blog public.  I didn't want to have it public before simply so that he couldn't use anything I said or thought against me in court if he so chose.  Now that he can't use it against me I'm putting this out there for the world.  Or at least hopefully somebody in a situation similar to mine who is hoping to find out that they aren't the only person going through the ordeal of dealing with spousal sexual assault.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Starting in one week

In one week the divorce will be final.  I will be free.  Free from him anyway.  I will still have all the normal mom obligations and college student woes and of course I will still be missing L.  In one week I will also finally be able to really truly say I'm in a relationship with L.  Now don't get me wrong, I've been calling her my girlfriend for months and meaning it.  But at this point, with the exception of a select few, if somebody knows I'm getting divorced but that it isn't final yet I haven't volunteered information about my relationship unless they asked if I've found somebody new.  I'm not ashamed of my relationship with L, far from it.  Its just I haven't been ready to deal with society in general disapproving because I "jumped into" a new relationship so fast on top of the fact that the relationship is with a woman.  Dealing with one of those at a time is enough for me.

Speaking of dealing with society's opinions on my new relationship...  I don't want to hide who I am, or who we are as a couple, or that she is going to be helping me coparent and will be the kids' other mommy.  I'm just not sure how to go about everything outside of our private life at home or among friends/family.  The town she's from is super conservative and she could get bullied horribly if we were to walk down the street or through the store holding hands.  I honestly don't think its that bad here, but I'm not sure where her comfort level is.  I would happily hold her hand walking through the store, or walking in the park with the kids and the dog.  I hate having to curb my behavior with her just because of what other people may think, even the thought of it makes me grumbly.

And then there is the matter of family.  As I've said before, a good portion of my family will completely dissapprove.  This will throw a wrench in holidays and get togethers, at least with my mother's side of the family.  I don't want to hide her, or our relationship, from them but I also don't want to lose the connection I have just started rebuilding this year.  I also have no idea how to tell them that I am dating a woman.  Its so frustrating!  I hate that people can't just accept that love is what matters, not what parts the two people in love were born with.  The parts of her family that I've met so far have all been amazingly warm and accepting and I can't want to spend more time with them in the years to come.  They already feel like family to me and I barely know them.  Funny how that works isn't it?  That people you barely know, but who accept you whole heartedly, are more family than those you are related to by blood who dissapprove of you in some way. 

I've already told a handful of my friends about L and I.  Again, as I've mentioned before, some were shocked I was even "that way" and others were just happy for me, no questions asked.  So far I haven't lost any friends for being bi/gay/whatever.  But once the divorce is final I do intend to work on telling the rest of my friends and the family members I'm fairly certain won't freak out on me and that makes me a bit nervous.  I don't know how to go about it in the best way.  I mean, one way or another they are going to figure it out (unless they are completely oblivious).  Either I will tell them outright, or come December when L moves here they will notice changes to my posts on Facebook.  Our Christmas photos are going to have her in them, other random pictures are going to have her in them, my status updates will change from, "The kids and I," to, "The kids, L, and I,".  How are people not going to notice the difference?  But will they figure it out and just start ignoring me or unfriend me?  Or will they have the courage to ask me about how my new relationship is going and be genuinely happy for me when I get a big cheesey grin on my face?

Whatever the outcomes it won't matter.  L will be here with me in a few months and we will finally get our chance to live the life we talked about so many years ago.  The miracle in that never ceases to amaze me.  I finally get my chance to love her unconditionally and without hiding it from anybody.  She is my person, my favorite, and my future.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekend in the city, and more

While I love my island home, every now and then its really nice just to be able to get away.  This weekend I actually get the chance to do that and I'm loving every darn minute of it.  L is here again, and we are staying in a hotel in the city for a couple nights to be here for her cousin's wedding.  The same cousin that was so welcoming to me and the kids the last time that L visited.  The kids are actually back at home, with their dad, so this weekend is just for me and L (and obviously the wedding).

L got in last night then we had to rush to her cousin's house for the rehearsal dinner.  While we were there I met L's dad for the first time.  Until the moment the man hugged me I was a nervous wreck, after that whatever worry I had about meeting him (and also her step-mom) just faded away.  He's pleasant to be around, kinda goofy like his daughter, and just genuinely nice.  I'm not sure why I was surprised but I'm glad it went so well.  I just hope he liked me as much as I liked him.

Once we got done with the rehearsal dinner we hung out for just a little bit at L's cousin's house and then we made our way to the hotel where we stayed holed up until the wedding, except for one little outting to a bookstore a couple blocks away.  Being with her has been absolute bliss.  I always miss her once she's gone but once she's back here with me I always remember exactly how amazing things are when she's here.  I have never been in a relationship that feels so natural.  Things have been good with other people, they've even been fun, but I've never felt like I fit so well with somebody before.

The wedding itself was a lot of fun.  The ceremony was beautiful, if a bit wet when the dock it was on started to sink a bit from all the people.  The reception was loud and crowded and just general good spirited chaos.  I had a couple moments where I really started to get anxious (darn crowds of loud people I don't know!) so we just went outside for a bit.  After her parents left, we both had some wine which helped us both relax a bit.  I even managed to get her to take some pictures with me in the photo booth and dance with me.  While we were dancing she even sang, which she swore I would never hear her do.  Needless to say I had an amazing night.

Our weekend didn't last nearly long enough, but once I got her home to the island we all had a great time as a family.  We took the kids to the beach, with my mom and dog in tow as well, then her last night here we ate out at Applebees and holy moley it was amazing. 

Now, if I'd had my way she wouldn't have gotten back on that darn plane but as it stands she will be out here for good in December, before Christmas.  Talk about an amazing Christmas gift!  I would love to go visit her one more time, it would help with the really long gap in seeing each other, but I have a feeling that if I do have any money before she comes back out she's going to tell me not to waste it.  Its what she does.  I just miss her so much and 3 full months after seeing each other every couple, just seems way too long.  I just have to keep reminding myself that 3 months really isn't that long when in the end it means that we will finally be together for good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's in a name?

To me, names are about connections with people.  Either the connection to your parents who named you as a baby, the connection to your friends or special someone who have given you a nickname of some sort, or the connection to the family you chose/created when you got married or had kids together. 

Currently, the name I have is one that I love and treasure.  Even the last name which is mine only due to marriage I love.  However, the reasons I love my last name have nothing to do with who I got it from anymore.  The reasons I love it are cute, small, and snuggling with me as I type this.  C and R have that last name and it is a connection we share that I love to be able to point to and say, "See, they're mine."

A few days ago I was told by the STBE, their father, that when the divorce is final I have to change my last name back to my maiden name.  I told him he was crazy.  Yep you read that right, I fully intend on keeping the STBE's last name.  But its not because I want to keep a connection to him, its because I don't want to remove the one I have to the kids.  His argument?  I gave birth to them so I will always have a biological connection to them so I don't need to have the same last name as them just like he didn't have the same last name as his mom when he was growing up. 

Well the reason his mother didn't share his last name was that she had remarried.  If the day comes that I do get remarried its entirely possible that at that time I'll want to take a different last name, especially if the person I'm marrying wants me to.  Until then I want to keep the same one that my children have.  Maybe its not the typical way of doing things for most divorcing couples, and maybe he's going to resent me for keeping a name that he says I have no right to anymore, but for now its how things are going to be and the STBE is just going to have to deal with it.