Children

All posts tagged Children

30 Years of Packing

Published June 2, 2017 by dividinguplife

For the past week I’ve been helping my grandpa pack up his house. A house I have grown up in. I spent almost every weekend at his house for fifteen plus years. This is the grandpa that isn’t my blood, but is more important than that. Not to mention he helped me out with an attorney when I had my surprise court date for shit I didn’t even know I was in trouble for.

He has three kids and countless grandchildren. Not one of them have offered to help him pack his house. We have three weeks left to get it done, though he hopes to be out sooner. It’s a house that has lived in for over thirty years. I’ve spent about eleven hours this week packing, and have gotten about fifty boxes done. What’s left? Everything that he has shoved into drawers, closets, and his attic. *sighs* …. but what can you do? He has nobody else that will help him. He’s in his mid-seventies, so our days consist of me pulling everything out and him telling me stories about all of it. Most of them I remember anyway, because I was a child when most of this stuff was bought. I know the stories, but I enjoy listening to them anyway. I’m enjoying spending time with him. 

Julie Grandpa

My grandpa and my daughter about five years ago. She’s taller than him, now. 

House

I used to stand at that kitchen sink on a step-stool beside my grandma and help her wash dishes. 

My grandma and my grandpa lived together for twenty-five years. They never married for whatever reason. But they were together before I was born. So, naturally when my own paternal grandfather flaked out of my life, it didn’t really matter to me because I already had this man. Clothes, diapers, formula … you name it. He was there. He always has been. Even when he decided ten years ago that he wanted to live alone, which meant my grandma had to move out, he has stuck by both of our sides. 

Now he’s moving away, about an hour and a half … which isn’t that far, but right now he’s only twenty minutes away. 

My daughter turns 13 on Sunday. I feel old as hell. I’ll be 32 next month, so I know I’m young. But I really can’t figure out where the time went. She was a baby. I don’t remember a lot about the past 13 years – they’ve gone by in a blur. She will have a learners permit in two years, a license in three. She will be a damn adult in five years. What in the hell is this?

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Julie2Julie3

Not many people will admit shit like this – but I do ….. I never wanted to have children. I don’t know if I was scared that I would give my kids the same life that I was given, or if it was just because I didn’t want to be responsible for another human life. Whatever the reason was, when I ended up pregnant at 18, I was excited and scared all at the same time. Admittedly, I could have been a much better mom than I was in the beginning. I never neglected her, I never beat her … but there were days that I would find myself so mad at my own damn self for having a child because God forbid I couldn’t sleep in. Or because daycare cost so much. My dreams of college went out the window. I had to work full-time because I had no family support to speak of. My own family was 50 shades of fucked up and neglect. 

But I tell you something – at this moment, having her was the best decision I ever made. She made me grow up, she has shown me what unconditional love really means. She makes me laugh, she makes me proud with her stellar grades. I love those rare moments when she opens up to me about a person she likes at school, or when one of the girls at her school is acting like a bitch and she wants to complain about it. I love when we are going somewhere and she takes over the radio and plays her crap music (though some of it isn’t half bad). I’m loving the parenting thing now that she’s more independent. But now that I’m older I wish I could go back and enjoy her baby years more than I did. I can’t get those back. They’re gone. And I don’t want anymore kids. 

Time is so fleeting. Life is so short. 

Baby-Daddy Love

Published April 1, 2017 by dividinguplife

My daughter had her first soccer game yesterday. She goes to a private school that is closer to her fathers house than to mine. It’s a 45 minute trek out there, but I was really excited to see my almost-thirteen-year-old doing something extracurricular. 

I discovered that climbing metal bleachers at 31 years old isn’t as easy as it was when I was twelve. Especially with jeans on that are like a second skin. I was lucky I got through that ordeal unscathed. 

Her dad and step-mom met me there and we sat and talked while watching the game. I am always in awe at the ease of our relationship. We are there for our daughter. Even when I hear her step-mom refer her step-child as “my kid” it makes me smile. I love that she thinks of our daughter as her own. Because of the step-mom, our daughter has been afforded opportunities that she wouldn’t otherwise have. She will go on her third cruise, in June. She’s been to Canada, the Bahama’s, and this year will be Alaska. How many cruises have I been on? Zero. But my daughter gets that luxury life having a step-mom that has the kind of money to do those things. I want her to have everything that I never did. 

We talked about the kids future. Currently she wants to be a chef and go to culinary school in New York. The step-mom and I hope she will want to go to Charleston South Carolina because it will be closer. 

There was the usual banter back and forth between baby-daddy and myself. He truly is an amazing person. Every time he says some funny shit, or flashes that smile at me, I am reminded of why it is that I ever loved him in the first place. Of course, that love faded by my own doing of immaturity and not knowing myself. But I love him still for all of the reasons that he is the father of my child. I love his wife and how well they compliment each other. 

It makes me sad that my husband and his ex-wife can’t have this kind of relationship. She hates herself so much that it gets in the way of doing what is best for her children. She is caught up in doing everything the way she wants it, rather than taking the children’s feelings into consideration. She wouldn’t let us have them for Spring Break because she just didn’t feel like it. The last time my husband face-chatted with the kids, his daughter started crying because she missed him, which made my husband dissolve into tears after he hung up with her. It makes me angry, and I have to keep my mouth shut. It’s not my place to insert myself into their business. Plus, if I open my mouth I will assuredly make things much worse. I am very good at keeping my opinions to myself, but once I allow the flood-gates to open, I’m a bitch. I don’t want to give that horrid woman any reason on my end to withhold the kids even more than she already has. It’s sad to wish death on someone, but I just wish she would drive off of a bridge and we could have the kids here full-time. I don’t understand how she can sleep at night being as toxic as she is. 

I keep telling myself that karma is a very real thing, and she will get hers. Even I start to wonder how long that’s going to take, though. It seems that with every year that passes, she gets more and more poisonous towards us and towards herself. But how long can it go on before it all implodes on her? How long before she completely destroys her life and fucks up beyond repair?

A Very Lovely Christmas

Published December 25, 2016 by dividinguplife

Santa has dropped off the gifts. A Intuos creative drawing tablet (that hooks up to the computer) for my daughter. A new laptop for my step-daughter. A gaming chair with a giant Mario pillow for my step-son. We didn’t have as much candy to shove into the stockings as I thought, so the husband has made a last second trip to Sheetz to grab a little more candy to shove into the stockings. 

We left work Thursday at 2:00 and made our drive up north to get his kids. We got there at 11:45 that night and checked into a hotel and just kind of collapsed on the bed and died. Up the next morning at 7:00, we got ready and drove 30 minutes into town to meet up with his ex-wife to collect the kids. I have to say, after all the shit she talked about me three years ago (about how huge I was, and how I would be pregnant by that summer but you wouldn’t be able to tell because I was so fat), it was a very refreshing change to see her get out of the truck, looking like a frumpy bitch, no makeup, hair thrown up on top of her head, and her having gained AT LEAST 40 pounds since I last saw her. While I’m still a big girl, I got out of the car having lost those 40 pounds, with my hair styled, makeup on, and eager to see my step-children. His ex-wife and I have nothing to say to each other. She doesn’t like that my husband moved ten hours away from her grasp so that we could be together, and she’d lose whatever control she had left on him. 

We left there at 9:45 Friday morning and got home around 8:45 Friday night. It was a long drive, but worth it. This Christmas is already shaping up to be much better than years before. 

In 2007, when I was living with The Abuser, I woke up with the stomach flu, vomiting everywhere. He made sure to let me know how much I was ruining Christmas, despite the fact that I went to every one of his family members houses (we’re talking four or five stops with one of them being over three hours away), and my families homes. He yelled at me about not looking cheerful enough, about looking ungrateful, when the entire time I was just trying not to throw up all over the floor. It wasn’t very long after that, that he lied to me about going out with friends, meanwhile he met up with a childhood friend and fucked her and then threw me and my daughter out on the streets. 

In 2008, my mother announced to both me and my brother as we were unwrapping presents, that she had breast cancer. I don’t know why an announcement from her on that particular day, at that particular moment, surprised me. What also didn’t surprise me was the fact that she was lying through her teeth. My mother has had every cancer known to man, it seems. None of them have ever been real. But I have to give her an A+ for dramatic effect on that Christmas. 

This Christmas, I’m with my husband and his children. My daughter will be here tomorrow afternoon when she’s finished with Christmas at her dad’s. My boss gave me a thousand dollar bonus on Wednesday, my daughter’s grandmother (her step-mom’s, mom) usually gives me a Christmas card with five hundred bucks. And the best part about this year? My dad sent a card for me with my grandma when she went over there for lunch today. The card simply said “Thank you for all that you do. I love you so much. Dad” … and I know he meant ‘thank you for taking care of my mother’ since she lives with me and I make sure she is taken care of. He included a visa gift card for two hundred bucks. He also sent one to my husband with a hundred dollar gift card. 

It’s the first time in 31 years that I’ve ever received anything from him. Even a card. The gift card was a nice surprise, but the note inside of the card – how much he loves me and signing it ‘dad’ …. that is priceless. Even though he isn’t the man on my birth certificate any longer (my asshole step-dad adopted me when I was five), he will always be my dad. 

We went over to the in-laws house today. My brother-in-law (aka my first love) was high as a kite and more than a little drunk. He will probably die that way. He looks bloated from liquor, a little yellow in the skin, and he was so lit up tonight, he told me the same story twice within 30 minutes. I used to feel sad for him. I used to feel pity. But he has had more than his fair share of chances to get his life on track. He’s completely functional at his job and his everyday life – but he’s an alcoholic that started smoking pot again. He’s getting worse, not better. 

And so, the presents are all wrapped, Santa dropped off what needed to be dropped off. We are having a little quiet time, and then it will be off to bed so we can prepare ourselves for the busy day tomorrow. I hope everyone has  a wonderful Christmas. 

The Scars Are Deep

Published December 15, 2016 by dividinguplife

My husbands ex-wife actually agreed to let us pick his kids up next Friday, rather than the Tuesday she originally said we could get them. It was much to his amazement that she was so ‘giving’ and accommodating of his wishes. Usually they end up in a screaming match on the phone, where she blames him for ‘abandoning’ his kids by moving ten hours away. He counters back that she started this whole ball rolling by packing her things up while he was at work and moving to her mothers, three hours away, and sent him a text message informing him that she had left him and wanted a divorce (Later he would find out she had been cheating on him as well …. on their seven year anniversary to boot.) 

Every time he counters back with that, it starts a whole new screaming match about how she had to get away from him (I don’t know why, my husband is honest-to-god the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and I’ve known him for twenty years.) He returns with how she took his ability away to see his children every day and reduced it to every other weekend – one of those weekend days he always had to work, so essentially his time got reduced to two full days a month he got to see his children. Living here, he get’s six weeks of the summer, a week in spring, and a week in winter. 

But with her being a woman, she seemingly holds all of the cards. If he pisses her off the wrong way, he’s worried she will just refuse to let him see his kids. She’s already stated that she doesn’t give a damn about the parenting agreement. So he usually has to do a lot of ass kissing to ensure that we get our time with his kids when it is due to us. 

So last night, he was really quiet after he picked me up from work (we carpool two days a week) and I could see the wheels turning and him trying to figure out what her game is. It then dawned on me that his scars run so much deeper than I ever thought with that woman. She really did a number on him when she left him. I mean, I was his friend back when she left, and I saw the devastation on Facebook posts about how he just wanted his wife back. I know he was torn apart by their marriage ending. But I never really knew the long-term devastation that she left on his soul when she did what she did. Granted, he has told me a hundred times that he’s glad she left him, because we have a marriage the way he never knew it could be. But every so often, I see the results of the bombs that imploded on his soul when she took his children and abandoned their marriage – and it makes me really angry with her. I’ve met her a handful of times (when they were married and afterward). She truly is a miserable soul. When he and I first started dating, she made a public comment on Facebook about how I would probably be pregnant by summer, and I was so fat that you wouldn’t be able to tell. 

Having been in a verbally and physically abusive relationship for so many years, hearing her say that just kind of solidified the ‘truth’ that had been drilled into my head for so long. Someone as handsome, and smart, and sexy as my husband wouldn’t ever want to stay with me. 

And nine months later, when he moved back north to be closer to his kids, I immediately attributed his decision to my looks. No matter how many times he said it had nothing to do with that, I myself was still too scarred to understand that not everything is in relation to ones physical appearance. 

And likewise with him, he found an e-mail she sent through a dating site not long after they split up, with tales of how horrible he was in bed. (I can attest that this is so very much a lie) and it further destroyed his self-confidence. I find myself making sure that I say encouraging things to my husband on a daily basis, or make remarks about how hot he is when he takes his shirt off, or something that will give his ego a pull. He doesn’t seem himself the way that I see him, and it makes me so sad for him. There’s so much quality and depth in that man, and he’s great at so many things – but just like with most people that have been abused or destroyed – it’s a lot easier to believe the bad things about yourself than the good things. 

As for me, there are still days that looking in the mirror is difficult. They are fewer and fewer, though. I think with my marriage and the comfortable way in which we are with each other, coupled by the fact that I completely trust him unlike any other person I’ve ever been with – it has given me more confidence in myself – more than I’ve ever had since living with The Abuser over ten years ago. 

But we all have our scars, our flaws, and things that we deal with silently, that nobody can see. It’s something we feel and live with on a daily basis. Our vulnerability stays hidden until something triggers a flashback or confusion with abnormal behavior. I saw that in my husband last night on the way home. He looked like a six year old trying to figure out why mom said he can have candy before dinner. It broke my heart for him. 

We’re Almost Done with the Year

Published December 13, 2016 by dividinguplife

Christmas shopping would be so much easier if I had, Oh I don’t know, money? As it is I’m waiting on my bonus from my boss and the nice check my daughters grandmother (her step-mom’s mom) gives me every year for Christmas. It will be last minute shopping for sure. It’s times like this that I wished I would have understood what a credit score was when I was younger, and paid more attention to establishing credit, so I could at least have an assload of credit cards to fall back on (instead of the one that I have with a small credit line), but no … I wasn’t taught the fun things about credit. Not in school, not by my mother, nobody. In fact, my mom took a credit card out in my name when I was 15 years old and maxed it out (it as a small credit line, I think), so by the time I turned 18 I already had that strike against me. She also got a-hold of my step-dad’s information after they divorced and took a card out in his name and maxed it out. He didn’t find out about it until he and his new wife went to buy a house and he had to pay off the 800 dollar balance before he could get a loan from the bank. Of course my mom swears she didn’t do it, but the credit card was sent to the house she lived in years ago. Now she won’t tell anyone where she lives, probably because when they do trace it back to her, she’ll be arrested or sent to court or something. Way to go, mom. 

Husband and I are trying to figure out what day we’re making our ten hour drive up to get his kids. His ex-wife is being a typical cow, and told him he can pick them up on a weekday. Husband doesn’t have anymore vacation days left so we have to do it on a weekend. We were going to go up there on the 24th and drive back on the 25th but she doesn’t want the kids in the car all day on Christmas (I’m not sure what the difference is as to what day it is for them – either way they get presents when they get to our house), but she calls the shots because she can just say “You aren’t getting them” and the only thing we can do is hire an expensive lawyer and take it to court. That will take time and money we don’t have. So, we have to bend over and take it up the ass until spring when we can hire a lawyer and modify mediation. It’s true what they say; misery loves company. My husbands ex-wife has to be the most miserable cow that I have ever known in my entire life. 

I haven’t stepped on the scale in a few weeks. Mostly because I know my eating hasn’t been where it should be, and mostly because I just don’t care right now. Everything is so stressful around the holiday’s, and the last thing I want to worry about is if I’ve gained a pound, or five, or twenty.  I think I have fallen off the weight-loss train and I’m just kind of laying on the ground looking at the stars. 

My dad had good news from his most recent blood work. He went the holistic route to treat his stage 4 colon cancer, rather than chemo and radiation. His most recent bloodwork shows that his white cell count is normal, as well as everything else. It’s as if the cancer never existed. He’s hopeful, and says that the on-call doctor at his work is absolutely dumbfounded by the results.  That’s hopeful, I guess. He will start a series of vitamin shots for the next round of treatment. On top of that he has gone all organic on his diet. I guess it also helps that his girlfriend is a vegetarian. She’s a bit on the weird side (when she prayed over Thanksgiving dinner it sounded like she was having sex with Jesus), but she still seems to be good for him, which is what he needs.

My daughter has been put on a strict diet herself. The kid loves spicy stuff. I mean she puts red pepper on everything. She loves onions and jalapenos and whatever else she can get her hands on. Because of this, she has developed acid reflux pretty badly. Her dad had the same problem when he was younger and had to have his gallbladder removed.  Since she’s part Asian and her dad is a huge “hot pepper eater” I suppose she got the hot-food-genetics honestly (I don’t like anything with even an ounce of hotness to it.) Now she glances around the kitchen wondering what it is she can even eat, since everything she loves has been taken away (caffeine, chocolate, and red sauce included). Bless her heart. 

I am happy to report a HUGE improvement in her emotions and overall morale since starting this private school in August, though. She actually got perturbed with me last Friday when I picked her up an hour early. She didn’t want to leave. For a twelve year old, that’s saying something. I skipped school whenever I could and did a victory dance if I ever got picked up early. She seems a lot happier there, and for that I am so thankful. Being a teenager is hard enough – not having to deal with asshole children in public school is a blessing at this point. 

But, here’s to hoping the rest of the holiday’s goes without drama! 

Adulting Sucks

Published June 8, 2016 by dividinguplife

So, what’s new in the neighborhood? Well, my husband continues to deal with the chronic pain of his ruptured L5 Disc. He had an injection about three weeks ago to try to help heal it. To top that off he has hemorrhoids and anal fisshers, which keep him in vast amounts of pain unless he it taking 10mg of percocet every four to six hours. Opioids scare me. I’ve seen what addiction does to people – namely my mother. But, he has to take them in order to keep the pain away from his back, because we are really trying to avoid back surgery if at all possible. 

My daughter has entered a bout of depression, that I can’t for the life of me figure out why she would be depressed. I worked really hard to make sure that she didn’t have the same childhood I had, and yet I’m facing some of the same things with her, that I went through. She told a friend that she tried to drown herself in the bathtub, but when questioned about it, she said that she only said that. Still, that isn’t something you just say because you just feel like it. Something isn’t right. She has told her friends that none of us (my husband, me, her dad, or her step-mom) ever tell her that we love her – except that her dad maybe says it once a week. False. 

She has a large bald spot at the top of her head, and she says that a girl at school pulled her hair out, but I have a hard time believing that. I wonder if she’s pulling her own hair out – like if she has some kind of disorder. 

Her dad and I met with a therapist last week to see about getting her into counseling. We both have to separately fill out a 12 page assessment on her and meet back up on the 24th to go over the questions, and then our daughter will start individual therapy with her. 

I’m tired. Last night my grams had a lot of pain in her stomach, so my husband took her to the emergency room. He came home and we went to bed because they said it maybe be a while. I had to go pick her up at 6:30 this morning. She has a kidney infection and all they could do was give her antibiotics. 

Last night when my husband picked me up from work, I had to drive home because he was in so much pain from his anal fisshers that he had to lie down in the seat and remove his pants to let air move through his boxers to take away the stinging. He got aggravated with the traffic (Hello, it was 5:00 traffic), and it’s always no fun riding with him when he get’s upset with how many people there are that live in our city. I just stay quiet and let him rant. He’s always such a calm person unless he is in pain or he is mad at traffic. If you put those two things together, like last night, he’s almost rather like a child. 

So to sum it up: I have a husband with a crap back and a literal pain in his ass. A grandmother that lives with me and has a severe kidney infection. My twelve year old has decided to acquire hormones and throw her middle finger up to the world, despite the luxuries she has (lap top, cable TV, lenient rules at my house) … and everyone looks to me to solve everything. I make sure dinner is cooked, I make sure husband has a plate in the microwave since I go to bed before he does (and I enjoy doing these things), I am the one that makes sure all of the bills get paid when they are supposed to (except for husbands car payment and our cell phone, which he handles). I mean, my husband does a lot too, he really does. But sometimes I swear I’d like to know what it’s like to just come home, change, and sit down straight away. Even when I was in high school, I worked after school and then came home and did homework and got up to start the process all over again. I’m tired. I think I deserve to be tired.