Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Successful Christmas(s) - A quick overview

I had 4 days of Christmas. FOUR! Four days of family, food, a child with little to no naps, late bedtimes and over-stimulation. I feel bad for my dear friend Ice! Nugget is going to be very off her game today and most likely a pain in the butt... but in the end it was worth it!

We did Christmas Eve at my parent's house. Very low key, except for a rowdy game of Scattegories. Christmas Day we went to the movies in shifts. We saw "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and while it was a good movie, I do not recommend seeing it on a holiday, lol! The day after Christmas we went to my aunt's house to spend time with my dad's family. Nugget had a great time playing with my cousin's son, Monkey. FINALLY, yesterday Nug and I spent a few hours with X's family. Her two aunts, uncle and Grandma.

Nugget got a lot of great winter clothing, which she needed and a couple great toys. Nothing too over the top. She finally has a soft chair she can sit in that is just her size (thank you Great G-Pa). Thanks to a couple great people I was able to buy Nugget a couple presents for under the tree and contribute towards Christmas dinner. I am so thankful for everything.

X apparently found a way to send gifts for Nugget and his mom brought them to our visit. A stuffed dog and a few outfits. I am not mad at XMIL for bringing the items to me, she probably thought Nug could use the clothing and a part of her thinks him sending gift for Christmas is the right thing for him to do. There was no card or message from him, or if there was she did not give it to me which I appreciated. I think that made it easier. My gut reaction (which I kept to myself) was... "I don't think so!". As I opened the box I realized how little he knew about this amazing little girl. This could be expected b/c I do not share any info with him, but I KNOW his mom talks to him regularly and I am pretty sure she has talked about DD... I KNOW that even though XMIL only sees Nugget about once a month she knows Nugget pretty well. XMIL was kind enough to get some cool clothing for Nugget, all the correct size. X however sent clothing 2 sizes to small. So in the end my daughter got a "typical" deadbeat dad gift. Clothing that is too small and a generic stuffed animal.

In the end it made me feel BETTER! LOL.. I know it sounds strange, but I think I learned a couple things. Either XMIL doesn't talk about DD and me to her son as much as I thought or he doesn't care or listen. Like I said this makes me feel better. I am hoping his interest will fade more over time. When X and I were together he seemed to remember most of what I said. He bought me clothing as gifts and they were always the right size, he paid attention. Now that I am not under his control, he seems to care less about paying attention to details.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Enjoying the Holiday season

Last year between November and January there was SOOO much going on. So much stress and so much weight on my shoulders. There was he court date to enter his plea, the supervised visits, the sentencing, the phone calls and the holidays were thrown in the middle of all of this.

I talked to my X more than I should have back then. A few time a week to makes sure the visit space and supervisors were available. This should have been strictly business, and if he was allowed to email I would have done it that way, but alas he was banned from the Internet and he managed to always turn the discussions into an emotional mess. I wish I had the strength then that I do now. I wish I would have known how freeing it is to not have to speak to him. To be able to hang up the phone. To ignore his bull-ish and guilt trips. Realizing that another person has no power over you is liberating.

Single Parents out there, know this. If your X is a decent human being and you can put your big kid pants on, then always be kind to your child's co-parent. Cherish the fact that you have another person out there who will love and protect your child, even if that means you have to share. If you are in a situation more like mine, where the other parent is manipulative, dangerous and/or vindictive, then be strong enough to hang up. Be strong enough to not take the crap. Be strong enough to fight for your kids and yourself.

I know it is a contradiction, but my fight has brought me peace. This holiday is the much more peaceful than last year. There are many more smiles. My little family is perfect.

To my readers

I wanted to thank everyone for all of the support I have received over the past year and a half. Every kind word helps :)

I am trying to go through all of my posts and take out all pictures and real names that have been used, other than my own. This may include erasing some comments from you all. This is only to make the effort to keep things a little more anonymous and avoid making this blog private.

Thank you for your understanding!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reclaiming my name

Yesterday I took my name back. Since our split a year and a half ago I have been using my maiden name whenever possible, but on legal documents, paychecks, work IDs and other documents I was still dragging his last name around. I hated seeing it and saying it. When people would ask me "The name on the account is Rebecca C@#% correct?" I HATED saying... "yes". I literally only had gone by that name for ONE month. Though we were married for 7 months I had just changed my name the month before is arrest. I remember being so excited to have his name, now it made me sick.

My daughter was given my maiden name at birth. She was given my middle name too. I wanted her to know she was mine. Not in a possessive way, but to let her know she comes from a pure heart. That her name was one to be proud of. I work hard everyday to make sure the name is worthy of my amazing child. I know I am proud to once again have my original label. The feeling I get when I look at my ID is now one of happiness. I love being me, I love my name.

A rose may smell as sweet with another name, but I promise it FEELS better being called a rose.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holidays

Listen up single parents! Especially ONLY parents (those who do it all without involvement/help from another parent)!

Stand up tall. Be proud of yourself. Realize how special your family is and how wonderful the Holidays are! I hear a lot of boo-hooing around this time of year. "It is hard to be "alone" during the holidays.", "It feels like something is missing...", I have nobody to kiss under the mistletoe/take to my company party.", "I am surrounded by happy 2 parent families and married couples!"

Shake it off! I am not telling you to ignore your feelings or keep them inside, I am telling you to get over it. Push through it! Take a long shower and cry it out, let it wash down the drain.

Now I will tell you why being a single parent is awesome during the Holidays (I know every custody situation is different, and some of these do not apply to a lot of single parents... but try to focus on the ones that do!):

  • You get to help Santa with all the presents! Enjoy the gift of giving your child all of the holiday smiles.
  • You can cross one more gift off your list. Buying for a significant other (SO) can be TORTURE! Pick out a present for yourself instead and have Santa wrap it up for you Christmas morning.
  • All of your Holiday traditions are YOUR holiday traditions. No compromising on what to put in stockings, what kind of cookies to make, what to eat, real vs fake tree, how to open presents or how to decorate! Do it YOUR way!
  • Going to parties by yourself is way easier and more fun. You don't have to introduce anyone and are not tied down to "babysitting" your SO. Make the rounds! Work your magic!
  • No ILs!! Yes, Nugget and I spend time with X's parents when they visit, but I get to choose where we are on Christmas and Christmas Eve. I get to be with my family, where I feel comfortable and where Nugget is the center of attention. While I am willing to make time for my X-ILs I do not have to drive 3 hours to do this. I do not feel guilty. *Those of you who have shared custody, it is up to your X to make time for his family, so you so not need to worry about this. :)
  • Less travel! As said above I do not have to go between 2 different families so I do not have to travel as much. YAY!
  • More YOU time. You get more time off from work this time of year and you can spend it focusing on our kids and yourself. When the little ones are in bed or playing with the new toys, you get to breathe and enjoy a little quiet time. I never realized how awesome this was until my first single holiday in almost 5 years.
  • No guilt about shopping. (Yes, there is always mommy/parent guilt, but put that aside) Once you have a holiday budget you get to spend it however YOU want. No negotiations. Maybe he would never spend $100 on a nice pair of jeans... but after shopping for the kiddos you have a little left over cash... Merry Christmas to you! Or maybe X would have never bought your kid an awesome dollhouse cause it was a little more than they would want to spend... Merry Christmas little one! From Mommy (or Daddy)
  • Look at your child/children. Seriously look at them... One Christmas morning or on those 8 crazy nights of Hanukkah you child/children will be smiling, laughing, screaming from excitement and it will be because of you and your efforts. If you mope around, they are going to feel less magic.. when in reality your family is amazing. Celebrate how wonderful you all are and enjoy every moment because they are all yours.
I went through a lot, I know others who have gone through more and the truth is we as single/only parents take a lot onto our shoulders. We deal with a lot of stress and lose a lot of sleep. We need this time of year more than anyone! The magic, the spirit, the smiles and wonder... take it all in. Celebrate your family and who you are as a parent. Embrace it, love it and I promise you will have a happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Letter to Nugget, (As you grow up)

Dear Nugget,

As you grow up I am going to try to make you a few promises. I KNOW I will not be perfect, that we will struggle with one another at times, but the one promise I will never break is that I will love you forever.

  • I will try my best to guide you without tieing you down.
  • I will always give you advice
  • I will support you as long as your decisions are safe, even if I do not agree.
  • When I become a Mother-In-Law, I will try to break the stereotype and be pleasant to your partner.
  • I do want grandkids... but should you choose a life without children I will not nag you about your decision.
  • Keeping you safe and raising you to be a lady are my top priorities. Manners matter.
  • You can wear whatever you want as long as it is appropriate. No offensive language of images and you are reasonably covered up. The sexiest oufits are subtly suggestive, leaving something to the imagination makes a man/woman want to know more. Your sexiest feature is your mind, your eyes are a close second ;) When you get to age 18, you can show yourself off if you choose... just not in my house.
  • If you mess up I will be there for you. I will always help you re-group.
  • Sometimes in really tough situations, tough love really does help. If I have to, I will help you by letting you go.
  • You will probably hate me as a teenager... but you will love me ad you will thank me as an adult.
  • Even if you never have a starring role, a starting position, a solo or title as captian... You will be a star to me. Remember there is nothing wrong with building up others, just because you are not on top doesn't mean you are not important and appreciated.
I love you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of time with friends and family. Lot of love.

Life is good. It is not easy, but it is good. Nugget is in my arms every single night, I have a wonderful and supportive family, my friends have stayed by my side through everything and there is a man in my life that builds me up. I would say that I am lucky... and while that has something to do with it, I want all that are struggling to know that a lot of this has to do with choices.

I was born into my family, that was not my choice, that was luck... BUT when my family does overstep their boundaries or hurt my feelings I let them know. I also remind them how much I care. All of my relationships are tended too. Sometimes I do things I am not to excited about in order to make my friends/family/SO happy. While I would never compromise my beliefs or support what I truly believe is destructive, I will go outside my comfort zone to make someone smile. In exchange I expect the same from them. I will be a shoulder to cry on, because I know they would do the same for me. It is not about tit for tat, it is about being there for one another and helping each other grow.

I have chosen to keep my true friends close and cut ties with my "enemies". I do not believe in keeping toxic people in my life. I will always be civil, I will never be evil, but I do not need to include them in my life just because I am afraid of hurting them or others. This choice has made me a much happier person.

I also choose to rise above some bitter feelings in order to do what is best for Nug. Though my ex-mother-in-law and father-in-law have done things I do not agree with and at times have honestly brought me to tears and angered me... I know they love Nugget. I know they are in a tough spot. So, I worked with them to reach an understanding. We may not have the easiest relationship, but as long as we are respectful and do what is best for this little girl then Nugget will be better for the effort.

I am thankful for all of these good decisions. I am thankful for all of these people. I am also, thankful for all of the SHIT I had to go through in order to get here. Had it not been for some wonderful police men/women I may still be maried to a horrible, sick man. I may not be the strong woman I am today. Thank you, everyone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Success

Today I was offered a job that would be a big increase in salary. I almost peed my pants when I got the call!

Since everything happened I have been working towards being able to get by on my own. To be able to live in my condo and pay all of my bills without any help and without using my CC. After 1 year and 5 months I am almost there. In January I will use my tax refund to pay off my medical and legal debt. This will remove 2 payments per month. After my raise I will be able to stop stressing about money. I will still have to watch my spending. but the STRESS will be gone.

No more worrying how I will pay for gas, or how I will have money for groceries. No more paying bills late or borrowing from family. NO MORE!

The best part is that I made this happen. I worked my butt off to get certified and better myself, now it is paying off. I feel awesome.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dreams can suck

Since my divorce has been final I have dreamt about X twice. Talking about him brought him to the forefront of my mind, when for the past 9ish months he has been an afterthought.

The first dream was that I was pregnant (not with X's baby) and my divorce could not be finalized. In Ohio you can't be pregnant at the time of your divorce. I had to ask him to take a DNA test to prove it was not his and he kept trying to tell me that he loved me. Even in dreams he annoys me.

The second dream was scarier. He was out of prison and I walk in on him talking to a young girl. I yelled at the girl to leave and started to call the cops, but couldn't dial the phone. He chased me to my parents house and I hid. Nugget was in the house with me. I looked out the window and he had another guy woth him trying to break in. X also had a weapon. The man got inside and tried to take Nug form me. I told him that if he hands my daughter over, my X with violate her. The man looked confused as I pleaded for my daughter I told him everything X had been caught with in graphic detail. Just as he was about to put Nugget down X raised his weapon. That is all I remember.

It is hard to write out these dreams because what I remember is so broken up. I can say that I honeslty fear the day he is released. He could become violent. He could stalk us. He is a very smart man, he is also a very sick man. I try to file that away for now, it is not something I need to worry about now.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Free!

I feel so wonderful today. I am divorced!

Not many people would think this is a positive thing, but I do. My marriage was a lie. I was a pawn. I am now a free woman and it feels amazing! I hugged my daughter closer and slept more solidly than I have in almost 2 years.

The judge looked me in the eye after declaring my marriage over and said; "Good luck to you." She smiled and so did I. My best friend is throwing me a party tomorrow. Nothing to crazy! Just friends getting together to hang out and be thankful for all we are blessed with.

I am now blessed with a divorce. Thank God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Desperation

Desperation is a very passionate and fiery emotion. The passion within a desperate person can make this person think they are helplessly in love with a person, when in actuality it caused by hurt and fear.

Desperation is a confusing cocktail. It makes the rational lose their sense.

Desperation is an emotion/feeling I am well acquainted with. I was desperate with my X and few other boyfriends. It grows from insecurity and feeds off of doubt. When my X and I were together I knew he had been single for almost 10 years. I knew he had been a busy bachelor... dated a lot of women. So why did he make the commitment to be with me? This is where my desperation was born.

I felt special because I was the girl he had chosen out of so many, yet it also made me insecure. He could be with almost anyone. He has not been tied down... what if he gets bored being with one woman? I am sure my insecurity made me his ideal partner. If I ever questioned things about our relationship it was just me being insecure. I had issues, not him. When he would spend most of his spare time working with his girls lacrosse team, running extra clinics, helping girls at study tables, organizing charity events with them... I would get desperate. He was HELPING people, how could I be jealous? I wanted him with me all the time mostly because he was rarely with me.

When I would get up the nerve to ask him to spend more time with me, he would get angry. He would yell at me for being jealous of his team and the team events... I was being selfish. If I tried to talk to him about the fact that we were not being intimate very often (once a month) he would say it was hard to be sexually attracted to a women who was so insecure. Sometimes he was just tired from working so hard, why could I not understand that? How could I hurt him by bringing this stuff up? It was my fault.

He was so nice and caring towards me as long as I never brought this stuff up. My desperation made me think I was so deeply in love with him, so I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to lose someone who usually treated me so well. This man who told me every single day how beautiful I was and how much he loved me. I was desperate to keep him and make him happy. Yet, every time he would be gone from my sight.... I wondered what he was doing. That is not healthy.

I was wrong. I did not deeply love this man, I was just desperate. I am not saying I never loved him cause I did. I was in love with him for sure, but in the end I could not tell the difference between my desperation and love. He played with my emotions and I went along for the ride. From where I stand now, I honestly think there is no such thing as a man/significant out there the you CAN'T live without. There are people who add to your life, spark your desire, support you, are loyal to you and are amazing team members. This is the kind of person you should allow yourself to fall in love with. Anyone less than this is not worth your time and you can be fine without the lesser people.


A year of therapy brought me to the point where I can recognize my true self worth. I am no longer desperate. I know I can take care of myself and my daughter. I lost the person I thought was the love of my life, lost everything I thought he was and lost myself.. yet I survived.

I found myself and I lost the desperation. So that is my advice to all of the single women or those thinking they are trapped in a bad relationship. Find yourself. When you do the desperate feeling will disappear and you will see clearly and find a real love.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Phone call

There were many intense phone calls with my X after the arrest. The one that sticks out the most, the one that replays in my head over and over... is the one where he told me he was going to kill himself.

It was two days after giving birth to my daughter. I was still in the hospital and still in a lot of pain from the c-section. The day before I had allowed him to meet his daughter for a short time (Remember at this point not all the information was out on what exactly he had done in detail. I was still coming to terms with the information I did have.) On that morning I was alone in my hospital room and Nugget was sleeping in her bassinet. When the phone rang I thought it was my MIL cause it was her cell phone and X usually called on the house phone. He was drunk and I could tell right away because of his speech pattern. The first words out of his mouth were:

"I am so sorry, Nugget is the most beautiful girl in the world and she is lucky to have you as a mother. Please let her know that I had good in me... that I was a good person in a lot of ways. I don't want her to hate me."

I remember thinking about the good moments. Like the time we went to the sporting goods store looking for winter gear. We tried on ever hat in the store and laughed the whole time. It was such a small thing, but I remember how wonderful and fun it was. I remember him telling me how much he loved me and how beautiful I was. I remember him telling me that I was the only girl he had ever truly loved, there were tears in his eyes.

Here he was saying goodbye. I honestly didn't know what to say. Part of me wanted to say "See ya!" and part of me wanted to save him. I was silent. So he continued:

"I can't do this. I would be better for everyone if I was gone. I have hurt so many people and I can't imagine life without you...."

There was more but I can't remember beyond the above statement. I can only recall what I said and what I said was minimal. I could not bring myself to lie to him, make an attempt to comfort him, yet , I could not yell or scream at him. I simply said:

"You hurt me. What you did was awful and I would be lying if I said things wouldn't be easier without you in my life. I don't know what you want me to say... I would feel sad if you died... it would be another tragic thing I would have to explain to Nugget someday. I can't really offer you much comfort, I am sorry. I can barely handle what has already happened."

What if I hung up on him? What if I had screamed? What if I had told him I hoped he would die? What if I never even answered?

I will never know. I do know this though, I wish I had never answered. Looking back I should have just ignored the call. I was in the hospital recovering form childbirth. I should have been relaxing for the first time in months! I had already been through so much and I was exhausted in every way a person can be exhausted. My phone should have been off or on silent, but no he ruined another day for me. Another day that should have been spent taking care of myself and my new baby, instead I was wasting energy and emotional on my X. I cried for an hour after the call.

I didn't deserve to feel like that, I have always deserved better than this. In time I have found better and I will continue to be better.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A letter to Kim Kardasian,

Dear Kim and other women starting the divorce process,

I know I have not always spoken highly of you. I am willing to admit that I may have been mean at times, but in this moment I feel bad for you. Joking around with some of my friends about your short marriage and how we all saw this coming... well it kinda hit me that I was in your position too.

I have talked to many single moms and divorced women over the last year and there have been many similar stories. My marriage only last 7 months. It was short, even though the day I said "I do" I thought it was forever. Your head was filled with your happy future. So much so, that you could not see your troubled present. In my head I want to laugh at you, in my heart I feel your pain. This was the man you thought you were going to grow old with, have children with and grand kids. Take the time to grieve that loss before you move on to the next guy. It will make your next relationship stronger.

Here is my generic list of suggestions for all of the women who are starting the divorce process:

  • Get a good lawyer (I am sure you and your family have this covered)
  • Get a good therapist. Your family might be a great support, but a professional and neutral third party will really help you sort out your feelings.
  • Take time to be with yourself
  • Don't seek out your next relationship, let it come to you. I am not saying don't put yourself out there, I am saying don't force things.
  • Let yourself grieve. This is a loss, it is ok to be sad.
  • Make sure you do not get lost in your sadness.
  • Always move forward. One step at a time.
I wish you nothing but the best. Sometimes I may think you are full of shit, but I am sure you are making your ugly crying face right now (listen my crying face is awful too, no worries) and I can't in good faith take pleasure in your pain. So good luck Kim. Since I am pretty sure you read my blog, feel free to email me anytime with questions or for support. This goes for all my other readers too.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Placing blame

I have not shared this before, maybe alluded to it though... I really can't remember... My X an I had several conversations after the arrest. I was still trying to process "why?" and understand who I really married. During a few of these conversations he tried to explain "why" he did what he did. He even wrote it down in a letter, I remember my lawyer commenting on it in court, anyway here it is. Not word for word, but a general idea of "why" X did what he did:

In late November of 2009 I found out I was expecting. At several points during my pregnancy I was put on pelvic rest (light activity, no heavy lifting, no sex) because of bleeding and spotting. X said that this coupled with his dissatisfaction with work cause him to be depressed. He also claimed to be experiencing erectile dysfunction. None of this was ever shared with me though things did seem slightly off in some ways he was still taking good care of me when I needed him and we were pretty happy.

Apparently after the first episode of spotting (6wks into the pregnancy) he says that he came to the conclusion that this baby was going to die/be miscarried. Doesn't matter the doctor told us multiple times that this was normal and that all of my tests looked great and the baby was very healthy... Even when I was 32 weeks along he says he "just knew" that this child was not going to make it and that I may die giving birth. Because these thoughts consumed him he used porn to escape. He said that everything was legal for a while and his first underage material was downloaded on accident. He didn't mean to do it, but it was just so easy to find...

This man is a liar. He may have been worried about the pregnancy in the beginning, so was I, but by week 28 we were both fine. He felt her move all the time, talked about getting things ready, names and the future. Not to mention that anxiety is not an excuse to be a pedophile. Being depressed does make it ok for a person to spend multiple hours EVERY SINGLE DAY looking at underage girls and young children being violated. Trying to tell me that the reason you were/are sexually attracted to children was because you were worried for the well being of your own baby? ::Does not compute! Does not compute!:: Sorry buddy, you disgust me.

He said he saw how scared I was at first and that it triggered his fear. Throughout the whole letter he talks places the blame on me and my pregnancy. Saying he would have never gone down this path had my pregnancy been easier...

Let's remember that after being arrested it came out that he was dismissed from a previous teaching position under shady circumstances (he was asked to resign for undisclosed reasons) which I was told **MAY have had to do with an inappropriate relationship with a student. He later dated a girl who he coach in high school right after she graduated. This is confirmed by my BIL and SIL who went to an amusement park with them on a double date. On top of the 10 years worth of hard drives that were found to have images as well. Basically, this man has a proven pattern of behavior so don't you DARE try to blame your disgusting and deplorable behavior on me, my pregnancy or my child. ::insert expletive::

**The true reason was never revealed by the school and X refuses to say anything about it. When I asked him point blank he actually told me his lawyer told him not to disclose the reason to anyone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Letter to Nugget: Men

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day." Noah "The Notebook" 




Dear Nugget,

We have already talked about boys and all of the rules for boys are also apply to men. There are some differences however that separate men from boys (even good boys). I will highlight some of these differences.

  • Men accept responsibility for their actions. They apologize for making mistakes and learn from them.
  • Men go out of their way to take care of their mate, children and other family members.
  • Men do cry, not all the time, but they are not afraid to shed a tear when the moment calls for it.
  • Men do have the ability to stay faithful. They may try to tell you they are not designed for it... what this means is they are not "designed" for you.
  • A man can balance work, family and fun.
  • Men do not play video games to the point that it interferes with their responsibilities. This also goes for any other leisure activity.
  • Men will change their child's diapers
  • A man will not put down your appearance
  • A man is gentle
  • Men like to be cuddled, they may not ask for it but they do, just not in public ;)
  • There is no man out there that is worth giving up your dream for. A good man will support your dreams and help you reach them.
  • A man is honest
  • A man is just a man, he is not a super hero.
  • Remember the true test of a man is how he can handle conflict, not how dazzles you in the beginning.
  • A man should try to dazzle you in the beginning ;) (Even if it is just sharing pizza under the stars.)
  • Romantic comedies are movies. Stop waiting for a man to save you, it is not their job...
  • ...but they should be supportive and never weigh you down either.
  • A man should always try, and you should always recognize his efforts.
  • A man should be your partner, your support, and your friend. He shouldn't be your everything. He actually prefers you to have other hobbies.
Just remember that real life is not like Twilight. After staring into each others eyes for a few days you get bored... Hold out for a man, a good man... as the good people at Loreal always say "Because I'm worth it!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Letter to Nugget: Boys

This is the one and only picture I will share of Nugget.
Dear Nugget,

Some will tell you that times have changed...well they have! I want to make sure you have access to some information that may help you in the future. Let's review the things about Boys... I will get to "MEN" later.

  • Boys only/mostly want one thing. (even the nice boys are at least thinking about it!)
  • Boys who are worth your time will not pressure you. He will respect your decision to wait.
  • 99% of the women/girls I know who lost their virginity under the age of 19... regret it and say they were not ready.
  • Boys should always act like a "gentleman". Do not let people lead you to believe that chivalry is dead, they have just lost faith and/or gotten lazy.
  • A gentleman does not kiss and tell. If a boy is spilling details about another girl, then he will share details about you and anything you do with him.
  • Anything you put in writing or record in pictures/video has the potential to be shared with people you would not want to see it. (love letters, texts, "sexy" photos, voice messages...)
  • Mistakes can happen, no relationship is perfect, but a boy should never BETRAY you or your trust on the big things. Lying and cheating should never be tolerated. YOU are too good to put up with that crap!
  • You can't make a boy fully and honestly commit to you by playing games.
  • If you are asked out by a boy and you want to decline, do it gently. It takes a lot of guts to ask a girl like you out, so be nice. Besides, down the road he may end up being one of the nice guys that is a late bloomer...
  • A boy should never come between you and your friends. Find a way to balance a boyfriend and your girl friends. A nice boy will encourage your friendships.
  • You are a smart girl, never dumb yourself down for a boy. If he is good guy he will actually like you less for doing this.
  • A nice boy will never try to control you.
  • The right boy will think you are beautiful in sweatpants, a hoodie, no make-up with your hairs in a ponytail. If you have to try too hard to impress him, then he doesn't appreciate you enough.
  • There is NEVER a time where it is OK for a boy to hit a girl. If this happens report it.
  • Nice boys respect you.
  • Nice boys respect their elders, including their parents and your parents.
  • And FYI, the golden rule applies to you through this whole list. Treat others the way you want to be treated. In other words, you may be beautiful, but if your personality is ugly you will never truly be happy.
There ARE nice boys out there. They do exist. DO NOT settle for anything less. I swear there are a lot of cute ones too! Please, be careful out there. Just because other girls may dress in tiny outfits, send risque pictures or are willing to engage in sexual activity in there teens (or God forbid before!) it does not mean that you have to. It may seem like they get a lot of attention, but they are selling themselves short. You are an amazing girl, knowing this, believing in this and respecting yourself will take you so far in life and will be everything you will ever need.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sorry I have been MIA this week.

I have been MIA this week because I have been busy getting my money back in line! I have applied for a couple jobs in the hopes of making more money. I have a couple interview set up for next week ::fingers crossed::

I got my first child support payment
I am catching up on bills
Making bigger payments on credit cards
Getting ready to take on my full mortgage payment (I have had some people living in the condo and shouldering a portion of the payment)

Things will still be pretty tight until the new year. My tax return should make it easier to get everything back on track and relieve my worries (even a low balled number). Money has been the number one stress in my life for a few months and finally getting some relief makes me feel so much better.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When to tell... What to tell...

I have thought about this a lot, discussed it with my therapist and doctors, yet I am still not sure how to handle it.... When to tell my daughter what has happened and what to tell her? I want it to be age appropriate and honest. I want her to have enough info to protect herself, yet I do not want to weigh her down with too much.

My therapist said to wait until she asks about her father, or sometime before school starts. If he ever is awarded visitation then she has to know what is an inappropriate request/behavior.... not that he wouldn't be monitored, but you can never be too safe with this stuff. As she gets older I will take her with me to see someone that can help her sort out her feelings.

I know some things are certain:

  1. This is not a secret. Her father's face was all over the news. We live in a small town and my family has lived here since my Grandfather was in grade school... Though people have been supportive, they also know and whisper about "That poor girl", so if she doesn't hear it from me, she will hear it somewhere else.
  2. My ex-mother/father-in-law will not be happy with me. They think me telling her the truth is hateful. They will have to get over it. I have been told how important it is to disclose the info to her and not to sugar coat it for her own protection.
  3. I am terrified. I do not want my daughter to feel anything but proud of who she is. Just because her father is a sick man does not mean there is anything wrong with her. I don't want this information to make damage her in anyway... yet I know it will hurt to hear.
I know people who would want to hide these things, sweep it under the rug. It is unpleasant and disturbing... but it is the truth. I am not talking shit about a man because he hurt me, I am sharing the truth about a dangerous person because it will help protect my child.


Just to clarify again I will not be disclosing the horrific details to a young girl. I will work very closely with my therapist on what to say and how to say it. I am hoping this is years away. When she is in high school and closer to 18, I will leave it up to her if she wants to read his case file. I made myself read it while all of this was going on and it snapped me into reality. This information makes it all to obvious that this man is dangerous and will try to lie his way into her life and possibly her future children's life. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

November 8th

I was supposed to be divorced on October 6th... but It has been pushed back until November 8th. On that day I will show up at court with a witness, the court will ask my witness questions in regards to why we are not compatible, then I will have a divorce... finally!

I will be getting my first child support check this month as well. I can't tell you how much this is going to help me and Nugget. I will be able to get through the next few months with a little less stress.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My daughter said "Love you"

I love her more than anything. Hearing her say she loves me was amazing, even if she was just mimicking. She said it three times that day. :)

video

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Child support

My child has seen no financial support from her father since December 2010. He told me and the courts that paying child support was a punishment that he didn't deserve. He told me that I was punishing his parents and being selfish...

This is a man who is in prison for crimes against children. A man who tore my life apart, left me fighting for survival... emotional, financial and my baby's survival. I have been her sole provider. Those who are parents know how much it can cost to give a baby/toddler everything they need. So, how is it a punishment to ask a person to provide for the child they planned for? It is not. PERIOD. I am not asking him to pay for my day at the spa, it is child support. In the end child support is never a punishment.

In regards to punishing his parents... I just don't understand that part. They are under no obligation to pay his child support, though they have agreed to. They are grown adults who made the decision to contribute towards their granddaughters well being. That is not a punishment, it is a great thing to do. Though I was told that they are only paying to keep X from getting into more trouble down the line by having a lot of arrears... I hope that is not the case, but what can Ido?

Some people have asked me why I even asked for child support. How can I take money from this man? Why would I want him in her life? I will answer these questions now.

1) I asked for child support because it is money that my daughter deserves. It is HER money and me not asking for it could potentially harm her down the road. Even if we do not see a penny for years, someday that money could help my daughter.
2) I can take money from this man because he OWES me. Yes, he owes me and his daughter. Overnight I became solely financially responsible for myself and my daughter. A house payment, medical bills, utilities, daycare, food, clothing, car repairs, baby gear and everything else that had been paid by 2 salaries was now resting on my shoulders. He honestly owes us for everything he had made a commitment to pay before this whole thing happened.
3) For those who are not familiar with the system/courts and how everything works, Child Support and custody/visitation are done completely separately. Paying Child Support has no bearing on the decision of whether or not you get to see your child. If seeing you is not in the child's best interest then you do not get access to the child, no matter how much you pay. On the flip side, not paying child support does not mean you can't see your child. In this economy it makes sense. Trying to avoid visitation by not asking for child support would ultimately not be in a child's best interest.

Maybe someday when I am married to a wonderful man, X will be willing to sign over his rights and let my new husband adopt her. This is a dream of mine.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The good news just keeps on rollin in!

More good news in my life. After 6 months of studying, I passed my Clinical Research Certification Exam!! I am now certified in my field and with this comes more opportunities. It means more pay and job offers. I am so excited! I really did work my butt off to get prepared for this exam. Between Nugget, 2 jobs, a new relationship and household chores... well, I feel pretty awesome about this achievement.

I also received a few things from the state this weekend, my CSEA debit card that will be used for my child support payments and a letter from the Ohio Attorney General letting my know that my X's appeal for a shorter sentence has been denied! Getting this child support is going to really make Nugget and my life SOO much easier. I agreed to a smaller payment amount on the one condition that it is actually paid. Should payments not be received for 2 months the amount will default to the original number suggested by CSEA. As far as the appeal being denied, that is just the icing on the cake! How he thought there were any grounds for his sentenced to be shortened is beyond me... but I guess they will always try.

Let go over the list of recent GOOD things in my life:
  • Divorce will be final 10/6/11
  • I will be begin receiving child support
  • X's appeal was denied
  • I passed my certification exam
  • I have a wonderful new (ish) man in my life
  • My daughter is so smart and adorable!
  • My family is super supportive and helpful
  • I am working my way out of debt!
Some good things can happen by chance, but you can also make good things happen by working hard. If you ever feel like your life is falling apart, be strong enough to look inside yourself and find something you can change. You CAN make good things happen. It took me over a year, but LOOK! Look at how far I have come! Yes, I am giving myself a big pat on the back :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

October 6th.

Just about one month shy of what would have been my two year anniversary I will be officially divorced! The paperwork is ready and all it needs is the judges signature. I can't wait to change my name legally to match my daughter's, to feel another tie to him cut forever.

We were married for only 7 months before he was arrested and we officially separated. October 6th will mark 1 year and 4 months of separation. So, while on paper we will have been married for two years, the real story is much different. I will be a divorcee at age 27, but I did not fail. This is a victory is all the people who have ever been married a person only to find that they had been lied to, manipulated and had their lives turned upside down. I am proud of myself for being strong enough to fight for this divorce.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Long week, great start to the weekend!

I have mentioned this before, but I have a boyfriend and I have call him Bill on this blog. Well, Bill's truck has been out of order for 4 days, meaning we have not seen each other ::sad face:: This has been a little hard because of all weeks to be kinda cut off from one of my supporters, this was a bad one! I started my second job and Nugget had a cold. My days have been starting at 4am due to Nugget's stuffy nose not being able to sleep past this time... and my 2nd job keeps me going until 9pm... so I am pretty much exhausted.

On nights when I work my second job I have about an hour between jobs to hang out with Nugget and eat. I try to make the best of it and focus on her as much as I can. Bill let me know that his truck was finally fixed and he would come down to see me before I left for J#2. He showed up at my house with pizza so I didn't have to cook AND offered to help my dad watch Nugget that night since my dad's back had been bothering him!
After dinner and quality time, we took Nug to my parent's house and Bill stayed to help my dad

That night when I got home I realize that Bill had gone back over to my apt. at some point, vacuumed and tidied up for me! It was so nice to be able to basically fall into bed and sleep. I am so grateful for all of his help. He treats me so well and I will try to never take that for granted.
THEN this morning my dad stopped by my apartment and dropped off a pumpkin donut from a small local shop!! Yummy!!! I feel a lot less stressed and lucky to have great people in my life and Nugget's. What wonderful male role models!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Sister

My sister is a unique being. She is not always the easiest person to get along with, in fact she can be pretty off putting, but really she is a pretty cool person.

I like to think of my sister of a cross between a toddler and an 80 year old man. I can totally see her sitting on her front porch telling teenagers to get their disrespectful, under-clothed asses off her lawn... while at the same time inviting the local kindergartners to run through her sprinkler as she waters her lawn. Sometimes she just doesn't make sense. She will drop everything to go to a professional soccer game, but getting her to play in a coed game is like pulling teeth sometimes.

You never really know what you are going to get in a lot of ways. EXCEPT when it comes to the big stuff. I know she would step up in a crisis. I know she loves me and even says it out loud sometimes! LOL In all seriousness she is who she is and I do love her for that. She has made some really good decisions in regard to her lifestyle. She does not drink, smoke or do drugs. She is a member of the Straight Edge movement.

People may not understand our relationship. We are very different. One moment we are fighting and 5 mins later we are getting ice cream together. I don't think she knows this, but I prefer to do most activities with her. When she is in a god mood she is super fun. I also like that we think alike in a lot of ways. We side eye the same people, we are both pretty adventurous and we can tell when either of us is done. I love my BFF but she is a shopper, like she will wonder around the mall from store to store just trying stuff on for fun... I HATE the mall and shopping... so it is nice to go with my sister cause she keeps the trip short and is honest with me about how I look.

She is the first one I call when I am bored. She is great with me daughter. She has my back. In the end she is what a sister should be. Our differences seem glaring, but our commonalities are far greater and that is what keeps us close.

Friday, September 9, 2011

**BREAKING NEWS** FREEDOM!

My post about my sister is being put on hold until Monday, Sorry Sarah!

I AM GETTING MY DIVORCE!!!

My X finally accepted the child support number! We will approach the judge next week and then it is all a matter of signing some paperwork! I am SOOOO freakin excited! Time to CELEBRATE!!!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Brother

Every girl should be lucky enough to have a brother. Besides my dad my brother was one for my two closest male role models. He is seriously one of the hardest working and bravest guys that I know. The challenges he has faced have been many and yet he pushed through, never gave up and is now a man that any woman would be lucky to have in her life.

My brother faced challenges before he was even born. My mom's amniotic fluid was dangerously low and Z (my brother) was measuring small. The doctors induced labor and my mom gave birth to a 5lb baby boy. His apgars were very low at first and he was pale/yellow. With some careful nursing he bounced back. This may have set the tone for his childhood. In the first grade he was diagnosed with 2 learning disabilities, dyslexia and dysgraphia (reading and writing problems). On top of that he was also ADHD. I know many children are prematurely diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, but my brother was truly battling this disorder. Can you imagine seeing words backwards, having a horrible time trying to write and on top of that lacking the ability to focus! He has such a hard time that my parents made the decision to have him repeat Kindergarten.

We grew up two years apart in age, yet one grade level apart. In the end I think we were both happy to be so close in school. We could help each other and watch out for each other. My mom once said her second job was helping Z get through school. Not because he was a bad student, not because he didn't try his hardest, but because the learning disabilities took such a tole on his self esteem. He would get frustrated, sometimes he would call himself stupid and cry... it was heartbreaking. He could not understand why he had so much trouble with what seemed so easy for everyone else. Don't even get me started on standardized testing. In 9th grade all the students in Ohio were required to take the ERB test. You have to pass this test in order to graduate. My brother's learning disabilities made this task almost as difficult as climbing Mt Everest. He had to train, practice, focus. You could only take it once a year and my brother did not pass it the first 3 years. His senior year we were all praying, hoping and holding our breath. The day we found out he passed I think my mom cried, Z may have too. It was honestly inspirational.
On top of everything else he was small for his age, even being the oldest in his class he was smaller than most of the other boys in middle school and high school. My parents used to give him protein shakes in order to help him gain weight.


In the end my brother grew in every way. He is now a mature and educated man. I am proud to tell you that he not only graduated high school, but went to college! He is now a manager at a landscaping company. Ladies hold on to your butts cause not only did he mature emotionally... he hadgained 40lb of muscle!!

He is kind, generous, caring, loyal and smart. I don't tell him enough how much I admire him, but I do. My brother is pretty much amazing.




I know ads are annoying, but I try to keep them on topic. I have picked out some resources here that may help those dealing with ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia or Dysgraphia.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Mom

Mothers are truly special to most children. They are the first person you will ever bond with. From in the womb you learn their smell, taste in foods and the sound of her voice. After you are born you are fed from her breast (at least in my case) and you are never more calm then when you are in her arms. That feeling never totally goes away. Sometimes a hug from your mother can make everything right, even for a brief moment.

Rosemary, my mom, was one of 6 kids. She has three sisters and two brothers. She is the youngest girl and has a reputation as the rebel of the group. She was a hippie in the 60's and 70's. She protested, burn her bra and is a feminist. At one point she decided not to have children because she believe the world was so currupt that it would be unfair to the child... It is funny to here her say things like that. Despite all of her crazy stories she ended up being a very normal, very loving mother.

My mom threw herself into motherhood. Breastfeeding for at least 6 months and usually longer (2 out of 3 kids were BF'd for almost a year). She took her babies everywhere strapped to her chest or back. Made baby food from scratch... you get the point! My mom was involved. She was always there for us and still is.

When my X was arrested my dad, sister and brother all went into anger mode. They were all pissed at X and spent most of there time talking about how horrible he was (true of course, but I was not there yet), my mom was the only one who held back. She knew that no matter how horrible my X was, I was still falling out of love with him. I needed to be handled with care. Hearing every detail all at once was too much for me. I needed to go through the fog that had settled in front of me.

I was for lack of a better term, a mess. There were a lot of tears. I had trouble eating and sleeping. My mom made sure to remind me to eat or have a protien shake. She sat up with me as I cried and came back into my room in the middle of the night when I was scared to be alone. She encouraged me and supported me as I began to stand up for myself and my daughter. She gave me the truth when I needed it while still letting me make my own choices. After me c-section she took care of me just as she had years before, when I had open heart surgery.

My mom and I do not alway get along, mostly because we are so much alike, but it is because of this that I know she will always be there for me. She knows the same is true for me. Our hearts are loyal, true and tender. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a mother like mine.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Dad

My father is everything a father should be. Funny, kind, gentle, tough when he needs to be and trustworthy. He can goof around with you one minute and discipline you the next. You respect him as his child and the respect comes from a good place and not a place of fear. I will always be grateful that I was blessed with such an amazing example of what a Dad really is. Dads are supposed to be protectors. They make their children, especially their little girls, feel safe and loved. Beyond this a good dad challenges their children. My dad pushed me.

When my brother started playing little league my dad was his coach. He was a great coach and the boys in my brother's class were always excited to learn they would be playing for my father. At the time there was no girls softball league... so my dad invited me to practice with the boys. At first I was embarrassed, but my dad told me that it was all about how hard I tried and not how good I was. I will never forget stepping up to the plate, staring at the boy I had a crush on as he pitched me the ball. I missed pitch after pitch, strike after strike. I wanted to cry. My dad pulled me off to the side and told me to be tough. Missing a few pitches, striking out was no reason to cry. It was my first try at bat! Not everyone even has the courage to step up to the plate. He pointed out that most of the boys were striking out too. He ended the talk by saying that if at the end of the season I was not having fun then I didn't have to play baseball/softball, but I had made a commitment to practice with him and I have to honor that commitment.

I retired my bat for the day and took off into the feild. My dad had a lot of faith in me he let me rotate every position just like the rest of the boys. It was when I was at second base that something happened. A classmate of mine hit a hard, bouncing, ground ball to me. I went to field it and it popped up and hit me in the nose. I threw the ball to first base and ran off the diamond, I was hurt. As I sat crying on the bench with my mom and a bag of ice I thought about how enbarrassed I was. All the boys must think I am such a baby!

Practice ended and we loaded into the car. My dad was smiling and asked me how I felt. I told him my face hurt and I felt stupid. He laughed at me! When we got home he sat with me and told me that he was proud of me. He watched the play unfold from the sidelines and though he wanted to run out and comfort me as soon as he saw me get hit... he was glad he held back.

"Do you realize that you still got the out?" Dad said to me.
"What?" I responded
"You got hit in the face, hard, and still managed to make the throw to first before you broke down and cried! For a seven year old that shows a lot of guts and dedication. You are going to be an amazing athlete."

My dad still tells that story. To this day he references it to remind me how tough I am. It is partly because of him that I have the guts to push through the bad times. He helped shape me into a strong woman. Knowing he is behind me, watching the plays unfold, pushing me and ready to jump in and help only when necessary gives me the confidence I need to keep moving forward. Now Nugget has the honor of having my dad in her life. Pop Pop as she calls him, will always be there for her. He will show her what it is to be a good man... and he will also show her how to throw a baseball.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What is in a name?: A letter to Juliet.

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;" -Juliet (Romoe and Juliet)

Dear Juliet,

You pose an interesting question. What IS in a name? Does changing your name really change who you are? How you feel? I am here to tell you that names do in fact hold a significant amount of power.

Every day your name is used hundreds of times. It is among the first words spoken during an introduction. When you send emails it sits in your signature, at the end of letters and when written in cursive can serve as pledge... a contractual promise to others. Nothing is legal without at least one signature. A name to seal a promise. When a woman changes her name and takes that of her husband it shows that she has made a pledge to him. The groom gives his name as a gift, to let his wife know that he wants to be bound to her. Now they are identified together as a unit.

A name identifies you. Like it or not words do carry more than just s dictionary definition, they hold meaning. Names are no different. They are a part of history, your family tree and your life. It is proven that bearing certain names can bring more prosperity. On the flip side there are also names that are shown to hinder a persons success in the workplace. There is a reason the use of the name Adolf, once popular in Germany, is practically extinct there now.

Now lets talk about this rose. If it were called a poopchute would the smell change? No, but poopchute isn't very poetic is it? Would a flower with a less melodious name be the subject of prose, sonnets or song? I argue it would not. Like the rose, I am the same under any name. Rebecca A or Rebecca X, I am always Becca... but under the name X I have suffered greatly. I am associated with a disgusting man and his crimes. I made the choice to not pass on this name to my daughter, she deserves better. I live for the day to be legally who I am spiritually "Rebecca A". To be set free from the name that has brought me no happiness.

You see Juliet. A name may not be everything, but it is something. I believe it is something so dearly important that a person should fight for it. I know this may be a hard concept to grasp as a 13-15 year old girl.... but I hope someday my daughter will look at me and thank me for giving her not only my maiden name, but my middle name. I know she will wear the name proudly and build on the already deep meaning they hold within our family.

In closing, Juliet, I suggest not getting to wrapped up in this Romeo character. Word on the street is that last week he was in love with some chick named Rosaline... just saying maybe you two should take it slow.

Sincerely the woman formally known and hopefully soon to be known as again,


Rebecca A

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New design

Enjoy the new design... I just needed a change :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

She works hard for the money!

Donna Summer would be proud! I applied for a part time job yesterday to add to my already crazy schedule. I will be working two evenings a week and Saturdays. My mom and dad will be watching Nugget and my friend is my back up.

By putting in a little extra time I will be making an additional $400 (or close to it) a month. This will take me from "poor single mom" to "getting by but exhausted, single mom". In about a year I will be able to sell my condo and from the moment I sell the place I will go from "getting by" to "more than comfortable"!!

Also, if my X-MIL pays a portion of X's child support (like she said she would in court) then I will also be able to pay down the debt I have accumulated over the last year as a single mother with no child support. I will however not be counting on this money because ultimately it is not X-MIL's responsibility.

So, here I am filling a single mom stereo type. Working two jobs to get by and provide a better life for my baby. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. I can see the day when there will be no stress over money and lets face it, 2 years of struggling is nothing compared to some people. I am thankful that I have found a way to make everything work!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not Divorced Yet

Court today was at 10am, though it was delayed. Turns out my X thinks we need more time to work out an agreement. Since he is in prison he only gets 15 mins on the phone with his lawyer at a time. I know for a fact that prisoners can call more than once in a day though! All X needs to say is "I agree to the generous offer my soon-to-be-ex wife has suggested." That takes like 3 seconds?

Anyway... I had a feeling this would happen today, so I was sorta prepared. I get REALLY nervous on court days. I can't concentrate and it is hard for me to get things done at work. So even though I only had to be there for a couple hours I basically got nothing done today. I blame X for this too.

Sorry this post does not flow very well, but like I said I can barely focus. I just want to be divorced! UGH!!

That is all for now!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bad dreams

3 nights this week I have had nightmares about my X showing up at different places within my everyday life. Each time he screams at me and even pushes me. I freak out and scream back, try to dial 911 and I can't hit the numbers correctly.

I hate this. He is in prison and should not be able to make me feel so threatened! Deep down I am terrified for the day he gets out of prison. He said to me a couple times that he intends to be a part of Nugget's life EVERY SINGLE DAY. He is in denial, but his denial scares me. When I reminded him that it is against the law for him to be in any area that children frequent including parks, schools, malls or pretty much anywhere he told me that he could be there.... I know it is 7 years away and this may all sink in before then, but he is a stubborn man. His temper has always scared me. It was hardly ever directed at me so I never thought it would be a problem. Now I think about him actually trying to get in my face or take my child because he feels he has the right.

The fact that I am so afraid of him makes me sad. I do not want to live in fear of a day where he may snap. I hope these fears are unfounded. The truth is I hope his family and personal history of high cholestorol and heart disease catches up to him. Maybe one of the moles I tried to tell him to get removed a million times while we were married will ironically become cancerous. Dying at a young age of natural causes would be great example of Karma... plus Nugget could benefit from his social security... and never having to know him... and we could all sleep a bit easier.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dating as a single mom

There are some things about dating as a single mother that can be nerve wracking. You now have a scale that you use to measure... as a single non-mom the question are:
Is this person good enough for me?
What makes him good enough for me?
How can he improve/add to my life?
Do our values match up?
How does he make me feel?
Does he make me laugh/smile?

With a child there are no questions only requirements:
He must understand that my child comes first.
He must be ready to step into the role of parent. (He may not step into the role immediately, but the readiness is key)
He must be patient with my child.
He must be a good role model.
He must learn to change a diaper.
He must be able to (eventually) love my child as his own.
He must make my child happy.
He must follow MY parenting rules until they become OUR parenting rules.
He must respect my boundaries until I make the decision to expand them.
He must be ok with scheduling our time around my child's schedule.
He must treat me and my daughter with respect.

My BF (Bill) meets all of these requirements. I feel lucky, but I also feel proud of myself. In the end it isn't really about luck. Our meeting might have involved some chance, but in the end I make the decision about who is in our lives. It is ok to be picky. You have control over who you chose to be in a relationship with. If you don't settle then you will find a man that not only meets your expectations, but goes above and beyond.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oh... There you are...

I wondered where it was hiding. The panic, insecurity, fear and irrational feelings.

Yesterday I felt "the panic"... My own version of a Vietnam flashback. I have been with someone for a few months now and things have been truly wonderful. I went in as I stated before with my eyes wide open and being completely secure and rational. Well, yesterday a small 2 hour period turned me into a mess of a woman having a slight panic attack.

I called my boyfriend (I will call him Bill) around 2:00pm to find out if he was going to come over that night for dinner. His grandma was in town and I didn't know if we were all going to meet up again since we had dinner the night before. He didn't answer his phone. Fine, no big deal! I texted him my question and went on with the day. When I checked my phone and hour later he had not answered. Even if he was with his grandma he would answer a text... he always answers by now...

ENTER THE PANIC

"Why has he not answered? It takes 2 second to answer a text! OK, maybe his phone is on silent and he hasn't checked it. He is out with his Grandma... Becca, chill out."

So I took a deep breath and finished the work day. 4pm and still no word from BF. MORE PANIC

"WTF!? Dinner starts in a little over n hour... It has been 2 hours since I called/texted... OMG he is ignoring me! What could he be doing? He is annoyed with me... His grandma hates me... he is rethinking things... what did I do wrong???"

This was completely irrational. I knew and told myself that I was being crazy. What was happening to me?

Twenty four hours removed from the situation I can tell you all EXACTLY what happened. I had a flashback. A flask back to The Day That Changed Everything. Calling and texting for hours with no response only to find out later that something horrible had happened. I hadn't felt that way in so long and it hit me like a brick to the chest. I felt so helpless and out of control, yet the whole time I was sitting and to everyone else I seemed pretty much normal, calm. Inside I was freaking out. I wanted to cry.

My phone rang at 4:25, it was Bill. He had taken his grandmother to the Zoo and they were both tired at the end of the day and took a nap. He put his phone on vibrate so he could sleep. It was so simple and it was true. I said hello to his grandma in the background and discussed dinner before saying goodbye. After hanging up the phone I cried. The release was needed desperately. Bill never knew that I had a freak out cause I didn't tell him.

Just goes to show you that no matter how great you are feeling, how confident and secure... there can always be a moment where you lose yourself. I am glad it didn't turn into a full blown panic attack or freak out. I am proud of myself in a way for getting through it. I will however be calling my counselor for a quick chat. This is something that needs to be nipped in the bud!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A memory.

Nugget has been pretty clingy and weepy due to teething and I have found myself having flashbacks to her as an infant. One year ago we were battling colic together. Long hours of crying and stress.

We were both at the ends of our ropes. She was in pain or uncomfortable, all she could do was cry. My heart was broken, yet full at the same time and like my beautiful baby I could not communicate exactly what was hurting me so much. A sorry sight... I wish I had more in me at that time. I was stretched to my emotional limits in so many ways. I wish I could have had more strength, been a more calming presence for her.

Our evenings were often spent laying in my bed, her on my chest. Nug would alternate between whimpering and crying and I would join in her tears as I sang to her. As long as she was on my chest and I was singing she would not scream, cry yes, but not scream. The two of us in a day bed crying together. Her pain was physical and mine was emotional, but when we were together it was somehow a little easier to cope with both.

I still sing her the same lullaby almost every night. It is from dumbo and is called "Baby Mine". Only now I can sing it with a soft smile on my face. It is not broken up by sobs and sniffles. I can be the calming, loving presence I wanted to be one year ago... She usually stops crying and looks up into my eyes... I am so proud of us and how far we have come. Ironically it brings tears to my eyes, but these tears are much sweeter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmmqarh2Lv8

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 30th, will I be divorced?

My court date is August 30th @ 10 am. I am hoping to walk away a single (truly single) woman. I have felt detached from my X for a long time now. It was not instantaneous, though I knew our relationship was over the moment I heard the news. Letting go of a long term relationship is a process. No matter how awful a person's actions there is a part of you that was in love with that person. I know the person I was in love with was a front, a persona, his attempt to be normal... Once I called him out for being fake and let him know I knew he was trying to manipulate me, well then his true colors came out.

When I was pregnant and before he always was protective of me. He took care of me when I was sick and we spent all of our time together. He had no real friends, just acquaintances. Nobody close enough to know about his secret life, but he was chummy enough to not be seen as a loner or scary. I was the woman he wanted to want to be with. He may have loved me, but I was also a part of his persona. He now had a wife, a home and a baby on the way... He seemed so normal... just the way he wanted.

After he was caught he lost most of his control over me. I admit the shock of it all had me in a place where I felt the need to communicate with him. I wanted to know why. I needed to let him know how I felt. I also missed the man I thought he was. I was however strong enough to tell him I was not going to take him back, He was not allowed near our home, he could not be at the birth of our daughter, and I sent all of his stuff home with his parents. As I came out of my fog/shock I pushed him further and further away. I really cut him off totally when he went back on his word for the umpteenth time on our divorce. He tried to blame my mom and sister for his prison sentence (they did manage to get it extended by speaking in court, but he was in court because of his disgusting crimes. It was his fault of course), blamed me for hurting his parents because I was asking for child support (he had convinced them to pay anything he owes) and telling me I was hurting my daughter by not taking her to visit him in prison.

We had agreed that she should not be taken to the prison, we had agreed that I would keep all the furniture to make a good home for Nugget and we agreed to avoid court and just sign the papers. When he started changing his mind and trying to say I was the liar... well I lost my shit! I screamed at him like I never had, no tears like in previous conversations, I was pissed. In no uncertain terms I told him that he had nobody, but himself to blame for his life being in the shitter. I had always stayed true to my word even after being lied to for YEARS! "Don't bother calling again I will never pick up the phone." These are the last words I spoke to my X. This was in March and the only reason I had ever accepted a call from him is because I thought we were going to settle our divorce civilly, because as he had said, he owed me that much.

I am ready to be divorced. I am ready to shed his name from my moniker. I am ready to break free from all of it. He may never go away completely, but I am ready for a true break.

Monday, August 15, 2011

To my darling child...

I apologize to you for a couple things...

I am sorry you have my face. Not because it is unattractive, of course we are beautiful, but because in the future you will not be able to deny that I am indeed your mother. As I make cheesy jokes, do crazy impressions and play adult league soccer. you will be somewhere in the background mumbling about how embarrassing I am.

I am sorry for being paranoid, but for obvious reasons I will be closely monitoring your Internet, your phone and your camera. You will have to come to terms with this and realize it comes from a loving place. I do trust you, but I do not trust others or teenage hormones.

I am sorry that I get cranky. I fear the day when our cycles sync... I also fear for my future husband and your future dad... maybe this apology should really go to him!

I am also sorry for our rough start. It was not our fault, but I want you to know that I wish I could have given you so much more. I promise I will try to make things better every single day... so far, so good.

I love you and I am sorry... now get over it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

De-Evolution

My child has slowly de-evolved into a baby chimp. She now feels the need to cling to me as much as possible. I must be by her side to "talk" with her, watch her do things and cuddle her whenever she so desires.

I blame molars. Teething of course is the process in which your child goes from being a happy, sleeping through the night, independent young semi-angel to a clingy, whining, weepy, wakes-3 time-a-night, little hellion! Only this round of teething comes with more mobility and verbal skills. Meaning she can climb into my lap, run in between my legs, kick, scream and open dresser drawers in order to throw things around.

Personal space no longer exists. People she sees every.single.day and usually loves to hang out with are now not good enough. My BFF/daycare provider now has to deal with a meltdown every morning and my parents can't keep her distracted long enough for me to pee in privacy!

Being an only parent means I am dealing with this mostly on my own, which only feeds the little clinger monkey's desire to crawl back into my belly! My house is in dire straights. I NEED to get laundry, dishes and shopping done!

Nugget, You are mommy's most favoritest person in the whole world!! I promise! This will not change in the moments I am no longer within your eyesight. I will always return to give you hugs and kisses and cuddle your little, precious, baby self. Sweetie, mommy needs a little space. You are invading her bubble a little too much. Lets love each other from across the room for 15 mins while I pick up your toys or vacuum.

Molars, I am not a fan. Your ability to help chew food down to a non-chokeable size is pretty helpful, but must you take so long to arrive? Let's get this show on the road!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Feeding the maddness!

I like to think of myself as a happy/fun crazy person. It is abundantly clear that my life is not normal and rather than go certifiably insane I choose a delightfully crazy alternative. I sometimes laugh when it is not appropriate and brush things off that others would freak out about... and sometimes I freak out about little things, but do it with a smile. What else can you do? There are things that we can't change so why not just laugh it up.

Here are somethings laugh at that might make others shoot me a side eye. **These are all taken from real situations, so yes I may mention something that happened to you... just know I still love you even if I laugh at you** :

1) You spend a whole day complaining about the horrible things your husband said to you, then the next day talk about something nice you want to do for him because "he deserves it"

2) A hospital calls me about a bill I owe money on and says I could just use a credit card to pay the full remaining balance and then they will give me a $100 discount! Oh yay! If only I hadn't maxed out my emergency CC paying to fix my car and paying to keep the lights on...

3) My X-MIL writes to me about paying some of X's child support and thanks me for lowering the amount to he owes to $200 a month... (Per the judges request I am negotiating CS but not down to $200 a month!) LOL I appreciate you paying what you can to support you granddaughter... oh wait you will only pay if I lower it? Does that mean you are paying to keep X out of trouble or to help you granddaughter? I am confused... Oh well I will just laugh

4) "My husband is out of town for 4 days! Looks like I am a single mom for a while!" I will always laugh at this and possibly freak a little (privately). Seriously, you have no idea what it is like to live this life. Your husband will be home in less than a week and his child support money is guaranteed every single month. (this is strictly referring to the situation above, not those who are military wives or other tough circumstances, so don't comment about how I am mean.)

5) "I am so poor. I feel so bad for my child... we can't afford a big birthday party! Only 50 people will be there and we could only get her one gift." (a $300 gift). Honestly, love your child and make the day special. It doesn't take money and gifts to do that and complaining to me about this will only make me laugh in your face in a insanely creepy way. I may also invite myself to get a free meal...

6)I have all the respect in the world for Single parents (obviously) BUT, there are even certain SPs that annoy me from time to time. Like a friend of mine from work, who I actually love to death.. but our SP status is completely different and we can relate on very few things.

She comes form a wealthy family. Her child's father pays support and makes an effort to see the child every other weekend and on Holidays. Her house was purchased for her by her parents. Her income is supplemented by her family and she already makes a lot more money than I do... So in other words, I am jealous! Any complaints about money from her will be met with a chuckle and a dirty look. She knows this.

7) My birth control (which after this month will not be a problem anymore cause I switched it!) is making me into a fat teenager. Meaning I am moody, pimply and tired. Like I need to be a fat, zit covered bitch on top of everything else! lol

Anyway that is a short list of some things that add to the insanity that is my life! Yes, I find most of it funny! I have dealt with worse.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mommy School

If being a mommy was given titles like classes at school the following would be my class schedule.

Home economics: Where I run around trying to clean, cook breakfast, keep my child entertained and get ready for work all at the same time.

Business: 8 hours of work. Meetings, email, phone calls and memos.

Driver's Ed: Navigating my 60 minute commute to DC and home through rush hour traffic.

Algebra: Solve 1t + 1b = 5 million (AKA 1 tube of puffs + 1 baby = 5 million half shrunken snack food pieces stuck to various objects all over my home)

Chemistry:
What in the world did you eat that when mixed with stomach acid creates feces of that color, texture and odor!?

Physical Education: Running around the apartment after my 1 year old and getting through bath time.

Music: Blasting Britney Spears and watching Nugget dance with her baby tambourine.

Philosophy: Reading Dr. Suess and contemplating "Green Eggs and Ham"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bills, Bills, Bills

I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water with all of my bills. The thing that really bothers me about this is I have a great job, I make good money... yet I am still behind! I have almost maxed out my emergency credit card and I feel a little nervous about that.

Over the past year I have had medical bills, legal fees, mortgage payments, a new set of brakes, new bearings in my car, new hubs... damn car and all of the baby expenses. That stuff eats up cash like crazy! It is truly frustrating.

Another thing that tugs at me is that fact that my mortgage is killing me financially. The house is only in my name and if I was single with no child I would be ok... or if I was married with another income and a child I would be ok... but I am single with a child and I can't sell my condo for another year (due to the first time home buyer's credit). If I was renting a 2 bedroom apt or own a smaller home I would have NOTHING to worry about, at least money wise.

Of course I am not receiving child support (yet). In fact I have spent almost $1000 dollars just arguing over me need for child support while my X feels paying would be a punishment. The silver lining here is his parents want to keep him out of trouble so they will be paying a portion of the child support. If they stay true to their word I will be get $200 a month form them. The child support amount set by the court is more than this and the rest will build up arrears over the next 7 years.

Even without the child support my situation is only temporary. I will have the medical bills and legal fees paid off in the next year and that will help. I am also working towards a certification that will come with a raise. After all of this I should be back on track.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A happy post :)

I usually post here when there have been developments in my divorce, with my ILs or when I am feeling the stress of my situation. Today I want to let you all know that my life is not all that depressing! I am actually a very happy person! So here are somethings that are making me smile these days...

1) My daughter has so much personality. She smiles and laughs all day long with very few meltdowns. This is a long way from the colicky baby she once was. I love that she is understanding what I say and when I give her simple directions. I know do not feel as if I am always talking to myself... which of course makes me feel less crazy :)

2) I am independent. I lived with my parents less than a year and was able to get back on my own two feet. Yes most months my bank account goes to within my last $40... but I am making it work. I got a promotion and a raise in April and when I get certified in my field in September I will get another raise! At least I know my hard work is paying off.

3) My heart is open again. I am very happy with myself and the woman I have become. I am in a place to accept love again. I hold no punches and have very high expectations. I have no problem being picky. By holding my standards high I am finding a much higher caliber man.

4) I have wonderful family and friends. There are people that are always there for me. They have helped me find my smile over the past year and I can never thank them enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday!

My sweet little girl turns 1 today.
I gave birth to you during the most difficult time of my life. I labored naturally and ended up having surgery to bring you into this world safely. I cried when I saw you for the first time as most mothers do... but my tears came from fear. I was so scared I was going to fail you. That I alone could not possibly be enough for this precious baby. You deserved a "normal" family, a mom and a dad. I had so many plans for you... So many of those plans had to be changed. There has never been a time in my life where I have felt so unworthy and so scared.

Here we are a year later. Nugget you are the amazing thing in this world. My fear melted away over a short time. When I look into your eyes I become a warrior. I will fight for you until the day I die. I will guide you and protect you. Being your mother may have saved me and I promise to spend every day making this life the best one I can for you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Showing his love..

My X's lawyer sent my lawyer paperwork asking that we reach and agreement on support... Meaning he wants me to agree that he doesn't have to pay CS. If I don't agree then he would like the following items returned to him:

Queen bed, double bed, computer/speakers, grill, patio furniture, vacuum, LCD TV, coffee table, washer, dryer, dining table, all dishes/pots/pans/silverware, stand up freezer, tools, tool box, tennis raquet, tennis bag, and a bicycle

I am thinking the judge is going to side eye this cause she already did when he made reference to this request in court.

It is good to know that though he claims to love his daughter SOO SOO MUCH.. that he does not want to support her and is willing to take away all of her/her mother's comforts/furniture in order to avoid supporting her. I am sure this will someday demonstrate how much he really "cares" about DD.

Oh yeah... If the judge does grant the request... I hope he enjoys all of that stuff from afar since he wont even be in the same zip code for at least 7 years!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Divorce Pre-Trial

Yesterday I spent most of my time in the Franklin County Courthouse. I will say at least it is an entertaining place... lots of good people watching to do there! I was there for my divorce pre-trial and even though I knew I had a major upper hand I was still a ball of nerves.

I did not go to the temporary orders hearing previously held, because my lawyer reccomended I sit that one out, but I went to the pre-trial. I wanted the judge to see my face. I wanted her to look at the woman who was defending her daughter from the absent criminal. My blonde hair, young innocent face spattered with freckles... I also wanted her to see my genuine reactions. If I cried I wanted her to feel it. I wasn't putting up a front, I wanted her to see the true me.

As I sat at the table with my lawyer the Honorable Judge Kim Brown proceeded to ask her questions.

"What could we possibly be fighting over in this divorce?"

I liked her already. It seemed obvious to her that this should be easy. My X's lawyer spoke up about wanting visitation... the Judge practically cut him off by saying there was "NO WAY" she would grant prison visits. I liked her even more. She then asked why X was in prison...

"What was he convicted of?" asked Judge Brown

The lawyer seemd a little flustered by what I thought was an obvious question, but eventually responded

"Receipt of child pornagraphy"

There was a collective gasp in the courtroom by the couple waiting to be seen after us, the baliff and the courtroom secretary. I guess I forgot how fresh it can feel to hear those words... how raw and frightening. Not that I am numb to it, but it is a very real and scary part of my life. I do not have time to be shocked by it anymore.

Judge Brown gave a very exagerated side-eyed glance towards X's lawyer. She was on my side. I felt a sense of relief. Everything went pretty fast after that. Since we technically do not agree to the terms of our divorce we set a trial date. I am hoping that X will take what the Judge said to heart and just sign the papers before then... but who knows!?

I am glad I went. I am glad it went well. Most of all I am glad my daughter is safe for now.