Sunday, October 11, 2015

What If...

How do you explain to someone who hasn't been through the same stuff as you that you have a hard time trusting people because you've been lied to off and on for 16+ years? How do you explain to them that they're exhibiting a lot of the signs that the past delivered to you that you either didn't acknowledge or just plain ignored that say something is going on? Do you take what you have, knowing it's the best place you've been in and just throw caution to the wind and pretend you feel fine? Do you confront it and insist that you know something is going on, in spite of anything anyone says? What if I'm right? Again. What if I'm not just Pavlov's dog'ing it right now with the ding of a timestamp that says Now Is When It Happens. What if this is as good as I get? What if I'm told the same bs as before? What if? ...I hate this part.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Where's My Money?

I hate this time of year. It's when I usually start my Christmas shopping (yes, I'm that girl) so that I can get little bits over time instead of taking out a second mortgage on December 21st to BUY ALL THE THINGS!. And every year in October I get to revisit the student loans I haven't made a dent on because I just don't have an extra $900 laying around collecting dust each month. I know someone out there thinks I'm just rolling in money (think Scrooge McDuck in his money vault), but that's just not the case. I try to budget, I put off stupid meaningless purchases when I know I need to save, I make my own coffee instead of making a daily trip to Ziggi's for a $5 mocha, and I like to re-purpose old furniture. But school clothes and shoes are expensive. After school programs are expensive. Insurance is expensive. I have a car payment because my 13 year old truck was expensive to maintain. I'm doing ok, and I know this, but it still stresses me out. I know it will work out and I'll get right back to being myself soon enough, but right now I want to run and hide. Stay under the covers so the statements can't see me. And if I can't see them, they don't exist...right?

I recently started a new job. I had been at a chiropractor's office for 2 years, but my now-former co-worker ruined that for me because I didn't want to go to lunch with her one day. I took a lower paying job to make due, which hurt quite a bit for the almost 3 months I was there, until I found this one. Now I'm exactly where I was when I worked at the chiropractor's office, financially speaking, less the $900 or so I lost in the time I worked at the lower paying job. The pay is fine, but I should be making more at this stage in my life. I have a very expensive degree that I don't get to utilize because they don't tell you when you go to school for Graphic Design that you need 5 years of experience just to be considered for a junior designer position...Without unpaid internships and hours that don't work with being a single parent, that just isn't an option. I wish there was a way to trade it in or just return the degree and work something out with the student loans. "I promise to never list my college education on any resume or attempt to use it to my advantage, in exchange for eliminating my student loans". I'd even go back to school for something I WANT to do. But alas...this is the hand I was dealt and it's no one's fault but my own.

I am branching out though. I have a ton of stuff in my house that's just stuff, sitting around not being used. Since starting this new relationship, I have, for the first time ever, had this feeling of freedom and letting go. I want all the things gone that I've been hanging on to for the many years because it was all I felt I had, all that defined me and proved that I had a house and a life at some point. Turns out I don't need all the things when I have someone who makes me feel whole just being with me. So maybe getting rid of some of the stuff will help. I also put myself out there for interior decorating again as I did that a lot when I lived in Atlanta, and I'm pretty darn good at it. I like to keep busy and I like making changes. This feels good. And I wish to no end that I could take my son out of school and teach him myself. He's having a little trouble for the first time ever with math, and we just don't get the time together to go over it like we did before. I work longer hours, we go to bed early because we get up early, and we try to make the most of the evenings, but some days there's just not enough time. If I could just win the lottery...

So there it is...and there goes my money. One of these days, I'm gonna make it big. Maybe I'll finally finish one of the many books I started...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm In Love...And You'll Just Have to Deal With That

Gross...I know.

I know a lot of people. Those that I'm closest to are mostly old friends from grade school and high school that I don't actually see as I live in Colorado and they're mostly in Ohio. But we manage to keep in touch through the typical social media outlet of Facebook, sharing mainly stupid memes, countless posts about coffee or food, and lots and lots of pictures. The people I know here I met mainly through my son's school or through now former relationships. There's been a little hushed judgement from a handful of people for my recently announced new relationship following a seemingly sudden breakup. For those people mostly, and for anyone else interested, I'd like to share with you this amazing new journey I'm on and how it came to be.

Most of you know I was married before. Twice actually. The first when I was 22, a relationship that lasted five years, only one of which we were married, and the second when I was 25, a relationship that lasted eight years, six of which we were married. Both were definitely mistakes, both made with only the best of intentions but just weren't meant to be. Add to that the 3 year relationship that ended this year, and that's 16 years of my life with the wrong 3 people...I don't go on dates, I go on relationships.

My first husband was a great friend. We got along most of the time, but we were always just roommates. I wanted to make it work to avoid being a statistic because of having had a child and giving her up for adoption. We were still very much a part of her life (open adoption was an amazing blessing for me) as the adoption wasn't because we didn't want her, but because neither of us were ready to be parents, and I had gone through so much turmoil growing up that I was terrified I would ruin her life. I needed help, guidance, and time to mature before I was be someone's sole supporter and successfully raise a capable adult...a decision I have never regretted and completely stand by. We have a great relationship to this day and her mother and I are family. There has never been a day that I didn't acknowledge that I have a daughter as well as a son, and they have always known each other as siblings. I needed a companion as a spouse. Someone who was more than a friend. A supporter, a partner, someone to set goals with and work towards future plans with. We just never had that. We didn't end our relationship in hate. We simply went our separate ways.

The second marriage was a complete surprise to me...and not really a great one. When we found out we were pregnant early in the relationship, he suggested we get married. After the last one, I said no. I didn't want a child to be the reason we got married as that didn't work out the first time. We needed time to be together and make sure it was what we wanted. A year later, after things had calmed a bit and our son was a year old (we fought a lot...a lot...) he took me to a national park and we were married...It was just us, our son, the woman who performed the ceremony by the river and her husband as witness. It certainly wasn't ideal, but it was much like our relationship - private, uneventful, and strange. We spent the next 6 years fighting, dealing with my OCD and anxiety disorder, and his narcissistic tendencies and not so gentle temper. I feared leaving my son alone with him at a young age when he wasn't old enough to completely communicate because of an incident I won't out him for, but it was a choice to keep my son safe. So I waited. And every year, he told me he wanted a divorce. And every year he would rescind the request when I would say ok, changing just enough to be the sweet spouse he was supposed to be until things calmed down, then right back to it. It was a tiring game, and nothing makes you feel more unwanted than someone saying they don't want to be with you for nearly a decade. I don't blame either of them. I know I have my faults and troubles. You'll only ever get one part of any story anyway...and we all know there are three sides to every story. His, hers, and the truth.

The most recent relationship I was in lasted 3 years. I had met him while still with my last husband at a party we were invited to. He became a friend to both of us, but we spent more time together as I liked to get out and husband #2 didn't. We only ever went out as friends and always with other people around. It wasn't until 6 months later when I went into the hospital with the blood clot and husband #2 had moved out and our divorce was filed, that we ended up dating. The doctors at the hospital were concerned about me going home alone with no one but my then 7 year old son to be there in case something happened. The guy was with me in the hospital and he says that it was then that he realized he wanted to be with me, because of the fear of what could have happened with the clot. He ended up coming home with me, sleeping on the couch out of respect for both me and my son as husband #2 was just fresh out of the house and I was in no condition for a relationship...He then helped us move into a new place and just stayed. There was never really a conversation about him moving in, he wasn't even on the lease. It just sort of happened and we never did anything about it. And we had our troubles. He screwed around in the beginning. A lot. And I was aware of it and I just felt like this was what I get. I'm the girl they want to be with, they just don't want to be faithful. We made it work...but we fought. I didn't trust him, he couldn't fix it. He did eventually seem to become a faithful guy, but his changes just weren't completely believable. His behavior and attitude toward both my son and me changed, his tone was shitty, his words were often unkind, and I was constantly telling him to be nice, talk nice. It got old. We bought a house last year. Mainly because rent in this area went waaaaay up and we couldn't afford renting a house anymore. And I refuse to raise my son in a crappy apartment complex when we were perfectly capable of buying. So we bought a house in a neighborhood I was not thrilled about. And his crappy tone continued. It was St. Patrick's Day evening that was the final straw for me. We had been talking about the future, about a business I wanted to start, and we began branching off of it, finding ways to make it bigger and incorporate his ideas into it. It was when I suggested he get a business degree that it all fell apart. My intention was for him to hone in on his people skills and focus on HR. He's always been good with people, but needed to be taught how to be more neutral...a simple business skill that would put him in a better place for managing a business. It all went well for a bit, until something in him snapped. An argument ensued, I was accused of badgering and acting like his mother. That was it. I was done. I had been supportive, I had been encouraging, I was there when he joined bands and purchased music, I encouraged friendships and even continued to support his drinking habits. But I was done. I was accused of something that wasn't me and I was tired of trying for nothing. So I asked him to move out. It was initially supposed to be a spacial thing. To give us both space and for him to learn to be on his own again, not so co-dependent on me and to realize what he had with us. But the moment he stepped out the door, he turned back in to the guy who screwed around with countless women. He destroyed what he had worked for for the past 3 years. And when he tells the story today to his friends when they ask what happened, it's spun differently...regretfully. Like a reformed man who just isn't given a fair shot. And it's ok, to those of you who feel like I did something hurtful. As I said when it all happened, I wasn't telling anyone the story. It was a private matter that was supposed to be handled by adults, not a reality tv episode that would allow everyone to divulge their own perceptions and opinions and draw up more drama. Especially since it involved my son. And the bottom line...we just weren't right for each other.

So I wasn't looking for a relationship. I was doing fine on my own. I was being me and told myself "not this're not going to bounce right into another relationship". And I did good. Until he came along. This tall, quiet, muscular, handsome, hardworking father of a man. He lives near me. I had seen him a bit over the time I've lived here, all the time thinking how attractive he was but never for a moment thinking I would ever be his type. He obviously works out, he keeps to himself, he has a son. We've chatted a few times, usually when he was at the park with his son or walking to the mailbox by my house. He's an electrician. I had some lights I wanted put in my kitchen and it was suggested that I ask him to do it. He agreed and had to bring his son with him, who my son gladly invited to his room to play while he worked. So I sat in the kitchen, feeling awkward and making sure I was out of the way, but close enough that we could at least chat while he was there. We talked a lot, about our relationships (mine was just ending with the aforementioned and he was in one he wasn't completely sold on). I remember at one moment we talked about true love, the kind of love in old movies. I told him I didn't think it existed anymore, that the idea of monogamy and loyalty and true love is lost our generation. He disagreed. We got to know each other a little better that day and became friends, still not really seeing each other much, but I felt like I knew him...from another time. We had chatted a bit off and on for about a month, usually about his girlfriend and if I knew anyone who could help her find a job. Then one day I asked him a question about some random thing and told him I hoped they were all doing well. He informed me they broke up. We chatted about both situations and, after his plans for a movie night with friends fell through, we agreed to get together, have a beer, and complain about relationships and life.

We spent a good week getting to know one another. We had really good talks and just spent time being in the same space. But I still wasn't convinced. I liked this guy...a lot. And I didn't want to. I'm honestly completely drained of the ability to be hurt any more. So I put him off, told him I just wanted to be friends. And when I was starting to think I should come around and give it a go, he gave me a similar speech...that he was going to try to give it a go with an old girlfriend. I put on the brave face and a friendly smile, gave him the ol' pat on the arm and told him that was great and that I'd always be his friend and he was welcome over any time, for beer, food, company. And I walked inside my house. I closed my door and sat on the entry way floor and cried. There was something about him. A pull I hadn't felt before, like I found the thing that was missing all my life. And I just patted it on the arm and gave it away.

It wasn't but a couple of days later that we were both having a crappy day and he suggested we have a beer and rant for a minute. The girl ditched him, in a very tacky way. I brought over a beer for each of us and we sat in his living room, awkwardly, and talked about it. When I finished my beer, I felt like I should go. I knew I couldn't just be his friend. I liked how I felt with him, like I belonged there, and I couldn't go with the idea that he would be with someone else. So I got up to leave, he got up with me. He stood in front of me and put his hands on my arms, then my face, kissed me and I pulled away. Told him I had to go. He looked at me and said "It's there, isn't it?" And I just had to go. I walked out the door and down the street to my house and that was it. I was his. It's just there. And we've been together every single day since. I finally get it. I know what it is to actually love someone with everything, and I now know what it is to feel loved in every way possible. I feel like I've known him my whole life, like he has been there since my teenage years at least. I can see him in my past, he fits right in with my friends, my lifestyle, I adore his friends, we have similar ideas and goals and we're supportive of each other. We have plans and are working toward those plans, not just staying stagnant and talking about them. We belong. And for the first time ever, I feel whole. We can spend hours just gabbing away about nothing and being in the same space. We can sit in the grass all day and not feel like we need to be doing something else. We get along, we have fun, we know how to handle each other when we're having an off day, we communicate, we care, and we laugh. He makes everything terrible seem so small, he makes all the bad so insignificant because we have so much more than any of the past will ever be. He's patient...god is he patient with me, and he understands. We both have anxiety, and neither of us has been particularly bad with it since we've been together. It just works. There's no adjusting, no pretending to like what the other likes just for the beginning of a relationship only to be honest and hate those things later...We do what we do and it works. And I'm happy. I'm so disgustingly, happily, happy.

So there it is. This is a new me, and I love it. I absolutely love every part of it. I will remind myself every chance I get that this is the best thing that has ever happened in my life and I will respect it and cherish it. Because it means so much to me. And for anyone who doesn't understand, or who still thinks I'm doing something wrong, I can't help you. This is life. Mine specifically, and I can't keep letting others call the shots.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Forgive You.

I'm learning more and more about myself as I get older. I'm learning to calm down, relax, and not take things so personally. I'm also trying to remember that I can't please everyone. I can't count the number of times I've ended up in a mentally exhausting emotional fit from trying to be everything to everyone and always falling short somewhere in the middle. I am who I am and other people have to accept that just as much as I do.

One of my commonly repeated phrases is "You can only hold people accountable for what they say, not what you think they think". If someone tells me I did something right, that's all I have. I can't sit by and stress over what they actually meant by it, if they expect more, if I really did the wrong thing and they're just being nice, or secretly laughing behind my's exhausting just explaining it, let alone living it. Forgiveness is key. Forgetting is another story.

I had a family member who was notorious for cutting me out when she got upset. I could understand if I stole her wallet, killed her dog, or wrecked the car. But it was always over the stupidest tupperware. Not kidding. The first time I remember being given the silent treatment from her was when I was about 12 years old or so...maybe a little younger. I was playing with the lock on the restroom door at a Bob Evan's, harassing my sister the way we always did. The next time was because I didn't make a salad, another time because I didn't have the Christmas tree decorated when she got home from work, and eventually when I picked up tupperware and, since I had to work the next day, I left shortly after and found out later I was expected to stay longer and "hang out". I can't read minds. If I could, I promise I'd have a lot more money...and she'd still be mad at me.

I lost 6 years with my dad because of all this. That last bit, about the tupperware, caused a rift so great that she forbid my dad to speak to me, making it so we had to have a sort of secret affair where I'd call my grandma when I wanted to talk to him, she would get him the message, and call me back when he could. It was too much song and dance, and as a result, I stopped trying. He missed the birth of my first child, my first marriage, and my fall as I divorced shortly after. By this time I had moved away from home in Ohio to Atlanta. Then, one day, after I met the new man in my life and was pregnant, I got a call from my dad telling me he had cancer and was about to have surgery. He felt I needed to know as it was kind of a big deal. I was angry. I couldn't accept that the first time I was to hear from him after all this time was to tell me about his upcoming surgery to a situation that could kill him, and I had no time adjust and let it sink in. When I was in high school, this man had been my best friend. I ditched my friends to hang out with him, watch USA's Up All Night, or just go to The Donut Shop to have coffee and bullshit about cars. Now, I was hearing something so personal in the way an acquaintance would be told. I expressed this anger freely, telling him what I thought of this phone call and how it made me feel. I cried for 3 days. Then I called him back. Told him I was sorry for focusing on the wrong thing and letting him know I was concerned and would appreciate a call when he's out of surgery. Surgery went well with just a few issues, and I made a plan to visit in the coming months.

The story goes on and on, but in the end we re-established a relationship, though it will never be as it once was. I take it all with a grain of salt and have made it clear that there will never be another secret affair between us, that if she decides I'm not worthy of speaking to, he has a choice. I won't fight to keep people around that don't want to be around anymore. I forgive you. But I don't want anything to do with you.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Silent Chaos

There's that silent chaos again. Snow. Falling so hastily, so absurd with the up, down, left and right. But not a sound. Peaceful, silent chaos.

Silent chaos. In a lot of ways, we always hope our children grow up like us. Strong, athletic, smart, maybe she'll be artistic, or he'll love science. In other ways, we hope they never experience some of what we've gone through. For when they have, where do we turn, who do we trust, and how do we teach them to be strong? Their silence speaks volumes, but only if you can hear it. Silent chaos. Of a different kind.

Silent chaos. It's a circle. Or a figure eight. Or a beautiful mess. It goes back to hoping they grow up like us. Strength. Courage. Integrity. Accountability. Knowing right from wrong and being able to hold others accountable to our standards, not lowering them for those not able to meet. It's your life. You have to live with it for the rest of your life. Take control. Draw your boundaries. And never be afraid to let go of the people who don't meet your standards. If they're worth it, they'll up their own. Never expect people to change, but rather expect respect. If you don't get respect, they're not worth keeping around. Testing boundaries is normal; however, never compromise your own values in order to experiment with the reactions and emotions of others. You get one chance at a first for everything. Just one.

You never want them to hurt. Ever. You understand that some hurt helps them grow. It's fertilizer for the future...the shit they must go through to become greater things. But some shit should never...ever...ever happen. And all you can do is support, love, and be. But where would you stop? What are your limits? What wouldn't you do to keep your children safe, or right any wrongs? What happened to humanity? My heart breaks. And my mind is busy.

No regrets. Just a natural instinct to protect, to make right, to defend. And I will. No matter what it takes.

One life. Make it count...make it count.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Make Me Completely Miserable

I talked to my mom today for the first time since "the incident". Turns out I'm not so wrong. I hate that I hurt my mom. I don't actually like to hurt people's feelings, as good as I may be at it. If it happens, and I don't already like you, it's kind of like a life bonus. But when you're my mom, it sucks. But she needed to know that the only, and I do mean ONLY person, on her side was tired of being the flag-waving advocate for jack-shit, and it really hit home this time. Now it's time for her to see that there can be life without him. There can be a life of happiness and fun, without fear of saying something, doing anything, or breathing. I'm loving this new position, without loving what it's doing to her. I suppose you have to be in the position to understand what abuse does to a person to appreciate the "power trip" you get when you finally take the reigns back and say NO. It's not a gloating's more of a take-back-what-was-rightfully-human kind of thing... I dunno. I just know I'm glad to be where I am.

I've felt a lot better. And after reflecting on a night of too much to drink and still calling out those who needed to be called out, the only regret I walk away with is the regret that I didn't say something sooner. So many people have turned a blind eye to all this and it makes me really realize who is family, who's there just when things are good, and who's not there at all for anything. I know now that all that I have to rely on is right here, with me in Colorado. This is the family I take and accept and that accepts me and loves me for who I am, where I came from, and who I might have been in the past...not who I am yet to be.

Today was awesome...aside from the fact that we went to a Barnes and Noble to find books and were left with a hardcore feeling of longing. If I wanted poorly written opinions on gluten-free cooking or anything by Stephen King I would have been set for life. But alas...I wanted substance. So I'm left with *sigh* Oh well. At least we tried...and experienced something outside the small city we live in. We did get 2 Christmas gifts ;). Less than 90 days!! Yep. I'm that girl. Oh, and out. I've found some funness. :D

So tomorrow is Sunday and we're going to hang out and maybe sing a little. We'll see. Maybe I'll get my guitar out and stretch her strings. She needs and deserves it.

Love you all. Please remember: you are always as strong as your closest advocates. Never feel alone.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For What it's Worth

Boy it's been a while. So much has happened...Where to begin...

So back in June I went into the hospital. I had started a new job and the first and second day, my left leg was swelling. Now, I've had swelling for years. Twelve to be exact, due to pregnancy-related sciatica. But that second day (it was a Tuesday), something was different

You see, a year and a half ago my sister went into the hospital. She had severe swelling and discoloration of her left leg. Turned out, she had several blood clots in her leg, groin, and lower back. It was bad. Really bad. But she pulled through. Then my aunt died, suddenly, of aneurysms. It was maybe a month later? And then my mom was life-flighted to Cleveland Clinic with a blood clot in her artery next to her heart. All within a 6 month period. I knew things were bad and something was wrong, but no one, not even the doctors had any idea. So when things calmed down and my mom was finally released to go home, I started my preventative therapy. I went to the doc and had my clot time checked, my antiphospholipid proteins, T4, D-dimer, full CBC, and hormone levels checked. All came out fine.

Then June hit. Damn you June. Almost a year later and I was the one now in the emergency room with swelling AND redness. I never had the weird redness before. And it wasn't It was like...strangulation. If crayola made a horror line, this color would be 'Strangulation'. So I went to the hospital at 7:30pm, expecting to be told it was just sciatica and I needed to stretch, or worst-case-scenario it was an infected lymph node. They hooked me up to an IV line "just in case" and sent me off for an ultra-sound. I'm pretty cool. I can talk it up like the coolest of cats when I need to. I get nervous easily, but I'm used to it, so I can usually cover it up. Once the tech got a feel for the person she thought I was, she told me "you do have a blood clot by the way...and I'm not supposed to tell you that". I nearly cried. Held back a panic attack and a flood of tears. Here I was, the youngest of the 3 of us and not expected to succumb to such a fate...and yet, here I was. And I felt so alone. I was in a new relationship, one that felt really REALLY good, where things were going well and we were living, for the first time in a decade for me, really living! Going out, having friends, laughing...ME...laughing!! And my son...what would come of my beautiful son... So she wheeled me back to the er observation room where he was waiting for me. I couldn't look at him. I thought "this is it...this is where it ends. No guy wants someone THIS broken...medical issues?? Nope..." So I held back and waited for the doctor, just staring at the ceiling. The doc came in and told us both the news and I started to break...but just a little. And then I saw something I'd never seen before. I saw HIM start to break. Could it be? Is it possible someone actually cares about me? I suddenly felt like I needed to be the one consoling, not the one in the bed. I don't like spotlights...I don't like the attention, the finger pointing, the feeling of being "on display". But what could I do. I was admitted that night.

To add insult to ... well, medical issue, I'm still married. Not with him at all, but not yet divorced. When I texted him the news, that I was admitted and I had a blood clot, the response was "Okay. Do you know where my social security card is?" Not kidding. Still have the text. I had people visit me at 11pm that night that I've known for less than a year. He and I were together for 8 years and he didn't come to the hospital until I happened to talk to his mom, who was unaware on day 4 of my 6 day hospital stay that I was even in the hospital. His excuse you ask? Well, "I don't know what hospital you're in". There's one hospital in our town. And he had his tonsils out there not even a year before all this. Come on. Really?

So...let's progress. He moved out while I was still in the hospital, I came home and had to try to pack everything, still being limited because of my new "death glob". Blood thinners suck by the way. I'll never buy rat poison again. I'll just buy a snake... I got a great place just a block or 2 from where I was before and, because of this new relationship, I had a LOT of help moving, which I desperately needed. Things went well, and my mom even came out from Ohio to help. We had a great time.

So things go normal for a while. Months actually. New guy knows of my family's past, but hadn't had to experience any of it. Until, sadly, recently. I wrote a while ago about how the wind here in Colorado makes me crazy. It sends me to a chaotic mess of a place that I long to destroy in my past. You can find it here, when I talk about this wind and touch on the things that make it so terrible. I got a call from my sister one night. She tells me that our mother stayed with her the night before because our step-father, who has abused her for the better part of the past 20 years, got angry with her after being out and drinking, came home and fired one of his pistols IN THEIR HOUSE, in the BEDROOM. My mom went to my sister's house...but only for an hour or so, then WENT BACK TO HIM! He held the gun to her throat, threatened to kill her...again...and pushed her down the stairs as she left again for my sister's house where she remained until the following night. Did anyone call the police? Nope. My sister says "It's not my place. Mom had it under control." Not sure where the uncle was that both of them talked to...and I'm certain they didn't call me because they knew I'd do something. So I didn't find out until a day later. When I talked to my mom, I told her enough is enough. I was done with him. I'd seen him do things to her that I wouldn't put in the theaters in a movie. It's the reason I don't like horror. Abuse is not entertainment. Ever. So when I told her I was done with him, she said she wished I'd give him a chance, that he was going to go to a psychologist. I said "He should be in jail". I have a young son. I refuse to let this insignificant bully become any kind of influence in his life. So, the next night, I decided to do something about it. I panicked. I had fear in my heart, fear that it wouldn't stop, fear that no one knew who could do anything about it, fear that he went so far as to hold the gun to her throat this time AND shot it into the walls of their bedroom, what was to stop him from pulling the trigger again. So I, with the back-up of new guy and liquid confidence, called her, halfway to the airport, and said "I'm on my way. You tell me now if you don't want out of this, and we're done." And she told me, "Go home. I'm fine.". I gave her a few choice words and demanded he be put on the phone. Gave him an ear full, drove back home, and panicked some more.

So I call again, calling him everything I've been afraid to call him over the 2 decades I've watched him destroy half of my family. Told him I was done with him. His response? "You're a drunk, a troublemaker, a liar, and a little bitch". He also told me "I will kill your mother. And there's nothing you can do about it. Then I'm coming for you. And your little family". So...I called the police. They went to his house, took his statement, my mom's statement, my sister's statement, my sister's husband's statement...and his guns. He has to attend anger-management classes...slap on the wrist, but at least it's documented. And if he does it again, I will own the police department for not doing more. And if he threatens my family again... I am in the process of filing an order of protection, which is a lot harder across state lines when you're not in the relationship with the crazed lunatic.

I haven't spoken to my mother in almost a week now. I'm not ready. How could she do this yet again, stand up for him yet again, and allow it to progress this far? I'm disappointed, ashamed, embarrassed, and still scared, but this time just for her. I have cut the ties that needed to be cut 20 years ago. By constantly being asked to keep it quiet, to not say anything, to continue to let this man into my life, she made me a victim of the violence and abuse as well. And I let it happen. Out of fear. Well, fear no more. She had a choice, she has a place to go, and she chose not. So let it be. But he won't scare me anymore. He won't control me anymore. And he will NEVER have anything to do with my son. That's what a real mom does. She protects her kids, not the bad guys.

So, from here on out, it's all good news. I am free of a burden that I've kept secret for far too long. I am free from anxiety and stress related to the thoughts of people a thousand miles away. This is my life. And I'm living it. For me. For my son. And it's smooth sailing. I feel, for the first time, like I'm unchained. Unbound. Uncensored. I have nothing to be ashamed of... They do.