This letter is in response to the post below. I suppose I should warn everyone that my about page was long for a reason. I occasionally purge without obscure poetry. I have a lot to say. I edit most of it out. If you can’t take it, well, take a break, go for a walk, by all means don’t finish it.
Christmas has become about the stuff, the quantity and cost to prove the love of the gift giver. So sad, but it does create a generation of gift centric children that behave for a WII, TV or computer only to withdraw from the surrounding humans so they can emotionlessly kill on a screen. Numbing life for the sake of endorphin rushes that they don’t even begin to understand.
My dear weirdo, I agree with you and you are in good company. There are those of us out there who believe the winter holidays should be more about the family than the presents. When my boys were little I would wrap individual pencils and erasers so that they would feel that they were receiving many awesome gifts, though mostly they were art supplies, books, music. They had no idea we were so very poor.
Before the break up of the century, my then spouse started buying expensive presents that negated the small, inexpensive horn a plenty that I had instilled in them from birth. I said no WII, I was overruled. Once the WII arrived, I knew that my days were numbered. No violent games, I was assured. Until the killing games just seemed to magically appear and the boys became more aggressive until I became the target of the anger. I was a bigger, stronger woman at the time, but being punched repeatedly in the stomach by a teenage boy was a problem (understatement of the year.) Escalating to repeated physical altercations with no back up from the man of the house, gave me no choice.
Involving the police when you are bloody and have a swollen lip sounds like domestic violence. Now it is unbelievable how many former friends don’t believe it ever happened. Domestic violence only occurs between a husband in wife in the minds of many. “How could I have allowed to it escalate to that point?” I was asked. I was even accused of beating my children from birth. The final straw was my almost broken nose and child number one went to a detention home. That was the end of my marriage. I had broken some kind of rule that I didn’t know existed. I was to be the punching bag. Emotionally and physically. The children were really more important than I was in that setting.
Due to poverty and multiple special lawyers, I lost custody of my children and had to fight to get supervised visitation, though I got my ass kicked. I, somehow, was an imminent threat to my children, who I gave birth to naturally, I fought for in school and cared for during every illness from birth on. The schools and therapists I saw never believed that I was abusing my children. Unfortunately, in a courtroom you are guilty once you are accused and then yelled at by lawyers, magistrates and your spouse while you just want to curl up in a ball and sleep until the nightmare is over.
I went from caregiver to pariah almost overnight. My ex called my family and friends and lied about the details. I was labeled as crazy, abusive and an alcoholic. My name was removed from the business and personal bank accounts, then closed and reopened in his name alone, the locks were changed and I Lost Everything. My studio, my house, our business, my friends, my children, my gardens were mowed down to the ground. What self-respect I had was gone. Finally, to add insult to injury, 15 years worth of my journal writing was taken and used against me in court. All the original hand written entries mysteriously disappeared, but kept being referenced to in court. Now, you can understand why I choose to remain anonymous.
I left out a lot. I made mistakes. No marriage is without the regrets of both parties. I am trying to move onward and upward out of my pit with my new daughter. She is a joy who I will protect as much as I can from everything every mother says they will protect their daughter from. Knowing full well that I can only do my best to raise a responsible child. She has a pretty terrifying health issue that is controlled by medication and may go away all on its own, that she has know knowledge of. Another gift.
She is a great gift. A blessing that came wrapped up inside me. I can grow a body. I’m a good mother. Funny to be proud of that. That is why I called myself a breeder. When all else fails, I have created four lives, taught them about gardens, hard work, art, music and kindness.
I am estranged from my eldest child who is still so angry with me. I wonder when he will realize that he has the same sleep disorders I have. He will find out what was and is reality. That talk may happen when he turns 24, but I cannot be a victim any longer, so he will just have to grow up a lot before I let him near me.
I get to see my other two children one day a week and every other weekend. The joys of shared parenting are that the parent who can do the most for their education was removed from the home.
I had to wear my SuperMom cap again today and it is so funny that the teachers kept looking at me as if I had something to do with the day to day routine of the boys education. I have not enough time with them to do more than one assignment per week, maybe. Ask and ye shall receive. He wanted to raise three teen age boys alone, then so be it.
It has nothing to do with love, it has everything to do with boundaries and survival. I have survived a two year divorce, stigma, a high risk pregnancy, a serious fall during pregnancy, a sprained tailbone during birth, a drop foot (nerve injury) that sent me falling down the stairs, accusations from Childrens Services this summer, a four month investigation of which I was cleared and a child with a serious health issue and high lead levels.
I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. I’ve been accused of it. I’m really not that good of a writer.
I am depressed, anxious and scattered (ADHD,) medicated, but I never give up. I can’t. I really plan to be alive for another 55+ years. I have art to make, children to photograph, things to weld, music to do and yoga to give me strength again.