Category Archives: This Too Shall Pass

Chivalry Is Dead

Standard

Yesterday I felt like such a damsel in distress when my car wouldn’t start.  I stopped at the gas station after work to fill up even though I had half a tank of gas to go.  The temperature is getting really low here and I did not want to risk my tank freezing.

I hate pumping gas!  This was something my husband usually did for me.  So I felt proud of myself for getting out in the artic cold to get the job done.  However, when I hopped back in and started the car, the engine wouldn’t turn over.  I was shocked and tried again.  No luck.  I was puzzled considering that my car is fairly new.

I sat for a few minutes as I decided what to do.  I remembered that my road side service had expired a couple months back.  Luckily Nicholas was asleep in the back seat and I had not picked Jazmine up yet.  I called my aunt to ask her advice and possibly to get a ride.  She suggested that I try getting a jump until my cousin came back with her truck.  “Are there any men around that you can ask for help?” she inquired. 

It was many men floating about but I felt too shy to ask for assistance.  It was cold out and I really didn’t want to inconvenience anyone.  I finally gathered my courage and asked several men for a jump.  They all claimed to have no jumper cables.  One man said he didn’t know how to give a jump.  No one looked concerned.  I asked a few more men and a lone woman.  No luck.  I was a bit surprised at the apathy and relunctance.  I felt so alone!

I almost started crying at the absurdity of it all.  I just wanted to call my husband who would have double-timed it to get to me.  I felt stuck.  I finally thought to call my uncle and as I was talking to him, the car started!  I drove over to their house and he looked at it.  He checked the alternator and the starter which both tested fine.  He said it could have been that the fuel injection system needed degunking so he put a treatment in my tank.

I felt really thankful for his help.  I plan to get my road service renewed as well, as I don’t want to be caught out in the cold ever again!

I Told You So

Standard

I knew that Eliza would find  a way to make the court order our fault.  Her brother left a gruff message on my cell phone demanding that my husband give him a call ASAP.  Of course, my husband did not return his call and does not plan to.  He is not going to answer to him about anything regarding his kids.  He is not a concerned uncle, he is a dangerous goon with a terrible attitude and a notorious reputation. 

I can only imagine what Eliza told her brother.  I’m sure she told him that we have been telling the therapist bad things about her which is why she (the therapist) wrote the letter to the court.  I know she failed to mention how she intiated the court order with her letter. 

It wouldn’t matter anyhow.  Her brother is a male version of her—only worse.  When Eliza was first jailed she did not want us to have the boys.  She wanted them to stay with her family.  Needless to say, my husband wanted his children. Her brother refused to surrender the kids and spent  a lot of time threatening us for trying to get them. After two months he literally dropped them off at our doorstep because his girlfriend couldn’t handle caring for the boys.

However, that does not stop him from attempting to interfere on her behalf whenever she directs him to do so.  We have had our home phone number changed and had our alarm system upgraded since he has forced his way into our lives.  Many of our friends, relatives, coworkers, and the staff at the boys’ schools (he has been banned from both Ethan and Evan’s school and was actually arrested at Ethan’s for trepassing and demanding information) know how much he has harassed us. I like to let people know in case something happens to us the police will know exactly where to go. 

I am afraid that he might just show up at our doorstep.  Being that my husband works late, the odds are it would only be me and the kids at home.  If he shows up, we have decided that I should immediatedly call the police.  I am not going to waste my time explaining anything to him.  He is not welcome at our home under any circumstances.

I really wish that Eliza and her family would let us be.  But I am afraid that will never happen…

There Will Be Blood

Standard

Eliza is taking us back to court.  We found out yesterday when I retrieved the mail and noticed a letter from the court clerk.  Of course she failed to send us a copy of her two page handwritten letter that was dated July 31st.  Sensing that her document was ex parte communication, the clerk kindly sent us  one.

In her letter she alleges the following:

  • She has not been allowed to visit with Evan, I am asking you to please address the situation with my communication with my boys, visitation with Evan… 
  • She has no idea what is going on with Evan, Your honor I just want to know what is going on with my child…Your honor I just want to know that my baby is okay.
  • We are withholding information from her regarding Evan’s treatment, I‘ve asked several times to have a copy of a report or medical record from his doctor but I was denied.
  • We are rejecting her calls, I try to call but my attempts are rejected.
  • We are preventing her from having a relationship with her boys, Your Honor I have cared for my boys as a single parent their entire life almost.  I’m not perfect but my children has always come first.  I love my boys, I’m all they really know.  I have always done my best as a single parent providing and careing [sic] for my children.  I refuse to stop now.  It is very important and necessary for my children and I to maintain our relationship.  I do pray to regain custody of my boys upon my release.
  • I told her that his doctor ordered that Evan not be allowed to visit or communicate with her,  I was informed by Morocco, my boys stepmom that Evan’s doctor has instructed them not to allow me visits or communication with him.  I asked Morocco if she made his doctor aware that there is a court order allowing me permission to have a relationship with my children.

Interestingly enough, she never mentions my husband.  All of her allegations are directed specifically at me.

I am hurt. 

I have behaved pretty admirably under the circumstances.  I have written her numerous letters (over 40, the last one being sent on July 28th) providing her with detailed information about his treatment, even making the three hour trip on two seperate occasions so that I could address her concerns.  When I did in fact send her case summaries from the therapist, they only seemed to upset her.   She felt that they were an attack on her parenting–even though they only addressed Evan’s issues and his treatment plan.

I have helped him write several letters to her, even transcribing them myself while he dictated.  I send her photographs as well as crafts that he has made.  I make sure that they acknowledge her on every holiday–big and small.

Evan’s therapist did say that he was not stable enough to visit her at the inception of his treatment.  She is still sticking with her professional opinion.  Eliza also did not include the reason why Evan is even in a mental hospital in the first place.  She did not tell the judge that her child is suffering from chronic PTSD because of the violence (including the murder that she is incarcerated for) that he has witnessed in her care.  Furthermore, it is a hospital and not a hotel.  We can not check him out at our leisure in order to take him on a 14 hour roundtrip visit to see her.

Ethan has not missed a single visit since the judge ordered that we do so.  I have put 1, 728 miles on my car to date escorting him so that he may spend time with Eliza.  She failed to mention this small detail.

I have arranged outings so that the boys could spend time with their brother.

Eliza has only been able to call that one time.  She told me that her third party caller is unable to call on the day and times that the judge granted her.  To prove this we can request to have our phone records subpoened.  Also, since she left that nasty message in May, we have provided a cell phone number for her to call.  Through Sprint I am able to track how often she calls–which has been none.  We figured that she would try to blame her inability to call on us and agreed that this would be a good way to prove it.

The hospital does not accept collect calls.

Eliza is really paranoid about what we have “told” the hospital about her.  She refuses to believe that much of what has been “told” about her (other than the initial intake interview) came from her own child’s mouth.

I’ve come to the realization that she wants things messy.  Eliza is determined that man, woman, nor child will walk away unscathed.  She wants us all bleeding right along with her.  Unfortunately, we are all casualties of her war. 

She has to have something to keep the animosity brewing so that she can “rightfully” explode once she is released.  Eliza is going to continue to play dirty every chance she gets.  It’s too bad that she sees this situation as “Us( her, her other son, Ethan, and Evan) and “Them (me, my husband, and Nicholas).” 

The spoon I now feed her with will simply become longer.

So Much for Praise!

Standard

This morning when Jazmine was finishing up on the potty I encouraged her to try putting on her pull-up without my help.  I left her alone for a few minutes and when I returned she was sitting on the floor doing just that. 

However, she had both legs in one opening.  Wanting to praise her for the effort she made, in a happy tone I said “Good job Jazmine–good job trying!”  She looked me directly in the eyes and said with great authority “shut-up!” 

Shocked speechless, I took her advice!

Strange Fruit

Standard

A comment emailed to me from a reader, Old Friend on Makes Me Wanna Holler inspired me to write this post.  He mused that Eliza is a of a rare breed.  I have to agree; Eliza deserves to be in a class of her own for she is the strangest of fruits.  I try and try to understand her with little success.   Her behavior and life remain a conundrum.

 

There is no way I can explain why she has done some of the things that she has.  Or why she presently operates in a state of frenzied paranoia.  The old saying goes that you can’t compare apples to oranges.  I don’t know what kind of fruit she is, maybe an Elipple.  Or an Elnana.  Perhaps an Elizaberry.  She might just be a Dingleberry. Whatever she is I know that she is a lot different than your everyday garden variety.  The fruits of her spirit are quite devilish.

 

With that being said, I can’t compare her to much of anything.  It is really fruitless (pun intended) of me to keep attempting to understand her.  I just have to accept the fact that she is not healthy (overripe) and therefore does not have the capacity to act in a sound manner (leaves a sour/bitter/mealy/disgusting taste in the mouth). The rancidness of her fruitage is nausea inducing.  Fruit cake is not something I enjoy eating.  So I have stopped trying to psychoanalyze her behavior.  But this is really hard for me because I like fruit!  It is so versatile—you can bake it, puree it, can it, cook it,mash it, candy it, dry it, kebob it, and even use it as a garnish.  But it has its limitations.   You can’t heal it.  Fix it.  Reason with it.  Understand it.  

 

Me and most of the people in my circle are pretty normal fruit.  We are the apples, blueberries, pears, cherries, watermelons and strawberries of life—you know your everyday type of people produce.  While I love exotic fruit such as guava, passion fruit, and kiwi to name a few, my appetite just does not tolerate alien fruit.  Unfortunately, I am going to leave Eliza in the fruit bowl (bin) where she belongs!

The Wastelands

Standard

Kids are not what they used to be.  This can be attributed in part to the boom of technology.  When you factor in numerous complex gaming systems, cell phones and text messaging, IM, MySpace, Face Book, chat rooms, Second Life, and IPods just to name a few, how could they?

 

When I was growing up we didn’t have anything competing for our attention other than the Nintendo.  However, I rarely played considering that we did not have one.  And it didn’t bother me.  I’d have much rather have been playing outside with the kids from the neighborhood enjoying the numerous games we created or reading a book.  The Nintendo just didn’t hold my attention or affection for very long.

 

I am not against owning a game system because we do in fact have a Play Station II.  From time to time (maybe twice a year if that) I will sit with them a play for thirty minutes or so.  However, I am totally against them playing for hours at a time.  Used to my style of authoritative parenting, Nicholas has no problem with this.  He is a diverse child with various interests and is comfortable doing many things.  My stepsons on the other hand…

 

Ethan is simply consumed by the Play Station.  That’s all he wants to do.  If you don’t allow him to play for hours at a time, then he is instantly bored.  He has two things that he really enjoys doing.  Watching television is second and I’m sure you can guess the first.  It’s almost like he is in a trance when playing.  I believe it is his attempt to not deal with reality.  When immersed in the game he doesn’t recall that his mom is serving time in prison for murder.  He doesn’t think about his new living arrangements or the new rules that he must abide by.

 

I have tried to provide other things for him to do in lieu of playing the PSII but most of the time he is just not interested.  He really doesn’t give anything a chance.  Or if he does do something else for a while, immediately afterwards he is ready to jump back on the game.  Even when it is someone else’s turn to play, sits there and watches and offers commentary.  Really, it’s very disturbing to my senses! 

 

My husband pretty much shares my sentiment but I have to say that he is more relaxed about it.  He tends to give in when he sees Ethan sitting around tweedling his thumbs because he has nothing to do.  During these times I have to remind my husband that he CHOOSES not to do anything.  I also point out the many other things that he could be doing.  Then I inform my husband that he if his passion is games, that we have over twenty board games in the family room closet.  Faced with this logic, my husband usually concurs.  Necessity is said to be the mother of invention and if this is true, Boredom must be its father.

 

At Eliza’s house they were allowed to play with unbridled abandon.  There were no rules surrounding the game and had 24-hour access to it.  They had a choice of playing any kind of games, even the ones rated M for Mature (blood, gore, and excessive violence).  My husband even confirmed this.  Not to mention, Ethan has told me many times that they could play “at home” whenever and how ever long they wanted.  He incorrectly assumed that if it was okay with Eliza, then it should be okay with us.

 

When Eliza initially went to prison to entice them to visit her, she would tell them that they had a Play Station II in the visiting area.  This instantly intrigued them.  Most of the conversations she had with them pertained to some aspect of electronic games.  She asked them if they had got to play the system that particular day, what new games they wanted, and how she was going to get them the latest game system when she came home.  That was the topic for 95% of their conversations with her.

 

When I explained to her that we were trying to get them to develop interests outside of this venue, she immediately got defensive.  She claimed that she did not encourage them to play the PSII and actually did not allow them to play on school nights.  I remained silent because I knew that she was not telling the truth.  I knew that she used the PSII as a babysitter when she was too busy doing other things. 

 

I have to admit that it does take a lot of energy, time, and creativity to keep him away from the flame.  And sometimes it is easier just to give in.  But I won’t and am willing to risk being the bad guy to do so.  I just refuse to let him or Evan spend their fleeting youth dwelling in the wastelands.

 

I can say that Evan isn’t AS obsessed with the playing part.  Sometimes he is content to sit and watch Ethan play.  I think this stems from that fact that being the youngest he often had to wait to play at the mercy of his older brothers.  They hogged the game and rarely allowed him to do so.

 

I allow the kids to play on the system for one hour a day, every other day.  That is reasonable to me.  I wouldn’t allow them to do any one thing ALL day long, so I don’t see why the PSII should be the exception.

 

Missing in Action

Standard

I have been missing in action from the site for a few weeks.  So much has been going on.

My job had me on special assignment away from my building for the last two and a half weeks.  As you know, Kierra also had surgery a couple of weeks ago.  Then the following Friday my 72-year-old grandmother had surgery. 

 

My grandmother’s doctor sent her to progressive care after surgery.  I talked to her on the phone Saturday afternoon.  By the time I got to the hospital Saturday evening, she was non-responsive.  I called for the nurse to come and check on her. The nurse said that my grandmother needed some rest.  I was not buying that explanation.  My grandmother is the type to say if she needed some rest and be blunt about it.

 

My cousin was there with me and called her mom.  So my two aunts came out to the hospital.  The nurse came back in and fed my aunts the same story.  They requested the doctor to call them as soon as possible.  The nurse noted it on the chart and we all left.

 

Sunday morning I got a call from my aunt.  She told me that my grandmother had a heart attack Saturday after we left.  The doctor moved her into intensive care and she was put on a respirator.  Things did not look good.  My aunt assured me that she would be alright and if there was any change she would call me.  Shortly thereafter my cousin called to tell me that everyone was on edge.  There were many arguments going on between my family members.  So I decided not to go to the hospital.

 

On Monday I went to visit her after work.  My cousin was there along with my uncle in the waiting area.  When I walked into her room, she was sitting up in bed.  I told her that I had been out there on Saturday.  She didn’t even remember that I had been there.  We talked for a little while and I was relieved that she was feeling better.

 

Tuesday my husband went to visit her while I stayed home with Ian and Imani.  He reported that she is doing well.  She was eating and cracking jokes.  It seems as though she is back to normal! 

 

 

 

Triskaidekaphobia

Standard

            My stepson Ethan will be 13 in roughly three months.  I am dreading his birthday like Friday the 13th.  I feel scared…13 is a teenager—I will be living under the same roof as a teenager!  This fact blows my mind.  I don’t know what to do! It feels so awkward and alien. He is not a child anymore and I am not familiar with anything but.

            I remember my own angst filled teenage years.  I know it is a prickly time. Unfortunately his mother will miss this period of his life.  I am thankful that my husband is here to guide him through.  I am content to remain on the sidelines.

            However I have been reading up on male adolescence and puberty to prepare myself.  I am trying to allay my fears and think positively.  Our bio son is 9 and his time is not too far off.  I am going to use this as a learning experience. 

 

Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and The Spirit”

Standard

Be still, thou unregenerate part,
Disturb no more my settled heart,
For I have vowed (and so will do)
Thee as a foe still to pursue,
And combat with thee will and must
Until I see thee laid in th’ dust.
Sister we are, yea twins we be,
Yet deadly feud ‘twixt thee and me,
For from one father are we not.
Thou by old Adam wast begot,
But my arise is from above,
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak’st me fair but hat’st me sore.
Thy flatt’ring shews I’ll trust no more.
How oft thy slave hast thou me made
When I believed what thou hast said
And never had more cause of woe
Than when I did what thou bad’st do.
I’ll stop mine ears at these thy charms
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait.
Thine honours do, nor will I love,
For my ambition lies above.

Everyday I fight temptation to do what I know is right…I don’t always win!!!