Tag Archives: stepsons

The Day

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*Today is the third anniversary of my husband’s death.

It started off normal enough, however, I did not foresee the tragedy that was heading my way… 

I decided to turn in early because I had planned to surprise my husband by going to look for a new car with him the following morning.  He was barely speaking to me because I disagreed that he needed one.

I was asleep by the time he got off of work, but he made sure to come to our bedroom and ask if Jazmine was awake. He was especially fond of my niece and spent most of his hours at home with her undertow. I replied she was not and dozed back off.

Less than an hour later, he came back in the bedroom and turned on the light. In obvious distress, he told me he did not feel well.  Still drowsy, I halfheartedly asked what was wrong.  He responded that he was having chest pains.  About a year earlier, he asked me to stop making spicy foods because his “heartburn” was getting worse. Therefore I attributed his discomfort to that and asked him if he tried taking an antacid.  He said he had but he would try taking some more.  When I heard him fumbling around in the medicine cabinet, I grew alarmed.

He came back into the bedroom and I noticed he was sweating profusely and breathing heavily.  I asked him if he was having pain in his left arm as well.  He said he was and I thought came to me that he might be having a heart attack. However, it still didn’t register as being a real possibility considering he was only 30 years old. 

I decided to call for an ambulance and while I was on the phone with the operator, he was stretching.  She instructed me to have him to sit down but he said he could not because he was so uncomfortable.  I got off the phone and proceeded to help him to the livingroom to wait for the paramedics to arrive.

Midway there he stumbled and I caught him as best I could.  We finally made it to the sofa and not a second later, he jumped up abruptly and started stumbling about.  He was headed toward the door because he could not breathe and wanted to go outside for air.  He collapsed in the doorway as the ambulance pulled up front.

Ethan heard the noise as well as my panicked voice and came into the livingroom.  I told him to go lay back down because I did not want him to see his father in such a condition. He did.

The paramedics were able to get him conscious by sticking something down his throat that made him vomit.  This was followed by a series of questions that he was able to answer although his speech was slurred and weak. 

During this time they tried to keep me out of the livingroom, but I refused. I was informed by the head paramedic that my husband was “very, very, very, very, very, very, very sick” and that something was definitely going on in the heart region and they needed to take him in right away.  In Indiana, those who are not be transported are not allowed to ride in the ambulance, so I told the paramedic that I would be right behind them. 

His last words to me were “make sure you come” as he squeezed my hand.  I replied “of course!”

Nic was spending the night with a friend and Evan was still in residential treatment. I am ashamed to say that I left Jazmin and Ethan alone at home as I quickly threw something on over my pajamas and sped to the hospital.

I was not allowed in the room, but I walked past several times and say a hoard of medical professionals working on him. I sat in the waiting room for a few hours placing calls to friends and family. Two nurses came and introduced themselves and checked on me periodically.

After a while, the doctor, flanked by a nurse came out to talk to me.  He introduced himself and asked me what happened. I started giving him a recap and as I was talking, there was something about the way that he was listening so intently that made me stop and ask him “Is my husband still alive?” When he replied no, I immediately started screaming and fell to the floor. I never expected to hear that. My mother had died exactly nine months prior for goodness sakes!

The two angels disguised as nurses came to my side praying and holding me. Shortly people started to arrive, his two close childhood friends, a cousin, my bil and his wife, my aunts (all three with spouses), my sister, and cousins. My mil and other sil were in Detroit but I had already called them with the news.

We tried to get a hold of his sister that lived in town to no avail( I was later blamed by her that she did not get to make it to his bedside).  I even held his body for hours in hopes that she would make it to the hospital. I finally got back home around 6am and passed out from sheer exhaustion, disbelief, and distress.

And it was only the beginning of a tumultuous journey and I would need all my energy and sense of equilibrium to help me get through the terror of it all…

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Always in the Middle

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 I found out Friday that my SIL refuses to give the boys back to Eliza (her motives are not the purest$$$$).  She has not allowed her to see them either. And because of this, Eliza’s brother has been harassing her (sound familiar). My SIL is moving them out of town. 

I am glad that I am no longer involved in that drama cycle.  Just knowing what I know about Eliza’s bunch and my sick SIL, it will be messy whatever the outcome.

I feel very sorry for Ethan and Evan.  As always they are caught in the middle of self-serving adults. Please keep them in your prayers.

 

God Sees The Truth, But Waits

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This weekend I was feeling a little down so Saturday I decided to visit the mall and treat myself.  I saw a couple of former students and chatted with them, but for the most part, I was alone with my thoughts for the next few hours.

I concluded with a bite at the food court.  As I was walking toward the exit, you all would never believe who was coming straight toward me! Ethan! Ethan who is now 15 and in the 10th grade! It was a surreal moment though I don’t know why. 

A couple of days prior my aunt’s husband told me that he saw the kids at the license branch with my former SIL.  From that I concluded that she finally received custody and the fact that she made it a point to tell him that they now lived with HER .  He also said that Evan kept asking to come over to their house.  My aunt called me later and told me she believed that was his way of getting to see me since he would not be allowed to do so outright. 

Also, Eliza had written me over the summer seeking my help in contacting their aunt regarding guardianship (because her sister no longer wanted the responsibility).  And as small as our “big” city is, I knew I would be bound to run into them sooner or later if this did happen.

I gave Ethan a hug and a kiss and inquired about Evan.  It was an awkward moment. We both  wanted to say more but not in front an audience and only talked for a few minutes because his uncle (my SIL’s husband) looked uncomfortable.  Though he has tried to stay neutral in the situation; I suppose he still has to defer to his wife.  I could see he knew that she would not be happy about our reunion.  But Ethan seemed pleased to see me.  I just wish Evan would have been with him. 

Last night I dreamed about the kids. Today I am still processing seeing him again after almost two years.  Next Monday marks the second anniversary of his father’s death. I am still being haunted by the ugliness of it all.

I feel like my enemies have won again. My SIL has the boys and has been arguing via FB with Eliza’s sister (she is the one who took them from me) regarding their social security checks!  Sadly they both only want the boys for the money they come with.

I mentioned that Eliza wrote early in the summer.  Here are the 3 of the 4 letters she sent after initially asking for my help in locating my husband’s sister:

7/9/10

Hi Morocco,

How are you? Have you heard anything from Shawn or her mom? I’m still waiting to hear something from them. I appreciate your immediate response- thank you. I have filed paperwork so I pray I receive a response from one of them soon.  Be Blessed

Always

El

10/5/10

Goodmorning M,

I pray all is well with you. I’m doing well by the grace of God. Morocco I really need your help. I need for you to mail me copies of anything you have regarding Evan’s condition. I need it as soon as you can get it to me. I’ll be home in a few months and I’ve been trying to get things ready ahead of time with family counseling. I would greatly appreciate this. I know you stayed on top of things and I will forever be grateful for the care you provided our boys. They ask me if I talk to you. Maybe if you are up to it we can get together when I get home after I get things together. Well I’ll let you go, have a blessed day. 

Sincerely

El

 10/13/10

Goodmorning Morocco,

Thank you so much I really appreciate it. I will contact you soon so that we can set something up. I talk to the boys but I don’t get to see them regularly. I know they are going to be excited to see you. I think it would be good for them. God has a way of working things out doesn’t He:)? I’ll close for now but I’ll be in touch.

Be Blessed M

Always

El

 Of course after meeting all of her requests, including contacting his sister and sending her over 250 pieces of paperwork detailing Evan’s condition, I have not heard from her.  I suppose I should have expected this from the same person who orchestrated her children’s removal from my home, sent no type of condolences after my husband’s death, and who slandered me in prison and ended up getting into a fight with Jazmine’s mom over her comments.

She also never mentioned that she had a modification hearing on October 19th in an attempt to get an early release.  I only found out because I received an email from the victim notification system.  I believe she wanted to use the paperwork to bolster the chances of having her sentence reduced.

I’ve done all I can do for her, so I foresee no reason for Eliza to contact me ever again.  She probably never intended to allow me to see her boys.  That was just the dangling carrot to manipulate me into doing what she asked.  Unfortunately that shows that she still does not get it.  I did those things for her because that’s just the kind of person that I am. 

And I do believe she is right about one thing, God does have a way of working things out. He already knew of her ill intentions and arranged for me to run into Ethan.  I do believe I’ll being seeing Evan next!

Pass the Kids

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Yesterday I ran into my SIL’s husband at the grocery store.  I immediatedly asked about the kids and was told that they would be getting the boys in May.  Apparently Eliza has been stirring up trouble from her prison cell with her own sister regarding how she is raising her kids.  Fed up, the sister has decided that she’d rather not deal with Eliza, Ethan, or Evan.

This really bothered me.  The kids would have been fine with me, yet they were senselessly uprooted out of spite.  Doesn’t she see how this nomadic lifestyle will eventually have an adverse affect on her boys?  Not to mention, my SIL is not the best candidate to rear a child.  They live in a two bedroom apartment for starters and are barely getting by.  Her husband has 5 kids outside of the 1 they have together, plus she has another daughter.  My SIL is also half-baked, literally and figuratively speaking.

Her husband is not in favor of this and has decided that if she goes against his wishes, he will move out.  With Evan’s behavioral problems, the number of kids they already have to provide for, and the fact that Eliza and her looney tune brother would never leave them in peace, I understand why he is saying no.

TGIF–Not!

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Fridays have taken on a whole new meaning for me. It used to be that I could hardly “wait”  for the day to come.  Now I can barely get through them.  No longer do they represent happiness and relief from working. Fridays are sadness, loneliness, and  terrible memories that surface.  Every Friday I relive that horrible night.  Friday is the day all the trouble began.

Saturdays, too, are classified the same as Friday.  Saturday was the official day of his death.

And for some reason yesterday (Friday) just felt so much more heavier than usual on top of the  forlornness that I normally feel.  There were “signs” everywhere that I could not “read.”

  • During my prep I made a personal call, and while on hold, I grabbed the nearest magazine (Lady’s Home Journal) to pass the time.  The first article I encountered was called “To Happy Endings.”  The author wrote about the many problems she had faced in 2008.  No matter how many times life surprises you, you never get used to the shock. A year ago I couldn’t have pictured all that has come to pass in my world in 2008: my mother’s death, the end of my second marriage and a raft of other heartaches big and small… Midway through the article it mentioned that she had been widowed in her early thirties!  I about fell off of the stool I was perched on!
  • After reading her story, the article I turned to next had my husband’s name in large letters!  Turns out that one of the adult dogs who played Marley in the movie Marley & Me has the same name as my husband!
  • The last feature I read in the magazine was an interview with a mom.  The final question asked what she wished her family had money for.  She said she wanted money to restore their emergency fund as it had been depleted.  She also desired money so that her family could visit her in-laws in (take a wild guess) Morocco!
  • During my sixth period some of the students were talking while working on their assignment.  A female student was casually sharing the fact that she spent 11 1/2 months in residental treatment.  This of course caught my attention because this is the exact amount of time that Evan spent in treatement as well!
  • One of my student’s brother, who attends our middle school has been acting out because their father died recently.  Her brother’s name is Ethan (also in middle school)!
  • I received a call from Eliza’s sister’s cell phone.  I did not answer the call and no message was left.
  • On Wednesday I kept my friend’s two sons while she went out on a date.  They are the same ages as my stepsons.  It felt really eerie having them there.  Later in the evening she sent a text asking What are my boys doing?  This is the way Eliza always referred to Ethan and Evan,  Although this did not happen on Friday, it still triggered many memories.

I was haunted all day and night long.  Even while I was “stealing time.”  I felt overwhelmed and crushed by the memories and what-if’s.  Later in the day I was exhausted and took a sleeping pill to stop my wandering mind.  But I do wonder if it was all a coincidence or some kind of sign?

Dsyfunctional Families

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I came across this article about dsyfunctional families and learned about the various roles within.  It was easy for me to determine which role accurately described each one of my stepsons; and eerie how accurate the descriptions are!  Evan is the “scapegoat” and Ethan is the “adjuster.”

“Acting out child” – “Scapegoat”

This is the child that the family feels ashamed of – and the most emotionally honest child in the family.  He/she acts out the tension and anger the family ignores.  This child provides distraction from the real issues in the family.  The scapegoat usually has trouble in school because they get attention the only way they know how – which is negatively.  They often become pregnant or addicted as teenagers. These children are usually the most sensitive and caring which is why they feel such tremendous hurt.  They are romantics who become very cynical and distrustful.  They have a lot of self-hatred and can be very self-destructive.  This often results in this child becoming the first person in the family to get into some kind of recovery.

“Adjuster” – “Lost Child”

This child escapes by attempting to be invisible.  They daydream, fantasize, read a lot of books or watch a lot of TV. They deal with reality by withdrawing from it.  They deny that they have any feelings and “don’t bother getting upset.”  These children grow up to be adults who find themselves unable to feel and suffer very low self-esteem.  They are terrified of intimacy and often have relationship phobia.  They are very withdrawn and shy and become socially isolated because that is the only way they know to be safe from being hurt.  A lot of actors and writers are ‘lost children’ who have found a way to express emotions while hiding behind their characters.

Letter to Eliza

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*For therapeutic purposes only.

Eliza,

I must say that you never cease to amaze me; but not in an awe-inspiring way.  You are a person without a soul.  You only care for yourself with little regard for the people you maim along the way—including your little ones.  I gave you more credit than you deserved.  I really wanted you to be a decent person underneath your facade of craziness.  I know you had a rough life, but you need to get over it; so has half of America.  And it does not give you permission to treat others so callously.  Neither does it permit you to make bad choices and punish others as a result of your foolishness and mayhem.

You know, I used to think you loved your boys.  Now I’m not so sure.  I believe you love the idea of possessing them more.  They have been your golden tickets for so long that it must really anger you that you can no longer dangle them in my husband’s face.  I have to wonder if they still hold value for you?  You simply refused to share them with him.  You have taken something away from them that can never be replaced.  They will never be able to make up for the time they missed with their father in this lifetime.  Having two loving parents is a right and not a privilege.  You sacrificed your beloved boys to spite us.  I really pity you.  For how will you answer those hard questions that I am sure will be directed your way once the boys see you for what you are?  You can’t.

You did not want us to uproot the seeds of deceit you so carefully and laboriously planted.  But it was our actions that spoke volumes because nothing we ever could have said would have made them think differently.  And in your mind the fact that the boys love me is the worst crime of all.  This is the only reason that you could possibly harbor such unwarranted resentment.  Eliza, did you think because you had them removed from my home that you could remove me from their hearts and minds?

Life for you must be a miserable existence.  Eliza, you are not happy and therefore you want everyone else to suffer in your wake.  You don’t know love, serenity, joy, acceptance, or forgiveness.  Your cup runneth over with hatefulness.  I know you must be tired because being negative requires a lot of energy.  I tried to provide refreshment for your soul.   I offered you sisterhood,  agape love, grace, patience, and kindness.  But because you know nothing of these things, it merely served to heighten your suspicion and animosity.  You thought about what you would have done had the shoe been on the other foot and let your paranoia get the best of you.  Guess what Eliza?  I am not like you nor will I ever be.

You want me to hate you so that you may justify your behavior toward me.  Believe it or not, I pray that God heal your heart because hurting people hurt people. If I had been imprisoned I know you would have delighted in my misfortune.  Your highs come from the lows of others, while my high comes from uplifting the low.  It doesn’t matter that I am now suffering because it wasn’t inflicted by you nor was it by my design.  It seems that you won’t rest until I am broken.

But please know that you cannot break me.  Your words have no sting because they contain no truth.  Eliza you are a sad, lost puppy running around chasing its tail to garner attention.  You are a drooping flower lacking light and nourishment.  I will never belittle myself by sparring with your undeveloped mind.  It is equivalent to trying to reason with an infant.  And actually I don’t have any desire to do so.  I do not want your poisonous essence to envelope me.  I truly hope I never have to encounter you again.  You make me very sad.   All along you have inaccurately labeled me as your worst enemy when in reality, your worst enemy happens to be you.