This Part

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I don't know why I don't want to write this part...It was a good time. The Phone Call came at this point. The one I had always hoped would come. The children's father called in desperation when he realized that this time, I was indeed moving on. It was over. He tried all of his old addict manipulative behaviors, but I was immune. During the Phone Call, his voice changed, it became sweet and soft, like in our early days. "You are my best friend..." he whispered. In a sure and steady voice I replied, "Next time, you should treat your friends a little bit better." I hung up.

Over the next several months, after mediation and time, we tried to be "normal." He would try to pick up the children on the weekend, but he was never consistent and then one day he looked weird. My gut told me to keep the children with me. I had to be insistent but calm. I didn't remember my eight year old daughter standing there, overhearing my defense of their safety. A few weeks ago(she is on the cusp of turning 21) she told me she has always remembered that moment, the moment I protected her, kept her safe. She told me how she thought I was so brave. I remember feeling brave, confident. I am so glad she witnessed that moment.

Many years later, she was brave. She was brave when she stood up to that father who hurt her and left her and promised birthday gifts that would never come and phone calls that never rang through...She was brave when she told him he was nothing to her. She needed nothing, wanted nothing from him. Maybe, in this part, I was brave to show her how to be...

After That Night

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I did take precautions. This was the end, it isn't always for relationships like this, but it was over, finally. I began parking my car close to the restaurant and got a Club since the ex had a key. I didn't have to do it very long. He soon lost interest in our daily lives. We tried a few "normal" routes, like mediation and child support orders. It all ended badly. The mediator actually called and let me know that she could no longer help us, the ex reminded her of her ex, go figure. She told me there was no hope for him, he was never going to do what he said he was going to do, she had seen it a million times. I will always remember what both the mediators told me, "You propose and he disposes." He never did anything he said he would do. He undermined all of our agreements. So I just kept going forward. In the end, both children are adults now, he paid a total of $500 in support, plus I got $30 a week from his unemployment check for about six months in 2004. That was actually really helpful...He was eventually court ordered to pay $240 a month in child support for two children in 1999. Since I made more money, I was responsible for 80% of the children's care. The children never saw a dime of that support. Ever.

Did I mention how great work was going? I made good friends, I had a bit of a social life and I was making enough to take care of the children. School was also enlivening, I was starving for learning and I gobbled it up! I worked long hours those days. I went to school a couple of nights a week and a had a few day classes, plus I usually put in 50 or more hours at the restaurant. The weekends were filled with work and a long Saturday morning class. I remember being so envious of my classmates who would leave class on Saturday afternoon with a free schedule. Weekends were the hardest for me and the children. I worked all day Friday at the restaurant, hurried to class at 5pm and was usually free by 10pm. A friend picked up the children from school and kept them over night as I had class from 8am-1pm on Saturday. The children would often stay with the sitter overnight again, as I would rush home, try to get a nap under my belt and head to the restaurant until 3am. The sitter would drop them off early Sunday, we would spend the day together before I dropped them off at the sitter at 4pm for my night shift. I made it a point to pick the children up on Sunday nights so we could start the week together, even if it was late. I remember dark wet nights, carrying my son on my back while he nodded in his sleep. Sometimes, I would carry my daughter on my front, so we could hurry through the empty parking lot together. I would gingerly put them in their own beds, tuck them in and fall in an exhausted heap on the couch.

I Wasn't There Long

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not even a second. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by my new friends. People I had only known for a few months. Arms clad in white shirts lifted me up.

"Are you okay?"

"Who is that?"

But the best part of all? I looked over to the line, past the plates of food waiting for hungry customers...I could see Mike. He and I had barely spoke ten words since I was hired. He was big and burly and listened intently to Car Talk while prepping the line. He had heard my ex was a jerk. I guess that is why I saw him wielding a butcher knife over his very tall body. "Where is he? I'll get him!" as he disappeared out the back door. The rest was a blur. Mike was stopped and I agreed to go speak with the long lost ex.

A little back note: Life was going swimmingly at this point. I was in school, I had just been promoted, I was making life long friends. The children and I had just gotten over a bout of pneumonia. On my first day out after being bed ridden for two weeks, I was rear ended. The car was still wrecked(but drivable), waiting for an appointment at the auto shop.

When I walked back into the dim restaurant, my table of ten eagerly awaiting their server, he looked me in the eyes and asked, "What happened to the car?"

Really? The car? After all that had transpired, months of not knowing whether he was alive or dead, the car?

We stepped outside to speak alone, which really meant that every four seconds, one of the guys from the restaurant walked by, insuring my safety. He expressed his concern that I was "selling" meat and karmically I was doomed. "To support my children," I said, "I think I will risk it." I don't remember much from that conversation, save for the fact that I was surrounded by people who cared about me and were willing to protect me. That is what I remember most from that night...

This Place

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This place was created for me by my beloved. He thought it would help me find some peace. It did, for a bit.

Now when I look back at the posts, I realize I have not been very honest with you...or me. I fill the pages with lovely photos from a life I cobble together 10 or 15 minutes a day. The rest of the time, I am in bed. Or watching the world move slowly from my window because I lack the ability to leave the house. It looks lovely because I am good at that. I can make the ugliest things so beautiful. I look best when I have no sleep. I think it is a survival technique I picked up over the years of living on this planet. It does not mean I am overly broken or overly flawed. It just means that I am simply human.

If you are reading this, know that much of it is geared to a team of attorneys in Los Angeles who have had a field day with my life for the last two and half years. They have read every word in this blog, photocopied it, offered it as evidence that I am happy. They dig up my children's father, the crack addict and brought him into the picture after 11 years. They have had vans parked out in front of my house and filmed me for weeks. In the weeks they were filming, they got three days of footage. Why only three? I am sorry to say, most days...I was been in bed. It is hard to admit, especially when I look at my former life of 16 hour days and working seven days a week. Tears are welling as I type, because I love life. Ask anyone who knows me. I can find beauty in the smallest detail...I have been wasting my life, mourning for old friends and relationships that have dissolved. My work with 25 wonderful children has been erased, my relationship with their parents, gone. My career has been ruined. Waldorf is a small community. I am blacklisted.

I am trying to move forward, but I keep looking back...

It was the Summer Solstice, 1999, I left an abusive relationship to an addict with two small children in the dark of night. I roused the babes from their beds and started a new life. Within a week, I had a job as waitress in clothes I bought from the thrift store with borrowed money. I borrowed $50 from the friends I was staying to use as my bank(cash one uses to make their own change,etc.) for work until I made enough tips to have my own bank. Before the end of the summer, I was living in a brand new apartment. I was making enough money to support the children and I had enrolled in a Waldorf teacher training program. Within a few months, it all came together.

My children's father disappeared. We did not know if he was alive or dead. The children began counseling, not because we were overly broken, but because that is what normal people do when life's challenges overwhelm them. After some time, their counselor told me that their worries were the worries of every child their age and we could go forth in happiness. And we did. I was happy to be in school and thriving. I was promoted to manager at the restaurant and put in charge of hiring. I earned enough money to pay for school, and even take the children on mini-breaks to the coast. He didn't break me. In fact, I grew stronger. So you are wrong, Los Angeles Attorneys. Very wrong.

One night, I was working the busiest station in the restaurant. A party of 10 had just been sat in my station. As I exited the kitchen, I was dumbstruck. My children's father was standing three feet from me. I had not seen or heard from him in months. I had no idea where he had been or what he had been doing. It was like seeing an apparition. I turned right around and walked back into the kitchen, leaned my back against the cold steel of the walk-in and slid to the ground.

It Is The Small Things

Friday, July 22, 2011

I have to appreciate the small things in life or, well, I would be really sad.

Bits Of Summer

Monday, July 18, 2011

We have only been getting little bits of summer weather here the Pacific Northwest. Don't get me wrong, when the sun is shining, or even kind of shining it is glorious. Absolutely glorious. However, this weekend rained...a lot. Too much for July. I felt like baking a pumpkin pie. I thought it was autumn.

We have had fun when we could. Lots of cookouts on the deck. Some family and friends. Beer Festivals, Chocolate Cake for the new cake stand and long hair. I know it sounds random, but five years ago I shaved my head(for a very good reason, I might add) and have been longing for it back. I know. I am selfish, but I missed my long hair. And now it is back.

That strange vehicle at the top, you ask? A Bike Bar. Yep, it has a bar and you peddle around the beer fest...I love Portland.

Just hoping for a few more bits of summer...Xoxo.