Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ain't this position familiar, darling? (old prose)

It was freezing rain outside of the toasty car, and as we drove sixty miles per hour on the icy interstate, our breath fogged up the windows.  Neither one of us talked.  The fog on the windows soon turned into a thin layer of ice that I would scrape off with my fingernails, and watch the ice melt at my fingertips.  The frozen breath looked like feathers and fingerprints on my window.  He cracked his knuckles and asked me what I was thinking.  I couldn't put into words my anger and frustration, or most of all how I'm just so tired of everything.  I'm tired of the phone calls that go nowhere and are about nothing.   I'm tired of waking up at every hour of the night while I know he is warm and asleep in a bed a million miles away.  I'm tired of wondering what could have been.  I don't love him anymore.  I'm not sure if I ever really did.
So the rain froze on the ground, and the cars in front of us kicked dirt up onto the windshield, and our tires would slip a little bit as we passed under bridges.  And I'm not sad.  It's nice to be able to actually say that.  Not sad, just disappointed in the man I am sitting next to who is driving fifteen miles under the speed limit just to make sure that we're safe.  He's not the person I met a year ago.  He's not the man I made him out to be in my own mind.  And I've changed.  I don't care that he stopped loving me ages ago.  I don't even really mind, all that much, that he hid it for so long.  But for the rest of this car ride, I'll just sing lightly to the cassette in the tape player, and try to ignore all of the degrading comments about my emotional reactions.
The ice on the window looks like feathers and fingerprints.  My little boy lays asleep in the back seat, warm and toasty.  

I am alone.

June Goals - Review

June 2011

- go the gym 15 times. 
WIN!  Exactly fifteen.  I could have gone four more days than that easily, but I instead chose to go to the pool in the afternoons with my friends, and my son.

- lose 5 lbs.
Tentative WIN!  Stepping on the scale first thing this morning and it was exactly five pounds down.  Now the trouble is making sure it stays that way in the next few days.

- start and finish one book.
WIN!  Started and finished TWO.  The Hunger Games and Innocent Blood.  Loved the former, the latter made me depressed and was more of a war book than I can usually get into.  Started Catching Fire this evening.

- work on my tan.
WIN!  I managed to do this one without even really trying.  Between working out at the gym, my friend Linda and I have been religiously walking two to three miles on the track right next to my apartment complex three times a week.  I've also been swimming, and Aiden has had soccer one night a week for an hour.  I am brown.  My mother compliments me on it every time I see her. :)

- worry about ME.
Still working on this one.  The last week has been extremely trying emotionally, and I find myself worrying more about someone else's feelings and emotions than my own.  I am worth so much more than I ever give myself credit for.

- use more lotion.
This goal makes me giggle.  WIN!  I bought some really awesome smelling stuff from Bath and Body Works, and I've been using it after every bath and shower.  FAIL! at keeping up with it on Aiden.  Busyness and my own laziness are to blame on that one.

- do Jillian Michael's 30 day shred once a week.
FAIL!  Did it three times though.  Had an offer to partner up with someone and try P90X, but I think that may have fallen through, and I'm not willing to spend my money on it.

- call some old friends and tell them how much I miss them.
WIN!  I did text some of my closest long distance friends.  I met up with a bunch of old friends at my 10 year class reunion, and I have plans to meet up with an old friend who is currently living in San Francisco who I haven't seen since the Christmas Aiden was one.

- start planning for a late summer trip. 
FAIL!  What I want to do?  I want to go see Clare for a long weekend.  Run up mountains, take her out for coffee and dinner and watch silly movies and play with Aiden.  The reality of it is this, I'm paying more for daycare in the summer than I am for rent.  My rent has gone up.  I am now making payments to a student loan.  I don't have a reliable vehicle, so I would either have to borrow one, or rent one.  I don't have much time off saved since my 9 day Florida vacation.  I WANT.  But I think it's going to have to wait.  :(

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Regrets and mistakes, they are memories made.

I am going to talk about something I'm not usually comfortable with putting out there in such broad terms as this, especially on the internet, but I'm attempting to break out of my comfort bubble here just a little bit.

Dating is HARD.

I have never really dated before.  Yes, I have had boyfriends.  I have been madly and deeply in love.  I have been obsessive and obnoxiously in love.  I have been mildly un-attracted to, but continued to remain with, a man who claimed he loved me.  I have loved men I shouldn't, went out with men my mother hated, and ditched friends for a man I thought I was supposed to be with forever.

However, I have never just dated.  Never went out with a different man on a different day of the week than the one I went out with two days previously. 

It's like constantly playing 20 questions with a new person.  Trying to keep all of the information straight, trying to remember what you've told one person about yourself that you haven't told another.  Do not get me wrong, I'm not dating half the town, but trying to keep everything straight is pretty taxing on this single working mother of one.

I have been taking a new dating approach than the one I had lived with in the past.  (Sulk around until a man shows interest in you, get giddy and clingy, eventually man runs away quickly in the other direction.)  I am also someone who tends to have fairly calm breakups and I have managed to remain friends with pretty much every boy in this world that I have laid my lips upon, other than two.  Now, I am simply being me.  Apologizing for nothing, and if they don't like me for who I am, than they're not worth it in the first place.

Since this dating adventure of mine began nearly two years ago, after spending over 6 years of my life totally and completely single, I have met men in every type and size and character.  I met a man who treated me how I should have been requiring men to treat me, but who I wasn't attracted to.  I met a man who was looking for someone to marry, and was WAY too young for me.  I went out with a man who was too cheap to buy two meals and made me split mine with him, and then made a lame joke about chopping me into pieces and putting them in his basement walls.  I dated for a short while, a man who was 13 years older than me.  I met a man who I believed to be "the one" who I quickly discovered was not in any place to be dating anyone, which broke my heart.  I met a farmer, a restaurant manager, a writer.  I met a student, and fathers, and hard workers.

I enjoy meeting new people.  I feel as though I'm at a place in my life where I have never been MORE myself.  I know who I am, I don't necessarily know what I want, but I do know the things I absolutely will not put up with.  I'm not looking for someone to fill some void in my life, because my life has no voids, it is complete right now, without a man in it (other than the shining star of a seven year old that lives in the next bedroom.)

Even with all of the stress of the last six months, I am at a very happy place right now.  My friends and my family continue to be terrific.  I'm enjoying my summer, and hoping that this one just may be the one where I'm finally lucky in love.  But who am I kidding?  Love is just in the movies, right?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This tiny ball of light.

I have been desperately trying to cling to the things in my world that make sense to me.  I have been reading YA fiction, taking long baths, trying to lay in the sun.  I drank and talked and laughed with old classmates at my ten year class reunion amid all of the cliques that have not changed.  I find myself coming up with different variations of the tattoo I'm hoping to get before the end of the summer.  I go to the gym whenever I have a free moment.

I am trying so desperately hard not to do the one thing that comes so completely naturally to me in periods of intense stress and sadness.  Seclusion. 

I had my first panic attack in over a year this last Friday.  I knew it was coming on, and I knew it would happen sooner or later in the day.  The symptoms were there for about 48 hours beforehand.  The inability to sit still or concentrate.  The feeling like something is happening or going to happen and I need to be moving, stay moving.  The final little bit was waking up that morning with fingers and hands that were shaking and tingling and no matter what I did, it wouldn't go away.

The last panic attack I had was on the day when Steve met Aiden for the first time.  I held myself together so well up until the point at which we were driving away, and I knew I wouldn't be able to make it home.  I drove to my parent's house, tears in my eyes, and shut myself in their bathroom and shook and cried for 20 minutes straight.

It has been about 15 months since then, and this panic attack had just as much to do with him, only it was unfounded.  He didn't even show up in court.  He didn't even do any of the dirty work.  He just let his lawyer take care of it all.  No more visitation, no more contact.  No explanations, no repercussions because of his decisions, and I'm the one who is left to pick up the pieces.

How do you tell a seven year old that he can't see his father anymore?  That his father is the one who doesn't want to see him?  That his little sisters will disappear into the background as quickly as they came into his world.  How do you form the words?

So we throw more love at it.  I take him swimming and cheer him on as he dives off the board, as he jumps for the first time off the high dive, as he swims like a little fish.  I tell him I love him more than any other person in this entire world.  I cook him dinner and make plans with him for the coming weekend, and attempt to make deals with God that I know will never come to fruition.  I cry secretly in my room at night after he is in bed.

But I get up in the morning, and I live my life the best way that I know how.  I know that I am in the right, and I try to cling to that.  I try to cling to knowing that eventually this man is going to wake up and realize that he has lost not just six initial years of his son's life, but the BEST years after that.  I am the one who gets to wake up every morning to this little boy's smile.

But, I need to get a Last Will and Testimont.  In case something were ever to happen to me, I would like it to be known who I want Aiden's caretakers and providers will be.  If Steve were to step in and say "I want him now!" in such a circumstance, there wouldn't be much my family could do to prevent that, but I would at least be able to assign my retirement and other assets to my parents until Aiden reaches 21.  Also, make it known that if that does happen that my parents would take over the secondary care roll and would be allowed visitation stipulated to non-custodial parents (i.e. every other weekend, a day during the week, every other holiday, extended visits in the summer and over christmas/new years holidays.  So much planning on the what-ifs.

I would love any sort of opinion or guidance in this matter.  I know I need to get Aiden in to see a counselor.  I know that I shouldn't have to deal with this burden alone, I have friends and family and friends who are family who are behind me and will stand behind me through all of this.  I owe all of them my undying gratitude.  Along with anyone who is still reading this.

Makes it hard to understand whether I'm attempting to study sanity or the insanity of my life.There really is a fine white line.  Not sure which side I'm standing on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

help me if you can i'm feeling down, and i do appreciate you being around.

This is going to be short and to the point.

I am stressed out.  I have custody/support court this Friday.  I have no idea how things are going to play out, but as of right now, my son's father is using the threat of signing away his right to visitation to attempt to control my decisions.  I haven't let it work so far.

On top of all of this, I have a manager who is attempting to micro-manage me and my entire department.  This has lead to an extreme feeling of unease in my usually pretty calm and event-less area. 

Even though the majority of my stress right now has very little to do with work, I find myself closer to the breaking point there.  Right now my brain has shut down and I'm running on auto pilot.  I'm hoping that once Friday is over and done with I'll be able to sleep easier, breathe easier, and get back to the old me.

I'm also retaining water like crazy and I want to break my scale.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

we the people...

 I would like to preface this with a little note.  I do not do illegal drugs.  I have, a few times, in the past smoked some marijuana, but I never really liked the way it made me feel.  I drink, occasionally in excess, but less than I ever did when I was underage.  I tend to lean more toward the prescription medications in "like" mostly because they help me sleep when I never REALLY sleep.  But I don't do drugs.  Well, caffeine.  I do not, however, think down on people who use some drugs recreationally.  I do think that when it starts to interfere with your job, your social life, your family, or your bank account that there is a problem.  If you want to smoke a joint when you get off work to de-stress, more power to ya.  I do not care to join.

That being said...

In the last couple of days my facebook has EXPLODED with people posting congratulations to the state of Florida for being the first in our nation to mandate drug tests for anyone applying for and/or receiving welfare.  This does not extend into any sort of social security, food stamps, or aid to dependent children, simply TANF (which is the program that replaced welfare in the 1990s.)

These are republican friends of mine (and being that I live in Nebraska, there are tons of them...) who are suddenly preaching for MORE government, BIGGER government, and pretty much the destruction of civil rights as we know it.  It astounds me that people can be so two faced, and so uninformed on the facts.  It is one thing to sit back and simply not know any better, but to spout off this nonsense without doing any sort of research and finding out what it's all about?  That is exactly what got this country into trouble in the first place!

I wonder if any of their voices would be silenced if any one of them had to tuck their tail between their legs and apply for assistance.

As a single mother, I never qualified for TANF.  Even working a measly 16 hours a week, and I made too much money.  We did qualify for food stamps, which were enough to keep us fed, but "man these goddamn food stamps don't buy diapers!"  It was a hard life.  Too many people in this country will know exactly what it is I'm talking about.  Not having enough money to put gas in your car and running it on fumes until it finally quits in the middle of a busy intersection.  Eating nothing but rice and beans and stuff from cans and boxes because it's cheaper than the fresh fruit and veggies that you crave and that your body craves.  Going delinquent on your cable bill, and your credit card bill, because it's fricken cold outside and you have to pay the electric or you will freeze.

Or handing over all of your private information, your bank statement, credit card statements, car information, how much money you make, how much money you pay out to a state agency that is now going to piece together this information and find out just how little they are able to give you.  And you have to do this once a year.  Or even worse... when you file for child support, you are asked to list your last sexual partners for the last three years, naming dates.

The system is the most embarrassing thing you will ever be put through.  It's rape of your spirit and for years I walked around totally ashamed of how I had ended up in this place, not able to support myself or my child.  Living in fear that for some reason or another he would be taken away from me, that I wasn't good enough of a mother to deserve this little boy.  This little SPECIAL NEEDS boy, who before the age of two had had two surgeries.  How would I have ever afforded my million dollar baby without all of that embarrassment?  I wouldn't have.

But I would never pee in a cup for the system.  I would never let them force me to go to the doctor for a checkup, or tell me what brand of groceries I am allowed to buy.  I wouldn't let someone tell me that because I'm white, I am somehow entitled.  Bullshit.  I am a single mother and somehow that has become the bane of society.  I am the leper.

For people who want smaller government to cheer something like this on, makes me that much more uncomfortable about the state of this nation.  What's next?  Testing for legal drugs?  Making sure that anyone on welfare isn't depressed, or anxious, or diabetic?  Who is to say what that little cup of pee or vial of blood will tell them, whether we give them permission or not to test it, what's to stop them from weeding out the "undesirables"?  Genetic disorders, mutations, anyone who isn't blond haired and blue eyed?  Wasn't that a goal for Hitler?  Just saying...

The facts are, that the majority of people on welfare are not drug users or abusers.  Are there some?  I'm sure.  But the cost to test everyone, regardless of history or background etc, will cost us so much more.

Monday, June 6, 2011

sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same

I haven't yet had a chance to blog about my vacation in Florida.  It was wonderful in a way that I only could have dreamed it being.  The first full days there were spent in St. Pete Beach on the Gulf coast.  We swam in a salt water pool at our hotel, got out, and walked across the huge expanse of white, white sand, and dipped our toes into the ocean.

We shopped at one of the local stores, buying fresh fruit, veggies, and beer for our little mini fridge.  Aiden and I slept on a pulled out couch bed, most of the time falling asleep before 11 every night.  We walked on the beach in the morning with my Great Aunt Claire, then ate breakfast.  I fell in love with grits, and the sound of the ocean.  We are brown.  We were in the sun for 15 hours a day for 4 days.  I didn't realize how much weight I had lost (even though I knew, in pounds) until in a semi intoxicated conversation I had with my mother, and she repeatedly told me how skinny I was.  My clothes fit in a way I don't ever remember them fitting, and photos are easier to take and gets ones that I actually like.

I fell in love with the west coast of Florida, and if the school system wasn't so terrible there, I could see us living there.  It might be a place where I have to save up for and maybe some summer when Aiden's a little older and we can rent a house there for the summer, or even just a week or two.

Then we headed to Orlando where we spent 2 days at Disney, and 2 days at Universal Studios.  Disney has four different parks, The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.  I have been to Disney twice previously, once when I was Aiden's age, and once right after my freshman year of high school.  This time, it was completely different.  We were able to ride every single ride we wanted to ride, some of them more than once.  In the past you were lucky to get to ride six in a day, because of all the lines you had to wait in.  Our longest wait was around 30 minutes, all of the other rides we were able to get on in less than 10.  We knocked out Magic Kingdom the first day.

Day two at Disney was spent at Animal Kingdom the first half, and Hollywood Studios the second.  Some of the roller coasters there were incredible.  This was the day that we managed to drag Aiden onto the Rockin Roller Coaster.  I think I may have scarred him for life.  However, in my defense, recovery time after riding the coaster was less than if I would have had to listen to him complain about not going on it the rest of the day.

The two days we spent at Universal studios, we rented a stroller for Aiden.  By then, I was the only one whose feet weren't completely ragged (I spend nine hours a day at work on my feet, and another 1 to 2 working out.  I'm used to it!) and this way Aiden was allowed to enjoy some stuff and sit down whenever he needed to.  With the Universal package, if you stay on property, you also get what is called "express pass" which lets you pretty much bypass the lines.  there were four rides that this did not work on.  one was a kid's ride, one was a roller coaster, and the last was for harry potter and the forbidden journey.  Mom and I went back into the park in the evening while the boys went to the pool.  We were determined to get to and ride this ride.  There are so many words I could use to describe the experience, but in reality, it's like nothing i've ever been on before.  The entire Harry Potter universe completely takes my breath away

The only real hiccup on the trip was on the way home.  Our flight from Chicago to Omaha was delayed almost five hours due to severe thunderstorms.  The bright side of that?  We were in the airport instead of on the plane.  We made it home around 9 the night before Memorial Day.

We laughed, my God how we laughed.  The only piece of the puzzle that was missing was my sister (and of course her boyfriend.)

It was great to get away from everything for close to two weeks.  It allowed me to take into perspective a lot of things going on in my life.  I am happier now than I have been in a long time, and I think a lot of that has to do with how I'm able to see the world, think positive on the majority of the situations I'm in, and just throwing more love at everything.

It's amazing how the world can bloom when you're able to love yourself, even if it's just a little.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Goals 2011

June 2011

- go the gym 15 times.  The biggest loser competition at my gym ended yesterday.  I lost 18 lbs in two and a half months, and I lost the damn contest by 4 pounds!  Needless to say I need a new motivator, and this will be it!

- lose 5 lbs.  A little over a pound a week, and it will put me (FINALLY!) over my first goal.  Once I do this I will be rewarding myself with a new tattoo :)

- start and finish one book.  I love reading, it relaxes me, I tend to forget this when all up in the hustle and bustle.

- work on my tan.  Of course I don't do tanning beds, but the vitamin D I soaked up from Vegas and Florida in the last couple of months have made my hair and nails thicker, and it just makes me FEEL better.  Best way?  Swimming at the pool with my little fishy.

- worry about ME.  I have a way of worrying about everyone else and their issues and their worries.  I am a single 28 year old woman, and the only person I need to be worrying about other than myself is the 4'3" little boy who calls me mommy.

- use more lotion.  This may sound strange, but both Aiden and I have really dry skin and out of laziness or whatever it is, I'm really bad about keeping up with this.

- do Jillian Michael's 30 day shred once a week.

- call some old friends and tell them how much I miss them.

- start planning for a late summer trip.