Seeing people’s year in review posts on Facebook has inspired me to write my own. 2015 sucked. It started out with my husband in the ICU after a suicide attempt, and ended with two of my best friends kissing me and making me feel wonderful.
Horrific and horrible things happened last year, but also I got the best gift that any person could ever ask for; I filled the hole I’d felt my entire life. In April I found my bio mom, and subsequently my bio brothers and sister and family, and those people have absolutely made every shitty moment into a fine, okay, or awesome moment. Finally I have people who love me just because I am part of them. I feel whole, for the first time, despite my recent sadness. And that means a lot.
I lost my husband and eventually my marriage. He didn’t die, but he might as well have, considering the way things turned out. I lost my best friend, who also didn’t die, but simply disappeared from our lives like dust in the wind. I was left with his dog, who I had to rehome, and who is very very happy in her new place with her new owner.
I reconnected with one of my best friends from years ago, and she and her girlfriend are Squeaks’ godmothers. They helped me through the first wave of tough times at the end of my marriage. I successfully started a business from my home, and made enough money to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.
Things didn’t work out with Doc, and though it hurts like hell, I suppose it is for the best. Long distance relationships can be difficult. We’ll still be friends, and we never made things “official”, so that makes it a bit easier. I just hate seeing things crash before they get off the ground. I’m a person who always dwells on what could have been!
We finally got JI’s diagnosis, which has helped immensely in getting treatment. Now that he’s on medication, his behaviour has greatly improved. IF only I could get ahold of someone at the autism center to get this behaviour therapy started…
And, at the end of the year, I received a diagnosis myself – metabolic syndrome. It may be the root of all the mysterious issues I’ve had over the years. I have to switch to a low purine diet, which means no yeast, bread, beer, meat, and other delicious things, but I am allowed to have vegetables, pasta, cheese, and wine! Woo! Unrelated to the diagnosis, I will be having surgery at the end of January for a hernia. Fun times.
Overall, even though 2015 had some terrible moments and had a lost of loss associated with it, last year also had some very excellent and amazing moments.
It’s been about two months as a single mother now, and things are still going well with the boys and me. I’m getting more kids to watch (my “real job” is in-home daycare provider, which I never really talk about, because it doesn’t have much to do with anything), Poke is actually paying me his weekly “child support”, and JI’s behaviour is better than ever.
Seanatello moved in just after Poke moved out, and was set up to pay rent and some bills and such. One morning, I woke up, and he was gone. He left everything; his clothes, his blood pressure meds, even his beloved dog. Our friends and I thought he was going to commit suicide, because he also deleted and blocked all of us from Facebook. It wasn’t until a non-mutual friend checked out his profile that we discovered he’d somehow made it out west, and was clearly alive and doing fine. He’d been in love with this girl who lives out there, and because his life had been taking a steady downward turn, we figure he decided to pawn his only possession worth money, his PS4, and bought a one way ticket to the girl. That definitely threw me for a loop because there was absolutely no warning. One day we’re talking plans for the future, the next he’s disappeared. Oh well. Another one bites the dust.
JI has started school, and it’s going very well so far. Squeaks has two teeth out, and one is about to pop through. They are both growing like weeds! Squeaks even tried to stand up on his own the other day! Hopefully, now that things are getting back into a routine, I will be able to get back into my own routine and start getting back to posting the usual stuff like crafts and recipes, and all that. Also, there will be an upcoming post about my Bio Mom coming to visit! That was awesome. Stay tuned!
PS- You may or may not have noticed a person called “Betty” who left some very rude comments on my last post, as well as my colorful replies to her rudeness. I don’t generally make it a habit to bitch at my readers, but I really REALLY hate being judged, especially by someone who doesn’t know the whole story. And, though I know I open myself up to criticism and the like by putting my personal life on the internet for everyone to see, I’m pretty certain this girl isn’t an actual stranger. The way she talked made it seem like she knows Poke, and I’d venture to say that it’s actually his current girlfriend.
I have been away for quite some time now, because there has been a lot going on. I was originally going to write a post about living with mental illness and mentally ill family members, but I didn’t get a chance to before the literal shit hit the fan.
Since November, Poke has been actively suicidal. It has truly taken its toll on our family. He has been hospitalized, in the ICU, and gone through several different mental health providers. Unfortunately, his attempts to get his mental health under control were too little too late, and our family and marriage were badly damaged.
There were times when I was terrified to leave him alone with the children, times when I had to banish him to the basement to “live” for a week because I could not bear to have him around them, times when I literally dropped him off at the crisis center and called his mom to deal with him afterwards. His behaviour was completely out of control, and I was afraid for myself and the kids. He is by no means abusive, however, he would have these episodes monthly, then semi monthly, then weekly until it was like living in a mine field and I didn’t know what would happen from day to day. He never laid a hand on any of us, but he became aggressive and violent and just so angry that I didn’t want to take the chance that he would someday become physical.
We have been in marriage counseling for almost two years, and it seemed to be working for our relationship, until one day it was blatantly obvious that it wasn’t working. I got to the point where I could not stand to be around him, I could not stand to look at him, talk to him, touch him, kiss him, etc. I didn’t want him anywhere near me. So, after his last outburst when he threw a tantrum at the local dog shelter and embarrassed JI and me in front of all the other customers, I decided a change had to be made. Little did I know that he was going to make it super easy for me by randomly quitting his job when he walked out of work and never went back. He had been talking about feeling burnt out and no longer enjoying his work, but I told him that he absolutely had to keep his job to support the family. I told him that if he quit before finding a new one, that would be it, and we would be done for. Apparently that didn’t matter to him at all because he went ahead and walked out. I told him to go to his mom’s house, and that was that.
We separated officially on July 27th, with an agreement on how and who would pay the bills. The separation is supposed to be a trial for three months. I am hoping that in these three months he will take the time to get himself mentally healthy and happy, however, if he chooses not to then it’s obvious what his real decision is. I believe he came into fatherhood and marriage with the best of intentions but perhaps these things really are not meant for him, and if that’s the case then I’d rather have him out than in, rather have a happy family on the weekends only rather than a miserable one 24/7.
He’s been gone a month now, and I have not been this happy in years. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, like I no longer have to watch what I say in my own home, like I am an actual human being. JI’s behaviour has improved twenty fold. At our last counseling session, Poke says “I’m glad you’re having such a great time”, to which I replied, “We’re not having a great time. We’re doing life the way it should be done – with love and happiness.”
The past two and a half months have been a whirlwind of emotions for myself, my family, and my bio family. Mostly they have been positive emotions, except on the side of my (adoptive) family. I have continued to build a relationship with my bio family, and I have never been happier in my whole life. I finally feel like I am somewhere I belong naturally, rather than somewhere I am forcing myself to try to fit in.
Back in May, the weekend after Memorial Day, with the help of my siblings, I drove to Akron on a very stormy Sunday afternoon and surprised my bio mom. I met BD, his wife, and Texas at the restaurant around 3pm, and Sissy brought mom once they texted her to say I’d arrived. I could see out the window into the parking lot, and when I saw them walking in, I thought I would faint. Sissy walked over to our table, with bio mom in tow. She stopped, and bio mom kinda looked around like “Why did you stop?” Then she looked over at the table, it took a second for her to realize who I was, and then she put her hand over her mouth and just said “Oh my god oh my god oh my god” over and over. I got up and gave her a hug, and it felt so comfortable, and in the back of my mind I was thinking that the last time she gave me a hug was 33 years ago. I wondered what it felt like for her, and I imagine she must have been thinking the same thing.
We had a lovely meal, Mexican of course, and a good time catching up. We were at the restaurant for about three hours! Afterwards we went and visited my bio grandma (Gigi). She was very surprised to see bio mom, and even more surprised to see me. It was an interesting visit, to say the least. Finally we went back to bio mom’s place. We sat and talked with her housemate, talked about everything under the sun, and I finally left around 10:30pm. It was the craziest twelve hours in my recent history! Ranked right up there with Squeaks being born ahead of schedule!
Because they weren’t able to come to the baptism, bio mom arranged for the boys and me to go up to Akron for the 4th of July weekend. She came down and picked us up on Friday afternoon, Poke came up on Sunday afternoon, and we headed home on Monday.
Friday we got delicious authentic pizza, and Sissy brought her girlfriend to the hotel to meet us. JI acted like a maniac after the car ride, and bounced all over the place. After a couple of hours they left, and somehow I got the boys to sleep! Saturday was the big day – meeting ALL the family. Bio mom picked us up in the afternoon, and we headed to my aunt’s house.
Have I told you guys yet how big my bio family is?! It is HUGE. My family always consisted of me, Scrod, and my parents. My dad has two brothers, one who was never married, and one who passed away, but his wife still comes to family holidays. I have no cousins. My grandfathers died in 1977 and 1981, and my grandmothers passed in 2001 and 2007. So for the past few years, it’s only been the four of us plus Poke and the kid(s), and occasionally my uncle and aunt. That’s it. My bio family? Completely different! My bio mom has three sisters and a brother, and I have nine cousins. There’s also four spouses/fiances with the cousins, three of bio mom’s siblings are married, and bio mom’s mom is still alive as well. Not everyone was at the 4th of July party, but it was very much a culture shock.
Despite being in a totally new situation with a whole crowd of people I’d never met (except my sibs, bio mom, and Gigi), it was awesome. From the very first minute, I was completely at ease. My bio aunt was worried about JI, the first wee little kid to be around in a while, getting into trouble or in a dangerous situation. They live on a big plot of land with lots of holes and trees and rocks and dog piles, so I got it. JI had a blast though, playing with my youngest cousin, who is twelve. They chased each other around, they chased the dogs, and thankfully they stayed out of trouble! Everyone wanted to hold Squeaks, but he was mostly comfortable in bio mom’s arms. He didn’t even want me! While JI ran around like a crazy man and Squeaks charmed everyone with his flirty faces, us older kids played cornhole, drank beers, and ate tons of delicious picnic food (which just happens to be my favorite food to eat in the summer!). It was the perfect day, culminating in a huge bonfire at the end of the night. So happy!
Sunday Poke came up around 1pm, and we met up with bio mom for some different authentic Italian food…. unfortunately the restaurant was closed due to the holiday, so we ended up at a Chinese buffet. Holy cow, it was great! Poke and I used to take JI to all these different Chinese buffets around Columbus, but most of them have closed or the quality has gone way down. The one at Chapel Hill was so so so good – quality food and lots of variety. I could have stayed another hour! Afterwards bio mom drove us around North Hill, the section of Akron where she and my siblings grew up. I got to see the house where I lived for a month after I was born, the houses where my siblings lived/live currently, and a few other landmarks, including the hospital where I was born. It was really special, knowing that all these spots had a real meaning in my life.
When we got back to the hotel, JI and I went in the pool for a little bit, and then we all headed out to watch BD’s volleyball championship games. He is really good! I never thought volleyball was interesting until I watched these amateur (professionals?) play. It was fast paced and really fun. Even JI, who hates sitting still, sat and watched most of it! We went simple and hit up Applebee’s for dinner, which was actually pretty tasty! I don’t think we’ve eaten at Applebee’s for about two years and their menu has changed a lot.
Monday was checkout day, and I was up by 9:30am to get everything ready to go. Poke loaded up the van while I got the kids ready. Bio mom came by around 10:30am to check us out, and then we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Poke had never been to a Cracker Barrel before! I love it; one of my favorite breakfast places. JI was a bit salty for some reason, and actually broke a plate when he pushed it off the table. I had to draw on all my woo-sah and calmly implement the 1-2-3 Magic system that we’ve been using. After a four minute time out, JI was back in business and ended up being a lot better after that. Kids are so weird sometimes.
I was sad to leave, but I had such an amazing time that I know I will be able to get through the next few weeks until I see my bio family again. JI’s birthday is coming up in mid July, so we will probably head up there to celebrate. I can’t wait!
Two women came to King Solomon and stood before him. The first woman said: “My Lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while with her in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We live together; there is no outsider with us in the house; only the two of us were there. The son of this woman died during the night because she lay upon him. She arose during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep, and lay him in her bosom, and her dead son she laid in my bosom. When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I observed him (later on) in the morning, I realized that he was not my son to whom I had given birth!”
The second woman replied: “It is not so! My son is the live one and your son is the dead one!”
The first woman responded: “It is not so! Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!”
They argued before King Solomon.
King Solomon said, “This woman claims ‘My son is the live one and your son is the dead one’, and this woman claims ‘Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!”‘ Then King Solomon said, “Bring me a sword!”. So they brought a sword before the King. The King said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other”.
The first woman turned to the King, because her compassion was aroused for her son, and cried, “Please my Lord, give her the living child and do not kill it!”
But the other woman said: “Neither mine nor yours shall he be. Cut!”
The King spoke up and said: “Give her the living child, and do not kill it, for she is his mother!” All of Israel heard the judgment that the King had judged. They had great awe for the King, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to do justice. The woman was rightfully awarded custody of her son.