Hi there Lovies-
It’s Mother’s Day Weekend.
On my very first Mother’s Day in 2003, I figured out my daughter MiniMe was the exact age I was when my Mom died. I thought it was some kind of heavenly guardian angel sign I was going to be an ok Mom in spite of my reluctance to take on the job and inability to adapt to it without a crap ton of anxiety, anger and overall angst of losing myself and not having the life or baby I wanted. My Dad died while I was pregnant with her and in some feat of super human emotional strength I had held it together and convinced myself I was fine for the remaining 4.5 months of my pregnancy. When she came she was beautiful and she scared me to death. She was a very hard baby and I was a very unhappy Mom.
3 years later in 2006 I was the Mother of a son and a daughter. The Destroyer was a very very easy baby but I was no happier with motherhood or my life.
3 years go on the Saturday over Mother’s Day weekend my husband walked into our living room, stood at the end of our couch, and stated in my general direction “You know, we can get and fill out divorce papers on-line for $175″. It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, I “started” the whole thing after all, but in that gut punch moment my whole world spun on an axis and went from already fucked up to oh my God this train is going to wreck in glorious fashion and I am the driver. The first thing that went through my mind was this fucker is trying to call my bluff, he’s backing me into a corner to see what I’ll do. I don’t even remember my response, the only thought going through my head was ” I will finally be free of this life”. I took both my rings off by Sunday morning. We spent Mother’s Day telling our kids “Mommy and Daddy love you, just not each other anymore. We are getting a divorce”. Long story short, despite a 4+ month separation, an online affair with a catfish and the resulting implosion when he vanished rather than explain or apologize for his completely faked identity, my Husband using a credit card of mine he had taken in the divorce as his debt to pay for a plane ticket to fly my former best friend out to “see” him for a weekend and then lying about the entire thing (for years in pieces) before it blew up in his face and various other minor and major bits of nastiness, we didn’t actually get divorced. We prevailed.
Last summer as I sat smoking in our garage, shaking, sobbing, empty in despair, yelling to Babu ” I hate you all just as much as I did three years ago, only this time I’m not trying to fuck anybody else. And I’d like some credit because these last few months have been pure horror”. Horror I didn’t think I would ever go through again. My heart and soul was in actual worse condition than the day “Paul” vanished, only this time it wasn’t my fault. I’m not doing anything this time I yelled, It’s NOT ME!!!!! His response was to inform me he didn’t think we should of ever gotten back together. He’d already talked to his friend on wife #3, and he and wife #2 were really great friends now and maybe that’s what we needed to be. I remember every single second of the resulting 90+ minute conversation. At the end of it he acted as if everything was totally peachy and he had no desire to leave me anymore. I didn’t believe it would stick.
Two days before Christmas he hauled me into the garage in a big huff about how he’d wanted to “wait until after the Holidays to have this conversation”, after I had the audacity to sit down at the table, force him to turn his attention from his phone, and stated “I just want you to know, no matter what you have done or might do in the future I’m not going anywhere, I want to be your wife”. He informed me he had been plotting to leave me/us since shortly before Thanksgiving. It took him over 60 minutes to get to the point and for 59.5 of those I TRULY thought he was going to tell me he was having the affair I had suspected since July. When he got to the point he tried to tell me once again, this was all my fault and he could just never trust me and he just always knew this would happen. It became painfully clear in the moment he’d never done a single bit of work beyond swallowing the previous battle and pretending it never happened. He did a really good job of hiding it too until ADHD ravaged through 3 of the 4 of us and sent me into new depths of personal hell. To say I didn’t cope well at first with the ADHD journey would be a huge understatement. He’d rewarded me for no longer being able to be the strong one by checking out and then pulling the I’m leaving you card…again. Abandonment and denial is apparently his thing. This 2nd battle for my marriage was much much different. No crazy train, no fucked up outside circumstances. I immediately hauled him to Tab for couples counseling and fought sometimes minute by minute battles with myself. To not throw him out, to not remind him I had no need for him, to not dream of potential lives I’d already let go of, to fight to change and grow some more for myself while trying to keep my mouth shut, to hide it all from my children. I clung to every tiny baby step he made towards change. Until one day not so long ago during a very long car ride, I decided I’d let myself trust him again.
A few weeks ago we lovingly, happily celebrated 13 years of marriage. I can’t tell you if I thought we’d get here. To be completely honest a huge part of me figured I’d be single by this weekend. 3 years behind in where I could of been had I just not agreed to explore going back to him the last time instead of letting the 2 days away from final Divorce proceed. At least I knew I would be able to pat myself on the back and state “not me this time bitches, go away shaming haters there’s nothing to see here”. I’m better off financially, emotionally and in many other ways than I was then. I knew I’d be absolutely fine without him as my partner. So why didn’t I just curb him? First, I knew I couldn’t look my kids in the eyes and tell them, yet, that I’d done everything I could possibly do to keep their worlds from vortexing. I. just. couldn’t. So I chose to fight. Second, I thought long and hard about Babu and I, I asked myself if there had ever been even one point in time where I felt truly emotionally safe and connected to him as partner. I located a very small window in 12+ years where I felt the was statement was true, and I clung to it like my life depended on it. I used it to keep me from doing too many stupid things while I worked to change, some more, and patiently (NOT) waited for him to recognize I was worth changing for, our family was worth changing for.
This Mother’s Day it’s been 3 years since THAT Mother’s Day. Thanks to his bad timing Mother’s day will always be an Anniversary in my mind. The day all who know me remember as the day my husband told me he wanted a divorce, the first time. The day will never be the same, I will never be the same. We’re solid, and always will be working to stay solid. I’ve either come to trust there will be no bailing on his part the next time life send us a horrible journey or come to trust I’ll be ok if he does.
We still battle the ADHD/ADD demons in our home, and I’ve been really quiet about it here. I’ve written about everything but the real pain and events I am/was going through. I recognized I’ve been hiding it away from I don’t know what? Fear? Maybe, probably, yes? I’m in the tail end of clearing all self perceived bad JuJu out of my life, home, head and prepping to turn my focus toward my kids and my relationship with them before they are too old and it’s too late. To be the Mom who actually likes being a Mother, and the life she has as a Mother. I love my babies and sometimes go absolutely apeshit crazy trying to protect them from both real and worried threats, but I’ve never been able to reconcile motherhood inside myself. I lost my Mom at 6 months old and didn’t get a good example after of how to mother well, successfully, happily. I hope that doesn’t make me the bad Mom I often feel I am. I’m finally ready to delve into truly embracing motherhood and opening myself up to my kids so I can love them better, more, less anxiously, less fearfully. I hope I’m not alone, and I hope I continue to have the courage to share some of the journey with you in the middle of the running, gardening, decorating, fearlessly be yourself posts. We shall see
Happy Mothers Day Weekend Lovies. Go hug your Mom and tell her you love her. You might have no idea what battles she’s fought, is fighting to keep your world intact.
PS> Thank you Orange Rhino, without your brutal delicate honesty I’m not sure how much longer it would of taken me to write this post, discover I have a voice lower than straight to 5-7 or try as hard as I have been for the last few days to learn not to yell.
After much putting up with the spewing on both sides of this debate I have done a lot of soul searching. I think I should also in all fairness share with you that until I read the blog I link below, I was all set to keep eating homophobic chicken. I was planning on calling it homophobic chicken, on telling my children it was homophobic chicken, but I was going to eat it. I didn’t want to take a stand, I didn’t want to take up the cause. I’m a good person, can’t I just eat some chicken and not have it mean I’m choosing one way or another? Why did we all have to get our panties in a giant wad about something we all knew deep down was likely true. What’s that picture circulating about ”Hey let’s ask the company that we know is Christian and isn’t open on Sundays about gay marriage and then act outraged and surprised when we get EXACTLY the answer we were expecting. Here is the thing, Dan Cathy decided to openly, publicly take his stand. Praise GOD we live in a country where he can be free to do just that. I’ve seen and heard lots of mentioning of bigots and homophobia and arguments about how religion and the two are not congruent, mutually inclusive. It makes my head spin, this is at its core an ethical dilemma with many branches, really it is. So I sorted through it for myself.
Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”.
Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, irrational fear, and hatred.
My opinion is both of these things ( bigotry and homophobia) are true about Dan Cathy. Yep, he has absolutely every right to think, feel and spend as he wishes. I think that is great, because it also means that I too can think, feel and spend as I wish. His spending shows to me his feelings of bigotry and homophobia.. Explained MUCH better than I ever could here.
I have decided for me, and my karmic health, conscience, values or whatever you want to call them, that choosing to see homophobia and bigotry as evil and wrong are more important than chicken. More important than crying loudly about how everyone can think, feel and spend as they wish.
This makes me sad, because I will also have to decide how far into my life I embrace this stance. Do I now have to defriend those who feel supporting freedom of speech is more important than saying homophobia and bigotry are evil? That liberals shouldn’t or can’t malign the conservatives? Do I now have to research everything thing I eat, buy, or use to find out where its leaders stand on this issue? Can’t we all just go back to don’t ask don’t tell for hot issues like abortion, religion, insert whatever other issues divide us all here? Why can’t we all just get along with our own thoughts?
I don’t think it is a liberal vs conservative issue at all. I think it is where do you stand on loving your fellow man issue. I think it is a where do you draw the line on standing up for an entire class of people who are actively, daily, persecuted everywhere in our world by people like Dan Cathy. NO he doesn’t ban homosexuals from his chicken, that would be ridiculous and possibly (hopefully) never stand in our society today. But he does take the profits from selling that chicken to promote an agenda I don’t agree with. And thanks to the media and facebook I feel a bit forced to decide something. To put my marker on the sand, to declare where I stand. I’ll take the gamble that our world will some day move to the thought process that these acts and thoughts are wrong. Like slavery, or pure races, or whatever other issues history has shown us public opinion is sometimes VASTLY different in hind sight than while being lived.
And quite frankly I’m pissed as all hell that I can’t have the best damn spicy chicken sandwich ever or the perfect mix of Diet Dr Pepper anymore without it potentially making a statement I don’t want to be associated with. . I’m angry that a place I loved, that yes I know is Christian and very likely didn’t align with my personal view and and values had to be so publicly outed, inciting virtual rioting among the masses calling for everyone to take a side and cry fair or foul. I’m angry that this issue just serves as another divide between friends and acquaintances in an already hot button election time. I’m angry that my choice is going to create the however many dollars of harm via lost profits my no longer eating there will inflict. Because in the multitude of times I have visited my local Chick-Fil-A in the last 5 years, they have only screwed up my order maybe twice. They have been happy to see me, served me with a smile and without an ounce of attitude. The men and women that work there are kind, polite workers who will clear your table, get you a refill, mop up barf from a booth without even flinching ( thankfully not our barf). The restroom is always clean, so is the parking lot. The manager is proactive about passing out coupons or vouchers for freebies if it is too busy and the line is too long, or the order is messed up. ALL without my asking. When was the last time ANY of that happened to you at any other fast food franchise? I bet not. But after however many days of working through this in my head I have decided where I am drawing my personal line.
And it has to be for me, that standing up against bigotry and homophobia is more important than supporting freedom of speech, more important than saying, but my choice will cause harm to others in his company, more important than the awkwardness this post may cause in some of my relationships. I’m not going to judge or malign you if you choose to eat homophobic chicken, or even if you are homophobic. That’s between you and your own conscience and I’m sure you feel just as strongly as I do about your own personal choice. So there you have it. I was going to eat homophobic chicken, but then I changed my mind. I miss it already.
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, it’s not that I haven’t had time to write, it’s that to some degree I don’t know what to say these days. Stop checking the windows, Hell hasn’t frozen over. There is still the garden, running/focus on health and weight loss, and various other adventures happening it our lives. I just don’t seem to have the mental capacity or the desire when presented with a little bit of time to spend it blogging. We have a war on ADHD going on over here.
There are 4 people in my home and 2-3 of them have ADHD, the results of The Destroyer’s tests are not in until next week. Most of the time it’s manageable, it’s the act of managing it in these early stages of discovery that are stressful and exhausting. We are dealing with tests, diagnosis, psychiatrists, psychologists, meds, MOODS, insurance companies, bills, budgets… I could go on but I think I’ve made my point here. I have to pay super close attention, and in some cases log in a journal, to every tiny detail of the physical and emotional goings on of my kids and myself. It’s a time of hyper-focus, dealing with this is stressful emotionally, financially, intellectually and physically. One would think all of that alone would provide me with enough writing material to schedule a new regular series of posts, and the thought has crossed my mind, but each time I’ve hesitated. I don’t think I am in any place to actually communicate cohesively about this topic, but at this point the need to get it all out has overcome the need to write well, or write something helpful for anyone else . I’m sure there is a wealth of material inside this journey, but I’m simply just not at a place yet where I can tell you what that might be.
It’s isn’t enjoyable in the least, there is Mommy guilt, some sort of grief process going because I’m not exactly adjusted to the idea that a large part of the communication issues between children and parents, chaos and struggle in my home is ADHD related, and may have always been ADHD related to some degree. There is the Mommy Lion aspect because I want my kids to feel normal, loved,smart, happy. Discovering I have ADHD as an adult is mind blowing. I’m doing that constant internal re- evaluating of everything I thought I knew about me. I don’t know why it bothers me so much that I have ADHD, or that the kids have ADHD, but it does on multiple levels, some more dark than others. In short we are a hot mess over here, but it isn’t all bad. We are all learning a lot, these are growing pains that will settle over time. It’s just a LOT of change all at once. I think that would challenge almost anyone.
Notes for any of you who might be in a similar place.
- Focalin made MiniMe nasty, mean, aggressive and overly emotional. She had trouble going to sleep at night. She didn’t communicate any of this to us, in spite of telling her repeatedly that she needs to tell us these types of things. It took me almost 6 weeks to figure it out and we stopped meds cold over the weekend. She has an appt next week to figure out the next drug we try.
- The Destroyer completed his 4 hours of testing last week and we get the results next week.
- I met with the psychiatrist, after 90 minutes of talking he told me he didn’t need to test me. He put me back on Wellbutrin, because that’s one med they often use with adult ADHD in conjunction with the more typical stimulants like Adderall etc. Had me make an appointment for a 2 week follow up and sent me on my way. I’ve been using the two weeks to pay super close attention to how I feel physically and emotionally each day and make some lifestyle changes to pave the way for possibly going on actual ADHD meds.
I know we can handle this, we are strong, intelligent, resilient people. We have been through much worse. ADHD isn’t THAT big of a deal, lot’s of people have it. Eventually it will be absorbed into our lives as just another detail in the grand scheme of things, something else to embrace and own. It could take a while to get there, meanwhile I will continue to tackle it as eloquently as possible and try not to beat myself up over the inevitable missteps.