Friday, July 31, 2009

Please, Don't Insult Me; I Didn't Ask to Be Here in This Place.

I have heard a few of Xdude's friends and/or former friends express their surprise over the fact that he could be violent or confrontational.

I have heard things such as, 'Xdude was Zen and so how could he have done this?' I have heard that he would never be confrontational.

As Xdude has been charged with and convicted of domestic violence, I find this an interesting and challenging question to hear months later. I expected to hear it at the beginning; I had the very same thoughts myself, as I tried to make sense out of what had happened and how we had gotten there and how, though things were degrading from bad to worse, I could never have seen it ending that way. I could have never, in a million years, expected that he would take me down to the floor and choke me, simply because he did not like and disagreed with what I was saying or doing. Simply because, that time, I would not listen to him anymore.

I do know that none of these people has any clue about what he is capable, largely because I have protected him and our family by not saying anything for years.
There was abuse before. And surprise, it was usually the result of some geyser of refusal of confrontation.
Was it visible? My family knew, as did his, that he had chased me around the house with a two month old baby in my arms, demanding that I hand her over because I was going to fly back east to....see my family.
He was embarrassed and wanted to make it up to me. Eventually, I went back.
Was it visible? Being hounded, berated and goaded for (surprise, surprise, Mr. 'I don't actually want to get a vasectomy -I lied') becoming pregnant with his child; weeks of him shadowing me and demanding abortion and justice, and hoping that I would 'see the light'. There was the attempt to get me to see it; the shoulder shaking didn't produce the epiphany he was seeking. The miscarriage, however, did the trick. I didn't have bruises, and he was so very sorry.
I stayed.

Think about it; there is confrontation in everyone's lives, every day. The refusal to accept that at any level is not a trait of any well adjusted adult. There will certainly be some end result to the dynamic of refusing confrontation (ie, disagreement) in one's life. Add to that, the input of a partner to consider. And children. Dead and alive.

The mere act of disagreeing with this person is, historically, taken as a personal assault; he is instantly victimized and/or disregards the offending opinion.

For two years I have known that I wish to not be under the control of this person who disregards my very existence in his presence. For more than two years I have known that I could not save him from his abyss of depression and self-loathing. I could not free him from his guilt, nor unscrew him from the spiral he had dug.
For two years I have understood that there was no respect and we were teetering on the edge of the abyss - there was certainly growing potential for abuse. I never could have understood the path from passive-aggression to direct attack and violence that was about to occur, but there were many times I was afraid for myself and many more times I was afraid for what he might do to himself.
For two years I did not leave, despite my desperation to do so, because I believed him when he said he would kill himself if I did.
I had children to protect from more grief. I had children to support. I still do.

Each time I asked to leave but didn't, I cemented for him that I do not have a say in my future. I take full responsibility for feeding into his sense of absolute control.

For those who know and refer to Xdude as 'Zen', I ask them to recall how much time they have spent with 'Zen Man' over the past 2-3 years. Let's even go back to when Elijah died - the past five years? For me, living with 'Zen Man' at that time was realistically, Xdude hiding behind the veil of accusatory Buddhism so that he could mock me: "You are grieving our son because you choose to grieve. You choose your sadness."

You all know about the statistics of dead baby families, right? They are pretty grim.
If anything, that dead baby glue held us together for longer than it should have. We tried hard to not fall into that pit.

But I speak to an entire community who crops up when domestic violence occurs.
Please don't delude yourselves into thinking that this could not have happened, because it did. And the punishment is what some might consider severe. For a reason.
The biggest mistake I made, was that this was the first time I reported it.

So if you think that it would not be possible for Xdude, (or your hiking buddy, or your old college friend, or your friend's brother, or 'fill in the blank') to become confrontational and violent, I say that you are incapable of believing that things and people change and bad stuff happens all the time.
I wish it had not happened, believe me.
It happened.
I wish it had not ended this way, but peacefully, as I requested for no fewer than 24 months.

But it is what it is; it is not what you remember.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

If Babies Were Rainbows....Oh yeah...They Totally Are

My baby brother and his wife (who did all the work, incidentally) produced this delicious little nugget of life yesterday.

I know...try not to lick your screen....

His name is Xander. 6lbs, 7oz.

Welcome him to the world, yo?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tastes Like Chicken

Supergirl's friend, Emily, walks into the house with a chicken (the one we call 'Nugget') under her arm, calling my name.

"Emily! Stop! Stop!"
"But Gwendomama..."
"No, Emily! Please no chickens in the house!"
"But Gwe-..."
"No, honey, really! Back up, you need to go out of the house with that pooping chicken and come back to ask me!"
"NO! Emily, I am serious; you need to go put that chicken back right now!"


Forty three seconds later, Emily walks back in the house, this time without the chicken.

"Thank you, Emily. Now what was it you wanted to ask me?"

"Umm, yeah.....I was wondering if I could take Chicken Nugget out to play."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Do You Have A Parenting Mantra?

Supergirl's birthday is tomorrow. She will be eight years old.
My job is to make her birthday awesomeness even if her world has been turned upside down. Even if she wishes every night so hard that she, my little lithe fragile faerie child, could change the events that happened three months ago.
My little girl has the world on her shoulders.

She wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday. She wrote a letter to her Daddy asking him a number of questions, including, "Why did you hurt Mommy?" and, "Can I please get my ears pierced?"
She later told me she regretted asking one of the questions because she didn't want to make him angry. Which one? "Why did you hurt Mommy?"
My heart broke in a million pieces to watch her try to navigate this mine field into which she landed through no fault of her own.

His probation officer refused to give him the letter; she didn't want to 'get in the middle' of delivering communication. I was livid. There has to be some way to allow the children to send him a letter, I protested!
No. She said that if I wanted, she could ask for a probation review to be moved up on the calendar so we could amend the order to allow some form of communication. I said, "Yes please. This is interfering with our daughter's ability to even process this!"
I tried to explain this to Supergirl. She said, "But the judge is trying to punish Daddy and he is punishing all of us!"

Domestic Violence is very difficult to explain to children. I hope you never have to.

"Why can't we just get my ears pierced?"
"Because we agreed on ten years old before, and because Daddy gets to have an opinion about it too!"
"But Daddy's not here! Why can't I just get them pierced?"
"Because Mommy's taking the high road here he is still your Daddy and gets to help decide things like ear piercing!"

Am I having a hard time taking the high road? Not so much, because I want the children to have a healthy relationship with their father which should not be connected to our togetherness or lack thereof.
But at times...when the bills come in and I freak out because it's hard to stay on top of bills when I have paid three thousand dollars of his debt just to move forward and live here....when I think of how he has not paid one cent to assist his children through this or support them or supply one morsel of food....I need the mantras.

My parenting mantras as the questions come hard and fast:

There is a direct correlation between hearing negative things about a parent and child's self-loathing.

It is better for her to be angry with me than angry with herself.

The best help through any crisis is to be held through it.

These little mantras gets me through everything right now.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


I am not sure what to say about this.

I mean, it is disturbing, people throwing things at each other, and there is nothing funny about domestic violence.....but I can't get the vision of these two hurling cheetos at each other in a violent rage.
And then, how did the police make the decision to arrest them?
Was it based on the incriminating orange fingers?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Breakfast of Champions (always includes cookies)

Seriously, how do I get this lucky?

Across the street from the children's therapist is a local tradition, and Supergirl and I got to share a breakfast like this today:

Coffee (for me), The Duke (cream cheese, raspberry jam, toasted cashews) (for me), plain cream cheese on salt bagel (for Supergirl) and a domino cookie (for Supergirl).