The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Started Out As About The Full Moon Dreamboard....Went Off To Tangentland...

            The Strawberry Full Moon.  Set in with a Solstice at the beginning of the week.  And a partial eclipse as well…
            That’s a great deal of cosmic power floating around in such a small space.
            I did not make a new dreamboard for this month.  As happens when I get into a bigger, more in-depth board, like last month’s, I tend to need to keep it around for a bit longer in order to work with it and work through it some more.
            Originally, I had planned to pick a piece of the larger dreamboard and work on that one area via a dreamboard this month.  It so did not happen.
            I know the move itself is over…but there is so much other stuff to do.
            It’s not always a good thing when you are moving into your best friend’s house, after watching what other women have done in the past, much less into a house where you once lived as a room-mate.  I have too much of my own personal ‘stuff’ about coming in and redoing everything and moving everything around. 
            When R and I had talked about moving in together before this…we talked about buying that third house, the bigger house, to move into…and that option took so much pressure off of me.  If we both move into a completely different house, then no one has established their presence or their dominance, no one is set in their ways, no toes are stepped on when things are put away…
            Not so when one party moves into the other party’s house.
            I don’t know why I insist upon making things so much more difficult than they need to be.  R has given me permission to move whatever I need to move in order to get everything settled in.
            I don’t want to move his stuff.  I don’t want to re-arrange everything.  I don’t know how to make things work this way.  I’ve never been confronted w the issues I am currently having.  I’ve never actually cared about someone as much as I care about R…and I am very sensitive to his space…even when he tells me to violate his space all I want.
            I don’t know how to maintain the integrity of his …demeanor? Reputation? I don’t really know how to put it… I am the airy fairy.  There’s a Guanyin statue at the front door now, outside, where everyone can see it.   I have my birds of happiness flying, but have not yet found a place for the elephants.  I come with a wide and varied assortment of Goddess and Virgin Mary statuary. 
            Not to mention, there’s art work to be hung, pictures of the kids to be hung…at least I did get rid of most of the silk flowers…I lived in the Dark for so long that silk flowers became an acceptable substitute for real…I still have a few, but the larger arrangements are all gone.
            There’s the fish tank, the table, all the stuff for the kids….the list goes on and on.  I have the rabbits…I have plants…we won’t even get into the whole I have books thing.

            I worked really hard this past month, moving everything out of one place and into his house.  I nearly had a break-down more than once.  He had to walk away from me to cool down too many times for my own comfort…and his.  Too many things went on and are continuing to go on this month…and all we really wanted was the ability to get all the hard working and heavy lifting out of the way, so that peace could return and we could work on putting things to right.

            Every time I take one step forward, I feel as if I’ve taken three steps back.
            E getting so sick this past week did not help at all.  I am already worried enough about her health and then this happens.

            N comes to us this week completely sunburned…despite the fact that most skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to sun before the age of ten (I read that ages ago) T seems to feel that N, with his ¼ Italian blood, just needs to burn and be brown, without worrying so much about sunscreen, because it’s ‘hard to keep applying it’ because ‘you have to re-apply it after so much time passes’, ‘after N jumps into the pool’…blah blah blah…it boils down to it takes too much time and effort for T to protect the future health of one small boy.
            T is currently a very large issue around here.  As if it weren’t bad enough when he didn’t give us any warning about that first full week N stayed w us, much less the Memorial Day inability to speak up on T’s part…I get an email last week offering me dates to pick from to have N for the weeks he will stay w us.
            What do you think when someone says pick two weeks you want in this month, but I suggest these weeks?  Does that sound like, hey, I need to arrange baby-sitting for the time you don’t want the kid, but his whole month is free from all activity so just pick something already?
            I asked where N would be the other weeks…and was told ‘camp’.  So, why was I given the option to “pick” out the weeks I wanted?  Now, I have been told not a thing by T about camp or what it entails or why N goes…all we have to go on is supposition.  Like the week after N’s week w us after E’s birthday (the one where we had no warning whatsoever about until we dropped him off on Sunday before the week started)…it seemed that T had forgotten to enroll N in anything and then had to scramble to come up w something to cover T’s butt…when T first told me about summer camp for N, he made it sound as if everything were already done and set for the entire summer…I figured all I had to do was wait to be told which weeks N would be spending w us.
            I should have known better.
            This week, N shows up.  No bag in sight.  No clothes.  No nothing.  A nice sunburn all over his body and his nose peeling like some crusty scab.  Just the clothes on his body.
            Now, we do have clothes for the boy.  I make sure we buy them for this specific and precise reason.  If we didn’t have clothes for the boy, he’d have to run around in his holey undies…as 99% of the stuff he shows up in is too small, too short, too stained, too holey—and completely inappropriate (as in he arrives in a very thin coat in the dead of winter, w nothing but too small undies and t shirts in his bag).  We do not send clothes home w N, because if we did, we know we’d end up buying all his clothes at both houses for him, because T would simply accept that it is our responsibility to buy N clothes instead of us working together on things.  Nothing that goes there comes back, unless N is wearing it when he arrives at our door step.

            I would love the opportunity to sit down w that man and work these things out, but that will never happen, because T has his own agenda and his own plans that do not include me, except as another free baby-sitter for N.

            I still cannot get over the huge shift in N’s behavior by Wednesday of the week he spent w us last time.  He was a completely different and much calmer, much more relaxed kid.
            I have spent the past year?  Nearly two now? Trying to remember when N started to drum on the floor (his one ‘official’ stim)…and it was, I swear to you, not until after he went to live w T.  Yes, N had issues, but they were speech and social ‘conformity’ issues…but the other stuff…his drumming, his getting sick all the time, his reacting to stressful situations by vomiting, there was none of that when he was w us before.  N’s verbal skills may have improved, but overall…I think the rest of his personality has eroded and become lost as he struggles to do what he is told, as he fights to fit into the box T shoves him into in order to get what T wants out of things.
            There is a light gone from that little boy, a spark, that began to resurface by the middle of the week he stayed w us.  Seeing that light again was shocking.  And painful.  Especially since there is not a great deal I can do to keep that light there when he is not w us.  I hadn’t realized it had gone out, until I saw it back again.

            R has offered to pay for testing for N, like getting his hearing tested.  Based on some of N’s speech patterns, based on my own experience w hearing impaired children and adults, N has hearing issues.  Despite what T keeps telling me.  I know T will tell me anything he thinks I want to hear to get me to shut up.
            Ahh…but this is an easy rant to fall into…

            There’s E’s illness, where not only was she genuinely sick, she stopped eating, because she was afraid she’d throw up.  We have enough issues getting her to eat enough as it is…and then this happens.  She now refuses to touch boost or ensure or any other drink like that.  She does not like smoothies.  She is using the movie Food Inc as an excuse to stop eating.

            Now, E got sick for the same basic reason we’ve all been sick this month: swimming in that hotel pool.  Except…everyone else, including N, got hit w the illness immediately.  E held on to hers, never mentioned a thing for the entire time after the pool, not a twinge in her stomach, not a sniffle, not a cough…three weeks later…she gets hit with something that makes her sleep for 2 days straight…and causes her to be sicky poo yucky for another five days or so…
            It’s not germs that got to her…it’s her own mind.  I am not saying she wasn’t sick.  She was truly physically ill.  BUT…all the vomiting, after that first day and probably that first day as well, was caused by her coughing…and by the way she held herself when she coughed.
            The child is terrified of throwing up—she hates it.  She would start to cough and you could tell by the way she held her mouth open, by the way she held her body, she was going to puke…it was inevitable…she was triggering it, whether she meant to or not.  When we changed the way she was holding herself, she didn’t puke.  In fact, there was one night when we knew germs were not a factor at all that she threw up 3-4-5 times…she’d been so sick during the week that I could not get any packing or anything done at the old house…so R watched her for roughly 2 hours so I could go pack things in the evening.  While home alone w R, the girl who had not coughed all day developed terrible coughing fits, and despite R’s best efforts to get her to relax and not tense up, she puked. 
            The original sickness has everything to do w her being afraid of moving in w R full time—which is actually just ludicrous—since we‘ve fairly much lived here the entire time anyway; we just used the other house as a storage facility.  She threw up that night, after I was gone for an hour, because she was afraid because I wasn’t back yet.  When I did return, she told me not to do that again, not to be gone that long again.
            Am I saying she is consciously doing all of this?  Nope.  I am saying after all her experiences w T, she’s terrified of getting into a relationship w R and trusting him as her father figure—because any such figure in the past has pretty much sh*t all over her and she doesn’t want to be shut out in the cold after opening her heart up to someone again.
            This is where the food issue comes in.  Jesus Christ on crutches…these are issues I had when I was a teen-ager…she has them now, at 9yo.  Food is the only thing she can control.  I see it—I am watching it—I understand it.  But I cannot tolerate it or allow it.
            I’m a cutter.  I was a drug addict and an alcoholic, among other things.  I am not going to let E go through the hells I went through.  I always meant to save her from that.
            My whole thing w my kids was not to force food on them.  Not to make them clean their plates.  Not to make them eat foods they don’t like.  Not to treat them the way my mother treated me.
            E is leaving us no choice.  Now she has to eat at set times.  She has to eat all the food on her plate, period.  She has to eat in a timely manner.  No more 4 hours of munching dry cereal and calling it breakfast and being unable to do anything else but nibble (as in unable to do schoolwork).  We still have the same rule of you at least have to try something, but since she has a tendency to just look at something and say I hate it, that tastes yucky, whatever, we actually have to step in and make her eat things…like chicken nuggets/chicken tenders.  She’s saying Food Inc taught her that chickens are treated badly in the slaughterhouse—oh yes they are—I 100% agree there.  I worked in a chicken plant—for all of three days.  Even away from the killing floor, it ain’t pretty.  I still refuse to eat that company’s products based on what I saw, despite all the guidelines and cleanliness procedures and whatnot.  If not for chicken, the kid might have faded away long ago…now she won’t touch chicken.
            She hates pancakes now—because (It took me years to figure this out) when we moved to MD, the morning we left MO, T took us to McDonald’s for   breakfast and E had pancakes—she can’t eat them anymore.  The smell of syrup makes her sick to her stomach.  After living w T, N is such a finicky eater…there’s no veg going into this boy.  But at least he is eating.  He’s always been sensitive to the chemicals in foods … no matter how slight.
            But E—she won’t eat macaroni and cheese, she won’t eat …tons of stuff that she used to eat…no matter if I let her cook it or pick it out or help cook it or we grow it ourselves…all the usual tricks I use to get healthy things into her…they don’t work.  She doesn’t eat cookies.  If I make bread, half the time the loaf is wolfed down and gone before it has time to cool…the other half of the time no one touches it and it goes all moldy.  She has decided she doesn’t want soups –and it’s summer so I am not all that upset over that.  But…we’re at a ramen noodle impasse…with a handful of cheerios thrown in.  She won’t even drink chocolate milk (and we used the vitamin and mineral packed chocolate powder to get that much more nutrition into her) because while she was sick she threw up chocolate milk…so that won’t fly anymore.  She doesn’t drink fruit juices, because she doesn’t like the taste.  She won’t even drink spite anymore, after her Aunt convinced her it’s the only thing to drink to help your tummy when you’re sick, because while E was sick this time she sipped the sprite and it made her burp and the burp tasted like vomit…so sprite is bad.
            We take her to the store and let her pick things out…whatever it takes (so long as it isn’t complete garbage, like cookies and cakes and ice cream) to get her to eat.  So far, it’s ramen noodles and cheese its.  If I didn’t make sweet tea, she’d dehydrate and blow away.
            If not for R being able to get through to her, I’d have had to have taken her to the hospital to have her tubed or something.  R has the ability to get through and to cut through all her b/s.  He does not give up.  He does not back off.  He does not waffle.  It’s exactly what this entire cadre of us needs, this little family.  Otherwise, we would be lost. 

            We are still working on trying to find a way to motivate her w her schoolwork.  I’ve been meaning to write more about our homeschooling experiences,  but she makes me so miserable some days that I don’t really want to whine and cry all over about things.  Offering incentives doesn’t work…not a membership to club penguin, not a new puppy, not a game system of her choice, not trips to the zoo, not trips to the science center, not playing board games as a family, not reading stories to her.  She just shrugs it off and goes on doing her thing.  Taking things away does not work.  We could empty her room of everything but a pillow and blanket and she’d still shrug it off and do her own thing.
            All I wanted to do was not be my parents when I had kids.  I had so many food issues and spent far too much time fighting anorexia and bulimia—and I am still fighting.  No one tells you this stuff is like any other addiction, be it alcohol or drugs.  You don’t conquer it; you live with it every single day of your life, for the rest of your life.
            All I wanted was to give my kids a stable family life where they felt safe and loved.  If T had ever been able to open his mouth, about anything at all, at any point in the relationship—then or now--things would have been so completely different.  If he had been the man he claims to be, things could have worked.  He’s not that man.  If he had been honest at all, with me, with himself, I would have gotten my own place and not lived with him.  We would have done the friends as parents thing from the beginning…but the man cannot and will not open his mouth.
            I made bad choices.  I allowed things to happen.  Yes.
            At least at this point in my life…I have the stable home life…the stable man…the stable world that I have spent my entire life searching for.  And heck yes, it is absolutely terrifying to have all that you have ever wanted and dreamed of dropped into your lap and made real.
            I love R.  I have always loved him.  I have always appreciated him.  Not the way I do now though.  I am all too often stunned by this man. 
            I have always held R up, especially to T, as an example of a real man.  R is a real man, hands down.  As I have watched our family this past month, with the move, the stupidity of his ex and my ex, work, weather, and everything in between…I am simply amazed, over and over, by R.  Honestly, his parents raised him right.  Somehow, he is what I have always wanted and expected in a man…in the best possible manner.
            To throw that into lupine terms, this man is alpha, and he takes that role very seriously.
            I had to sit down a couple weeks ago, before E got sick, because it dawned on me that I have never in my life been with a real man before…even though I would have claimed the ex-husband was, if I did not have an example right before my eyes.  Real men do not act the way that ex did…real men do not treat people, male or female, the way he did/does.  One of these days, I will probably go into this in more detail, about R.
            Every day, I am shocked and humbled and amazed that he loves me.  Not a day goes by, even under duress and stress, that I do not offer up thousands of prayers of thanks for this man in my life. 
            It hurts to look at him sometimes.  He deserves so much better than me…but he is willing to keep me around in spite of myself.
            He is the only person I have ever looked at and found myself smiling about the thought of growing old w him.  He is also the only person I have ever been so afraid of letting him touch me, because he goes so deeply into my soul that to say he completes me is …a misnomer and is misleading…he does not complete me…he SEES me…he sees me and he sees through me and he loves me anyway.

            All of this jabber, all because I have spent one h*ll of a month, moving and being moved, and wanting all of this to just be bloody well over…let’s get the walls painted, the new furniture arranged, the bookcases built, these boxes and bags unpacked and everything put away.  Let’s host our first welcoming party to have friends in to visit. 
            Let us get through the stress so we can stop bickering and yelling at one another and walking away from one another.  Let the rest of our life begin. 
            As my mother told me the other day, think of how bad things would be if we weren’t praying for you…
And thank you.