Sum it All Up to the Now

•October 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The fear I felt in returning to the US was unwarrented, because both trips that were made was a wonderful time.

Much time was spent with all my kids, however it was a strange feeling for me to drop them at my home at the end of the night and go back to the hotel. They love Darren and it was a really great time of bonding, laughing and smiles and tons of fireworks. We took them camping in Arkansas and went to Crater of Diamonds National Park. We did a lot of things, one thing I was disappointed in was that we never had all my kiddies all together at one time. (that is because my kids are older and have lives as well- which would happen whether I was here or there, its a part of life and growing into their own individual persons.)

We brought two of my children back to Australia with us on the way back. My daughter didnt want to leave her boyfriend, that is a typical teenage girl for you. At a later time we plan on flying them both here for a visit so she is happy she wont have to miss him.

One thing I love about Darren, is he really takes the time to know my children. They do matter to him, which is a MAJOR factor for me. He doesnt just say it, he shows it, and for my kids they instantly bonded with him. Especially my oldest son, which was the one that had been the angry one. Darren doesn’t have to try, its not some passing show…it is just who he is so its very sincere.
When I cry for them, he does too and its from his heart. Just as I do for his children.

As for me and my ex, there were only a few issues during the 3 weeks we were there. One was over him selling my art things. I had a small kiln for jewelry making..and he was selling it to an artsy friend. I ended up taking the kiln, then I took it back because I decided it was a small thing to argue about. I would rather my daughter have it to use than the friend, but it’s ok. It’s better not to argue because it does nothing good for anyone.
Another issue was the new girlfriend stirring up some trouble. Other than that all was really good. We were mostly successful in the kids not seeing any of the conflict and it all ended in civil terms.

My youngest son stayed with us in Australia for 4 weeks and returned in time for school to start, my 18 year old decided not to go back to the states so he is with us now.

I am 7000 miles away, yet somehow its true that still things don’t happen unless I make it happen. Warren takes care of the day to day things…but I am still the mommy that takes care of the heart things. I am still very instumental in my kids lives. I talk to them nearly everyday, and somehow in it all it doesnt feel as if we are so far away.

My summary of divorce from what I have lived:

– No matter what age your children are, they are profoundly effected.
– It strips a childs identity and only form of comfort in the world, when their “home” is destroyed. Home to a child(no matter the age) is mom and dad together. Home is not a structure their belongings are in. You could live in a box and if that relationship is intact even “a box” is their happy place.
-There are no easy solutions. If you think a new relationship is an “easy way out”, you are sadly wrong! Your problems never go away, they follow you even 7000 miles away. (to clarify, I knew this would not be easy and I did not run away…although I didnt quite understand how hard it would be and how deeply it would effect my older children)
– A new relationship equals new problems plus the old ones you had. So it is possible you are compounding the load you had.
For me, I was so lucky. Darren does love my kids from the heart but that doesnt mean we havent had issues concerning that. No one is going to love your own kids as much as you do. Even for Darren and I as strong as we are, the reality is if it came down to it: His kids would come first, just as mine would come first for me. That creates a clash in itself and a potential danger area in a relationship.
-time, time, and more time. Will it ever go away? The pain divorce causes is unimaginable. Time has gone by, I am over a year and 3 months into this and I STILL question if I did the right thing. I know I did, for me, and I love Darren with all my heart, he makes me so happy and I smile now- whats a smile without my children to share it with though?…when I see the pain my kids have felt its easy to question if I should have just lived unhappy for the sake of their happiness. The questions still roll through my head at times. The “what ifs” can drive you crazy.
-divorce means you are opening a spot for some stranger to come into your childrens lives.
I will be honest, my ex wasted no time after the divorce for a new girlfriend. And I do not like her at all. That is not a jealousy thing, it is the fact that she is everything I never would have been. I like to have a good time, but a party is not what I live for. She is a party girl. She is much older. Her son is my youngest sons best friend. And she is from the neighborhood I came from, just as I figured. This is a neighborhood full of divorced woman, and I swear they have a little party club going on. As for me, they tried to get my as a part of their “club” while I lived there and I wasnt interested. Anyways long story short because I have to go, I will continue this later… You spend your whole life protecting your kids from things and teaching them the right and wrong kind of person to be when they are grown. You spend years and years teaching them what is important and what not is important in life… and in an instant, someone is there that can jeapordize that, and has the influence to do so. That is one issue I did not expect or anticipate. When you hear the cries of your children on how they dont like the person, THAT IS THE HARD PART BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO CONTROL ANYMORE.

to be continued…

divorce is not easy.

For a Time

•October 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I find it funny how people I barely know had a sudden interest in my life and decided to take the time to find my blog here to pound me down when I was already as low as I could go in some regards.

Writing is an outlet for me. I have been doing it through journaling for 20 years consistently. Consider this blog a form of healing for me as well. A way to express what I feel with whats on my heart while hopefully encouranging someone else who may be going through similar things.. to just hold on another day and make it through.

Yes, you criticizers got me for a time. Stopped me right in my tracks from the pain even though you knew nothing of my life, and you used my kids to do it. My children are my everything so of course it cut deep into me.

So criticizers, read away, judge all you would like…and when you get bored of judging me you will move onto to someone else because you thrive off of condemning someone to make yourself feel better.

For a time I was gone…
Im back now and you wont stop me this time.

Gone In Hours…

•January 17, 2010 • 1 Comment

Shortly, two hours to be exact, its 3am here in Australia right now… Im getting on a plane and heading back to the life and place I left behind.

I just received a message from my oldest son, on this blog in fact, a painful heartfelt message from him.  My heart was in agony to read his words.

To me its amazing how for seventeen years you can give all, be all, do all…but what IS remembered is only the time you failed.  All else is forgotton.

I can be judged, looked down upon,  and ridiculed.  My faith laughed at by many.

I am strongly a Christian woman, not the kind that just talks it and semi-lives it for show.. I truely made God a part of my life everyday, He was in my heart, I saw Him work and I believe.  I dont just believe, I know.

Raising my kids I didnt press God down their throats, in fact I didnt really fit the ideal Christian person… in my opinion God is always there, not just on Sundays.  They went to church growing up, but thats not the only place they learned about God, honestly they learned more at home just from day to day life.

To me, divorce was wrong.  I taught them this.  I beleived that things could always be worked out if both sides were willing.  I always believed in hope and never in giving up. I was a fighter and yet I did give up in the end. 

My son, 21 almost, is just trying to understand.  He doesnt know all the details and he hurts.  I cry to feel his pain because I never meant to hurt him.  I hate that he hurts. I never meant to hurt any of my kids by leaving.  If I had my way they would all be with me, but that couldnt happen at the time, because believe me not a day goes by I am not crying for them. 

Im gone in hours…to face the unknown.

As for my son, I love him with all my heart.  His words hurt me to the core like nothing in my life ever has, but I will take it all and more if it makes him feel better.  I love him. I love all of my kids.

All I can say, if my verbal words mean nothing, I am thankful my journals hold the true words of my heart.

Little Too Little, Little Too Late

•January 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 Today I got onto my facebook page and surprisingly there was message from my daughter to call her.  I was so excited just because she needed me.  I called immediately and she couldnt remember what she needed me for (thats the head injury at work), but nonetheless I was happy to just hear my baby girl’s voice.  She seemed happy and we were joking around. 

That has been the hardest thing for me, is the fact no one goes out of their way to contact me.  I use to be the center of everything, which is how I wanted it to be, now Im just the person in another world.  That is how it feels anyway.  So these little times, spuratic as they are, when someone tries… it means so much to me.  It isnt my childrens fault they dont call, the number is always conveniently lost.  I do all I can to make sure they know I am here, so I hope they know this in their hearts.  And if I hurt over on this side, thats ok, as long as they arent.

The silence is the hardest part.  Not hearing, not knowing.  Being excluded, and that is what is happening.  My ex-husband is avoiding all contact with me, its sad twenty years can come to just being a nobody, obviously thats what I have become to him.  I’m sure some of it is his anger at me, some of it just may be his way to cope that I am gone and not coming back like he had hoped.  I dont blame him, I just wish the effort I made prior to leaving so things would be smooth was all in vain.

He decided finally to give a little, when it was much too late.  My heart couldn’t change that as much as it wanted too.  That is not my fault. 

Twenty years, gone in a snap. Just like that.  I think the not knowing and feeling isolated from my kids…is much harder than the bull I had to put up with daily by him tho.  So I defiantely wasnt going for the easy way out, There is no such thing as an easy way out.   Again, it was too little too late, and I am firm in my decision.

ONE YOU

Whats left in the ruins
the marred land I once knew
torn desolation
of all that was true

The sun will keep shining
on lands that were lost
How could something so simple
become rivers uncrossed?

too little too late
a dollar too short
I ran a million miles,
with a million more to go.

So close to the finish
only to start again
holding onto the now
trying to forget the “then”

There is always a rainbow
Storms blow away
The race is never finished
And there is always another day.

Rise from the ashes
Hold onto whats true
the past makes us stronger
and there is only one you.  ~ajp 1/8/2010

 

The Wreckage

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dark clouds have dissipated
from that summer day
From all wreckage,
whats left to say?
Shards of metal
that cut to the bone
Memories of horror
that chill to the core

How can good
come from the bad?
How can happy
come from the sad?
How can the broken
tho broken, be whole?
How can the heart
not break anymore?

Who said the righteous
will cry no more?
If pain steals all strength
then why pain I implore?
If memories can haunt you
where is the grace?
If scars last forever
can they be seen on my face?

If held, how am I in
this place where Ive been?
The only trace of the wreckage
is the scars from within
Grounds shift like earthquakes
I can feel it all around.

What I really want to know…
Is how the wreckage
became my steady ground? ~ajp~ written 1/6/2010

From Missouri Plains to Kangaroos

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have always enjoyed writing, so this is a good outlet for me.  As I sit here thinking, I really wish I had done this earlier so you could really get a better sense of where I’ve been.

About eighteen years ago, and I remember the day to a tee, I was riding my exercise bike and got this overwhelming urge that I needed to write.   The urge Im talking about wasnt just a passing thought that you add to your imaginary to-do list, it was the kind of urging that I needed to get off that damn bike NOW and go write.  From that day on, I was an avid journaler.   I never understood why I did it, I just knew I had too.  All these years that feel gone in a flash from the divorce, are all preserved in writing.  My thoughts, my heart, my prayers… all through the kids growing and changing, all through the struggles and yes, even the wreck. 

He has my journals noting that I took nothing with me when I left.  There are two ways he can really hurt me now, one is destroying all the things I saved for the kids over twenty years.  The other is destroying my journals.  Prior to leaving he promised he’d never hurt those things, he’s recanted on many promises since I have left so we will see.

In a previous blog I wrote about the truth.  My journals contain that truth of the whole situation leading to where I am now.

I have mentioned many times, the wreck.  Those are dreaded words to me, more dreaded than “divorce” even.  So much emotional energy has flooded out of me on that topic from  just living it, talking about it is something I almost want to avoid.  How did I get from the plains of Missouri to the land of Kangaroos and Great Barrier Reefs? 

This story must be told.  So where do I start?  It is important to know some background so the story makes sense.

I fell in love with my children’s father while in highschool.  I had a child already at this point and he was only 6 months old  (that alone is a whole other story).   Warren didnt go to my school and was several years older than me.  I met him while cruising on one of those summer teenage hangout roads, where kids race and act all crazy.  He was the “boys of summer” kind of guy.  Totally opposite of someone I imagined falling in love with.  He was out of my league and I knew it from the time he said hello.  Our first real date, was to the circus, he loved my son and that was all it took for me.  I loved him, quickly he became my heart, my everything and we were inseperable.  He wasnt willing to marry me until I graduated from highschool, I graduated…then we married four months after that.

His parents were very educated, very wealthy.  His father had a double doctorate, and his mother was an emergency room RN.  I remember walking into their house for the first time to meet them, and it was the biggest house I had ever seen.  I was very intimidated.  I could tell they werent all thrilled that I had a child already, but they embraced my son.  There greatest disappointment was that Warren didn’t go to college as they expected.  There plan for him was immediatly entering college out of the military, what happened was that he met me instead.

Eighteen, Married.  His parents moved to the east coast, his father got a better job heading a major pharmacuetical company.  They were gone, just as I found out I was pregnant.  That was all during two months of the marriage.

For a little history, there was no family involvement on either side.  No help, no advice.  It was Warren and I against the world.  My world revolved around Warren and my kids, they truely were my everything.  Unbreakable.

We always struggled, nothing was ever easy.  There was never any magic help from family when we were down, we fended for ourselves, and made due with what we had. Two children later, there was 6 of us and that was our family.

I am almost hesitent writing this part, because I believe once you forgive its gone.  There was a time, when I was pregnant with our daughter, that he cheated on me.  It devastated me and I never expected it.  Hit me like a rock and it wasnt just a fling, there was an actual relationship.  Being the nine month pregnant woman I was, I just remember I felt so ugly.  Through the years I learned it wasnt me at all, it was him.  You tend to internalize those things and that feeling of not being “good enough”  always stuck. 

I forgave him.  The kids were growing up.  We bought a farm, with 40 acreas, moved out of the city in hopes of giving my kids a better life.  I had homeschooled them for eight years, entered them in public school when we moved out from the city.  We bought my grandparents a house, and moved it onto our property.  The goal in that was to get them somewhere they could enjoy life, and my grandparents loved my kids.  They were truely the only family ever there for my children.  They were up in age, I was home and could take care of them.  Thats what I did.

I never got a break from the kids.  Warren and I never went out, never did anything together, if we did it was very rare.   There were many health problems with my grandparents so I spent a lot of time at the hospitals.  Still, in it all, we trudged through, never complained and always believed things would get better. Just persevere it.

Warren always wanted to start his own business in IT, so shortly after we moved, he did it.  I knew he could.  He was very successful, but as you can imagine it was never easy.  Money came in, but you never knew just when you would get it, that left us to truely live on faith alone.

The summer of 2005, Warren’s parents decided they would like the kids for the summer.  They had just bought a house in New Jersey, moving from Conneticut.  I was leary about the kids going because it was the first time they would ever  be away from me.  But Warren and I could really use the break for us.  We had never had “US” time ever!!!! 

The kids were thrilled, we bought them clothes.  Gameboys for something to do on the long drive.  Boogy boards because they were going to the ocean for the first time.  I was so happy inside to see their anticipation, it made me feel good as a mother to see them look so forward to something.  Ryan was 16, Kalyb was 13, Montana was 11, and Tristen was 9.  It was the perfect timing in their life for such an oppurtunity of fun, and a great time to get to know their grandparents.

Warrens mom and sister pulled up one summer morning in July, driving the new Suburban they bought just to have enough room for all the kids.  They stayed one night with us, the next morning we packed up the back, gave the biggest hugs and my kids were off.

At last, time alone for me and Warren.  It had been 16 years, and we never had that.

I was working at the time at the newspaper.  That was one thing I did to help while Warren was trying to get his business going.  I worked.  So July 25th, I had got off work early for a night out to dinner with my husband.  We were just walking out the door when the phone rang. 

Instantly, I knew something was wrong.  I heard Warren say, “Kalyb that is not something to joke around about.  What?  It flipped? Who’s still in the car?  Are they alive?”

With that, Warren was sitting but his body was totally prostrate.  It looked as though the hair on his head stood straight up.  My heart crashed to the ground, because I knew.  I just knew.  As a mother, and as the girl I am that knows God has control of everything… I prayed for my kids.  I prayed God would keep them safe.  I prayed their whole life in fact everyday for them.  Days before they left, I just had a feeling inside.  I cant explain what it was, but one night deep in my soul I was asked if I was ready.   I didnt know for what, but when the phone rang, I knew.

I grabbed the phone and it was my son Kalyb, I could hear sirens coming in the background.  He was wild and crying saying, ” Mom, Montana is going to die. She has a hole in her head. I can see her skull, she is going to die.”  All I knew to do, was pray for her, and that is what Kalyb and I did.   There was nothing I could do, I didnt even know where my children were.  I do believe in God, not just a far off uninvolved God that ignores us, a God who hears us anytime we call.  My God knew this was going to happen, and I had prayed for their safety, yet as I stood there with the phone in hand…I knew my kids were severely injured, if not dead.

About that time, a woman grabbed the phone from my son and told me all three of my children were out of the upside down vehichle.  WAIT!!  I have 4!!! WHERE is the other one?  Tristen was still in the car, trapped upside down hanging by his seatbelt I found out later.

A paramedic told me Kalyb had to go now.  There was an unexplained urgency as to why Kalyb had to go, but I found out months later he had cut an artery in his arm.  Three of my kids, and Warren’s mom were being lifeflighted to a Trauma center.  Where? we didnt know.  What state where they in? Well, that took about an hour to find out.  Finally we learn it happened in Pennsylvania on the turnpike.  No adverse weather, no other cars involved, just a tire that had blew.  A faulty that the tread seperated on.

There are a million angles I can go on this.  A million sub-stories.

Do I believe God was there? yes 

Do I believe they were protected even tho they were critically injured? yes

I could go into the details of the feelings of what it was like finally seeing my kids.  I could talk about what it was like taking care of 4 badly injured kids while taking care of 2 sick grandparents for years it took for them to heal.  I could talk about how unfair it is that tire companies get away with a certain amount of “known failures” in their products,  Theres the story of how head injuries and how it changes a person is not recognized especially in children, I could talk about how my kids will never be the same…see, so many sub-stories and my list could go on.

What I will add for now, is that my kids are all alive.  Scarred yes.  My daughter has a permanate broken neck, yet walks.  Its been four years, and we still live it.  Time marches on, despite what trauma comes. The world keeps spinning on.  Until I came to Australia, I was still in 2005 for four years.

How did I get from the Missouri plains to kangaroos?  My marriage suffered.  The strain was too much and people change in trauma.  You realize how different you really are.  You realize what is and isnt important, what all was missed because life is truely short, and sometimes you just overlook the other in trying to survive.  I needed him, I felt so alone.  

For me, the battle wasnt in the trauma, it was the years following in fighting for justice on behalf of my kids.  Do you move on and forget it, or do you fight?  He didnt want to remember, I had to fight, so that left me very alone.  As a mother, walking in the rooms and seeing my kids, that still picture is ingrained in my heart… I will never forget it.  Day to day, I wasnt allowed to forget because my kids weren’t the same.  I couldnt accept this.  I fought for my kids.

Koala hugs…

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I did get to hug a koala, right around Christmas.  We took a trip to the Cairns Zoo with my boyfriend and his family, ten of us total.  The koala was so cuddly, I never imagined that Id ever see one, let alone be holding one.

Speaking of family, lets get some things straight.  I am doing now what I always wanted in the family I left behind.  My heart yearned to just be able to hop in the car all together and just go to the park, have laughs, picnics, good and happy moments, they dont have to cost a thing…just a little effort, but they are remembered forever.  We could have done anything.  Those times were so far apart and you can’t turn back time.  I really resented my ex’s lack of effort in this.  I was so tired of doing everything alone with the kids.  Something was always more important.

Family means so much. In Darren’s family everyone gets together often.  There is no rush, no attitude, no driving fast and swerving around corners to get home faster…here, the day is for the family.

I learned the hard way, that you only have so much time then its too late.  Kids grow up, have their own lives.  Accidents can happen in the meantime, that change everything.  Then what?  A marriage that was thought to be unshakable is shattered.  Things change, that is life, and you have to cherish every moment.  My ex-husband thought that he’d wait until everything was perfect to finally embrace me, his wife, and his children.  Time keeps rolling, you can’t expect everyone to wait.  And things will NEVER be perfect. 

I never expected much in my twenty years of marriage.  I didnt need new things, we didnt have the money for that anyway.  Birthdays and Christmas’s came and went, as long as the kids got something I was the happiest person on earth.  My favorite thing in the world was to see their smiles.

Just to have a touch from him at times just to know he was there with me, a laugh, a smile, a hug… I would have been completely content. 

How hard would it have been to go have a snowball fight with the kids with me?   Too many missed oppurtunites, it makes me sad.

I had planned on getting into details of the wreck my kids were in, as I said earlier accidents can happen, and what I mean by that is trauma of anykind…and it did for us.  I will leave my blog at this for tonight, leave the wreck for another time.  My point in this writing is to say cherish what you have, dont wait for things to be perfect because that may never happen.

I posted the picture of the koala I cuddled because I was thinking of my kids.  Twelve days to go until I see them, and those are the hugs I truely cant wait for.

Cherish the times you have with people because when those times are gone all you’ll have is memories~  author unknown to me