For the last several months I've been trying to work with the Wildflower Child's school to address the signs of Attention Deficit type issues. I've also been trying to get in contact with a physician or pediatrician who can help me develop a therapy plan to give her the tools to succeed.
This is not easy. In fact, it is exhausting. I feel frustrated at every single turn. Constantly put off and given vague ideas of who I should contact and what I should expect. Which is nothing happening quickly.
I had tried to contact a doctor at my clinic for two months. He finally contacted me yesterday and basically just said I should try medications because they are wonderful. He has never met or treated my daughter, asked about four questions and decided drugs were the answer.
My daughter is not violent or self-injurious. She is impulsive, but not scarily so, she is sensitive and can run high with her emotions and she has difficulty attending to routine or instructions. She is also doing well academically, but struggling with assessment tests because they are timed. She is six-years-old. Drugs should not be the first step. Therapy and support plans, that's the first step. So fuck you sincerely Doctor.
Then the group I had contacted doesn't take my insurance. But they recommended other doctors and I couldn't get in touch with the first one I tried to contact and after three attempts I had enough for the day.
So why should I go out when I have my hands full at home?
And then there is the whole I had a hysterectomy and my vagina got restructured when my cervix was removed. So basically, I am not interested in just jumping into bed with anyone who is available. I'm scared about restarting intimacy. And there are a precious few people I would even consider it with and of course, not available at this time.
So let's call this my second virginity, and it isn't going anywhere any time soon.
So again, why should I go out?
What I need is sleep and time and support. Not dates or parties.
I have such a short period of time between now and my surgery, and she has a medical appointment as well next Thursday and I'm feeling so crunched for time to "fix it" before my beautiful, funny, exuberant, exasperating, weirdo of a daughter gets labelled and given up upon. I love her with every fiber of my being and I cannot allow her to become the failure that her father is, and that I avoid by the skin of my teeth.
I'm so afraid, still, of trying anything, of change. So I focus on the things going on right now to the exclusion of everything else.
I just want her to be better than I am.
And my best friend had to euthanize his dog today and I can't stop crying and it doesn't seem like it should hurt this much but it does because it all hurts right now. And why did I ask to have "depression" removed from my medical chart when damnit, I'm not okay.
And my fucking ex-husband is traipsing around California on an extended vacation and not paying child support while I'm facing at least two weeks off and holiday time I don't have covered so Christmas is going to be tight this year. Especially since my car is making a funny noise, and I have to get the radiator flushed for winter.
I need a hug. But the only person who really hugs me lately is small and asleep and gets up early for school and I shouldn't wake her. But I really want to wake her up and make hot chocolate and watch movies under a blanket. But that would really not be being a good mother would it?
Besides that being a totally bullshit and close-minded argument, there are plenty of cisgendered women who can't have children.
Soon I will be one of them. November 9th, 2015 actually. At around 8:00am.
I am scheduled for a total hysterectomy, to be performed laparoscopically. I will keep my ovaries so as to avoid menopause and because they aren't the problem. Everything else goes. Uterus, cervix, Fallopian tubes. My doctor says that I shouldn't have any problems maintaining sexual function after recovery. Just in case I get to have sex any time in the future.
So why, you ask, am I having this procedure done at the tender age of 40? Because I can't stop bleeding. I've been bleeding more and more regularly no matter what medications I'm on, for the last two years. And at this point, I've been bleeding steadily since September 12th. It is hell.
I've wondered if there will be an imperceptible sign, some subliminal signal to the people around me that I'm no longer "Mother" and now I will have flipped over to "Crone" in the blink of an eye. Will I be somehow weaker or maybe stronger with the lack of a womb? I don't know.
I'm scared. I'm terrified of anesthesia and narcotic medication. I'm afraid of hurting in the way that surgery hurts. I'm afraid of something going horribly wrong.
The most of me believes all will be well. The bit of me is scared witless.
Cross fingers for me. Please.
The house in Bethlehem PA that I left in January of 2014 when I left my husband, was scheduled for auction at 1pm today because the mortgage had not been paid in years. Since long before I left, although I didn't know that at the time.
I actually feel sorry for whoever buys the house due to the state it was left in.
I am sad for all the energy and memories and things that were left there. I am sad for the destruction and filth. I am sad.
But I know that will pass. My credit will start to improve. My life has started to improve. My daughter's future is improving.
He accused me of abandoning everything. Just because I left, I wasn't the one abandoning, I was the one preserving myself and my daughter.
Auction postponed to November 6th. *sigh*
So I expressed that I didn't like the way he made me feel, that this wasn't the first time I'd mentioned I didn't like the way he makes me feel, and that in general that conversation resulted in him telling me that I was not understanding the words he was using and we should look closer at syntax. Or that "any normal person" would understand him.
This is a man who would take me to parties and with me standing next to him, tell stories about things he had done with other woman, as if I was the person he had done them with, and when I told him I didn't like that, said I was being ridiculous. That it didn't matter, he wasn't lying, because those things did happen, they just didn't happen with me. Narcissistic much?
Since he read the email, he's been trying to get me to talk to him. My phone has blown up with texts and he's actually called twice. More contact than I've had from him in months. And he has said he wants to preserve our friendship. He doesn't seem to understand that while I've been his friend, he has not been mine. And on top of all of this I get to know that I've wasted yet another year with someone who doesn't actually care about me.
I did text him at one point that I was honestly surprised he was bothered with me calling things off based on how he had been treating me. He responded with "Wow, bitch level pretty high, shame."
Because, you know, he's my friend.
Today he tried to call when I was at Family Sunday, when I texted I was unable to talk he told me to enjoy and I responded "thank you." Being polite. His response was along the lines of "see, we can be friends without the drama of dating." Ugh. I responded "there is a difference between being polite and being friends." Because you know, he still doesn't get it. What he's done is not okay. But I doubt he will ever understand that another person has feelings too.
This is an issue too many woman face in all relationships. If we are dissatisfied and end it, we are the bitch, the ungrateful cunt, the whore, the idiot, the cruel one. No matter what we have gone through and tried to make work, if we say "enough is enough" it is our fault. This is why we stay.
I'm not staying anymore. But it has taken me until 40 to be able to recognize more quickly when I am being gaslighted or manipulated. And I simply won't abide that treatment.
I truly hope other women figure it sooner. And that Wildflower Child never has to deal with this shit, or if she sees it starting, she stops it much much sooner.
This is a debate I've had many too many times.
This is probably a debate too many sex positive and sexual woman (and probably more than a few men) have.
Also, am I dating a sex addict? But that's another question all together.
I want to be loved. I don't think that's unique in the world of humanity. I love often and deeply and in a kaleidoscope of ways. I love my family. I love my dog. I love my friends. I even fell a little in love with the man I'm dating. Do I want to get married? No. Do I want to move in together? No. Do I want to feel appreciated and safe and respected, and maybe even a little bit part of his life? Yes. That would be nice. Because even if we aren't meant to be together for the rest of our lives, doesn't mean we can't be there for each other now.
More and more I am thinking that for him, all I am is a way to relieve stress, have fun and get what he wants. Sometimes I am good for a ride or to help out with a yard sale. I am a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a companion when he wants it. Otherwise, I'm not even on his radar.
Or at least that is how it feels right now.
I wrote an email, because that is what I do, asking him one question; "Are you interested in getting to know me better?" It is a yes or no answer type of question. If yes, then we go forward and hope that he takes a moment to understand that he needs to put in some work that matters. If no, well then I have to decide if I like the sex enough to not be a complete person.
I am waiting for the response.
And I saw red. Especially considering he is a former NYC police officer and all I could think of was whether or not he had asked rape survivors what they were wearing. Because he had just essentially accused me of staying with my abuser so it was my fault I was abused.
It was a fucked up conversation.
Anyway, we talked a few nights ago after I had gone back to the house. And he said he wasn't really getting what I had experienced from the texts I had been sending him. So I told him about what I had found. And he just listened. At one point I was explaining what the pellet stove was and mentioned that it was our primary heat source because we couldn't keep the oil tank full, he responded, "I'm afraid to ask why you couldn't keep the oil tank full..." I said, "because he drank the money. You can't get an oil delivery under 100 gallons, but you can buy a few bags of pellets at a time. And the oil heated our water, so there were weeks at a time I would heat water on the stove or in the microwave to wash up." And at the end, still a little pissed about that conversation from months and months ago, I said, "so if you think I'm crazy..." and he cut me off and said, "No, I get it. He's just awful. Now I understand."
It's taken almost a year for him to really come to an understanding of what I went through. And I don't think he really gets it completely, but now some of how I respond to situations makes sense to him. And why I will do anything to keep Wildflower Child with me as much as possible.
So today I helped to take out the wood pellet stove that my parents bought me and I was never able to repay them for. And found every single one of my daughter's toys abandoned in her play room, the floors covered in filth, food and dishes strewn about the yard, cat shit piled in the hall closet. My ex has moved out and he left probably the best visual example of why I couldn't stay with him. A complete ruin.
When we bought the house, we had to essentially gut it to erase the neglect by the previous owners. I scrubbed for weeks. Got a lung infection cleaning and painting and rehabilitating what should have been a home. And all that and more is gone. It was horrible. And knowing that my daughter's toys and pictures and books, were molding away in that filth while he does who knows what is sickening. I grabbed a few last things and spent a very long time staring at the little painted wooden play kitchen that she's much too big for, but I was so proud when I was able to buy it for her. I remember assembling it and loving every piece completely. And there it is. Abandoned. Along with everything else.
And yet he continues to believe that I was the one who abandoned him.
I was hurting beyond words after this afternoon and when my father asked me what was wrong I told him, "I feel like an idiot for staying with him for 17 years." How could I live for so long with someone who treated me with such disregard? How could I be so blind to his selfishness and slovenliness and just general horridness? How could I allow myself to be drawn into such abuse? Because that chair right there? That's how I felt for the last several years of my marriage. Broken and useless and battered and dirty and worthless.
My father said I wasn't an idiot. That I just wanted, so badly, what most people want. Love and family and security. And that I fought like hell to make it happen. Fought harder and longer than most people would or could. And that he is proud of me. Not proud like a father for a daughter. But PROUD. Because he thinks I am an amazing person.
And I said, "Thank you." Very quietly. Because I don't feel amazing. I don't feel proud. I feel sad.
But I am not a broken chair.
The plan was her father would pick her up at 9:00am and take her to Dorney Park for the first half of the day and then bring her home by 2:00pm for my chance to celebrate.
By 8:45am we were waiting outside for him and I got a photo of her the moment she actually turned six. By 9:30am I sent him a text wondering where he was. By 9:47am he responded "on my way."
He showed up at 10:30am. An hour and a half late for his only child's sixth birthday. And having eaten up too much time to be able to go to Dorney Park. So he's taking her to the pool next to wear he will apparently be moving after the house he hasn't paid the mortgage on in four years goes to Sheriff's sale next month.
Father of the fucking year.
She of course is fine because she's going to go swimming. But these false promises are going to add up and eventually, she's going to start being disappointed. Eventually she's going to be crushed. And I'm really pissed.
And then everything went to shit.
My father is even more emotional and mercurial than I am and apparently there were issues with plane tickets for my parents' anniversary trip in the fall. So after two hours of phone calls he was, let's call it "annoyed."
Then he started working on the broken banister and the project went wrong. And he fucking lost it.
He couldn't find drill bits because he hates clutter and my step-mother might have moved them. He couldn't finish the project because he "can't fucking find anything in this fucking house and can't do anything fucking right!" And so on...
After a bit of this I heard him yelling at his dog Dexter, who only wanted to play and that's when I decided that the night was truly farked and to get Wildflower Child in a shower and to bed as soon as possible. She was crushed because she had wanted to celebrate Father's Day with ice cream and Pop-Pop and that wasn't happening. Also dinner didn't happen.
So I got her to bed, and started cleaning the kitchen and erasing any evidence that I had been there and putting all the food that we hadn't actually prepared away. By now my dear father is sitting on the deck just being a ball of angry. I'm being quiet as a mouse and fucking manic trying to get as much done as quickly as I can and knowing that I have to give my dog her meds early and get the fuck out of sight asap.
Which I did. Also just realized I forgot my meds. Nice.
So anyway...Happy Father's Day to all the dads, even the one's who take their frustration out on their families.
So I had my first physical in many many years this past Thursday. I've had exams and doctor's appointments over the years. Even had a baby. But no regular annual exams. And finally, I made myself an appointment with the Nurse Practioner (Patty) at my clinic. Because it was time, and I had reasons.
Since I first got my period back after having the Wildflower Child, it had progressively becoming more and more of a burden. In that my cycle, while rather regular, was becoming more and more regularly apparent. In that my cycle was becoming ultimately shorter and shorter. There were times when my cycle was 23 days long. Twenty-three days from bleed to bleed. Just over three weeks. With at least, at least, seven days of bleeding. And the cramps start at least a week before the blood. So I was spending about HALF my life suffering pain or blood or both.
When I was 26-years-old I had exploratory surgery to determine why my periods were so painful and heavy. A 2" square piece of tissue was removed that had attached my left fallopian tube to my colon. Other than that, results were negative and all I was left with was a post-operative infection and nerve damage in my vagina and left leg.
I've been on a type of birth control pill that has only one level of hormones since January. I'm supposed to take the active pills for three months, take the inactive pills for a week to have my period, and go back to active pills for three months, repeat. So I'm only supposed to have my period every three months.
This has not happened. The longest I've gone without my period (and this was only once) was 33 days. Other than that, every 29-30 days I bleed, active pills or not. My last bleed was 14 (FOURTEEN) days long.
So I had a physical and brought this up. My NP was very sweet and said she would confer with my primary physician and get back to me.
She got back to me Friday morning. I need an ultrasound.
Not just any ultrasound. A "Total Pelvic Ultrasound" which involves a transvaginal ultrasound. To look for fibroids. Before we can look at different birth control.
So I had a little freak out.
Then I had a bigger one after Googling what might be going on.
Then an even bigger one after Googling treatment options.
Then I found out for the first time in my life that both my biological mother, and her mother, have had fibroids. And that fibroids is why my Gram had a hysterectomy when my mother was 16-years-old. Not cancer, as I always believed. Fibroids.
I'm still crossing fingers that I'm fine and that I'm just not responding to the birth control the way I should be. But the evidence is piling up that I have evil little tumors filling up my insides.
And even if I don't. What the fuck is wrong with me?
And why, when I was 26 and having surgery that left me with a very serious infection and painful nerve damage, did no one tell me that this is my family history?
The Wildflower Child ends kindergarten towards the end of this month, and I have to get her in some sort of day camp for the summer. So I've applied for a state subsidy program that works with a local YMCA.
That application involved very personal documentation and proof my ex is a deadbeat.
Then I discovered I would still have fairly substantial out of pocket costs for Wildflower Child's YMCA program membership, camp deposit and transportation, so I have to apply through them for assistance.
Thirty pages of documentation later...
To save on $180.00 of membership and deposit fees and $385.00 of bus costs, I had to provide thirty pages of financial and personal information.
I spent almost two hours crafting a very comprehensive PDF in order to email it before their financial meeting on Monday or Tuesday. Got a cool new application for my Chromebook in order to make the file. And managed to program the house printer to scan to my Google drive.
Next thing I apply for, their I going to ask for my blood type and if I'm an organ donor.
And people think the working poor have it so easy and are just sucking at the teat of society.
Fuck this hell.
As my somewhat boyfriend would say, I'm now
He's a total asshole, but I kind of love him.
I started out the day by getting out of bed one minute before my alarm, getting ridiculously dolled up for work (if you haven't figured it out, I'm very femme) and forgetting 90% of what I needed to do to get the Wildflower Child ready for school. I'd blame the forgetfullness on old age, but I'm not really that old. I had a rather uneventful day at work although as people found out it was my birthday, the well wishes poured in and it was quite sweet actually. Facebook exploded with Happy Birthday's, as it tends to do. Even my pseudo-uncle tried to call the house to wish me happy birthday this evening. Most pathetically, my ex-husband wished me a good day on Facebook. I ignored it.
Notably missing in all this birthday love...
I had contacted her last week to see if she had ever in fact received a card I had sent her with pictures of her grandaughter. She had, but hadn't thought to say anything. And she did comment on my impending "milestone" and that she'd be thinking of me on the actual day.
One thing I've learned as I've grown older, is not to expect a tiger to change her stripes. My mother has matured and become more responsible, but she won't ever think of me primarily. And my sister (four years younger) goes up to see her all the time and is planning on moving into the house with her family soon. So she gets priority. As in, my sister was there with my mother for her birthday and got the Facebook acknowledgement and everything. I didn't even get a note. Even though I'm the one that took care of everyone for years.
I'm not really surprised.
As for the reality of being 40...
I'm living with my parents. Working part-time. Have a child in kindegarten. Am dating a man who obviously cares for me in his way, and is terrified of committing. Am open and able to fool around with others if I want to. And have abso-fucking-lutely NO IDEA what I'm doing with the next stage of my life. Other than I have a lot of tattooing to do.
I'm not living with an abusive partner. I don't have crippling headaches every single day. I look pretty damn good. I'm going away in less than a month for a week in Wildwood NJ. And I have the world's best dog. Also my kid is awesome.
But it still hurts that my mother forgot my birthday.
"Honey there are things way more important than cute. You're smart and funny and weird and healthy and kind."
"But am I pretty?"
Sigh. "Yes my love, you're beautiful. Mostly because you're a good person."
"She's beautiful." I said.
And I melted.
I hope my daughter isn't so easily taken when she's my age.
But I still loved the complement.
Today was the last of four appointments to fix my teeth. Almost all my teeth. Prior to the cleaning and exam that set up this epic adventure, I hadn't been to a dentist in over four years. The only reason I was able to go that last time so long ago was because I had a coupon. When that dentist recommended fillings, my husband made me cancel the appointment. He never let me go to the dentist if we had to pay for it. I think he resented that my teeth were better than his initially and then he had to have all his teeth replaced with dentures.
This dentist I've been going to us very nice, covered by my insurance, and explained to me that the damage to my teeth was caused primarily by clenching my jaw from stress. The stress of living in a progressively more and more abusive marriage broke most of my teeth.
I've been divorced for about 8 months. But this little thing, seemingly inconsequential, struck me as truly indicative of moving forward and being free of him.
And I already have my cleaning scheduled for May 26th.
Came to a realization tonight. One that had been building quietly in the back of my mind for quite a while. Managed to express it to a friend and really wish I hadn't.
No one has ever truly been in love with me.
People have said they love me. Probably even cared deeply. But there has never been a single person who put me first in their life. Who's primary goal was to be my partner and help me be happier. No one.
I know there are those who would protest and express devotion and adoration or deep friendship... But they will never be a partner to me.
I'm am almost 40-years-old. And I've never been truly loved by a romantic partner. I have loved. Deeply. Passionately. Insanely. I have spent the majority of my day trying to think of ways to make my Love happy.
I'm a fairly decent person. But there must be something inherently wrong with me.
I'm pretty sure ultimately, I'm going to be alone. And that terrifies me.