Junior – The Pathetic Warrior

This is going to be a rough post.  I don’t know that I’ve really heavily delved into my past with Junior.  For anyone who doesn’t know me, Junior’s name is Frank.  He is what some people wake up screaming to in their dreams.  He is a predator, a monster, and a terrorist in his own right.  He takes from women their dignity, their sanity, and wants to control them from moment one.

https://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Wisconsin/Sex-Offenders-WI/Frank-Schiefel.69512848.html

I met him when I was 17 years old.  Just on the cusp of turning 18.  Back then, I was still attracted to the “bad boy”.  And he definitely was that, in my mind.  He reminisced about being part of the gang Gangster Disciples out of Milwaukee, WI.  Back in those days, anyone who came into my room had to sign my wall (I guess out of my own deviance and rebelling)  Junior did.  He put up gang signs on the wall to identify the Gangster Disciples.  Later, after I’d broken up with Junior, the Negaunee Police Department came to my dad’s house to take pictures of the gang  signs for their own reference.  Negaunee Michigan is a very small town and doesn’t have much knowledge of gangs.  And even probably yet do not.

Junior and I had a pretty good relationship.  At least for a little bit.  I should have recognized that something was wrong when my dog, Scruffy didn’t like Junior.  Scruffy liked most people that came around.  Just not him.  Junior had little tolerance for him. And at certain points it became more obvious than others.  The first time he became abusive to me, I remember.  Junior had went out of town to Milwaukee to visit friends.  He had been drinking that night, pretty heavily.  My dad wasn’t home when he stopped by, I’m not sure where he was.  Maybe out of town or at church?  Either way, Junior came by and we were alone.  He eventually came out and said that he knew that Scott C had stopped by while he was out of town.  Which he had.  But Junior heard that Scott had stayed at my dad’s house with me overnight and felt that I was cheating on him.  And so the terrorizing  began.  I was standing in the kitchen of my dad’s house and Junior grabbed me by the throat and pushed me into the front door and held me there.  Trying to get me to confess my sins.  Instead I was terrified, but told him that nothing happened between Scott and I.  That we were just friends and he just visited.  He eventually let things go and forgot about it.  The next day, I was an idiot and reminded him that while he was drunk, he accused me of inappropriate relations with Scott and the terror began again, but this time more yelling accusations than physical.  And it was by that point that I started to submit myself to him.  I knew things were not going to go in my favor, so I just allowed him to control me.  What choices did I have?

My friend Missy had gotten a call from Junior’s wife….. Missy.  Go figure. Junior has a wife, and a girlfriend.  And apparently kids with his wife.  And I wanted to break up with him after I heard it.  But by that point, it was too late.  He had already taken possession of me.  And no amount of anything was going to get me out from under him.

I was really only with him for about 2 1/2-3 months.  But they were the worst of my life.  It was a time where fear was really 95% of what I felt.  I remember one night, hanging out with Tunya and Burt until really late in the morning.  Junior found out about it and was REALLY irate about it.  Mostly because I was around another man.  He was incredibly threatened by this.  At this point, he told me that I wasn’t allowed to live at my dad’s house anymore.  And although some people might think this is weird… I obeyed.  I moved into his grandma’s one bedroom apartment in Negaunee.  I don’t know what her feelings were about this, but she seemed to be fine with it in front of me.

Even before I got into this relationship with Junior, I was depressed and had low self esteem.  I engaged in risky behaviors and drank alcohol and periodically smoked marijuana (or what some have called it “the devil’s lettuce”) .  I was struggling with what was going on with my mom and with my own depression, so I missed school.  Frequently.  By some point, I had gotten a letter from Negaunee High School.  It said that if I had missed even one day before some time late December (let’s say for sake of argument, December 24th), that I would not be welcome to return.  Mr. Bonetti was the principal of Negaunee High School by that point and I hated him.  And I made no mistake about my feelings regarding him later.  By that last day in December stated on the letter, I was getting ready for school.  Junior told me I was not going to be permitted to go.  That if I did, he’d beat the shit out of me.  I knew in my heart of hearts that he would.  So I just gave in to the fact that I’d be a drop out.

I went to Milwaukee with him, I sold my car and gave him the money, I lost friends for him, I became the scapegoat to who called the cops after he allegedly tried committing suicide (Alicin).

As I sit here and think about all the things I went through with Junior, it’s hard to even try to put it all into words.  Maybe I don’t need to.  It’s like the textbook Lifetime Movie Special without all the drama and suspense of nearly being killed.  All it was, was terror, sexual assault, control psychologically and physically.  If I had an independent thought, I was wrong.  And the only way I’d defend myself against him was behind a locked door when he couldn’t get to me.  Now?  I realize that I cut my arms after I broke up with him because I was accustomed to abuse.  I hit my ex husband because I got involved in the cycle of abuse.  And I even screamed at my now husband over and over again to hit me.  And no matter what, he didn’t. I tested him to see if he’d become a Junior.  I was terrified, but I was expectant.  And no matter how hard I waited for it, it didn’t happen.  I’d see later similar experiences to what I did with Junior and I experienced PTSD.  I’d see arguments between partners that were getting physical, hear cupboards banging, yelling, etc…. 3 months became forever.

The moment I got into the domestic abuse shelter, I was far from free.  It’s taken me years to reclaim myself.  Seeing his sex offender registry makes me sad because I know he abused someone else.  It’s one thing if he breaks into someone’s home and steals their stuff.  It’s another to know that because I didn’t report him and convict him with the aid of police, he was free to continue.  I did try to contact the police a year later because I was afraid.  The cop asked me, in a condescending way – why did it take you so long to file the report?  With that, I just hung up because I felt like he was judging me.  Now…. I’m free to say he’s done with me.  But are we ever free of them?  We are broken by these people.  He is a predator, he’s a terrorist, and he’s a coward.  The Pathetic Warrior is my being rebellious against him.  His CB handle was Weekend Warrior.  So, there we go.

There may be a part two, but for now, that’s enough.  Thank you for reading.

 

 

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Overthinking? Procrastination? Desires? What???

There is always a lot going on in my head.  Since I was a kid, I was hard driven to do the things that I wanted to do – because it gave me a purpose.  It gave me a thrill.  Or it just made me feel right.  Justified.  And of course, being a full grown adult now feels just wrong.  Everything took a very weird trajectory.  Of course, who goes down the correct path consistently?  Hardly.

As I think about how things went in my life, it seems as though I was confused for so long.  The traumas, the adjustments, the anxiety and depression, the misunderstandings of oh so many people…. hell, including myself.  I said to school in the 90’s – fuck it.  And everyone walked around me.  Everyone just let me.  There was no guidance to say:  is everything okay with you?  Why do you feel so rebellious?  I know you’re going through some things and this is a safe space.  However, in fairness my dad did have me see a therapist and I just wanted to talk about topical things.  Nothing diving down deep.  Just day to day crap that mattered not at all.  I’m not excusing myself or anyone else… I’m just thinking… So bare with me.

To a point, I took care of my dad.  Sure, he was overwhelmed.  All but me were out of the house or gone from this life out of sheer natural cruelty that no one understood.  Not until many many years later.  My mom was in a coma for 6 months from October of 1991 to April of 1992 and then into a vegetative state/paralyzed from the neck down.  (I can’t spell the actual word… but you get my drift)  That drove my dad into a deep sadness that I cannot comprehend.  He didn’t show it to me, and honestly didn’t really talk about it with anyone that I knew until much later.  And even that I don’t think I knew until he was sick or dying.  He was strong.  But let’s think about this for a minute.  When my mom went into the coma, we didn’t do anything for ourselves as far as home maintenance.  We pretty much were under the impression that my mom was going to get up and come do it for us.  And eventually my dad still didn’t do anything for the home, he just came home from work and retreated into his books and tv or newspapers.  We conversed, surely.  But it was always topical stuff.  Nothing in depth.  If my dad helped with my homework, he became frustrated because I wasn’t understanding.  Eventually, I stopped asking.  And of course that just made it harder for me to contemplate doing homework.  I was angry because I, of all my siblings, was dumb.  I didn’t comprehend math worth a damn, I was incredibly depressed and withdrawn, and nothing in life felt right.  My siblings were going to go somewhere with their lives.  Dianne would have done something great with her life.  Had she had the opportunity to live.  Me?  I was destined for … mediocrity.  And that is unfortunate, but my reality.

I started doing the dishes.  And believe me, it was only what dishes I NEEDED to eat.  Then eventually the dishes piled up.  And piled up pretty incredibly.  My dad always got Dawn dishsoap… and of course I didn’t realize that I was allergic to the soap until years later when I tried Palmolive and it didn’t cause my hands to burn and itch after I did the dishes.  Despite all of that, I hated doing the dishes.  Matter of fact, eventually I grew to loathe doing the dishes.  Maybe it reminded me of that time.  That very sad time.

I wish my dad had let me in.  Unfortunately I guess I knew why he didn’t.  I don’t think I could have handled him telling me what he was thinking.  When Eric bares his heart and soul to me, I cry.  Because when all is said and done, I know he’s miserable too.  So I have no misgivings about the fact that despite how afraid I was of my dad, I loved him and was connected to him and never wanted to see him hurt.  He shielded that from me.  Instead, when people asked him how he was doing, he’d just reply “Steady by jerks.”  People would often smile, or laugh.  And I’d even question him as to why he’d say that because I found it silly.  I guess I get it now.  And it probably wasn’t that silly.  Just sounded it at the time.

I think about the things I probably should have learned in school.  Budgeting, saving money, learning about how to balance a checkbook, the boring normal stuff that people on a regular basis have to do to live their adult lives.  And although it’s boring, it’s important.  I know how to do none of that.

My dad and in his wisdom put Eric in a precarious position.  And I KNOW he didn’t intend for this to happen.  But the monies that were gifted in death from him caused us to have assets that are over abundant to what poverty level means.  Granted, the assets are not able to be cashed out without a serious penalty by the government (and believe me, we’re learning that now to a point… as that was how we bought our home) What still exists is sitting until we eventually are retirement age.  So despite that it’s not able to be accessed, it’s counting against Eric to the point that he won’t be able to get medical insurance and his SSI (because it’s income/assets based… needs based) well, he doesn’t qualify anymore.  I’m angry, he’s angry.  I could only imagine that he’s more than angry.  And speaking of, his physical ailments are just getting worse.  I watch him decline and I worry.  I worry about what our future will look like.  If there is a future to be had.  I obviously know that I will need to be mindful of what we have now, but think about that for a minute.  If every moment I’m with him is spent with him in pain and not able to exist without incredible difficulty – what does that say for our existence?  Does it speak to something I should look forward to?

In your vows, it says in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer.  I am well aware that you need to be serious when you agree to this.  Honestly, getting married is so romanticized that I don’t think people really “GET” what these vows mean.  They are unlikely to every really think about it until it happens to them.  Hell, I didn’t know my husband was going to be diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, alcoholism, and bipolar with near renal failure at not even 40 years old.  I never realized I’d be going to the hospital with him at 4 am to take him for ECT or to have him lose his ability to draw or paint because he’s had ulnar nerve surgery and while IN surgery, the surgeon finds more damage than they anticipated.  Therefore, Eric loses the ability to hold things at random points in his day.  It just goes numb without warning.  I think he’s on his 8th Amazon Kindle.  Fortunately this one has a warranty.  I never imagined that the only way he’d be able to sustain his day was by smoking pot.  And sometimes even that doesn’t help.  Keep in mind, I LOVE HIM.  None of this changes my resolve.  The one thing I am ashamed of saying is that I’m frustrated.  I’m frustrated that I have to up my game, even considering the fact that I’m depressed about our financial situation.  I’m frustrated about having to take care of a home because Eric is down for the count most days lately.  I’m tired of being the responsible one.  And I know… I’m 41 years old.  I get that I’m a grown up.  I just feel resentful that this is what my present life looks like.  It’s not for the lack of love for him.  That has nothing to do with anything.  I guess I just really am tired of fighting for everything – when I can comprehend what is going on in my life.

I am not expecting pity.  By no means is this a pity party.  I’m just venting.

The last thing I’m going to put on here is that there are so many things that I want to learn or want to study… or just do .  I am so used to doing things for other people that I just don’t do it.  Hell, most of the time, I can’t justify going upstairs out of Eric’s reach because I feel like when I am at home I need to be around him.  I know he doesn’t need me to be at his beck and call.  I just can’t seem to separate myself from him.  I have no idea why.  I want to learn about natural medicine since Eric can’t take anti-inflammatories like diclofenac or ibuprofen based meds.  I would like to learn Tarot cards.  I would like to learn about how to do things more simply – not spend so much money.  Figure out how to navigate.  Of course, I get frustrated easily and overthink wayyyy too much.  The simplest idea becomes overtly complicated  very quickly.  So eventually I just give up.  Maybe it’s because I try to do for myself and I don’t allow myself to.  I’m always used to doing for everyone else.  So why do I play stupid internet games that really function not at all for my day to day (besides time wasters?)? And let me just say that I have difficulty talking about any of this for a few reasons.  1) My dad and I never really communicated anything to anyone when I was growing up.  If things were problematic, you just sucked it up.  2) I feel like a burden, or like I’m going to depress any number of people I mention things to.  3) I have difficulty talking to people, so mostly I message people either on my phone or through facebook messaging.  So anything I say can be and has been used against me.  My wonderful daughter, Ashleigh taught me about that.  So I be careful as to what I say in the event I get looked at in a negative regard.  You have to build up your guard sometimes.

That’s it for now.  I’m sure it’s quite a mouthful.

Thanks for reading!

Tough Love Mom: Bitch, Complain, Fart, Laugh Hysterically, and then Cry

I’d like to start by saying:  This is by no means the “normal” mother/adult daughter relationship.  The experience and subsequent relationship defies “normal” parent/child models.  If you know me, you understand.  If not, know this.  I am NOT a mean person.  I am not confrontational.  And with all my parenting, I meant well with both of my children.  I truly and honestly did.  Things have a way of going haywire though.  As the phrasing goes:  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Ashleigh was abused by her biological father during a very instrumental period of development (ages 2-3 1/2 years old).  Rich (her bio dad) is a narcissist in my opinion.  And is mentally ill.  Alas, love is extraordinarily blind.  You see what you want to see and ignore the rest.  By the time the abuse to Ashleigh started, Rich and I had a very tumultuous relationship.  It was akin to fire and ice.  I relied on him to go to work and make money to pay the bills.  He stayed home to find a way to manipulate women on the internet.  And unfortunately did very well doing that.  I explain this because it goes to explain some of Ashleigh’s…. shortcomings.

Ashleigh was diagnosed with attachment disorder by about 5 1/2 years old by a neuropsychologist.  We involved multiple agencies with her care.  Birth through Three until she was too old, then early education, social worker, doctors, etc.  My now husband and I did that.  NOT Rich.  Rich hardly even paid child support.  The judge literally apologized to me for how little he ordered Rich to pay, given my obvious financial needs for supporting her.  By the time Ashleigh was in middle school, all hell was breaking loose.  The vice principal of Franklin Middle School called me on the phone as he was chasing Ashleigh around the perimeter of the school.  She didn’t do well with traditional school because she was delayed, cognitively and very mentally ill.  We involved family therapists, day treatment centers, special ed services and IEP’s to facilitate, social workers, psychiatrists, psychiatric inpatient programs, crisis center hotline, non emergency police line to the point we nearly lost our own apartment.  We did everything in the best ways that we could.  Despite the fact that we were low income, raising Darrian and trying to keep her mentally stable despite being the eternal whipping girl for her sister Ashleigh.  Darrian died after Ashleigh left the home, after some time.  (2015)

Ashleigh alleged that my now husband Eric and I killed Darrian on a facebook live feed she posted and I was alerted to by a mutual friend of mine and Ashleigh’s.  I was horrified.  I knew Ashleigh would resort to all sorts of things, but I never thought that would have happened.  I should have known better.

Ashleigh was homeless from before the time Darrian died.  Which was in 2014-15.  She moved to Albuquerque, NM in late February of 2017 before her son, Kalvin was born.  Literally weeks before.  Living quarters never worked out for Ashleigh and her boy toy, Frank.  (I literally have NO respect for Frank) Frank never tried to work to make money for Ashleigh and their livelihood, yet he’d spend her money freely which was being lent to her by the United States government in the form of SSI Disability.  She was eventually found not to be able to raise Kalvin and was formally adopted by another family, which is for the best.  All the while pregnant with baby #2, Iris.

Ashleigh and I had communicated off and on while she was in New Mexico.  I tried to be supportive and give her pieces of advice that would aid her to get into the right spot.  When accusations arose by someone to the police that Ashleigh posted a threat towards her son, Kalvin, I defended her.  Not because I’ve been manipulated but because the picture doesn’t match the threat.  And I know how Ashleigh writes.  That was NOT her writing.  So I contacted the essential individual to explain my thoughts on the matter.

I finally broke down and stopped talking to Ashleigh around Late January/Early February.  I was sick and tired of hearing her complain about this, that and the other thing.  She got angry at me because I wouldn’t let her come live with my husband and I while she paid us rent.  By this point, I was up to my ceiling with abuse by her.  I was so incredibly incensed by the fact that she takes zero responsibility for herself and expects everyone else to cater to her needs.  She has changed her phone number an exorbitant amount of times and her facebook pages.  She is listed as Ashleigh Cunningham on a number of pages.  I’ve blocked 40 facebook pages that I know are hers.  And when I’ve asked her why she does this, create new pages, change her phone numbers it’s because people start drama with her and she doesn’t want to deal with it.  However, Ashleigh causes drama.  Drama should be her middle name.

On our last phone exchange, I screamed into the phone out of absolute anger and frustration and told her that I had raised her, I had done my time.  It was now her turn to be an adult and do it on her own.

Mind you, in the time since that’s happened.  I emailed her to tell her that Calla (our dog) was sick and when Calla did wind up dying, I told my brother to tell her.  Which he did.  Ashleigh then must have created another account and messaged me on facebook asking when Calla died.  When I posted a message on facebook telling anyone who may communicate with Ashleigh to let her know specific date as to when she died, she spazzed.  I can message her, I can call her because I have hands and a voice.  That if I refuse to talk to her then apparently she’s going to call me by my first name and not acknowledge me as her mother.  Blah blah.  I have agonized over how this second child is doing as I’ve heard the baby is underweight at the state of the pregnancy she’s at currently and has low amniotic fluid.  I know Ashleigh finally lost her SSI because I heard so from my brother who, at the time was in contact with her.  I’m not inclined to ask how because part of me knows she probably lost it because she wasn’t employing the services necessary to acknowledge her disabilities.  And if I asked, I would be engaging.  I’ve wondered about how Kalvin is, and wishing I could have a “normal” grandparent/grandchild relationship with him.  But unless he looks me up when he’s older, that ship has sailed.  So in my eyes, I have no grand children and will not have any grand children to speak of.  No doubt Ashleigh is going to lose this next  baby.  And my fear is she’ll continue to get pregnant until she can keep the baby and do whatever she deems appropriate with said baby/child.

Ashleigh is very mentally ill, I recognize that.  But I have suffered abuse at her hands, her sister and my now husband Eric has suffered abuse by her hands.  We’ve all went through the wringer with her.  And when I say these things, it’s not to undermine her.  It’s truly out of realistic perspective.

I am incredibly angry with her and I have suffered trauma because of her “relationship” she’s engaged with me and her sister.  And I love her yet… because she’s my daughter.  I do not wish ill for her present or future.  I wish nothing but the best for her.  In order for that to happen, she has to want and to try for better things.  I just feel like that’s not going to happen until … whatever breaking point.

Another fear I have is that when Ashleigh loses custody of Iris (baby #2), she’s going to kill herself because she can’t hack it.  She won’t be able to move on from here.  She’ll have lost everything.  And as much as I’m angry at Ashleigh, I’m not angry enough to want her dead.  FAR from.  I want her to learn from her mistakes.  I want her to acknowledge that she made them and to learn how to adapt from here.  I want her to acknowledge the strength from within, instead of just being angry that everyone else has this quality of life and I don’t.  I want her to stop doing the absolute minimum, if that.  I want her to learn to love herself.  She is far away from doing that.  And all I can think of is how much I need her to stop trying to contact me.  Stop requesting me to friend her on yet ANOTHER facebook account that has yet to be blocked.  I’m tired of being blamed for her short comings.  I am 41 fucking years old and raised two kids with the best of my ability.  I’ve had a cardiac arrest and lost my one child, with whom I could have seen having an adult relationship with.  A healthy one at that.  But unfortunately, that ship has sailed too.  And now I’m left picking up the pieces of my life – trying to figure out how to soldier on and she has the audacity to say she’s going to call me by my first name?  Well, honey, you won’t be doing it to me.  I am not under your spell or control.  I have problems and responsibilities of my own and you need to grow the f up and do things yourself.  That means, get a job.  Work for your housing or food.  Don’t panhandle.  Just do the right thing for yourself.  And if Frank doesn’t want to get a job and is being abusive to you (despite the fact I know you’re being abusive to him in return.  I’ve seen it and heard it – verbal, not physical that I’ve heard), then walk away from that leech.  Let him sucker some other individual into thinking he’s God’s gift.

I need to heal dammit!  I’m a broken person trying to put all my bat crap crazy together again.  I have lost so incredibly much and although I’ve gained things too – my mind is troubled.  I’m trying to gain my ground again.  I’m trying to learn how to grow plants and do things naturally.  If Ashleigh can grow up, we’ll talk then.  In the meantime… I am pissed off.  I deserve respect, because although I’m angry; I tried.  And I tried VERY hard to make her a respectable person.  I put her needs so far in front of my own for so many years.  I tried to protect her sister from her.  And while I raised her, I lost a lot of my own self dignity and knowledge that Darrian needed me too.  Not just as a human shield, but as a true to life mother.  And as much as I know I tried, I didn’t try enough, and she suffered in the end for that.  Not just by her death, but by her life.  And I truly regret that.  With all my heart.  And I hope Darrian realizes just how much I am sorry.  I never wanted her to be the short stick.

 

Death, Taxes, and Forgiveness

Since I was last here, my Dad died, my dog Calla died, and a great friend from my younger years named Laura Himes died.   All three things were difficult to contend with.  Less Laura than any of the others.  Although I experienced a PTSD episode at her burial.  To which I made a public spectacle of myself, without intention.  I have thought of that for the last few weeks and wish I could apologize to the Himes family for how things went that afternoon.  Regardless…. I digress.

When my father died, certain funds were moved into accounts for my husband and I.  We were able to purchase a house in Kewaunee, WI and start a new phase in our existence.  To which I say, I love it.  I honestly and truly do.  The community is beautiful and quiet, and I have places to which to grow plants, food, and we see wildlife in the backyard upon occasion (which could cause problems in the food growing aspect…. ).  There are friends here and a desire to learn more about the community that I am now a part of.  However, there is a dark part of me that demands acknowledgement.  So I have to take care of that now.

Ashleigh (my daughter) and I haven’t talked for months.  She moved to Albuquerue, NM with her boyfriend/fiance’/whatever she wants to call him today.  Her son, my grandson Kalvin got adopted by the foster family that was caring for him because Ashleigh was not able to provide him the life he deserved.  She is unstable mentally and physically (homeless most of her pregnancy) and doesn’t have enough money to care for him (a little over $500 p/month in SSI up until this month.  SSI allegedly cut her off.  Had I not found out through my brother Tim who still talks to her, I probably wouldn’t know) Ashleigh has not sought out work, she did however manage to get a housing voucher and lives in an apartment.  Once her SSI got cut off she called Tim to ask for money for rent. She also solicited an old friend Jill/Amber’s mom for money for her cell bill.  (That nugget of information I found out on facebook messenger shortly after I got off the phone with Tim, telling me that Ashleigh lost her SSI to begin with)  And given that Frank, the not biological father (come to find out) and the likeliest of options being the father not wanting anything to do with the child, the adoption was possible.  I could only imagine Ashleigh would be devastated.  She is pregnant with child #2, who she said she wants to name Iris.  I have no doubt that Iris will be put up for adoption as well.

I’m going to backtrack a little for the sake of storytelling.  I mentioned that Ashleigh and I are not talking.  This is why:

If you’ve read my blogs before, you know things are rough with Ashleigh anyway.  She really and truly made life for my husband, our daughter and I a living hell.  She was sexually promiscuous and trying to get pregnant from 16 years old on.  She was always engaging in suicidal ideation and frequently in the psych unit (which was our only emotional vacation from the age of 12 on).  She was abusive to Darrian, our child that passed away at the tender age of 16.  She had been in two different day treatment facilities for a number of months.  She was in therapy and seeing psychiatrists.  She ended up in foster care and once she turned 18 and had successfully graduated from high school, she got an apartment of her own which she subsequently lost after the city had to condemn it.  (That’s how bad the state of her apartment was)

At one point before Ashleigh and I stopped talking, I had a dream.  The dream consisted of this:  I’m in my house (granted, the furnishings aren’t the same) and I’m sitting in the living room (honestly the living room looked like a waiting room with leather bound chairs/short back/modern looking.  Comfortable.  Ashleigh was in the kitchen (which looked identical to what my kitchen ACTUALLY looks like in real life)  She was complaining about her phone, needing to get a new one because the one she has is a piece of shit.  I’m annoyed, sitting in the living room after hearing that same one sided conversation, over and over again.  I finally get fed up with it and tell Ashleigh to leave my house.  I look to my phone (and here’s how you can tell it’s a dream, aside from other… aspects) and I find an app that will block people you don’t want from entering your house.  A barrier of sorts.  Well, the app doesn’t work as it promises and Ashleigh re-enters, angry.  REALLY angry.  She stomps her way towards me and starts punching me, first on the back of the head and then comes around to punch me in the face.  Brutally.  And I wake up.

……

In January, Ashleigh was calling me.  Upset about the fact that Kalvin was going to be adopted.  Saying this nonsense about how if anything bad happened to him while in the custody of this other couple, she was going to sue.  That this was bs, blah blah blah.  I take the position of if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all… so I just maintained being quiet.  I do this for a number of phone calls because the same ramblings progress, call after call.  And eventually I lose my cool.  I tell Ashleigh that raising a child requires a place to live, food to eat, and safety and security.  That she cannot provide that.  Literally with everything that she makes from SSI and being homeless at the time, that’s not a safe life to live with a young child.  She eventually blames me for not allowing her and Kalvin to come live with us.  She at one time offered to pay me rent for them living with us and after being quiet for so long and being so frustrated by her inability to see the elephant WAY obvious in the room for most people, I lose my cool.  I scream into the phone.  I fucking raised you, I did my time.  You’re an adult now and you need to be the adult for yourself .  At one phone during my screaming I acknowledge that she hung up, although I’m not sure when.

Ashleigh continues to email me pictures of Kalvin before the adoption was final and asking me for things, but I don’t answer.  She sends me facebook requests, but I’ve blocked all 40 of the pages that I’ve found that she has of hers.  Her last email is this: “It’s ok for you to block me on fb. When i had something major happen. Aint my fault Tim talked to my caseworker trying to talk her into having kalvin taken. And you wanna sit there ignore me when i need u. Well i will be trying to go home next month. I cant put this baby girl in danger. Fuck that. I love you but blocking me is no answer to get me away as a daughter just saying”

Look, I have come to a point in my life where I have a good marriage, a wonderful marriage.  I have a home, and I’m now focusing on myself more than I ever have in my life.  I’m no longer in the teenage mindset where everything I was focused on was the need to find love.  I have love.  And honestly, I’m not sure Ashleigh knows what love is.  She is mentally ill.  Literally.  Her last diagnosis was Borderline Personality Disorder, Delusional Disorder (Persecutory Type), Major or Severe Depression and Generalized Anxiety.  So, this isn’t just the minor stuff here people.  This is a massively unhealthy individual.  She needs a LOT of help!  I have not come to a point in my life where I can forgive who I was, who I was to my family (my mom, dad, and my community at that time).  I have not resolved, in completion that I am a different person.  I cannot bring more positivity into my life until I do that.  Because if I bring more positivity into my life it will be the case of the self fulfilled prophecy.  I have been there, done that and got the crappy ass free bumper sticker.  I don’t recommend it.  I deserve a good life, and I deserve the people in my life that will help enrich me, and not take away from me.  I love my daughter, but at this point she is toxic and will not find the means to help herself the way she needs to.  I honestly wish the best for her, I do.  I have put prayer requests out there for her from a church group my friend Shannon is acquainted with, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m doing the best thing for her and for myself.  I need to forgive myself for who I was.  I need to remind myself regularly that I am NOT the reason for all the bad that has come into my life.  I was not the common denominator.  I just happened to be an unwilling participant.  And in the grand scheme of things, I wanted to be loved.  Just like everyone on the fucking planet.

I have resumed therapy with my therapist Barb.  More to come…..

Falling Apart, Again

My moods have been in the toilet again.  I miss Darrian, so much that I can barely comprehend telling you about it.  I cry daily and I find myself in the midst of boredom.  Which, honestly, when boredom strikes, so does my fear AND desire for death to come.  I know that sounds peculiar, but it is what it is.  I would love to be with her again, but I’m afraid of losing the people that I love in my world now.  There are a few that are hard to imagine being without entirely.  Especially my husband.  So, I guess there is the secret behind my fear.

I had to set up therapy with my counselor (which apparently I’m $60 in the hole with her for copays and no one told me) – which pisses me off.  So when I go in I’ll have to shell out $75. ($15 per session for copay) UGH!  I don’t even have that kind of money.  But I’ll have to make due because it’ll help sort myself out. So it’s a necessary evil (the money) but a necessary good.

When you love someone, I mean REALLY love someone, you have to let them go.  Right?  At what cost to our own sanity?  It hinges on everything.  Everything you feel, taste, see, hear, and smell.  Some ways more than others.  The sensation of being alive and they’re not?  Becomes a hardship.  And just as everything hurts, every memory and emotion that I shared with her.  Every time I cursed the heavens when she was in the hospital and I couldn’t save her.  I would do it again.  But that’s just it.  It’s not solved for me.  My status of life still sucks.  As it would anyone grieving for the loss of their child.  Hell, for a spouse, a father, a niece, or any relation that comes close.  Relationships are hard to lose.

I don’t know if I buy into a happily ever after.  I’ve never experienced it.  The concept of heaven on the other hand, I hope for it.  I hope that I get to experience it some day.  Not too soon, but not too late either.  I wish I had someone that could estimate that I’ll live a long life and that I’ll come close to hedging off the majority of this grief.  That some day, I can say for a surety that I KNOW Darrian would want me to live a life of peace.  Well, wait.  That’s silly.  I DO know she’d want that.  So why is it that I can’t allow myself that?  Aha, everything that I’ve just said.  Her essence is gone and everything about me is struggling with that.  I won’t make any more memories with her, nor will my family or my friends (or our family and friends).  It’ll just be me.  It’ll literally just be me……

So I’ll literally fall apart today because I’m feeling the essence of grief.  I can’t help but be overtaken by everything that’s transpired in (almost what seems incomprehensible) a year. Darrian died December 15th, 2015.  I’ll never get that time back.  I’ll never get her back.  Or at least it feels like it.  Maybe she lingers here and is frustrated with my progress of moving on.  Maybe she hugs me at night before I go to sleep but I can’t feel it.  Maybe there just are too many maybes for me to exhaust.  But alas, I’ll fall apart.  And I know I have a lot to be grateful for.  I do.  I just have to remember to keep that sense of gratefulness strong.  Because no matter how much I’m falling apart, again, I can’t give up.  She wouldn’t want that.  And I don’t either.

Having Faith in Life

I can honestly tell you that life is beyond words.  The pain and misery that I’ve felt after losing Darrian is beyond comprehension.  Really, it is, unless you’ve known the pain of losing a child.  If you have, my sincerest of condolences.  Life feels awful for so very long.  It’s hard to explain, but after losing her there is so much emptiness.  Where there used to be colorful excitement, sleepovers, school events, homework, Call of Duty, now there is none of that.  And what do I fill my time with?  It’s truly difficult, mainly because I’m on disability and I don’t know what to do.  I never really focused so much on myself and my own needs before.  Granted, I’ve been in therapy, but even there it’s been about my feelings about one of my kids or both.  Or relationships that I’ve had before.  In a nutshell you can say that I’m probably codependent.  Having Darrian helped define me.

So now I’m sitting here telling you about the what next?  I’ve had epiphanies now, twice.  Once where I’ve actually felt like life was worth living.  And that took a long time.  It’s almost been 10 months since Darrian’s passing.  And everything felt like I was doing… well, whatever I was doing without her.  Nothing felt complete.  I was at a loss and I was suffering.  I’ve come to a point where I’ve realized that I have people that I have to live for. My husband for one.  And my dogs.  They may not be people, but they are two of my closest friends.  I love them dearly.  I have friends and family too.  But I focus less on them because I don’t see them often.  I’m focusing on who is nearest in my life, right now.

I’ve also had a second epiphany:  That I am generally an okay person.  I have a lot of work to do, on myself, but I am for all intents and purposes a good and worthy person.  And I know that I’ll probably deny it later, but at least I said it once.  I hope to one day love myself.  But I obviously know that will take quite some time.  I’m not stupid.

I’ve learned that as this imperfect person, I have a lot to learn about life, faith, love, and trying to remember who I am.  This is a scary process of self reflection and I’ll need help.  One thing for certain, I have to lose weight.  But I have to be ready for it.

Life is hard, but given time and my own faith I can do this.  I can do this all in Darrian’s memory.  I will still feel awful from time to time.  I will still hold her memory close to me at every second of every day.  But I will not do everything I do in the shame that I don’t hear her, or have her in my life.  I know she’d want this for me.  Life has to go on.

I love you Darrian, truly.  I love you.

I Love Her, More Than I Love Myself, but…..

Love is anything but simple or trite.  It is the total opposite.   Love is hard, and often bat shit crazy.  So I think I need to blog today.

As I’ve said in the past, I generally don’t blog as much as maybe some would like.  Blogging is hard for me.  It’s digging deep into the epicenter of myself and uncovering all those emotions that roll within me and taking them out.  It’s fully exposing myself to a world that might otherwise reject me.  (At least that’s been my experience.  OR my perception of my experience in many ways.  Let me just say that)

December 15th of 2015, my husband and I lost our youngest daughter.  It was probably the hardest day of my life.  Has been difficult.  I just went through a few days of complete sorrow and laid in bed because I just couldn’t face the day.  I couldn’t even face anything, I was just a wreck.  Again, after all this time, I know she’s gone.  Some days hit me harder than others.  And this was no exception to the rule.  I was gone, for all intents and purposes.  My hopes and dreams were dashed.  My last remaining child in the home is gone and it just boggles my mind how completely empty I feel in my heart, and in my mind.  (Especially my mind) I know that I have a tremendous husband to support me.  He’s been such heaven sent in my opinion.  He has been so supportive and so loving.  Giving me the room I need to breathe, not ever complaining about my laying in bed, crying, or even talking about her.  And I love that he’ll talk back to me about her.  But I have more troubles than that brewing.

For the last, let’s say three weeks I haven’t been talking to my eldest daughter.  It’s not because she isn’t loved by me.  As my title states, I love her more than I love myself… but.  There is always a but.  Ashleigh is without a doubt the most difficult child I’ve ever raised.  (Granted, I’ve only raised her and her sister)  She has mental illness and cognitive disconnects that we had tried to get through to her over the years through DBT Counseling, Foster Care, Regular Counseling, Mentors, Caseworkers, Payees, The court system…. I mean, we ran the gamut. It’s hard to explain without much experience in my world, but we tried for her.  And no matter what, time and time again, I’ve been there for Ashleigh.  I’ve listened to her.  I’ve gotten confused by the large amount of facebook accounts, the phone numbers constantly changing, the emails changing, the boyfriends changing, her locations changing, her constantly telling me she’s pregnant.  She allegedly had one baby already that’s in foster care (but details she’s telling me about progression in the child’s life doesn’t add up to where a child should be.  It’s hard to explain without going into longer detail.  And I’m already past the Readers Digest version.  Let’s just leave it at that)

When I talk to Ashleigh, she’s very verbally abusive to me.  She expects me to do things for her.  Drive her around, give her food or money, she swears more than a sailor would ever consider doing and honestly sometimes talks to me about details in her life that no mother or daughter would ever exchange details about.  The way she treats me is just awful and I’ve told her that time and time again.  And I’ve told her that the bridge was breaking to us and that she needed to keep that in mind.  Well, one day, I told her I was done.  I couldn’t talk to her anymore.  Not to facebook me, not to text me, call me, or anything.  And about a week later, she called me from a phone number AGAIN that I didn’t recognize.  So I quickly got to the point of what she wanted and hung up.  Immediately thereafter, I changed my number.  I didn’t want to do it, but I knew she would keep changing her number.  She would always have me that little bit off guard by that too.  Because I’d never know who it was.  And at that point I had been getting calls from the medical examiners office for Darrian’s results on her autopsy, my caseworker for foodshare, among others.  So needless to say, the madness had to stop.

Just a day or so ago I got another YET another email from Ashleigh.  Apologizing for how things had been towards Eric and I.  Which, whatever.  I get it.  She’s apologizing.  She’s continuing to say she’s pregnant, which my brother says he believes that she is this time.  I still don’t know if I do.  But I’m afraid if she is.  What that means.  I don’t want to be that person that totally throws her to the wolves.  But she’s pushed me to the point where I don’t know what to think.  She’s told me in the past all the symptoms she’d been having, she’d shown me ultrasounds which I later come to find out she found online and just printed off saying it was her ultrasound. She’s been obsessed with being pregnant since she was little.  And now if she is?  What does that mean.  I don’t want to be the absent grandparent, but dealing with the kid she is….. she has to get it.  Doesn’t she?  Doesn’t she have to admit at some point that the money she gets needs to go towards good purposes, REALLY good purposes.  Not cigarettes, but a place to live.  And not only a place to live… which she can afford.  Her payee has banked enough for her to the point where social security is saying she has too much money (or so it was told to me last time I talked to her).  She has to work to get the housing situated.  And then make sure that the lease is signed and she is constantly going to keep her place up and maintained.  Which she has a caseworker… but the caseworker hasn’t gotten her to that point because she never sticks around long enough.  She makes excuses why one place isn’t good, too expensive, lack of friends, etc.. etc.  She has to, has to get to a point where she can navigate the bus systems to her appointments with her own doctor, wherever that is.  And then she needs to save some money for her prenatal vitamins.  She has to take care of herself, if she is.  But how is she going to learn this.  Because all I can see at this point – if I were to contact her, is her trying to get me to enable her.  And if she does have this child, then I’d get attached.  Eric would get attached.  And that’s not even so much the problem as her taking care of a child because she is constantly homeless.  Living off the goodness of others until they realize that she’s not doing for herself.  She wants others to do for her.

This might sound like a cruel rendition of how someone lives, but it’s the truth.  I raised her.  It doesn’t make me proud to say these things.  It actually embarrasses me.  There is nothing good that can come from it, until she learns.  REALLY learns what it means to be a person.  A person who wants to grow and learn to thrive.  And to stop thinking that this is the ticket to life.  Life doesn’t owe you anything girl.  Get with it.  Oh, and that social security that you get?  I signed you up for it.  So at the very least, you should be thankful that I even got it set up for you.  UGH!

Sorry.  I’m just agitated.

So tough love it is.  I’m almost 40 and Ashleigh will be 21 in February.  I hope to all that is watching over her that she does figure out a thing or two.  I do miss her.  But I miss her in the ways of what a mother/child relationship should be.  Not what it is/has been. I need her to want me for the right purposes.  Not to use me for what I can be useful for.  Or to escape from her problems.  I love you Ashleigh.  And that’s why I’m doing this.  So you can learn that you need to do for yourself.  And that you can’t treat me like I’m disposable.  Like I’m trash.  I need you to understand respect goes both ways.  And if you can’t treat me with respect, I will not give you respect.  It is earned.  Not just understood that it’ll be given regardless.  But I love you.  And if you are pregnant, I already love the child within.  But you are still a child who needs a lot of help.  And I hope I can hear that you are getting it.  Because I want to be a part of your life again.  At the right time.  Please, just know that you are a large part of my heart.  As is Darrian, and Dad.  I urge you to take care of yourself.  And find help.  And not those that will hurt you or take advantage of you.  Because I can’t do it.  You’re an adult legally, so, you have to learn to act like one.  But I love you.  More than I love myself.