Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

A Success Story, Part 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2

Part 3: A Graduation, A Mustang, and A Teenage Mother

I had dreams and goals. One was to join the military, and get far away. I actually finished my junior and senior year at the same time. I never said anything, but when it was slow at work, or when I was babysitting all my siblings so my parents could grocery shop for 6 hours an evening, I did homework. They never checked or looked at it. I even graded it myself, so I could be sure I was getting my answers correct. They didn’t know until the college acceptance letters started rolling in. Texas, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, California…anywhere but here. I ended up getting a full ride scholarship to a state school 3 hours away, so, I began to pack, while my mother sobbed about me being so far away. But, I was going, damn it. So, I packed, and I told anyone who would listen. Luckily, our church wasn’t super conservative, so, I was encouraged in this pursuit. I even got a senator who went to our church to write me a letter of recommendation, so, he was a big help when he talked to my parents about me. There would be no hiding this and guilting me into staying home. (Unfortunately now, that senator is a huge home schooling advocate. He often blocks anything that may change the status quo, which in this state is basically nothing.)

This is always my parents’ first response when people don’t think homeschooling is great. That Punkie got a full ride scholarship to a good school, therefore homeschooling is good, and they are amazing parents. They never mention that I flunked literally every single class that semester I was gone. That, I didn’t make any friends. That they brought me home every single weekend.  But, I got into the good school, so, I am a success story.

Before I left, I got myself a boyfriend. I didn’t even really intend to. He was cute, and seemed like somebody I could get into some trouble with. We were going to college in opposite directions, and to be honest, I was tired of this burdensome “virginity” thing following me around. I was tired of modesty and acting right, because otherwise, I was a slut and men only cared about sex, and please insert your own used, dirty, useless, worthless, disgusting gum, tape, whatever analogy here. I didn’t want to get married for 15 more years, and I was not going to put up with this forever. So, I wanted to go ahead and get the first time out of the way, and move on. I never planned on a real relationship, and from what I had learned about men, he would be ok with that.

He wasn’t. And, I had been taught that love meant never standing up for yourself, it was long suffering, and if it involved pain and yelling and abuse, well, it was normal and probably your fault anyway. So, when the boy, Joe, began to fly his red flags proudly, I supported him, because he loved me, he said. And, when he reminded me, I was worthless, it hurt, but I was comfortable, I was used to this. He must REALLY love me, because that is how you treat people you love. After my first semester at college, I was put on academic probation. My parents told me if I would just come home, they would buy me a Mustang. I love cars, especially sports cars. Since I was doing so poorly at school, I agreed. I moved home, they found out about my bad grades and said I only came home because of my grades, not because I missed them, and, I never got the car.  I still pine after that 1967 Royal Blue Mustang they told me I could have.

Joe began pressuring me to get married. I said yes, because I never learned to say no. I was 17 and clueless. A few months went by, and he treated me worse. I thought long and hard about it, and decided, this was not what I wanted, it would not work. As we sat in his Accord, I told him, while I loved him, I could not marry him at this point, and we needed to call off the wedding. He begged me to give him a little while to process it, before having to deal with the embarrassment. I gave it to him. A couple weeks later the pregnancy test came back positive.

A Success Story, Part 2

Continued from here

Part 2: The Runaway and the Bad Influence

At 13, I decided I’d had enough. My mother was going to the hospital to have another kid. I was to babysit and put the kids to bed, and my grandma would come over and stay the night after that. I planned, I packed. I wrote my letter, and I shook out of anger and fear all day. I made the meals, and did the homework and put them all to bed. I needed to be taken seriously, so, I spent all day basically beating myself. Hitting, smashing my arms in doors, running into walls. Over and over. I was hurting so badly. My grandma got there, and I told her I was going to bed. She eventually fell asleep. I called my best friend and her mom, and they came and got me. I sneaked out of the house, nobody heard a thing. Nobody knew I was missing until late that night my dad called to tell us we had a new brother. By then, I was already at the police station. I told them everything. I tried to tell them the current bruises were self-inflicted, but we needed help. They were abusive, they were neglectful, they were not teaching anything, we were not being home schooled so much as we were being kept isolated. One officer sat down in front of me and took my hands, he said “If these are not from your dad, recently, we have to take you home, right now. We don’t have a choice. You have to have something we can work with now. Now, are you sure these didn’t come from today? Or do we need to take you back to your dad tonight?”  It was about 2am, I was exhausted, and terrified. This wasn’t going how I had planned. So, I said yes, they were new, they were from him, I was scared. Please help me.

I spent 2 days with my best friend, 3 days in foster care, then had court. On the stand, sworn to tell the truth, I told the judge the bruises were self-inflicted, but we did need help. I didn’t know at that time, my parents knew the judge, and they got HSLDA to help them. In fact, 6 months later, we would switch churches and attend the judges.  I told my story, and I was sent to live with my grandparents for 3 months.  The mental and emotional abuse continued, but, this time it was just through phone calls, and court ordered therapy sessions to get to the root of why I “was a liar.” The therapy was though my mother’s therapist, who told me that of course they were angry and short tempered, they had a bunch of kids who would not do what they should, the abuse would stop when we behaved better. My grandmother eventually put me in counseling to get over the counseling.

I was eventually returned home, because my accusations were unsubstantiated. I was told a CPS worker would coming to the house every month for 6 months to check on us. Nobody ever came. I convinced myself that it must not be that bad, I mean, these people were there to help, and they all said I didn’t need help. So, I guess it wasn’t abuse. And, then it got worse.

They wouldn’t allow any family to visit anymore, because they had shown that they would “steal” us, and believe lies. I was not allowed to attend church functions. I wasn’t allowed to have friends. I wasn’t allowed to be involved with any activities, for years. I did my homework, I planned a new escape, I kept the house clean, I cooked, and I took my siblings punishments. All while being blamed for anything that went wrong. Any disobedience in my siblings was my fault, I had “taught them to be rebellious.” I was once punished for shouting “Oh yeah? Then who taught me?” Any time I wanted anything, I was mocked or got a guilt trip, because I didn’t deserve it after all I put them through.

I had a job, but, it was at my aunt’s business. I was the only employee, brought in to work when they had to go out of town. I didn’t have much to do most the time, so, I did school work, chatted online, and read books. I learned a lot about the outside world from that experience. I remember times locking up and walking a couple blocks through town to get a soda at lunch, both terrified my parents would show up then to check on me, and think I was lying about where I was, but also thrilled at this little bit of freedom. I saved money, while listening every day to my mother complain about how much time and money it took to take me to work. Because, of course I couldn’t be trusted to have a license at 16, what if I ran away again? I was often late to work, because my mother has never thought being on time was important.

Things were always so frustrating. I hadn’t changed after running away, except for getting angrier. The people who should have helped, didn’t. I was branded a liar, when I felt I didn’t have a choice. The fact the court cleared them meant they were viewed as amazing parents who had a rebellious child, tricked by Satan into hurting these amazing people. Yes, I was a direct attack from Satan on them. Me.

They got hugs and sympathy at church. Meanwhile, other parents told their kids they weren’t allowed around me, because I was a bad influence. My parents were applauded for how well we behaved. Of course we did, the price for giggling too loudly in church was too high to pay. We weren’t allowed in Sunday school for years, because my mother couldn’t bear to have us away from her. One of her favorite sayings, even today, she talks continuously about how she wants to buy 100 acres in the middle of nowhere, and we all can live there together, and she can be surrounded by her children because she loves them so much and can’t stand to be away from them.  When all 10 of us “quietly” tried to sneak into church 15 minutes late, and of course we ALL had to sit together, there was always a lot of noise as we got people to move for us. And, nobody dared say anything about it, because my mother was always quick to tell how difficult it was to get 8 children ready for church so early. She never told how we were all up and ready before her and dad woke up. She never told how we’d sit on the sofa at time to leave, and hear them having sex almost every week. She never told how she complained loudly about church, how she didn’t want to go, how they should just have their own church at home, where her kids could be with her all the time, and never around bad influences (except Punkie, of course.).

A Success Story, Part 1

I really debated about posting this. I’ve went back and forth. But, my 9 year old brother is staying with us for a couple weeks while our parents are on vacation. I’m really struggling, watching him. Not that he misbehaves. He doesn’t. He’s loud, but, when you grow up with all the noise he does it isn’t any wonder. I’m trying to curb the constant yelling and interrupting. I’m afraid 2 weeks isn’t enough time though.

I’ve decided to let Monday be unit study day for my kids. Since I have LB here, I figure he needs to do school work as well. But, I wasn’t brought anything for him, nor any guidelines or instructions. So, as I worked on the unit study packets this past weekend, I made him one as well. A few weeks ago, my mom was acting irritated that LB made her look bad, that he told our grandma he couldn’t read, but he reads all the time. I thought that was an odd thing to lie about, but ok. Now that I’m doing homework with him, I see, he really can’t read. And, he just doesn’t understand  anything we are doing. My youngest boy is old enough for 3rd grade. But, because of when his birthday falls, I started him late. He’s in 2nd. He’s 8 and a half. My brother is a year older. And, also in 2nd grade. And, struggling with basic addition, or ANY reading. Today, as my boys worked through the worksheets, LB said “I’m really getting behind in school now.” I said, “No you aren’t. I’m working with you.” And he said “Yeah, but I don’t do school at home.” I asked how he felt about that, and he said angry, why is he “stupider” than my youngest? I said “Well, why don’t you do school?” he said “Mom is gone all the time, so, 17 yr old babysits. We just watch tv or watch them play video games.”

If I bring this up, my mother will 1. tell me he’s lying. 2. tell me she has never stopped him from getting out his school books and doing work. and 3. she will decide the problem is the video games, and get rid of the system my brother bought with his own money.

My parents cannot admit their homeschool experiment was a failure, because, I wasn’t a failure. I’m a “success” story. And, that is the story I want to share. How I became the poster child for doing things right, their way. It’s long, so I will divide it up. The story is actually going to be published anonymously elsewhere. I submitted it, and they said it would definitely be published. There was some things that are fairly identifying, however, when I read through the other submissions, so many things weren’t identifying. The huge number of siblings. The messy house. The emotional and physical abuse. The ideal front, and the church attendance, that hid everything else. Sadly, my story can easily be told while remaining anonymous, because there are so many Punkies out there. I apologize for any repeated information. I am copying and pasting from my submission to the other place.

Part 1: Elementary School

I am a homeschooling “success” story.

A fact that is rolled out by my parents, constantly. They have 10 children, and, if you dare question them about anything, including the fact their 6 year old acts more like a 3 year old, or that their 18 year old son can’t read, they will quickly point out Punkie and how successful she is.

As I read stories and as the online community has grown, I realize there are other people out here just like me. People who had parents who kept them isolated, who didn’t let anyone around, who weren’t actually taught anything. In some ways I think my abuse wasn’t so bad. I mean, I didn’t have to wear dresses all the time.  While my parents loved the Pearl’s method of raising children, it required too much work to keep up with. And, the abuse wasn’t usually physical, much. So, I have nothing to complain about. Then again, I read stories and am jealous of kids who were allowed to go to church activities and be on debate teams, and even go to conventions. My husband, Brad, has some of the same thoughts. His abuse was mainly mental, spiritual, and emotional abuse. Mine was the same, but with some physical thrown in as well.

I went to public school from K-3rd grade. In 4th, I was homeschooled. I was given dozens of different reasons why I was homeschooled, always seeming to change with whatever hyped news story was being broadcast. I was handed a stack of books and told to do the work in them. Since I could read, my mother claimed she did not need to teach me, just read the directions. That never changed. The sibling just younger than me has severe learning disabilities, even now, in our twenties, she has the mentality of a 6 year old.  She didn’t get schooling.  Our parents decided she could not learn, and didn’t even try. While we grew up, I’m the one who taught her to write her name, and how to make letters. I taught her to ride a 2-wheeled bike, how to pet a dog (she was terrified of animals), how to tie her shoes. When she was 16, I taught her how to swim. I’d been working on helping her over her fear of water for years, and one summer, she was swimming with me. Not often, and she didn’t like it much, but she did it. One day my father decided she needed to swim, he wanted to see how she did. She started to cry and fight him. She screamed, I tried to stop them. He picked her up and threw her in anyway, because she was disobedient. She panicked and needed saved, I had to calm her while pulling her back to the boat, in the middle of the lake.  She’s never swum again. I taught other siblings how to read, and long division. My mother rarely ever cooked, she only knows how to microwave junk food.  She says she doesn’t know how to cook, but, somehow, I learned how to make real meals.

I hated being homeschooled. I hated being taken from my friends, I hated being home all day. I hated not being “taught”. I hated that I lost my reprive from my mother’s screaming, and my dad’s constant yelling and temper tantrums, often that ended with the sound of the belt being pulled from his pants, to hit us with. My mother would scream at us, calling us names, expecting me to parents the others, and if I wasn’t a very good 10 year old mother, then it was made clear that I was worthless. She was always pregnant, always tired, always napping. When she wasn’t sleeping until noon, she was sitting on the sofa, watching t.v., demanding we clean something. Or mad at us for watching t.v. too much. Wanting to know why we were hungry, why hadn’t we microwaved a plate of Pizza Rolls if we were hungry? But, don’t forget, you can’t eat too many, because then she and dad wanted to know why we were such pigs  and wasted all their money.

Dad would come home from work, furious that there were dishes left undone, and I should have done them. It  didn’t matter that it wasn’t my turn, or we’d been busy. The only thing that mattered was they needed done. He would fight with mom because she was lazy and he worked so hard. Mom would get offended and tell him it was our fault. The fight would ramp up, the screaming getting louder. And, eventually, she would decide she didn’t have to put up with it, and she’d walk out. Leaving us with him. He’d continue the yelling for hours, getting so in our faces, sometimes we’d get spit on us, it was disrespectful to not stand there and take it. He would punch holes in walls, he threw a toy tractor through a glass door, he hit my sister with the vacuum cord because she didn’t wind it right. He’d call us pigs and worthless. He’d throw cups full of milk. I remember one time very clearly crying, and he got in my face, demanding I explain why I was crying. I told him I was scared, and he said “Good, the Bible says you should fear God.” That was the moment I lost any bit of respect I had for him. My tears were often ridiculed and punished. I tried to protect “my” kids the best I could. Often mouthing off so the ire was turned towards me, while the others ran away. 20 minutes after the screaming stopped, he’d call us back. He’d apologize, but the apology was always blaming us. He was sorry he couldn’t control his temper, we had just pushed him too far. Then, he would say “Will you forgive me?” but, it wasn’t a question, it was a demand. The only allowable response was “Yes, Sir.” Then we had to give him a hug.

to be continued…

 

We Were Raised This Way

I recently read another blog post, We were Told to Do the Hard Things. Well, We Are.

I agree with much of the post, but what really resonated with me was this;

You know those concerns about advanced technology escaping our control and taking on a life of its own? In some sense, that is what is going on here. The leaders of the Christian homeschool movement set out to create an entire generation of culture changers. Well, they succeeded, but it’s our turn now. And they’re going to have to live with it.

Brad and I were the in the first big wave of home schooling. Maybe it wasn’t completely unheard of, but it was definitely weird. Mainly used by religious zealots. We probably fit into that category. Or, our parents did anyway.

We were told we were being home schooled to keep us from bad influences, because we’d give into peer pressure, because they didn’t want what they taught us to be undermined by anyone else. We needed to be kept from others until we were strong enough to fight for what we believed. We were supposed to stand up proud and defend our beliefs.

Somehow though, they never expected our beliefs to be different from theirs. We were supposed to grow up up and parrot back the things we’d been told for 18 yrs.

And, many of “us” did exactly that. But, some of us didn’t.

A lot of those kids are my age now. A lot of us are in our late twenties, early thirties, and have a lot to say. We’re a decade or more out now, we’ve learned to speak our minds, and make up our own minds. We’ve seen where our education was lacking, and where our up bringing bordered on abusive, and we finally realize it. Some of us tried to get help back then, but weren’t taken seriously, and realize we have a lot more power now.

Now, we are speaking our minds, we are standing up for what we believe. It is us standing up and asking for stricter regulations, more checks in place. We’re talking about all of this.

And, often, the parents have become the school bullies. The ones trying to shut us up, trying to discredit us. There are many of them fighting back saying that we have exaggerated our stories for sympathy and attention. That we have ulterior motives. I’ve even seen us compared to demons, being used by Satan, attacking good Christian families. These loving parents have destroyed their relationships older siblings have with younger ones… because they won’t allow the older sibling to say “this is wrong”.

They wanted us to be strong, to stand up for what we believed.

Now we are, but, we didn’t follow the script, so, they believe that by becoming everything we were taught to be, that we have become the enemy. We are supposed to shut up otherwise we lose our siblings, our parents. We are supposed to shut up because anecdotes do not equal data, we are supposed to shut up otherwise we will have more government in our lives and our children will be taken away. We are supposed to keep the secrets, because not EVERY family was like that.

That one always amuses me, in a sad sort of way.

“Don’t tell anyone about abuse, because there are so many families doing it right. And, don’t tell anyone about your upbringing, because it wasn’t that bad, there are so many families that abused their kids worse.”

Yes, we can’t tell, we can’t beg for more regulation, because there are many families who do teach their kids to read, and they shouldn’t be punished for the actions of the very few. But, we are also told that the isolation wasn’t that bad, because some people lock their kids in cages. The bruises weren’t that bad, because some people break bones. It wasn’t real abuse, because other people had it worse. (And then you have the nerve to question why i didn’t have my ex-husband arrested the first time he tried to run me over…because he didn’t succeed. Because he didn’t break any of my bones. Because he never punched me. So many women had it worse, you know. That’s why I didn’t tell.) You can’t have it both ways, you can’t say we don’t need more regulation because all the parents are good people, while saying your poor parenting didn’t need examined because SO MANY people were worse.

I am thinking about doing a series about home schooling and change, this will be the first part. I have a lot to say, but, I don’t want to make today’s post a novel.

Anger and Forgiveness

What is forgiveness to you?

I have a lot of forgiving to do. I know this. I had to work on forgiving myself for many things, many of my choices. I have had to forgive Aussie for some things. My sister spent a few years calling me names and being rude because she found condoms in my medicine cabinet. I never liked her much anyway, so, I need to forgive. I need to forgive my ex-husband.  For the cheating and the emotional/mental/physical abuse. I need to forgive my parents, for the same abuse, for the lack of education… I’m sure they would appreciate it, but, I’m really being kind of selfish about that, I think I’ll feel better. 

But, it’s a process. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be. I don’t know. Maybe some of you can wake up one morning and say “all is forgiven” and move on without another thought. But, I can’t. I actually had a class last week, where we had to watch a documentary about meth. They were talking to people trying to get off of it, and one woman said that she hadn’t quit meth, she was quitting meth. It was a process. Everyday she had to tell herself today she wasn’t doing meth. And, I oddly feel that way about forgiveness at this point. Today I forgive you for that one time. And, tomorrow, I’ll forgive you for that other time, maybe, I’ll work on it. I’m not able, at this point, to do just some big lump of forgiveness. Maybe that is a flaw in me, but, I think it’s progress.

I used to be so mad all the time. I mean, all of it. I was so mad about how life was so unfair. About how everybody was so mean. But, I’ve tried to stop that, I know that wasn’t good for me. I’ve tried to change what I could, and fix what I could. I try to count my blessing and realize that things could have turned out completely differently for me, but they didn’t, and I’m extremely happy with where I am in my life, I’m proud of me, I like me, and my husband, and our little family. So, I can accept that all the crap is what got me here, doesn’t mean I’m thrilled with it, but, I accept it. I accept I can’t change the past.

I spent years avoiding my dad, and making it very clear that was what I was doing. Part of me wanted to completely cut my family out of my life, but, I also knew I depended too much on them at that point. I played mostly nice and I avoided dad. Recently though, I’ve been trying. I really have. I don’t think we’ll ever be close, but, I thought I could stay for 10-15 minutes after he got home from work, say hi, ask about work before I left. When he wants to stop by for a visit, I make a fresh pot of coffee for him. I know it isn’t much, but, it’s what I could do today, you know? The relationship is quite superficial, but, not so angry anymore, so, it’s something. I’ve tried to do the same with my sister and my ex. I don’t think we’ll ever be friends, but, I can be kind when we have to be around each other. 

Last week, it was a bad week. I had to go to court with my ex, thing one had strep throat, ex was over medicating him, telling me the divorce decree said differently than it did, just lots of little stuff. I had to leave the boys with mom for court. I went back to get them, and for some reason she started talking about how she’s learned to be a better parents and how she feels bad about the name she called us when we were little. She asks if I remember, then tells me not to say anything. I said I did. Then she starts pestering me about what I remember. I say what i remember her calling me, and she gets upset, spends 5 minutes telling me she never said that. So, I drop it. Then, she waits and asks again, then she says it. The whole thing was just bizarre. I say yeah I remember being called that, she says something about “why didn’t you say it then?” I said “because, honestly, the things you called us was eclipsed by the things Dad said and did.” Then, she tears up “Well, I hope one day you can grow enough as a person to find it in your heart to forgive him.”

It really felt like a slap in the face, I’d been trying. But, almost every time I see him, I have new things to forgive! I was trying, and it wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t enough. She changes the subject, but i’m fighting back tears. Finally I say I’m irritated, that I’d been trying. That maybe she should just tell me what forgiveness looks like to her since I’m not doing it right. Does it mean I can’t be hurt? Does it mean it never gets brought up again? Does it mean I have to pretend everything is ok all the time? For a MONTH my ex husband treated me like dad did for 25 years, and they want him arrested, but, I just need to shut up and forgive dad? And apparently forgive means opening myself up to constant hurt and pain from him, without another word of how he’s been doing this for almost THIRTY YEARS, so he and mom can be happy.

God I was mad. I went on, “No, I don’t remember, I don’t give a shit what names you called us. I cared that you’d get dad all worked up, and you’d get him mad, and he’d start screaming and breaking things and demanding we get up and scrub the house at 3 am, and you’d just walk out. But, not usually before making fun of me for crying because i was scared. You’d just leave, leave us with him, crying and scared, with me trying to calm down the 4 yr old on my lap crying and half asleep. Then you’d come home to a clean house, and a calmed down husband, and everything was fine. I care about that. But, you’ve never asked for forgiveness or even apologized for that one. I remember him throwing Bro’s little tikes tractor through the huge glass door, then demanding the 5 yr old clean it up all the glass. And you didn’t do anything! I remember him punching a hole through the wall on Christmas Eve, then throwing our toys away at 2am, and you didn’t keep quiet that time. You didn’t walk away that time. You helped him! You told us it was all our fault. I care that you didn’t stop it, that you didn’t protect us!”

What I want to say:

“You want me to forgive faster and i’m working on it! I have 30 yrs of crap to forgive. I have a father who was always harder on me than everyone else because I wasn’t his, he only tolerated me to get you! I have a father, who i called him crying…’daddy, he’s cheating and breaking things, Help me. I got to go.’ and my ex hid in the closet, and dad went and knocked on the door, and when Joe didn’t answer, he left. I said ‘break in the door! He’s there! It’s my house! break in the door!’ and he said “no, you aren’t worth going to jail over. I have a dad who rushed out to pick up his favorite daughter from her boyfriends or church or whatever, after she’d been sick and hurting all day, but she went anyway, then couldn’t drive home, the night i had surgery. He CARRIED her in the house, but, my kids toys were on the floor, so he kicked them, came back, dumped over the entire toy box, then made me clean it all up. 4 hours after I got home from the hospital. Because sister MIGHT have gotten hurt if he tripped. I married a guy you said I had to, then when I said thats why, you told me that you didn’t mean it. I had dad hit my kid in front of me, then, when I took the boy away, he came after me to scream and berate me for how i parented and how horrible my kids were. I passed out in the driveway once, from a panic attack I had while he screamed and trashed me, and he said I faked it! You stood by as he hit us with belts, not caring if the buckle got us! When he left a handprint bruise on my leg after I cried because he broke my bike, your only words of comfort were ‘go put some ice on it, you shouldn’t have made him so mad.’ You didn’t stop him from hitting the other sister with the vacuum cord! my 25th birthday was being taken out for lunch by my brother, followed up with him screaming at me, putting me down, calling me names, telling  me I was a bad mom and my life would be perfect if only I would have done everything you ever said. When I pointed out I did marry dipshit like you told me to, it turned into, ‘we also told you not to have sex with him before you were married, so, that was your own fault.’ apparently, this plan only worked as long as I never broke a rule since birth, after that, I was all on my own. You know how that fight got started? I went out, to take myself out for ice cream that night, I had to borrow your car. I turned the key, and it didn’t start. And that was my fault. I destroy all your things, I don’t take care of anything, you guys are tired of helping me. Even though, I never even drove that car, the battery was just dead. 

I hate being part of a giant family, and I hate that you always want to pretend our last name is Walton. I think it was selfish to have that many kids, when sister 2 could have used more time and attention and support. I hate that you had 2 more kids after i had mine, because you robbed my kids of having real grandparents, you guys are basically their friend’s parents. You punish them for things your kids did, you take your kids’ side. i hate that my kids can’t stay the night at your house, because they don’t want mice crawling over them when they sleep. I hate that you don’t see that this is gross and a problem! I hate that I get lumped in with everybody else, nobody knows ME they know me as part of you all, and i’m not. I hate that you get offended that I am not close to the 2 baby brothers, and you really hoped we would be. They are 20+ yrs younger than me!

I stay in your life not because I desire any sort of relationship with you, either of you, but so i can try to protect sister 2 somewhat. Because my boys consider brother5 their friend, and I can’t or won’t take him from them. And, really, I keep hoping I can show brother 5 that there is more to life than you teach him. I’m not writing you off, because I still have 2 other siblings living at home. 

I hate that I can’t say I’m done with the drama, and I’m just going to keep to myself, because then you two make fun of me, you put me down, you roll your eyes and call me a martyr. Make snide comment about how i’m overly emotional and need to grow up. Because you guys need the drama. You pretend you don’t, but you do. How are you going to feel better than everyone if you don’t fight with them? If you don’t have drama going on constantly?

 

For the Good of the Kids

My semester ends Wednesday. One more math test. I have fought and struggled. Last night I took the final math quiz 4 times. There were almost 100 questions on it. I took it over and over until I ran out of time. I’m getting a B overall. If I can just pass this last test. Then, one more semester.

Today I would like to say, if I never hear the words “best for the kids” again, it will be too soon.

It’s the “cuz God” argument all over again.

The moment you say something is best for the kids, or because God said, you have shut down the conversation. You have made anyone who disagrees with you a bad person, because they don’t care about “the good of the kids”.

I see it ALL the time on the infidelity board I am a member of. People go on and on and on about how whatever they want is for the good of the kids. “I want to put my kid in soccer, it’s what’s best for the kids. But, my ex won’t drive him to practice!” Somebody says “Then you drive him.” and all of a sudden it is “NO! I will NOT drive him. My ex is a parent too, and he doesn’t just get to run off into the sunset, and I’m not doing it all on my own, and he can waste his own gas, let his whore see  how much works kids really are!”

Ummm…what happened to “best for the kids”?

The best advice I can give someone going through a divorce, or trying to raise kids while divorced is this:

Your spouse is dead. That person you loved and trusted, who could never hurt you? Completely dead. You are now single, and unfortunately the only babysitter you can find at times, while free, is a person who looks oddly like your ex. There is no past to discuss with this stranger.

I know, you are sitting there thinking “I’m just supposed to let them get away with the things they did to me?” No, you are supposed to know that, they will never see that they did anything to you. When you go nuts, they will feel justified in all the things they did. His new gf and he will giggle over his crazy ex and how you deserved all he did. And really…if it is REALLY all about the kids, then, why complain about picking them up from soccer? Why are you concerned about punishing your ex?

I get blasted by my friends fairly often because I am willing to pick up the kids on Sundays around my ex’s work schedule. And, I shouldn’t do that, I should stick to the schedule, he’s just making me do whatever he wants, he needs to see there are consequences for the things he has done, I am not supposed to just drop everything so he doesn’t have to find a babysitter.

Again, I thought it was all about best for the kids. And, isn’t it best that they come home when their dad has to go to work? Or is it better for them to stay with whoever he’s sleeping with this week, and constant changing rules? Best for the kids says they can come home, where their things are, where they are comfortable, where they are with people who love them.

Do what you want, but quit pretending it is all “for the kids”.

Bad influences

This song came on the radio the other day, when my oldest informed me that he loved that song. I said, I liked it to, and I hoped they were watching the right people and learning the right things. My younger one piped up and said “Yeah mommy, we are. We are learning from Brad that you have to take care of your family. That you have to do a good job in school and get a good job. That you work hard and you can buy the things you want. And you don’t have to yell and scream all the time!” I asked the 8 yr old what he learned and he told me “We learned from daddy, that sometimes you will get fired for making one little mistake so why even bother trying to do a good job. And if you are in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy, then you need to leave it and find a girl who will make you happy.” I should say here that their dad was fired from 10 jobs within 2 years. He had at least 4 girlfriends I know about while we still lived together, and in the 5 yrs he’s been gone, he’s lived with 5 different women, but moved 15 times. (At least)

I was mad. I told them, as calmly as I could that first of all, almost nobody gets fired for “one little mistake” and that if you are doing something you need to do your best, if you mess up you need to take responsibility for it and man up and take the consequence, and learn from it. I also told them that a relationship wouldn’t make them happy, if they loved a girl only for how happy she made them, then it was for the wrong reasons. That you can’t count on someone else making you happy, because people aren’t perfect, they will not always make you happy. I told them if they were dating a girl and found that she wasn’t right for them, then they should end the relationship, but, they shouldn’t live with every girl they meet, and if they are married, then it is their responsibility to go to their wife and say “we have a problem, will you help me fix it?” Not just replace the woman and think it was all better.

You know, I can accept most the unfairness of divorce. I can accept he doesn’t pay child support, and I deal with the fact he ignores the court order to provide them with health insurance. I have even come to terms with the fact he abused me, but the court still decided he was ok to have unsupervised visitation. However, I’m really struggling with the fact he is allowed to warp their minds with his bullshit. He is allowed to do these things that have lasting impact and I am allowed to do nothing to stop it. If they boys had a babysitter that taught them this garbage, or a teacher, everyone would support me changing that. But, he’s their dad, so, whatever he says is cool?

This is the same man who tried to take the kids from me based on the fact he THOUGHT the religion we were didn’t allow Christmas and he’s not ok with that, so, I shouldn’t have them. But I have to stand by silently while he tells them they don’t even have to try to do a good job at work? This is the same man who tried to take the kids from me on the basis of I didn’t feed them enough hamburger. Yes, I am serious. Nevermind the fact that for the last FIVE YEARS he has lived with women who already have kids and only a 2 bedroom apartment, or gotten his own one bedroom apartments. For FIVE YEARS our children have not had a bedroom or a bed when they visit their dad. Right now they sleep on an air mattress on the floor. You know who bought the air mattress? ME!

What I really want to tell the kids is the truth. I want to point out how stupid his advice is. He is THIRTY YEARS OLD. Why can he not manage to get his own place? Why can he not provide our kids with beds? He told them he’s buying another truck, so he will have two, one from driving every day and one for off roading. But he can’t buy them a freakin’ bed. Why can’t a 30 yr old keep a job? Why can’t he manage a relationship? I want to point out, that following Brad’s example = good job, money, 2 nice cars, 2 project cars, lots of travel, lots of fun things, a nice, new house, dinner out when you feel like it, museum memberships, good relationship, etc. Ex’s example=Sleeping on women’s couches until  you can convince them to have sex with you, then you are “in a relationship”, cars that leave you stranded all the time, being too broke for McDonalds. A long string of “true love” failed relationships, lots of yelling and fighting, being homeless, lots of run ins with the law, “vacations” that consist of driving an hour to the beach for the day then coming home. Oh, and not taking care of your children, so, you go to court for that as well.

I really hope they are both smart enough to realize Brad’s example is the one to follow.But, I still hate that ex is allowed to be such a bad influence and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I can’t even talk to him, because he truly believes what he says. He believes I have been the source of all his problems for the last 10 yrs. Even though, he’s been gone for 5, and if I’m such a bad person, then how come I’m coming out ahead. I don’t impact his life anymore at all, so, shouldn’t he start crawling out of the hole I supposedly pushed him in? 5 yrs should be enough time for a start.

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