Out and Proud…

No wonder why there is the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” We had the most wonderful May.  I can’t remember being so happy and hopeful in such a long time. This month was filled laughter and milestones.

Wether we were at our first Cubs game or our first school play,  I was determined to do “normal” things. Yes, we were going to do what other families take for granted. And we did. We made it to the 7th inning stretch and sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” We sat in the school auditorium and didn’t get asked to excuse ourselves by the door monitor. We even made a dinner date with friends on Friday, family swim on Saturday, then our favorite diner for breakfast on Sunday.

Of course it wasn’t all perfect, but it was fun. Did my kiddo actually watch the baseball game? No, he jumped on my lap and got uncomfortably close to the people next to him (we need to work on personal space). At the pool, he threw our towels in the water. And on the way to breakfast, he mistook dog pee for a puddle.

We got a lot of stares but they weren’t the mean kind that all mothers dread. My kiddo got glances at the ball park because he sat there holding his Woody doll. And he made people laugh when he ate the piece of pretzel off the ground. He would do his little dance and cheer when everyone else did. He was just so adorably different. On Sunday, my little miss got all the stares when she twirled on the sidewalk with her Jesse doll, with her big brother behind holding Woody.

Oh yeah, we are an “Out and Proud Autism Family.”

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Hello Again, I’m Back

I have been on a hiatus due to life. However, I was not writing because my children and I were beginning to thrive. I started divorce proceedings, moved us to our own apartment, and got us all back on a good routine. We were finally getting to a good place place but now the shock of what has happened is wearing off and I have turned off survival mode.

Yet as we get use to our new environment and family dynamics, there is regression creeping back. The children must adjust to seeing the other “parent” ( I am the parent as I do the the actual parenting) and there has been expressed fear of staying with him at his place. All the these changes haven taken its toll on my oldest mental health and my second autistic child is now struggling to perform basic skills. Even the youngest at two is beginning to throw major tantrums when she returns from being with him.

I think partly for the children being so confused is that they now have to go back and forth between two completely different households. Here at my home, I keep to routines and consistent rules and expectations. An example, of this is that my second child with Autism does not like to wear pants but I make sure he keeps them on and will do so through out the day no matter how hard of a time he gives me. He needs to get use to wearing pants and not putting them back on him will only make it that much harder.

I can’t help them when they are with their father, I can only reassure them that I am here waiting for them to get back. I do love when they come back and it seems that they can take a deep breath. Relieved they can be themselves  and relax in their home. Yes, I am home.

 

 

How Did I Let It Get This Bad

“When are you going to believe that [he] is an asshlole.”

Holding back tears, I walked away from the courthouse with nothing. No guarantee that he would pay child support. My children and I were already down to our last few dollars and diapers. The last month’s rent was already due and we needed to find a new place to live at the end of the month. His lawyer had promised he would put  a stop to my ex not giving any support, however that failed to come through.

Once home, I tried to apply for food stamps and public aid only to realize that my ex had taken all the necessary documents. And that’s when I realized that the level of control my soon to be ex-husband had over me and the children.

My ex is a police officer and he is using his good guy image to mentally abuse me and control every aspect of my life. He would always say that it was his money and that I don’t need to see the bills because he pays them. Well, it has come to light after he left that he has not been paying the bills and has ruined my credit. He borrowed money in my name but I have no idea what that money was used for. I had no access to his bank accounts and the tax returns.

I speak to my therapist weekly. I update her on all current and past drama. She classified my ex has a narcissist. Whenever I try to make excuses for him (and I still do), she would just yell, “When are you going to believe [he] is an asshole?!”

It is very hard to move on when you decide to get divorced. Rebuilding my life will be difficult. My ex has ruined me financially and emotionally and it feels like he is allowed to get away with it.

 

 

I Don’t Want to Share

I try to keep my emotions under control as I try to go about my daily routine. I don’t want my children and #2’s therapists see me fall apart. But it is hard when I get the text message asking for more parenting time. The text message that warns he will be wanting them for more time and overnight stays. This is when it really starts to hurt.

I have devoted myself to my children for the last 3 years. I solely took care of #3 when she was born. I put in the hours, sweat, and tears to help #2. I stayed in that horrible marriage for the them.

He quit. When he left me, he left them too.

I don’t understand why I have to share these great kids. Yes, he helped make them and paid for them, but his involvement ended there. Standing on the sidelines and getting a tattoo of their names does not equal great parenting. Since leaving he has not given us money for food or diapers. He doesn’t check in to see how they are doing. The night he left, my daughter woke up sick at 2 am. I took her to the doctor the next day. He never asked how she was doing.

I can go on and on with other examples of his neglect. He says he wants 50/50 parenting but he does not even know what that means.

I just don’t understand why I have to give up part of my parenting time because he decided to leave. I don’t want my kids half the time. My divorced friends say I am going to love having alone time. But I honestly don’t think I will.

Ray of Sunshine

Even though these are really bad times,  we can still have good days like today.

We all went to pick up #1 from camp and this was the conversation:

Me: What is in your hair?

#1: Pie.

Me: Oh, pie, because that makes sense.

#1: Yeah, it’s Pie Day.

Me: I just thought maybe you got food in your hair.

#1: Pie is a food.

A few moments later we were in the checkout line, #2 was looking up and around. The cashier started to look for something, too. I had to explain everything was fine and he  just has Autism. It’s funny because I have to reassure people that nothing is there and they’re normal.

The cashier was nice and offered #2 a lollipop and asked if I wanted to take one for #1 who was returning the kid-sized shopping cart. Somehow #1 heard and came back to answer, “Yes, I want one!”

So we are out of the store opening our lollipops when #3 turns around in her stroller and starts to whine she didn’t get one. I keep forgetting she is now at the age when she knows what candy is and knows she lucked out. So #1 shares his lollipop with his little sister.

#2 finished his lollipop and repeats,”Garbage. Garbage. Garbage.” I realize he needs to throw the stick away. I tell him, “There is a garbage over there.” #2 walks to a garbage can on the street corner. #1 and I look on nervously, terrified any second he will just dart into the street. #2 throws away his stick, smiles, and runs back to us. This was a really good moment. #2 didn’t wander further away, he completed his task and came back to us. This was a really good day.

This might seem trivial to you but to us, moments like these is what going to help us get through these really bad times. We are still going to laugh at silly jokes and celebrates #2’s milestones. We are going to be ok and maybe even bet-

#1 is shouting, ” Mom, #3 has toilet water!”

I have to go.

 

Post #2

Before I started this blog, I always had ideas about what I would write about and the audience I want to connect with. Fear and embarrassment have kept me from starting. However, over a month ago, my husband sat in our living room, in front of my son’s entire therapy team, with his bags packed. After the meeting was over, he left. A few weeks later, he moved the rest of his stuff out while our son was in his therapy session. I   can now honestly say that there isn’t really anything more that can embarrass me.

This abandonment has left me vulnerable-mentally, emotionally, and financially  vulnerable. He has stripped me of my confidence, sense of worth, and control of my life.

This blog is important to me because I feel it is the only thing I solely possess. I plan to use this blog to find out who I am and rebuild my life. This isn’t about being a good writer or how many visitors I get on my site. I don’t care if no one reads this. I am just creating a space where I can be myself again.

I will try to post more regularly. I have so many ideas about what to write about, but mom life gets in the way of writing. Like right now, my daughter is putting  a coin in her mouth…I have to go.

P.S. I will work on better titles for my post. Post #2 is pretty lame.

 

#1, #2, #3

I  was not sure if you caught on, but I have been referring to my three kids as #1, #2, and #3. I am doing so to protect their privacy. #1 is my oldest, who is my golden boy. #2 is my son who is rocking the spectrum. And #3 is the princess. It’s sometimes confusing when I write or reread my post. I will try to make it more clear. Kinda think of  #1, #2, and #3 as their names.