Sorry @$$ S.O.B. (Happy Daddy's Day - yeah...right..whatever!)
I've been going to bed a 3 or 4 am - exhausted - buggy eyed and with pounding headaches from lack of sleep and stress - All the things that tell me I am putting every bit of me into a positive direction. In between all of this I am also being a parent to my children -seeing to their needs, washing their clothes...dealing with dramas, questions, and making sure that we still have some quality time.
Last night I was sitting with my youngest watching t.v. - It was after a very hectic deadline day, and after a very busy day volunteering answering the phone for Lend a Hand - I felt pride well up in me - I was proud of myself and what I've been accomplishing - I was proud that finally I was seeing a light at the end of a dark financial nightmare of a tunnel - hope was in the distance, and I had created it myself.
My son and I were discussing a conversation we often have....where to go on vacation if we could. Sometimes it is a silly conversation with wild adventures and sometimes it's truthful...anywhere just somewhere.
He knows how hard I've been working, and what I have accomplished in the last week - I turned to him and told him to remember this time in his childhood - remember that no matter how hard things get, how many jerks in the world you may run across - how many hurdles you need to jump even though they feel like each and every time they get larger - that he needs to remember hope and opportunity is created from within, that it is not a given -it doesn't come from someone else ...that is comes from never giving up even when you feel like you're all alone.
A touching moment that stayed with me as I went through my day today - until - until that is my sons brought in the mail this afternoon as said, "Mom, there's a letter from the Juneau County Circuit Court"
My heart skipped - my stomach got the churning achy feeling that you get when you know a bill collector is calling and you haven't a dime in the world. I could feel myself starting to shake, thinking that maybe my actions to create opportunity were too late...that someone was suing me - or perhaps worse yet (I have stepped on a few toes here and there)
I swallowed hard - took a breath...and proceeded to open the letter. Inside were official court papers notifying me that a motion to the court had been made - A motion from my ex-husband - the man who on August 13, 2007 sexually, physically, and emotionally abused me for over an hour long and in front of our two sons - a motion he made because he wants to freeze his obligation to pay child support because he doesn't want to face the back amount he will owe me once he is released from prison...a place he is at because of the crime he committed towards me...and toward his sons.
I cannot express the emotions that surged through me. The memories that flashed before my eyes - the pain and fear that has been in and with me since that tragic day - pain and fear that I would be unable to make it on my own - feed my children - keep a roof over my head - be the everything that they need - both parents and do so walking that fine line. Memories of the days when oatmeal was dinner more nights than any child should know - holes in their shoes and pants until I could plan on getting new ones - Birthdays where their favorite meal was the only gift they received from me.
For the past 5 years I have refused to show anger or speak badly of him in front of my sons. Today I broke. My anger showed. I swore. I called him a name so many others have but I refused to since this nightmare began. My Woywod German temper flared -
It's not about the money - the court set his obligation at the lowest amount possible when the divorce was finalized. They did so because he was already incarcerated for his crime - $106 per month - combined ...total for both children. That's it. Less than 2 dollars a day per child. I haven't seen a dime of it, and I know I never will.
It's the point. The point that he doesn't want to make amends -that now there will be a court hearing where he will be video conference in, and he will finally get to see me - something he has been after since the day he was sentenced.
THAT @SS...THAT S.O.B.!
He sent that motion the week before Father's Day. Nice, huh?
This is the aftermath of abuse and justice. This is the side people never really get a glimpse into - what some survivors must go through on their path to living free.
I know I will get through this...it is what it is and it must be dealt with accordingly. But the next time you see a single mom raising kids after living through abuse...think twice before you judge. Realize that the story didn't end when the abuser left or when the gavel came down and he was sentenced. She deals with the aftermath of the crime on a daily basis. Every day, around every corner is a test on her courage and strength.
I think tonight I will sit with my youngest and watch some t.v. - it's time to revisit that conversation we often have..."where to go on vacation if we could?"