Monday, January 9, 2017

Look what I found!

   Wow! I've spent the morning reading through what my life was like 4 short years ago. So many tears. So much has changed. I'm happy pretty much every day. My children are doing well. I'm happily married to my first love after 26 years apart. (My ex husband gave me the best gift ever, the divorce I was too scared to ask for)

It went like this:

My son continued to destroy his life by dropping out of school, and getting arrested for felony drug possession. This time he actually went to jail (for about 18 hours), and he paid his own way out. He still smokes weed, but he's also managed to focus on a real career. And he did it himself, he asked for the job he wanted, they said he needed experience, he got a lesser job to get experience, and then went back. Now he's a certified auto tech for VW, on his way to being a master-tech. He's still with his same girlfriend, and they've been living together for 3 years. He is not financially linked to me in any way. He's done this on his own (or with help from her family).

My daughter graduated summa cum laude from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, after doing an internship with the federal probation and parole office. Shortly after graduating she got a job back in Baton Rouge with Department of Correction as a probation and parole officer. She already has case files, but can't do field work until she finishes the academy (which starts this month). Still with her same boyfriend as well.

The biggest change came in June of 2014. A couple weeks after our anniversary my children's father came home and announced he wanted a divorce. I was shocked, I was hurt, I was mad that he was able to beat me to it. I freely admit it's something I fantasized about being financially able to do for several years. Most recently after he proved to be no help in dealing with our rebellious son. He cashed in his substantial 401k, and on the advice of his friends tried to hide most of it from me. I didn't care. I just needed enough to get set up on my own, and he obliged.

I was upset for about a minute, and that was mostly fear of being on my own. But I took one of our dogs with me, Nixie. And after about a week of being on my own I found I loved it. I made friends at the dog park. I set up an OK Cupid account and went on a couple of dates. I joined a book club, and even found a church. I'm an atheist, but I've found community at a Unitarian church.

Sometime during that time, specifically 4/13/2015, I sent a FB message to someone who meant a lot to me in high school. To my surprise he responded. We started chatting online regularly. I won't share his story, that's for him to do. But we did find that whatever had been between us all those years ago still lingered. We decided to reunite in person to be sure, and it was amazing. It should have been weird. It should have been awkward. It was everything but those things. It was natural, it was comfortable. We decided that we didn't want to lose anymore time so he moved down here in September of 2015, and we were married in June of 2015.

And that's where I find myself now, immensely happy, with both of my children on their own pursuing careers. Two things I never would have thought possible 4 short years ago. Sure, the rest of the world has gone to shit, but my personal life has never been better.

I started journaling for the new year so I'm not sure how often I'll do anything with this blog, but sometimes a different kind of outlet is nice.

Happy New Year! (and I mean it this time)

Monday, April 1, 2013


My sanity is like a Jenga tower. Everyday it seems that something removes another block and I teeter on the verge of collapse. And yet somehow I remain standing.

Easter was a bust. I took Braddock and Nixie (our new pit bull rescue) to the dog park. Braddock attacked another dog. It was totally unprovoked and uncharacteristic of him. I was beside myself, profusely apologizing to the couple that had the other dog. Thankfully it appeared to leave only superficial wounds on the other dogs muzzle. Just some scratches, but there seemed to be a lot of blood. I left them my phone number in case they had to take their dog to the vet. I'm hoping I don't hear from them. In hindsight I seemed to be more upset than they were. I swear I'm not a bad dog parent. I was watching Nixie like a hawk because, aside from minor interactions with other dogs at the vet and at PetSmart (where she was super playful), I hadn't seen her interact with other dogs. She did fine at the dog park. I was so excited to get to see her interact and play with puppies. She even rolled over on her back and let them climb all over her. Braddock had been to the dog park several times starting when he was just a puppy. I've never seen him instigate aggression towards other dogs. I have seen him react with aggression toward a dog that's attacked him. I don't know what has caused this change in his demeanor. He isn't aggressive towards Nixie, other than him snapping at her when she's bothering him. He even wrestles with her playfully. Only thing I can do is not take him to the dog park anymore. I still want to take Nixie though. She was having so much fun and didn't even rush to the sound of the dog fight to try and get involved. Hubby will have to plan some special one on one time with him and Braddock so I can take her without him feeling left out.

And now today. I had told my son that there would be no prom if I got another call from the school about him skipping. He did great for a week or two. Today is supposed to be the first day back from Spring Break and, even though I'd reminded him of the agreement, he ditched again. After a long, tearful (on my part), phone call and several texts back and forth he is accusing me of ruining his life, claiming he has it under control and even telling me that he's going to move out, grow up and become successful and call me and rub it in my face. Evidently he doesn't understand parenting. All I want is for him to be successful. He doesn't seem to understand how much what he is doing now will hurt him in that quest. He doesn't understand that everything I'm doing and saying to him now is only to help him achieve success, even if success is nothing more than a high school diploma and a lack of a police record.

I've told him he can't go to prom. He's told me he's going anyway. I know I can't physically stop him, but as of right now I will not help him financially. He's claimed that if I tell his girlfriend's parents that he can't go and why he will leave. And he might. I'm sure he can bounce from couch to couch for awhile, but I don't know if I'm ready to take it to that point yet. I'm really at a loss. I don't know what, if anything, I can do that will make any difference. I've told him if he moves out we'll take him off the insurance and take back his car and cancel his phone. I don't know how much of that is an idle threat because he needs his car for work, and right now that's the only thing he's got going for him.

I keep saying I'm done. That I'm just going to let him do what he's going to do and he'll just have to deal with the consequences. One day maybe I'll mean it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Really Son?

Wow, I actually forgot what he was like for a second. He had work all weekend. We called him home early a couple nights and he didn't put up a fight. We talked about stuff without ending up in a screaming match. Silly me, I thought these might be signs of maturity. I was even starting to feel bad about his car crapping out on him this morning. I was literally online searching for a fuel pump to see if I could help him out when the school called to tell me that now he's got a girl calling in to try and check him out of class. Thankfully the Dean of Students and I are tight and he didn't recognize the number so he called me to verify.

I want to give up and cut him loose, but these stupid maternal instincts keep believing there might be hope.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It Could Always Be Worse

Had an interesting/disturbing phone call from the father of one of my son's hoodlum friends. Evidently his son has become increasing violent and has even threatened his father's life. This boy has always been in just a little more trouble than my kid. His anger issues were something I had heard of before, but I didn't realize it was to that extent.

Last night after my phone call with the dad I summoned my son home because he had been caught leaving school early after one of his friends called and pretended to be a parent authorizing him to check out. I already knew about this because the Dean of Students had called me. This was something we had discovered had been happening and we were trying to nip it in the bud.  I mentioned this to the boy's dad and he told me he had seen my son earlier in the day with some of the other hoodlum crew. When my son told the boy that he couldn't hang out last night because he'd been caught skipping and that I was talking to his dad on the phone the boy took it to mean his dad had ratted on my son. Evidently this sent him into a furious tirade against his dad forcing his dad to contact me and my son asking us to set the record straight.

This father is currently unemployed with lots of time on his hands to really delve into the goings-on of his son and the boys he most frequently hangs with. He told me he believed that my son and the rest of the boys were dealing (at least among each other). He has come up with a genius idea of having restraining orders issued against my son and the other boys he knows that run in that little group. I honestly don't mind because I agree that together these boys make very bad decisions and nothing good will come of their continued association. I would do the same if I could. He went on and on about surveillance techniques available with cell phone technology. Again, something I would be interested in if I had the means. (and when Jr. buys his iPhone in April I will look into the GPS tracking app)

While I may be at the end of my rope with my son, while I'm forced to stand by as he races full speed off a cliff, at least when I'm awake at night it's with thoughts of where I went wrong or how I can possibly get through to him and not because I'm wondering if my kid will try and kill me in my sleep.

It's all perspective. My kid is an asshole because he won't stop smoking weed and he keeps screwing up his education. I don't like it, but I've seen how much worse it could be and I'm a tiny bit relieved. Like a minuscule amount.

Monday, March 4, 2013

S.S.D.D. (same shit; different day)

Call from school AGAIN. My son had decided that instead of skipping he just won't go. His excuse this time is that his girlfriend is home sick so he's at her house. Is it any wonder I'm breaking out all over with "stress induced eczema".

I really don't think he's going to make it. There is no way he can graduate if he doesn't go. And given his current attitude and the several talks we've had about what he needs to do and what consequences there will be (short and long term) he doesn't seem inclined to change his attitude or behavior.

I want to give up, but according to the law he can do what ever he pleases until he's 18. Evidently 17 is a magical place where parental options are limited when it comes to unruly children.

There is little consolation in knowing that I will survive this because I know that regardless of my survival the end result for him will be considerably less than what any parent would want for their child's future.

If I had the money I could send him to a 5 month youth boot camp. He has friends that went through it and are still into drugs and some have still been in trouble with the law. So the only upside is I wouldn't have to worry about him for 5 months (unless he runs away from the camp).

I could take his car. But without transportation he could lose his job (which is the only good thing he's got going for him right now).

I hate him so much lately. It's that special kind of hate that you can really only feel for someone you love with all your heart.

I give up. I'm done.
(one of these days I may actually mean that)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Trudging Along

To quote one of my favorite actors (Paul Bettany), from one of my favorite movies (A Knight's Tale)...

To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man (or woman) who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


So things had been going relatively well. Jr.'s car was up and running. He isn't around much, but he hasn't been causing any major problems. Comes home smelling of weed every now and then, but there's not much we can do about that. He finally found a job and it's a good one. Great local fast food place that has an awesome reputation for treating its young staff well and keeping them happy. I've always said he had the right personality to work there and I'm hoping he does well.
We even decided to get another dog. Didn't really want to, but Braddock has been super mopey and clingy and so happy when Jr's girlfriend brings her lab over to visit. We found a pitbull rescue and we are really hoping it'll make him happier. She's super sweet and when they met she seemed to already recognize him as the alpha dog. I have to admit that part of me went along with it because of the idea of having something new to love that doesn't make me feel like crap. (not the right reason to get a dog, but it was the "pro" that tipped the scales)
Flash forward to today, to this morning, to about 20 mins ago. I get a call from Jr.'s school. They already said that if he gets caught skipping class again they will expel him. He would have to finish out the year at an alternative school in order to return next year to graduate. Well he's not skipping class; he's just decided not to go at all. He hasn't been there since last Thursday. He gets up every morning. He puts on his uniform. He leaves the house. I had no reason to suspect anything. I finally get him on the phone and find out that he's been chilling at a friend's house playing x-box and sleeping (probably more than a little weed smoking thrown in because this particular friend is notorious in that department).
I don't know what else to do. My husband insists that he graduates because he might wind up deciding to go in the military once he realizes how hard it is to get a job without a secondary degree. I want him to get his GED and move out like he's threatened to do so many times. I don't want to screw up his opportunity at this new job by taking away his car. I can ground him, but with his own transportation I can't make sure he comes home straight from school or work. It's like he knows he's got us over a barrel.
You know what it is, it's like when you know you are going to suck at something and you just want to do it and get it over with. Because you know how awful you are going to feel when you are in the process of sucking and you will feel compelled to try things to reduce the amount of suckage, but to no avail.  You just want to get to the other side where you can reflect on how bad you sucked. That's me right now. I just want him gone so I can reflect on my failures as a mother instead of flailing around and trying desperately to salvage some decent parenting. It's a lost cause.
You can point at my daughter and say I'm not a complete failure, but I'd have to remind you that both of my parents sucked and I managed to make a decent human being out of myself. So I don't know how much of her I can take responsibility for.