I try…

…really hard to listen, and to be understanding, and to be helpful in anyway I can. Well…I must really suck at it! My mind is slipping, and I know it. My body is shutting down, and I know it. I love my family, and I hope they know it. But, I feel like they all hate me.

Between the disrespect, the disgusted faces, the rolling eyes, the nit-picking, the attitudes, the utter hatred that seems to flow from them towards me…I’m ready to call it. I want to cry for help, or maybe make a plea for help, I don’t know. Everyone knows how I feel about suicide and yet I can’t help but feel like maybe it truly is the best thing for me to do. My family doesn’t want me around anyways.

I’m running out of things to live for. If someone said that to me I’d tell them to start living for themselves. I know plenty of people who would tell me the exact same thing. The problem is, I’ve lost so much of me, that living for me feels like a joke now. I’m different than I was a year ago. I’m losing more of myself all the time. I try to pretend that this isn’t happening to me, but I can’t make myself believe that I am who I pretend to be…deep down I know it’s all an act.

I used to want lots of friends. I don’t even know who my “friends” are anymore. No one seems to want to keep in touch with me. At this point I’d settle for one person caring enough about me to drop everything and come to my rescue. I’m always the one to drop everything and come to everyone else’s rescue. No one ever comes to my rescue, so I don’t even know who to try to turn to. I’m too embarrassed to even ask anyone to save me anyways. How sad is that? I feel like I’m not worth saving anymore. Absolutely pitiful.


I took a huge leap of faith…

…going on this adventure I’m on. No money to speak of, an old camper for a home, no clue how long it will be before I make money, no clue where I’m going to park the camper for 3 months, and no idea how I was going to make ends meet needing to buy food, gas, wash clothes, wash me. Wondering how I’m going to do all the work necessary all by myself because no one is taking the job to help me. I am learning almost every day, just how much got is helping me.

Every time I start to worry about how I’m going to pay for gas, or food, or a place to stay, it gets taken care of. Whether it’s my brother sending me money, or mom offering to send some money out of nowhere, or someone showing up to work with me, or just a calm coming over me, I have not had too much stress out here. I’m not saying there’s been no stress, because let me tell you, there has been plenty. And I’m not saying it’s been easy, because it’s been anything but easy. But nothing I can’t handle.

I’ve been staying at a small campground in the Uintah National Forest since I left the Walmart parking lot. I was told on day one that I could stay up to 14 days, and then must go somewhere else for 14 days before I could return for another 14 days. My time is up on Wednesday. As I drove to the campground tonight coming back from town to call my family, I was stopped by the camp hostess. She asked me when my time was up here and I told her “Wednesday”. She asked me where I planned to go Wednesday and I told her “About 5 miles further into the forest to stay at the next campground.” She told me she didn’t want me moving back and forth between campgrounds. She said “I’m not supposed to do this, but you should just stay here. We close the campground October 15th. Why don’t you stay here and be part of the family?” I almost cried right then and there!

I have been praying for calm, and to have my needs met, and I have been trying to not worry about things I can’t control. I am not a religious person, not like I used to be; not anymore. I’ve pulled away from church and churchy things. Church stuff just brings me an uneasiness that I can’t explain to anyone in a way that they’ll understand. But I think I have begun to find God again, or maybe it’s that He’s found me again.¬† I’m not sure which. I know I can’t do what I’m doing out here, helping my brother and all, by myself.

I have been able to start working through things from my past that I have pushed aside for over 20 years. My feelings about this stuff from my past are still so raw, that just the thought of them brings tears to my eyes. I spent hours, just a few nights ago, writing a letter to my uncle who I hold responsible for starting a string of events that sent my life into a downward spiral. I know the fault for my choices were all mine, but I never told him how much one choice he made affected my perceptions and led me to make certain choices that couldn’t be taken back. The solitude of being in a camper, alone, away from active technology, away from interruption (except for the occasional camping family with kids), has given me the opportunity to face my past head on; and although I am not completely done working through this, I am closer than I have ever been. The peace I feel because of this is amazing. It’s the proverbial weight being lifted. A weight I carried around for too long.



…I take back my story.
Letter to My Uncle…

Dear Uncle,
I have been carrying around so much anger towards you for over 22 years. I’m sure you have no idea what you did wrong, but I have hated you ever since. I don’t want an apology, or for you to fix it, because frankly, it’s too late for that. It won’t do me any good, in fact, it will probably just add to my hurt. Your actions changed the course of my life forever, and you can’t give that back. I am not writing this letter for you, I am writing it for me, so I can finally, hopefully, let go of this hatred that I have held for too long. Part of me hopes that you will spend the rest of your life with regret for the damage you caused, but I don’t care enough about you to care if that really happens or not. I will never forgive your actions, but maybe now I can forgive myself for not being stronger.

22 years ago, you told our bishop, my great uncle, that I had gone and gotten myself pregnant. He then called me and the father into his office to chastise us and tell us we needed to get married or give the baby up. I don’t know where you heard, and I don’t care. I can only imagine, based on your actions, what you thought of me (as if you had any right to judge, based on your poor choices that landed you in legal trouble), but you had no right to tell your version of MY story to anyone else. That single act of telling someone something you had little facts about…changed my life in more ways than you will ever know.

Well, let me shed a little light. I was engaged to the father of that baby, but he was a monster. I thought I was in love, but I was wrong. It wasn’t love that I felt for him, it was fear. My family, like you, thought so little of me my entire life. I could never live up to the greatness of my brothers. Mom never understood me, I was nothing but the problem child who needed to be controlled. After high school, I moved, well technically I was sent away, to live with my Aunt and Uncle, my dad’s little sister, to help them care for their kids. I stayed there for a few months, but didn’t earn the money I expected, or needed, to and was always asking mom for money to buy the things I needed. Another opportunity came up to help that uncles sister with their child. This would mean another move, but promised more money and time to work another job, so I took it. I watched their child as often as they needed me to, and got my first real job working at a gas station. I eventually quit that job and started working at a bowling alley cooking in their snack shop and babysitting kids in their drop in care.

The bowling alley is where I met JR. He was a handsome red head who said all the right things, and made me feel like a million bucks. He took me on adventures, taught me a little about cars, bought me things that made me feel pretty, taught me things my family never did. He was amazing. I moved home, and brought him with me. His family didn’t much care for him, very similar to how my family felt about me. We bonded over that. For a couple of months, he lived with us in the old family home. He shared a room with my brothers and slept on the floor. He found a job close to home and would come home to see me every day. My friends became his friends. He proposed to me at my favorite restaurant. Everyone in my family was excited (maybe just excited to get rid of me, I don’t know), but they all had their reservations about him. Shortly after we got engaged he started becoming emotionally abusive. I chalked it up to him being stressed at work, and thought it was my fault for not being a better fianc√©. My family was emotionally, and physically abusive to me, so why should he be any different. The physical abuse started shortly after. Then came the sexual abuse. He would come home on his lunch break, when I was home alone, and he would demand sex, and when I would say no, I would get beaten. He would rape me and tell me he loved me. He would apologize for the beatings and the rape, and buy me flowers and tell me he was weak, and that it wouldn’t happen again, but it did. Repeatedly. For months. Until I got sick. I had the flu and was constantly throwing up. My friend was worried because I wasn’t getting any better, and after being sick for 3 or 4 weeks, my friend bought me a pregnancy test. It was positive. He told me I had to tell JR. My friend didn’t know what JR was doing to me, and I didn’t know how to tell him that I was scared and needed protection for me and my baby. I told JR, who immediately stormed out of my friends house. I didn’t tell anyone else, so how you found out is a mystery to me. But you took it upon yourself to tell bishop your version of my story.

Do you realize what you did now? Can you see how that was not ok? Because of you, I was called in to my bishops office with my rapist! My attacker sitting next to me while my bishop, who listened to you, asked us what we were going to do! What the hell was I supposed to do? JR still lived with us. If I outed him as my attacker the beatings would get worse, and I couldn’t jeopardize my innocent, unborn child regardless of how I got pregnant. Based on that farce of a meeting, I went to my mom and told her I was pregnant. But now that the rumor mill had started, anything I said to the contrary of your version of my story would’ve been seen as a lie. I had no support from my family, or protection from JR, and it was all because you had to start shit. JR moved back home with his family shortly after that meeting, and we “postponed the wedding indefinitely”. My best friend from high school sent for me to visit her in California. She was the first person I told about everything. She was in the navy and introduced me to people and took me out to have fun to help keep my mind off of everything. I met a man who was nice, and didn’t care that I was pregnant. He offered me a business proposition: marry him, his pay would increase which he would share with me, I would have military benefits for me and the baby, and before our first anniversary we would have the marriage annulled and we could go our separate ways as friends. Desperate and alone I jumped at the chance to get a head start at a life for me and the baby, and to have the support of someone through this. Before the baby was born my new husband came to me to tell me that he was falling in love with me and that he wanted to raise the baby as his own. I was on cloud nine! Life with him was rough from the beginning, but I was a romantic and naively believed that as long as we love each other we can make it through anything. He was a drug user, and I later found out he also made drugs in the apartment we shared. He was an alcoholic, and not a friendly one. He too became abusive. But without my families support I felt stuck. I couldn’t call home and ask for help, because I was already a failure in their eyes. I couldn’t stand the thought of me proving them right, again. So I stayed, and I suffered, hoping that one day his apologies would truly mean something.

My beautiful daughter was born, and I finally had someone in my life who needed me and truly loved me. Mom made plans to come visit, and I wanted her to see me being a good mom so she would be proud of me. With days until moms visit, my husband gave me an ultimatum: either the baby goes, or we both go. I wanted, more than anything, to keep my baby, but the only options I could see were to find a home for her, or be homeless with her knowing the state could come take her away because we were living on the streets. I figured it would better if I could pick her new family, rather than leaving that up to the state. I found a woman who wanted to adopt her, but found out she was lying to me about her life, so I kept looking. I called Uncle Wayne because I knew I could talk to him. I told him of my situation (about needing a home for my daughter), and I asked his advice. He asked me to give him some time and he would get back to me. He got back to me and I don’t remember if they asked, or if I offered, but they agreed to adopt her. I called mom to tell her that I was placing my daughter for adoption, and as predicted, she got mad at me. I just could never do anything right. I was ruining her trip already, and it hadn’t even started yet. But she came anyways. While visiting we came up with a game plan: mom would take the baby back to Oregon with her, and grandma would deliver the baby to Uncle Wayne when the legalities were figured out. I had made the most painful, life altering, and least selfish decision of my life, a decision I fully believe I would not have made had I had the support of my family, which you took away from me.

One month, one week, and day after giving birth to the light of my life, I said goodbye to her as mom drove away with her. I wanted to die. It would be over 8 years before I would finally get to see her again. I was a failure, just like everyone knew I would be. I convinced myself that I deserved whatever abuses I got, and I stayed with my husband. I stayed because I didn’t deserve to be happy anymore. I was so desperate to fill the hole in my heart that I would beg my husband to get me pregnant. Regardless of the abuse towards me, I needed another baby, one I would not give away.

I finally got pregnant and had another baby. I was abused during the pregnancy but did what I could, short of leaving (because I believed him when he said he would kill me if I ever left) to protect the baby. I was pushed down stairs; burned with boiling water; emotionally, physically and sexually abused. I was depressed and sick after delivery, eventually needing an emergency surgery, but was still expected to do everything for him and the baby and keep a perfect house and do all the cooking. Unable to keep up with his demands, he took the baby and moved to his dad’s house. I was alone, and desperate to get my baby back. I went to a judge with his violent history and the judge ordered the baby be returned to me. Still, when he came back I stayed with him. When J was just over 4 months old, he turned his attack on her. That was the day I found my strength. I packed up what I could carry of hers, and I walked from 11 pm until 3 am to get to the bus station. Grandma had bought me a one way ticket home. I had no money for food, just enough formula for the baby, and a 6 day bus trip ahead. I made it home, weak and ready for change. I told mom the whole truth, and I finally felt her support. J and I stayed with her until I could no longer stand living with her husband, and I got an apartment. A piece of shit place that backed up against an all night business with no insulation in between. I barely slept. I got a good job and started my new life. I went to visit that same friend from high school, and help her with her kids, when I re met Jay. We started dating and got married. To this day I still struggle with believing I deserve to be happy. I still struggle with feeling like a failure. I still struggle with knowing the consequences of my silence. I still struggle to know that I am strong enough to fight back now.

I do not blame you for my lack of strength or the decisions I made when I was weak, but I blame you for adding to the negative view that my family had of me, and for starting something you had no right to start. Because of what you did, by telling bishop your version of facts, you took away my ability to tell my mom the truth. I was planning on getting mom alone and telling her everything, and asking for her help, but you tainted my story. I have to live everyday knowing that I gave up my child because I was too weak and insecure to do whatever it took to keep her, and I have regretted it ever since. As one of the few father figures I had in my life that I thought I could trust, you were the one who I needed to be most wary about.

You’re decision to put your own selfish need for drama and attention ahead of all else, sent my life into a tailspin. I have struggled to find peace ever since. I pity you, almost as much as I hate you. I pity you because clearly you were so unfulfilled in your own life, that you saw fit to meddle in mine. How sad for you. But I have to thank you. Because of you, I don’t trust family members to stay out of my business. I know to protect myself from them and not allow them into my life more than necessary to maintain certain relationships. I was far from a perfect child, and I didn’t deserve much, but I still had a right to my business, and my story, which you took from me. I truly hope you feel some level of regret, now that you know the truth it took me years to tell. I will always have hate in my heart for you, and regret my decisions, but at least now that the truth is out there, I can find the peace I’ve been missing.

Because I will protect my first born, at all costs, even though she is no longer legally mine, I will never be able to send this letter. I never want her to know the circumstances behind her conception. And I know I can never trust you to protect her, because to you, my story will always be whatever you want it to be.

Your niece.

Most of the people in my life…

…want me to be a quitter. But I'm not a quitter. I am a fighter. My life has become a constant battle to remain physically mobile, mentally alert, and to help others as much as I can. I fight these battles even though most people tell me to quit. They tell me I'm fine, but my body and mind are failing me, and I know it. They tell me to give up on helping someone because it's hard. Yes, it is hard, but it is also something I am, at least for the time being, capable of doing. I have cried every night so far since this adventure began. I have cried tears of frustration, tears of anger, tears of sorrow (because I really miss my family), and tears of pain. My body hurts so bad that I cry when I lay down to relax. It takes me so much longer to get out of bed, and my joints and muscles are stiff beyond belief. Getting dressed is painful as my range of motion lessens. Breathing is harder lately. I feel myself struggling to catch my breath on a regular basis, and reach for my inhaler often, which only makes the constant shaking worse. Still, I push through. I want to drink to ease the pain and calm my mind, but I know that drinking will not make it better, it may mask the pain and the emotions for a short time, but will not make them go away. I've thought about taking my pain meds, but they leave me feeling "off", and I need to be at 100% (or as close to it as I can be) to do all the driving and work that being here requires.

The work I'm doing is physically demanding, and most of the time I have not had help with setting up, which I must do every day I work. I have to go pick up a trailer, drive it to the market, unload everything, set up a booth, and start cooking while I wait for the other employee to show up. He is a great worker and is beyond helpful when he's there. The clean up is much better, because I have help, and we're getting pretty fast at it too. Yesterday we cleaned up and were ready to leave in about 40 minutes. That's way better than the hour and a half of the first night. Then I have to return the trailer, and then head to my camper. I get "home" any time from 9:30-midnight. I'm not making the money I need to make to have this work out, yet…but I have to believe that business will pick up soon. It has to. It would be easy for me to walk away and just say "Sorry, this isn't working out." But I'm not a quitter. If I walk away now, both my brother and I are out a lot of money, which is not something I can handle being responsible for. I don't want to let my brother down, and I don't want to let myself down. I know what I am capable of, and doing any less than that is unacceptable.

My emotions are trying to get the best of me. I need company, someone to talk to out here. It's lonely and gives me too much time to think. Ya know, when your thoughts tend to go to extremes and you start trying to reevaluate your life based on these extreme thoughts. Yup, not a place I should be going right now. I've been taking baby wipe baths, and driving around trying to find something to do that doesn't involve a lot of strangers (because I don't want to deal with strangers right now) but not having much luck.

I need a shower, a hike, and a friend. I wish I was more confident in my abilities, maybe then I'd be brave enough to try a hike alone. I know that I don't want to go somewhere where I won't be found if I get into trouble, but not knowing the area makes that a lot harder. As for the physical and emotional pain…I keep fighting…one minute at a time…one hour…one day. I draw, and write to escape my thoughts, and try to ignore the pain. I know I could be a lot worse off. My daily drives into town (where cell service is available) to call home both helps and hurts. They seem to be doing fine without me, which gets my mind going to those dark places again. I wonder if they need me anymore, if they want me around. I contemplate staying here. Not in the camper, but finding a second job, and renting a place just for me. I want to see the familiar face of someone who doesn't judge me. I have a very select few that fit that category, but none of them live here, and it's selfish of me to ask them to come see me, so I don't. I might drop hints (subtle or not), but I can't be upset if no one shows up. After all. I am the one who put myself in this situation. Still, the alone time and meager accommodations have made me more thankful for my family, friends, and modern conveniences.

This is the start…

…of a new adventure for me. I “moved” about 4 hours from home to help my brother by running his business for him. The plan is to be here, running the business, until the end of October, about 3 months. My accommodations, while on this adventure, are less than ideal; in fact, the accommodations have already proven to be an adventure of their own. I’m living in an old, run down camping trailer, that really needs to be dismantled and rebuild from the frame up. It has no electricity, no running water, an ice box, no shower, no toilet, the door doesn’t close all the way and can only be locked shut by a padlock on the outside, and I’m trying out free camping. The first spot was a huge fail! Too far up a steep dirt road canyon and we couldn’t get the trailer any sort of level. Jay and J both stayed with me last night, and Jay slept in the truck we used to tow the trailer up here, and J slept in the trailer with me. She was on a good mattress, but because of how far the trailer was tilted, she worried about falling out the window, and I slept on 2 foam parts of a “couch”, which were not connected, so every time I moved I either came close to falling off, or ended up in the gap between the foam pads that my movement created. After last nights experience we decided to try Walmart camping. Now if you’ve never done it, and you have a camper, it’s worth a try. First you need to call the Walmart you’re planning on camping at and speak to the store manager to ask if they allow camping, and how long you’ll be welcome there. I called some that said “no” to it because previous campers left trash, stayed too long, or were not respectful (by not maintaining a low profile, being disrespectful to staff and customers, or not parking in the furthest corners of the stores lot), so don’t be that kind of camper. I called the one I’m at now, and spoke to a manager who is allowing me to stay for 3 days. I will be driving home tomorrow night after working a long day running the business. It will be a long day, but I have an important meeting first thing Tuesday morning that I can’t miss.

The first of being in charge I learned some key lessons: first, my brother did me huge favor by only having me help with the fun part of his business. I had never before had to set up, take down, and run his business without him or his wife there. Second, I forgot how difficult hiring and training someone is, add to that the language barrier, and it feels like an endless up hill climb. Third, no matter how much it hurts, I can still push through it to get the job done. Fourth, know where all the important tools are before you set up, so you don’t spend precious time searching for them when you should’ve started using them 20 minutes ago. Fifth, practice makes the difficult parts go faster.

This is a 12 week adventure that I am determined finish. Business should pick up soon, and when it does, all the pain, frustration, and struggles will be worth it.

Update: I have gone home, had a disappointing meeting, and driven the 4 hours back to move the camper, as my 3 free days are up. I found a nice spot in a campground that is only costing me $10/day. I can stay here for 14 days, and then must find another campground. Work has been difficult and slow, but I’m already a week in, and only 11 more to go.

Today was like…

…an emotional roller coaster. It’s Father’s Day, and I usually spend the whole day pretty sad missing, and thinking about, my dad and everything he’s missed out on, and everything I missed out on. But today was different. In fact, I didn’t get sad or teary until about an hour ago. I had other things on my mind. 

For the past few days I have been anxiously waiting for a childhood friend, Nicole, to make it to Vegas so I could drive down and see her. We met in 6th grade. We went to school together and were best friends, hanging out every chance we had. We bonded over the loss of our fathers, and our tough/harsh maternal figures, and NKOTB (what were we thinking?!?)…our lives were very similar back then, with some minor differences. The summer between 9th and 10th grade my family moved out of state. I hated my mom for making us move away (I had no concept of financial hardships at the time) and I vowed that I would make her so miserable that she would send me back “home”. Little did I know how devastating our move was to Nicole. We were inseparable, until our move separated us. We returned to our hometown for a visit the following summer. I don’t remember how long we were in town, but it wasn’t long enough. I was able to get in a visit with Nicole, and wanted to go back every year to visit her. Neither of us knew that we would not see each other again for 25 years. 

We lost contact after that visit. Many years passed and my mom contacted me to let me know that a letter had arrived at the family home for me from Nicole. I got the letter a few days later and responded. We wrote back and forth for a while, and talked on the phone occasionally…and then life happened. We lost contact again. I would occasionally look for her on Facebook, but didn’t have any luck. Just a few years ago she sent me a friend request. Life kept us both pretty busy, but we were better about keeping up with each other through Facebook. Our lives had taken parallel paths, both of us having many similar experiences, even our ex’s share the same first name (yes, I think all men that I have encountered with that first name have been asshats). We are both in a better place. 

I was so stressed out about seeing her today, the first time in 25 years, and I have changed a lot, I guessed that she did too. What if we don’t recognize each other? Which is kinda dumb because we see each other’s pictures on Facebook. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if I don’t like her anymore? What if we have nothing to talk about? J and I arrived at her hotel and she was coming down to meet us. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged. It was so great to see her face light up, and I was put at ease. I couldn’t see myself, but I think I lit up too. We walked around trying to find a place to eat and talk. When we finally found a place we started talking like we were picking up where we left off. J said she heard Nicole say things and she thought to herself “That’s exactly what mom would say.”, and she’s right, it was what I would say. We talked about our kids and how both B and J were named after her. We talked about family and struggles and blessings and progress and church. An amazing visit, and the food was good too. We had to say goodbye too soon, but we both agreed to not go so long before seeing each other again. 

As J and I drove home I was replaying the visit and past things people have said to me about every friend I made after her. I have had some real doozies. I have picked some “real winners”. I suddenly came to the realization that I had never had a friend as true, loyal, reliable, understanding, compassionate…the list goes on…as she was to me. In every relationship there is some give and some take. For the majority of relationships I have had, there has always been more giving on my part and more taking on theirs, but not with Nicole. I think we both gave back as much, if not more, than we took. I cannot think of another friend who has been that way with me. 

Forward to an hour ago when I started texting my brothers to tell them happy Father’s Day, since I was traveling, catching up with Nicole, and having dinner with Jay and J, and by the time I got the chance to call the boys, it was too late. I got more emotional as I wrote each text. I made sure to let them know how much I look to up to each of them. I am sad that I don’t have the close relationships with them that I wish I had, and the ones I feel close to, I struggle with because of my emotional hurt. I have to find a healthy way to release grudges and hurts so I can move past the hurts. I miss my dad. I remember being a daddy’s girl. Maybe I remember right, and maybe I don’t, but I remember his love for me. I’m heartbroken, grateful and happy this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the many men in my life, present and past, who have had a positive impact on my life and the woman I’ve become. 

Life changes. Experiences change us. We change. Friends come and go from our lives. True friends may leave our lives, but reconnect as if no time has passed. True friends are selfless and love you for being you. I’m lucky enough to have one. 

Suddenly it’s a great idea to foster…

…because it’s his idea. I have been very vocal about my desire to have more kids, just as I have been very vocal about everything important in my life. When Jay came to me almost 2 months ago with the suggestion that we should become licensed foster parents my first thought was “Yes! Of course! Finally!” That night, I couldn’t sleep. The foster process is long and difficult, but in my mind totally worth it. I started to get angry. For years I have tried to have more kids, using donors, looking into adoption and fostering…but I felt so alone. Everything I tried, every step I took, I was alone. Growing our family was important to me, and it was painfully clear that it was important to only me. It was clearer with ever effort that he wasn’t a willing participant in any of my attempts. 

After my hysterectomy last November I worked hard to overcome the extreme depression I fell into almost immediately after surgery. It was so painful to accept that I will never again carry a baby inside me. It was even more difficult to accept that our family, as it is now, is only going to grow when our kids have kids of their own. We already have 2 grandbabies, and I love them so much, but I don’t think I feel the grandma connection to them that i probably should. They are his kids kids, and his kids don’t like me…I feel distance is better than yet another heartache…that is on me. I was finally finding happiness with our situation. Our youngest is 18, and will likely leave us soon, making us “empty nesters”. I was as ready for it as I could be. Then he suggests we retake the foster classes (we took them almost 6 years ago, and never finished the process) and get licensed.

I asked him the next day “Why now? Why not anytime over the last 13 years when I suggested it? Is this your way of keeping me from leaving?” He said that when he got the email from the regional guy with the class schedule for May, he felt like we should do it. And he said that if I still want to leave, he understands. But now I’m really mad. I have had dreams for years about a boy that is supposed to be my son, and I know his voice, his face, even his name. Wide awake and all alone I would hear him say “Mom”. I knew that he was helping me to remember that he is supposed to be with us. My personal revelation meant nothing to Jay for over 13 years! I was beginning to think I was going crazy. The dreams stopped months ago. I stopped hearing him call for me. Now when I am wide awake and all alone…I hear nothing but silence. 

I needed time to think. I didn’t know what to do. Suddenly that yearning to have another child was back, but the anger and utter disbelief that he would bring this up like it was his idea all along, had me in an internal tug of war. I went back and forth on the idea for days. I didn’t know what I would decide, although I knew immediately what I wanted to choose. The realization that we successfully co-parented our nephews and we’re able to work together was so clear. I had finally made up my mind. 

Our marriage is broken, but the one thing that makes us communicate, work together, and support each other is taking care of kids for someone else. When we had T, and R, we were able to be happier around each other and work better together. Fostering a child will not fix our relationship, and I’m not saying it will make things better because in all actuality it will add more stress to our family. But that fire inside me was reignited and I want another child. 

We took the classes. 32 hours of uncomfortable chairs, lectures, suggestions, ideas, stories, making new friends, growing our support system, asking lots of questions and not always getting clear answers. J even went to all the classes with us, which helped her too why T and R behaved the way they did. Jay and I made a deal. I would find a way to pay for licensing costs, and he would handle all of the paperwork. We are in the process and waiting for the next step. The decisions about which placements to take will be on all 3 of us. Our hope is to adopt, but if we can’t, being a temporary stop to help children who need us will be enough. 

I can’t put into words how strongly I feel that doing this is what I need. More importantly…it’s what the children who will come into our home need. I am at peace (at least I think I am) with whatever happens. Is divorce still on the table? Yes, kind of. More put on the back burner for now. Not because I’m finally getting what I want, but because I know what the possibilities are. 

As we grow together and learn from each other…