Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And then I saw the ceiling...

I had this whole post planned in my head on Gratitude. All the things in my life that are different and changed and how grateful I am for all of them....

But as always... time... it got away from me....

You keep meaning to write and meaning to write and then one day, you're lying on the floor of one of your favorite restaurants thinking, perhaps I should have written...

No, that's never happened to you? Well... let me tell you about my life.

On Friday night we did Christmas with some of my immediate family. As we were laughing and talking and watching Zack and the other "kids" shoot each other with nerf guns someone mentioned restaurants. And one of my FAVORITE restaurants was brought up.... and a plan was formed. Saturday night we would all go to this restaurant together.

So excited was I about this plan that as I was saying goodbye to Jim on Saturday morning I whispered it in his ear and giggled. Yeah... I like it that much...

We got there about 6:00 on Saturday and by 6:30 my stomach was HAPPY!! Oh so happy....

Jim and I were finished as were most of my other family members. My pop was empty so I offered to go fill up Jim's along with mine. I was walking along to the pop machine, I turned the corner and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling thinking two things:

1) How the hell did I get down here?

2) Well get up off the floor ya dumb a$$, you probably look pretty stupid.

The second one is what caused me to sit up abruptly only to realize that my shoulder kinda hurt... A LOT. So much so that getting off the floor and onto a chair was NOT in my plans anytime soon. Instead I asked the manager to round up Jim and I tried to breath in and out, figuring that I just bruised it.

No such luck. My sister was there and she quickly informed me that not only had I fallen on the floor, I had also dislocated my shoulder. Now I have spent the last 18 months with Jim telling me about his various injuries and the one I remembered most vividly at that moment was his shoulder dislocation and how they had to lay him on a cot and hang weights on his arm until it went back into socket and I can tell you the idea of that happening to me sounded about as appealing as cutting off my arm with a butter knife.

Yet, as I sat there, it quickly became apparent that something had to be done. So, an ambulance was called and I began my 1 - 2 hours of begging for pain medicine like an addict. Please just a little more. It hurts... give me another shot.

Finally sometime around 8:00 they fully knocked me out (oh yes... modern medicine) and popped my shoulder back in while I was sleeping. Which was probably a good thing because by that point I was fairly hysterical. Crying and begging for them to just knock me out so it stopped hurting.

Once I came back to the relief was almost instant. They wrote me a prescription for something strong but I only ended up taking Aleve when I got home.

And today, other than the fact that I'm a little sore, I would never know that I was in so much pain a few hours ago.

As for the restaurant, their covering the medical and I'm hoping they throw in a few free meals since I didn't get to keep mine down on Saturday. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

He's not a posession

I must apologize up front if any of what I say doesn't make sense or seems to ramble at times. I am extremely livid at the moment and really just need a place to vent before I explode.

I wrote the last post because I was sort of called out on being excited that Zack had picked sides. And I tried, possibly very badly, to explain that his relationship with FoTB was his to figure out and I would never encourage him one way or the other.

HOWEVER... what I left out was that I'm not necessarily excited THAT Zack has picked (because he has... we all know it, let's not sugar coat it....) I'm just ecstatic that he has someone he CAN pick who is loving, and decent and not completely self absorbed and self centered.

Case in point:

"It is MY time with him... he can't go there."

"Of course I don't know that he has a field trip. Why would I look at the calendar? I'm not there to do that, I'm there to pick up MY son."

"I miss you... do you miss me?"

"I love you... do you love me?"

"We have plans today, he can't go." And then when I get there, they have done NOTHING all day.

This last one, is the one that has me up in arms today. This is the second, possibly the third time, he has denied Zack the ability to go and do something he would really enjoy because they have "plans" only for me to get there and discover that they have done nothing all day and he simply didn't want Zack to go because it was "his time" and he was not giving it up.

Zack is not a possession. He is a little boy and the reason he doesn't like going to FoTB's and the reason he has so clearly chosen Jim over him is because Jim and I do not treat him like one. Now I realize that every child can't do every thing they want. I realize that sometimes people have plans and up until this point, I've just kind of let things ride. Up until this point what he's missed has only been stuff with Jim and I and/or our families.

This weekend he missed a birthday party. A party for one of his very bestest friends. Zack and her have been almost inseparable since the baby room and this weekend, instead of bowling with her and the rest of his friends he sat in FoTB's living room and played by himself because he didn't want to take him and he didn't want to allow me to take him.

Believe me, I offered. I called him and asked him last week if he could take Zack to the party or if I could pick him up, take him and then bring him back. Now mind you, he lives 20 minutes from me and from where the party was. So I was offering to spend 80 extra minutes in the car just so Zack could go because I knew it was a big deal to him to be able to go. It was what all the kids in his class were talking about last week.

But no... they had plans. His girlfriends cousin was coming and she was bringing her kid and they wanted Zack to be there to meet her and to play. It would be fun for him.....

Translation: I don't want to drive him all the way over there and I don't want you to take him because I would miss out on "MY TIME" with him and it's all about "MY TIME" so I'm going to tell you we are busy.

When I got there yesterday, once again Zack looked sad and tired. There were three women I didn't know in their kitchen and a one year old toddling around. There is no way in HELL this one year old was playing with Zack. He was in the living room playing by himself. When FoTB's girlfriend introduced me to her friends I said I'm Zack's mom and one of them hit me with, "Zack, oh... we haven't seen Zack yet. Is he here?"

And all that flashed through my mind at that point was anger. Anger and smart ass thoughts that I wanted SOO badly to say but kept to myself.

They were getting ready to eat. They made and entire dinner and never once asked if Zack could stay to eat. If it was that important to you that he was there don't you think you would have asked if he could stay?

When I asked Zack what he did all weekend he told me he just played. When I asked him if he had fun, he told me no. Then in the car, on the way home, he fell asleep again. Because I don't think he naps there and I don't think he sleeps enough, or very well, at night.

And somewhere between then and now I have been trying desperately not to pick up my phone and call FoTB and explain to him that next time there is a party for Zack he will be going, whether he takes him or I take him. That next time it is "HIS TIME" and all he is going to do is sit around and have Zack play by himself that there will be no "HIS TIME." I want so badly to just scream at him to stop being a selfish F^%$ and think about his son. Not his possession but a living breathing almost four year old child.

But alas, Jim has convinced me not to. He has reminded me, in his ever infinite wisdom, that I have been saying these things to him over and over again for fourteen years and nothing has changed yet. That I, DHS and a counselor all told him these things over and over again for the past year and it has made not one bit of difference so realistically, what good is it going to do for me to tell him one more time?

And so what it leaves me with... is just a large sense of anger and frustration. The courts think he needs time with his son. They want to force Zack to be over there until he is 18 years old. To make him spend time with a man who shows up because he feels like he has some sort of claim over Zack.

So to swing back full circle to the post I put up last week, this is why I may sound like I am happy that Zack has essentially chosen Jim. This is why I'm thrilled beyond belief that he calls him dad. Because it means he has one. Because it means that despite the POS I married and divorced who will never, ever be capable of putting Zack first or showing Zack how a true man should live and act, he HAS someone in his life that will.

He has someone who loves and cherishes him the way a real dad should. Someone who puts him first and never treats him like something he owns. Someone who knows that Zack's love is earned not required and someone who would never put his own happiness before his son's.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Daddies

I just received a comment from B on my last post asking, in effect if I was bragging about Zack calling Jim dad and encouraging me not to put Zack in the middle or to make him pick. The rest of her comment was overwhelmingly positive and I don't think she meant any harm or was trying to "call me out" in a way, just basically asking if I had thought of these things.

And it's ironic to me the timing of her comment. Just a mere 5 minutes earlier I had hung up the phone with FoTB. So B... in answer to your question, yes... every single day.

The purpose of our call today, was not because of the previous post, but rather the one before that. Once again last night, and this morning Zack told me he didn't want to go. Once again on the way to daycare he asked me if he called me if I could come and pick him up.

So today, instead of feeling bad about it or rooting for him to hate it there so we win and our house is better I picked up the phone and called FoTB. (I'll write a post about it later but I can tell this one will be long so I'm going to leave it as it's own post.)

Let me back track a bit. Because I have sort of dropped out of blogging and then come back only for bits and pieces you all have missed a lot. My effort to keep some of my private life private has left you out of a few things you probably need to know to understand the last couple of posts I have put up.

So here goes:

Do I wish FoTB would go away? Am I happy beyond belief that Zack loves and respects Jim as a dad?


Am I going to do anything about it besides be frustrated and happy as hell in my own head?

Absolutely not.

When I divorced FoTB I had the option to fight for sole custody of Zack. And most likely could have won sole custody of Zack. FoTB had just been arrested, was hanging out in jail and was, by all accounts, no where close to a model citizen.

I said it then and I will say it again... that is NOT my relationship to end. If he is sober, and he wants to be in Zack's life, that is their relationship to figure out, not mine to take away. Now obviously there are SEVERAL safe guards in our divorce decree to keep Zack safe. I'm not the woman who takes my kid over to his baby daddy's house with the drugs all around and the unsafe people and says here... it's your turn.

But, as long as he is sober and making an effort, it is not my place to stand in the way of that.

Now I'm not going to lie to you and say I don't wish every day it was different. In my book he is not worthy of having time with Zack. I want him to disappear and never come back. Obviously, I divorced him. But I would never EVER let Zack know that. I would never EVER tell Zack that he has to pick one over the other or that one is better than the other.

He knows he has two daddies who both love him very much and he knows that he never has to pick between either of them. When he asks me why he has to go to FoTB's I tell him he will have fun and that daddy wants to spend time with him. I would never tell him I don't want you to go there either or I know it's not fair. I just remind him of the fun stuff he does and let him know that I will be back on Sunday to get him.

It kills me to do it. I would love for it to just be the three of us, but again... that is not a decision I get to make. As much as I hate it, my job as his parent is to love him and encourage him in his relationship with FoTB as long as that relationship stays positive.

And I know, there are going to be those of you out there shaking your heads at me for being so honest here but really.... I divorced one and I'm marrying the other. Obviously I think one is better. Obviously Zack knows I love Daddy Jim much more than FoTB. I live with him, I tell him I love him, etc.

But I would never make Zack pick. Please know that as much as I may not show it or tell you about it here, I do not make Zack feel in any way like he needs to like or love one more than the other.

As far as he is concerned he is just one lucky little boy with extra love from two families.

Monday, November 15, 2010

He Calls Him Dad....

From the moment Jim and I got serious the question we have been asked the most is what does Zack call him and how does FoTB feel about it.

From the beginning, he called him Mr. Jim. He was used to calling everyone Mr. & Miss at daycare so it only seemed fitting that it carried over. Then when it became apparent that Jim and I were moving in a much more serious direction we had a talk. You may remember it from this post, and it was decided that he would call him Daddy Jim.

We talked with him about how special he was to have two daddy's and how both of them loved him very much. I didn't, however, discuss this with FoTB. This was my fault. To my face Zack always still called him Mr. Jim so I didn't think it was necessary. Then one day, about a month after we had the talk, he was with FoTB and he called him Daddy Jim. And FoTB snapped on him....

He told Zack that Jim wasn't his daddy and he wasn't supposed to call him that. That he was supposed to call him Jim and do you know what my 3 1/2 year old son did?


He argued back with him.

He put FoTB in his place and told him he WAS his daddy and that Mommy told him he could call him that and he wanted to call him that.

And after a somewhat heated discussion at a DHS team meeting the next day where I informed him in no uncertain terms that he had NO right to tell Zack that and that Jim had spent more time with him and was more of a dad to him than he had been... that was that.... Daddy Jim it was and never another word was mentioned.

And then slowly.... ever so slowly... the Jim has gone away. He only uses it now when he wants to distinguish between the two of them. If he wants to tell me which one he will say my Daddy Jim or my Daddy J@ke. (Yes, he knows his name....)

When we are at home or out in public, it is just dad or daddy. And what does FoTB think of it... I'm not sure he knows, but I know whatever he thinks it is... it makes him insecure. He has started calling, EVERY night. It used to be every other night, then every week night. This weekend it was EVERY day. He calls to tell Zack he loves him. Do you love Daddy? Do you miss Daddy?

He has also been talking to him about step-parents. I found that out from Zack this weekend. Apparently at some point they have reinforced to him that Jim is not his "real" dad, he is his step-dad.

And do you know what Zack did? Any ideas what my now almost four year old has done with this information?

He walked right out of their house last Sunday, opened up the car door and said HI DADDY!!

Because to him... Jim is still just dad.....

Friday, November 5, 2010

I don't want to go...

5 words, so much meaning....

Those are the words that were uttered to me right before bed last night. He's tired I thought, he'll change his mind in the morning. Wednesday he was so excited to go. Wednesday he wanted to spend the night.

Then this morning, as he was brushing his teeth he said them again. This time in front of Jim, this time I'm not the only one hearing it.

As we got in the car he hit me with this one:

Mommy, when you get to work can you call daddy and tell him not to pick me up?

Then when we got to daycare:

Do I have to spend the night? I don't want to spend the night, I want to stay home.

And it's happening all over again.......

For three months he's been living with the new girlfriend and Zack has been fine. He has been wanting to go there. She has a seven year old boy. She seems somewhat normal, all be it small town and kind of nieve and I think Zack has enjoyed the company and having someone to play with.

Until this weekend.

I don't know what is different but it breaks my heart to have to make him go there. Week after week, month after month. We are almost 18 months into this visit thing and he still doesn't want to go and I am wondering if he ever will. I thought it would be different by now. I thought by now he would like spending time with him. Somehow, I thought the broken would be fixed but I'm now realizing once again just how broken their bond is. I'm now smacked in the face once more with the realization that sometimes what is broken can never be fixed.

I had no answers for Zack as to why he had to go. He is not yet four. I can't even begin to explain to him that he must go because a judge says so. Because FoTB doesn't believe me when I tell him he doesn't want to go. Because his main concern is his "property" and getting "his time" whether that makes Zack happy or not.

I can't explain these things to him but I know in time he will come to understand them himself. For now I just assured him that he would have fun. That it would be a good time and I would be there to pick him up on Sunday. I told him if he wasn't having fun and wanted to come home he would have to tell FoTB and maybe he could call me and I could come get him early.

I know he won't call. I know even if he cries and throws a fit he won't call me. It is "his time" and he won't give it up. Not for anyone, including Zack but I had nothing else to tell him.

I just gave him big hugs, assured him once again that he would have fun and sent him on his way. Then I got in my car, tried not to cry and prayed that Sunday would come quickly.