Friday, November 18, 2011

Speak out


This morning as I came downstairs from getting dressed I noticed that my phone had a missed call. I picked it up and dialed my voicemail. I knew it was FoTB's grandpa, I know he was probably saying thank you for sending Zack's pictures. I did not expect the message I heard.

He was sobbing. Not just crying, sobbing so hard he could not talk telling me how grateful he was that I thought of him and sent pictures and how hard this has all been on him to see FoTB fail again. To try to support him and to be screwed over once again.

Today, on Speak Out against Domestic Violence day I don't want to talk about me. I did that already, you can go and read it here and here and see pictures here if you want. Instead today I want to give a voice to the people who are forgotten. The rest of the people who were not "direct victims" of the violence but yet their lives will never be the same.

Like his grandpa and his mom, who live each day thinking that I may not let them see Zack because I in some way reflect FoTB's actions onto them. Who are sad, and scared and ashamed that they supported him and believed his lies. Who just want to see their grandson/great-grandson and don't know what to say or how to say enough times how sorry they are that they believed him.

I want to give a voice to Zack, a little boy who struggles with what he did wrong. Was I bad? Is that why daddy is so angry? Did he not want a big boy? Maybe he just wanted a baby and I got too big? Who right now is hurting and can't explain why. Who is TERRIFIED of his biological father yet is wanting him to change all at the same time. I miss him. What do you miss? I don't know. I didn't like it when he was mad and he yelled.

And so it is, the abused defending and loving the abuser, even when they know with every logical part of their brain that they shouldn't.

And to J, who wanted nothing more than a real dad, and S who wanted nothing more than a husband. They both wanted someone to care for them and they both paid the price for it. J is only 8 and yet he was hit and berated and belittled. And even after it was all done he wasn't sure he wanted to tell because he didn't want to get FoTB in trouble. And then when he decided to tell he was afraid he would come and hurt him again. He lived every single day in fear, every night having nightmares that he would come back and hurt them again.

Domestic violence has changed my life and my perspective in ways I couldn't even begin to explain. Comforts that people take for granted, I may never be able to do. But when I talk about my story I don't want to forget that there are others. That there are lots of people hurting. Family, friends, etc. People who hurt because I hurt or who hurt because they hurt, even if they weren't abused they are collateral damage.

So today, send up a prayer for every man, woman and child who has been affected by domestic violence. Every person who is struggling to feel whole and alright again that they may one day find the peace and love we all deserve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Mailbox

About two months ago, I came home from choir practice to find our mailbox flat in the ditch. Someone had left the road, driven through the ditch, over our mailbox and back out onto the road. A drunk driver most likely, as the mail had already come for the day and was strewn about the ditch and there were no adverse weather conditions.

The next day I went over to where the mailbox had been to assess the damage. Our mailbox was in four pieces. It snapped back together and didn't seem to be visibly any worse for the wear. The post however, was snapped in half and the plastic piece that the mailbox sat on was no where to be found.

So, I brought it inside and set it on our back porch.

"Mom, what are you going to do with that mailbox?"

"Well, we are going to go to the store and see if we can buy a new plastic piece to mount it on. If we can't, we are probably going to have to throw it away."

"If you can't fix it, can I have it?"

By the time Jim got home from work, his plan was already fully thought out. If we couldn't fix it, he told him, he was going to get to keep it and he could mail letters and maybe someone would bring him some mail.

As it turns out, we couldn't fix it. We had to buy a whole new mailbox and so this one, became his.

Every morning after it became officially "his mailbox" he would wake up and run to the back porch to check for mail. And, for about a week, every night we would sneak out there when he was asleep and put mail in his mailbox. Junk mail, catalogs, etc.

Then we ran out of junk mail. Or at least junk mail that would intrigue a child. So one day, he didn't get mail and we had to have the disappointing conversation with him that even WE don't get mail every day and that... gasp... even the mail man needs a day off.

Now, the mail man (aka Mom & Dad) comes a bit less frequently but it is ALWAYS an exciting time at our house when he walks out there, realizes the flag is down and finds a new piece of junk mail to marvel over.

He mails things back now too.

"Mom, I put that envelope in there and the mail man came and took it and now he's going to deliver it to someone."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Phone or Family?

I have a confession to make, I am slightly (ok, possibly a lot) addicted to my smart phone. And so is my husband. A week or so ago, I noticed that we were sitting in our living room, the TV on but both messing with our phones..... for over an hour. Me in my chair, him on the couch. Later that day, I realized that we went out to eat and one or both of us was messing with our phones (him checking sports scores, me texting) most of the meal.

And I thought to myself... is this what I want Zack to remember about dinner with his parents? The fact that we were more interested in our phones than in being a family?

At that moment, I realized something needed to change.

Today and yesterday I ate entire meals with my family and left my phone in my purse the entire time and you know what? No one died. No horrible crisis happened in my disconnection.

I can tell you, when Zack is with us, it is way easier to let it go than it is when he is at daycare. It will probalby take much longer to set it down during lunch at work but for now, I think putting it away during meals that I eat with him is a wonderful start.

Hi, I'm Heather and I'm a phone addict. Today is day two of my recovery...

Friday, November 11, 2011

On The Edge of my Seat

That is how I feel lately. Like I am continually sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to jump up. Waiting to act again.

It has been 11 days since I have heard from FoTB yet I still don't feel like this is over. Every day for seven weeks I have made sure to leave work no later than 4:30. Every day I have made sure Zack has been picked up by 5:00. Just in case.

Last week I traveled to Santa Barbara for four days. Did you know I was gone? Don't feel left out. I'm not quite sure anyone other than the people I was with, my parents & Jim knew I was gone. Actually, if we are being honest here, my body was gone but I don't think my mind ever left.

It's too bad. Of all the times in my life I needed a get away, this was towards the top of the list. However, with the most recent communication with FoTB just the day before and the words of my lawyer still ringing in my ears (she had seen his lawyer a week before at the court house and he had,told her then they still planned to file contempt against me) I just couldn't let go enough to fully relax.

Everywhere we went I had to keep checking my phone. I had told EVERYONE to keep quiet about me being gone yet I was terrified that somehow he would find out and try to take Zack, knowing I was 1,500 miles away. Every meal, I had my phone on the table. Every 30 mins I checked it. Looking for any word from him, the daycare, my lawyer, Jim, or my parents.

Both afternoons I was there I got to a point where I just went back to my room and laid down. My anxiety and stress were high as was my exhaustion so I left the others to their fun and I laid down. To rest, to breathe deaply, to regroup and then join the group and try desperately to have fun.

I think I failed. It is too bad. I hope my friends understand. I hope they don't take it personally. I hope they know that I separated not because of anything they did but because I didn't want to drag them down with my stress.

I emailed them all earlier this week, I hope they read it. I hope they believed it.

As for me, I'm glad I went. There was some good times and laughter. For 3-5 hour stretches of time I forgot all about the worries of home. And I needed that. More than I knew.

Every day my shoulders relax a bit. Every day of calm I move a little bit back from the edge. Baby steps...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


On Sunday I sang this song in church (like I need something else to fill up my week, remind me to tell you about my week sometime....) Anyhow, when I first heard this song I fell in love with it. With everything that has gone on in my life in the last few months/few years this song just spoke to me. So, I thought I would share it with you.


Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need

Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life

Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears?

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life

Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win

We know that pain reminds this heart

That this is not, this is not our home

It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears?

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst

This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are Your mercies in disguise?

Struggling with me

Another perfect day for Mr. Zack yesterday. Nothing written down on his sheet at daycare and him and the dog only drove me a little nuts when we got home.

He had Taekwando last night and he did really good. His last three or four weeks we have really noticed a difference there. He is doing MUCH better at paying attention during class and following along with the moves and the words. Hopefully that continues.

I will leave you with yesterday's Zack-ism...


Do you have your seat belt on yet?

I can't get it on mom!! My seat belt is struggling with me!!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Would you please consider doing the right thing for Zack? He has been dealing with your addiction and you being in and out of his life for his whole life. He deserves better than that. He's happy now. He's finally doing GREAT at daycare. His life is calm. Please just let him be happy.

Time stamp: November 1st, 8:41 am

I have not received a phone call or a text message since. I don't know what to make of it but I'm trying to practice what I preach and just be happy. Zack is happy and adjusted to this new life and I am trying to be as well. Tomorrow it could all change. Tomorrow he could be back with his chaos but for right now, at this very moment he is gone.

I didn't cause this, I can't control this and I can't cure it. He is on his own on this relapse journey for the first time in 15 years.

And we are just trying to be happy.