Conquering Queen

Yesterday I received a text from the Ex indicating that his S.O. (significant other) was not working and that T could stay the night there. At first I was annoyed. I think I erased my text two before coming up with ‘Whatever T would like is fine with me.’ The reason that I put the choice in T’s hands is that this is his dad’s week with him. So he would see him before work last night and before school this morning. The first time in a long time. And I already knew what the answer would be. I did not hear back so text the Ex after awhile to check on T’s response.  And he said yes, he wanted to stay at his dad’s.
When I saw that single word response to my text my heart ached and I stifled a sob.
Even though the Ex and me share custody of T I have become use to having him here every night. We have a routine. And I get to see him every single day. So not seeing him last night was a kick in the pants. I had planned to see him. I was waiting to hear about his day. Now I had to reorganize my thoughts. Tears welled in my eyes, and there was pain. I decided that I would do the dishes thinking that if I had something to concentrate on it would not pain me so much.
As I stood at the sink, tears overcame me. My eyesight blurred and I gave into the sadness for a minute. And than I did what I do best now I talked to myself.
‘Jay you can feel sad but you need to get use to this. You need to get use to having one week where you are not going to have T. You won’t see him. This is normal. You have become greedy given that you are seeing him every day. Obviously he is going to want to stay at his dad’s, after all it is his week with him.’
I am not saying that I was feeling 100% better but I calmed down. And by the time that I was done the dishes and back on the couch, I had settled. I had come to peace with myself. Or so I thought.
Today as I am exercising I am looking at myself and critically. I am not liking what I see. There are small tweaks here and there that I could make. Where I was a year ago to where I am today is a huge difference. I am not drinking. I am not taking pills. I am working out. I am writing. But today I was not being nice to myself. I looked the wrong way at myself and decided that that was it, no more pizza. No more sweets. I text a friend and said over and over that I knew my thoughts were insane.
And as we text I realize I was being hypercritical of myself. Subconsciously something was at work and I think that I have figured it out.
I was sad yesterday and even though I did not consciously think it, I wondered what I had done wrong. Why did T not want to come spend the night here? Where had I failed that he would stay at his dad’s even when his dad is not home?  I had no control in that situation at all because I had given it all over to T and his decsion.
And my feelings were hurt. I really had thought that T was going to want to come and spend the night here with me. And because I could not admit that to myself the highly critical freak me rose to the occassion. I pushed down what I was feeling. I had cried but I did not say outloud  that I was hurt. Because that was wrong. I should not feel that way.
I am allowed to have feelings. In acknowledging this the critic in me, who was trying to skew my thinking and pull me back into an obsession with my body image, has been kicked to the curb.
This is a huge step for me. Admitting I am allowed to have feelings. Admitting that yes, I was hurt that T chose to stay at his dad’s last night but I understand why he made that choice. T is going to hurt me over and over again. That is what children do. The broader world at large does not exist for them. They are the center of their world and the immediate family is in their orbit. I will never tell T about how much it hurt. I did feel like he was picking his dad over me.
And he was because it is his dad’s week with him.  Just like he would chose to come home to me if this was my week.
Once more T has taught me a lesson. And in doing so he has helped me. I have a body image problem that I am acknowledging for the first time ever. I realized this because I stuffed the emotions down and than looked at myself for little things that I could criticize and than concentrate on fixing. That I could control. Perfect. Nothing is perfect, least of all me. And slowly but surely, all those parts of me, the ones that are not healthy, are becoming absorbed within me.
I saw very quickly what I was doing. This did not take me a week to figure out, a month, hell it did not even take me 24 hours to realize what I was doing and put an end to it. Each time I catch myself exhibiting behaviour that can trip me up I conquer it. That is not to say that it will not appear elsewhere but it is the catching it that is important here. Once caught I can change the way that I think and slowly but surely eliminate the behaviours that can harm me.

Chained

I know it is so hard to hear

that I am doing just fine

without you in my life.

That no longer do tears fly

as I sort through these memories

that you always scorned.

I know that this fact

is going to scorch your ego

as you see me reaching high

never again to be dreamless.

I found the curving pathway,

the spiral staircase 

I need to climb

so I can again find joy.

No more will I be enslaved,

powerless beneath your gaze.

I shall fly high 

on the currents above

dipping and soaring with glee

nevermore to be chained at your feet.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

Nov. 10/17

Chained

I know it is so hard to hear

that I am doing just fine

without you in my life.

That no longer do tears fly

as I sort through these memories

that you always scorned.

I know that this fact

is going to scorch your ego

as you see me reaching high

never again to be dreamless.

I found the curving pathway,

the spiral staircase 

I need to climb

so I can again find joy.

No more will I be enslaved,

powerless beneath your gaze.

I shall fly high 

on the currents above

dipping and soaring with glee

nevermore to be chained at your feet.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

Nov. 10/17

He’s a boy

Yesterday T and me, we went shopping. I had not been in awhile and although the freezer selection of meat was fine, I had run low on lunch supplies. Side dishes. And I needed some more fish. And the Top Sirloin Roasts and Steaks, they were on for a great price. So I had to. But this is not about my shopping trip or the fact I overspent once more but got a ton of Air Miles, not this, this is about T.

On the way to the store, T found the old wipers I had taken off of the car and replaced last weekend. He was pretending that one was a gun. Our drive is approximately 5 minutes. During that time he killed I do not know how many bad guys, all the while with a running commentary so that I was kept safe.

No problemo. Get to the store and there is a small rule I have. This is where I work. Please do not run amok and act like a moron. In other words, for the 20 minutes it will take us to shop, please pretend that you are an alien who is inhabiting my child’s body; who watched Miss Manners while trying to learn our culture. Alas, it was not meant to be. There were bad guys everywhere.

I stopped to grab vitamins. Requested that T stay with the cart. Turn around and who is behind be? Sans cart? T! I roll my eyes and ask where the heck the cart is. Here mom, I moved it two rows over, it is safe here. The logic of a 9 year old boy.

My eyes got a great workout while we were shopping. I was rolling them. Hissing his name every 30 seconds it felt like as he whipped around corners. I get gargling my threats, as I silently shrieked watch out at him. He was immune to my silent glares. I apologized to so many customers that he almost sideswiped.

In T’s defense, he was using the cart as a shield and attacking the bad guys. He was keeping the shopping world safe.

Realized that I forgotten butter. Made him promise not to move from the bakery section. Came back to find him in the meat department visiting with the lobsters.

I explained to him that despite his apparent dislike for grocery shopping that the more he misbehaved the more times he was going to have to come with me. He stared at me like I had grown three heads and I could suddenly see the hamsters achurnin’. How much worse would he have to be before I would stop making him come? I quickly shut those hamsters up by explaining that until such time as he can act like a human being, he will be continuing to shop with me.

This goes against everything T has been taught. Behave badly and get what you want. Yell and scream, mom or dad will let me go out. Not now. Mom and dad are on the same page. No more bad behaviour. And it is my responsibility not to beat a dead issue, to ensure that when I release him into the world, that he knows how to behave as a member of society.

We got to the till and T takes off with the bags while I am unloading. I stand up and wth? Where did he go? My supervisor found him and I am again hissing at him. I must have sounded like a snake half the time. Get over here with the bags please. Sent him off to get me a flyer. Turn around and he is sitting down with two bags and the flyer.

My supervisor bagging is chortling to herself. She is newly married. I looked at her with a raised eyebrow and gave her my best advice ‘avoid children at all costs.’

We finally got out of there and home. T helped by carrying in the two lightest bags on his windshield wiper bow. Than he was off. I was texting with a friend and grumbling to him about the behaviour in the store when he stopped me dead in my tracks:

‘Jay he is a 9 year old boy being a 9 year old boy. Hopped up on sugar and grocery shopping with his mom. Of course he was obnoxious.’

And there you have it. Sudden shift of perception. He is not even a human being at the moment. He is a 9 year old boy who sees bad guys and guns everywhere. Trucks and cars and loud noises are his forte. Fart jokes and things like ‘why did the girl fall off the swing? ‘Cause she was dead!’ sends him into spasms of laughter.

No matter how often I cringe, the words balls, nuts, etc are now a part of the lexicon in my household. And not by choice.

Yes it is my job to make him that alien who can go shopping, but it is also my job to let him be this alien who is a rambunctious child filled with joy and innocence for as long as I am able.

 

Mommy knows best

***Picture downloaded this morning****

I recently had a conversation with an older female friend regarding males and how they view females. And how teenage girls dress in such a way so as to entice the male sex. I was appalled. I could not believe what I was hearing. I was even told I would feel the same in a few years when T became a teenage boy.

I have never been shy around T. He has seen me naked I would say up until he was about 6 or so. I know this is going to cause concernation but I had a reason. I do not want T growing up objectifying the female body. I want him to realize that that cute girl he is looking at is as anatomically designed as his mother. It is only a body.

I am not so naive as to think that T is not going to be looking at girls and having thoughts. He is a boy. And hell I remember what being a teenager felt like. I know how overactive my hormones were so I am not going all puritan here.

What I want T to learn is that a woman’s body is her own. Only she can choose whether or not to share it with you. And no matter what she wears, that is not an invitation to subject her to your asinine comments and delusion of being absolutely irresistable to everyone of the opposite sex.

This past year I finally became comfortable in my own skin. I am proud of who I am and how I look. I am wearing clothing that actually fits me. I have always hidden my body and shape.

That has more to do with the past past than it does with the here and now. However a few times I had comments made regarding my clothing and what signals I am sending.

Back the fort up people. I am 45 years old. The only signals I am sending out are the ‘I love myself, I am proud of myself, I am in a damn good place and wow am I loving my life.’ The signals I am not sending are the ones that say violate me against my wishes.

So, ultimately the way that T views the female body will be dependent on what I teach him. And here is what I am teaching him:

A woman’s body is her own. Should you choose to be an asshole and violate a woman against her wishes, you will be praying that the police find you before I do. Because son, if you disrespect a woman and violate her I am going to whoop your ass and turn you in. Dragging your ass into the Police Station by your ear.

My Ex

A while back I wrote about how my ex and me were getting along and I realized how much I had matured. Well today I took that one step further. Today I looked passed the man who made me unhappy and spoke to my friend.

This is a man who at one point and time I loved. It is not his fault nor is it mine that in the end we just were not happy together. We are such very different people with little in common. 

Today was the first time that we had a conversation in a long time. And we both laughed. Not the fake ‘yeah get out of my face you are annoying me’ laugh but a real laugh. One that sets the other to laughing. 

We also still have inside jokes and can say things to one another that we are unable to say to anyone else. There have been a few times, where I have been spitting mad and the only one I can vent to is him.

In talking with a girl friend today, she informed me that I was taking the mature route with him. All I had said was his girlfriend was good for him.

And I no longer had to take care of him.

This man is helpless as a baby attempting to organize a tea party. I sent him numerous texts regarding the dates he had T over the summer. I also sent him several screen shots of my calender so he had it. Finally his girlfriend messaged me asking what the dates were. 

That is only one example. 

I can afford to be nice and decent to him. I am happy and in a great place in my life. And I really am working hard to let go of negativity.

It was easy to be angry with my ex when I left. I was blaming him for my unhappiness. Which really is unfair because I had a hand in my own unhappiness. I could have stood firm when I tried to leave three months prior to everything imploding. 

Now though…I am in my own space. I am writing daily. My relationship with my son and mom are amazing. 

So yes, I can afford to be kind with M2. And I even like his girlfriend even though we have not really spoken. But she is excellent with T and that more than anything makes me like K3.(Lol too many K’s- best friend, Auntie and now M2’s girl friend. M1 being my bestie.)

M2 loves T with all his heart. And at the end of the day that is all that is important. He is doing his best to be a great dad. Our failure to make our marriage last aside he will always be my friend. 

Friday Sept. 8

T began school on Wednesday. The above picture was taken before we left for school. He was grinning when he came out of his class and I was there to greet him. He said he had had a good day. I was encouraged given that T is not a huge fan of the education process. He read 51 pages in his new Dogman book Wednesday evening. Even more encouraging. And he went to bed like a champ.

Thursday did not have an auspicious beginning. I was up and down all night long. My hips and lower back were killing me. (I have since discovered the reason why) And so finally at 4 a.m. or so I rolled out of bed. Made a pot of coffee and sat down to try and be productive. But I could not focus. My head felt woozy and I ached everywhere. It got to such a point that I went and laid down on the couch curled into myself as I tried to get warm.

T had wanted me to walk him to school but that was not going to happen. I felt like I could not walk all the way to his school, as I was hobbling around my hips screaming in agony and my lower back felt as though something was reaching in and twisting all the muscles upside down and knotted. I took two extra strength Motrin and began to have some mobility in my legs. I hopped in the car to do my grocery shopping and a Wal-mart run.

By the time I got home it (and at this time I was still not sure what it was) my good feeling had worn off. I unpacked the groceries and left off portioning out the meat until today. Laid down on the couch and hauled the blanket over top of me. And fell asleep. I did awaken once but still tired, went back to sleep. The next time I woke up I was freezing. Ice cold. My teeth were chattering, my body shaking. I could not believe I had the flu but there you have it, I did.

T came home Thursday and dropped off his bag and went out to play with his friends. A good time was had by all and T even came inside and spent the majority of his evening with me. Went to bed without an problems. And than it began.

‘Mom, do I have to go to school tomorrow?’

‘Yes you do.’

‘But I want to stay home with you. I don’t want to go to school.’

‘Why not? What is going on tomorrow you don’t want to do?’

‘Nothing I just need a long weekend.’

‘No, you are going to school.’

And the crying began. I am positive that he cried himself to sleep. I too fell asleep. And began the night from a really bad place. It was not hell like but it was not good. I was up and down, freezing and hot. My body was still all achy. The cats finally had enough of my tossing and turning and moved to the other side of the bed. At 3ish or so, I awoke and thought I can’t handle this any more. I reached down and pulled up the fluffy blanket that I have at the foot of the bed. I never use it. Still aching I decided on more Motrin and hobbled to the kitchen for them and a swig of Pepsi. I had a sugar craving. When I went to get back in bed I realized how cold it was and turned on the heat. Yes I turned on the heat, pulled on a sweat jacket and crawled back into bed.

At 6 a.m. T’s alarm went off and I rolled over. I was coated in flu sweat, my sweat jack sodden, my hair was even wet. I rolled out of bed and turned the heat off. Went in and shook T to get up. Turned his alarm off as it was still blaring. He got up and was in a great mood. Right up until 8 a.m. when I made him get off computer and brush his teeth. I realized that I did not hear the water and told T to get in there. That is when he said he was not going to school today.

I did not handle the situation well. I could say it is because I am tired, I have the flu, I am a million and one things, but pissed off for this one. T kept saying he wanted to spend the day with me. Why did I not want to spend the day with him? I tried the explanation thing, to no avail. And than he began to cry and whine. He did not want to go to school. He wanted to spend the day with me. All in a whiney voice as he snorted back his snot his eyes kinda shiny with tears.

I told him I did not take kindly to the manipulative tactic he was  attempting to use on me. I told him to get his sweater on. More crying. More whining. I told him to get his shoes on. More crying. More whining. Are you sensing the theme here?

We walked down to the garbage and T was insisting that I walk him to school. So he could spend as much time with me as possible. I said fine but we had to go back home so I could change and get the keys. He cried the entire way back. And while he sat on the stairs. And than again when we got outside. He kept saying he would miss me. He needed to be with me today.

T cried all the way to school. Holding my hand. I was short with him because well, he had been using that whining now for almost 45 minutes. He kept asking me to turn around and go back home. I was so angry. I informed him that we were going to go and talk to his teacher. We walked up there and at first I figured it would be okay, he would see his friends and that would be end of it. But no.

At his hut I told him to leave his bag there and go play with his friends. He refused. And than proceeded to tell me he was going home. He was not going into the classroom. That is when I lost all semblance of even trying for the nonchalant I have it all together type of mom. I grabbed him by his school bag and dragged him over to the stairs. He slipped and there I was dragging him up the stairs to the door.

Knocked on door and went in to talk to his teacher. T cried the whole time. I was short and to the point with his teacher.  I really had no idea where this was coming from. He felt as though he could get nothing right in class. Math was awful and he was struggling with it already. I did not tell him that T did not like him because well T did tell me that one in confidence. So I am sharing in a blog, on the internet, that is not breaking confidence clause is it?

To top it off I look like crap because of the rough night. I am coated in and smell of flu sweat, my hair is barely combed and I had not brushed my teeth yet so was really in no position to even initiate adult like conversation.

I gave T one last hug and had to unwrap his arms from around my waist. I promised I would be back at 3:45 to meet him. I would be standing right outside the classroom. And than I walked out the door. Coldly, callously, T’s little staring after me with betrayal written all over his face.

Did I want to comfort him? Yes. Wrap my arms around him and tell him that it would all be okay? Yes. That I want to pull out my magic wand and fix all that is wrong in his life? Yes.

Instead I had to be a mean mom. I had to harden my heart and walk away. T is not going to hate me forever and ever, although at this point and time I am sure I am his least favorite person, next to the teacher. And the reason I had to do this was because I need to set limits and boundaries with T.

I know he is growing up and out, he is wanting his independence and his safety blanket mom waiting in the wings. I know that he will push me to see what point he can actually get away to before I order the cease and desist. And also because not everything in life is about fun and games.

I will go pick T up after school. We will take a slow walk home and I will get him some ice cream too. We will have a conversation about his behaviour and mine. I will apologize for some of the things I said. And hopefully I have established a new boundary that T will respect. Otherwise it is going to be a long winter for T with reading as his only occupation.