It’s time…..

Went into work today with my return to work note. I feel that returning to work 4 hours a day 5 times a week is the best for me. It is what is healthiest for both my mental and emotional well being. I also do not want to jump back in with both feet. I am quite content to work in customer service or cashiering. Reassess after I have been back for awhile.
I was scared to go in and talk to my boss. Very scared. At first I sent off a message to a friend who I discuss everything with.  Than I told the girls. Also explaining to them that I had snarled at T this morning. Than I talked to V.  Told her that despite all my bravery that I was scared shitless to talk to him. I was afraid that he was going to want to talk about what happened and I did not want to revisit it. That was a bad place for me. And that I was worried that I might cry.
First V assures me that losing it on T was totally normal. Kids do not listen to us and it is damn frustrating. And she is right. I had to ask him three or four times to get in the bathroom and brush his teeth. As a matter of fact, I grabbed him by his arm and pushed him into the bathroom. This after snarling at him about the shower this morning. He stank. Badly. But he was annoyed that I did not wake him up at 6. He tried to push back. I pounded on the bed that he was going to shower because he stunk. We went back and forth. He ended up showering.
V reminded me that we were the parents. We made the choices and rules. They had to listen and follow them. She said the right thing at the right time. Now instead of using ‘because I said so’ I am going to pull out the choice and rule law. Way to go V. Coming up with a great way to explain to my child and all children why they must listen to their parents.
Than she addressed my fear about crying. Assured me that it was okay. And to remember that our boss is human too.
I felt so good after talking to her. Calm. There were some twinges in my stomach but nothing overwhelming to me.
Now fast forward to arriving at work. I was terrified to walk in there. I sat in the car and said my affirmations. I shot off a few quick messages of and got out of the car. First I had to drop my prescription  off at the pharmacy and than I went to the front and had boss paged. Gave him the note and he read it. We were going upstairs to discuss my return.
I waited outside his office. Flicked through my phone. And than he came up and I followed him in.
I did it though. I was calm. The butterflies in my stomach disappeared. I looked him the eye and maintained eye contact. I had been wanting to come back slowly and had been going to suggest customer service or cashiering shifts. So it was very easy to agree when he made the suggestion. He wants to observe me. I need to regain his trust. The trust of the other supervisors and staff.
I told him that by far, my well being, emotionally and mentally are what is important to me. That I no longer was going to look down the road but will remain in the present. And than he suggested that I may decide that I did not want to remain as the lead supervisor. At first, I think my reaction was knee jerk when I said to him that I could still do it.
This is food for thought. I have learned a lot about myself in the last three months. And like the butterfly breaking free from the cocoon I am spreading my wings in the sunshine. Ready to soar.

He believes

Belief: Confidence in someone
T has that in spades for me. Way more than I think that I have in myself and my writing.
Thursday I allowed him to stay home in the morning as we had a dentist appointment at 11:50. His tooth has been bothering him. Every time he laid down to go to bed, during the day, suddenly there would be a sharp pain from his jaw to his ear. I was worried that my insurance was not in place and that I was going to end up paying an arm and a leg, which at this time is not an easy task for me. Bonus, not only was my insurance in place but up to the first $200 was 100% covered and everything after that was 60% off. Well damn but isn’t that awesome. (His two appointments were covered within the $200 limit and a $15 balance yet!)
Thursday was a weird day for me. I spent a lot of time with weepy eyes. At the time, I did not know what it was that was bothering me. I do know now however it is not something I am ready to openly blog about. V told me that having ‘leaky’ days, as she calls them, are perfectly fine to have. Yet my mood had not plummeted. I was still having a good good day. Even with all those tears.
T is a little strange and I say that with absolute pride because so am I. He was pumped that he was going to see the dentist. Quite a change from when he was little. The tooth had previously been filled last year. It had been a deep cavity and T chose to have a silver filling put in. Now though, either the tooth had chipped or part of the filling had come off.  Now as an aside, my mouth is not filled with silver fillings but back in my day (making myself sound as though I am 145) that was the only type of filling we could get. None of this fancy white filling like these young whipper snappers get these days. But white is stronger than silver in the filling wars. When he discovered that he was going to have to come back and get a filling the next day T was super exciting. (No word of a lie when we returned yesterday morning he announced to the office at large how much he loved having his teeth filled. I am still terrified of it.)
A white filling was required as Dr. K had to remove all the old filling and refill. She did not charge me extra for the white one which was yet another bonus. But that was a Friday bonus and I am writing about Thursday. After both appointments T did try his darndest to get me to allow him to stay home using the arguements that a) his jaw may start to hurt in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday and b) the frozen tongue syndrome on Friday. He went to school both days.
I had my revelation as we were talking on the way to school Thursday about why I was weeping. T of course had the answer for me. Just Quit. Don’t do it anymore. I had to explain that it did not quite work that way. That I have responsibilities to fulfill. T was silent for a moment.
‘Mom maybe they will hire you and than you can stay home and write full time.’
I was a little shocked as it seemed like a full change in conversation. And than it dawned on me that he was talking New Reader Magazine where I had submitted my poem.  I laughed a little and explained to him while that would be a dream come true, that that was not how things worked. There was no way that they were going to hire me to write full time. But I lived in that fantasy world for a brief moment.
‘Well mom, than you need to write a long book. One with 25 chapters. You will get published and can stay at home and write.’
I smiled and told T that that was what I was doing with Juliette’s Journey. Working title only. And he nodded and sat back.
I was sitting at home after dropping him off when it struck me how confident T was. He made the announcements, the one about the magazine hiring me and publishing my book, as if they were already done deals. He does not have fears like I do. He does not mistrust the words that I write as I sometimes do. He looked at me and he only saw that I was going to do this. No matter what. And that was when I realized that T really believed in me. He did not even consider that I may fail at writing. He believes in this dream with all his heart.
I realize I have a lot of work to do. I have to live up to his expectations of what I am capable of. And I do not want to let him down. I always tell T that he can do whatever he wants to do. If all I do is talk about my dreams yet never chase them, I am saying one thing while showing him another. And I want him to reach for the moon and stars. I want him to dream big and go for it. He is amazing. He is smart. He is a great looking kid. And I need to be the one to show him how to Jump.

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.


T and me we had a really good week this week. A small blip on the radar Thursday evening when he melted down at bedtime. Now I am not entirely sure what caused it other than T had had 2 or 3 cans of pop before coming back home from the Ex’s. He insisted that he was not tired. He screamed. He sulked. He yelled. I turned the lights out, determined to put him to bed and get to sleep myself. With much caterwauling he made his way into his bedroom. He kicked the bed. He made a lot of noise. I finally came out of my room and went into his. I told him that enough was enough. That he was  being rude and disrespectful of the upstairs neighbor. He did not care.
On Thursday I went to the city with V. Because T had been so good this week, and I had not had to nag about chores overly much I bought him a Lego Monster Truck kit and a small stuffed pig. He wants a pig as a pet. My obvious answer to a real pig is now so I thought a stuffed one might appease that desire for awhile. Well, and I am not proud of myself, but I got angry. I tried to take Mr. Piggy away from T. I told him that in the morning I was taking both the pig and the Monster Truck away from him. That I had bought them because he had been so good this week. I went back into my room and closed the door.
As I lay there I could hear T making noise. I was going to ignore it when I realized that he was calling mom. And not quietly. Understand that he is very close to the ceiling because I foolishly purchased a loft bed for him. A couple of more years before I have to replace it. So I was worried that the neighbors were going to hear him. It was now 11:30 and I was getting cranky. I climbed the ladder and stood looking at T. Whose face is tear stained and he is sniffling away. He wanted to tell me that he was sorry. That he should not have acted the way that he had. He loved me. I told him I loved him too, gave him a kiss and told him to go to sleep.
That was not our entire week. Nor was I about to let it color what had been an amazing week. We talked and laughed. Friday T once more was the voice of reason as I tried to navigate the cloverleaf. ‘Remember mom think of girly shit.’ Okay, he did not say the last part it was more kittens and unicorns but I know that that is what he was thinking. Our week was made of prisms of light and that black cloud scuttled across the sky quickly and with no lasting effects. Previously I would have been gnawing over the small blip instead of focusing on all the good. So once more I am showing growth and not bashing myself for getting angry and thinking that I was a bad mom.
Wednesday night.  I made dinner and T did not eat all of it. Decided that it was not something that he liked. I made Swanson’s Garlic Shrimp and I have always enjoyed it. When I took his bowl to the sink I told him that I would not be making him anything else to eat. He agreed. I was writing when T asked me if I could get him some more orange juice. I said sure as I was getting up to refill my water anyways. When I opened the fridge my eyes fell on the apples and I thought to myself what a nice snack. So decided to cut up the apple. Gave T his orange juice and went and sat back on the couch.
I was happily crunching away when I felt laser beams searing through my consciousness. I glanced over and T was staring at me with disbelief. I was not sure what I had done. He continued to stare at me and I swallowed the mouthful that I had.
‘Where’s my snack? I told you I was hungry.’
Oh yes, this than lead to my assertion that I did not hear him when he told me that he was hungry. T was positive that I had chosen to ignore him. He wanted something to eat. I kept asserting that he could get his own snack. He began to get really annoyed and fussy. And whining. I finally did begin to ignore him. Which of course made him even angrier. Of late, instead of reacting to how T is being I will give him a choice of how I am going to respond and his behaviour chooses said action. This time whining at me=me ignoring him.
Finally I could take it no more. I did not snap. I did not yell.
‘That’s it T. The kitchen is closed at 7 p.m. and it is now 7:03 p.m.’
I looked over and a smile began to grow on his face. The whining ceased. And he began to harass me about there not being a closed sign. I stuck to my guns and kept repeating that the kitchen was closed. He kept haranguing me about a closed sign. Finally in exasperation I said ‘Fine you want a closed sign. I will make a closed sign!’ I was halfway off the couch when it hit me. Once I was up and making up the sign T was going to use the ‘well seeing as how you are up’ argument and I sat right back down. When I accused him of such devious plotting he was shocked. As if the thought had never crossed his mind.
By the time we were done tears rolled down both of our faces we were laughing so hard. I did make up a closed sign. T took it down and wrote open on the other side and tried to rehang it. As he did that I got down two bowls, and the cereal. Instructed T who had no idea what I was doing to get the milk out of the fridge. Poured two bowls and handed him the milk to put back. Walked away and casually mentioned he could bring his own bowl.
Our second laugh was a complete misunderstanding. We had been talking about Lucky and how old she was. I was trying to figure it out when mom messaged me. Came up with 11-13 years old. Chatted with mom a bit when I told Tember that she was proud of him. And he looks up at me:
‘mom she is old.’
I was stunned. I mean I know that mom is old, she is my mom but really! How rude. I told T that as well. And he stared at me like I was crazy. And than it dawned on me. He was talking about Lucky.
More laughter. More tears. More good memories made. The dust up Thursday night has become a rarely seen beast, like the Lock Ness Monster.

My True Career

This is not truly a conversation with myself but a friend this morning. We were talking about my post from last evening and he was congratulating me on how I had handled the situation. That most would have shied away from touching on such a difficult subject with a prepubescent child.

I responded with:

There was no point in pulling any punches. With all that kids these days are seeing, hearing, watching and reading, how so much violence and pain is sensationalized and we become inured to it. I will not be party to making my child complacent. He needs to be horrified by violence, pained by the trials of the world that we are living in. (I added in a little more to clarify and paint a picture of what I meant)

It is my job to show him that the world is not always going to be kind but his kindness and his goodness will make a difference.

That is my job as his mom.



We will be ok (Better Than)

After our conversation regarding rape last evening T and me, we went on to have several more conversations. I was and am intrigued to discover, in hindsight, that due to our discussion about the aforementioned r talk, T now feels like he can ask me questions and I am not going to get angry about them.

He asked for the definition of bitch. A female dog, wolf, fox or otter. A difficult situation or person. If he really wanted to tick people off, ask them why they thought he was a female dog? Stymies them like crazy. (Someone had called him a bitch)

What about the f bomb mom? Is that also sex? Well, if you look up the definition that is the first one; having sexual intercourse with someone. So I tersely explained that it was more of a rough term. Than there is the situation aspect.

This morning he asked me about a**hole? What did that mean? So I said well, a mean or nasty person. But no mom, what does it really mean? Well your butt hole, also properly known as the anus. We also looked this one up.

Those of you who have been following T and me for awhile, know my frustration that T does not like to read. Well, he decided to take his Dog Man 3 book home to his dad’s with him to finish. Is looking forward to the new one coming out. Maybe I am being too optimistic in thinking that our conversation last night is having some effect here. Also that given his nature, I think deep down T is horrified that they used this word. Being cruel is abhorrent to his true self. So, he may be trying to educate himself on words and their meanings. (When you know the root meaning of words sometimes they can take the sting out of them when parsed that way)

We sat at the dinner table and talked while we ate. There was a lot of talking going on last night. And this morning. He is in awe of how fast I can type and the fact that I do not need to look at the keyboard. Ha, I was trying to show off to him and this is basically what I type: Txhyyyyyy llmgtw oooot yeah mom you so smrt. T asked where I had learned and how long it had taken. And how did I know where every letter was on the keyboard.

But the best conversation of all was our conversation about Mexico and Chichi (mom) and myself maybe retiring down there. Not likely at the moment but a woman can have dreams. I cannot even afford a two week holiday there lol, never mind move. But T was full of questions. How old had I been when Chichi moved? Had it been hard? And that was when I dropped the bomb on him that I might want to move there.

The look on his sweet 9 year old face was one of hell no, uh huh you are not going anywhere mom. And thus the list of reasons why I cannot move to Mexico:

  1. It is a poor country
  2. It is too hot
  3. They have nothing new
  4. The cars are very old
  5. Why would I want to live in an area that meteorite are known to frequent.
  6. He could not go 10 months without seeing me

Counter arguments:

  1. The area that Chichi lives in has some of the richest homes that are only used 2 months out of the year, like Chichi and the beach, well that was their beach.
  2. You do not have to come and see me
  3. Of course they do. Chichi had a flat screen t.v. before we did. (That was due to money though T insisted and I pointed out that this was 2 years ago)
  4. He had to take into account that they were a coastal area and the sea salt did damage to the vehicles.
  5. Not since the last one 65,000,000 years ago
  6. There was skype and whatsapp

And he looked at me and said No mom, I could not go 10 months without seeing you in person every day. Now this might be a stretch because you have to remember that he does go 14 days out of the month without seeing me. Okay save for when he and his dad come shopping and I always get a hug and kiss. But still. My heart melted and I looked at my little boy. I love him so much.

He than farted. 🙂



Challenge Time

I have been through a recent creative outpouring of poetry. Not a whole lot of introspection or how y’all doin? posts. But this last week and a bit have been a bit of an odd one for me and I needed to look at, peer, poke and prod the happenings before I felt able to write about them. A couple of things have been just awesome for me, making me smile. Cheering my heart and making me realize that I am still growing and getting stronger with each passing day. The other began as armageddon and ended with peace on earth as I know it for the time being.

First I should tell you what I have challenged myself to this week. I turned the television off at 2 p.m. on Sunday and do not intend to turn it back on until T comes back Monday. So far so good. Everyone I have told this to always looks at me like I am crazy at first and than to a tee they have all said ‘Oh but you like to read that will take the place of the t.v.’

Wait what? Because I like to read I am not going to miss t.v?

And you know what? They are so right.

I am reading blogs I follow. I am immersing myself in others poetry, stories and find myself crying and laughing as well. There is this rich world in front of me that is way more lively than what I can find on the t.v. set.

I am writing. A lot. Everywhere  I turn I am finding myself inspired. Words come together in a way that resonates and I am off and running. I am being more patient as I write as well. I am willing to set aside the poem and come back to it. Once I have mulled it over out on the back porch of my mind.

Not that the writing has to do with the not watching television. That was happening before. I have had a creative outpouring that is for sure. Love poems, Heartbreak, Depression, Happiness, the words pour forth and at times I feel unworthy to be their Champion. I have even had an idea for a story. That one is way out in the back field being mulled over although it is slowly taking form.

I have been working at reading the same book for the last two weeks. It has really been a struggle for me. This is book 4 is a series that I began a year and a half ago. The first three books I devoured while I was down in Mexico visiting mom. And than I had to wait more than a year for this book. Began to read it. Read the recap so that I could remember what was going on. I am at 81%. At some point there was a major shift, like suddenly a huge chunk of the book, the one that seamlessly melds part one to part two, was gone. There are characters I have no idea who they are. I have no clue how something has come about. I am being oblique because there are people who might read or be reading this series and I do not want to knock it. Also I really like this author, her work is amazing, so there.

I am at the point though where I am seriously considering giving up. On that book. Time to move forward.

I am having one of my meandering conversations with myself. Hope you don’t mind and are enjoying the ride.

Compliments have been reigning down on me all over the place. I have been in the best place in the last little while. Me, mentally, doing fabulously. I am pumped about this. So I have been smiling and laughing a lot. Customers have told me they look to come through my line when I am in a till. Lately that has not been often. One of my staff told me she thought that things would fall apart if I was not as organized as I am. I know everything. Gosh she just makes my heart hurt she is so sweet. And not once but twice I was told that I in no way look my age.

T was here last week. His room still a disaster that I had been trying to get him to clean since July. I was and will not do it. He is 9. That is more than old enough that he can keep his own room clean. All week I let it slide. He was doing the basics so I was taking that as a win. Little did I know that we were headed for an epic battle.

Saturday rolled around and it all started out okay. T and me were getting along. Laughing and talking. He went out to play with his friends. No problem. Than he came inside with his friend and the attitude started. I asked him to clean up his room. That I was tired of the way that it looked and if he didn’t I was going to take a garbage bag and go in there and clean house.

Words were exchanged. T became snarkier and snarkier and my anger was reaching roiling point. When his friend’s mom got home, I sent him out and T tried to leave as well. I said no it was time to clean his room, that there were consequences to his actions and these were them in play. I only have one child. There was no practice kid for me so I am winging it as I go along. And I get frustrated really easily and annoyed. A lot of this is my own fault because I am the one raising him. Some of it is just him being a boy who can be a bit of a twit at times.

T tried to leave and I stood in front of him asking okay yelling at him to go back into his room. We ended up in a grappling match with myself pushing him back into his room so that I could close his door. He was pushing back staring up at me when suddenly he screamed at me:

‘Get the f*** off me! Get the f*** off me!’

I stared at him, my brain reeling from the fact that my 9 year old had just dropped the f bomb on me. Not once but twice. I stepped back and looked at him and he screamed angrily ‘Why are you like this?’

My response was ‘Why are you like this? I told you there were consequences to your actions T.’

I walked out of his room and closed the door.  I was shaking. I shot a text off to the ex which in hindsight I should not have done. I paced the living room a little bit, deep breathing as I went, calming myself. T was pitching things at his door, I was ignoring him. I looked over and realized that his door was open and walked over to close it. T was sitting on the floor putting things away. I asked him what he was doing because I could really not fathom what I was seeing. His snide reply was I am cleaning my room. Okay not gonna fight and I walked away.

He came out to the living room and I again asked what he was doing. He snapped I am going to the storage room what do you think I am doing. Ahhhhhh he is getting the vacuum out. A little annoyed at the tone but I will not respond. Let him go about his business. I washed the dishes and he came to me and asked if he could go outside. His room was cleaned.

I looked down well almost down at him and asked him if he thought he should really be allowed to go outside. He stared down at his feet and whispered that he was sorry. I asked for what? He whispered for dropping the f bomb on you.

I asked T if he thought that he was really old enough to be using the f word with me? He shook his head dejectedly and said no. We talked a little more and I checked his room. Made him vacuum a little more and said he could play outside for a little while.

That evening he swept the kitchen floor without my asking and fed the cats. We talked a little more and off he went to bed.

The next day we discussed the limits that were going to be imposed re computer time. That there was going to be more play time than watching youtube time. And that was when I realized that if I want him to spend more time at play, than I could not be zoned out in front of the television. Which lead to my challenge this week to not watch any t.v.

Wow, I totally just brought the whole thing home without even meaning to. Have no idea how so I am going to end it right here folks. I cannot get a better close. And I will glory in it for a few because never again will I be able to bring everything into a nice neat package.

As an aside, when the ex showed up to pick up T, he was told he would have to wait a minute while T cleaned the lego up off the floor in his room. He needed to keep it clean. Parenting win to add to my weekly tally. 🙂