Back on the road and not white-knuckling the steering wheel…

After a much needed rest stop, I’m finally back behind the steering wheel. Even though there may be some challenging parts ahead in my current course, I feel confident my navigational skills will get me where I need to be.

The next phase of my “so-called life” has officially begun…

In October 2011, I could no longer ignore that my marriage was on a destructive course. I had known that the relationship was very strained between my husband and me. However, when my 6-year-old son shared with me the turmoil he was struggling with due to the relationship he had with his dad, I knew a drastic change of course was necessary.

Fortunately, both of my parents were there for me and my children when I actually took the action to leave my husband in November 2011. I had too optimistically hoped back in October that our separation would be temporary– that my husband would leave the house while we all sought out counseling to sort things out and take the time to heal. However, after a month of promising to leave and seek therapy, my husband never followed through. But, I did. Ironically, the moment when I felt most like a grown-up was when at 34, I moved back to my hometown at my parents’ house with two little ones in tow.

From November 2011-June 2012, the pace of our new course really sped up. I secured a a decent full-time position almost immediately after relocating. Despite moving away and starting a new school, my son made great strides in counseling learning how to appropriately manage the emotional turmoil that had been overwhelming him.  Additionally,  my son went from struggling to read at his 1st grade level, to ending the school year reading at a 4th grade level. Yes, this detour proved to be emotionally exhausting–but my son and I became happier people somehow.

Yet, in June 2012, life was about to take another sudden detour– the kind you are forced to take because the road you were driving on ends, marked by the jarring parade of  fluorescent orange signs,flags and flashing sirens .  It’s the obvious result of the road meeting with a catastrophic event. And it was such an occurrence that happened to our family in the end of June.

While I worked full-time, I was fortunate to have my mom (my best friend, in fact) take care of my children. With her watching my children, I could work with my mind at ease, knowing that my children would not be lacking in the love and attention a mom could provide. However, my mother was also a Type-1 Diabetic, and had already lost both her legs and suffered many complications as the disease ravaged her body. For the two years prior, she hadn’t had any major health issues. In fact, she was more active and healthy than she had ever been. But on June 25, she had a typical episode of a her blood sugar bottoming out– the kind she would always bounce back from in a day or two at most. It was with that mindset that I took it for granted that this event wasn’t anything my mom couldn’t overcome. I was sorely mistaken. On June 27, while at home she took a sudden turn–and I knew when I dialed 911 that this trip to ER was not going to have the typical outcome. She slipped away right in front of me– we were just loading the car to take my mom to the hospital, when my mom went from conscious and talking to completely unresponsive.

It was 1 pm, when I made that fateful call. It was then I already knew by the wrenching of my gut that I would never get to tell my mom “I love you” or even “good-bye”. At 10:22 pm, I got confirmation of what truth my heart already knew. It was that moment and every one that has come since that has really shown me what as a “grown-up” I was truly capable of doing.

We were not prepared in any way for her sudden death, emotionally and financially. My dad and I were given till the end of March 2013 to find another home–the home that was purchased as a gift for my parents needed to be sold ASAP. I could not afford reliable childcare that could accommodate my awkward work schedule–and my work was not able to offer me a schedule that the one childcare source I had available could offer. During the summer and fall of 2012, I found myself facing unemployment, homelessness, while maintaining some semblance of normalcy for my children.

Today, all of the uncertainty presented courtesy of that detour is finally in my rear-view mirror. I found my voice and my sense of direction. My children and I are enjoying a home we can call our own, free of eggshell carpeting. And I am enjoying the fruits of my resourcefulness, as I free-lance my talents and appreciate this time to truly explore my vocational endeavors.

As I continue to drive away from the wreckage of the past– with its reflection continuing to get smaller and smaller in my rear-view mirror– I know that the reflection will always be there even when my eye can no longer discern it. I know there will be moments when I will want to focus on that image, momentarily losing my focus on the road ahead. The key word here is “momentary”. By always remembering to keep my attention on the drive and how my hands are steering wheel– I will keep what I have already overcome where it belongs, and not coming up on me later to splatter across my windshield.
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This an excellent article providing general detail about the reality of proceedings in family law cases–and no it is not what you expect it would be.

pmashilohlopez

The Crisis in Family Law Courts

Also See The nafcj.net

There is a national crisis for women and their children in the family law courts of this country. Affirmed by experts and leaders in the women’s movement,
the existence of this crisis is verified by women in every state who report injustice in their family law cases, especially battered mothers trying to
protect their children from abusive fathers who aggressively litigate against them, using family court to stalk, harass, punish, and impoverish their former
partners and children. NOW recognizes this crisis for women and their children and seeks to address discrimination against women in family courts.

The information presented here has been compiled by the National NOW Family Law Advisory Ad Hoc Committee. Created in April 2004, this all-volunteer committee is comprised
of parents, grandparents, activists, paralegals, organizers, attorneys, and advocates from across the nation devoting their collective experience…

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Lack of Inspiration…

Life in general has been feeling fairly uninspired lately. As someone who considers herself to be an aspiring writer-not having an interesting topic I feel absolutely driven to compose a discourse about is about as big of an obstacle I can imagine and one I am currently directly facing.

A screaming toddler, grumpy husband, tolerated through the lenses of PMS moodiness, of course, do not help the cause. However, despite these snags, they can be used for some benefit—every time we encounter a snag in our life, we discover just a little bit more about the fabric we are made of. So when you consider all of the snags I’ve encountered, using the my previous logic, I should be more than aware of what fabric I am. Thus, if I know the fabric I am made of, then I should have pretty good idea about what purpose my “fabric” should serve. Well, I can tell you one thing for certain on that point— I’m not quite sure of the “exact” purpose of this fabric, but I know what it will NOT be a part of.

I sincerely apologize to those of you who have stuck with this wordy whine—and I must admit, I have barely even started. Hopefully, at the end of this entry I will come to some epiphany like conclusion and feel closer to having that Ah-hah moment where clarity and revelation are suddenly revealed for the my life course. However, I must warn you that the chance of that occurring is very unlikely and you, my reader & myself, are likely to just be more confused.

Actually, I’m really looking forward to not having to write these pondering entries of self-discovery and frustration with how little I seem to know about myself. Ever since I was nine years-old, I used my journal to battle out my uncertain emotions in—usually I was able to find some consolation in my written and often tear-run pages.

As an adult, I find less time to turn to my journal, in fact, I find less time to even try to process my emotions. Maybe that is why I am so darned tired. I am constantly carrying these feelings all day—with no place to put them. Then to top it off—I consider myself to be an empath—someone sensitive to feeling the emotions felt by others—and I seriously feel overwhelmed by feeling most days.

And now instead of reserving my emotional battles to a notebook—now I am trying this blog format. Leaving all my humanity out there for the world to judge. But hey, I’m a writer and I better get a tougher skin. Besides, none of my “readers” will be able to consider me a coward—or afraid to express the good, bad, and grotesque. In addition to blog entries regarding my thoughts on “my life”, (I know how utterly boring and egotistical to think anyone would even read them) I will also soon be publishing poetry—hoping one day to receive the validation every poet aspires to receive, to become published and paid.

I long for the days when I would get lost in words. When I used to be involved in a writing project—all of my focus was devoted to the searching for the perfect combination of words. That passion that consumed me while I was in a process of creation—was the what was I truly pursuing. It is being so actively involved in the process that there is no other moment existing in time, except for that moment of now. The product, of course was always enjoyable, but now I see that my joy in poetry never came from the poem itself—but rather the poem’s creation. After, giving birth to my son and seeing the miracle of truly creating a another life, I see why my poetry writing was so vital for my soul’s contentment.

October 17, 2004, was the last day I seriously spent devoted to the creation of a poem I was completely invested in. Three days later, I found out that Jonathan was already in place to be the next creative project I would be devoted to perfecting. And now, three and half years later, I have had little time or energy to return to the tunnel-vision focus to create a poem or writing I would consider to be a quality piece of writing.

Perhaps, just perhaps, a quality piece of writing will eek its way out while I compose entries for this blog— we shall see or read…

When will starting over ever end?

(this is reposted from a blog I started on Myspace)
I’m not sure how many incomplete blogs I’ve created out there in cyberspace with an entry, maybe two. And it doesn’t really matter either, because I’m here now starting another one.

Maybe I’m just stubborn, some would look over several failed attempts to commit the writing of a continuous series of blog entries and say forget it— but not me, I don’t know how to not keep starting over, whether I’m blogging or participating in any other everyday activity. In the not so recent past, there were several attempts to launch from that point in the life cycle where we make the transition into living as adults responsible for the well-being of other human beings, that were not so successful.

Today, it seems we (we-referring to my little family of self, husband, and 3 year old son) have gained a fair amount of distance between ourselves and the land below since our last launch– yet, turbulence still tends to be the ever-present foe threatening the progress we’ve thus managed.

I am compelled to write about these recent experiences, because while I was living those worst of times I unintentionally placed myself into isolation. I do not know if it was out of shame, or stubbornness, or perhaps an innate knowledge possessed by some American Indian tribes who send their youth who are coming of age on a quest with nothing but the clothes on their back– that I allowed this aloneness to happen. For 2 years, I lived in darkness groping for something solid and familiar feeling to determine the way back to light.

I finally have emerged from that place of blackness– and my senses have returned— though are still adjusting. I still catch myself every now and then squinting when I am in the presence of the most subdued light.

I know I am not alone in this aloneness I triumphed over— and I think we are all given a time in our life where we choose or are forced to take a sabbatical from the momentum of our life’s progress– after talking and meeting all kinds of people throughout these past three years I have heard story after story of similar circumstances. The person who talks about this experience seems in no way connected to the person they describe who had underwent this terrible ordeal or had made these horrific mistakes.

The thing is that we never expect to go through an experience in life where we will emerge as someone very much changed— and we somehow become completely detached from the person and circumstances that we had identified with. So, in some ways I am a little bitter about the isolation I created, because I did miss out on the good and bad things that happened to many people who I care deeply about. And I have to acknowledge that some of the distance that grew between the friends & family I withdrew from may never be as close as it was prior.

But regardless of the damage that may be unable to be repaired, there is a whole future for me to continue trying to repair past damages and to create new relationships– there is still much ahead. Being in a place where I can count on the next several years passing in a predictable manner probably isn’t going to happen. I only know where I will work for the next year— and even that I may have to add on to– but as far as where my career job is going to be and what it even is, remains to be seen. At least now I am at a place where I can be okay with, and even enjoy, figuring It out. The person who loved to plan out every phase of her life— I cannot tell you how many 10-year plans I created, revised, rejected, and recreated since I was 14…. in these plans included details on how I was going to live life as a marine biologist, pediatrician, science or English teacher, massage therapist and even an actress. And even though none of those career paths played out, I do feel that I have had the opportunity to experience situations where I have performed the duties of the above occupations.

So with all things considered– I think after surviving mental breakdowns, the consequences of illegal activity, parents and in-laws, and life and death of the people you love most— and
still possessing a somewhat positive perspective on life and a healthy and mostly happy family, I deserve to feel good about what I have achieved— I survived. In 2 months time our family has gained a foundation to stand on. No more living with parents or waiting on someone else to do something so we can move forward. Both my husband and I have positions where we can support our family while providing support to the community– and we finally felt confident enough in our position and future to finance a vehicle (a used one of course)— all the circumstances and living situations of the not so recent past already seem so far removed from the existence of what is now our daily life– though we may not have 6 figures, a new house, or 2009 Family car of the year— we have ourselves, we a Start!