homekeeping 5

stopI did it.  Saturday night I dropped some plates.  I’m not proud of myself, but there it is.  Actually, I didn’t so much drop them as fling them against the wall.  Only two of ’em.  I can’t glue them back together.  I will carry on with the four remaining plates.

Here’s the non-venting version of where we are.  Kids are scheduled for a visit with the counselor on Wednesday.  Mark is not scheduled for more visits.  Mark doesn’t see why the kids need to see the counselor.  He thought last week’s visits went well.  He doesn’t understand why Jenny has her heart broken by the fact that Will got a landslide of goodies from Mark.  We found the ideal bike for Jen.  I talked to Mark and told him that Jen fell in love with a bike, “She said you are buying her a bike, can she please have this bike?”  Mark said, “That’s not the bike I’m getting for Jen.  I have selected a different bike.  I will be buying the bike that I select, not the bike that Jen wants.”

First plate thrown.

Mark said, “You mean to tell me that Jen won’t talk to me because I won’t buy her the bike she wants?  The visits went well last week.  Let me talk to her.  Why won’t she talk to me?  Will won’t talk to me, either?  Why won’t they talk to me?  That’s it.  I’m calling my lawyer.”

I should have said, “Go for it Mark.  I’m sure you retained the one lawyer on the planet that will be capable of making your kids like you.”

Second plate launched.

This was while the kids and I were watching The Karate Kid.  Yes, I was in some sort of vortex when that movie first came out in 1984, and I had not yet seen it.  And in the way that the Universe works, this movie was actually airing during my plate-launching conversation with Mark.

Huh.

In the end of the movie, when it looks like Daniel is going to have his ass handed to him, I so wanted Mr. Miyagi to step in and save him.  But that would have prolonged the mess with the bullies.  And given the chance, coupled with his training, determination and encouragement from friends and family, Daniel succeeded in standing up for himself.  All three of us stood and clapped.  I wiped a couple tears (yes, I’m a sap) and  asked the kids what the message was.  (I’m not going to plant my version of the message in their heads.  I wanted to see if it was obvious to them.)  They agreed that it was about sticking up for yourself, fighting your own battles, and developing the skills to do so.

I said, “Do you see how any of this relates to us?”  They hemmed and hawed a bit.  Maybe they weren’t comfortable seeing the parallels and what that meant for them.  Will said, “It’s about dad, isn’t it?”  Jenny looked at me like she was hoping I was going to say that it wasn’t, but I know she knew it was, too.

“Do you see that I can’t fight your battle for you anymore?  Do you see that when I step into the ring with your dad, it prolongs this mess?  Do you see that at some point, maybe not now, but some day you guys are going to have to be honest with dad and stick up for yourselves and tell him what hurts your feelings, and how you feel after your visits?”

That pot is simmering.  I’m not badgering them by asking whether they have decided that they can stick up for themselves.  They have to decide that on their own.

__________

In keeping with my post on action vs. venting, I have not – with the exception of this post, a quick email to my aunt, and a brief conversation with my mom – sunk into a full-scale venting jag.  Quite frankly, my heart rate was such, after Saturday’s phone call, that I needed to force myself to re-focus.  I know first hand what all this stress does to my health.  It isn’t good.  And it sure has hell isn’t worth it.

 

 

Yesterday I woke with a clear vision of where I am headed with all this crap.

For now.

All the energy I spend venting, spewing, kvetching and whining will be directed into a digital book.  This proves to be a much more productive way to channel that energy.  I’m 22 pages into this project.  I feel confident that I know where I am going with it.  I am excited about it.  I can’t wait to share it.  I have put the other project on the “When I Get To It” List.  This new project makes sense.  I believe that this is where my blog posts have been leading me.   I think it is the culmination of what I’ve learned.

I needed to hit bottom.  I hit my bottom.  I’m sure Mark is going to try to send me deeper.  I’m not going there.

But first, I needed to update you all.

And yes, I’ll update again after Wednesday’s session.  Thanks for thinking of my kids.  It helps, so much.

__________

While you are sending up good thoughts for my kids, please do so for Annie, too.  I won’t go into details, but she’s been visiting her doctors too much recently.  Things will work out fine, but she could use some kind thoughts.

__________

I bought the bike for Jenny yesterday.  Will offered to go in on it with me.

 

 

 

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6 comments

  1. I read this after you left. You are amazing. Not one word about all this during the time you were here. And your kids are going to be So. Strong. Way to go!!!

  2. I know you would have listened. You have been there every time.

    It’s time to move beyond the venting.

  3. I have thrown plates before its amazing how the shattering of a dish makes us feel better.

    I wish Jen knew how good it feels when you stick up to the person who bullies you. It is such an empowering feeling. Once you do it, each time gets a little easier. The first time is scary and for some of us we are slow learners and don’t get there until we are older. I hope for Jen she learns it at her young age. In the end it will make her life easier. It’s hard to feel like you’re hurting someone’s feelings, which is what Mark will act like. But Jen has to think of all the times he hurts her feelings and think of herself.

    Ironic he thought counseling would go his way and now that it didn’t he doesn’t want it anymore. The lawyer thing won’t go his way either, he uses it to scare you.

    Stay Strong!

  4. I’m hoping they both learn the sticking up thing long before I did.

    I think it is being forced on them. I worry that it is too soon. It is a lot to expect from kids who are seven and eleven.

    But it is a skill that will serve them all their lives.

    Nice to see you here, Kath.

  5. Oh Jesse. I’m so sorry for all that you and the kids are going through. I’ve been there. I’ve never actually broken a plate but I bet it would feel good! We went through this stuff for awhile but things are better now (mostly). There are still moments . . . The irony is that my 12 yr old tells me on occasion that she needs to stand up to ME. Which is hilarious. Not that I’m a perfect mother (by a long shot) but she has convinced herself (he has convinced her?) that he’s the one on her side, he’s the one that understands her and I’m the outsider. But we’re working on it.

    Another irony – my ex tore his calf muscle. He’s on crutches. He needs lots of help and he really has no friends. So who is helping him? Yeah, me. I’m taking him to Costco in a bit. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s buying my groceries . . . is it wrong that there’s no real altruism here?

  6. Jessica,

    Wow. When you said he ‘really has no friends’, I got it. That’s my ex. In fact, last summer my ex went through a few miserable weeks with a kidney stone. Perhaps you’ve heard how painful that is? The old me would have had him staying at my house so I could take care of him. Enough time had passed since I moved us out that, when he started talking about how painful it was, I was able to nod politely and walk away.

    And I didn’t feel the slightest built guilty. Although, I’ll know I’ve made some serious progress when my brain doesn’t even consider who would/could care for him during such a health crisis. But, then, maybe I don’t want to become that callused. (?)

    I hope you got home with a seriously big batch of groceries. ;)

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