One of the Worst Days of the Year

Most children are going back to school today. Parents will post first day photos on Facebook in front of banners, in t-shirts, in front of school friends, etc. They will write about preparations for the day.

As a non-custodial parent, today feels like a failure. There are no opportunities for photos because I live to far away. I do not know my kids friends because I rarely see them with any of them.’no conversations about who is in their classes and what their day was like will take place.

My ex does not even send me a photo of the ones that may be taken, Now that they are older, I have come to peace with this day. Yet, it is still difficult to see photos. Today, I do not know what my kids are wearing to school or even if they made it to the bus on time.

For me and I am sure for others in my situation this has become our norm. Being excluded from some of the most important events and days in a child’s life.

The Kitten and the Cat

We our still on the journey of getting our resident cat to fully accept the new kitten. On the positive side, they have touched noses a few times and will lay together. The tough times are meal times. Our resident cat is on a strict schedule and loves her food. She is on special food and the kitten is only on kitten chow. Not that that is a problem, I am just hoping the kitten is ok.

When we leave the house, the kitten still goes into her room. She seems comfortable as long as she is let out as soon as we get home.

We set the trees up. Our older cat has never tried to climb the tree. As soon as we set up the tree in the front room the kitten was trying to climb it.

Both of the cats enjoyed a little turkey on Thanksgiving. They like the kids, yet they also seem to like the quiet after the kids leave.

My husband did an amazing job with the lights this year. The new house feels so festive and we were able to place a few decorations in each room. We also began making cookies and pies. I cannot wait for Christmas. We are having people over for the first time in a while. This house screams entertaining.

Therapy is ok. I am trying to accept that certain things are normal to say to a teenager about boundaries that should not have been said to me as a toddler. I will have to get used to having teenagers. I think that in some ways they are as honest as a toddler.

A Few Good Days

It has been a busy weekend. I am lucky to have two out of three kids this weekend. They helped to make pies and put up the Christmas decorations for our first Christmas in the new house. It was so nice to have them and their energy. It actually motivated me to decorate and bake when I did not feel like doing anything earlier in the week.

We also went to the movies and had a lively discussion after the movie. It is nice to be able to really talk to them and get their opinions. Today is just a laid back day. We are going to attempt to make cookies. That should be fun. We will also watch some Christmas movies.

The cats are doing so much better. Our older cat is hissing a lot less and they have even touched noses a few times. We caught them both laying under the tree yesterday.

Hope everyone who reads this is doing well. I know how tough this time of year can be. One day at a time.

A Custody Dilemma Due to My Mental Illness

I have stated on here that I have three kids. Right now I am feeling like the story of the three bears. One child does not speak to me at all. The second child is ok with the visitation arrangement and does not want to cause any issues. The last child is having some issues with home and school and wants to move in with me.

Enter the fact the the other parent has full physical custody. That parent believes they are the best because they do not have a mental illness which causes symptoms that have prohibited them from working. That parent would remove the kids from me in a minute. That parent grudgingly brings the kids that do want to come to visit.

Yes, I have PTSD and depression. I lose time and I have trouble leaving the house. I have nightmares that keep me up and cause me to be tired during the day. Apparently, that means that I cannot be a parent.

The last child wants to live here. That child is having some issues and would like to try going to school and living here. At least the child is not into high school yet and the grades will not count toward college. I am worried. Financially, I do not have the funds for the court case. It would be complicated and ugly. I have a feeling both sides would be calling experts. What to do? Emotionally, I want the third child to have a chance. Intellectually, I know that I cannot afford the fight. I am not sure that I could handle it emotionally either.

So here I am. I feel guilty that I cannot do what someone with more income would be able to do. I feel guilty for not working, yet my therapist and I are just trying to get me to leave the house. I feel guilty that there is a situation that will negatively affect this child in the future. I feel like I am watching a train wreck. I know what emotional abuse looks and sounds like. Not only from my own experience, but also from the child maltreatment classes that I took. Emotional abuse is one of the hardest types of abuse to prove. There are no exams and even therapists tends to minimize situations.

Right now I am scared. If this child is anything like me I am scared how far they will go to prove how bad they are feeling. I am scared that the custodial parent will stop the child from seeing me because they feel that I somehow caused this to happen. My genes are defective. Right now all I can do is hope that I get the kids at my next visitation.

Another Vet Visit

The kitten is scheduled for shots and bloodwork tomorrow. I think that will start her official hatred of the vet. We let her explore the house this morning. She was running around today and going up and down the stairs just because she could. She loves string and toys that she can manipulate.

I swear she has gotten so much bigger in just a week. She has started giving herself a bath multiple times a day and is using the litter box. She likes water unlike our resident kitty.

Hopefully, they will be able to meet tomorrow. Right now, they know each other’s scents and look for the other one. Ok, the kitten looks for our older cat more often.

I am actually able to feed her and take care of her. I find myself only taking a short nap each day. I still have to call about the TMS. I am worried about how many days they will want me to come. I think insurance companies and doctors should factor in gas costs. Sometimes even the closest place is a long drive.

This weekend is my middle child’s birthday. I cannot believe that I have three teenagers at this point. At least two out of three still talk to me. I am hoping that when the oldest one gets to be an adult that he will change his mind and at least talk to me sometimes. That will be better than it is now. It is unusual that I have the kids on their actual birthday. This should be a good weekend.

Therapy is tomorrow. I feel like I cannot get all I want to out each session. At least I am talking now and we are working on how the trauma is affecting my life today. Especially, how I am scared to leave the house and how I still go to anger as my first reaction. We are working on seeing why that is and trying to find ways to lessen those issues.

Hope everyone who is reading this is having a decent week and making sure to do some self care each day. Even 5 minutes makes a difference. I think I will write about how meditation is helping me become more grounded at night tomorrow.

A Question about Teens and Day 5

The kitten is doing well. She is eating and drinking. She loves to play and give kisses. Most of all she is getting more comfortable with the house and loves exploring.

For those of you out there who may have teenagers, I have a question. Do your teens remember your birthday or get you cards for important Holidays? My teens forgot my birthday again this year. I think I may be extra sensitive because of growing up in a house where your birthday could be taken away.

The TMS is progressing. My doctor has found a place that accepts insurance. Ironically, I need to see their psychiatrist to determine the number of sessions and long each should be. When are they going to invent a therapy that takes away all of the horrible memories. That is something that I could get on board with. I will have to call the treatment center on Monday.

I am enjoying having the two cats. Their personalities are so different. They cannot begin to meet until later this week when the kitten gets her shots. I am a little worried how it will go. Hoping for the best.

No Cooperation

Being a non-custodial parent is hard and sucks at times. I personally have had to take all of my legal paperwork to get school records or even sports team schedules.

In my case the custodial parent takes their level of power to a level that sometimes is more than a little frustrating. He refuses to drop the kids off on a Friday due to a my change in location even though I have agreed to meet him at a location that is the same number of miles that I would normally drive.

In addition to losing Friday’s, I have also lost time on Saturday mornings with the kids activities. This weekend for example, I will only have them for about 24 hours outside of the car.

He blames me for relocating, yet the neighborhood is safer for the kids. I would think that would be a plus.

Holidays suck. I do not have my kids on any holiday evening except for Thanksgiving. All other holidays including Mothers Day, they have to be back in the afternoon.

I am counting the years until they turn 18 and can decide for themselves when they would like to visit. Until then, I sometimes feel like a puppet on a string.

A Wreck

Life is challenging for everyone. Right now I need to get through some things. My oldest child is still not communicating with me. His siblings share what has been going on. I miss talking to him and seeing him. Pretty soon he will be an adult and maybe he will contact me then.

My other kids seem to be holding their heads above water. The problem is that I feel they are just treading water and are not as stable as I would like them to be.

A change in income has occurred for the worst. I am worried about losing our home and how we will get by. I am also worried about my husband. He is strong, yet there is only so much one person can take.

On top of it all I need to find new health insurance. That is stressful. There is so much information out there. Again, my issues are nothing compared to others. I guess it is because it is all happening at the same time.

Testing my Boundaries

There has been so many people here since we moved into the house. Sometimes, more than one in a day. I like the house to be a safe space. Today it is more of a construction zone. New carpet is being installed and with it comes all of the sounds.

The banging really gets to me. At least it is only for one day. I could not handle this much banging all of the time. It is so loud that I hope that we are not disturbing any of the neighbors.

I will be relieved when this is finished. We can finally move furniture into the house and begin to decorate a little. We also will not have any dog smells. The stains are apparent on the carpet!!

The kids are supposed to come this week. I am not sure how that is going to go. My ex wants to completely change the schedule even though I did not move that much further away. Maybe an extra ten minutes. I really hope to see the kids. They have not seen the house except for pictures.

Other than that, things are ok. We are processing in therapy. I do not think that many people want to experience their worst days over and over, yet I need to make a connection with some kind of emotion that I was experiencing at the time. Not an easy task.

Touched Home *May Trigger*

The other week I was sent an article that was written by a person whose mother had two stillborn children. My own mother had two stillborn children.

I could relate to the feeling that they were there even though they were not physically present. Having to live up to a standard ideal of who they would have been, yet never were. Living with two ghosts.

In my case I did not have a sibling like the author of the article. I was expected to be perfect and act perfect. To get good grades and do what the other two children would have done had they been there.

Sometimes it was a nightmare. Being beaten over a B on a test or being told that I was not good enough and was a mistake to have. Until this day they are idealized to the point that I have been alienated.

I am not perfect! I have been inpatient in mental hospitals. I have not gone on to do all of the great things that the other two children would have done. I cannot change who I am and am realizing that I will not live up to the ideals that my parents had for them and expected from me.