My Mother … The Red Queen!

This Halloween I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts.  Costumes are my thing and it seemed fitting since my daughter was Madeline Hatter, the Ever After High version of the Mad Hatter’s Daughter.  She actually was torn between me being Lizzy Hearts or Kitty Cheshire but it came down to costume availability in the end.  Next year I think we may both be different versions of the Cheshire cat.

But this story has very little to do with my costume and a lot to do with my own mother.  Let me begin by saying that I do love my mother, in that way we all love our mother.  She gave birth to me, kept me alive and all that stuff.  The rest of this post will sound very negative but it doesn’t mean that I hate her at all.  I still love her, it is just that she has not been the best parent.

Lets start at the very very beginning as it has been told to me and repeated often enough I can never forget it.  My mother and father were married 5 years before my birth.  When my mother found out she was pregnant she stopped smoking and always said “I only stopped because of you” but in a tone that sounds as though I did her a horrible injustice.  My only guess is that she really loved smoking a lot and is bitter about me stopping her.  That being said, she never smoked again so I’m not sure what the problem is.  Then I was born … or not born fast enough as the case happened to be.  My mother opted for all the drugs because the labor I caused her was “intolerable” and I was inevitably knocked out cold by them and was born drugged and fast asleep.  I caused her over 22 hours of painful labor and wasted a lot of fuel for my fathers countless trips to the hospital.  Please note that I did this to her she says and not in a joking tone.

When I was first born my mother tried to breast feed me.  I am 100% a supporter of breast feeding and did for my daughter.  Due to some form of lactose intolerance I had been born with I ended up with projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea which almost killed me.  By the time they decided I was sick and was taken to the hospital I was considered to be starving and severely malnourished.  I don’t blame them for not knowing at the time since being a new parent is quite stressful.  What is troublesome is how my mother has constantly reminded me of how much trouble I was as an infant for developing this intolerance and how much it cost them.  “You cost us a fortune in special soy formula you know!”  Combine this constant statement over the years with the fact that they lost everything to bankruptcy a year after my birth and you have a child who grew up feeling responsible for her parents financial difficulty.

For several years after the bankruptcy we moved around a lot, 5 houses before I was 4.  This was in part due to finances and also in part to some shady businesses surrounding my father.  Lets just say my mother is not the only person responsible for my messed up childhood.  My mother likes to remind me how she had to work long hours to support me (again I am to blame).  I was placed in several, not so nice, daycare homes through the years where I was exposed to some pretty fucked up shit.  I saw a lot of children being shamed by adults (including their parents) and things that would now be considered physical and even sexual abuse.  I learned very early on to stay in the shadows and keep my mouth shut.  I often faked being sick in order to stay in bed or on the couches of the daycare homes because segregating myself was a form of personal protection.  I felt badly for the other kids and often cried when no one was looking.  My daydreaming was my escape because I needed nothing or no one to play inside my own mind.

As often as I faked being sick I was often actually sick most of the time.  I had the chicken pox when I was 3 and was constantly sick with colds and flu for most of my childhood.  Now I am just not sure how sick I really was or if it was just my mother being paranoid or gaining sympathy for having a sick child.  Again I cost them “a fortune” in medication and time off work to take care of me.  Usually they just sent me to daycare or school with my bottles of penicillin and instructions for the teacher.  I had to go to the school office twice a day to take my medicine so often, I think it could have been assumed I had some kind of disease.  Fun fact … My family doctor was also a friend of my parents and turns out a self prescribing drug user who was being beaten by her husband!  Found that out when I was 12 and my dad brought her home all strung out.  Anyway, as a result of the constant treatments I have developed a quick resistance to medication of almost every kind and sometimes wonder if parts of my adult illnesses are a result of the medications I was given as a child.

People considered me to be a pretty child but I never saw it myself.  My parents liked to make me wear fancy dresses and my mother would take me to church to show me off like a little doll.  Personally I wasn’t interested in wearing dresses.  They would take me on “Sunday Drives” to go visit friends of theirs in various towns.  I experience intense motion sickness in cars so that was never super fun for me and I would get in trouble for being sick in the car.  Most of their friends either didn’t have kids or had kids way out of my age.  I learned to play pretend in my head quietly, made friends with lots of people’s pets and learned the art of eaves dropping.  I knew way more about my parents from sitting at the tops of stairs listening in than I really should have known at a young age.  My mother would complain to others about me a lot and early on I wondered how much she actually wanted me around.

For a large part of my childhood I suffered from night terrors.   This is a horrible sleep disorder that causes a lot of stress for children and their parents.  People have no control over them and there is no treatment.  I am reminded often of the sleepless nights I caused my parents from these terrors.  Add to that the sleepless nights that they were up with me when I had colic as a baby and all the nights I was sick growing up.  God the way she goes on about it you would think I kept her up every single night of her life.  It is one thing to mention it if conversation leads to such topics but this is more of a constant reminder of how awful I made her life.

When I was 5 years old I asked for a sister in the hopes of having a friend and holy crap I got one!  Turns out all it took was tossing a penny in a Chinese restaurant wishing pond.  By the way, I hated Chinese food but that was where we ate all the time because my vote didn’t count.  2 months after my 6th birthday my sister was born but to my disappointment she was a baby.  Babies are not fun for 6 years olds.  I had dolls, barbies, race tracks and my treasured collection of dinky cars none of which she could play with me.  She cried, pooped, slept and became the new object of my mothers affection.  They had parties for her, dressed her up in fancy dresses, showed her off to people and I had to be careful and be quiet.

Within a month my mother was back in the hospital with hemorrhage due to retained placenta.  My sister was left at home with myself, father, grandfather and cousin.  Now the new baby wasn’t getting all the attention anymore and instead it was my mother.  She told and continues to tell everyone who will listen about how she thought she almost died from having my sister.  While looking at pictures she will point out how horrible she looked because she was so sick.  In 2009 I had a miscarriage and a month later required surgery to remove retained tissue.  It was my sister who took me for this surgery and with everything that went wrong my mother could only compare everything to her own issues and how mine paled in comparison … I didn’t want a comparison or to talk about what had happened.

So those general complaints about how hard I made their life and how expensive I was were repeated constantly … actually they still are.  Eventually I had acquired a complex where I was just pretty sure that everything bad was at least partially my fault.  I would sit alone in my room and replay all those times I let her down and try to figure out what I did wrong or how I could have avoided it, that is when I started obsessive reflection.  It was my job to keep an eye on my sister and take care of her.  If she did something wrong I also got the blame.  Better yet when I had valid complaints about my sister I got the blame because “you asked for a sister so it is your fault”, are you kidding me!!!  So ultimately everything my sister ever did to let my parents down is my fault because I wanted a sister.  When she dropped an iron turtle in my eye and I ended up in the hospital … My Fault.  Wow just wow!  Even today if I say in passing that I’m worried about my sister it is met with that same statement.  Really I have not learned to keep quiet.

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Excuse me but can I clean your bathroom?

Alice bathroom

Let me begin by saying that I am not a germophobe.  Maybe mildly but it is a very selective form of germ phobia that has rules that seem to lack rules, or at least rules that need to be followed or make sense.  Hell this is my germ phobia dammit so I can make and break the rules all I want.  For example I have no problem eating something that fell on the ground as long as the ground is sanitary to whatever standard I have set at the time.  This is also dependent on the deliciousness of said food that may have fallen.  Skittles – Yes, brussel sprouts – NO!  Also how sticky was the food that dropped or the floor it landed on?  There is never a time where peanut butter toast face down should be consumed after landing anywhere because that is just wrong!

When my daughter was born people would look at me in horror when my dog would lick her face or when she tried to drink out of his water dish (so cute).  Seriously folks he is a dog but he is my family.  People who spit on napkins then wipe their child’s face on the other hand disgust me.  You might find this odd but if you really think about it we have all kinds of super gross bacteria in our mouths and you just used it as a cleaning agent on another human?  Most bacteria is species specific so there is very little chance my child will contract harmful bacteria from my dog but whatever is in your mouth could kill her.  Ok, maybe not kill her but if you have a cold she will catch it now.  In order for kids to build up immunity they really can benefit from a few mud pies and dog kisses.

Generally speaking I avoid busy public places due to the large concentrations of people and the possibility of running into someone I know.  Social anxiety mixed with cleanliness and mild claustrophobia equals online shopping!!!  I work in eCommerce, socialize via the net and also do whatever shopping possible without leaving my computer.  It has been years since I have purchased underwear in an actual store and only 1 out of ever 10 items I own required getting out of bed.  Some of my best purchases were made through an app while sleeping.  Nothing like getting those surprise emails that my order has shipped when I have no recollection of what I ordered … oh cute shoes!!  I wasn’t always this way though as I did work in a mall for a short time.  It wasn’t until I was 21 and diagnosed with mononucleosis that the germophobia hit me. When I asked my doctor where the heck I picked it up she said “the mall” and that ended it for me.  I now wear gloves or long sleeves to open doors whenever possible.  I do still love to shop sometimes but have to be in just the right mood to tolerate it.

Public washrooms make my skin crawl but are a necessity so I won’t even get into that topic.  I have always hated a dirty bathroom.  It is a place where we go to get clean and has drains to wash the dirt away yet for most people it is the dirtiest room in the house.  My past house had 3 bathrooms that were generally very clean, despite having been married to a man who couldn’t brush his teeth without covering every surface with toothpaste spray.  Now I only have to deal with my daughters inability to rinse the sink and that is a minor issue with only one bathroom.  The slight chaos of the unfinished bathroom in my basement apartment drives me a little crazy but it isn’t worth the investment to complete a room in a house that isn’t mine.

So what does this have to do with me cleaning other people’s bathrooms?  Post separation I had a 2 year friendship with the worlds messiest bathroom people.  When I first started spending alternate weekends at their house they had employed a cleaning lady.  One week she just stopped showing up and they never heard from the company again.  I suspect now why that is … they are slobs!!!!  This couple lived in a very large house in a very expensive neighbourhood.  Two people with 4 bathrooms so one might expect at least one of those would be clean but no.  It started when I noticed dried soap in the powder-room sink that was still there a month later.

I was staying there biweekendly (yay I made a new word) so there was lots of time to inspect their house.  They had a huge master bathroom with double sinks, 9 foot long counter, corner tub, separate tile shower with glass door but it looked like it could have been part of a frat house!  The wife had more hair in the drains and on the counter than was on her head, hair brushes full of it too.  He must have shaved every inch of his body daily because there were razor clippings on every surface with the majority at his sink.  The clippers were always out and a pile of hair underneath them.  Between the two of them they had every special moisturizer, hair, wax, soap, paste and gimmick product on the market completely covering every inch of that sticky counter.  The cupboards were dangerous to open and the toilet, yuck!  The shower didn’t hardly drain and they spent tons of money dumping chemicals down it that didn’t help.  Lets just say if cleanliness is next to godliness, God did NOT use that bathroom!

They seemed like nice people (more on that later) and both worked long hours.  I assumed this was simply a result of not enough time and I decided to do my good deed by cleaning their shit up, literally.  Every surface was disinfected, every bottle was cleaned, taps polished, floors washed, tub scoured, toilet set on fire and prayed over!  Then I moved onto the shower drain … not only hair but the thing was completely blocked with mineral deposits.  The drain took me a solid 2 hours to chisel clean with a screwdriver and hammer but when it was done the thing ran perfect and looked brand-new.  I bleached the shower and honestly it was some of my proudest work.  I find cleaning bathrooms therapeutic and this one was by far the biggest before and after breakthrough ever!!  When they came home my friend was shocked, grateful and slightly embarrassed.  His wife seemed pissed off that I made it nice so I am guessing she liked it messy … or hated me … turns out probably both.

Since I was staying there so often, cleaning the bathrooms became my entertainment.  4 bathrooms and they were all equally dirty.  While house sitting one weekend I took all of their sink drains apart as all of them were slow and discovered all kinds of strange things growing in them.  Sometimes I even took pictures and sent them to my sister just to gross her out.  I brought my own cleaning supplies and did it out of the kindness of my heart.  Also they wouldn’t let me clean the kitchen which was more of an salmonella factory and I’m surprised I never died from food poisoning.  Eventually I started to get annoyed at their inability to keep any of the bathrooms clean and I started only using and cleaning the bathroom in their basement.  As time progressed our friendship went to shit and took a flush down the drain , honestly it was a huge relief LOL.  Watch for a future post that I might title “I untrashed your house now leave me alone”.

I was always one to polish taps in every bathroom I used but it is hard to stop at just the taps and people wonder when you spend too long in their bathrooms.  When I visit my sister her bathtub gets a good scrub and the counters get a wipe.  Overall her’s really isn’t much of a challenge but the stuff on the counter drove me to the point of installing shelves for her decorative items to be stored and freeing up space.  Now she is moving far far away so  I am losing her bathroom as a source of therapy.

The bathroom at work I shared for 14 years with my male coworker.   He is awesome and our bathroom was absolutely spotless.  Recently my boss decided we needed “Men’s” and “Women’s” washrooms.  Now I share the bathroom with the only other girl at work and it is not great.  She is a nice person and I really like her but why the hell can’t some people rinse the soap away!!!  I don’t totally understand how it gets so dirty.  I want my old bathroom partner back 😦

Just when I thought I would have to go back to my therapist to talk about alternative outlets for gratification, I met a clean man.  He might be … no he totally IS the most amazing man ever.  Not only is he incredibly tall, handsome and kind, he has an impeccably clean bathroom and doesn’t complain when I take it from “clean” to “sparkly” … or when I speak.  Seriously no excessive bathroom potions covering every surface.  He keeps his shampoo in the cupboard when not using it!  Some might even call him too clean but it is so awesome because there is hardly anything to move when I come over and decide to scrub down the bathtub for fun.  Just the right amount of chrome for me to polish and mirror to shine.  Sigh, it is almost as lovely as he is.  He seems to have accepted me, my bottle of Vim and my rubber gloves 🙂  I have made future plans to remove the hard-water minerals from the shower head and can hardly contain my excitement.  No I am not kidding, I don’t joke about shower cleaning joy.

It has been suggested that I should tap into my love of cleaning and maybe offer my services for financial gain.  Sort of pimp out my bathroom cleaning abilities if you may.  This could be a good idea and solid business venture that will require further research.  I also like to wash floors, kitchens, dust, walk dogs etc but I draw the line at laundry unless I really really really like you (I do my sisters laundry).  If by chance they find a cure for social anxiety and I come to visit you, know that when I leave your bathroom will be cleaner than when I got there 🙂

Anxiety Disorder in a Land of Wonder

Its-like-im-falling

Can you imagine being Alice?  You see rabbits in a waistcoat, fall down a very deep hole, grow and shrink at random, talking animals, crazy royalty and terrifying monsters.  The poor girl was falling apart and constantly questioning what could be real and what isn’t.  She questioned where she was but also constantly who she was.  This anxiety is something I can relate to all too well.

I suffer from anxiety and the people around me probably suffer from my anxiety too.  Sorry loved ones as I know I drive some of you bat shit crazy 🙂 Being an introvert and also hyper-self aware I can spiral into an abyss of psychoanalyzing myself and others around me which causes me intense exhaustion.   Some of my anxieties seem to contradict others and I get so uncomfortable in my own skin it may appear as though I am hyperactive.  Honestly I’m not, I just really like cleaning bathrooms (more on that at a later date).

Social Anxiety –
For the most part I am antisocial but I hide it very well.  I keep a very small selection of acquaintances but tend not to deal with any of them in person often.  The idea of having to go out somewhere and have to make small talk with people is paralyzing.  If given the option I would much rather stay home and talk to my pets before conversing with humans. Dating … hahahaha that had been an impossibility until I met someone truly unique.

I was married painfully for 13 years to a socialite narcissist that drove me crazy.  He couldn’t even go out for dinner with me without a group of people joining us to gossip with.  He loved parties, clubs, and social gatherings where he could be the center of attention.  Being a narcissist, this was even more extreme.  He also liked to put me into the center of attention to show me off in order to gain praise from others himself.  It was all too much for me but I would suck it up and do my best to entertain him and his friends if it meant he wouldn’t punish me.  Once I got home or people left I usually would suffer an intense migraine and take a few days to recover.  Every event made me even more anxious about the next possible one.

Having social anxiety makes some of the simplest tasks very complicating.  To go grocery shopping I usually drive way out of my way in order to avoid the possibility of running into anyone I might know at the store.  Going out to eat or for coffee tends to result in a drive-through so I don’t have to leave my car.  I don’t shop anywhere within an hour drive of my home and if I do see someone I know I do my very best to pretend I didn’t see them.  This may seem rude but I just don’t know what to say and because I really don’t want to talk I tend to do the exact opposite.  In awkward situations I can’t seem to shut the hell up and often spit out topics so bazaar even I can’t believe it.  Then once I am out of the situation I spend the next several days agonizing over what I said, did and how the unfortunate soul reacted.  God only knows why people don’t run in terror the other way when they see me aside from they may just find me highly entertaining.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) –
This has been a major battle for me.  At times I figured I had it under control when BAMM!  Just like getting hit by a truck something happens to remind me of situations from my past and I spiral out of control into my pit of despair.  It could be something understandable like a nasty email from my ex-husband.  Sometimes it is something as simple as an advertisement or as terrifying as being approached by a stranger on the street.

My PTSD is a result of years of manipulation, physiological and sexual abuse.  When you combine that with the fact that I am often approached by men who are looking for affairs, fantasies and one night stands.  My anxiety tells me that there must be something wrong with me if I attract sexual deviants.  A married man who I considered to be my closest friend, asked me to have a group orgy affair with him!  Considering he was completely aware of my past and the emotional trauma that I had undertaken it still blows my mind that he would have asked such a thing of me.  Needless to say we do not speak anymore.  This has not been the only case (I could right a book just on affair requests) but was definitely the most painful as my already depleted trust in men was trampled.  I avoid being alone with men as much as possible now in the hopes of avoiding being propositioned.

General Anxiety –
I worry about everything and by everything I really do mean EVERYTHING!  For a moment I started typing a list but then worried that it would be soo long I might never finish it or maybe no one would read it.  When I was a teenager this worry manifested into mild depression (never diagnosed) and ultimately scared me out of perusing the career of my dreams.  My worry about being alone forever resulted in me settling for the narcissistic sociopath ex-husband and kept me with him for 16 years, 13 of which married.

Anxiety is bad enough for the average sufferer but once you have children it’s amplified.  Trying to get pregnant caused a lot of anxiety, miscarriages were crippling, pregnancy was a 9 month long worry festival!  Once my daughter was born I had the added work of worrying about her every day and I still do.  It is very hard to let go and allow your children to make their own mistakes.  There are days I breakdown and wonder if I have done everything wrong in raising her but she is only 9 and has managed to survive this long so I will give myself some credit.  They say it is natural to worry about your children over their entire lives so I have a lot of worrying to look forward to and probably shouldn’t waste it on little things.

Being an Introvert –
Aside from my anxiety issues I am naturally an introvert.  I have never thrived in groups no matter how I try and I find them exhausting.  If given the option to go out or stay home and watch a movie, I will pick the movie every time.  If I do go out I find that I am saying “what the fuck!” more often then most people.  All the insanity just makes me want to go home and lock the doors.  Mostly I enjoy solitary tasks like reading, sewing, cooking, writing and above all else … cleaning the bathroom!  It is the one room in the house that provides me the most cleaning satisfaction, next would be the kitchen but that is can make up a separate blog post alltogether.

People confuse introverts with being solitary but that is an incorrect assumption.  There are many different levels of introverts.  I do not like to be alone, at least not for a long time but the person I am with needs to be calm and loving and let me be me without judgement.  I love to dress up nice but that doesn’t mean I want to go out, it just makes me feel good to put on a dress or a silly costume and STAY HOME.  I love to cuddle quietly and recently I have come to appreciate what it is to just sit, relax and enjoy the view.

This world is a frightening and wonderful place and just like Alice I often wonder WTF is going on and where I am.  Is any of this real and how is it possible I could have lived through so much crap with such anxiety?  The obvious answer is that I am Wonder Woman, clearly.  If I am than I would really like to find my invisible jet because traffic sucks in the morning.  My superpower is my hyper-self awareness which allows me to recognize my anxiety and tell myself to calm the fuck down.  Some days it just takes longer than others for me to listen to myself and get my head out of the rabbit hole.

A Caucus-Race and a Very True Long Tale!

A long tale
A long tale

In Wonderland Alice gets involved in a caucus race where everyone runs around in no particular order and all are declared winners. Is this the chaos of life where in the end we all end up the same?

The tale the mouse tells is frighteningly similar to the insanity of family court where rulings hardly make sense not to mention the basis for them …
‘Fury said to a
mouse, That he
met in the
house,
“Let us
both go to
law:  I will
prosecute
YOU.  — Come,
I’ll take no
denial; We
must have a
trial:  For
really this
morning I’ve
nothing
to do.”
Said the
mouse to the
cur, “Such
a trial,
dear Sir,
With
no jury
or judge,
would be
wasting
our
breath.”
“I’ll be
judge, I’ll
be jury,”
Said
cunning
old Fury:
“I’ll
try the
whole
cause,
and
condemn
you
to
death.”

Going to court for custody was chaos.  There were legal fees beyond my wildest dreams and countless hours of reading false accusations and disproving all the bullshit.  It seemed that my ex owned the courthouse considering some of the antics that went down.  On the most memorial court visit his lawyer used sarcasm and downright lies while giving her presentation.  My lawyer was professional providing proof with CAS (Children’s Aid Services) documentation and case examples but the judge said “We know what the society can be like” and dismissed everything she said.

We were in court that time because my ex had refused to show up for his visitation time with my daughter for a month straight without explanation.  He was mad I would not give into his demands so just stopped showing up, then he dragged me into court to get more access.  Yes he refused to see her but took me for more access, I didn’t understand either.  That female judge gave him twice the weekend access time despite his working nights and not being home to care for her.  From that point on she has spent at least one day and night every weekend with him in the care of either his elderly mother or his teenage niece and nephews.

Our last trip to court was to get a final order agreement and avoid a costly trial.  He was completely crazy talking to himself in the hallways and giving lectures to his lawyer about “how it all started”.  The lawyers hashed out a deal that covered 98% of most issues that could come up and was in no ones favour.  I gave up an extra few hours one more evening a week just to get him to sign when he wanted everyday.  Over a year later my daughter continues to complain about that extra 3 hours every Wednesday.  Once signed and he had left his lawyer informed mine that she truly believed he would never stop going after me, that was not what I was hoping to hear.

The rules of family law are preposterous as are the laws on harassment,  child protection and self defense.   Fun facts I have learned about our local laws: you can hit your children within reason, you can leave a child at any age home alone, harassment is subjective, and if your kid refuses to go to court ordered visitation you can be held in contempt of order.  In other laws you can’t move without the nonresidential parents permission.  So the lessons I learned in all of this is that 13 years of abuse means nothing to a court and the nonresidential parent has more rights than the primary parent.  Who came up with this stuff?

Today I  received an email from my ex accusing me of trying to access an old swinger Facebook account we had.  Honestly I had forgotten the email it was connected to and never really concerned myself with it so it has nothing to do with me.  Someone is interested though because he received an email from Facebook stating such.  I suggested he contact Facebook if he was concerned, I received more bashing remarks so I responded that he not contact me unless it was directly about our daughter.  His response is as follows and is the kind of thing I receive far too often.  Lawyers have assured me I must just accept such name calling and accusations as he is breaking no laws.

“I do not want to hear from you again- do not try to access old closed accounts again. 
Your posted swinger poses of fbk pictures are known to everyone and the remaining additions are easily located.
Your photos are everywhere. Ask your swinger friends for copies.
You are of no interests to me in any form. I assure you
😋
Grow up 
Say hi to ______. Didn’t he give you herpes – ?
 Now leave quiet alone you loser slut”

When do I get to live my life in peace if he seems to be the judge and jury and has condemned me to death?

Where am I going when I don’t quite know where I am.


Do you have a clue where you are going in life?

Like Alice I just don’t know myself.  It seems often I hit these forks in the road and spend far to long asking myself what road I should take.  My trusty cat provides me no advise when I ask her opinion.  I was considering investing in a new cat but I ran out of road!

After I left my husband I really thought my path would become clear.  All I had to do was get through court, find a place I could afford and move on with my life right? WRONG!! At this point I was not hitting forks but rather roadblocks and dead ends.

Roadblock 1 – Post 911 call I promptly escaped to my parents home 20 min south with my daughter and this silent cat of ours.   For the next 5 months I was required to pay half the mortgage on a very expensive home i had built that I didn’t live in anymore.  He had even changed the locks so my $900/month didn’t even give me access to my belongings.  This is allowed by law though.  So between a mortgage and lawyer for separating assets I had used up every bit of credit I had.  By the time he bought me out there wasn’t much left.  So I made my parents basement into our temporary home.

Roadblock 2 – I figured with the separation of assets complete that custody access would be a piece of cake but this was the furthest thing from the case.  Suddenly the father that never wanted a daughter was fighting me for custody.  I was terrified and my 7 year old daughter even more so.  Back and forth offers to settle were passed between lawyers using up what little money was left.  The ordeal took so much time that my work hours were affected and my income dropped substantially to the point I was almost fired.  The year I managed to get a joint custody agreement with a final parenting order (that was not in anyone’s favour) cost me $36,000.  I was completely broke and had now lived in my parents basement for 13 months.

Dead End!! Divorcing with children is hard enough but divorcing a Vindictive Narcissistic Sociopath with children is a nightmare.  5 days post custody court order, my ex was already trying to make me agree to alternative demands.   Here I learned to use the lines “as per the court order section ___” and “we will follow the agreed upon court order” in all responses.  Here is where my dead end hit though, I am not allowed to move my daughter without permission by her father or the court.  I hold residential primary however I can not move her  out of the area or change her school without his permission, which he will never give me and am reminded of often.

As I mentioned earlier, I moved 20 minutes south but this is outside of her school district and 20 minutes further away from work (now 1 hour away).  Her school is in the country with a limited farm district range.  There are no apartments or affordable housing in the area, just farms.  The closest town with such is between my work and her school and would require me double backing to drive her to school every day since they don’t bus out of district.  This would cost more in fuel and income for lost time at work so i would not afford it after all.  I looked into a change of job but nothing will even pay half what I make now and aside from Tim Horton’s there is very little for me between here and there. 2 years later I am a permanent resident of the parental basement.

So here I sit on this road that doesn’t seem to go anywhere.  From time to time I get off the road and take a plane to the big city (figuratively of course).  There I visit my sister on roads with more forks.  On these roads I can take chances.  At one fork I had a choice between what I know and something entirely different so I took a chance.  That took me to a fork where I chose a turn to new heights and an independent future with many more roads ahead.  All these roads excite me but I have a slight problem, I need to build a road or bridge to connect to the dead end.

There are moments I’m happily excited for my future adventures but my reality is far less fun.  I am building a future for my daughter and I, but we will never enjoy it if the roads don’t connect.  Where am I going?  I don’t exactly know but I at least need a road to get there.

Night Terrors … The Jabberwocky would be better than this!


Can you sleep at night?  I find there are all sorts of people with sleep patterns I envy.  Some people fall asleep in seconds while others stare at the ceiling trying desperately to stop thinking. It’s 12:30am so you can probably guess where I land.  As kids we long to stay up late but as adults we wish we could be sleeping by 9pm or at the very least have workplace nap times.

Do you dream? I’ve met people who claim they don’t or hardly remember their dreams.  I don’t just dream though, I dream vivid nightmares and wake to remember every terrifying detail. Unfortunate observers have said that sometimes I talk, cry or scream while sleeping.  I wish I could just close my eyes and wake up happy and refreshed but most of the time I wake up wondering where I am and what has happened to me.

As a child I suffered from Night Terrors.  The Mayo Clinic describes these as “episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep.”  My parents would describe these nights as something out of the Exorcist.  Yep that’s some scary shit to witness. Apparently I have also done this as an adult.  This disrupts the unfortunate people you live with and leaves you waking up to be very tired all day.

Nightmares in children are common but in adults it is far less.  From what is known of chronic adult nightmares they can be a result of anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, post traumatic stress disorder, medication, and several medical conditions.  In my own case I would guess that anxiety and PTSD are responsible.  I have suffered from anxiety all my life, mostly as a result of the instability of my childhood I assume.  We moved often and I never had any close friends or family.  As an adult I was in a very controlling relationship turned marriage to a vindictive narcissistic sociopath.

While married, my nightmares were often about being forced to stay and the intense situations I was in.  Since I have left they have fallen into the following themes:

I never really left – I am back in my old house or in a familiar location with my ex-husband and my divorce was a dream.  Everything is completely back to the terrifying normal that my life was.  I am sad, scared and looking for a way out.  I wake up from these afraid to open my eyes and it takes me a while to realize that I am not in my old bed in my old house.

I am forced to go back – In these dreams something extreme tends to happen and I am forced to go back to my ex-husband.  Because of the situation I am even more terrified as I am not only living with someone who hates me but now he hates me that much more for leaving and has ultimate control over me.  I am generally abused in these dreams in various ways.  When I wake up I am usually sweating and in tears.

I am being hunted – My ex is an avid hunter and a crack shot at 250-300 yards.  This concerns me when I am awake but when I am asleep it is that much more intense.  I have had dreams that he breaks in, hunts me down, sabotages my car and ultimately is trying to kill me.  This honestly isn’t completely unrealistic if you knew him.  While he personally never physically hurt me in the past the emotional and psychological abuse was intense and it had increased to threats of physical violence.  Living in a house full of guns with a controlling narcissist is stressful to say the very least.  Waking up from these I am in a state of panic and it takes me a while to lower my heart rate.

He takes my daughter away – This has to be the worst one of all.  I can handle being shot, raped, run over, tied up, forced to stay, hunted and subject to various other forms of violence but I can’t handle losing custody of my daughter.  Thanks to a pathetic court system, my ex and I have joint custody and he has a very generous visitation schedule.  He threatens more court action to have her live with him on a regular basis.  These threats turn into realities in my dreams.  They are the most possible to come true making them the most terrifying of all.

My nightmares may not have serial killers, demons or giant man eating anaconda but the evils they do have are very real.  The Jabberwocky in my dreams is a real person and he is totally capable of 90% of what happens in my dreams.  So why can’t I sleep?  I think we have figured it out.  There is a cute Dr. Seuss quote that states “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  I always get a good laugh from that one.  I can’t fall asleep because my reality is better than my dreams but it has nothing to do with love, my dreams are fucking terrifying!!!!!!

Jabberwocky

By Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)