Friday, October 27, 2006

Like a Jerry Springer Episode

So sometimes I just think I will never be able to escape drama. If it is not one thing, well, then it is definitely another.

A couple of months after I started my job, I’d already become good friends with two of my coworkers, Lee and Wynn. I was at a Mariner’s game with Wynn and her boyfriend, when she got a call from Lee. She left the stands, so she could hear better, and when she returned she was beaming.

“Guess what?” she gushed, “Lee’s pregnant!!!”

I clenched my jaw to keep it from dropping and pegged up my cheeks in a desperately forced smile. “Wow!” I said with all the excitement I could muster, “That’s great for her.”

“Yeah, and she didn’t even know it – she’s three months along.”

I smiled again and focused my gaze on the pitcher’s mound, trying to ignore the swirl of emotions within me. After Wynn and Freddie left soon after, I crumpled into Steve’s arms. I could no longer contain myself. I was going to have to watch my friend’s belly get larger and larger, and I was going to be subjected everyday to cheerful baby talk. How would I do it?

I made up my mind that night that I would have to tell Wynn the truth. I would have to tell her about Oliver.

The next morning, I dreaded going in to work. I didn’t say anything to Lee about the baby, but when Wynn came in, she said, “Rebecca, Lee has her ultrasound photo! You have to go see it.”

I smiled and turned back to my computer. An hour of so later, Lee went to the bathroom, and I stopped Wynn as she walked by. “So, remember how I said that I just went to London to take care of Steve’s bedbound mother for a few months?” I asked.

She nodded, her brow furrowing in confusion.

“Well, that’s not exactly the entire story. Steve and I actually were going to live there. I was pregnant. I had my baby in February. He died mysteriously after 12 days.” I looked down at my hands as her look of confusion turned to one of pity. I stemmed her words by rushing onward. “I’m okay, I’m getting better all the time, but I just wanted to tell you because I am just not quite ready yet to be happy for Lee.” At this point my eyes brimmed with tears, which I quickly brushed away. “It’s just that, well I didn’t want you to think that I am a complete jerk for not glowing over the ultrasound picture, and I know that this is just going to be a little tough for me to handle for a little while.”

Lee walked up as Wynn expressed her sorrow for my situation, and though I hoped to avoid telling my terrible story to a soon to be first time mom, I found myself telling them everything, the move to London, the pregnancy, the suddenness of his illness, and ending with the horror of the custody battle crammed on top of it all. They couldn’t believe that I hadn’t said anything before.

And several days later, I found myself sitting with Steve, Lee, and her husband Nic at happy hour in Belltown before we were to head to the Real Madrid/DC United game at Qwest Field discussing that very thing.

“I just can’t believe you never said anything before,” Lee said with awe.

I shrugged my shoulders, “It’s not exactly something you bring up in interviews. Could you imagine?” I assumed a sobbing voice. “Please hire me. I really need this job. My baby just died, I don’t know why, my ex-husband is suing me for full custody of my daughter because he is saying I abandoned her, I don’t know why and my boyfriend is stuck in London until I have an income. So puhlease give me a job!” I stopped the faux sobbing abruptly “Yeah, I’m not thinking that would have gone over too well. They might have thought I needed more mental health time before letting me step another foot in the office.”

“Or, they might have thought you were trying out for an episode of Jerry Springer,” Nic said laughing.

Steve, Lee and I joined him, but I quickly sobered up. Funny though it may seem, it was all too true. My life is a friggin Jerry Springer episode, or even a whole slew of them. He could base an entire season just on my life. And it sucks.

I wonder sometimes exactly how much of this Jerry Springer drama is due to my choices or if I am just doomed. I’m still not convinced I am in the clear, but some days, much like this one, I am sure that the powers that me are out to get me.

My brother, whom I’ve written about many times before (which reminds me, I have all of my old entries on disc somewhere and as soon as I find it and I have my computer up and running again, I edit them and get them up on the site again – I’m also going to fix my template. I hate it right now), still won’t talk to me, despite many efforts on my part to bandaid our relationship. I haven’t even a clue as to the cause of this continued estrangement, but if anyone should be mad at this point, it’s me, my brother neither acknowledge the birth of his nephew, nor the passing of his nephew. If that’s not harsh, I don’t know what is.

So I have a lot of fronts I’m fighting in my battle toward some sense of normalcy. Some days, like today, I feel light years away. Others, like last Saturday, I feel like true happiness is just around the bend. But there is always something or someone. And I am determined to conquer it all. Happiness will prevail.

Won’t it?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Okay, okay

So I'll come back. I've partially written so many entries, but just couldn't bring myself to publish any of them. I tried and I tried. I avoided my blog email account like the plague, because it fills me with guilt knowing that I haven't written a soul back in ages and I have ignored so many really good blog friends. I've peeked in on everyone though - still following along silently on other journeys through life, yet unable to chronicle my own, even in a private journal. I've wanted to return, but I know it will never be the same for me, and probably not for you either. See, I think I've lost my writing voice. No longer do I narrate my every move, my every thought. My inner Sedaris, if you will, seems to have gone on extended leave. I’ve missed writing, but without the narrating voice I sit staring at the Puget Sound waiting for the words to pour themselves through my now-idle fingers. I can honestly say that this has been the worst year of my life. Who wants to write about that? Or better yet, who wants to read about that. But after many, many months of waiting for it to return on its own, I've decided that if I'm ever to write again, I may just have to force it. So here I am - in a very different place than the last time I posted.

I had to get over the death of my son. Not that it’s something you can ever really get over, but I had to get to that place where I could look at another baby without forcing the sobs back to that corner of my heart where the pain burned. So a couple of weeks ago I went into Target and bought a baby shower gift for a coworker and I wandered through the aisles smiling at this cute cardigan or that cute pull toy, and never did a tear stream down my cheek. I was so happy. I have contained the grief at last.

I had to get over the horror of being taken to court on fraudulent charges of the neglect and abandonment of my daughter. I will always hate and despise that man, and never will I trust him again, which saddens me, because we had a wonderful, friendly relationship before this happened. Betrayal stings so much more when you are caught by surprise on a frozen windy morning when a doorbell you hoped rung by a mailman bearing photos of your daughter’s trip to Hawaii turns out to be rung by a nosy server who reads your personal papers before throwing them in your stunned face and the cause for this is the man you once thought you loved, the man you once thought you trusted. He still maintains that he did the right thing, but there is no excuse for the lying to his daughter, telling her she would go live in England , then destroying his daughter’s dream and her mother’s well-being in one fell swoop. All it would have taken was a phone call. So yes, I hate him. Yes, I think he is worthless. And yes, I mourn everyday he spends with her. How could I not? A good person and father would never have done what he did in the way he did. Bitter? You better believe I am bitter, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman that would not be. So we came to an “agreement.” Two days ago the judge signed off on our case. It's over. For better or for worse. It's finally over. We each have her one week on, one week off. Does he spend every day with her? No, he ships her off to his mom and other people quite often. He's dating her preschool teacher, which means he can fill her head with crap about me and bias the school in his favor. Do I think either he or her teacher are ethically in the wrong? Absolutely. Can I do anything about it? Oh how I wish. But for now I just try to be the best mother possible to my daughter. She’s stupendous. And even if she weren’t, I couldn’t possibly love her more, but still I will always rue the day I married that white trash SOB. What was I thinking? And mom, why didn’t you try harder to stop me?

As for Steve and me, well, this year has been no cakewalk. And some shadows tend to stick to us. We are still trying to rid ourselves of the Itch completely, but I will never again speak of that here. Steve and I love each other dearly. We are a couple made in heaven. We live together in a snug, little apartment near Greenlake. Some days it's a little too snug, but it keeps us all close. And most of all, Steve loves Audrey to pieces and she loves him “bigger than all the planets and stars and moons in the universe” (her words), and we hope to have another child. Timing on that, as always, is up to the Lord.

Steve is working at a job that couldn't have been written more perfectly for him. I haven't exactly found my dream job, but I have definitely found my dream coworkers. And that's just what I needed right now. Friends. It's been so long since I've just enjoyed having friends - well, since the divorce when I gave them all to Sam, because not doing so meant having to hang out with him, and after the wonderful party where Steve and I fell in love and a friend of ours starting raging at me for being a brazen hussy because she hadn't gotten the divorce memo, I'd had enough. Friends are great, really.

And I've missed all of you Internet friends as well. I just signed on to my email - I don't think I'll ever be able to answer them all, but I'll give it a soon as I replace the cord on my laptop. It broke, my battery's dead, so I am *gasp* without a computer at home!!!

So that's it. My first blog entry in what feels like a millenium. I'll try my hardest to be a better blogger with a hope that that little voice soon returns...