Monday, December 29, 2008

new year, new you, letting go

It's not as simple as all that, is it? Revolutions, evolutions, resolutions. The tick of the clock to 12:00:01. How I wish that I could scrinch my face up like adorable Hiro from Heroes and make all the things I wish I could change about my life done in an instant. New year, new you. Letting go of the horror that has been 2008 without letting a drop of its dirt sully the unmarred beauty of 2009, the carte blanche we all envision coming to us with the movement of the second hand.

My new year doesn't start until sometime around my 30th birthday. For the day before, on July 13th, the trial begins, wherein I battle for the right to my child. It is fitting this year that my birthday falls on Bastille Day, the French version of our Independence Day. I'd hoped to celebrate my 30th birthday in Paris, watching fireworks shoot from le Tour d'Eiffel and pretending they were just for me and my new decade. However, I'll be in the courtroom with a different kind of fireworks. People tell me I could go the next year, and yes, I can, I suppose, but it won't be the same.

Anyway, 2009 approacheth, and for the reasons laid out above, when my friends invited me to the Seattle Bash, I was less than thrilled. $65 for entry to a party with thousands of Seattlites? Um, hmm. No thanks. I'd much rather spend the money on a nice spread and have friends over. But they'll be there. I'll be on my couch. Alone. And that's okay, because my crappy year clock doesn't stop ticking for another six and a half months.

You can bet your bottom dollar that I'll party my socks off when that final gavel bangs. And you're invited, and you, and you, and you. We'll drink champagne, the best I can afford on my lawyer fee depleted income, because then there will a new year, a new me. I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Need advice STAT

So, I'll be in touch about that other thing, but first, I need your help.

I am Audrey's mother, and the Swine's wife is Audrey's stepmother, and it works out that she spends more time with Audrey than anyone, isn't that great? Uh....

Anyway, so there is an issue of names here. The other day I was on the phone with Audrey, and we'd been talking for a while, because she was really missing me, so I decided to read her the story of the Tailor's Helpers. While I was reading to her, I could hear the Swine call, "Audrey, are you still on the phone with Rebecca?" His use of my first name startled me. I never call him "Sam" to Audrey - it's always Dad or Daddy, always.

I just set up an email address for Audrey, so the dark side has been emailing her. And the stepmom signed hers Her Name (Warrior Princess) Momma. And then in an email from the Swine, he said, "me and Momma will pick you up..." I couldn't believe my eyes.

I'm Audrey's Momma. The Swine has completely stripped me of being her mother, mom, momma, mommy, and now I'm just Rebecca. The Warrior Princess is now Momma? No wonder the poor girl is confused. No wonder she is having trouble figuring out who her real mother is. Because at his house, I'm not her mother at all. He has stripped me of that respect.

Audrey called Steve "Papa." But only after I called the Swine up and asked for his permission. I never would have let Audrey call Steve something the Swine didn't approve of - I give him that respect (though God knows he doesn't deserve it, hence the blog nickname). And Audrey certainly never called Sam "Papa," never has, never will. Completely different sound and starting letter from dad, daddy, father.

I know that the Warrior Princess doesn't respect my place in Audrey's life. She colored my daughter's hair - she wanted to color it purple, but Audrey said no. So I ask you, who colors the hair of a 6-year-old, much less one that has never shown interest in coloring her hair before? I'll tell you! A woman who wants to stick it to the real mother, that's who. They didn't call me to ask if it was okay, to notify me that they were doing it, or even to let me know after the fact. She just came home with streaks in her hair. Seriously?!? Oh, she also cut this weird style into my daughter's hair, which I immediately took to my aunt to fix. The Warrior Princess then had the gall to tell Audrey that I cut the "cool" part out of her hair! Boils my blood, that woman does. She's never shown an ounce of respect for the fact that I'm Audrey's mom. Because as far as she and the Swine are concerned, Audrey's new Momma is the Warrior Princess, and I'm an unnecessary hindrance to their plans to turn my daughter into one of them.

Anyway, this whole Momma thing is really, really, really bothering me. Can you tell? I need to know. Am I being unreasonable because I can't stand the woman that has never made an effort to connect or show respect for the fact that Audrey already has a mommy? Should I just let it go because Audrey loves the Warrior Princess and oh, isn't it special that she gets to call her momma? The Swine gave a reason that her stepbrother calls the Warrior Princess Mom, and the new kid calls her mom, so Audrey would be the only child that doesn't GET to. Bah. Audrey calls the Swine dad, and the new kid does too, but bet you a million the stepbrother doesn't call him Dad, making him the only kid that doesn't GET to. Wonder how he deals with the blow of not being able to call someone who is not his dad, dad? The mystery of it all. Help!!

Am I being unreasonable?

Falalalala Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Settling in

Making myself back at home in the work of blogging has proved a little challenging for me. While the writing companion in my brain has been largely silent for 18 months, it is now in overdrive, coming up with posts spanning the entire period. And while I wish that I had time to write all of the entries, I also find myself wishing that I didn't have the fear of the Swine reading my writing and finding some way to use it against me.

So I don't know if I CAN continue at the url after all. Deep sigh. Email me.

In other news, Seattle has been blanketed in snow since Wednesday night. And I have been in heaven for just as long. I seriously heart snow. Adore it. I don't, however enjoy driving in snow. And it is for that reason that I haven't driven since it snowed. It doesn't help that my driveway is a veritable mountain slope, and my useless property managers haven't come by to salt, sand or shovel. It's now a slick slab of ice.

So we've been walking everywhere, and I love it. I walk a lot around Bellevue already; that's why I live where I do, but the best part of about walking everywhere when it snows is that there are tons of other people walking as well. And people talk to each other and smile at each other and it is all very shocking.

Living in the Seattle area is to live in the land of the cold shoulder. There ain't no Southern hospitality here, y'all. Sure Seattlites are nice people, but unapproachable is one of the pick-3-describe-Seattle-residents words. It's one of the reason dating is so hard in Seattle, and the reason I was so surprised when a couple of youths said hello, how are you as I walked down Belelvue Way. Youths usually shuffle, heads down, only talking to people they know, only referencing the unknown around them to make fun of it. They giggle and look not-so-furtively in your direction. They don't smile and ask how you're doing. But then they do when there is snow on the ground.

We smiled at passersby, we merry band of three, and they smiled at us, nodded heads, told us to have fun, in reference to the red sled we pulled behind us. And have fun we did, where, at the Downtown Park in Bellevue, we found an untouched hill of powdery snow and sled on our bottoms, backs, stomachs and feet before trudging to the grocery store for such necessities as marshmallows and rice krispies, and then on to home for some hot cocoa and more DVRed Christmas specials.

I hear snow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"What a Creep"

Dealing with the Swine has proved the greatest challenge of my adult life. Every day a new struggle. Remember back in January of 2006 when I was surprised with court papers? Well fast forward to August of 2008 and it was much the same. Only this time, I wasn't as surprised. When someone does something so dastardly once, one can hardly put it past them to repeat such dark actions.

And so it was that I was served with papers at my last job. Papers full of deep, dark allegations and which brought to light a betrayal by the one that once inspired me to write that I would never love another. The Swine had started gathering his "wow great dad" declarations in March, but it wasn't until Steve, with whom I'd been struggling until I finally had to break up with him, gave the Swine just the lies he needed to seal the deal on his second grand attempt to remove me from Audrey's life. From accusing me of having an eating disorder to beating Steve (um, what?), the Swine's court papers described a person I didn't even know, much less be.

By breaking up with Steve, I'd made him hate me, by going to Wynn's wedding then staying the weekend with my mother, I sent him over the edge. Convinced that I'd run away with some dude from Cabo, he contacted the Swine and filled his ears with everything the Swine could hope for. And of course, rather than questioning it, the Swine built it into his case, and it was a nightmare of epic proportions.

That the Swine was trying to figure a way to get Audrey and that Steve had a mental and emotional breakdown at the same time was a coincidence that I'd never have foreseen. But as is the norm, I was concentrating on one challenge while ignoring the sleeping giant. So all of a sudden I was confronted with challenges on all fronts: job, boyfriend, ex-husband, and more.

Getting rid of Steve was a blessing. There was a reason I couldn't bring myself to marry him, and I'd always cited the horror of the ex that is Swine as the prevention for my wedding again. I'm not sure if that is the complete reason, but whatever it is, I dodged the second divorce bullet. And I'm completely free. But it is so hard to believe that someone that I'd loved so much could be so bitter that they would be compelled to actions that not only harm me, but an innocent 7-year-old as well.

There is no getting rid of the Swine, however. And dealing with him and this everlasting case has become like a second job, a constant struggle. Compounded to that is the child herself. The struggle she herself is going through is heartbreaking, and no matter how much I reach out to the Swine, he maintains his horrid manner with me.

I can handle going through this trial, because I pray at the end of this Audrey will indeed be the recipient of a schedule that actually works for her and not her father. But what I can't handle is my daughter's heartbreak that her life is split between two completely different worlds - worlds that have no intermingling at all.

I helped coach my daughter's soccer team this past fall. The Swine was there nearly every Saturday. He said maybe one word to me despite my attempts to reach out to him and have a civil conversation. And on and on to school events, social events - we stand at opposite ends of the room and the tension is palpable.

He married that daycare worker by the way. She quit her job after she was knocked up (they had a healthy baby boy - how nice for them) and they got hitched. Now she's practically my daughter's stay-at-home mom. No, I don't care for her. Even before they married, she was cold to me whenever I'd pick Audrey up. She never even gave me a chance, and tonight my daughter was crying because she is confused about who her real mother is (drive a stake through my heart) and the two people that care for her the most are too different and aren't even friends. I tried, but the Swine always prevented us from talking, even though she was caring for my daughter after school. Tension has been the order of all of our relationships ever since my return from England.

When I told my mom tonight about Audrey's struggles, she brought up that trip to England. As if that would help things. I have no Steve, and I have no Oliver. I struggle to maintain my rights to my daughter. My reasons for going to England no longer exist, but the repercussions of that trip will affect Audrey for years to come, and I say Audrey because she was the one crying tonight. And I told my mom about how the Swine closed the door on my face this afternoon when I picked up Audrey. He never said a word to me. "What a creep," she said.

Yep, that about sums it up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I've missed blogging. 18 months is a long time, and it's been on my mind, but I've stayed away for a lot of reasons. The Swine being probably the largest reason. The Swine who is too dumb to even know the name refers to him. The Swine who was my friend, but who betrayed me and lied to his daughter. The Swine who would that I did not exist, and has, in his mind found a preferable replacement. I'm superfluous, expendable. We're currently embroiled in a bitter battle, because fortunately for Audrey, I don't agree with his biases.

So this isn't about him or her. It's about me. I am the narcissist, after all. Except that doesn't really describe me, because my every thought and action is for my daughter. But it does describe who I am on this blog, so I'll continue in a vein that is true to my initial charter. I will no longer be bullied out of something that I love, on a forum to which I feel a connection, because of some sicko's misguided vendetta (yes, I mean you) and attempts to use things he doesn't comprehend against me. FYI crushed skull is metaphor for desire for counter pressure to counteract sinus pressure. Capeesh?

Wow, I'm surprised how wonderful it feels to be back. I haven't written, really written, since my last entry here. And my fingers and mind have been itching to connect to the keyboard. Hours at the piano exercise both, but doesn't provide either a release from the thoughts and words that pile up in this mind of mine.

I'm still reeling from everything I've gone through since I started blogging in July 2004. And I'm sad that I trusted people that I trusted, married the person that I married. Thought the best of the people I thought the best of. I've been punished for the actions of others, some have punished me for their own actions. I could have been stronger, but at the end of all of this, I'll emerge less innocent, less trusting, harder and more cynical.

But my heart is not there yet. I teared up today reading the blog of an old blogger friend. She just had her first baby on Sunday. A beautiful healthy boy. I didn't expect the tears. I thought the ache had dissipated enough. But contrary to my mind's belief, the grief hasn't gone away. Though Steve and I are no more, the longing for my son carries on. The impact of those twelve days surprise me.

I'm at a new job now where no one knows of Steve or Oliver. If I want, they can just never be a part of who I am again, and it's weird to be just the mother of one, to have no son to anyone but me and Audrey. He is nothing to no one.

I didn't mean to write about him tonight. I didn't have a plan though, and I like the lack of pressure. While I have no idea who might still have me bookmarked or subscribe to my feed, the thought of no one or everyone being out there is soothing. And while I wouldn't be surprised if he still follows, I hope not. I don't want him to be the only one I write to. I rather no one than him. But I could have found a new url, a new blog. So if he is the only one:

Hi, Swine, wish you weren't here.