Never was a Cornflake Girl…

Archive for August 2008

This week has been quite a rollercoaster of emotions, obviously.  Never once has my mind changed or have I started to become unsure that I’m doing the right thing.

But I’ve taken some blows, that’s for sure.  My parents said they supported me, they wanted me to leave if that’s what I wanted to do, etc.  That was earlier in the week.  After coming up and visiting for a night, all of a sudden they both think I’m being selfish and not putting my kids first.  They think I should use the breathalyzer on Jeremy every day when he gets home and if he’s been drinking, he has to go stay somewhere else.  Thats’ supposed to keep him sober, and then we should be able to make it.  Right??  What is so wrong with that?

Well I don’t think that sounds healthy at all.  I think it’s pretty sick and I don’t want to make it work even if he DOES stay sober, I want out.  I don’t think that is unreasonable, given what I’ve been through.  I don’t think I’m fucking the kids up.  I think our marriage is less important to my kids than our relationship.  I think we’ll have a better, stronger, healthier relationship if we don’t have to live together and be married.  And the kids will see that, and they’ll be happier too.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think I’m more qualified to decide what’s best for my kids than anyone else.  It does hurt to go forward without their support though.

Anyway, I woke up, cried, got sick, got mad, cried… and decided to follow up on that lead on the rental in Eudora.  Jesus H. Christ, that was the nastiest, filthiest place I could imagine living.  I told the man it wouldn’t work and explained what I was looking for.  He gave me (shitty) directions to another property he rented that might be more suitable.  After getting M&M to direct me out to this place out in the middle of NOWHERE, I wound up being disappointed – and a little more than insulted that he thought for one second I would live in something like that.  Ugh…

I had given up.  Distraught and defeated, I drove to Michael’s and got a pep talk that convinced me to make just one more phone call for today.  I mean, I gotta keep pressing on.  The only other option is to accept defeat and stay in my disfunctional marriage (and sadly that was looking like an option).

The phone call was pure kismit.  The lady who answered told me her house was rented already, but that her cousin had a place that would be perfect for me.  She described the absolute perfect situation for me and the kids, but it was in Hernando and the price was way too steep.  But we talked anyway.  The woman and I shared the same hairdresser, her cousin works with one of my bffs, her kids graduated from the high school where I work.  So even though I told her I could never afford it, she told me to call her cousin anyway.  I didn’t, and a few minutes later my phone rang.  She had spoken to her cousin and they want to meet me and negotiate a price on the rent.  So I’m supposed to meet them and see the place Monday!

I still don’t know if I’ll be able to afford it, but I’m sure going to crunch some numbers between now and then.  It’s a great location, perfect size, covered porches, yard, three bedrooms.  The lady’s niece lives next door and has kids Jade and Nate’s ages.  And it’s just a couple miles from where my bffs are thinking of moving.  All of it just seems like fate.

So I’ve come a long way from this morning and I’m feeling better.  I’m still scared and it’s still hard.  Now it’s even more terrifying and harder, knowing that I’m doing this without my parents’ help or support.  But I know that I have yall’s support and I appreciate that!!  Without that, I honestly don’t know if I would still be alive and breathing this afternoon, I’m serious.

And a special thank you to all of you who have emailed me your own personal stories.  You’ve made me feel like I’m not alone in this, and you’ve inspired me.  I think to myself that if you could do it, maybe I can do it too.  So I’m still going through with everything and I hope everyone is behind me on this.

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I think you’ll be hard pressed to find another city in which every single person knows the address of the jail.

I was going to blog and tell you all my exciting, wonderful news.  That was when I was pretty much feeling great.  Not that I feel bad now, or something has gone wrong, because it hasn’t.  I’m just exhausted so I can’t muster up the energy to feel as ecstatic as I did last night.

I have gotten about 6 or 7 hours of sleep in the past 72 hours.  I know, I know.  It’s just been crazy, you know that.

And it’s been pretty freaking Memphis, too.

What I mean by that statement is that I cannot BELIEVE I have survived this work week, doing the job I do, when it just seems everything is happening at one time.  I have left a lot of it out of the previous blogs for the sake of brevity.  Yes, I said brevity… I honestly could have written blogs 10 times that long.  You know how I told Misty I felt an impending sense of doom?  In addition to my own troubles that you are well aware of, these are other things that have happened in the past four days:

One of my students shot and killed another kid.  That’s how my week started.  It happened a few hours after my “doom” statement.  I haven’t talked about it yet because honestly, I’ve had to talk with a few students about the incident and it was hard enough to focus on all of it then, given everything else that’s going on with me lately.  I haven’t even read the article, but you are welcome to if you wish.

Wednesday I leave work and pull in to the gas station near my apartment to get the kids a snack for the road – I was going to ride around and check out some rental property.  The cops swarm the car wash that is part of the gas station.  I’m pumping gas, talking to the old man in the pickup beside me, asking what happened.  He grumbles about hearing gunshots and I said, in true country fashion, “Naaaw…”  Oh he got all worked up then about how Horn Lake/Southaven was just like Memphis now, and blah blah blah…

I knew something big had gone down, though, because there were weird ass cop cars flying up, like unmarked cars and cop trucks and shit I’d never seen.  Whoa, the SPD out to kick some arse.  I asked Jaden what she thought could be going on.  “Probably someone drinking or smoking,” she offered, bored stiff, “can I get my bug juice now?”  It was just a wee bit disturbing that my kids aren’t phased by cop cars anymore.  I guess that’s the city anywhere though.  At least she didn’t ask for jungle juice.  The incident wound up being a random shooting with no announced suspects or motive.  It was just a kid who came up to the carwash, shot at someone washing their car, and then took off back to his assumed home at (wait for it, Michael, wait for it…) the Civic Center Apartments!

Last night, right up the road yet again, a 32 year old woman was shot to death in front of her two young children.

I’ve had to see kids, I have to help them.  I’ve had serious shit that couldn’t be ignored or put off – besides the murders.  I have DHS up here now seeing a child that I called them about 22 minutes ago.  If you have ever had to deal with DHS you’ll know that is RECORD TIME.  They have 72 hours to respond to my call, and they usually take at least 48.  I won’t go into the details, but the response time should indicate the severity of it all.  And that parent I told you was so nasty and hateful to me when she came to enroll her child?  The only parent I have bitched about so far this year?  Kid came to me with extension cord marks on her legs and fingernail marks dug into her neck this week.  Lovely.  I don’t get the extension cord thing, I have seen more of that than I ever want to.

It has been hard!!  Marie, you know what I’m talking about!  Sometimes it’s so difficult to even hear the words coming out of their mouths, let alone feel that you’ve helped.

Just one more whine: when I left the gas station Tuesday and rode into Memphis, I wanted to go up on Vance Street.  I don’t normally go there (though I did note the Thai restaurant on Poplar everyone tells me to try, and I will definitely do that!), but it’s become second nature to take 240 to Lamar to Central to get to midtown – takes me maybe 15 minutes tops from my parking spot at the apartment, so sometimes I’ll drive up just for coffee and to be alone.  Anyway, since I’m going to Vance I decide to take Cleveland, the road right before my usual Central turn.  And I did.  And I got pulled over immediately.  Because as you Memfus folk reading this know, you can’t turn left onto Cleveland from Lamar.

The cop is white, which sucks because of my Obama sticker.  I gave him my insurance card and he informs me that it expired 6 days before.  I know I’ve paid my insurance so I ask him if he can call the number, which he got very snotty about.  While he wrote me a ticket I called my insurance and got my new cards emailed to me – the agent was a little miffed that he wouldn’t take a verbal from her when the cards were out less than a week before.  Not to mention my two little kids in the backseat.  He cut me no breaks, and because I have the insurance ticket, that is a MANDATORY COURT APPEARANCE.

So guess who has to spend a fucking day in October at 201 Poplar?  That’s right, moi.  Slick fucked up if you ask me.

My good news I have to share??  I will post a blog with details later when I’m in a better mood, but suffice to say that Jeremy and I talked everything out last night when he came home and – finally – blew a .00 (the day before it was .29 when he came home).  Yes, we are still getting a divorce, but we are doing it together, with love and mutual respect.  We want to be friends and parents together, we want to be there for one another.  But we know we can’t be married or live together.  It was a beautiful and special thing to be able to sit down with him and really talk – it made me realize just how long it has been since I’ve seen him completely sober.

I’m going to look at that place Saturday!

And Jeremy is considering all of his options – including military service.  I am very very pleased with how things are going right now, so let’s all hope he doesn’t get drunk and fuck it up.

(P.S.  Just before I get any response to this, let me please ask you to refrain from saying “Memphrica” to me right now.  I really really hate that shit.)

I feel so … weird.  It’s odd, I remember before all this happened, on Monday, I got this feeling in my stomach.  And I was sitting in my office with the door shut, eating some nabs and chatting with Misty when I just out of the blue voiced what my stomach had felt all morning long, “I feel an impending sense of doom.”  Misty looked taken aback, and she hesitated before responding with, “Wow.  That’s not good.  What makes you say that??”

I shrugged.  I didn’t know, really.  It was just this strong feeling in the pit of my stomach.  As I very often do, I really opened my mouth and said it without thinking.  I didn’t consider my words or carefully select the word “doom”.  But as I sat there swiveling in my chair I mulled over what I had just blurted out and decided that no matter how hastily the word may have been chosen, it was certainly the most fitting description of the feeling in my belly.

Then Monday night all this shit hit the fan.  The bubble that started expanding years ago finally burst.

Now the feeling in my belly is stronger, it’s so strong I can’t eat.  I would expect to feel shitty right now, to feel scared and alone.  But it is stronger than those words alone, and it is really impossible to describe.  First, the sense of doom didn’t dissapate when this all happened, there was no relief… it just got stronger.  Add on to it that I feel terrified – not scared, but literally terrified.  Guilty, nervous, anxious, and powerless.  Weak, stupid, played, pissed.  Betrayed.  Sad.

But I also feel hopeful and optimistic.  The good feelings I have are much weaker than the bad feelings, so instead of allowing me to to actually feel good in any way, they just help me feel a little bit less bad.  If I can hang onto them.  Sometimes I can’t.  Sometimes I think I’m okay, and I’m truly feeling better and the next thing I know tears are stinging my eyes and I have to grip the edge of my desk and try like hell to keep it all together.

Let me tell you what has helped more than anything: all of you.  I know it sounds like just words, but when I say this I really really FEEL it – the comments yall have made, they become my mantra sometimes when I’m holding back a floodgate of tears at work.  The text messages have always seemed to come at just the right time.  The myspace statuses (stati?) directed toward me have made me smile.  You just don’t know how much I really NEED your support and to know that I have it is just like my net below this death-defyingly high tightrope marriage I just fell out of.  I have some pretty fucking great friends, so I believe Bob Marley – every little thing is going to be alright, no matter what my belly thinks.

And man, I knew some of you were going to help me.  But I had NO IDEA the things you would say would help as much as they have.  When Marie countered my “what’s going to happen to him if I leave?” with “what’s going to happen if you stay?”, man that really made me think.  It made me doubt myself much less, it gave me strength.  And Kristin – WOW – I knew you had been there, but the whole “you can’t keep rearranging the furniture in a house that’s on fire” line… I have heard that before, but it has never so accurately described a situation in which I’m personally involved.  But when you said that being a good person deep down isn’t good enough when you’re hurting everyone around you… THAT was another one of those times that just immediately made me think, “Damn, I am so glad I posted this blog — I needed to hear that.”

I repeated several of all of your words of wisdom to the counselors at work who are walking me through this, and they replied with low whistles… “Man,” one of them said, “that is good.”  They know I have some great friends.

Some of you offered spiritual-esque wishes, or the antithesis of such… one person messaged me on myspace telling me she was praying for me and that Jesus one day would indeed wipe away my tears, and of course Michael’s proud atheist ass told me there’s no heaven so get moving on this life.  Strangely, both comforted me immensely for different reasons.  Mostly, I am just so grateful for yall throwing your love my way and allowing me to use it to wash off some of the betrayal I’ve felt.

So, for an update.  I am trying to get Jeremy to consider going into rehab for a few weeks and when he goes out, I think he should enlist in the military.  The pay is good and while he’s getting paid he will have no bills.  He is in zero debt – all the debt is in my name.  All he’d have to do is support his kids and save to build a life for himself.  The housing, clothing, and medical care are all provided.  He could buy a house when he gets out, on the GI Bill.  The kids could get college scholarships, and he’d have a life insurance policy for them.

He is so fucking mad that I even suggested that.  I also found some garage apartments he could rent and stay around here.  He could afford them.  I don’t know how that’s going to help build a new life, but hey that’s his choice.

And I got some really exciting news for me too!!  I found a 3 bedroom trailer for rent on a private acre in Eudora for only $450 a month!!  That’s Frayser prices, without the 99% chance of getting my honky cracker ass raped or shot.  I’m supposed to call them back about it at 8:30 and I just realized it’s past that, so I’m gonna get to it!  But I know it’s still available!

HELLO FREEDOM!!  (That’s the excitement talking.  Trying to stifle the fear…)