Friday, February 20, 2009

A surreal experience

How often do you get to hear of a big experience in your life, from a strangers perspective, 12 years after the fact?? Hearing a story that is all too familiar, yet the details are different?? I am still processing it, and wondering at the oddity of it all.

My sister, Karen, met and married a control freak, drug using con man when she was 20. She had already had Vanessa by this point, and went on to have four more by the time V was 5 1/2. Mike was abusive to the kids, and by the time they had three or four kids, he was full time on drugs, and not working. Her ward stepped up and made sure the kids got to church, and they had food. Karen ended up working full time to support them all, including his habit.

My mom and I tried to help Karen escape, but you can't help someone who can't or won't help themselves. We stood by while she spiraled down and self destructed. Then we stepped in and I took custody of Mikey, then 7 and Andrew, 5. Mom took Vanessa, 8, Jonathon, 4 and Emily, 3.

We had the kids for a year before Karen got them back. In that time she got rid of Mike, got her self an apt for her and the kids, and started a new life. The kids are now 20, 19, 17, 16, and 14.

Meanwhile, Back at the ranch. I have lived in this ward for ten years. THe boundaries have changed a few times, the name has changed, and last year the stake was revamped and 1/3 of the bulging neighboring stake was now part of our stake. We ended up with half of another ward to really boost our numbers. If my sister still lived over in that little house, she would be in my ward now.

Last night we had a presidency meeting. I am the only member from the former ward in YW, and have made great friends with the gals from the new ward/stake. Girls camp last year really helped us get closer. As I sat down, one of the girls asked me about my sister's last name. It is a unique name, and I was rather stunned when she said it. She went on to tell me that not only had she been in the ward at that time, she had also worked at the kids school. She said those kids made such an impression on her because it was her first experience knowing abused kids. She told me things I had no idea about. Things Mike did at church to show everyone he was in control of the kids. Things the kids told her on one of the many times she gave them a ride. And how she was the one who Mikey confided in that last day, when CPS ripped them out of the school and called me to come get them. By the time she finished, we were both teary eyed for the lost childhoods of these kids. I thanked her for being there, for loving my extended children, for being a guardian angel to kids who really needed her. Ihave often wondered about hte woman who did so much for the kids that they told me they referred to her as an auntie, and she has often wondered what happened after that fateful call.
So, Mom's bishop called me to talk to me. LOL. My own bishop still has no idea about any of this, and he is too busy for me to be bugging him. My mom was so upset that she printed out the letter and took it to him. He counselled her to throw it away, and with it, all the hurt, and anger over her accusations. So, she did. He then counselled me to do the same, and not give her the satisfaction of getting to me. I took his advice, and I feel much better.

She rarely enters my thoughts, where the day after, I was angry all day. I just feel pity for her. Barbara, you were right, she isn't going to get away with it, so why should I worry??

I am going out to Mom's next week to begin dismantling Arik's room. Mom has been trying to figure out for a year where to put Oma. Monica and Lexi have the third bedroom, and Mom can't afford for her to move out right now(even though making the money she does, and never paying mom what she owes, and expecting mom to buy diapers and Lexi's favorite foods isn't helping Mom financially).Oma is getting, at 92, to the point where it is hard on her to live alone. This has been an answer to that. Not the answer anyone wanted, but an answer.

I think it will take three days. One to go thru his stuff and give to DI and cousins who may want stuff. The second to load furniture, and the third to paint and steam clean the carpet. Then we need new curtains, and it is ready for Oma.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So, Brittany did make it home. We had a wonderful BBQ, with burgers (her favorite), dogs, and chicken thighs marinated in soy sauce and 7up. I can hope most of the sugar went up in the smoke we so generously shared with the cranky ladies. It was nice to see her, and the kids were stunned when she just opened the door and walked in. We had told them we had a Valentine surprise for them, and they were guessing silly stuff. The chocolate cake with pink sprinkles?? Dad showered?? When she walked in, and the kids about cried, it was worth the stress trying to keep the secret, and the anger when she promised us 10 am and it was almost 2 when she actually showed. But we had a nice day. Ty didn't come, he went to his aunt's house instead. I am thinking he is afraid of us, even though I try so hard to make him feel welcome.
Cory finally passed Brittany in height. She is 6' exactly, and he is 6'2. LOL. She was always the tallest kid her age. I called her my giraffe, because she is mostly legs and neck. But if you notice, Kailey is not that far behind her.
I had to change my user name on the message boards I frequent. I have been on one board for about 4 years now, and these women have become very good friends. They were there for me when all Cory's mess happened, when Brittany left, and when Arik passed last month. On this board I posted Arik's eulogy, and from that, with the help of Google and the library's computer, my sister, Debbie, posted the nastiest post I have ever seen. She wrote the post to me, but it was my mom she was talking to. In her drunken stupor she may have gotten confused, even with my name at the bottom in 4" glittery red letters. She babbled on about how she wished we would have called and told her Arik was having problems, because she or any one of his sibling would have gladly taken him in and given the unconditional love he so needed. Yeah, that's why you never called on his birthdays, never called just to see how he was, and in fact was deemed unfit by the state of CA and your rights terminated in his FIRST YEAR of life. If you ever did call the house, it was to talk to DAd about sending you more money on the sly, since the witch of a woman who raised you, and was now raising your son, didn't feel it was right to pull from their SS to pay for your drugs, alcohol, or put money on your books in jail. How selfish of Mom. How many times did Dad say "You haven't even asked about Arik yet" I heard him a few times myself. There was no way you were interested in his life, and if the truth were told if Dad had asked you to take him, you would have had 101 excuses why you couldn't. For you to now feel justified in hurting Mom when she is deeply grieving a little boy she hoped would come back to her is evil, and beyond forgivable. His pedi, and school counselor both agreed that his anger issues, and his confusion were linked to the drugs in utero. So actually Mom was just trying to help him deal with the cards you dealt him. If his blood is on anyones hands, it is yours. And if you ever contact me again with your claptrap, I will verbally let you have it. You were given the gift of a wonderful mother when you were seven, and you spit in her face. You never let her get close to you, or to Patty. All this is on you, and you leave me and my mother alone.
I guess I was more upset than I realized. Now I am crying again. How can anyone use someones grief against them, just to make themselves feel better. I actually feel hate for my own sister. She has lung cancer, and I in my upset and hurt state, do not care. I need to go see the bishop, for I am not worthy of holding a calling right now. Forgiveness for this level of hurt will be hard

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Don't want to get my hopes too high yet

Brittany has had it in Colorado. Her job that she has had for a month still has not paid her. There is something fishy there, as they were investigating, and then said it was basically her fault since her name is not on the apt lease where they are living. So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?? She is frustrated because they haven't had enough money to cover their bills, and buy food, and their hosts are getting edgy and hostile. The heat went out in the apt, and the hosts hid the space heaters. Nice, huh?? She has been living on bread. I feel bad for her, but Bill and I agreed not to bail her out of anything while she on her self destructive path.

She is lonely. She knows a girl from our stake who married and moved up there and they are twenty minutes apart. But the girl works full time, and has a husband. While she loves Brittany, and they have always been good friends, she can't devote the time B needs. Other than that, she has Ty. He is working 12 hour shifts at the music store, but the money is not too great as he depends on commissions, and the economy is slushy.

She has been calling or texting me everyday for the last couple of weeks. She is still on our phone plan, so her calling is free. We decided to keep her there so we didn't lose total touch with her. It does annoy me when we call her, and Ty has taken her phone to work, and is rude to the kids because they interrupted him. He lost his phone, and since we are paying, I think he should at least be grateful he has access to one. I hate being bothered at work too, but there is a polite way to handle it and alienating the payers of one of your bills is not the way. None of the kids care for him much. He has done it to himself, by encouraging their sister to leave, and then controlling their access to her.

So, she called Monday and said Ty's dad said they could move back in with him. As soon as they have a few dollars for gas, they are headed home. I am hoping she means it this time, as the last time she got my hopes up, she decided to head to Colorado. It was all an adventure at that point, and I think the thrill has gone.

I think spending the holidays in a strange place, with strange people was hard on her. We are strange, too, but at least a familiar strange. Then not being able to come for Arik's funeral was too much. I wish I had had the money to send for her. But we didn't. It all comes down to agency and consequences. That is something she can never get back, and she will regret for a long time. I also think it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

She wanted to be independent, and be an adult. I think she realizes she went about it in the wrong way. I think she has gained some experience points in the game of life.