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More ‘P’ December 22, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Goals, Kids, Parenting.
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I left something off my ‘P’Ā  list yesterday ………….

Piano

I learnt piano for a while as a child, my kids are learning piano now.

TJ’s reading has shown a dramatic improvement since he started. Music is all about patterns after all as is reading. CJ loves her music and will be starting grade work early next term. Miss Lou will be restarting lessons next term as well after a long break because the freak didn’t consider that kind of thing terribly important or beneficial.

We used to go practice at mum’s or on the electric keyboard with weighted keys that I bought for at home but no longer. We were one of the families that received the government’s ‘save the economy’ bonus – so we chose to invest it in our kids rather than spoiling them for Christmas and bought this –

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Isn’t it lovely?

It’s a 1924 J Schiller of Berlin piano.

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It has a lovely sound and the kids are really enjoying playing on it.

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Flick of the Switch October 31, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Miss Lou, Parenting.
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Miss Lou has stopped with the hysterical crying and but-Mum-I-can’t-last-that-longs and the sobbing I-just-want-to-come-home-right-nows and the angry I-hate-him-why-can’t-he-leave-us-alones that have punctuated much of our conversations over the past few weeks.

I don’t know what it was, whether she decided that it wasn’t helping her cause, or that she decided that she can be patient while I work it out or perhaps that my breaking into tears one night made her think that she’d pushed things too far or it could be that she’s decided that her socialisation problem at school needs more attention, but whatever the reason she has flicked that little switch in her head and turned everything back off.

It has always amazed me how she can do that. Go from one extreme to calm or sometimes the opposite extreme in an instant. It really is like someone has flicked a switch somewhere and when it happens I always wonder where my child went and who the changling is that is sitting in front of me now or perhaps that should be the other way round.

I’ve always found her ability to shift focus so completely from one thing to another a little disconcerting. I can’t shut myself off like that and shift focus so completely after periods of high emotion. But then I don’t focus so intently on any one thing either as what she can.

Like her sister’s birthday this year.

For the whole time that she was living with the freak, she was very lacksidaisy with keeping up with other people’s birthdays. We had the same problem while she was living here about her not making effort with him. She’s very much an out-of-sight-out-of-mind girl. This year though, CJ received a parcel in the mail. Inside was a handmade card that was more than a folded up and hastily scribbled upon piece of printer paper and a handmade bag that she had taken time to go shopping for materials, hand sewn the seems using stitches I had shown her for embroidery and obviously put a lot of thought intoĀ  unlike some of her previous hastily half thrown together ideas or an gift from someone else that she didn’t like or an old posession that she no longer wants. CJ wasn’t sure what to make of all the effort this year after all the let downs of previous ones.

Obviously CJ finds Lou’s ‘on/off’ switch a little disconcerting at times too.

I wonder if we’ll ever get used to her doing that.

Grief. October 26, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Parenting, Ramblings.
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I know now what has hit me the past few days.

Why I started crying and couldn’t stop for hours.

When Lou left us was a traumatic and stressful time. The whole situation was overwhelming. the nastiness of it, the shock of it, the crap from the freak, the concern of our friends, the sadness and confusion of our other children, the anger and frustration that hubby and I felt………..

I had to hold everything together.

I would have gone mad if I hadn’t.

I needed to hold everything together for everyone elses sakes.

My children needed me to be ok. My husband needed me to be ok. There were things that needed to be done. I needed to be ok.

Lou needed me to be ok. It took me a long time to work out how to talk to Lou and pretend that everything was ok. In the end I had to shut off part of myself so that I could function, so that I could breath, so that I could do all the things I needed to do. So that I could be ok.

But everything wasn’t ok then and it isn’t ok now.

No my child isn’t dead. But our separation was cruel and painful and our world has never been the same since.

I had to learn how to function again while feeling like part of me was missing. We had to relearn how to be a family with one of our parts gone.

She wasn’t dead, but the relationship we had, the family that we were, the foundation of who we thought we were and how we functioned all changed.

It took us a long time to regain our footing. For my children to learn to be 2 instead of 3, for CJ to learn how to be the older sibling instead of the middle one, for TJĀ  to get used to not having to compete for attention, for the hurt, the anger, the sense of betrayel to fade, for us to feel confident in our skills as parents again, for my hair to stop falling out in clumps and my doctor to stop wanting to monitor my stress levels every other week.

It was about 18 months before we felt ‘normal’ again. But it was a new normal, a different normal, a redefined normal.

And then I had my cancer scare and I still had to be ok.

And then.

Well.

The challenges don’t stop but sometimes I stop being ok. It might only be for a few minutes or a few days, or it might be for a little while, but sometimes I’m just not ok. Being separated from my child the way that I am has broken something in me and somedays I can’t manage to hold it all together.

And that’s what happened to me last week. Starting to look at bringing my girl home reminded those pieces that they are brokenĀ  and that I’m not ok and now I realise why.

I never gave myself permission to grieve, and I need to, so that I can be ok.

Last Friday October 15, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, Miss Lou, Parenting.
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was a very bad day.

After an up and down week with Miss Lou, I had to drive her to the mountains to meet her aunt who she was staying with for the weekend before going back to school yesterday.

She didn’t want to go.

The closer we got to our destination the quieter she got, the more withdrawn she became, the sadder she looked.

When we arrived she refused to speak to her aunt.

She insisted on sitting by herself and wouldn’t be drawn into conversation.

When it was time to go she hopped back in my car and sat there crying, refusing to move.

Everything we talked about through the week about being patient and brave and taking little steps at a time flew out the window.

She just wants to come home. She just wants to be with me. She just wants to be normal and live with her family. As much as she likes her school, she needs to be somewhere that she feels she belongs.

She doesn’t want to be patient. She doesn’t feel brave. She doesn’t think she can do this anymore. It’s all too hard.

Telling her that she had to go back to school this term, that I had to sort things out with her dad before we could decide anything broke my heart.

Even after I coaxed her out of my car and into her aunt’s I had to prise her hands apart to get her to let go of me.

I left quickly so that I couldn’t hear her sobbing or calling to me.

Mountain roads are hard to drive when you have tears in your eyes.

The past few days have been spent in a flurry of phone calls to find information, advice and services to help.

I’m bringing my girl home.

Come hell or high water or tantrums from dad I’m bringing her home.

Harsh Lessons September 25, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, In Laws, Parenting.
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My bro is getting a crash course in some harsh lessons the past few days.

It’s damn hard to reason with someone who doesn’t think straight.

It’s damn hard to reason with someone who’s paranoia is out of control.

It’s damn hard to reason with someone who constantly tries to manipulate you.

It’s damn hard to reason with someone who doesn’t understand that their actions have consequences.

It’s damn hard to reason with someone who doesn’t understand how badly her poor choices are impacting their children, who doesn’t understand that you aren’t trying to punish them but merely protect your kids.

It’s heart breaking when you realise that your children are never going to have the relationship with their other parent that they deserve because that parent just isn’t capable of it regardless of their love for the children or their good intentions.

There are moments when you want to rage at the injustice of it all.

There are moments when you feel trapped by the harshness of it all.

There are moments when the grief for what will never be is overwhelming.

There are no winners here.

All you can do is give the kids the best chance at stability and safety for the day to day life and let everything else fall where it may.

Harsh lessons indeed.

Last week September 22, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Family, In Laws, Parenting, Ramblings.
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of school before the holidays.

I need a holiday.

A break from the routine.

Some time to just sit on my hands and not have to think about anything or anyone else.

Bring on Friday!!

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For those of you following the chronicles of the SWIL (Skank arse Whore Sis in Law), she’s done a beauty this time! Last week when the kids *should* have been at school and werent, she took them up tot he skate park with no protective gear on. My nephew B had a fall. His arm was noticebly swollen and sore. But did she seek medical attention for him? Hell no!Ā  She decided that it was about time his father did some of the running around with him and told him so THE NEXT MORNING when my bro went to pick up the kids to take them to school. His arm is broken. Luckily a simple fracture, but still.

If that’s not enough to get the attention of “the powers thatĀ  be that can remove at risk children from the hands of stupid deadshit mothers” then I dunno what is.

We also found out WHY the kids sleep so much. We couldn’t figure out how she was managing to have the kids in bed by 8pm every night and then they still have problems getting up in time for school in the mornings. My kids, on 12 hours sleep are bouncing off the fricking walls. B told his dad (in conversation) that dinner is just about always 2 minute noodles or packet pastas or whatnot. They don’t eat meat or vegetables much anymore. But then it makes sense from her perspective. Kids that are lacking in get up and go won’t argue as much or make as many demands on her in her drug befuddled state and think of all the money she’s saving for her next score.

My bro has had enough. He’s finally decided to fight her for them and not a moment too soon.