First of all, thank you so very much for your nice words and compliments yesterday on my first 'away from home' post evah. I am humbled and touched and so very honored that so many of you had such kind things to say. You truly have no idea how much I needed those words.
Today I feel like I am so very undeserving. In the interest of brevity (because I could have made yesterday's post so long your eyeballs would bleed), I didn't quite tell the whole story.
You all probably have figured out by now that I have four kids. What some of you don't know is that only three of them actually live with me full-time. The story behind that is complicated and not one I'm going to EVER completely share...
...(if by 'short' you mean 'in a few parts because life is complicated and that's the only way I could tell it so thank your lucky stars you aren't getting the long version').
Back in the day it was just me and my two girls, who were preschool aged and a toddler. The baby daddies (Yes, I said daddies) and I didn't work out. Not assigning any blame here, just a fact of life. Suffice it to say that we all had some growing up to do and were just not suited to each other. (That, dear readers, is all you will likely hear of that story. Some things are meant to stay private.)
I was single. After a short series of not-very-nice boyfriends (which were NOT baby daddies, just to be clear), I realized that I needed to be happy with ME before I'd be happy with anyone else. I decided not to date and didn't for almost two years. I felt that the best thing for me to do was to concentrate on my kids, my job, and trying to keep it all together.
I was angry and frustrated a lot, so very stressed out, and was suffering from depression and anxiety even back then. Did I mention it was HARD? I lived on my own with the girls. The house wasn't always clean, and I felt like I was constantly moving. I had 3 (!!) jobs and never felt like I could keep it all together. I felt like I was not the best of mothers but I was doing the best I could. My girls were fed and clothed and most of all LOVED.
One day out of nowhere, I was set up on a blind date with someone I had a crush on a long time ago. Totally random and flat out WEIRD. Seriously, the chances of this happening based on my circumstances were just bizarre. We fell in love. I decided to move about an hour away to be with this person. The baby daddies objected to my moving. I moved anyway because TRUE LOVE! AND FATE! AND ALL OF THAT GOOD STUFF Y'ALL!! Long story short, there was a question raised as to whether moving was in the best interest of my oldest child.
Lawyers became involved, money I didn't have was spent. (I'm still getting little love notes from that lawyer over ten years later.) Ugliness was definitely involved. How much ugliness you will never know because that is our own private story.
In discussing custody, evaluations of each parent are part of the process of deciding what is in the best interest of the child. I received a packet in the mail that asked lots of invasive questions. I got two pages into this document and came across a question that made me realize I was going to give up the fight.
Sounds nuts right? How would a piece of paper make me make such a decision? I remember the question to this day. It asked if I'd ever been hospitalized. My stomach dropped and I literally wanted to throw up. Why? Because I had been hospitalized before and I knew it was going to cost me my girl.
Sorry guys, this was all I could tell today. I'll work on Part II this weekend.