Friday, September 2, 2011

My Girl Part I

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.
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Robin | Farewell, Stranger said...

Oh, Jo. That's so hard. Good for you for addressing this. It doesn't make you a bad person, or a bad mom. It just is. xo

Cristi @ Motherhood Unadorned said...

Ok so first I want to hear the rest of the story but I think that doing what you think is in the best interest of your child, even if that means not being with you makes you a good parent. I think it can be hard to take the love and support of others into our hearts when we don't feel it ourselves. I'm glad you're being open and courageous and sharing your story, you are beautiful. You really truly you're not alone. Hugs

Ash said...

Oh, Jo. I can only imagine how hard it was to go through on this and then try to put language to the experience. I hope it helps to put it out into the world. I'll be here to read whatever else you're comfortable sharing. xo

ReallyErica said...

Aww... I took that cute picture of your girl! I remember we were at Chuck E Cheese (which may have still been Showbiz Pizza) in Onalaska. Dang. Now I miss you again. <3

Britni TheVadgeWig said...

I hate the stigma that surrounds being hospitalized. I have so many clients that cannot get into specific housing or treatment programs because they were hospitalized once 15 years ago or whatever.

I'm so glad that you are sharing this. You've been doing so much hard, brave, awesome work on this blog lately and you should be so proud of yourself.

BLHess said...

I can relate so much...SO much to your story. {{HUGS}}. I have to keep my comment brief because I cannot make it simple, and really, this is YOUR story. And I know (1) how much she balls it takes to be so vulnerably exposed to tell it, and (2), you just can't "sum it up". I think the way you are telling your story the way you are is both brave and inspiring....and once we see the rest of your story, I am most definitely going to blog mine....likely in the same manner, because frankly, you can't be brief, and you can only share so much before you become totally emotionally drained. Thank you for sharing, and for inspiring, and for also having irreverent wit :). Keep on keeping on, mama, I am looking forward to reading part 3 (I thought it would be redundant to post on #2).