Christmas Misery

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Dear World,

Christmas Day is usually a day that brings joy to so many. It is a day that homes around the world are filled with warmth, love, compassion and hope. It is a day that many of us forget what is going on outside and forget what is wrong with our own lives to cherish all that is good and that is right in this world. It is the day our Savior was born and although not everyone focuses on the religion behind the day, most can not argue the spirit of giving and loving that is embraced by so many.

On this day, December 25, 2013, a person whom I know very well, was also trying to embrace this spirit. With two children by her side, she had hoped for another great day with family. There was some tension in the home, and there were problems, but for just a couple of days maybe they could be overlooked.

You see for months a storm had been brewing that many didn’t see or hear about. Behind closed doors in a home it is hard to know exactly what happens. This family of four was living a secret that very few even heard whispers of. He was verbally abusive to both Mom and the eldest child who was her’s from a previous marriage. The youngest child hung the moon in his eyes and could do no wrong, but Mom and eldest were not much to speak of.

It wasn’t this way always. There was love there and for whatever reason it seemed to have faded over time. It went from happy sometimes to happy almost never. Mom had her share of health problems and spent time in and out of doctors offices and hospitals looking for answers. He would berate the illnesses and accuse her of being crazy because she was always taking ill. Mom tried to work as much as possible and for a while worked two jobs. Working in the evenings and then working over night. The daytime was for watching the children so that he could work. To no avail, this didn’t work for long before she lost jobs for falling asleep and her health continued to worsen.

In the spring of 2013 he had sent hateful messages to her family members warning them to be there for her. She would need family when he was done with her.

He continued the verbal abuse on Mom and soon it began to carry over to the eldest child. He would rip through the child’s belongings and act like a monster scarring the child. It was after the inevitable divorce that the child confessed that he had threatened to do more to the child than just yell.

It was on this Christmas Day, that the eldest was with Mom’s X and that side of the family, when he began pulling apart the bedroom in search of something. When Mom put her hand on his shoulder to stop the madness, it only enraged him further. Mom was scared for her life and decided that it was time to call the police.

When police arrived he was still acting out of control. They seemed to have no time or care to deal with the situation so they told the two of them to work it out or they would both go to jail. Certainly not an option with their youngest child sitting there watching all of this, and certainly not on Christmas.

His family came by for dinner, and the air in the house was icy. Mom could see her breath as they all talked and stared at her as if she had done something wrong. Several comments were made in front of her that were clearly meant to be heard. It was torture but Mom stayed strong for their child sitting at the table. The whole time Mom was sickened to be there.

Once everyone had left, he disappeared upstairs with their child for a while. He got the child a bath and prepared for bed, but seemed to be extra quiet and acting very strange. Later on that evening Mom received and email from him with demands for how they should co-exist in the home for the sake of the youngest child. The eldest, to her previous marriage was not his nor did he care to have anything to do with the child. As far as the email stated they would no longer live as married partners, but rather room mates that share a child.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

The blow to Mom was about all she could take. She slept, or should I say tossed and turned, alone that night and wondered why it had gotten so bad and what she had done wrong.

The very next morning Mom went to work as usual and it wasn’t until lunch time that she received the next big blow. From behind her as she sat at her cubical she heard a deep voice say “Are you ……..?” She turned around and said yes in complete shock. Mom was served a restraining order. She was to stay away from him, the home and the youngest child until further notice.

Mom had gone to work with only the clothes on her back. She was not able to return to the home. The home was her home, purchased by Mom’s grandfather before they were ever married. Mom could not return to her home. Mom could not see one of her children. The eldest child was due to be back to the home in two days. The eldest child could not stay in the home without Mom. Mom had custody of the eldest during the week and every other weekend. Mom’s home was the eldest child’s home. They were both kicked out of their home. Mom was an adult, she would somehow find a way to bounce back. A child doesn’t understand so easily.

I wish that I could say that this story got better after this, but it did not. It has only gotten worse and to this day is still getting worse. Once the hearing finally came about, Mom was awarded her house back within a certain amount of days. He had to vacate, however she was still not able to see her child until yet another custody hearing.

In the meantime, he helped himself to everything in the house. He took everything. A few months prior to Christmas, he had replaced the seal on the toilet that was leaking. When Mom was finally aloud to enter her home, she walked in to the entry way and looked up to a bulging ceiling. The toilet had been leaking once again. Once a plumber came in, it was clear that the seal was removed.

All was taken from the home, including appliances even though they were bought with the house prior to the marriage. He took everything including every light bulb from every socket.  He did leave in the empty cupboard the cake topper from their wedding cake. It stood proud with Mom’s head cut off and laying at his side.

I am telling a story about a monster that has destroyed many lives. I would imagine that you have a pretty good picture of this monster in your mind right now. I would imagine that if you saw this person on the street you would look in wonder at how all of this could have been done. Change your picture.

Change your whole idea of this story.

The monster isn’t a He.

The monster is a She.

This story is actually about a dad that is fighting for his children and his life that was taken by his wife. She has used the system, our system and manipulated it to chew up and swallow this Dad, that actually cares about and loves his children very much. She has destroyed his home, and cost him and his family members thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees, house repairs and other expenses to rebuild his life. He never deserved to be punished by her and he still doesn’t.

He has since lost the majority of custody of his eldest. While he was unable to live in his home for so long other arraignments had to be made so the child went back to living with the Mother.

His health has since worsened and he struggles to keep positive. He is fighting what seems to be a loosing battle against this woman that he thought he once knew and loved. She has robbed his home, taken his children from him and left him in a hole of financial ruin that is hard to even see a way out of.

Please, consider helping this Dad out. Help him rebuild his life, and help support his fight that will last for the next thirteen years to see his youngest child. To this date he has gone twenty-seven days without seeing his youngest against the custody agreement. She has been able to withhold visitation because she feels he isn’t a fit Dad, even though the court gave him shared custody. Until the next hearing she will continue to withhold visitation which will be another seventeen days. Imagine missing your child for a day. Imagine missing your child for a week. Imagine missing your child for over a month.

Here is the perspective. If this story were actually as I had written it, and the monster was the Dad, he would be locked up for kidnapping. He would have been punished for robbing the home of belongings that were not his. This story is about a woman, and so our system is set to favor a woman even when the favor isn’t warranted. It is unfair, unjust and simply disgusting!

I have no faith that our system can help this Dad any time soon unless he could afford the kind of attorney that can fight this. That said, he can hardly afford to live with all of the support he pays to her so that she can keep his child away from him. He is left with barely enough to live and one bout of illness is all it takes for him to loose a few days of work and he is now in the hole a little deeper.

Please help this Dad in any way that you can. Help him with a dollar or two or if you are a lawyer and can offer some assistance that would be wonderful as well. Please help him to rebuild his life and begin living again. He has lost so much that he can not get back, lets not let it continue.

Please visit this website and donate what you can to help this Dad start over and help him continue to fight for his child and his life. http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/help-a-single-dad/193971

Thank you,

Cherise

Guilty Pleasures

Dear World,

I actually wrote this post prior to Christmas, but my life was a little bit hectic for a few weeks and I hadn’t had the time to finish or proof it. Tonight’s the night!

I just talked on the phone for two hours and fourteen minutes. Not only is that a record, but for those younger readers out there, it is like texting for four and a half hours straight with just one person. Crazy, I know… but even crazier is the first thought that came to my mind when I was hanging up.

The thought wasn’t, “Wow, that was a great conversation!”

The thought wasn’t, “Holy Crap! I just talked on a phone for how long?”

The thought definitely wasn’t, “Spending two hours on the phone has relaxed me and made me feel rejuvenated.”

It also wasn’t, “Gee, I really enjoy talking to my sister. I’m glad we had this chat. I feel so full of sister love right now.”

The thought that came to me as I pressed End on my iphone was, “how could I have wasted two hours and fourteen minutes on the phone?”

Here are the answers to the likely questions….

Yes there was wine involved! I drank almost a whole bottle in a few hours and I’m sure that’s ok. Also, I was discussing some deep material with my sister, soooo….. a glass of wine, or two.. seemed appropriate.

Yes I enjoyed every minute of the conversation with my sister. This should have probably been listed first. I love talking with my sister and we could honestly go on forever. She is the person that NO MATTER WHAT, we are always there for each other. I won’t lie, she drives me nuts more often than not. I probably drive her nuts also. We have shared a room, we have shared dreams, we have shared hopes, we have shared lies, we have shared secrets, we have shared problems and we have shared triumphs. We share it all and we fight over ever bit of it, but our love is what keeps us together. So after all of that, yes the conversation was enjoyable!

So why on God’s green Earth, would I hang up a phone and think…”How could I have just wasted two hours?”

What is wrong with my desperate housewife, PTA member, Christmas party planner, Elf on the shelf mover, dinner cooker, bed time singer, laundry doer, holiday decorator, Christmas card maker, full time worker, etc, etc, etc… self, that I would think that a conversation that lasted for two hours was a waste of time?

What has been so ingrained in women today that they need to keep doing? I do and I do and I do and I do… and I am still the same. My home is still the same. All my pinterest pinning and my Christmas cookie baking isn’t changing anything. I do all of these things because I enjoy them, but it is sad how some things take the back burner.

Talking on the phone made me feel guilty. Is that even fair? Why should I feel this way?

I deserve a phone call here and there.

I deserve least of all, to be able to chit chat with my sis when I feel the need.

There is no reason why a two hour conversation shouldn’t or couldn’t happen with the sis. The trouble is that once I hang up, I end up in reality. The floor still needs vacuumed. I never unloaded the dishwasher. There are baskets of laundry to be folded and put away. I have to make lunches for tomorrow.

The list begins!

I dare speak on the phone for a hour or two and my damn brain makes me feel guilty. My guilt encompasses all of the things that I think I should have been doing either instead of or while I was talking on the phone.

I am a multitasker. I could have scrubbed a floor, or folded some clothes. There are things that I could have done while on the phone… And using the restroom twice doesn’t count. Don’t judge, remember, I was drinking wine!

I would multitask my life away if I could.

I think what makes me sad is that, I really enjoyed my conversation on the phone. It was like we were sitting together in my house and enjoying each other’s company. We talked about her problems and mine. We talked about all kind of things. It was a great conversation.

It should have ended with goodbye and I should have gone to bed. Instead, I wondered what I could’ve accomplished in the time that I was on the phone.

Most of the men that I know, do not struggle with this. They don’t think about the “should’ve dones”. They don’t think about a better way that they could have spent thier time.

They can do something enjoyable and then look back and say that was fun. They don’t say ” I should’ve done this, this and that while I was having fun.” They just have fun.

I’m jealous and envious of this trait. I actually need to learn it.

I guilt myself on a daily basis. I make lists to guilt myself even more. The list consume my every waking minute and when I’m done setting myself up for failure, I feel terrible for not accomplishing everything.

I don’t really do resolutions, but maybe 2014 should be a good enough reason to change this guilty behavior. It stinks not being able to just stop and relax without punishing myself.

I know so many other women, moms especially, that feel the same way. Maybe this year we can all learn to take a deep breath and relax. I’m going to try and cut myself some slack. At very least I’m going to try and enjoy the things that make me happy without feeling guilty.

Here’s to trying!

Love,
Cherise