Monday, June 25, 2012

Submission in the Household: Domestic Abuse Edition *TRIGGER WARNING!*

Photo courtesy of Samurai Karate Studio. Find them at

A woman is out on a date with a guy she just met. The date is going well and they hit it off. She can't help but think "Oh, he's so sweet and perfect. I hope he'll see me again." And she does. They make their relationship official and all is well....

Fast forward 12 months. She's just forgotten to put his clothes in the dryer, because she was cooking breakfast. Now he's going to be late for work. "Why can't you do anything right?" he says stepping slowly towards her.

"I...I'm sorry, I just... forgot. I was trying to make you breakfast..." she stammers, cowering.
"Forget it! Now I have to wear wet clothes!"
She bursts into tears and can't stop herself from thinking, "He's right, I can't do anything right."

Later that week, she's bathing her daughter, and couldn't get to the phone in time to answer his call. He comes home that night, in a rage. He accuses her of cheating, since she wouldn't answer his call. "No," she pleaded. "No, I was just giving my daughter...." She doesn't finish her sentence. He hits her across the face. "See what you made me do?" He backs away and goes to take a shower, muttering about how worthless she is. She's so confused. Why did she make him hit her? It was her fault, all her fault.

Photo done by me

He comes to her in bed that night and lifts her chin. She flinches and pulls back. He apologizes and tells her it won't happen again and that he just has anger problems. She shouldn't make him mad like that.... ever again..... But she did. Everything made him mad. He didn't like her talking to friends and her family wanted to see her, but she was too ashamed of her appearance. If she doesn't get out soon, it might be too late.......

Research suggests that 1 in 4 (25%) women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. Women make up 85% of domestic violence, while men make up the remaining 15%.

Depending on the type of survey, there is a range between 600,000 and 6 million women who are battered each year. Women between the ages of 20-24 are at greater risk for nonfatal violence from a partner or spouse. Most abuse comes from someone that the woman knows personally. Separate and divorced men and women are also at high risk for nonfatal abuse, says the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004.

Each day, 4 women die as a result of abuse... Each day, 3 children die as a result of abuse. The FBI estimates that 32% of female homicides are by their partner or spouse.

Not many people understand the impact domestic violence has on battered women. She loves her partner and is attached to the loving part of him or her. They don't like the abuse, but in their mind, their loving gestures make up for it. "It won't happen again." "He says he's going to get help for his anger." Smoke and mirrors. Justification for the spouse's or partner's behavior.

As a woman who was in an abusive relationship, both physical and emotional, I know how persuasive an abuser can be. He persuaded me into thinking I was worthless without him, that I was irrational in all my thinking. He persuaded me into thinking that he wouldn't hurt me anymore, that it should be enough that he provided for me financially. I owed it to him to submit to him.

The day I had enough and left, only further confirmed that I was making the right decision. Saying hateful things is not something a loving person does. Hitting is not something a loving person does. Being manipulative is not something a loving person does. A loving person doesn't make you feel worthless. A loving person encourages you to be independent and achieve your goals, not keep you from them.
Photo courtesy of

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call this number for resources 1-800-799-SAFE(7233). Don't second guess yourself in your choice. Don't listen to your abuser, when they try to get you to stay. Do not continue to submit. Fight back by leaving and never looking back. Help stop domestic violence.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Levi Jaxson's Unassisted Homebirth

This is my youngest child's birth story. I really want to write my older 2 children's birth stories, but it's a little hard, because of the choices I made and medical professionals taking advantage of me.

I haven't written in a while. It took quite some time to start to find myself. But that's another blog post in and of itself. THIS is about my new little love. My second son, who changed my perspective of birthing and how relationships should work and who I could and couldn't trust. This is the story of how he came into this world.

On Friday, November 18th, I had my membranes stripped. I was 39 weeks 4 days pregnant and very optimistic that it would do much for me. I wasn't necessarily tired of being pregnant, I was really excited for labor to start. After going for an off and on walk of 3.5 miles, I decided to give it a rest and not pursue contractions any further, so that I wouldn't be worn out the next day if anything happened. I started getting what seemed like Braxton Hicks that evening and they got to 7 minutes apart pretty consistently. They weren't strong at all, so I decided to get some sleep at midnight. I couldn't get to sleep in bed, so I came out to the couch and put some "sounds of nature" music channel on to help me sleep.
I woke up around 4:30AM, to what I thought was me just having a full bladder. I felt restless afterwards and couldn't sleep. I didn't know why, until I had a hard and very noticeable contraction. This happened again 10 minutes later and by 5AM, they were averaging 5minutes apart. Still the same intensity. I get more restless, wondering if this really is it and start pacing the living room and kitchen. I kept wanting to do something to keep me busy, but I couldn't figure out what, even though there were dishes in the sink and cookies I planned on baking. They jumped to 3 minutes apart and a minute long while I paced the rooms. 
After an hour of pacing around, I started to feel a little worn and stayed sat down for the most part. They spaced out to 5-7 minues apart, but more intense and I had to let out low moans to cope. Even though the contractions got harder, the space in between them increasing discouraged me and I started to think that this was another labor tease. heh The denial phase seems to happen alot with women.
My husband got ready for work as I labored. I was fine with it and completely prepared mentally to labor alone. He was also under the impression that I'd have a doula friend with me, but she'd left for certification training the day before. Since I hadn't experienced a completely natural birth before, even though I had 2 children prior, I wasn't as prepared physically as I thought I'd be. I had no idea how much harder the contractions would be hitting me. I wouldn't even necessarily called it pain, as much as the contractions were intense. Like waves that kept climbing and I needed to match the height of them with the sound of my voice to stay on top.
So, the husband left for work at 6:30AM and I had him hold me through a contraction right before he left and he said he was sorry that he had to go. By 7, the contractions were still spaced out to 5-7 minutes but coming harder. I leaned on the couch and it felt good to be part way bent over, rather than squatting or hands and knees, which both hurt to do.
My 2 yr old daughter got up at 8 and I made her cereal and I surprisingly didn't feel irritated with her presence like many mothers describe during labor. I even switched my music to cartoons for her so she'd stay occupied after she ate. She checked on me regularly and was curious about the sounds I made and even mimicked me a couple times.
9AM rolls around and the contractions are picking up in intensity and a little bit in length but the time between them was still the same. I'm in and out of the bathtub at this point, not sure what would make me most comfortable. I was feeling the need for being on my hands and knees in the water, but it was far too crampy for me to do this. I was getting louder with each contraction. As the waves climbed higher, so did my voice. It was like a chant that was needed to keep me grounded and solid and whole through this entrance.
10:35 comes and as I'm stepping out of the tub for the 50th time, my water breaks. It's clean and not stained with meconium, so I go on. Then the monster contractions come. I update that my water has broken on a Facebook group and when the first tidal wave of a contraction hits, I'm on the birth ball, hitting enter on the post. "Hoooooooooooooo,motherf**king sh*t. Hoooooooooooo." Not being prepared for the contractions to come faster and 3 times as hard, it left me gasping afterwards, and I knew I had to get in hot water for relief. I retreated to the bathroom and added more warm water. I laid on my side and hung onto my inflatable like a liferaft and kept my voice as high as the waves took me and I loosened my arms around the pillow as the wave died down. My jaw and eyes were relaxed as the waves washed over me and I clung on, drowning them out with my voice.
A contraction hadn't come when I thought it might and my eyes snapped open as I finished catching my breath. I had stood up to see if I could sneak out of the tub to pee before it came. And then, an invisible force pushed me down onto my hands and knees. This was the first time I felt half desperate to escape the waves. Almost like a whirlpool and I was afraid of drowning. I wanted to crawl away from the contraction, but all I could do was rock back and forth. I remember a contraction in this position that I had to growl to get through. I thought for a moment that bearing down slightly might feel good. I don't know what time it was, but I know it was less than 5 minutes of pushing. I sat 2 contractions in the tub, shaking and on the verge of throwing up. A person will NEVER understand what the uncontrollable urge to push feels like until it happens to them.
During the pushing, my daughter came in and watched for a second and asked "What are you doing mama?" grunt*Having a baby, honey* "Oh, okay. I'm gonna go watch cartoons now." Goofball.
Another tidal wave contraction washes over me and it's like someone taking a remote and hitting a button that says "push" over and over again. A neverending cascade of lost self-control. My BODY pushes once, his head is at my perineum, a 2nd push(by my body) his head is out. A third push, and I'm helping my body this time and he's out. He's sputtering for a minute and taking his time pinking up, but he finally wails once and settles down.
The placenta took 15 minutes to come out, but it seems to all be there. I had a placenta smoothie(for those that don't know, it's only a small piece of placenta blended in a fruit smoothie) after things calmed a bit. He came down so quickly that he didn't have a cone shape to his head. It's perfectly round. He's fast asleep after nursing and I couldn't be happier and feel more whole after this experience.
Levi Jaxson Wheeler
11/19/11 10:50AM
8lbs 4oz 20.5 inches
born after 5 1/2 hours of active labor

Silent Lullaby

I wrote this when I was 16.

Silent Lullaby

I wended and weaved
Through the debri
Up on the stairs
Like a rodent in a maze
The splintered boards raked at my bare legs
Everything so eerily quiet, I shivered

I, the only being alive
But unthriving
Where had all familiarity gone?
A thing so light in this great significance
Had been whisked away like a child’s blanket

The door at the topmost stair
Hung on a single hinge
And clothing which lie tattered and limp
Was strewn about the floor
The owners unknown

The dining table was upended
And partly decapitated
A mattress’s springs
Had made their way through the fabric
One slender ankle protruded tragically
From behind a tall picture
A portrait of a young couple
Painted in the 1800’s

With little ease, I stepped over a broken lamp
To reach the shredded canvas
When I removed the canvas, my throat tightened
My eyes stung with hot, sorrowful tears

Not a cut or bruise
Was visible upon this child
Yet, she lay unconscious
In a peaceful position
Holding a string of rosary beads and a teddy bear

Then, I heard it in the dead stillness….
God's silent lullaby.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Love Story- Chapter 3: New Beginning, New Life

Back to the story. I know, you were waiting for the conclusion. Just on the edge of your seat. Yeah, right. ;)

Right, so I left off with my moment of clarity. I went to Ray's work regularly, because that was basically the only access I had to a phone (his cell phone) without having to use a pay phone. He'd been increasingly uneasy about me using his phone without his supervision, because I was "acting sneaky". On this particular night, I was talking to my mom and my son, who had left for a little bit, until I could get things under control. I talked for 45 minutes, and the whole time while he was on the clock, he sat there..... and listened to the entire conversation. After I got off the phone, he was very angry with me and I asked him what was wrong. "You were on the phone for forty five minutes! I have work to do!" Uhhh.... so why weren't you working? "Because you were being sneaky on the phone. I don't trust you on the phone with your mom." Okay, wow. Now, I can't talk to my friends, my sisters OR my mom. This was rich. So I left a few minutes later (so he could work, God forbid).

After I got home, I reactivated my Facebook and asked Billy to send money for Casey to get diapers, etc. He ended up putting in $75. I had a conversation with him, back and forth. I ached to see him. Even though he said he wanted nothing to do with a relationship with me, I needed OUT! I never mentioned this to Billy, but the $75 was my ticket out.

When Ray got off work, he demanded to see my Facebook, which he'd been doing the entire month I'd been back there. I figured I deserved to have my privacy violated, since I'd left and betrayed his trust. But tonight, since I knew there was stuff he wouldn't like, I told him no. An argument follows and he threatens to throw me out, for the 4th time. He expected me to beg him to forgive me, like the last times. It was his leverage on me. This time, I said "FINE! Go ahead." And threw all my stuff together in 5 minutes.

We argued off and on for 6 hours, the whole time, he's insulting me, calling me crazy and a whore and the only thing special about me is that I'm psychotic. All of the insults made me cry, and as I'm crying, he's asking me why I'M crying because I was the one leaving him. *eyeroll* You may ask why I stayed for that long after I'd gotten all my stuff together. Billy had sent the money through Western Union. It was closed before I would have gotten there that day. I couldn't leave until the next morning at 9AM. I was stuck.

By 4AM, I was drained of all energy and emotion. He almost sucked me back in, when he convinced me to come to bed with him. I didn't let him touch me. I wept until 5AM and finally fell asleep. I woke up at 8:30 at which point, I was met by him sitting on the bed. I grab some of mine and Casey's things and try to go out the door. He stops me and asks me if I'm leaving for good this time. When I confirm that I won't be coming back, he gives me this look I'll never forget. I could swear it was evil. He got 2 inches from my face. His eyebrows were furrowed deeply, his nose was wrinkled in a snarl and he growled at me through clenched teeth, "You will NEVER come back. You are a piece of trash, good for nothing whore. You're a garbage parent. I hope you DIE giving birth to my son. You will regret leaving, I promise you." Then he spit at my feet.

This did nothing but confirm I would, indeed, never return. It scared me. I don't remember feeling that afraid, ever. I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd grabbed me by my throat as well. A few of his exes had confirmed that he was physically abusive to them.

I had no problem getting the money from Western Union, after I waited for them to open at 9AM. I got gas and left town as quickly as I could. It was hard work not to fall asleep on the way. It was only a 3 hour drive, thank goodness. When I got into town, I headed right for Billy's work. I stopped at a convenient store first, to call and have him meet me outside. He sounded put out and I didn't blame him. I was so relieved to see him, I wanted a hug, but knew he didn't want the same. I tried to give him the rest of the money. I cried and asked him if I could crash on the couch until I could figure out a way to get to my mom's house. He reluctantly agreed and gave me the key to the apartment.

We had a long talk about how things were going to be. We wouldn't be a couple, I would only stay as long as I needed. He didn't want me to sleep on the couch, because I was pregnant and the couch was uncomfortable, so I slept in bed with him, but stayed far from each other. It hurt to be so formal with him in person. After a couple days, I couldn't stand it anymore and started trying to get him to warm up to me. I made him breakfast when he'd leave in the mornings, fed him well for dinner, and cleaned up the pig sty he had made(guys living alone equals YUCK!).

During this time, we talked more and more about the things that were happening and why they happened and how we had felt when they happened. These times were emotional. A week after I got back, we were talking and he started crying. I was already crying, but I went to him and consoled him, hugging him and stroking his face. We looked at each other for a long time. I wanted to kiss him, that's all I wanted and all I could have expected. "Kiss me," I whispered. We kissed deeply and the rest of that night was history, if you know what I mean (nudge nudge)

We spent the next couple months, mending what had been wrecked during the years of addiction and illness and especially the 6 months of hell we'd put each other through. No doubt, though, I had put him through more in that time. We were so happy, despite me carrying Ray's baby. We never talked about the baby together, except the possibility that Ray would never truly FATHER him. The months rolled by, we did better than we'd ever done. November was my due month, and I started preparing for the birth.

During that time, I cleaned like a mad woman and cooked everything under the sun I could think of so I wouldn't have to when the baby arrived. One night, about a week before I had the baby, and I was cooking, he came up behind me and held me tight and whispered "I love the new you. You're amazing."

A small divide was driven between us, as we had differing views on where he should be born. He feared for my safety, no doubt, but he was also uneducated. I wanted to stay home, even without the help of a midwife, and he wished I'd go to the hospital. My mom BEGGED him to convince me to go to the hospital. I knew he felt pressure from her too. I stood my ground.

On the 19th of November I woke in labor at 4:30AM.
(taken at 11pm, November 18th at 39 weeks 4 days)

 Billy had to leave for work at 6:30AM. I had told him a friend was coming over to help me labor and if all went well, he'd be home when I was ready to deliver. Well, my friend was out of town. I didn't tell him this, because I didn't want to worry him more. And I ended up delivering on my own, at 10:50AM that day. He was stunned when I called him and told him the news. And relieved. He'd told his co-workers and even they had been on pins and needles, hoping everything would be okay.

I named him, Levi Jaxson Wheeler. He took my last name, because Ray was no longer involved, nor did I want him to be. Levi did fine, when he was first born. Pinked up nice, let out a nice wale, nursed. But when the afternoon rolled around, he started getting sleepy and his color started getting dusky. It would improve for a bit, then his condition would deteriorate again. By 6PM, when Billy got home, I was very worried and took him in.

The medical team was great with him and stabilized him quickly. A couple of the staff were condescending about where I had him, no doubt, blaming his condition on me birthing at home, but I didn't care. I wanted him to be okay. They stabilized him, gave him antibiotics(because he was born at home and could have been infected) I was glad that my kids' pediatrician was on call that night, because I knew him. He didn't seem upset that I had him at home, just concerned. After 2 days in the NICU, and next to no sleep for me, they did an ultrasound on his brain and it was confirmed that he'd had a small brain bleed from birth and had nothing to do with being born at home. I was so relieved. I blamed myself for those 2 days. It would have happened, no matter where I'd given birth.

Things went great after being released. And Billy was so proud of me. So proud. While I stayed with Levi in the NICU, he was talking to my mom the whole time and she was criticizing me for staying home and he said exactly this "I don't care what you think, Wanda. I am so damn proud of her! She stayed home, gave birth alone, cleaned everything up, and was up and around hours after delivering. She's actually a housewife now. A better mom. I'm proud of her." When my mom told me that, I started crying. I hadn't heard him say anything speaking so highly of me before. It made me love him even more.

Billy fell in love with Levi.
And I fell deeper in love with Billy. How amazing that they weren't biologically attached, but he loved him anyway.

We learned to appreciate each other and listen to each other's needs and to not only love each other, but to CARE FOR each other. Anyone can love, but it takes a strong and mature couple to know to care for one another. We write each other notes like these:
(This note reads: Baby the house looked great tonight. I can tell you worked hard on it. Thank you sweetheart. :) FYI: You are wonder mom. Levi cried for 5 seconds and you jumped up(I was sleeping on the couch) heh I thought it was the tv, but not you. lol You are wonder mom and a good one. I am so proud of you.) Seeing, hearing each other's love has impacted us and showed us that love can truly do anything.

 We are still happily together, and loving each other more. There are still issues from the past we need to work out, but they no longer go ignored. I love Billy and I love our life together. I couldn't ask for a better man. We started out so dysfunctional and such an odd couple. We beat the odds. Nobody thought we belonged together, much less stay together. But we're proof that love knows no bounds and that love is a choice and we chose to keep loving each other, even after all we'd been through. I love you, sweetie, with all my heart.

Monday, June 11, 2012

You Know, That Moment When You Feel Guilty For Breastfeeding.....

I know this falls out of chronological order from my chapter by chapter love story, just had to post about this today.

I was at the food bank with my son, who will be 7 months on the 19th. We sat down by another mother, who looked to be about 17 or 18, whose son is also 7 months old. Her baby started getting fussy, so of course she grabs his bottle and mixes some formula to feed him. Now, I don't have a problem with formula feeding moms at all, especially when I don't know the circumstances and who on earth would ASK what the circumstances are, anyway. But I saw myself in her, when I was her age. This is only related to what caused my guilt.

My son gets hungry, so of course, I try to be discreet and feed him. An older woman had just sat next to me and started filling out her paperwork.
She looks over and says not-so-quietly "Oh, you're nursing? Oh that's so wonderful! I nursed all three of mine for 2 years each. It's the absolute BEST that you can give your children!" And through talking for a few more minutes I found out that she too, had home births with her children, as I had, with my youngest.

I saw the other mother out of the corner of my eye when the old woman was talking and she lowered her head and turned a bit and I felt bad that she had to hear that. It doesn't matter how true it is, maybe she knows the benefits and regrets starting formula, maybe she couldn't keep her supply because she had to work, or just dried up for no reason, maybe she was misinformed and told not to breastfeed and that formula was "just as good as" breast milk. I felt guilty that it came easy to me. I loved that the old woman was lovingly encouraging, but I wished she hadn't said anything, to spare the young mother the shame.

I still feel a little bit of shame that I didn't breastfeed my oldest that long. He was only 6 weeks old when I weaned. And at 17, you tend to believe a lot of stuff you're told about parenting. I was lucky that I kept my supply for 7 months with my 2nd child. I dried up from flu a few times, and then I became selfish and didn't want to "be tied down" anymore. And, I hope I can save some mothers from feeling ashamed or not good enough. Every mom that feeds their child the best that THEY KNOW HOW is a good mom. When you know better, you DO better, and when you do better, you can afford to help others as well. If we can work together and not shame each other, then we all learn something and we ALL do better.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our Love Story- Chapter 2: Against My Will

My mom found out what was going on and forced me to stay home for 2 weeks or she'd call CPS. They should have been called long before that. We stayed clean long enough for me to land a good job, working at a heart and lung clinic, doing medical records. I loved the job and I was happy to be making good money. Temptation led right back to the dope. This time, pills were a constant add in the mix.

Fast forward 7 months. I've just lost my job after having been caught being high at work. After that, Billy and I lost our apartment and we moved into my mom's house. Billy kept getting high as I struggled to stay clean and this took a toll on our relationship. After I entered a program to help me stay clean, I left him.
(shortly after getting clean, dates on camera are wrong)

We got back together a short time later and he went into treatment. At the end of August, he was out of treatment and we married in early September.

 Now, I failed to mention before, that I'm Bipolar and since I wasn't medicated and only clean a couple months, I was having manic episodes. A week after our wedding, I decided I wanted to go to Seattle and live... alone. After I got there, I turned on my phone and got several messages from Billy saying he was going to hurt himself, he was so confused, why did I do this, and like a flash I snapped out of my mania. I panicked and bolted back to Montana. But not before I got pulled over twice for going way over the speed limit. I had to get there before anything happened to Billy.

We moved out of my mom's house shortly after and started over in our own house. I found out I was pregnant in early October, which, again was a surprise because I was on birth control. The idea quickly grew on us and we began planning. To our dismay, 4 weeks later, I lost the baby a week before my 19th birthday. We were disappointed, but agreed to try to have another baby as soon as I recovered. We became pregnant on New Year's Eve that year.

In June, Billy got promoted at his job and we moved 300 miles away from the town we called home. Pregnant and without family for the first time, it was hard on me, which made it hard on our relationship. I made several trips to my moms house that summer. A few of them were unannounced to my husband and this too strained our relationship. I was so alone, with Billy working so many hours. I knew no one and our son was so spirited, he made it difficult to go anywhere, even the 12 step meetings I needed to attend.

In October 7th, we were blessed when Casey Mercedes James made her entrance into the world on her due date. She had red hair, just like daddy. And those were our first words when she was born. "She has red hair!" The little girl we had decided on 3 years before was finally here and we were happy.

Our happiness would soon falter, as 2 months after my daughter's birth, I feared I might hurt myself and entered treatment. The doctor dismissed my insistence that I was Bipolar and misdiagnosed me as clinically depressed. What was it that people say? The customer is always right? Anyway, I didn't  continue my medication, because it didn't stabilize me.

My emotional troubles affected my husband and I. We weren't spending time together, I wasn't cleaning the house because I was anxious and depressed and this made Billy resentful, which made him not want anything to do with intimacy and this drove me deeper. I found solace in socializing on the internet and immersed myself, so I could hide from my life.

I found motivation to start exercising(but not clean... weird) and I was starting to feel good about myself. But when I entered a 5K race, Thanksgiving 2010, I trained hard and was confident. I was finally doing something. Billy didn't want to go and I told him to stay home, I didn't care if he didn't go as long as I wasn't late. He puttered around, getting ready, we get there.....15 minutes late. I couldn't race. I was crushed. I hated him after that. He ruined something I ached to achieve.

After that, I gave up on exercise. Why do it, if I didn't have a goal and why try to achieve a goal, if he was going to crush it? Again, I found solace on the internet and I stumbled across an ex(Ray), who was going to be done with pre-release in January. We started talking and he "listened to me" and "understood me". We were talking more and more, and soon, I was making plans to leave Billy.

When it came time to leave, in late January, a friend of Ray's came to get us. It was 3 hours to get to his house. The grass was greener on the on other side for only a few weeks. Ray seemed to get upset about small things and didn't like me being on Facebook or to text anyone. Even my family. He made the excuse that it was "hard to adjust to life on the outside". I believed him. On Valentine's Day, he'd been up all night and was being especially mean. The landlord had to come over to fix the water heater and when Casey wouldn't be quiet(she was 15 months old) he gave me a look I don't think I could forget, it was so mean-looking. On Valentine's Day.

I talked to Billy on the computer that night, when I couldn't sleep and we came to the agreement that I needed to get out and I still wanted to be with him. I had talked to a friend on Facebook about my plans to leave. The next day, I'd left my Facebook logged in and he went through my messages and found what I said to my friend. I was afraid to leave with him knowing.

The next couple weeks dragged by and we had to move into Ray's co-worker's house, because Ray's landlord didn't like us living together without being married(whatever, old guy). When we moved into his friend's house, his behavior got worse. I became friends with his co-worker(female) and he didn't like it one bit. In the middle of March, I found out I was pregnant. I was scared. I knew he would hold it over my head. "You can't leave if you're pregnant with my baby."

Two days after I found out I was pregnant, I left and came back to Billy. I left while I was manic and I second guessed myself so many times that I didn't know where I wanted to be, or where I should be. I went back to Ray. When I got back his friend was bitter with Ray and made us leave. We had to live in a motel. We fought everyday over things that he started. And he pinned the blame on me, every time. Since most of the fights were through texts, I SAW and knew that he was starting the fights, but being told that I was instigating the fights made me overcautious of what I could and couldn't say.

I texted him with the computer and he made me stay on the computer to text him every second he was at work. If the room was a mess, say maybe Casey made a mess, he got mad, but I was helpless to do anything about it, because if I didn't text him right away, he'd flip out and accuse me of this and that and a fight would ensue, with blaming me. It was all my fault.

Again, seeing how harmful his behavior was, I left to be with Billy. This time, I thought it was for good and Billy and I were starting to repair our relationship, despite being pregnant with Ray's baby. Everything was going great, but I started talking to Ray again, and he sucked me back into his trap. But this time, before I left, I'd gotten help for my Bipolar and had just started taking medication. Being with Ray again was worse than ever. He blamed me for everything bad that happened. He didn't let me go anywhere alone. I couldn't get off the computer to do anything without getting in trouble.

The day we found out the sex of the baby, things seemed great. I was tired, and wanted to take a nap. But he wanted to have sex. After telling him no repeatedly and him getting very angry, I told him I was leaving to cool off and run some errands. He told me my stuff would be on the lawn if I left. I told him to go ahead. He got in the car, so that he could make sure of where I was going. We argued the whole way to where I was going and I cried while driving. After we got back, I laid Casey down for a nap. He still insisted that we have sex. No no no no. I said it over and over. My words fell upon deaf ears.

Afterwards, he made me feel guilty for being upset by saying he felt like shit about himself. My feelings weren't valid as far as what he'd done to me. HE was the victim of what happened. He made me delete my Facebook several times over the next 10 days. It wouldn't be until 4 days later that I would find a moment of clarity.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Love Story- Chapter 1: There's Nothing More Intimate Than...

I want to post a disclaimer that this story has a lot of personal details. Comments are welcome, but please, no bashing, as these events are in our past. Since there is a lot of content, I will be posting this in segments of three or four. And one reason I feel I can share this...

"Chapter" 1: Nothing More Intimate Than...

This long journey started before we ever met and everything happened so we could meet the way we did. Our journey started one day, sitting at a stop light in traffic. This probably sounds cheesy and even cliche, but it was true for me. I saw this guy in traffic, average guy. I got this feeling in my gut, my soul and it told me "This man is going to change your life forever." He did.

He was my sister's co-worker at the local IHOP. I started work there, roughly a month after I saw him in traffic. I'd forgotten all about him until I saw him at work, the day after I was hired. We laughed and joked and had fun together at work, but something was there. After a week, we flirted around and one night, about 2 weeks later, I told him that I really liked him and he agreed, he felt the same way. That night, we shared a kiss in the men's bathroom, while I was supposed to be cleaning. It was the most magical moment ever. For a second, my heart stopped and I tingled and the room disappeared, it was only us. See what I mean? Cliche. But it was true for me. His name was Billy.

We started dating March 13th, 2006 and had already fallen head over heels. We daydreamed about future children, if we ever got to that point and came up with the perfect girl's name Casey Mercedes James.
Being together was one thing... but there was a problem. An age gap. I was 16 and he was 26. It had to be kept under wraps, which at a restaurant, does. not. HAPPEN! My sister found out a month later. Furious, she told my mom and my mom threatened to press charges. In Montana, it's not statutory rape after you turn 16, so he couldn't be touched legally. But it scared us, nonetheless. At the same time, it made us more determined to be together, no matter what.

It wasn't long after we got together that I noticed he was buying and selling pills at work, with the cooks. I was curious, so I got in on the action. I fell in love. I started getting curious with other things and hooked up deals with someone at school, who sold ecstasy, coke, pills, and weed. I don't know what else he sold, but it was all good and I did try it all.... within the same week. Coke was the last thing I tried and since I didn't care much for it, I sold it to a co-worker.

The day after I sold my leftovers to my co-worker, I told Billy that I wanted to try meth at some point. I knew that he did it and wanted in on trying that too. The next day, he picked me up 2 blocks away from the school at lunchtime and we walked around the park. He gave me two gel capsules that looked like prescription pills. I asked him what it was and he told me(some sort of anti-depressant medication). I figured, alright, if it gets me messed up, why not? He told me to take it and see how I felt in an hour. 20 minutes later, my scalp tightened and tingled, my arms felt giddy and I couldn't stop grinding my teeth or shut my eyes enough to blink. I didn't think anything of it. I was light as a feather. For the life of me, couldn't figure out why I couldn't stop chewing up the little baggy that the pills came in. I even tore off a little bit of a branch of a tree and started tearing it apart with my teeth. I was also feeling very intimately friendly, to say the LEAST.

After our park escapade, he dropped me off at the same place he picked me up from. Before I got out of the truck, he said "You DO know what I gave you, right?" "Yeah," I replied. "Prozac, right?" He paused nervously, "No, it was meth..." I FLIPPED OUT! I got back in the truck and shut the door. "Seriously? What the fuck! Really?" Thousands of thoughts flew through my head. *I didn't even have a chance to say no. What if I wanted to change my mind and didn't really want to do it?* It didn't matter. I had to get to class. I'd already skipped one class that day.

After 4 days of being up and having lots of sex, I finally came down. My mom found out and demanded I tell her where I got it. I never said anything, but she knew. I got tested and came up positive for everything I'd tried in the last 2 weeks.

A week later, I started feeling sick. I couldn't control the urge to vomit. I thought I was having negative side effects from being clean. Billy mentioned to me, there was a slight possibility of being pregnant. Since I was on birth control, I doubted it, but opted to go to the community clinic 2 weeks later to get tested. Positive. And by the dates of my last period, I was 6 weeks along. Little did I know, I didn't bleed from a period. I had implantation bleeding and was 10 weeks pregnant when I found out I was pregnant. I was mortified, because, here I was, between 5-7 weeks pregnant and putting all that crap in my body. I had no idea. No clue, until I was clean. I had gotten pregnant 2 days after we got together.

The roller coaster started from then on. He continued to do drugs, behind my back and we only saw each other once a week, so he could avoid me knowing(although, I knew full well what he was up to). But since I was in denial, I drove myself crazy, trying to get ahold of him and see him. When I did see him, he didn't touch me. He drank beer and watched football. I was almost to the point of leaving him, by the time it came to deliver our son.
36 weeks pregnant

On December 15th, at 7:30 in the morning, I woke up in early labor. Since I didn't know what to expect, I was tense and unsure what to do. This led to a lot of pain. A lot. We made our way to the hospital at 9:30, since it seemed like my contractions were too painful to bare.(what a wimp I was!) We were sent back home, after being deemed "too early in labor" to stay. I was bummed. This left me to cope with my contractions without the help of Billy, because since I had woken him up at 8AM, he was too tired to stay awake. At 5PM, I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. I was about a 4, but progressing slowly and as soon as I got on monitors, they wanted to keep me in bed. This made contractions so much worse and I begged and begged for the epidural. How was I to know that I had the right to get up out of bed to help with the pain if I wanted? I was 17, with no knowledge, except what I was told about how PAINFUL childbirth was. I submitted. After the epidural, there was talk of a c-section, because my contractions were almost stopped. They asked if I wanted pitocin and I nodded, and said yes, between a sob , fear that I might have to be cut open. What choice did I have? After some amazing coaching from Billy( I was shocked), at 1:45AM, I was informed that it was time to push. I didn't know how to push and gave feeble attempts. After 15 minutes of little pushes, and getting a feel of it, I pushed to a 10 count. At 2:30AM, Michael Wayne James was born into the world, but was blue and "in need of resuscitation". The room was silent for 2 minutes, as the nurses worked on getting him breathing and pinked up and I wept silently. He gave a strong kick and everyone cheered.

Once he was swaddled, he wasn't given to me, everyone else held him(mom, both sisters, Billy). I remember thinking to myself "I. want. my. baby!" But I waited. I fell in love when I saw him and held him and I vowed to take care of him, good care.

Fastforward 4 months. My Billy and I, new parents to a baby boy and seeming happy, got ready to move in together, in our first apartment. An odd, familiar urge rose in me, and I regretfully didn't ignore this urge. When Michael was almost 5 months old, my boyfriend and I started doing drugs again. We were smoking meth, shortly after moving in. I wasn't able to hold down a job, due to my use. As soon as I had a bad day at work, I quit. In mid- August of 2007, when Micahel was 8 months old I got in an accident and I cried and cried because I was so glad my son wasn't with me in the car.

I had found a needle with meth in it that my boyfriend was hiding. Shooting up? Hmmm... Well, since he's going behind my back, I'll go behind his. I called up a couple that shot up dope together and asked them if they'd help me with my first time......

That whole week was a blur. I cheated on Billy with the couple because I wanted to get high some more. What did I care if I had to do that? It made me aroused anyway. Billy found out the next day and a shit storm ensued. He went out and drank. We made up by doing some dope and having sex. People say there's nothing more intimate than shooting up with your partner. At the time, they were right.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sometimes Good Parenting Leads To Neglect

It's been.....4 months?...since my last post, I think? Well unto no fault of my own. For a month, I couldn't access my blog. Add another 3 months, because my computer took a huge dump. And a couple weeks, because I've had writer's block. *throws hands in the air* Whatever.

But I've been documenting through photos and this has led me to why good parenting can lead to neglect. And I don't mean neglecting my children. Oh gosh, never them. Well, they might have a dirty face for the afternoon... Or sometimes go the whole day without being dressed...

But that's a whole other post. I'm talking about HOUSEWORK! You know, the other half of your "job" that you need to accomplish before your husband gets home. The dreaded pile of laundry that you've shoved into your closet in 3 baskets, so hubby doesn't think it went undone. But, alas, the next morning, he's looking for his work shirt and it's sitting in a basket....wrinkled.

The kitchen...
Dishes are undone, floors have sticky fruit juice on them, last night's dinner just MIGHT have been left out because you were too tired to put it away at 10PM.

The living room...
I think the mess says it. This isn't the worst it's been. There's usually toys that puncture the soles of my feet or trip me. But it looks more like they wanted to read and have pillow fights today.

Their room....
Sheets stripped from the bed, toys under the bed, laundry, oh and I have the music on for them at night, which was on full blast at 7:30 this morning. Again, this is NOT the worst it's been. I've recycled a lot of toys and donated for my own sanity.

I do not have a large circle of friends for two reasons 1)My house is a mess 95% of the time and the kids run around in underwear just as much. 2) BECAUSE of this, I must be judged by the lying "supermoms" that say they can parent 3 kids without their house or their kids being a mess. They either have a maid or a nanny. Two of which I cannot afford.

But because I am fortunate enough to be home with them, I co-sleep and breastfeed on demand,

I get to enjoy watching them play and read together
I get to be silly with them

So, even though I get frustrated, because the older two are fighting while I'm feeding a sleeping baby or because the house isn't clean...

I know I'm a good mom. The dishes and piled up clothes can wait. I have a book to read and an alien emperor to vanquish with my son.