Posts tagged ‘baby daddy’

I’M A BITCH, I’M A LOVER, I’M A CHILD, I’M A MOTHER, I’M A SINNER, I’M A SAINT, I DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED.

This post is dedicated to the beautiful Elijah Rainbow; for all that you were, all that you will always be and all that you could have been, with my love x 

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(Me circa 1988, photo credit to my lovely and dear friend Hayley. You can find her here and here.)

Several weeks ago I was asked to speak at a Keynote Presentation on Victim Awareness in the Mental Health sector, presented by Angelhands, a not for profit organisation that works to provide support for those affected by homicide or serious personal violence. This was a very big deal for me for a number of reasons. The most important reason is that I feel very strongly that silence and secrecy contributed to Daughter Number One’s death and, like this blog, this opportunity gave me the chance to speak about my beautiful Daughter and hope that in some small way it will help someone else. Secondly, I used to go to these kind of things, back before my life imploded. I used to to eat them up. Learning is fun! I have a folder full of qualifications and certificates from training days and the like that I’ve never used but have collected in my travels. Third reason was that it gave me a boost of self worth and a timely reminder of my value. Which we all need every now and then, don’t we?

Overwhelmingly it was a positive experience for me. Although the only public speaking I have done in over a decade was at the wedding I went to eighteen months ago I was confident I could do it based on my long since past days at the Australian Theatre for Young People when I was sixteen and my desire to get it done. I was hoping to tap into a different head space, than my present day to day one, and I was able to manage that.

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Maybe I managed it a little too well. For a little while I completely forgot why I was there. As I said, I’ve been to plenty of similar events where I was on the other side of the podium. As I listened to the other speakers I found myself really getting into their words. I looked around the room and listened to the questions the attendees asked and I could have been one of them. My tertiary qualifications are probably similar. I didn’t feel out of place or uncomfortable or intimidated – which I thought maybe I would.

Son Number Two came with me and as he sat next to me listening to Ian Carter, CEO of Anglicare, speak to Anglicare’s Community Perceptions Report 2014: Family and Domestic Violence (which you can find here) I could see him reacting physically, flinching as he heard the sobering statistics. When Daughter Number One was very young she attended a few protests with me. Not a bad thing. My now seventeen year old Son Number Two hearing some hard facts on Domestic Violence – NOT A BAD THING!

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Before, during and after the Angelhands event my glorious friends surrounded me with their love and the positivity and extent of their confidence in me was truly humbling, as always. When I don’t believe in me I believe in them and their belief in me and that has gotten me through on many days. I have been thinking about the girl I was who won the scholarship to ATYP and the one in the photo above. The young woman I was when my Daughter Number One died and the woman I have become since then; the person I am today. I am all of them and she is all of me and then some. I am more than the sum of my parts and the ones who truly love me have taught me that. There are vast expanses of myself yet to discover and explore, and beautiful oasis’ to revisit and I treasure the ones who value me enough to be part of the odyssey that is me. 

A couple of weeks ago I had a message from Baby Daddy to let me know that in a couple of years he will be having Daughter Number Two undergo a cosmetic dental procedure to rid her of the ‘unsightly’ gap between her teeth. You know, like the one I have? He has no idea who I am and all the ways that Daughter Number Two is a part of me and I of her. That however hard he tries he cannot erase me from her. Given the approaching season I’ve also been reflecting on the fact that Baby Daddy told Daughter Number Two that Santa was not real the year she turned six. He told her because she had found her presents. This pains me terribly, still, two years later. She’s eight now and still young enough to believe in that magic. But instead she chooses her own Christmas presents and she knows she is getting an xbox this year. Which is super great because as it happens she is meant to be spending Christmas with me but I can’t compete with the xbox buying and cannot deprive her of the Christmas morning she is already looking forward to. Despite all of it I am never unaware that Baby Daddy is her father and as much a part of her as I am. We are all medleys. 

I have been very raw lately. Small things rubbing against me like I am an open wound. Not unexpected with major life changes. We cannot stand still, we are always evolving. It is not always comfortable. The speaking opportunity given to me by Angelhands would not have happened if I had stayed where I was. I woke the other night when the soft, velvety head of my darling friend Frankie gently rested on my thigh. I had been having a nightmare and he woke me from it. How does he know? He always knows. As I gave Frankie my heartfelt thanks My One True Love rolled over and wrapped me in his arms, holding me tight. 

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(Frankie and me 🙂 ) 

I was thinking that ‘raw’ and ‘roar’ sound the same. 

raw

3.
(of an emotion or quality) strong and undisguised.
“he exuded an air of raw, vibrant masculinity”

They definitely fit me! Raw can also mean unfinished, which I am. And when I think of it like that it no longer feels like a negative.

roar

  • a loud, deep sound uttered by a person or crowd, generally as an expression of pain, anger, or approval.
    “he gave a roar of rage”
    synonyms: shout, bellow, yell, cry, howl, shriek, scream, screech

     
    antonyms: whisper
  • a loud outburst of laughter.
    “her remarks brought a roar of laughter from the old man”
    synonyms: guffaw, howl, hoot, shriek

    I do that; I laugh loudly. My One True Love is one of the funniest people I have ever known and my children are often hilarious, as are my friends, so I am lucky that I get to laugh a lot. And I’m thinking it’s time to do some more roaring, of all different kinds. Because there are different kinds of raw and different kinds of roaring and they are no more or less than each other. They just are. 

    So here I am and this is me! 

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    RAW AND ROARING! 

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A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE. 

  I had applied to spend more time with Daughter Number Two. In the seven months leading up to the court date I had moved twice, once interstate. My access to Internet and other resources has been sketchy. The months between Daughter Number One’s birthday and the anniversary of her death have always been an uphill battle for me and this year her father’s suicide the day after the anniversary completely crippled me. For these reasons and others I was unprepared for a hearing. No subpoenas issued or documents filed on my behalf. No evidence to rely on at hearing. I had been asking Baby Daddy for an adjournment for a good two months at least. Each request was met with silence.

For perspective; there have been no other adjournments and nothing would change the situation for Daughter Number Two as it stood in the interim. But he did not even respond to my requests because, I guess, he didn’t have to.  Baby Daddy has had a fully funded Legal Aid solicitor for the entire proceedings. I was funded, two weeks before the hearing, for a solicitor to negotiate and for a mediation. I had also been seeking a mediation for months. One had been agreed to at a community agency but the appointment was after the hearing date. The one funded by Legal Aid did not even get to the date setting stage.

The solicitor representing me had asked at the mention preceding the hearing for an adjournment and was told that the issue would have to be argued on the hearing date.  On the day of the hearing I turned up to find Baby Daddy nestled between his Legal Aid funded solicitor and HIS LEGAL AID FUNDED BARRISTER. The matter went in for mention. The solicitor representing me asked the magistrate to stand it down to allow negotiations to continue and said I would be seeking an adjournment if negotiations were unsuccessful. The Barrister representing Baby Daddy said that they were vehemently opposed to an adjournment and the magistrate concurred.     The ‘negotiations’ involved my solicitor being told that if I didn’t concede to all Baby Daddy’s terms the Barrister would put me in the witness box and tear me apart. Baby Daddy’s terms were less than the recommendations of the family report writer but this was the same reporter who wrote that although there was no evidence to support the father’s claims, in the interest of minimising parental conflict we should just go along with him. That was my favourite part.  Baby Daddy has spent twelve months attacking and issuing subpoenas against me but not only me; also my former partner, his minor children and my two sons, one of whom is sixteen years old. He has been relentless. No one but me seemed to wonder at the omission of Daughter Number Two’s school and health records, which, if they actually supported his lofty claims would have seemed an obvious inclusion.

The solicitor representing me was very clear about the fact that if we returned  to the court room and she asked for an adjournment and it was formally denied from that point I would be on my own. The hearing would proceed from that moment with me representing myself, no documents to rely on, against a Barrister who was going to put me in the witness box and tear me apart. If there was a choice then I didn’t see it. How I felt was coerced, railroaded and hopeless. After years of psychological and emotional abuse from Baby Daddy there was a report writer saying I should ‘go along with him’ despite the lack of evidence to support what he was saying, to keep him sweet. And a legal system further validating him. There was no focus on fairness, due process or even what the whole farce was meant to be about; Daughter Number Two’s best interests.     Having spent time in many courts – Criminal as a juror, Supreme when my mother was contesting her father’s will against her five children, Children’s as a carer, Coroner’s as a mother, Family Court when my Daughter’s murderer’s mother who had had sexually assaulted him by having intercourse with him when he was thirteen was seeking contact with my sons; yep, I’ve seen them all – I can tell you for certain that the legal system is not about fairness. It is not about justice. It is mostly about who has the most cash to flash at legal practitioners. And possession is nine tenths of it.  I know, I know, most of you are sitting there thinking that what I’m saying can’t be right. That’s because IT ISN’T. It’s so many shades of WRONG. But that is the way it happened.

For the first four and a half years of Daughter Number Two’s life I cared for her on a daily basis while dealing with my own issues and looking after my sons who had issues of their own, my eldest with fairly high needs including seizures uncontrolled by medication. My marriage to Baby Daddy lasted eight months into Daughter Number Two’s life. When we were together he slept all day and watched DVD’s all night and I did everything else. In the latter years after separation he saw her three times a week, so long as I delivered her to him like a pizza and had packed her a fully stocked bag. And, you know, it wasn’t raining or anything. He did not have her overnight at all until two months before she went to live with him. For the first few years after separation his contact with Daughter Number Two entailed coming to my home, eating my food, watching my television and sleeping on my sofa all the time telling me how crap I was. During the course of our relationship he took tens of thousands of dollars from me, both prior to our marriage and after separation.

At the time I relocated Baby Daddy would not give me permission to take Daughter Number Two with me, I was desperately unhappy and could not continue as I had been. At the time I did, as I continue to do, the very best I could. And if I had my time over I would make the same decision again for that very reason. It was the very best I could do for all of my children at that moment.   

Fast forward to the last weekend. Daughter Number Two spent it with us. She is angry about the level of contact she now has with us. I understand that, I am angry too. She told me three separate times to ‘man up’ and fix it; tell Daddy that it needed to be more. She hit me three times also. Punching me in the chest as hard as she could. She does not understand.

Neither do I.

NO MATTER WHERE I ROAM. 

  
This time next week I will be thousands of kilometres from where I am now. I am travelling to attend a wedding. As I’ve said, I adore weddings! They are full of optimism, hope, faith and love. Because this is the wedding of two people I care deeply for it is even more special to me. 

While I am away for the weekend I’ll be meeting up in person with friends I have only spoken to online – one of my very favourite things to do! Making the virtual real! I am also going to spend time with other people – and animals – that I have loved for a long time now. And two plane trips each way! I love to fly! So I have lots to look forward to.  

   
Having lots to look forward to is handy because things have been quite hard for a little while now and the next week has more Baby Daddy induced trauma, none of which I am looking forward to at all. 

If home is where the heart is then it is both a blessing and a curse that bits of my heart lie everywhere, near and far, thanks to my gypsy soul. Bits of me that remain and live on in places I have been and people I love.  Even getting on a plane feels like home because in a strange and somewhat corny way when I am flying up there above the clouds I feel closer to my Daughter Number One. 

At the end of the day we all want a place we can lay our heads. Somewhere safe, secure and warm we can relax and be ourselves. Whether that is a person or a place or just a feeling of inner peace, it is something I am still working on. 

I guess I’ll know it when I find it. 

Safe onward travel x 

  

HOLLER IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN DOWN THE SAME ROAD.

This morning I received an email from the legal firm representing Baby Daddy in a little difference of opinion we are having. The email came from an underling of the actual representative, who bluntly asked for Daughter Number One’s birth date with just her first name. There were a few things that bothered me about this. One was that this person is a stranger to me and did not know my daughter so I felt less familiarity and more respect would have been appropriate. Secondly, Baby Daddy and I actually got married on what would have been Daughter Number One’s 17th birthday. I met him less than twelve months after she died; even if he couldn’t remember which birthday I married him on he knew how old she was when she died. So, you know, do the math, genius. But he WOULDN’T. EVER. BE BOTHERED. Because all she ever was to him was an opportunity for exploitation; whether he was throwing her death at me to score points in an argument or spending the compensation money received from her death. He is a class act

 

It’s funny the things that go through your head. Aside from everything else I lost in that car, on that day, there were the other incidental things that I kept discovering as time went on. My little niece’s shoes. She lived with us at the time. Not her only shoes but a favourite pair. She is in high school now. Son Number Two’s comfort teddy blankie. The one he’d had since before he was born. That was a bit of a blow. Luckily I had a spare but although it was the same, it wasn’t the same. It hadn’t been as well loved, it wasn’t as worn and soft from use. For weeks afterwards looking for things and then realising. 

 

It is over a year now since my beloved Nana died. Even so, because she died during Easter last year it is almost as if I am now having a delayed reaction to the anniversary. I miss her. 

 

The other day facebook told me the police officer involved in the case was having a birthday. A few days before that it had been pictures of his son’s birthday that pictured him with both his son and daughter. Star Wars themed. Very cool. He’s not a police officer any more. He was very decent to me. He still is. We are facebook friends. I wish him well. Life is weird. 

 

Tonight I will spend time with the Love of My Life and a young friend from an older time as well as go to see more recent friends and meet their new four legged baby. If I’m very, very lucky I might be able to wrangle a motorbike ride, which would be just the therapy I need probably. That and the company. Just keep swimming, right? 

 

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Safe onward travel x 

 

Careless Whispers.

Baby Daddy has been extraordinarily well behaved while I have been here. We all knew that was never going to last. Yesterday he informs me that he has two sources feeding him information on my private life. Well, there’s a level of creepiness that’s hard to match. Over five years after we separated and with no relevance to shared parenting of Daughter Number Two this intense interest in my personal life is odd to say the least. Whoever the ‘sources’ are also must have no life of their own and what possible motivation?

Baby Daddy won’t tell me who his sources are – it is much more threatening to leave me thinking he has people spying on me. He says they were ‘well meaning’. Really? They ran to inform my ex-husband of something that was none of their business to share. There was no risk to Daughter Number Two. Anyone who knows either of us knows Baby Daddy has no concerns about my best interests. It was idle gossip at best and viciously malicious at worst. Baby Daddy says he won’t say who his sources are because he is not ‘a snitch’ ( he is, apparently, eight).

If both he and his ‘sources’ have not the courage to be transparent then that alone is a definitive sign that they are doing the wrong thing and don’t have the bollocks to back their actions. Small people, small minds, even smaller testicles.

Baby Daddy would have become aware eventually. It is not a secret; I have written about it here. The difference is that here it was in my own way, in my own time, by my own choice. That Baby Daddy was informed by his ‘sources’ is just something he is using to be threatening and intrusive with. It is something he would have twisted anyway. Baby Daddy says my Nana’s death prompted him to mention it. Wow. Another significant loss in my life compelled you to play power and control games and suggest you have people spying on me? Not everyone could make such a leap, but there you go.

It makes me mad when people mess with my freedoms, and my right to them. Luckily for me I find anger tremendously motivating. Life goes on.

Words don’t come easy.

“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” -Albus Dumbledore

I read the above quote on a posting by SocialJerk at www.socialjerk.wordpress.com. It made me feel neglectful that I’ve not checked in. So I’m here. Not that I have much to say. I am going through the motions at the moment, with my focus on Son Number Two’s upcoming 13th birthday. A teenager. Amazing. I’m keeping busy thinking of ways to make him feel especially special and give his day the gravity it deserves.

Even though I’ve not been here words have still been my lifeline. I have been talking to this guy serving in Iraq. He was telling me what music he likes to listen to. A lot of it was dance music. That made me feel old, mostly because none of it was familiar to me. It would have been, back in the day. You know, when I wasn’t OLD. Still, it is always interesting to hear someone talk about the music that has meaning for them.

More words, with pictures, over at http://tattoolit.com/, The Word Made Flesh. This blog showcases tattoos with literary meaning. Since all my tatts fall into that category it’s obviously a style I appreciate, and again, it is very cool to hear people’s stories. Makes me itch for more ink though. Luckily for my bank balance I don’t have any ideas that I’m passionate enough about at present to want them permanently adorning my body. I am still totally in love with the ones I already have,very meaningful, so don’t really feel the need to get another just for the sake of it. Nor do I feel the need to share them with the world by submitting a photo to The Word Made Flesh, although I thought about it. I’m glad other people have. Is it selfish to enjoy looking at other people’s body art while not wishing to share my own? Maybe, but there you go. I am a selfish cow at heart.

In other news Baby Daddy sent me an email this week in which he continued to write as if english was his second language. It took considerable willpower not to pen a viciously sarcastic reply. Which may have made me feel better, assuming he’d be able to understand it. I have been, it must be said, somewhat deflated. Not all my recent online experiences have been good ones. I’ve been lucky to make a few good friends from people I’ve met on internet dating sites. I’m always clear on what I’m looking for. I just don’t do mucking people about. When one of the friends I thought I’d made suggested sex a month ago I was surprised and disappointed.  To say I did not see it coming was somewhat of an understatement. Look, I am a grown up. And I like sex as much as the next girl, honest! But I definitely wasn’t offering it and had no idea he was after it. His proposition was an unpleasant surprise. Still, living in a glass house myself I’ll give anyone the benefit of the doubt. I thought I’d let the dust settle. I left him as a friend on facebook and as a contact on MSN Messenger. Then the other day I was on my Windows Live profile, which is connected to Messenger. It sometimes pops up with friend suggestions – friends of friends that you may like to add to your own list. Except amongst the suggested profiles was one with a photo of a woman’s spread labia. Pardon MSN Messenger? You are suggesting I make friends with what now? Random labia? After the initial double take I flicked open the suggestions page to find a naked woman’s torso gracing another profile. WTF? Where was this coming from? Oh dear reader, you know the answer. Yes, the same guy who’d suggested sex had obviously moved onto surer pastures. So so icky. I felt like taking a long hot shower. Obviously I deleted him from Messenger and fb, but the fact he has a teen-aged daughter and coaches girls soccer – ugh!! It left me feeling soiled. 

I guess the upside is that once upon a time I might have had sex with him, just because he was male and showed an interest. This pushed a lot of buttons for me in terms of objectification of women. Maybe the girls he is talking to are older than their profile pictures suggest and closer to his almost 50 years than to his daughter’s age? Perhaps they are excellent conversationalists and he is interested in their minds? It’s not as if this guy flaunted his choices in front of me, they were randomly thrown up by Messenger, but still. It is clear we are not kindred spirits.

While I was deleting people from fb I had a good clear out of those people I don’t actually interact with. Highschool acquaintances and the like, who just sat there on my friends list, or in my news feed and added nothing of colour to the fabric of my life. My friends list on facebook was under 50 anyway but I culled it down to 34. I don’t miss them. I am clearly an anti-social bitch. I can live with that.

Luckily, there are still the good guys. I saw Barry the cab driver this week. Ah Barry, my love, if only you were single and 20 years younger. I’m also heading out next weekend to see my friend play with his band. In terms of comfort zones this will be pretty far out of mine. My friend will be on stage for the best part of the evening, which will leave me to my own devices. Still, he’s only recently joined this band and it may be my only opportunity to see him play before I relocate, which makes it worth it to me. I will be taking my camera for support though!

Huh. I guess I had more to say than I thought. A mixed bag. C’est la vie.

When the Dealing’s Done.

Sigh. So, I’ve calmed down now, somewhat. It wasn’t easy, mind, with a follow-up call from Baby Daddy where he assured me that Daughter Number Two comes first with him with nary a trace of irony. Still, I think I was most angry with myself anyway. After all, I’m the one who had a baby with a man-child. I am privileged to know some high quality fathers and to know of others. I know they exist. I get angry at myself that choices I’ve made, to settle for less, have had such a flow on effect to my children. The internet yells ‘Doh!’. Yes, I know, it is rather obvious. Now. Just that I’d not realised how much I was settling before, because I’d never thought about what I deserved or believed I was worthy of better.

For far too long I have aimed too low and accepted too little. Baby Daddy behaves the way he does because I have let him. I am a lot better on this than I was but I shouldn’t have called him to find out when he was next planning to see Daughter Number Two. It is his responsibility to make his arrangements. I was thinking that knowing his intentions would make it easier to plan my own week ahead, but actually I can just plan my own week and any adjustments will need to be made by Baby Daddy.

Other people will be who they are. My job is deciding what I will or won’t accept.

 

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