In the News Today…and Every Day…

17 Jun

He was an LAUSD elementary school teacher without anything negative on his work record. She was in hiding. He found her. He killed her.

Those poor children.

Video

Patrick Stewart on Domestic Violence

31 May

http://www.upworthy.com/a-brave-fan-asks-patrick-stewart-a-question-he-doesnt-usually-get-and-is-given-a-beautiful-answer

Patrick Stewart … can he get any more beautiful, more amazing, more worthy of awe? I am not a Star Wars fan … but I am a Stewart fan!

Link

“How to Cure a Feminist”

27 May

“How to Cure a Feminist”

This spoken word artist gave me the chills. Brilliant. Disturbing. So so smart.

Maybe if everyone were to hear this, people would stop asking, with a dismissive snear “Why does she stay?” “What did she do to deserve it? It takes two to tango, right?” “She must have sought him out, chosen him somehow;” “She must like being treated like that…” etc etc etc …

Really, at the core, the question consistently seems to be “What is wrong with her?” … and not “What is wrong with him?”

She helps us see what can break a strong woman … wow, just wow.

Crap

12 Apr

My ex used to complain about his dad. He had a lot to say about him. His dad lied. Lies. His dad beat his older sister and brother. His dad had them living in fear. He still feared his dad. His dad was a user, seeking always what he could get from others. He hated his dad, said he couldn’t wait until he died. He also said, sometimes, “poor Daddy.” And, close to when he attacked me, he said he admired his dad’s disciplinary techniques. Actually, that was the day before he tried to kill me. Scared the shit out me.

My ex also complained about his dad and his dad’s crap. Stuff. Old, dusty, used crap that he kept around his house and made a big show of giving as gifts to people. He gave me two old chipped plates once. He shipped a box of old used toys and random items to us for the kids for Xmas and then made a big show of being hurt when my ex didn’t thank him.

My ex hated that about his dad. How cheap he was. The shit he gave as gifts, with grandiosity, expecting deep gratitude from others, expecting indebtedness.

When my kids come home from their monitored visits with their dad, they usually bring home stuff … often items I left behind when I fled our home. 

Crap.

Old McDonald’s Happy Meal toys collected during our time together. A purple and silver case for glasses. Old bath toys, worn and perhaps even with still a little dried out mold in the creases. 

On the occasions that he has bought them things, he demeans them. He gave them each some electronic bugs for Xmas, new ones. The kids came home calling the gift “crappy” and “cheap.” I spoke to them. It is not ok to speak like that, to be ungrateful for a gift, to insult someone’s having given it.

But Daddy said it, it is how Daddy described the gift, they said.

My ex and his father. So broken. So deeply sadly broken inside, so vulnerable and scared that they have to give crap or call what they give crap so that should anyone insult a gift, should anyone actually be ungrateful, they can retain their sense of power. We gave crap consciously. We give crap and don’t give a shit.

My kids, being kids, love the gifts. They don’t care.

I wonder if he sees it, though, my ex. I wonder if he sees how he is his father. Broken, sad, violent, dangerous men.

Vomiting Up the Bites

29 Mar

I threw up Friday. It was after my younger son went to sleep … my older son followed me into the bathroom. I tried to send him away … it was violent retching … but he stayed with me, he stroked my back. I believe that already he has all of the kindness, empathy, affection, and concern that his father lacks…

But this isn’t about him.

I threw up Saturday. Lots. I threw up Sunday. On and off. And I threw up Monday. I missed work because of it. Could not imagine going to work because there would be no place to throw up privately, and my students were likely to think either that I am bulimic or that I am pregnant.

I threw up Tuesday, too, but went to school anyways.

So, that is what happens when I take bite after bite after bite and keep it all in. Sigh.

Smaller Bite 2

9 Nov

It has been a good couple of weeks (well, month) and a bad month / couple of weeks. If I ever start posting regularly, I will get to the bad part – a new judge in family court has changed the status of my ability to protect myself and my children from good to frighteningly fragile.

But, right now, I am grateful for another Obama term and for the fact that American voters showed their / our disgust for the various and sundry politicians who sought to redefine rape or reduce women’s rights in some drastic and frightening ways. Go country! Yeah!

The re-election of Obama, however, takes me back to four years ago. Four years ago, I will still with my ex. We voted together. We celebrated together. 

Warning – if you are a relative reading this (mom?), you might be a bit freaked / grossed out by what comes next. I apologize….

What I am recalling, though, is the evening of the inauguration of President Obama. That evening in January was the last time that I have been – wow, I was going to write intimate, but there was no intimacy, not even sexual intimacy, that night – that night he fucked me. And as loud and gross and unsexy as that sounds, that was what it was.

It was not making love. 

We were watching the TV, sitting on our king sized bed – on opposite sides of the bed. He looked at me and moved toward me. No words. No tenderness. Just movement.

I was so desperate for affection, though, that it was enough for me … sort of.

He kissed me. By then, I hated that. Hated being kissed by him. But I tried not to admit it to myself because it was too depressing. He undressed me.

But, though intellectually I missed intimacy, this was not what I missed. Not this. So my body demonstrated what I could not say – what my body had been demonstrating for months, for years. I was dry as a bone. My body rejected him.

So, he spat on me. 

I recall that with such deep disgust and repulsion. He spat on me so that he could get what he wanted.

He got what he wanted. And it was so so sad.

It was not rape. But it was close. 

I wish my memory of the inauguration of Obama were not tinged with the memory of being spat upon and used. But, that memory reminds me of where I was and how far I have come. That, indeed, is reason to celebrate.

Smaller bites …

17 Sep

Hey there. So, I have not posted in a long while. My new job started about a month ago … for which I get up at 4:30 in the morning (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) so that I can pack lunches, make breakfast, dress the kids, shower and dress me, and get some grading or prepping done (usually the grading and prepping come first). It wipes me out so deeply that my brain is chopped liver by the time I get home so I drag myself through dinner, checking my kids’ homework, baths/showers, and bedtime and very often pass out with the kids when I put them to bed. Those times I push myself to stay up to prep or grade I get about 20 minutes of work done in 2 hours. I just don’t have the endurance of mind and body I did 20 years ago! Sigh.

So, this blog? Pretty much the bottom of my priorities list. But, self-care seems to be getting down there, too, and since I see this as self-care, I am going to force myself to keep writing. But, in smaller bites, now and then.

Moments in my present life bring to mind moments of my life with him. Painful moments. Or sad moments. Or confusing moments. Brief. Flashes of memory.

Smaller Bite One

Packing lunches. I packed lunches this morning. It was light out because it is a holiday today for us but I am sending them to camp. I need a day to work. I need a day to be alone. So, I packed lunches when it was light out.

Lately, though, I have been packing lunches in the dark. Alone. Peaceful. First one up. Heat up the pasta or the rice to go into the superhero thermos. Ice and water in the drinking bottles. Chocolate covered oreos for one, M&M cookies for the other. Dried seaweed for one. Peaches for both. I could pack carrots, but they just get thrown out. Chips. Goldfish. Forks. Napkins with notes. I love you. Have a good day. I am so proud of you.

Before I started packing lunches, he did. He always packed the lunches. Only him. He would sit at the dining table. Kids eating instant dino egg oatmeal or cold cereal. He on the other side of the table. Mixing tuna and mayo for a sandwich. Bagging cookies. Bagging fruit. Packing it all up. For his audience.

He said it was so that they knew what was in their lunches, so they felt they participated and thus would be more likely to eat it. I think he needed to be watched, seen, most of all, celebrated for his work. His work had to be visible. Daddy does this for you. Daddy loves you. Mommy is tired, no, she can’t join us, let’s be nice, let’s let her sleep in.

But I was not sleeping. Never. Not in the morning. I was curled up in a ball in pain. I think I told you this already, right?

My absence was part of his performance. Daddy makes lunches. Mommy sleeps. Daddy loves you. Mommy is tired.

A bite, every day. A wound. A little bit more of me ripped off.

But, I make the lunches now. Alone. When it is still dark outside and the boys are still asleep. No audience (well, but you now). I fry the bacon. I make the sunny side up egg. Sourdough toast for one. Whole wheat with cream cheese for the other. Sometimes oatmeal. Sometimes dim sum bbq pork buns. Sometimes soup. It is safe and quiet and I am free, not locked in a self I no longer recognize or a room I fear to leave.

Smaller bites do heal, but you have to beat away the beast.

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