Tag Archives: whiplash

I survived. I am happy. I am thriving. I am still healing.

A year ago today I posted this…

On my way to work this morning while riding my motorcycle I rear ended a semi truck. I was driving in commuter traffic and the semi suddenly stopped, locking up its brakes and fishtailing in front of me. I quickly ran out of stopping distance and drove into the back of the semi trailer going probably 15 miles an hour. I shattered my right forearm and my left arm is broken as well. I have a mild concussion but I got very lucky I have a long road with my right arm but I will be okay. The ambulance driver said my gear saved me from a worse fate. Responding to texts and answering phone calls is not easy right now. Please have patience with me.

————————-

A year ago today, my life was forever changed in a horrible accident. I remember the truck braking in front of me, I remember the truck’s paint two inches from my face, and I remember waking up on the side of the freeway screaming at the top of my lungs facing my mangled right arm. I don’t remember trying to stop or being ejected from my motorcycle. I remember the ambulance ride where I begged for pain meds because I was losing consciousness. I remember watching my friend arriving thinking it was minutes later only to realize I’d been out of it for hours. I remember the shocked look on her face when my family hung up on her when she tried to tell them I was in the emergency room. I remember seeing a friend from work coming to collect my work badge and deliver my final paycheck but it is only a fleeting memory. And then I remember spending weeks and weeks on a couch, either in horrible pain or in a drug induced blur. Then on my birthday, a mere 10 days after my accident, I went to work at a new job – delaying my recovery by months just to keep my family fed and housed.

My ex has focused on making my life as difficult as possible over the past year.  He has tried numerous times to take away my children, only to be told by the court that he’s a fool for trying.  He’s attempted to extort money, only to be responded to with court rulings that are clear that the money is not owed to him.  He’s dragging the divorce through the mud trying to do everything he can to hurt me, only he’s the one that is going to hurt when it’s over because I have moved on and I will win this war.

Yes, I wasn’t going that fast and I was able to post on Facebook that night (with text to speech and help from a friend) so it couldn’t have been that bad – right? I had no idea the long road I was facing. It has been a year full of battles. I’m still suffering some effects. The mild concussion I was diagnosed with turned into an eight month sanity battle. I often spoke and thought gibberish. I had many bouts with PTSD. I was exhausted. I ended up losing my new job. I had to fight to see my kids at all. I was in pain. I was suicidal. My family never came to see me, never offering to help in any way, and only texted me a couple of times to check on me because they cannot find it in themselves to accept a gay daughter who is divorcing a man who mistreated her. One of my dearest best friends could never understand the impact this accident had on me, so I had to walk away from our friendship after twenty years. The family that took me in after my accident, and took care of me for the next five months, deserves so much of my gratitude for helping me with not only the intimate care I required but the mental health care that truly is the reason I am here today but they have moved on with their lives and I am not a part of it anymore. They watched me suffer horrible pain and helped minimize it as much as they could, monitoring my meds carefully, dealt with having two extra kids around, found ways to feed me even when my body refused food, helped me in so many ways I cannot even come close to listing them all here. I wish I could thank them today for being the primary reason I survived.

But I am here. I am alive. I SURVIVED. I am ready to turn a new page and move on from this dark past. I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I’ve lost almost 60 pounds since my accident so I feel good. My strength is returning. I get to spend time with my kiddos every single day which I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. I have a fantastic landlord and dear friend who has helped me through some rough times. I’d be homeless without her. My chosen family helped transport me to see my kids when I was unable to drive, helped me clean and move into my home, and helped me come through my darkest days – saving my life more times than they know. I have so many friends who have helped me to see that even though I’ve become estranged from my family, due to their biases, that I have a chosen family and that I am loved. I love all of you and I am so grateful to have each of you in my life.

Most significantly, I have found my real soul mate. She is the most amazing woman who has seen me at my best, and at my worst, and still keeps showing up. I am happier now than ever because she is in my life. She is the yang to my yin. I love her boys as if they were my own and I am looking forward to having her in my life for the rest of it.

Advertisements

Today Was a Great Day

Tomorrow should be even better…

My kiddos both had good days today.  We didn’t have any arguments, they smiled and laughed often.  We had a great family dinner and enjoyed each others company.

My ex has been accusing me of being the sole cause of my children’s poor behavior in school and at his home.  Since he has them directly before school and when they are at his house, this makes sense right that their behavior when not in my care is my fault?  Uh no.  Hey jackass…  When the kids misbehave for you, it’s you not me.

I am so ready to be divorced from him.  He is vengeful and bitter and angry and scared.  So he has taken me to court four times in he past five months.  He has lost every single hearing because he is asking for things that fall outside of precedence.  He and his father want to take every penny I have because I had the gall to want out of an unhappy marriage while being the breadwinner.  Unfortunately for him, since I am the one that spent all that time earning my degree and career, I get to keep it and he gets to go grow up at almost 40.  He claims I made him give up his career and that our financial struggles were my fault not at all related to his failure to provide a fucking penny to the family or over five years.  Total lies.  I begged him to find work.  So now after four court hearings where the judge has repeatedly ruled directly against his wishes, he has filed an appeal to be heard tomorrow.  His lawyer typed up a nine page request for revision that said how the commissioner fucked everything up, how he should have more alimony, how he should have child support, how I don’t have the kids as much as the actual factual math shows, how I should pay for his personal debts before we pay community debts with the few remaining community dollars, and how I should be held in contempt for paying him 12 hours late one time.  He also submitted a divorce settlement proposal which contradicts every ruling as if I might even consider agreeing to any of it.  I’d rather pay for a trial than go with his lunacy.  Like I would even glimpse at considering giving up my time with my kids and nearly half my salary when I have more time than he does to spend with them, through an established routine, and the courts have repeatedly stated through four court orders now that he has a sufficient income without any more money coming from me and what he is getting won’t last very long.  Time to grow up you drunk, lazy, asshole.

Lose some weight, take some anger management classes, go see a therapist who will help you come to terms with being the actual cause of the marriage failing not the ex wife who stuck with you for fifteen agonizing years.  Plus get over that I am gay.  Suck it up. I was raised by homophobes.  It wasn’t something I was allowed to fathom.  I’ve always liked women, I just didn’t know it because I wasn’t able to discover who I was.  I was forced into a box and I did my best but the walls failed and the world out here makes a hell of a lot more sense than that box ever did.

Fingers crossed that I win tomorrow.  If I do, I expect to be divorced within a month or so.  We will offer an immediate settlement that matches what the court has given him so far.  Nothing more.  Because fuck him and his cunt father.

My lawyer did an amazing job citing case law and precedence in her rebuttal that just destroys anything he tried to stand behind as a reason for the appeal.  Sure its possible I will lose tomorrow which would be horrifying but I am hugely optimistic.  Even his own lawyer hates him and thinks he is a trite fool who will fail and end up with less for telling the court they are wrong for ruling along side precedence using real math.

My World is Looking Up

I’ve been unemployed for the past couple of months.  It sucks.  I had grown accustomed to paying my bills and still having some money to spend on the things I wanted.  I filed for unemployment almost immediately but the wonderful State of Oregon took their sweet time processing my claim.  All of a sudden, I had $10 in my pocket and nothing in the bank and no hope in sight for any kind of paycheck.  It was scary.  It wasn’t until the fourth week that they finally approved me for unemployment and sent me a weekly pittance check compared to what my income usually is.  I was embarrassed to ask my friends for help because most of them are strapped for cash too.  So I held my breath, kept my wits in check, clutched onto every cent I could, and hoped the state money would carry me through until I finally found a job.

I was too ashamed to use the food bank so I quit eating when my kids weren’t here.  I wanted to conserve food for their dinners and breakfasts.  Since losing my job in October, I’ve lost twenty pounds.  I’ve been too ashamed to use any of the food banks because I should have done a better job saving my money for this type of rainy day and I should have donated more when I had money in my pocket.  A neighbor heard me discussing my lack of funds and grocery bags full of food appeared on my porch.  I cried for hours in humble humility and thanks.  For Thanksgiving, I hosted a potluck and invited all of my amazing friends.  I gained three pounds that week because they all left their leftovers for me and the kids – and they needed to be eaten before they went bad.  It was one of the best holidays I’ve ever celebrated.  So full of fun and laughter and food.  The food in my stomach gave me a new sort of power over my life.  It sounds odd to say it like that but feeling well fed really does change a person.

It didn’t surprise me that my first interview after Thanksgiving was a success and I’ve been shortlisted with only one other person for the position.  The second interview landed me an offer within days.  I’m now in a position where after being unemployed and starving for two months to having potentially competing offers.  The first job is a full-time permanent position with massive benefits and a huge leap into an industry that is nearly impossible to break into.  The second job, with the offer in hand, is a contract position that will last a minimum of six months.  In my field, 95% of the positions are contract so a full-time permanent position is highly coveted.  The second job is also twice as far away and during commute hours, that’s not going to be an exciting thing.  So I’ve decided to accept the contract position and pursue the permanent one.  For those of you who haven’t worked contract positions, it’s the same as a permanent position now-a-days just with an expiration date.  I earn money through a W-2, the company I work for deducts taxes from my paycheck, and I’m usually offered a company provided benefits package.

So now, after almost a year of hell.  My world is looking up.  I will soon have money in my pocket again, I’ve learned how to appreciate the things that I have and not worry about the things I don’t have, I’ve learned how to stand up for myself, I’ve stopped trying to make enemies out of my past and instead focus on the positive prospect of the future.  I’ve learned to love with open arms, not only the people around me but I’ve had to learn to love myself too.  I have amazing kids, a nice home, a job I can be proud of, lots of loving friends, and my world is falling back together after being broken for so long.

So here’s my parting words for today…  If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If you’re hurting, let someone know – having someone nearby is sometimes the best medicine.  If you’re broke, keep looking for the break in the clouds – keep pursuing work, don’t give up. If you’re not happy with who you are, change yourself – no one else can change you except you.  Don’t let someone else’s choices become your choices – decide for yourself how you would like your world to be and pursue it.  I had to learn to accept that not everyone sees the world the way I do and that’s okay, but I don’t have to live the way they dictate.  I can do things my own way and if I lose a friend or family member over it, that is their choice to not accept that I am different from who they want me to be.

She Doesn’t Trust Me – And I Don’t Blame Her

My daughter told me last night she doesn’t trust me.  I don’t blame her even one bit.  We were talking last night about her wanting to sleep on her new futon instead of her wonderful bed and the conversation got pretty deep.  I reminded her that she can tell me anything she wants.  She hesitated then said, “Mom, I don’t trust you.  I don’t know why but I just don’t.”  She clearly was scared to death that I was going to lose it on her but instead I told her I wasn’t surprised.  Here’s my reasoning…

A year and a half ago, my marriage failed.  I knew it, my husband didn’t.  For six months, I tried to restart my flame but it was out.  Not even flickering, totally cold, OUT.  I was done but I hadn’t quit yet.  I tried taking trips with my ex, I tried having more sex, I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked.  My heart was done even if my head wasn’t.  Around the sixth month I finished my Master’s degree and I began to find other things to occupy my time.  I went out with friends, I worked longer hours, and I avoided my husband.  This whole time, my kids could see that something was wrong between us but it really wasn’t unusual for us to fight or ignore each other.  Their mom was changing into someone they didn’t recognize.

Then I met a woman who became the center of my attention with the exception of my children.  They have always come first. I often had them come to her house to hang out at birthday parties or just to hang out.  She and her family came to our house for a number of social visits.  I was changing even more because having a friend who I spent a lot of time with was a new concept in our house.  My ex had chased everyone else away and my kids got used to me not having many friends. Especially not having friends I hung out with on a regular basis outside of Girl Scouts.  Then I fell in love with this friend, and she with me (See My First Girlfriend post) and I changed even more.  I was suddenly very happy but still avoiding their dad. This was weird for them.

Then I wrecked my motorcycle and had to move in with my friend and her family.  My kids would come stay with me at their house regularly but it was weird.  I was heavily medicated, I was in a lot of pain, I had to be helped with basic things like going to the bathroom.  I was no longer their strong willed, independent mother.  I was an invalid that they loved but weren’t sure what to do with.

Then I healed my broken bones and my broken head and changed even more because I am a survivor.  I had to fight to be where I am and I’m not going to back down for anyone.  I am strong willed but in a different way.  It’s less about how awesome my job is or how much money I make and more about the inner strength I had to build to win the battle over my body.  Different things in life are important to me now.

So I told my daughter, “I’m not surprised.”  And I think her chin hit her mattress.  I went on to say, I am a different person than I used to be.  I’m changing every day.  I think differently, I act differently, I now like girls instead of boys, I am completely different with one exception – you and your brother.  The two of you have always been and will always be the most important thing to me.” She nodded and added a quiet – yup.  Then I talked about how her dad is the same guy he’s always been.  He lives in the same house, with the same attitude, he does things the same way he always has, and he probably always will.  You know what to expect from your dad, you don’t know what to expect from me.  And she looked at me like, wow I hadn’t thought of it that way.  I let her know it was perfectly acceptable for her to question whether or not to trust me since I was basically a new person to her.  And I thanked her for telling me and asked her to let me know if I ever do something that doesn’t make sense or if she has any questions for me.

I feel like a better mom today because I finally figured out what was bothering her.  We had a great day today.  She talked openly with me about her boyfriend and some other stuff that happened at school.  Today was a good day.  I’m hoping tomorrow will be just as positive and wonderful.  Happy Mom Day!

What Was I Thinking?

I feel like an idiot today.  Last year was the year of doggie heartbreak.  We had an old lady dog who was running out of time so I went and picked up a puppy from the pound. Turns out he was a hemophiliac (a bleeder).  We spent more than two weeks trying to get his neuter site to stop bleeding before our veternarian was successful.  Three days after we got him all fixed up he jumped out of my husband’s arms and bled into his spine.  My kids went to bed with a new puppy and woke up without one.  It was horrifying for my tenderhearted son.  He would spend hours just sitting in the living room holding the puppy’s ashes and crying.  I waited a few months before purchasing a pure bred Cairn terrier puppy – I wanted to make sure that my heart was ready and that we had a dog without genetic conditions.  A few months later we lost our old lady dog and that was heartbreaking.  She was an amazing pup and she had a good run.

So now I’m divorcing the puppy dropper and I got custody of the dogs.  After all, they were all brought into the house by me. I’ve been in my new home for about a month and a half and my old man dog is starting to get tired.  He’s having vision issues too.  He is skittish and hides all day long at the top of the stairs out of reach of the now year and a half old cairn puppy.  The puppy needs someone to wear her down so I’ve been wondering if a potty trained, couple year old, third dog would be a good choice.

On Saturday, my friend was telling me about this male dog who was going to the pound if he didn’t find a home.  Shit.  My stupid bleeding heart called the owner and said bring him here, we will have a puppy play date and see how it goes.  “B” is his name and he is sweet as pie.  In fact, he’s sitting in my lap as I type because apparently he’s part cat.  He’s a chihuahua-pug-weenie dog mix and he’s quite the lover.  Unfortunately, my old man dog is not a fan and is now pissed off at me.

Oh and the worst part, my son is in love with “B”.  So if I can’t get the old man dog on board with “B”, I will have to rehome “B” and my son will be heartbroken.  Ugh.

My girlfriend laughed and said you do realize that if we ever decide to move in together we’d have five dogs and two cats between us?  Holy crap.  We’d have to dedicate a section of the house just for the dogs and cats to live in.  Maybe even get them their own King sized bed so that we can sleep at night.  I proposed building a doggie jungle gym in the bonus room of the house I’m renting which might be neat to look at but we all know that doggies love cuddles and you can’t cuddle if you’re in another room.  Ugh again.  But you know we just started dating, I’m pretty sure moving in is not in our immediate future and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  Gotta go take them all outside again…

My Angry Daughter

My daughter is 12 and she’s mad at me.  She can’t put it into words though and it’s frustrating both of us that she doesn’t understand what’s happening.  She says she’s not mad.  She’s pretty insistent actually but as her mom, it’s clear to me that she is unhappy with the world that has been chosen for her.  She and I were very close up until last year before the marriage ended and I came out to her.  She would tell me everything.  Every little detail of her day.  Who her friends were being mean to, who her “boyfriend” is (because at 12 are they really boyfriends?), we talked about what made her happy, things she needed or wanted, her clothing frustrations, ANY THING she wanted to talk about I was there for her.

After my accident, I had to go live with friends for a while so that I could heal.  I couldn’t have my soon to be ex husband helping me with the intimate tasks I needed help with such as in the shower, to get dressed, to use the facilities…  He wasn’t allowed or invited to participate in helping me. During those months that I was away, I still saw my kids regularly and had them come stay with me for a week or so at a time. I didn’t miss out on their lives, but I wasn’t living in their primary home any more. This made the divorce a reality faster than it would have been had I remained intact and hadn’t had to move out so suddenly.

My kids were rightfully confused and angry that their dad and I were breaking up.  Then to add the “horror” that mom likes girls now, just made the problems that much more compounded.

My son is very tenderhearted and quickly forgave his dad and I for ending the marriage.  He focuses on making sure I don’t hurt myself by doing too much and telling me he loves us both very much.  He understands we aren’t going to be married anymore and it took a few months for him to realize that he isn’t the reason our marriage failed.  He struggles more with being verbally beaten on by his sister than his mom being gay and his parents’ marriage ending.

My daughter though is MAD.  She yells at everyone and everything.  She likes to target her tenderhearted brother because he’s an easy target.  She hides under her headphones or behind a computer screen.  She won’t talk to me anymore.  All I can get out of her when I try is “I’m fine”.  She runs into her dad’s arms when I drop them off as if it was torture to be with me.  I’ve told her it hurts my feelings when she treats me like crap.  Her face shows sympathy for a moment then shuts off like it’s what I deserve.  Her father, my ex, outed me to her in one of his tirades before my accident.  He yelled some obscenities including a rant about how I like women now in front of her.  I was forced to come all the way out to her after things had calmed down so that she had facts and not just her dad’s angry words in her head.  Her response when I was done, “it’s ok mom, I love you.”  Two weeks later I had my accident and that’s when we started to lose our close knit bond. I believe she still loves me, I see the compassion appear too often to just assume she doesn’t.

A couple days ago we had a blow up.  I didn’t yell, quite the opposite, I cried.  Her brother was reminding her that I had asked them to do something and she went off on him like a roman candle.  He started crying.  I jumped in and defended my son.  I usually try and force him to deal with it on his own because he needs to build a thicker skin and stand up for himself but sometimes she’s too much for him to overcome and the constant beratement he had suffered throughout the day had taken a toll on his will power.  I had talked with her a few weeks earlier during a brief moment of closeness about how my family has chosen to disapprove of me so I have chosen to not be a part of their life.  So in this moment of one sibling treating the other like utter shit, I stepped in.  I told my daughter she had no right to talk to my son/her brother that way. She only gets one brother in this world and she needs to learn to appreciate him or one day when she needs him, he won’t be there for her.  I told her that I was the one that was picked on as a kid.  I was her brother so to speak.  And now I have no family because I chose to walk away from them.  This struck home with her.  She could see through my eyes that this is not a path she wanted to follow.  That she didn’t want to lose her brother, her constant companion, now or later in life.  And for the past few days, she has been a very good sister.  She’s still mad at me.  I don’t know how I’m going to reach through that wall of anger but I can say, I’m going to keep loving her as if she isn’t angry, I’m going to focus on giving her what she needs – not what she wants, and I’m going to do the best I can to show her I’m still her mom.  Maybe someday she will come around and forgive me for changing everything she knew to trust.

Thinking About My Mom Today

I’ve lost many friends and family this past year and regardless of their disregard, I am thriving in their absence. They can feel pity for me all they want because they are too ignorant and self-absorbed to see that I am happier now than I have been in a very, very long time. They are missing out on the best parts of me and I’m only just getting started.

My relationship with my family will never be the same as it was.  I don’t know that I will ever forgive my sisters for what they did to try and destroy me.  But my mom is another story.  She clearly loves me but she doesn’t know how to love me right now. She is scared for me and I think she’s a little scared of me.  I am perfectly happy in my own skin for the first time in my life. I love who I am.  I’m happy and no one is going to make me go back to the life I once hated.  I am not afraid to be openly gay. The people in my life will either accept me for who I am or they won’t.  If they don’t like me, they can live their lives without me in it.  I’ve spent half my life trying to figure out what was missing and I’ve finally figured it out.  There’s no going back from inner peace.

I want to call her and tell her everything but in the long ago past when I’ve tried, she is clearly uncomfortable and I get to hear how many piano students she has in response. I don’t know how to reach her so I quit trying for now.  I’m hoping, in time, that she will come looking for me again.