The thing I don’t get about my husband

I love my husband. No, wait….I adore my husband. I have reason to. He is THE man.

I have said that in the lottery of men, I have won the jackpot. My girlfriends have called my husband the The Holy Grail of men. He’s a nice guy, he treats me like a queen. Heck, he’ll even refer to me as his queen on occasion. He loves me just the way I am. He gets me. He has no addictions or vices. He’s taken on my kids as his own and if you know my story, you know this is not your typical step-dad situation here. I have an adopted, special needs child, which means life can be chaos. The man accepts it all.

We love each other. We actually make people sick. We’ve been told that. Not in a mean way. But, in a nice way. We’ve been told by more than one of our friends that we are the epitome of what a relationship should be. We are “in love”, we are best friends and we totally and completely get each other.

Well……almost.

There is this one, itty, bitty thing that I really don’t get about my husband and it bothers me. A LOT.

My husband has naked women tattooed on him.

I don’t know how this happened or why he decided this should happen. It was before we met and like the real, fleshy women who came before my time, I really don’t feel like it’s something I want to know a whole lot about. However, now that I’ve compared it to real, fleshy women – I guess I wouldn’t understand if he was holding on to pictures of old, naked girlfriends either. Back to what I was saying….He has three of them. They are like pin-up girls. I guess his first tattoo was the Betty Page with devil horns on his right forearm. The second would’ve been the Roxie, on his left upper arm and then the last, which is a ah-MAZE balls, artistically speaking, but the worst from a feminist perspective, is this bondage chic on his lower right leg.

They normally don’t bother me in our day to day activities, and he is pretty good about trying to wear long sleeves and pants, but obviously you can’t do this year round or when you’re playing sports. So they’re times when I look down and think, “Geesh, honey – could you tuck your pornography away?” Like…when we’re hanging out with other people’s kids and I notice the kids noticing,  when he’s coaching one of the kids sports, when we’re swimming at our gym or in my Grandma’s swimming pool with the whole family, counseling sessions with Pickle, when we are at a parent/teacher conferences, at church. I mean, it does get a little awkward.

Have you ever met a guy with tattoos like this? I have. A couple times over. They’re awful. I mean like the most despicable, degrading towards women, pieces of crap, scumbags EVER. And my husband is not even remotely close to that. In fact, he’s the furthest thing from that. I don’t want people to EVER assume anything like that about him. He’s the most respectful man I’ve ever been with. He’s huge on respect and I want everyone to know that and to see that and to appeciate that.

Usually when people get tattoos they symbolize something for them, they mean something to them…you know,  say something about who they are?

What the hell does this mean?

What on Earth possessed this decision? Not once – but three times???

I just don’t get it.

This will always be the thing I don’t get about my husband and I wish it didn’t bother me, but it does.

The Drive-By

A few posts back I wrote about pondering how to forgive someone who had wounded myself and my children who was terminally ill and then I also wrote about writing her a note in an attempt to take the high road and mend bridges for my kids sake.

Let me explain this…..The main floor of our home has an open floor plan with windows pretty much going around the entire length of the home. I had real wood window blinds installed when we moved in to match the wood floors and every morning when I wake the first thing I do is open all the wood blinds to let the light in and reveal a panoramic view of the outside.

Friday, around noon as I am cleaning up my lunch in the kitchen which is in the back of the main floor I can just make out a black car turning down the east end of our street. By the time I reach the dining room, it should have well passed me if it was doing the speed limit, which makes me notice that it moving slow as if it is looking for something. I walk into the bathroom and rinse my hands, which is behind one of the only walls that block my view of the front of the house and when I come out, the black car is directly in front of my house. I start to walk to the middle of the floor so that I can have a better view but not so much that I am standing directly in front of a window, because now I’m curious what is going on. There are two occupants in the car, two women and it’s obvious they are looking for something. The one in the passenger seat is pointing….at my house.
Why are they looking for my house?
The car pulls into my driveway. Just as quickly, I think… is that her car?

Before I can make it out the door, the car is gone. I can’t be certain that it was her, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that within a week of writing the note that she would respond. After all…she now has my address.

Randomly, today I also found out her best friend, The Instigator, as we all call her, is in town from North Carolina and its only logical that she would be the driver.

What I do find odd is that it seems she came to my house in the middle of the day, not knowing I’ve been laid off and when she saw my car in the driveway or maybe even saw me, she bailed.

Is she just wanting to know where the kids live – that they’re ok, well cared for? I don’t get it. Knowing The Instigator may have been with her makes me question her intentions and wonder what to expect. It also makes me wonder if I’ve just made a huge mistake and opened the door to a whole bunch more heartache for the kiddos.

Ugh. No good deed goes unpunished.

Parent Panel Speech

I just got done speaking at a cross-training seminar for various county agencies who provide services for at-risk youth on the “Parent Perspective”. The idea was to give counselors, special education teachers, MR/DD workers, county protective service case workers, etc, etc the perspective of the parent utilizing these services or involved with these agencies. A lot of times when these people are working with parents, they are so busy taking notes and developing plans and ideas of what they can or have to do in their head while they meet with the parents that they don’t always HEAR us. The ladies leading the training wanted them to do nothing but actually listen to the stories, behind actual cases.

When I was approached about this I thought it was an excellent idea. It still is an excellent idea. In fact – I recommend it. Brilliant! What better way to cut through red tape and get people from all these different agencies to realize how great the sum of all their parts is put together.

I guess I just didn’t realize how emotionally exhausting it would be to really relive the story of Pickle. It’s been such a long road. It’s so hard to talk about everything from the day I met my pickle, raising a child traumatized from a sexual assault, raising him as a step-parent to adopting him, his “Dad” walking out & now helping the Jedi, another traumatized child, cope from the exposure to inappropriate behaviors and aggression, and Pickle having to leave the home.

It’s difficult to share with a room full of strangers how to reconcile the dreams of the family you thought you’d have or even the ideas of what others think a family is, with the reality of what it actually is and living it day to day. I’m sure every mother/wife might struggle with that to some extent, but not everybody is dealing with having an adopted special needs child with such severe cognitive/psychological issues that impact the literal safety of the other children in the home that the adopted child must be removed and the overwhelmingly sense of guilt and failure the accompanies.

I got to tell them what services worked for me, what didn’t, what could work better. It’s hard to find enough words to express to the group how I might be another case they are working, that they can put away for the day and go home….but for a parent living it…this is my life, this is my child and I live it everyday and I do need help…lots of it….and so hard to admit it to yourself, much less ask for it.

I really hope the points came across and at the very least the prospective helps…someone…anyone…a little more.

That will be worth it.

Mom’s Ablation

*UPDATE*

Mom did great. She was a star patient. She did go into A-Fib during the proceure but that actually helped them pinpoint where her problems are stemming from, so she was actually able to get out of there in 5 hrs vs. 8. She’s been admitted overnight for observation as she has to lay flat for 6hrs, but so far all is well.
My sister and I never did find the relaxing free massages, but we did take an art tour.

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I’m in the family waiting room at some pavilion or another at the Cleveland Clinic where I shall be for the next 8 hrs or so while my mother is having, what I believe is called, a cardiac ablation.

It’s kinda creepy here. Everything is white and grey and sterile. I feel like I’m in some futuristic weird realm. I was reading the guests and family information thingy. I guess there is a rooftop pavilion where they offer skyline views of Cleveland and relaxing massages so that we can provide support for the patient. That kinda makes sense. I mean I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the Children’s hospital with my pickle and wondered why they didn’t offer services like that for the parents.

Honestly, this is all just distraction from the fear of what could happen in the 8 hours that they are piddle-farting around in my mother’s heart. It’s not open heart surgery. In fact it’s what they call “relatively noninvasive”.  But essentially they are in there trying to find misbeats by eletrically mapping her heart and then they start trying to trigger some of the events to stop them. That’s the part that scares me.

But, here I sit with my sister and my father…..waiting.

The Resillence of Children

My son and I are both under the weather at the moment. I’m guessing its the turn of the season…maybe allergies. However, he was determined to attend his Truth & Training class at my parents church last night. It’s like a Bible study progran for kids. They were also having a special music presentation at the church so there was a rather large group gathered in the main sanctuary from what I was told.

Anyways, the pastor asked if one of the kids would pray for the kids who were in the main service and Jedi who has pretty much lost his voice at this point, volunteers. So he got up in front of a group of about 250 people and prayed, just like that. This is no small feat for a nine year old. I’d say it’s pretty special and I’m very proud.

After service he came across an elderly black woman who was changing out of her heels and into a pair of flip flops to be more comfortable except that when she had gone to place them on the floor, one had turned upside down and out of place. Jedi stopped in front of her, reached out to grab the flip flop, place them on her feet and then handed the woman her heels and went on about his business. The woman looked at my son, pointed at him and said, “I heard you pray. The Lord has plans for you, young man.”

After everything my kids have been through for them to believe in anything is amazing. They just have such big hearts. They are truly inspiring to me.

The Note

I’ve decided the best way to deal with this situation concerning my terminally-ill ex-mother-in-law is to just say what I feel and mean what I say, in the most simplistic of ways and let her take it from there.
Really, that’s all I can do.

W,

I don’t know how to start this note or where it might end I guess I just feel that God has put it on my heart to write for awhile now. I don’t think I could ever reconcile the truth of what we have lived in the past few years with what you have been told. I just think it has been terribly unfair to you and I but especially the kids. I just want you to know that we really care about you, immensely. We love you and if you ever want to stop by and talk or talk about nothing at all, the kids would like that, I would too, and the door is always open. Ball’s in your court.

Stephanie