Aaaaaand I’m Done Now

The frustration is real as the final pieces come together in the mess of 2015-2019.

I had the opportunity to hear the truth about The Girl in Yellow and I didn’t take it because I was screening calls from local numbers. If they didn’t leave a voicemail I didn’t answer or call them back. *facepalm*

It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d answered the phone anyway at that point in my life. I wasn’t emotionally equipped to deal with it in the midst of everything going on with my mom and being away from my husband. It probably would have gone right in one ear and out the other or triggered a bunch more repressed trauma.

I guess I wasn’t meant to really know, and I’m okay with that. I’m leaning toward it being bullshit anyway. I mean I know my memories are valid, but I’m fairly certain at this point that my ex just made up his own involvement in it all to eventually discredit me later.

It is what it is, but being aware of the missed opportunity is frustrating all the same. But I’m done ranting about all of this mess now. None of it really matters anyway. At least now that it’s committed to the page it won’t be festering under the surface.

Stalker Pants stopped reading my second rant in. I’m hoping she stays away for good this time. Hoping, yet doubtful. Denial is a hell of a drug. She’ll probably always be trying to discredit me in one way or another. As long as she isn’t on my property or harassing me when I visit my parents I don’t care anymore. It doesn’t change the truth of what happened to me and I don’t have space for anyone who believes her lies or half truths in my life anyway.

Plus, it’s time to get the kiddos ready to start the school year. I have more important things to do.

Self Control

Still ranting… almost done.

There is a difference between cowardice and refusing to give energy to someone behaving like a petulant child. Remember that?

Why I’ve never yelled at or confronted you over the years as we’ve bumped into one another? It’s not cowardice. It’s a little thing called:

You don’t deserve the minimal amount of energy it takes to type this out, I certainly am not going to give you any more by meeting with you or replying to your unwarranted messages. Trust me, Pants. As much as I would love to get my teeth fixed for free and see you lose your medical license after an assault charge you are not worth the time nor effort. You’re like three times my size in height and weight. I’m not going to “win” in a physical confrontation, but I sure as hell can survive. Bruises fade and bones heal. I’m not the least bit concerned about you harming me physically or otherwise. You lost the privilege of face to face conversations the moment that knife punctured my tire and knocked you on your ass in my parents driveway.

You really need to make up your mind with the accusations by the way. Am I a coward for not confronting you in person, or am I a stalker who’s following you around everywhere?

Truthfully, I’m neither. I’m a woman who’s so very fed up with your bullshit and disrespect of my very reasonable boundaries. You know, like: don’t fucking vandalize my property and terrorize my children by throwing a damn temper tantrum just because you didn’t get to see my face when you rattled off your nonsense accusations.

November to May

Still ranting as I continue to connect the dots and pull pieces together from 2015 forward…

So there were actually two break in events at my apartments while I lived in Ohio. The first was in November somewhere around the 10th, and the second was the night of April 30th into May 1st (a Sunday night into Monday morning)

I have no idea who is responsible for the November break in. The kids and I were at the store and came home to find a condom wrapper by our unlocked sliding glass door.

Obviously not being home my daughter couldn’t have seen my ex and identified him for that incident. I’m pretty sure it was actually the maintenance guy who was fired shortly after using apartments at his leisure when tenants weren’t home.

The break in in April/May is when we were home and she saw him. That’s the one I mistakenly told police happened around the 6th and that is the event which has caused so much lasting trauma effects.

I’m clarifying that now because I went back through my blog stats and realized I had some views the specific date and time I also got a few phone calls from numbers I vaguely recognized in quick succession. I’m waiting for the phone company to verify my suspicions so I can’t say for certain who those numbers belonged to yet, but I have a fairly good idea.

I got the calls on Thanksgiving actually, sitting in the car with my husband as we were delivering an old photo of myself and my ex to the park where we first encountered one another. I was trying to burn it, but it wouldn’t light lol. We tried several times before we finally gave up and headed for home.

I believe my ex’s wife was referencing that (November) break in vs the one in April/May when she claimed to have an alibi which I’m sure he did. I know it wasn’t him in November, and I’m not surprised in the least that they were with his family around the holiday.

Hubs and I expected it honestly and spent the weekend with my family in Cincinnati vs our apartment to avoid running into my ex and his family.

I have an entirely separate incident in October/November that I can’t be certain was anything more than a dream I’ve referenced, but the police have never been involved in that incident. They were involved in November and May.

I’d honestly forgotten about the November thing all together until I was comparing dates and posts and stats. I’m not irrational or unreasonable but it’s been a long time of various miscommunications with highly charged emotional events. This is why I blog. To have a record of all these things so I can put the pieces together after the emotional wave passes.

Now if she wasn’t referencing November and claiming May… my initial assessment stands. I believe my daughter. She’d never seen him before, picked him out immediately, and identified the clothes he was wearing that I also remember very clearly.

The truth really doesn’t matter. The police aren’t going to/can’t do anything about it so long after the fact. I’ll deal with my trauma and address it as necessary. Here or otherwise.

Sew Sew

Last night as my Hubs was getting ready for bed, the Littles were running around the living room playing a game. Little had a blanket and she was charging back and forth across the living room with the boys hanging on for dear life at the opposite end of the blanket. I’m not sure what the imaginary scenario was, but they were having mostly harmless fun. Little would dash left and right attempting to whip her brothers around and the boys were just having an absolute ball. As things progressively began to get more rowdy I gently scolded Little and told her to calm down before someone got hurt. She didn’t really listen.

Then disaster struck. Little whipped the boys around just hard enough that they both lost their grip on the blanket and tumbled over head first into their rocking horse style motorcycle. Crash managed to bounce off the rockers fairly unfazed. Champ on the other hand, snapped off one of the rear view mirrors with his face resulting in a chipped tooth and two inch gash across his bottom lip which immediately started pouring blood everywhere. And I do mean EVERYWHERE.

As soon as I saw his face I knew that he needed stitches so I set about dragging poor Hubs out of the shower to watch the other two kids while trying to keep Champ from bleeding everywhere and getting him dressed enough to get to the ER. Thankfully we live less than two miles from the closest ER so as quickly as I could get him in the car we were there and he was whisked into triage, covered in blood from head to toe with a damp washcloth on his face. Champ was covered in blood, I was covered in his blood, Hubs was having a panic attack at home because he’d never seen so much blood coming from an injury to one of the kids, Little was bawling when I left because she accidentally hurt her brother, Crash was bawling because Champ was “broken” and holy hell was it an entire thing.

Champ actually did surprisingly well through out the entire ordeal. He cried when it happened and he cried when they were stitching him up, but otherwise he was his normal calm collected self. Really the only reason he cried as they were putting the sutures in was because they covered his eyes with a washcloth and he couldn’t see. If he would have had his eyes open I think he would have been completely fine. They gave him a popsicle when he was all finished and he said thank you and walked out the door like a pro. Since he’s my sensory kiddo I was expecting a lot more crying and fighting especially as his lip started to numb from the anesthetic, but he seemed to take it all in stride. We’ll see how he does tomorrow when it starts to hurt again and he can’t take the sutures out.

After I got him all patched up, I came home and took Little out for some mommy daughter time. We had planned on going out before the accident, and I wanted to make sure she knew that even though what she did was irresponsible, it was still an accident and no one was angry with her for it. In the middle of the chaos I didn’t have time to comfort her since I was trying to tend to Champ. I didn’t want her to carry the weight of seeing her brother covered in blood and thinking that it was her fault any longer than she had to.

We had a good talk about responsibility and listening when she was asked to stop doing something especially if someone tells her it’s dangerous. We stopped for a quick gas station snack, sat in the driveway until the slowly rumbling thunderstorm passed; then I tucked her snuggly into bed. All was right with the world again.

Whew… momming is hard sometimes.

Not Done Yet

Yes, I admit this is pointless and trivial, but I’m not done ranting. I’ve got almost five years of shit to process/laugh at. I’m sifting and picking through the points I want to address vs ignore. This one is probably the last one because the other ones I’ve already addressed a millionty times before…

August. Every two years in August my ex’s wife reaches out to me. Last year I was battling my pneumonia/sepsis and cut her tf off before she even had a chance to really say much. She was upset, obviously. For a very brief while I thought maybe I was being too harsh. At least until she posted why she wanted to talk to me publicly.

I can fully admit when I’ve made a mistake and misjudged someone’s character. I’ll even apologize and retract what I’ve written/said if it’s warranted. When I’m wrong about someone. When I’m not wrong about my judgement in character I stand by my words 1000%

When I got out of the hospital and had the emotional space to return to deal with her, I asked a friend to read the public post she left for me in leu of a private conversation. I was told she wanted forgiveness so I let her have it. She still has my forgiveness, although she hasn’t altered any of her behaviors and I’m not really certain she truly deserves any… but that’s not what forgiveness is about so whatever. I don’t care how insanely bitchy she’s been during my recovery process. I know hearing/reading about how her husband abused me is hard to process/believe especially if he’s never treated her the same way. This is why I gave her a heads up before I started posting anything about it. She initially gave me her blessing too btw.

The problem I have with her, is her irreverent disrespect of boundaries. She gives zero shits about how her actions affect anyone else and selfishly seeks to serve only herself and her agenda. After actually reading what she had to say vs just hearing about it second hand I actually laughed out loud. “Oh well I recognize that you went through some trauma, but I’m not looking for forgiveness. I just want to make myself feel better by telling you that for no apparent reason. Let me just violate all the boundaries you’ve set by sliding into your DMs and fucking calling you to admit I was wrong about your PTSD.” That’s basically what she said which proves my original assessment of her character 100% right. AND SHE POSTED IT NOT ONCE BUT TWICE.

It isn’t about you, it’s about me. Twice. After violating my requests to leave me alone.

I can admit that I struggled with respecting boundaries in the past as well. I never had them growing up and went through quite a learning curve to catch up to most other people, but I learned and adjusted my behavior.

Let’s go back to running into my ex’s family while I lived in the same town as a good example: before my diagnosis and recovery if I ran into them I’d probably have approached them and tried to start a conversation or at least sent a letter or made a phone call. Y’know… kind of like my mom did the entire time I was dating their son. Lol. That’s what I was taught. That’s the example I had growing up, which isn’t very healthy or respectful at all.

NOW: I understand how unhealthy and disrespectful that approach is, and wouldn’t dream of doing something so ludicrous. Even though I’d really like the chance to have a conversation and/or apologize in person for my poor behavior and misjudgment of their character in my book I’m not going to interrupt their lives for my own gratification. If they want my apology face to face and happen to see me in public they can approach me. Otherwise, it’s live and let live.

The same, however, does NOT go for you Ms Stalker Pants. You’ve proven yourself to be violent and destructive both physically and emotionally toward me and I do not want to speak to you in public, in private, via messenger, comment or email. So don’t even try.

If I’m really wrong about your character, despite repeated evidence to the contrary: prove it. Respect my boundaries. Leave me alone. Stop driving by my house. Stop creeping around my social media. Put your actions where your words are and I’ll do the same.

Perspective

You know, coming up on the year anniversary of my last brush with death a lot of things have come into perspective. I’ve stared death in the face at least 11 times that I can remember over the course of my 32 years, but this most recent event really got my attention. Mostly because it was my second encounter with sepsis and the chances of making a full recovery are cut nearly in half each time you’re diagnosed with it. At this point in my life something as simple as a neglected paper cut could take me out lol. It really brings my mortality to the front of my consciousness. With that, a lot of my priorities have changed over the past year as well. 

I’ve come to realize just how entirely pointless this consistent bickering with my ex and his wife actually is. I don’t care to associate with any of their friends, and I respect his family too much to bother them since the relationship ended. The memories I have of the poingnant moments which inspired me moving forward (ie the jewelry, naming my son after his dad, etc etc etc) are mine and no amount of denial can take them away. Obviously we’re never going to have any sort of relationship. Duh. I’ve spent the past several years publicly calling their son a rapist. I don’t expect any of that to change just because I’ve realized that I misjudged them and apologized. That’s just my own integrity. Yeah, I made a mistake. I’m going to apologize. It doesn’t change shit, but it’s who I am and how I was raised so I’m going to do it anyway.  

As much as my ex and his wife want to continue setting me up to look like a damn fool (a trap which I’ve fallen into on multiple occasions) none of it really matters. Sure I look really foolish and kinda crazy to his friends and family. He’s even managed to discredit me as far as the police go but my friends and family the people who know me and love me don’t pay any attention to my ex, his wife or his friends. The smear campaign doesn’t affect my book sales. It doesn’t affect the relationship I have with my husband. It doesn’t affect my ability to be present and supportive for my children. It doesn’t affect my job performance. It doesn’t affect my grades. I’m not breaking any laws so the police siding with my ex doesn’t have any affect on me either. It’s unfortunate, but it’s really not uncommon.

Y’know, before I was knocking on death’s door last year I was afraid of my ex and his wife. How they might react to what I wrote, or where I went promoting my book, or where I went in general visiting my parents. Now that I’ve made peace with my own mortality I realized how trivial it all was. It’s true my ex has violent tendencies, and he has the capacity to truly hurt or even kill me. You know what? A lot of things have that capacity, but it’s never stopped me from living my life. I don’t really know why I gave him that power over me for so long, or her by proxy for that matter.

But they don’t have it anymore. It’s all about perspective.

Never Doubt Your Intuition

My long time followers know I’ve been embattled in a cyber war of sorts with my ex and his wife since the MySpace Days of 2008. I’ve been trying to share my story and heal while minding my own business. They’ve been creeping, legit stalking, and breaking the law left and right trying to keep me silent.

The majority of the time the antagonist is my ex’s wife. He just sort of slides along in the back ground and rarely jumps in. He’s in on it, but he keeps his involvement primarily out of the spot light unless I really hit a nerve. She has been posting hateful and hurtful things at or directly to me since literally the first week I set up any of my social media. Seriously. I don’t even know how to have social media without this chick and her shenanigans because she’s always been here.

Before I got a handle on my PTSD it really bothered me. It triggered me, and brought up a well of emotions that I hadn’t dealt with yet regarding the abuse I endured with my ex. I wasn’t healthy enough to handle it, and my therapist wisely advised that I ignore this woman and her antics. Which is primarily what I’ve been doing for the past several years. Occasionally I’ll rant about her creeping, but I actually hadn’t read anything that she’s posted since 2015. I’ve had trusted friends keeping an eye on her and alerting me to anything that might be considered threatening or dangerous, but that’s about all the effort I’ve given her.

She and I have recently had our semi-annual spat. I yelled at her, but never took any time to read what she responded with. My friends did and saved screen shots for me where applicable, but I was flying blind with my retorts just frustrated ranting with zero context to anything she actually said. lol.

Then something odd happened, which set off my intuition alarm bells. For the first time since mid 2015 I went back and read everything she’s written at me over the past four years and realized… my ex used her big mouth to set me up.

I don’t know if she’s in on it, cause I’d like to think she’s a little bit more intelligent than that, but he totally set me up. He fucking knows I’m not stalking them, nor do I pay a bit of attention to his wife and her ranting and he’s been using those facts to his advantage this entire fucking time. Now that I’ve actually read what she’s had to say… I’ll respond.

Of COURSE he set up an alibi for breaking into my apartment. He had an alibi for slashing my tire too. Except, when I published the dates on my blog about the tire thing I lied. He said he had video evidence that his wife was one place, and I happen to have video evidence (ironically) that she was somewhere else AT THE SAME TIME. So his alibi for the tire was complete bullshit and I figured that out within the first five minutes of speaking to him about the incident.

The break in discrepancy is entirely due to the trauma of the whole thing. I was so triggered by both the event and speaking to the police about the new trauma I wasn’t thinking clearly and while entirely unintentional I actually gave the police the wrong date. I misspoke and told them it was the 6th when it was actually several days earlier. I already admitted to that both when speaking to the police again about the incident, and here several times while recanting the story about the break in. The time I mistakenly gave them was ironically around the time she checked in to a restaurant on Facebook which I just saw lol.

I’m honestly pretty curious about how they managed to come up with an alibi for the wrong date which doesn’t even match her public check ins on Facebook… But they very well could have been with his parents and sister during the date I mistakenly gave to police. Since the break in itself happened after midnight during a weekday when his sister had to be at work early the next morning… I’m doubting that they have an alibi for the actual break in. Never mind the fact that if they WERE at his parent’s house on the actual night of the break in it was a hell of a lot closer to my apartment than they would have been otherwise. Sorry, but I’m prone to believe my at the time 4yr old who was developmentally incapable of creating an elaborate lie over my ex, his wife or anyone else involved in the so called alibi.

However, I am certain that his dad told the truth when he spoke to the police. Which is also probably why he was so damn confused the few times we’ve bumped into one another over the past few years. I knew he recognized me, but I couldn’t understand why he seemed conflicted when I didn’t approach him or make a scene of some sort. It was like he was waiting for me to do something and I was the deer in the headlights. And yes, I did run into my ex’s family quite a few times while we were living in the same smallish town for a while. I probably saw them more in brief time we lived there than I ever did when I was dating their son/brother. I never said anything because it was a non issue. We’d arrive next to one another in traffic, or we’d end up at the same grocery store at the same time like people do with their neighbors every fucking where. We managed to peacefully exist in the same general area, which I was thankful for. So why the hell would I write/care about it?

The fact that we managed to exist peacefully was a big reason I began to doubt the assessment from my ex about his father’s character and lead me through all of my more recent revelations. Of course admiring the guy makes me look like an absolute loon after my ex’s wife posting that he was involved in the so called alibi for my ex during the break in… yet, it also proves that I truly haven’t been giving his son or his daughter in law a second thought aside from addressing them when they try to cause chaos in my life.

ANYWAY… that’s fun. It looks like I’ve spent the past four years shadow boxing and blindly landing a punch or two. Just enough to keep my ex’s wife all riled up and in my business. I guess I can’t win for losing. If I truly pay attention and read all of her stabbity rants I give her space in my head that she doesn’t deserve. If I ignore her and go off on blind tangent rants when she won’t leave me alone I validate her accusations of my instability.

*throws arms up*

Toddlerhood

My baby boys are almost four. The end of toddlerhood is in sight for The House of Hale, and I don’t know about I feel about it. On the one hand it’s encouraging as they grow out of the tantrum phase and gain some independence. On the other it’s a little bit sad that they no longer need me for so many things, and they no longer run to me for any and every thing that upsets/excites them.

It’s part of what a good parenting is all about; loving and teaching your children how to navigate the world on their own. Still, watching my last babies transition into childhood makes me a bit weepy.

Toddlerhood is my absolute favorite stage of development. They are the most pure examples of humanity. They just love with every ounce of their little beings. Of course they also hate, fear and every other emotion with every ounce of their beings which makes parenting difficult during the toddler phase lol.

*sigh* I’m still content with our decision to end our family where we did. Three kids is more than enough for me lol. But with each passing day, each passing milestone, I look back fondly to the younger days. The days before school bullies, before suicidal classmates on the bus, before difficult goodbyes and the fear of death and change set it. I miss the days of baby burbles vs screaming “no I don’t wannas” I miss the quiet afternoon naps and cuddles on the couch. I miss the lazy walks around the park and afternoons filled with adventures.

Toddlerhood has been a blast. It’s on to the next phase. ❤

Translating Leaves

I mentioned a while back that I accepted a lateral promotion at work. My new responsibilities didn’t really kick in until the restaurant reopened a few weeks ago, and boy oh boy did I walk into a massive challenge.

I gave up my inventory responsibilities to focus on training the incoming staff. We have several online based training programs that make the process quite easy for most everything IF the new hires can read fluent English or Spanish. For those new hires who can’t… well that’s where my challenge comes in.

I have the sweetest new hire on my prep team from Ethiopia. She’s lived in the US for several years and speaks English fairly well, however I noticed she was struggling to keep up with anything that required reading. She wasn’t able to understand when special orders popped up on our pre screen, and she was struggling to comprehend which storage trays went with which product.

I realized she couldn’t read English fairly quickly, but I didn’t want to insult her and outright ask if she could read so I just observed for a few days. Eventually when it became more than obvious that she was struggling with English and she kept avoiding any written paperwork associated with our training process I pulled her aside and asked if there was a different language she was more comfortable with.

She smiled the biggest smile and explained that yes, she could read but not in English. So I set about figuring out a way to translate our training program into her native language of Amharic. It’s a language I’d never heard of before, but the alphabet is beautiful. It’s no surprise why she was struggling with our wonky blocky English letters after exploring the Amharic alphabet. lol. It’s very intricate with each small squiggle of the pen meaning a different inflection or vowel sound completely changing the definition of the word.

I printed off a training introduction for her and she almost cried. She was terrified if she expressed that she couldn’t read English she would lose her job which made me get all weepy inside too. I can understand being able to read and write the basics of a foreign language before you chose to move/live in a country. Like I get it, but people forget just how difficult English is to learn especially those of us who’ve grown up as native speakers.

There are good people out there from all over the world. If we just take the time to stop and get to know them instead of making snap judgements based on their appearance or ability to understand our crazy ass language.

Podcasts and Airplanes

Little is on a year round academic schedule. As such we only get 8 weeks of Summer Break and celebrating the 4th of July is really the only time we have for a family vacation. We took advantage of it and did all the things we’ve been trying to do with the kids for months.

Before we did anything else, we took Champ to the Air Force museum to see the planes. He was completely over the moon to see “his” SR71 in person. He jumped out of the stroller and yelled “That’s my plane! That’s my plane! There it is!”

He was trying to figure out how to get in it and get it out of the hanger here, which is when we scooped him up and strapped him back into the stroller lol.

He also really enjoyed the engine displays and climbing into another plane to see all the buttons. He definitely has a future in aviation of some sort whether he flies the planes or ends up engineering them instead.

Crash tagged along at the museum, but he wasn’t overly enthused with anything. He’s such a laid back little guy who seems content just to be with everyone else enjoying whatever they enjoy. We don’t really know what Crash enjoys yet. I’m hoping that when Champ goes off to school and I have the opportunity to have more consistent one on one time with Crash we can figure out his special thing.

After we finished with the museum we took Little our for her first movie theater experience to see Toy Story 4. She had a great time and really enjoyed the movie. Hubs and I enjoyed it too honestly lol. It was neat to see the evolution of the graphics compared to the first few movies and watch the character development come full circle.

It was also really nice to have some time with our big kid. We don’t often get to do special things with just her anymore now that the boys have come along and it was fun.

After all of our kid time, Hubs and I had the opportunity to go out for a day. We ran together, stopped for a delicious delicious SmashBurger, and eventually made our way downtown so I could participate in an upcoming podcast series with A Voice for the Innocent. It was my first official like in person interview regarding my story with surviving and recovering from sexual abuse. We also spoke about my books, but that wasn’t the main focus of the show.

It was really cool. Being an author/blogger I don’t actually SPEAK about my trauma very often, let alone on a podcast sending it out to the world. Lol. I had a great time recording, and I’m looking forward to sharing it when everything goes live.

Over all I’d say our Summer 2019 was a success! Now we have to get back into school mode. Early bed times all around! Lol.