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.

Irkitated

On my business twitter account I have an automatic verification process to prevent spam bots from following me. TrueTwit. It’s free and easy. Basically anyone who follows me receives a link via DM. People can click the link or choose not to and get filtered out by the software. I’m sure some “real” profiles get lost in the shuffle of it all, but for the most part it’s effective.

Today I’ve had two people reply to the automated message offended that I “sent” them such things “accusing” them of being spammers and/or bots. I explained to each of them that it was an automated service and it was their choice to click through or not. One lady was cool with it and we struck up a conversation. The other continued to argue with me about it…

“That’s not necessary! I ain’t clicking that link!” She yelled at me via DM.

To which I responded: “It’s my profile. I like the additional verification. Why are you offended by it? Don’t click the link? Unfollow me?”

Then she went on some tirade about me being a narcissist and blocked me.

I didn’t even have time to be upset by the interaction because I’m too busy being so damn confused.

What upsets me most is the flippant pop culture psychology use of the term narcissist. Clinical narcissism isn’t a joke, nor is it an insult to be tossed around with little or no regard to those who actually suffer from and/or because of the disorder.

I’m far too honest and open to be a narcissist. Lol. I’ve never planned anything in my entire life. The level of meticulous planning it takes to be a narcissist exhausts me even in reading about it as I recovered from the trauma I endured via narcissistic abuse from my mother and then a few people I dated before meeting my Hubs.

Pop culture has confused self confidence with true narcissism. To a certain extent narcissism is necessary to function as a healthy human being. Ego, when it’s healthy, is important for self preservation. It’s only when it becomes all consuming and disordered that it becomes a problem.

Having the confidence to tell this woman I wasn’t going to change my profile settings just for her wasn’t toxic or disordered. I’m an extrovert. I love interacting with people in person and across social media. I don’t need fans and followers to measure my self worth. I acquire fans and followers because I like people lol. It’s almost an accident if we’re being entirely honest.

If I truly suffered from any sort of toxic disordered narcissism, I would jump through all the hoops to amass as many followers as possible. I would change my settings to inflate my numbers, and I certainly wouldn’t be writing about my own life for everyone to see. Lol.

Roid all the Rage

Apparently at some point after my hospitalization last Summer my thyroid decided to give up the ghost. Between November during my follow up and June at my most recent physical my TSH almost tripled!

I knew something wasn’t right because I just could not get my energy back and my weight kept piling on even though I was using the same methods I’ve always used to maintain my weight successfully.

I’m thankful it was just my thyroid and not my ovarian cysts growing or turning cancerous. My thyroid issues are fairly easy to maintain with medication and strict dieting. It’s a lot less worrisome than cancer that’s for sure.

I’m still in the diagnostic phase of exactly why it died, but between my PTSD, genetics and two bouts with sepsis it’s not exactly a surprise. I knew it was fairly inevitable down the line somewhere. My son was born with an under active thyroid, my mom and maternal grandmother all struggle(d) with thyroid issues, and the toxic hormone cocktail left behind from my PTSD doesn’t help at all.

It takes a few weeks for the medication to really start working, but even in this initial stage I fell so much freakin better! I could tell a difference with the first dose! The extra weight I gained is finally starting to come off, my hair, nails and skin have perked back up and I’m able to actually get up and function in the morning even before my coffee!

The diet restrictions are kind of tedious, but nothing I can’t handle. It’s how I should have been eating all along really. No fried foods, not too many carbs, not too many fats, not too many greens, no so and nothing high in iron. Basic stuff really. The only thing that really got me was limiting my coffee intake. That’s right, I can only have one cup of my beloved brew daily and I can only have it in a specific window of time after my medication. 😩

It’s annoying, but I think it’s better overall anyway. It’s an immediate goal I can focus on vs the long term goal of general health and fitness.

Repeat

I have receipts. I have receipts for everything I write *before* it’s published. I am 100000% done with your antics.

I legit don’t fucking care about the ranting or the bitchy memes. I live in Indiana: the passive aggression capital of the universe. You are entirely entitled and able to post whatever you want directed at or about me.

The cyber security issues, drive by creeping and vandalism that always arrives at my doorstep after your ranting and bitchy memes fail to get a rise out of me? Yeah. No. I’m done with that bullshit.

When you can rant and post bitchy memes without my tires being slashed, my home being vandalized, my security system alerting me to someone creeping around, Apple alerting me to a failed log in attempt, I find a strange log in from Ohio on my personal FB account, or my FB page keeps getting liked/unliked by a reactivated account… I will stop looking you up.

My rants at you? Well they’re all logged here minus Checkmate. I still include it when giving the last 11 fucking years of my blog and other social media to law enforcement btw, I just don’t have it publicly available for you and your goons to obsess over.

Your effort to delete the most recent rant escapades is noted. No need to try and contact me to apologize or get closure or whatever the hell possesses you to try and contact me after my repeated requests to leave me alone.

You do you, honey. I don’t care as long as you doing you stays tf away from me and my kids. My parents are in the process of renovating their house to sell okay? They’re moving out of Cincinnati so we’ll never bump into one another again as long as you stop creeping.

It’s on you.

Pieces

This came across my Facebook feed last night and it was just what I needed to rally my resolve and press forward through my recent PTSD challenges.

I’ve honestly never thought about it this way, but there is so much truth here. I love it. Abuse was and always will be a part of my life, but I control how I deal with it. I’m in charge of my pieces. I can wallow in self pity and anger, or I can rise above it, fighting for my pieces and gluing myself slowly toward a better future.

In a way it’s very similar to these fragmented pieces of memories I’ve been struggling against in recent weeks. I will get all of my available memories back. They are my pieces, and I will glue them back together no matter how long it takes, or how many obstacles get in my way.