I did this before, the whole journal thing, I gave up, but I sort of feel like maybe I need to start up again. I have too much going on in this crazy life, and sometimes, it's just what the doctor ordered to get it out, even if it's just floating here in cyberspace...
Hmm, where to start? I'm almost 29, I spent 6.5 years in the Air force, where I met Zac, my dh, got pregnant with Aidan, moved to Germany, and here I sit. Mommy of a 2 year old little boy who I adore more than I thought possible, and pregnant with what I've been told is a little girl, who I cry over day after day, but more on that later. I want to be more than wife and mother again, I want to work, to have more me, and less of everyone else, does that make sense? I love being Mommy, but I need to be Alicia again, more of her than I am right now.
I'm an only child of a cold hearted man, and a clinically depressed mother. I know from experience it's possible to love someone whole heartedly and at the same time dislike so much about them it almost hurts to be in thier presence. This is my relationship with my parents. I've lived overseas for 2.5 years and I've not been home to visit in over 3. I feel unwelcome, like a burden, something to be dealt with, so I don't go home. It's heartwrenching to want what you don't have. I've tried my whole life to be what they wanted me to be. Through loving my own child, I don't understand how they could let me feel this way, how they could care so little, be so cold.
My husband is a good man, he treats me better than any man ever has in my life. He has his own story, and I sometimes wonder if all those experiences from our past is what brought us together. He's my best friend, but isn't that how it should be? We still after 7 years together stay up at night with the lights off, talking like a couple of kids told to go to bed already, we're that kind of friends still. I have someone I can talk to, someone to calm my fears, someone who makes me laugh, I am so blessed.
My son is just, simply, Aidan. We appropriately named him Aidan Storm (it means Fire Storm), he's a bundle of energy and light. He's not always easy, but I expected that. He is very eager to please, and sweet natured. He makes me so proud every day, that I get to be his Mommy. He's been a great source of healing for me, of growth in myself.
The new baby, what a whilrwind this pregnancy has been. I had surgery when I was just 13 weeks pregnant with her. I now have one ovary, and a scar the size and location of a c-section to show for it. she's measuring small. I get told at each appointment not to worry, but why the consultants, why the endless frequent appointments? I cry, A LOT. I see German doctors, in German hospitals, I get medical information and advice in broken English, and I want to scream at the top of my lungs every time I have to see a doctor, get an ultrasound. I've gotten zero support from the patient liason from the insurance "company", although I'm supposed to be getting help from her for translation, and just plain making sure my rights are being protected, that eerything is happening as it should. There's a sign in their office, "I put the I CARE in Tricare", I want to laugh whenever I see it, they couldn't care less. My complaints have gone unanswered, swept under the rug, like I don't matter. This fight is far from over.
Now here we are, the holiday season coming to an end soon. This has been one heck of a crazy year. When it's all said and done though, I"m stronger, and I"m better for it, I chose to learn from it, grow from it. What else can I do, feel sorry for myself? I refuse. This is MY story, and it's only just begun...
Why must I grin and bear it? I get tired of being the only wife around here that doesn't feel like she NEEDS to tell her husband what to do. At the same time, how much is too much? Just because my husband has a weekday off, it's suddenly up for grabs with his friends? Give me a break, we've got about 2 months before we have another child, and I"m starting to feel a bit more selfish about the free time we have before then. Zac will most likely be off to school for nearly 2 months after have this baby, and when he returns, our lives will be a blur of packing up and moving with two small children (who may or may not take very kindly to the idea of it all).
I named my journal Don't Lick the Dog because it's one of several crazy things I've found myself saying as a mother to a toddler. Just when I think I've said the strangest thing ever (or somehow morphed into my mother momentarily, ew), another string of crazy words comes out of my mouth.
Mom calls yesterday, asks what each member of my family is currently doing, "Zac's out walking the dog", "I'm talking on the phone to YOU", "Aidan's watching Elmo for a minute before we get ready to go to dinner", "the baby? uh, I don't know, swimming in amniotic fluid?". How does one person drag a conversation on about nothing for so long? Why is it that MY parents have to be the crazy IL's? I have great IL's, but my parents, MY parents had to be the whack jobs. My mom calls, EVERY SINGLE DAY, apparently it has something to do with me being her "baby", and if I don't agree wih how intrusive she is in my life (yes, she manages to be intrusive thousands of miles from me), she literally cries and tells me I'll understand "one day" when my kids are grown up. I seriously doubt that.
We went to dinner yesterday for Zac's birthday, a little Italian place we love. The waiter brought Aidan's sparkling water in a wine glass, I made to grab it and pour it directly into a sippy, but Zac wanted to let him try. Wouldn't you know it, the little stinker sat there all night long drinking from a wine glass like it was the most natural thing in the world? He doesn't even drink from a cup at home. First the switch to the toddler bed last week, without a hitch, and now this. I think it's been me not ready for him to grow up, he's obviously ready for so much more than I thought.
Mommy to Aidan Storm 10/31/01 and Indigo Rain 3/8/04
So, New Years Eve, a suitable time to reflect and get ready to move forward...
This year, I can't believe how hard it's been. I lost a baby this year, then got pregnant with the child I'm carrying now, I guess I was meant to have another child after all. Too many of my friends lost babies this year too, one lost her husband. I made new friends, and I watched friends leave for new assignments, that never gets easier, but it's taught me to hold on tighter. I had emergency surgery, and saw one more time how much my husband loves me, in how he cared for me and Aidan while I recovered, how he worried. I've watched my baby change into a little boy, learning and growing every day, it's been an amazing year.
Next year I'll move back to the states, start going to school, working again. I'll have a new baby, learn to be mother of 2, and find my way again. I'm looking forward to all the new things we have in the near future. I'm excited for myself, for my family.
Zac and Aidan are wearing thier Michigan jerseys today. Zac insists he wear it every Michigan game, and Aidan gets all excited when he sees it,
Spent a nice quiet night at home, watched movies in my pj's, Zac went over to a friends house for a couple drinks and to watch fireworks, all in all, not a bad way to spend the night. I can't believe Aidan slept through the almost hour of fireworks last night, they were LOUD. My poor dog was scared out of her wits, followed me everywhere. Koda never was a very brave animal to begin with.
My mother called to tell me she found some cheap flight over in April, I nearly got sick to my stomach. She wants to come over for a whole month. The poblem with this is that over the last few years, my mother has gotten worse and worse, she can hardly do anything without asking someone how to, or if, she should. She was so confident and independent when I was a kid. My father has worn her down to a shell of who she once was. I get so frustrated, wishing she'd just leave, but he is in control of the finanaces so much, she doesn't even take money out of the ATM by herself, she ASKS my father to go get it for her. Heaven forbid she should amas a dollar fifty service charge. She has come over here a couple times, with outrageous amounts of cash, WTF for?! Seriously, he'd rather she have all that cash at once then to take money out as she needs it from the ATM, am I he only one that thinks that's stupid?
Anyway, I need someone here that will help me, not ask me 20 questions every time something needs to be done. It scares me to have Aidan cared for by someone who's not confident. Zac wants me to go to Michigan and stay with his family while he's in school, and Id like to, but I don't know if it's feasible, and how in the hell do I explain that to my mother? I can hear the torrent of tears now, how I chose them over her, why didn't I wanther o come to Germany, etc. So this is what it's like to be between a rock and a hard place. I'd honestly rather face being with the two kids on my own, rather than worry about them and her for a whole month.
Underneath all this, is a very odd, strained, relationship with my mom that will have to wait for another day to get out in words...
Lemme see if I CAN get my relationship with my mother out in words. She was never someone I could talk to, confide in. She wanted desperately to be the "cool" mom, but she just wasn't, she proved untrustworthy with my secrets, unloyal even, to me. She'd go on and on, I could tell her anything she said, and time and time again, she showed me just how untrue that was. She picked my friends, made me discard those she found not to her liking, which was a painful, embarassing thing that I could not fight, she made those friendships impossible for me. I'm sure there are people out there who I called friend who would only think of me as someone who wronged them, turned her back on them, I wish they knew I had no choice.
I remember the day she found out I was sexually active, she screamed at me, yelled, let my father call me a *****, told me I was disgusting, that I'd get AIDS and die for what I was doing. I stayed with my first for nearly 5 years, much to thier surprise. I paid for my birth control, used protection, I can only hope when my children choose to become sexually active, that they are as responsible as I was.
My father used to hit me, punch me, verbally abuse me, emotionally abuse me. I've even been threatened physically by him as an adult, while visiting home. I told my mother about the abuse she wasn't there to witness, and she saw a lot of it with her own two eyes. She often told me I must have done something to deserve it, to set him off. She never once defended me, never even confronted him. She still denies it to this day, denies I even told her anything at the time.
I moved out 2 weeks after graduation, got my own place, didn't ask or a thing save for one time I screwed up my finanaces and had to ask for 100 dollars to get me through to the next paycheck. I joined the military, on my own, and set off to be something, witout a thing from them. My parents could have done a lot of things for me, paid for college, or at least helped, they refused, told me how stupid I am, how I couldn't do it. Once I had my own money, they want to pretend like they got me this far, like without them where would I be? In the gutter or something. Now it's "you can do anything", "we're so proud of you", and it might be wrong in some way, but I don't care if they are or not, I didn't do any of this for them.
My mother now wants to pretend that all this time, we've been best friends, that we are best friends. She's very intrusive. When she visits, it's very uncomfortable. She wants to sit right next to me, hug me, kiss me, hold my hand, and I never got that from her after I was probably 11 or 12, so why now, it feels unnatural. She is clingy with Aidan too, expects too much from him, he's two, he has seen her twice, he hasn't really established a bond with her, and why a grown woman can't understand that, and takes his stand-offishness as a personal insult, I'll never know. She constantly compares Aidan to what I was like as a child, if he does something she doesn't like, "well, YOU were NEVER anything like THAT", whatever, he's an individual, he's not me, and niether of us is perfect.
All of this, and somehow, she thinks it would be alright for her to come stay with me for a MONTH. I'm not exaggerating, she would not understand if I told her not to come, or if I told her a month was too long. I don't know why I'm so programmed to feel guilt, so worried about her feelings after all that's happened.
Okay, that was some heavy you know what yesterday. I swear, I don't sit around being melancholy all day .
The following exchange just happened between my son, and my husband:
"If you say cookie, you can have some"
Big grin from Aidan.
"okay, what are these?"
"good job, you can have as many as you want... up to three".
I have no idea why it struck me as so funny, but it just did.
We're having trouble with Aidan talking, I asked the doctor about it, he says even at this age, saying hardly anything is normal, but unfortunately, it doesn't help with my frustration. He understands everything we say to him, follows detailed instructions with many parts, and physically, there's not really anything he can't do. He's gaining words little by little, there is improvement, but I have a feeling that a lot of his own frustration and tantrums are because he can't tell us what he wants, or needs. Our lives are a blur of questions and nods.
We were leaving to go grocery shopping this morning, Aidan and I went ahead to the car while Zac finished getting his coat on and locked up. Well, as we're walking down the sidewalk to the car, Aidan trips and his forehead hits the concrete, HARD. I don't think I"ll ever forget that sound, it makes me sick just thinking about it, makes my eyes sting with tears. It was not half as bad as I thought it was, but it scared the hell out of me, my poor little boy. He's got a goose egg on his forehead and it's a little bruised, but he seems just fine, calmed down after a good cry, and a whole lot of hugs and kisses from me. To me, every time he hurts, I just want to take on his pain, it's so unbearable to see him hurt.
He can have more cookies, if he wants
Zac talked to his mom last night, broached the subject of me and the kids coming to stay with them for a few weeks while he's away at school, she thinks it's a great idea. Now, how do I tell my mother that this is what I want to do? My mom called last night as well (before Zac talked to his mom) and wanted me to nail down plans for her to fly over. I explained that we still dont' know the dates of everything, don't know if he even got recruiter duty yet, and honestly, it has always been my understanding that she was only coming if Zac was leaving, to HELP. If Zac doesn't get this, we will leave for an assignment in June, but his orders will come through for that assignment a lot sooner, and we'd pack out early, so our things arrive in the states about the time we do, so when we arive, we just get a place and move right in, get settled, instead of waiting. If we get recruiter duty, we don't have the option of packing out early because he won't get orders (required to get our things shipped) until AFTER he graduates the school. That means, in April, we wouldn't have a guest bed, we won't have most of our things, we'll be living out of suitcases. this is not an optimal situation for having a house guest. On some strange level, I don't think she will understand that at all. She actually said to me, "so, I can't come see my grandbabies?". Honestly, it's not the issue at all, and I told her as much, told her it would be better for her to come when we get back in the states (and the new baby wil only be a few months old even then).
Anyway, in addition to this, my MIL said she gets odd emails from my mother that make her feel uncomfortable. Like my mom is really insecure, that she thinks she will try to steal her daughter away, that she wishes she could adopt Zac, and goes on and on about him, to almost a wierd level. Great, now the ILs are getting the full spectrum of my mother's lunacy. I'm sort of embarassed, I just wish my mom would leave well enough alone (not her strong suit, not in the slightest).
Anyway, my family is waiting for me to watch a movie...
Mommy to Aidan Storm 10/31/01 and Indigo Rain 3/8/04
Today is shaping up to be an amazing day. I went to the hospital for my third level II ultrasound, and for the first time, my baby is measuring completely in normal ranges. She's on the small side, but still, NORMAL measurements, I'm so happy I don't know what to do with myself. I go back in two weeks for another level II, but for the first time in a long time, I'm not dreading it. Now I just need to arrange to start going to the military hospital in about a month, get my records translated, etc. I cant believe I only have 8 weeks left (give or take), I"m so excited to meet my baby.
We got snow yesterday, but ti's steadliy melting away as our temperatures rise into the 40's. Aidan adores the snow, so I"m sort of sad to see it go so fast. We're just spending a lazy day at home, doing as little as possible, ahhh...
What a great start to my week! Zac got recruiter duty, and we got our number one choice, Wasington state, here we come!!! I am so excited, I could bust. Ahh, summers in Washington, the Puget Sound, Mt Rainer, fresh seafood, and to top it all off, the school I wanted to go to is there, one of my main concerns.
Zac will reenlist next week, we'll get a nice bonus, pay off our Jeep and get ready for baby to arrive. Life is good. After the year we had last year, 2004 is shaping up to be a great one!
So my joy, her displeasure. Why is my mother such a royal thorn in my side? I emailed her to tell her Zac got recruiter duty, but didn't tell her where we were going, because he's really excited and wants to get to tell people. Well, he tells her we got our first choice, which for some reason she thought was Beaverton, Oregon (about 15 minutes from thier house), but no, we wanted Washington more all along, our first 3 choices were Washington. This puts us 3 hours from them. She was disappointed, acted all downtrodden when he told her, WTF ever!!! My husband is from Michigan, his parents are more than 3 whole STATES away, and they'll be happy for us.
My mother said I have to get a big enough place "so grandma can visit a lot", uh, no. Just because we will live closer doesn't give her an open invitiation to our house and our lives, we have a life of our own, responsibilities, things that have to be done. I told her I'm starting school most likely in September, so I'll be busy a lot. I turn 29 next month, I spent all that time in the Air Force, got my GI Bill so I could go to school, and now I'm ready to use it. I"m not putting it off so she can come visit as much as she feels she's entitled to. Like I said before, we don't have a good relationship, she lives out this fantasy in her head, and I want no part of it. I grit my teeth and just get through the time I have to spend around her. I can't just say, "you know, I love you, but I don't like you, and I dont't want to spend all my free time with you".
This holiday season, I felt so happy, glad to have my own family, able to make happy memories for my own children, able to make a home and a family they WANT to come home to, to be a part of. I never had that, holidays were always so depressing, even as a small child. I didn't look forward to them I didn't feel good enough, I wished I was part of another family all together, because all my friends always seemed to enjoy the holidays, something that was so foreign to me. When I was dating my ex-boyfriend, I would spend Christmas Eve with my family, it was painful and just awful most of the time, and I'd go stay at his folk's house that night and be there for Christmas all day. It was amazing to be a part of something like that, a family that laughed together, that enjoed each other, just happy to get together and sit around it thier pj's most of the day, talking.
If my parents think they're going to ruin the holidays for me now that we're within driving distance, they have another thing coming, I'll fly to Michigan every year with the family, no kidding...