Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring the Bell

And the end of 2010 is nigh.

It's the last day of the year and as hopeful as I was for 2010, I am glad that it is over.

There was a lot of loss in our lives this year from Smokey Cat to the end of our dream of children. But some of the loss was good in that I am 95% pain free for the first time in about three years. That's definitely something to be thankful for even if the route taken to end the pain caused so many tears.

I got to meet my son this year, which is something I never truly believed would happen. It's doesn't matter if all time spent has been on the internet. We are learning about each and this way is working for us. He is joy to know and I'm grateful for the chance.

Many friends came through in a pinch during my medical trials this year. You know who you are. It would not have gone as smoothly if it hadn't been for your help and support.

We lost Smokey Cat and I miss him dearly. But we are grateful that the rest of the menagerie is still doing well in spite of the scare Scrat gave us at the beginning on 2010. When you have three 12 years old and two 11 years old animals, (Scrat's only 4) the writing is on the wall for some sad years to come. But they are healthy and happy right now and a joy to us both.

So the end of year comes with friends and furbabies alike. Ken is winging off for a much needed vacation with friends. I am hanging with friends tonight and holding down the home fort while Ken is gone.

Thanks again to all my friends that helped us out this year and stood by us during some pretty rough times. They aren't over but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

However you ring the bell on the end of 2010 and usher in 2011, I wish you all healthy, happiness and joy in the New Year.

Friday, December 17, 2010


It's a milestone he didn't reach, among others.

This year it seems to be hitting me harder that my brother is no longer with us.

His 40th birthday would have been this past Sunday, the 12th. I would have posted then but I was busy trying to get myself to NYC from Oakland in one piece and the weather was not cooperating.

I'm home now and I've been thinking about him a lot this week.

40 is a year to celebrate and he should have been here for it.

While he may have done some stupid things in his short life, Robbie wasn't a stupid person. Which makes his final action even more unfathomable to this day.

I've been to the dark place that he didn't return from. I know that life can throw stuff at us that makes us think that escaping life is easier than staying. I've managed to pull myself back and I won't let myself go there again. It's a daily struggle (that's the way depression works, you know?) but I know how strong I am.

I wish Robbie had been strong enough to say "Enough!" to whatever was making him feel the way he was and I wish he'd known he could have asked me for help and that I'd have done everything possible to keep him here.

Happy 40th Birthday Robbie. My wish for you is that you were still here, but since I can't have that I hope you are finally at peace. It's something we all deserve, but don't always manage.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What to do? How to Explain?

As we all can see, I'm not really blogging right now.

Most of the reasons are personal and for one situation, I'm not really sure how far I can go on my blog, even though it is my blog, before someone gets hurt. And someone will and I'm trying to make sure it's not me. The other situation is something that paints me in a very bad light, not that that usually bothers me, but it dates back 21 years and I lost friends then over it and I'm not looking forward to the possibility again. Granted, I'll be the first to admit that I have absolutely no use for 'fair weather' only friends. The event 21 years ago showed me that and the friends that stood by me then are still strong friends to this day.

Situation 1: A person has opened a door with some information that could possibly explain my whole family dynamic. It could explain why my sister and my brother paired off all the time. I used to think it was because they both had similar coloring to each other - close enough to be blood related, and most of the rest of the family, included extended didn't share that coloring. The information is something that completely blindsided me and I don't think I'm truly believed when I state that I had no clue.

My main problems with this are: 1. There is no way to prove or disprove the information. It's all hearsay. 2. the person won't answer a few direct questions regarding the whole thing so that I can truly understand it's extent. 3. I don't honestly know how far this person is willing to go to drive a huge wedge in my life as pay back for not being one of the original affected parties, though I had NO CONTROL over that, to the point of making this whole thing up. (please remember I'm a cynic) 4. If it's true, so much other stuff could be explained that I'm NEVER going into detail about here or anywhere actually. 5. There is no use confronting the accused since no one in their right mind would verify this. Ever. I already know it will become a they said, they said kind of situation with me in the middle.

So I don't know what to do. Do I keep pushing on item 2? Do I change my mind about item 5? Right now I think the answer is yes and no respectively. Because the person should answer the questions. They opened the door; they don't get to back out halfway through. Maybe they have closure, but I sure as hell don't. As for 5, absolutely no good can come of me changing my mind, ever. Everyone loses, including me.

Situation 2: When I first found out/admitted I was pregnant 21 years ago I thought it was due to my attack on campus shortly after I came back for the school year. That would also be where the denial came in. The attack over shadowed everything else. Either way, family was told and appointments were made to take care of the 'situation'. At that appointment I found out I was farther along than the attack would warrant. There would be no taking care of the situation in 'that' manner any more. That was my decision. My body, my choice.

* Digression * And as it's my blog let me simply state that I sit on the fence regarding abortion. I don't see it as a means of birth control, but I do believe some situations call for it, mental and physical health of the mother at the front of that. That said, this is MY view. I don't care what your view is. I will listen to it, but I won't let you try to force me to change to my mind because you think your view is the only right one. You have your right to yours, just as I have a right to mine. Comments to the contrary will be deleted. * End Digression *

I named the father of the child as my long time boyfriend, who had broken up with me over the summer. I didn't expect anything from him and I made that very clear. Thing is I've always been good at math and it turns out the ex could count to, but he let the whole thing go forward and he was supportive in his own, but I didn't rely on him. Now please note that I'm not proud of myself. I can blame hormones and trauma and shock and whatever, but it was still me that did it. No one else.

The person that was/is the father was told flat out that he wasn't ('dated' him a month after the ex, and a month before the attack). Again, I made that decision. We were both in college. I was not moving to where he was, he wasn't moving to where I was (NY vs Alabama). We sure as heck weren't going to get married. We both needed to do what was best for the baby and for us. The problem with that, is I made ALL of the decisions for both of us without ever once giving him the opportunity to be included or to step up. Because I knew what was best for all parties involved and that was that. (Yes I was equally obnoxious at 19 as I am at 40). We completely lost touch after that.

Once I was willing to admit who the father was I tried to make sure the adoptive parents knew. I wasn't given that opportunity, thanks to my crap lawyer. I was supposed to get to meet them in person at the hospital after the delivery. It was scheduled and everything. So I was going tell them then. My lawyer decided to cancel the meeting and not bother to tell me about it. The baby went home with them, I signed the rest of the relinquishment papers. Life moved on.

Ex and I completely fell apart that summer. Not surprising. Wasn't mean to be. He and I did come to terms with the truth regarding who the father was a few years later and we both went our separate ways.

I kept track over the years of where the baby was, (I chose the parents and the name was distinct as well as the husband's profession). Called them once, okay Ken did - he is so fearless, just before Alex turned 12 to see if his hearing was fine, as my doctor requested we check if we could since we were doing genetic testing to try to find cause and possibility of passing it down to any other children. Ken reached Alex's mom and she was VERY nice on the phone (though I'm absolutely sure I'm the last person she expected when she picked up the phone that afternoon) and I finally got a chance to thank them through her.

As most of you know, I didn't try to make contact again till after Alex turned 18. And I promised to only make contact with the parents. Contact was made. They were/are very nice about all of it. They directed Alex to me this past May and its been a heck of ride.

But during all those years I was never able to find Alex's biological dad again, so I could set him straight and let him know. Because he did deserve to know. His university's alumni association wasn't very helpful, kudos to them actually. Google failed time and again and I didn't know his middle name, which might have helped. I'd search a couple of times a year and try to figure out what the heck I was going to say when I found him, how to explain why I did what I did.

In October Alex and I were chatting via IM and he was asking questions about his biological father (BF) that I couldn't answer. I could tell him where he went too school, what he looked like, what his major was, about how old he was. Both nothing about his heritage or how or where he grew up, nothing about siblings, family, etc. So Alex started Googling and actually got a couple of useful hits and sent the links to me. I hit the websites and the pictures looked like him. So I told Alex I would reach out. Yeah I was terrified, but this wasn't about me. It was about hooking them up and righting the wrong from 21 years ago.

So I hit LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Namyz and as vaguely as I could asked if he was so and so from such and such and if he remembered the little brunette across the street. That was a Friday. I stalked my email ALL NIGHT waiting for a response. And there it was. The time had come. So I told him. He was shocked, happy, surprised, angry and forgiving.

Emails passed back and forth. He gave me contact information to give to Alex. He (the BF) and I had a really long talk a few days later where I got to explain why I did what I did so long ago. And to apologize and to promise to do everything I could do to make sure nothing was hidden about Alex and me and him ever again going forward. BF was sent pictures of Alex. Alex was given links to pictures of his BF.

Ken was told. BF was brought into WoW, because that is where Alex and I hook up mainly and they finally got to hook up in game and BF was ecstatic and Alex got to ask a lot of questions and Ken helped facilitate all of that too. And I got to watch and add my input and just see how well the two of them interacted. Ken was actually on the phone with Alex's BF during the whole exchange, since Ken was running him through some quests in WoW and talking is so much easier than typing for people that can hear. I think because of Wow, Ken and BF have talked more in the past 6 weeks then BF and I ever did in the past 21 years. And it's all good. I know they are discussing me some. I don't know what's being said, maybe they'll share that with me some day. But they are not obligated to do so.

The whole thing drove home to Ken a 20 + year old habit I have that drives him nuts. I will make decisions for most parties involved in something important, because I decide, after going through all the possible outcomes in my head, that I will just make the outcome I want to happen happen. That way I don't have to risk disappointment of someone not coming through for me and since the decisions are mine, whether they affect others, the responsibility is mine. If I know (or rather think I know) the other can't/won't step up, I will fill the gap by making sure they aren't ever asked to do so. It's certainly not fair to them, but it is the way I am. I am aware of this and trying to work on this, though not nearly quickly enough for all parties involved.

Alex's BF really really wants to talk to Alex on the phone ( I don't blame him ). Alex made a promise to himself that when he does get around to contacting either of us that way (its only been internet - Facebook, instant messaging, WoW and email for he and I) he will call me first. Only then will he call his BF. His BF is very close geographically and has a 2 year old son, so Alex has a half sibling. So they could definitely hook up in person well before he and I would be able to do so. And you know, I'm okay with all of that. I've told Alex he can call his BF first. He has said he's standing by his decision. And since Alex is driving this part of the show, all I can do is step back and watch and answer any questions from all involved parties and wait. And while, as we can all see now, that's not generally my way, I can be taught and I learn from my actions. Even if I'm not quick to change.

But I do know and have always known that every action has a consequence. Don't ever do something if you aren't able to face those consequences later. And no matter what I am or what people think of me, one thing I've learned in the past 20 years is to take responsibility for myself and my actions.