Jail is a Country Club and Other Lies People Tell You — Part 1

Part 1 – I arrived at Harris County lockup on a Thursday evening in September 2014. I was in the middle of a terrible divorce and my husband arranged to have me arrested on a bench warrant in Louisiana to get rid of me for awhile so he could do some legal maneuvering in the divorce and child custody case. I had failed to register my new address with my probation officer on a charge from 2002. My crime wasn’t violent or drug related, it was a property crime from when I was 22 for which I was given a year of probation. I had broken a technical rule of that probation when we moved for my husband’s job without proper notification which triggered a bench warrant that laid dormant for more than a decade. Since I hadn’t committed a new crime and posed no danger to anyone, I thought I’d be able to return to Louisiana, straighten things out and return home in a few days. That’s not even remotely close to what happened. The first thing they did was take my phone. I haven’t memorized a phone number since high school so without it I couldn’t even call […]

My Divorce Nightmare is Over, But Watching My Best Friend Go Through it is Killing Me

Another bully. Another privileged white man that thinks he can bully the mother of his children into submission, and the court system that happily and knowingly enables him. I’ve had a little time to rest and recover and I’ve decided that I simply will not let them do to her what was done to me and thousands upon thousands of mothers across this country.

The Other F Word

Anyone that knows me or casually reads my work, knows that I drop F bombs like nobody’s business. Sometimes “fuck” is the only word that will do. I use it as a noun, a verb, an adverb, and an adjective so I can construct an entire sentence using my favorite word. Fuck is not a word I’m afraid of. But “forgiveness?” Fuck that shit. Forgiveness is often touted as therapeutic, even necessary in order to push past the pain and move forward in life. I’ve often said the words and not meant them, just hoping the words would be enough to make me feel better. Speak it into existence, as they say. Pushing past trauma someone has inflicted on you is a painful process, often built on lies that we hope will become truths. I forgive you. I’ve moved on. If you’re real with yourself, you know that the words come easier than the real feelings do. Truthfully, I don’t know that I’ve ever really forgiven myself on the level that I’ve professed to forgive others. Forgiving others does come just a little easier. Oh, I’ll give him a pass, I’m sure he didn’t mean any malice. But to extend […]

Embracing the Joy…and the Things that Slither About

There was a quiet moment between my man and I this morning, so sweet that it made me smile. Instead of allowing it to flit and flutter by, I held onto it for an extra moment. No, normally, these mornings when my little one is away with his dad, the air is less sweet, the clouds grayer and hiding the sun, if only in my mind. Sharing my child is harder than I expected, but I have more than I deserve and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna waste a moment feeling sorry for myself. Middle son is getting a lizard today and we quietly whispered covert plans to each other on how to handle this sensitive matter. We have a Husky pup that does, for all intents and purposes, consider herself to be a human with all rights thereof. She also likes to snack on lizards in the backyard from time to time. I suggested to my love, “Let’s just name it Thomas and put a hat on it. That dum dum will never even know its a lizard!” Brilliant. My love suggests we name it “Martin Martin lol”. Even with the clever “lol” he’s just too corny to […]

I was raped… but I’m no longer a victim

There’s a lot of talk about rape and sexual assault this month and I’m glad to see these issues brought to the forefront. Not just from a societal perspective, but a personal one. When I was 19 I was raped by 3 acquaintances at a party. I had too much to drink and passed out. While I was unconscious, I was assaulted. When I woke up, frozen by fear, I didn’t fight back. I hated myself for that. I didn’t spend the day crying in the shower, I went to work. I tried to bury it deep, but it didn’t stay there. The imagery we have of a rape victim is someone that is afraid to leave the house, holed up inside, spending the days in a constant state of fear. The reality of life in the aftermath is quite different. I lost respect for myself and didn’t value my own life. I put myself in riskier and riskier situations, which I now understand is a common response to sexual assault and PTSD. I blamed myself entirely, as most young women do. I told myself that I drank too much and put myself in that position. It was easier to […]

The Friends You Will Lose, Give Zero F$#ks

It’s really a shame that everyone that calls you a friend isn’t. In fact, they’re often something much more sinister. After a divorce the people in your life will pick sides and it’s better for everyone if you accept their choice and release them from your life.  They didn’t live in your marriage and they have no right to judge your role in it’s demise, but they will anyway.  The good ones will pick a side openly and make a graceful exit, but be prepared for the ones that will smile in your face and like your kid’s pic on facebook…right before they run off to your ex’s house to gossip about you. You don’t have to be confrontational, just utilize the block feature online and employ the idea in real life. For me, it was important to develop a sense of humor about it and accept that these people just didn’t have a place in my life anymore. I’m happy with my life! That can’t be changed by someone else’s perception of me. People are going to dislike you if they see you as the villain in your story, that is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to effect you […]

My Son Has Autism. Don’t Be A Dick About It.

I’m a pretty laid back, chill kind of chick…most of the time. I’ve been targeted, bullied, judged and called names. Fine. I’m a grown up, I can take it. Shit, sometimes I even deserved it. I actually welcome your criticism, as my ex-husband is no longer around to do the job full-time. However, if your unsolicited comments are directed towards my child, I’m going to make you sorry you opened your mouth. My child is beautiful, joyful, sweet and a little weird in the most adorable way possible. He is entitled to the same access to the world that your child without special needs is. I will not hide him away or take him exclusively to events for children with special needs, just to make you feel more comfortable. He has trouble waiting in lines and being quiet when he’s supposed to be, among other struggles, but he has an enthusiasm and an energy that deserves to be celebrated. Assume that he’s undisciplined, poorly-parented or lacking in manners and you are the ass, dude. 1 in 68 school-aged children have autism. That deserves your attention, even if it doesn’t apply directly to your child, because I assure you that statistic […]

My Last Blog Post

I must admit to catching some shit about my last blog post and the compliment paid to my ex-husband. How could you say a kind word about someone that did such awful things to you?! Especially by the people that know all the dirty details. It’s an easy question to answer, but I had to fake it ’till I made it: He’s my child’s father first and my tormentor second. That is how I get through each day and every interaction with him. In my phone, I don’t use his name, I labeled him as “son’s father.” When I feel like saying or texting something unkind, I think of the impact it might have on my son, who’s name is right there on the screen. Then I stop and delete the text, starting over with the right frame of mind. It isn’t easy to put my personal feelings toward the man aside, when he was so hateful and destructive, but a mother’s love knows no work that is too hard. It was difficult to forgive the man that never asked for my forgiveness, about that I cannot lie. But when I was able to put the tools into practice to […]

The Fine Art of Letting Go

My ex and I brought out the worst in each other. He didn’t often make me feel special or loved or even respected. Most days, I got a sick feeling in my gut when he walked in the door because I never knew what emotional crisis he’d lay at my feet. It was a relationship led by fear. Fear of what he thought of me, fear of what he’d say, fear of what I’d say back, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing my family, fear that I couldn’t make it on my own. Love cannot grown in a garden of fear. But despite my awful pride, I still miss him sometimes, and that’s what hurts the most. We had so much that was good and hard to let go of. You can drown those sweet memories in the conflict of the day for only so long before they bubble up to the surface, demanding to be recognized. In the quiet aftermath of the battle, I’m forced to acknowledge the truth. We were deeply in love. We were not a mistake. We were both incredibly flawed, we caused each other pain, but we made a beautiful child together. Knowing that […]

The Shame of Being A Non-Custodial Mother

I am defective. I’ve thought that about myself and been told that by others. Most people are just quiet in their judgment, but make no mistake, if you do not have primary custody of your child, they are making assumptions about you. There is a misconception that mothers are always the custodial parent unless they’re found to be abusive, neglectful or living with an addiction. They assume that a judge or a CPS worker took your child away from you to protect him. They assume that you don’t deserve to have custody of your child because the people looking out for the child’s best interest want him to be with the father. These reasons might apply to some mothers, but not me. Our first temporary orders hearing granted me primary physical custody, but my ex-husband was having none of that. When he turned me in on an out of state bench warrant that was more than a decade old, his attorney had already filed for an emergency hearing. Because I was locked away waiting for my court date when that hearing occurred, everything was overturned and I was granted only 4 days of supervised visits per month upon my release. […]