First, I would like to say ”Thank you” for all the love, support and prayers. It means the world to me.
With that said, there are a few thoughts I’d like to share and some myths I’d like to address – not necessarily in that order.
Myth #1: Now that the adoption is finalized a huge weight has been lifted and our stress has disappeared. FALSE
The short version answer is that while the stress from constant legal battles is hopefully finished we now have a new stress of trying to recover and resort our lives. If you want the wordy, jumbled answer, keep reading.
Myth #2: This was Nick’s last great noble act as Gavin’s father. UNDETERMINED
Some will say this Myth is true. I’m not so sure. Nick made it very clear when I told him I was pregnant with Gavin what his thoughts and feelings were. He’s been wishy-washy for 8 years. Never once doing the right thing for Gavin. Never once putting Gavin’s needs above his own or before his mother. Why now? It really doesn’t matter in the long run. I guess for the sake of Gavin we’ll just go with the “noble, super father-of-the-year” theory. I don’t buy it but whatever.
Myth #3: Now that the adoption is finalized, we will never have to deal with Nick or Pam again. UNDETERMINED
In theory, this is how things should go. Once the contempt motion, charges and pending jail time have been dealt with there shouldn’t be anything left for them to do. The adoption is final and there’s no going back on that. There are 3 different loop-holes she could attempt to exploit except they don’t apply. So while in theory we should be finished with the two of them as soon as this contempt craziness is over. There’s also a very real chance that she may file stupid motions from now until Doomsday simply because she can. Hence the reason for the “UNDETERMINED” label.
Myth #4: Pam and Nick are victims in all of this. FALSE
Short answer: Bull-pucky.
Long answer: Nick is possibly a small victim in all of this. Simply because A) his mother did what she did knowing full well that he would eventually become collateral damage and B) I firmly believe that a large part of who he is, is because of her. So while he is responsible for his own actions (or inactions as the case may be from time to time) he is still a victim because of her. She, however, is NOT a victim in any sense of the word. This became a “war of attrition” because of her. Everything that was nasty, ugly, bitter, hateful, vengeful, and aggressive about this legal snafu was because she made it that way. She made things ugly. She stated time and time again that her main concern was never Gavin. It was always HER. How she was going to get what she wanted. Didn’t anyone care about HER needs. It was never, ever Gavin. She even went so far once as to tell Patty that she was trying to have me thrown in jail because it was the only way for her to get what she wanted. She didn’t care that having his mother thrown in jail was in no way, shape or form in Gavin’s best interests. She only cared about getting what she needed and wanted. To Hell with the rest of us. In my book, that makes her the aggressor and villain. Not the victim.
Oh and yes, I am fully and completely aware that she has effectively lost her grandson. And yes, I can only imagine how difficult that must be and how much that must hurt. However, she lost him because her actions led them to this point. She and Nick repeatedly did what they wanted and every choice they made – together or independently of one another – led them to where we are now. They could have been seeing him for the past 15 months and the adoption would have been a much smaller threat or possibly not filed at all. However, they didn’t like the new location. They didn’t like being supervised. They didn’t want the new rules. So they opted to stop coming up and seeing him. In doing so, they shot themselves in the proverbial foot. I didn’t do any of this to them. They did it to themselves. So yes, while I am very sure it must suck and hurt a great deal they did this to themselves. And that does not absolve her of the responsibility for her actions over the past 8 years. That does not remove the titles of aggressor and villain. At least in my book.
Myth #5: I am pregnant. FALSE
Okay people, this has nothing to do with the court battle et al. However, there are rumor circulating even though I have posted to say that I AM NOT PREGNANT so I felt that this matter should be discussed in the “Myths” forum.
So please, for the love of God and all things holy in the world, hear me when I say I AM NOT PREGNANT! There are no tiny Baby Gs growing within my belly. The only baby in our family is Mr. Emmett John. And honestly, while I’m certainly not against more babies in the future, Mr. Emmett John and I are quite content with him being the center of my universe. You see while I love to share my body with babies while pregnant and then again while nursing, I’m not sure that I could handle sharing all of me with two babies at the same time at the moment. And I don’t think Emmett would be exactly thrilled to share his nummies or give them up at the moment. So please, allow me to repeat (hopefully for the last time) that I AM NOT PREGNANT! NO! NO! NO! NOT PREGNANT! I’m glad I could clear that up for you.
I feel as if I’m stuck in limbo. Maybe purgatory is a better analogy – I was in Hell but now I’ve been released and I’m waiting to see what happens next. Typically, in our lives, this is where the other shoe drops. Be it a lightning strike that kills our cat. Gavin has a nervous breakdown. A freak hurricane blows through Ohio. I go into preterm labor (if I were pregnant, which I stated quite clearly in Myth #5 I am NOT). Or my ex-mother-in-law (a.k.a. Pam) tries to have me thrown in jail – again. So until I get some inclination as to what’s next, I’m stuck here.
Now please remember that while Hell sucks, it is all that I know. I have been a full-time resident for nearly a decade! Nick and I started dating in the Summer of 1998. The physical abuse and head games (a.k.a. psychological abuse) from Nick started not long after we started dating. The abuse and head games from Pam and Tom (Pam’s husband who died in June 2003) started around the time I found out I was pregnant with Gavin. The Summer of 1998 to now is 10 years of abuse and head games.
My entire life for 10 years has been tainted and stained by them. Every choice, every decision, every everything was out of my control even though I’ve had sole custody since October 2003. I could only use the medical professionals the courts approved. I could move but had to stay within a 30 mile radius of my parents’ house. And if I moved, I had to notify Nick and Pam and the courts 30 days before the move to give them time to object. My medical and psychological records were open season if they wanted them. Heck, my entire life was open season…my family, my friends, my activities, my job, my grades in college – you get the idea. It even came to the point where I had to cut off contact with my sister, Trisha, and her family because they were trying to use them against me. (I miss my sister so very much.) My life had to be as bland and straight-laced as humanly possible. I don’t remember how to live outside of those parameters anymore.
Sadly many of you have only ever known me as I am since Nick. I was happy, funny, and
fairly laid-back once upon a time. I gave of my heart freely and wore my heart on my sleeve. I don’t know if that Lizze even exists anymore.
The abuse of the past decade, the nearly constant onslaught of legal battles and character assassinations has made me angry and bitter. I’m cynical. I survived by adopting a sort of state of constant vigilance. I trust very few people. The few I do trust, I question their motives constantly. I have nightmares about Pam and Nick taking me to court and taking my children – not just Gavin but Elliott Richard and Emmett John too. I jump at the slightest noises. Basically, I am the poster woman for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Over time my untreated PTSD triggered my Fibromyalgia and all that comes with it – migraines, panic attacks, acid reflux, and constant pain.
You know, I’m a pretty intelligent gal. Logically, intellectually I knew how much stress I was under. I knew that the stress only made matters worse with my Fibro. I knew that it played a huge part in most (if not all) of my health issues. I also knew that Gavin and I (and Rob and the boys as well) all have a very symbiotic relationship. Meaning that he feeds off of the emotions running through our home. I knew that the stress in our home was making Gavin’s rapidly growing laundry list of psychological issues worse. I knew these things. I don’t deny them. I have never denied them.
At the same time though there was little I could do. I made countless offers to Pam and Nick. I tried more times than I can count to find a middle ground, a gray area so that everyone could be happy and involved in Gavin’s life without the additional drama and stress of constant legal battles. I was rebuffed. I was left with no options other than to fight the motions that were filed against me. These battles made life worse for all those involved. I did the best I could with what I had to work with.
What I didn’t realize all this time, was how much of that stress I was carrying with me. I didn’t realize that in “letting go” of the stress I wouldn’t in fact be releasing it. That wouldn’t be the end of it. I foolishly thought that in letting go of the stress I was actually releasing it. Much like you would release an animal into the wild. That I would let go and it would be gone. I didn’t realize that letting go would trigger some horrible health side effects like migraines that medications don’t touch and Fibro flares that left me crying and sobbing (the tears burned like the dickens – that’s how bad my flare was). I’ve been having panic attacks. I haven’t had a panic attack since I was pregnant with Elliott Richard. I’m beyond exhausted. My body is covered in hives. It feels like my body is slowly shutting down.
If this blog is any indication, well then it shouldn’t really be too difficult to see how much I’m currently struggling. My thoughts are all over the place. (More so than usual.) And that’s if I’m able to string two thoughts together. Most of the time I sit and stare trying to make sense of it all and yet completely unable to do so. I can’t even focus on my favorite television shows anymore. By the time I get to the end, I can’t remember what happened in the beginning. If my DVR didn’t tell me that I had watched it, I wouldn’t know I had 90% of the time.
I feel like a dog chasing it’s tail. This blog doesn’t make any sense. My thoughts are scattered. I started by stating how I feel stuck. I’ve jumped to about a zillion points after that. And I keep coming back to the fact that I’m stuck. I’m in limbo. I don’t know where else to go. I don’t know what else to say. And as my post title so clearly states, I can’t even tell which way is up anymore.
***FYI: I hope y’all understand that when I refer to “my life” et al I truly mean “our lives” it’s just that this post is from my POV. So please don’t think I’m excluding the effect this nightmare has had on my entire family.