I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I know we did. My Mom and my Sister are the cooking queens, and always make enough for everyone to take something home. It was amazing!
The VERY best part of Thanksgiving that I am truly grateful for is being able to pick up my oldest son, and seeing him so well. I am so proud of him and his motivation to move forward. We should all take a moment to THANK our warriors in the military. Coming out of that situation is not easy, and it makes me REALLY mad when people don’t treat them with the greatness that they deserve. They come back with some real problems and are treated so horribly. If someone had Cancer, you would be supportive? Support the transition of our hero’s. Kudo’s to Chickfila for giving him the chance as a manager, and he is rocking it! I digress. Myself and my youngest son picked him up had a wonderful Thanksgiving! He also always makes me laugh! We love to laugh together. I digress again. Unless, you have been through it you will never understand what it is like to have a son in Afghanistan. I cried almost everyday, especially in the shower not wanting to scare my youngest. When he got shot, I was in the hospital myself receiving some rather bad news, and I think my heart stopped. I always try to put on that brave face, and” I can handle anything type attitude”. Trust me when I say, you cannot tough this out. You feel so helpless as a Mother. You feel like your heart will break. In the book, I go into detail about what it is like to run a marketing business where you are expected to smile, laugh, and wear the mask of the Doctor’s wife. I kept tissues in my glove box because a song would come on the radio and I would burst into tears. We had several songs that we would blast on the radio together. Having him at 19 was rough, but growing up with him created an unbreakable bond that most people just don’t understand. He was my whole life, and then he was gone. I remember shortly before he left, after visiting him in Hawaii, getting a letter in the mail from the Army wanting verification of this and that, and mainly I was his sole beneficiary. I lost it. I cried for three days straight and couldn’t stop crying. I sent care packages, and notes from his Brother’s. Wanda at the local post office knew me by name, mostly because I was the only one in the post office line crying. When he came home for a visit and decided to marry his long time friend and love I was so happy! My ex….aka….flyboy… (his name in the book) called me and said you have to talk him out of it. I remember losing it and saying our son almost died and you are worried about him getting married? I wouldn’t have cared if he came home with an entire group of women! He walked through the front door and I wrapped my arms around him and cried like the day he was born. I was so happy. The visit wasn’t long enough before he had to go back to Hawaii and was eventually(I’m being kind, they took forever, and it was terrible) honorably discharged with a purple heart. So, yes, I was very thankful this Thanksgiving, and will be for the rest of my life. I won’t lie and say oh he came home and it was all smooth sailing….these things take time, and that’s OK by me. Time eventually heals all wounds and I could not love him anymore if I tried.
My husband is a wonderful man and a very well respected physician. I know he felt so helpless during that time. He didn’t have the bond I did and all he could offer was his arms and his love to try and heal me the best he could. I was so sick back then with a disease that didn’t have a name, I was still building my business and being successful, being a wife, and trying to raise my other two children still at home at the time. Everyday was a struggle. Everyday to get in the shower, prepare meals, raise my youngest who REALLY needed all of me, and unless you have been through this, you have no idea how hard it was. I was so sick of people telling me, oh – get over it, or he will be fine, or why did he go in the Army instead of college? I felt such anger, I wanted to punch out anyone who said this crap to me! As Mothers, sometimes we just feel things about our children. My gut kept telling me it wouldn’t be OK. I was so scared all the time that perhaps I was TOO protective of my middle son who was growing up and needed me to start to let go. I couldn’t. My baby (now 15), I spent every single second I could with him. I cuddled him, I did everything for him. There was nothing he wanted for that I wouldn’t give. I was taking care of everyone else, but me.
I just kept getting sicker, was in more pain imaginable, and at the time with no real answers than some herniated back disc’s, and degenerative disc disease. Bring on the pain medication! My doctor of 15 years put me on a pain management protocol so at a minimum I could handle my business and take care of my family. He always told me there would come a day when I could concentrate on me, and I could change my diet, go to physical therapy, and really work on my core. Luckily for me, he knew that day wasn’t right then, and he did everything to see me through it. What primary care doctor takes a full hour with his patient? For primary care it is a numbers game in order to make the coin. He didn’t care, he listened intently and gave me such good care. He juggled my other specialists, and he was in charge of my prescriptions. Even during MANY hospitalizations, and surgeries, he took care of it all and did the follow up. I’m sure he will sign a release for the book, then he will be revealed as the hero he was to me.
Changing subjects. Today I picked up my youngest son from his visitation with his Dad. Another thing I am very grateful for on this weekend of Thanks, is the relationship I now have with his Father. We are civil, and we try hard to meet in the middle with each other. This is addressed in the book, but I would like to comment on a few things that may help out divorced parents. My EX has left his girlfriend…aka….demon from hell (as she is referred to in the book), for over a year now. What a difference a year makes! This woman attempted to make my life a living hell. She abused my youngest son, and brainwashed my EX into thinking I was the enemy. She tried everything she could do to take my place. Even going so far as to do very uncool things like changing my children’s pediatrician behind my back, falsifying medical records, listing herself as the Mother on school forms, when she wasn’t even a STEP-MOTHER,changing parent-teacher conferences so we could not co-parent in their school, writing me nasty notes in his school planner, making fun events like soccer, football, and school events hell, refusing to be civil or use good manners and say hello at these events making my children feel like ping pong balls back and forth because we were never allowed to sit together for them, in court the judge had to write a very detailed list of Do’s and Don’ts for her because she would not respect my position as their Mother or the courts position. Running her own EX out of town because she immediately made my EX their Father, knowing he had no choice but to accept this because he had other children in another far away state. She did this to her own children. My ex and I had shared legal and shared physical custody. He needed to rely on the bus system because of his job, so I drove them back and forth to school every other week. I came home from my honeymoon to a subpoena taped on our door that we were going back to court – AGAIN so they could have pretty much full custody of our children because my youngest had been struggling in school, and I would not agree to a county summer enrichment program so therefore it was my fault that he was struggling. My opinion on this was that he needed one on one tutoring,(which I ended up doing on my week) that I would pay for, not just a six week Summer program which was basically daycare with a plus for the Summer. Yes, I won the court date, AGAIN, and yes he had to pay my attorney’s fee’s AGAIN. The book will reveal who this woman really is, not her name, but her character. A drug abuser, proven several times, and several people came to me with the stories, slowly the kids started to unveil the MONSTER. Unfortunately, once you have had shared custody for as long as we did, I practically had to catch her with a needle hanging out of her arm to prove anything. Before I explain this next part, due to her “supposed” abuse prior, the judge had ordered NO CORPORAL punishment of my children. THANK GOD A GOOD WOMAN WITH A GREAT HEART CAME FORWARD! My husband and I were preparing for a weekend away to visit by youngest step-son in college for the weekend, and I got a call that rocked my world! She was a neighbor in their neighborhood and their kids played together. She called me and said, “You need to know what I just saw, your EX’s girlfriend banged on my door like a mad woman and demanded he leave the play date at my house. Apparently, he had not made her aware he was going ten doors down (townhouses) because she was still asleep at 1:00pm, and he called his Dad at work to make sure it was OK, and it was, then I saw her grab him and shake him while screaming at him in the neighborhood and she said, you have to deal with me over the Summer and if you don’t I will make your life hell!” Apparently, her son was not invited because of some behavior issues and so she lost her babysitter in my son and had to get up! By the time I got over there my son was back over at her house and I dialed 911. My son was so frightened by the consequences he would not confess to the police, but they questioned her and she admitted to it. At this point the courts were closed and since my son wouldn’t talk to the police, I would have to get a restraining order. So, I took my son, even though it was not my week yet. (we did week on, week off as shared custody goes) Monday morning I was granted a temporary restraining order with a court date. My son at this point had broken down and told ALL. Remember that gut feeling I referred to with my oldest, same thing applies here, I knew it, but didn’t have proof. Now I did and I was ready for war. He told the Guardian ad Litem, and the judge what had happened this time, and previous times and since she had been his live in girlfriend for 12 years (supposedly engaged, but I knew that would NEVER happen) the courts granted me full custody, and my EX would get every other weekend, some extra time in the Summer, and much of it was left to my discretion, and if he felt uncomfortable or wanted to leave, one call to me (they both had cell phones at this point) and he could come home. Being the mature adult she was, she decided to completely ignore him adn stay in the bedroom the entire time of his visits, THANK GOD. We had a wonderful Summer together. He started a new school, and was instantly popular and LOVED by the girls. He even had a girlfriend by the middle of the year. He was monitored closely by the teaching staff, his counselor, tutor, and his Pediatrician. We started reading the same books together. He had always loved my husband, but their bond became amazing. They hunted, fished, and even golfed together. If Dr. T was going to the grocery store, my son was right there next to him. We re-decorated his room in his favorite colors to represent his favorite football team. We showered him with love, kindness,tenderness, and he stayed in counseling for awhile, but then he no longer needed to go. (For a full year, and the schools here are harder, the best in Virginia, and middle school kids, unlike his last school were not given lap tops, he was learning from scratch essentially, struggled but worked hard) Turns out he is without a doubt ADD, and the beginning the next year he started medication) When he started high school he became even more popular and was totally out of his shell, making good grades, participating in sports, has amazing manners, yes sir, no sir, does all the chores he’s assigned,and loves to go shopping and match (his FAV) Ralph Lauren t-shirts to his vans or sneakers. He has begun his Sophomore year and is A/B honor roll and loves to think about his college career. (Finger’s crossed, hopefully in medicine) I digressed again, but he is my favorite subject! So, I picked him up from his Dad’s house today and an old high school friend of ours, who my EX had been estranged from due to him speaking his mind about her, was there and they were eating pizza and watching football. My oldest son had stopped by earlier and enjoyed the days events as well. My EX and I had some money/insurance issues we needed to finalize and came to a compromise easily. Our friend left and we decided to chat for a awhile in his new house that he is very proud to call his own. I do not mean this in a condescending way so please don’t take it as such. I’m proud of him. I’m so VERY proud that he stepped up and said, NO MORE to this evil woman, and he still takes care of her children every other weekend, which is the right thing to do. You see, I forgave him a long time ago. Not for him, but for me. It’s empowering and my life although hectic at times, is so good. I want the same thing for him because that means good things for our children.
FINALLY, A MORAL TO THIS BLOG. Divorced parents – Do the right thing for your kids. I was no angel at the end of my marriage having given up on someone who was unfortunately emotionally unavailable, and just realizing I needed more. I needed a career to call my own, I needed sexy time in the bedroom, I needed the kind of love that grows stronger everyday, and I am willing to do the work. GIRLFRIENDS TO MEN WITH CHILDREN – Be kind to your boyfriends ex-wife, she is the Mother of his children. You get to be lucky like I am and enjoy my grown step-children without the added pressure and responsibility! You get to be the FUN parent. You will look so much better to these kids if you respect their Mom and treat her with kindness. You can secretly hate her if she is uncool to you, BUT NEVER let the kids see it, and its best kept to yourself anyway. If he’s any kind of decent man at all, he may not say it, but will resent you if you say nasty things or interfere in something that is none of your business. If he’s any kind of decent Dad and loves he kids, there will be a part of him that will always love her for giving him these treasures. My husband, is the finest of examples. He loves my kids, but he does not try and be the FATHER. My children have a Dad, that’s his job. Dr. T will readily admit that my youngest is closest to his heart. He was only eight years old when we began our relationship, and only 11 when we got married. Since he is 15 years older than me, he is worldly and wise. Since he loves me so much, he knows they are the key to my heart. WOMEN WHO IGNORE THIS ADVICE – Your relationship is doomed, you will become “the demon from hell”, the old saying you attract more bee’s with honey could not be more correct. Be secure in yourself, this woman is of no threat to you. Their marriage is over for a reason. Be the bigger person! Be kind to her, respect her position as the Mom, and I would be willing to bet she will become your friend. What more could you ask for? You’ve got the man, and if all the sudden you get sick or you need to go out of town and want your man to go with you? She will step up, take the kid’s, bring you chicken noodle soup and latest copy of Glamour magazine. She will say have a great time on your trip, and she will only bother you during it if the house is on fire! ADDED BONUS – He’s all yours when she has the kids – that means playtime for the adults! Make the most of it.
That’s all for now, sorry to report that Chapter 7 out of 12 is still not a done deal! What the heck was I thinking when I thought, as a former publisher, no biggie, I can finish this in 9 months. Crazy talk I tell you! I’m praying for that April 2015 release date. Goodnight, or good morning, it’s 4:55 a.m. I guess my midnight deadline was a dream.
Keep the e-mails coming! I’m loving reading your thoughts.
– Stephanie….aka mask wearer of the Doctor’s wife…..