Posted in anxiety, Blogging, family, kids, Life, motherhood, parenting, People, random

Conflicted

conflicted
Which would leave me with nothing, unfortunately.

 

 

This seems to be a theme in my life right now, this being conflicted. That weird line between what you want and what you should do. The person you could be, with a tiny bit more effort, and the lazy ass you are- not YOU, I’m sorry, don’t leave. I meant ME, the lazy ass I am.

It’s occurring in all areas of my life right now, and I don’t know what to think about it, what cosmic lesson I am supposed to be learning. I know it will come to me, but right now, it is very early, and I’m only on my first cup of coffee, so even if there was some clarity available I’m not sure I would be able to grasp it just yet.

Here’s a good example: I have court this morning to determine the amount of child support I will be receiving. The judge has recommended a sum of about 600 dollars, which I have thought all along was more than fair- I don’t know how many of you guys raise children, but it’s not cheap. And it’s not just about me buying her clothing, or toys, or outings. Take that stuff out of the picture, and it’s still so. much. stuff. The weird foods I would never buy, the lunches I pack daily, the rent for a bigger house, the laundry, the day to day expense of raising a kid is exorbitant. Jesus, the gas money alone I spend on driving her all the way across town every day to a school that has a better rating! I mean, 600 bucks is fair. To me.

This morning, I woke up and thought for the first time what that would be like for Camryn’s dad. Okay, he is terrible with his money, and he has made some really bad choices in his life in general, but more specifically, he has some tax stuff going on and back child support for his older son. On the other hand, he makes really good money, and I have no idea why he can’t pull it together. Seriously, like what the fuck is he doing? So where is my responsibility in this? Do I agree with a reduced amount because he can’t figure out, at the age of 50, how to run his life? Or do I hold out for what his kid and I deserve, because he is responsible for half of her life and that’s just how it goes? I’m not poor, I’m not struggling, but I have given up ten years of my life with this guy, helped him out, given him chance after chance to pull it together. I just don’t know. I’m very torn. And my hope is that I won’t have to decide, the judge will do it for me.

I wish there was a judge around to help me with these other things that are bothering me. Like, when i’m sitting here right before I’m off work, and I want to go to the gym, but I also want to binge watch The Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. It would be so great if a judge would bang her gavel and say, “I order you to 90 minutes at the Wellness Center, Ms. Duncan!” And I would have to slink off in shame to find clean gym clothes. Or when I am typing up a really heartfelt but probably damaging text message at five in the morning, before I’ve had a proper chance to wake up and think things through, the gavel bangs and a booming voice fills the room-“I order you to set that phone down and do not pick it up again until noon!” Okay, okay. My finger hovers over the send button a moment longer, then I think of the consequences-how terrible I’d look in an orange jumpsuit, or how people might laugh at me as I picked up trash along the freeway, and I walk away. Wouldn’t that be kind of great?

As it stands, all I have to guide me is my conscience and my brain, and we all know none of that shit functions properly. Too much, or not enough…that’s my lot in life. Welp, I probably ought to go start getting cleaned up for court. Maybe I’ll ask the judge if she’ll consider some side work. 🙂

 

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Posted in family, friendship, kids, Life, love, People, random, relationships, Uncategorized

Long Lost Sister

sistersMy sister is teaching me what it means to be, and to have, a sister.

“Why haven’t you called me?” She’ll ask.

“Oh, God, I’ve just been so miserable and depressed, I didn’t want to bring you down.” I’ll tell her.

“That’s WHY you need to call ME.” She instructs, “That’s what sister’s DO.”

See, she has had sisters, two other ones, all of her life. As a matter of fact, she had me all of her life, too, except we didn’t know each other. She may have had other sisters, but she never had a BIG sister, which is what I am to her- six years older, actually, although technically, she is several inches taller than me. Still, I am her big sister. I just know nothing about this sister business.

Here’s the story: My mom had me when she was nineteen. My dad (our dad) was also nineteen, and nowhere near as married to my mom as she was to him. Not surprisingly, their marriage didn’t last too long- I’m pretty sure they were on their way to an annulment when my mom found out she was pregnant with me. By the time I was one, my dad was long gone. He popped back in frequently throughout my life, with sporadic little bouts of interest in me…but he wasn’t the kind of dude who would show up for the school Christmas program or who knew any of my friends. He was the kind of dude who liked dropping me off once a year in front of my middle school in his pimped out El Camino blaring Motley Crue. And that was fine with me, I wasn’t heartbroken over it- I had my mom.

Meanwhile, across town, there lived another little girl, sharing half my DNA (and half my child support) that was living without him AT ALL. When I was very little, I remember playing with this little girl (she swears I hit her over the head with my little purse, which sounds about right, although I don’t remember it that way) on the sidewalk in front of a house. One of us was on a tricycle. I had no idea she was my sister. How weird is that? But that is the only memory I have of her, except for this one: When I was about nine, I was at my dad’s boooooring apartment (the ONLY good thing about his place was when he took a shower, I got to sneak peeks at his dirty magazines. Thanks to the ads in the back, I was very confused about whether girls had penises or not. If you have a porn mag on hand, look at the back and you’ll see what I mean.) and I saw a picture in a frame I’d never seen before.

“When did I get that picture taken?” I asked, innocently.

“That’s not you!” he barked. I never saw that picture again. For years, he claimed that she wasn’t his- until her mom had his blood tested and we were .99998 percent sure she was his. After that, there was just no talk of it. Or, if there were, I didn’t hear it, because I just wasn’t around that much. When I was in my twenties, I asked my step-mom about her, and I remember she told me that my sister had a different last name. I looked in the phone book and made a call or two, but got nowhere.

As you all know, I spent a gazillion years being super busy with the pursuit of drugs, so having a sister out there was not on the forefront of my mind. But, when I settled down and life got easier, there was this neat thing call Myspace- you might remember it? Somehow, I actually remembered her last name, after all those years! So, I sat down, did a little search, and found there were several girls with her name. The first one was definitely not her. The second one…my heart started hammering, my hands were shaky. I couldn’t tell you what it was, exactly, because we don’t look too much alike. But I knew. I knew for sure.

I sent her the weirdest message she has probably ever gotten. “Hi. You don’t know me, but I think we may be sisters. If this sounds totally wrong, I apologize. My dads name is blankety-blank. Do you know him?” Or something like that.

It was not long before she replied. “YES! You are my sister! I have been looking for you my whole life!” Or something like that.

We started talking on the phone. It was a little scary- we didn’t know anything about each other, and we were adults who knew how messed up the world can be. Finally, though, we decided to meet. I drove down to where she lives and we met at her apartment. Within minutes, her little daughter, my niece, had uttered a curse word, and I knew we were cut out of the same cloth. We just looked at each other and laughed our asses off.

You would think it would be awkward, right? Uncomfortable, touchy, weird? Well, it has never, not once, been any of those things. It has been easy as pie. Our similarities are outrageous. The lives and struggles we have had mirror one another very closely, and we also both love milk with our dinner, tequila shots, we both are allergic to mosquito bites, and our daughters have insanely curly hair (like our dad). I mean, there’s other stuff, but cut me a break, it’s not even six a.m.

I thought meeting her would be cool. I never dreamed I would love her as easily as if we had been raised together. I never expected to find myself thinking about her, or my niece and nephew, or her husband, as REAL family. But I do. I love them. They have known Cammy, my little one, her entire life-  so her memory’s will not have a hole in them, the way ours do. If only our parents had pushed a little…just think. We could have always had what we have now.

Last time I was at her house, I was laying on her bed talking to her while she did whatever she was doing. She was giving me a bunch of clothes, and she laughed at how much smaller my boobs were than hers (and can I just say, um, who’s AREN’T, Dolly?), and I wondered if she knew how crazy special she is to me? How big of a deal it is that we have the relationship we have? Because she is, and it is. I thought I better write this to let her know.

I love you, sissy. Thanks for training me to do this job, and just being the cool chick you are. I’m so glad we have each other.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Worst Fear…

Is actually happening to someone else, just over the hill. She’s the mother of a beautiful teenage girl, just like me- I don’t know her or her daughter, but I know she is beautiful because I see her face every time I turn on the news. Her daughter, Sierra LaMar, is missing. She’s been missing for fourteen days now…FOURTEEN DAYS. Do you know how long that is for a mother, when your child is missing? Every time I start to imagine it, my mind pulls away in fear, and I can’t. I just can’t imagine it.

I joke around all the time about how awful my teenager is- I’m not saying it’s not true, I’m just saying I crack a lot of jokes about what a hormone imbalanced demon she is. There are times, though, when I am in the middle of things with her, and it’s all I can do to keep from snatching her by her neck or popping her right in her rotten little mouth. I am NOT laughing then. There are moments such as those, when I literally cannot come up with one pleasant feeling for that kid, not even pity for her evil little soul ( 😉 ). It’s really hard to live with her, day in and day out, the way she bullies (yes, she really is a bully-she makes everyone completely miserable until she gets her way. That to me is a bully.) everyone in the house.

But I’ll tell you what-I would gladly live with that kid every day for the rest of my natural life if it meant I could rest easy knowing my baby was safe. My heart goes out to Sierra’s parents and family, but more than anyone else, her mom. I just don’t know how you could possibly get through a day of that kind of fear and worry. Let alone fourteen. There is no drug that could calm you down enough. There is no prayer, except an answered one, that could really comfort you. It upsets my stomach just thinking it over.

I know that while Sierra is missing, they don’t really know if she is harmed or even if she is alive. They aren’t really even saying for sure that it’s an abduction- they are calling her “involuntarily missing”, which sounds about the same to me. They found her cell phone a block from where she was supposed to catch the bus to school, in a field. Later, they found her bag in another field, a mile from the first one. I am trying to ask myself this- if my little girl, my Aisley was missing for fourteen days, would I want her found alive at any cost? I don’t mean to me, of course at any cost to me. But to HER. I am not trying to be morbid, I just can’t fathom that you could avoid those thoughts in those shoes…selfishly, I think my answer would be yes. Maybe I’m just crazy enough to think that there is nothing a mothers love can’t fix. Maybe I would just tell myself that, or anything at all that I needed to, for a chance to hold my daughter again, hear her voice, see her smile. Even to hear her scream how much she hates me, even that would be wonderful.

So many children go missing all the time, every single day, more than you can even comprehend when you look at the statistics. Some of them run off, some are stolen by their parents, or other family members for reasons that are usually at least not horrific. Then there are the kids like Polly Klaas who was stolen from her own room during a sleepover by some evil man and murdered, or Christina Williams in Ft. Ord right here on my peninsula, who was out walking her dog and was never seen again until they found her bones years later. I just don’t and can’t for the life of me, understand it. How can a person be so sick and so selfish and so broken inside that they can destroy so many lives? Those children need not have suffered, ever, but at the very least, their suffering ended. What about the ones left behind who must face the rest of their lives with this part of themselves missing, just stolen and destroyed for nothing, no purpose at all? I don’t really believe you can qualify as a human being when you are capable of such things- there is a vital part missing in those people, and knowing they walk among us, blending in, is terrifying.

I don’t really believe in the death penalty for most things- I think being held in prison for every single day of your life is a far greater punishment than death, and I don’t mind that my tax money has to feed those prisoners. Money well spent. But when it comes to pedophiles or people that steal and harm children, I can’t lie, I change sides. My two girls are THE most important people in the world to me, without exception. That’s what being a parent does to your heart. You devote yourself to loving them and caring for them, to shaping them and to letting them show you who they are, and it is the most intimate of bonds- you will find none closer. And a twisted, crazy minded man is going to just destroy all that love and work and hope and dreams for the fulfillment of some urge he can’t control? Well, that guy needs to die. I like to think that usually, God knows what he is doing. I don’t pretend to know what the master plan is. But I can’t help it in situations like these.

I didn’t mean to rant like that, but I guess I did. I ‘m tired and I ought to be sleeping, but this has been on my heart all day today. I hope that those of you who read this and who pray will include Sierra and her family in your prayers. I certainly will- right after I say thank you God, so, so much, that my babies are here and safe. Please keep them that way.

Goodnight.