Wednesday, February 10, 2010

i lose. and apprently i suck, too.

i found out today that the custody evaluator thinks i'm an unfit inept moron. i'd go so far as to say he thinks i'm borderline retarded, but i haven't actually read the report. i threatened the hook with things that crazy ladies would say if she sent it to me.

the question you should be asking yourself is this: who's the manny now?
uh, it's mommy.

according to the evaluator, i am not fit to have any legal say in my children's education, medical decisions or religious indoctrinations. my thoughts, ideas and opinions on these important matters have no value and britton gets to call all the shots. i have no value except before and after school. breakfast, dinner, bath, books, bed and any other time i'm called upon to babysit. except he never calls. he pays other people or calls my sister.

i thought my life ended when i was told my cafe had no value. then i thought my life ended when the only person who thought i had value died with dignity. then i thought my life ended when i realized the love of my life had a life of his own and no love for me. then i thought my life ended when i lost the skids for far too long this summer.

then i did everything i was supposed to do. i stayed strong. i followed the rules. i jumped through his hoops. but i also decided to fight for my decisions, and my choices, and my methodologies.

and then i realized your life hasn't really ended until you're told everything you think and do and feel makes you unfit to raise your own children in your own way. i found their amazing schools, but i'll never have that power again. i chose their physician who's on the top doctors whatever list in the portland monthly this month. britton couldn't even tell you her name. i'll never get to pick a doc for them again. religion? he's got their heads filled with santa claus. they're christians now.

i know there is more to parenting than breakfast, dinner, bath, books, and bed. but the crux of parenting is everything you think and do and believe and feel and hope for the future; and it's your obligation to share those things with your children as you guide them though this earth. i have extreme and extensive thoughts and feelings about their education, medical well-being, and
religious exposure: the the holy trinity upon whose bench i am disallowed to sit. that's called legal custody. the evaluator recommended 50% physical custody, but that the legal trinity choices go to britton.

i was just told by the grand decider that everything i think and do and believe and feel and hope for the future -- everything i am -- is shit and therefore should not be passed along to my children.

luckily for all of us, i am no virgin to that rough fuck. but sit for a moment. spark a doob in my honor, and put yourself in my socks (i don't think they allow crazy people to wear shoes) and think about how that would do you. the loss of all your influence on the people you made out of love.


and then know that i am ok. at least i can finally make some decisions, which is kind of ironic. the only decision i have to make now is what to do with myself. nobody cares what i think about the kids as long as i'm available to babysit before and after school.

i am, for some reason, magically fine. knowing for sure that nobody believes in me at all is more of a relief than simply wondering. i don't know what i'll do with myself now, but no decisions need to be made right this second. so i'll just wait for my next babysitting shift to end before i am going to figure out how to start over. again.

i guess you can't buy back your value when you've got no money and no collateral. and no value.

i have a large supper of crow to prepare before i teach my grow class tonight. i'm kind of stunned and numb so i hope my autopilot has a chance to warm up before the first student arrives.

if i had a heart left to break, i'd probably be bawling. if i were crazy, i'd go burn down the house. if i were really serious, i'd find a guy with some contacts. but since i'm just me, i'll take my lumps, turn tail, and play possum and share my opinions with myself.

i doubt i'll make a comeback to the interwebs after today. retiring all of my public opinions in perpetuity is probably wise. ironically, i published one copy each of all six books i wrote over the past 9 months. books that will never see the light of day. books that i'm proud of, but books about a life that's lost. nonfictional novels.

i'll leave comments open, reserving the right to publish all or none. i don't really need words of encouragement, sympathy, support, or guidance. i don't really need to be validated for how and who i am; i just am, so it is what it is. i don't really think i need anything. it's hard to know what you need when you're told you're not needed, ya know? it's like watching your own funeral and nobody shows up. kinda like my 30th birthday party.

i really thought i didn't suck that bad.

thanks for hanging on til now. this wasn't the happy ending i had overpromised, but you're probably used to that from me by now -- and luckily you get to hear about it and i get to live it with it. i've been told by a trusted source that i blow everything up all by myself. appears 'tis so.

a trial is pretty moot. the custody evaluator's report has the most influence on the court. and i will never get over it, but i will get around it because that's what granny always told me to do. i'm always fine, even when i'm not.

off in search of ex malo bonum,
-i'm changing my name tomorrow so it doesn't even matter

- i really am fine. really. swear. i'm good at failing : )


Fiona said...

Dude, it's so not over. I wish you'd connect with me (I'm in Portland) and let me tell you about my last 3 challenging and sometimes horrible years. I want to tell you what I KNOW and I want to help. (I know you don't want help but I'll give you a time refund if you think I suck.) Those years have been the hardest and most productive years of my life. I've been through so much that is similar to your sitch and I'm dying to buy you a coffee and talk about it. XO

pam said...

Damn this was probably the saddest thing I've ever read.

ecjbailey said...

I don't even know what to say. I've been pullin' for you all these months and I hoped so much for a better outcome. I know you will be fine.
Good luck and take care.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of the words to say here.

So, I'll just do as you asked. Sit for a bit. Breathe. Take it in. Think of you.

And then I'll head home and hug my kid for hugging kids sake 'cause what else can a person do at this point.

I feel for you girl. Really. Been a follower from the early BMC days and you've weathered some shitastic storms and come through it smart and tough. And while it may not mean alot to some folks - smart and tough really does matter.

I gotta feeling that you're about to bail from blog land. If so, I hope you'll throw out a line for all of us who give a damn so we can keep riding in the little lifeboat along with you. Not to give validation but just so we can help row when your arms get tired. Ain't that what friends are for?

Chag said...

Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

wow. i just don't know what to say other then wow. i'm just so sorry. wtf does the that mf have on you? i just don't get how the court or the mf can take the "mom's" desires, infulence, ect out of the equation for what is best for the kids. is there something you're not telling us that happened. i just don't get what he has on you where he can control you but you can't control him. will the hook testify for you?

Anonymous said...

OH, I am so sorry you are feeling so hurt. Your skids love you and need you and that's all that matters. many of us do really care and please don't forget that.

with love--Cathy

S said...

I would like to beat Manny to a bloody pulp.
I would like you to know that you are an awesome, strong, incredible woman who has so much influence on her beautiful children that NO court can take away. You guide them and interact with them. You teach them just by being you. and you?? are wonderful.
loves and hugs. xo

Cary Milkweed said...

I really, really wish I could give you a hug.

S said...

I would like to beat Manny to a bloody pulp.
I would like you to know that you are an awesome, strong, incredible woman who has so much influence on her beautiful children that NO court can take away. You guide them and interact with them. You teach them just by being you. and you?? are wonderful.
loves and hugs. xo

karin said...

I'm so sorry, but I am glad that you will still have 50% physical custody of your children. That means spending time with them and that's what's important.


Somewhere in the Midwest said...

Dana, I've been reading your words since the BMC days when I linked over from Cynical Dad's congratulations to you after you posted the two pink lines illuminating your son's impending arrival. I have no words that can adequately express the emotions that surged through me as I read this post, and so from this moment forward I send you good thoughts/vibes/energy, whatever you need to call it. I hope that somehow you will come through all of this stronger and with exactly what is best for you and your children. Take care.

CaliJen said...

oh shit. i don't even know what to say. my heart aches for you.

mama without instructions said...

my god, i can't imagine how that is possible. who in the world is this evaluator? insanity! i am still holding some hope for the trial. i know you will get through and around it. you have to. take care.

Anonymous said...

I am so sad.

tonia said...

Good gravy, Dana. What a knock to the teeth.

I miss running into you everywhere. I think of you often and always do so with a smile.

I have loads of guidance, support, encouragement, sympathy, blah blah to offer whenever you're ready to hear it. Wishing you all the best as always - T

Cati said...

I'm sure you're fine. You are a survivor.
I don't know what to say because I know none of my words will mean a thing here and now.
Just... remember my name and my email, you know how to find me anytime you want to talk to me. I'm down for whatever. I've been lost and dismissed enough to know how it feels when it really doesn't feel a thing.
It' doesn't matter what your last name is. I remember your story pretty often, Dana.



Anonymous said...

That is just wrong. I don't like people who judge different as wrong. Was the evaluator a prejudiced religous conservative. Well if nothing else get right of first refusal. I've always seen granting 50% physical custody include joint decisions on important things. This makes me sad. How did Britton know this would happen. If he didn't he would have mediated. Did he have the shitty sister on his side? How is it your doctor sees things so differently than the evaluator? or did he. Or is he the trusted source? or is the hook? How is this supposed to work when he is out of town constantly? How are you supposed to have a good enough job to support yourself with if you are to babysit everyday before and after school? Does the hook have experience with this judge and this evaluator. This just sounds wierd. Who knows maybe the judge will think it's wierd too. Speaking of growing, I grow my own organic vegetable garden and was thinking of growing pot. Where would you recommend I buy seed from? Take as good care of yourself as you can. Susan