Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Face

I used to write this blog from a place of pain.

From the day that I found out I’d lost custody of my teenagers until the day I got one of them back, much of the time is a blur of pain, regret, angst, heartache... As people close to me know, I am very adept at burying all that negativity and putting on a happy face because life requires that. My other kids required that. But there were more nights than not that I cried myself to sleep. I was so filled with self-loathing over allowing things to happen the way that they did that I began to change who I was. Not in ways visible to strangers, or even good friends. But it was there. I blamed no one else for what happened. I took the responsibility entirely. In retrospect, I was perhaps a bit hard on myself, but as a mother, my most basic, primal need is to protect my children and I had failed.

During that time, I also found a determination that I didn’t know I possessed. My entire focus for exactly 18 months was one thing. Get my son back. Everything I did was for that purpose. Every corner I cut financially, the decision to move in with my best friend when I did to save money for an awesome attorney. Birthday presents that didn’t get purchased. And I documented everything. If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone in a similar situation, it is this – let NOTHING go undocumented.

For legal reasons, I can’t get into the case here. But because of many factors, I now have my son back, where he wants to be, where I want him to be.
And by way of showing how I feel about this, allow me to just say...

I need to thank many people who made that possible.

First, and forever first, my Mom. Not only has she helped me financially in ways she was in no way equipped to do, she is always a willing sounding board. She never judged or criticized. Made me believe that I was still a good mom in spite of what the opposing side was trying to beat into my head. She spent hours on her knees in prayer, every night. She went with me to lawyer appointments, court dates, and I will never, ever, ever have the words or the means to thank her enough for what she’s done for me.

Second, my grandparents, who also helped financially in spite of their health issues and other obstacles. They were wonderful. They made their opinions about my exes very clear and that too helped me to realize that maybe it wasn’t all my fault after all. I am so very grateful to them for their support.

I have to thank my son, too, for not giving up on me and believing that I was doing everything I could do to get him back. He never once questioned me. My little ones are also the reason I kept going forward – getting up, going to work, going to church, carrying on with life because it is still worth living as long as they are in it.

My friends – my best friends, especially Kris…they’ve listened to me cry, plotted, groused, screamed, and been almost as emotionally invested in the outcome as I have been. I don’t know what I did to get so lucky but my friends are absolutely amazing.

My family – those who prayed, cried, worried, and assured me over and over again that things would be ok. You know what? They were right.

My attorney – who is absolutely phenomenal and I would pit her against ANYONE in this state.

Last but never least, my God. My faith never wavered, in spite of the fact that all of the “bad stuff” happened after I became a Christian, as if it was happening to test my faith. Fortunately, I knew that, and I prayed it out. He is ever-faithful, and ever-present.

This chapter is not quite closed, but we’re almost there. I finally feel as if, after a year and a half under water, that I can breathe again. It’s the best feeling. I sleep like a rock every night. Things in my life right now, today, are maybe the best they’ve ever been, and getting exponentially better every day.

I am a happy, happy girl, and the face you see now, that’s the real thing. For the first time in a long time.

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