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The Importance of Self Respect

In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately.  One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to is Sean Wes and his Lambo Goals.  My cousin turned me on to these podcasts and I’ve really enjoyed listening to both of them.

One of his free podcasts (since I started listening to these, he’s made most of the podcasts part of a paid subscription), is titled:  6 ways to develop self discipline.

As with most podcasts I listen to, they are just background noise to my daily drive.  I am absorbing most of what I’m listening to, I just am not listening actively as my mind tends to wander as subjects filter through.  I know people who would claim this isn’t how I should be listening to these podcasts – but it works for me and I’m not going to apologize for it!

The day I began listening to this particular podcast, was like any other day.  Half my concentration was on the road ahead of me, the rest was partly on what the podcast was talking about and partly my mind wandering through other subjects.

Until the 6th way was discussed – then all of a sudden, I was all ears and concentration:

  1. Understand the Importance of Self Respect
  • 34:13 Sean: If someone you respect asks you to do something, are you going to do it? Of course you are, you respect them! Now, what about yourself? What if you tell yourself that you’re going to do something, are you going to do it? If not, you’re lacking self respect. It’s actually a deeper issue than just self-discipline.
  • 34:47 Self-discipline is saying you’re going to do something and following through with it, regardless of whether it’s comfortable or not. If you’re willing to do that for someone you respect and you’re not willing to do it for yourself, that means you have a lack of self respect.

I have struggled with self-discipline for years.  People who know me would disagree wholeheartedly – but it is true.  The reason there is such a disconnect from what others see versus what I see is exactly this:

If I tell THEM that I am going to do something – I do it.  I am true to my word.

If I tell MYSELF that I am going to do something – odds are not very good that I will accomplish my goals.

Why?

Because I lack self-respect.

I do not respect myself like I should.

Why do I not respect myself?  I don’t have an easy answer for this question.

In the past couple of weeks, I have had three separate sources mention “Impostor Syndrome”.  I have learned that whenever something is mentioned in my life multiple times, I need to research it – so that’s what I’ve been doing.  It resonates with me, but it isn’t the answer to why I don’t respect myself.

This subject of self-respect is elusive.  Researching it brings up a few articles, but mostly it devolves back to self-esteem.

Which is tricky – because I believe I have plenty of self-esteem – but little self-respect.  How can that be?

I am confident in my abilities towards others, but I am not confident in my abilities towards myself.

Examples:

  • Work – we need you to organize, collate and update this report that is 7 years behind; make sense of it; and get us current to satisfy regulatory requirements.
    • Me – no problem! (spends 2 weeks solid researching, organizing, collating and updating the report; emailing affected parties and prepping next 3 months of action plans to get the report current; assembling a process checklist so that others can do the same work in months to come without the report getting behind again.)
  • Self – you need to get on that elliptical, walk as long as you can (5 minutes is fine!), 5 days a week to improve your health.
    • Me – problem – I don’t want to get up that early. I work better when there’s no one home.  I hate having to get dressed in one outfit, only to have to change into another just a short time later.  I’d rather play on Facebook, Pinterest, or Candy Crush than crush it on an elliptical.

Why am I like this?  What can I do to fix myself?

I’m still working on it.  Like I said in my prior post – I am my biggest life project.

Accomplished

I’ve been away a while.  I needed to be.  I needed to figure out what I wanted from my life and what I wanted to do with myself.

I’m still a wife and mother.  I still work.  I still have a home, bills and everything that comes with life.

I still have depression.  I am still searching for my own happy place.

I have been listening to podcasts more and more lately.  I switched jobs back in August 2016, which has lead to a longer commute (funny how 3 extra miles gained 20 extra minutes to my drive time).  These podcasts focus on productivity, time management, business, and simplicity.

Simplicity – it seems like such an easy thing to accomplish.  However, the reality is that it can be very elusive.

So, as I focus on simplicity, the theme that has come up more than anything is goals for the new year.  Resolutions have never really worked for me.  I wasn’t sure why, but one of the podcasts I listened to brought some clarity to me and I plan on exploring the thought process in depth in the near future.

So, if I cannot seem to make resolutions work for me, how can I set goals for myself for this year?  I turned my thoughts to my friend Kate.  Over the years, she has focused not on resolutions or goals, but mantras; usually one word mantras that define the focus for the year for her.  The first year I met her, her focus was “Saying Yes”.  Yes to those things that scared her, yes to going out, yes to whatever life threw her way – it brought her out of her comfort zone and led to a ton of personal growth.

So, how could I do the same thing for myself?

I focused on what mantra I wanted to go with.  The one word that kept coming to me in all of my thoughts, dreams and meditations was:

Finished

Finished?  Why would this word keep coming back to me?  I looked around me – at the unfinished projects, unfinished goals, unfinished dreams, unfinished plans – and realized that the word was pretty close to what I needed to do in my life.

But I rebelled against the word “finished”.  It sounds so final.  So defeatist.  So done.

I’m not done.  I have a ton of things that I want to do with my life.  Done is not what I am.  I am my own biggest life project and I’m not done!

So I looked up synonyms to the word finished – and one word stood out to me – Accomplished.

I have projects that I want to accomplish.

I have goals that I want to accomplish.

I have plans that I want to accomplish.

Some of these accomplishments are one and done.  Most of my accomplishments in life are lifetime projects – only steps of which are truly accomplished.

Writing out all of my projects, goals and dreams led me to a long list of items I want to accomplish.  Some of them are easy, some of them are important and some of them are pie-in-the-sky wishes.  But it led to clarity in what I not only need, but want, to accomplish this year.

Accomplished

That is my goal for the year – to accomplish what I set out for myself.  I have 4 goals that I want to accomplish:

  • Study for and pass my certification test
  • Complete my mom’s flamingo project
  • Assemble and finish LaLa’s graduation blanket (it’s only been 3 years!)
  • Complete the crochet blanket I started 17 years ago.

I am going to accomplish what I set out for myself.

I can do this.

Embracing My Personality

Over the years, I have done a lot of research on what type of personality I have.

It fascinates me and makes me wonder how much is accurate based on my own opinions, feelings and views.  I have taken the Myers Briggs Personality Test – both the formal and informal (i.e. free versions found online) multiple times and have been very consistent in my personality type:

Scores:

INTJ – 95% of the time

INFJ – 5% of the time

This means I have the following strong personality traits:

  • Introverted (I) – rather than extraverted (E)
  • Intuitive (N) – rather than sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T) – occasionally feeling (F) will make an appearance when I take the test – but rarely
  • Judging (J) – rather than perceiving (P)

Apparently, according to all of the websites I have visited, INTJ’s are the most rare personality type, making up only 2% of the population and as a woman INTJ, only 0.8% of the population.  Which means I’m pretty rare.

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What this means in general terms for me:

  • I prefer to be alone (introverted). I can be around others, but once I’ve hit my max, I CRAVE my alone time and will not be a very nice person if I don’t get time to decompress.
  • I follow my gut 90% of the time (intuition). This gut sense does take into account facts gathered and past experiences and I’m confident in my assessment in most situations most of the time.
  • I make most decisions based on facts and logic (thinking). If something isn’t logical, then don’t even try to BS me because I don’t have time for that.  Occasionally, my emotions will take over (I am a woman after all), and my feelings will rule – but it is almost always based on logical reasoning.
  • I make a plan, revise as necessary based on new information, and stick to it (judging). I hate to improvise unless my plan was planned in advance to allow for improvisation.  Example – don’t screw up my work day, it is planned and will frustrate me if something throws me off course.  But I can be totally relaxed and go with the flow when called for – like vacations: because vacations aren’t meant to be regimented (except in very specific instances – such as being on-time for a tour group).

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What this means for the people around me:

  • Me not wanting to be attached at the hip (to anyone) does not mean that I don’t like, love or care for you deeply. I DO have feelings and I DO take your feelings into consideration.  Since I say what I think and mean what I say, I expect the same from you.  If you do not tell me what you are thinking or feeling, then I can only guess based on my Intuition, which may be wrong since I have failed mind-reading class.
  • Speaking of Intuition – I can almost always tell when something is “off” with you. Maybe you’re having a bad day, maybe you have a secret that you’re struggling with, maybe you just found out you’re going to be a grandma – doesn’t matter, that intuition is almost always spot on correct.  If I’m asking “what’s wrong” – I do care about your answer and wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t want to know.  Usually, I’m trying to figure out how I can help you and genuinely WANT to help you.  If I don’t ask “what’s wrong”, then either I am unable to help you at that moment due to my own crazy life OR I don’t want to help you – 50/50 shot at either option.
    • Some people have been freaked out when I suddenly appear in their lives. I’ve shown up to too many places where people are genuinely surprised to see me because they’ve been thinking about me and/or wanted to talk with me, but didn’t make the time to contact me, for me to blow it off as coincidence.  What they don’t know is, almost always, I sense that they want to see me.  I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, wide awake, 10 minutes before an important text comes through.  I’ve walked in doors, to places I have no reason to be (other than sensing I need to be there), and greeted with, “I’m so glad to see you!  I’ve been thinking about you for 2 weeks!” – what they don’t know is, I’ve had the sense that they wanted to talk to me for that entire 2 weeks – I just didn’t make the time myself to go to them right away (I do have a life you know!).
  • Because I do my reasoning and thinking with logic, I can tell when what you’re telling me is nothing but BS and lies. Probably why I love Judge Judy so much – “If it doesn’t make sense, then it’s not the truth!”  Tell me the truth, all of the truth, and we’ll get along fine.  If you tell me partial truths, then be prepared for me to call you out on it.  I will know, and sense, and be severely disappointed in you that you feel this is a good course of action (which is to say NOTHING of how I feel about myself if I try to BS myself…..yes, I have done this, and yes, it wasn’t pretty in the end….soul crushing disappointment upon yourself is nothing to laugh at).
  • When I make plans with you, I expect you to follow through on whatever it is that we’ve agreed to. When you can’t follow through, tell me.  I can adapt and I can make alternate plans – just not if you won’t talk to me.

These memes are right on when it comes to me and how I think:

And lastly, how being an INTJ relates to me:

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There are days when I wish this roller-coaster ride called being a step-parent was over.

There are days when I wish it would never end.

One wish out-weighs the other, but not because of the kids.  Rather because the bio-parent in our lives makes things so much more difficult than they have to be.

Last night, Jetsam called a family meeting with all of her kids.  In the 15 years that I’ve been with my husband, this is the first time she’s done that.  It makes me slightly uneasy because something like this, based on past experiences, typically means that she is plotting something.

I shouldn’t let it bother me, but – also based on past history – whenever she’s plotting something, it always turns out negative for the kids; which in turn, turns out negative for Hun and me.

Just a few days ago, Jetsam attempted to press charges against me for abuse against Monkey.

That backfired on her because the police that came to investigate ended up filing a family violence report against Monkey for assaulting me the evening prior.  At Hun and mine’s request, we asked the officer to call Jetsam to explain the situation, as we knew she wouldn’t take our word for it.  I could overhear the policeman telling Jetsam over the phone, after explaining everything, “No ma’am, you cannot file charges against Karaboo because there is nothing to file charges against.  Monkey is the one in trouble because she assaulted Karaboo, not the other way around.”

Hun and I made sure that Monkey knew that the reason we didn’t allow her to call her mom on the night everything happened was because we were attempting to protect her.  We reiterated everything the police officer said, that if they (the police) had been called out that night (which Jetsam would have immediately done), Monkey would already be behind bars at the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC).  As it stood, now that her mom had called the police, there was still the possibility that she may go to JDC.  The report was now in the hands of the detectives and DA to decide if they wanted to press charges and go forward.

I was asked and I declined to write a formal statement for the family violence report.  In my discussions with Hun, my opinion was that I did not want my name formally on anything associated with this report.  I did not want Jetsam or her family to point to my signature and say, “SEE!!  Karaboo is DIRECTLY responsible for what happened to you Monkey!  NOTHING would have happened to you if she had not written that statement!”

It doesn’t matter.  They will blame me anyway.  No matter what the outcome is.  They will absolve themselves and Monkey of any responsibility.

Monkey acts like this entire incident is no big deal.

She acts like her mom is going to protect her and not allow anything to happen to her.

My question to Monkey is – if the person you have put your trust into has lied to you in the past, failed to follow through on promises and cannot take care of herself without assistance from those around her – what makes Monkey think she’ll come through for her now?

Maybe she ought to re-think who she’s placed her trust in.

Which is really sad and makes me cry to think about.  You’re supposed to be able to trust your mom.  You’re supposed to be able to trust your dad.  When that trust is broken, it affects all areas of your life.

I suspect that Jetsam’s next step is to contact Child Protective Services (CPS) against Hun and me since the police were of no help to her.  I’m not sure why I suspect this, but it would be the next “logical” step in her mind.  She’ll do anything to show that we are abusive, as she’s been claiming for all of these years.

I won’t be surprised to get a knock on the door and a CPS worker is standing there asking to come in.  It might surprise Monkey and Jetsam that I will not hesitate to let them in.  Hun and I have done nothing wrong.  We have nothing to hide.

My only fear/wish is that if that knock comes my house is actually clean the way I like it to be cleaned.

Let The Journey Begin

I am about to embark on a very exciting journey!

I have decided to open up my own business.  I have the general idea in place and am currently working through a lot of the planning stages of a venture such as this.

I’ve never owned my own business.

I have no idea what to do, where to start, or what to expect.

But that’s okay, because I’m not the first person to take on this adventure.  Others have gone before me and have paved the way.  I have countless blog posts saved for aspects of this business idea that I haven’t even thought about yet.

Everything points to starting with a business plan.

Plan?  Like in lists?  And expectations?  And getting down to the nitty-gritty details?

AWESOME!

I LOVE planning!  I LOVE making lists!  I LOVE details!

I don’t love not knowing what I’m doing.  Sigh.

That’s okay – these road blocks, speed-bumps and detours are not negatives at all.  They are there to make sure that I am considering all angles and my business will have the best chance for success!

Every negative that has been thrown at me so far has been nothing but another bullet point on my planning list to explore, learn about and incorporate into my business plan.

Will I be successful?

I have no idea.

Will I regret not trying?

Yes!

Will I include everyone in on my journey?

You betcha!

An Open Offer

Dear Rowdy,

Happy 18th birthday!

I wish you every success for this next year and for every year after.

To help you with your success, I would like to offer you a gift – a gift that will keep on giving to you, long after you read this letter.

I would like to pay for you to take the GED test.  It does not matter the cost, the day you say, “this is the testing date I am attending”, I will pay the cost of that test for you.

I know you can pass the test RIGHT NOW.  I am so confident in your ability, that if you say the testing date is tomorrow, I will pay for you to take it, no questions asked.

You may have doubts about your own abilities.  I do not.

You may ask – what if I fail?

So what if you do?  What is the worst thing that will happen?

The worst thing that will happen is you still do not have a certificate that employers’ want that shows you are capable.  You are no worse off than you are right now.  However, you will be slightly ahead!  You will then know what subjects you need to focus on to pass the test the next time you take it.  You will have a better understanding of what to expect.  You will be prepared and the next time, you will succeed!

…..I don’t believe you will need a “next time”.

All you need is the faith in yourself, the same faith I have in you, to take the plunge and take the test.

Despite everything that we have gone through, I believe in you.  I care about your future.  I want you to succeed.  I want you to be happy.  I want you to be able to follow all of your dreams.

I care about you and I love you.

Cousin:  Why do you let her get to you?

Me:  What do you mean?

Cousin:  Jetsam.  Why do you let her bother you?

Me:  I don’t know.  Maybe because I view myself as a strong person and she makes me question that.

Cousin:  Exactly, you’re a strong person.  I’ve never seen you let something bother you like this.

Me:  Because she makes me question if I’m doing the right thing, if I really am being a strong person or just being stubborn.

Cousin:  Oh.  I can understand that.

I had this conversation very recently and it has stayed with me, begging me to explore it more.

Am I being strong?  Or am I just being stubborn?

It’s a fine line.  One that I know has blurred in the past.

I tend to be stubborn about my convictions.  In my mind, that doesn’t seem wrong.

My opinions tend to follow along my convictions.  I know that my opinions are not necessarily right, just my opinions.

So…..why does it bother me so for Jetsam’s opinions to rub me so wrong?  Is it because her opinions are so different than mine?  Is it because she speaks her opinions so earnestly that I see myself in her?

I don’t think it is any of these reasons.

I think I have such a hard time because I know she’s lied about so much, that it is hard to discern when she is lying and when she is telling the truth.  I can totally relate to someone who is passionate about their opinions when it is based in facts.  It is so much harder to respect someone’s opinion if you’re constantly attempting to figure out what is a truth and what is a lie.

So, why do I let her bother me so?

Because I want to respect and honor her as the mother of my children, but I cannot respect and honor her because her attitude and opinions towards me goes directly against my own convictions.

So, what do I do?  For now, I’m going to keep following my convictions.  It’s what allows me to sleep at night.

Continuing my current theme of Jetsam telling us that she is going to get custody of Monkey.

Recently, Hun and I were having breakfast together one Saturday.

He commented to me:  “Do you know what I’m most worried about with her asking for custody?  I’m worried that we will be required to pay for her lawyer and court fees.”

Me:  “I’m not worried about that at all.”

Hun:  “Why not?”

Me:  “Because court costs for custody cases are very rarely assigned to the other parent.  It is on the parents to pay for their own fees.”

We continued eating and thinking.

Me:  “Do you know what I’m worried about regarding Jetsam asking for custody?”

Hun:  “What?”

Me:  “Not a single thing.”

Hun (shocked):  “Why not?”

Me:  “Because she’s not followed through on anything else, why in the world should we be worried about her following through on this?”

Hun:  “Oh”

I went on to explain:  “She hasn’t followed any of the original court-ordered requirements for her to get custody of the kids back, why should the courts award her custody now?”

I pointed out – she did not stay stable for the first 5 years that we had custody of the kids.  She even moved out of state for 6 months.  She has only been stable for the last 2 years because she’s living with her boyfriend.  The house doesn’t have enough room for everyone to move in with her if she was to gain custody.

I reminded him that a home-study would be required.

I reminded him that the courts would look at the original requirements and find that she didn’t follow the original court order.  That she signed off after only 6 months, rather than going back to court a year later.

I also reminded Hun that she had asked him, before stating she was going to take us to court, that she wanted him to allow Monkey to either move in with her (Jetsam) or in with her sister.  Jetsam knows there is not room for Monkey in her home – so she was hoping to seem “reasonable” by offering up her sister’s house as an alternative.  If Jetsam offers up this option in court, something tells me that the judge will not view this as a favorable deal.

I could be wrong – I’ve been wrong before.

However, if a parent is attempting to get custody back – stating the current living situation is horrible, but doesn’t have living space for the child and instead tells the judge they can move in with a family member – I suspect the judge isn’t going to go for it.

Now, Monkey is old enough to request to live with someone else.  This, the judge will probably listen to.  As Hun and I have told Jetsam before – we’re not going to pay the court costs to go through the hoops for the kids to live with someone else.  They already live with us.  We’re already meeting all of their needs and some of their wants.

I asked Hun – what exactly are they going to say we’re doing to “abuse” these kids?

That we don’t give them smart phones?

That we don’t allow Monkey to have unsupervised time with her 17 year old boyfriend?

That we don’t give in to their every whim and expect them to do chores?

If we end up going to court and if the judge orders that Monkey is to move in with Jetsam or another family member, then so be it.  We’ll follow the court order – just like we have done in the past.  Until then, I’m not worried about it.

I’ve been thinking about my last post.  About how I confronted Jetsam in front of the kids.  About her giving up on her children.

As I stated, it wasn’t said to hurt or with maliciousness – but I’m sure it hurt anyway.  I know it did.  But I also know that in their hearts, the kids already knew the truth.  It was like a scar had been ripped open, exposed, and there was nothing they could do about it.

This makes me hurt for these kids.  I would never have done half of what their own mom has done to them.  It makes me ashamed that I caused them hurt as well.

I’m not excusing my behavior.  Maybe I am.  I don’t know anymore.  Maybe reading the following, as a reader, you’ll understand better why I said what I said.

All I know is that I have watched lie after lie after lie be spoken against their Dad and myself.  That accountability from their mom was dismissed and all blame be laid at our feet.

Recently, Jetsam made the comment to Hun and myself that it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t get custody of the kids back.  That she was requested to do unreasonable things by the court – things she couldn’t complete, hoops she couldn’t jump through – to get her kids back.

Of course, this was said outside of the kids’ hearing – when it was just Hun, Jetsam and I.

Some of the things she stated:

  • The courts required her to complete parenting classes. She couldn’t comply because she didn’t have the money.
    • This was the first we had heard about this requirement. We knew we had to attend parenting classes within a certain time frame of having temporary custody of the children – but we were never informed, nor did we know, that she was also required to do these classes.
    • As a mom myself – NOTHING – would have kept me from attending those classes if it was a requirement of getting my child(ren) back.
  • The courts required her to stay within the county. She couldn’t comply because it limited her job opportunities.
    • We also knew nothing of this requirement. Court was in one county – during the custody hearing, once the judge ruled that Jetsam needed to be stable for one year before considering giving custody back, she asked if it was okay that she was moving that very weekend – out of the county we were in.  The judge agreed.
    • This move wasn’t something that was forced onto Jetsam. She made the choice to move to a location that was miles away from job opportunities.  Hun and I are both VERY aware of the location she moved to – we both moved out of that area in our pasts because of the lack of jobs.  Jetsam had lived there previously as well – she knew what she was moving back into.

I guess the point of this is to say, she did give up on getting custody of her children back.  She did not follow through on any of requirements of the court that I’m aware of – except for one.

What I’m aware of: this is what the judge verbally stated in court:

  • Stable home for one year.
  • Stable job for one year.
  • Get rid of the loser boyfriend. (Judge’s words, not mine!)

What we weren’t aware of until just recently:

  • Complete parenting classes.
  • Stay within the county.

Based on her mode of operation – there are probably other stipulations that we are yet unaware of.

The only requirement that she actually complied with was breaking up with the boyfriend.  The others – she did not comply with based on her own statements or actual observations by Hun and myself.

In my view, she lied to her children.  She went so far to give up on them.  She disagrees with that assessment.

We’ll see if she actually attempts to gain custody of Monkey as she says she will.

On my last post, I had a reader comment:

Continue to be the bigger person, keep holding back. ~ Jassy

I understand this sentiment – I really do.  I’ve been holding back for the last 15 years.

When I stated I was going to live up to the names I am being called – that is only in their eyes….not mine or anyone else’s.

I’m not sure what made me think of this from all those years ago, but here is a short story on why I decided to go in the direction I’m now going in with Jetsam:

This had to have happened around 8-10 years ago…..

Flotsam and I were “arguing” one day on something having to do with Buddy.  I don’t even remember what we were arguing about, but he was getting frustrated that none of the tactics he was trying were working on me to allow him to do whatever hare-brained scheme he was trying to convince me of.  I’ve since realized that he’s probably a sociopath, but at the time, I had no idea and was just as frustrated with him because what he was saying wasn’t making any sense to me.

After about 15 minutes of the conversation going nowhere, in frustration, Flotsam blurted out, “You’re being a BITCH!”

This hit me at my core, I straightened myself up, looked him directly in the eyes and calmly stated, “You and I both know I am not being a bitch, but if you call me that again, I will live up to the name.”

He promptly backed down, apologized, and went another direction with his tactics.

This memory made me realize that I had never done the same thing with Jetsam when she hurls names at me.  I had never stood up for myself and calmly let her (and the kids) know that I’m not going to put up with that.

Hun and I talked.  We decided that it is past time for both of us to stand up for ourselves and not put up with the abuse.

Here is an example of an event that happened recently.  This was part of a larger conversation where Jetsam was once again blaming us for all issues related to Monkey misbehaving:

In talking to Hun in front of Monkey, Jetsam started spouting off (loudly) that we lied to gain custody of the kids (really??  She keeps bringing this up – we’ve had custody for over 8 years now).

Hun stood up to her and said, “You stood right here on my property and told me that your boyfriend was beating the kids hard enough to leave bruises and doing drugs.  You were fearful that his drug buddies would come by and shoot up the house because of how many problems he was causing!  What was I supposed to do, ignore that?”

Jetasm:  “I never said that!”

Hun (loudly and in her face):  “YES YOU DID!  You did TOO say that!  You were either lying then or you’re lying now – WHICH IS IT?”

Jetsam never answered his question, but instead changed the subject.

I pointed out to Hun later, after Jetsam was gone and we were in bed, that I was very proud of him for standing up to her that way.  He was upset that it happened in front of Monkey.  I agreed that it shouldn’t have, but even if Monkey never acknowledged it, she heard him standing up for her and heard her mom not answer the question.

The last conversation I had with Jetsam (also in front of the kids), where she was basically telling Hun that Monkey didn’t have to respect me, I told all of them, “Let me step in here.  You all keep calling me these names – bitch, whore, cunt – well, I’m going to live up to these names.  I’m not going to put up with it anymore.”

Rowdy happened to be in the car with his mom and tried to spout back, “No one is calling you those names today.”

Me:  “Doesn’t erase the fact that all of you have called me those names both to my face and to my back.  I’m just giving you what you want – me being a bitch.”

Jetsam (flapping custody papers in her hand):  “I’m taking you two back to court to get custody of Monkey.”  (Monkey, at age 15, is the only one she would be asking for custody at this point – Rowdy will be 18 in less than 60 days.)

Me:  “Go ahead, that is your right.  We’ve always told you that – we’re not stopping you.  Just like it was Hun’s right to ask for custody in the first place.  Just don’t give up on them this time like you did last time.”

Jetsam (angry now):  “I did NOT give up on them!  I have joint custody, just like it says in these papers!”  (rattling papers at me)

Me:  “Tell the truth – yes you did give up on them.  The court said we had temporary custody for a year and after that you had to show you were stable.  Those finalized papers show 6 months from the point of temporary custody until the time you signed off on leaving the kids with us permanently.  We never went back to court for another hearing – the judge didn’t make that decision.  You gave up on getting custody back.”

Rowdy:  “I’m not listening to this crap any more, I’m going to the park.”

Jetsam:  “You will stay right there!  You will not leave!”

There was a whole bunch more to the conversation, but that was the part I wanted to emphasize in this particular post.

Jetsam made Rowdy stay and listen to the rest of the conversation.  The part that she couldn’t dispute was the finalized dates on those custody papers she was so proud to wave around – like she knows more about it than we do.

In talking with Hun afterwards, I pointed out to him that Rowdy didn’t speak much after that.  He’s a smart kid; he knows that what I said was the truth.  It wasn’t said with intent to be hurtful, but it was stated matter-of-factly and to the point.

Who knows.  Maybe going this route isn’t the best idea.  Maybe I will regret it one day.  I can’t say for sure.

What I do know is this – ever since I have made the decision to not worry about what I am saying, I have had more peace than I’ve had in a long time.

Only time will tell.