What a month. How can I even attempt to explain the myriad of events unfolding in the pivotal [life changing, draining, upsetting, frustrating, liberating, chaotic, isolating, emotional, and that’s only to name a few] month of September? Words fail me completely. Do I even want to discuss most of this? No, I don’t. Yet there is a part of me that wants to reveal everything– loudly and clearly so there is zero confusion– because there are so many things that need to be said. My son has endured unimaginable heartache and I am not going to add to his distress by conducting myself in a way that is not in strict accordance with the woman and mother I am….it his his privacy and our dignity as a family that I seek to preserve at all costs.
While staying at the house in Atascadero belonging to Will’s aunt and uncle, Adam witnessed a physical action [I was not hurt– and I’m certainly not making excuses for grossly inappropriate behavior– but in the grand scheme of things the contact was relatively mild] against me. Most upsetting was the fact that I was called cruel names while my toddler son was sitting five feet away. Knowing that my innocent child was subjected to verbal abuse against his mother….I still cannot process that fully. The legal component to ‘the incident’ has no place in Cocktails With Hemingway and I will not mention it in my blog, ever.
Adam and I left the home and relocated to Paso Robles [a gorgeous place that I fell in love with instantly], two towns away from Atascadero, also within San Luis Obispo County. We are living in a private home [there are four units total] for women and families that are in a major transitional phase of their lives. Each of us have our own spacious rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and living area. The resources, compassion, and support available to us are incredible beyond measure….I will be forever indebted to this phenomenal organization for all they have done for Adam and me. Whether it’s shuttling me to a prenatal appointment, making arrangments for play therapy for Adam, honoring my special requests for fresh spinach and ridiculous amounts of cheese, offering baby sitting services when I have obligations, or anything in between– we have so much love and assistance as we get on our feet in less than ideal circumstances.
Here I will tread very lightly and say that Adam has been profoundly affected by numerous factors since we have come to California. As expected ‘the incident’ proved incredibly traumatic to him…and all of the many transformations he has made with our move to the west coast have been overwhelming. I’m not going to elaborate on his behavior [suffice it to say he has been acting out] but he is significantly affected by the things he has seen and heard combined with countless changes. With the assistance of my new home, I acted quickly to get him in therapy, and he has been very vocal and revealing with his therapist. Making sure he receives extra love and attention– coupled with an emphasis on his feelings and positive reinforcement– while maintaining firm boundaries and explaining the consequences of actions is how I handle this from a parental standpoint. Also, he is a priority enrollment case at a local school here, so we’re hoping a spot opens and he can begin the program as soon as possible.
Yes we’re divorcing.
Literally I can feel my mind shutting down [this post has drained me and I am on medication to treat a concussion] so I fear I’m going to be rambling from this point forward. I wanted to further expound on the amazing people I have met here and all of the kindness I have received. The only times I have cried since any of this have been happy tears because of others. My housemate, Brandi, is such an incredible woman and it has been such a privelege getting to know her and calling her a friend. Everyone in Memphis is loved and missed and I appreciate everyone’s support.
To answer the question on everyone’s mind: I am NOT returning to Memphis and will remain in California, even after the pregnancy.
Despite everything that has happened I love it here and can’t see myself anywhere else. My short-term plan involves the best possible life for Adam, a healthy pregnancy and saving money. I am doing everything in my power to parent Adam lovingly and effectively through these challenges, as a team, and getting him every resource at his disposal. I am exercising daily with walks, eating healthily, and trying to reduce stress. I am on the interview circuit for part-time opportunities and in the process of fixing my laptop so I can continue to receive income from freelancing and even surveys– and yes, government assistance in a variety of forms. Come what may, I know that I am a strong and resilient woman who can handle anything life throws at me….and as long as I remember that I can only control myself I can get through this.
Endless thanks to Chris DeFranco— one of my dearest friends for seven years now– for generously gifting me with a cell phone. He exceeded all expectations by sending a fully loaded 4G smart phone with a touch screen….yet another act of kindness that moved me to tears. Being able to have a phone is such a relief as I navigate the interview circuit, my many appointments, and the blessing of being able to communicate instantaneously with family and friends. I love you, Chris. Thank you for all you have done for me. To say I value your friendship immensely is an understatement.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,