Your Life Ain’t Gonna Be Nothing Like My Life, Your Gonna Grow And Have A Good Life. I’m Gonna Do What I Got To Do. 

Last night at dinner, little E nearly broke my heart, which as we’ve previously determined is hard to do lol. I mentioned to the kids that on Sunday I invited my Dad (and by association my Mom) out for lunch for Father’s Day, and asked them if they had any suggestions of where they’d like to go. We are fairly close with my parents, having lived with them for almost 2 years during my divorce, and now see them probably 1-2 times a week, since my parents LOVE my kids. Which, yeah of course, I get it, every grandparent loves their grandchildren, but my kids hold a special place in my parent’s heart.
Anyways, when I mentioned the lunch to the kids, I said maybe we could make a little gift for Nonno (Italian for Grandpa) to give him at lunch, or if they wanted, they could give him the Father’s Day gift they were most likely doing up at school/daycare and little E got a little upset. I guess at daycare, he choose not to make a Father’s Day gift because he didn’t want to give one to E. It never occurred to him that he could still make it, but give it to someone else, although in years past my kids have gifted their school/homemade crafts to my Dad during the holiday, since E has never been around. I asked little E why he had chosen not to participate in the activity, and he said he didn’t want to say because it was rude. So I explained that anything he had to say to me was ok right now, and that all his feelings about this situation were important and valid to have, and he wouldn’t get in trouble for feeling/expressing them now.

So he said he didn’t want to make E a present, because in his words “E is lazy and boring.” Wow, way to hit the nail on the head! Little E will be 7 next month and has totally figured out this E thing. He said he doesn’t like to spend time with E because all he does is sit there. He doesn’t play with him and doesn’t even talk with him, so therefore little E doesn’t feel he “deserves” a gift for Father’s Day, because he isn’t a good Father. So I explained that if he doesn’t want to make E a gift, I would never force him to. A gift is for someone to express your feelings, not just because it’s a holiday. So if your feelings are that you don’t like the person, then don’t get them a gift. But then I reminded him, on the other hand, if he does enjoy someone’s company and feel they “deserve” a gift, then he didn’t need to wait for a holiday. I also told him that if he felt he missed out on an opportunity to make something for Father’s Day that he could’ve potentially given to someone else like Nonno, I would help him come up with another craft to do.

He thought about it for a moment and decided that nope, no one was worthy of his crafting time… although I’m pretty sure he just didn’t want to invest his time colouring anything since the whole crafting thing is quite possibly his least favourite activity. Instead he spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince Z she should give her gift to Uncle D, whom I’m pretty sure is only on little E’s mind since he’s taking him fishing this Saturday. But Z stood firm in her stance of giving her gift to me. Hey I did say they could choose whomever lol and who was I to argue with another homemade crafted gift headed my way? Besides, I currently fill the role of mom and dad so why not accept it.

As for E, well I can probably expect him to ask me what the kids got him for Father’s Day, as he does every year. To which I will tell him he gets the joy of their presence and to try to make to most of it while he has it. Meanwhile in the back of my mind I will be thinking you don’t deserve anything…You didn’t get me anything… Ever… You know, those kind of things, left unspoken of course.

Until then though, I’ll prep once again for the onslaught of do-gooders who will comment on my single mom status, and “how do I do it” stuff. Same as Mother’s Day… but perhaps even more annoying if possible. While attempting to maintain my composure and focus on raising my kids. Hopefully I’m doing it “right.”


-Clean Bandit Feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie/Rockabye-

Advertisements

B*tch Better Have My Money, Pay Me What You Owe Me

$36,408.00 That’s how much E currently owes me in back pay for child support.

I’ve been trying to sort this thing out with my lawyer for what feels like forever now, and I feel like (hopefully) we’re nearing the finish line with this whole divorce. To be honest, it could’ve been much worse than how it’s gone though.

Yes, E is extremely difficult to work with and I have a love/hate relationship with leaving the kids with him, since while technically I get a break from them, I spend the whole time worrying about how he’s probably not caring for them properly.

But to be truthful, we’ve had a fairly amicable divorce. There’s none of that “trying to get the kids against the other parent” stuff happening. One, because E just lives in his own little world in his head and that’s too much thinking on his part to try and manipulate little brains against their mother, and two, I don’t waste effort on bringing him into our conversation in my house when he’s not around. If the kids ask to call him, I let them for sure, although it’s only Z who does and maybe only once every 2-3 months. Also, to avoid conflict, my family and I have come up with a code name for E so if we want to discuss the divorce or anything about him and the kids are around (although we try to avoid that) we can use his alias and then talk freely without worrying about tainting the kids view of him.

We also didn’t have that unspoken “competition” to see who would find a successful new relationship first. Basically because I feel like E would most likely never be in a relationship again. Now don’t get it twisted, I totally think people with severe mental health issues can be in long lasting healthy relationships, but I just unfortunately don’t see that happening for E. He’s just not capable of it. As for me? I really wish him the best, and if he does find someone to marry…. I would wish them all the best like literally because they would need it, but I wouldn’t feel pressured to race to find someone myself if E was “first”. To each their own you know.

But now after 3 years and 2 months since filing for divorce, 2 lawyers, and one psych ward lock up later, we’re nearing the end (again fingers crossed). Plus it looks like it will be worth it. $36,000+ worth it.

When I think of that amount… I get frustrated. I think of the standard of life my kids and I have been living for the past 3 years, while we could have been enjoying 12 grand more a year? It pisses me off. My kids could’ve had those lessons they wanted instead of chilling at home every night. Or the newest toy for Christmas that everyone was talking about instead of new pyjamas and underwear. We wouldn’t have had to live with my parents until a year ago. Their college funds could’ve been jacked by now! It just would’ve, and apparently should’ve been much better in the past if E had paid up like he was supposed to. But since he’s a cheapskate, my kids missed out on some things that should’ve been theirs. Although in the past little while, since I finished school and got a job, I’ve been able to provide all those things on my own. And yes, the support E sends each month, although not as much as he’s supposed to send, is welcome, it’s just nice to know the kids and I would still be alright without it.

Now… I just have to plan a nice $36,000 vacation! Suggestions?


-Rihanna/BBHMM-

I Tear Myself Open I Sew Myself Shut / Our Scars Remind Us That the Past is Real. 

My biggest physical scar is from E. We had been apart for about 9 months due to immigration issues. So he was stuck in Kenya and I had had to come back to Canada to support us and little E. I sent E money every week for his rent and groceries and whatever else he needed. But finally, in the new year of 2012, it had just been too long apart. Too long with just long distance calls or Skyping. Too long where we had only been texting. Too long since little E had seen and felt his dad. So in a last minute move I got two weeks off work in January and little E and I were on our way back to Kenya for a visit.

I’m sure you can imagine that travel with small children is not the most pleasant experience. You’d be right, it’s not. But imagine traveling with a boy who’s 18 months old, on a trip that will take at least 45 hours one way. AND… throw an 18 hour straight flight from Dubai to Toronto on the way back in there. It is draining. You don’t sleep. The food you eat upsets your stomach, but even worse your kid’s stomach. You are constantly making sure your child is ok, and not bothering anyone else. On top of the regular stressors travel brings… finding gates, catching planes, maintaining passports and other documents, carrying luggage, navigating new cities, attempting to communicate in foreign languages, sleeping in new beds/airport seats. All of that, plus a kid or two. Not my definition of glamorous to say the least.

Either way, I set out with little E tucked in a sling and my trusty bag in tow. Thankfully this trip wasn’t as eventful as my last trip with little E. He behaved exceptionally well, and the stewardesses even found me a great spot on all my flights with an extra spot for little E. Bonus!

E bussed to Nairobi to meet us there. I had asked him to find us a hotel there for us to spend the night before we had to bus back to his sisters house the next day. This turned out to be a Herculean task for E, which in hindsight, I should have anticipated and just took care of myself. The hotel he found was two towns over. So he had arranged for us to take a taxi for almost two hours to the bed and breakfast place he had found. It was a cute little place, but to be honest, after being stuck on a plane, in a chair for the past two days, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a car for another 2 hours. All I could think about were the zillion hotels we were driving past as we inched into the night.

Either way, we finally got to this secluded place. We were the only guests staying there, and because of the drive, we didn’t arrive until close to 3 am. It took about 15-20 minutes to rouse the guard at the gate, and then get someone awake to  get us into our room.

As we were shown into our room, E was holding little E, which was great, I wanted them to bond. But it left me with the luggage, not as great. I had packed a huge hockey bag of things for E that he had asked me to bring that he needed/wanted from Canada and that thing weighed a ton. Also, at some point during one of the flights, part of it has torn, exposing some metal wiring on the bottom, which I didn’t realize as I dragged it in.

I asked E to help me get the bag out of the way of the door, and as he lifted it up to throw it on the bed, the exposed wires cut a huge gash on my leg. The cut was so long and deep I learned more about the inside of my body that day than anything the Magic School Bus ever taught me.

It also wouldn’t stop bleeding.

At first I headed to the bathroom and just tried rinsing it off, but it kept bleeding, so I grabbed a shirt and tied a makeshift tourniquet around my leg. I ended up going through 4 of E’s shirts in 6 hours during the night before the bleeding showed any signs of slowing.

I asked E to find a Dr. or somewhere we could go so I could get stitches, something that seems like I obviously needed to anyone. But nope. E said he was too tired. What? You? I’M the one who just flew around the world with our 18 month old kid on her own. I’m the one who’s been working her butt off to support our kid and E. I’m the one who’s loosing mass amounts of blood from a cut you caused. But you’re too tired?

Ok. Thanks. I just arrived in the country. I have no phone to use, it’s about 4 in the morning, and I don’t even know what town I’m in. So I really didn’t have much choice but to wait until the morning when he wasn’t “as tired” to get help.

Well, by the morning, the bleeding had slowed and so by this point I didn’t care about getting stitches as much as I cared about getting to E’s sisters place and attempting to get a decent sleep.

We grabbed a matatu and after another 8 hour ride arrived at our final destination. And his sisters were PISSED that he hadn’t taken me for stitches. They spent the evening disinfecting and bandaging my leg like I was a wounded solider. Well that and berating E for not taking me to the doctor that I had so obviously required.

And yep. I’ll admit I was petty and revelled in the fact that they felt the same way I did. And that they were making him feel bad about not helping me. Because it’s not like I expected him to magically heal me. Or sew me up himself. But I would’ve appreciated if he had acknowledged my body was broken and needed to be fixed. And at the very least wanted to see me whole.

But no. E was always only about E. No matter whose blood was spilled in the process.


-Papa Roach/Scars-

This Thing Turned Out so Evil, Don’t Know Why I’m Still Surprised 

Filing for divorce was not an easy process. I had some time when I got back to Canada to sort out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it, because E was away at work. He worked at a camp in a remote area so I didn’t have to worry about him for a while. But I knew he wasn’t going to be happy once he was served with papers and so I wanted to make sure the kids and I were safe.

WAY harder than it should’ve been.

I figured I would just explain what had happened in Kenya (and more) and that I wanted to file for divorce and possibly a restraining order and that because of E’s erratic behaviour, I didn’t know how he would respond. My mom offered to watch the kids for a couple hours, while I headed to the court to deal with it.

Common! I was denied at every turn. First, I couldn’t file for divorce because we hadn’t been separated for a year yet. Then, I couldn’t get a restraining order because the abuse had happened not only out of the country, but wasn’t recent enough for them to consider it dangerous for myself and the kids now. I was given a crappy lawyer through a program called legal aid, which helps people who can’t really afford to hire full on lawyers themselves, but the thing is, legal aid lawyers don’t give a shit about your case. They make less money then on their other cases and couldn’t care less about your outcome, so they push it to the bottom of their pile.

My lawyer did nothing unless I called or emailed a minimum 4-5 times per situation and even then I had to do all the research myself to make sure everything was being covered. So many times I found things through my research that I would bring up to my lawyer and he’d be like “oh yeah… I didn’t think you needed that” Ummmm I kinda need a custody order in place among so many other things. Anyways.

After 2.5 months I finally got my statement out with my lawyer and E was served with divorce papers. This whole time he never once asked to see the kids or even talk to them on the phone. He would only call or text me to harass me about money or that we should get back together. And I thought about it often.

Until one day I came back to my parents house after dropping the kids off at the day home to get some things before I headed to school. It seemed fine at first, I walked in the front door as per usual, and no one else was home, like I expected. But then I saw the back patio door was open and my stomach was in my throat so fast. It normally takes a lot to get me scared or rattle me but when I saw that door… I can honestly say there was a fear like I’ve never known that crept in. I knew E had finished his shift up north recently and was in the city now but other than that I didn’t know where he was staying or what he was up to, and in that moment, I thought he had broken into my parents house.

I called my mom to see where she was and why the door was open… but she was sure she had left it closed/locked. Now my heart is pounding. I’m in stealth mode now. I slowly and methodically checked in every closet, behind every door and under all the beds. I even went out to the yard and dug around the bushes. Then back into the house to do it all again. I checked places that I KNEW there was no logical way E could even fit into! But I looked. Behind shower curtains and under stairs, all the while trying to calm my breathing so it wasn’t to loud and slow my heart which I thought would pound right out of my chest at any moment.

He obviously wasn’t anywhere in the house. But my mind was too far gone. I had been having nightmares about him stealing the kids and taking them back to Kenya. Or breaking through my window at night and beating me to death. And in that moment, because of that stupid door, I felt my nightmares were alive.

I realized that day how deep the damage E had caused in me. And even though I had filed for divorce and had been trying to stay strong, keeping the kids away and ignoring all the manipulative texts… a part of me had been considering getting back together with him. Until that day. I realized was scared of him. My body had never reacted so dramatically in fear to anything before this point, and not since.

It was that day I knew it didn’t matter how many years or ridiculous accusations or drawn out conversations it took. I was done with E. Forever.


-Rihanna/Love the Way You Lie Part 2-

Sunday Morning, Rain Is Falling /Clouds Are Shrouding Us In Moments Unforgettable

It was actually bright and sunny. But rain would’ve been an simpler reason to explain to my 3 year old son why Daddy had changed our plans for the day.

It was Sunday morning, Jan 2014, and the night before E and I had decided we would take the kids into town to go swimming for fun. E was in Kenya for 10 days between work and we wanted to make as much of the time together as we could before he flew back to Canada for another 20 day shift. Well I wanted to at least.

So when we all woke up that morning our son little E was so excited to be going into town. He loved riding the piki piki’s! And swimming too? Could it get any better than this?

E decided that he was going to make a quick visit to his parents house before we went to town. He left early morning to walk to their place … and when he left everything was fine.

But about 3 hours later when he got back our lives changed forever.

He announced that we were no longer going swimming. We weren’t leaving the house. Everyone had to stay. I tried asking him what happened, why’d he change his mind, did something occur at his parents, was everything OK? I reminded him that he was only here for a few days and he should spend some time with the kids. But he was having none of it. With no further explanation he walked out in a huff.

Little E was so sad. He had already packed his Thomas the Train backpack with his swim suit and towel and had been walking around with it on for the last hour with a huge smile. He ran after E calling out for Daddy but E ignored him. I picked up little E and explained that daddy had some other things to do and I would take him and his sister swimming another time.

I was sitting on the edge of our bed, holding little E, with our daughter Z (5 months old) laying behind us near the pillows, when E stormed back into the house.

He was silent this whole time, grabbing me by the arm and yanking me off the bed. I struggled to quickly put little E down and tried to walk out of the room away from the kids, when E started hitting me and pulling at my clothes.

Please bare with me as it all happened so fast yet it felt like it went on forever…

I was doing my best to defend myself against his massive hands that kept swinging towards me and for some reason ripping off my clothes. I kept looking for little E and telling him to go outside or back in the bedroom. I called for help since we had a farm boy that I knew was just outside, but no one came. It was just myself against E… with little E watching from around the bedroom door.

E punched me in the side of the head and knocked me over, I remember seeing my head-sized hole in our concrete floor. He’s now successfully ripped off my dress and underwear between punches and I’m left with just a torn bra, and I don’t even care. I’m just trying to make sure I’m left with my life, and that my kids are safe.

I’m fighting back but at the same time I’m trying to calm him down. I know that I’ll never be able to over power him. E is literally the strongest man I’ve seen in person physically. Mentally… not so much.

Either way I’m trying to deflect swinging fists and grabbing hands, while calling for help and trying to ask him what’s wrong/please stop, AND trying to hold all his attention so he doesn’t notice little E standing off in the doorway.

When all of a sudden he stops and walks away. Just like that. I jumped up and grabbed little E and went to our room and shut the door.

I look out the window and see him coming back. I managed to frantically grab another dress and throw it on and shove my phone in my bra. E had gone out and gotten the farm boy who was hiding in the kitchen. I don’t blame him at all. Our farm boy was about 16 and maybe 120 lbs. Not much of a match for E.

E instructed the boy to pack all my things and the children’s things into the 3 suitcases. Apparently E had decided to kick us out of the house.

I was told to sit on the bed and stay there while E and the farm boy shoved a few of our things into bags, informing me that anything that didn’t fit he was going to burn. Then after E left again without a word, and our farm boy helped me carry the luggage to a neighbors house as instructed by E.

My neighbor was having a bible study, so I literally hid in the kitchen while I called a friend I had met maybe 1 month before in town (while swimming with the kids no less). She was a missionary from the States, and as another white woman in Kakamega, we had bonded. I called her and in a surprisingly calm matter told her that E had beaten me up, and kicked us out of the house, so could the kids and I please come stay with her and her family for now.

She was all over that. She talked to her husband and they said they would be right there to get us.

Unfortunately “right there” was about an hour away since they lived in town and I was out in the village. So while I waited in the neighbors kitchen, word got around. Probably thanks to my farm boy. But people came to stay with me. Kids kept watch out for E. I was given a cool cloth for my swelling eyes.

Finally, my friend arrived. We put our bags into her van and the vehicle was surrounded by people. “Mama E, are you ok? Mama E are you coming back? ”

And then… E’s mom showed up. Someone had gotten word to E’s parents and my mother in law came. But she didn’t come to make sure I was ok. She was there to protect her son and her families reputation. She stood in the way of my friends van saying I shouldn’t go to the police, it was a mistake, stay at the farm, forgive him etc. My friend politely said that E packed my bags, and that I would be gone for now, at the request of E himself. Anything else could be discussed on the phone. And then started driving. Slowly, but it was a move or get run over type thing.

People finally moved. Kids ran after the van tapping on the windows for so long. They didn’t want to see myself and the kids leave. We had become family to them.

But when push came to shove… they would protect blood over us.

And the shove had most definitely come.


-Maroon 5/Sunday Morning-