Category Archives: parenting

Sometimes You Need To Take A Step Back

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[I wrote this a year ago about an Angel I met in a children’s cancer ward. Or maybe just a very wise little girl. But I prefer to think of her as an Angel. Its a Free Write, but it’s true.]

 

I woke up this morning as I always do — in pain so harsh it makes it hard to breathe. I have three herniated discs in my lower spine. Fibromyalgia. My knees have been locking up on me and I’ve had a pinched nerve that has rendered my left arm almost useless for over five weeks.
My son is in my bed, which happens more often than not. ACS (Children’s Services in NYC) has given him PTSD and the nightmares are bad enough that he comes into my room in the middle of the night.
My middle cat, Nikita, is having a bloody discharge, sometimes cloudy yellow, that is leaving stains everywhere. Worse, I can’t afford a vet. I tried all of the free vet services, and none were able to help. I’m going to have to throw out what little self-esteem and pride I have and try GoFundMe.
My favorite game, Titan Empires, has had an update. I’ve got two accounts and had just started one for my son. This new update resulted in the game crashing during three attacks yesterday. Today, it crashed during a war attack for my main character, leaving me with 0% on an easy 100% win. My son’s account took the Titanite (required to upgrade Titans, who help with your attacks) for an upgrade three times but didn’t do the upgrade.
We’d missed lunch with my grandmother, who is my best friend and always has been, along with being a mom and a grandmother, on Monday due to my son throwing up and having an upset stomach. The lunch was to be a one-week – early Happy 88th Birthday with my aunt and uncle who don’t yet live full-time in NYC and we’re leaving the next day. Tuesday we’d gone to the New York Aquarium, and today, Wednesday, my son had his stomach ache back.
We had a home visit and we’ll have another Friday morning, despite everyone agreeing that being crippled and asking for help was not child abuse or neglect. The damage to my son, my family, and to me has already been done. Lesson learned: never ask Children’s Services for help because you’re physically unable to clean. They did nothing for years despite overwhelming proof that my son was being abused by his father and father’s girlfriends. Why would they help a non-abusive, non-neglectful parent?
As I went to the bathroom for a cigarette, I thought back to when I was first diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was 20, but my birth date had been written wrong and I was sent to the children’s cancer ward.
I sat on an uncomfortable chair and tried not to look around. The parents with that hollow look, watching their child die and not being able to do anything about it. The thing about losing a child is that it goes against Nature. Parents are supposed to die first and while it’s sad, it’s the Natural Order of things.
Then She sat next to me. It bothers me that I can’t remember Her name, but I will always remember Her.
“Hi,” She said, this little girl attached to a metal pole with wheels. The pole held bags of liquid which were attached to tubes leading to needles in her veins.
I nodded a hello, gripping my latest test results in my sweaty hands.
“You’re new,” She observed.
“That obvious?”
She coughed a little laugh. She was barely four feet tall, and probably didn’t weigh more than 50 pounds. Her hair was gone, but She wasn’t wearing a scarf around Her head.
“I know everyone here. You’re too young to be a parent, you don’t have that Family Member Look, so you must be a patient.” She went on to tell me that She was eight and the couple nervously watching us were Her parents. Her brother was somewhere, wandering the hospital hallways.
Her parents came over. “Sweetie, don’t you think you should get back in bed?” Her mom asked.
“Come on, I’ll carry you,” Her father offered. They looked like they hadn’t slept in years.
She bargained for five minutes with me. They returned to their seats, never taking their eyes off of Her. Or me.
“No offense, but you do look tired,” I said quietly.
She gave a small smile. “I’m exhausted all the time. But you look like you could use a friend.”
The next few minutes flew by. She told me how She was so tired, that She’d been in and out of hospitals since two years of age. She said She held on for Her parents, who wouldn’t be able to handle Her being gone. How Her brother loved and hated Her: loved Her when She was healthy; hated Her for being sick, taking all of their parents attention, then hated himself. She spoke like someone years older than eight. Every Doctor or Nurse who walked by received a greeting by name. But as She spoke She seemed to lose substance until a nurse came over and said She needed to go back to Her room.
“Chemo,” She said, rolling her eyes. “I wish they’d stop.”
“Now, honey, you don’t mean that,” said the nurse, helping Her up and taking hold of the metal pole.
“You’ll be okay,” were Her parting words.
I had to turn in my seat to watch Her walk back to Her room. She was insisting on walking by Herself.
The sun was bright thru the hospital windows and while it might have been a trick of the light, to this day I swear She had a beautiful pair of white feathered Angel wings on Her back.
I blinked, and She was gone.
I was called in soon after, the age mistake corrected, and I was sent to the adult cancer ward.
Two days later I went back to the children’s ward. Her parents weren’t there. I asked some of the Doctors and Nurses if I could visit Her and received confused looks. Nobody had been there with that name recently. Thinking I’d gotten Her name wrong, I described Her. Unfortunately, that description fit most of the children there.
I left, hearing Her say, “You’ll be okay.”
And I was.
A few years of cancer treatments and numerous hospital visits and I got a clean bill of health. My eyebrows will never grow in properly, my hair is very thin, and I have a desperate fear of feeling my bones after having lost so much weight. I also proved the doctors wrong by giving birth to my son — I had been told I would never have children.
So, I may have left the Nair on my tender areas a bit too long, and I may be in constant physical pain, and my son may be scarred for life by Children’s Services, and my cat may be sick. But I’ll get the money for the vet. I’ll put my son back together. My tender area will heal up. And maybe Titans will fix the bugs or maybe I’ll find a new game.
We’ll see my grandmother for her 88th Birthday this Monday. And we’ll get thru the home visit and hopefully won’t have to have someone court ordered to stay in our house every day (again).
Either way, as an Angel once told me, “You’ll be okay.”
I will. I’ll be okay.

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It’s Been A While, Eh?: Joirnal Wed/Thurs 2/3 March 2016

Wednesday (with some Thursday edits):
My plan with these “journal entries” was two-fold:
— keep with the Free Write element, making the train of thought a bit more personal, as in some other wonderful blogs that I will no doubt share (I’m waiting for permission on an especially good one and still hoping to ask a writer at The Write Practice a few questions)
— get rid of the numerous drafts that are taking up room by incorporating them into the journal posts.

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Nikita, Pythons, Schizophrenia, Life and Spring Cleaning for those in Chronic Pain (maybe not the last part)

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Internet Trolls, Posting Kids: Journal Mon/Tues 8/9 February 2016

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Jameson has Pfeiffer syndrome, which causes premature fusion of the skull and alters the shape of the head and face of those affected. AliceAnn has been writing about Jameson and the condition since his birth in 2012 on her blogJameson's Journey.


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19 Tooth Fairy Ideas That Are Borderline Genius

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/19-insanely-clever-tooth-fairy-ideas-your-kid-will-never-for?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Parents%20130&utm_content=Parents%20130+CID_d16b188021e71ba66bdecb18411f9015&utm_source=BuzzFeed%20Newsletters&utm_term=.qcdVO68qN#.lj66D5BMl

In the U.S. we have gold (not real gold but real currency) dollar coins. I give my son a couple of those pretending that they’re fairy gold. You can get them from the MTA in NYC. Or I check with local stores and ask if I can buy any gold dollars they have. I try to keep a couple on hand just in case of emergency tooth loss.
Once I was caught without enough coins when my son found the three teeth he’d lost during his stay with his two dads. He received an IOU note written with letters that all had swirls and spirals on each letter (my hand was so sore the next day!) explaining that the Tooth Fairy Assistant 544237 was unable to give him all the money that was owed for the teeth and she would return the following night. It used up all of the ink in my glitter tattoo pens but it was worth it to see his face! The following day he awoke to the rest of his fairy gold coins plus another letter from the Tooth Fairy herself. (I had to ice my hand after that letter!)
For those who don’t know, fairies can take something like a leaf and make it look like real money using glamour. Humans have to spend it that day or it will turn back into it’s original form.

Open Letter of WHY To My Ex-Beloved

I remember when I came up with that nickname, “Beloved”. It was from a book by Robin Hobb. The Fool, who had been in many of her books, sometimes as a male, sometimes female, had been captured and was being slowly tortured in a frozen wasteland. He had no hope if being saved. As his skin was being slowly stripped away from his back, he was delerious with pain, and he began mumbling, “Beloved, My Beloved, ” or something like that. And even tho we’d just found each other after a decade, I knew that if I was in the same situation, I’d be calling out your name. Beloved. My Beloved. Because it has always been you.
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My story: Rock solid | bpHope – bp Magazine Community

My story: Rock solid | bpHope – bp Magazine Community.

 

I think knowledge is the key.

My son’s father dated a bipolar girl. My introduction to her was a text saying,  “when I see your son, I’m going to hurt him”. My son was three years old. I showed it to his dad, but dad claimed he didn’t know the number it was from. That weekend, bipolar girl shoved my son into a closet door. At ten, my son still has a scar on his forehead.

It soon escalated to the girlfriend stalking me, texting repeatedly  (I had three phones at one point since I was court ordered to give my son’s dad my phone number.) I received almost 400 emails in a 24 hour period  from bipolar  girl — after she had shut off my son’s dad’s phone while he had my son.

I now think that, with help, and without my son’s dad egging on her moods, things might have been different.

But they weren’t.

I was harassed, my son beaten and scarred, and the courts and children’s services  did nothing.

Google+ : Perverts Paradise! (Repost from 2014)

Repost because the original seems to have gone missing.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Google+ : Perverts Paradise!
I will freely admit that in this New World of everyone vomiting their personal guts up — “Look at my kid! Here he is two seconds later, isn’t he adorable? And, here, same pose, same outfit, same day. Amazing, isn’t it?” — or the, “I need you to unfriend and block C—-. He’s stalking me. Again.” — etc, etc, — this whole, let’s put it ALL out there and then some, people will think we’re making it up anyway — is baffling to me.
Kids under ten are posted all over for child molesters (they’re out there. They may sit in front of you in Sex Ed. They may help your kids onto animals at the Bronx Zoo, copping a feel. They may wear lots of buttons on their Toys R Us vest to attract more kids. Yes, I’m talking about you, Mr. N.L.). Kids with Facebook accounts that parents swear they’re watching. Hell, I can’t even watch my own FB account all the time!
But the worst violation I have come across is Google➕.
I was required to get a gmail account when I got my phone. I was NEVER told I would be automatically signed up for  Google➕ account.
I never posted, so I never received notification that it was there.
I was watching YouTube with my son (no pictures of him; I say it’s because he’s too gorgeous, and that’s part of it. The other part is, if I know you, you’ll get your own pictures of him. If you don’t know him, you don’t need pictures of him. I don’t need your comments to let me know he’s amazing; I KNOW he’s awesome!). Somehow, they link me thru YouTube to Google ➕.
And there I find every picture I’ve ever taken on my cell phone, every photo and video sent to my cell phone, it’s all there for people to see and download.
I immediately shut down the sites — Google ➕ & YouTube.
I felt dirty.
Violated.
It’s one thing to CHOOSE to show my breasts; it’s another when they’re just put out there.
Eventually, I was able to reuse the accounts, and (supposedly) the pictures are for “my eyes only”.
If you ever see photos on Google ➕ that aren’t individually posted, PLEASE TELL ME.
I’d do the same for you, but, sad to say, I doubt that most of you will care.

D. K. Stevens at 5:40 PM

My (sorely neglected) Free Write blog: http://www.dkstevens327.WordPress.com

If you’re on http://www.dkstevens327.WordPress.com, check out http://www.writersgroup1.WordPress.com. And vice versa.
Blessed Be.

This Is What It’s Like (Updated)

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He showed up early for his weekend with your son.
You’d told him to call from the train. That way you could have your son dressed. That way, he wouldn’t see the crying, the begging, the pleading of your son not to have to go with his dad.
You know what is happening there. You see the bruises on your son. You take photos before and after.
You have your own bruises, now healed, and missing teeth, and carvings. But the court insists on the visitation, so you lie, you lie so well to convince your son, to convince yourself, that it’s not so bad and when he gets older, he’ll see, his dad will realize how wrong he was and he’ll be so sorry. So very sorry for what he’s done.

This is what it’s like to have your son abused by his father.

Hell, his father has bragged about beating your son; how he lets his girlfriends beat on your son.
His dad doesn’t even want custody. When you asked what he would o if you gave him full custody, he shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Give him to my mom?”
You ask why he’s dragging you thru court, wasting tax payer dollars, and he laughs. He tells you that he’s hurting your son as revenge because you didn’t love him enough. And your son gets the worst of it.
You tell Childrens Services, your lawyer, the court. But two liars are more believable than one telling the truth. They say you are jealous; that you are upset about the “break up”. Explaining that you ended it, and never loved him in the first place falls on deaf ears. And now he’s here early.

This is what it’s like to be scared of your son’s father.

You stand in the doorway and urge your son to hurry. Your son is 6, and is crying he doesn’t want to go. In the hallway, his father hears and, maybe, for the first time…
You hear, from behind you, “Fuck this,” and then an arm around your throat pulling you down, down, it’s all so slow, and then the *crack* as your lower spine hits his knee and there’s this blast of pain your spine is on fire and then everything goes black.

This is what it’s like to be crippled by your son’s dad, in front of your son.

When you come to, you are lying in the public hallway of your building with your son standing at your head as if he is blocking you, protecting you, and he is screaming, “I hate you! I hate you, dad! I never want to see you again!” And his dad is standing there, silent, holding up his phone to record the entire thing.
You know you have to get up but your whole body is Pain and there is a terrifying numbness below your waist but you need to get up you have to protect your son so you roll onto your stomach and fight your body and force yourself to stand and you pull your child into the apartment and you call the police.
The police come and cuff both you and your son’s father and they bring you downstairs and your baby, your only child is clinging to you, shaking and crying and they crowd all of you into the same small elevator and your body is trying to collapse under you but you must stand, you have to stay up for your son.
Downstairs they let you sit on a stoop, with your son, while they watch the video. The sound is muffled, but you hear the crack, the snap that was your spine.
As they put him in the police car, he tells you, “Your lucky I’m so nice or else I’d have them arrest you, too.” Three police officers laugh. They laugh so hard, two have to lean on the hood of the car. They remove your cuffs, and your son begins crying anew when he sees the marks they’ve left and you comfort him, and you watch your arms hold your son, and rub his back, but there’s this strange mix of pain and numbness.

This is what it’s like to lie to your son.

You now have your son for the weekend, so you refuse the ambulance that is scaring your son, everything is scaring him and you want to tell him that you can’t hold him up, you can barely hold yourself up, but you are his Mother and you hold him even as you are barely holding on yourself.
You tell your son you’re fine, that it was nothing, that the sound he heard was something, anything, but not your spine. You suggest a “Lazy Weekend” in bed so that your son won’t notice that you can barely walk, that you have to lean on furniture, hold onto the walls. But he sees, and he knows.
You get tests done: CT scans, MRI’s, electric pulses that check for nerve damage.
You are told you now have three herniated and two bulging discs in your lower spine. The pain will be a constant companion to your recently diagnosed Fibromyalgia.
You bring the medical and police records to court. But there is no restraining order issued. No end to the visitation. Instead, the court decides your son should be picked up by his father st school giving him an extra three hours.
Your son regresses, again.

This is what it’s like when the court treats all cases the same.

This is what it’s like for many single parents.
If you have been or currently are in an abusive relationship, get help. My biggest fear growing up was being in a homeless shelter. But I did it. So can you. Remember: the people in a Domestic Violence shelter are there to help you; if I’d listened to them, and cut off contact with my son’s dad back then, I wouldn’t be permanently crippled and, most importantly, my son would never have been so horribly abused.
If you’re in NYC, contact Safe Horizon.. Nationally, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

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If you’re on http://www.dkstevens327.WordPress.com, check out http://www.writersgroup1.WordPress.com. And vice versa.
Blessed Be.

VD Post

I’m spending a lovely valentines with my son, the best Valentine ever!
I was going to finish my Stalkers post, but we’re a bit busy with video games, Netflix, and the Annotated Sandman, so here are a few things for you to watch:
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Charlie Brown Be My Valentine
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
“Lovey dovey bullshit”. Neil Gaiman recites a love poem he wrote for his wife Amanda Palmer.
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
And, some Tom Hiddleston…
MTV After Hours With Tom Hiddleston
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❤❤❤
Slumber Party With Tom Hiddleston
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Remember,

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And as I posted on Twitter and Facebook,
Happy VD to those who celebrate! (Older people will get the reference. Younger people need to wait until Saint Thomas’ Day.)

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