Dec 21, 2012

Divorce and my Faith

Saying it out loud is about facing it.

I've been trying to get my parish priest to come bless my new home and of course he is busy but I am hoping he can soon.

Ever since the divorce was final, every sermon and every 'opinion' about those divorced or about divorce pricks my conscience. I've been thinking I do need to speak to a priest about it but I procrastinate.

Is it guilt or fear? My only thought is that man judges differently from God. While I feel confident that God understands my circumstance I'm not so confident how a priest would.  Because I did not initiate it even though I had more cause to,  I have always believed this is was God's solution to my many pleas.

Everything I have heard is about - not going there. There's nothing about it when you are there and every time the subject comes up I step into this void - no white or black or grey. I don't know how to describe it, I don't know what I should think there's just no ground under it. There are articles, some web pages that attempt to address and interpret what the church law implies, but nothing is really clear to me I suppose.

 I'm handling it with the family and friends, no issues there.

For me, it's never been a dead end, it always was the beginning for healing and learning to be again. 

Nov 21, 2012

Fresh views and new beginnings

“She isn't crying, but I figure that's only a matter of time.  Scars are just a treasure map for pain you've buried too deep to remember.”   Edward's thoughts on Georgie. - Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult.
Started reading again...
I've FINALLY moved and the unpacking is almost's been a week and a half....things are settling.. Most of the furniture is in.

The kids love their rooms, the view of the park is great, quiet neighbours and my collection of potted plants is picking up..

Can't wait to get back to some of my old routines.. (this is one of them).. so tired of looking at furniture !!.

The monsoon season is starting, Christmas is coming on in a hurry...


Sep 20, 2012

........stray thoughts

I grew up not feeling loved and so I looked for it.. 
and still I didn't have it when I thought I had found it.
I am loved, I know that in my head 
but the feeling ...
does not extend all the way to my bones, 
Do you know what I mean. 
I am not alone but 
I am still looking for love.

Sep 14, 2012

Settling in for a while

It's been about 2 weeks since we moved into the rental. The first 3 days were tiring, and only about half the boxes are unpacked. I can't imagine what the final move brings or means. Whatever does not need to be opened is stored away, mostly books and half the toys, kitchen crockery, decorative items and my craft stuff. I'm hoping to clear out more stuff before we finally move.  I decided to throw out smaller fitting clothes(keeping them a while now) thinking that if I managed to loose some weight I'd be only too happy to spend on new clothes.

There's a different feeling definitely, liberated .. no paranoia except close to the ex 's weekends and when he phones the kids. Otherwise I'm trying get the kids back to whatever is normal school and play. The kids feel it, a difference for the better but the alternate weekend stays with the ex is something we are all getting accustomed to in our own way.

It'll be a testing month too for the ex as he tries to manipulate and push the boundaries of his time with the kids. There's been a couple of incidents already and I am trying to figure out the best way to deal with it.

I'm trying to spend some time with the kids to do normal rather than non-moving stuff.
I'll be busy still as I have begun the renovation prep for the apartment and getting into fixtures, bathroom fittings, tiles, lights, colours and so on, trying to decipher new things and electronic appliances.

There's tonnes to do and so little time. But I am excited to take this next step of my journey


Aug 27, 2012

Counting down the days ..

In another 5 days, I will be finally out of this house and ex's face at my back.  There are more than 50 boxes packed up and still a few more before we move. I'm glad I started three weeks ago.  I have mobilized my sister and family to help out on the day of move, mostly where I can't be in two places at one time.

I am looking forward to the 'liberty' of talking freely, of my children talking freely and of us being able to be ourselves without anxiety.   Of course the ex has access to the kids on the alternate weekends and so on, but for the most part, we can move on as we used to before his return and interference for his own motives and my kids can hopefully get back to the track they were on for studies and we can all find some semblance of peace within us and in the home again.

The kids are currently having their term tests and will soon start the 1 week school hols just as we move..

I have confirmed my contractor for the renovations for our new permanent home and I am just finalizing the terms and charges and the design. At least the rental buys me a little more time for the renovation work.  Oh boy, a major step for me to making those types of decisions on furniture and type of tiles... I have a nice little balcony I am hoping to do 'big' things with... excited !!  and I'm still looking for ideas and examples....

Staying in the rental for a couple of months will mean I don't unpack everything just the essentials but well I believe we'll enjoy it for the duration.

Unfortunately work is taking it's toll, I can't afford to take leave, but I am managing and I thank God for the strength and perseverence to keep doing a something everyday no matter how tired - from where they came I have no idea....... probably up above..

I miss the blogs, my regular reads, hope to set up the PC, soon after we move.

Jul 31, 2012

Moving right along and falling into place.

I have been gone awhile. Have been busy. And I thank God, things are falling in place.
I am moving out soon with the kids.

I was having a major headache about moving out in time and yet being able to have sufficient time for the renovation of the new apartment to my satisfaction without compromising. Despite the grace period for exit from the current home, the new apartment is just not going to be handed over soon enough.  The timing of the move was in the middle of the kids' exams, can you imagine the disruption. 

At the same time given my ex's neuroticism, I decided the best was for me to exit the house first before him as early as possible to reduce the tension all around. His allegations and threats through the lawyer about 'his' property in the current home is mind boggling, there is no civility in his response to simple requests, insults my lawyer almost as if he is going psycho. He still sits as if in authority and control. My lawyer tells me, to flick it off like a irritating fly and not be perturbed by him or for her.  I cannot begin to describe the sleepless nights and weight of worry.

He is working up to his appeal and his paranoia and interference is getting more frequent and disturbing.

For more than a month I had been searching for short term rental which is tough cos landlords prefer at least 1 year if not 6 months, on top of that I needed to be picky on location that would satisfy the three kids (school - timing, disruption, proximity etc).  And I don't need more than 3 months.

It's working out better than I could have directed myself, we've just got a rental to settle in,  during the short school break and then we'll have plenty of time to move into our new home during the long school break after their exams, and the workmen don't have to rush and I can take my time to get the furnishing.

An unseen hand, yes....

Jun 30, 2012

Talking to the dog ?

For the past few days, I've been talking to the dog, mostly I ask her one question, why life is so complicated?
Of course she's been patient and listens.

Feeling melancholy over what the kids have gone through and still to go through.

I want them to be happy and worry free but that seems impossible.

Jun 28, 2012

Note to self ...

Deal with 1 problem or conflict at a time

Do not let the words of your ex repeated by the kids to you, rile you. Think don't react.

Do not share complaints about your ex in the children's hearing.

Always send out a quick prayer for patience.

Remind yourself that your ex is a psychotic moron.

Jun 27, 2012

Looking for my calm

The waiting is taking it's toll. I'm thinking.... look at rental while I'm waiting for the apartment so I don't have to put up with my ex's  foolhardy attempts to rile me with his stupid accusations and threats.
The house is not yet falling apart but the appliances and furniture which are old seem to be saying sayonara one by one.
It's like they know the end is near.

While the ex is still freeloading he has the audacity to blame me for breaking his things and letting things go to ruin and threatening to bring liable and legal charges.  I am advised to stay calm, and let him blow his hot air, his aim is ti wear me down.

Among other things, he's going to use the dog as his support for my not running a proper household.

It does seem like he's panicking, his reign of terror will soon be over and that's why he's craving attention.... so goes one theory.

I remind myself about prayer and trust and patience. I believe there's always been a (divine) seems I forget when it builds.

I wish he would just leave.

Jun 7, 2012

The next phase...

Outwardly I am moving forward, I have found an apartment and am now figuring out ways to renovate and refurbish to make it a comfortable home. It will be about 4 months more before I can move in.

In the meantime...
The next phase I thinks is called 'coming to terms'. While the paper work says final and all that, deep within the heart of me I suppose there is still grief for the loss. And yet while I tell myself I held on despite of.........I still do feel guilt.

I have been telling myself for the past few month that it is time to go talk to a priest, but is it confession or is it just an outpouring to lighten my burden or to hear him say 'it couldn't be helped or I did what I could do or it was not within my control etc etc..
More afraid is that he would say what I gather from my mother, it is the bed I made, and therefore I should accept it..

I think I would not know where to begin.

At Sunday mass,... do they do it on purpose ?  It is because of what is said during sermons and seminar-invites about keeping the family together that makes this trip quite difficult to let go. I suppose it would work for some who have recourse or where there is some hope.  Would we not avoid it if we could ?  Does anyone go through divorce for a lark ?

It always comes back to this,
if I were to think like a counselor, ' I could not change him so I changed me'
But that didn't help the kids when his behaviour affected them, then how could I not be me for them.

What a tangled web we weave...........

May 10, 2012

Labour and love.


Labour and love.: Steadily it continues to tick, changing seasons... mothers persevere, even as time moves, but still we lag. We slow our steps to give...

(click on the title for the rest..)

Happy Mother's Day 

Apr 30, 2012

Learning on the go and house hunting.

It's been tiring both physically and mentally. I'm taking myself through a crash course to understand what it would entail financially and in terms of loan timing to get moving on a place I see and like.
 I have spoken to different realtors and getting clarification from the bank where I can to see I may move forward as there are still some complications involving the local housing policy.

I started looking and then wondered how I was going to decide. But somehow along the way, my preferences became clearer and I knew almost right away what I didn't want.  The environment was important, I don't want to be hemmed in on all sides, I wanted a facing that was at least breezy and clear, rather than have someone else's living room window looking into mine. Traffic noise vs the quiet, the distance to the nearest bus stop, how convenient for the kids to to get to school and so on.  Then I'm balancing the need for renovations and then time to do that.  I'm thinking of interior decor and deign ideas while I'm surveying and doing the math.

I listed, I prioritize,  and then I came upon one in particular apartment that met many of the criteria BUT was that the one?  Or was it the one with traffic noise? 
My heart wanted it before my head did the checks. So is this my sign?  I'm giving myself a little more time, to see if God willing that be the one.

I've begun to clean out the present home, slowly getting the kids to filter through their stuff and clearing out what is not likely to be taken with us on the move.

It's been a busy few weeks, tomorrow is a public holiday , "Labour  day' I intend to rest my weary self.

Apr 25, 2012

Gently he leads...

This phrase is so apt, and I know most assuredly, I don't have to worry. Things are going really smoothly, and because they are moving I believe God takes care of those things I have no control over while I do what I can do.
I'm talking about selling the house.

I had been worried that things would get messy and confused with both of us using different realtors trying to handle the sale but it has not been the case because this guy came into the picture.
And I do thank God.

There's this real estate broker who knew us(my ex and I) both from a long way back, and while he is more my ex's friend and associate (and probably the only real friend my ex has left), I think he's a God sent. He has taken care of the sale arrangements and very objectively acts as liaison for the necessary.
Sure he is going to get something out of the sale for himself, but it is his character I read and know. He is a nice family man, mature in his outlook and  draws one's respect.  Because of him, my ex is not making a nuisance of himself (as much) on the house sale either.

I am not a overly religious person but I must say it He is there beside me and my trust in him is all the more.

Soon , these things take time... it's coming, I hope I'll be posting from new home..very soon....

Apr 9, 2012

Easter and new beginnings

Happy Easter to all who celebrate. I have been busy, trying to move the sale of the matrimonial home as they say. I'm not sure if the ex is stalling but I'm pushing it to move forward and away from his face as soon as it can be arranged.

The law is a strange creature when it comes to 'domestic' issues, and I have found it frustrating in my present situation. I have been looking at new possible homes, unfortunately I can't move on anything until this house is sold. My youngest is impatient to get a move on, soon I tell him , soon.. it's been one year and a half already, but I know it will be soon.

We have come past lent into Easter. For me it feels a like a truly fresh start to living again. My experience through this last season has been fuller and deeper in feeling, expression and thought in many ways.

There is more calm within me as I take charge of my life again, with less anger and even hate. It enters now and then, like a thief .. but I deal with it better. Is it God reaching deeper, is it faith or is it just the sense of self and learning more to BE.

Mar 7, 2012

Assert assert assert...

I'm learning things about myself in the next phase where I'll have to take risks with the law and force myself to do things I am not comfortable with. I am still afraid because the law does not always seem to be on my side until all things are iron clad and clear cut. 
Ok so I'm a nice person, and you really have to push me to the edge before I can stay mean and act mean with you.  As much as I hate my ex for all the pain and suffering, I cannot hate his mother who is in the middle.

There is a property that needs to be sold owned by both of my ex and I but which is currently being occupied by his mother-in-law and him for most of the time when he is not skulking in the home that we occupy. We had purchased it at a point in time when she had no place to go and he did not want her staying with us ( nice son huh?). That house has to be sold first and so a valuation needs to be done. A valuation means I need to get access to the house. Eventhough it has been our property, because it was the mother-in law, I never sought to make a key. We were not charging her rent while we both paid for it, and he (ex) was helping her to upkeep the house and in the last few years, he stayed there  instead of the current home before he filed.

There is a grey area when something is shared or not absolutely cut and dry(in this case the house is in both our names) where the law is concerned and yet I seem to always put myself in the position of defense rather than offense. My ex is stalling on this and I have waited a month. I'm trying to play by the 'nice' rules, give notice and sufficient time for him to act, let his mum know that a valuer will be by. He could have arranged it before me but he didn't. So I have to act. The cops do not say I'm in the right nor am I in the wrong if I have to force my way into the house to get the valuation done, perhaps I should go back to court to force an order.

There were many scenarios playing out in my head, if the occupants had opened the door but stopped me, I would have had to call the police and created more of a scene which made me uncomfortable but that was what asserting myself would have entailed. I kept thinking about his reactions and the possible consequences.
My concern was, can he file a complaint against me if I did something. Between the advise of the lawyer and the police, it seems it is my right as owner to enter the premises by whatever means.  If the police can't advise me against it or suggest the best way, it means it boils down to just me ensuring I can justify it and cover all the bases. Call the police ONLY if there is trouble caused. And so after much thought, and much pressure to not waste my off day and the valuer's time, I called in a locksmith. Thank God the locksmith and the valuer were understanding of my predicament. I can't seem to think of using the grey to my advantage.

I did all the right things, he was notified earlier,  there was a 2 hour waiting period,  I waited, I knocked, I called and still no one was home (so it seemed).  So I made a decision, get a locksmith, got the valuer to come back  Again I checked with the police and what they were not saying was 'I could not do it', and I even suggested for an officer to observe but they said no, just call if there is trouble.  So here I am on the offense.

Lo and behold, after we got the doors open and then the room doors which were also locked, we find my mother-in-law hiding in the room. Was she advised by her son that we would be coming, did she hear us knock, did she hear the phone ring.... NO NO NO... she said she needed to call her son, and the first thing out of her mouth on the phone was , 'they come into the house already '. I pity the poor woman and what her son has / is putting her through ( to lie on his behalf). 

He has to sell it as well and it has nothing to do with the clarification, so what is his game? He wants control of the sale? He was aware I would be there today and had told his mum not to answer the door or the phone and keep all the windows and curtains closed.

My lawyer, for the sake of me showing  MEAN, would have me banging down the door without any notice or preamble but to show I am the owner and I can do anything I want'. I'm advised I can't be soft, 'assert' she says, but I argue it's not about asserting it's about ensuring I am not doing anything illegal.  It feels that her definition of assertiveness is creating a scene to demand, but I realise she does not always give me the right advise where the grey area is concerned, because not all angles are explored, and that makes me uncomfortable. I'm so used to doing stuff in a 'civilized' manner, I have never had to call the police or think of using force in any situation before and now my ex has forced me to enter that arena, because he can't do anything amicably even if it is to both our benefit.  I think about it, but I can't just take his clothes and throw it out. I also keep thinking that one of the side effects will be stress on the kids if it's something they witness.

I had to do what I had to do, I can't stall or I will be out of funds to support the current roof over my head. The ex is playing games with the maintenance orders at the moment claiming that he is pending clarification. I'm trying to think of it as a adventure in assertiveness training. 
If you are not born with 'mean', it's hard to find it in you even after years of abuse.

Feb 8, 2012

Sorting out Loose ends...

Unfortunately until I am able to sell this house and move out with the kids, I will not see the back of my ex.  My youngest grows impatient waiting for the move. There are a few hurdles to get over and I will have to use the courts again to clear the sale should my ex create more delays and thwart the orders, in the process.

I am advised to push through and I will.

The biggest part is over, I know I can do what needs to be done next. It's a lot of planning and formulating and meeting with the banks and looking at new homes.

Because of the appeal I believe my ex intends to put through, I still am wary although I'm told not to worry. I've seen his actions translate to whining in the past 6 months on paper and while I'm closer to understanding how the courts read this, I am still going to be paranoid as long as he is under the same roof and looking over our shoulders for the slightest incident to twist and spin.

He is still going to try his damndest to be a thorn in my side but I am going to use the courts and the police for the slightest reason that he gives me to ensure he understands I am standing my ground and that he does not intimidate me any longer.

If you have included me in your prayers, please continue cos it 's not over and  peace is the goal for all of us and I thank you.

Feb 1, 2012

Finally done....

I thank God that it is over . The kids stay with me for the most part although of course there are the alternate weekends.
I can move forward on getting a new home, what a relief.  The property sale will take at least a few months to settle but  at least we are moving.

Most of it is in my favour. So of course the ex is not happy and he claims he will appeal.

Somehow I am less worried about it, because if he intends to display the same insane behaviour, he's not going to make any progress but rather work against himself.

There are complications as to how I going to tackle the settlements but one step at a time, but I'll weather it. It all depends on his cooperation or otherwise if he hopes to delay because of his appeal. I'll just have to use the judicial system to push it.

Thank you Lord, I can finally move forward.

Jan 28, 2012

Just thinking .............

I wrote Keep It Together more than a year ago and as I re-read it I think to myself 'thank God that I have'.

There has been little fair play on the X's part, creating storms of paranoia blowing hot and cold and I have weathered them all thus far. Will he continue? I'll have to wait and see.

Faith has grown deep and my prayer is no longer a wail.  And as I wait the final day I feel a sense of sorrow, not panic (not yet) over all that has gone, all that has been invested, these past 20 years.
There is a change in the children too, a kind of strength that is mature and yet sometimes falters.
But it is more present than it used to be.

Time does heal all wounds in time or at least eases the pain.

What does it really mean for them, is still hard to define.
I wait to move forward.

Jan 24, 2012

Time to do and think

It's the Chinese New Year holiday, and while I am not Chinese, I enjoy these holidays because it's the only time when it's a two days public holiday and this year it means a good long 4 day weekend.

I get one day to relax, the last day that is and the rest of it to spend with the kids and the family. At the back of my mind, I am consciously counting the days (7..) to the final court day.

I'm keeping myself busy, planning my son's birthday that's coming up next week and occupying myself and them with extra language exercises that they need. The boys unfortunately have a hard time getting into reading books of any kind. They've both got two years to prepare for major exams one for PSLE(to secondary) and one for the O levels. I'm trying out other methods to boost their vocabulary if  I can't force the reading. 

An interesting nugget from M Scott Peck's "Road Less Travelled'  -
Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well. I it judicious praising and judicious criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting..................requires thoughtful and often painful decisionmaking.

Jan 16, 2012

Loving my daughter the best way I know how...

The new year has brought with it changes and new experiences and more to come.

I have been nudging my teenage girl to venture out on her own as in getting out into the world of adults and interacting whether it be voluntary work with the SPCA or getting a part time job during the academic breaks.  Relevant experience ? Well that's a side benefit but more importantly is the experience of responsibility, interaction and of the unknown  that is non-academic and non-familial. 

Sometimes I think it's easy to fall into lethargy,  Finally she's started to get into it and getting at it.

Not quite an introvert yet not an extrovert either, I feel she needs to push her boundaries and get out of her very comfortable zones She needs to less fearful of trying, sometimes I think she needs to live a little more than she is compared with other teenagers. 
Is it a consequence of her nature or a consequence of the family situation that has unfolded, I honestly cannot say,  but I do want the best for her and she needs to take those steps for herself. 

If there is the opportunity for her to go further away to study, she'll need that experience and some courage for independence.
I suppose I'm trying to ensure she will not have some of the regrets I have over how I lived or was allowed to live my younger years.

Jan 2, 2012

Welcoming the new..

I'm glad 2011 is over, I would not want to relive it again ever.

I'm looking forward to moving away from the old and tired feelings and thoughts. Christmas and the New Year's eve went by with lots of hugs and greetings and it was 85% peaceful, what more can I ask for.

I'm looking forward to what's to come, lots of challenges but then what does one expect when one is beginning anew. A month more to go before the evil X is out of my hair. I can only pray there are no more surprises.

Here's one new area of interest I started on lately, it's got to do with crystals - vibrations, cleansing energy, healing and so on.... . It's all natural, nothing 'woo hoo' about it or supernatural.  It's not about diamonds or expensive stones: no in fact, many are not that rare and they don't have to b polished to be effective.

A friend had introduced me to the use of certain stones (black tourmaline, Amethyst) which I took on based on my friendship with her. Initially, she did not explain what they were for but merely asked me to place them near me or in certain places and observe and be aware.

I realized I felt less of those feelings of of fatigue. There used to be a sense of knowing and yet not doing or forestalling and even a sleeping sort of wakefulness but since then I have regained a greater sense of  alertness particularly in the house and less of the sluggishness which seems to dog me when I am in the house. I began to understand what my friend was telling me without telling me.
I went to do some research.

All this time I put it down to hormones or age or just work fatigue. So maybe there' is a lot more in the environment around me than my naive mind is willing to consider.

The use of crystals in healing and for protection is grounded in the energy and vibration of the natural earth and it's not a religious concept. So I'm looking at it this way,  prayer and faith are weapons but perhaps for my part I can help this battle on another front with the help of natural aids to enhance protection or block the bad energy.
I'm experimenting, and still reading up on this, it's fun and interesting. There is no harm to come from it, if anything there will be positive contribution. 

 A bountiful 2012 to all, wishing all love and peace.

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