Last night during Wrestlemania there was a montage video put together of The Miz’s career.  There was a sound bite that was used of him saying, “I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for something I am not.” I know that isn’t a Miz original, but I don’t remember who originally said (don’t feel like looking it up), but it was interesting coming from The Miz because his wrestling persona is so arrogant and cocky and just an overall jerk.

It took me a long time to embrace the everything that quote stands for.  That is the point to this exercise of sharing my life with everyone.  It’s hard to know someone through the net.  You can’t always read inflections of words.  It’s hard to tell what is sarcasm and what isn’t. You only know of people what they are willing to share, and some times that isn’t a lot.  It may not be the smartest thing of me to share my life so openly on the net, but I am what I am and I have never hidden anything of my life in shame or as if it is some big private matter.  My life is what it is.  I have never used it to gain pity or respect.  It’ something that I share with people where they can better understand who and what I am.  You don’t become jaded and cynical over night.  Once you loose trust in people it’s hard to get back.  There are just some things that you carry with you forever and become part of who you are.

So, to wrap up this story…

I moved in with G.  During this time she introduced me to the man who is now my husband.  Probably wasn’t the best time to get involved with someone, having just gone through the break up that I did.  After knowing him a month I moved to TN with him.  I don’t want to paint a storybook romance here, it was anything but that.  It wasn’t the easiest relationship, especially in the beginning but we worked through everything.  Thanks to the Navy we found ourselves in PA and living with the worlds most trying room mates.  In different times nature would have weeded these two out.  At the very least a larger animal would have eaten them for being annoying.  I was going to college and working, yet I was expected but them to be a servant.  He was raised with the attitude that women belonged in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant slaving over their mate.  She was coddled and had no idea how to do anything for herself.  She left home without the basic skills necessary to take care of herself.  I remember one day she said something to me about how I didn’t do the dishes and I tripped off line.  I had come home from school, had enough time to cook something before I went to work and then realized that I didn’t have enough time to eat before having to run out the door to work.  It was that day that I refused to do anything in the house for anyone other than myself and my future husband.  It went downhill from there and I almost became embroiled in a huge sexual harassment case involving the US Navy because our roommate was that sort of person.

We moved out and got married.  I ended up spending our honeymoon in the hospital deathly sick.  I left the hospital feeling no better and ended up having to have my first surgery for endometriosis.  I found out between my surgery and the follow up for my surgery that I was pregnant…after three doctors told me I would never be able to get pregnant.  I ended up dropping out of college because it was a high risk pregnancy.  I spent the first three months taking hormone supplements to prevent miscarriage and the last three months taking horrible meds to prevent preterm labor.  We really thought that this pregnancy was a freak thing and were even more surprised when, three months after our first child was born I was pregnant again.  Once again I spent most of the pregnancy on bed rest.  I envy those women who have great pregnancies and go on and on about how wonderful they felt and blah blah blah.  I was not one of those people…and yet, I had seven kids.

After our second child was born we moved to VA Beach, my husband was stationed in Norfolk.  We weren’t there all that long when he was sent on deployment the day after Thanksgiving.  I ended up spending Christmas alone.  My mother thought that it would be a good idea for me to pack two little kids, one of them about three months old,  into a car and drive from VA to FL by myself for the holiday.  She would be pissed at me forever because I refused to do it.  Somewhere in February I just shut down.  It was difficult to take care of myself let alone two little kids.  I was told that I had postpartum depression.  To this day I think it was something else because me and my hormones never got along.  My husband was sent home from deployment on emergency reassignment.  The wife of his CO, in her attempt to “help” and “be supportive” tried to get my kids taken from me. No one in the wife support group from the ship ever offered to help me out, babysit where I could get some sleep or anything.  At the point that I shut down I was horribly sleep deprived.  I understand that the CO found out what his wife tried to do and he was pissed.  It was said that he always volunteered the ship to go out and do extra stuff just where he didn’t have to be around her.  At least he knew what kind of bitch his wife was.

Not long after my husband returned home I was pregnant again.  He was also put out on a medical discharge because of asthma.  He went out running with the Marines and passed out because of an asthma attack.  We left VA Beach and went home to Ohio.  The next three years sucked horribly.  He was on unemployment for the first 6 months we were there and we received food stamps.  The first job he had kept him away from home more than the Navy and he had an abusive boss.  After a year he finally quit and walked out because of OSHA violations and some other crap.  Back to unemployment and foodstamps.  The next job he had there was still a lot of crap involved and he was fired for a work-related injury.  Back to unemployment and food stamps.  We ended up having to file a complaint against the company in order for him to receive unemployment this time around.  Through all this our next two children were born and my mother and grandmother were hell bent on breaking up my marriage.

Now that my husband was out of the Navy and having problems keeping a job he was seen as “worthless” by my family.  My mother also said something to me when I was pregnant at this time that I didn’t need any more kids and that I should have an abortion and get my tubes tied.  I refused to speak to her or my grandmother for several years after that.  As far as my family was concerned I was a bitch.

During this third bout of being on unemployment my husband finally threw in the towel and said we needed to start looking outside of Ohio for work.  What was once a great industrial area with steel mills and rubber plants was on it’s final leg and on the way out.  When we returned the last of the major companies were packing their bags and leaving.  The job market was fast food, pole dancing, retail, health workers and installing cable TV.  It was time to leave.  As we were sending out 50+ resumes a week down the east coast preparing our departure, we found out that our kids had been lead poisoned and that our landlord had violated federal disclosure laws.  The health department was out and the lead levels were 125 times higher than safe standards.  The youngest of our kids at the time would suffer the most.  We couldn’t find a lawyer that would represent us in a lawsuit against the landlord and for the following number of years I couldn’t get anyone to say that any of my kids health problems were caused by lead poisoning, including a neurologist who was convinced that lead related neurological problems were exaggerated and used to scare people.  The audiologist that we found finally said that my daughters learning problems were in deed caused by brain damage consistent with lead poisoning.

We found ourselves in the DC Metro area and have been here for the last 10 years.  After we moved I had to find a doctor to see our second oldest.  She wasn’t right and I knew something was wrong.  I kept hearing from one doctor after another that I was being an over-reactive parent and that “all kids did that”.  She was 6 years old before someone finally said “autism spectrum disorder”.  I knew I wasn’t crazy.  Our last child would end up with a very similar diagnosis.  Meanwhile we had a third child who was diagnosed with failure to thrive and didn’t talk until she was 6, and even then we couldn’t understand her.  The problem was really simple enough but no one thought to check for it because she didn’t display any of the “normal” symptoms of celiac disease.  Once wheat/gluten was removed from her diet her speech came (the ataxia isn’t as noticeable now unless she’s upset – and we still can’t get speech therapy for her because her ataxia isn’t related to trauma) and she started growing and putting on weight.

I had a friend from elementary school who decided that since she worked in adult daycare for handicapped adults that my daughter needed to be institutionalized even though she had never met her.  I have written about this before on my blog and if you really want to read the story, it can be found easily enough.  She decided she was going to take matters into her own hands from across the country and involve CPS.  We endured 2 years of harassment from them.  Later I would have someone do the same thing as a revenge move.  The story is also documented elsewhere in the blog.  We spent a month in the court system fighting to get our kids back because of the outrageous things that this woman told the social worker.

We moved from MD to VA because of the ongoing harassment and outside of a bat-shit crazy landlord things have been quite and we haven’t had to deal with prevalent discrimination in the state of MD toward large families.  Ours isn’t the first horror story to come out of the state and it won’t be the last.

Through all of this my husbands health went down the toilet and he didn’t take very good care of himself and wasn’t pro-active in his health care.  It almost cost us our marriage.  I will be forever grateful for the doctors we have now who figured everything out.  Certain problems that left untreated can be just as horrible as dealing with someone with mental illness.  In some ways it’s worse because the person has a choice to feel like crap, be an ass and alienate everyone around him, whereas with mental illness that isn’t always the case.  It’s heart wrenching to know that the person you are married to doesn’t care enough about himself or his family to want to take care of himself, be more pro-active in his health care and question doctors, and to follow doctors orders. At least he’s learned from all this.

As I finish this up, I realize that I left a few things out.  While we were still living in MD my mother came to visit right after our first son was born.  She had no interest in my girls but the second I had a son she finally admitted she had grand kids.  She invited herself and showed up two weeks after he was born, right after Christmas.  My brother, who was 14, came with her.  It was a nightmare.  Everyone in the house was sick and she was the demanding self-centered bitch she always was.  I was sick, I had just given birth, I was taking care of a newborn around the clock and that didn’t stop her from waking me up demanding I cook.  My brother did nothing but hang out on the couch all day and monopolize the TV.  I couldn’t even lay down on it.  It was miserable and to this day he says I treated him like shit while he was there.  Okay, whatever.  He apparently got his attitude from my mother.  At some point I blew up and she left.  My husband spent a week apologizing to me for suggesting I ever try to make peace with my mother.  At the time of their arrival my brother had federal drug charges pending on his.  My mother and grandmother coddled him through it all.  Their excuse, “He talked to his father for the first time and found out that he wasn’t wanted, so it’s okay”.  Seriously?  If I had pulled that shit I would have been beaten within an inch of my life.  But you know, he was a boy and sacred and could do no wrong.  I am over it.  I have been over it.  I am a happier and better person without that side of my family in my life.  Family or not, poisonous relationships are never good.

I found out she died two years after the fact because, according to my family, they had no idea where I was living.  Again, whatever.  I heard the same kind of crap when my grandfather died and I didn’t find out until 2 years later although I had just spoken to my mother two weeks before his death.  That’s the kind of family I have.  My mother’s death was traumatizing in a way.  I was 34 and had finally made contact with my father.  He wasn’t the monster my mother made him out to be, and the story that I got from him fell more in line with what I knew of my mother rather than the story she painted to justify her actions.  She cheated on him, she did everything she could to provoke fights between them, she would disappear for days on end leaving me with whoever would take me in.  She did the same thing with my brother after I moved out.  I sent a letter off to my mother saying my peace with her, hoping she would understand how unfair she had been to me my entire life and how I didn’t appreciate being lied to over and over.  I got back a certified letter from my aunt letting me know about my mothers death.  She was nasty and venomous for no other reason than she could be.  For someone who was never a part of my life and believed every bullshit lie my mother ever told she was judgmental, acting like she knew everything there was to know about me when she had probably spent a total of 2 months around me my entire life.

Over the years I have had a number of odd jobs.  I have waited tables.  How much that sucks really depends on where you work.  I have experienced both the good and bad in that arena.  The good is really good while the bad is paramount to abuse both from the customers and the employer.   If I had a choice between working at Chi-Chi’s again and going back into fast food, I would choose fast food.  Chi-Chi’s is one of the worst places to work.  It doesn’t surprise me that many of their restaurants have closed over the years.  I have worked for the Miss Cleo Psychic Line.  Call Me Now!!  I had hoped that it would be a launching point to start my own astrology/tarot business but I learned that everyone and their brother has such stuff on the net and I can’t compete with software generated astrology charts.  I finally decided to go into freelance writing.  After all, ever since 6th grade I had teachers tell me I should write, so that is what I chose to do.  As I was starting that venture I ended up getting drafted into working for BlogTalkRadio by a friend.  She later became my boss and was a real bitch to work for.  It ended our friendship and after almost a year I walked, I couldn’t take the abuse and unreasonable working conditions despite working from home.  The worst part was, I told the owner what was going on and he wouldn’t listen.  He didn’t believe me.  It’s my understanding that he has finally woken up to everything she kept from him and how she treated everyone.  Not sure it’s any better working conditions there.  After leaving I went back to building my freelance portfolio and prior to the economy taking and getting sick I was doing okay for myself.  I was writing everything from homeschool curriculum to working in the media end of adult entertainment.

I really haven’t done much of anything since getting sick last winter.  I have been too tired and some days I sleep most of the day.  I can’t concentrate.  I am in too much pain.  It hurts to sit at a desk for hours to do something.  Last summer I had major surgery and while it helped some it was a very long recovery process.  In my pre-surgery physical I found I had a few other health problems that were untreated.  Since my last trip to the doctor, most of my pain is gone but the debilitating exhaustion is still there.  I have no energy and I forget words.  That makes writing hard. Every morning I have 9 pills to swallow and 4 more to swallow before bed.  It’s all been very hard to adapt to.  Plus I have a family to take care of and children to make sure are getting an education.

So, that’s me and that is pretty much the end of this story.  This is the sum of my experiences that have made me who and what I am. I don’t live to make other people happy.  I am done with that.  I tried.  Those people closest to me accept me for who and what I am.  That is all that I need.  In my mind it’s better to have a few close friends who understand and love you for who and what you are than put on airs and be something you are not in order to gain acceptance from society as a whole.  Love me or hate me, get to know me before you judge me, don’t rely on what you think you know or what other people want you to believe.  In fact, that doesn’t just count for me, it counts for everyone you come across in life.

I almost forgot, here’s the Year of the Rabbit cute bunny picture of the day…