I’ve been silent since May. During that silence, the lovely Kat and I brewed up some magic. A brilliant idea that became the remedy for what ails me. A collaboration of reflection, manifestation, wishing, and dreaming big. A miracle. Even now, I’m awe-struck by the success of our project — by the simple fact that I contributed to this beautiful thing we dubbed August Moon 13. After reading days-worth of responses, I found the answer to my question: do I respond to our prompts, and if so, how? The answer: go through with it. Process the pain publicly. Share my story so that others may find peace. Inspire others to dream in the face of crushing defeat. So here we go…
Meredith writes: How have you treated yourself this year? Have you kept your intentions?
Quite frankly, I’ve treated myself like shit. There. I said it. I’m not censoring myself. I’m not putting up my filters. You see, on January 16th, my whole world came crashing down around me. A social services worker decided she didn’t like me and began the worst war I’ve ever faced in my entirety — hopeful the worst I will ever face during my existence. She safety planned my husband, the father of my three beautiful children, out of the home under the guise that doing so would prevent the need to remove any of them from my custody. This is where her deception began. Two days later on January 18th, she came to my home with another social services worker and demanded that I surrender my oldest son to the agency’s custody. She felt I wasn’t going to protect him from his father — yet she felt that I could protect my daughter and youngest son. Ever since, I have been filled with serious self-doubt, agonizing anxiety, and disorienting depression. For a while, I hid in shame. I kept quiet, assuming that everyone would despise me as this woman did. I feared judgment. And I suffered. I began to ignore my own needs in fear that self-care would be akin to narcissism. I sat back and let these people tear my soul to shreds, all while attempting to claw my way from their clutches — attempting to break free in order to protect my sweet innocent babies from the over-reaching of an agency gone mad with power. At times, I felt in control, empowered and ready to bring it. Then I’d get blindsided and sucker-punched. At risk of being ridiculed and outcasted, I confessed my life’s circumstances to those nearest and dearest, to those I work with regularly, and to those who’ve drifted over time. For the most part, I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of love and support. I only lost a small handful of friends — some of whom I still can’t figure out, meaning we weren’t really friends anymore anyway. Those who know me, my husband, and our three precious children know that this is an atrocity to our family. A vicious attack on the sanctity of our home. But even after finding the love and support I needed to survive, I’m still not treating myself very well. It’s difficult, honestly. How does one sleep when one has been separated forcibly from two people they hold near and dear to one’s heart? How does one find an appetite when plagued by fears and worries? How does one take time for one’s self when one is overwhelmed by the tasks at hand?
Obviously, this means I haven’t exactly held true to my intentions of cultivating a thriving life worth loving — in fact, I feel as though my break-throughs with Cultivate 2012 have been undone. I’m now surviving my day-to-day. I’m merely trying to make it from the time I wake up until the time I feel like I’m allowed to sleep. Sure, I’ve met my goal weight during that time, but I doubt my inner workings reflect that as a healthy weight loss. For the record, I do NOT recommend the stress diet. It’s not very fun at all. I’ve glutened myself time and again this year, subjecting my body to the destruction and pain it causes. I’ve developed an addiction to caffeine — I’m incredibly disappointed in myself about this because I had intended to cut way back on that stuff. My heart doesn’t need the stress and taxation of being forced to work extra hard when I don’t even know what I’m up against within my own body. My babies don’t deserve to see their mother’s health decline the way their father witnessed his own mother’s health deteriorate until she finally succumbed to the years of self-harm in the way of nicotine, sugar, workaholism, and stagnation. They deserve a vibrant old lady who’s around to watch them become grandparents.
I’m putting my foot down now. I refuse to be stifled by an agency that insists on fabricating lies about me and my family. I refuse to let one incredibly bitter, ignorant woman to continue hurting my babies with the fear of removal and the pain of separation from their father and brother. I refuse to let this agency continue traumatizing my sweet boy, ignoring his pleas to be sent home where he belongs. I refuse to give up my marriage and force my babies to live a life of less. I am going back to January 1st, time-traveling back via words, and renewing my promise to myself — and my family — that this year will be a banner year. I’m going to fight until I win this war. I will accept no less than the complete reunification of my family. I will not give into someone else’s intentions for my family. I may not be a perfect mother, but my children seem to love me all the same. My heart stings with the pain I see my children suffering, all while I watch near-helplessly. But no more. It’s time to come clean. It’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to face fear. It’s time to seize hold of that which matters most. It’s time to rise from the ashes. Come hell or high-water, I’m going to prevail.