January 4, 2000
Happy Y2K!

Nice to know the world isn't going to tear itself apart with paranoia, isn't it?

The kids had an absolutely wonderful Christmas, despite the fact they were only with one parent at a time. The teachers at school asked me before Thanksgiving if they could adopt them for the holidays as two of the 15 children they do this for every year. Knowing full well that I would be lucky to afford a single gift for each, I accepted. They just asked that I never tell the kids who the gifts were from.

When they finally got the gifts to me, I was amazed at how much they bought. Then the day before I was to go to my parents (the kids were already there), my church came by and gave us even MORE stuff. Santa was a very generous man this year and he only duplicated one gift. My daughter was amazed. "But Mom, we usually only get maybe five gifts from Santa!" I explained to her that Santa knew that this year had been a rough one for the two of them and that he gave them extra stuff to make them feel better. Then I added that things will probably be better next Christmas and he won't need to bring so much stuff to us, but that he would help out another family that is having a rough time.

So, the kids had a wonderful time, except for my daughter breaking out in an inexplicable case of hives several times. It has stopped now - we think it may had been stress related.

As for me and the holidays.....let's just say I went temporarily insane in regards of my own safety and I am very lucky not to be paying for it physically. I know I was borderline suicidal. It was so strange. I would argue and argue with myself and even though I knew what I was doing was stupid, I couldn't stop myself. It was as if something else had taken over me. A very selective something that would still listen to reason if it was in regards to someone else's well-being, but not my own. Thank God I feel better now. I am now taking some steps to relieve some of the emotional grief in my soul. Tonight I buried the part of me still wishing for a fairy tale ending. I've posted the eulogy. You'll need to use your "back" button to return here.

And things are starting to look up. I found out today that I will be hired on permanently at my current job by the end of the month. I'm very glad. I've become very fond of my coworkers. (They even made me a Christmas stocking to be among theirs and insisted it had to be packed away so they could use it next year for me.) I'm not sure what my wages will be, but I suspect they will be close to what my ex is making. As for my divorce, my lawyer should had already filed the final papers and my ex should be served with them anyday now.

I also got a note from school. I need to attend a special meeting in regards to my daughter's learning problems. I am so relieved. For years I have suspected something. My daughter's way of tackling problems was rather sideways and I could never find a successful way to help her with concepts. I spent almost all of highschool babysitting and I have had the opportunity to tutor people of different ages, but all the techniques I had developed were absolutely useless on my own daughter. They did work for my son.

But when I started to voice my suspicions, everyone told me I was being an over-reactive mother. Everyone, except a friend who had also spent a great deal of time with my children. The teachers would voice their concerns about my daughter, but everytime I brought up the subject of a learning disability, they would shy away from the idea like a skittish colt. I use to work with her in the morning and after school with her phonics and spelling with only a little success.

When I moved in with my sister and her husband, they too noticed there was something wrong. This time I was told by the school that it wasn't really something to worry about, but if it didn't get better, then maybe something more should be done.

Well, it didn't get better - it got worse. I'm sure some of it was because of the separation and not having a full time mom, even my son was beginning to have problems, but the type of problems my daughter was having were just strange. Even her teacher had some trouble explaining what was going on. Last October, I was asked if it was okay if my children entered a special educational program for at least a little while. I agreed and asked the counselor about having them tested. She said they would look into it. A few weeks later, I was asked if my son could be tested dyslexia. Later they informed me that he had qualified for a short term remedial program and would go into it once it had an opening for him.

Soon, after my initial discussion with the counselor, I had a parent-teacher conference with my daughter's teacher. We discussed her performance and the teacher kept repeating how she didn't want my daughter to become discouraged. I agreed with her totally and I couldn't understand why she kept doing this. Finally, she made the comment that teachers could not bring up the subject of special testing to a parent. I nearly burst out in hysterical laughter. After all these years of trying to get my daughter tested, I finally got someone to pay attention and they wanted me to voice the request in a specific fashion!

I went on and emphatically requested that my daughter be tested for any learning disability she may have. I added that I suspected she may be ADHD or at least ADD. I wrote an email about both my children to my dad and when my mom read it, she thought I was talking about my son and went into a frenzy trying to insist I get my children out of that school district and that my brother in-law (who was a teacher for awhile) knew about several times when boys were misdiagnosed for ADD. I groaned and try to quiet the impulse to strangle her (she was in another state, after all). Then I got a hold of my sister and her husband to set the record straight. They told me that they had been confused by my mother's version of what was happening and suspected that she had something wrong. They just couldn't see anyone thinking my son was ADD. They both then agreed that it would make more sense if we were discussing my daughter.

It has been months and today was the first time they have gotten in touch with me on this matter. It only took a few weeks to test my son and I wasn't required to have meeting in person with anyone. On the 13th of this month, however, I will be attending a meeting with the counselor, a specialist, my daughter and her teacher. I still don't know what exactly they found out, but I think this proves that I wasn't over-reacting all those years.

January 6, 2000
I just found out that my ex is trying to get the kids to sneak stuff he has given us (he decided what was my "half" of our stuff during the summer) back to him.

I found it strange, but touching last Sunday, when the kids asked me> if they should bring back a couple of the games they knew were mine the next time they visited their dad. I muttered it wasn't necessary.

Then, last night they told me that their dad wants them to bring back the only useful tool he gave me when he divided the stuff - a multi-use Leatherman plier/screwdriver/etc. He could had given me the little tool kit he supposedly gave me for Christmas a few years back, but he gave me this instead. Hardly makes up for him ruining the tool set I had when before we got married, but I kept my mouth shut.

What makes this all the more sickening is that he claims that one of the kids must had taken it accidently and is trying to guilt them into sneaking this back because he needs it for work.

About this time, it was all I could do to keep from hitting the roof. The silly thing costs maybe $15 and he has over $2000 (he told me $3000 once) worth of highly specialized - high quality tools. He's a machinist with micrometers and calipers. He has more screwdrivers than all the members in my family combined. (He has more sockets than most pawn shops.) He has at least 3 heavy duty pliers. And he has to have this little thing? And if he needed for work so much, why didn't he say something months ago after we got it?

I hardly have any tools here. A hammer and a pair of vise grips which I bought, a small screw driver and this multi-tool.

The kids were a little upset because they both swear they didn't take it and I assured them that it was in the stuff their father gave us. I remember pulling it out of one of the boxes he packed for me. I'm not suppose to say anything bad about their dad to the kids, but what am I suppose to do when he does something like this? When he's manipulating them and making them feel guilty for something they didn't do?


I told the kids that if their dad wants something from us that he needs to talk to me himself. I also asked advice from several people. I hope when he realizes he can't get stuff through the kids, he'll stop this, but I'm worried about what he'll come up with next.

Meanwhile, I've added to my Eulogy page. It's not a pretty thing, but I felt it necessary:

A Confession

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