No More!

Bullying. Do you remember hearing that word in junior-high? Not from teachers really. At least I don’t remember any teachers saying much about bullying… Except that one time in 8th grade. Other than that, the teachers didn’t really give bullies a second glance. Although we didn’t hear much from the teachers, there sure was a lot of it going on.

It was during Breakfast Club and I was in the 6th grade. It was my first year in middle school. I was there with three other friends from Whittier Elementary School, and there was a grip of other kids from different elementary schools. There was one other girl from Whittier in the club that I remember not having any friends. The club was once a week before school.
The girl with no friends was usually the first to leave the room. This day was unusual though. When she got up to leave there was a puddle of thick, red liquid in her seat. One of my friends said something rather vulgar, just loud enough for her to hear – the rest of us burst out into laughter. That was when the girl with no friends began to walk towards the office rather fast.

While I look back at some of the stuff I was involved in I feel somewhat ashamed. I never thought I was a bully, but I also didn’t stand up against bullying as much as I should have. When we look at the before-mentioned story, I did participate in laughing at the unfortunate event of the girl starting her period without knowing. Yes, that was a true story and I am to blame for enabling a bully by laughing at her mean joke. I shoul have told her to stop… Maybe I could have told her to shove the chair up her @$$, but that would be mean. I wish I would have done something different though.

“Can we write, HAC, one your hand? See we all have it.” “What does it stand for?” “Hate Arian Club,” and the bunch of ’em all started laughing when all I could do was stare at them. Why were they doing this? I’m popular. There is only one person who could have started this.

The school officer ended up having to drag me down to the school in his police cruiser. I didn’t want to show my face ever again in that school. Not after the entire 8th grade and at least half of the 7th grade joined in on the hate club. That was when the school had a bullying assembly and they played that country song, “Don’t Laugh At Me,” along with a PowerPoint. They brought me in to have a mediation with the three girls who started the hate club – three of my friends. I hadn’t gotten out of bed for three weeks. After all the hate mail I just fell into a depression. I didnt want to go to that school anymore. I ended up changing schools. Having to change schools just because I went snowboarding without the most popular girl in school. True story.

Maybe it was karma. I wasn’t ever a bully, exactly, but I didn’t really do anything to prevent the bullying. Maybe that is why I was bullied in 8th grade… Who knows.

I am terrified of sending my own child to public schools though. Kids can get mean, and he shouldn’t have to deal with the same bs I put up with. At one point I was terrified to leave my house! How could I put my own child in that kind of situation?

I thought about home-schooling Yuri. Thoughts of mine that have in return received much ridicule. Too much. I honestly believe it is a great idea. I love spending time and learning with him, why not continue it? Well you can continue it while he still attends public school. He won’t get the social interaction every child needs. He won’t get the education he deserves. These concerns are just a few that have been shared with me. However anyone else looks at my concern, I feel that it is valid. Bullying in schools is a real problem not addressed by many. Parents seem to be the only ones who address the issue, and at that, not all parents do.

I am out of school now and I still see bullying taken place. There is not a whole lot I can do other than face the issue head-on with my son. Explaining what bullying is and how it affects others, in my opinion, opens childrens eyes to the problem. Telling them is just one step towards prevention. What else can I do?

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Words That Need to be Said

The tears sting as they roll down my face…

……….

If only I never panicked, then you wouldn’t have to go.  The excuse, “my mental illness took over,” is no good reason for this seperation.  I wish there was someway for me to prove that you were never in danger – I was afraid of going away. I didn’t want to say good-bye.

You see, son, I never should have been driving that day.  My license was just suspended (meaning that I violated a traffic law so the judge didn’t want to allow me to drive for a little while) and I didn’t want to be stuck in Helena all summer.  I had already been planning on moving.  I thought it would be good to get away.  So when I noticed the policeman behind us I got scared because I was being naughty.

It’s even harder to explain to you, sweet child, then it was to the officers…  One of my turn-signals wasn’t working, and when the cruiser followed me my heart dropped into my stomach because I knew that I was going to have to go with them for a couple nights.  That’s when I entered another world, and I slowed down but literally, could not stop.  An invisible force wouldn’t allow it.  Now, to anybody else that would sound crazy, however, you are young and innocent and can believe in such phenomena in this nature.  To clear this up I never intended on, “getting away.”

To be completely honest, I think that I just needed a few more minutes to calm down and grasp the situation.  Anyways, I got into trouble because I was doing something I wasn’t suppose to be doing.  The policemen were disappointed in me, and even upset because I worried them a little.  With the police, if you don’t do what they ask right away they get concerned and start to think that something might be wrong.  So I was in even more trouble and that is when they let me call Papa to come get you. 

I only had to go away for just a little while, but during that time your daddy took it upon himself to make the decision for you to move in with him.  It’s been awhile since I got into trouble and I haven’t got use to you living with daddy instead of me.  Sometimes it makes me cry because I miss you so much.  It’s even harder to see you cry when I have to go. 

I don’t like to go.  It’s only for a little while.

……….

I don’t like looking back on things and calling them mistakes. I’d like to say that I live with no regrets. I am where I am because of choices I have made and this & that. I have learned my lessons enough for a lifetime though… I have done some stupid things and now suffer the consequences. My time away from Yuri is painful. Yes, I have some wonderful people over here in my corner who support me and guide me and that is great… But every day that Yuri is gone I suffer. I suffer inside because I did this and it’s pure agony.

There is more to the story, and you are free to make your judgements, but I must ask you to look at yourself first. Everyone is facing their own demons, and everyone can use one less judgement. The world would be a much better place if we instead tried to do a little more listening and understanding and a lot less gossiping and judging. That’s all.

-Ari

Saying Good-Bye to My Heart

As my mom drove away I felt as if a big piece of my heart was leaving me…

Fridays have become my favorite day of the week.  That’s the day I usually get Yuri ❤ and I am always eager to hold him in my arms again.  My [amazing] boyfriend usually gets his youngest daughter, who is Yuri’s age, to come along for the ride and we make the short trip from Anaconda to Helena.  Picking him up from school on Friday’s has become the single most-important thing for me to do.

When I walked in his school last Friday he looked at me with a beaming smile and yelled out my name (mommy).  It melted my heart 😍 to know how exicited little guy was to see me. The teacher said that Yuri had literally just got done telling them about how I was going to be there to pick him up.  He hurried to get his things and rushed out the door.  He said to me, “mommy, I missed you. Mommy, I love you”.

Our weekend was pretty alright.  He played with the girls some.  Saturday I took him to Discovery – I wanted to get him up there before the season ended and he had been asking to go.  He was so excited to ride the “chair-lifter” again and he didn’t want me to ride the magic carpet with him because he could do it all by his self, the big guy.  That night we rented a Scooby-Doo movie and snuggled.  After I got him to sleep I got a little sad; tomorrow he would be going back with his dad.

I am thankful for my mother.  If I didn’t have my mom I would have to say good-bye to my son at noon on Sundays.  According to [somebody I hate] it’s only fair to “collect him back” at noon since I pick him up at noon.  Yeah that’s fair alright, considering he only allows me to have him four days a month.  Luckily I have a mom who is starting to care that makes sure she gets some time with her grandson who agrees to meet up on Sunday’s.

So, last Sunday we met in Butte. The kids got some icecream cones and floats while us adults talked.  Even though I was present, I was in another world.  I was having to say good-bye to my pride and joy again.  As soon as he saw his granny, he looked at her and then he looked at me and he ran up to hold on to my leg and started to cry softly.  If any of you other mother’s out there ever have this happen?  How do you deal with it?  It’s the worst feeling I ever experience.

As we said good-bye he started crying, saying that he didn’t want to go.  The look in his eyes made me feel like I was abandoning him and I wanted to cry… But I felt like I needed to stay strong – for me and him.  He did not want to go and letting him go was the last thing in the world I wanted.  I felt empty as my mother drove off.

There is nothing stopping me from keeping my son… Except the people in my life that say it’s better for me to comply with his father’s wishes until mediation is over and we go to court.  They also tell me that Yuri belongs with me.  If he does then why are they saying that I should go along with a control-freak’s wishes?  I know that their intentions are good but I just want to say, “exactly whose side are you on, anyways,”?

-Ari

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I Won’t Fight…

I don’t want to fight anymore…

I was 19 when I first met him. We worked together. I was head over heels for him. Basically, I would do anything he asked me to if it made him happy. I was a pathetic puppy that was depressed and uncomfortable if he wasn’t near.

I am 25 now. Six long, messed up years have passed. There was so much fighting. Even more tears. Underneath all of that though… underneath all of the lies and the cheating, the drugs and the stealing… there was love. There has always been that love, and there always will be. At least, I will always have love for him.

The abuse had always been present since the very beginning. It started with the emotional abuse. Then came the drug abuse. Last of all, what is a fucked up, completely suicidal relationship without the physical abuse? Any form of abusive relationship you can think of could categorize with his and mine. We were not a happy couple.

I was 21 when I got pregnant, and that was when I decided I wasn’t going to fight back anymore. I still loved him though and it was very hard to let go. I suffered through more of the abuse and we eventually ended up living together. It only lasted for so long before it got too intense for me. He stole my medication one night before he went out drinking with some friends. When he got back he was blacked out and belligerent. I will spare you the gruesome details, but I will tell you this, I ended up calling the police and getting a restraining order that night. I also dropped out of my college classes that week. I was heartbroken.

I ended up in the psych ward while our families took care of our 6 mo. old baby boy.

I don’t want to fight anymore…

It’s been a long road – not one that I would advise just anybody to travel down. Yuri is 3 now, he will be 4 in October. He is such a smart, sweet, caring, and comforting little boy. He loves his daddy very much… I still wince whenever his daddy moves too quickly or suddenly. I also have trust issues – I tend to lay my trust with people that aren’t worthy of it. Things aren’t as they seem.

Earlier in the month, Yuri’s dad served me with custody paperwork. I feel like I am being suffocated. He waited until I am at my most vulnerable to attack. Again.

It’s been about two years since he proposed to me. The night he proposed was when it finally hit me that I was unhappy. It was a huge slap in the face to realize that I was wasting my time with somebody I loved so much. Wasting my time because I knew that the fighting would never cease to be. Wasting my time because I put in 90% of the effort to make things work between us. Wasting my time because he was still under the impression that he couldn’t do things anymore because of our son. When I said no, that’s when my hopes of him being a good father started to spiral downwards and they spiraled fast.

He quit his job and hitch-hiked to the coast. He met a young girl who was a prostitute, apparently, and traveled the coast with her and their road companion. It occurred to me then that this man would never be able to experience the same feelings that I held for our baby boy. This was when I tried to get custody with the courts. Custody that they wouldn’t give to me because the boys father had no mailing address. Custody they wouldn’t grant me because his dead-beat father wasn’t around anyways. Custody that he now has a right to, because his new girlfriend wants him to be a father.

I don’t want to fight anymore…

I have called the authorities on Yuri’s father at least once a year since he was conceived. He has tossed me around many more times than that – including while I was pregnant. I never followed through on pressing charges. I thought that it would only fuel his anger and resentment towards me and our son. About a month ago, I went to pick up my son after snowboarding for the day and he refused to hand him over. He called the cops on me. He told them that I had been drinking and that he didn’t feel comfortable with handing over the parenting responsibilities to me at the time..

It is true that I had been drinking that day, however, I had not had a drink for a few hours and was sober by the time I had gotten there. The police officers released custody to me that night and did not leave without warning me in front of Yuri’s dad to file for a parenting plan with the county judge. I said to them, I said, “This is something I will not give the government control of.” A week later I was served the paperwork.

Maybe I am letting my pride get in the way. Maybe it’s because I know he just needs control. Maybe it’s because this is about more than just power. Maybe it’s because I am weak. Or maybe…

I don’t want to fight anymore…

I am not filing the paperwork to petition back. If he wants control this bad I will let him have it. I gave him opportunity after opportunity to handle this situation like civil parents – opportunities he refused to grasp. He is the one that chose to be a dead-beat for the first three years of our child’s life, if he wants to make things harder for his son out of revenge for me that is his call. In the end it will be his guilty conscience on the line. In the end I know that I did everything I could to include him in our life.

I don’t want anyone to think I am giving up on my son, because that is not the case. I simply am just tired of fighting with his father. If control is what he needs right now, I will let him have it; I will never give up on giving my son the life he deserves just because his father is in control. I am not giving up on my son because I won’t pay the fee to petition a custody-battle against his father. I just won’t do it. Why do I need to propose a war with the man that gave me the most important gift in life to prove my love for my child? No. I won’t do it.

He has changed a lot over the last year. I think his heart is growing, for our son at least. He is working and I don’t think he will keep me from having Yuri half- time. He just wanted control in writing… but I will not sign away my right as being a mother. Not to the government. I still have love for him, and I love my son to the moon and the stars and back. That is why I will end the war by not petitioning back. No war is a better war.

I don’t want to fight anymore… but I won’t give up on my son.

-Ari, ❤

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[Yuri from when he was just a couple months old]