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Rough appointment on the horizon...

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cmego posted 1/26/2014 08:28 AM

I dread these appointments. I dread having to "tell the story" (ex is openly gay) to yet another new therapist/social worker. Now, even having to write this out, my pulse has increased and I feel that clench in my stomach. Beginning of panic. I'm trying to confront the fear a little before the appointment.

My 8 year old son is showing signs of a learning disability, one that is going to require…attention. I have been working with the school since the beginning of the year, and I did have some major freak out moments. Just trying to keep all of the balls in the air, and adding another child with special needs was not on my "to-do" list.

But, as usual, I find a way to just put my head down and plow forward.

The school thinks my son is also showing major anxiety, and all related to ex. Over Christmas, I was called to school because he didn't want to go to ex's house for visitation. I sat in the nurses office crying, holding my crying child as I'm telling him, "I know you are going to miss me, but you have to go to Dad's." Everyone was pissed off at me, ex, ds and dd. I've learned to draw hearts on his hand before visitation so he "takes" a part of me with him. It is helping. Lots of talking about how I'm "always there". I made him go because I think that he should remain a child. Right now, the adults make the decision about visitation, I don't want him to learn he can manipulate me with emotion. I don't think anything inappropriate is going on at ex's (besides Disney Dad and having his bf constantly around…), I think my son is having separation anxiety from me. Visitation is a part of his life.

Anywho, as part of the investigation with the school, I have to be interviewed by the county's school district social worker. I will have to sit with her for 1-2 hours this week, and another (at least) 1 follow up appointment, and go back over everything again. The school is thinking there is anxiety about his Dad/current situation as well as a learning disability.

The thought of having to sit in front of another person, with "that pity" in their eyes, just….uggg. It is always the same look. The same pity they try to hide when I start talking. When the questions start, "Do the children know? How much do they know? How did you tell them? What has their reaction been? How does his Dad handle this? They are around his partner? How much do they see him? Who else is around the children??" Then the invariable "How are YOU doing with all of this?".

Sometimes it just feels like I will never move forward from his choices. The kids continue to have problems. Ex has his head in the sand and can't see how his actions and choices affect our lives. He got to move on live the life he always wanted, I'm left still, almost 4 years later, picking up the pieces.

I have some good, supportive friends around me. I will lean on them, but they don't exactly "get it". I have single mom friends, I have my BFF here, I have family (they are not emotional support) but I don't have any "special needs kids" friends. And I certainly don't have anyone who knows what it is like to have "their Dad is gay and all the fallout of that" friends. Even with a great, supportive, protective circle of support…I feel utterly alone.

My introvertedness makes these meetings incredibly stressful for me. It feels so invasive, and it brings up all of the pain again. Everything I have carefully packed away has to be brought out and examined. Again.

Deep breath. I know I can do this. I'm just putting the anxiety and fear out into the universe and trying to bring in the positive. I HAVE been given these problems because I CAN deal with them. I WILL figure out how to get 3 grad school projects completed this week while dealing with moving and get through this appointment without breaking down. I will get my kids to all of their appointments, feed them healthy, allow my friends to support me a little and deal with the millions of other normal life things. I WILL DO THIS.

Dammit. I will.

OK. Better now. Just typing this shit out is so therapeutic for me.

Williesmom posted 1/26/2014 08:49 AM


I have no advice, but you'll be in my thoughts. You can do it.

Dreamboat posted 1/26/2014 08:52 AM


I hate telling my story to strangers and it is not nearly as complex as yours.

nowiknow23 posted 1/26/2014 10:02 AM

((((cmego)))) Sending you strength, honey.

cayc posted 1/26/2014 10:09 AM

I'm a little taken aback that your social workers and schools are so flummoxed by your exWH and your children's dad being gay. Actually, I'm a little angry that they are.

I'm so sorry that I can't really speak to the rest of your concerns with experience - only with empathy for the fish out of water feeling where you know that no one gets it - but about the "gay dad" thing? That I can speak to. Because on that one at least, I'd be a little rude and pushy to those looks of pity. It's waaaaaaaaay past time for people to have issues with gay parents (not that anyone ever should have had in the first place). And if that social worker gets the whispery "ooh" attitude I'd ask her what the fuck her problem is.


jo2love posted 1/26/2014 12:28 PM

(((cmego, ds, & dd)))

Chrysalis123 posted 1/26/2014 12:50 PM


What about anti-anxiety meds for you for the interview?

ruinedandbroken posted 1/26/2014 12:52 PM


I hate telling me story. I hate the looks of pity. It is so hard.

I love that you draw a little heart on his hand. I may have to start that too.

Big hugs to you. ((((hugs))))

cissi posted 1/26/2014 13:52 PM

I'm a little baffled why the school is being given so much information about this, and even getting a social worker involved. They should only be dealing with his learning disorder. Personally, I don't believe many schools have the qualifications to delve into something like this. I would have my son go to a personal therapist of my choosing before giving the school that much information on my private life. I've heard enough horror stories to be leery of giving them that much power.

[This message edited by cissi at 1:53 PM, January 26th (Sunday)]

cissi posted 1/26/2014 13:56 PM

Anywho, as part of the investigation with the school, I have to be interviewed by the county's school district social worker.

I went back and re-read your post. I don't understand the above quote. You have to be interviewed by these people? That's what they said?

Again, I would question the qualifications of anyone who was going to be involved in this very private, very personal situation.

velveteer posted 1/26/2014 14:36 PM


cmego posted 1/26/2014 17:22 PM

Yes, I HAVE to be interviewed by the school's (for our county) social worker as part of the evaluation process. My understanding is the school believes part of the issue is related to anxiety. The anxiety is related to leaving me/visitation and is complicated by the confusion surrounding their Dad. They are struggling to understand how their Dad went from "being in love with Mommy" to being in love with B. This weekend was ANOTHER conversation about "why don't you just marry Daddy again?". Why Daddy is in love with B, why did I marry Daddy in the first place if he was gay?

I always end with, "Mommy is fine. You don't need to worry about me." DS is a very emotionally connected little guy, he is very similar to me. He is an old soul.

So, the personal situation is relevant to part of the problem, according to the school. It is probably going to be multiple learning disabilities and he IS showing signs of anxiety. If I don't agree with the findings then I will have him privately evaluated. My dd already sees an IC, so ds will be as soon as we are through the evaluation. I want to see what the school's opinion is of the learning disability is before I go for a second opinion. In my head, I'm pretty sure I know what it is, I'm just waiting to see if the school concurs.

I always worry that maybe I am a horrible mother, I could have done better, I could have just stayed with EX, let him have the hidden life he wanted and kept my family intact. I wonder if I could have made it work, so my kids would have had more stability and not suffered. I think knowing what I know now, I would have stayed. I don't believe I will ever meet anyone worth while, and if I had just stayed with EX, then at least my kids would have a better chance of being less fucked up. I would have hidden his secret, been very financially secure, and ended up with a boy toy on the side. That was an option on the table for me from EX.

I feel tremendous guilt for NOT staying. I left because I felt I deserved better…but did I? That was pretty selfish of me. They are partially fucked up because I chose to walk away and forced everything into the open. I struggle daily and my kids struggle daily. It is a lot of guilt to carry. I keep hoping my choice of leaving will turn out to be the best thing, but that hasn't happened yet.

Part of the problem is my son is just now old enough to emotionally begin to really process, so it is almost like d-day again. New problems crop up as he is beginning to emotionally process his reality. It is a compounded problem.

I think what I see in people is plain human sympathy. It is just sympathy for what I've gone through. I understand that, but I don't want the….attention…surrounding the sympathy. I just want to go in, talk about my kid, fix the problem, and leave. But, the past is part of the problem.

To be an introvert, sitting at a table with the "panel" assigned to my son, laying out your life for them to evaluate…it is tough.

SBB posted 1/26/2014 20:00 PM

I feel tremendous guilt for NOT staying. I left because I felt I deserved better…but did I? That was pretty selfish of me. They are partially fucked up because I chose to walk away and forced everything into the open. I struggle daily and my kids struggle daily. It is a lot of guilt to carry. I keep hoping my choice of leaving will turn out to be the best thing, but that hasn't happened yet.

Friend, please challenge this thinking. It hurts me just reading it.

There was never going to be an outcome where this didn't suck. Dealing with deception, fraud, betrayal, breakup, divorce... all of it.

You are no longer living a lie. That stuff fucks kids up more than anything. You are living your life. It aint pretty sometimes and it gets lonely sometimes but you are living it - authentically. You and your kids are dealing with lots of huge things at once.

This new development has triggered a bunch of other stuff. Please be gentle with yourself. I think you're an inspiration. Not because your X is gay but because of how you carry yourself through each day, each hurdle. Hurdles I cannot begin to imagine how I'd get through. Yet you do. One foot in front of the other, sometimes crawling but always moving forward.


newnormal posted 1/26/2014 20:08 PM

Gently, staying would have been worse on your kids. They know when something isn't right. Would you rather show them healthy choices by leaving or dysfunctional coping skills by staying?

You got this! Kick butt this week knowing what your goals are: be the best darn Mom on the planet, and rockin grad school on top.

tryingagain74 posted 1/26/2014 20:52 PM

Shortly after my DDay, I reached out to a LD friend because I knew she'd be brutally honest with me about my situation.

So, I told her everything, and the one thing that she said that really struck me was how her father had cheated on her mother throughout their marriage, and she wished that her mother had divorced him years ago. She said that she started IC because of those messed-up FOO issues when she was 16 and has been going ever since.

That gave me a whole new perspective on what I thought I was "doing" to my kids. I originally felt the same way-- I should stay for them so that they can be from an intact family. The divorce is going to devastate them. I feel like I'm going to ruin my children for life by giving up on my marriage.

But when I saw what I might do to them years down the road-- I knew that leaving and modeling what should happen when a relationship becomes untenable would be the far healthier way to go.

You did the right thing. While it's hard to see them feeling so upset and struggling while they're little, I think we've helped them to avoid even greater dysfunction had we stuck around with our cheating, lying partners and modeled that dynamic for them. I don't know about you, but I also would have made my XWH pay for his sins for the rest of our marriage. That certainly wouldn't have been good for our kids.

I'm sorry that you have to open the wound yet again. Take care; sending you calm and positive mojo.


cmego posted 1/26/2014 21:00 PM

I can definitely say the possibility of learning disabilities in my son has been an almost…a grieving process. Just because I went through 3 years of fighting to get my daughter diagnosed and stable. Stable means at least one, maybe 2 doc appointments a week. Just this past week she froze her tongue to a pole, fell out of a tree and cut her face up, tore open her foot on a nail, picked her nails to bleeding, her IC appointment in there too. Ex fighting me the entire way on getting her help.

I really thought I could breathe and relax a little with the kid issues, and then THIS?? I'm thinking…what the fuck did I ever do to be handed all of this? He was supposed to be my "easy" kid. So, now I'm fighting to get my son diagnosed. The hours of crying over homework, the dragging him to doc appointments, the school appointments, the failing all of his tests. This doesn't include that my dd has severe food allergies and my son has asthma…so add those doc appointments and stress into our already overwhelmed lives.

Like, which kid do I even focus on? Much less get myself through grad school? Then, I needed to jump on an opportunity to move us to a safer street. With my dd, the opportunity to live on a culdesac wasn't something I could pass up. Maturity is helping her, but…I still need to remove as many temptations as possible (like playing in a busy street).

So, I am questioning that I went wrong somewhere. I feel like living with honesty is the right thing to do. But, now, "living in honesty" has left me raising two children, now both with special needs, alone.

I can honestly say I've never felt more overwhelmed with responsibility. Nothing can slide, I just have to juggle a little faster. I just need to vent it out. I don't vent IRL too much. But, I'm learning I need to lean on people a little more. There is no "me" time right now…except to vent a little on SI or play Candy Crush. I try to get out to dinner with friends when the kids are gone…then I gravitate to Starbucks to study for hours. Woo HOO! What an exciting single life I lead.

But. Tonight. I snuggled both of my kids and we laid around and watched stupid television. Both of them just laying on me. Giggling and snorting. Being kids. Talking our special language. That is how I know I will figure out a way to survive this too.

better4me posted 1/26/2014 22:25 PM

But. Tonight. I snuggled both of my kids and we laid around and watched stupid television. Both of them just laying on me. Giggling and snorting. Being kids. Talking our special language. That is how I know I will figure out a way to survive this too.

That and knowing to draw hearts on his hand. That and going through hell with them because they are worth it. That and loving them and knowing that because you love them is why you worry and hurt and put up with having to tell the story again. Loving them is why you wonder if staying would have been better or worse. Crappy parents don't feel that way, they don't care enough to feel this bad. You hurt BECAUSE you are a good mom who loves her kids. You will figure out a way to not only survive but to thrive through this really tough period in your life.

Wish I lived closer. I'd buy you a coffee and let you vent with this social worker and friend:)


cmego posted 1/27/2014 07:44 AM

You hurt BECAUSE you are a good mom who loves her kids.

better, ^^^^ this is the part I can't see and I need to remind myself of this. Because I feel like I've made a million mistakes and since they are with me 95% of the time, these mistakes are all on me too.

I have never met a therapist, physician, teacher, school guidance counselor, anyone who didn't have some kind of reaction when I tell "the story". In the beginning, I cried through telling people. Now I don't. I feel almost…clinical detachment. I remember the kid's pediatrician saying, "How are you not laying on the floor in a ball??" I didn't have an answer. I find a way to do what needs to be done.

I asked my IC how I was doing a few sessions ago, and how far I've come, and she said, "In the beginning you were grieving the loss of time with your children." Which, oddly, I don't even remember. SHE knows I'm past ex and the shenanigans. Mostly, when I go in to talk to IC, we talk about where the kids are, why they are doing it, and what I need to be doing to find them the right tools. She and I talked about me ending my IC appointments so we can be friends now :) My problems now aren't particularly about me, if that makes sense. Now everything is focused on getting the kids the right tools, and me fighting through the anger that I'm in this place TO be fighting for them.

I know that I rarely focus on myself and my needs, and I don't know how to change that. I don't think it will change for the foreseeable future. I come here to ask for support and get out the emotion, I ask the few people I trust IRL for support. My close friends know if I ask, then I'm on the verge of…collapse. I generally retreat as things get worse, like I don't want to lay this on anyone else. I am learning to ask/post when I am feeling completely overwhelmed.

BUT, I slept 9 hours last night and feel lighter today. I know I stay on the verge of exhaustion and sleep always helps.

Thank you all. The PM's, emails, FB checks. Thank you.

nutmegkitty posted 1/27/2014 07:50 AM

cmego, I relate to a lot of what you said. it's very, very hard.


calgon54 posted 1/27/2014 10:31 AM

Gently - because of all that is on your plate your need for self-care is essential. Please work with your IC on some ways to get that self-care. It may strenghten you to continue to advocate for your chilren.

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