Now, if you feel like you are jumping in at the middle right now, it's because you are. Please, read my last post to clear up any confusion. Otherwise, enjoy the ride! :) My story of the last several months is about to get a lot more interesting.
So, I stopped with August. It was early September when the fecal matter hit the artificial wind machine between my Mother and I. This, however, was after I went to my first Fiber Festival. I had an absolute ball and I lack the words to express how much I appreciated my mother-in-law bringing me with her. Having the day free from the children and getting to visit with her was just what I needed at that time, her generously buying me a small tapestry loom and a niddy-noddy was just absolutely over the top amazing! Everyone I met there was so warm and inviting. It was an absolute surprise (and delight) when I was invited to give a presentation at next year's festival on how to spin using a wrist distaff. I was so excited I could hardly speak! Then, when I found my words, I just couldn't stop saying thank you.
That wonderful moment in September was then followed by the worst. First, one of my aunts, whom we had learned was diagnosed with esophageal cancer back at the beginning of August, died. This was a woman who was a picture of grace, civility, and kindness. I have admired her for a long time and have always been thrilled that she and my uncle (who was a generally frustrated bachelor before she came into his life) were so happy together. They were the couple who still acted like newlyweds even though they had been married for almost 25 years. We were unable to attend the memorial services or the funeral. I still feel badly that all we were able to do was to send a card. It felt like such a cold thing to do. I was really looking forward to introducing her to her great-nephew this year. (I really want to find the ornament that she had given me for Christmas years ago when I was a kid to put it on the tree in her memory. I haven't found it yet in the box, however.)
Almost a week later, Mom and I had our heart to heart conversation. A conversation that had fully convinced me that my Mom had finally and completely lost her mind. One that also lead me to the conclusion that it is best for my psychological well being and the well being of my children that we have nothing to do with her until she changes her behavior. Mom rambled on for almost four hours about how my brother's soon to be ex-wife was psychologically abusing him and psychologically abusing me, how she believes that I am manic-depressive, and how my friends are degenerates that I shouldn't be allowing to baby sit or otherwise influence my children's lives. Now, Beloved had a good point. Four hours is a ridiculous length of time to listen to such nonsense but I was too busy being baffled, flabberghasted and trying to figure out just what her point was in all of this to put a stop to it.
Amazingly enough, I wasn't offended. Though her stating that I was a good mother in between criticizing how I am raising my children, my house keeping skills, and my choice of associates (most of whom she doesn't even know and hasn't met) really should have offended me. I guess my being too busy trying to figure out what was going on in her head made me impervious to her efforts to offend. I'm not sure but what ever it was, I am thankful for it. Because it gave me the clarity of mind to first not have the upset reaction that she was expecting when she told me that she thought I was headed for suicidal depression and that she was cutting off all contact with me because she couldn't handle my highs and lows. She was expecting me to become extremely upset and pliant to her demands. Instead, I simply said, "Well, you do what you think is best for you."
I know she didn't expect me to call her on what she did when she threatened the lives of my youngest brother's daughters. You see, I would have let her comment about how if something untword happened to my children when they were being babysat by my sister-in-law or her mother that my mother would kill everyone in the house. I would have been more then happy to let that go as bluster, except for she made a point of repeating this several times and directly mentioning that this included the three little girls over there who are her granddaughters. At the time, I was too stunned to do anything.
I didn't sleep well that night as I tried to decide what to say or do about it. In the end, I sent an email to my father. In the email, I recounted the conversation. I then proceeded to explain that my mom wasn't allowed to be alone with my children ever again and that I was going to have nothing to do with her until she changed her behavior. I clearly stated my opinions on her efforts to coerce me and her pathetic attempt to make me feel as though I would be morally implicated in her actions if she did such a thing. I also made very clear that if she did something to harm any of the children in the family, I would be one of the first people at the police reporting that conversation to them. This got a predictably unpleasant reaction from my parents.
Beloved, however, screened the email and has advised me not to read it because he knows how upsetting it would be for me. The short version that Beloved gave me is that my father all but accused me of lying and doing this to either hurt my mother or to seek attention. To say the least, I am not bringing my family to the big Christmas or New Year's party held by that side of the family. We didn't go to the Thanksgiving dinner this year because we knew that my parents would be there and it would turn ugly. Already, this has rippled out and my youngest brother is upset. Most likely with me for a few different reasons, the first of which being that I didn't tell him directly but rather I told our parents and his soon to be ex-wife. That was because I knew that he wasn't going to believe me. The second reason being because it's made the arguments between him and his wife all the more acrimonious. Knowing my vindictive and insane mother, I am fairly certian that she is going to if not is actively working on doing her best to poison my relationships with the rest of my side of the family for what I have done.
I simply can't stand by and take the abuse anymore from her. And she crossed a line when she threatened the life of some one I love to coerce me into doing something she wanted. She crossed a second line when she threatened the life of a child to coerce me. And she crossed a third line when she threatened the safety and life of a family member. Now, if mom decides to get her head straightened out, does a complete 180 to this behavior, and gives me an honest and genuine apology for what she has done, I may consider speaking to her again. Until that happens, however, I am not going to be in the same room that she is in, not even if it's because my cherished grandmother is dying and has begged for it to happen. And that is something that I think is going to happen some time over the next few years.
October was relatively quiet, except for the fact that my PTSD kicked into high gear. It was then that I realized just what the reason why I didn't remember about 5 to 10 years of my life. Flashbacks to being beaten by my parents and various other rather... awful things along those lines became the norm. Oddly, and reassuringly, enough these didn't happen during the times where my husband and I indulged our shared delight in BDSM. I don't think I'd be able to handle having flashbacks during sex again. It was too horrific before when I was recovering from the abuseive relationship in high school. To go thru that now... It would be just too painful to endure, I think.
Snuggle Bug's colic finally began to resolve near the end of October. It made getting sleep a bit easier for a few weeks. Then Cuddle Bear's 2 year molars started coming in. That was not much fun, but we all got thru relatively unscathed. Holloween was a washout. Thank goodness that our friends out in Buffalo had that party. Snuggle Bug didn't go to the party in a costume but rather a Holloween themed outfit. (Purple is definately not this child's color, neither is orange.) Cuddle Bear was a cowboy and we've got some really cute pictures of that also. Again, I hope to post one of them up soon. When Holloween came, the weather was too foul for the children to go out trick-or-treating. Fortunately, however, Cuddle Bear didn't mind it too much.
November arrived with blustery weather, as per usual for around here. It brought another attempt to write a novel. I didn't win NaNoWriMo this year, though I did make considerable progress. I did find, however, that the preparation work that I had done in October was incredibly helpful for me. I am now working on finishing the novel this month. I am pleased to say that it is not like The Red Chair (my attempt last year) but rather a final version of the first novel in a series that I have drafted out. I am rather shocked by how much darker this version is but it finally rings true.
I just need to get out of my own way and write the story as it is revealing itself. This, however, is very uncomfortable. I have already written some rather graphic and disturbing scenes. I'm not even a full third of the way into the plot that I have drafted out for this novel. I'm making progress, but there are some twists and turns to the plot that are both proving surprisingly important and uncomfortable to write.
Early November/late September also brought tragedy to some relatives of my sister-in-law. Their house burned down and they were lucky to get out with their lives. The baby had some problems with smoke inhalation and the father had torn some muscles in his heroic action of throwing a full dresser out a window so that everyone could escape. Aside from that, however, all injuries were minor and everyone is in good health now. I was doing my bi-annual closet sorting and we sent over multiple boxes of clothes. I also found a Moses basket. It's funny, I found something I had wanted dearly for my own child and I gave it away. I feel a small pang of disappointment that I gave it away but I couldn't have kept it in good conscience.
Thanksgiving was with my husband's side of the family for reasons mentioned earlier. Cuddle Bear had a ball playing with some of the children of family friends. It was a very good thing that I had prepaired a bag of toys for him, because it proved the surprise hit of the night. The toy truck and the blocks being knocked down terrified the poor cat more then an exuberant Cuddle Bear's excited cry of "KITTY!", however.
We're now into December and it's going to be a hard month for me. Fortunately, I have enough going on that I am going to probably be too busy to get truly caught up into a funk. A dear friend of ours is going to be going to jail for a crime that was breaking an unjust law out of ignorance. The poor man was functionally forced to plea guilty because of how the whole mess is setup. It's been an excruciating year to watch this unfurl. Beloved and I love this man like a brother. It breaks our hearts that we can't do anything more for him or his lovely wife then what we are currently doing. We are all hoping that the sentencing date which is later this week brings something surprisingly wonderful. A foolish small part of me hopes that the judge will call it 'time served' on the basis of our letters, but I recognize that is far beyond wishful thinking. If it does happen, that will clearly be an example of divine intervention and I think my life is going to become incredibly more interesting then I was even daring to consider as a remote possibility.
I have been working on making Christmas gifts for the children of the family. I was going to make Snuggle Bug another blanket, but he has been given several blankets as something of a surprise gift. So I suppose the sweater that I'm making for him is going to be his gift. I'm at a bit of a loss for what to give Cuddle Bear, but I'll figure something out over the next few days. I have the gifts for my brother-in-law's girls done. They're currently crazy about Disney princesses, so they're each getting a personalized pillowcase with the princesses on it.
My eldest neice is getting a crochet purse in her favorite colors. I'm thinking that I'll include a nice little bit of jewelery in it as well. I'm not fully decided as to what to make for her, though, but I am leaning towards a bracelet and necklace set. For my sister-in-law (my brother's soon to be ex), I have a necklace that I'm going to be making soon. As she loves elephants, I think she is going to really enjoy this necklace with an elephant charm on it. When I got the parts, I was going to make it for my mother, because mom loves elephants too. I am not doing that now because she's never going to get another thing from me again, I suspect. For my sister-in-law's youngest child (and my youngest neice), I have been working on a crochet doll (at the request of Cuddle Bear). He also asked me to make 'something pretty' for her two older cousins.
As I have an army of fabric, I am looking into my options. The girls are all about coloring right now and their mother is talking about starting to teach them how to cook. So I think we're going to be giving them aprons with fabric crayons to make their own designs for them as well as canvas bags to make nifty as well. I need to come up with something to surprise Beloved with, and I do have a project in the works. Hopefully, I can get it done on the sly.
That, however, brings everything up to date. I am now going to go make lunch for a sick Cuddle Bear and get some cleaning done in the kitchen. I'll post about some other irons I have in the fire in the near future. I promise, it is not going to be months before I post again.