Thursday, December 31, 2009

Harry Potter and the Ex

a couple of months ago my almost 18yo daughter (my youngest child) came to me and asked me if i would take her to the harry potter exhibit in boston for her 18th birthday -- coming up in january. at the time i said that if i had the money we would go. now in the back of my head i was doing this silent calculation of how much the bus down and back would be ($140) and the cost of the tickets (unsure) and what a taxi from the bus station to the exhibit and back would cost (also unsure) and knew that somehow this might not come to pass. but i also knew that i had a few months to try and make this happen.

one day before xmas my child asked me again and i basically told her that it wasn't going to be possible because #1 i didn't have enough funds to get us through xmas without help and #2 since my birthday is also in january my car needs to be registered (its all done by b'days here in NH) and inspected -- at least an extra $200 i didn't have. so i didn't see how it was going to be possible for me to take her to the harry potter exhibit. i suggested she ask her father, since she's with him on her birthday anyhow.

so, i guess she took me up on that suggestion. and mind, its my own fault for saying it. but at the time i was feeling a lot like the reason i was in the financial pickle i was in was because of his uncaring attitude (since he stopped paying me alimony after only three years). he seems to have an unending supply of money and not just from his job -- but for a long time his parents and brother were sending him money left and right. even though he really didn't need it. but whatever ....

at any rate, as the date for them to go to boston looms closer and closer, i find myself getting sadder and sadder that i can't take her and that he can. i find myself being resentful for his financial ability to give her whatever she wants whenever she wants and my inability to even provide the most basic of needs. and i know that i need to give it over to god because it just eats away at me and makes me dislike my ex even more than i had when i found out he was cheating on me.

all the statistics i've read have said that when there is a divorce 90% of the women and children live in poverty. when i look around at the women and children living in the housing area i live in, i see that statistic looming large. its not just that we can't buy our children presents or give them elaborate trips or parties. its that most of the time we can't even meet the most basic of their needs. in most instances we end up going to food banks to put food on the table or go begging the office for an extension on the rent.

if i could have found a job when i first closed my store, i might not be in such bad shape. i had been an administrative secretary when i left to be a stay at home mom almost 22 years ago (a joint decision my husband and i had made at the time). i left my career to be a full-time mom and did in-home daycare and had a 10 year sewing business which helped to pay our bills. my ex never saw that as "income" unfortunately. but that's another story. having the store gave me back a sense of self and confidence i had long since lost. i knew i was a great mom, but could i be a great anything else ever again?? of that i was not so sure.

through a set of unfortunate circumstances i found myself unemployable. after tearing the rotator cuff in my shoulder i was unable to get a job lifting things. after being out of the secretarial workforce for 22 years i find myself unemployable as that. add to this the fact that the job market sucks right now for anyone and u can see how this is going downhill in terms of me finding a job.

last night i realized that the one thing that i'm really good at is caring about children -- caring for children. its something i can do well -- and have done. i have been looking for the past couple of months for jobs where i could be a mommy's assistant or do daycare in someone's home. it hasn't been easy. everybody seems to want u to have some degree in child development. i don't have a degree on paper, but i certainly earned my credits by raising two children and caring for others over the years. how do u document that??

at any rate, this whole harry potter and the ex thing has brought me to a place of suddenly feeling like i have somehow failed my child by not giving her what it was she really wanted for her birthday. and for not being able to spend it with her this year. it amazes me how one small thing regarding my child can make me feel somehow inferior. but then i realize that for a long time i felt like being a good mom was the only thing i did well. and its easy to fall back into that pattern of self-doubt that i carried for so long. so this is another time when i need to turn to papa god and see myself as he sees me -- and not as i have perceived myself for so long. to him i am something so much more than just a mom -- and this whole harry potter and the ex thing -- in god's terms -- is but a blip on the radar to self discovery ....

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