Monday, July 31, 2006


My Dad has type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed about ten years ago. Currently, he's controlling his blood sugars using pills, diet and exercise. But the doctor wants him to go on insulin soon as his HA1C isn't as low as she'd like it to be, and they've tried everything else.

This is the day my Dad has feared for ten years.

Sometimes I think having type 1 is easier. It's very black and white. I make no insulin, therefore I need it. The health care community is more likely to take me seriously, because, gasp! I could die!

Type 2, on the other hand, is one big gray area. Your body makes some insulin, so you get caught somewhere in the middle of none and enough. It's much harder to understand and follow through, in my opinion. I think that in general, with type 2, you have to fight for good quality health care.

I've had a talk with my Dad about the insulin shots. Several times in the past decade, and once this weekend. I know they scare him. I'm scared for him too. I got over my fear and he'll have to too. I have the burden of already having had this particular life experience, and I know it's not going to be fun.

My Dad has the kind of job where he can't be on insulin and still perform. I don't want to go into more details, but he might still be able to do the same work if he had a waiver or something. We're still looking into it.

I try to potray an image to my Dad that I can handle anything diabetes throws at me. I'll get all bent out of shape about something Nemo's done, or whining when the weather is unbearable (as it's been for the past week). But when I couldn't move my hand for a month when I had trigger finger, I just suffered through it, knowing that it comes with the territory.

The truth is, I don't worry much about myself. I do worry about my Dad.

I hope he's able to get through this transition with ease.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Have you ever noticed a pattern in your life? My Mom has found a pattern in mine, which I can't seem to figure out.

I had a best friend in high school. Let's call her BF#1. We were inseparable for most of our freshman and sophomore year. During one of the spirit weeks, we even dressed as twins. I've always been a person with many different friendships, but most of my energy at the time was focused on her, BF#1. Sometime during junior year, something happened. The friend who could finish my sentences was gone. She went almost completely goth on me and cut her hair so short you would have thought she was a boy. I never understood what happened. To this day, I don't know, but I do have some theories. (most of them involve some sort of abuse.)

In college and in my early post-college years, I had BF#2. When I first met her, she overwhelmed me. She was a dancer and came from a "perfect" family. (my family has some perfectness too, but hers was sticky sweet.) She ended up being someone I could really count on. We were just as comfortable hanging out just the two of us, being with either of our families (I even went on a cruise with her family), or going out with friends. I stood up in her wedding, and then she stood up in mine. She had her first baby right after I got married, and before my infertility (which means: I wasn't at that time projecting any of my sadness or anger onto her). She drifted away from me to the point that we're now almost strangers. I do still get a Christmas card from her though.

And then there's Nemo. Which you know all about.

I'm certainly not saying that these two friends were like my husband. It's not the same sort of relationship at all. But, it does seem that all three of these people shut me out of their lives, with no explanation. To my knowledge, I've done nothing to offend any of them. I've even gone so far as to ask other family and friends their opinion. They don't get it either.

In the meantime, I've had other friends. Arista, because I've spoken of her. I had nine bridesmaids in my wedding, because I didn't feel I could cut anyone out. I even had two additional people who turned me down. So it's not like I don't have friends, or know how to be a friend.

Maybe relationships just come and go. Maybe you're not meant to hold onto friends or husbands forever.

Maybe no one has wanted to tell me that.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Panic attack

Last week, I mentioned the party that Nemo would like Lucian to attend.

After I told Nemo that I would bring Lucian, I asked him if there was a specific time frame that he had in mind. He e-mailed me and said that he'd be there anytime after 2:00.

I then went to considerable effort to change my plans for that day. My amazing friend Arista said that she would go shopping with me that day. Since this party is not close to either my house nor hers, we made a plan. A plan, which by the way, could not include a nap for Lucian.

I e-mailed Nemo to tell him that I would have Lucian there from 2:00-5:00. I thought that he would be happy, or at least satisfied that Lucian would in fact be able to attend on a day that wasn't his, and a location that is normally out of the question. That would have been too easy. He responds to me and asks if Lucian can stay until 7:00.

Keep in mind that Lucian's normal bedtime is 7:00, and that's when he has a 2-3 hour nap. Keep in mind also, that Nemo has never spent five consecutive hours with Lucian either. Oh yeah, and part of my plan change, was to go out with Arista and her family that evening.

This happened yesterday. It seems ridiculous to me now, but I started to panic. I had to take some of my anti-anxiety medication. I didn't want to say no to Nemo because I'm afraid of future consequences. Nemo has shown no interest in returning to court, but he's such a smooth talker that the thought of going to court scares me. It motivates a lot of my actions. The courts are very pro-father right now.

In the end, I e-mailed Nemo back and explained how I had rearranged our schedules to accommodate his original request. I told him that I was really trying to work with him (in spite of him being a horrible person, husband, and father).

Today he responded that he was trying to work with me too. All that worrying, and I don't think he even gave my response a second thought.

Remind me of that the next time I'm panicking.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Anything to save a buck

There is no end to my talents.

I've always been frugal. I won't call myself cheap, because I think that the word implies a certain lack of manners. And I'm never cheap with my friends and family. I've been told that I always buy the best gifts.

However, I hate to pay full price for an item when I can get it on sale. I shop around and learn prices. I love to buy in bulk to save money. I'll try a store brand of just about anything, and if it's equal or better to the name brand, I buy that.

My current financial situation doesn't allow me to buy many extras. I will treat myself to books on occasion, and I have bought myself a few summer things, but for the most part, I really only buy the necessities.

The one thing that I never thought I'd ever do is skimp on haircuts. I've found though, that Lucian won't sit still for a haircut. I've taken him to the barber with my Dad, only to shell out $15 for a cut that I've had to even out at home.

So I invested in a haircutting kit. I've now used it twice on Lucian. I watched the DVD but I was still nervous the first time. Needless to say, the two haircuts were back to back because I didn't cut it short enough the first time.

He still squirms around and cries, but at least I can get the job done while he's a hostage in his highchair. If I do say so myself, I think I did a pretty good job.

And the best part is that I only paid $24.99 for the kit - it's already paid for itself.

Haircut, anyone?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Moving in the direction of my future

I know that I need to get a job. I've been putting it off for a few reasons. The biggest one being that I want to spend as much time with Lucian as possible while he's young. For me, and for him.

Due to our parenting time schedule, one of my worries is that if I'm working, Lucian may be spending more weekday awake hours with Nemo than with me. (that is, if Nemo's consistent that particular week.)

But I'm realistic, if nothing else. I know that even with all the problems, drama, and pain that I've been through, I still have had a good thing going in that I haven't been forced back to work before I was ready. (alright, I admit, I'm still not entirely ready. But I've had a good, long time to get used to the idea.)

I've given my future a good deal of thought. Should I go back to school? Should I take a part time job, just to get myself out of the house? Will anyone hire me after being out of the workforce so long? Do I have any skills left?

Even though I've lacked it before, regarding my future I've had faith that something would come to me. Either I would wake up with a sudden direction to take, a passion for something, or a job.

Today a friend of mine called me and said there's an opening at her company. She's told them some of my situation (leaving out a lot of the dramatic bits, I'd assume) and they'd like to talk to me.

The job wouldn't be my dream job, but it sounds like it could escalate into more. I like the idea that I might be doing more menial tasks to start with and advance into other stuff later. The company also is very flexible with my friend's schedule - she's able to be with her kids when they need her. I love that, as Lucian is the first priority for me.

So I sent her my resume, and we'll see what happens. I'm nervous, anxious and apprehensive. But also a bit excited. It could be a perfect fit.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Note to self: don't make plans that can't be changed

This just in:

Less than an hour after I was complaining about the parenting time, Nemo calls me to tell me that he can't make it tonight because he had another tooth fall out. I believe that this is his third one. He has had some major dental work done in the past, so I'm not sure which the other two teeth are (real or im*plant), but he said this one was an im*plant. I have no idea if this is the truth or a lie. I mean, he's been living without two teeth all this time, what's the big deal about losing a third?

It figures that my Mom and I had some good shopping planned for tonight, doesn't it?

More on parenting time

Even though I complain about the parenting time constantly (much more than I blog about), there is a (very) small part of me that looks forward to it. I hate to admit it, but it's my only real, consistent time out of the house by myself.

I'm not usually by myself though. My Mom almost always goes with me, after the screaming incident she likes to be there as back-up. We plan a dinner out, and usually some shopping. Luckily, Nemo's parents live close to lots of shopping, so it's easy to rotate between the malls and other shopping areas without becoming too bored. On occasion, we might go visit my grandmother, who has cancer and is not doing very well.

On the infrequent times that my Mom can't go, I might go to the library, meet up with friends (although it's rare that anyone can fit into my specific time block), or just go out to dinner by myself with a book. Even the times by myself are pleasant enough.

Besides the fact that I don't trust Nemo, the hardest part for me is that I don't like that the parenting time is etched in stone. That I feel like I have no choice about it. Usually, I have a nice time, and it's a good break for me to get out of the house. I can accomplish things quicker too without dragging around a toddler.

I just hate that it's forced upon me.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The best

They say that if you have one good friend in your life, you're truly blessed. I am extremely blessed as I have many friends, and quite a few good ones at that. But I have one best friend. I hate to use that label, because I think it excludes others. There's no other term to describe her, though, other than best. And even though I don't normally go around saying - Arista, my best friend, blah blah blah, most people in my life already know that she's the best.

(to my knowledge, she doesn't know my blog exists, as I haven't told anyone that I'm keeping this blog. But I hope if she ever finds this, she'll like the pseudonym I've chosen for her. Arista means best in Greek. And I think it's pretty.)

I've known Arista since we worked together at the mall over fifteen years ago. We worked at an uncool store, and whenever anyone would ask her where she worked, Arista always said the mall, like it was most supercool place to be.

I didn't immediately like her. I was a year older, and finished with high school. She was a high school senior and the first time I laid eyes on her, she came into the store wearing her cheerleader uniform with some of her teeny bopper friends. I think I even rolled my eyes after meeting her. After all, I was a college student!

Somehow though, we became friendly. There have been other friends of ours over the years that we've kept and lost, but somehow, we've always remained close.

How can I put into words a friend that sticks by you through diabetes, infertility (which is particularly isolating), infidelity, divorce, parenting, etc? There aren't enough words in the English language to describe our friendship.

Arista is the kind of person who would do anything for you. I strive to be the kind of friend she is to me. She's easy going, giving, accepting and forgiving.

Last fall, she called me and said that she wanted to throw me a birthday party. I was nearing the end of the divorce proceedings and it was such a horrible time. She and her husband (who I adore also) invited all my friends and family and threw an amazing party. It makes me cry just to think about it. In the midst of all my pain, there was a big bright spot thanks to her.

Arista has a daughter who is five months younger than Lucian. We've had great fun being mothers together. I am her daughter's godmother, and it's the single greatest honor of my life. It's like I have a daughter too.

There's something so special about friends. Your family, well they're your family. You get stuck with whatever family you're given. Friends, though, you get to choose and that's what makes the relationship so beautiful: knowing that neither of you are forced to be together, that you're together just because you want to.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Worrying, why I do it

My therapist gave me something to think about this week. She thinks that maybe all my obsessing, worrying and anxiety is because if I don't go through all the motions of thinking about the Lucian/Nemo situation, then that means that I'm okay with it, that I've accepted it. The worrying is almost a ritual for me.

And while I've accepted the situation as it is for now, I don't like it. In my head I live in the future. I try to think up all the possible scenarios, and all the possible solutions. The problem is, I'm not moving forward myself. I'm stuck, obsessing about the future and getting on with my life. I want the broken record in my head to stop.

I'm hoping that by this realization, I'll be able to relax my obsessive worrying a bit. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do that, but I think I've figured out what the payoff is in my worrying.

Baby steps, I guess. That's all I'm capable of for now.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How I lost all respect for my father-in-law, part 2

Here comes the part of why I no longer have any respect for my father-in-law.

I moved out of our marital home and in with my parents in October. Lucian's 1st birthday was in November. I would have loved to have thrown a party (I love to entertain), but I really didn't want to feel obligated in inviting Nemo's whole family. Plus, I didn't have the money. So it was just my immediate family and my best friend with her daughter.

Nemo called the day before and asked if he could join us in whatever we were doing to celebrate Lucian's day. I invited him to join us, and also his parents. Cruella called on Lucian's birthday. She spoke with my mother, and my Mom invited her to come also. She declined. I thought it was sad that her pride was standing in her way of celebrating her grandson's birthday.

Nemo told me that his family planned a birthday dinner for another night. It happened to be a night that we had arranged that I would pick Lucian up at 7:00, rather than 8:00. I dropped him off early to compensate, and Nemo agreed to it.

I arrived that night with my father. There was an uneaten cake on the table, and unopened gifts. They had not even started their celebration when we arrived. Jabba asked if they could have five more minutes. I said okay, but that we had to pick my Mom up and couldn't stay. It was a rainy night and my Mom was waiting for us.

After five minutes, I went to get Lucian's coat. Jabba asked again for five more minutes and I said that I'd love to be able to stay, but if we didn't leave, my Mom would be waiting out in the cold for us. It was now 7:15 and I said to Nemo - we agreed on 7:00, right? He agreed with me. Then, he shut up and let everything else happen.

Jabba suddenly went from the calm man that I knew to someone out of control. He started screaming at me, saying that it wasn't fair and that his family wanted to have a birthday for Lucian too. At first, I just stood there. Then, I started getting into it with him.

My Dad is a quiet, loving, caring, understanding man. He is not a fighter. He's a peace maker. My Dad scooped up Lucian and said that we were leaving. I was so proud of him. He then said in a deep, authoritative voice to Jabba that his daughter was a good person and I didn't deserve to be treated the way he was treating me. It's now months later and I'm still so proud of him for standing up to Jabba. Both Jabba and Nemo are big bullies and I'd taken too much from that family already.

Jabba wasn't happy with my Dad's words though. He puffed up his chest like a peacock and went over to my Dad. He pushed himself into my Dad, who was still holding Lucian. I had to come over and physically push Jabba out of the way. My Dad then left the house with Lucian.

I, of course, wasn't as calm as my Dad. They had engaged me, and I was ready to fight. I argued with Jabba and Cruella for a bit longer, (by this time, Cruella had started screaming too) and then finally left. I was shaking when I got into the car.

I realized afterward that I should have called the police. (Just like I should have when Elvira showed up on my doorstep) This was an example of the assault part of assault and battery.

It was a week before I started sleeping well again at night. I became even more frightened of my ex-in-laws.

Did I mention that other family members were there? They were shocked by Jabba's behavior too. But not one of them said a word or tried to help me in any way. Even Nemo said quietly - dad, Stella and I did agree to 7:00.

Jabba didn't make eye contact with me for almost six months after this incident. Most times, he hides in another room when I arrive. Cruella is currently in Europe for the summer, which has forced him to be the one who answers the door now when we arrive. He is now saying hello to me.

I have lost all respect for this man. Not just because of the screaming and pushing my Dad. It's because he did it all in front of Lucian. That's the part that infuriates me the most. No child should have to be witness to something like that, especially when his mother is being berated.

Oddly enough, Jabba has gained some respect for me. Maybe because I didn't back down. Maybe because he knows that I have the power to tell his whole family of Nemo's sterility and Lucian's paternity. I don't know.

I can only hope that Lucian's next birthday is more peaceful.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

How I lost all respect for my father-in-law, part 1

I once thought that my father-in-law, Jabba, was a great man. He was raised by a wonderful mother, and an alcoholic, abusive father. To escape his father, he packed his family up and moved them to the United States when he was a young man.

He spoke no English. He took a low paying job. He traveled back to Europe for the purpose of meeting a wife, and brought her back to the United States with him. He's taken care of his mother ever since -Sophia has lived with them their entire marriage.

The early years were difficult, as money was tight. As time went on, however, he rose through the company little by little. After thirty years, he became the owner and president of a thriving business. He had a respectable family and many friends.

It wasn't until Nemo and I were married that I learned a lot of this story. Nemo knew almost nothing about his grandfather - he was never even aware of the real reason his father came to this country. I was the one who told him a great deal of his family history.

I became friends with my father-in-law. Not the kind of friends that get together and have lunch and gossip. Just two people who had mutual respect for each other and shared a love of his son.

For my part, I was a good daughter-in-law. I cultivated a relationship with both my in-laws. I didn't miss a holiday, and frequently went out of my way to stop at their house or to do favors for them. I took Sophia to the doctor and out shopping frequently. Whatever they needed, I was there.

Then, Nemo cheated on me and abandoned Lucian and me. When it finally got so bad that I was considering divorce, I went to both Nemo's parents and told them everything. They really seemed like they wanted to help. They both tried talking to Nemo. I knew in my heart that it wouldn't change anything, but I loved them for trying.

The first time I lost a little respect for Jabba was when I went to him after I realized how much money Nemo had stolen from us. There was a family rumor that Jabba had helped us with some of the IVF expenses (which wasn't true). I wanted to make sure that he had not given money to Nemo, and to tell him not to give him any additional money because of all of Nemo's spending. His words to me were - I'm not giving either of you any money. It really hurt me because I wasn't asking for any money and he made me feel like a crook. I had been trying to do him a favor and he insulted me.

Last year, after the divorce was filed but before it was final, my life was in transition. For me, that time was the hardest part of everything. I have a bunch of crazy stories to tell about Nemo's mom in particular, but I'll save those for another time. As the year wore on, things became more strained between Nemo's parents and me. I think they felt like they had to choose a side. I really tried to keep the peace, but all my efforts backfired.

Nemo's parents chose their son over their daughter-in-law and grandson.

To be continued... Lucian's awake from his nap.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Can anyone guess next year's theme?

I got an e-mail from Nemo today. This is his usual mode for contacting me to ask to see Lucian. Per the court order, he has to give me twenty-four notice when he wants to take advantage of his parenting time. I hate having more contact with him than is necessary, but it's better than last summer where I was waiting and waiting for him to show up all the time, and over half the time, he didn't. He's been more consistent lately.

Anyway, his e-mail also asked if we could work out an arrangement so that Lucian could go to a family party of his. His aunt and uncle throw a big family reunion type party every summer. In years past, I've had to drag Nemo with me, as he never wanted to go. Suddenly, he not only wants to go, but wants to bring Lucian with him.

I've had a sick feeling in my stomach all day about this. I can't even explain why. It would really only be for a few hours, and there would be lots of people there so I know that Lucian would be watched carefully. His aunt and uncle live quite a good distance from my house so it's not like it's convenient for me to get to, but that's not the part that bothers me the most. It's because I know that he just wants to play father-of-the-year for a couple of hours.

He's able to step right in and play the part when it suits him, but when Lucian and I have really needed him to be a parent, he's out of the picture. Nemo's slogan should be - I'm not a father, but I play one on tv.

So even though it tore me apart, I e-mailed him back and said that I could probably work it out. I'm going to do it. But I don't like it.

One of my objections is about party is the theme. Usually the theme has been something bland, like - everyone wear the color red, or stripes, or a Hawaiian theme. Last year, right after everyone found out that my marriage ended because my husband left me for a str*ipper, they chose the theme of Ho*oters. I thought it was terribly offensive. Even though I was invited, I decided not to go. This year, their theme is beads. We all know what that means. Luckily, Lucian doesn't.

Ugh. It's all so dreadful. For so many reasons.

Monday, July 17, 2006


My cousin and his wife just had a baby girl. They also have two boys who are preschool age, just a bit older than Lucian. My parents, Lucian and I went to see them this weekend.

The baby was a good two pounds less than Lucian was at birth. (not that she was that tiny, he was just a bigger baby) I haven't held a baby that small in a long time.

My Mom handed her to me and I gently rocked her. I made eye contact with her, smelled her, felt the weight in my arms, all the things that you do when you hold a newborn. Lucian came running into the room and saw me with the baby. I looked at him and realized that although I'd love to have another, I'm truly content having just one. Lucian wasn't jealous, he ran out of the room just as quickly as he had run in. Apparently the baby wasn't exciting enough to hold his attention.

I held her for a long time. My Mom, my cousin's wife and I talked, we laughed, we marveled at how small her fingers are. It was wonderful. I felt so good. I didn't feel jealous, anxious, inept, or unworthy.

I'm not sure what's changed since I wrote this just ten days ago. Maybe just writing it has allowed me to feel the emotions and to give them a name. For a long time, I kept my feelings of inadequacy and longing to myself. Whatever the reason, I'm glad.

Maybe I won't turn into a bitter spinster with fifty cats after all.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Working through the affair

I have the highest amount of respect for women who stay with their husbands after he's cheated (or vice versa). When I first learned of Nemo's affair, I considered staying too.

One of my initial reactions was that having the truth out in the open meant that we could deal with it. I thought that maybe we could get some professional help. I thought that our marriage was worth fighting for.

Pregnancy clouded my judgment. Looking back, I'd like to hit my October 2004 self over the head with a brick. That girl felt that nothing was going to ruin her happy ending. She thought that things could be fixed. She lived in a dream world.

What ended up happening was that I put the affair on the back burner because the baby was coming. The pan was boiling over on the stove, but I refused to see it. I had visions of marriage counseling, of Nemo and I being able to work things out.

I wrote him a list of my demands. It wasn't until after Lucian was born that I realized that he wasn't adhering to a single one of them, and had no intention of doing things like coming home directly after work, answering the phone when I called, or changing his cell phone number. I took our marriage seriously. He wanted to have his wife on paper, and his floozy on the side.

I once heard that Bill and Hillary Clinton went to daily marriage counseling when they were in the middle of his infidelity. At the time, I couldn't understand how she stayed with him. I realized though, when I went through a similar situation, that the difference was that her husband was willing to fight for their marriage. He made a huge mistake, admitted to it, and was willing to earn her trust back by jumping through all the hoops she needed.

In contrast, my husband made a huge mistake, denied it, admitted it, denied it, kept making the huge mistake, and made me feel like it was my fault.

I was the only one willing to fight for our marriage. And that's no marriage at all.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Before I had the ultrasound telling me otherwise, I thought I was having a girl. I never even considered the prospect of the baby being a boy.

Nemo has an uncle that believes he has a cosmic connection with God and he convinced me and everyone else three years before I was even pregnant that I would have a girl. I didn't doubt him because we were in Las Vegas with him once and he pointed to a slot machine and told me that I would win. And I did, $200. There were other things too that he would predict with accuracy. So I joined in on the "it's a girl!" bandwagon.

From an informal, unscientific poll I've done, it seems that most women can imagine themselves parenting a daughter, and most men parenting a son. (I know, I know, how brilliant of a concept is this?) Before diabetes when I thought I'd have a dozen kids, I figured I'd have a few of each. But when it came down to it, I could only see myself with a daughter. You know the one? The one you take shopping. The one who plays dressup up in your old clothes. The one who becomes your best friend when she's older. The one who walks down your staircase with her wedding dress on.

I had no idea what to expect with a son. It's all been new to me. And it's been better than I ever thought it could be. Lucian is not fragile, not a drama queen, he's all boy. He's interested in trucks, cars, planes and trains. Balloons, clocks, and books too.

Yesterday, my parents and I took Lucian to a park that has a train. It's a real steam locomotive from the 1800's. Lucian freaked out when he saw the train pull in. He was so excited. He normally doesn't sit still very long, but for the 30 minute ride, he didn't move a muscle. We bought him a toy train and a conductor's hat.

It was really one of the best days of my life, seeing Lucian so happy and being able to share it with him. As I sat there on the train, I realized that I never would be doing this if I'd had a girl. I realized that God has given me exactly what I've needed all along.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I took Lucian with me to see my therapist. I knew that it would be a complete waste of time because we'd both be paying more attention to him, than to my issues. But I did it anyway, because I wanted her professional opinion of him, and also because I wanted her to fall in love with him. Just in case there comes a time when I need her professional services in a court. (I know this is extremely paranoid of me, but I feel better being overly prepared.)

Both things happened. She told me that he's doing wonderfully. Talking more than expected, bigger than expected, great motor skills. Like a proud mother, I ate it all up. Through all of this mess in our lives, my son is thriving. Plus she fell in love with him a bit.

Lucian has this smile that makes you feel like you're the only person in the room. I've often been told that I smile with my eyes and he inherited the same ones. When he smiles, his face lights up. He pulled out the charm big time. She left the room briefly and he called out - doctor! doctor! doctor! until she returned. How could you not fall in love with him?

My therapist still thinks that I'm letting Nemo control my life too much. That my feelings are often based upon when he calls or doesn't call. She also thinks that I need to face the music that Nemo is Lucian's father, albeit not a very good one. (My nickname for Nemo is the court appointed babysitter.) I can't stomach the thought of calling Nemo father, after the way he abandoned us. I'm working on accepting it, even if I can never bring myself to use the term.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I've been called a "brittle" diabetic more than once in my diabetic life. I hate the word because to me, it implies a lack of control, of doing something wrong.

Basically, brittle refers to being unstable and unpredictable. Both words which still define my diabetes.

For example, about two weeks ago, I was having difficulty lowering my blood sugars. I was doing everything humanly possible: corrective boluses, changed infusion sets, changed insulin, was being more meticulous about carb counting, and nothing seemed to be working. I was suffering from high blood sugars after most meals. I also thought about things like exercise, different foods, and hormones. I could not attribute the high blood sugars to anything.

Let me just add here that I'm not a good carb counter. No, that's not right, I'm a good counter, but I'm an even better guesser. I've had all the classes and meetings with dieticians, only to find that my innate sense of bolus guessing is better. I do not recommend you try this at home. But it works for me. Please don't tell my doctor.

So after having all these issues a few weeks ago, I was nearly doubling almost all my boluses. A meal that I might have previously guessed 3.5 units of insulin, was now requiring over 6.5. I couldn't figure it out.

Then, as you may have guessed would happen, whatever was causing the problem, stopped. And stopped dead in its tracks. I have since resumed my lower level of bolusing and it's working just fine.

Whenever I bring my numbers to the endocrinologist, he looks for a pattern. I have not been to medical school, so I'm not discounting his opinion, but I am pretty analytical, and I've come to the conclusion that there is no pattern. There's no rhyme or reason for most of my blood sugars. Hence all the guessing.

In the six years that I've been on the pump, my A1C's have ranged from 6.0 (lowest) to 7.0 (highest). That includes IVF's, pregnancy, divorce (stress). So I must be doing something right.

But it's still incredibly frustrating.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Parenting time

I hate Nemo's parenting time visits. Because I have no choice, I'm complying with the court's wishes.

(And for anyone considering a divorce, in the US that is, the family courts are very pro-father right now, even a sleezeball father like Nemo. Not that I think you should stay in a marriage for the kids. I'm just saying, be prepared. This is not your mother's generation of custody battles.)

So Lucian and I are heading over to Nemo's parents' house again tonight. The visitation is only two and a half hours. And I have no reason to think that Lucian is in any physical harm. Which is a good thing. But I worry a lot about his emotional health.

Here are the reasons I hate it so much: (besides the obvious that I just don't want him with Nemo)

1. The time is not good for me. I must either go out to eat, eat early, or eat late. It gets expensive to eat out. I guess I could pack myself a dinner, but I'd still need to find somewhere to eat it. And then I need to find something to do for two and a half hours. Let me just say that I've done everything there is to do within a five mile radius of their house.

2. The time interferes with Lucian's bedtime. I normally put Lucian to bed at 7:00. He is an amazing sleeper and sleeps twelve to thirteen hours at night. However, on these nights out, he doesn't get to bed until almost 9:00. Which means,

3. I pay for it the next day because Lucian is exhausted. Sometimes he'll make it up during the nap the following day and be less irritable by dinner. But often the following day is a struggle for me.

4. I must drive Lucian and pick him up. I feel like a taxi service. Gas prices are outrageous and it adds up too.

5. I'm not able to make plans because Nemo is not predictable. He has to give me 24 hours notice of a visit, which helps. But I still can't plan my week until the last minute. It's also hard to fit plans in a two and a half hour block. I wish that I could go see a movie or something, but it would never work.

6. I have to see Nemo and his family, and some of the family can be rude. In general, Nemo is okay, it's the rest that treat me like I'm the one who did them wrong. I'm always posed for a fight which does not help my anxiety at all.

I've explained before why I won't let Nemo drive. It's still out of the question at this point in time. I haven't seen any changes in Nemo's behavior that promise me my son will be safe with him. But most people wonder if I could change anything about the schedule and make it more convenient for both Lucian and me.

I'm afraid to rock the boat right now, because I can tolerate this schedule, as much as I hate it. At some point, when I have a job, or a life, things will have to change. I'm afraid of that day. I'm afraid of letting Lucian go. I see Lucian as being part of me, and I'd no sooner chop off my arm and hand it to Nemo.

This part of my life really sucks. I'm going to have to bring some positive energy to my thoughts. Because this parenting time stuff depresses the hell out of me.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

New, but not improved

It occurred to me last night when I dropped off Lucian with Nemo that I see Nemo as two separate people. There's old Nemo, and new Nemo.

Old Nemo is dead. I think often of him and I'm saddened by the fact that he's no longer in my life. I remember his smile, and the way his hair would curl near his forehead. He gave big bear hugs and smelled of his signature cologne. He'd call me just to tell me he loved me. He was someone who'd ask my opinion and listened to what I had to say. I've never met anyone who listened as well as he did. Old Nemo wasn't perfect, but I accepted his limitations because I loved him.

New Nemo is like a sore festering and oozing. He's unkept, missing teeth, and smells like cigarettes. He's on the phone in every spare minute. He thinks nothing of doing whatever pleases him in the moment and lies any chance he gets. He's passive aggressive and even his occasional niceties are because he has a hidden agenda.

I have a hard time reconciling these two people. I think that's why I'm not able to put a lot of this behind me. I see glimpses of my old Nemo whenever I have to deal with this new person. But the glimpses fade just as quickly as they arrive. And I'm left to deal with a stranger.

I believe it was Dr Phil who said that the person you divorce is not the person you married. Boy was that true.

I really miss my old Nemo. But I know that he no longer exists except for in my memories.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Lack of motivation

I should be writing something interesting today, but I feel like I have nothing of interest to say. I'm having one of those days where I can't think about too much, I just can't go to anywhere deep in my mind. Some days I'm feeling stronger than others. Today, I'm tired and feeling unmotivated.

Nemo's back from his vacation and I'm taking Lucian over there tonight. Ugh. I'm dreading it. It's been a wonderful vacation for me too, so I can't complain too much. I still hate dropping my sweet child off to someone who couldn't even bother to shower, change his clothes, or stop smelling like an ashtray. Oops, I'm complaining.

My therapist thinks I'm stuck. That I'm not moving forward with my own life. Basically, I think she was just trying to tell me nicely that I need to get off my butt and find a job, or figure out what I should do with the rest of my life. I'm just not ready to conquer that right now. Instead, I'm writing her a list of my worries, things that are preventing me from doing the getting on with my life. Maybe if I could articulate why I'm worried/afraid/lazy, it would help me to get moving.

Maybe I just need a nap.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pregnancy and babies

You'd think that I'd be over this by now, but I wonder for how long infertility will take its toll on me. I wonder if I'll still be bitter when I'm an old woman with fifty cats. Because I've already decided that I'm most likely becoming a spinster. A bitter spinster with cats... How cliche is that?

I've been pregnant, I've had a baby. I have a child, who is a ton of work. So much work that it wipes me out at the end of the day. (alright, I admit it. I'm wiped out by lunchtime.) I'm not really ready to take care of another baby, even if I could.

So why is it so hard for me to be comfortable with other's pregnancies and babies? Once the baby becomes a child, I have no problem at all. It's just the maternity and newborn stage I have a hard time with.

I wasn't able to enjoy my pregnancy the way I wanted to. And even though, in theory, I can get pregnant easily, have a wonderful sperm donor, can stay pregnant, and have a healthy baby, I can't take advantage of all of those things.

I wonder how many kids I would have chosen to have, if anything were possible? Two, three, four, or more? I can almost taste the freedom of choosing for myself. Almost.

Ironically, even though our diagnosis was male factor, I'm the one carrying the scars of infertility.

Please let me know if you know of any cats that need a good home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why I started blogging

Kerri from Six Until Me. asked me - what inspired me to start blogging? I can't seem to get the question out of my head since. Why did I start?

The biggest reason that I started blogging was to get things off my chest. In addition to my therapist, psychiatrist, lawyer, friends and family, (and anyone else who would listen) I guess I needed another outlet. When I started telling my story to people, I started healing. Having everyone know has lifted the weight I was carrying around. I can't tell you what a different place I'm in today than I was in even three months ago when I started the blog.

Each time I write and post something, I'm releasing it to the universe. It's so cathartic. I'm writing for myself, but at the same time I know that others are reading it. And I'm glad.

The only thing I regret is that at this time I feel I have to remain (somewhat) anonymous. My name is unique, and if you were to google me, you'd find me on the first try. I'd hate for Nemo to find my blog at this point in time, so I have to be careful.

And that's what stopped me from starting a blog earlier. I'm afraid of Nemo's retaliation. I'm still physically threatened by him too. (although I promise, he's never laid a finger on me. Ever. But he does scare me.) By putting pieces of my heart and soul out there on the internet, I'm conquering a little bit of my paranoia also.

I would also love to post pictures, especially of Lucian. But I can't. Not right now. He's so darling and I'm such a proud mother. This blog isn't really about him anyway. It's about me. It's what I'd write in my journal, if I still had it.

My hope is that somehow my story can help or inspire someone. Whether it be to get on an insulin pump (which I highly recommend), to take the plunge and use a sperm donor (my kid is amazing), to stand up and not be treated the way I was, or to just be thankful that your life has quieter problems (I yearn for that day!)

In the meantime, thanks to anyone reading this. A bigger thanks if you've come back more than once, and if you've commented, a big hug from me to you. Your comments have meant the most to me. I'd continue to write even if no one was reading, but it means even more to know that you're taking time out of your busy life to care enough to take a glimpse at my mine.

Thank you. Really, thank you.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

The city I used to live in has one of the biggest fireworks shows in the area. It was our good fortune that not only could we walk the mile to the park where it was at (and miss all the traffic), but we found out that we could see the show from our back patio. A few years we walked, and others we watched from home.

Two years ago, I was pregnant and in the middle of trying anything that would get Nemo to stay home with me. To get him to spend time with me, to see if I could connect with him in some way. He was a stranger to me by July. I twisted his arm though, and we had plans to watch the fireworks together.

I was excited. Nemo, not so much. As the sun went down, I started giving him reminders, as he was "busy" doing computer stuff, phone stuff, anything that would take him away from me, but still keep his body physically in the house.

The fireworks started. He watched for maybe a minute and then his phone rang. He went inside and I watched the rest by myself. I could hear the crowd in the distance, and the neighborhood children running around joyfully while waving sparklers. I remember watching Nemo inside and feeling like I was spying on a stranger. You know when the lights are on in someone's home and you can see right in? I felt like I was watching my own life from the outside.

Then, there was last year. I had invited my sister and some friends over. Lucian was in bed at his normal early bedtime. While I was waiting for everyone to arrive, I was frantic. I was being paranoid, but I was freaked out that Nemo was going to show up. (at this point, no one I knew wanted to have any contact with him, and I didn't want things to be awkward for me or them.) My anxiety was out of control. It was out of control until I finally moved out in October, but times like that night, it was extra stressful.

Nemo didn't show up, thankfully. I thought about the previous year and was thankful that I had friends there to enjoy the fireworks with me. As we watched, I again looked into my house and thought - next year I won't be here. It was sad because I knew my tradition was ending. Worse, I didn't really know what was going to take the place of the whole it left behind.

Holidays and birthdays always make me reminisce. This year is no different. My parents' house isn't near any fireworks displays. And frankly, I'm not about to search one out. I'm so happy that it's 2006, and my anxiety has improved. I can see that I've made tremendous progress.

What a difference a year makes!

Monday, July 03, 2006

A story that typified our relationship

While I was in Europe with my mother-in-law, Cruella, we spent some time shopping for household furniture and decorations, since the house was brand new and nearly empty. We have completely different tastes, so I mostly just watched while she picked out whatever she liked. She didn't really want my opinion anyway.

Until it came to the picture to go above Nemo's and my bed. She insisted that I pick it out. So we go to this store, that was like some kind of warehouse club for home decor. We go to the aisle with all the pictures, and she starts removing them from the shelves. This is how it went:

C: How about this one? (pointing to a picture of Jesus on the cross)

Me: That's fine, whatever you want.

C: No, I want you to pick out what you like.

Me: How about this one? (pointing to a picture with some flowers)

C: No, that won't work. How about this one? (pointing to a picture of Mary with Jesus)

Me: Well I like this one. (pointing to a landscape)

C: This one would be better. (pointing to a closeup of Jesus on the cross.)

Me: That's fine. Choose whatever you want.

C: No, I want you to choose whatever you want.

Me: I chose two that I liked but you said no.

C: I told you you could choose whatever you like. How about this one? (pointing to yet another picture of Jesus.)

I'll interrupt here to say that I'm a spiritual person. I was raised Catholic, and while there are many things about the church that I don't agree with (it's stance on abortion, IVF, gay marriage, women priests, priests being able to marry, etc), I'm not offended by Jesus or God or Mary in any way. I really just wanted something else hanging above my bed. It was supposed to be my choice, right?

So, to continue:

Me: Whatever you like is fine with me.

C: I'd like you to make the decision.

Me: I like the flower one.

C: How about this one? (pointing to yet another picture of Jesus.)

Me: So I can choose whatever I like as long as it's of Jesus?

C: No, get what you like.

Me: I liked the flower one.

C: You're supposed to have a picture of Jesus above your bed.

Me: Okay, how about this one? (pointing to the tackiest one of the bunch.)

C: Wonderful.

Here's the kicker: Cruella isn't religious or spiritual at all. She just wanted what she wanted. And wanted me to want what she wanted. Did you get all that?

On the day this happened, I wrote this exchange in an e-mail to Nemo. He cracked up and said - that's just like my mother. How do you deal with someone like this? I never could figure it out and that's why I usually went along with whatever she had to say. She was always right. No matter what.

My relationship with Nemo's family was doomed so long ago. At the time, I just thought it was funny. I might not be able to change the craziness, but at least I can recognize it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The trip, part 2

See part one.

I had no idea what to expect from a month with my mother-in-law. I either figured that I'd leave loving her or hating her. In the end, it was a bit of both.

From the moment I stepped off the plane, I was having major stomach pain. I think I've suffered from IBS for most of my life. My stomach has been a mess since I was a very small child. The only way that I've found to relieve the shooting, burning pain is to lie down and sleep it off. But Cruella wasn't buying into my pain - I think she thought I was making it up.

I cried my eyes out the first day when I realized how emotionally tough it was going to be. Cruella was going to manipulate and dictate me. We arrived at the house after traveling thousands of miles, being dirty, exhausted, and me with my stomach ache. All I wanted to do was lie down, but Cruella had other plans for us: lunch with some relatives. It was agonizing to eat. And with the time difference, my body was expecting breakfast, but we were eating lunch.

I don't want to drag this story out so I'm going to briefly summarize here how our days went. We either:

got up, went to the beach for ten hours, had dinner with relatives, and stayed out late,


we got up, had lunch with relatives, had dinner with relatives, and stayed out late.

I get bored very easily and even with my plenitude of books, all those hours at the beach drove me batty. The meals with the relatives were a burden too because I couldn't speak to anyone, and Cruella didn't want to translate for me. It was horrible being trapped at someone's house for hours on end listening to the conversation but not understanding. I finally started bringing my books and crochet with me to entertain myself.

One night, we left early after having dinner with an aunt. Cruella was aware of my stomach issues, and I was having a particularly bad time that night. I thought we were on our way home when I noticed that she wasn't heading in the direction of home. She told me that we were going to visit her sister. I insisted that she take me home. She didn't like the idea of me being alone, and was disappointed that I wasn't going to go with her. If I had been with my own mother, she would have insisted I go home and take care of myself. Heck, she'd have gone home and taken care of me herself. But this is the way Cruella is, it's all about how things look, not how they really are. She threw a fit that I wasn't going with her to see her sister. I couldn't believe that she didn't want to leave me at home alone for a few hours.

Other nights I was doubled over in pain at someone's dinner table. One afternoon I spent a couple of hours in someone's living room while she got a manicure and pedicure. Another day she pinched me at the dinner table, so hard that it left a mark. Many days she'd drag me to distant relatives' houses. I think she enjoyed playing the part of the American who did well now coming back to her roots. I think she liked to show me off too, but also to keep me in my place.

The trip wasn't all bad. I got to see my mother-in-law in a whole new capacity. I did love her, and I learned a few things on how to deal with her. I got a tan for the first time in my life. I did a lot of thinking, where I came to the conclusion that I wanted to have a baby through any avenue. I read a lot of books. I played a lot of solitaire. I felt more comfortable in my own skin than I had in a long time. We even did a bit of shopping here and there, which were my favorite times.

I had high hopes of really seeing the sights and doing all sorts of touristy things. After all, if someone came to visit my hometown, I'd really want to show them around. Take them to all the best places. I did get a good feel for the culture though. I was really immersed in it and that alone was the biggest learning experience for me. It changed me, in a good way. I see the world from a whole different perspective now. I had traveled before, but never for such a length of time, and never immersed in the culture so much. It was a gift, and one that I've kept with me.

I was never so happy to be home. Even today, years later, I'm still thankful. Thankful to be back where I understand the language. Thankful to be close to my friends and family. Thankful for my American Diet Coke. Thankful to be suffering with my IBS at home. But mostly, thankful that I had an experience, and that it's over, never to be repeated again.