Friday, March 27, 2009

an old pic and getting ready for a fight

I used to send pics in almost every email to Bill (back when I had a webcam, before I got the digital) This is me from five years ago, before my fortieth birthday. I used to get ready for work, then take the pic, so he'd always see how nice I looked. Now he sees me first thing in the morning, poor guy!

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

We're trying to get ourselves psyched for a fight with Tina, Em's bio-mom.

Em has really been wrestling with herself, as well as us, for the last six months. She goes back and forth on whether she still loves Tina, or just feels sorry for her, or both. Unfortunately, it's been wreaking havoc with her health. Her ulcer is acting up again, and she's been having more anxiety lately.

At her counselling session on Wednesday, we talked at length and it's been decided that we won't make her talk to Tina. Em's therapist said that it was like we were forcing her to stay in an abusive relationship, and diagnosed her with mild post-traumatic stress.

The therapist, Em and me decided that we'd start with a letter. Em can explain that she has some anxiety around the phone calls, particularly when Tina keeps reassuring her that she'll take us to court. Tina thinks she has to "save" Em from us (Em has never challenged this) but all it was doing was threatening to take away the only secure home she's ever known.

Bill and I would include a letter of our own, explaining that we are supporting Em in her decision but we will keep an open mind. We want to be kind to her because she's not well (untreated bi-polar disorder, munchausin's, personality disorders) but if she seeks treatment we can consider it.

The biggest thing is that Em is under a lot of pressure during each conversation. She has to be careful not to give away our location, her school, or even where she hangs out. She knows that anything she says can be taken wrong by Tina, and then Bill will feel the brunt of her anger - ten to eleven phone calls a day, each one leaving a three minute long diatribe about how she's going to tell Em something bad about his past. Occasionally she'll leave a short threat, like "I'm coming to get you, boy." Crazy.

Anyway, I'm not sure what'll happen. It could start something, but Em is hoping it won't. She thinks that Tina would be in danger of losing city housing if she admitted she didn't have custody of Em, or her older brother Shaun, and will keep quiet. We're not sure if she's also claiming both children to recieve more social services benefits, but that would help if she was.

Have a nice Friday!


  1. Oh my wow. And I thought I had a lot on MY mind lately. I can't imagine - best wishes to you guys, wow...

  2. *Whew*

    Her mom is really crazy. No wonder the poor kid is suffering. Proceed with caution as you always have...

    That must be difficult for poor Em. I can't imagine.


  3. Wow, Whew, Jeez...whatever expletive chosen, you have a lot to handle, but you can do it as a team...I am certain of it.

  4. Goodness you guys have so much to deal with. Good luck with it all for your and Bill and Em's sake.

  5. Kate, I really feel for Em. A child's health is always top priority.

    I have suggestions, but I feel I should keep them to myself. I don't know all the details of the situation, so I'd probably just stick my foot in my mouth and anger you. Losing your friendship over a misspoken word is unacceptable to me.

    You have my heartfelt best wishes though and my full support as a friend.

    Love the picture you posted too. Thanks for sharing it. You look like a true business, professional.

  6. I am still trying to get my head around this one.
    Bottom line is Em is living in fear? She can't give out her address, school, etc? No child deserves to live in fear, I do not know all the facts but the bottom line is if you have a child on your hands and they are living this way you should be in the right. End of Story. Is there anyway you can approach your version of Children's Services, even annonymously about the problem and see what they say or ever could do about the situation?
    (Sorry about that little rant Kate, but kids being hurt really fries my beans.)

  7. So first I comment on some nice shoes and now
    this holy shit
    loving children is not easy but its exciting

  8. You look the same today as you did in that picture: Beautiful.

    So sad to think Em's mom (a supposed grown-up) would be such a drama queen creating so much anguish for everybody. Sheesh.

    I know this doesn't sound very kind of me. But, whenever I've had great difficulty with a control-freaky-person-in-authority (e.g., a "mom" figure whose repeatedly cruel or an abusive boss) I have found it very useful to give that person a private humorous nickname (something like "Hannibal" or "Voldemort" to reference them whenever they are outside of ear shot. It helps train my brain into realizing I really don't owe that socially irresponsible person anything. I really don't need to pay so much homage to him/her by giving them the respect of speaking their given name. {Living in denial only makes us bigger victims -- it's important to keep the eyes wide open when someone is an emotional vampire or other form of predator.}

    {{I'm not saying this method would work for Em. It's just what works for me.}}


  9. What I find remarkable is how reasonable and generous your behavior is all through this.

    "psyched for a fight with Tina..."

    have you considered playing 'Eye of the tiger' on a background loop when you need to get ready.

  10. Sounds like a lot you're going through there.. don't let them overwhelm you, K!

  11. it is so sad our children /those children we love have to grow up so fast. It is like treading on eggshells for us adults but a lttle girl??!!?? poor thing.. I so feel for you all.

  12. I feel for all of you! It must be very difficult living like that. I don't know how you do it, but it shows the strength of your relationship and love for each other. ((HUGS))

  13. Geesh. So much going on...Stand strong and know you can handle things. I feel blessed not to have to deal with things like this. Nice picture, Kate wish I was 45 again!
    (( hugs ))

  14. That is a lot to deal with, as a family and also for Em. Best of luck, I couldn't imagine going through this when I was a kid.