Just stay

The wind was bitter cold blowing against our tear-stained faces. We were standing in the middle of a January-in-Cleveland snow hugging each other on the sidewalk in front of the counseling center trying to make some kind of ammends after the mess that had been our week. I've seen so many things. I've travelled so many roads. I have so much life under my belt for my short 34 years that it's easy for me to look at this situation and start to rationalize some things and to just have a basic faith that it's going to be ok. But she doesn't. She's looking at this with her 15-year-old brain and it scares her and it changes who she is. I hate that. She's so much like me. She's passionate and she's impulsive. She's dramatic and likes to think out loud...alot of times instantly regretting what just came out of her mouth. And like me she's also prone to depression...and that scares me. Will she do something to hurt herself? Will she run away? That's why standing in the middle of the cold sidewalk I held her and reminded her that "we can get through anything...it's always been you and me Courtney...I was the very first person to ever see your face and I will be the last one standing there with you in the end...I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON YOU."

I was only 18 years old and thought I was grown. I had been married for almost two years, I lived 1200 miles away from home and I had just had a baby...what a journey I had before me. What lessons still to come. But here I was with this tiny little girl all pink from laying under the bili lights, iv's in her arm for the antibiotics (she was septic from being born with group b strep). I sat night after night in the nursery all alone...just me and her. Occassionally a doctor would mosey through and stand behind my rocking chair handing me a tissue, the nurses were horrible...i won't even go there...but in the still of the night it was just me and her. I would watch her...and cry...pray...and cry...stare at her face while begging her to nurse...and cry. And I would just look at her and think...I know you don't feel good, and I know this is going to be hard...but I'm here for you...you and me...I won't give up on you...JUST STAY...please don't go. Get mad...get loud...just stay.

It's amazing that 15 years later I'm still silently whispering the same things to her. I know this is hard Courtney...I know this process doesn't feel good...but I'm here for you...you and me...I won't give up on you...lets do whatever it takes to get better...just stay.


Holding on when you feel like giving up

I've pretty much quit blogging lately. Not because I don't have tons to talk about and not because I don't have a TON of things going on. I've just had trouble making heads or tales of everything lately. Every time I think we've hit rock bottom around here we hit a brand new low. My life is such a study of contrasts right now. At a time that should be the happiest time of my life...and it is...it is also the saddest and hardest part. After all that I've been through nothing has compared to the pain I've felt lately.

Looking back...as hard as it is...dealing with all of the pain the evil one brought into my life was easy to deal with compared to the pain that my little girl is bringing me right now. I mean with the evil one, by the end you could easily say that I hated him. I know that we shouldn't say we hate someone and all that holier-than-thou stuff but I did. He had wrought so much destruction and brought so much hate and damage that it was easy to walk away from him forever...and to throw his sorry ass in jail for hurting my child. But I love Courtney. She is my heart. She is me. You just can't know what you can't know...and there's no way at 15 that she can know what it feels like to love your child. It is an all-encompassing, life-changing, passionate love. I would kill for her. I would die for her. But she would die to be away from me. She is so hateful to me...and has no trouble telling me how much she hates me. She is so troubled right now and she has no way of understanding that everything I do...even fighting with her...is all because I love her and want to save her. I keep telling her that I am fighting for her life. I REFUSE TO LET HER GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT.

Today was the first time I ever called the police on my child. I've threatened it a hundred times, but today I did it. I sat the kids down to have a talk about chores and of course Courtney turned into a dramatic fit about herself. It quickly evolved into something really ugly. I ended up smacking her across the face and then having to physically restrain her because she was trying to punch and kick me. The whole time she was screaming how much she hates me and what a "whore" and a "bitch" I am and how she's going to run away or maybe even kill herself because she'd rather be dead than live with me. So I grabbed her by her sweatshirt and threw her in her room and went for my phone. As soon as I walked away she came out of her room and bolted out the front door with Scott shortly behind her getting her back in the house and into her room. He physically blocked the door and took a verbal beating so she couldn't leave while I was on the phone with the police. While they were on their way here I went in that room to try to talk to her but she wasn't hearing it...all I kept hearing was the barage of insults and names flying my way. My shame right now is based around the fact that I called her a name back and that when she told me again she hated me I responded by telling her "right now I really hate you too." She hasn't let me forget it either. But I did. She was living out everything about my life that I've ever hated. It was like living with the evil one all over again. Physical assault, being called names, police are on the way. I swore I'd never be here again...and I won't be with another man...I just never dreamed it would be happening with my little girl. My beautiful little girl born with all of the thick black hair and eyes the color of blueberries. I used to stare at her and touch her little fingers and toes and stroke her pretty pink cheeks dreaming of the best-friend relationship that we would always have. I hope I'm not wrong. I know that hurt comes and that God is faithful to heal...I just hope it hurries up. She overheard me saying that this is ruining my life and she took as SHE'S ruining my life and keeps throwing that in my face too. But THIS is ruining my life! This constant stress and the little piece of our relationship that is dying every day. Seeing her do such self-destructive things. I'm just at a loss. For the first time in my life I've hit my breaking point. The other day I found myself in a desperate prayer for mercy. I reminded God that he PROMISED he would never give me more than I could handle...and I can't handle one more thing so I just HAVE TO TRUST that he will show me mercy and give an extra helping of grace to get through this...because I don't know what else to do. I was surviving from one breath to the next and hanging on by my fingernails.

When the police finally got here she thought she had me by telling them how I whipped her ass with a belt last week (for the first time in years) because she was so over-the-top disrespectful. I mean just blatantly disrespectful. I first had slapped her face (for the first time in a long time), and she had the nerve to look at me defiantly and say "TOUCH ME AGAIN AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU." So I grabbed the belt and started swinging at that ass. She tried to get physical with me and then started with the verbal abuse and telling how much she wanted out of this house and to never see me again. So I told her to pack her shit and get out of my house. I called Randy and told her he better get there before I could call the police to take her to the detention home. So he came and took her to his moms for a few nights. I swear I was done that night...I thought that was rock bottom. But since then she promised to do better and to start being more honest, etc. So I let her come home. Then a few days later I get a call from her vice principal saying that once again Courtney has skipped school and is nowhere to be found...and she stayed gone the whole day. So when I picked her up after school I played dumb and she continued to lie her butt off about the school day and after I confronted her she lied for a while and then finally confessed what I already knew. She lies and lies and lies. And is doing so much to hurt herself.

So anyways, she thought she had the upper hand today and was going to tell the cops about me whipping her...she's been threatening me about it since it happened and I just keep telling her "TELL ON ME! I'M NOT AFRAID OR INTIMIDATED BY YOU AND I'LL JUST WHIP YOUR ASS AGAIN!".........and that's exactly what the police told her too! I was so happy they had my back. It's one thing for me to tell her a parent has the right to discipline their child, but to hear it from the police themselves.....SCORE ONE FOR THE PARENTS!!! In this day and age parents are so afraid to touch their kids...and because of this kids think they have the upper hand and have absolutely NO RESPECT anymore. The cops told her "the way you're acting right now WITH US HERE if you were my kid I'd be whipping you myself. She has the right to smack your sassy mouth and whip your butt...and I'd be taking this stuff out of your room and have you sleeping on the floor on only a mattress...because that's all your entitled to."

It was a mess. But I made it clear to her that I'm not living like this anymore. The NEXT time she pulls this shit she will be sent to the detention home. If she runs away she will be arrested. If she threatens suicide again I will take her to the hospital to be put on the psych ward for evaluation. I'm not playing this game anymore.

And I had planned on ending this with thank God I have a partner now to help me with this...but as I was writing this Scott decided to throw a temper tantrum about how in the midst of this family crisis no one showed him any attention and that he doesn't matter to anyone. Well for the first time in this marriage I have to say this: SCREW YOU! How selfish and absolutely self-centered. Excuse me that while the police were here dealing with the crisis with my daughter and I and my other kids are crying that I didn't have time to pat you on the head and give you attention. Unbelievable.

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