Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the season

I get really emotional in December...I haven't quite figured out why, but I find myself just so darn a kid waiting for Christmas. And I also get a little weepy sometimes when I get reflective about the year that has past...

This Christmas we will be having PD1 and three of her kids with us for Christmas. And this leads me to finally write about the lowest of lows that happened this year. You all know that the highest of highs was our wedding. What you don't know is that two weeks before we left for the wedding, we learned that our oldest granddaughter, Princess, was being molested by her stepdad (father of PD1's other three kids). Four months after that horrible day, it makes me sick to type that. When I got the call from DB, I couldn't stop crying. It is the worst thing I have been through since my dad died.

PD1 got all her kids out of the house as soon as she learned about this. She took Princess to the cops. They interviewed Princess and believed her. The next day, PD1 threw The Molester out of the house. The day after that, we took all four kids for a week so PD1 could do all the work necessary to get herself into the social services system (she hasn't worked outside the home in about 8 years and is completely without income without The Molester to support her). We got her a very good attorney for the paternity action (they were never married, thank goodness!).

It is a very long story, but the DA ultimately declined to prosecute (it's her word against his) although it appears that Child Protective Services will issue a report soon in which the charges will be deemed "substantiated". This will help minimize the visitation he gets with his kids. By the way, I don't understand why he gets any, but that's another story...

In October, the court ordered him to get 2 hours supervised visitation per week. DB and I are the authorized supervisors along with his mom. So, every other weekend, we have to see his ugly false face and pretend not to hate him with all our hearts while he enjoys being with his kids. In the past months, I have come to the decision that this is one of the cases where kids would really be better off without a dad than with him. But that's, unfortunately, not my decision.

Of course, this is all a mess for Princess...she has to be in the car when her brothers and sister are ferried to this...person. She is getting some therapy, but since the family is on public assistance, it's not a lot. However, her whole demeanor changed when this all came out. She had become withdrawn the past year or so and we all noticed, but put it down to adolescence (she's almost 12). As soon as The Molester was out of the house, her normal sunny disposition was back. This, maybe more than anything, makes me know that she is telling the truth. My sweet Princess is back. :-)

This whole thing has brought up a lot for me because I was molested as a little girl too. Not by a family member and I never told anyone about it until I was in my 30s. I had blocked it out completely. I am proud that my Princess was brave enough to tell. I am proud that my PD1 believed her and has shown such great strength in the past months. I know that it will all be ok. But nothing will ever be the same.

So, now, on the eve of Christmas, Princess is in the Midwest with her dad and his family and we will have PD1 and the other three kids at our house for Christmas. I would be lying if I said I wasn't EXTREMELY excited about this. Since I never had kids of my own, I never got to play Santa. That will all change this year and I can't wait! We will have four generations in our house: my mom, DB and me, PD1 and the kids. It will be wonderful.

I have had the privilege of being treated like a parent by PD1 through this whole nightmare. It warms my heart when she refers to DB and me as her "parents". I went with her to her last court was hard, but it felt good to be there to support her. I so much want to give her a good "mother" experience since she has never had that from her real mom. It's not easy though...DB is giving her money to supplement her public assistance since she hasn't been able to find a job yet (even though the public assistance is actually more than The Molester was giving her to live on...we've learned so many ugly things about him...she was skipping meals last year so the kids would have enough, for example)...and we talk about how we can encourage her to get more and more independent.

On top of all this, I am maintaining my weight loss and am about 20 pounds less than I was last year at this time. That feels really good.

And my husband is the best man on earth. I am a lucky Mrs. Santa.

So, all in all, life is good...happy holidays to all!