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#1 of 21 Old 03-24-2002, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh man. Well, I guess I'm offically declaring myself a single mom now. (not like I wasn't one when I was married) my ex finally laid his last finder on me tonight when he pushed me up against the wall while he was holding ds. I thought I was so in love with him. We met in a great place and shared lots of common interests until we got married, then all of his opinions of things changed. He was all for natural parenting then tells me he plans on spanking and exposing him to violence early on so he "gets used to it". Well, I need some help now. Where do I go from here? I am at my moms right now with 2 laundry bags of things for the 2 of us. I am so scared and confused. How did you single mamas manage to get back on your feet after a split up? We're in so much debt together and I'm scared that it'll all be messed up now because I just started a comission based job only because I get to make my hours 100% and I can take ds along for some of the things I do. Please anyone give me any advice on how to start out with our new life. Thanks so very much! much love
-Lindsey (who would usually put this behind here name but tonight puts this

Lindsey- SAHM to Skylar (7-12-01), Leah (10-29-04), id twin boys Addison and Riley (6-17-08, born at 25w4d), and Terran (5-29-11, born at 28 weeks)

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#2 of 21 Old 03-24-2002, 03:50 AM
 
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Oh, Lindsey, I can't help you there, but (((())))).
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#3 of 21 Old 03-24-2002, 05:30 PM
 
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I wish I had something to say but I am sorry. Hugs to you.

It is just a long process. There are no quick fixes - just day to day getting by until one day you realize you are slightly ahead. KWIM? I wish I knew something else to help you with. Come back here for support as much as you need.
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#4 of 21 Old 03-24-2002, 11:27 PM
 
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Hey there- BIIIIIIGGGG hugs for you & babe! My last relationship ended in large part to his increased violence. Getting slammed against a wall or watching him trash my belongings is way over the line.

First, keep reminding yourself that you are doing the right thing in leaving him.

Second, shove any guilt out the door- we humans, unlike animals, have the power of choice and we can choose which thoughts to push away and which thoughts to let run rampant. You did the best you could and now find yourself here. Where you are now is based upon choices you made for whatever reason (just like me & countless others). Now you get to make other choices. Just make them.

Third, accept all the help offered to you by people you know genuinely care for you. No pride allowed! Simply be gracious and say thank you. When things are better, you invite them over for dinner or bring them a little goodie you made, and best of all, spend some time w/them.

Did I mention keep reminding yourself that leaving him was the right thing to do? Yeah...

Fourth, in the spirit of accepting help, also ASK for help. Right now friends and family are likely to really want to help you. Strike while the iron is hot. Think about what you really need and ask for help. You are worth it, if people ask "is there anything I can do" say yes. You baby is worth it, too

Fifth, take care of your legal rights as wife/parent ASAP and without mercy for him. Nothing you can ever do will ever make him a better person. You loved him, lived with him, shared life, made a baby- that didn't fix him. Being "nice" (or a doormat) now will not make him or the future with him better. Be well-mannered, civil and polite, sure; you don't want to behave in ways you'll be ashamed of; YOU are the bigger person. But remember there is a difference in being a good person and a doormat.

Having hit the practicalities, let me say I so empathise with you. I'm so sorry you're in such a difficult place and in so much pain- it's so hard when your dreams and hard work are smashed like this. You'll feel just wretched sometimes but, as you know is true in life, things will get better. Just think of some of the horrible times in life that your brain thankfully allowed to fade away...this will, too. Take your time and invest in yourself: stay rested, healthy and active. Cry, write, read, talk w/friends- whatever you have to do. Life will go on, rest assured.

There's an exellent book called "The Four Agreements", 138 pgs instead of the usual lengthy self-help books. These are simple but profound agreements to make with yourself. I cannot tell how helpful these little things have been.
1. Be impeccable with your word. ("impeccable" means "without sin"; so be honest, don't indulge in gossip or bad-mouthing or criticiting. Use your word for love.)
2. Don't take anything personally. (what other people do is because of what THEIR reality is; their actions have nothing to do with you. Haven't we all snapped at someone simply because we're tired or upset, not at that person? Even abusive men are covered here; they behave the way they do because they're screwed up, period. Not because you or I deserve to be treated like shit)
3. Don't make assumptions. (Easy to see how this messes things up.)
4. Do your best. (Our best changes depending on situations, the state we're in, what's happening in life etc. Doing our best in any situation means, if we honestly DID do our best, that there is no guilt. So we do our best and let it go. We have realistic expectations of ourselves. And if we DON'T do our best, we cop to it and try to make up for it.)

Hope some of this helps. Your situation so mirror mine. I was much more on the pity-pot than you are, though; I had to do some inner work to get out of the victim mode. You, my dear, are going to be just fine.

Blessings,
S
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#5 of 21 Old 03-24-2002, 11:55 PM
 
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Hi Lindsey: I'm not a single mom but wanted to lend my cyber-support during your tough transition. Having weathered some tough transitions myself since conceiving my ds (and still getting more challenges daily) my advice is to remember it's a transition. It won't always be this way and the fastest way past "now" is to go through "now". I believe in you and that you will make it and I commend you for taking a huge courageous leap of faith that you deserve better and you will find better on your own.

What kind of dumbass claims to be into Natural Parenting and then plans to expose a child to violence to get them used to it? Oy! What justification is there for shoving you against the wall!

You, my dear, are not a dumbass since you said ENOUGH! Bravo to you! Go ahead and pat yourself on the back and keep the faith.

Little more advice that works for me: If you can't imagine making it through the next week, break it down and focus on one day. One day too much? Focus on One hour then. Lately, I've been having to focus 15 minutes at a time! But hey it works, and the bad meanies haven't broken me yet and they won't get you either! You can do it girlfriend!
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#6 of 21 Old 03-25-2002, 04:25 PM
 
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Lindsay,
sounds like you have some great advice and support here. I love everything that alianmama said, especially about getting help and support from friends and family. I think that is key. I've been where you are now & if it were not for my family and friends I don't know how i would have made it. Also, keep coming back here for support, there are alot of great moms here. best of luck to you. my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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#7 of 21 Old 03-26-2002, 06:10 PM
 
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Hi Lindsay,
I'm glad that alianmama and everyone else has such good advice for you.
I've been single since I was 5 months pregnant (dd is 20 months old) and can tell you that my family has been a TREMENDOUS help (physically and emotionally). I don't want to say I COULDN'T have done it without them (I'm a strong woman and don't like the word 'can't'), but I definitely would not have been able to do it so well. Because I had their support and help, I was less stressed and therefore able to focus on the importance of being a patient, kind, understanding and present mother.
Like alianmama said, take help from those who offer. If you feel weird about it, keep in mind you'll one day be in a position to do the same for somebody else and you'll WANT them to take your help.
You have a tough road ahead but you also have your ds to help retain your conviction, and you have all of us to give moral support!
I'm sending warm thoughts and best wishes. Stay strong . . .
Mary
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#8 of 21 Old 03-31-2002, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, here's an update for anyone interested. I spent a few days at my moms really thinking things over. I decided it would be better if I came back home and we can work on things. So far we've had a little bickering but nothing like what we were having before. I've decided that if it evers gets as bad as it got in the recent months then I will leave for good. We were putting so much stress on poor innocent Skylar and I could not take that. I appreciate everyones support and encouragement. Thank you so very much. I'm glad I have a place to turn when problems arise. much love
-Lindsey

Lindsey- SAHM to Skylar (7-12-01), Leah (10-29-04), id twin boys Addison and Riley (6-17-08, born at 25w4d), and Terran (5-29-11, born at 28 weeks)

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#9 of 21 Old 03-31-2002, 06:13 PM
 
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I am glad you all are trying Lindsay. It is preferable for you and your ds if you can work it out (it is hard to be a sahm when you are single). Just insist on counseling and no physical violence or verbal abuse. I will say a prayer for you. Come into Parents as Partners when you need some support for trying. Lots of moms there are in similar situations.
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#10 of 21 Old 03-31-2002, 06:51 PM
 
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Just wanted to send out a huge hug,and tell you I hope things work out for the best (whatever that may be).Please dont let anyone abuse you,and seek therepy if you can! Lots of healing vibes your way..
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#11 of 21 Old 04-03-2002, 10:20 PM
 
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Lindsey,

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time in your relationship with your DH. I hope things improve.

Being pragmatic (and a bit cynical), I would like to point out that I think once a guy starts using violence, it would be really hard for him to stop.

I think you should make a backup "worst case scenario" plan. Get your finances in order. Take your name off of a few of the credit cards, when possible. Find out exactly what you owe and to whom. Find a safe place to go if he ever hits you again, with clothing & bank books & phone #'s/resource #'s - coordinate with friends/family - in confidentiality. Make sure you trust people who will not go tell your DH what you are doing. It's not really "going behind his back" or being dishonest - it's covering your own ass since he's proven himself to be violent and unreliable. It's a sensible plan to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. That is paramount.

Also, EVERY woman should have her own bank account with her own $$$ that cannot be touched by another member of her family.

Good luck, sweetie!
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#12 of 21 Old 04-04-2002, 12:31 PM
 
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What great advice Madison,I totally agree.
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#13 of 21 Old 04-04-2002, 01:41 PM
 
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Since Madison opened this can....(thank you!)

I absolutely agree, sadly, because I didn't believe he would get worse, and he did. The jealousy, lack of appropriate boundaries, possessiveness/obsessiveness, unreasonable anger etc. showed up pretty early- the first month. But I knew he'd had a difficult childhood and felt he was a poor, damaged man that I could help heal (how many women fall into that trap????). Boy, did I try- and lose myself in the process. He was a bottomless pit- nothing- NOTHING I could ever do would fix him. Ever.

We broke up and reunited probably 10 times in 3 1/2 years. I moved in once and he kicked me & my kids out 2 days later in a fit. Months later, he did exactly what he knew would get me to trust him again- he went to counseling for several months, said all the right things, treated me wonderfully- I SWORE he was a changed man! He was! We got back together. By this time, I'd lost some friends because of him. Things began to deteriorate, but my pride kept me from acknowledging it and getting out- no, if anything, that period of him being a "changed man" had me really hooked- I was determined to find THAT man again, and then we would be happy.

We bought a house together in the mountains. The few remaining friends ('cause of course he wanted me all to himself so I rarely saw them) warned me, my mother warned me and offered to buy the house with me if I wouldn't put his name on the title (of course he was offended by that and wouldn't have moved with me, and I was still hooked and hoping for the happy family to materialize). They warned me that once he had me in the mountains, where we were isolated, his anger would escalate into violence. Where previously he'd punched walls, destroyed furniture (always mine) and held me down or pushed me once or twice, they said, he'd only get worse. No, I said- after the stress of moving ends we'll finally be happy and settled.

But they were right. It did escalate- frighteningly. And no one could hear me or him. Pinning me down and screaming in my face, destroying the old teak furniture my mother had given me, chasing after me when I attempted to walk away from an argument so we could cool down, slamming me against the wall, grabbing my arms hard enough to leave bruises while shaking me violently and oh goddess the threats and verbal abuse! It got so I hated him, wished he would get hit my a car or somehow die and give me an escape. It got so we hated each other. I fantasized about getting a gun and claiming I didn't know he was coming and thought he was an intruder and 'accidently' shot him; I began to understand the women in prison who killed their abusers. He began to BE every man who had abused me; my childhood sexual, physical and psychological abuser, my teen-years rapists. I wanted him dead. Me- the complete pacifist, a spiritual person most people described as loving, non-judgemental and grounded.

It finally ended with a wimper one weekend when I visited him in the city where he was working, as there was no work for him in the mountains. He was a complete asshole and we were both finally, simply done. That was it- the cycle was over and this time, I stuck to my guns. I refused to discuss ANYTHING of a personal nature, anything about our dead relationship, and he finally lost interest in continuing.

Now we talk occasionally as we have to finalize some house-related details. We are friendlier than ever and wish each other happiness. We were a toxic combination and I have no doubt that he will slide back into another abusive relationship, as that is who he is. Things he says tell me he hasn't learned and grown- he probably never will. Some people NEVER DO. I am ashamed to admit that I had a relationship like this in my early 20's, and swore I'd never give mySELF up for a man; I did it again, then, in my early 30's. To think it took 10+ years to learn this lesson.

I'm now dating the nicest man I have ever met in my whole life. When my previous relationship was on it's last legs, I wrote a huge, long, impossibly detailed list of who I was, who I wanted to be, and the qualities of the person I'd like to be with eventually- and thought that after a few years of getting my shit together, alone, I'd maybe date and find a nice man. Surprise, he's a teacher at my school and he called me the day he found out I was single. 20 years older (I must have been open to it as I never specified, in all those details, an age range...) and a just wonderful human being. I'm 34 and (sorry if I sound conceited) a knockout (I've been told often enough from both genders that okay, I got lucky genes); he's 54 and looks like a grandpa with big ears and bald head but verrry fit and I don't even care what he looks like! To be treated with love, respect, true caring, genuine liking- that's worth more than anything. Oh, and as a side note; he's a wonderfully passionate lover to my surprise, funny, smart, goofy, loves life, kids, people- and the list goes on!

Sorry for the long story but it was a long, long drama. I had to learn the lesson, finally; SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER GROW. And, as our lives are a precious, sacred gift, should we be sacrificing it in hopes, in the slim chance of some miraculous change in the man we've hooked up with?

No. Choose happiness, choose life, trust that you will be happy alone. It is a choice. If I had stayed and tried another year, the misery I would have found myself in would have been MY CHOICE and no one else's. I had to choose to not be a poor victim. I am responsible for my life, happinesss and that of my children.

I think: When I'm 95 and on my death-bed, what decisions will I rue? Which decisions will I be glad I made? I know the answers when I ask myself those questions. Finally, I made the right decisions, and learned the lessons I was supposed to learn.

Oh my what a ramble. Lindsey, I wish you the best, whatever you choose. Maybe you will be lucky and you and your man will be the exception. I used to think we were going to be the special exceptions- just like teens think that THEY will be the exceptions and be okay if they drink and drive. Sorry to sound so terribly cynical. I think I better shut up now.

Blessings,
S
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#14 of 21 Old 04-04-2002, 10:25 PM
 
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Alianmama,

Thanks for the post (and the pm). Thanks for telling your story so that we can learn from such stories. I am glad that you are out of that cycle and living a life in accordance with who you really are!

You are a brave woman and I am amazed at how you can still be 'civil' to this man! That connotes strength right there.


I too wish you all the best Lindsey!
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#15 of 21 Old 04-05-2002, 03:47 PM
 
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Oh and MONEY! Oh, we women can be so, so foolish about money. Life is not romantic. It costs, so take care of that fundamental.

Since your relationship is not firm at this point, Lindsey, I cannot recommend enough to protect yourself financially. Even if it just means you snag a $5 or $10, $20 etc. here & there & stuff it away. It adds up. Abusive-type men are not generous in the financial department when things end; screwing their ex financially is another way to continue attempting to control her.

I know money is a sensitive issue for many people- but when you're a mother and have responsibilities,you must look beyond what's comfortable and do what's necessary.

Because what some women have ended up having to do to survive financially is not something most of us would want to do.

Blessings, Lindsey, and hope all is well!
S
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#16 of 21 Old 04-07-2002, 01:58 AM
 
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I just wanted to thank all of you who responded to Lindsay, but especially to "S" who shared with us her touching and well written story. I am living with my mom, with friends, generally anywhere we'll feel welcome while I get my stuff together after 5 years of living with a non-existant, yet explosive man. It ended when he brought home a hand gun which he tried to convince me was for our protection. He wanted to keep it loaded on the top shelf of our closet. I packed our things and took a train across country the next day. I was in my first semester of college, and missed my finals--I dropped it all and now I am starting anew. I just wanted to thank you because I too feel weak sometimes. My dream was to be a SAHM to his daughter, born to a very young teen mom who surrendered her to us when the child was just 18 months. And after 3 years of struggling to do that (with her Mom's serious addictions and her Dad's inability to participate) we were suprised by my unplanned pregnancy. I dreamed that this baby would unite our family, and bring purpose and wholeness to our otherwise crazy, dramatic (I'm talking JERRY SPRINGER CRAZY!) life.

Sometimes I think that if you looked at our family from far away, like OUTER SPACE, we would have looked like a cute little music making hippie family, trying to be open and trying to make it...

But really we were the ultimate festering ground for negativity, stress, and drug addictions....

Luckily, I've been the soberest one through it all, and my baby was and is healthy and seemingly unharmed. And I have learned A LOT about myself in this process...


I have struggled so much with the loss of my dream of a family, of being a SAHM, of having a partner who LOVES ME!!!!

But your story is inspirational, and I am in the process of making my own list of things.....

And in the process of healing and finding a path....

In love and light, and with prayers for peace,
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#17 of 21 Old 04-07-2002, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would also like to thank everyone here for all the support you have shown me. I have decided that it would be best for Skylar and I to stay with my mom for at least the time being. I re-read through these posts quite a few times and it started to dawn on me that he's probably not going to change. As many times as I've asked him to take his shoes off at the door and he still does not do it I've realized that if he can't do something little like that how in the world is he going to control his verbaly and physical abuse??? By staying in the house with him I was just being brought down furthur and furthur. So, thanks to all of you I have found enough strength to get out and I am searching for a job. We are in major debt right now and whatnot but I would much rather have bad credit then be stuck in a bad relationship. So, once again, I'd like to thank all of you for bringing up the little bit of courage I have and convincing me to get out. I'd espically like to thank S for sharing your story. I could have written that myself. much love
-Lindsey

Lindsey- SAHM to Skylar (7-12-01), Leah (10-29-04), id twin boys Addison and Riley (6-17-08, born at 25w4d), and Terran (5-29-11, born at 28 weeks)

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#18 of 21 Old 04-08-2002, 02:16 PM
 
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I know this is a generally unpopular method of dealing with debt, and you should check it out further if you think you may try it, but:

File for bankruptcy.

IF: you don't own a home or have equity in excess of (I'm not sure but I think $3000.- or so?)

and you are employable and can live without credit cards for 7 years

This is definitely not for everyone, and I did not do it but have 2 women friends who did this after ending their relationships. They hired an attorney but I think you can get a book and do it yourself. You'd want to get a credit card or two before you do this, and then file. Debts are wiped out, your credit is shot for 7 years but heck, those years go by FAST! And if you have a decent family, they will help you if you're in position to buy a house or something in the next few years.

That said, CONGRATULATIONS on making this empowering decision. I myself am deep in a financial hole but own a house, so would lose it if I file for bankruptcy. Instead, I've put together a financial plan and will go deeper into debt to convert a good-sized barn into a rental, which will then become income. But it's a long road and a helluva lot of work- I'll do most of it myself. HOWEVER I would do it again in a minute to be away from an abuser. NOTHING is worth wasting- and it IS a waste in the true sense of the word- your life, love, energy, gifts and talents on a black hole man/relationship.

I'm excited for you two! You have an adventure to go on now, and you'll end up exactly where you plan to.

(I've gotten quote-happy lately)

"Everyone is self-made, but only successful people admit it"

"Thoughts are the ancestors to actions"

I worry that I get really pushy about how we are responsible for our own lives. I used to live in the victim role; I know many abused women do and its SO so so hard to get out of that mindset "such and such happened and I'm all f**ked up because of it"- because awful things DID happen and they DID screw us up. But there HAS to come a time when we say "I will not allow that history to be my present any longer. Now I make my life how I want it- and the life I have in 1, 5 10, 25 years- whether happy or miserable, will be the life I chose to create."

So tell me to shut up if I'm getting too pushy, but having recognized the gift that we have, the gift of CHOICE and finally, FINALLY using it in my own life, I can hardly help encouraging other people to choose a good life, and to acknowedge that the life they have is the life they chose.

We are all the authors of our own life stories.

Much love and blessings,
S
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#19 of 21 Old 04-08-2002, 02:44 PM
 
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WOW! I gotta tell you, my hats off to all you ladies. You all made me realize how good I have it. When I start to have a pity party for myself, I'm going to think of you ladies and say a prayer for you and thank the good Lord above for my blessings. Thanks for slapping me in the face (so to speak) and allowing me to see that my life could be so much worse. You are so brave. God bless you.
Love and Light.
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#20 of 21 Old 04-13-2002, 08:22 PM
 
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i'm so proud of you lindsey!!! you and skylar deserve so much better than you are getting! don't forget, our offer still stands if you ever want to get (far) away, we'll do whatever we have to do to help you. take care of yourself and skylar first, don't worry about the debt situation; it's only money. please keep in touch!!
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#21 of 21 Old 04-13-2002, 10:05 PM
 
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For what it's worth, I think you made the right decision. I know everything will work out in the end.
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