Abuse, Father, Grief

Anyone Can be A Father

 

DEDICATION:

To my Mother, Susan Jean Sundy (1949-2006), for protecting me with her life, and to my Aunt Barb for believing me.

 

“It is impossible to please all the world and one’s father”. – Jean De La Fontaine

 

PREFACE

This is not an easy blog to write.  I have struggled with its release in ways you cannot imagine.  I have this burden on my soul that I’ve been carrying around for my entire life, and today it’s screaming to come out. I feel as if I will just drown if I do not set this free, so here I am. I may be the only person to read this, and that’s okay.  There are no cute pictures, no funny moments, just an end to a lifetime of silence where hopefully my Mother and I can gain peace.

This is a true story, my story. A story that should not have to be told, but because of the trauma left behind…. well, there’s no choice really. The only way to make the pain go away is to cut it out. I’m sure this will come as a surprise to many, and make many angry, but I can’t help you process what you are about to read. I couldn’t even process, or help myself.  I also will not argue with you as you were not there for the worst.

This story is about love, and obsession. Addiction, and abuse. Hate and pain. Neglect, and avoidance. Acceptance, forgiveness, and guilt. So much guilt.

My Daddy died in May of 2018. I cannot remember which day. If that shocks you, you may want to hold on for the rest.

To put things into perspective, when my Momma died September 29, 2006 I wanted to lay down in that coffin and go with her. Not a soul realized how deep my grief was, and that only by the grace of God that bottle of pills I took did not grant my wish.

I survived to see my Momma buried, and to spend the next year of my life wishing I were dead as well. It was a bleak, horrible time where I kept most of what I was thinking and feeling inside so as not to scare my family. My love for them, and theirs for me, is how I pulled out of the worst part of the grief, but that took so long.

I’m still recovering 13 years later.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Momma and Daddy were married when I was 13 months old. That’s another story. I have a picture of them on their wedding day where my beaming Daddy is holding me and standing next to my very solemn mother. It’s one of the few pictures I have of all of us together, but I will get to that later. I always wondered why isn’t Mommy smiling?

I have no memory of my mother being happy with my father. She was the happiest person in the world with me, but that happiness disappeared when Daddy was around. They had to be happy at some point, because I was conceived, right? I’ll never know where the happiness my mother felt just disappeared to. I have my own theory, but that’s another story too.

Another tidbit of information is that my father loved my mother to the point of obsession. Nothing mattered to him besides her. Nothing, and that included, me. He wanted her to himself, and Lord help anyone who got in the way. I got in the way a lot. I was a very sickly child, and sickly children want/need their mommas. I was also an only child until I was 15, so my mother was my very best friend and favorite toy. Momma and I had an unbelievably close bond that lasted her entire life, and because of that bond there was a lot of jealousy coming from my father. Obsession is not reasonable.

Here’s the thing people didn’t realize. My father was a violent alcoholic. People knew he drank, but Momma and I did our very best to keep others from knowing how bad he was. Every memory of my life that includes Daddy he was drinking. It feels like I am rambling, but there are things you need to know in order to understand the entire story.

I believe that Daddy’s drinking became a violent addiction because of me. Daddy wanted my mom, and only my mom, but there I was. A sickly baby/child being taken care of by her stay-at-home mother whom apparently was not giving him all the attention he thought he deserved.

Momma and I could not even pray together at night before bed because he would accuse us of whispering about/against him. Momma would later tell me that she caught him trying to smother me with a pillow in my crib when I was an infant. Why would a mother tell her child this information you ask? She told me because I would cry desperate tears to her asking her why Daddy didn’t love me, and why did Daddy hurt me? She was as honest as she could be while trying to explain his obsession of her, and that he did love me, he just had a problem. She was also a little put out with me for always trying to do special things to make Daddy love me.

Turns out my father had many problems. Anger, obsession, fear, alcohol, violence. I was desperate for his love for as long as I can remember, and I’m guessing there’s a syndrome for whatever it is that I’ve been through because all I can remember is pain, and fear, and the terrible feeling of being unloved.

 

CHAPTER TWO

If you were to ask, I would say that I was born at 13 years old. Sounds weird even to me, but I have almost no memory of my childhood. I have a decent amount of memories of my Momma and myself, happy memories of the things we used to do together, but I have almost no memories of my Daddy until I was around 13 years old.

When I was in my 30’s I was friends with a psychiatrist who said it was probably a good thing I could not remember most of my childhood, and that as long as I felt that I could live my life without knowing, that I should never try to uncover those memories. The mind can only handle so much before it just breaks, and my mind had closed the door to my first years of life to protect me.

As a teenager the overwhelming emotion that I remember feeling towards my father was fear. Constant fear that made me hide from him when at all possible. Since he started drinking as soon as he came home from work there was very little “safe” time for me. Only when I was at school, or he was gone could I breathe.

Momma and Daddy fought a lot when I was younger. I remember full cups of coffee being thrown across the room to smash against the wall. Daddy breaking his hand by punching the refrigerator because he would never touch my mother in anger. They fought because of his drinking, because of his disgust for anything I did. They fought because I existed, and he hated me for it. By the time I was a teen I had such anxiety that my throat would close up when anything upset me. All the screaming at me. All the horrible words, the slaps at the dinner table for speaking, the glassy eyed glares… I still suffer with this anxiety today.

I blame myself for Momma being so unhappy for so long. She tried to leave him when I was little, but I remember crying, begging her “don’t leave my daddy” until she stayed. Why did I do that? Was it just a child’s need to keep her parents together? Was it the fact that I had not been able to get him to love me yet, so we couldn’t go? All I know is I added at least a decade of misery to her life, both of our lives, that I can never make up to her.

My 5’ 4” mother was my hero. She would stand up to my 6’ 2” father and back him down. Not out of fear. He backed down out of love for her. Sometimes. She wasn’t always successful in protecting me.

 

CHAPTER THREE

I know some will be saying at this point that Daddy didn’t hate me. That is where you would be dead wrong. Being held up off the floor with his hand around my throat, squeezing, while looking me dead in the eyes and saying “I can’t wait until you are old enough so that I can hit you without killing you” would prove otherwise.

I was always very petite as a teen. Topping out at 88lbs at 5’ 7” tall when I was 16 years old. It was my chore to take the trash bags out of the garage, and to the curb each week for pickup. This particular week I was told to take out huge lawn and garden bags of trash. I came inside and told Daddy that they were too heavy, covered in maggots, and that I couldn’t lift them. I was not strong enough, and was scared of the bugs so I asked if he could take them out to the curb for me.

Huge mistake. I should have found a way to not ask for help because the fury that rained down on me was so much worse than 1,000 maggots. The look on his face, the red of his eyes, haunt me still today. He got up from his recliner, drug me to my bedroom while I was screaming for him to stop. Momma came running but Daddy had his foot on the door so she couldn’t open it. He took off his belt and told me to undress.

Now this belt was the leather kind with half dollar sized holes in it and little studs around each hole as decoration. This was not the first time he had used it on me, but I swore it would be the last. I told myself no matter how bad the pain I would not give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry one more time. I was done crying for him.

In his alcohol induced rage, fueled with a lifetime of hate for me, he hit me over and over again. When I would not scream, and would not cry he doubled down and used the belt buckle on me up and down my spine until he broke me. All the while he is screaming at me that I made him do this to me, and Momma is screaming at an unholy volume trying to break down the door to get to me.

When the beating stopped, and Momma stopped crashing against the door, he just stared at me while putting his belt back on. I didn’t move to cover myself, I don’t remember if I could move at all to be honest. He then opened the door and left the room.

What I heard next is indescribable still to this day. I hear Daddy yell out in pain, I go running out to the living room where my mother is standing over my father and beating him with a 2×4. She had hit him in the knees with the board to knock him down, and once down, that was it. She attacked him. When she could not get to me, she laid in wait to avenge me. That’s the last memory I have of that night. He loves me, right? There were so many more instances of violence but I need to move on.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

At the age of 17 my mother kicked Daddy out, and my parents finally divorced. Two things preceded this joyous event. Momma said that Daddy cheated on her, he denied it, and number two, because I asked her to. After yet another drunken argument over God knows what I followed Momma out onto the front porch of our home and asked her to please divorce Daddy. I told her that she shouldn’t have to live this way, and I wanted her to be happy. She looked me right in the eye and said “OK”. She told me that she had just been waiting for the time that I would be okay with it, and not beg her to stay like before. As simple, and as complicated as that. Starting immediately Momma proceeded to cut Daddy out of every picture we had ever taken of him, and we had a bonfire in the front yard.

This amazingly strong, and fiercely loving woman had stayed in this miserable marriage because years and years ago I had begged her no to leave my Daddy. For the second time in my life I just broke.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

After a period of time Momma met, and married someone else. Larry Sundy would be my beloved step-father for 20 years until his death a few years ago.

Once Momma married Larry and moved in with him I ended up living with Daddy again. Daddy moved back into our house as Momma moved out to start her new life.

For the next year I would live with Daddy in our house. Clean, cook (when he would eat), and take care of him. When he was passed out drunk, I would make sure he was not flat on his back wherever he fell so he wouldn’t vomit and choke to death while sleeping. I would use my lunch money to buy, and bring him lunch to his construction job-site so he wouldn’t starve. He wanted my mother back in the worst way. He was grieving and suffering trying to live a life without her. He was losing so much weight since the divorce, he was a shadow of his former, larger than life self. He may or may not have noticed that I was there.

I had already been through the “why doesn’t Daddy love me?” stage, through the “mad as hell” stage, and I was now firmly in the “feel sorry, and treat him like a child” stage.

I was no longer scared of my father, I pitied him. I pitied him for what he could have had, what he lost, and maybe, just maybe I was still trying to get him to love me.

 

CHAPTER SIX

Time jump to 18 years old where I meet my now husband, get pregnant, get married, and have a beautiful baby girl. In my fathers eyes my husband does not have the right color skin to marry his baby girl, so begins my 26 years of banishment.

Not only am I seemingly dead to him, Daddy wants nothing to do with my daughter. His first and only grand-child. Oh I would get a 5 minute phone call maybe once a year, or I would call and catch him for 5 minutes on a holiday over the years, but for the most part my father was gone from my life.

One would think that I would be happy with this outcome, but remember the un-named syndrome I mentioned in the beginning? I wasn’t happy. “Why didn’t Daddy love me or my child?” became my mantra. Before Momma died I would talk to her about it all the time and she had no answers for me. Why did I need his love anyways? I was now resentful of his new life and family. He clearly shows the human decency and capacity to love and give a crap about them, why not us? After all the years, all I had been through, taking care of him and I get a distant 5 minute phone call once a year. Somewhere in my 30’s I broke again.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

After 30+ years of physical, and emotional pain I was finally able to put up a wall. This wall served me well for many years. I was able to handle that 5 minute, once a year phone call without blinking. No more tears, no more feelings of inadequacy, no more “why doesn’t he love me”.

I was also able to live with the fact that if my 20 something daughter saw my father on the street she wouldn’t know him. That she might have spoken to him twice in her entire life, and that was when she was very young. Larry was her grandpa, and he was a great grandpa. I’m happy to say that my daughter never once missed the fact that one of her paternal grandfathers wanted nothing to do with her.

Sure, Daddy would say “Tell everyone I love them” before hanging up the phone with me, but come on. Did he really? He never asked to speak to either of them, so who knows.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

Around 2016 I started to make a conscious effort of getting closer with my father. He was 67, almost all grey hair, and his mortality started to be top of mind. He still drank, but he didn’t get drunk as much. If he happened to be drunk when we spoke he wasn’t mean. I didn’t feel threatened anymore, so I decided to put myself out there again.

Now at this point you would think I’m glutton for punishment. Just a sad little girl still trying to get her daddy to love her. Maybe I was, but for the first time in years when we spoke he sounded like he really wanted to talk to me. We talked once a month or more for quite a while until I asked if I could come visit with him and his wife.

Now, I had zero expectations that this was going to be a good trip, but I’m apparently one hell of an optimist, and off I went. Four days, and three nights just the three of us. After all the years of negligence there was no way I would ask my husband or daughter to go with me.

Turns out that I had a beautiful time. A great visit, lots of quality time with Daddy, and I traveled home in a daze of wonder.

After 28 years I had my Daddy back. Yes, I remembered that he did all of that awful stuff, but he’s my father. Just because I forgave did not mean that I had forgotten. Daddy loves me. Yay!

Looking back it sounds pitiful and wonderful all at the same time. I had lived so long just wanting this one human being to love me, act like he loved me, and make me feel deep down inside that I was loved. He had to say it, show it, and I had to feel it, see it in his eyes. Words were not enough anymore.

It’s hard to explain the victorious feeling I carried with me for the next year or so. To say that it is a shame that it took 44 years to happen is an understatement.

 

CHAPTER NINE

In September 2017, while on my annual Mom’s trip to commemorate the life of my mother, I get a call that Daddy is in the hospital with a form of leukemia. I leave Puerto Vallarta and fly straight to St. Louis to be with him. Oh my God, my daddy is sick. My momma is gone, and now Daddy is sick. I’m immobilized with the fear of becoming an orphan.

I get to the hospital, where I stay for a week, and as I told my Aunt, it was the weirdest experience. I felt like I was at the hospital taking care of an old man that I didn’t know very well. Sure, the trip to visit last year was fun, but now we are alone with nothing to talk about and I’m sitting here not understanding my feelings. I’m so confused.

 

CHAPTER TEN

Time jump to May 2018. Despite everything being done I get the call that Daddy has died. My brother and I get to Illinois as soon as we can, and I’m just devastated. Devastated purely because my father is gone. Not my Daddy. The man who helped to make me was gone. The man who just finally started to really love me after 44 years was gone. I finally won only to have my prize taken from me.

I deliver a stumbling, sobbing eulogy at his funeral with the carefully chosen words of a daughter who had no idea really who her father was. Did I mention that I cannot even remember the date that he died? The grief is not the same as what I went through with my mother. I cried harder at Larry’s funeral than I did at my own fathers. Who’s fault is that?

 

EPILOGUE

I am full of guilt that I don’t remember when he died, and that I didn’t grieve the same as when I lost Momma and Larry. I hate the fact that we were just starting to be friends when he died. I was furious that I finally earned the love of this man whom I had been waiting for my entire life, and he was taken from me. I waited too long to reach out… Or did I? He could have reached out long ago too. I never made him apologize for what he did to me, and how he treated my mother because I truly believe he would not have understood that he did anything wrong. How can I stay mad at someone who just wanted to be with, and love my mom forever, and I came along and ruined everything? To me it would have been like kicking a puppy. Just cruelty to something that doesn’t know what it did wrong.

I’m writing this today to just get it out into the universe. I had to wait until he was gone before I unburdened my soul. Even now I do not want to hurt him, so I wait until he’s gone to free myself. I spent my whole life trying to earn his love, I never wanted revenge. What I wanted for 46 years was a Daddy, and except for a brief, glorious moment of time that I will cherish forever, all I got was a Father.

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Life, Momma

I Am A Strong Woman Because A Strong Woman Raised Me

Sunday, May 13th is Mother’s Day in the U.S.  A day to celebrate Moms….. Fur baby Moms, single fathers who are both Moms and Dad, and Moms who are no longer with us.

I lost my Mom in 2006, and I have a handful of friends, and family who have also lost their mothers since then.  I know for most of us that Mother’s Day is at the very bottom of our list of favorite holidays now, but it’s also one that I started celebrating again.  You see, I’m also a mother.  A mother of a beautiful, and loving 26 year old daughter who is so important to me that I push back the bad thoughts of losing my mother, and concentrate on her.

I look forward to spending time with her doing things that I love, and she mostly hates.  🙂  It cracks me up that she just fights through the boredom to do what makes me happy.  It also makes my heart fill up that she loves me enough to just spend time with me doing “lame mom stuff”.

My Mom was the strongest woman I ever knew, and continued to hold that title until my daughter took it from her in the past couple of years.  I see a lot of my Mom in my daughter, and I smile because it’s the best parts, her strength and beautiful heart to just name a couple.

So, happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate.  Call your Mom.  Love her while you can.  One day she won’t be there to call, or hug.

 

 

Life, Momma

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Two Weeks of Pain

Mother’s Day is the 2nd Sunday of every May, and is preceded by up to two solid weeks of inescapable pain.  For some, not all, have lost their mothers for any number of reasons.  Some, not all, grimace in pain with hearts being stabbed by all of the Mother’s Day commercials, and well wishes to those mothers who are lucky enough to still be here with their families.

I wouldn’t begrudge anyone of their well wishes, and celebrations of their mothers BUT I sure wish May 15th would hurry up and get here.  Last year Mother’s Day fell on May 8th.  Lucky us, only 8 days had to pass before we could breathe again.  This year, not so much.

I think back to Mother’s Day past, and try to remember celebrating with my Mom.  It’s been so long now I just can’t recall a single memory even though I know that we did.  I know I gave her, or made her gifts.  I know that I sent, or made her cards.  I know that I sent flowers, or brought her presents.  I know I did, but my memories are a black hole that I can’t fill in.

There has to be a medical term for selective memory loss…..  (Thanks Google, there is.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 (Redirected from Selective memory loss)

Selective amnesia -is a type of amnesia in which the victim loses certain parts of his/her memory. Common elements that may be forgotten: relationships, special talents, where he/she lives, abilities in certain areas , and events such as concerts, shows, or traumatic events (e.g.: a death of a loved one).

I believe that this “selective amnesia” is a coping mechanism used by our brains when the pain is too traumatic.  For instance, I have fogged over the entire 3 months from when I learned my Momma had a brain tumor, all the way up to the day of her funeral.  Those memories are still there, but in a foggy way, not clear and horrible.  I can, if I want, pull them up and remember them, but mostly my brain just glosses over them and skips that part of my life.

I tell you all of this as more of a release valve than anything.  A reminder to my friends, and those who follow me, that if you’ve lost your mother I know what you are going through.  I am here for you if you need me.  My mother was my best friend, my partner in crime, my rock.  Not a single day goes by that I don’t miss her, want to talk to her, or sit and stare at her picture.  I still can’t believe that she’s gone, but I take heart that I will see her again.  That thought makes the pain bearable.

This is my 11th Mother’s Day without my mother.  My 11th everything without my mother.  And my 11th reminder to those who haven’t lost their mothers to:

  • Call your Mother
  • Make up with your Mother
  • Celebrate your Mother
  • Forgive your Mother
  • Love your Mother

For the rest of us, hang in there.  Four more days to go.

 

Life

2017. The year I find out “why”?

two-days

2017.  The year I find out why.

I grew up being told by my mother that I was born for a reason.  Not because mom plus dad equaled me, but because I was meant to do something great.  I’ve had so many miracles in my life that I’ve always believed what she told me was true.  So many times in my life I should have died, but didn’t.  So many unexplainable times either health wise, by my own stupidity, or for reasons out of my control I should not have made it, but I did. 

Now, my husband is definitely one of my angels.  He’s had his hands full with me for the past 26 years, so he deserves a ton of credit.  I’m accident prone, and should not be left unsupervised for long periods of time LOL.  I’m so thankful that God sent him to me for this, and many other reasons.

I asked my Pastor once why I had so many miracles in my life.  More than what I thought was my fair share.  He told me simply because I believed in them.  Because I believe so strongly in miracles, I see them when they happen….almost manifest them for myself.  I recognize them for what they are.  I’ve always loved his answer as it made sense to me, and allowed me to be at peace.

miracle

I know one reason “why” I’m here was to bring my amazing daughter into this world.  She has truly made this world a better place just by being in it.  That’s important to me.  I’ve seen her save people, and change their lives for the better with my own eyes.  She’s destined for greatness by virtue of her beautiful heart, loving nature, and ability to reach out to people with words, and actions to make them feel better.  Live better.  It’s a beautiful gift she has that makes me so very proud of her. 

In 2017 I’m going to continue my quest to find out “why”.

why

I’m here for a reason.  I’m not just a human walking around on this planet, and using oxygen.  I’m more than that.  I’m not a useless person taking up space.  I do my part to save the planet, to make a difference, to try and right the wrongs I see, to combat injustice and hate when I see it.  I refuse to be a spectator.  That’s not what I’m here for.

XOXO

Jeanie

Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, Tips and Hints, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 2 – The Nightmare

You may THINK you are safe in your own home, but you are NOT.  Let me repeat.  YOU ARE NOT.  This is the take-away that I want readers to have.  At any time, anyone can make a simple phone call and destroy your life.  No warning……

In my last blog post The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1 I shared with you the BEFORE.  The WHY.  This is Part 2.  This is what can happen with one phone call.  What can happen when threats against you are not taken seriously by ANYONE.  This is what can happen when anyone in your house is an online gamer.  This is what can happen when obsession turns to rage.

NOVEMBER 2014

I said that there was finally blessed silence, and after almost a year of harassment he had finally left us alone.  I also said that I had never been more wrong about anything in my life.

APRIL 2015

Saturday April 11, 2015 @DemonTheLord picks up right where he left off in November.  Five months later, and out of the blue he again spends most of the day harassing and threatening my daughter by phone and internet.  Again she tells him off, and to leave her alone…………  After an entire day of harassment, he asks her one question.  “How are your parents doing in Shady Shores?”.  Then silence.

911

A few hours later, around 5-6pm, this monster makes an anonymous call using VOIP from a random Google voice number to our local police departments non-emergency line.  This monster, whom I have the entire recording of, told an operator that he was a resident at OUR address, had MURDERED his mother (ME) and brother who were lying on the kitchen floor, had strapped a BOMB to his sister, and IDENTIFIED his sister by name as my daughter.  

Between 6-8pm, WITHOUT US EVEN KNOWING, my ENTIRE privately gated neighborhood was evacuated by 25+ law enforcement officials.  The city cut the street lamps, emergency vehicles broke our front gate, and blocked anyone from coming inside.  All neighbors were told to turn off all inside and outside lights at their homes before leaving the neighborhood.  Kids were pulled out of bed in their PJ’s and stuffed into cars and evacuated in the dark so the knife, gun, and bomb wielding murderer in my home could be taken down without anyone else dying. 

swat

What were we doing you may ask?  We were in the process of selling our home to move, and had been packing boxes all day.  We had been eating dinner, with ice cream for dessert and watching X-Men before going to bed.

That’s what we were doing while 25+ FULLY ARMED SWAT team members, police officers from 2 different cities, fire department officials, and Sherriff’s deputies were outside surrounding our home. They spent 1-2 hours in the ditches, behind vehicles, under neighbor’s bushes, in the woods behind our house with sniper rifles trained on all of our windows assessing the danger from the armed murderer and supposed bomb in my house. 

I got a phone call at 9pm from an unknown number.  My phone was on silent, and charging in the bedroom so I did not see the missed call until 9:10pm or so.  The Sheriff’s Department had called my real estate agent who is also a long-time friend of ours (because of the for sale sign in our yard) to get my phone number.  They left a message that said basically “This is the Sheriff’s Department calling, please call us back.”  This was upsetting because I was worried something had happened to our daughter, but there were no details in the message, nothing.  THIS WAS THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ONE CALL TO SEE IF THEY COULD REACH ANYONE INSIDE OF THE HOME.  Remember, just “can you call us”, no other details.  I called the number back and was hit with a 9 option automated system.  I just started pressing buttons trying to reach someone.  I finally was able to get through to a live person, told them who I was, and that I was calling them back.  I was upset, and asking them is my daughter ok, did she get into a car accident?  Is this about my daughter?  They said no accident reports, and they weren’t sure why I was called.  They tried to transfer me around but nobody could tell me why they called me.  This took all of 5 minutes before I hung up, and called my daughter.  SO, THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT CALLS ME, I CALL BACK, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY I WAS CALLED.  Meanwhile they are still surrounding our house.  Why didn’t they know to ask me if there was a murderer in my house, was I ok, did I need help? 

9:15pm  I go outside on my back patio to call my daughter.  I’m on the phone with her, and she’s telling me that she’s ok, but the monster had been harassing her all day again. 

handcuffs

9:20pm  That’s when all the yelling started.  My husband decides to walk outside, having been called by our real estate agent’s husband, Kris Saxon (who was a Bexar County Sheriff himself) that there were police headed to our house.  He walks out the door, surprises every law enforcement officer outside, and they start screaming at him to put his hands up, and get down on the ground.   My husband puts his phone on speaker, and drops it on the ground as he’s being handcuffed so our friends can hear everything that is happening.  I’m on the back patio still, on the phone with my daughter and I take off running through the house yelling into the phone that the police are here, they are doing something to your daddy in the front yard, and oh my God I think the swatting is happening.  I hang up on her and sprint out the front door only to be taken down by two officers with guns to my head as soon as I clear the doorway.  My brother came out after me and was taken down as well.

What followed was a living NIGHTMARE for me and my family that had everyone but my daughter, who was not at our home at the time thank God, on the ground on our front sidewalk, in handcuffs, with dozens of high powered weapons pointed at us, as everyone was yelling at us and searching our house room by room looking for this supposed murderer. I just can’t even begin to describe everything that happened.  Chaos.  Terrifying, helpless, absolute chaos.  Thank God we had put the dogs to bed for the night in their kennels just 10 minutes earlier or all three of them would have been shot. 

All three of us could have DIED that night if just ONE of these officers would have mistaken something we were doing inside our home as part of this “Swatting” call.  I’m not making this up…. This is what I was told by the Texas Ranger who was sent by his commanding officer in Austin who had been called when all of this started.  He said he was just there to pick up and remove dead bodies. Not a single officer that I spoke to had ever been on a real life swatting call like this. It took 2 hours to sort the mess out, and get everyone out of our home and neighborhood.  I don’t think I slept that night, and not one of my neighbors ever spoke to me again.      

Am I mad at any one of these officers for being here?  No.  Am I mad at the first female officer in November who didn’t “Flag” my house as being threatened?  Hell yes I am.  If she would have DONE HER JOB in November and “Flagged” our home as we asked, the severity of what happened on 4/11/15 would have been lessened.  The police would have still responded to the fake call, but they would have been forewarned that we were being threatened.  They would have done MORE to try and contact us to see if we were in danger BEFORE evacuating the neighborhood, and surrounding my house with snipers, and 25+ officers to come running out of ditches, from behind bushes, and behind my neighbor’s vehicles to put guns to our heads.  

gavel1

THERE ARE BASICALLY NO LAWS TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO INNOCENT CIVILIANS!  Professional gamers are the #1 target of “Swatting” in the US, not celebrities.  Google the word “Swatting” and watch the videos of these innocent people just playing games getting taken down by police while streaming live on the internet.  THAT’S the payoff for these psychopaths.  They watch live as the people they are harassing have this happen to them.  They are anonymous, and think it’s very funny.  INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE DIED because of this terrifying trend in harassment.  

My daughter was streaming her games live when this happened to us, but she didn’t live with us….. he did not know that. Or did he?  He asked “How are your parents in Shady Shores?”.  Sounds to me like he knew she did not live there anymore, and decided to swat us instead.  I almost lost EVERYTHING that night, and am currently living with the aftermath, because that monster did not get what he wanted from my daughter.  I could have watched in horror my husband being gunned down in our front yard by snipers when he walked out the front door just because someone made a phone call.  A PHONE CALL.  No evidence, just one simple chilling phone call.  

Let that sink in for a minute.

If you have a gamer in your home that streams, go to your local police department and get your house flagged.  

If anyone has threatened you, or your gamer, GO TO YOUR LOCAL POLICE AND GET YOUR HOME FLAGGED, AND MAKE A REPORT.  

Make sure, ABSOLUTELY SURE, that a report is made.  

Do NOT let them ignore, or shame you into leaving without this being done.  

Copy and paste this link, and take this FBI article in with you that says to do this.  http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/september/the-crime-of-swatting-fake-9-1-1-calls-have-real-consequences/the-crime-of-swatting-fake-9-1-1-calls-have-real-consequences  

If you are in Texas, use this web address http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx   Call, or write your Representatives, Senators, and anyone else who can help make laws to stop this from happening to you. 

I’m doing all of this and more while I sit here terrified and helpless, waiting for this to happen again, and knowing that I can’t stop it.  I periodically listen to the chilling, evil swatting call that was made to remind me that we are still not safe.

After the swatting the Corinth, Texas police department was kind enough to “flag” our house in case of future swatting calls.  We moved two weeks later.

PART 3 COMING SOON.

Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1

The monster who tried to kill me and my family is finally in Federal Prison.  October 13, 2016 was day one of his one year and one day sentence.  I’ve been unable to write about what he did, and how we got here, until the day he stepped foot in prison to pay for his crimes.

This is part one of three.  The before.  The how, what, and why.  I’ve chosen not to reveal the name of the monster who did this to us, or specifically where he is from.  Just the state that he lives in.  He wanted to be famous, in not revealing his name, even in writing this, I am denying him that.

seal_of_the_federal_bureau_of_prisons-svg

The Fall of @DemonTheLord

The FBI later told me that he sat, harassed, terrorized, planned and plotted in a dark, small room somewhere in Oklahoma.  Roughly 18 years old, with a twisted mind surrounded by computer monitors and computer equipment wrapped in an anonymous online name that gave him a sense of invincibility. He had two ridiculous obsessions.  To take over the internet and become its so-called king, and to have my daughter.

If your child plays online video games this is for you as they will become the #1 target for “swatting” in the United States. 

STATISTIC:  Between 2002 and 2006, the five swatters called 9-1-1 lines in more than 60 cities nationwide, impacting more than 100 victims, causing a disruption of services for telecommunications providers and emergency responders, and resulting in up to $250,000 in losses.  Source.  FBI.gov 

This is a true story. This is our story. This is my story. But it hasn’t ended yet. My hope is to inform others, to teach others, to warn others of what can happen to you and your family. What you thought could only happen to somebody else, or you probably didn’t even realize could happen to you…. You need to know.  I’m hoping by the end of our story you will understand what we are all up against, and how to protect your family as best you can.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  THE BACKGROUND

My daughter, who is 25 now, has played video games with her Dad and his friends since she was 8 years old.  Games like Halo, Rainbow 6, Call of Duty.  First person shooter games where you compete in battle campaigns solo, or with a team of players.  By the time she became so good at these games, beating her Dad and his friends all the time, Xbox released Xbox Live so she could now play with other gamers from around the world via the internet.  What a great idea, right?  She could now get even better by playing others just a good as she was.  Her “gamer tag” is how she, and other gamers, identify themselves online.  Just a fun code name so you do not have to use your real name online.  (Tip #1 NEVER use your real name as your gamer tag!)

My daughter became so good that when other gamers would see her sign in to play they would leave the game knowing that they could not beat her.  She later would use different names to sign in with so people would not realize it was her, and would play with her.  It seemed funny at the time that she was becoming so well known that people would avoid playing with her for fear of losing.  (Tip #2 The more well-known you are the more likely you are of becoming a target for “swatting”)

Years of gaming go by, and tons of people asking her to teach them how to play, or to let them watch her play and learn from her.  She decides to buy a web cam, one of those cute little round ones that would sit on top of your computer monitor.  This was before affordably prices laptops came with webcams included in the frame.  She then tapes the webcam to a headband so it faces her gaming screen, and then puts the live video feed online so people can watch her play.  It was so funny to see her sitting there, my cute little teenage girl, with this webcam on top of her head.  But hey, it worked and her friends loved it.  Now they could watch and learn and hear her talking to them while she played. 

pro-gamer-fr_

More years go by, and she found an internet based company that is dedicated to online gaming streamers who want to entertain their viewers like she had been doing already, but they could now make money doing it.  Thousands of dollars later she has a Star Trek like computer set up in her room, and she is a partner with this streaming company where subscribers pay $4.99 per month to watch her play, learn from her, chat with her, and discover new games and products she would tell them about.  She has thousands of online viewers, companies that sponsor her and send her merchandise to promote, and she travels the country as a female professional gamer to compete in tournaments, or be an ambassador to promote women in the gaming industry.

Cool, right?  Making money to play video games.  Who would have thought that would even be possible?  It’s a dream job.  Until you become so popular that you now have obsessive fans, and/or people who are threatened by your success.

I told her to shrug it off at first.  You have to have thick skin to be a female gamer.  A lot of men and boys in the gaming industry do NOT like female players.  At all.  They come together in groups to kick the girls offline, out of gaming sites, and off the internet completely.  Did you know that the male professional gamers for the most part will not allow female gamers on teams?  The women had to go out and make their own professional league, and my daughter was one of the first chosen to be in this league, and lead a team.  I’m so proud of her. 

pro-gaming-crowd

Now, my daughter has been harassed online pretty much from the beginning of online gaming.  Being a girl, and being pretty has helped and hurt her.  It’s not just gaming sites either.  Once you establish an online identity you tend to cross over social media platforms, and these harassers will follow you to every site you are on.  She has been told by a good number of these male gamers how they would like to kill her, and rape her. They have crashed her router with hundreds of men/boys hitting all at once on her screen telling her to go kill herself before they can find her and then either kill or rape her. Not necessarily in that order either.  They are very specific, and graphic, and have caused many of bad nights where she would be forced offline and just sit with me until the trauma had passed.  

Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014.      25% of teenagers report that they have experienced repeated bullying by their cell phone, or on the Internet. 52% of young people report being cyber bullied. …

Are you outraged yet?  This is barely the beginning……  Imagine holding your shaking, traumatized, and scared daughter after she has been virtually raped online.  Here’s where you say why didn’t you just tell her to stop streaming video games?  Why did you let her continue if it’s that bad?  Well, by this time she is over 18, and a legal adult, BUT why should SHE be forced offline and to quit the career she has chosen because she’s a girl and being threatened.  Why should she be the one attacked, and now be told to run and hide like she did something wrong?  Why do men/boys in this industry get away with and think that it’s okay to do this to a female who DARES to enter their “club”? 

All of that aside, my daughter continued to develop her career, have the time of her life doing what she loves, travelling the country, and mentoring other female gamers at the beginning of their careers.   

Then she caught his attention somehow, somewhere, in some game, or through some post.     

threat

MADNESS

The harassment and threats started sometime in early 2013.   I cannot remember exactly as the months have run together in my mind, but it started for my daughter first.  My daughter had by this time moved out into her own home in another city close by us. When the harassment became too much for her I was finally informed, and then in October 2013 it started happening to me.  Seemingly innocent enough, boy meets girl online and says he likes her.  Girl tells him that’s nice, but I have a boyfriend.  Then boy gets mad because she is not giving him what he wants. 

Hidden behind the online Twitter username @DemonTheLord he barraged her with requests to add him to all of her social media sites as a friend.  Sensing that something was not right in this situation my daughter repeatedly refused to interact with him.  She was used to fans, but he was aggressive and she did not want to interact with him.  He was in her streaming chat room, he was on her Twitter, he would not leave her alone.  He would tell her that he just wanted to talk to her because he liked her and thought she should be his girlfriend.  Finally, my daughter became more forceful and told him to leave her alone and do not contact her again.  She blocked him on her sites, she refused to answer any private messages that he still somehow was able to send.  He would then start to reach out to her friends, whom he did not even know, trying to get to her through them.  He was so thoroughly blocked from getting to her that I’m positive that is when his infatuation and obsession with her turned into anger and rage.

leave-us-alone

The rage took him from trying to interact with her online to obtaining her phone number somehow and calling, leaving messages, and texts to threaten her.  He was now demanding that if she paid him money he would leave her alone.  She told him no.  He then told her that if she added him as friend, and promoted him friend to her thousands of social media friends/followers to increase his number of friends online he would leave her alone.  Again, she said no.

Then starts the router “flooding” where she is hit so hard online that it cuts the internet off to our whole house.  Did you know people could do that?  I didn’t either.  Then he starts trying to hack into all of her social media sites…  She would get multiple warning messages each day of attempted hacking and to change her password to protect her account.  Keep in mind the phone calls, messages, and texts are still coming in during all of this. 

Then he goes after her financials.  Paypal, online banking sites.  It was a mess.  By this time she has asked me for help.  We barely blocked him on one site, and he was hacking into another.  This went on for weeks.  Then he somehow got my number.  We still do not know how this happened, but as a grown woman who has more information online that the daughter half my age, it apparently it wasn’t very hard for him to find out EVERYTHING about ME. 

I started getting phone calls and text messages from a different number each and every time asking me for my daughter’s information.  “Miss, I’m texting because I am with a very large gaming company that your daughter has bought merchandise from us, and we need to verify her address, and email information as a last step before we send out her merchandise.”, “Miss, I’m calling because I have a delivery coming for your daughter, please verify which bank the purchase was made from”.  You name it and he tried it.  I was so confused at first and would call my daughter to see if she really did have a package coming and she would FREAK OUT that it was him and to NEVER give any of her information to anyone.  I started to get a little scared then.

Then I get a text simply saying “tell your daughter that I am sorry, and that I had to”.  It had a short link to click on.  Once I clicked on it the link took me to a HUGE file sharing site where he had released not only my daughter’s name, and gaming alias, but MY name, address, phone number, social security number, previous addresses, maiden name……  EVERY POSSIBLE PERSONAL DETAIL ABOUT ME was now online and getting sent out to the internet for everyone to see.  He DOXXED us.   In case you do not realize this, doxxing is a CRIME. 

doxxing

dox  däks/  verb
gerund or present participle: doxxing
  1. search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
    “hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”

He said he was sorry, and he had to.  He was now using me, and my identity and location to blackmail my daughter to give into his demands.  I contacted the site trying to get my information down, to this day I have never received a response to my requests.

I think it’s important to mention at this point that my daughter has tried to spare her family any trouble from the social media, and gaming community since the beginning.  Here are just some of the things she has done, and has HAD to do to protect both herself, and her family.

·        She has NEVER used her real name online

·        She has NEVER linked her address, or phone number to any streaming or social sites

·        As her popularity increased she asked all of her family to NEVER interact with her on most of her social and streaming sites because it would lend clues to her actual identity, and put US in danger of the harassment that she endures

·        For security reasons she has purchased her own customizable modems so that she can change IP addresses as needed, and other technology to bounce her actual location to different spots around the world so her address can never be pinpointed

·        She moved away from home and we refused to change her address on her driver’s license because that information can be found online

Despite all of this he was still able to find me through her.  I was now a liability to her.  It was only a matter of time before he cracked all of her information too. 

NOVEMBER 2013

swatting

A few days later my daughter comes to visit me, and sits me down to tell me that he was hinting at “swatting” her as a punishment for still ignoring him.  Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and 911 response team to another person’s address, based on the false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage-taking or other alleged incident. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a specialized type of police unit in the United States and many other countries carrying military-style equipment such as door breaching weapons, submachine guns and assault rifles.   See Wiki page here

She explained to me what “swatting” was because I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.  She showed me You Tube videos of it happening to other online gamers.  I was now absolutely terrified.  She was only a little concerned about it because she did not really believe he would go through with it, but as I was still receiving increasingly nasty voicemails from this person I chose to take it as a 100% credible threat.  The one good thing about all of this was that my daughter no longer lived at home with us, but nobody outside of close friends and family knew that. 

I explained to my husband what was happening, and the implied threat we had received, and like my daughter he was not overly concerned.  “Swatting” happens to OTHER people, celebrities, not people like us.  I was so upset about it, and the danger to us and our animals, that he finally agreed to go with me to the police department to file a report about it.

This is the point where I felt as if I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  We went in to file our report of the harassment, and the threat of being “Swatted”.  My concerns were brushed off by the police officer we spoke to, and I quote “Things like that don’t happen here”.  Because I only had an anonymous gaming tag to give them for the person we were being harassed by there was NEVER a report filed on our behalf stating that we were in fear for our safety, nor was our request to “flag” our house as a possible “Swatting” location ever set up.   I left the police department crying and in despair that I was not being taken seriously.

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING

Magically after the swatting threat was received all of the calls, texts, voicemails, etc just stopped.  I went from dealing with this harassment every single day to blessed silence.  I thought, we all did, that he had finally given up and moved on.  I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.

Part two will be coming in the following days.

 

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I’m also the proud mother of a beautiful 25 year old daughter who professionally video games for her career.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Miss Scarlett

Life

The monster inside of me

 

I sat drinking my coffee this morning, a completely different person than the one I was just 24 hours before.  I went to wake up my husband, and realized that without him…….. without him I would not BE.

Supernova

(Courtesy of NASA)  Main sequence stars over eight solar masses are destined to die in a titanic explosion called a supernova. A supernova is not merely a bigger nova. In a nova, only the star’s surface explodes.

In a supernova, the star’s core collapses and then explodes.

SUPERNOVA

At 8am yesterday morning I set out on a 561 mile trip feeling as if I was going to be torn apart from the inside.  I felt exactly like a Supernova that would violently explode and collapse into a black hole of nothingness.   I was full of so much rage, vengeance, and pain that I do not even really remember my trip.

I drove through horrible rain, and terrible traffic for 561 miles while crying, having chest pains, heart palpitations, and feeling as if my head and/or heart may just explode at any minute.  All of this for one reason.  I had to face the monster that tried to murder my family.

map

I drove to Beaumont, Texas for a sentencing hearing, and to come face to face with the MONSTER that harassed my daughter, and myself for a solid year.  Who terrorized my baby girl, and as his grand finale, tried to have us all murdered in our own home by “swatting” us.

rage held

For almost a year and a half I have carried all of this pain, fear, and rage inside of me.  I had to see him face to face.  I had to look in the eye, and speak to, the monster who wanted all of us dead.  I stood 10 feet away from him in front of a judge and rage/cried my way through my Victims Impact Statement. I stood there in MY MOST VIOLENT FORM, a mother who’s child was harmed, and wanted to tear him apart limb by limb.

love rage

Then in a moment it was over.  He was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in Federal Prison.  Court adjourned.

As a child I was afraid of many things, but I never hid from them.  If there was a monster in my closet I slept facing the closet so I would be ready when it came for me.  When there was a monster under my bed I did not hide under my blanket.  I kept my head out, and waited to defend myself.  The same process applies to this situation.  I needed to see the monster, and I made sure it happened.

This brings me to today.

My husband took the time to make sure I could do what I had to do, AND he was waiting to put me back together when I came home.  He knew I had to break myself into a million pieces so I could put myself back together and move on with my life.  HE put me back together.  So, I’m saying thank you.  Again.  For being my “safe place”, and the giver of strength when I’ve run out of my own.  For loving me even when I cannot love myself, and for keeping the monster inside of me from taking me away forever.

I love you MSP.

 

 

Empty Nesting

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You…. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You……. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend.

Being a mother is tough…. I mean TOUGH.  Being a mother to a little girl is a roller coaster ride.  There are exceptions out there I know, but for the most part I know I am not alone in my journey of up’s and down’s, love and hate, happy and sad, and good and bad days.

Twenty-four years ago I could not have imagined where I would be today, hell…. 5 or 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it, but here we are…… ta-da…. We are finally friends.  Here are the stages that we went through:

  • the cute 0-4 year old “Mommy is the best” stage,
  • then came the 5-11 year old “I’m my own little person” stage where Mommy cannot comb my hair, dress me in cute outfits, or tie my shoes for me anymore.  This was also the stage where Daddy’s little girl emerged in our house.
  • Then the 12-16 “Hormone stage” hit like a giant Tsunami and left a wake of tears, you don’t understand me’s, anger, and slamming doors in its wake.
  • 17-20 brought with it the “You are the person I hate the most in the world” stage because you are always wrong, have no idea how life works, and continue to not understand me at all.
  • Then came 21-24 and some mysterious magical switch has flipped and all of the sudden Mommy has brains again, and isn’t such a bad person anymore.

It’s such a relief to be able to stay in the same room together and not fight…..  To be able to have a conversation with each other and no one leaves the room crying.

HOW TO

Hey, babies do not come with step by step instruction booklets.  All the parenting books in the world will not prepare you for the “You are the person I hate most in the world” stage, and the sense of despair and failure that comes with it.  Despair because this beautiful child-woman is looking at you and saying horrible things to you; you can feel your heart break as you try to reason with them and yourself that everything is going to be alright, and failure because you can’t find the right words to make both of you feel better combined with the crippling “what did I do wrong” feeling that if you had been a better mother this wouldn’t be happening at all.

WHAT

My list of regrets is long, I mean long……. I could torture myself for years upon years every minute of the day with the “what could I have said or done’s” that would have made things easier or better for both of us.  I can’t even honestly say that if I had a “do over” that anything would be different because I am just as confused and mystified today as I was 24 years ago about being a mother, but as of right now I’m just glad we both made it to where we are today: alive and sane.

ME AND SJ img_2080

I sit here today comfortable in the knowledge that my daughter and I are friends….  That she loves me and I love her… That I raised a strong willed woman who could take over the world if she wanted to….. That she has a beautiful and amazing heart, will fight for what’s wrong in the world to make it a better place, and anyone who is lucky enough to be called her friend is in a pretty fortunate group of people.

I just look back at all the funny, happy, silly, crazy times we have had and hope it will be enough to not have me featured as the “worst mom in the world” on some reality TV show one day.  So, here’s to the good times ahead, and to mothers and daughters everywhere just taking it day by day and hoping for the best.

Remember to say “I love you” every single day, even if it’s through a closed door or at the top of your lungs as the other person walks away, because that is the one undeniable truth that will never change and the one absolute starting point for every new day.

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Scarlett and I’m sure we will be pulled over by some bored police officer near you very soon.

Uncategorized

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer.

I’ve been asked before that if I could write a book on my life what would it be titled.  Simple.  I was raised by an egg timer.

It really explains so much about my personality when you think about it.  I am a born strategist.  Born of necessity because of critical time management skills learned so young…  I am painfully punctual.  These two personality traits are deeply rooted in my childhood thanks to my mother.

me and momma

To say that I am lazy is an understatement.  I know it, I accept it, but you may not realize this about me.  Bill Gates said this…..

9b77a41e4b891eb8e9f9845771843cb8

Well, the internet says that Bill Gates said this…. Who knows?

My sainted mother had the hardest time getting me to do anything in a timely manner, so she devised a plan that would forever change me.  She bought an egg timer.  Now this egg timer began to rule my life with an iron clock.  I had so many minutes to get out of bed, or when that egg timer went off she was coming in to dump ice water on my head.

I had so many minutes to finish drinking my water, or I would lose a privilege.  (Note:  I hated water as a child and still do as an adult.  I also suffered from kidney issues because of this.  The doctor wanted me to drink 6 to 8- 8 ounce glasses of water a day, and it was only upon threat of the egg timer that I would do so).

You name it and she clocked me.  Eating dinner, cleaning my room, doing the dishes….. I hated that thing.  Gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it, but it worked.  Well, I say it worked because I strategize everything.  I also am never late.  Invite me somewhere and find out.  🙂  I will be the one calling to find out where you are, you only have 5 minutes left……

God bless Momma for her alternative child rearing decision.  I very rarely failed to complete my tasks on time, always wondered about the “or else” if I didn’t beat the clock, but I still do not drink my water.

Muah,

Jeanie

Empty Nesting

Did you know Empty Nesters are at a higher risk of divorce?

Empty nesting Week #1

Did you know that “empty nesters” are at a higher risk of divorce?  Did you also know that the latest National divorce statistics are down, but “grey divorces” (those over 50) are actually shown to be up by double digits!

RV-AG170_DIVORC_G_20120302124502

I’ve heard of this before, but after talking to friends it seems that this is a thing.  A HUGE thing!  Statistics that I have read show a surge in couples age 50 and up divorcing due to their adult children leaving home.  This really surprises me since my thought is that when kids finally move out of the home the couple can get back to all the fun things they used to do together before parenting took over their lives.  This apparently is not the case because years of parenting turns husbands and wives into very different people than they were when they first got married.  They discover that they have nothing in common, and their children were the one thing holding them together.  They are “mom and dad”, and that’s it.  Not a couple in love with each other.

empty-nest

I’m interested in this topic because it’s such an absolute reverse of my life with MSP.  (MSP = Mr. Sexy Pants- aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook).  For example.  MSP and I spent this past weekend (our first empty nesting weekend) Doing all the fun, silly, sexy things we’ve always done.

We went out to a show Friday night and hung out with our friends.

We woke up Saturday morning and went to breakfast together.

We went grocery shopping to buy everything we needed to hole up at home all weekend.

We pulled a mattress out into the living room and spent 12 hours “camping out” on the living room floor “picnicking” and binge watching Netflix.

We spent time just talking to each other, and cuddling with the animals.

We woke up Sunday morning (on previously mentioned mattress on the living room floor) and did yard work for hours.

We took a bubble bath together.

We had friends over for dinner, and to watch Game of Thrones together.

All in all a perfectly, perfect weekend…… BUT not out of the ordinary for us.  We always have weekends like that.

13221309_10156943097935284_1068845175015010366_o Picnic 13243944_10156941787855284_1097530636010809418_o Camping Out

I read something recently that I totally, 100% agree with.  I am not “in love” with my child.  I AM in love with my husband, and I love my child.  I miss my Baby Girl terribly, but there has always been two parts of my life.  My marriage, and my family.  They are not the same thing.  I married my husband to spend the rest of my life with him as my mate, my partner, my everything.  Our daughter was this amazing gift from God that came along later to make us a family.  Now that Baby Girl has moved away to start her own life her Daddy and I are gonna be fine.

“Grey Divorces” happen for multiple reasons, and I hate the thought of this happening to anyone.

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  1.  Problems, resentments, issues of the past were put on the back burner, and once the kids are gone, the buffer is gone, they all come back with a bang and seem too overwhelming to deal with
  2. Husbands and wives now look at each other and think they don’t really know the other person, are not sure they even like the other person, and start deciding if they really want to spend the next 30-40 years with this person
  3. The marriage, that has been put on hold to raise their children, now has to be restarted all these years later

I think the key to this not happening, and full disclosure, I am NOT an expert, is to keep up with your marriage when the kids are still home.  Don’t let problems fester.  Fight that shit out, and resolve it.  🙂  Remember why you fell in love in the first place, and do the things that you did before that made your spouse say “I’m going to be with this person forever”.  Read this book that changed my life 15 years ago.  The 5 Love Languages:  The Secret to love that lasts.  I was doing almost everything wrong, and after reading this I was able to correct, and get back on track.

So, as I start empty nesting week #2 it is with a lighter heart.  The sadness of our daughter moving is being replaced by joy in hearing how happy she is in her new life.  I’ve reaffirmed that my marriage is strong, healthy, and not in danger of the “grey” problems, and I really cannot wait to camp out, picnic, and take a bubble bath with MSP again.

Muah,

Jeanie