Wake Me Up When It’s All Over. When I’m Wiser And I’m Older. 

As we were preparing to get married, E shared a “tradition” from back home that he wanted us to partake in. This might be difficult to explain as it’s regarding names and I try to avoid using real name here for anonymity sake, as well as the fact that the “tradition” turned out to be 100% fake, and we did something that I’m, to this day, trying to remedy because E felt like making up some random story just for shits and giggles.

Anyways the tradition he told me went something like this… and keep in mind at this point, I’d never yet been to Kenya, and I had no reason to doubt anything E was saying, because quite frankly I never thought anyone would be capable of making up stuff as extreme as this just… well just because I guess, normal people I’d met up until that point never lied like E did. I’ll never actually know why he did it.

So, he told me that when a man gets married, at least in his tribe, it was custom for him to drop his last/surname and have his middle name became his new last name. So from that point on, he’d only be known by his first and middle name=his new last name.

So if I was dating a Billy Frank Smith, when we got married he would still be known as Billy, but our new last/surname would be Frank, and Smith would be out of the picture making my new husband only Billy Frank, and me C Frank. He said then as a man, you would be starting your own family and be more removed from your Dads ‘tribe’. Also, to make it even more complex (as everything with E was), the middle names when choosing a baby’s name were to be chosen from a limited group of ‘family’ names. So that the man could still be recognized as part of this certain tribe. He said they do it this way so that as a man gets married it is his way of starting his own tribe/family.

I hope I’m explaining it well, because trust me it was confusing as heck to me. Probably because it’s not a tradition that his tribe had been following for centuries or has ever done. It was something E made up in his mind. But I trusted him, because this was the man I was going to marry so I figured he was telling the truth, and I had no reason not to believe in him. Plus it was so absurd, how could it not be true, right?

Therefore at our wedding we had to make it known during a speech to explain how we would be known as Mr and Mrs M. instead of the expected original Mr. and Mrs. S that everyone was expecting, being that it was the name everyone had known E by. Since E was still dealing with immigration issues though and both of our names were on so many of those documents at that time as our maiden names, neither of us changed our names at that point, which was for the best. The person it has affected most though, is Little E.

When I became pregnant with him, more about this whole name thing was ‘explained’ to me by E. About how the middle names should be chosen from selected tribe names etc. At this time, our plan was that we would be moving to Kenya and living there on a more permanent basis, and I really wanted my kids to fit in as much as possible and was counting on E’s advice to make that happen. So E supplied me with a list of about 5-7 male names from his family tree that we had to choose from for Little E’s middle name, that, according to E would one day be his last name once he married. We settled on a name that sounded good when said start to finish “Little E, then the chosen middle name (also started with M) then the last name M’ that we would all have one day once we finished our paperwork. So it was decided. I thought.

Until literally 5-10 minutes after I had given birth to Little E and I was drugged up and totally out of it and E decides to ask if we can change everything we had previously decided on.

Instead of the original E.M.M, for the newly born baby boy, he wanted Little E to be named E.S.M. So that little E’s middle name would be E’s current last name starting with S. So that when Little E gets married and drops the last name of M, he will have E’s family name of S remaining. Confused? I was too.  I said yes, because I just didn’t care at the time, I was just glad my baby was healthy and I had successfully brought forth life. Plus I had JUST given birth, and was in no position to argue.

So Little E now had the initials E. S. M. Not to bad eh? Well, it was fine, until we flew with our little boy to Kenya, where lo and behold, his family and pretty much everyone else in the entire country told me that E was full of crap. They’d never heard of that tradition before. I was mad. Now E has gone and messed with our kids names! And for what???

I confronted him about it and all he could say was that he must’ve been mistaken, and that oh ok, we’ll keep the original S last name like usual. I couldn’t believe it. Did he not realize that now Little E has the S middle name and now E says it should be his last name too!?!? Like are you kidding me? Your want our son to be called Little E then Smith Smith for example? No thanks.

So I bring it up today because Little E has finally chosen a new middle name. He understands that his middle name of S will now be his last name so he can match Z and Dad and Mom and all share the same last/surname and since I am too stubborn and did not want Little E to just have his middle name and last name switch place, mainly because I don’t want E to have that small pleasure of having his family name remain after all the chaos his lies caused. So we’ve been taking our time deciding on a brand new middle one. And Little E choose it today.

We’ve read through many names and meanings and Little E choose the name Theo. It means divine gift and he loves it and although there are others that I might prefer, I don’t mind giving him the lead on this choice as I can see the confidence it gives him. Plus it’s a step up from last summer when he wanted to change it to Tyrannosaurus. Plus if it was that awful I would always veto it. But I think he choose well and I’ll be working on the legal process to change it throughout the coming weeks. Oh and yes, it’s already been documented in the divorce that I can change his name without consent from E, because of the exact reasoning above. So we’re in the clear. Although I did inform E of Little E’s choice and he is fine with it.

So, I guess all I can say is I’m not a fan of fake tradition.


-Avicii/Wake Me Up-

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Do You Like The Taste, Stuff It In Your Face, It’s Not Nice To Waste.

Tuna Casserole is THEEE most disgusting meal known to mankind. I’ve eaten a lot of “different” foods in my life, but still to this day I have a huge hatred towards tuna casserole… or what was passed off as casserole while I was living in Namibia.

Since the orphanage operated off donations and volunteers, funds were tight and meals were far from glamorous to say the least. The meal schedule was repeated on a weekly basis and every Wednesday for lunch was supposed to be tuna casserole, but what was served in those well used metal bowls was so far from anything recognizable its pathetic. The volunteer who was “cooking” while I was there (bless her heart) sucked at her job. She was a wonderful girl from the Netherlands and honestly tried her best, but the slop she produced on Wednesday at lunch led me to a weekly fast. Like for real, how is it possible to destroy something so hard it was no longer recognizable? The noodles were way overcooked and mashed to a pulp, and I didn’t know that much salt existed in the world. Also, who in the world puts a whole jar of MUSTARD in tuna casserole? Like for real? Needless to say, I have avoided anything that might remotely resemble tuna casserole since.

While there, I also ate Boa Constrictor for the first time. Who am I kidding, it wasn’t the first time, it was the only time. My good Aussie friend F, took me out to a fancy meal in downtown Windhoek one of my last nights there, and we did it up Namibian style. Ordered all the best local cuisine, which of course consisted of Boa. Delicious. OK you know how people relate most new foods to chicken? Legit. Boa tastes like chicken, but even better if possible. Think pure tender meat, no fat, mouth-watering amazingness. Like chicken on steroids….Or chicken unaffected by steroids, your choice.

Not delicious though? Chicken in Kenya. Now hear me out, sometimes it was pretty standard, everyday chicken right. But, sometimes, I was invited into someone’s house for tea or a visit, and they would insist I stay to eat. Then, unbeknownst to me, they would slaughter a hen fresh from the yard, and cook it on the spot for me. This was to show how much they appreciated me being a visitor in their home, and how much they respect me. OK, I totally value that, and I’m 100% thankful for their act of appreciation. What I wasn’t so thankful for? The fact that when they cook the chicken, they normally boil it complete with head/feet as well, then when they serve it up, they would insist that I get those two pieces. Wow, thanks? Here I am just wanting a good ol fashioned chicken breast please. Give me the dry chewy chicken with ugali and sukuma wiki and I’ll be fine. But nope, they want to serve me “most desirable” head and feet. And I don’t even know where to start. Seriously? Is there even actual edible meat on the feet? And don’t get me started on the head. There’s two damn eyes and a beak on that thing! Nope. I couldn’t do it. No matter how many times I was served that “fresh chicken” I couldn’t bring myself to put those portions in my mouth. I would end up slipping it to a kid standing nearby, waiting with bated breath. They were always so excited to get the coveted item they would quickly sneak it outside and I knew they wouldn’t rat me out, since they got to enjoy it. So at least it was off my plate, I didn’t have to eat it, yet someone enjoyed it, I figured it was a win win situation right?

Another disgusting Kenyan cuisine? Goat. I just gagged a little in my mouth. Every time goat was served I just wanted a simple plain old piece of bread instead. But NOOOOO. I was apparently super lucky to be having goat, and I should savor every bite. My first time trying it was Christmas 2010. E, Little E and I took the 12 hour bus ride on the literal worst roads in the history of roads and arrived at my in-laws to celebrate the holiday. It was also my first time meeting many of my in-laws so that was stressful in and of itself, but focusing back on the food… E’s family and friends came from all over the country to celebrate with us since many wanted to meet myself and Little E. It was decided they would slaughter the goat on the morning of the 25th. The WHOLE day, it smelled like goat you couldn’t escape it. First, they roasted some of it. Fine. Then they boiled most of the rest. For hours upon hours, until it didn’t even resemble food any more. Lets just say Kenyans are not really known for their amazing cooking. Like when was the last time you heard anyone say let’s go check out that amazing Kenyan restaurant, I heard its great? Never. Because they don’t exist. But their  coffee/tea? Off the charts!

Another thing I tried there was locusts. They were ok I guess. It was mainly about me getting over my fear of sticking a living breathing bug in my mouth and chewing it up, but I did! Yeah me! The kids convinced me they were so delicious, and it was hard not to believe them, since they were running around like crazy trying to catch as many as they could to shove them in their mouths. So I joined in the fun. I caught one of my own and shoved it in live and wiggling, amidst the squeals of delight from all the children. It was so bizarre, how it fluttered around inside my mouth a couple of times before I had the courage to bite down and swallow quickly.

But, at least now I can say I did it. Can say? Is that an achievement? Oh well, I did it. And it tasted a million times better than tuna casserole.


-Alice Cooper/Eat Some More-

B*tch Better Have My Money, Pay Me What You Owe Me

$36,408.00 That’s how much E currently owes me in back pay for child support.

I’ve been trying to sort this thing out with my lawyer for what feels like forever now, and I feel like (hopefully) we’re nearing the finish line with this whole divorce. To be honest, it could’ve been much worse than how it’s gone though.

Yes, E is extremely difficult to work with and I have a love/hate relationship with leaving the kids with him, since while technically I get a break from them, I spend the whole time worrying about how he’s probably not caring for them properly, so there’s really no relief.

But to be truthful, we’ve had a fairly amicable divorce. There’s none of that “trying to get the kids against the other parent” stuff happening. One, because E just lives in his own little world in his head and that’s too much thinking on his part to try and manipulate little brains against their mother, and two, I don’t waste effort on bringing him into our conversation in my house when he’s not around. If the kids ask to call him, I let them for sure, although it’s only Z who does and maybe only once every 2-3 months. Also, to avoid conflict, my family and I have come up with a code name for E so if we want to discuss the divorce or anything about him and the kids are around (although we try to avoid that) we can use his alias and then talk freely without worrying about tainting the kids view of him.

We also didn’t have that unspoken “competition” to see who would find a successful new relationship first. Basically because I feel like E will most likely never be in a relationship again. Now don’t get it twisted, I totally think people with severe mental health issues can be in long lasting healthy relationships, but I just unfortunately don’t see that happening for E. He’s just not capable of it. As for me? I really wish him the best, and if he does find someone to marry…. I would wish them all the best like literally because they would need it, but I wouldn’t feel pressured to race to find someone myself if E was “first” to reach that milestone. To each their own you know.

But now after 3 years and 2 months since filing for divorce, 2 lawyers, and one psych ward lock up later, we’re nearing the end (again fingers crossed). Plus it looks like it will be worth it. $36,000+ worth it.

When I think of that amount… I get frustrated. I think of the standard of life my kids and I have been living for the past 3 years, while we could have been enjoying 12 grand more a year? It pisses me off. My kids could’ve had those lessons they wanted instead of chilling at home every night. Or the newest toy for Christmas that everyone was talking about instead of just new pyjamas and underwear. We wouldn’t have had to live with my parents until a year ago. Their college funds could’ve been jacked by now! It just would’ve, and apparently should’ve been much better in the past if E had paid up like he was supposed to. But since he’s a cheapskate, my kids missed out on some things that should’ve been theirs. Although in the past little while, since I finished school and got a job, I’ve been able to provide all those things on my own. And yes, the support E sends each month, although not as much as he’s supposed to send, is welcome, it’s just nice to know the kids and I would still be alright without it.

Now… I just have to plan a nice $36,000 vacation! Suggestions?


-Rihanna/BBHMM-

I’ll Choose To Survive, Whatever It Takes 

Yesterday I took my kids to the zoo, where I got my first mosquito bite of the year. I’m sure no one’s a fan of mosquitoes, but I have a particular hatred towards them. When I lived in Kenya they took an extreme liking to me. I could stand in a group of people, didn’t matter how many, and the stupid insects would choose only me to bite, and ultimately infect me with Malaria. I’ve officially been diagnosed with the deadly disease on 5 different occasions, and I can tell you first hand, it is not fun, but one time in particular was much worse than the rest.

It was the first time we had moved to Kenya, and we were living in Nakuru when I began to feel ill. I’d never had Malaria before so I wasn’t sure what the symptoms were or what to do about it. Yes, I had all my immunization before I traveled, but there are many different strains of the virus and the shots cannot protect from them all. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Anyways, I became weak. So weak, because I couldn’t keep anything down (or in or up or however you want to put it, your welcome for the visual). I lived in the bathroom with a bucket because for the first 4-5 days it was coming out everywhere, all the time. I tried my best to stay hydrated, knowing how important that was, for myself and because I was nursing Little E, but it got to the point that I couldn’t even keep a tiny bit of water down. I tried drinking pineapple Fanta (in place of ginger ale) one tiny capful at a time to settle my stomach every six hours or so, and I couldn’t even keep half a grape down. I easily lost 15-20 pounds over the course of the maybe 10 days total that I was sick. If your ever looking for a great diet, Malaria is it, you know apart from the potential death part.

Finally, about a week into me lying in bed/sitting on the toilet, E suggested we go for a walk, and that all I needed was some “fresh air”. What I didn’t know at the time was that we were out of food and he wanted me to help him do the grocery shopping. And so, in his romantic fashion, he offered to carry Little E for our walk, ohhh thanks 😒. So after about a week of being literally the sickest I’ve ever been, I got dressed (barely) and started out on what was normally a 45 minute walk to the Tusky’s Supermarket a few kilometers away. Well this time… it took almost 2 hours. I had to stop every 5 steps or so to prevent myself from passing out or throwing up (throwing up what, I don’t know since I hadn’t eaten in days, but my stomach was churning). When we finally got to the store I made E go inside and do the shopping alone while I rested in the parking lot, because I didn’t want to throw up inside.

Then, because I was so exhausted, I insisted E find us a tuktuk to drive us home because there was no way I would make it back without dropping dead plus E had also expected me to carry half the groceries home?!?! Seriously? Nope I wasn’t moving. I literally sat down in the middle of the parking lot, refusing to move until he found a tuktuk to take us home. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and for me that was staging a “sit in’ in the supermarket parking lot.

Once home, it took me two days to “recover” from the walk before I finally told E I needed a Doctor. I realized this wasn’t just your standard Kenyan food poisoning and it wasn’t getting better on its own. So instead of calling a piki piki for me to ride on to the hospital, E suggested we start walking and we would just hail one on the way. Again, I’m past sick. Past exhausted, or the point of arguing. I’m just wanting to get better and glad to be finally seeking help. So, I struggled to get dressed, puke up nothing a couple more times, and we start off on the very slow walk to the clinic.

Of course, with my luck, not one piki piki drives past us the entire time. And E just watches me struggle for an hour trying to get to the clinic instead of call any of the drivers he knows. But finally, we arrive.

The nurse or doctor or whomever draws my blood to go figure out what’s wrong but as I’m waiting, I have to go. Like GO. RIGHT NOW! So I rush across the hall to the “bathroom” which is a literal hole in the floor. Ok, fine. Since living in Kenya I’ve gotten used to the whole squatting thing, but as I frantically look around I noticed there’s no toilet paper. That’s where I draw the line. I’ll squat fine. But I have to wipe! Especially in a “hospital”? How unsanitary! So I run back to the Dr’s office where I remember seeing some Kleenex on the counter and the tech is in there so I quickly ask if I can use the tissue and grab it without even waiting for a response. I RUN back to the “toilet” and barely make it in time.

Closest encounter to shitting my pants I’ve ever had in my life.

Then, once I’ve done my business, I have to casually walk back to the office and discreetly place the tissue box back on the counter like no one knew what was happening, while totally worn out by the sheer effort of the running. Meanwhile the tech is politely pretending he didn’t notice anything, how kind right?

About half hour later, my blood work had been analyzed and the results were in.

Turns out, I had BOTH Malaria AND Typhoid! WTF! Not one but TWO deadly diseases at the same time! No wonder a walk for some fresh air didn’t do anything. I was actually dying.

Literally DYING!

Anyways, the Doctor said he’d never seen anything like it before (story of my life) and gave me a whole bunch of different medications for the various diseases and dehydration. Then sent me on my way. I refused to leave (again) until E called me a ride, for which he obliged right away. Saying things like “Oh C, you’re so strong” and “Wow, you actually were sick”. He’s lucky I was sick and tired, because I just didn’t have the energy to tell him how I felt.

Needless to say, I’ve obviously recovered, just don’t ask me to donate blood 😏.


-Muse/Survival-

Nobody Said It Was Easy. No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

I’d like to say that once I got back to Canada things got better fast. But that would be a complete lie. It was hard. There were so many stressful factors I didn’t even consider when thinking the whole “leave E” thing through.

My parents let us stay with them for which I am so very grateful for. Plus my parents were SO happy to have their grandkids back from Kenya for good. We figured out a reasonable rent amount, and each of us had our own room downstairs in the house I grew up in. It was nice to have built in babysitters with my parents but to be honest I never really went out. So most nights it was me watching TV in between my parents on the couch. So very cool, I know.

It took us about a week to get settled and over the jet lag. We took many trips to Value Village and Goodwill (thrift shops) to outfit the kids with winter clothes and a few toys. Considering we had just moved from +30 degree weather to February in Canada (like minus a zillion) it’s an understatement to say we were underdressed and ill prepared.

I was still officially on maternity leave with Z so that helped financially for a bit, but I had huge credit card bills to pay off mainly from flights, E’s most recent one to and from work included, so I had to think about what I was going to do to support my kids. I had 3/4’s of my teaching degree already under my belt, but at this time I really didn’t feel like it was my thing. I figured if I was going to go back to school anyway, I might as well make sure it was something I was really wanting.

So I started taking multiple personality tests to see what kind of traits I had and which jobs they matched well with. I needed to make sure I made the best choice because I couldn’t mess anything up. I had little people looking up to me. After at least a dozen quizzes (no joke, I had a lot of time on my hands, plus I had really missed the internet) I narrowed my decision down to the area of accounting/HR that I though suited me well. I found a program close to home that offered an accounting degree and payroll certification for across Canada start to finish in 10 months. The program was designed to be intense but for a faster finish. Sounded perfect for me, since I needed to be back in the work force ASAP making as much money as possible. I applied, got accepted and started all within a week.

I had to find childcare for my kids which was hard since I didn’t even have a regular babysitter. It took me a little while, but I found the perfect dayhome for them 2 minutes from my parents house and on the way to school. The kids loved it and D was an amazing lady.

Now I had to buy a vehicle. Remember I was starting everything from scratch. I looked around for a while at second hand ones that I could buy straight out with cash, but couldn’t find one I really liked, and that didn’t have any issues. I didn’t want to be dealing with car troubles along with all the other troubles I had going on at the time. I ended up going to a dealership and buying the most beautiful brand new Rogue for myself straight off the lot. It was the nicest thing I had ever owned/done for myself and it actually made me happy every time I looked at the car. I’ve had to sell it since then to buy my house so I currently drive a bucket of bolts I hate, but one day I’ll get myself a nice car again.

Then, there were the people I had to deal with. OHHHH the humanity. Where to even start.

My mom just kept comparing my divorce to hers like a gazillion years ago and the similarities were few and far between yet I was supposed to do everything how she had done it and all the advice was in her opinion super helpful… It wasn’t. She kept telling me about different laws that were so outdated, or paperwork I should file that didn’t exist anymore. It was frustrating. I just wanted to be able to tell her what was going on without her telling me what to do. I just wanted her to listen. But that’s not my mom.

Then at a family get together about a month after I’d gotten back, my older sister R felt it was a good time to give me her opinion on my life. Now R is very dedicated to her Christian faith (her and her husband J are Pastors) and from her perspective, I shouldn’t divorce E. I should “separate from him. Separate forever, but don’t ever divorce” Also she felt it was appropriate timing to tell me that, if I choose to remarry, her and her family would not be attending my second wedding. Her and her husband didn’t believe in divorce and remarriage and therefore wouldn’t support it.  Unless he had cheated on me. (Apparently that kind of abuse is ok according to God’s break up plan?) She felt she was being kind by giving me a heads up on this. I hadn’t even officially filed for divorce yet (I hadn’t even decided to get a divorce yet, I’d just flown back like a month ago and was still sorting out my life) and you’re already talking about my hypothetical second wedding? It was frustrating and made me feel like no longer discussing E with her.

*Since this time R and I have discussed this moment and I explained how it made me feel, and R has apologized for making that comment at that time and the insensitivity of it all. I have forgiven it and we have moved past it, still no update on her families attendance at a hypothetical second wedding though lol*

Anyways then in April, my little sister’s boyfriend D wanted to propose, and asked for my help because her and I were so close. The last thing I wanted to do while dealing with my divorce from an abusive crazy ex is help other people in happy healthy relationships get engaged. Petty? Yes, very, but also it was my truth.  But I helped anyways. I wanted to cry the whole time, but I helped. I also must’ve subconsciously been pissed because I was supposed to record the whole proposal on my phone, and I honestly thought I was videoing the whole thing, but when we went to watch it after there was no video. I don’t know if I forgot to press record or what, but I honestly felt terrible. Either way, she got a beautiful ring on her finger in a room full of her family and friends and flowers. I know she’ll remember it forever without the video… I hope :/  Irregardless, it was a MUCH better proposal than mine, good job D.

My dad sort of kept to himself about the whole thing. That was his style though. Mostly just let my mom do her thing.  But when my sister got engaged, I’ll always remember he brought up the whole “don’t you dare hurt my daughter, or I’ll kill you speech” And in that moment I was so mad at him. It was the same speech he had given E. I was his daughter. I had been hurt. And Dad… you did nothing. You literally did nothing. In the one moment I NEEDED someone to keep their promise to me, to protect me, to keep me safe. You did nothing. For a few weeks all I could think about when I looked at my Dad was how he let me down. I obviously don’t condone violence, and I didn’t actually expect him to do anything to E. But I did want him to shut his mouth about it. It was so hypocritical and made me feel like maybe I wasn’t worth it to him. It took me a while to get over it, and still bothers me to hear him talk about it. I’d rather hear him say nothing than false promises like that.

Then on top off all this, I had constant calls, emails, Facebook messages, texts you name it, from E and his family. Harassing and threatening me at every turn. I blocked all sorts of numbers and they would just call from other phones. Then, they started bothering my mom on Facebook.

Ahh good ol family.

It was no wonder that I became depressed and suicidal by the Fall of 2014.


-Coldplay/Scientist-