22 August 2008

Sweet Surprises

A decent ending to a pretty dreadful week. I finish up at the office, change into my work clothes (haha) and head to the tavern. I find that somehow they have moved me off the schedule and I am not needed. I chit chat with the other girls for a few moments, cash my $9.15 check, and head for home. Sweet freedom. I didn't want to be there tonight. I had been told they would need help covering for people off, and I am (stupidly) responsible that way. One more week, and I'm done with them. It's a relief I can barely describe.

This week at the office has been a mix of busywork and projects. I have to keep up with my daily routine. We have spent two mornings in live demonstrations of software at which we're looking. Software that yours truly has researched, compiled quotes for, and have been told that I am lead project manager on the whole affair.

Wow. This is huge. This is a family run business in which projects are usually headed up by a family member. I am honored to have been given this measure of trust. And secretly doing a happy-dance because I am in charge of it, not the cutie-but-not-hottie foreign exchange IT guy who is chomping at the bit for me to fail this task.

We have one more software demo to sit through, then will make a decision as a group as to which one we want. From there, I am in charge of preparation, scheduling, installation, and training of the others. This I have missed. When I had my own consulting business 3 lifetimes ago, this is what I did. Systems analysis and design for other businesses and individuals. I held training classes; created and published my own manuals, and ran a store. It has been 9 years since I closed up shop, when my marriage ended and I took on the world (again).

I love the challenge, the planning, the organizing data. Turning raw information into usable facts. Setting up schematics for system organization. Finding solutions for what are not necessarily problems, but rather situations that need fine-tuning.

Our trucking company does everything by hand. Dispatching drivers is done with paper and pencil. Information tracking is handled on what is becoming a rather huge spreadsheet. The functionality works; it is cumbersome. Information is written in a book, turned over to me to put in the spreadsheet, tracked through as the paperwork comes back in, moved to different areas of the spreadsheet depending on in which phase we are - billing, payment, waiting on invoices from outside carriers, completion. When the time is right, we manually enter the information into a very old accounting program (which is no longer supported by the company) and invoices are created. Payables are done by a manual checkbook which the accountant pours over once a month. It is archaic, yet was at one time suitable for 5-10 trucks. We now have 25, and are projecting (to the best of our limited ability) growth for which we must prepare.

So I drag my computer-illiterate, pre-historic boss kicking and screaming into the 21st century. He bitches; then admits he knows it needs to be done and that is why I was hired. I've worked on computers, programmed, and set up systems for


twenty-two years now.

Holy sheep shit Batman.


So I am excited. Not nervous. This is old hat. I wish I could get it all done in one night. I will fight myself to not rush through and overtax myself. It will be a measure of restraint.

Add to this the situation with Pickle this week. *sigh* She's holding up; she's scared and constantly battling wits with her mind-fucking father. She called Crime Victims Services. Who told her they couldn't tell her to go against court-stated documents, then turned around and called Children's Services after they told her they wouldn't without talking to her first.

Not that it matters, because CS never bothered to call back or investigate the situation. There's a shock. They're all too busy getting ready for the election, and worrying about finding other jobs.


'Zac: Now, Miss B, let's be fair. There are other younger children in far worse situations than Pickle who need immediate attention.

MB: Yea, so? This is MY child; they are not.

'Zac: If it were reversed and it were YOUR child being beaten, molested, burned, or sold for drugs...

MB: *waves hand* yea, yea. I know. I don't wish them harm. I would kill the bastards that did that to them myself if I could. You know the whole story.

'Zac: It will be...

*stretches neck*

I lost her once to this sociopath 16 years ago. I battled for 8 years. For most of those, I was walking dead. There was no life for me. There were the other children, and by no means do I discount them for the sake of one. Any mother who has lost a child in any capacity (death, custody, drugs) knows the anguish. There were years where I had a constant ache in my heart. I did not care what happened to me. I did not have a reason to care about my life. I existed to work, provide for the other kids, and pull myself into a fantastical world because I could not deal with reality.

Have you ever felt yourself losing your mind? Not the "where the hell are the car keys, I wish the baby would stop screaming, would someone shut that fucking dog up" lose your mind.

The sitting on the edge of the bed, holding on for dear life, rocking back and forth, scared to death because you can feel it sliding away and not knowing how to stop it, or if it will ever be right again. Seeing the look in your husband's eyes, knowing he knows, asking him if he sees it, and hearing him say yes. And even though he holds you as tight as he can, with tears running down his cheek, it's still weeks before you can get any sort of grip on reality. Knowing you can never ever trust anyone, even if they don't deserve it.

That's a scary fuckin' feeling, my friends. I do not want to take that trip again. Ever. And every time the world drops out from under me, it reminds me of that time, and to what I do not want to return.

So I wait, willing myself to calm down. Maintain one day, one hour, one minute at a time, until we go to court at 4p Tuesday for the pre-trial. The attorney is confident it will be solved that day. I am cautiously optimistic, yet am resolving myself to not hope for anything as the fickle finger of fate winds it's way through. Her father has a way of coming through things unscathed. To wish or hope that this time will be different would be foolish. Right now, the only thing holding this back is that he asked his parents for money to fight the custody hearing, and the mother told him no. We are not through court yet. She is his mother. This could very easily change.

I saw the parents at a band function this week. The father was extremely pleasant, jovial, and well-mannered with me. The mother was stoic, reserved, and very cautious around both me and Junior. Junior asked me if I noticed it, and thought she may be mad. She was too young to remember this was the way I was treated by both of them during the early years of custody fights. It stirred old feelings of apprehension and caution. This time, however, I do not have the gut-wrenching pains and nausea. I am much more in control of myself. Guess I'm a big girl now. *snort*

So I send little messages to Pickle... hi. love you. what's up? in the hopes that they somehow brighten her moments and give her the resolve to finish out the time without finding herself in a terrible spot. She starts classes Monday, and on the second day, Squid goes to the Navy, and we go to court. I must remain calm and strong for her. She has a reserve of strength that has surprised even me, yet I see it cracking. She's reaching her breaking point. She already knows life is not good, and kind, and fair. She still has that effervescence, that life, that joie de vive. I'm not ready to see that die. She will miss Squid terribly. He is a good friend to her. He has been a solid rock of peace and comfort for her. How cruel, life's irony. He cannot be there when she needs him the most, though he would give a limb to do it. She puts on a brave front, but this will be her first big heart-break. I hope she realizes that it is not because he didn't want to be there; the timing just didn't work out right.

As for other surprises, this week my oldest came home from her vacation with a "promise ring." A beautiful 3 stone with stones down the side, small white-gold promise ring. We talked about what it meant, and was she willing to take that step, and about her father issues, and not treating her fella badly, because he's not her dad. I also saw him at our mother/daughter night out on Wednesday. He only had a 20 minute break for class, otherwise he would have been given the riot act for not talking to me before giving her this ring. He, however, was smart enough to know that he was just biding his time, and his expression showed he understood that fact. LOL. I love terrifying them. It's not intentional; it's just so damn easy.

Last night my father told me he wanted to see a doctor to do something about the Parkinson's. He's talked to people who have used meds and can get the shaking to stop. He is concerned about the known compulsive side effects. This is a huge breakthrough. This man has been to a doctor once in his adult life. Only because my mother tricked him and told him she needed to go and he needed to drive her. :) My parents are great. I did not bring it up because I knew unless it was his idea, he would not be receptive. So I hid my surprise behind the awesome grilled ham and steaks and cauliflower (meatfest!) and told him I'd find one.

People are leaning on me. Needing me. Asking me for help and guidance. People to whom I've turned for guidance and help. People whom I thought would never see potential in my abilities or . It is......... strange.

From my spot in the living room, I can see my father sleeping in his room. The low light shines across his face. He is peaceful. I thought it would be more difficult having him live with me. It is surprisingly pleasant. I am extremely grateful for this time with him. So I sit back, and look forward to the next conversation, the next shared movie, the next grill-out.

Unlike Dork, who has called and texted me several times this week. I just did not feel like dealing with his childish drama. He knows what's going on, but not having any kids, cannot relate, cannot comfort, cannot be someone I turn to for support. I suppose I need to end it properly. He will just have to wait until we get through the worst of it.

Mr M has sent little joke messages, called once, and occasionally I catch him on Yahoo (I've had little time to be on it at work-too much happening). He asks about Pickle, he sends words of encouragement (and of course words of ribald jokes and crude innuendos) that bring a smile, even if I don't have the energy to respond. I try to remember to thank him. It's been so long since I've had anyone to turn to for support of any level, I sometimes forget my manners. silly.

So I'm off tonight, and just vegged out, finished a book, watched a movie, took a nap, and finally had to write. I'm mulling things about the work project in my mind. I've told myself I'm not going to dedicate my entire weekend to it, but I know that once I start actually drawing the process boards, reorganizing the information, and working on the plan, I will not be happy until the process is complete. Work is my escape. I must escape from my escape.

I feel the pains coming back into my shoulders and neck. I must keep busy this weekend, for I cannot afford to sit and dwell on Pickle. The mind can twist you into roads you should not travel if left alone too long. So I will clean, organize my room, ready the house for the fall, and prepare for my classes which start in a week and a half. Ahh, the sweet sanity of structure and fact.

In the words of Pickle, I'm such a dork. *grin*

1 comment:

Wien. said...

Miss b,

I've got that lump in my throat that only a mom who understands the loss of a child can feel.

People are leaning on you because you now put out the vibe of strength.

Inside we may feel like shit, like a crumbling piece of plaster, but on the outside we can stand strong and be there and get the job done. That is because we grow stronger with each disaster. You've had your share. It's time to get things done.

I will be beside you in court in spirit.

Hang in there mom.