On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Friday, May 16, 2014


Endings and Beginnings
poetry is original work of blog author copyright laws apply 
The school year draws to a close, 
My classroom packed away. 
I wish my students, books and faculty 
Hope for a bright, new day.

For learning things and making friends, 
For laughs and tears alike. 
For songs and tests and merry ways, 
To inspire soaring heights.

Since mid January, the 2.5 miles I have driven to class every day has been delayed, detoured or hindered by the widening of the bridge.  Built in 2008, the road was altered and the new bridge created because there had been so many deaths from collisions or from vehicles going over the narrow, old bridge.  In 2008, I was married, Sissy and AB were attending a grade school that was not serving their IEPs (which later necessitated a waiver to a different school), WG was only 4 and came to class with me to be babysat by students in a work/study program and I was driving through that construction daily.  Now, just six years later, the traffic has increased exponentially, rendering the new bridge obsolete and in true deja'vu fashion, I am traversing the construction zone again.

Construction has been swift.  It has been fun to watch the metamorphosis of the landscape a second time; the giant trucks in action and the colossal cranes in motion.  Some days, when it has been single lane traffic guided by flag men and pilot cars, I have opted to take the detour through the meandering subdivision roads.  Today, as I packed up and drove home from school for the last time, believing in faith that I would find the bridge I will traverse to my next job, home, state, and new life, traffic was halted again.  This time, for the installment of the enormous concrete girders for the new bridge. Two over-sized loads cautiously navigated the intersection, driving past me.  I took a moment to ponder the connection and to receive the blessing - girders are on their way, for the literal bridge and for my figurative life bridge.  There will be safe passage for all, once more.

I have traveled this road indefinitely over the years.  I have laughed, daydreamed, hollered and cried as I've driven it from home to wherever and back again.  I've cranked up the jamming tunes to sing along and I've turned off the sad ones that have made the tears fall, blinding my vision.  Our subdivision is right at the intersection so when we are outside, we can hear the traffic at all hours.  Once, when driving home, I pulled into the turning lane to catch my dog Gracie, who just happened to have escaped our yard and was running into oncoming traffic at the moment I was driving by!  A road named for our county, a bridge too narrow for the traffic, a life traveled on the rubber that meets them, it has been my connection to hopes and dreams, to laughter and pain, to home and love, to work and play, to everything.  If the bridge is getting it's girders, so will I.  

My road hasn't been easy, or fun, to travel.  The daily crying has slowed some, in part because I intentionally took all of last week to process, feel, acknowledge and allow the hurts.  Speaking to my wounded soul, I stopped fighting and let myself feel the hurt.  I concluded the week with a fire, writing all of my anger, bitterness, resentment and pain, then burning the missives.  This week I have felt some emotional relief but I know I will likely do this process a few more times.  The hurt is that deep.  I didn't know.  I didn't see it.  I just kept burying it and assumed it was inconsequential.  My soul has literally begged me to stop and feel.  So I have, I am, I will.

Last Saturday's "Freedom Fire"
I recited the following as I watched the letters burn:

I give the relationships with the people who have hurt me to Divine Order.  it's in God's hands to sort it out.  I give the last 18 years of life in Georgia to Divine Order.  It's in God's hands to sort it out.  I need not fear in letting them all go because my needs have always been met.  I send blessings of peace to all who have hurt me and over the last 18 years while I have lived in Georgia.  I receive blessings of peace for myself. I receive the inconceivable things Universe has planned for me because they are all good.

The next morning, I woke up and I was still sad.  So I wrote again...

Dear Jennie's hurting Soul:
I know it hurts you.  So much.  I know you wanted happiness and love and I agree, it sure did look and feel like that's what you were getting.  And maybe some of it really was real. But I think you have to let that go too.  It wasn't the kind you seek or need because so much pain came with it.  Real love, the kind that is safe, whole and beautiful doesn't hurt like this too.  OK?  Concentrate on the love and light you get from people that don't hurt you shortly afterward.  You will find it.  And it will be more amazing and wonderful than you can imagine.  But you can't find it if you cling to this false love.  It wasn't real.  I know you wanted it to be real.  I know it felt real.  I know.  But so much more waits for you.  It can't come if you can't release this.  So practice.  Release with your left hand, receive with your right.  I love you.  I love that you care and love this much.  I love that you are so precious and giving and kind and all of the beautiful things you strive to be every day for everyone.  Now can you do me one thing?  Be all of that wonderful goodness for yourself.  you are light, you are love, you are healed, you are whole.  The inconceivable plan is already in motion.  Let."

What I haven't shared on my blog, is that this past fall I was in a sort of relationship with a friend from my childhood.  It was fast, it was beautiful, i was so happy and we discussed so many plans.  There was hope, there was light and I thought, love.  He came to visit in November.  Then at the beginning of January, the kids and I visited him and his son.  After many months of sharing so much of our lives, all-day texting, fb msgs, phone calls, emails, skype, visits, he dialed it back to friendship immediately after my return to Georgia.  At the beginning of this whirlwind romance, I had promised that no matter what, I would be a friend because at his admission, he was worried that if we pursued something else, it would ruin our friendship, that it was what always happened with his previous romances and he didn't understand why.  Fear of losing a friendship is the reason we didn't try dating as teenagers.  But that's not the kind of person i am.  I am loyal.  I have always cherished him and his friendship, even in the times of our lives that we lost touch. 

I am still uncertain of what happened, to be honest.   I know only that he has been cruel, cold, angry and lied about many things.  I am saddest of all that we are no longer friends, that by his words, he wishes me well, "the same as he would for any random person he meets on the street."  I am heartbroken.  I have so much love and light, so many people tell me I'm so amazing but all I can hear in my head is the hurtful words, that I'm a "bastet" to him but that I should "stay out", or his text "to be blunt, you can't be on the side" which is a reference to me not being the f!ck buddy type.   To him, I'm a plague.  I think?  At the very least, a nuisance that should be made to go away at all cost because "he tried silence but that didn't work so he tried to be blunt but that didn't work either."  And to that, I am still so confused.  I thought his self-imposed silence was so he could think, process and sort his life, not so that I would take a hint and go the f!ck away.  I thought he was hurting and needed the type of friend that would stick by him.  I was trying to do that all while trying to understand and deal with my own pain of instantly going from his girlfriend that he told everything to, to being...nothing at all.  Overnight, the flirtations and kisses and hugs and poetry and kindness evaporated. In 24 hours time I was getting texts of how I was missed already as i drove 950 miles home with three children by myself to an angry "we're just friends!"

Which was quickly followed by another angry text from someone else telling me how upset I'd made him and that I should back off.  O.o

yes, I know.  I fell for another abusive relationship again.  And that is the other sad part, that I still have not learned what is healthy in love and what is dangerous.  I haven't mentioned it on my blog because I was tracking his IP address on my sitemeter.  I wanted to be sure he wasn't still reading.  In the end, it was my cousin that defended me, intercepting his email of how he no longer wanted to know what was happening in my life.  Her response was unkind but deserved.  I had endured enough heartache at his hand.  It was time he understood how unjust he had been.  That was five weeks ago.  It still hurts.  I still cry.  I had to stop playing the RPG he introduced me too because he said "if i see you on the game, I will be neutral."  Neutral?  wow.  25 years, a romance, sharing our children and our lives...and he could only muster the ability to be neutral toward me on a role playing game should we be logged in at the same time?  WOW.

The struggle has also been in recognizing how abusive my marriage was.  For all of the pain and heartache I have had, discovering that my childhood friend is no friend at all, and perhaps, that not only is my love for him unwanted, neither is ANY of anything I have to offer, in the beginning, he still offered so much more love, light and joy than my ex ever did.  OMG. OMG!  Can you imagine...  that by comparison to THIS recent deluge of pain, it was still better than the abuse of my marriage.  SHOT TO THE HEART.  Thus the intense grief and mourning.  Even as I type this, tears streaming down my face, if he emailed me today and apologized, I would forgive and accept his friendship.  That's all I really wanted in the end - was to be friends no matter what, to go through life's ups and downs together the same as I do with any of my other friends.  My ex?  well.  he can bite me.  In the end, I mailed all of the beautiful things he made and gave to me, to his sister who says she is my friend regardless of her brother's actions.  I couldn't destroy the things he made, the energy and light he put into them, but neither could I have them in my home anymore.  I cried every time I looked at them. I also sent her the necklace he gave me for graduation when we were 17.  17, when we promised that if we were both single at 40, we would get together...now the bridge is burning and I didn't light the match.

(sent this poem to a friend i met on the RPG who has stayed in touch even though I can no longer play) 
Falling Rain
poetry is original work of blog author copyright laws apply 
Pop! Snap! The droplets fall
Making music of it all.
Rain is falling from the sky
Falling, falling, me, oh my!
The sound it soothes my jagged edges;
Keeps me from the heights and ledges
So I don't fall in like kind
And leave the pain of Earth behind. 

 My new nook where I process and journal
It was my quilt corner - now packed up

Journal entry from 5/10: why do I run toward relationship with men that will hurt me when I am so loved, cherished and respected by nearly everyone else?  Why does continued abuse feel like "love" to me?  How do I break this cycle so I can be free?

So much soul searching.  So much pain.  So much loss.  

Journal entry from 5/7:  Dear Jennie's Soul, I am sorry for your suffering.  I am sorry I threw you in the trash believing that's what you were.  I'm sorry I let others treat you like trash.  I'm sorry I rejected your love and light. I'm sorry that I spat on you and told you you had no worth.  I'm sorry I didn't believe that Universe would have an inconceivable plan for me.  I'm sorry I didn't believe I was sacred or worthy of aid.  I'm sorry that I caused you to suffer.  I want to recover.  i want to receive.  I want the fullness of life and love you have been striving for all this time - the same life and love I have subconsciously squelched because i didn't believe you were worthy of it.

An example of pictures I draw when I'm too hurting to journal

I pack up a house that hasn't sold and a classroom I won't teach in again.  I take it one moment at a time.  I breathe.  I try to let go and not control (that's another big lesson for me!)  I look forward and I hold on to hope that what I need, what I want, what i dream for will come in the right time.  I try to trust (sigh...lots and lots of life lessons going on here).  I stay in touch with friends and family and reach out when I hit lows which thankfully, come fewer and farther between.  I'm always afraid that I'll be a pest and annoying when I tell friends and family ONE.MORE.TIME. that I need them, if even to rant or blow off steam because my history with abusive relationships is that eventually I will be annoying and a pain in the ass and someone that just needs to go the f!ck away already.  I push my fears away (yep.  learning learning learning)

My classroom, packed up
A bridge burned - I lit this match

There is a bridge that keeps me tethered, the kids, the new puppy, my friend's German exchange student.  

Hydrocarbon, 8 weeks old, the day we got her
 10 weeks
 HOLY COW!  14.2 lbs and growing - 14 weeks
 AB and carbon when she was 12 weeks
 AB at the barn with his favorite horse, Mia
 WG's silly face 
(i was talking on the phone with a friend and used foul language)
 WG doing her science using Mom's science book
 WG upset that she can't go swimming
 Sissy on a rock at a gas station some where in Virginia

C~ - she's going home to Berlin in a few weeks!  :(
yesterday she told me that I'm one of the most amazing people she's ever met :) 
LOVE U C~!!!
I've promised I will go visit her next year so I can see her and because I have dual citizenship in Germany


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, what a heartbreaking entry. :( I'm just a stranger who ran across your blog by accident long ago, but I wanted to send an internet hug your way!

If you really enjoyed the RPG (assuming it's an MMO) you can switch to a different server or to whatever the other faction is, and you'd never see him in-game again. If you'd like to try a new one altogether, there's one called Aion that's free (and that has very pretty graphics!) Wishing you the best, because you deserve it. Hang in there.

Jennie Skrobisz said...

Thanks for the comment and the thoughts about the rpg. this particular game isnt set up to be in a different realm or server so...i had no choice but to quit. i will look into the one you suggested.

Anonymous said...

Aw, darn. I was hoping that would allow you to still play.

Well, if you do decide to try Aion, definitely pick the "Siel" server (it's the most populated- and that makes MMO-type games more fun). If you decide to play the "dark" side (Asmodian) let me know and I can send some in-game money your way to help you out. :) They made it so new players can't use the main chat channels until they level up to level 20 because they had problems with people spamming, so that makes it hard to get questions answered if you don't know anyone in game, but their website has forums with a lot of good information (and if you need any help let me know, I can give you tips even if you decide to play on the other side.) :) I use the game to distract myself when I'm having a rough time... It's theraputic to kill things, haha!

I hope things start to get easier for you. Take care of yourself.

HisFriend said...

ok, "the jerk's" friend/co-worker here.... i won't even go into all the misinformed out of context "quotes" you happened to choose. not worth it. i am sorry things didn't work out between you two. it was a brief Happy time for you both, i had seen it from this side.

However "but what actually occurred is he just deleted me." is a flat-out lie. he did delete everyone except 6 'friends' on facebook ,and all his phone contacts, only to add them back slowly 2-4 weeks later. and while he was still navigating waters between wife (still technically married, you know?!!) and friend, you 'bought the dress' and were pretty damn persistent too.

Stop playing the victim, maybe? two sides to every story, and you live what you repeat, so repeat the good. sheesh.
just had to put that out there.

Miz Kizzle said...

Sorry your old friend was a jerk, and that his friend/coworker is one too. A giant one, if the above comment is any indication.
There are lots of good men out there. Don't give up.

Anonymous said...

Same commenter as before (I came back to see if you had any Aion questions)-

After reading the new comment above it's clear that they have your blog address and are still reading, so I'd recommend deleting it or no longer posting here. :( I've been a reader for awhile, and was hoping to get to hear about the good times in the future when things (will!) get better for you, but you need to do what's best for YOU now. You don't deserve to be harassed for writing about your feelings. Clearly that commenter wasn't privy to your private conversations with your former friend, and they have no business trying to trash someone when they don't know the whole story. Just my opinion, but I hope you don't take what they said to heart (because they don't deserve that power.)

To that person- get a life. No, really! :) I'm sure he can take care of his own personal life. Or maybe he can't and that's why you posted, but that's his problem.

Susan Cottingham said...

I don't think it is a coworker. I think it is him. This is his anonymity now with a new IP address etc. That way he can read and say what he wants without the repercussions of reality.

In any case, it is not worth it, what you need to do is ask yourself if this person's opinion is important to your well being? I would say NO especially since you don't even know who it is. That is who I determine who to actually "listen" to....do they have my best interests at heart and is their opinion important to my well being? If either answer is NO then I nod or shake my head which ever will get them to shut up faster and go on with my life. That is what you need to do with this person....Nod that they have an opinion - one their parents should have raised them to keep to themselves (remember Bambi - if you can't say nothing nice don't say nothing at all)and then move on because what they have to say is NOT WORTH YOUR TIME.

Jennie, I love you and you know it! BUT even my opinion might not meet both criteria every time....it will always meet criteria one - I will always have your best interests at heart - but only you can decided the second one and if you will listen to me or anyone else.

The final decision is yours and yours alone. Just know that there are jerks out there but there are good people too. You have great friends so there is proof of that. You do first have to be comfortable with yourself (alone) before you can be comfortable with someone else. It just never works out if you want someone just to not be alone....keep you friends....worry about a man later when everything is settled.

Love you bunches

Sue (See I will sign my name I am proud of what I say)

Anonymous said...

To the "co-worker":
you're right about having 2 sides to every story. You're so quick to criticize Jennie for posting her thoughts and feelings to her blog. Did you once ask her "side" or perception of the situation? No. You jump on here and berate her for expressing how she felt about the situation and the very real hurt she's carrying. While Jennie felt very strongly for this man, he also proclaimed to have the same feelings and dreams for/with her. Then a switch flipped and he was saying such hurtful things that really made him seem "unstable". I did read some of them and while Jennie chose certain things to post here, she left out the things he said that showed his instability and that fact that he's a class A a$$hole. With that being said, I am grateful that his colors were shown now. He's not even close to being worthy of an amazing and special woman like Jennie.

Anonymous said...

One more thing "coworker" get a clue, get a life and go away. Jennie hasn't had contact with "him" for some time. She's doing her best to work through the pain and put it behind her. She has more important things on her plate to be concerned with. Not sure why you felt the need to twist the knife and hurt her further. Maybe you're as emotionally twisted as "he" is. There are treatment options for the both of you. I strongly advise you both seek psychiatric help.

Anonymous said...

I posted the last 2 comments anonymous because I couldn't figure out how to put my name in. I am the "cousin" that will defend till the end. My name is Samantha.

Integrity Singer said...

to Anonymous commenter regarding Aion - i will definitely check it out. Just super busy right now with end of the school year stuff.

Be sure to stay in touch on here. I don't intend to stop blogging. Been writing on a blog for 12 years now. It keeps me sane. (I was on livejournal and some of my old readers followed me here)

I started this blog in 2009 with the initial intent to get help for Sissy and to reach out to other parents of children adopted or fostered with trauma and abuse histories.

After my divorce it morphed into a personal journey story which I like better anyway. Sissy and AB have gotten old enough that their challenges become their own story to tell. When they were younger they didn't have a voice and I was desperate for help from any and all that would listen/read.

anyway, be well. Rest assured, I will keep writing and I am now earnestly considering making my family's story into a book (i have been urged by many for years to do so)

Jersey Guy said...

A grown man who's so invested in a role-playing game that he finds it important to mention how he plans to behave if his character (Lord Jerkus,Dark Mage of Ass-hattery?) encounters yours online?
That's just sad.

Integrity Singer said...

OMG Jersey Guy, thank you. I needed that laugh.

Insult to injury, this whole kerfuffle has been but your response... thanks.

wanna get some coffee? lol

Anonymous said...


a very apropos article and so fitting to this situation. I hope it helps. It sounds like you would have liked closure but weren't able to get it. And having read your blog for a while, you come across as someone very genuine, caring and full of compassion. I don't doubt that you would want nothing more but healing for your former friend as well. Your pain about this loss of friendship comes across very clearly in this post.

Here are some healing words that I wish someone had said to me when i went through a similar situation:

I am sorry for your hurt.

I am sorry that you are still getting hurt even now (re: commenter above).

I acknowledge that your pain and loss is real.

I validate your feelings and I hear you. I am listening.

It is clear that you are doing the hard work to make yourself healed and whole. Keep going. Don't stop. Also, reading through the responses, it is clear you are very loved. Hold on to that love and friendship when your hurting waves rise again. And they will.

much love and light back to you,

longtime reader said...

Jennie, I have followed your blog for a long time. You are so strong. I hope you know that you encourage people every day.

I have been wondering what caused you so much heartache lately. After reading this post, it explains a lot. You have had a lot of hurt and struggle in your life!

I am sorry that a commenter was not able to understand how hurtful his (or her) reply would be, especially given all of the other things you've been through. But just know, regardless of what happened, or by whom, the only way you have any true power is to realize these are YOUR wounds and you DO have the power to transform them. And it is evident that you are doing that.

I hope you won't let this deter you from further blogging. I saw one other commenter expressing a similar worry. I like reading your story! So please don't stop. Don't let one comment among all the good keep you from telling YOUR story. Because that's what this is. YOUR story.

Jersey Guy said...

I'd love to have coffee. If you're ever in NJ, look me up. A warning: Jersey Guy is an online moniker; I'm really a Jersey Girl who's married to a Jersey Guy. It's an inside joke, but no deception was intended. Hey, as a cartoon in the New Yorker once pointed out, on the internet, nobody knows we're dogs!
(I guess you had to see the two dogs eagerly leaning over a desktop computer to really get the humor.)

Integrity Singer said...

jersey guy (or gal!) it would be so cool to do coffee with you. for real. Good point - behind the computer, we can be faceless and actually, make up anything we want to. There truly isn't a moral compass guiding bloggers. Which is kinda funny to me because I've always said I'm not a liar, my lying device is broken or something. haha