09 September 2008

Nothing but thanks

Today we're having a moment of autumn. It's not raining precisely, but it's doing that signature SC thing where you can't decide if it's fog or actually clouds and everything around you is just decidedly wet. I'm meeting my family (they're taking Gabey so he can go earlier) at the County Fair tonight, so I hope the skies don't decide to make up their mind and rain. You should just continue with the foggy drizzle okay? Or clear up all together?
The fair is one of my favorite things, all year round. Now that I've lived some other places, I can tell you with confidence that the County Fair is the best one I've ever been to, which actually makes relatively little sense. Why would we have a more expansive agricultural section here than in Butte County? I have no idea.
When I first moved to Chico, I was very sad and pregnant, and I didn't have any friends, because I had moved there with a baby in my belly and I didn't have a social network and K was all weird and refused to introduce me to any of his friends.
Then it was Labor Day weekend and also my birthday and also I was hormonal and emotional and gloomy and angry with my family and profoundly lonely, and all I wanted to do was go to the state fair in Sacramento because I LOVE the fair, and it was a tame, fun thing I could do in light of the new-found, forced tameness that is a pregnancy.
Then K and I got in a fight about...something.  If I had to guess I would say it was about the fact that I had picked up my life and moved for him in an attempt to make "us" work, and try to work as a family, and he spent all of his time studiously ignoring me and (I later found out) telling all of his friends that I was just his pregnant friend whom he was helping out. Not like his girlfriend and the mother of his child or anything. Not like that precious child I was carrying inside of me was his, was Gabriel, was perfect.
So.  Because of whatever fight it was that day, he didn't get me a birthday present, or even hang out with me on my birthday, and I cried. Then that weekend he drove down to Sacramento and went to the state fair (he never even LIKED the fair!) with his friends, leaving me to cry by myself in Chico.
When people ask me why we didn't work out, and when I feel like being slightly more specific than, "Well we didn't get along, but the lying and cheating didn't help," that's one of the stories that comes to mind. But it's also one of the stories that I never like to tell because mostly (even though he doesn't believe me) I don't tell the very worst stories, because really? They reflect very poorly on me and my choices, and I don't want to BE the pathetic loser who ended up thousands of dollars in debt without a leg to stand on. I want to present myself as a slightly more capable adult.
I'm going to fair tonight, with my family, my beloved, supportive family. As one of the things that I really, genuinely love, it's really made me think about how happy I am to be living here, and how much it means to me that Gabriel gets to grow up around so many people who love him so much. When I look back at the time I spent in Chico, first in an unhealthy relationship afraid to talk to anyone about how bad it really was (because then I would admit that I was WRONG WRONG WRONG), and then as a single mother, on welfare, jumping through hoops, trying to co-parent with an individual who doesn't know HOW to be dependable no matter how he tries (I think hope he tries), I have the hardest time remembering how I made that work, and how I maintained my sanity.
Then I read the posts I wrote when I was stressed about money, child support, disappearing on Christmas, failing at life, K as a role model to my son, trying to do right by my son, and just a lot of general fuckery, and I realize that, oh yeah, I was totally drowning in my own world, and it wasn't working at all.

I just wanted to put the words down: I'm very happy that I moved here, and very grateful to my family. Thank you.


  1. You made me think of when I was pregnant with my daughter and her dad was such a shit. He had a birthday party when I was 4 months along and didn't invite me. He went out with his friends frequently and left me behind, even on the the night we were supposed to have child birthing classes, and went out of town on a boating trip right after I had surgery. But I am older and wiser and would never tolerate it now.

  2. This reminds me once again of how excited I am to raise our son around my family. I don't think the kid could be loved more fiercely by a better group of people. I am so glad that you have a wonderful family to share him with!!

    And I love the fair! But no one will ever go with me. Maybe one day if I am in town, we could go together?

  3. I feel for you...been there, done that.

    On a lighter note, I hope you and Gabey have fun at the fair with your family!

  4. I might not ever say it, but I really admire you and your ability to use your sense of humor to get through all of your shit. I think you're a mighty fine young lady :)

  5. You are amazing. I'm so proud of you.

  6. I have three teenage daughters and as I read your post I wondered if they would be able to do what you did. Not only survive but find the love and humor in life and realize where you came from and appreciate where your going.

    Thanks, a dad...

  7. so first of all
    and secondly, great job describing that SC weather.... I know exactly what you're talking about. and i miss it

  8. Being grateful and allowing yourself to feel it and express it, makes all the negativity wash away. Clearly your parents did a great job with you and I have no doubt in my mind that you can pay it forward with Gabriel!