the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

“Do you get to see your babies?”

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This is another question that I’m asked a lot.

“Do you get to see your children?”

or 

“Do you ever get to see your babies?”

My answer:

“It’s not a matter of ‘get to.'”

Elaboration:

I want to see my babies! Oh, so very much do I want to see them!

I want hold my Lady Bug and kiss her cheeks. I want to play with Legos with her! I want to join her in her favorite activities!

I want to watch my Precious Picklette walk across a room. I want to listen to her assert herself and tell everyone exactly what’s going down! (I wonder who she gets that from…? haha)

I want hold my Sweet Sesame, feed him, and try to make him laugh.

…so, I do want to see my babies, but do I get to? Legally speaking, I can see and be with Precious Picklette. She has not been adopted. She is with her biological father and her stepmother. We all love Precious Picklette. I want her to attach to them as best as possible, before I enter the picture – besides that I do not feel “emotionally” ready to be any type of mother figure to her, right now. Does that sound selfish? I promise you, it isn’t. I will explain all of it to her, someday.

Now, Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame have been legally adopted. Do I get to see them? That’s a confusing question, for me.

I want to see Lady Bug, I do… but I also don’t. I want my Lady Bug to attach to her adoptive parents – which she already has, actually. But I’m scared that she may recognize me and think, “What the crap? Where did you go, these (almost) 2 years?? Where have you been? You’re the one who changed most of my diapers! You’re the one who helped me learn to walk! You’re the one…” etc, etc. …or maybe she would just think, “Hmm, I feel like I know you from somewhere….”

Now, Sweet Sesame… I don’t think seeing him would cause any Earth-shattering hysteria, but I do want him to attach to his parents. I’m  one of his biological parents, but they are his (their) real parents, in my book. I love him and can’t wait to watch him grow up in pictures and videos (both of them), but our time to meet will come.

So, do I get to see my kids? No. Not right now. But it’s not truly a matter of “get to,” because I’ve chosen not to – even if offered the chance.

FYI, don’t offer me a chance. I’d have a meltdown.

Picklette / For Now

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What’s going on with Precious Picklette, lately? I don’t desire to ask, even if I desire to know.

She’s 16 months old and is walking a little bit, the last time I knew.

I have enough going on right now that I’ve decided to avoid the drama attached to knowing anything about Picklette, for now.

With age, people are more and more set in their ways. So, I see no real hope in there being major change in this situation, for now.

Daphne / friend / freon

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Yesterday was my day off from work. It was a requested morning off, but my boss gave me the whole day. Daphne’s father and I signed a few papers having to do with custody (joint conservatory) and access/visitations. 

We signed the papers because we knew we needed to agree on the support amount, but later we got back in contact with each other and found that we both disagreed with the court’s custody and visitation schedules that they assigned for us. The woman that ran through the paperwork with us told us that the schedule was the average doling out of custody and visitation for joint custody parents. 

When we got together, again, yesterday, we came up with and emailed to each other our agreement. 

Yesterday was, in fact, the first time I’d seen Daphne’s father be genuinely appreciative of my desires for Daphne. I think he’s finally realized that I’m serious. He complimented me, saying “I’ve seen a change in you in just the last year and a half. You’re sticking to your decisions more and more. Thank you. I appreciate you.” …he’s always somewhat formal in his speaking, which honestly annoys me – but he knows that.

Until Daphne’s father and I explained our agreement to Daphne’s stepmother (and primary female caregiver), she was upset by the court papers. Several times, Daphne’s father and I had to explain to her that those papers made no difference in what we had decided for Daphne’s future.

I made sure that Daphne’s father knows that when Daphne’s 7 or 8 years old, I want her to be in therapy for a little while (unless more therapy seems needed). I was 2 years old when my parents divorced and I know that being raised in an unconventional way can, at least, sometimes warrant the child(ren) needing to speak with a therapist, to either confirm that they understand the situation their parents are in AND that both parents want what’s best for their child … or to allow there to be someone the child can talk to confidentially about what bothers or upsets them about the situation.

…. after dealing with Daphne’s father, I made my way to a friend of mine’s favorite coffee shop. We talked about the support / visitation / custody order, we talked about my job, and we talked about the economy and college attendance. Basically, this friend of mine is there for me when I need practical advice. He has a Bachelor’s in Economics and I trust his opinion on most things. Most things…

I convinced my friend that we should go to his house, eat dinner, and watch a movie… and that I’d very much appreciate if he’d put some freon in my car – that had zero freon left in it, due to a slow leak. 

We ate BBQ’d chicken (which needed some major ranch dressing help), we watched The Following on (channel) Fox, and he put freon in my car. 

My friend and I used to be a couple (from May 7th, 2008 to June 21st, 2008). Ha! Irony! I hadn’t thought about it ’til just now! We hung out on the 5 year anniversary of us breaking up! haha!

But he and I have been on and off friends, ever since. The idea of ever not knowing him is pure insanity to me. Maybe someday we’ll part ways, but he seems like a staple in my life.

I slept on his couch until 7am. Then, his cat (Chewy) woke me up. I got up, wrote him a note: “Sorry I left so early, but I can’t ever seem to sleep very late anymore. Besides that Chewy is really annoying, this morning. Thank you for dinner, freon and friendship. I love you. ‘I know.’ – Steph”,

and then I drove home… even needing to turn my a/c’s temperature up – because it was actually too cold.