Reblog: Any Questions?

As I’m gearing up for Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to share a series of posts about my experiences being a mother. First up is this one when I was pregnant with Munch. This post was originally shared on January 25, 2008.  I was about 20 weeks pregnant and having complications. We had to go and see a specialist after I spent the weekend in the hospital.  I was married to Munch’s dad and this was our first child, so we were both quite nervous. Some more than others…

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LT and I went to see a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist regarding the shortening of my cervix and the development of the baby’s brain. The doctor said everything was fine with the baby and the brain stem and flap looked normal.  I thanked God. We got the cutest pictures of the baby in my stomach.

The hospital had told us last week the sex of the baby. We knew we were having a boy, I was right all along, but LT decided to question the sonographer. LT: “Are you sure it’s a boy because I heard that sometimes sonograms can be wrong”. Sonographer: “Here’s the penis and here’s the scrotum, any questions”.

LT was truly annoying the sonographer yesterday. She would say, “The fluid levels in the sac look normal” and LT would then ask “So, the fluid levels in the sac look normal?”. I asked him “Why are you repeating everything she says and then asking it like you just didn’t hear her? He said, “I just want to be sure of what I am hearing.” It frustrated the hell out of me.  I told him to bring a video camera next time so we can record it and he can play it back later. Without a doubt I am married to the craziest man in the world.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Temporary

She was temporary. She knew it. He never committed to spending time with her until the last minute. He was always so busy.

It was either work, family or parenting responsibilities that consumed his time. He wanted her to understand. She understood. She understood that she was temporary.

He was a successful business man. Never talked about his past and always lived in the present. He had no time for deep discussions on the state of the union, climate or world issues. Too busy to travel for pleasure. Too many work commitments. Can’t make a charity gala with her sorority. He had to take his son to practice.

She was supposed to understand that she had landed a good one. He was smart, funny and wealthy. He treated her fine, but fine wasn’t good enough. She wanted sparks. She wanted chemistry. She wanted more.

She wanted a man that seemed interested in what she had going on. She didn’t want to make temporary plans or be temporary in anyone’s life. She wanted permanency. She needed it.

His kisses said he desired. His touch was warm and inviting. But, that wasn’t enough. His heart was cold. He wanted no long term plans with her. He couldn’t even lie to her to make her believe that they had a future, but she knew. She sighed.

She sealed her good bye letter with a kiss from her red lips. She loved the gifts. She loved the man she met that night.

But she knew she was a temporary reprieve from his chaotic life. Being a mistress was always temporary. There could be no future from someone else’s husband.

Today’s post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt of the day was temporary

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Divorce and Dating

One of the hardest things to do is dating after divorce when you have kids. I know it’s hard and complicated because I’ve been there. You want to have a social life and date, but sometimes if you’re parenting full-time, your schedule doesn’t allow that. I get it.

My mom was a single parent. She and my dad separated when I was 9 and my siblings were 6 and 9 months respectively. It was hard. I swear, I don’t think she dated for the first 5 years. How could she?

She worked 3 jobs to support us and she didn’t have the time to focus on dating when she was busy paying bills and raising us. She went to school to complete her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate all while raising and putting us through college. She was quite busy.  Between her jobs, working on completing her education and raising us she really didn’t have time to date.

I think part of me wonders had she had the opportunity to really grow in a relationship with a man would she be a different person. I suppose she would, but I know that wasn’t in her cards. She sacrificed. She made us her priority. She never had random men around us. We only met 3 men in our entire lives. They never hung out at our house and they came and picked her up and left.

There was no string of men in and out of our lives. I’d like to believe that was absolutely beneficial for us. We never called her male friends “uncle so and so” or got attached to people who were not relationship possibilities.

Knowing how I grew up it seemed pretty standard for me in terms of dating after divorce.  I wasn’t going to introduce Munch to anyone that I was dating. I didn’t want him to see a string of men who could honestly just be friends hanging out with me. If you were special, he would know it.

Munch approached me about meeting Mr. C. His response was pretty cool for an 8 year old…“Mommy, why haven’t I met him? I know all your friends.” He was right. He did know them all, but part of me wanted to keep my relationship with Mr. C and my relationship with my son separate. I wasn’t ready.

I reflected on my childhood and the relationship that I had with Munch and then made the decision that they could meet each other. It was 9 months after dating him that there was an initial introduction and a year later before he was seeing us hanging out. I am careful to craft the boundaries of the relationship with the man that will most likely be helping me raise my son.

Last October when Munch and I were travelling to a wedding in Virginia. He asked me where Mr. C was. Mr. C had come over to spend some time with us prior to us heading out of town. I told him that he was at home. Munch asked “Did you take him home this morning?” “No, he went home last night” I said. I reminded him how I tucked him into bed and then went to sleep in my room.

He said “Oh”.

I’m careful of the narrative I craft for the young man that I love and adore. I never thought I would have to answer these questions, but I understand and respect his curiosity. So I explained that I love Mr. C and he loves me too. I told him that we have agreed that our love is amazingly special and we will not disrespect our children by playing house and not being married. I told him that he will never live in a home with a man that is not my husband.

I asked him “Do you understand?” He responded “Yes”. The funny part is that I don’t know if he understands. However, I know that dating with children is hard and it is a balancing act. Although I would never judge anyone’s choices I choose to make sure that Mr. C is going to lead my son like the man I know he is.

The thing is this…I was never good with setting or keeping boundaries. I am now. I have no choice. It’s not about me anymore. It’s also about Munch.  My boundaries require Mr. C and I to be married before living together. Why? Because I don’t want my son to see me playing house with a man that is not my husband. I want a man to know that if he loves me like he says then he’ll put a ring on it and a roof over our heads and we’ll be a legal family. I’m not rushing a marriage, but I’m not breaking my boundaries either.

Do you believe that you should live together prior to marriage if you have children? Have you ever lived with someone and either of you had children prior to marriage? Did you get married? How long after living together did you get married?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

Divorced Again

I told you in yesterday’s post Failure of the Court how we went to court for a modification of custody to find out that we are still legally married to each other. The court failed us. We thought we were divorced, but the divorce wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. It was a sham.

In Maryland you can have both your divorce and custody tied together if there are no issues. It’s simpler, more effective and cheaper. I chose this route since I filed for divorce. It saved us time and money. However, because our custody was tied to the divorce and not separate. There was no custody agreement because there was no divorce.

You see the dilemma?

We were both having mini-breakdowns and trying to navigate what happens now. The magistrate explains that he can’t discuss custody because we’re still legally married and that divorce we were given is invalid so we can’t modify the custody as part of the divorce because the divorce is invalid. Basically, no one has custody. Are you freaking kidding me? What?

We were trying to digest all the information that was provided. The magistrate informed us that he was upset over the situation as well and wanted to get out of meeting with us because he couldn’t bear to hear that one of us had remarried and what that meant because he had defended a woman that had a similar situation in another county.

In Maryland, bigamy is a felony that can result in an individual spending up to nine years in jail.  The only way out of it is if your “ex-spouse” has been gone for seven continuous years or you don’t know where your “ex-spouse” is living at the time of your new marriage. That meant that if either of us had been remarried we would have been charged criminally with a felony because the courts screwed up our divorce. They don’t care if you knew about their screw up or not because you are charged criminally and divorce is a civil case.

This is getting more frustrating.

To learn that even if you didn’t know that your divorce was invalid and the courts were at fault and you get remarried you could still catch a felony case? To put it in perspective, our magistrate then tells us a story of a client he had a few years ago that went through this. She went through a bitter custody and property divorce. Her ex was upset because it wasn’t favorable to him. They settled custody and property and then the woman’s attorney filed for divorce. The divorce was filed 11 months after their separation and they were granted a divorce.

Fast forward two years and the woman is remarried and just had a baby with her new husband. She receives in the mail a bench warrant for her arrest and a notice vacating her divorce as invalid. Her “ex-spouse” had went to the state’s attorney’s office and requested that he check their files because their divorce wasn’t legal because Maryland required a 12 month separation not 11 months. The state’s attorney found out it was true and then the woman’s life became a two year nightmare of having to fight a felony bigamy charge, getting divorced, getting remarried and getting her life back.

We sat there dumbfounded.

I said “I don’t understand how the state can charge someone for something they did. The state is at fault because you can’t marry or divorce yourself so if documents aren’t valid then the state is at fault for that. How am I to be criminally charged with their poor hiring choices? That’s not my fault.” He responded “It’s not your fault and you did nothing wrong. But, Maryland law is firm.”

Thank God neither one of us remarried.

The magistrate then asks us do we still want to be divorced. Umm, yes. However, I said that I don’t want to pay for it. I paid the first time and it was a waste of money so everything should be free.

So, he has us go to the paralegal’s office down the hall and have them print out a complaint for absolute divorce and an answer to an absolute divorce. I then requested a complaint for custody and an answer to complaint for custody.

We completed the forms and I asked for sole custody in all paperwork. Both sole physical and sole legal.  I wasn’t going to stop his visitation, but I needed written confirmation on how we’re supposed to do this. We went back into the court room and the bailiff let him see my forms so he knew how to respond in answer. The bailiff gave the forms to the magistrate.

We asked questions on how do we proceed not having a signed custody agreement in place, he said as a lawyer I would advise you to keep things as they are until you go before a judge. No matter how you want to change it, the courts care about how the child is coping with things now.

We sighed.

He included a line in the decree to untie it from the divorce and we would get a separate custody agreement. He turned on the recording and then proceeded to divorce us.

We were divorced again. We left feeling somewhat defeated. This ordeal was working our nerves.

We then met with the scheduling coordinator and turned in our custody paperwork. The coordinator then scheduled all of the things we needed to do including the temporary hearing for 3 weeks. It was overwhelming to say the least.

We go to court again for a hearing on May 4th. My ex-husband (I pray this is in fact legitimate) and I will go to discuss a temporary custody agreement, attend parenting classes and mediation and then have a final custody hearing in August. It’s a hot mess.

We are trying to meet and work some things out on our own prior to our May 4th court date. The more that we try to do on our own and just have the courts put it in writing the better off. There are no winners in our battle for custody. I know that. Ultimately, Munch will be the loser, so knowing that allows me to try to meet with him and work some stuff out on our own.

At this point I realized and began to accept the silver lining in all this. What silver lining you might ask? The fact that he wanted a modification which got us back in court to realize that our first divorce wasn’t real and then actually get divorced again. This allowed us to not have to catch a felony case or sue the state for negligence.

You see? God was in it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Failure of the Court

I want to thank each and every one of you who responded via a comment on my blog or on my Facebook page offering words of support, prayer and encouragement. I truly needed them and I appreciated them all. I have always tried to be transparent on many things in my life so that you could know that you are not alone in whatever situation you are going through. I go through things too.

That is why I decided to let you know about my ex and I going back to court yesterday in my post I Broke. The overwhelming support and prayers motivated me to know that yesterday would not be the end. It let me know that I am not alone. You are all amazing.

So, to update you on what happened yesterday…

We went to court yesterday. I, with my two witnesses and my ex with his 12 or 14. LOL, it was a lot. I only knew two people, but whatever. We checked in and didn’t speak and sat on different sides of the waiting room. Our court appointment was at 1:00. I checked in at 12:38 and we didn’t get called back until almost 2:00 p.m. It was so nerve wracking.

My mom and best friend tried to keep my nerves at bay by cracking jokes and trying to get me to laugh. It was very thoughtful. I just kept thinking about how God’s greatness and mercy are with me all the time and that whatever happens that I know God is in it. I had to stay focused on his promise and not this problem.

When called we all follow the bailiff to the court room. My party of 3 and my ex’s party of 15. The bailiff has us wait and then comes back and says that the magistrate only wants to see the two parents.

Okay.

That was weirdly unexpected, but whatever. It’s not a show. I get that.

We get into the courtroom and we’re told to have a seat. We explained that we didn’t know where to sit because it lists me as the plaintiff, but he had asked for a modification to the custody agreement so wouldn’t he be the plaintiff? He said “No, you’re still the plaintiff because it’s a modification to the original case and you were the plaintiff in that case.” Okay. We sat down.

Now, in Maryland they use magistrates. According to Maryland Courts “A family magistrate is an officer of the Circuit Court who is selected by the judges of that court to hear certain family law and juvenile cases.” He wasn’t a judge, but an appointment by the judge who is a lawyer. Not Joe Blow off the street.

Back to the story…

He then tells us that he’s having this conversation off record. He wasn’t recording it yet. We’re both new to this process so we were both fine with it. He asks the question about me filing for divorce and the divorce being granted last year. He asks me to tell him about that proceeding.

I told him what happened from the moment I filed for divorce to when we came to court and were divorced. He said “Okay, that’s consistent with what I read from the transcript and in your submitted paperwork.” He asked “Are either of you remarried?” I replied “I’m not.” My ex answered “No.”

The magistrate then tells us that “Okay, thank God.” He then tells us “You’re both still legally married.”

What?

How is that possible?

We sat there dumbfounded. He then tells us that there is a process in Maryland which we are required to follow before a divorce can be considered legal. Here is the process:

  1. You file for divorce with the court.
  2. Court sends you the paperwork outlining how to serve the individual.
  3. Individual is served.
  4. Person has 30 days to respond.
  5. If after 30 days no response is given, the person that filed for a divorce is supposed to submit a default based off no response given.
  6. After default is submitted a court date is given to both parties for a hearing on the matter.
  7. After attending the hearing a divorce is granted.

Now in our case, this is what happened:

  1.  I filed for a divorce.
  2.  Court sent the paperwork to me and I gave it to my best friend.
  3. My best friend sent the paperwork certified to my ex’s house.
  4. My ex never responded.
  5. I received a notice from the court for our hearing date and showed up.
  6. Went to court and we were granted a divorce.

So, steps were missed on the court’s part and the divorce wasn’t considered valid. Yep, we were as shocked as you reading this right now. How the hell could a court mess this up? How could a judge sign off on this knowing it wasn’t valid? What could have happened?

I’ll let you know in tomorrow’s post as this post is getting really long.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Dating Deadlines

Is it wrong to create dating deadlines in a relationship? How long will you date a man before you make him “put up or shut up” and take your relationship to the next level?  I’m not saying that we should date a man indefinitely, but when do you expire your relationships because they don’t end in marriage? Do you give an unlimited time frame or are you more specific in your dating goals?

I read this great article about Why You Should Never Date A Man More Than A Year and wondered do all women do this? Do we give our significant other a timetable to move our relationship from one level to the next? Has this worked in your favor whether good or bad?

I want to know.

The article made great points and after reading the comments, the author said she was referring to women in their 20’s and 30’s. I thought cool. I commented and told her that it was a great  read and I understand it, but it wouldn’t apply to me as I am divorced and in my 40’s.

My priorities have shifted. I no longer feel the need to rush down the aisle. Now, don’t get me wrong…I have a dating timetable, but I don’t want anymore children and I have no desire to rush the process. I’m taking my time and really focusing on creating a healthy union full of good ole’ communication.

Nope, I don’t believe it will be perfect. But, I’m willing to work on me, while he works on he so then things can move to “we”. Marriage is a big step for anyone. I learned a lot about myself in my marriage and I learned a lot about other people. The 27 year old me really didn’t know herself.

Knowing your self is fundamental to a relationship. Don’t compromise on the things that you know that you can’t live with. It will destroy your sanity in the end. You will look up one day and realize that you wish this man would go somewhere and die a slow ass death.

But I digress.

Back to me. The point is that at 42 I need to be sure that I’m ready to get married again and that the man is there too. Munch can’t watch another family break up. I need a couple of years of dating exclusively for us to get to that level. One year is too short for me.

I’m looking to get remarried someday and won’t casually date a man that isn’t looking for the same. I explained that to Mr. C on our third date. He didn’t run. He agreed that he was open to getting married again.

I smiled. I told him that I wanted him to tell me if he ever knew that I wasn’t the one. Let me find my happiness elsewhere. He laughed. Probably thought I was crazy. I did tell him though that I would not date him beyond two years without an engagement to let me know that he’s serious (the 2 year mark is 8.15.18). At that point we would have dated for 2 years exclusively and almost 3 years. But, that doesn’t mean that we’ll rush to the alter.

I want to enjoy being engaged. I want him to spend time with Munch and I. I want us to do things as a family before and after we get engaged. We need to get Munch used to the fact that we’ll be combining families and lives and he’ll have a bonus dad. That is something that I don’t want to rush. Maybe I’m too cautious, but I’ve seen so many marriages put together without the kids getting an opportunity to truly know the other spouse that it creates a difficult relationship.

I don’t want that. I want to take my time dating, loving and being a girlfriend to a wonderful man. Go at our own pace (as long as it fits within my timeframe, LOL) and know that we are building for longevity. The other thing we’re doing is working our relationship on God’s terms. Not mans.

So, if God says “T, fall back.” Guess I’m falling back. I trust that what God has for me is just for me. The key is not to get married, but to stay married and if you rush your process you may find yourself ending up in divorce.

 

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

#MyFirstPostRevisited

Hi everyone! Lisa from Life of an El Paso Woman tagged me to participate in the My Very First Post challenge. The challenge was started by blogger Sarah Brentyn.

Here are the rules for this challenge below:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  • Tag…um…five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include “the rules” in your post.

My first blog post is titled “MLK Weekend”. In it I tell you why I started blogging 9 years ago. I took many breaks from blogging. A few years in fact until 2013 when I made an effort to be more consistent. This post was made January 22, 2008. I was pregnant and I was married to my ex-husband. Check it out here:

Today is my first day back at work after observing MLK’s birthday yesterday. It was a low key day. I mostly slept and then went grocery shopping. We don’t sale shop during his birthday out of respect for one of the greatest men that ever lived. We remembered and talked politics. Mostly the economy, the baby and the upcoming move. I realize now that I am pregnant, anything pops into my head and I want to discuss it. I can’t seem to retain information for long periods of time either.

Rewind…
My name is Tikeetha and I have been married for about 5 1/2 years to Lydell “aka” Lee Thomas. Thus, after much force I took his last name. Actually, it wasn’t bad, Lee stated that he wanted his last name on my name somewhere. He didn’t care if I hyphenated or changed my last name entirely. He wanted everyone to know that I was a married woman. It was crazy because he acted like you couldn’t see the big ring on my finger. So, after 5 1/2 years of marriage, Lee and I find ourselves being able to reproduce. We are still astonished that God has granted us this ability. We just found out that we are expecting a boy this May. I knew I was having a son; however, Lee was in denial. He insisted that we were having a girl, because genetically, every female in my family up through my grandmother had given birth to a girl. That was a lie, but I let him believe it. Even when my grandma did her famous “hand test” to determine I was having a boy, he was still in denial. He harassed her and wanted statistical information to the fact that she had predicated sexes of babies in our family for years. He wanted her to admit that she has been wrong and to indicate that her test doesn’t have a 100% accuracy rate. I couldn’t believe it. So, when I happily found out that we were having a boy, I called Granny to let her know. She was tickled pink. She said, “I knew it was a boy, I just didn’t want to hurt Lee’s feelings”.

Fast Forward to 3 days ago…
Lee and I had dinner with some friends. I love this time because I enjoy telling his friends the harassing and embarrassing things he tells me so that they can laugh at him. So, over dinner I begin to tell them how my husband comes to me a few days earlier to indicate that he thinks he has Lou Gehrig’s aka “ALS” disease. After laughing in hysteria for almost 10 minutes, I asked him what makes you think you have Lou Gehrig’s disease? He said, “I was researching on the web and I think I have the symptoms”. Now, here is an excerpt from an article off of WebMD that indicates what ALS is:

“Over a period of months or years, ALS causes increasing muscle weakness, inability to control movement, and problems with speaking, swallowing, and breathing. The first sign of ALS is usually slight weakness in one leg, one hand, the face, or the tongue. Other problems may include increasing clumsiness and difficulty performing tasks that require precise movements of the fingers and hands. Frequent muscle twitching may occur. The weakness slowly spreads to the arms and legs over a period of months or years. As the nerves continue to waste away and decrease in number, the muscle cells that would normally be stimulated by those nerves also start to waste away, and the muscles weaken.

It is important to remember that having muscle weakness, fatigue, stiffness, and twitching doesn’t necessarily mean that you have ALS.”

I asked Lee, how long have you been feeling this way, “about a week”. I said “Ok, you are now over 30, overweight and have no desire to workout, so could it just be that you are experiencing a fatigue with your weight?” He said “maybe”. So over dinner, I bring up the Lou Gehrig’s disease and everyone is laughing at him like he has two heads. Once the laughter dies down, the question again is asked why do you think you have Lou Gehrig’s disease. He answers, “When you are having a child, you start to think about your immortality and the pains in your body. You won’t think it’s funny if it comes back that I have it.” My husband is impossible. Please pray for me as I continue to document my path from “A Thomas Point of View.

Summary Note:  What’s weird is that he was feeling these problems and had self-diagnosed his own medical condition and we didn’t take it seriously. Fast forward to August of that year and he had multiple strokes and was diagnosed with a disease that causes his blood to thicken and create clots and lupus. He knew something was wrong with his body, but his doctor didn’t run tests to determine if something is wrong.

Please feel free to participate. Of course, there is no obligation! However, this is a great way to catch up any new followers to your blog and what made you start blogging, so I hope you’ll join in.  I nominate the following bloggers to participate:

KC Wise at Black.Bunched.Mass.Mom

Terry at Spearfruit

Michelle Malone at Two Are Better Than One

KE Garland at KE Garland

Ameena at Randoms By a Random

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.