Now, don't get me wrong. Life is EXCITING! I've got a solid A in three out of four classes for this term (even before taking the Algebra final tomorrow I know this, and I'm currently twitching waiting for the Chemistry grades to be posted, that's the one that's borderline and dammit I WANT that A). I met with my adviser yesterday and things are on track for me to apply to the nursing progression for the spring semester (which would mean I'd start actual nursing courses in January). I've got a job interview next Tuesday at the facility where I did clinicals in the STNA training program (a SERIOUS coup, considering HR at my old work place was giving them the run around about sending a faxed reference, and my old boss totally went AROUND them and blew me away with the reference he sent - seriously, I so love that man). My daughter has been accepted for the fall semester and goes to see her adviser on Monday (a bit frustrating since they're so bogged down she can't get in until then, and since registration started last week classes are filling up, but you gotta do what you gotta do). My son has a job interview, his dad had a job interview yesterday...things just seem to be popping all over.
And 'Yote and I just celebrated five years of living together as of Saturday. It really just does get better with us - a fact made even MORE gloriously plain by the fact we're as solid and in love as we are even with all the stress going on.
See...the money is running out. Fast. And even if I DO get this job (which is sounding pretty likely from the impression the former boss got from the lady he talked to when he called her back to make sure she'd gotten the faxed reference, but I don't want to jinx it...), it's not going to cover the bills. We knew this going in (going from 16 years of experience to an entry level job in ANYTHING was going to be a huge pay cut and I knew that). And 'Yote is...stressed. And beating himself up for being useless (he's not, FAR from it, but right now he's not seeing it). And starting to talk about going back to his old job (you know, the one he was having stomach aches over and finally quit with my encouragement last year on Labor Day). I'm worried about him. REALLY worried about him.
At this moment, the bills are paid for August and we've got rent for September. And that's it. Every expense that comes up chips away at what we've got stashed away for rent, and I can see it wearing on him. I'm trying desperately to keep my positive going (because truly, I have a deep sense that everything is working out the way it's supposed to and that we're going to be okay...that the universe has something so fabulous in store we just can't even imagine it right now), but it's hard seeing him so scared.
I'm also holding together an emotional house of cards trying to keep guilt at bay. Because I suck at managing money (always have) and know that had I given him a heads up on how the bank account was bleeding a few months ago, we probably could have staved this off a little longer. But he was in the middle of (successfully I might add - again, even more amazing when you consider current circumstances) quitting smoking, and I didn't want to stress him out. *sighs*
And then there's the heart-kids. That situation is...OMG I don't even know where to start. Suffice it to say everything I warned them was going to happen if they didn't get their sh*t together (and was afraid would happen once I left, which honestly kept me there probably 5 years longer than I should have for fear of what the kids were going to have to deal with without me there as buffer and "at least one responsible adult in the household") is coming to pass. The GOOD thing is the older boys' mom and I are now in regular contact and are collaborating to keep THEM safe, healthy and growing. I got the first proactive report on ANY of the kids in the past 5 years on Friday when she texted me that the oldest had a great first week of school, which had me totally in tears (no really, I have to HOUND my ex-husband and his wife for any information...the only reason I know about the situation at their house right now at ALL is because the oldest is on facebook now and can talk to me directly). Dealing with her is kind of "dealing with the devil" (there are things she allowed to happen I'll never be able to forgive her for, and she's her own special kind of crazy, but being in contact means I can keep an eye on things and at least be involved).
But I don't just have the older 2 boys to worry about, there are four more children currently living with their grandma and I'm not sure going home is the best thing for them (even IF the exes get the house cleaned and fixed to the point CPS will let the kids go back, I know them well enough that it won't last and I don't think CPS will be as forgiving and willing to work with them a THIRD time - yes, this is apparently not the first time this has happened, and I didn't even know about it). And staying at their grandmother's isn't a permanent solution (the house is far too small, she has to work and is becoming totally stressed out, the oldest heart-daughter is having violent panic attacks to the point she's being psychologically evaluated, it's just not good), and I don't have any answers. We're in a one bedroom apartment (plus, 'Yote's really not a little-kid person). There's very little I can do there. I HAVE established myself as a person of interest with the social worker (and actually plan to talk with him hopefully some time in the next week, possible me and the older boys' mom together, we'll see). So I can at least keep informed of what's going on and hopefully have at least a little influence down the road. It's not perfect, but I can't just do nothing. I made a promise to those children, they are as much my kids in my heart as those I gave birth to, and all I really care about right now is making sure THEY are taken care of. All of the adults can go to h*ll as far as I'm concerned (and likely will if there actually is such a place), but I'll be d*mned if I'll let them take my children there with them (any more than they've already been without me there to protect them).
So here I sit, once again knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt (just as I did when I realized how much my ex-husband let fall through the cracks with the older children while I was too busy with my new family and had to trust him to keep things going) that I've failed these children by doing what I needed to do for me. That's a hefty burden, kids. If I think about it too hard, the emotional house-of-cards is going to collapse under the weight of it, seriously. And I can't afford to let that happen - they need me NOW, in whatever capacity I can manage. 'Yote needs me NOW to keep things moving forward and not just hide under a rock like I wish I could. I don't have time to wallow. I've got to fix this.
So that's the State of Euphrates at the moment. Prayers, energy, candles and good thoughts appreciated.