2010…I have some words for you.

Dear 2010,

I had such grand hopes for you. It was going to be a good year. We were expecting our second baby, and I figured, there would be much more to come with that.

Only, I was wrong. The first few months brought up rounds of endless interviews for The Hubby who was desperately seeking work. We thought we’d be good come February, but no, it wasn’t until the end of March that The Hubby finally found work. Luckily, the job was one that we knew we could stick with for the long haul. For that, I’m thankful for. This job has made The Hubby less angry, less stressed, less depressed. He comes home from work happy, full of energy, and excited. He feels appreciated, valued, and knows that he’s going places. So thanks for that.

March also brought back another year for us. A year that was by definition, a living hell. 2007.  It was the year that Potato was born, but it was also the year that The Hubby worked for a family member. It was the year of many arguments, the year where family put their noses where they didn’t belong, where The Hubby and I almost didn’t make it. This was the year I was on bed rest, and had no support from anyone save a couple friends, and The Hubby. It was the year that all our family issues started, it was the year that I predicted that we would end up in the very mess we landed in this past March. This was the one time, I wanted to be wrong, but every detail I predicted in 2007 became true, right before our eyes. I was angry, and so disappointed that I had been right. The Hubby promised me that going forward, he’d listen to me because when it came to these matters, I had yet to be wrong. Because of someone’s lack of business sense, and stubbornness to correct mistakes when they were brought forward, we were over $5000 in debt.

We spent the next few months struggling as the government took money away from us, as we tried to move houses, and then dealt with a shady landlord who had no intention of ever returning our damage deposit. We spent weeks with raised blood pressure, stressed out, hoping to all hell that we would see some of that money back. Because, with the above mentioned debt, we needed it, and bad.  We never got it back, and unless we wanted to hire a lawyer and fight it, there was little or nothing we could do.

June brought a little less stress. I managed to permanently damage one of my ankles by falling outside of the local mall. I spent a family celebration, swollen, in pain, hugely pregnant, and hobbling along.

At the end of June, I had a fabulous, wonderful birth, and Girlie came into the world. She is beautiful, she is precious. The birth was amazing, and we were lucky enough to have an amazing doula support us through that incredible moment. Our first weeks at home were good. Breastfeeding went off without a hitch, we had some mild issues with allergies and Girlie, my mom came to help out, and The Hubby was able to take some time off. Life was good.

Then, I lost one of my best friends. No, she didn’t die, sometimes it feels like she did. There was a small disagreement among my group of friends. It was fixable, but then someone got involved who shouldn’t have, and the situation went from being repairable, to unrepairable. I felt hurt, betrayed, like she had slapped me in the face. I still have heard nothing from her, and as the year passed from 2010 into 2011, I realized, I’ll likely never hear from her again.

In September, I fell down a flight of stairs. I was attempting to avoid damaging the other ankle I’d previously hurt further. And I wrecked my left ankle. As of this moment, it is still in pain, and I’ve likely done more damage to it then I realize. I spent September hobbling around, taking medication for the pain, and trying to figure out how to deal with two kids on a daily basis.

October, the tax situation was still not dealt with. The family member had indicated that he would take care of it originally. The Hubby being the trusting person he is, allowed him to do it. I had begged The Hubby to just do it on his own, but he figured it was this person’s responsibility to correct it for him. Afterall, it was his mistake. Needless to say, when The Hubby called the government we found a bunch of new information that launched The Hubby into a depression. This person had lied to him, and had literally, over the past 6 or more months, done nothing to rectify this mistake, despite his constant reassurance that he was doing this or that. The Hubby and I scrambled on his days off to try to make sure the right calls were made, and the right information was there. As we did this, lie upon lie was uncovered. When all was said and done, we had to wait another 12 weeks, maybe less for this mistake to be corrected, finally.

November brought some family drama which then brought issues for The Hubby and I. We ended up having to make some rather tough decisions regarding family so we would stop ending up in a position where we felt overstepped, insulted, or condescended. When we took a step back, we realized that some people had, had free reign in our life for over five years, and we concluded that it was time to put it to a stop.

December meant Christmas. Which means money, which means in some cases, passive aggressive behavior, guilt trips and general eye rolling behavior from some family members. Which means more stress for us. We opted for a quiet Christmas at home, inviting my family because we’d not spent a Christmas with them. We knew it would stir up a bit of issues for some, but we were prepared for that. It did stir up a bit of confusion. The Hubby tried to set up Christmas with his family after the holidays, like we’ve had to do each year with my own, but when they refused, (or told The Hubby he sounded like he didn’t want to do it), The Hubby was hurt, again, for no good reason other then someone throwing a fit at the changes that were happening. Completely unnecessary, and frustrating behavior.

Potato turned 3 this month too. It was a lovely day, with the exception of some mild tantrums that were thrown. Not from the three year old either, unfortunately. It was a pivotal moment for The Hubby and I. Together we realized that setting ourselves apart as parents, and adults from some people was going to ruffle feathers. We also realized that if these people respected us, then our choices would never be an issue for them. Our support system began to look slightly conditional, and conditional on what they thought was best, and only if we listened to them. If we chose to do something different, something they opposed, we would suffer the wrath. Unfortunately, these individuals chose to act out at my son’s birthday party. The Hubby was embarrassed, hurt, and so disappointed. I was angry for my son, who had nothing to do with any of the surrounding “drama”.  The consequence was a tough pill to swallow, knowing we’ll never receive an apology, and knowing we’ll never get a straight answer for the antics, we just came to the conclusion that we’d have to keep going and start to distance ourselves from these individuals. Toxic behavior is just that, no matter who it comes from, and neither us are ready to deal with it, especially from family.

December also brought about someone stealing money from our bank account. It was fraud, and we could prove it. The charge was reversed, but then the thief went back to the bank, spun some web of lies,  and the bank reversed the charges, and told us that we’d have to deal with the individual. The same one who refused to return our phone calls, who wouldn’t return the emails we sent, who STOLE from us. This happened on the very last day of 2010, and while The Hubby was stressed about it, I had to laugh. It was the theme of our year- being screwed over, and us having to foot the bill for a mistake or error from someone else.

Needless to say, 2010 sucked. My hope was that any of the issues we’ve had from this year could be left in 2010. But the debt that we had in March, is still sitting there, awaiting a decision from all the parties involved. The family drama we’ve had, it’s still happening, and likely, if history is any indication, won’t conclude anytime soon.

We have learned this year, some hard lessons. I won’t post them as some of them are pretty specific, and personal. But they have been learned, and most definitely the hard way.

As negative as this post is, we have learned some great things too. We’ve found out who are true friends are. We’ve found support in some unlikely places. We’ve learned that we are pretty fabulous parents, as both our children grow and thrive. We’ve learned that when we work together, The Hubby and I make an unstoppable team.
Those are the things we are taking into 2011. And, the hard lessons, too, I suppose. So, 2010, you weren’t kind to us. We’re not sure what we did, or if it was just bad timing, but we’re hoping that you will keep your antics to yourself, and allow 2011 to work some magic for us. We do have many bright opportunities laying before us this year. You will go down as one of the worst years ever, and I didn’t cry when the clock switched from 11:59pm to 12:00pm. In the *words of The Hubby, 

“Only two good things came from this year: The Winter Olympics and Girlie”

Sincerely,

RM.

*The original comment included The Hubby saying that The Winter Olympics were the only good thing to come out of the 2010. As Girlie quietly nursed, I spoke up and said, “Um. Girlie was pretty awesome too. No?” The next day, The Hubby sheepishly corrected this quote. What can I say, he likes the olympics? 😉

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