I got quite a bit done today, including watching Mamma Mia with my friend who is Ethel to my Lucy. It was nice to sit in the afternoon with a hot cup of coffee and chill for a couple of hours. I then proceeded to get the living area mostly done. There is a little section which is going to be Kullen's room that needs some attention, but it looks and feels like home. Some of my closest friends describe me as a "nester" and it is true. When I move - I am absolutely driven to get things put away, hung up and in order. It is essential to my sanity and I literally cannot relax until it is done. I am hoping to post some pictures here later of our new place. For now I am posting this outside picture that was taken by my cell phone. It is the only one I have at the moment. We have our main living area in the finished basement which is accessible from a door behind the fence between the house and the garage. I have a bedroom upstairs - it is yellow and Kaitlyn says it is good for me because it is cheery. We also have a fabulous kitchen that is shared on occasion with the owner of the house when she comes up from South Carolina to take care of infrequent business with a daycare center that she owns. It is an amazing blessing because we have a decent place to call home for the same rent as I would be paying in a subsidized apartment with my kids. There are children in the neighborhood that have overwhelmed Kullen - but I feel sure he will warm up to them and have great times playing with other kids. All the kids have had friends over and it has been awesome to have people around us again. It makes me feel loved, supported and stronger.
This morning the kids and I went for our first counseling session. It was tremendous. We walked away with a lot of insight and the lady who is counseling us is amazing. She validated that we were living in an abusive environment - and asked me to admit it to myself. It isn't easy. It is easier to think what I was always told, that other people had it much worse, and that it wasn't "that bad". The counselor wants to see us individually starting with me. She helped me see that some of the things Travis is doing even now are manipulative. He tries to put all the responsibility for the way the kids interact with him on me - she called it triangulating. She also helped me know that it is okay for the kids to tell their dad that they don't want to talk to him right now, and that he needs to respect that boundary. She gave us language to use when people ask questions we aren't ready to answer. She also made it very clear that the one year I was asking for was of the utmost importance. It was all very helpful and even Kullen - who went into the appointment saying, "I'm not talking to anyone about my problems!" warmed up to her by the end of our session.
So, we breathe, eat, sleep, live, and move. Life goes on. I have this sadness deep inside still - but it isn't consuming me anymore.