Divorce is FINAL!!

divorced

What a fitting word for today’s prompt–final!  Many of you have been along the journey with me as I obtain my uncontested divorce.  Who would have thought an UNCONTESTED divorce would take so long?!?!  There were many hold-ups all along the way, but I was able to learn quite a bit through it all.  At one point I even researched the credits I would need to become a lawyer.

One major hurdle was the process the Monroe County Supreme Court has in place for people submitting paperwork to obtain a divorce.  Ed Gangarosa was assigned the responsibility to review my paperwork prior to it being sent on to the judge and he caused frustration, confusion, and unnecessary obstacles.  I actually never received a letter stating my paperwork had been signed off and ready for me to be picked up, which is a complaint many have about him.  After being contacted by someone stating that they did not receive notification that their paperwork was ready I decided to give them a call and ask for a status update on mine.  I was told my paperwork had been sitting there for weeks waiting for me to pick it up.  They insisted Gangarosa sent a letter, but I’ve been stalking out my mailbox and nothing was sent!  I picked it up that day (Monday), and immediately filed it with the County Clerk’s Office–so the divorce is FINAL!  I can’t even put the feeling into words, but the sense of peace that overcomes you as you sing a favorite church hymn is the closest I can come to attempting to describe it.

I did take the time to write up a detailed letter of complaint to Gangarosa’s supervisor stating how difficult he made the process and how I was trying to remove myself from an abusive situation, but he made it even more difficult.  I’m confident that if they conduct an investigation into his communication with people they will find that he needs to go!  People of Monroe County deserve someone who will take that responsibility seriously!

maya

Happily divorced and ready for what God has planned next.

 

Some previous posts about my divorce:

Rebuild:  Divorcing a Pedophile

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

A Somber Week, Still I Shine

Endless Possibilities

Trusting HIS Timing

Another Step Forward

 

Crystal

via Daily Prompt: Final

 

101 Blog Post Topics

If you’re like me, from time to time you struggle with post ideas.  I decided to create a list I will refer to when I need some inspiration, and wanted to share it with others who may also need a little kindling to spark that fire waiting to be ignited!  Let your thoughts take control as you ponder these topic ideas…

  1. Facts about you (likes, dislikes, accomplishments…)
  2. Goals list (day, week, month, year, life…)
  3. All about a favorite item (what is it, who gave it to you…)
  4. All about an item you loathe (what makes you loathe the item, who gave it to you…)
  5. Top 10 Inspirational people you have met and why
  6. Childhood moments you miss
  7. Post in memory of a lost loved one (why are they special to you, how did they pass, favorite qualities/memories)
  8. The biggest trial in life you have faced (what was it, how did you overcome it…)
  9. Favorite place (bed, house, park, town, vacation spot, restaurant…)
  10. A letter to someone who wronged you
  11. A letter to someone who encouraged you
  12. A letter to your future self
  13. A letter to someone in your life who made a positive or negative impact
  14. A letter to someone special on her/his birthday (favorite qualities, moments, reasons you think they are special)
  15. A story behind a photo (dig a photo out of that drawer or in that dusty album, and share the story behind it)
  16. Top 10 reasons to live in your specific city
  17. Top 10 favorite/secret spots that people should visit in your area
  18. Highlight your favorite coffee shop, music store, local business…
  19. All about your favorite hobby (what you enjoy along with the struggles)
  20. Must cook dishes for a specific holiday
  21. Share your family traditions and a memory (ex. Every Christmas you are allowed to open one gift for Christmas and one year you opened…)
  22. It’s late at night, I don’t want to cook, but I’m starving…what do you recommend?
  23. How do you begin a blog post?  Topic? Where do you write?  Tips?
  24. I can’t live without list and why…
  25. You are looking out the window…what do you see?
  26. Type the ramblings of the thoughts racing through your mind
  27. What lesson did you learn this week? (ex. back up photos)
  28. Top 40 music list/Work-out song list
  29. Wish list items
  30. An open letter to a company you frequently visit
  31. Address a controversial topic
  32. Funniest moment of the week
  33. Book review
  34. Movie review
  35. Analyze lyrics of a song
  36. Best fashion trends vs. Worst fashion trends
  37. Best make-up trends vs. Worst make-up trends
  38. Favorite quote/bible verse and connect to your life
  39. A day in the life of you (transgender, Asian, black, white, male, female, addict, disability, immigrant…)
  40. Best ways to meet people
  41. Date night ideas
  42. Memorable date
  43. Compare two unlike experiences (watching a golf game vs. Facebook)
  44. Do’s and don’t list (Facebook posts, interviewing, dating, blogging, buying a home, planning a vacation, applying make-up…)
  45. Slang term list and definitions
  46. “Ann Landers” style post where you respond to a question from someone seeking advice
  47. What is in your junk drawer? purse? make-up bag? sports bag? trunk?  gym bag?
  48. Ways you stay positive when negativity is knocking down your door
  49. Memorable books you have read
  50. Memorable movies you have watched
  51. Do you recycle any items in ways that might surprise us?  (ex. dryer lint as campfire kindling…)
  52. Healthy ideas (snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts…)
  53. Highlights of your month
  54. Only a dog (cat, hamster, lizard, birds, fish) owner would understand list…
  55. Letter you want read at your funeral
  56. Ways you save money
  57. Best shows/movies on Netflix to watch with…(kids, partner, daughter, son…)
  58. Common sports terms for someone not familiar with the sport
  59. Sports tips (three pointer tips, stringing a lacrosse head…)
  60. Congratulations to me for ___________________(quitting a bad habit, graduation, engagement, pregnancy, passing a test…)
  61. Craziest quotes students (professors, parents, teachers, parents) have said…
  62. Almost everyone I talk to has a time in their life they felt like they didn’t belong…tell your story
  63. The story of your name…where did it come from?  what does it mean?
  64. Do you keep cards and letters?  Write a story behind one you find tucked away in that box in your closet.
  65. Mother’s Day is coming…write a post honoring your mother or someone who helped teach you how to be a good mother
  66. Same for Father’s Day…write a post honoring your father or someone who was a that father figure in your life
  67. If you have an absent parent write a letter to her/him
  68. Scroll through your phone pictures…look at the 20th photo and write a post about it
  69. What teacher made an impact (positive or negative) on your life and why
  70. What are some thoughtful birthday gift ideas that are affordable
  71. Dorm room must haves
  72. Most families have at least one special recipe everyone loves…share it with us!
  73. Interview someone who inspires you
  74. Does your town have a certain food that it is known for?  Highlight it.  (Ex.  Rochester, NY has the “Garbage Plate”)
  75. Are you great at finding deals and discounts?  Share them!!  What tips can you provide for others to find them?
  76. Weight loss tips…what works for you?
  77. Share your workout routine
  78. Start a challenge (workout, photo, letter, post…)
  79. List of what you are grateful for
  80. Sports predictions
  81. Highlight a player
  82. What is in your diaper bag?
  83. Baby names
  84. Wedding planning theme ideas
  85. Online resources for (blogging, shopping, travel, educational, law…)
  86. Top apps right now and why
  87. Best stocks to invest in
  88. How you started investing in stocks
  89. Announcement (family addition, anniversary, pregnancy, engagement…)
  90. Gardening tips…what to plant when, natural plant food, compost, protection from insects…)
  91. Study tips
  92. Conduct an experiment (ex. I recently tested Trader Joe’s Alkaline water with PH strips to find that it is not what they advertise it to be, but is the same as my tap water)
  93. Video game tips, cheat codes, secrets…
  94. Mother’s Day ideas (gifts, celebration, traditions…)
  95. Fundraising ideas
  96. “How to” post (publish a book, write a novel, organize an event, make a superb cup of coffee…)
  97. Prom fashion do’s and don’ts
  98. Graduation party activities, decorations, etiquette…
  99. Free template for…an invitation, handout, contract, grocery list, budget sheet, craft, stencil…)
  100. Random Acts of Kindness List
  101. Your own blog idea list

I will be referring to this to keep my creativity flowing, but I hope it helps those of you who also need an idea from time to time.  Do you have a list of blog ideas?  Share it in a comment to help others who are seeking inspiration.

Crystal

A Sombre Week…Still I Shine!

We had a cold, lightless, fog filled weekend where I ventured out, alone, to capture its beauty in hopes of stimulating some positivity to come my way, but a somberness  sauntered throughout the week.  Lately, it seems as if trials continue to be tossed my way, and nothing is quite going the way I plan…maybe that is my problem…I need to let go and allow God to handle it.

blog

Divorce:  I’ve been attempting to obtain a non-contested divorce from one of the most evil men I have ever met.  I submitted all of the paperwork to the court in November and was told I needed to make several corrections which I did and resubmitted them again in hopes that I can soon wake from this nightmare.  The paperwork was rejected again requesting additional corrections.  Frustrating on many levels, but I continue to do what is asked.  At every point I question if God is here.  Is he seeing this?  Does he care?  Why am I put through all of the pain while he has any control?  At one point in the process he sent his mother the divorce paperwork and she felt compelled to write her initials at the bottom of each page along with the page number.  Well, I needed to make a correction on one of the pages and now am required to have her same initial on the bottom of the corrected page in order to move forward—or I need to start the process all over again.  She claims to be a Godly woman, but has done nothing except to cause additional pain.  I sent her the original paper to sign and return and a month later have not received it back.  Why on earth is a man who committed such a heinous crime allowed to have any control or say?  I continue to be hopeful, try to understand the lesson God is wanting me to gain from all of this, and know that there is a reason—one I may never know or understand, but He has a plan.

Read more about my divorce Odyssey here: Blood, sweat, and tears… and Rebuild: Divorcing a Pedophile

Love:  I am lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend who encourages me even when I allow the stress to build up and unexpectedly flow his way.  I have been on edge with him this week as we would like to plan for our future together, but must wait until my past is settled.  All in due time…

Family: Many of you know that I reactivated my Facebook account this month, and that ignited some conflict between my dear prodigal daughter and me when she misunderstood a comment I left on a photo she posted.  Our relationship has had ongoing strain, but I finally decided that I will love from afar.  I will no longer be a puppet she pulls out, manipulating, when she needs to be bailed out…literally and figuratively.  I look back to think where I went wrong as a parent…what I could have done better…why is it that my pig-tailed, little girl who once ran to me with open arms, beaming as she clung to my legs thinks it acceptable and appropriate to repeatedly cause such devastation with her words and actions?!?!  Does she even realize she is?  This is not how I envisioned our mother-daughter relationship.  I struggled with this quite a bit this week, but I guess now I know how God must feel with how I’ve been treating Him.

Career: This week marked the end of the semester, post-assessments were given, and the ELA exams were today.  I’m confident my students (some who have failed this exam two or more times prior to me) were well prepared.  All the times I heard, “Ms….you do too much” makes it all worth it!  Now, I sit and wait for the scores to come back.

A highlight of my week was yesterday when I received an email from a former student (pictured below). He wanted to touch base and let me know that he started his first day of college.  I cried as soon as I read it!  I pushed him and pushed him that he needed to continue his education and use his writing talent, and to hear that he was doing that made me incredibly proud .  It was an honor that he thought to email me his first day!

 

I leave you with a few more photos capturing the somber beauty of the fog.

 

After typing all of this I wonder if it makes sense, if I was too candid, if I wasn’t candid enough…

The week may have had a somber tone, but my soul still shines…



*hugs*

Crystal

Post was in-part inspired by The Daily Post one word prompt “devastation”

16 and Pregnant: A Journal Entry

journal-blog-1998

In 1997 I was 16 years old and pregnant. I knew my life and focus needed to change in order to provide my unborn child the life she deserved. Walking the halls of a high-school while pregnant means you are a target of much judgment and unsolicited remarks from not only classmates, but teachers, secretaries, and administrators as well. Walking those halls, sitting in the small desks, failing gym because I could not bring myself to wear a bathing suit (and teachers refusing to make an accommodation) all sharpened my inner strength and helped me build a foundation for trials later in life. I even had a teacher state that it was a shame I was pregnant because he would be supporting my child and me for the next 18 years because I would end up on welfare (which for the record I did not do). An administrator even encouraged me to have an abortion because I would not be able to attend college and raise a child. As I write this I wonder if any of those experiences subconsciously influenced my drive to become a teacher who inspires and encourages students…hmmm. I have always used writing as my therapy and kept a journal because to be honest, nobody ever understood.

Last week my daughter, who is now 19 years old sent me a text of a picture of one of the entries I made in my journal (pictured above). I forgot I copied a page and put it in a card during her senior year of high school. I immediately started to cry thinking about all the fears I went through, sacrifices I made, and recognized just how much I achieved despite the obstacles. While reading the entry I wrote from 1998 I realized how much I accomplished and continue to accomplish. It was not an easy task…I sacrificed quite a bit to be a mother at such a young age, but it also provided me with more of a drive and determination knowing I was responsible for a child.

Sacrifices/Struggles:

  • prom (although I did attend the senior ball to realize I didn’t miss much at all)
  • dating pretty much was over after becoming pregnant and having a child so young
  • any form of a social life
  • new, fancy bras (I went without to provide for my child)
  • experiencing the dorm life
  • sleep, naps, or any form of closing my eyes
  • did I mention zero social life?
  • being taken seriously at times (such as taking her to the doctor and insisting my newborn was lactose intolerant after continuous projectile vomiting only to be told I wasn’t burping her properly….eventually the doctor realized I was right though)
  • constant comments/judgment from people (this bothered me years ago, but not anymore…I might be jealous if I was them too..haha)
  • balancing work/school and quality family time which I think is a struggle for most mothers
  • “me” time

Now that she is 19 and has moved out on her own I find myself trying to cope with the change in my life yet again…all the obstacles and sacrificing was worth it all for the amazing young lady she has become!

I ask that if you see a young parent, try to catch yourself if you begin to make assumptions or judgments.  Instead share an uplifting word, reach out to help, or do a random act of kindness to make a difference in their journey.  Moments like those are not forgotten (maybe this will lead to another blog post as I have been blessed with many angels along the way who are not forgotten). 

Crystal

The Daily Post Discover Challenge “Transcript”