Sunday, September 11, 2022

For My Daughter: (Biased) Memory VS. Objective Documentation ...


(*Edited - and still editing - typos, plus adding more info or pics of documentation) 


Of course, 9/11 was a memory-maker, and I've written a thorough account of where I was and what happened that day HERE, with which our perceptions pretty much align (although there are some things she didn't remember about that day).

I'm also spending the day organizing family pictures to scan and send to new family members (as a result of my recent DNA test). 

I'm really having a ball getting to know my new family members, they are so welcoming and wonderful, it's truly a blessing :)

But it's a bittersweet process to go through all of these family pictures of mine, of course - in fact, a painful one, if I'm honest - but I'm doing it :) 

In fact, after grieving for years, living in self-doubt about my own perception for years, I made the decision to avoid looking at them anymore because I finally decided I had grieved enough, second-guessed myself enough, and that I was now continuing their abuse  myself, choosing to stay in that old constant pain myself, and that I needed to move on with my life, let go and let God and all of that.

Either way, this process is mostly a private affair, but I wanted to post a couple of things here for my daughter's benefit which she may not remember, may not know, or for which "alternate" versions of events when she was very young have been told to her by certain family members (who were not even around).

In other words, during this process, I suddenly realized I actually could disprove 2 persistent "alternative facts" told by these family members with documentation, rather than just my word against theirs, as I  mentioned in this prior post - at least partially disprove one, and irrefutably disprove another, with documentation (though believe me when I say these aren't the only two ;).

I was initially only going to post just the positive feedback from her teacher on a report card, but my husband encouraged me to post the others, especially the latter two photos, which are of court documents, because they irrefutably disprove one of the biggest lies told (about the amount of child support I actually received), as well as when I started receiving it (officially mandated by the courts).

I debated posting them, so as not to stir things up and just trying to continue to "let it go" - however, Mark encouraged me to go ahead and do so, saying I shouldn't always just bow out to take the pressure off my daughter in the middle - as it's more important than ever, these days, to present truth and fact versus belief in general. 

However, as I have explained to him before -  and he's seen before himself - when these accusations are made, my self-defense of them, trying to tell my side of things,  even trying to present proof, only gets perceived as "attacking" the family and will do no good.

And actually, THIS time, they may actually have a point, because they've been quiet about it for a couple of months, so it would be me bringing up the subject, this time, after things had settled down, but I just realized I could disprove a couple of accusations with documentation during this process today.

However, I'm going to post them here anyway,  just in case those "alternate facts" ever come up again, so they can see the difference between fact versus belief, if interested. 

But before those last two photos, let's first focus first on a positive, the only thing I was initially going to post - and that is that I have kept every single report card, every single parent-teacher conference note (which I attended alone), and every single school performance program she has ever been in (which I also often attended alone) -  to include the following handwritten comments from a teacher on the back of this one from May of 2001 ...

... This might surprise her, to realize which teacher actually said this about her - but it's very true about her :)

As you can see, it's not my handwriting -  but I wholeheartedly agree and was glad someone else saw this in her, too :)

It's from her (second) first-grade teacher, and in case you can't read it in the photo, it says:  

"McK has the potential to achieve any goal she strives to accomplish.  McK has a keen intelligence and a wonderful wit.  Have a great summer."

It's true - but this comment came as a surprise to us, back then, as though not her meanest teacher, by far, this teacher had been a bit harder on her, especially considering our situation - so it was a wonderful surprise and way to end the year :) 

However, I think she still has a somewhat negative or mixed perception of that teacher, whom she once thought didn't like her, and I totally get why, but she had perhaps forgotten that in the end, she surprised us with that final comment.

In fact, in some cases, like this one, some teachers are hardest on/expect more out of those whom they believe have the most potential :)

(However, it'd be nice to know that's why they were hard on them before the end of the year!)

I also realized in going through these report cards that I could prove  that after she started school, we only lived there for 9 months, versus what she had been told - and most importantly WHY we moved back in (at my grandmother's request, who was ill) -  here's how: 

Here's her kindergarten report card from Breckinridge Elementary in Lexington - the date clearly stating 1999-2000 ...

Here is the middle portion of the 1st grade report card (also above in blue, the handwritten note dated May 2001, from Nicholasville Elementary in Jessamine County.) 

As you can see here by the middle portion, it clearly states 2000-2001 -  and in the attendance portion, there a dash for the first quarter, because she was still at Breckinridge until we moved at the very end of October 2000.

Lastly, here is her 2nd grade report card, when we moved back to Lexington in an apartment again, 9 months later - from Breckinridge Elementary again - clearly dated 2001-2002.

(This is the school she was attending when 9/11 happened.)

There are more, from our years in Florida (2002 to 2005) when married, but I'm not going to post every report card - I think this is enough to prove I'm telling the truth and always have been, or at least cause reasonable doubt in lies that have been told. 

Also of importance is WHY I moved back in with my grandmother for those 9 months when she was in first grade versus what she has been told - NOT because of "financial trouble," I was doing just finebut because Granny ASKED me to, suffering with a bout of pneumonia, two months after Pap died - and everyone else - including Mom - refused to do so, making lots of excuses.

So I'd mentioned in a prior post below that I previously lived with my grandparents until she was age 4 (1998) due to financial reasons (as as single mom with intermittent child support until 2001 - see below). 

After training to become a medical transcriptionist, though still an apprentice, I was making enough now that we could move out into a small apartment in the Fall of 1998 and were doing very well.

However, 2 years later, my grandfather died in August of 2000.

My mother and 2nd cousin both called me after my grandfather died and asked me to (because my cousin said she couldn't and my mom said she wouldn't).

I said "Has anyone asked her if she wants that? 

Of course they hadn't.

So I said: "Let's ask her if she wants me to." 

So we did finally ask her.

At that time, she said she was enjoying not having to answer to anybody and coming and going as she pleased.  In fact, she was unusually chipper, almost like she was in denial, she wasn't dealing with his death at all - but especially in THIS family, if you even lightly push anyone in denial to see truth and fact, they only go in deeper in, as well as become angry and feel "attacked."

Two months later, however, in October, she contracted pneumonia, and called to say she needed help, maybe if I could move back in briefly and help.

As I said, my daughter and I were doing very well, both financially and otherwise, so I didn't want to uproot her again -  but if my grandmother asks for something, I did it.  

However, my daughter did have trouble with Pap's death and the transition of the move, and it adversely affected her school focus and behavior, at first. 

My mother called to "thank" me (ensure I was going to do it so she didn't have to ;)

I wasn't used to thanks or compliments from her and didn't know how to respond, nor did I feel I needed thanks, because of all the care my grandmother had given me -  plus unlike my mom, I felt it was my duty.

So I downplayed it, made it sound less noble, and said, 

"You're welcome, I'm happy to do this for her, I owe her some care for all her care of me.  And hey, it'll help both our bills to share costs, right? lol

Of course, the only part of that response that was shared with the rest of my family was the last part about the bills, twisting my reasoning into doing it was for financial again.

(Now remember, my mother had refused to do so, though she lived 2 miles away - so the only reason I can figure why she twisted this in this way was to make my reasons look for doing so look bad, in comparison to her refusing to do it  ;)

Though my grandmother knew it wasn't true, she feared confrontation (especially with my mother and older sister) to the extent that she never confronted them regarding me (until shortly before her death).

She used to say, "It doesn't matter what they say, they're not even around, you, me, and God know the truth and that's all the matters."

Regardless, what is also not known is that six months later, after the doctor said the pneumonia was gone and her still lying in bed was emotional/grief rather than physical, I walked in her bedroom at noon, pulled the shades up, and had a "tough love" conversation with her.

I said:  

"The doctor said that your pneumonia has been gone for three months, he gave you a clean bill of health. He also said that if you don't start mobilizing more, you'll get it again because your lungs are weakened by the pneumonia and  lack of mobility invites it.  He said it isn't the pneumonia causing this now - he suspects it's depression and grief, which makes complete sense. It doesn't mean you're weak or lazy, it means your body is reacting to grief, and he wants you to go on an antidepressant, just briefly." 
""Grief sucks, it's so heavy, I know, but you weren't dealing with his death at all, doing a lot of focusing on the positive, a lot of pretending.  But when we don't address grief, it has a way of eventually catching up to us and bites us in the butt later, when we least expect it. Grief WILL make itself known, it will get louder and louder, and can even affect our physical health, until we face it and deal with it." 
"However, my social work education taught me that most couples who have lived together 25 years or more will die within a year of each other.  What you need to decide is whether you want to be part of that statistic or whether you have more living to do?" 
"It's your choice, but in my opinion, you have a lot more living to do, and I can help you get back there.  We can take the antidepressant he prescribed, get you a bereavement counselor for the grief and you and I can work on regaining back your strength and independence with walking, cooking, driving, whatever you still want to do, and I can stay or go, whatever you want, when you're ready." 
 "I love you and  I want you to get back up. Get back up, Granny ... you can do this.  I'll help you.  But first, you have to make up your mind, yourself, that you want to." 
"I'll leave you alone to decide, "Do I want to follow him or do I still want to live?

At first, she was mad at me, I could tell, for being so direct - but IMO, her life was at stake here. 

So after laying there for about another 30 minutes, she surprised me by putting on her slippers and walking into the kitchen, signaling she was ready to try -  and I embraced her and told her how proud of her I was and how glad I was she'd made this decision :) 

We at first took slow walks just around the house, then  in the yard, then partially down the lane.  

Then we went to Walmart's parking lot to practice driving.  She began to cook again.  

She also began to see a bereavement counselor at Hospice to deal with her delayed grief/depression, which many women from that generation are loathe to do, especially someone like my grandmother, who prided herself on her cheerfulness - but she said it helped her immensely, in the end :)

And when we agreed that she was at her prior level of independence she had prior to the pneumonia, she decided she was okay and wanted to live by herself again, and was very capable, so I moved out again at 9 months - and she lived independently, and very well, for another 7 years :)

And don't you know, when I left, they said I "abandoned" her.

So I was always damned if I did, damned if I didn't, right? 

Regardless, we didn't live with her again until 5 years later, after leaving my ex-husband, with nothing (and only for a year) and I didn't "abandon" her then either.

I left because Kim threatened me in various ways if I didn't leave the house, afraid that my signing off on any right to the estate wouldn't be enough -  that I might later change my mind and come back and claim "squatters" rights. 

(I didn't - I promised I would sign off on all rights to the estate and never contest it and I never will.)

However, I never told anyone why I left, at the time -  especially not my grandmother -  because she was sick with lung cancer and no need to put her in the middle of it.

However, she figured it out herself when she didn't believe what Kim had told her about the reason she had the will changed, nor that I had "abandoned" her, and later confronted mom and Kim gently, before she died ;)

Now, for another example of what other family members have told my daughter versus truth and documented fact - I mentioned in "Shhh, you didn't see me here, I never existed"  post at the bottom of this page. 

This is the first official court-mandated child-support order from 2001 (prior to that, he paid me directly by personal check, intermittently, $100 here and there):

As you can see below, the amount was never raised from that initial  $212 dollars twice a month.

The the first picture is a check stub from 2001, and the second is the last paper stub in 2009 (before they switched everyone to direct deposit) in 2009.

You can clearly see they are the same amount ...

I never asked for it to be raised, despite his making over 100K by that time, and despite $424 a month not even being enough to cover childcare (though by the time of the court mandate, she was in elementary school anyway. I paid for daycare myself until then, when working.)

The $900 receipt that Kim has mentioned that she saw was an arrears check - a one-time check which I received for back-payment of his non-paid child support and NOT the usual amount.

(He had paid intermittently until then, but himself requested a mandate to garnish from his check after being at that job for six months, because he said at the time, he "couldn't always remember to.").

I suspect Kim knew this already, but since it didn't benefit her narrative of me, why not omit that detail?  ;)

As for what motivated the aforementioned people to say otherwise?

I guess you'll need to ask them that, McK.

While you're at it, ask them - if I were a thief or all about money -  why did I sign off on all rights to the estate, never asked for child support to be raised, and left my ex-husband with nothing at all, asking for nothing in the divorce,  and took on all joint debt upon myself, just to be free of him, hmm?

Don't expect an honest answer, though - in fact, I predict just rolling onto the next (false) accusation instead in deflection ;)

Now -  I could tell you my opinion on why they lied as much as they have, but that's something you'll really need to ascertain for yourself in your own journey.

(Here's a hint, though - the smellers are usually the fellers in guilty conscience - projection? ;)

I'm sorry there are more of them than me, but mob rule doesn't make the mob right - and collective biased memory is even less reliable, as the mere existence of the phenomenon known as the "Mandela effect" proves (our memories often merge two or more similar people, events, or even advertisements, over time) - especially if that information is passed along from people who weren't even present, who have guilty consciences ;)

A lie doesn't suddenly become true no matter how many times it's repeated or how many people spread it - especially the sort of people who need to believe lies because it justifies their bullying behavior.

I'm not trying to invalidate your perception, or anyone's perception, of events - you all have the right to your own perceptions.

I'm just requesting that you remain open to the possibility that you may not have all the information, things are not always what they appeared to be -  especially in this family - and that belief surrounding those memories is not always fact.

Make sure your memories are truly your memories - and that they haven't been supplemented or manipulated by outside influences who weren't even present - who may have their own reasons for doing so ;)

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