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Sometimes, I get angry.

It doesn't happen often. Irritated? Yes. But that doesn't last long, and can always be gotten rid of by thinking of something funny. In really bad situations, when it's something out of my control, I just think it will pass. Whatever happens, happens, and suddenly I'm not irritated any more. It's surprisingly helpful.

But actual anger? Hardly ever. And never at anyone outside the family.

So I find this new feeling strange. Foreign.

I'm not angry.

I'm fucking enraged.

* * * * *

Kim isn't like the majority of divorced mothers in the country, in that she doesn't have the majority custody of her two kids. The little girl, Katrina, is hers about half the time, and her son, Kyle, gets visitation very couple weeks or so.

Kim is what the kind hearted among us call a character. In the words of one of the coarser Sunday school teachers, "she's fucking nuts."

When I first started volunteering in the learning center, I was given two words of wisdom: "Spare tags are in the closet- you'll have to get the key from Andrew- and be careful with Kim."

Kyle and Katrina are cute kids. Katrina is kind of silly and giggly, but only if she knows you. If she doesn't, she'll just look at you solemnly and keep a distance of at least three feet. She's seven, now.

When my mom still worked in the nursery, when Katrina was about two, around the time Kim and Katrina's dad broke up, the little girl "somehow" broke her arm. Nobody ever proved anything. There was only ever just rumors.

Kyle's probably my favorite. He used to be a shy kid, and I guess he still might be, but it's hard to tell now. He watches out for his little sister: it's the sweetest thing. He's always coming into the coffee shop to get candy, and whenever he does, he always buys something for her, too. He's probably about ten or eleven, now, but I still remember him as a quiet little first grader.

Either their dads looked alike, or they both look like their mom: you can tell they're related.

The first Kim incident I saw for myself was a couple years ago.

The multipurpose room, the room where (among other things), the first half of Sunday school is held, is a large room, and has a carpet-covered stage about a foot off the ground. That's where the teaching pastor (usually Karl or Robert) stands, where the plays are staged, etc. A few feet to the right of that is a double doorway, leading into a small room that leads into an office on the left, and the out of doors.

One Sunday, right in the middle of service, Kim stormed through those doors (which the public aren't supposed to use) while Pastor Karl was preaching to 80+ kids ages six-twelve years old, and screamed for Kyle to "Get the fuck up because {they} {were} leaving!"

Kyle flushed red and sank into his chair. Kim went to the front row and grabbed his arm in a way that set off alarm bells in my head and pulled him up.

Pastor Robert immediately took over while Pastor Karl went over, took Kim aside, and scolded the holy hell out of her. It ended with Kim crying over something her Ex had said or done.

The way Kyle looked was heart breaking. He was ashamed. Do you know what honest, adult shame looks like when its plastered over a third grader's face? Not just embarrassment, but a deep rooted horror mingled with a sad sort of resignation.

I think that's when I first started to hate Kim.

* * * * *

Around last Christmas, during one of the Wednesday night services, Kim had Katrina, but not Kyle. Instead of signing Katrina in and going off to the main service, she found a total stranger and gave Katrina to them, asking them to drop her off.

This couple had never met Kim before. They had never been to this church before: they were there for the special Christmas service. They didn't even have kids of their own.

They came into the learning center and told Heidi, "Hey, a lady outside asked us to bring the little girl here. . . is that right?"

Of course, everyone knew Katrina and they knew what Kim was like. We were all properly horrified and apologized profusely. The couple was nice about it, but I'm pretty sure a harried looking Kim thrusting her first grader at them was enough to keep them from coming back. I certainly haven't seen them since.

As if that wasn't enough, Kim showed up an hour late to pick Katrina up. She hadn't even been on campus: she'd left after giving Katrina to the couple. This time, though, CPS had already been called.

"You didn't know those people!" Pastor Karl tried very hard not to yell. "They could have been kidnappers, murderers, sexual predators, and you just gave Katrina to them and drove off!"

Later, I heard him say that calling CPS on Kim was the hardest thing he'd ever done, but he couldn't let this one slide.

It didn't stick. I guess CPS couldn't do anything if the kids said nothing was wrong, and it wasn't like Kim had full custody of either of them, anyways.

* * * * *

Tonight, she had both of her kids together for the first time in ages. She didn't take them to class. Instead, she brought them into the coffeeshop.

Katrina spent most of the evening in her own little world, running around the coffeeshop and playing with herDS. It didn't work, but apparently she just liked pretending it did and making funny faces at the screen, pressing buttons like it was working.

Kyle, however, was not amused.

Normally, the coffeeshop is pretty quiet after service starts. That's when we clean up, make grinds, refresh pots and restock the sugars/creams and things. Usually, we only have three or four people stick around.

Tonight, Kim's almost-shouting with her son cleared the room of all but one other person. They argued, and they argued loudly, about everything.

Kim wanted to know how Kyle's life was going.

Kyle wanted to know why they weren't in real class.

Kim said it wasn't important and wanted to know how his dad was getting on.

He wanted to know why she still didn't have a job. Why she was "waiting around for a husband instead of getting a career."

She wanted to know why he loved his dad more than her.

He wanted to now why she was embarrassing him in public.

And so on.

"I'm not mad at your dad, I'm mad at hers."
"Why do you care about hers and not mine?"
"Because hers hurt me."

At one point, Kim said Kyle could get something to snack on. He ordered a large hot chocolate so he could share with his sister. Kim wanted a cup 'o noodles.

I opened up the package and started on the hot chocolate while Ray rung the order up, only for Kim to change her mind at the last second because together they were "too expensive" at four twenty something. Understandable enough, though I wish she'dve said it before I'd poured the milk and wasted a cup. So I nixed it and they went back to the table right next to the counter.

"It's been seven years."
"So if he hasn't said sorry in seven years, then you shouldn't expect it."
"I'm never going to expect it."

A little bit later, Kyle came up with his own little money and ordered a large hot cocoa on his own. Ray ring it up as a large, but since I knew he and Katrina would be sharing, I made a little extra and split it into two cups: half in the original large 20oz cup, and one a small 12oz. There was still some space in the large cup, even with the extra, so I topped it off with loads of extra whipped cream. I don't know if he noticed, but it made me feel a little better.

Part way through the evening, she got a phone call. She went outside to talk, but not before saying, loudly, "yeah, I'm with the two kids, and God, are they being asses tonight."

That's when the other customer asked if we could turn the TV up louder so she wouldn't have to hear Kim arguing with her son.

She spewed out a lot of negative bile tonight. The more I heard, the more I just wanted to go over there and slap her. I didn't even realize how much it was bothering me until I noticed that I was starting to write some of the stuff she was saying down.

* * * * *

Several times through the night, Ray noticed what Kim was up to, or noticed what she was saying, and looked at me in shock.

"She's a meanie!" she said in her thick Syrian accent, apparently not caring that Kim was right there. "She's so mean to those kids!"

I couldn't tell her much due to he whole, 'Kim is only four feet away from us' thing, but I nodded and whispered, "I know. I feel so bad for them."

The phone call was probably what shocked her the most.

"I never badmouth my children to other people. Not ever, even when they are bad, they come to me and tell me, not their father."

After service, when people started coming in again, Kim came up with a bottle of anointing oil and wanted to buy it. Ray asked if she was sure, because it was six dollars plus tax.

Kim flipped. Her. Shit.

She tossed a ten onto the counter and said, "Don't you dare judge me and what you think I can or can't afford! You don't know me! You don't know anything about me!"

Ray apologized and gave her her change and they left. Kyle didn't even look ashamed anymore, just resigned.

"But earlier, she wouldn't get the kids their drink because it was too expensive!" said Ray. "The boy paid for it himself!"

"I know," I said. "That's just Kim."

Right. That's just Kim.

I should not know this much about someone else's family.

Sometimes I feel like there are no answers anywhere. Different people suggest things to me, perhaps I am depressed or need to exercise, maybe there isn't as much wrong as I think there is. At home I've been moving towards a diet of fruit, meat and vegetables since I gave up grains for 2012. I don't know if that will help any more than the juicer I bought. And maybe I shouldn't have gotten that either since I could have put that money towards other bills. Only I think it might be helping as some of the symptoms I deal with seem lessened.

My oldest daughter is very much like me in terms of her personality which probably explains why we don't get along. Last night I did not sleep well since I hurt my back doing something very minor. After ice and stretching and laying on the heating pad I took a bath. A consequence of staying up so late meant that I overslept this morning. If there are situations you are unable to control you have to find a way to make the best of things, I'm not very good at this however it is on my list of improvements I need to make.

This year my beginner yoga DVD has been getting a workout. My body is very stiff and I'm glad I have the luxury of privacy since I can't do the poses the way they should be done. Regardless of how poorly my body flexes, mentally the video helps me to get away from some of the stress and tension. Next week my youngest daughter starts playing indoor soccer. My oldest will be done with cheerleading at the end of this week. It was difficult for her, when she wanted to drop out her parents insisted that she stick the season out and I'm happy to report that she did.

Watching her cheer was interesting. She wasn't always as fluid as some of the other girls nor did she keep time they way they were able to however she was peppy and enthusiastic in a way that they weren't. Their performance was probably more technically accurate and you can add a discount for parental bias but I thought she was more interesting to watch than the other girls. Her skirt was too big, my daughter is trying to grow her hair out and she's starting to get into the awkward, rebellious, pre-teen years that I remember as being so challenging.

This year I've been taking the girls to the gym after school. It's a place where we used to go quite a bit and then I got wrapped up in myself and let illness rule my life by allowing things that had made me strong in the past slip away. Reading Ancientsnow's daylog was simultaneously horrifying and reassuring. As someone whose digestive system is set to chronic malfunction I can't imagine what laxative abuse would be like although I can relate to having self and body image issues.

Several times I've tried writing about the various disease and conditions I have. Every time I stop and I'm not really sure why. Maybe I want to write something personal about life after diagnosis and feel that people searching for information are looking for a medical terms and explanations. Writing about certain topics is also depressing and upsetting. I never want to go back to the times when I would be driving somewhere and think: what if I sped up and drove into a massive concrete embankment?

Today I am focusing on several postive things that will allow me to move closer towards peace. The other day I met a woman I went to high school with. I had some reservations about meeting her however she said two things that stuck with me. Before her mother died she had a surgical procedure that left her with the mentality of a four year old. My friend said that in the three weeks preceding her departure from this earth she was able to spend time with her mother that allowed some of the wounds of the past to heal and close.

The other thing she said was something I'm still thinking about. Today my new computer arrived from California. Before I was excited to think that I could pick up where my old job left off. Now I'm not so sure that selling diabetic footwear is really what I want to do with my life. My family is pushing for me to enroll in a dental assisting program. Strangely, the woman I went to high school did that. The past few months I've been considering options, choices and what talents I have that could be applied to different areas.

Some time ago I met this woman at the spring. She was filling her water jugs, I don't remember how we started talking however I feel fortunate to have met her. We were talking about lifestyles, she follows a raw vegan diet, at the time I think I thought her diet seemed extreme however I went home and did some research on the 80-10-10 diet. Since I bought a juicer I have been including more fruits and vegetables and I haven't lost any weight but I've noticed some improvements that have given me hope for the future.

There are other layers of my life where confusion and chaos reside however I have chosen to deal with things one at a time since I have a tendency to take on too much, get overwhelmed and want to give up. An excellent article on not making New Year's Resolutions has helped me see that every day leads me to different choices. I'm happy that this year I have embraced: juice, yoga, faith and the sauna. Maybe my body doesn't work the way I want it to, maybe I didn't like what I thought I had previously but at least now I have a plan to trade weakness for strength.

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