Category Archives: Conundrum

Conundrum XIII

By: Mia L. Hazlett
4/15/13

Our dinner last night was so special to me. They had all met up before, but I was always the one who couldn’t make it there. I’m so happy I didn’t miss last night. I needed that night out. I hate getting snippet pieces of information from over five or six different phone conversations with everyone. Sitting there last night and hearing what was going on in everyone’s life made me appreciate my circumstances…at least a little bit.

I guess it hurt me the most that I couldn’t share what was going on in my life. I had to wear this happy mask and make myself appear indestructible on the outside, when in reality my life had been shattered three weeks ago. Absolutely shattered to pieces!

The relationships Tasha and Dawn had with their mother-in-laws was the relationship, which existed between my mother and I. It always had been and most likely always will be. My mother was a housewife and my father was an attorney at a prestigious (I’ve always hated that word) firm in downtown Boston. What was prestigious? His title? His salary? His partners? Whatever it was, I never heard “firm” without “prestigious.”

Somehow, this prestige boosted my mother’s image of herself and how she thought others should perceive us. If there was a point of perfection that existed beyond perfection, than that was how my mother wanted to be perceived. I almost ruined that for our family at the tender age of 15. I was raped by our babysitter’s boyfriend.

I had one older brother and one younger. My parents and their prestige led them to vacation and leave us with one of my father’s fellow attorney’s niece to babysit us while they were away. She was twenty-something and would always have her friends and on this one occasion, boyfriend, over to the house.

Point is, he came into my room this one night, drunk. He raped me and I conceived a child. My mother never believed me and told me I was to never say anything about it. I was home-schooled and never left my house. Literally, I never left our property. The backyard to our pool was the only place outside I was allowed. A home-birth was arranged with papers and a social worker or adoption lady, whoever that lady was who took my daughter or son.

Life continued as normal, for my “prestigious” parents anyways. At least my brothers believed me. They found the guy. I don’t know what happened to him, but whatever it was, was relayed in a quick wink from my brother when I asked why his shirt had blood on it one night. That was the best wink I ever received in my life.

I really never imagined I would ever have to revisit that year in my life, until the letter I received 3 weeks ago. That social work lady took away my daughter that day. The same daughter, who hunted me down and now wanted to know why I had given her away. There was a 25 year-old person I never met, who lost her adoptive parents in the past 5 years and now wants answers from me.

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Conundrum XII

By: Mia L. Hazlett
4/14/13

There was nothing like spending time with my girlfriends.  Last night wasn’t enough.  I needed them right now, but I knew we all had our own lives to live.  I always thought my husband was my soul mate.  Really, he was almost my best friend.  We’d been together for 22 years and married for 18.  In our world, we were soul mates, but in my heart and mind, those four women I sat with last night truly knew my soul.

On a scale of 1-10 of being myself, with my husband I am at about 9 and my friends a 10.  I know I sound like a bitch, but I cannot completely be myself with my husband in only one relationship in my life.  He knows everything about work, my friends, my family.  But to keep the peace in my house, I have to watch what I say about his mother.  I couldn’t tell him that I wrestle with being Godly and saying fuck that bitch.  What? He would lose his damn mind.  It felt so nice saying it last night.  I was able to be myself and vent my frustrations to my soul mates.

Now I sat in my room on my lazy Sunday.  Once a month I got a vacation in my house from the other creatures that inhabited it.  I woke up at six, made myself a nice breakfast, and got my coffee.  I returned to breakfast in my bedroom and lounged out on my couch.  My six year-old attempted to interrupt, but my husband intervened.

I honestly think this is what has saved our marriage.  He chose to have one Saturday a month and I chose a Sunday.  We can use it to go out or stay in, either way we get time to ourselves.  Our bedroom became sacred territory.  No one was allowed to come in under any circumstances.  Unfortunately, our new guest felt the need to violate this rule.  She had been in here twice this morning.  “Are you going to stay in here all day baby?  You do have children you know.  I know when I had my kids, I just couldn’t get enough of them.  There was nothing so bad about them that would make me want to hide away on a couch all day.”

How did I put this before?  Fuck that bitch.  Amen.

© 2013 Mia L. Hazlett

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Conundrum XI

By: Mia L. Hazlett
4/14/13

I sat at the table with my four closest friends.  We hadn’t met like this in the longest.  No kids.  No one’s house.  We were four adults at a nice restaurant sipping on wine and not having to share our plates with anyone.  We all had our own lives going at full speed, that we would try and play catch up, but usually one of us was missing.  Not tonight, we were all here.

Although I had made it through my storm and all of us had shared in our own obstacles, our friend Tasha was at the beginning of her hard times.  Her mother-in-law just moved in with her and her husband of almost 20 years, and their three kids.  It wasn’t that they didn’t have the room or means to support her, it was this woman had done everything to persuade her son to leave Tasha over the past 20 years.  Well as Tasha had always said, “less move in with us.”

The bond that holds this friendship together and that many don’t understand, we are all Christians. Not those fake church on Sunday, talk about everybody, we are perfect in Christ type of Christians.  We are the type of Christians that have Satan on one shoulder and an angel on the other.  Eighty percent of the time we live by the Word, but that other twenty percent, Lord help us all!

“I’m just caught between doing the Godly thing and saying fuck that bitch. She has made my life absolutely miserable for the past two decades and now when I am finally at the point in my career that I can telecommute three days a week, I gotta look at her ass.  C’mon now.”

“Trust me, I know what it is to have a mother-in-law from hell.  They suck.  We all know they suck.  But she’s losing it and it’s going to cost you more to put her in a home.  You know his brothers aren’t going to pitch in on the bill,” I chimed in.

“That’s what I’m sayin’.  I’m willing to pay more.  We can afford to pay for a place.  The only way we can pay, is if I’m working on those three days at home.  You know what I mean.  You know this woman thinks I only work 2 days a week and those other days I’m, ‘just spendin’ up her poor baby’s money.’”

“Well let’s look at this medically.  She’s in the early stages of dementia.  Maybe she’ll forget that she hates you and it will be like a new leaf with y’alls’ relationship,” Karla always knew how to add the comedy.

“I’ve thought about that.  But what if her hate for me has been so strong that I end up being the only one she remembers.  That is more my luck.”

We all laughed and made an ungodly toast for selective dementia.

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Conundrum (Part X)

Conundrum (Part X)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
9/26/11

The laughter radiating throughout my home left me motionless on my stairs. My daughters created the perfect snapshot of joy, which only needed to exist in my mental memory box, not on film. My two oldest tried their best to make their 10-month old sister’s walking debut come true. Apparently I caught the collapse, as I witnessed the giggling pile taking over the carpeted living room floor.

I sat unnoticed on the stairs with tears in my eyes. A year ago I wouldn’t believe this moment could ever happen. Signing my marriage away, living under the roof of friends and family, and struggling to get my book published, left me with little hope my blessing would ever arrive. Now I resided in my own home with my kids rolling around the living room floor. Finally, after struggling and struggling; I tasted tears of joy.

The funny part of all of this, my ex wanted to move in with us. He told me if he knew I was pregnant, he would have stayed. To my friends that meant something, but to me that meant, my two daughters and I weren’t enough. I cried when he signed us away in the attorney’s office. Now I was so grateful for his ignorance. He gave me complete custody of our children and hadn’t showed his face in the past ten months. My oldest was repulsed by him. My middle child wasn’t old enough to form her own relationship with him, so she copycats her sister. If I decided for an introduction to take place with my youngest, it would be on my terms, not his begging. Having full custody gave me that right.

I wasn’t acting out of spite. This was my family now. He didn’t want us when he had us. Our reward and blessing was not to be shared with those who left the struggle before the storm came. It was to be cherished by those who pulled out their umbrellas and danced in the downpour.

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Conundrum (Part IX)

Conundrum (Part IX)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
4/8/11

I debated most of the week whether we would attend the family reunion his aunt invited us to. I thought about it over and over and went with no. I realized my ex (I was still trying to get used to saying that)signed us away. But the problem was, my oldest wasn’t aware of it yet. She still had hope. I had spent all this time trying to lift her spirits with hope. Seeing him at the reunion would crush all her hopes.

I thought I was doing the right thing as a mother, but now I realized how absolutely detrimental hope can be when it is unrequited. He had never hoped for us. Our tears, our love, and our hope were all unrequited. As I cradled my oldest in my arms, I had to question, with these lost hopes so fresh, how was I going to teach her to hope again?

Because at such a tender age, I could not allow her to abandon hope. For without hope in her life, I could not teach her to have faith. Right now it wasn’t about having faith that her hopes would come to pass, but in having faith that God closed the right door and opened one that would exceed abundantly everything she had ever hoped for.

The new doorway was not the source of my angst. I didn’t recognize the woman walking through it. There was a grace and warmth that radiated. Her worries and fears had been cast aside in the light of her newfound hope of peace. And it was because of this hope, God opened the door of Peace. Through all she had carried her family through, she finally turned in the key to Drama, and entered Peace.

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Conundrum (Part VIII)

Conundrum (Part VIII)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/30/11

There was a time in my life that I believed in fairy tales. When I met my husband, I was sure there was a happily ever after ending for us. There was an image of us in our rocking chairs on the front porch of the home we had spent a lifetime building together. We’d watch our grandchildren run about the front yard as we sipped on our lemonade and I rocked my youngest grand baby in my arms. I believed in “till death do us part.”

And even as I sat in the very cold corporate mediation conference room, I still couldn’t accept that this was how it was all going to end. I waited alone at the long highly polished dark mahogany table. Every part of my marriage contradicted the fairy tale I carried around in my mind. Because my entire marriage consisted of the very moment I was experiencing right now, being alone. Even in his presence, I was alone. And now we had arrived at the end and I waited alone.

My loneliness was interrupted by the mediator. Formalities and small talk were exchanged as we waited the arrival of the boy. Time ticked on and the small talk dwindled. And finally after twenty minutes, the little boy entered. He appeared polished from head to toe. His light gait carried an arrogance as he seated himself at the head of the table. So much for our rocking chairs on the front porch.

I remained seated after the short ten minutes of complete devastation took place. Nothing. He wanted nothing. He signed everywhere the mediator told him to sign and left. He left with no wife, no kids, no happily ever after, just an agreement for child support. He initialed and signed it all away.

I’m not sure what hit the floor first, my tears or the pictures of our…my…new daughter that he had never met. I don’t know what compelled me to think he would want to see her, but as the mediator placed the pictures back in my hands, I dried my tears. She would be better off not knowing him anyways. Because the man at conception, was not the boy that just left this room.

I wasn’t devastated because my marriage was over. I wasn’t hurt that he didn’t want me anymore. I was hurt because today my children were stripped of their fairy tale. Their happily ever after had been reduced to a 50/50 statistic.

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Conundrum (Part VII)

Conundrum (Part VII)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/14/11

The silence enveloped the room as I breastfed my daughter and gently rocked us back and forth in the large maple glider my parents had given me. Her ladybug light casted a soft glow in the corner of the room. I watched her suckle and with each blink caught the flashback of this exact moment with each of her sisters. With my oldest, I had this moment on my bed propped up against my pillows in my small studio apartment. I did the same with my second daughter, but it was in our house with her father next to me. I now sat in the makeshift nursery in my friend’s home alone with nothing but dreams and hopes.

The only recent contact I had with my husband was the divorce papers I was served the other day. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I actually felt sad. We were coming up on a year of being apart and I couldn’t tell you the last time we even talked or he contacted the kids. So why was this hurting? Why when I had embraced and accepted that I was doing this alone, did I feel like I was losing him all over again? I consistently prayed that God hadn’t forgotten me. Sometimes I believed I was just having a pity party, and the rest of the time I tried to hold onto the faith that He had me in the palm of His hand.

I signed the papers and sent them in the return envelope. It was against my faith, but I had to let go. Would God forgive me for giving up? I had continually asked myself this question since I mailed my vows away. But unfortunately my time in prayer had to be spent praying for my strength to support this family and thank my friend for her patience with my situation. I didn’t know if God was going to answer my prayers. I guess part of faith was hope, and I hoped God heard my prayers.

So in the dim glow of the makeshift nursery in my friend’s house, I said a single line to a prayer I had always rehearsed in its entirety, “Thy will be done.” I kissed my daughter and placed her in her tiny bassinet. “Thy will be done.”

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Conundrum (Part VI)

Conundrum (Part VI)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
1/13/11

The test of strength forced itself upon my shoulders. My inner conflict of not wanting him in my life, battled the need of wanting to hold his hand as the contractions rippled their stifling pain to every delicate nerve in my body. But for each brief set of minutes that my body was given reprieve from the brutal attacks, I hated myself for thinking about him at a time that had nothing to do with him. So I had to force myself to focus on the voice of the nurse and not on the thoughts of abandonment.

That is what he had done to us. He had abandoned us. There were no more phone calls. The visits with our daughters had ceased . He had even gone so far as changing his phone number. Luckily I had made us a family before he left, so his disappearance was not surprising. Disappointing, yes. Surprising, no. I hate to say that it bordered relief, but I had released his failures to God, and kept it moving. I had no choice but to stand strong and guide my daughters through the loss of their father.

I tossed from side to side and when I opened my eyes, God took over. All thoughts of him left me as I tuned into my surroundings and felt my friend holding my hand and telling me how soon this would all be over. My oldest sat across the room on a loveseat and held her sister’s hand. Her anxious eyes never left me, and offered me more comfort than his hand ever could.

At the first cry of my new daughter, my past eight months no longer mattered. God had given me a new start and I wasn’t going to give a second thought to my past. Their future depended on me staying in the present. I cradled my new joy, with her sisters’ welcome crowding. As we crammed in the small mechanical bed, I made their sister the same promise I had made them when they were born; I was going to give her the world.

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Conundrum (Part V)

Conundrum (Part V)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
11/18/2010

As I came months from my due date, I had done a wonderful job of shutting everyone out of my life. There was just no one that truly understood the struggles that I faced as a single pregnant mother. Or so I thought. Because on my journey of shutting everyone out, there was a persistent friend that wouldn’t leave my side. She had been through everything with me and she refused to go away.

The problem with trying to maintain the image of strength on the outside when you feel you have very little on the inside, is the facade is easily recognized by those closest to you. So my best friend began to carry me as I mourned the loss of my self expectations.

With my child on its way, two kids, and the sprinkle of not enough, there was no way I could afford my lifestyle. I swallowed my pride and moved in with her and her two daughters. I had always called myself a Christian, but I had never explored faith. Now my friend was saying trust her, she had been in my shoes and it was going to be okay. What about my situation could speak to this “okay”?

As I began to move our stuff into her house, I noticed a small stone plaque near her front steps, “The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want” Psalm 23. She came up behind me and told me I was about to find out what that meant. That invoked a fear in me, because I didn’t want to want, I wanted to have. That was what I was used to. She laughed and told me to buckle myself in, because God was about to set my crooked path straight.

It wasn’t the first night in her house that I comprehended “okay”, nor the second or third. But it was a month later as we rearranged sleeping arrangements to set up the crib for my daughter. It was a month of living without all the “stuff” that I had allowed to mark my success. The material had always determined how far I was in my life. But with the departure of my husband, I felt a loss that couldn’t be replaced by stuff. I thought back to when she told me sell all my stuff and I laughed at her. Now I was rummaging through my “success” and locating the pictures and memories of my family. That’s all I wanted, all I needed. All the rest was replaceable.

In the blackness of the night, I rocked back and forth in the rocking chair next to the crib. There was a roof over my children’s head, clothes on their back, and they ate heartily. I smiled. At that moment in that room, I got it. “The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want,” Psalm 23.

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I dedicate this to a remarkable woman, Jennifer L. Texada. She is a wonderful friend and has stayed steadfast by my side as I’ve traveled down my path of faith. Without her loving heart and generosity, I would have turned around a long time ago. Thank you girl. You are a phenomenal woman. I am blessed to have you in my life.

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Conundrum (Part IV)

Conundrum (Part IV)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
10/7/10

I was happy my affair with my husband was over. He had returned to his mother’s house, his biological wife. He sprinkled the children with not enough time or money, but I had to allow his free will to ruin their relationship. There was nothing I could say to make him want to be a better father and at this point the only thing I cared about was being a good mother.

As my stomach took over my body, my outlook on life began to change. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to stress about my current circumstances, but embrace my pregnancy wholeheartedly. Because in all actuality, I handled my two other pregnancies without him. I could do this one too.

The good part about taking your life back, you begin to shed those that aren’t working in your favor. So the first to go was his new chick. It was her hypocrisy of stealing their father and then wanting to coddle them through the pain, that made me sever the matriarchal tyrant. And in the transformation of wife to single pregnant mother, I realized that less him, I still had a family.

It was our card night, our game night, our movie night cuddled up on the couch, that made my house a home, not who lived in it. If that was the case, Go Fish would have ceased, Memory would be forgotten, and we would disperse to our separate corners in his absence. But pairs were still drawn, matches were made, and laughter, tears and popcorn littered our couch. So instead of dwelling on who had left, I had to prepare my home for who was on their way.

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