Archive for 2021

The Criminals

Posted May 13, 2021 By kmarrs

Pretty much the day we decided Ziggy needed to go back, the Marrs Family Kids’ Union met and decided they wanted cats. Specifically two: one for Sammy and one for Thomas since they both have an ESA letter.

I was in a tough spot because we had literally just started the process of taking Ziggy back and I wasn’t sure I wanted to move on that fast, and I had all the stuff needed for a dog. I spent a lot of money on dog stuff and it would cost even more to bring cats into the house. But on the other hand, I was going back to work after being off for 6 weeks, in less than a week, and Sammy was suicidal. I had to do something! And the kids were adamant they did not want another dog.

So I brought out a newly paid-off card, called it a medical (mental health) expense, and ordered everything we’d need off chewy. I’m a pushover and well, the union had made an overall reasonable demand.

I then proceeded to scour Pet Finder and Craig’s List looking for 3 kittens from the same litter. I figured if Thomas and Sammy were getting kittens, I wanted one too and could get my own ESA letter. It took some hunting, but I found three 8-month-old kittens that were up-to-date on shots and already fixed. We brought them home the day before I went back to work.

Meet:

Miss Soot Sprite Spooky Pants the Cyrptid Marrs Esq

Ash

Angel

They are criminals

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Ziggy Exits Stage Left

Posted May 6, 2021 By kmarrs

I tried so hard. Constant training. Professional help. Rewards. Deterrents. It seemed every time we took a step or two forward, we took twice as many steps back. He was getting more and more aggressive and I was out of options. I gave him the best life I could but he just wasn’t… I don’t want to say he wasn’t what we needed because that makes it sound like he just had too much energy. He was aggressive to the point that he was attacking multiple people every day no matter what we did. We spent a lot of time, effort, and money to try and get him to calm down but he just couldn’t.

He couldn’t.

I have zero doubt he was abused in his first home. It’s obvious when you interact with him. He was taught, through abuse, to be aggressive. I too was taught through abuse to be aggressive. I understood that in Ziggy which is why I tried so hard and didn’t want to give up.

But in the end, I had to put the safety of my kids, some of them still little, first. And he was a serious threat to their safety. I took him back to the shelter in mid-April. They ran some behavior tests on him to determine his fate. I don’t know what they decided. I want to hope that maybe he went to an adult home that could try something I didn’t think of. Though with how aggressive he was I kind of doubt it. But I don’t know.

I tried so hard. I still feel so horrid over this. Sammy, a month later, still cries himself to sleep some nights. I so badly wanted to be Ziggy’s forever home. But he was so hurt and scared and just traumatized. Wherever he is I hope he’s at peace. I gave him the best life I could in the meantime.

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Simon

Posted May 3, 2021 By kmarrs

This one is a little harder and I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I think I should. Because, as it turns out, it’s really easy to join a cult and not realize it.

I’m pretty active on Tumblr. I follow a few hundred people and have a few thousand people following me. I’m on the site pretty much everyday, and both of my friend groups, with a lot of overlap between the two, are full of people I met on the site.

One of those people is Simon.

Simon is a character. Literally. He is a social experiment run by a woman named Kristina. The idea of the social experiment tied into whether she could get you to believe Simon is a cryptid. I knew most of this going in. I didn’t know the details on who was running the blog, but Simon was very open about it being an experiment. Could he convince you of his claims.

Simon was also very kind and came off as very trustworthy. Many of us became good friends with him and confided in him because generally speaking he offered good advice.

The problem is, Simon has a very cult like personality, and overtime he built up this understanding that he was an authority figure and his word, was not quite law, but not something easily doubted. It was a gradual build over many years. He attracted the vulnerable. Mostly abuse victims. So we were looking for the relief and the safety of having Simon, and each other, in our lives.

Then a couple of months ago, things went south. Simon made a bad decision and didn’t count on us to call him on it. See, where he went wrong is he built a community that didn’t really need him any longer because we’d forged actually really healthy relationships with each other and built each other up with love and support. Suddenly we were getting therapy and had found a sense of self confidence outside of Simon.

So when Simon fucked up, we called him on it. And he went ballistic. The entire persona slipped.

There is no nice and tidy way to sum things up but as we went public that the entire “inner circle” had removed Simon from our midst, those who had left us over the proceeding months, came back to us with tales of horror of things Simon had done. The truth of who Simon really is also came out, with proof. Over the course of weeks of discussion, we all agreed that while it may not 100% fit the criteria of having been a cult, Simon very much had a cult like personality and, well, we all consider ourselves to be cult survivors.

But we’re out. We still have each other. We have no central leader telling us what is what anymore, and we have relationships that are healthy in a way that our therapists are thrilled about.

There are those still swayed by Simon. They won’t listen to reason. They believe the lies he came up with about how his inner circle attacked him. But there is only so much we can do. You can’t save everyone no matter how hard you try.

And in the end, we’re walking away stronger with healthy friendships intact. So in a way, I’m thankful Simon was in my life. But I’m also thankful I was able to remove him from my life and took my found family with me.

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Road Trip to Indy

Posted April 29, 2021 By kmarrs

One of my adopted kids, Vann, lives about 3 hours away from me, on the East side of Indianapolis. So when they had a medical emergency and needed an advocate to help them bully some doctors into doing their fucking job the other week, I packed a bag, grabbed Sammy, and off we went!

I was out of work for a few more weeks, and Sammy’s classes are online this year, so I planned the driving for the end of a school day and set him up to attend class from Vann’s house, and very little school was missed.

While in Indy, Sammy got to know some fellow queers, and his knowledge of the different flavors of gender was expanded. It’s true the exposing kids to queer people can lead to their own exploration of gender and sexuality. Some people are afraid of this, but Sammy followed a young adult trans masc by the name of Rin around like a puppy dog for a few days and walked away from the encounter a little more self-confident. This makes my heart super happy!

I attended a few appointments with Vann and we got their needs taken care of. The time in Indy was well spent.

As a bonus, the time away from home proved a great distraction for Sammy, though the relief was temporary and we did have to return home eventually.

Vann and my trip to Indy are a strong testament to the power of found family. I’m very grateful to have Vann in my life, and I’m deeply relieved I was able to be there for them in their time of need.

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Rough Times for Little Ones

Posted April 26, 2021 By kmarrs

Sammy is not doing so well. This pandemic and the resulting isolation have really gotten to him. He recently reached his breaking point and is now super suicidal.

In late March, he had a full-on plan, and a backup plan, on how he wanted to kill himself. He was already in weekly therapy and we were sorting out the ESA situation with Ziggy. He’d also recently started Prozac, but if anything it made him worse.

So I took him to the Children’s Hospital Crisis Center and they admitted him to their psych ward for a few days. I cannot stress enough that he wanted this, and I’m very proud of him for making that decision.

He was there over a few days of spring break and while there he was in some pretty intense therapy. They gave him all sorts of new skills and ways to cope with his depression. His medication was switched to Lexapro and an anti-anxiety med was added to the mix as well.

While he was inpatient, I bought a bunch of toolboxes and locked up every single medication and sharp in the house. That way upon release I could promise him he’d be safer in his home.

As of right now, he’s still in rough shape but we’re working hard to lift him out of his depression. One of the key changes is I’m sending him out to play. The landlord built a nice playground right across the street last summer but we were in quarantine and I couldn’t let him play on it. But at this point, we all got covid over the winter, and it will be a while before we can get it again we’re pretty sure, so I’ve decided fuck it and am letting him play with the neighborhood kids, now that it’s nice enough outside. I can’t lift him out of his loneliness if I don’t let him play with the kids outside.

I’m hoping with continued time outside with the kids in the area, more and more weekly therapy, helping him practice his skills, and a good amount of help from medication, I’ll be able to help him climb out of the pit of despair.

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Transition

Posted April 22, 2021 By kmarrs

We could use a bright spot, yes? A bit of happy?

Not long after I came out of the hospital, Sammy came out of the closet as a trans boy.

I will confess there were some mixed emotions, but none of them will stop me from loving him unconditionally and supporting his desire to transition.

What with him being 9, I’d like to discuss what a healthy transition looks like today and how it will progress.

A few days after he came out, I took him to get his hair cut. He expressed a desire for a boy cut, so he got one.

He also wants boy clothes. Since it’s that time of year where I buy him new summer clothes, that just meant shopping in the boy section. He did add in that he wants some girl clothes too. He likes pink and purple and unicorns and dresses and boys are allowed to wear these things. He just wants a balance in his closet.

In a year or two, if he still identifies as trans, we’ll start him on puberty blockers. The nice thing is these aren’t like hormones with irreversible changes. They simply delay puberty.

Did you know it’s seriously a lot easier to change your name if you’re a minor and your parents do it for you? We’ll change his name to Samuel when he’s 16 before he gets his first ID.

Then when he’s older we’ll discuss hormones and surgeries, if he wants them, and help in any way we can.

So transition will be a long process spanning the next decade or so. But for now? He’s experiencing gender euphoria over his handsome new haircut and the boy clothes I’m buying him. Which means, I guess, that I’m doing something right.

With that handled, I settled into my youngest being my son.

But then he met some of my found family when made an emergency trip to Indy, which I’ll blog about later. There he met more nonbinary and trans masc people. He slowly started adding definitions of different genders to the queer wiki in his head.

Around that time he started talking about how he was a boy but still wanted to be a pretty princess. I confirmed prince was not an option. So I cautiously suggested he might be he/him nonbinary, and explained that that is a thing. He took this knowledge and worked with it for a while.

Not long later he dressed as a girl for a day and told me that while usually he’s a boy, for that day he was a girl. At which point I taught him about the gender-fluid identity.

It’s been a roller coaster of watching him discover himself over the past few weeks, but he’s finally settled on Gender Fluid, for now. If he changes his mind, then he changes his mind. If he doesn’t, then he’s gender fluid. I’ll use all sorts of pronouns for him from now on based on what gender he was on a day something happened.

I’m just really glad I’ve raised my kids comfortable to explore who they are, and secure enough to share their findings with me.

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