Memories of Life

Memories of happy times help me push forward when I’m feeling stuck. Tonight I smile remembering a simple childhood memory. I remember being in bed at my childhood home watching Saturday Night Live. My brother is in his room doing the same thing and my mom is in her room watching too. I remember the laughter. It’s like I can see it going out each of our doors and meeting in the middle to make even bigger laughs. My mother’s laughter rose above the rest. She’d laugh and laugh and try to say what just happened on the show or copy the actor and try to repeat it but get way too tickled before finishing. She’d just laugh and laugh and never be able to finish what she was trying to say again and again because one of us shhhed her to tell her the show was back on and we might miss something else funny.

I never knew how good I had it. I wish I could enjoy the moments without other thoughts and worries in my mind. Distractions. I fear I’ll look back at this time, in all its uncertainty, and wish for it back. Wish for the couch snuggles, movie nights, messy baking helpers and many other things. It’s all going by so fast.

I’m sure I’ll always wish they would have had an intact family but I was never in control of that. I will still always love it was us, the three musketeers.

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The Foundation

Throughout my life I’ve often envisioned how I hoped things would be. I like to see my future plans in my mind and hope I can achieve bits and pieces of these dreams of my future.

When I was younger, before getting married or having children, I envisioned how that would play out. I wouldn’t plan the big things in my mind just little things. Like I thought it would be cool to plant a tree after each child was born so as they grew the tree would too. It would be their life tree. I dreamed of taking my children places to not just tell them about things but actually show them. I dreamed of being really involved in a great church so they could grow their faith and have a group of church friends they grew with through the years. I also hoped that their father and I would be fun parents who handled discipline as a learning experience and not just a timeout corner. But with everything in life, you just don’t know until you know…so some of my thoughts for the future were just not realistic.

What I wanted from a husband I thought I had found mostly. He was a strong leader, successful, confident, yet loving, adventurous, silly and playful too. That was until we had children.

After getting married and having children I realized none of my dreams, with him and as a family, would come true.

The tree thing was shut down and I was told the stupid tree would probably die and then what….I have to keep planting tree after tree after tree hoping one of them lives. I’m not doing that. It’s dumb. So I had to let that go and I was ok with it. I just wanted the do it but it wasn’t a need.

Church was a battle from day one. I could only convince him to go occasionally but when I did he would complain the entire time making the experience miserable. When the kids were born they were either too loud, too hard, or he’d take so long to get ready we’d be late, causing more stress than necessary. It became a bad experience every time not the one I wanted to be good. I gave up most of the time but on the times I rallied through and tried to go without him he’d make me feel horrible about leaving him out. It was a no win situation. I felt like everything was.

Travel was a joke. When we were dating and first married we took fun trips but after the kids arrived, he took fun trips and left us behind. I could argue and be offended or upset but it didn’t matter. He didn’t change his plans. He’d just bring us back a dumb gift and be offended if we weren’t over it by the time he got home. He would tell me I was always mad about something and a grudge holder. It was really exhausting keeping reality and his versions of the truth separate. I refused to be tricked by his versions of the truth.

His versions of he truth about events that had occurred were so far fetched that I couldn’t be convinced they were reality which mad him try harder and become angrier when I challenged him. So, I learned to be quiet and nod. Nod not to acknowledge I was listening or nod to move on to something else. It was the way I survived. The only lies that ever got me were the ones he’d say about me….you know the ones, you’re gaining weight, you’re lazy, you’re a bad mother (usually followed by I wish I’d had a mom who cared as much as you care about our children). The insults he said to me still kind of live inside me. I know they’re not true and that he just wants to break me but I still hear the words and I still question their truth on bad days.

It’s been years since my husband and I have been together. He’s moved on a million times but I’m still stuck. He’s never been alone without a new girlfriend or numerous ones yet I am still afraid to get close to anyone. So in that way I guess he won. The damage was done and I can’t trust. I don’t want to take the risk. I don’t think I could do any of that ever again with anyone else. It’s too hard. I think I’d break if it happened again. I think I’d be easily tricked again because I want to be loved and because I want someone to care I think someone could take advantage of that.

This is what I infidelity does to a person. This is what being with a narcissist does to someone who was once strong. You move forward, after surviving the battle, and live with incredible strength but also incredible fear. People say healing takes time. I think healing never ends. I just hope the scars will fade and I’ll learn to find a way to step outside of myself enough to let someone great in one day.

Hello. Is Anybody in There?

I’ve written about this before but it’s something I think about often….when I feel a small piece of myself rising to the surface.

I miss myself.

I know, I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I really miss the silly, grinning goofball that once dominated my personality most days. I miss the carefree person who could talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything. I miss how I could make the shyest person open up and feel comfortable around me. I miss making people laugh. I love to make people laugh. I love to laugh.

It’s almost like I’m trapped in myself. The worry, the disappointments, the fears, the self doubt, the loneliness, the lack of trust…they all dominate me now. Those guys are in charge. They wake me up from my sleep, they keep me up so I can’t sleep, they make me tired during the day, they make my heart beat fast and my chest tighten, they make me disengage…run, and they make it hard to breathe. They make me walk away and keep people out. They stole my laughter.

Sometimes when something distracts me I start feeling myself bubbling up to the surface and I feel normal again. But not for long. No, it not for long because once I realize it I escape. I hide back inside myself because at least it’s safe in there. Lonely but safe.

This is what infidelity does to someone who was once full of life. This is what it takes away. Even when the pain is gone and the love doesn’t exist anymore, the hurt from being thrown away, disrespected, uncared for, it still lives inside me because it is me now. This is who I’ve become and the other person is just a memory of a girl I use to know. The me I use to be.

I never knew how special she was until she was gone. Life’s funny that way.

❤️

Please let me off of your crazy train.

***Please excuse my mistakes. I needed to release this and proofreading and correcting my mistakes (I’m sure there are many) would only add to my current frustration. In a couple of days I will read it and those mistakes will make me cringe. Today, I’m like screw it.

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It is incredibly difficult for me to find balance. How can you be kind, caring, and genuinely nice without being a pushover: without being someone everyone thinks they can say whatever they feel to and not care how it makes me feel. The balance of being strong and being an honest, good, person doesn’t seem reachable. To stand my ground on issues important to me, without allowing anyone to insert or force their opinions on me like demands, I feel like I have to be bitchy ALL THE TIME. Bitchy is not easy for me; kind and good is. How do I balance this.

Recently some family members have angrily inserted their opinions on me about how I am raising my children. I have been through hell and back protecting them from all kind of ridiculous people and situations my ex was carelessly involved in. I’ve managed food allergies and adhd and all that comes along with advocating for both of them. I’ve research the best way and talk to many professionals to do my best to try minimize the chaos of their family falling apart, while my parents were dying, one right after the other. Yet their opinion on how I discipline my children I know better than anyone is their business!

I’ve had two family members, one I have been very close to, yell at me and my children over absolutely nothing. My 8 year old son picked up a piece of food with his hand to eat instead of using his fork, a fork he was using but having a hard time picking up this one food. This was something I didn’t care about AT ALL. We were with family and not out at a restaurant. We were at the beach on vacation. This was suppose to be easy and relaxing but no, the last two beach weekends have been the same, yelling at me because I do not want you to disapline my children. The same children you know nothing else about: not what grade they’re in, not how they do in school, not their favorite colors, favorite pets, not what makes them happy and what makes them sad. NOTHING. Yet I’m suppose to allow you to yell at and aggressively yank up and close face yell at them because you feel they’re being disrespectful. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. Since I wouldn’t allow it and ask you to back up you decide to insult my 8 year old child and tell him he messes up everything and we can’t do anything fun because of him. It isn’t even remotely true, unless eating one noodle with your fingers is so unbearable. No, no it isn’t that YOU have secretly been drinking all day and are losing your mind. No it’s me and my child who has the audacity to eat a noodle with his hand. One.

Maybe it’s too hard for the two of you to sacrifice your love of peanut butter and peanuts for 3 freaking days because my daughter is so allergic to it it could actually take her life away. It’s too much of an inconvenience for you to not be able to make your child a peanut butter sandwich so you do it anyway and then wipe his hands with a wet paper towel and think we are being difficult. Water doesn’t kill the protein and when he wipes his hands all over everything including her, she could have a serious, life threatening reaction. Maybe you were irritated when I started the weekend mentioning that she and I were on high alert regarding her allergy because one of her friends just had a really close anaphylactic reaction to an accidental ingestion less than a month ago. Her mother and I are friends and she talked to me about how afraid she was and how it was out of her control. It was a raging poison attacking her child. Making her skin bubble as it came threw her nose as she vomited, then she watched as the hives crawled across her stomach up and down her limbs, up her throat and started closing her airway; one epipen, then two with both only helping for a couple of minutes before her airway began closing again. She told me they luckily made it to the emergency room before the small spaces lettting air through closed completely. She told me how she hadn’t realized how epinephrine itself could cause her child to go into cardiac arrest so now she had to be hooked up to a heart monitor to monitor it closely so hopefully, if it occurred, they would be prepared. She told me the number the pulse oxometer read and that she couldn’t allow herself to process what that meant until the crisis was over and her child’s life wasn’t in the balance. All because of a food she was told, by an adult, was safe. How rude of me to think the peanut butter alternative, in the cabinet would suffice for 3 days, if the craving got too big to handle . I can’t believe I asked so much of you to mess up your routine, your food cravings, and something your child wanted and had to have. I’m sure it was hard on you to do without it for…idk, was it 18 hours maybe? 8-10 of which we were all asleep at night. I’m sorry we are such a problem. I am sorry we mess up all the peanut butter fun. Gosh, how could I be so inconsiderate of your needs. What a bitch I am.

Yet when I was yelled at and disrespected I didn’t do the same to you. I am an adult and even thought you’re 2 years older than I am, you still are not. I tried to walk away but you followed me. I tried to not react and asked you repeatedly to stop which made you push harder. You didn’t like it when I told you I didn’t know what you were even talking about so you got in my face and acted like an angry teenager, not in control of their emotions due to increased hormone spike. I walked away and told you you weren’t allowed to speak to me like that. I walked away and you followed me into my room, where my son was waiting for me, and look at him but said to me, At least my son doesn’t ruin everything. We can’t ever do anything because of him. Which made my little boy cry so hard that he couldn’t breath. The look of satisfaction on your face was disturbing and when I picked him up, grabbed my keys, and told you that you crossed the line and that I was done with you, you said, whatever to me. Who does that?!? Who feels satisfied and proud of hurting a child over a freaking noodle that I put on his plate so he could feel like a part of the family at dinner, as we all ate spaghetti. He doesn’t like spaghetti sauce but will sometimes eat a plan noodle. I can barely get him to eat anything. He has a problem with some textures and he has a difficult time eating meat at all (tender hearted and can’t eat an animal). He doesn’t like beans either so I have a hard time getting the correct amount of protein as well as other needed nutrients into him. So to me the fact that he’d eat anything was enough for me, utensils or not. No worries, they choose not to know this about him; when I’ve tried to explain it before I was met with rolled eyes and stories about how in your day all children were raised the same. That’s bullshit but if that is what you stubbornly choose to believe, great. It isn’t what I believe. You still insist on telling me I’m wrong and feel strongly that you are right. Who are you? What gives you the right to talk to me like you are some expert when your own child’s adult life is so turned upside down that you support her 100%. Thee adult child that has been screaming at me and acting completely irrational. You want me to follow your guidance on raising children? Ummm, no thank you.

Me being empathetic and caring makes me a target. People think they can dominate me because I keep my cool and care about people. I don’t need to act like a buffoon and yell, scream, and hit my children to discipline them. That’s not who I am. So you tell me I coddle them. Over and over this phrase is used ad nauseam to try to push my buttons but it doesn’t work. I surprise you by not disagreeing. Yes, I love and treat my children tenderly because I am their safe place to land everyday after dealing with people like you. Breaking them down and making them fear you isn’t something that should bring you pride. Maybe your anger comes from the fact that even during all of your screaming I calmly told you I didn’t agree, didn’t know what you were even talking about, and tried repeatedly remove myself. Maybe the fact that you couldn’t make me doubt myself and do as you instructed me to do infuriated you. Guess what, when it comes to my children, no one can push me around. What gives you the right. I’m not trying to criticize your parenting even if I disagree with some things you do, because it’s not my business.

I am a solid force, quiet and strong. I am sure of my beliefs and I am willing to walk away to keep them from seeing your ridiculous behavior that I never had to witness, not even once, as a child. I won’t allow it. It isn’t normal and as their mother I refuse to allow them to witness it again so they start believing it is. Push me I won’t fall. You can’t knock me down. I’ll stand alone without support and still be stronger than you’ll ever be.

Iom

The Future

When I think of my future I want to be in a place where I have enough to give to the causes that mean something to me, to make a difference, and make change happen. I hope to be there one day but today, I must do my best to raise two human beings to be good people in this world. That is my current purpose. I love these kids of mine. What a blessing it is to have children…even on the hard days.

❤️

The Frog, the Pot, and Me

The last 10 years have flown by. I don’t know how it has but time never stops for sure and with it’s constant moving, so many things have changed, including me. So many changes and like the story of the frog in the pot of boiling water, I didn’t even notice it was happening.

I went out on a boat this weekend with my children and some other people. I didn’t think much of the plan of the day, I only thought of what we all needed to be comfortable, protected, fed, and safe. I remembered everything we needed. I thought it would be fun for the kids because they love boat rides. I saw some old friends unexpectedly while there and they were so excited to see me, told their children stories about me, and as I listened I forgot who that person was they were describing. I barely remember her and she was me. How is that even possible.

I use to be funny and silly and make people laugh. I use to be so carefree and full of life. I don’t know how I’ve disappeared. The things that have happened these last 10 years have mostly been out of my control. I wasn’t asked or considered or cared about. I didn’t have choices. I had responsibilities and I wasn’t going to walk away from those because you did. But because you did, I have 90% of responsibility and what that is left me with is a person who takes care of everyone but myself, because there isn’t any extra time for that. Even when I try to make plans for myself, you bail on your 10% making me cancel the chances to get a moment to remember myself.

I didn’t get to make the decisions that changed our lives. None of us did but you and you are living up your life while we are loving our family and making memories. I may not remember who I was before and I may be sad momentarily, but I am proud of the decision I did get to make about being here for our children and loving them so they never have to doubt it. I am their constant.