Protected in pillows

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I’m very familiar with this life lesson. Yes it’s a painful lesson, and usually affects more than just myself.

The other day while driving home, I had a conversation with my daughter about people’s behavior and how best to interact. Attempting to educate her with some lessons I’ve learned along the way, I realized I couldn’t think of having this conversation with my mom at that age. How I wish my mom had been able to share guidance for me along my journey, save me some pain and time. I’m not sure that she has much awareness on lessons, she’s stubborn like a bull and rarely admits when she’s wrong. But seeing her ways has taught me to open myself to the need to internally grow. Luckily, I’ve met some amazing people that have been able to verbalize some great experiences to help me.

I’ve recently really put myself out there. Dating isn’t something I enjoy. Yes, the newness is fun in the beginning, but I just want to relax and be myself. I yearn being in sync with someone, having a person who just gets me, thinks of my response before I even say it. I can say this fella, he gives me a reminder that maybe it’s possible to find that. And he genuinely seems to be in awe of my awesomeness. But I’m still scared. Scared of losing myself. Scared of realizing too late that with him came baby mama drama, not being fully available, another person who made me laugh and smile but ended up hiding a darkness that I should have seen.

I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust my judgment. I don’t ever want to be the person I used to be. The fear of that alone is enough to make me run. To make me curl into a ball, buried in pillows and blankets, and wonder “what if” from a safe distance. Because at least in that, my heart is safe. Lonely and empty, a little bit dark, but protected.

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24 hours

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The Tragic Love Story Of Christy Mack and MMA Fighter War Machine

http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/12627754/the-tragic-love-story-christy-mack-mma-fighter-war-machine

What a strong and brave woman. This story describes how quickly you can lose yourself with a dangerous person.

Steps for my sanity

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I’ve made this step before. It’s necessary and it’s embarrassing that I seem to have back-peddled. But taking the step is crucial to my sanity.

Some people are like chameleons.
We want to believe they are good. The positive fun colors, bright yellow and glowing red. Happiness and love. Maybe because we gave so much to the person or the relationship. Maybe because we are stuck in the wrong time, memories playing in our head like a movie we can’t seem to stop. Usually because we want so badly to be able to trust our own judgements of who we give ourselves to. Maybe we haven’t really dealt with the situation in our heart. Unable to fall apart so we buried the pain and suffering deep down. And it continues to creep it’s way out, and you still don’t want to process those feelings so you try to keep pushing them down. Medicating the toll it’s taking on your health. Life has a way of forcing us to break down. We are all human and it’s part of our journey. To fall in love, get broken and find the path to true love. Loving ourselves. We must allow the process or we get stuck on repeat.

Some people are just the dark colors. Dysfunction. Chaos. Drama. Lies. Manipulation. And sometimes we put on blinders so not to see the very obvious. But when the darkness keeps taking over, whether like a slow black smoke cloud flowing over everything in its path or like a hurricane storm thrashing pain and damage all around, you must step away. Run. You must save yourself. You are no good to those you love if you lose yourself.

Sometimes we learn things immediately, catching on right away. Sometimes we must beat the lesson in ourselves, over and over again. Just remember it’s a sign your heart was too big and when there’s empty space we sometimes fill that with unnecessary things.

It’s time to clear the clutter from your mind, body & soul. Pick up the important pieces to keep and donate the useless crap to someone else. You don’t need it.

A mothers guilt

I have said those words to myself a thousand times, but typing those words out for all the world to see…(deep breath)..it stings a little…

A mothers guilt…this mothers guilt.

I can speak as a mom, and I by no means am trying to say ALL moms feel this way, or are this way, but I hope there are others who understand.

We have to make decisions that will affect our children’s lives. It will affect who they become, and there’s always going to be those stories they tell people about their memories of things, good, bad and in-between. I have stories about my mother. My mom lost her mother at a very young age, so she didn’t get the privilege (I mean that) to complain to her mom about how her own kids (one of which is me 🙂 ) were driving her crazy. Or ask her mom “how did you do it mom!” or to say what I have said a gazillion times to my mom “I’m so sorry for what I put you through”. Mostly I apologize for being a self centered, lazy teenager. And my mom smiles and says “you don’t have to apologize to me”. Yes I do. That’s how I show my mom how differently I see things now as a mother compared to how I saw them as that bratty teenager. And they are not just words to me, I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart. I’m sure my mom doesn’t want my apology because, well, because she’s mom. Mom’s understand their kids will make mistakes, lots of them in fact. Moms hope they can help avoid some obvious mistakes, but I’m learning sometimes us moms must sit back and let the rocks tumble. But when things go wrong and it hurts our kids we moms are always so hard on ourselves, that wonderful “mothers guilt”.

This is going to sound crazy, but I really got lucky with my girls. I was 18 when I got pregnant. I didn’t even know how to take care of myself let alone a baby or two!  Which meant I didn’t eat right, I didn’t sleep enough, or I slept to much, I skipped my prenatal vitamins a lot (they made me nauseous) I stressed myself to tears daily. I was unhappy. I was 18, unmarried, and my boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me after I got pregnant. I had to drop out of college, lost my scholarship. I lost my job because I got put on bed rest. I already felt the mothers guilt. I felt bad for bringing my kids into a single parent home, with no dad in the picture (at the time) and I had no money to take care of them. The depression I felt was actually my mothers guilt I’m sure.

As a kid I dreamed of a fancy future, a high paying career, I was going to be someone important! I always remember picturing myself in a loft downtown with an area for my art with paint brushes and a work in project sitting on an easel. Anyway, being an 18 year old unemployed single pregnant teen was the farthest thing from my dream. My dad was dying of cancer, my mom was in her midlife crisis and my best friend dumped me. I was a depressed wreck. But a miracle happened, well 2. I gave birth to two beautiful and healthy baby girls who brightened my world beyond my imagination. They had a few minor health issues as babies, but overall they were very healthy babies! By 6 months they slept through the night. They weren’t picky eaters, I just had to cut up the meat and hide it in mashed potatoes. They were full of smiles and giggles and they shined everywhere we went. I eventually got back to college. I didn’t think I could love anything or anyone as much I loved those girls! I was lonely sure, but I didn’t really picture myself with anyone. I accepted it was me and them girls forever. So I spoiled them, dressed them alike, gave lots of hugs and kisses, did their hair every day in pig tails, I enjoyed them because as far as I was concerned they would be my only children. Then life threw me a curve ball, well a lot of curve balls and with each of those came more guilt.

I met a guy, looking back I’m honestly mad at my mother for encouraging it. But she was just happy to see me happy again and the idea of me not having to raise my girls alone was nice. What a fool I was. I can’t express how much guilt I have locked away over this one, but it is what it is. Lessons were learned. I became a much stronger person from it all. And in 2002 I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. It was a very, very, very difficult and long delivery. I was in labor for over 27 hours and actively pushed for nearly seven hours, mind you this after having my twins by c-section. My son was 9 pounds and he couldn’t get out. I have guilt over picking that quack doctor.

From day one Ryan had health issues. He didn’t sleep, he was always hungry but like the girl from the exorcist, he threw everything up. It was awful. Jaundice, fevers, ear infections, acid reflux (I never knew a baby could have that!) eczema, sick all the time he was. The guilt over his birth still eats at me. I was again going through another pregnancy alone but this time also raising twin four year olds. The last thing I wanted was to be raising 3 kids by two different fathers alone, going through a divorce. What a catch I made my myself! At least I had a job this time. (there’s my sarcasm) Do I need to explain where the mothers guilt fits in this part of the story? God I hope not!

Fast forward through a lot of crappy choices that came with more of..you guessed it… mothers guilt.

Let’s see, I have no idea where to start on this part… Hmm.. okay, 2004 was the first time I took Ryan in for outside help. Ryan was always so much more work than my girls were. I’m sure I’m exaggerating but I honestly remember the girls always being so easy. You said “no, don’t touch that” they didn’t touch it. Shocking I know! I mean, they’d give me a poutty face, immediately followed by a big smile and a “shake that booty..uh uh..shake that booty baby” such easy kids. Ryan is a tester, a button pusher, he likes to test the limits and push buttons. He’s honery! Anyways, 2004 fast forward through alot of mis-diagnoses, therapy, behavior modification, medical tests and hospitalizations…and the overwhelming guilt that comes with all that… Ryan actually has Epilepsy, and ADHD. He’s a great kid though. He’s funny, charming, peculiar, artistic, loving, smart, jokester, thoughtful. But he’s had a rough road, course thank god he had me and his sisters because it takes a whole lot of love to get a person through what he was.

And the guilt over all the stuff I fast forwarded through? Well there’s just so much to explain, to sum it up, I learned how to be my child’s advocate. I learned how to navigate my way through the system. The medical, the insurance, the doctors, the school, IEP’s, I became obsessed with it all. Why? My guilt. It’s silly really. Most people don’t know about this stuff, we trust the doctors and the schools to do right by us and our kids. BUT I learned a very important lesson. We must educate ourselves too, moms (and dads if they are involved) are the most important person to stand and fight for our kids.

Dude….that’s my mom

Warning: some language may offend some by reading this….if that means you then read the next blog instead of mine because today I just don’t give a shit.

I’m learning all about becoming my children’s advocate. And as much as I hate politics, there seems to be a lot of that crap when it comes to school districts, policies, etc. This mom has grown tired.

~I’m tired of adults acting like children.

~I’m tired of my teenagers being given the freedom that even some adults shouldn’t have…and having to force people to let my god damn kids be kids!! Give them rules damn it!

~I’m tired of having to flag my emails to remind me to follow-up with some other jack-ass to make sure they did their job.

~I’m tired of having post-its of all shapes, sizes and colors all over my world because if I don’t remember to do it…well damn it just won’t get done!

~I’m tired of people trying to walk all over me. (I have learned to be the pain in their ass if I expect anyone to honor their words)

~I’m tired of having to prove myself to anyone that I am not one to mess with. This lady has learned, I’ve walked a million miles (not literally just that life has not been easy) and I know I have to work harder to get what is right…that’s the deck I’ve been dealt. And unfortunately some of you have been dealt the other hand in my card game…good luck, may the best player win.

~I am just tired.

Here is the letter I emailed to my daughters school dean, her teacher, the acting superintendent of the district, and the president of the school board. (because guess what…I am that fucking mom the suits warned you about….maybe my kids are right..I’m crazy.)

Mr. (fill in the name here: because truth be told I wasn’t trying to get this guys attention. I should have had his attention months ago. I copied the higher-ups to this email because I’m god damn tired of wasting my time to tell you shit heads how to do your fucking jobs!)

I appreciate you addressing my concerns with my daughter leaving the school for school activities without parental consent.

My daughter told me you spoke with her yesterday and explained she is to check with you before leaving school grounds during scheduled school time, and you will then call me to confirm if it’s ok. I think it’s important to clarify our conversation because this isn’t how I understood things. Last night at conferences I also spoke to Mrs.(teachers name here) directly and advised her as well.

My daughter is 15 years old and has NO reason to leave school property, especially without my consent. I am NOT and HAVE NOT given my consent for her to leave school to ride along with her friend to collect payments from business’s (for the school newspaper). Shouldn’t the school take better precautions? What happens if the student that is driving gets in an accident and my daughter gets hurt? Isn’t this why there is permission slips required from parents for a child to attend a field trip? Who is liable?

I understand there are responsibilities for the newspaper staff. But it does not take more than one student to go collect a check from a business, which could just be mailed. If it is preferred a student go to the business that would best be handled by a senior staff member.

I am extremely frustrated how this issue has been handled given previous problems. I hope this clarifies any confusion on your part

Signed,

that thorn in your ass that copied your boss to this email!

Now, I type on my blog proud as can be. Mind you tonight was day two of parent teacher conferences and lo and behold I had finally gotten the Dean’s attention. Mr Dean of the school was very kind and clarified understanding my rules and that things will be corrected. He agreed with all I said and even apologized for the lack of his attention previously, and to be honest he seemed sincere. He seemed sincere that he agreed my daughter deserves to be a kid for the last few years she has to do so. He seemed sincere when he told me they wish more parents were this involved. He seemed sincere when he told my daughter repeatedly “one day you will thank your mom for this”. Either he was faking which would mean he’s really a good liar) or he realized how much this mom loves her kids and how far this mom will go for them.

I know my daughter will read this and likely be upset and embarrassed “what if my friends see that!”. But given the fact that my kids are used to my obsessive determination, they might just laugh at me. Maybe even tell a few selected friends about it. I would prefer they be proud of me. Even for a second admitting in their hearts that one day they will realize how utterly and completely exhausted I must have been with life, and I still made the time to address issues regarding their safety and education….repeatedly when needed. Sigh… Well a mother can dream can’t she!

Regardless how my kids react to this post, I must be completely honest… I felt like a total bad ass tonight! Although I would like to think this means the school will take me more serious in the future, past experience tells me they seem to forget quickly.

So until next time…at least for tonight I can scream “SCORE FOR THIS MOM”!

And if my daughters friends give them a hard time, hopefully they will just say “DUDE!…….that’s my mom!”

(Inside joke…note to my girls: at least I’m not spitting popcorn at them like your crazy grandma!  I love you mom!)

Home Security Checklist

Here are tips for safeguarding your property and possessions. Print and use this checklist, and your home may be the safest on your block.

Exterior Doors

1.     Install strong doors that are either solid wood or metal-clad, rather than hollow-core units, which are designed for interior use and can give way under a powerful shoulder blow or kick.

2.     Reinforce glass insets in doors — and in the windows that often surround a front entry — with security glazing. This durable plastic, which is applied to the window, prevents trespassers from breaking through the glass and opening the door from the inside.

3.     Choose doors with hinges that face indoors. Otherwise, an intruder might be able to pop out the pins and lift the entire door off its frame.

4.     Select wide-angle viewers for new doors; one should be positioned at normal height and one at a lower level for children and people in wheelchairs. You can hire a contractor to retrofit these viewers to an existing door.

5.     Supplement standard locks on sliding glass doors with key-operated locking devices. These mechanisms secure the bottom of the door to its frame. For good measure, also keep a dowel in the lower track to prevent the door from being forced open. Note: Sliding glass doors that have been fortified must not be designated as fire exits, because the extra security measures could potentially slow fleeing family members.

Lighting

1.     Ensure that driveways, pathways, and entry points throughout your property have adequate lighting; avoid overly bright fixtures, however, since they create deep shadows in the yard.

2.     Use motion sensors. In addition to lighting the property safely for welcome visitors, they will help scare away potential intruders.

3.     Illuminate address numbers so police and emergency crews can quickly find your house. To guarantee maximum visibility, choose numbers that are 4 to 6 inches tall, and mount them in a well-lit and logical place, such as beside the front door.

Home Security Checklist

Locks

1.     Secure all doors and windows every time you leave the house, even if you intend to be out for only a few minutes.

2.     Never rely solely on the key-operated knobs that come standard on entry doors. Reinforce them with a dead bolt. There are two types from which to choose: single-cylinder, which operates by key on the outside of the door and a thumb latch on the inside, and double-cylinder, which is key-operated on both sides. Opt for single-cylinder locks so that, in the event of a fire, family members won’t lose valuable seconds fumbling for the right set of keys.

3.     Choose a dead bolt that has these characteristics: a bolt (known as the “throw”) that extends at least 1 inch when locked, to resist heavy blows; beveled rims on the dead bolt’s housing to prevent it from being pulled out with pliers; mounting screws that are 3 inches or longer so the strike plate (the metal plate installed in the door frame that receives the bolt) is anchored securely.

4.     Avoid keeping spare keys in an obvious hiding place, such as underneath a doormat or in a flowerpot. Instead, leave a set with a trusted neighbor. If you have no choice but to stash them somewhere on your property, choose an unexpected spot, such as beneath a stone under a bush.

5.     Invest in an alarm system that will sound a loud noise or silently alert the alarm company or police if an intruder trips its circuit. Do your homework first, though, comparing systems and making sure the company you sign with is well-established.

Windows

1. Supplement the standard thumb-operated turn latches on windows with a key-operated device (sometimes referred to as a sash lock). Similar to the mechanism that’s used on sliding glass doors, it secures the window’s top panel to its bottom panel so the unit can’t be forced open from the outside.

2. Create a pin lock by drilling an angled hole through the top and bottom frame and inserting a nail or eyebolt. (This homemade alternative to the key-operated sash lock is recommended on second-floor windows because the pins can be removed quickly during a fire.) You may wish to make a second set of pin locks with the window partially open to allow for safe ventilation.

3. Consider safety bars for windows, especially those on the ground floor of homes in urban areas. Since bars on front-facing windows will be visible from the road, choose a material and style that complement the home’s architecture — scrolled cast-iron grates, for instance, are appropriate for a traditional-style brick row house.

Vacation

1.     Hire someone to mow the lawn and keep bushes and trees neatly trimmed, or to remove snow, to give the appearance that someone is home.

2.     Set timers for at least two interior lights, but be sure to stagger when they turn on and off so the house will look genuinely occupied, and not just programmed to appear so.

3.     Suspend newspaper deliveries and mail service (you can do the latter at your post office or at usps.com).

4.     Inform close neighbors of your trip so they can alert the police to any suspicious activity. If they’re willing, have them park their car in your driveway, too — anything to make the house look like it’s occupied.

5.     Join a neighborhood-watch group — a network of neighbors who meet regularly to discuss crime problems and solutions, and who keep an eye on one another’s property. If no group exists in your community, contact local law-enforcement agencies about starting one. (For more information about watch groups, visit usaonwatch.org.)

6.    Create an inventory of valuable possessions. Include photographs of the items and, when applicable, identification numbers inscribed by their manufacturer (computers, for instance, all have serial numbers). Of course, you can perform this sort of inventory at any time, but doing so before a long vacation will give you some extra peace of mind throughout your trip.

see more on http://www.marthastewart.com