I gave my all

I cuddled you and held you close to me at night.

I let myself fall in love with the idea of us.

I professed my love to the world.

I put you inside my skin.

I supported you financially and emotionally.

I loved your kids as my own and rearranged my home to give them their own space.

I found myself making your family the priority.

I gave you my heart.

You gave me drama.

You gave me lies and I tried to believe you anyway.

You used me and left me broke.

You destroyed my home and peace.

You made my children sad for what I accepted from you.

You brought me shame because I believed you.

I see things more clear now than I ever have. 

They rescue you, yet they hurt you. 

They hurt you because you have used them too many times, which hurt them. 

You destroyed them beating them with your toxic cycle leaving them all angry and bitter with you. 

Yet your still able to manipulate them with your emotional breakdowns needing them to rescue you. This part of the cycle gives them the feeling of being in control, seeing you hurt as you have hurt them many times before. They give you crumbs because they enjoy seeing you suffer, even though it also hurts them. And you see it as you’re in control and in many ways you are.
This toxic vicious web you all weave is unaccepting of someone who encourages growth. Who avoids drama and conflict, who pushes for you to be better. 

And in your cycle, as you tried to suck me into the web, you actually allowed me to separate from the picture you painted of what we would be. You gave me space to see the truth, the cycle repeating again almost identical as before. You handed me my independence back not even knowing what you were doing. You expected me to jump into the game as they have all done for so many years and save you, coddle you. 

You were not counting on me loving myself more.

And now I know it wasn’t me

This amazing man came in, built up my confidence, made me see my worth, stand taller and smile bigger. Then quickly became a weight, pulling me down, again. Now he tears me down for my confidence, as he sees it as conceited. Now he sees me with blackened glasses where everything is ugly. It’s no longer my cute quirks, now he sees me as rude and selfish. As a person who tries to intimidate everyone, who takes controll of conversations because I don’t care what others have to say. In a disgusted with me expression, he claimed I think I’m the queen and everyone is my pheasants. Worst of all he claimed my own children are scared to death of me.

Sadly, I’ve dealt with this before, not just from him but from his type. They convince me I’m cruel and that I draw this frustration and anger out from those around me. Until I sit and stew and go back to hating myself. But not this time. Life continues to build my character and my inner strength. 

This time I know it’s not me, it’s you. This time I know I did everything right and you again tried to suck the life out of me. Maybe you don’t even realize it, but you should. Subtle and polite words said to make you see your ways eventually turn into blunt sledgehammers. That’s your fault, not mine. And I realize now, you will never see the real you.

My kitchen remodel nightmare

I’m trying, really trying to keep myself together. But I feel heavy, weak, out of breath, and unavailable.  My anxiety is probably the highest it’s been in a very long time. I feel lost. 

I know he meant well. I know if he could give me my dream kitchen he would. But he didn’t stop to consider the size of the project he created, or how the process would affect me. Someone who claims to know me better than I know myself, should have known this was going to drive me nuts. I should be planning a baby shower for my first grandchild, playing in my garden, baking lemon poppyseed bread. But I can barely function. 

He sees me doesn’t he? Can’t he understand what this is doing to me? I want to hide in a dark hole, my mind won’t stop racing and I can’t even have a conversation. Talking hurts my brain, listening to anyone talking makes me want to explode. I feel insane, how living in this can affect me so deeply yet he just wants to go on with life as if this is normal. I can’t even think or breathe. I feel a thousand pound weight sitting on my chest. 

It upsets me when he asks me what’s wrong and it infuriates me that he’s more concerned if “we’re okay” rather than trying to fix the mess he created that’s broken me. In other words-bust his ass to make me better. And yes, that absolutely makes me question this relationship. Everything from the last week, how he handled all of it. How he can sit there and see me broken and not try to do something unless I push it. But honestly, I can’t even think about any of that. I just want quiet in my head and the pressure to lift off my chest. I want to feel peace in my mind and calm in my body. 

Tomorrow I will be back to my bad-ass self. But tonight I’m not there. 

The power of words

Words.
They can be beautiful and uplifting, or negative and hurtful. 
By simply focusing on words, I have the power to guide my journey.  

Being surrounded by negative energy will have a powerful impact on my emotions. It clouds my thoughts and impedes my growth. Knowing this I need to make it my goal to push those out and replace with postivity and strength. 

I choose to think of positive words. 

Encouraging. 

Uplifting. 

Powerful. 

Successful.

Fearless.

Extraordinary. 

I choose to think of things I enjoy.

Watermelon.

Ice cream.

Boxers.

Halloween.

Laughter.

Family.

Clean bed sheets. 

Sunshine.

12 things I learned from my mom

Today I woke up to the news of a friend’s mother passing. They were very close and I cannot even imagine the pain that she’s feeling. I can’t help but fear how will I handle that loss. This made me realize that I need to tell my mother how I feel about her.  Not how much she drives me nuts and annoys the hell out of me sometimes. I need to tell her the amazing things that I see in her, the amazing things that she taught me and how grateful I am to have her as my mother.

  1. You’re always there for family, no matter what. 

Growing up my family was very chaotic and dysfunctional but one thing was always for sure, no matter how angry you were at each other when trauma or hardship fell on a family member my mom threw it all aside and was there, even if it was her worst enemy. No matter how crazy my mom’s sisters are, that’s one amazing thing about them. 

  2. Her never-ending ability to be there for me and my kids.

I was 18 years old, alone and single, pregnant with twins. My mother was my Lamaze coach, bought me nearly everything I needed for my babies, and stood next to me during delivery. Five years later I was pregnant with my son, again alone from a failed marriage. My mom’s husband’s uncle had committed suicide, and he was like a father to her husband. The next day I went into labor, my mom came rushing and stayed with me, held my hand and fought the doctors to keep me safe. She helped raise my kids when they were young, giving me the needed breaks for my sanity. She was a cheer leader at their school and sports events. She is the best grammy, devoted and loving. 

  3. Strength.

My mom is the strongest woman I know, both physically and mentally. My mom has lost everything and stood strong and rose from the ashes, dusted herself off and was ready for more. She proved a woman can do anything a man can. She taught me to never depend on a man or anyone else. To be independent and strong. 

   4. No matter how hard it gets, you are mom.

I’m sure my mom had many days she wanted to run away, abandon all the responsibilities of raising kids and live a different stress free life. It’s hard work and too many times you feel unappreciated. You’re always on duty and your life revolves around what the kids need. You want new shoes? Too bad, kids need them first. My mom taught me to sacrafice my wants for my children, that they come first. And you work as hard as you can to give them a safe and good life.

 

 5. Even moms get weak and that is okay.

All the stressors of life gets heavy, even for a super-mom’s shoulders. The load sometimes becomes too much to bare and you fall. You get off track, you get a little selfish and want to put yourself first for a change. This is normal. It’s okay to fall. It’s even okay if you need a little pill every day from your doctor to help deal with the stress, as long as you get back up. You cannot stay down. You must regroup and get back to doing what needs to be done. No if, ands, or butts.

   6. Home-cooked meals are the best.

There is absolutely nothing like a home cooked meal made by my mom. Even as an adult I think my mom’s food is better than mine. It’s the love and memories from all the years she created full course delicious meals on a very limited budget while running on fumes. Everyone sat down to eat and chatted about their day, together. It kept us close.

   7. Have respect for what you have.

My mom came from a poor family. Her father’s parents came to the United States as immigrants from Croatia. Her mother grew up right here in South Omaha on 13th Street. They had 7 daughters in a very small home and it was normal for my grandmother to take in neighbor kids or relatives who were in need. While they didn’t have much money, they appreciated what they had. The small home was well kept and always clean. Growing up my mom was this way as well. We didn’t have much money but anyone on the outside was always impressed with our immaculate yard and home. Laundry & dishes done daily, vacumming and sweeping. No one came to our house messy, ever. 

Once my sister spilled red kool-aid on our new cream colored carpet in the living room. Quickly she tried to clean with bleach to remove the stain before our mom had a chance to see it. Long story short we all had to spend a whole weekend bleaching that carpet to match that stain, with windows open and gasping for air. My mom was raised to respect and take care of what she had, to take pride in yourself, your home and your family.
 

 
   8. The kids are a reflection of the parents. 

As kids, we were always clean and had nice clothes. Me and my sister’s hair was always braided or in pig-tails. We were taught respect and manners. It was obvious my mom worked hard at being a mom like she had with the many stories she shared about her childhood. She took pride in that and made sure to carry on those values with her children.

  

   9. Work hard.

My mom always worked too much. Probably 60 hours a week or more, whether it was with one job or spread out with two or three. She strived to have nice things but knew the value of hard work. My mom was never afraid to get her hands dirty. Whether she cleaned apartments for side money, or took on projects like a rental house deal, she never cut corners and always cleaned everything so it was fit for a king. And she never let the long hours at work affect her home. That woman would run on just a few hours of sleep. She never slept through the night, she would get up to switch the laundry over and fold the finished load through the night.  I’m sure it would have been easier to cut herself some slack, but she never did.

   10. Most importantly she taught me the importance of tradition. 

The Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts

Santa Claus 

The tooth fairy

Holiday dinners with close family and friends

Family vacations

It was not uncommon for a last minute invite from my mom to one of our holiday dinners. If she found out that someone she knew had no plans for the holiday my mom instantly opened our home so that person would not be alone. My mom would stay up all night baking pies, up at the crack of dawn to start the turkey, everything from scratch, everything amazing. When I hear of other families memories, I think yours could not compare to my mine. When I come across somebody whose family does not celebrate; on one hand (now that I’m the parent hosting these dinners) there’s a bit of me that feels jealous. Like that would be so nice to just sit home and relax on that day off. But if they have small kids, if they have little children, my heart breaks. The loss of those memories those kids are missing out on makes me sad. 

    11. Be silly, be you and laugh

I love my mother’s laugh. It’s contagious. She’s comfortable with who she is and doesn’t worry about what others think. She is who she is and I love that. She taught me to love myself and not give a shit what other people think. 

   12. Sometimes be impulsive

When you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, it’s easy to forget how to have fun. You get stuck focusing on all the responsibilities you have, bills that are due, groceries to buy, appointments to make. You forget to live life. Sometimes you need to buy yourself those shoes, or do something crazy like get a tattoo. Sometimes be spur of the moment. 

   I’m so very grateful for my mother. She taught me so many wonderful things about being a strong person and a wonderful mother. Because of her I have raised great kids who are thoughtful, loving and kind. She taught me to believe in myself, to value who I am and to be proud of what I’ve accomplished. On a rough day at work I can hear her telling me how smart I am and how impressed she is with me. That helps me regroup and get back to being my fierce self. She reminds me to know my worth and never settle. She has become my voice of reason when my frustrations cloud my emotions. I could not be who I am without her.

Mom, thank you for being you. 

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I choose to be better

It’s no secret I have a temper. It’s hard wired in my genes. When I get pissed there’s usually an exhausting process but is always the result of being hurt or disrespected. I fight back tears. My chest feels like it’s going to explode, I can’t breathe, I shake, my blood is literally boiling and I’m ready to tell you all the reasons you can fuck off. I can insult you like you have never seen. Fuck going below the belt, I can take that bitch off and beat you with it. I will make sure you think twice before disrespecting me again. If I’m pushed to physical blows, I can briefly black out and when I come to, I’m drowning in confusion when I realize what’s happened and I see you on the floor. It’s actually a terrifying feeling for me as much as it is for you.

Now I choose to be better mentally. To avoid being on the defense. I have learned to breathe and step away from the situation regardless how much you deserve to feel my roar. I feel the rage pulsing through my whole body, from my toes to the top of my head. I want to explode but I’m actually protecting you. When I completely calm down, it’s like a weighted blanket wraps me. My heart finally slows down and I feel the heat leave my body. My ears even burn and the pressure releases leaving an ache in my head. To not explode is actually more physically exhausting for me, it’s a crash. Fighting would be energizing, like a wrestler punching his chest. Instead I’m drained of every bit of energy to save you from my wrath. Eventually I feel better and proud of this accomplishment. Very few people can help me with this process. So thankful for my best friend having this gift so I can continue to grow into being a better and stronger person.

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