Mindfulness

I want to talk about mindfulness. My psychologist started to talk to me about mindfulness 2 years ago. We first discussed it when she was teaching me some exercises to help me fall asleep at night. You see, I suffer from insomnia, so more than 50% of the time I’m unable to fall asleep, and if I can fall asleep I don’t stay asleep long. 

Mindfulness. I don’t recall hearing a lot about mindfulness in years past, but now if I do a search on self-help or anxiety or depression, mindfulness pops up frequently.  I would like to share my favorite 2 with you. 

The first uses your five senses.  When you start to feel anxious whether it be when you’re trying to sleep or at work feeling stressed out.  All you need is a moment to yourself.

Start with 5 fingers. Each finger stands for a sense.   Look around you and identify five things that you can SEE.  Right now I see a TV monitor, I see a bosu ball, I see a balloon from my grandson, I see my bowling bag, & I see my water bottle.   Next we will go to the fourth finger and the next sense. What are four things that you hear? I hear my dogs playing, the belt of my treadmill, music in the background, & I hear my voice echoing when I speak into my phone.  Three fingers and three things to feel. I feel my phone case is smooth. I feel my leggings are soft. I feel my neck is wet from sweating. Two fingers means two things I smell. I smell supper cooking and I smell my scentsy mochadoodle.   The last sense and one finger remaining is taste. I take a drink of my water and it tastes refreshing. Right now I’m doing this talking into my phone while I’m walking. I generally do this while I’m sitting or standing still, not exercising, however I just want to give you an example of how it works and this is my present location.  

 My favorite but toughest mindfulness exercises that I will share with you is when I’m anxious around people. A good example might be when I’m at the grocery store and a person walks by me and gives me a crabby look.  Normally I will immediately think they must dislike something about me. I get anxious about this so I need to stop for a moment and think. Logically, why would that person mean mug me? They do not know me and I was not in their way as they walked right past.  I realized if they did mean mug me, it’s not because of anything that I did. In reality everyone has bad days and when we have a bad day we have a crabby look on our face. Therefore it’s logical it say they were probably in a bad mood, maybe just a bad day and I happened to be there at that moment having NOTHING to do with me.  On a humorous side note, there is always the possibility that this is a person who has what I call resting bitch face. Lol (meaning they just look pissed off all of the time). So actually I need not get anxious about the mean look from the stranger passing by.  

Mindfulness to me means that I need to center myself.  I need to be mindful of my surroundings and mindful of my inner self, my need to stay calm, my need to relax.  There are times, I admit, that I am unable to apply these. Perhaps because my anxiety is so high I’m unable to focus, or maybe I’m simply having a bad day and I’m crabby and I dont want to be mindful.   And sadly sometimes there may be days my depression is so bad that I’m unable to center myself. I tell you this because if you find yourself in that same situation, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that there are more of us out here.  There are more of us that feel like we are missing something, or we feel lost, and we may not even have any idea why. I tell you this because maybe you are not a person who needs these exercises. Maybe there is someone in your life suffering from anxiety or depression and maybe you can help them.  And if you can’t or don’t want to help them, then I share this with you so that you know some days it’s hard work for some people just to put a smile on their face. Some days it’s hard work to stay calm. No, I haven’t always been this way. But we’ve already had that discussion.  

This is here. This is now. This is how it is. This is my new reality.  Do not judge me harshly. Do not judge yourself harshly, Do not judge others harshly. Our emotions and our mental being are no joke. Love yourself. And if today you don’t have the strength to love yourself then reach out to someone that has the strength to love you for you because you are worth it. 

#helpme #thestruggleisreal #sticktogether #helpeachother #loveyourself #

A Typical Day For Me “In My Head”

I wake up in the morning, and first thing I remember is 2 of my children hate me, one of my sisters thinks I’m worthless, I’m fat again, I’m a terrible mother and I miss my grandson. Followed by the days first trickle of tears. This thought then brings me to the next which is, Why am I like this? What did I do wrong? I’ve done nothing but give and love all I could to my family.  I get out of bed and see my grandsons 2 dinosaurs on my desk and more tears go down my cheeks because it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen him. I know children of his age grow so fast, and change so quickly, And to think that I’ve missed so much. The next place my mind goes is how angry I am at my grandson’s parents. I’m angry at my son because he has been so selfish all of his life, lying, manipulating, Whatever it is that he needed to do to make himself feel important. This thought then takes me to remember his biological father and what a worthless pile he was and how horribly he treated me.  During these thoughts, I am frantically taking my first set of meds so I can poop before I leave the house. If I dont go before I leave, my body gets too tense and I wont poop all day. That means my rectocele will hurt until the next morning meaning sitting and walking will be very uncomfortable so time is of the essence. 

Now I’m putting on my makeup and doing my hair for the day and looking in the mirror seeing how disgusting I look, all the weight that I’ve gained, how embarrassed I am and I could just crawl into a hole.   Getting dressed seeing how huge my clothes look. GROSS!

While I am in the kitchen finishing up my final things, getting ready for my day(second set of meds and vitamins), I think about my husband and I wonder where he is, if he’s tired, if he’s having a good day, I see his image in my head and think how sweet he is, how good looking he is and how did I ever score him?   I’m wondering did he see someone so pretty today that he can’t get her off his mind?  

Now I hear my son coming out of his bedroom and going into the bathroom to take a shower.  The first thing that goes through my mind is, I hope he has a good day, I wish I could do more for him, I wish I was a better mother, I wish he had his brothers around, OMG I gave him such a horrible life. 

Now I let the dogs out for their last potty before I leave, as I do I see the pool outside, and think to myself OMG there’s no way I’m going to be able to have any pool gatherings this coming summer, look at me, there’s no way I’m going to get into a swimsuit not even in my own yard. YUCK

Now the dogs come in, I start to gather my things to leave and get in my pickup to drive to work. On my way to work I think about how I can try to keep the boss from being crabby today. Honestly, my boss is most likely a nice person on a personal level, however they are very hard to work for.  Every morning I play through my mind every scenario that is possible for the day to prepare mentally in order to try to keep the crabbiness at bay. The toughest part is nothing is ever the same. The “rules of engagement” are different daily and you never know until it’s too late. If I see a pretty lady while I’m driving, I am reminded of the possibility of my husband seeing a beautiful woman today and wishing that I was still pretty.

While I’m driving and/or stopping at each stop light more random thoughts that I have nearly every day…

 I wonder how my son and his girlfriend are doing? 

I wonder if they work today or have the day off? 

I wonder if I’ll get a chance to call or text him today, I sure love getting to keep in touch with them. 

That takes me back to the sadness of having the two sons that are no longer in my life. Tears will dribble down my cheeks as I remember the horrible things that they said about me, the horrible things they said to their little brother.  

Of course this thought then takes me immediately to missing my grandchildren yet again and I’ve only been up for two hours. 

I won’t bore you with all of the hour by hour details of my day at work.  But more common random thoughts throughout the day will include. Each and every time the boss “snaps” (which is quite often, boss has a tendency to talk to people like they are beneath them and you often feel like you are worthless). This takes a toll on everyone, but everyone in the office works very hard to support each other knowing what it feels to be like on the other end of that “snappy” attitude. It didn’t take a huge toll on me the first couple years, however since my depression has started, I admit it takes the wind right out of me. More random thoughts I have during my workday include. 

 I wish I could do this better.  

I wish I was smarter. 

Oh great the boss is upset again. I should have been able to keep her from being so upset.

 Oh man, co-worker (A) is being extra dramatic today and trying to get everyone to join her in her “black box”

 I wonder what I did to make her so crabby. (It surely was me)

 Oh my goodness I saw the way they (patient. Mailman. Delivery guy) looked at me, I’m sure they’re thinking holy crap has she put on a bunch of weight she must be lazy and eat like a sow. 

I’m so embarrassed that people are seeing me look like this, what can I say so that they don’t think that I’m just some gross disgusting obese person that sits around and eat bon-bons 

 I wonder where my husband is? I wonder how many pretty ladies he seen today. 

I hope school is going well for my son. I hope he’s getting his school work done. Gosh I love him so much, I wonder how long it will be until he decides that he hates me too. 

What will I do if that happens? 

Daily I hear an ambulance go by which brings back the memories of my one son’s near fatal accident. Now I remember the photos of the accident that they showed on the news. His crunched motorcycle laying on its side, his tennis shoe probably 20 feet away in the middle of the street. Now my hands are starting to shake, sweat is dripping down my face, my stomach is starting to turn.  Next I remember him lying there in the hospital on life support, I remember holding his hand, I remember him writing on a piece of paper with the most fearful his eyes, am I dying? 

Now I’m back to reality and remembering that he hates me, he won’t talk to me, he has spoken the words that he does not want his name to pass by my lips ever again. A few more tears down my cheek. But a quick tissue to wipe it away as I can’t let anyone know that I’m not perfectly fine.  

Once my work day is over,  while I’m in my vehicle driving home,  I wonder if today is going to be the day that he tells me that nothing’s the same anymore and he just can’t handle being with a fat girl. 

I also wonder if my son is going to be home, or be at work, and how was his drive there? 

 I then realize  “well I haven’t gotten any phone calls so he must have gotten there safely”. 

Of course then I also think about my other son in my life and wonder, he’s 22 years old, would they call me if something happened? He doesn’t live at home anymore. 

Of course a quick memory of the two sons that are no longer in my life, Which brings another reminder of the grandson that I have lost because his parents won’t let him see us. Here come a few more tears down the cheeks again. Once I’m home, I change out of my work clothes and into my home clothes, or my exercise clothes. While I’m changing my clothes, I am again disgusted with my size.  Fast forward to after supper. Maybe I realized that I haven’t heard from my brother or my sister today, then I wonder if they didn’t contact me because they’re mad at me, or maybe they are waiting for me to contact them, and I didn’t, so now they’re going to be upset with me because I didn’t. Or maybe I realize that it’s been awhile since I’ve called one of my friends to check on them. I’m sure they’re upset that I haven’t gotten in touch with them. It’s just so hard to call and talk to anybody any more. What am I supposed to talk about?  Everything that I used to talk about either no longer exists or has gone from good to bad. I don’t want to call people just to complain about my life. People have their own troubles, they don’t need to hear about mine. I realize I haven’t spoken to my dad in a while. I used to love to talk to him on my way home from work. I always had something exciting to share. I rarely call him now. What am I supposed to talk to him about? My botched up hysterectomy body? How much I cried today? Maybe I can bitch to him about how fat I am. Uugggg. 

Now I’m sitting on the couch with my husband, having a discussion, or watching some television, and he’s flirting with me maybe telling me how beautiful I am and all I can do is feel disgusting and remember the way it used to be.  All I can think about now is he must be so grossed out when he sees me walking around in my PJs. Maybe he tries to get frisky with me and wants me to sit on his lap. All I can think about is oh my God if I sent on his lap he is going to know how grossly big I am. My butt is bigger than his lap, how disgusting.  I can hope that if I stay over here on my kitchen on the couch with his big blanket wrapped around me maybe it won’t remind him that’s how gross I look.

When it’s time for bed, I go to bed, my husband falls asleep almost immediately. And more often than not,  I will lay here for a few hours replaying all of those thoughts that I had during the day through my mind again. This is a typical day for me. Some days this and more, some days a little less.  The thoughts come in and out so fast and make a constant loop. 

The mind of someone who is ADHD, with chronic heightened anxiety and depression is a busy place.  Remember everyone has demons of some sort. Perhaps that “quirky” person who gets on your nerves is suffering inside and isn’t even aware of their “quirks”.  Be accepting, be understanding and if you’re the one who is suffering don’t be afraid to ask for help, and stay strong. I am fortunate to have my amazing husband, 2 loving sons + 1 amazing girlfriend, a wonderful brother and sister, supportive parents, an amazing ex-mother-in-law, a supportive ex-husband, loving friends and the greatest 4 legged fur babies in the world.  Find your rock or be their rock. Either way, you’re important to somebody. 

#HELPME #EVERYONENEEDSAROCKSOMETIME. #EXHAUSTING #TIME2BELIEVE

ADHD And Me

I often try to get off of my meds.  I was raised with the notion that meds are bad and doctors are evil.  Because of that, I’m never sure if I’m doing the right thing or if it’s all a big bad decision.  Because of my chronic obsessing and anxiety, I worry about it every single day.  I worry about most everything every single day, my mind never stops.  Every day I spend a good portion of my day worrying about every decision I make afraid I made the wrong one.  This is my life.
I’ve been taking meds for my ADHD for a few years now.  My primary functional medicine practitioner suggested I start it, with the hope that it was alleviate some stress from my life.  She was very concerned about the toll stress was taking on my health.  I debated it for quite some time before I finally decided to try it.  I will forever remember the first day.  For the first time, I felt calm all day.  I was able to focus and didn’t jump back and forth from thought to thought.  I got so much accomplished and felt no pressure.  I got all of my work done that day, I felt like I was po art of a miracle.  I was tested for ADHD and when I got the results I was flabbergasted.  The level of severity put me in the top 2%.  The doctor was amazed that I have never been in jail, and I graduated high school and a trade school.  He was impressed with how well I had taught myself how to cope with my “rapid moving thoughts” (ADHD).  If you ever spend time at my house, you will see that I make lists for everything and I have post it notes in every room.  Well, I did.  Since I’ve been medicated I still make lists, but not nearly as many post it notes. 
A few days ago I ran out, and the pharmacy had to order more.  It doesn’t bother me too much when I’m home, but going to work without it is not easy.  I didn’t have it this morning and I ran in circles like a caged animal all morning.  I got work done, but I was so exhausted and panicked from the feeling of being overwhelmed and starting and stopping and forgetting what I was doing.  I called my doctor this afternoon requesting anything to help until my meds came in because I did NOT want to deal with another day like this.  My jaw hurts from clenching it so tight for so long.  At the same time however, I keep telling myself how weak I am and dumb I am for “letting doctors convince me” to use them. That’s just a tiny piece of typical day in my mind.

  • Is it wrong that I was taught to believe doctors are evil? I mean, is it completely absurd that it causes me so much stress and worry? Where other people taught this? Do other people worry this way or are they able to be logical where I am not? Or….are doctors really evil and I’m one of the lucky ones to have been taught the truth, and now I’m fucking up my life by listening to them?

Again typical crap that ponders in my mind consistantly, causing me worry and stress.  Am I doing it right?  Am I doing it wrong?  Will people believe me when I tell them, or will they think I’m just a drama queen?  Believe me when I tell you, I will give anyone every detail if it means they will validate my decisions.

This is my reality, and this is only ONE of my daily mental struggles. Welcome to my world. Welcome to my brain. Hang on because it’s going to be a ride like no other.

#ADHDISREAL #MYMINDNEVERSLOWSDOWN #EXHAUSTEDDAILY #HELPME

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A New Direction

I’ve shared with you how I got to this depressed state. I’ve shared with you what has contributed to my depression. I’ve decided it’s time to add another branch to this story tree of mine. I’m going to share with you my day to day feelings. I might not make it here EVERY day, but I will do my best.
Until my hysterectomy nightmare, I had never experienced major depression.  I went almost a year without any help until I finally realized I needed to seek professional counsel in order to stay alive. 
Did you know that if you are put on the wrong medication it can cause you to experience symptoms of other mental conditions.  Where I’m going with this, is I was put on an antidepressant for the first time and OMG did I feel amazing. 

Wellllll… I felt so amazing that I was doing some outlandish things, turns out the medication put me into hypomania which meant I was now to be considered to have the condition “bi polar II” aka “soft bi polar” or even more distinctly labeled by some professionals as “bi polar III” aka medication induced bi polar.  This means my body chemistry didn’t react accordingly to the antidepressant and now I will forever be at high risk of going into a hypomania state . 
At this point I learned what bi polar really is.  Bi polar has been looked at as a nasty behavior as such a person jumps from extremely happy to extremely angry or sad at a drop of a hat.  This IS NOT the true definition of bi polar. When someone is truely Bi polar II, they are commonly dealing with depression and can experience some sort of trigger that will put them into a state of hypomania.Often times people diagnosed with ADHD also deal with this mild state of bi polar.  Many people live their entire life in this state and never deal with it and/or it never causes them any issues.  This is MUCH milder than the typical bi polar aka bi polar I, which is actually going from a depressed state to hypermania easily and/or often. 

Lovely right?  Ya, I was thrilled to get this news.  I was then advised to have a geneology test done that helps doctors to know which meds are metabolized correctly by your body.  This can help with behavioral meds, heart meds, and pain meds.  The results of the test showed that
1.  My body is NOT capable of metabolizing the antidepressant they put me on initially.  Hence the hypomanic state it put me in.
2.  My serotonin receptors do not work. (Explains a lot)
3.  I can never be put on warfarin as it could be fatal for me. 

So now we have to figure out not only how to help me beat this severe depression, but also how to keep me from going into hypomania. 
I laugh because it’s almost like my auto immune shit.  We know you have this(a), but your blood tests say this(b), so we will treat you for this(c).  Ha, welcome to the world of my f—–up  body. 😖 Can’t ever be normal…
Let me explain my “mental  being” with you.  I have always been chronically obsessive, dealt with a particular form of OCD, ADHD, and chronic anxiety with regular panic attacks.  In 2015 I was diagnosed with c-PTSD (complex PTSD), in 2018 clinical depression and most recently medication induced bi polar II. 
Now I’m on meds that keep me calm (sort of), meds to overcome depression (sort of), and meds to help me sleep (sometimes).  I still cry more than I should but I’m no longer suicidal, I’m still very anxious but don’t have daily panic attacks, and I USUALLY sleep better.  However, I’ve gained a ridiculous amount of weight, feel blah and not interested in doing anything outside my house. 
My 17 year old son sees me cry so hard I hyperventilate every couple weeks if not weekly, my husband has lost his spunky wife that loves to “live”, and my friends rarely hear from me much less see me.  My husband and son are saints and my dogs are my saviors. 
I’ve always understood that how people act is due to what life has handed them, but I never truely believed someones “person” could actually change…until now.
If you see someone overweight, underweight, ragged looking or crabby, don’t judge, it might simply be that they’ve been through more shit than they can handle and they are fighting to survive.
#hanging on #tryingtocomeback #overwhelmedAF.

I Know I Did All I Could

Hi son, how are things? It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, in fact soon it will be a year. Sometimes I think I should contact you, but then I remember you telling the world I’m a crazy bitch, and you telling your little brother you would beat his ass…and I realize you’re not the man I raised you to be, so it’s probably better this way.

Do you wonder about us? Do you miss us? I hear you spend all kinds of time with your in laws. You must have decided they aren’t so bad after all. It’s good that you decided to accept them even though you don’t like them. I also heard you’ve tired of your sick brothers drama. I’m glad you remember how sadly demented he really is. I’m also happy for you that you CAN see him and your nephew when you want to.

I heard your job is going well. It makes us feel good to know that when we found that job for you, even though you did sd one different things, here it is 6 years later and its providing income for you. I guess we did something right.

I want to tell you how sad this situation makes me. Never in a million years did I think you would ever turn on me or any of your brothers the way you have. You told him that people take different paths as if that means you can’tst aaaasssssss y connected somehow with your family. I don’t know where or when you got such a feeling of disconnect, I’m sorry for you that you did. There is so much you are missing, so many things and so much time that you will never get back. Every day that goes by without hearing from you, makes a future relationship with any of us that much harder, especially your youngest brother.

If you are ever wondering hoi w any of us are, we are all doing fine. Your little brother is excelling in all he needs to and is very motivated, dedicated, responsible, successful and hard working. Your dad is doing well, your step-dad is also. Your grandparents are all still well and healthy, however you still haven’t even seen your grandma’s new home.

I miss my family, but to be perfectly honest, I have realized that I miss the illusion of what I though my family was. The truth is, I miss seeing and hearing from you, but I don’t miss getting teased or disrespected by you which had become a very common practice. I pray one day you will realize that you can’t get back the time that you’ve lost. I pray that you recognize what’s important in life before it’s too late. People will be gone and you will have lost your chance for any kind of closure.

I hope life is going well for you son. One thing will never change, regardless of the direction our relationship went, I have no regrets and will always love you.

Love Mom

#lostson #hehatesme #allfornothing #time2moveon

Happy New Year Grandson

Good morning Bubba. How did you sleep? Have you decided what you will play today? Did you stay up late on New Years Eve? Did you have a party? Treats?

I miss you so much Bubba. I can’t believe that soon it will be a year since your parents have let us see each other. I know I’ve told you before, but I can’t tell you enough how sorry I am that this is happening. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and your sister and wonder how you are. I have a new bracelet with a dinosaur on it, and a new dinosaur ring too. I wear my ring with my mothers ring and I wear them every day. Along with your T-Rex in my pocket, they make me feel like I have a part of you with me.

I pray that this new year, 2020, this madness will end and we can get reacquainted and continue were we left off with our fun sleepovers and Friday fun days.

I love you Bubba. Both of your Grandpas, your uncles and great grandma love you. We have not forgotten you and we never will.

Love Grandma

#grandsonsrule #grandmaslittleangel #missmybubba #grandmascryingheart

Who’s Job Is It Anyway?

When there is a family feud, or family estrangement of any kind, who should make the first move? Not all that long ago my husband was at odds with his parents which sadly was all because of misunderstandings due to lack of communication.(thankfully all put behind them) At Christmas time I would tell him he should initiate contact with his mother, while at the same time I would think to myself, “why wouldn’t a mother initiate contact with her child and keep trying if unsuccessful?” True all situations are different, and this was different than mine, however…I realize now that if both parties are adults, it is the responsibility of both, the burden does not ly on the mother alone. I understand why a mother would stop trying to contact a child that has not only disrupted the families happiness, but taken themselves out of the active circle. A mother is supposed to be strong, but even she can only take so much.

My brother suggested to me during a period of visible sadness, that I invite one or both of my estranged sons for the holiday. For several reasons I did not. First of all, I’m not ready to even entertain the idea of seeing one of them for certain if not both. I will love them always, but my feelings about seeing or spending time with them has changed. They stole so much from me, their brothers, their father and step father, and their grandparents that I will likely resent them not to mention lost any sort of respect, trust or feeling of obligation to them. As a mother I want to show my remaining sons the unconditional love a mother has for her children, but at the same time I want them to see how important it is to be respectful, honest and loyal to their family and the pain that is caused when you are not.

The scale of responsibility is so easily tipped one way or the other depending on so many different aspects. I tried months ago to reach out to one of them. He was not interested, in fact he simply ignored me. I am in no hurry to be rejected again. I have let him know I’m here when he wants to come home. I feel that’s where my obligation ends. The other however is not yet even welcome here which is the most troubling situation because he is keeping our grandchildren from us. No matter how sad we are, no matter how much our heart aches, I refuse to let anyone bully or manipulate me with their lies.

If someone in your family is causing you hardship whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally you need to take away the power they desire to have over you in order to empower yourself. Do not allow those people to wreak havok in your head or in your heart in order for them to fulfill their need of purpose.

Where is our society headed? Children turning on their parents, parents stealing precious innocence from their children, sibling turning on other siblings. No one willing to stand up and say “this is wrong” to these family bullies. Are you strong enough to say “enough is enough”? It’s time for this madness to end and for healing to begin.

Trust yourself, believe in you and what you know is right. There are very cruel people among us, and sadly they may be in your family. Once we are strong enough to tell the bullies to “stick it”, once we stop letting them “run the show” and take our power back, the sooner families will be able to begin to heal and family wrongs will be made right. We ourselves may not see family unity as it should be in our lifetime, but we can begin the process to make it easy for our childrens children to not have to deal with family bullies or at least be able to keep them powerless. If my pain means my grandchildren will have peace within their family, then I willingly accept the burden. Those of us who still believe in the sanctity of family must support each other and our sacrifice will not be for nothing. Who’s job is it, if it isn’t ours.

#familyfeud #estrangedfamily #wtfhappened

Respectful Distance

I was expecting this Christmas to be horrible. I cried, I panicked, I was angry…and to my surprise, our Christmas celebration was probably one of my best ever.

What happens to us at holiday time when we have lost members of our family due to a family feud or estrangement? I was so convinced that it would be a lonely bleak day. Despite two of our sons forbidding us to be in contact with them, our first Christmas without them was not only good, but it was one of my best! Not only did we have a great time with our two youngest, but their grandma and my ex, (their father), joined us. We shared a meal, exchanged gifts and played games. No one was loud and obnoxious because they needed to be noticed, no one was teased, no jokes were made at someone elses expense, and no one walked on eggshells or made excuses for anyone and/or their behavior. Once I got over the initial sad feeling of loss, I admit it was quite possibly the least stressful and one of the most fun holidays I’ve had in I don’t know how long. The bonus was, I was not mentally exhausted when the day was over. WOW. Not only is it hard to believe, it’s even harder to admit. It is the first time I saw actual proof that what my physchologist has told me about how much disrespect I have endured from my oldest two is notably true. That alone, makes me sad.

This situation for me inspires me to share with you that it is OK to feel like some stress has been taken out of your life when you experience a disconnect from certain family members. Whether you have dismissed them, or they have dismissed themselves from your life, you may find that even though you loved them, they were constantly causing some sort of mental anquish or inadequacies and the relationship with them was unhealthy for you. Your family gatherings could very well be more enjoyable, or at minimum, less stressful. This is not something to feel badly about. The fact that everyone else is able to get along well, smile, laugh and love, is obvious the absent ones were the stress causers. A very good example of the saying, “sometimes it’s best to love from a distance”. Yes, it might make you sad that the situation is the way it is, it is still OK to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about it.

The ironic part of my situation, is that the absent ones are absent because they choose to be, not because I want them to be. Yet I unexpectantly experienced less stress at our family gathering. Despite what the absent ones think, it’s obvious that I alone, if at all, was not the “toxic” part of our relationship.

I want you to know that you are worth having enjoyable family gatherings, whether that means you yourself attend, don’t attend, invite or don’t invite. I have shared that I believe there is a certain respect or certain actions I feel are in order when you are part of a family, and I stand by that statement whole heartedly. However, at the same time, if others are not willing to give those things to you, or do not adhear to the same family values, it’s ok for you to respectfully dismiss yourself from the active family circle. You might very well find an odd sense of peace about it. We need to surround ourselves with people that treat us with respect. There is no relationship worth causing us to question our self-worth or losing our dignity. I would rather spend my time with fewer people who choose to be honest with me on all fronts, treat me and my family with respect while believing in the same family values, than be surrounded by a larger group of people that is occupied by lies, posers,disrespect and a lack of the family values in which I hold close to my heart.

I believe there are questions you should ask yourself:

  • How do I feel when I’m with______?
  • Do I feel inadequate or disrespected when I’m with ______?
  • Do I get teased when ______ is around?
  • Does ______ often hurt my feelings when they are with me?
  • Do my children and/or I enjoy our time with ______?
  • Do I feel safe with _____ is around?
  • Do I question myself when I’m with ______?
  • Am I exhausted when ______ leaves my house or when our time together is over?

There are certainly other questions, and maybe my questions don’t apply to you. If nothing else, they are good examples of what you should be asking yourself. The answers may very well solve the mystery for you. In my case, I only have three answers to the above questions that tell me the time I spent with my two oldest was not always good for me. I was always exhausted when one of them in particular left. I was always the butt of the jokes and I constantly questioned myself when either of them was around. I guess that means I didn’t always feel adequate or good about myself in their presence either. Wow, that sure is yucky to admit. I’m suggesting you examine your feelings and believe in yourself and how you feel. Perhaps a family member makes you feel like you’re not enough, or maybe they make you feel like you are less than you deserve to be. If that happens, the time with that person, relative or not, is probably not good for you. I’m not suggesting for you to be disrespectful, I’m not suggesting that you blow off your family completely. I’m only suggesting that while we should treat our family members with respect, if they do not reciprocate it might be best to respectully love from a distance. I want you to remember also, that if it is necessary for you to love from a distance, you should continue to be respectful, do not gossip or cause any retribution for them. It is not acceptable for you or anyone to pit other family members against each other. Only people that are insecure in their own choices or their own values will choose to cause discontent or issues between other family members.

In the situation that you find yourself being the target of bad criticism, lies or idle gossip from other family members. I want you to remind yourself that if they feel it necessary to cause added heartache to your already unfortunate family situation in any manner, then they do not adhere to the same family values as you do. In which case, my opinion is that it is perfectly acceptable to dismiss them from your active family circle. No need to bad mouth them, no need to make a scene, simply discontinue contact with them. And if anyone asks why you have chosen to keep your distance, you can share with them that you have found your values differ from theirs and to avoid causing any drama for innocent bystanders, it’s better for everyone to leave the space as it is.

Love your family, love yourself. If everyone treats family with the respect they deserve then none of this is even necessary. However, in the event that you have found yourself the target of negative family chaos, it’s OK for you to respectfully keep yourself in a safe place at a safe distance. And hopefully one day, the issues will be resolved and you and all of your family can enjoy each others company once again.

#keepingmydistance #savingmysanity

What Family Means To Me

Christmas is in two days.  I’ve heard sad stories about holidays for broken families but never thought it would be mine.  When I say broken, I’m not talking about divorced or separated parents I’m referring to A BROKEN FAMILY.  Broken as in a member or members have disconnected from the family and there are broken hearts.  It’s true, my children’s father and I divorced many years ago, but in all of those years we have had most of our holidays together.  When I say together, I mean all differences put aside, our children have spent most of those holidays with their entire family together including them, their Grandma, their dad, their stepdad and me.  My ex comes to our house, or he even hosted once, and we celebrate as a family.  Yes, that’s how amazing our family is…er was. This year however, we are broken. We will have mom, dad, stepdad, Grandma, and our youngest together. Our next oldest will be with his S.O. family and will join us later in the afternoon but it ends there. Our oldest two will not join us, they will most likely never rejoin us hence making us what I consider a BROKEN FAMILY.

It breaks my heart when I think about how much you as a person has to completely dispice your mother to not only abandon her, but siblings as well. How much hatred a person must feel in order to keep them away even during the Holidays. Sometimes when I think about it I can’t stop crying. Other times, I see from a different view and wonder instead how miserable they must be in their own skin to make the decision to stay away.

I have spent so much time being hurt, angry, sad, and betrayed, that I hadn’t realized until now that I should also, being a good mother in good conscience, pitty the boys I raised that chose to despise me. I pitty them because even though we will miss them being here on Christmas, we still have each other. They, on the other hand, will be alone. Yes they will have their wives and maybe her family, but nothing will ever replace us, their first family, their roots. I watched my husband for several years miss his first family during the holidays, however, for him it wasn’t his choice. Whether that makes it a tougher situation or not I do not know. What I do know however, is your first family is a part of you. You can decide to disagree with them, you can decide to hide from them or you can decide to accept who you are, where you came from and admit to yourself the same blood runs through your veins. This my friends, in my humble opinion, is being part of a family. You don’t have to agree, you don’t even have to like everything, but you can’t ignore who you are.

To me, little old insignificant me, when you are part of a family you have obligations. An obligation to tell family members what needs to be said even if they don’t want to hear it, while remaining respectful in your delivery. An obligation to honor your father and your mother, not only because they gave you life, but because God told you to. An obligation to your siblings because quite simply, they are your siblings. I believe in a family, there needs to be an order starting at the top going down. In other words, respect the elders of your family because they have provided so much for you and your continued exsistance. In a family, there will be disagreements, there will be anger, there will be sadness. But at the end of the day, when it matters most, the self respecting person will be there to support the ones in their family that need it most.

Has someone in your family betrayed you? Take a moment to think about them, raise their name in prayer, and pitty the fact that they are miserable enough with themselves and their lives, to forget the ones in which they owe the greatest debt. Don’t let them cheat you of the happiness you deserve. There is no one entitled enough to take that from you. That’s what family means to me.

#brokenfamiliessuck #shittykids

Family? Are you sure?

Dealing with family issues is very  exhausting. Some days are better than others.  Some days I am angry and wish the people that have hurt me would fall off the face of the earth. Some days I simply forget about it and them by keeping myself overly busy and ignoring mankind.   And some days I am so sad and brokenhearted that it takes every ounce of energy in me just to pull myself out of bed in the morning. 

We all need strength to deal with the junk in our lives. I suppose there may be different types of strength to be had. Some people find strength in exercise. Some people find strength in prayer. Some people find strength in reading or writing.  Some people find strength in music. Some people find strength from the show of support from their loved ones.  But regardless of how or where we find any sort of strength, I believe true strength comes from within ourselves. It’s finding that inner self in which our strength lies that can be so difficult.  Im the past, I had always found my strength in being surrounded by my family. Losing half of my family sure changed that for me. Perhaps that’s part of what makes my situation so depressing for me.  I not only feel like I lost my family, but I lost my great source of strength.

After the past 8 months, I was finally starting to feel like the rest of our extended family was seeing the whole picture of our unfortunate situation.  It made me feel like my youngest sons and I had their support.  (no doubt it had to do with the fact that they were also being ignored)  In the beginning everyone was shocked, but not a lot of “this isn’t right” was said.   Recently, the “cruel son” reached out to some extended family members acting like nothing had happened.  The first visit being a fake emergency to test the waters, and now that he has seen that they won’t confront him he will kiss ass hoping they forget about his sick actions.  That’s his game, after 20+ years I know it well.  So now, those family members just picked right up without any consideration of the effect it will have on us, the mother father and brothers he has so easily bullied and then forgotten about.  It’s made me realize, that being a family doesn’t mean the same to everyone.  After being lied to, bullied, cheated and tossed to the side like garbage, I realize that even “loving family” can turn on you in a second. The support you have from the rest of said “loving family” may not stand up for what’s right, they might simply do what’s easiest for themselves. When you ask them about it, they will give you some sort of “excuse”. Well people, excuses are like —holes, everybody has one. I used to think I had 30 or so “loving” family members that I would have bet that I could trust with my life. I now realize I was a fool and that number is MUCH smaller. 

I need to find that place within me that holds my strength.  I know I have it because I’ve used it before. It’s true, it’s been stomped on a bit, but I believe I still have it, I just need to believe in it in order to use it.  My mistake was believing I needed their support or approval to be strong.  I realize now that believing that your “loving family” will stand behind you, stand up for you is just a hopeful thought, an illusion even.  I’m not saying all of our “loving family” will leave us standing alone, but don’t count on all of them because the hard truth is that many, no matter who they are, will only stand up for you until doing so means discomfort for themselves.  Therefore giving you the feeling of an indirect betrayal.

Our true strength is believing in ourselves. So many of us hold on to the illusion that we need other people to give us strength, especially our family. We believe in our family and in the love and loyalty of all of them, and in turn we feel invincible. We deserve to feel this way on our own, but sadly sometimes we don’t feel like we do. We think we need the approval of those around us, and that approval or understanding gives us strength. I know this because I too feel this need.

We need to empower ourselves by digging deep and finding our own strength. I believe when we use our own strength from within, we will also have peace. By seeking counseling, I am learning what it takes to find my strength. I am learning that each of us is different therefore there is no one right solution. I have also learned that it is ok to be resentful and hurt when someone you love betrays you. When it consumes you, your mind, your days…that is what is NOT OK. I need the help of therapy and meds to keep it from consuming me. I’m also blessed at this time of my life to have a husband that works hard to help free me of the YUCK.  I’ve also learned that it is healthy to set my boundaries and tell people when their choice makes me feel forgotten. The key is to know that I can only tell them I’m hurt and not try to make them behave one way or another. And that my friends is using my strength.

You will never forget betrayal, either direct or indirect, and it is your decision alone to forgive. Whatever you decide is ok, as long as it gives you peace. Be honest with yourself and with others. If others aren’t strong enough, dont let that take away from your strength. There are already more than enough bullies and fake people in this world, you dont want to become one of them. Are you tired of the YUCK? Good. You should be.  

Take care of yourself.  Love only who deserves your love, accept only those that deserve your acceptance.  You are worth the respect you desire.  Find and use your strength to find peace for yourself. If that means you need to separate yourself, then do so. Need to get off of Facebook, then do so. Stop calling? Then do so. There is no need for you to be an ass about it, just do it. Maybe you are the one who needs to make the tough decision to love from afar. Find a circle of people that will support you and stand up for you, even when it’s hard to do. That’s a family. Surround yourself with people that you benefit from from as much as they benefit from you. That’s a family.

Stop worrying about everybody else, it’s time to worry about you. You will have good days, you will have bad days, you will have days of indifference. The point is…they are your days. Take care of yourself, be mentally healthy. A good family won’t stand in the way.