Tag Archives: talk

Today was like…

…an emotional roller coaster. It’s Father’s Day, and I usually spend the whole day pretty sad missing, and thinking about, my dad and everything he’s missed out on, and everything I missed out on. But today was different. In fact, I didn’t get sad or teary until about an hour ago. I had other things on my mind. 

For the past few days I have been anxiously waiting for a childhood friend, Nicole, to make it to Vegas so I could drive down and see her. We met in 6th grade. We went to school together and were best friends, hanging out every chance we had. We bonded over the loss of our fathers, and our tough/harsh maternal figures, and NKOTB (what were we thinking?!?)…our lives were very similar back then, with some minor differences. The summer between 9th and 10th grade my family moved out of state. I hated my mom for making us move away (I had no concept of financial hardships at the time) and I vowed that I would make her so miserable that she would send me back “home”. Little did I know how devastating our move was to Nicole. We were inseparable, until our move separated us. We returned to our hometown for a visit the following summer. I don’t remember how long we were in town, but it wasn’t long enough. I was able to get in a visit with Nicole, and wanted to go back every year to visit her. Neither of us knew that we would not see each other again for 25 years. 

We lost contact after that visit. Many years passed and my mom contacted me to let me know that a letter had arrived at the family home for me from Nicole. I got the letter a few days later and responded. We wrote back and forth for a while, and talked on the phone occasionally…and then life happened. We lost contact again. I would occasionally look for her on Facebook, but didn’t have any luck. Just a few years ago she sent me a friend request. Life kept us both pretty busy, but we were better about keeping up with each other through Facebook. Our lives had taken parallel paths, both of us having many similar experiences, even our ex’s share the same first name (yes, I think all men that I have encountered with that first name have been asshats). We are both in a better place. 

I was so stressed out about seeing her today, the first time in 25 years, and I have changed a lot, I guessed that she did too. What if we don’t recognize each other? Which is kinda dumb because we see each other’s pictures on Facebook. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if I don’t like her anymore? What if we have nothing to talk about? J and I arrived at her hotel and she was coming down to meet us. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged. It was so great to see her face light up, and I was put at ease. I couldn’t see myself, but I think I lit up too. We walked around trying to find a place to eat and talk. When we finally found a place we started talking like we were picking up where we left off. J said she heard Nicole say things and she thought to herself “That’s exactly what mom would say.”, and she’s right, it was what I would say. We talked about our kids and how both B and J were named after her. We talked about family and struggles and blessings and progress and church. An amazing visit, and the food was good too. We had to say goodbye too soon, but we both agreed to not go so long before seeing each other again. 

As J and I drove home I was replaying the visit and past things people have said to me about every friend I made after her. I have had some real doozies. I have picked some “real winners”. I suddenly came to the realization that I had never had a friend as true, loyal, reliable, understanding, compassionate…the list goes on…as she was to me. In every relationship there is some give and some take. For the majority of relationships I have had, there has always been more giving on my part and more taking on theirs, but not with Nicole. I think we both gave back as much, if not more, than we took. I cannot think of another friend who has been that way with me. 

Forward to an hour ago when I started texting my brothers to tell them happy Father’s Day, since I was traveling, catching up with Nicole, and having dinner with Jay and J, and by the time I got the chance to call the boys, it was too late. I got more emotional as I wrote each text. I made sure to let them know how much I look to up to each of them. I am sad that I don’t have the close relationships with them that I wish I had, and the ones I feel close to, I struggle with because of my emotional hurt. I have to find a healthy way to release grudges and hurts so I can move past the hurts. I miss my dad. I remember being a daddy’s girl. Maybe I remember right, and maybe I don’t, but I remember his love for me. I’m heartbroken, grateful and happy this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the many men in my life, present and past, who have had a positive impact on my life and the woman I’ve become. 

Life changes. Experiences change us. We change. Friends come and go from our lives. True friends may leave our lives, but reconnect as if no time has passed. True friends are selfless and love you for being you. I’m lucky enough to have one. 

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“Why Do You Have To Be…

…such a fucking bitch?” That’s what hear muttered from the other side of the bathroom door. This after I stated a problem, looking for some acknowledgement, but instead got arguments. So I state the problem again, hoping it will be heard this time. Only to hear that question muttered outside the bathroom door. The stated problem was minor, but the issue of him being checked out and missing the majority of what I say, has been a long time issue. I, of course, confronted him on the question he had just asked, and was met with nothing but denial. Yesterday, I sat on the couch where he usually sits. There were loose staples on the couch and I asked where they all came from (even with a big butt, sitting on staples hurts). His response….I don’t know. More denial. I used the car to go across town (which he usually drives) and found a bunch of loose staples. I know they didn’t come from me, or from our daughter who doesn’t drive, so why were they in the cubby in the handle of the drivers side door? Only he knows, but he’s not saying. I asked him why he didn’t tell me they came from him when I asked about the staples in the conversation the night before. He said “Did you ask me about that yesterday? I don’t remember.” A five minute conversation…erased from memory. And I’m the bitch? 

He’s checked out, and I want out. How can I make ends meet without him? Right now we are nothing more than roommates, attached to each other by a legal document that costs more than I can afford to pay to have it removed. He pays the big bills, and I only make enough to cover my bills, with a little left to put towards the main ones. I don’t make enough. As hard as I’m trying to change that, it doesn’t feel like it will change any time soon. I feel like I will forever be stuck in that catch 22 where I make too much money to get the help I need, and too little money to make it on my own. 

There is a daily struggle to not let my situation consume me. Every work day, I drag myself out of bed and paste on the best smile I can muster and leave my house wishing that I didn’t have to come back to the same shitty situation. It has been a tough 13 (soon to be 14) years. We started out so good. How did we end up here? Marriage isn’t easy, and for the majority of us, we’re lying if we say it is. Things that didn’t use to bother me absolutely annoy the hell out of me now. If anything is to change with this relationship, I am going to have to change it. Whether I choose to work it out, or walk out…something’s got to change!

After days like today…

…I find myself wondering why we do this. Why do we take in other people’s children? I know going into it that there will be struggles along the way, both major and minor ones. I know that there are parents who all get phone calls and video chats and who create unnecessary heartaches. I know that there will be times when no one gets along and others where everyone gets along. 

It doesn’t take me long to remember why we take in other people’s children. We do it because every child deserves a chance; we love them; we want what’s best for them; we want them to be happy and to feel a sense of safety and security that they didn’t feel elsewhere.

One parent decided to call one of the kids and tell them that they will never be living with that parent again. Then he hung up on the child. This was after a week of no phone calls. I promptly called him to find out what’s going on and to let them know that their approach was unacceptable and causing undo stress on the child. I was yelled at and hung up on, and then sent multiple messages that were full of hateful, hurtful, and down right mean things meant to hurt me. In one message the parent said that I was never good looking, it was only my personality that kept people around. Another said that my motivation has always been to keep their child and to make the child my own because I’m unable to have more children of my own. I received a total of 17 messages, and every one of them was written to hurt me and my family and to put the blame on everyone besides the parent. One even said “And don’t think I don’t understand that you’re keeping every single text I sent you so you can use it to get a f****** restraining order…” Here’s the thing. I don’t scare easy, and I have no need for restraining orders. I’m not afraid of him. I have enough self esteem that I don’t really care if someone finds me physically attractive. If you don’t want to be around me, then don’t be around me. If I don’t want to be around you, I will not be around you. It’s not rocket science. My self esteem and self respect do not revolve around what you think of me. The fact is that you placed your child in my care, and while you have convinced yourself that it’s only because you needed a break, the truth is that you had a mental break, you were not physically able to take care of your child (your child was taking care of you), and you even admitted to me when I picked the child up from you that you had relapsed and started using again. I spent the better part of this afternoon picking up the pieces of this broken child because the parent was unable to keep the child out of the mess the parent finds himself in. One of the last messages stated that the parent wanted me to stay up all night with them, talking to them, so they don’t do anything stupid. So after 16 messages of putting me down, and tearing my life apart trying to make me feel as bad as the parent feels, they have the gall to ask me to stay up all night and help them out. Because what, raising their child isn’t helping them out enough? 

Then, during anothe child’s scheduled video call with his mom, the mom realizes that my child is in the room and instead of talking to her son, she spends the next little while telling me that it is in the court order that no other children are allowed in the room during her time with her son (which, by the way, is complete b.s. and evidence of how ,anipulative she is). She demanded that I make all the children leave the room before she would talk to her son. All of the children in our home, except my daughter, have parents outside of the home that they have contact with. All of the children know that when one is talking to a parent, the tv is paused, and no one is to interact with the child on the phone, or try to but into the conversation with the parent. My child is an adult, so the moms point is invalid anyways, but I will not allow anyone to dictate how my home is run. I will not allow the children to see the parents disrespecting anyone in my home. I turned off the video chat service when she made it clear that she was more interested in yelling at me and trying to make demands than she was in talking to her son. She is allowed only 3 hours of contact with him a week, and she would rather yell at me than talk to him. I don’t understand. We will try again when she is supposed to have her next phone call with him. 

We do not say anything negative about the parents of the children, not around them, and certainly not to them. Just as my daughter did with her birth father, the children are allowed the freedom to form their own opinions about their parents without our biases being involved. So far, the children each have one parent they like to talk to, and one parent that they dread talking to. Still, we try to encourage them to communicate with each parent. We have given them a voice and taught them to use it. They know that their thoughts matter here. We do the best we can for these children, for our family. We are an extra blended family, and life is tough. We get by; we manage. We are protectors of the innocent and we are their guardians. We will continue to fight for them. 

So with phones shut down until sense and reason take hold, it is time to say goodnight. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better” ― Kevin Henkes, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

I have been struggling…

…to find reasons to continue fighting for my happiness, my family, my children, and even myself. Stress has been high, and it feels like I’m slowly drowning in an ocean of everyone else’s problems and issues. I want to be stress free, feel pure joy, and be completely at peace with myself. I would love to feel it forever. I would be satisfied to feel it for a moment.

I have one friend that I can talk to about my struggles. Ok, I have more than one friend I can talk to, but I have only one or two who I trust to listen without judgement and be honest in their thoughts, and unbiased in their suggestions. Today I asked him for his thoughts on my recent struggles: S moving back in; Jay thinking S may have finally hit rock bottom, and realizing he hasn’t; learning that S is likely schizophrenic and suffers from delusions; learning that R will be leaving his facility and moving in with us full time in a week; feelings of confusion and hopelessness; health issues; etc. As I poured my heart out in a string of emotional texts, he read them without saying a word until I had finished saying my peace. His first reply had me in tears. He said “I’m so sorry you feel this way. But there are tons of people that love and cherish you.” I was caught off guard. I’m not sure what I expected him to say, but that last sentence was nowhere on my list of potential replies.

“…tons of people that love and cherish you.” Tons? Love? Cherish? Wow! Those words hit me hard. They got me thinking. Why do so many people “love and cherish” me? I’m not sure I know. I’m sure that people love that I fight for them, maybe they love that I fight against them (you never know, right?). I am easily taken advantage of, although much less so than I used to be. It might be that I can be extremely passionate. I don’t think I’m all that memorable, but I also have a hard time remembering other people, sometimes even the important people; it could be that my negative view of myself tells me I’m not worthy of being remembered. I am pretty hard on myself. I do have high expectations of myself. I have a serious stubborn streak that won’t let me quit. I have been able to reach some pretty big goals. I have found varied measures of success. I tend to go “all in” with people. I give them the benefit of the doubt, but when they let me down, or hurt the ones I love, I take it hard. I hold grudges. I can forgive, but don’t forget. Things qualities can’t be why people feel such strong feelings for me.

I have some people that I “love and cherish”. I know why I “love and cherish” them. I don’t think it’s the same reasons people feel that way about me, but I could be wrong. Some of the reasons I love and cherish them are because they are: genuine with me, honest, and supportive; they make me feel safe when I’m with them. They seem to care about me as much as I care about them. Feeling emotionally secure and physically safe are so important to me. I never again want to experience the abuse, neglect, and constant fear that I used to. These people that I “love and cherish” protect me, or at least make me feel protected. 

I may never know why I have so many admirers because I’m too embarrassed to ask. My friend texting those words to me had a profound impact on my stress level and emotions. I must find a way to love and cherish myself, and to let others know that I love and cherish them. Hopefully it will make a positive difference for them also. 

Better Days…

…are not only possible, but they are happening. I talked in a recent post about why T was sent home early from school, and since then I think we may have stumbled upon a routine to help him have better days at school. Every morning before we leave the house I ask him what kind of day he’s going to have today. He usually says “I’m going to have a great day!” Or “I’m going to have an awesome day!” Then, when I drop him off at school I will tell him to “have a great/awesome day today!” So I just remind him in a subtle way what kind of day he said he trying to have today. So far he has had a few great days, and no bad days. I hope it’s not a fluke and that we can keep this going. 

He’s asking about “baptisement” again, something he’s asked about before. When I asked why he said he wants to stop having bad thoughts. I explained to him that being baptized won’t stop him from having bad thoughts. He was so disappointed. I asked him about the bad thoughts, were they ones we’ve already talked about or are they new ones, is he able to not act on the bad thoughts, stuff like that. He said some of them are the same but some of them are new. He said he doesn’t feel like he needs to act on them, but if he does then he’ll come talk to me first. I suggested that he talk to (his therapist) about his bad thoughts during their next play date. He didn’t talk to him about it today, but (his therapist) says they will talk about them next week. 

T is trying so hard to be a good boy, and I know it is so hard for him to do. His dad called the other day and just can’t seem to talk to T without putting him down or trying to convince him to break the rules we’ve set for him. Dad wants to send him music, ICP to be exact. The music is full of fowl language and talks about things no 7 year old should be dealing with. Where his language and inappropriate behaviors have been an issue in the recent past, how could he possibly think that sending this stuff to T will help him behave better? Dad told him to have me explain what the song is talking about, and that he can listen to it in his room with headphones on. No, he can’t. Someone has had to start from scratch to help him fix his behaviors and since that person is me…no, I will not sit by and watch him take steps backwards when we have worked so hard to get some kind of forward momentum going. 

Dad was raised differently. Different rules. Different expectations. Dad, who is not happy with how he was raised, chooses to raise T the same way instead of changing it so T has a chance at a better childhood and a better life. Dad is supposed to be using this time that T is with us to get his life on track and get himself to a better place, emotionally, to take care of T. He’s on prescribed medication to help him get right, yet he’s still smoking “medicine” that is going to cause a drop in his happy hormones, so basically he is setting himself up for failure. I’m at a loss. Am I the only one who has a problem with this? Am I the only one who cares enough about T to protect him? The crazy thing is that he has a great mom, but she seems to not understand, and not see the devastating effect all this stuff is having on him. I feel like mom has been misled by dad, but I don’t know how to help with that, so I keep my mouth shut. If I can’t offer suggested solutions, then I can’t criticize. 

When we decided to take T in, we had no idea how damaged he was. I do not regret taking him in, in fact, I think it’s the best thing for him at this point. He is still such a good boy. We know his behaviors are things he had learned before we got him. I am excited about the good days he’s had, and I hope they continue. I hope he continues to build his relationship with (his therapist) so he has a trusted adult outside the home to talk to. It seems to be helping.