Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

I sat with my iPhone in hand (its my own personal computer), thumbs poised to begin typing, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. For what exactly? Why, inspiration of course! So as I sat and I waited and I thought, my thumbs fiddling with the many jagged cracks on the less than a year old screen of my iPhone 5c because I am an dumbass who dropped it down the concrete steps that lead to my apartment entrance, I realized something……

Unless I am emotionally unstable or hanging on by my fingernails to the edge as I cling to balance and sanity, I really don’t have much to say. I’m writing blocked! 

If you look back over the past few months since I started blogging, my longest, most in depth and passionate, detailed, posts have been while I was experiencing mental and emotional distress. Why is it that I can only write creatively and passionately when I am mentally unbalanced or coming unhinged? Does anyone else experience this? I miss writing and actually find it very sad that I am unable to write anything even remotely profound unless I am not in a good place mentally. 

So, I decided to just write. About anything, about nothing, about me, my kids, my family, my life, to simply write whatever comes to mind as long as I keep my thumbs moving and the words appearing on my pitifully shattered screen! 

I am visiting my parents for a few days. It was a spur of the moment decision to make the nearly 4 hour trip. Jay had been visiting Little K at our apartment in the city with the intention of taking our son back home with him for a couple of weeks when he left, and I would make the trip to bring him home as summer came to a close. After just 2 days Jay received an unexpected call to go to work for a few days so his visit would be cut short and him and Little K would take the bus back home. Instead of the bus, we all piled into my car early the next morning- myself, Jay, both of my kids, and the family dog- and headed back to our little hometown. 

My mom was thrilled to see me, to see all of us, and I was equally as thrilled. It had been a month since I had visited and while that doesn’t sound like a long time, I don’t think in my entire life I have went a month without seeing my parents. Despite the issues our family had over the years and still have to some degree, we are still a close knit family and a month without hanging out with my mom feels like forever! She even made my my fav supper of fish and chips! After supper was cleaned out it was still so hot outside so my sister and I know took the kids to the beach for a dip. While the kids swam and played in the water we waded past our knees and collected pretty pieces of driftwood. It was a much needed relaxing evening. 

So, I’m staying with my parents for a few days and I say “few” simply because it’s unknown yet how long we are staying. I had to take my car to my mechanic this morning for a standard oil change. As they performed the service they discovered 2 other things that were in need of repair or replacement that could potentially be dangerous. Just. My. Luck. One of the needed parts won’t be in until NEXT WEEK and he isn’t sure when next week. Did I mention that the entire fiasco is going to cost me close to 500 smackaroos? Yup, that’s right. 500 big ones which is about 450 more than I can afford! I didn’t have bad luck I would have  no luck at all! 

Other than that negative tidbit the visit is going well. My Dads health isn’t the best of it right now and he is awaiting an appointment to have a procedure done that will help him talk better as he had almost completely lost his voice due to paralyzed vocal cords which, although it hasn’t been confirmed, is probably the result of extensive scar tissue on the brain from nearly 20 surgeries BUT that’s a whole other story for another time. His voice is almost non existent and he struggles to breath when he tries to communicate so the sooner he gets in for this procedure the better! 

Little K is loving the trip so far. He’s been outside with his friends constantly, having water balloon fights, hanging out in friends backyards, riding bikes and swimming. Big K is bored as per usual. I think that’s a teenager thing maybe? Who knows what actually goes on in the complex mind of a 17 year old!

Well, that pretty much sums up our little mini vaca so far and as far as “writing” goes, I think I managed to forge out a few words, although lacking in passion or creativity, but, my comrades of the pen, I will trudge on until alas, some profound words develop on this page. See you all again real soon. 

Until next time…. 

 

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There are 10 things I want you, my readers, to know….

1. Yes, I know it’s been forever since I posted and I am sorry. 

2. I am still alive and well and by well I mean no extreme highs or lows. I’m pretty well balanced. 

3. I did move to the city after my last post when I talked about my “cold feet.” 

4. My apartment was a complete and utter disaster when I moved in and I have spent the past month trying to make it beautiful. 

5. I am settling into my apartment nicely and although we moved here with the clothes on our backs so to speak, we are slowly accumulating things and by things I basically mean clutter which will drive me crazy after a while. 

6. My kids are adjusting well, for the most part so am I, and our family dog, who was scared of her 8 year old 100 pound shadow at first, is finally starting to adjust as well. 

7. I haven’t written anything, and I mean anything, since I moved. I am so preoccupied with making my apartment feel like home that I just can’t seem to find the time or the creativity to do anything else! 

8. I get homesick from time to time. I miss my Mama terribly! 

9. I plan to really begin living in the city as soon as my apartment is just the way I like. By living I mean going out, meeting new people, doing new things. 

10. Last, but by no means least, I have not given up on blogging. I will be back real soon and I hope, in the meantime, this short list will help bring you up to date on my life. 

Until next time…. 

 

The days are passing by quickly and the move is getting closer. I’ve been excited for months.  This is what I’ve been working towards for the past year. I made this decision a year ago and have taken plenty of time to think it over and make sure it was what I actually wanted and what was best for my little family and that it wasn’t, despite what my family thought, a rash decision made during one of my hypomania phases. 

I’ve thought about it. I’ve weighed the pros and cons and hashed out the many possibilities in my head. This is what I want. Right? So why then, am I so damn apprehensive just before the big move? 

I keep asking myself over and over again…am I doing the right thing? Will my kids be happy there? Will I be happy there? Will I regret this? 

And then I remind myself, over and over again…you will regret it if you don’t try! This is what you want, what your kids want. You are doing the right thing. You need to get out of this house, out of this town. It’s a fresh start. 

I need a fresh start, in a place where nobody knows me, my mental illness, or my history. It’s not that I am ashamed of either, because I’m not. I just need to put it aside, to put it behind me in a sense, and start anew. This is what I have wanted for so long. So why then, am I suddenly unsure? 

I’m worried about Little K. Although he is a very outgoing and friendly kid, it’s going to be hard for him to make friends until school starts up in September and I’m concerned that the summer is going to be boring for him and give him a bad first impression of the city. I’m worried that he will miss his dad and all of his friends back home. 

I’m worried that Big K might change when he gets in the big city and in a high school that’s much more diverse and populated than what he is used to. He’s been such a good kid. He doesn’t drink or experiment with drugs, he doesn’t party like a lot of teens his age do. He’s an all around good kid, although quite shy and a little withdrawn. I’m worried that, as much as I would like for him to come out of his shell, he might do so in a negative way and begin doing the things I have been proud of him for not doing. 

I’ve thought about all of these things numerous times as I weighed the pros and cons of this move. So why then are they weighing so heavily on my mind right before the move?

I have cold feet! 

I have cold feet and I’m leaving tomorrow. So what am I going to do? 

Put on warm socks! 

This is a new chapter, one that’s long overdue, and no matter how cold my feet are, there is no turning back.  

 


    Dear Mom….

    There are a million different store bought greeting cards that could sum up in a few brief phases how I feel about you, the type of mother you have been, and the kind of relationship we share. For just a buck I could get you one of those cards, and I probably will, but Mom, none of them do justice to the enormous presence in my life that is you. 

    I have this memory of you and I, or at least I think it’s a memory, but I have seen a similar photo and often wonder if maybe my memory was just reflecting what I had seen. I choose to believe that this isn’t the case, that I do in fact remember that very day. It was a Sunday, a warm and sunny spring day and you and I were walking down the road to your parents house, hand in hand. I was 3, maybe 4 and was wearing a yellow knit poncho over my Sunday dress. You held my hand as I walked beside you, and I remember looking up at you with an enormous smile as you looked down at me, smiling just as brightly. There is no great importance or significance of this memory, other than maybe, in my young mind, I knew even then what a wonderful person and mother you were and what a huge impact you would have on my life. 

    I wish I could reflect on the happy family that we were, the happy home that we lived in, but we both know that would be a lie. The truth is our family was broken from the very beginning, our home a place of hurt and turmoil, of heartache, fear and dread. I never understood as a child why you chose to stay and live underneath his roof and his cruel words. As an adult when you have long since explained your reasoning, I still don’t understand why those vows before God should warrant you living such a difficult life. But right now, as I write about you, to you, it’s not important, but I want you to know that you never deserved it, you deserved so much more, so much better, and I want you to know that  through it all, we never lacked love, for you us enough for both parents. 

    Growing up, as I both lived it and now reflect back on it, you were my only parent. It was you who showed us love and understanding, who taught us right from wrong. You were the very one who taught us what it meant to truly love another human being even more than you love oneself. You showed us everyday. It was you who was there when we were sad, to wipe away our tears. It was you who bandaged scraped knees and nursed colds, who wiped fevered brows and runny noses. You were always there to share in joys and triumphs or to let us know it was okay when we failed as long as we kept trying. It was you Mom. It was always you. 

    It is no secret that I wasn’t always the easiest child to raise. I know having me as a daughter came with a whole other set of guidelines, each and every one of them changing with my ever changing moods. I know it was very hard at times. I know I made you cry, scared you, and made you feel completely helpless. I know at times you doubted yourself as a mother when trying to handle me and the mental illness that neither of us knew existed at the time, but please know Mom, that you did your best. It may not have felt like it at the time, when my sanity hung in the balance, but I know without an ounce of doubt that without you, I wouldn’t be here today and for that, I am eternally grateful. 

    Thank you hardly seems fitting when there are so many things to thank you for. Thank you for your many sacrifices over the years and please know they never went unnoticed. Thank you for teaching me, for showing me everyday, how to be a good mother. I am the mother I am today because of you. Thank you for teaching me courage and strength. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I had given up on myself. 

    Thank you mom, for loving me, all of me, the good and the bad, unconditionally and with your whole heart and please know that I love you just the same. 

    Happy Mothers Day Mom. 

    I’ve been called a lot of things over the course of my life, some good, some bad, some justified while others are not, but an insult that was thrown at me just last night really hit a nerve- coward. More accurately, I was told I exhibited cowardness, which is basically the same as calling me a coward. 

    My reaction? I saw red and replied with….

    I am NOT a coward. I have more courage and guts than you will ever find in another god damn woman in your life and if you knew me at all you would know that! 

    Maybe I took for granted that this person didn’t know all there is to know about me. They probably don’t realize the things I have endured and survived, but they are aware of a great deal of it and when those words popped up on my computer screen, I didn’t care what they did or didn’t know, the anger coursed through me. 

    A coward? Bitch please!  This chick is a survivor. 

    I’ve survived childhood sexual abuse, and years and years of verbal abuse at the hands of people who I thought loved me. 

    I made the decision, as a teenager, to take the long road and keep my baby who would shortly thereafter become the centre of my entire world, and after we were both rejected harshly by his father, together we survived! 

    I’ve lived through more than 3 decades of an undiagnosed mental disorder that threatened my sanity time and time again, nearly took my life, and completely fucked with my head, my heart, and my self esteem and I survived! 

    I survived a relationship filled with fear and control; being held hostage in my own home, spending days in a bed while pondering how in the hell I was going to escape, looking at the tiny windows in the basement apartment and wondering if I could squeeze through the small space to freedom and safety. I escaped, I survived, I learned to not live in fear anymore and put it behind me. 

    I survived more than a decade of loving an addict who repeatedly hurt and betrayed me, destroyed our family and our life together, left me broke and alone over and over, not knowing how the bills would be paid or how I was putting food on the table! Yet, I made it through because that’s what survivors do! 

    I’ve been knocked down, physically and emotionally, but got back up!  

    I started over, alone and scared, damaged and confused, broken and bruised, and I recreated a life that had been shattered. 

    I’ve raised two kids on my own, as I struggled with mental illness, after being raised in a broken home where insults were thrown like punches, yet I’ve raised them right. I’ve raised them to be strong and be their own person and every time I look at them I know I did a great job! 

    A coward? I’ve never been, nor will I ever be. I’m strong and proud and brave. I’m a fighter! You can knock me down but you can’t keep me there. I always get back up, stronger and better than I was before, because I, my friend, am a fucking survivor and that is what we do! 

      
     

    ……that I have…

    Amidst all the mistakes….

    Through the bipolar highs and lows…..

    As I battled mental illness….

    done something fundamentally right. 

      

     It was a typical school night. Little K had just come in from hanging outside with his friends, had a bath, and was dressed in fresh, clean pjs. This was always my favourite time of the day when my kids were little, but as they’ve grown up they want less and less time with their old Mom so the cuddly hours before bed have been replaced with talking to their friends (girlfriend for Big K), playing xbox, or some online game on laptops with their friends. 

    But this night was different. Our home has gone Unplugged (you can read about this in a precious post) which means the kids have no Xbox, laptops, or iPhones, but no one was complaining. And this is how the story goes……

    I was laying down on Little K’s bed, chatting with him while he fooled around on his guitar. I had my iPhone in hand (I am not unplugged as I am not the one with an addiction to everything electronic) and was listening to music, singing along to the hoarse lyrics of Janis Joplin. Out of no where Little K started to try and play along with the music. We went through Me and My Bobby McGee a couple of times as he picked up the chords for bits and pieces of the song. From there he played a couple more songs as I sang along, but before too long he was tired. Instead of turning on the TV (they no longer have that either!) he asked me to lay down with him and sing him to sleep, patting his back to the beat of whatever song I was singing like I used to do when he was little. 

    Shut the front door! 

    I tucked him into bed and lay next to him, playing a little Trooper and Janis Joplin on my phone quietly while I sang along to the words and patted his little back to the rhythm. In just a few minutes he was asleep. 

    Our short but sweet jam session didn’t go unnoticed by Big K who was strumming away on his guitar in the next room. Once his little brother was asleep he came into the room and started playing a couple of songs for me. We found a common ground in our diverse taste in music- Pink Floyd. As he strummed to the tune of Wish You Were Here on his guitar, I let the song play on my iTunes and sang along. Little K began to stir, so we moved into the living room. The next hour was spent jamming to some of both of our fav tunes- a little Joplin, some Lynard Skynard, AC/DC, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, and many others. He strummed and picked on his guitar while I sang, not well but whole heartedly, and we had a great time. 

    There is something to be said about the effects of music, or more so in my case, singing at the top of my lungs even though I royally suck at it. It frees the mind, the heart, the spirit. As you let go of your insecurities (what if someone hears me? My singing is terrible !!) and belt the words out from your inner core, all of your worries escape with it. Music is indeed therapy but it was much more than that. The real therapy, what did the most for my heart and soul last night, was spending time with my boys. Fun time. Time uninterrupted by the electric buzz of electronics, the chitter chat of kids on Skype, or the background sounds of video games. We just jammed and it was the absolute best therapy I could have needed.