Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's not fun

You know what isn’t talked about enough? Domestic abuse. Not just the violence, the real hard damage even emotional abuse does. The cycle of abuse, from what I’ve learned, is alarming. The alarming part is how sneaky it is. You don’t even KNOW it’s abuse, until it’s too late.
Being told you’re unlovable because you’re a young mother with 2 children and stretch marks doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. When you’re in a relationship with someone that has torn you down for years, and has planted these seeds of self-hate it turns into a big deal. Being unlovable is like the lowest of low feelings, any way you look at it. Being unwanted by anyone is a hard pill to swallow.

I have PTSD from an abusive relationship.

Have you ever seen “Gone Girl”? I haven’t. I tried watching it, and I watched a few chapters in before it became too much for me to handle. There’s a part where the wife says something like “you have no idea what it’s like to be afraid of your husband (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t remember the exact verbiage) “ at that point in the movie, I lost it. Uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t stop them . My husband (who is not the one that caused this pain) turned the movie off, told me we weren’t watching it, and held me as I cried. We still haven’t seen the movie.

I guess this was the moment I truly realized I had PTSD. Something as simple as an actor, playing a character, portraying that she was afraid of her fake husband, who was also an actor, made me lose it.
The pain is real. It doesn’t leave. It doesn’t die. My situation was not near as bad as it could have been, or as bad as many other situations I’ve heard of. But my situation was real, and it was terrifying. The day I left that marriage, I cried for hours while driving across the country. I cried because I was walking away from my marriage and I was tearing my family apart. I cried because of how my ex-husband would feel. How he’d miss us, how he’d miss me. I almost turned around several times, but there was this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to keep going. And I did. As I think back on leaveing, I think about how stupid I was to be caring about HIM instead of my health, Instead of my children growing up in a loving home. I cared about his feelings, even after he put his hands on me.

Abuse looks like a lot of different things. It’s not just obvious bruises on a person’s body. Emotional scaring is just as real as physical. Being told your worthless only to turn around a day later and be showered with love and affection only to then turn around in a week and have someone yelling in your face about how ugly you are. That’s abuse. Someone threatening to end their life if you don’t stay in a relationship is abuse. Pushing you into a door frame, blacking out your eye and denying it, making YOU feel like the crazy one… is abuse. It’s mind twisting torture. I can’t tell you how many times I questioned my sanity simply because my story was denied by my abuser.  Do you know how scary it is to question your sanity? “Did he push me? Did I actually trip?”

People say abused women are weak. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Abused women are brainwashed into thinking they’re worthless and useless without their abuser by their side. Therefore, they do everything they can to prove their love, over and over and over.

I had a breaking point, and I was lucky. A lot of women don’t get to be lucky. My breaking point was a fist to my left cheek. By this point, I’d been yelled at, spit on, pushed, slapped, shoved, poked, choked, but never punched. And I didn’t see it as abuse, any of it, until a fist struck my face. I was lucky, and I left shortly after.

I’m damaged. My emotions are fragile at times, I have unexpected triggers that I don’t know exist until they happen. Abuse is abuse and it doesn’t always look like abuse. Especially when you’re in the situation seeing everything through rose colored glasses.

Talk about it. You never know who may be in a situation similar that they don’t view as abuse. Abuse can take an ugly turn, or it can continue to wear a person down to where they’re a shell of the vibrant person they once were. I wouldn’t want my daughter in the same situation, I’m sure you wouldn’t either. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mom Moments

As a seasoned mom, as a friend of mine so delicately puts it, mom moments seems to be few and far between at this stage in mine and my children's lives. You may know what I'm talking about... you may not. The first moment I had, one of those unforgettable "I'm a mom" moments, happened in the hospital. Conner was born at 7:35 am after 10 hours of labor. They took him out of my delivery room, at my request because it was freezing in there. I was wheeled into my post labor room, and I promptly fell asleep. At around 10, I was awaken by a cry. This tiny whaling cry... I immediately tried to get out of bed.

There was one problem. My legs still weren't working. My epidural was turned up too high, and the feeling had not returned to my legs. So instead of getting up, I crashed onto the floor. My maternal instinct kicked in, besides my body's inability to function properly. I had a huge bruise on my hip for weeks.

There are moments you have here and there, from when they're tiny little babies to when they're 11. (That's as far as I've gotten, I'll keep you posted) When Rylee was born, they placed her on my chest. She started SNIFFING to find my milk. Have you ever seen human instinct, like... for real?! Because it's nothing short of amazing. That is probably one of my favorite moments, simply because it was an incredible thing to witness.

As my kids get older, my mom moments seems fewer and further between. That doesn't mean they don't stop me in my tracks when they happen. My son, who'll be 11 in 11 days, was in my bathroom fussing over his hair. I was laying my my bed (after just getting home from work and wanting to just relax for a minute before I tackled dinner or anything else), and he turned and looked at me... my heart, it stopped beating. Who the hell was this kid?! This blonde haired, blue eyed, mirror image of myself standing in my bathroom.

Now, don't get me wrong. I see my son almost every day. I'm not sure what caused this moment of sheer "holy shit!" to happen. He just looked... old. Suddenly flashbacks of him as an infant, me putting him in the car on our drive home from the hospital, scared to DEATH something would happen. Him going to kindergarten, and me bawling my eyes out in the parking lot after walking him to class... It's so hard to explain without sounding like a complete moron.

In that moment, when I looked and didn't recognize my own child, he was a person. He was a grown person. He doesn't need me much anymore, he does a lot of things himself. I said to him "Stop growing. You're going to middle school next year, then high school, and then college... just stop". He looked me in the eye and said "Don't worry mom, that won't be for a long time" Nothing makes your heart swell as much as your child comforting you in a silly moment you're having.

He let me have my moment, we took a bunch of pictures, and he left... and I cried.

My baby is not a baby. He never will be again. He's changing into a handsome young man right before my eyes, and there's nothing I can do but hide my tears, and help him change. Pretty soon he'll hate me, which I'm not prepared for.

Cherish your mom moments, or your dad moments... The moments when your whole world stops and it's just you and that other soul for a split second that feels like an eternity.

I don't know who this post is for. It's not really my best blog, but it's something I felt like I needed to write about. :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Broken bones

The hardest thing I've had to deal with, in the long running experience of 10 years as a parent... was a broken bone... or... 2 broken bones, technically.

Tuesday, I left and went to go grab my older 2 from the karate dojo they are members of. I did like I always do, walked in, greeted everyone, walked past the giant window and waved to Conner. Went to the back, got Rylee's attention, rolled my eyes at the look of disappointment on her face when she realized her time with friends was up. I walked back to the giant window to get Conner to come get his things, and he said "Wait! I want to show you this! Watch!"

He was so so excited, all the kids in the class were chanting his name and he got psyched up to jump over the stack of mats in front of him. He ran, jumped, grazed one of the pads, and disappeared to the other side... and didn't get up right away. I heard his wail, and thought, "Oh man, he hurt himself" thinking it would be no big deal... until he started walking out of the dojo, tears streaming down his face. "His arm is broken" said the assistant. umm... what? Can't be. Not MY kid.

His arm was unnaturally twisted into a "Z". This is when my brain went crazy. We have to go to the hospital, I have to get their things, we need to get them in the car, I have to call my husband, I have to call my kids' dad... Shit. I didn't know what to do first, so I started sort of jogging back to the rooms to get their things. It dawned on me we had to go NOW. Shock hadn't quite got a hold of me yet, but my brain was firing in all directions. I had to take 3 kids... to the ER... alone.

Somehow I got them all in the truck, fastened Conner's seat belt, and started driving. I called my husband, who was working a double, and as soon as he answered the phone "You need to take off right now, Conner broke his wrist"

The drive was a bit of a blur beyond that. I know I couldn't get a hold of Conner's dad, our phones just wouldn't connect. We get to the ER and I park like a total jackass, I have no idea what I'm doing.
When we got to the receptionist, I said "My son broke his arm" the thing is, it was so much worse looking than a broken arm. I'd never seen a broken bone in person, but this looked bad.

She called a nurse over, said "I have this boy, his arm is deformed"... deformed. It wasn't broken, it was deformed. He was seen right away, and that is when I lost the "strong mom" face I had. I started crying, then Conner started apologizing. Rylee started crying. Sora... asked what was wrong with Conner. We get to the back, and my god. Rylee and Sora were nothing short of perfect. They sat outside of Conner's room, coloring and playing on my phone. They were... Perfect. I was a mess.

Through a blur of signatures, telling me steps they were going to take, and people asking me stupid questions, my husband walked through the double doors. Tears... I needed him there with me, because I'm a big baby apparently, but I needed him to take the little ones away from the ER. He hugged, let me go pee (which I'd been holding since I left work 1.5 hours ago), and then he left with the younger 2. I could breathe a little... but not really.

Conner was put under what's called conscious sedation. His mind was awake, but he was asleep. He could answer questions, his body could feel pain, but he wouldn't remember... He wouldn't remember... this was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. As his was drifting off, he said "good night Momma". I sat in the corner while they did what had to be done. They had to pull his hand and wrist up and over to reset the bones. Typing that, it doesn't sound that bad... but it was horrible. While "he wouldn't remember" my mom wires were firing because he could FEEL it.

I was thankful when the xray tech walked in and I had to step out. I couldn't take it anymore. I had tears streaming down my face. I was heart broken, and I wasn't even the one in REAL pain. After some more tugging and pulling, they got his bones realigned. Almost perfectly.

About 30 minutes later, Conner was coming off his meds. He kept calling for me, "Mom! Are you there?" It was hard to hide the tears in my voice. I stroked his forehead. "I can't see you!! Mom!!" His eyes were darting back and forth. The nurse informed me that his vision was probably very blurry and spotted. After about 10 minutes of "I am so sorry, I love you so much, I'm so so sorry, you're the best mom in the world, I love you so much" And me crying the entire time, his eye locked on to mine, and he smiled. "I can see you again. I love you."

Ugh. You little shit. Making my cry... making me worry... I wanted to wrap him up in a hug like he was 2, but he was wired to so many machines, I couldn't. A few hours later, we were released. He was the one in pain with broken bones, poked, prodded, and scared... and I was in agony.

Even as I typed this, I had to stop a few times. The images of his arm twisted about, the pain on his face, and him crying out for me are permanently burned into my brain. My 10 year old warrior needed his mommy.

Being a parent isn't easy, and sometime it isn't fun... This was by far the hardest thing I've had to endure in my time as a mom and even my entire life.

I don't even want to reread this... if there are mistakes, sorry not sorry.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day

"When was the last time you told your significant other just how much they mean to you? Do it this Valentine's Day, with  Hallmark"

Stores are filled with red, pink, and white, hearts and cupids. The strawberries are deliciously dipped in creamy chocolate. There's candy everywhere. And lonely people are discussing how stupid it is to be in a relationship... Wait, What?!

Relationships are not stupid. Know what's stupid? Valentine's Day. The day when mostly men are emptying their pockets to "surprise" their woman with jewelry, candy, balloons, and flowers. Women are pining for attention over who's man got them the best "gift". It is so forced, and it's far from special. You know what's special? Getting flowers on March 10th, August 16th, June 30th.... know what's special about those days? Nothing. Nothing at all. On these days, you're not getting flowers rush delivered like every other woman in the world... You're getting flowers delivered just for you. Or your getting a special dinner made for two.

My husband and I have a mutual distaste for the "holiday", not because anything went wrong on that day, just because, in our opinions... it's just not special. There are so many expectations set by jewelers, flower and card companies. "Spend $2,000 to show her YOU care this Valentine's day!" But the thing is, it's not happening because he cares. It's happening because he HAS to. Because good lord, the wrath he will feel if he doesn't, is indescribable.

Now before you come pounding on my door with burning stakes and pitch forks. Do your thing. But think about it for a second. Don't get mad, or upset because your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend forgot to send flowers to your office, or they "only" got you a card, or did nothing at all... Showing love for someone on a day that EVERYONE ELSE gets shown love, isn't really all that special in my opinion.

I get mad when people get mad at their significant others for not living up to expectations of Valentine's Day. What about the other 364 days of the year? Is love shown? Are there small acts of kindness and generosity? Are there massages, little gifts, dinner made, whatever on any of THOSE days? If not, then Valentine's Day shouldn't be some sort of saving grace.

Show your love every day. BE the love every day. Don't wait around for once a year when everyone else is getting spoiled to show how much you really care.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is it sinking in?

As a parent, of not so little kids, I wonder if my advice, words of wisdom, whatever you want to call it, sinks in... Or if it's just "God, Mom... Shut up". Every morning, when the kids are getting out of the car, I say the usual "I love you, have a great day" and I always throw in something like "Make good choices", "Give someone a compliment", "Smile"... You get the point.

There's one piece of advice I've been giving my son since he was 6.


I was driving, and all of the sudden, my son starts uncontrollably crying in the backseat. I ask what's wrong, and he practically shouts, "What's the point in living if we're all just gonna DIE?!?!" Mind you, this was completely out of nowhere. After a failed attempt to comfort him, I pull over and climb in the backseat with him. Apparently, he had met this new friend that was very active in their church community. This little boy told him all about heaven and hell and how one day, everyone just dies...

It was very traumatic for Conner... obviously. So, as I'm sitting there, on the side of the road, holding my child as he cries into my chest, I'm searching for words. For comfort... for anything!! This shit is too deep for a 6 year old. We're not religious, in the least, so I come up with the best I can. "As long as you're not hurting yourself, As long as you're not hurting other people, and as long as you try to be a good person, you have nothing to worry about."

Don't judge me, he was 6.

As he's gotten older, I've come to realize, this is actually EXCELLENT advice. It's become something that I try to live by. There may be flaws in it, but if you take it from it's simplest form, and dig a little deeper, it makes sense.
The first part, "As long as you're not hurting yourself", Is kind of hard for some people to swallow. Whether dealing with self harm, or just reckless behavior, when you hurt yourself, it hurts SO many other people. People that care about you, Family, friends, and the like.
"As long as you're not hurting other people", this one is kind of a given. Simply, don't be a dick.
"As long as you try to be a good person", In this world, it's refreshing to see people going out of their way to do things for other people, when it should be the norm. Doing small things like giving someone a compliment, helping someone that looks distressed, paying for someone's coffee when they realize they left their card at home, etc makes a huge difference in someone's day! Has anyone randomly done that to you? It feels pretty freaking good, right?! Even tiny things can change someone's day completely around.

I'm sure that now my oh so wise words, made up in the back of a car 4 years ago in a moment of panic, hold no merit to my son now... but maybe one day, they will. I repeat these words to him on at least a weekly basis. He probably has no idea what they even stemmed from anymore, but in that moment, he found comfort in them. Maybe one day, sooner or later, these words will flood into his mind, and he'll make a choice based on it... but then again, maybe not.

I tell my kids these random things hoping one day, they stick. One day, they pay someone a compliment that may have been having an awful day until then. Maybe... just maybe, they can turn someone around.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


So, this week has been a tough one, but a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I've ALWAYS been against medication for kids. Always. Don't ask why, because I'm not entirely sure myself. I've always kind of known Conner was ADD or ADHD, and this year, his school performance was very very poor. He wouldn't finish things in class, he wouldn't finish homework, he couldn't concentrate. So I made a doctor appointment.

I had to fill out a questionnaire, as well as have his teachers do the same. Once that was all done, I shot it over to the doctor. At his appointment, she walked in and said "based on this alone, He has ADD/ADHD." It sounds awful, but I sighed in relief. Everything I knew, for years, was confirmed. She commended me on trying a bunch of different things to help him before I turned to medication. Which also felt really good. (It's always nice to get a "way to go, Mom!" from time to time). It felt good especially after the constant ridicule of my ex telling me I was taking the "easy way out".

So there I had it. The prescription. Adderall, 5mg, once a day. I got it filled immediately, and Conner was able to take it the very next morning (which was yesterday). Let me tell you, he had the BEST day he's had all year. He has a behavior chart in his classrooms where he has 10 outbursts per day. On a normal day, he'd have between 13-20. Yesterday, he had 1. A single outburst. One.... Going from 13-20 to ONE is HUGE!!! I was so excited to hear that!

Then we get home, and Conner says "Mom!! I am SO GOOD at division!!!" He's a super smart kid, he's in the GT program, and for the first time ever he was excited about being good at something academic! THIS was huge. Then he did the dishes, and sat for a solid 30 minutes, in silence, doing his homework.

If this all didn't happen on the first day of taking this medicine, I don't know how I would have felt. I am elated that this took effect immediately. My kid seems happier already, I know his teachers are happier, and it's a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that this is going to help him.

We are just beginning this "journey" and I'm so excited that it started off on the right foot.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life life life life life...

I don't even know what to call this blog. Pointless rambling I guess.

This is the second, maybe third week my husband has been doing his new job. He's a chef, an amazing chef, and he was hired to be a personal chef at a hunting ranch. He's gone most of the week. I don't get how military wives do this. I just... don't. Especially with kids!

Our weeks are constant go go go, and then the weekends are "Holy shit my house exploded, I should probably do something about it." I work full time, kids go to school. I get up as early as I can muster to fight 3 kids into getting dressed, eating breakfast, and MAYBE brushing teeth and hair. (Don't judge me). Then it takes them 10 minutes to make sure they put everything in their bags, and then another 15 minutes to get into the car. We HAVE to leave our house by 7:05 for me to be able to drop all of them off at school (2 different schools) and get to work, semi on time.

I work all day, when I really could be more productive at home, and when I get off, I just want to go home, and just.... be. But no. I have to drive all over town (literally) to pick up the kiddos from 2 different places. By the time I scoop them up, we're home at least an hour after I've been off work. I still have to cook dinner. I still have to help get homework finished. I still have to TRY to get all three children in the bath and read with them before 8. It's a lot to shove into a couple hours. God forbid their karate uniforms get ruined and need to be washed, or one of the animals has an accident, or something ELSE goes wrong.

Our schedules should be streamlined, but they're anything but. It's crazy, it's loud, it's busy, and I'm tired. It's honestly like being a single mom. Luckily, when my husband is home, I don't have to cook. I don't have to do much of anything. But then, after those 2, blissful days are done, chaos ensues.

On my weekends, I really just want to lay around the house and never get dressed... but honestly, how fun is that for the kids? So... I have to force myself out of bed to drag 3 kids around town. One of them, who is autistic, I have to be EXTRA careful with. Yes, my 5 year old rides in the seat of the shopping cart. Bite me.

If I want to hang out with friends, I feel like they expect me to come to them, which is fine, but I literally have zero energy to deal with trying to catch up with you, and trying to wrangle my children. I'm tired. And every week, it's the same thing. There are so many things I WANT to do, but I literally can not muster the mental ability to do them. I can not reconnect with friends, so they're all slowly fading away. Sometimes, I just want to bitch. I want to cry. I want to drink. And I want to curl up in a ball, and just be...

But it's not my life.

There is no "message" in this. I usually try to do something... but can't today. My brain is in overdrive.