Brave New girl

Posted: November 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’m so different from who I was 6 years ago, that’s true. My experience has changed me. I’ll never be her again and that’s okay. This new me is emerging and she is humbled and patient. Reflective. 

 I have so much self work to do but it’s going to be so worth it. 

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Come sit beside me, my only son

Posted: August 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

This is a blog written by a friend and let me tell you, I admire this woman to no end.

Candy Bottoms

My son has always been different. I chalked it up to being just a boy. Not that I have any clue if boys are any different than girls in their early years. I just made assumptions based off gender stereotypes and BuzzFeed articles discussing the ten things every mother of boys knows.

He is in fact different than his sisters. He does not welcome kisses or care to respond when you call his name. He rarely looks you in the eye and is content to be left alone. I thought he was just a “good” baby. The kind that rarely cries. Till I started to notice the little things. The little quirks like walking on his tip toes or sticking his fingers in his ears. I joked the biting was Conrad kisses and the pinching was just frustration. His intense focus on certain things and his lack of interest in…

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     I have a lot of mix CD’s in my car, and I have written what they are on each one – but I’m pretty terrible at it and mostly they are all just surprise mix CDs. They are kinda fun to go down memory lane with on occasion. Anyway, one  evening I was driving home from a friend’s house and a song came on from one such CD and I was singing along when suddenly I got quiet and just listened. I started thinking to myself that this was a song that young women … hell.. all women! needed to hear and take to heart. I thought about my daughters. I thought about Jenna, who is now 12 and has all those issues that being 12 brings; “popular girls”, body changes, new feelings, self doubt, questioning everything and everyone – teasing in school.. all of it. I though about how it only gets worse in some aspects, and better in others. I thought about how even as adults, we still have a lot of these problems within ourselves. Let’s look over this song:

Des’ree
Gotta Be
Big Sing 2008

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers they may cause your tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted don’t be ‘shamed to cry

You gotta be, you gotta be bad
You gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know love will save the day

Herald what your mother said
Read the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My, oh, my
he-eh-y

You gotta be bad
You gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know love will save the day

Time asks no questions it goes on without you
Leaving you behind if you can’t stand the pace
The world keeps on spinning can’t stop it if you tried to
The best part is danger staring you in the face

Remember, listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try to keep your head up to the sky
Lovers they may cause your tears
Go ahead release your fears
My, oh, my
He-ey-y

You gotta be bad
You gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know love will save the day

You gotta be bad
You gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know love will save the day

Got to be bold, Got to be bad
Got to be wise, no never sad
Got to be hard, not too too hard
All I know is love will save the day

You gotta be bad
You gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
Oooh, yeah yeah yeah

What I see here is a woman saying that you have to keep your head up, and be strong. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and step out of the box and ultimately, love – the love you have for your SELF will “save the day” or.. in the end.. keep you from falling apart because you are a strong individual.

     I see all these girls already agonizing over boys and how their “lives are over” because so and so broke up with them and I’m floored because these are 11 and 12 year old girls! I am SO glad my daughter and her friends are more the anime/fan girl type rather than the boy chasing/OMG what if he doesn’t like my fb status type.. for now. ( I’m not dumb.. I know it’ll happen) I only hope that in the meantime, these girls have their heads on straight, their hearts in their OWN firm grasp, and their minds on their futures, because they are big, and they are bright, and these girls can do anything.

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I have started today’s entry no less than 11 times. The first 10 times the subject was the same. My daughter Angelica, whose 18th birthday is today. But that is not something I’m ready to share yet. I don’t have the emotional strength to go down that journey in writing by myself. Writing unlocks doors for me to bring forth details that would rip open the scars of wounds I’m not ready feel again. Not yet. Not all at once. So instead, I’ll give you this:

I’m sometimes a train wreck. I have trust issues, abandonment issues.. but I have very strong beliefs. One of them is that everything – be it bad or good – happens for a reason. We may not like that reason, or we may not understand that reason at the time, but there is always a reason.

Maybe I have to believe that to try and make sense of my life… I don’t know. But I believe it with all my heart.  I had a long, miserable marriage to my ex husband, and produced 2 wonderful (though sometimes challenging!) children. I wouldn’t erase our marriage and the hell he (continues to) put me through for anything because that’s what I had to endure to get my kids, and I love being their mom. ..(speaking of moms… I should call mine…) Ok, that’s partially true – I would LOVE for the hell to stop but it wont and that’s a residual effect of being married to him…. and that’s a story for another day. (wow.. tangents much?)

I lost a good amount of people I thought were my friends when I divorced. Some of those people really shocked me. One of them had been one of my closest friends since I was 11 years old. That hurt the worst – knowing she told him all of my secrets and knowing she stood by him while he worked to ruin my life. (didn’t work by the way) But it showed me who my real friends really were, and for that, I was grateful.

But, the best part is.. I have found where I truly belong. I have found family and friends that completely accept me for me. I have an AMAZING husband who came into this knowing all of my flaws and didn’t care. We met when we were small children, and grew up together. He gets me, and knows exactly where I’m coming from. I am so lucky to be in love with him. This new life we have together is so different from what either of us had before we found each other again – and it’s been the best thing for both of us. In finding each other again, and in becoming a part of this new life and this new family, I have found the best friend a girl could ever want. Shelbie is an amazing person. She may not always agree with me (but honestly, I don’t think there has been anything yet that we disagree on other than creamer in our coffee vs. black) but we can always talk about ANYTHING (poop conversation anyone?) at anytime and it’s always ok. There isn’t a single thing that either of us shy away from telling the other. I do not fear that when I tell her something that it will end up in the ears of others later, or that she will judge me silently or otherwise. I have never had that. I thought I had close to that.. but even then, I always knew in the back of my mind that my words were not truly safe.

I have a lot of new friends. I love them dearly. But Troy and Shelbie are the two people I know I can trust with the darkest parts of my heart, and I’ll be safe. I’ll still be loved.

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     A few years ago I was on a journey to have a lap band surgery. I was 5’2 and weighed 200 pounds.

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I jumped through all the hoops and had surgery scheduled. One of those hoops was a sleep study. It was miserable. You go to a hospital or lab and they hook you up to a million wires and you have to try and sleep with this crap attached to you, while someone watches you via camera. Yeah. Good luck. It was determined I had sleep apnea, but I never did anything about it. – I also did not get the lap band surgery. (I did, however, get a divorce shortly after and ended up losing weight a healthier way – its amazing what happiness will do!)
     Anyway, fast forward to a few months ago when my doctor is telling me again that he would like me to do another sleep study. I reaaallly didn’t want to. But I consented, and this time it was not at a hospital, but at the Marriott hotel.
DO NOT FALL FOR THIS TRICK. They can dress it up all pretty, but it’s still a stupid sleep study. They still attach you to 900 wires, and ask you to sleep like nothing is different and like a stranger isn’t watching you. But they are. They are and its creepy.

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That was me, last night. Don’t I look like I’m about to get some good, quality sleep?  Well, I tried. It was a typical pretty much no sleep type of night. In the morning the guy came in and said I still have sleep apnea although it’s mild so I don’t need oxygen. He said I have restless leg syndrome,  which surprised me, and asked me if I hit my husband in my sleep. I looked down and said yes. He asked if I wake up with bruises I didn’t have when I went to sleep – I answered yes. He says I have REM Behavior syndrome (or disorder, I don’t remember which) and that the medication to deal with both things is the same. Klonopin.
     Of course, the physician still has to look over everything and make a final decision. These are just preliminary findings. Nothing life altering, but man it would be nice to just sleep well and wake up refreshed. I honestly have no idea what that is like. I don’t remember ever feeling like that in the morning.

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 This is my little Jbug, about 8 months old. Today is her 12th birthday. How is that possible? How can it be that 12 (ok, 13) years ago, I was sitting at a clinic shocked to be told I was pregnant – again – when I had taken some pretty heavy measures to ensure that it would not happen again? Why, only 18 months before that day I had had my tubes tied, cut, AND burned to make sure I was not getting pregnant again. Then this lady tells me that I am, in fact, pregnant again? That at 20, I am about to have a 3rd child?

     I was not as upset as it sounds. I was thrilled actually. I had deeply regretted my decision to be sterilized and was SO happy mine was a failure. But still, I was terrified that I was having a tubal pregnancy which obviously, I was not. She was a little on the small side, and ended up born nearly a month early.. but otherwise was totally healthy and happy!

    Jenna has always been a joy to everyone she meets. Melting even the hardest hearts …

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She had her brother wrapped around her little finger for years! Not so much now.. he is 14 and mostly just torments her – but God help anyone else who tries!

     Jenna is a natural at making people smile, knowing when someone is upset, and is always there to help cheer someone up. She is so caring and empathetic. She loves to dress up and be silly, and she can be very mature for her age too – which sometimes makes it hard to remember she is still very much a little girl.

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Day by day, she grows into such a beauty. A young lady slowly turning into a young woman..

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The changes in her just since she started school this past fall are amazing to me! She blows me away. In some ways, she is just like me – in so many ways, she will never need to be like me, and for that I am eternally grateful.  This time is going by so fast. A mere blink in time’s eye.

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As she sat there this morning, doing her hair for school, I recalled a post I read once, and thought that it would fit today. Things I would like my daughter to know:

1. It is not your job to keep the people you love happy.  Not me, not Daddy, not your brother, not your friends.  I promise, it’s not.  The hard truth is that you can’t, anyway.

2. Your physical fearlessness is a strength. Please continue using your body in the world: run, jump, climb, throw.  I love watching you streaking down the soccer field, or swinging proudly along a row of monkey bars, or climbing into the high branches of a tree.  There is both health and a sense of mastery in physical activity and challenges.

3. You should never be afraid to share your passions. You are sometimes embarrassed that you still like to play with dolls, for example, and you worry that your friends will make fun of you.  Anyone who teases you for what you love to do is not a true friend.  This is hard to realize, but essential.

4. It is okay to disagree with me, and others. You are old enough to have a point of view, and I want to hear it.  So do those who love you.  Don’t pick fights for the sake of it, of course, but when you really feel I’m wrong, please say so.  You have heard me say that you are right, and you’ve heard me apologize for my behavior or point of view when I realize they were wrong.  Your perspective is both valid and valuable.  Don’t shy away from expressing it.

5. You are so very beautiful. Your face now holds the baby you were and the young woman you are rapidly becoming.  My eyes and cleft chin and your father’s coloring combine into someone unique, someone purely you.  I can see the clouds of society’s beauty myth hovering, manifest in your own growing self-consciousness.  I beg of you not to lose sight with your own beauty, so much of which comes from the fact that your spirit runs so close to the surface.

6. Reading is essential.  It is the central leisure-time joy of my life, as you know.  I am immensely proud and pleased to see that you seem to share it.  That identification you feel with characters, that sense of slipping into another world, of getting lost there in the best possible way?  Those never go away.  Welcome.

7. You are not me. We are very alike, but you are your own person, entirely, completely, fully.  I know this, I promise, even when I lose sight of it.  I know that separation from me is one of the fundamental tasks of your adolescence, which I can see glinting over the horizon.  I dread it like ice in my stomach, that space, that distance, that essential cleaving, but I want you to know I know how vital it is.  I’m going to be here, no matter what, Grace.  The red string that ties us together will stretch.  I know it will.  And once the transition is accomplished there will be a new, even better closeness.  I know that too.

8. It is almost never about you. What I mean is that when people act in a way that hurts or makes you feel insecure, it is almost certainly about something happening inside of them, and not about you.  I struggle with this one mightily, and I have tried very, very hard never once to tell you you are being “too sensitive” or to “get over it” when you feel hurt.  Believe me, I know how feelings can slice your heart, even if your head knows otherwise.  But maybe, just maybe, it will help to remember that almost always other people are struggling with their own demons, even if they bump into you by accident.

9. There is no single person who can be your everything. Be very careful about bestowing this power on any one person.  I suspect you are trying to fill a gnawing loneliness, and if you are you inherited it from me.  That feeling, Woolf’s “emptiness about the heart of life,” is just part of the deal.  Trying to fill that ache with other people (or with anything else, like food, alcohol, numbing behaviors of a zillion sorts you don’t even know of yet) is a lost cause, and nobody will be up to the task.  You will feel let down, and, worse, that loneliness will be there no matter what.  I’m learning to embrace it, to accept it as part of who I am.  I hope to help you do the same.

10. I am trying my best.  I know I’m not good enough and not the mother you deserve.  I am impatient and fallible and I raise my voice.  I am sorry.  I love you and your brother more than I love anyone else in the entire world and I always wish I could be better for you.  I’ll admit I don’t always love your behavior, and I’m quick to tell you that.  But every single day, I love you with every fiber of my being.  No matter what.

This post originally appeared on A Design So Vast.

 Happy birthday Jenna. I love you so much, and I am so proud of you!

So those grueling hours I spent with my ex last week were all for not. It seems he lied (surprise!) and did not have a job taking him out of town for long periods of time, calling for a need to change visitation schedules. He just wanted to so he could potentially pay less child support. Whatever. We all know he is a dead beat so let’s not dwell on that any further.

Monday morning my love came home from his week at work! I missed him and its been great having him back. It won’t last but its been nice anyway. We got new piercings, he got his nose pierced and I got my first dermal anchor.
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It actually hurt less than I expected, but still effing hurt! I have a plan for 1 or 2 more near that one, but not sure on placement yet – then I’m done with dermals. They are pretty but, that shit hurts.  I don’t wear a lot of necklaces so I thought it would be perfect.

Next came big hair cut. I have been growing it for several months but it was pretty unhealthy and also getting to a place where it was pretty plain Jane. Hubby asked me a few months ago if he could pick out my next extreme haircut when I was ready to do it again and I agreed so here it is!
Before…
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And after!
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Yay! I super love it! He made a great choice! Well, that’s all I have for now!

Edited to add: after viewing the photo above (I used some crappy photos this week!) I immediately went and handled my eyebrows. Sheesh!!