Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm still the mom...

This just came to my mind. I was going to make it a facebook  rant, but decided that blogging would be more productive.

I am the mom!  Me! I am the one that makes the decisions.  You can give me all the advice you want. You can be horrified and appalled that my child is still using a bottle, or that he's not potty trained, or that my children have a TV and a blu-ray player(with WiFi) in their room.   But guess what, at the end of the day, I'm the mom. I know my kids are fine. I do not feel guilty  about my decisions.

So, go ahead. Be appalled. Give your unasked for advice.  I'll continue on parenting the way I am, knowing that my kids are doing just fine.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Because Captain Jean Luc Picard wasn't awesome enough..

Right? The man is awesome. Star Trek wouldn't be the same without Captain Jean Luc Picard, played by the amazing, the awesome, the wonderful Patrick Stewart.   Well, the world is a becoming a better place because of him too.  Patrick Stewart is an advocate for Violence Against Women.  He is extremely vocal about stopping, and preventing violence against women. Not just physical violence, but the kind not many people are aware of. The emotional/verbal/sexual abuse that is often hidden in homes so well.

What is abuse?  Below I linked to a blog that was written regarding how the church covers up abuse(often blaming the victim) and how to deal with it. There is also some beautiful videos of Patrick Steward talking about violence against women.

Here is how the website defines abuse on its home page.
Abuse is fundamentally a mentality. It is a mindset of entitlement. The abuser sees himself as entitled. He is the center of the world, and he demands that his victim make him the center of her world. His goal is power and control over others. For him, power and control are his natural right, and he feels quite justified in using whatever means are necessary to obtain that power and control. The abuser is not hampered in these efforts by the pangs of a healthy conscience and indeed often lacks a conscience.
While this mentality of power and control often expresses itself in various forms of physical abuse, it just as frequently employs tactics of verbal, emotional, financial, social, sexual and spiritual abuse. Thus, an abuser may never actually lay a hand on his wife and yet be very actively terrorizing her in incredibly damaging ways.
Abuse in any of its forms destroys the victim's person. Abuse, in the end, is murder.

I encourage everyone to read the blog I linked to and especially watch those videos of Patrick Stewart..  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. I know I sure did, despite the intense heat and exhausted 3.5 year old.   It was 109 degrees at 7:30 last night. Thankfully by the time the fireworks started at 9:45, it had cooled off quite a bit.

The whole day was great.  My mom left her house about 9:30 and arrived at ours at about 4.  While she was traveling, the kids and I went to a friends house for a BBQ and some fun.  We spent a couple of hours enjoying water balloon fights, squirt gun fights, good food and wonderful company.  Then my mom arrived in town and we headed home.   Where we hung out, played in the sprinklers,  and BBQ'd the BEST steak and corn-on-the-cob.   Best ever, if I do say so myself.

At 8:00 we headed over to a local park to watch the fireworks from a distance.  We realized that we arrived super early, so we went to Dutch Bros. for smoothies and coffee. When we got back to the park, we found a perfect spot to sit. We tossed down our blankets and chilled out while waiting to watching the fireworks.    That was most definitely the best part of the evening.  My mom, my children and me sitting on a blanket in a park playing and laughing and having more fun than we have had in a long time.   We sat there and watched Samuel run around in circles around the blanket singing a song about how his shirt glowed in the dark.  We took tons of pictures, some of which are below.  By the time the fireworks actually started, it was way past Samuel's bedtime and he was more than ready to go home and sleep.  But I held him and convinced him we would go home soon. He wasn't interested in watching the fireworks, so he lay in my arms as I watched them and rocked him.   Cias turned some music on my phone and was listening to it as he sat with Mima and watched the fireworks.

When the fireworks were over, we headed back to the truck.  As we walked up, Mima told Samuel to turn on the truck lights.  I told him to use his Jedi powers to turn the lights on.  So he put his hands up, wiggled his fingers, and the truck headlights magically came on!  He is now convinced he has Jedi powers and can always turn on the truck lights.  I really wish I had power locks in my car so I could that with him too.  He was so excited.

I wish I could think of the words to express how wonderful last night was. I hope the pictures can express them instead.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How am I doing?

It's been a year since the split, and people are asking me how I am doing.  My answer? GREAT!   And yes, that is the truth.     I have my moments where I want to throw in towel and call quits. Hey, who doesn't?  That's pretty normal.   But I'm healing, and I'm learning that I'm not crazy. It's amazing!  I'm not the crazy one!! I never was!!!  It's mind-blowing.   I just finished reading Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft and it confirmed that I'm not crazy. I'm not stupid, I'm not crazy, I'm not lazy, I'm not a horrible person. I've just spent years either being told I was, or being made to feel like I was.

So now when I'm asked how I am doing, I can say GREAT.   Yeah, we're broke, we struggle with things that I hate struggling with, but really, life is great.    I can say that Life's been good to me so far(Thanks Joe Walsh).  :)   I haven't started dating, but I do have some prospects. I'm making some cuts to improve the financial situation and make things better.  Things are certainly looking up for all of us.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

School's Out For summer!!

Sing with me!  School's Out For Summer!!!

Okay, okay, not until tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the last day of school. Super happy dance!!  Tomorrow is my son's last day of school. And his last day at this particular school, since I will be homeschooling him next year.  Yes, we are both very excited about that. He still wants to attend jr. high with his friends though, so he'll head back to public school in 7th grade. Unless things change between then and now.  The youngest is attending preschool, but only for a little while longer. Sadly I have to pull him out because I can't afford the cost of it.  We are all pretty bummed about that. Well, he may not be. I think he's tired of going.    My sweet children are ready to relax and sleep in. So am I. This getting up at 6:30 a.m. thing is getting really, really old.

So, we are ready for fun.. I hope I can dig up enough money to take the kids on vacation this year. We want to take our annual trip to my parents house, so hopefully we'll be able to do that this summer.  And if we're really lucky, maybe we can spend a day or two at the beach too.  But that's another 2-3 hour drive away from my parents house, so we may not make it.  That's okay. We'll have fun hanging out in the mountains and fishing and swimming anyway.

Have a great day everyone!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Boy, do I know how to pick them or what?

Men.  Apparently I suck at choosing them.

When I was 16, I met SH.  He was nice, sweet, great kisser.   For a while he was really nice.  They all start out that way, right?   But he spent our whole 3.5 year relationship treating me like a 2nd class citizen.  Everything he did was better. Everything he had was better.  He told me i was beautiful. Until I started putting on weight.  I remember one time he was sitting in a chair and I was standing in front of him. He told me i was beautiful, then pinched a roll on my stomach and said "well, that isn't."  Gee, thanks.

At 20, I met TO. He was nice. Treated me well. We had fun together.   But we pretty much used each other for companionship and sex.   Sad to know the only man that treated me well didn't actually love me.

At 21 I met M. At the time I thought he was the best thing to happen in my life.  13 years later and I we are divorced as I learn that he has been emotionally and verbally abusive the whole time.  I had gained a lot of weight by the time we met, and he spent 13 years berating me, criticizing me, and making me feel less than human because of it.

So, now, at 35, I am 90 pounds overweight, a single mom to 2 boys, and a college student.  My self-esteem has been ground so low that I see no hope of ever recovering.  I don't see any man ever wanting me until I lose a ton of weight.  And God only knows when that is going to happen.

In the past 20 years, it has been proven to me that a  man only wants skinny girls.  It's been proven that I am nothing until I am skinny.  I think it will take many years of therapy to get past this.  Too bad i don't have the money for therapy.  The biggest question I have is will anyone love me even if I am skinny? Does it matter?   Should I just not care? Give up and live life alone forever?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day..

Or, not..  I hate this day. Always have. Mostly I hate the expectations that come with it.  I hate that all the beautiful stuff I have done for the man I love was never reciprocated.  I believe I once got a box of chocolate tossed to me across the room as he walked in the door after work.  Or maybe that was Mother's Day..  I don't remember. Heck, could have even been a birthday.  Once or twice he bought me truffles, knowing that they were my favorite.  He then proceeded to eat them so I would get fat, and complain if I ate too many.    But mostly, it was a day of expectations and hopes dashed.  I would get my hopes up because he said he may or may not have something planned.  He never did.  I would plan things. He'd complain about them.   I think you can tell how Valentine's Day is going to go by a man treats you the rest of the year.   He was selfish and unromantic. Why on earth did think that would change just because it was Valentine's Day?  Or our anniversary for that matter?    Oh sure, we went on dates. Once or twice a year. Always with a stipulation though.. "Lose 5 pounds and I'll take you out".  Ahh, gotta love conditional love. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

So, why do I hide all the Valentine's stuff on facebook? Not because I'm jealous(okay, maybe teensy bit). Not because I think it's cheesy or I'm bitter or anything. It's because it's a reminder of what I have never had.  A reminder of the love that wasn't shown to me, on pretty much any day of the year. It's a reminder of how hurt I felt when I was rejected so much.  So, what is Valentine's Day to me?  A crappy day of watching other men show the women they love  how much they love them in a cute romantic way.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My testimony, my marriage, and my life today.

I was raised in the church. Accepted Jesus at age 7. Baptized about age 9. Went to church faithfully.  As a teenager I went through the typical 'questioning my faith' phase.  I remember an atheist friend saying "aren't you supposed to be trying to convert me or something?"  I replied "Yeah, but I don't feel strong enough in my faith right now to try it."  Wow, that was humbling and horrifying.   I wish I could say it changed me, but it didn't.

So I went on like that for years.  Coming and going. Straying and coming back.  At 21 I got married.  8 years later, I was questioning my faith even more. Wondering what the point of it all was. Wondering if God was just something we made up to make us feel better.  I was having a hard time seeing him work in my life. Instead, all I saw was how crappy my husband made me feel.  The put-downs. The "teasing" that was actually bullying. I would later learn that all of this was emotional and verbal abuse.   I remember thinking that God wasn't helping me in my marriage, or my life, so what was the point?   Last year my marriage started going south. Worse than ever.  We had had our fair share of hard times. In 12 years of marriage, we had almost separated 3-4 times.  Last year it all came to a head.  I decided to work on my relationship with my husband. I figured it was worth trying, for the sake of our 2 boys. But in trying to work on my relationship with my husband, I discovered that I was working on so many relationships, that something had to give.  I was trying to build a great relationship with my young boys.  They needed me a lot. After all, they are only kids.  I was trying to repair a relationship with my sister, my husbands parents, my friends, on and on it went.  So many.  God took a backseat to this.  My relationship with him faltered, and I just couldn't fathom trying to work on yet another relationship. It was exhausting. Overwhelming. And crushing. 

Well, last May, it all broke down.  My husband and I decided to either split up or try counseling.  The night before our counseling session, I went to church.  I sat there listening to the sermon, my heart heavy.   I poured my heart out in every song I sang.  I begged God for help.    And he answered. More clear than he has ever answered me before.   I saw him, with his arms out open, and he said "It's okay. I'm here for you, when you are ready."  I was blown away and immediately burst into tears.  He sounded so much like the wonderful, loving father everyone had told me was.  And he sounded like me telling my kids "when you are ready to talk, I'm here for you."    I held that with me as we went to counseling the next day.  The counseling session wasn't as productive as I had hoped.  The day after counseling, my husband came to me and said he agreed it would be best if we separated.  I agreed with him. My heart was less heavy as I realized that I would be free of his put-downs, his criticisms, his crap in general.  It was as though a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. 

Soon I began the process of finding my own apartment and figuring out how to live on my own, how to be a single mom, and that goes with it.  During this process, I saw God work in ways that I never thought possible.  He led me to the apartment that I loved.  I consulted a lawyer, just to get an idea of what I needed to do.  I had to take my then 2 year old with me. My 2 year old who didn't nap anymore.  I was shocked to see that he had fallen asleep on the way to the appointment, and even more shocked when he stayed asleep as I moved him from car seat to stroller and then into the appointment. He slept through the entire consultation.  Yeah, that was God.  Over the coming months, I saw God work in so many ways. He eased my transition into single motherhood, the divorce, going back to school, and gave me a total and complete peace about all of it.   And he hasn't left me since.. And I know he never will.  He has provided for my children and me these past 6 months in ways that I can't even describe. Financially, spiritually, emotionally.    And I know he will forever. Because he is just that awesome!