Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 13 - An artist or song that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

I don't know who the letter is supposed to be to.... the band? Just seems weird. So like everything else in my world, I am going to take this post and make it mine and just write about a few specific songs that got me through some tough times. There are many so I am going to limit myself to three.

The first song is "Lean on Me,"  and not the older version by Bill Withers, but the remake by Club Nouveau. My grandfather loved this song, the new version- he was such a hip Grandpa. lol He always loved songs because of words that he took personally. No matter how hard the days we faced were, and they sure were hard, he always had a way of letting me know he loved me, he would be there for me, and that it was going to be ok.

This song was one of those ways. I can still remember his smile perfectly. His warm gentle blue eyes that normally hard and stern, would melt when he looked at me, and they told me I was his world. I hear this song and I almost feel his hand on my shoulder, gently pushing me to sway back and forth, urging me to dance along with him, and he would smile so sheepishly, and tell me I could always lean on him. Oh and we would be jammin'!

I played this song at his funeral. It gave me great comfort, and even today when I hear it, I know how much I still lean on him. I look back to the comfort he gave me, the things he provided, and the round about way that only my grandpa could love someone, and I feel strong. This song got me through some hard times without my Mom and Grandma and through losing my Grandpa.

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's
Always tomorrow
Lean on me
When you're not strong
And I'll be your friend (I'll be your friend)
I'll help you carry on (lean on me)
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill
Those of your needs
That you won't let show
Lean on me
When you're not strong
And I'll be your friend (I'll be your friend)
I'll help you carry on (lean on me)
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
So just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me
When you're not strong (when you're not strong)
And I'll be your friend (I'll be your friend)
I'll help you carry on (lean on me)
For, said, it won't be long (won't be too long)
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
We be jammin'
We be jammin' (hey now)
We be jammin'
We be jammin'
We be jammin'
We be jammin'
We be jammin' (hey)
We be jammin'
(just call me) uh, when you need a friend
(call me) oh, baby now
(call me) uh, when you need a friend
(call me) oh, baby now
(call me) uh, when you need a friend
(call me) oh, baby now...

For your listening pleasure, here is the song:

The next song is very dark to me, well because I was in a dark place.

" I smoke the whole thing to my head, and feel it wash away,
cause I can't take anymore of this, I want to come apart"

Those words, in my head, as I was getting high on meth, meant someone else out there was doing the same thing and felt the same way as me, and that there was hope for me.

"I am nothing more than a little boy (girl) inside, that cries out for attention,
yet I always try to hide, cause I talk to you like children, though I don't know how I feel,
but I know I'll do the right thing- if the right thing is revealed"

These words meant that I was waiting for a revelation that I hadn't found yet, but that once it happened I would be all over it- giving myself permission to keep getting high.

Here is the song- with lyrics:

I saved the best for last. This song is so important to me. When I heard it, my kids had just been taken away from me and placed with my grandma. I was only about 2 weeks clean. The words impacted me so hard immediately, that they caused me to cry in deep sobbing cries. The words are so fitting as I interpreted them, that I swore this song was meant for me. I didn't see the video and know the way they had meant it, until years later. I am going to post the lyrics, and anything in purple will be my interpretation or feelings as I heard the song the first time. Some will be self explanatory. I am in tears now as I listen to the song.

"Far Away"

This time, This place - us separated from the kids
Misused, Mistakes - their trust in us and our authority and responsibility misused by us, mistakes we made
Too long, Too late - too long we used drugs, too late to say sorry because they are gone
Who was I to make you wait - pretty much says it all
Just one chance - just one, I promise is all I need, I won't let you down again
Just one breath
Just in case there's just one left
'Cause you know,
you know, you know

That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I miss you
Been far away for far too long - they had been with her for about 2 weeks, the longest in their lives I had ever ever gone without seeing them, and it was KILLING ME
I keep dreaming you'll be with me
and you'll never go
Stop breathing if
I don't see you anymore - I would stop breathing if I never saw them again

On my knees, I'll ask
Last chance for one last dance
'Cause with you, I'd withstand
All of hell to hold your hand
I'd give it all
I'd give for us
Give anything but I won't give up- couldn't be more perfectly said
'Cause you know,
you know, you know

So far away
Been far away for far too long
So far away
Been far away for far too long
But you know, you know, you know

I wanted
I wanted you to stay
'Cause I needed
I need to hear you say
That I love you
I have loved you all along
And I forgive you
For being away for far too long - I so desperately needed to know that they knew I loved them, and that they would forgive me
So keep breathing
'Cause I'm not leaving you anymore - I wanted them to know it would never happen again
Believe it
Hold on to me and, never let me go
Keep breathing
'Cause I'm not leaving you anymore
Believe it
Hold on to me and, never let me go
Keep breathing
Hold on to me and, never let me go
Keep breathing
Hold on to me and, never let me go 

I actually bought the cd and gave it to them and told them which song they had to listen to. I knew my son would understand, but I asked him to please take the words to heart, and to listen to it with my daughter and try to explain it to her.

I kept my every word and worked the hardest I have ever worked. I pulled myself up from the gutter and in 6 months I had my beautiful babies back home with me.

It's a beautiful song, take a listen:


Someone who drifted..... A New Beginning

I must apologize for the sudden halt to my 30 Days of Truth. A lot of things going on, and well, when you have three kids you just never know what could happen.

This weekend, I initiated a last minute BBQ with my Dad. He asked that we come to his house. My brother and his wife were there, along with their 2 year old son. I had all 3 of my kids with me, which is unusual now that the older two are 11 and 13.

Surprisingly, my Grandma Judy, who I just wrote about here, was at my Dad's house! Talk about timing! Then even more amazing.... when I asked what she has been doing to keep herself busy, she said she has been trying to write her book!!!! Oh how I would love to read a whole book filled with words of my Grandma's! To learn more about her, and about her life and experiences! She told me she needed to write about some of the things that happened around her as a girl growing up in a very racist Texas town. I was mesmerized! It really inspired me.

She had so many kind words for me, about not worrying about who I might incriminate in my writing, and that anyone worth knowing would fully support me no matter what! She also made an acknowledgement of my own childhood suffering and experience and the need for me to share it. She recounted back some of the most significant things that happened to me- through her perspective- and it was so amazing for me to know she even knew about me or what had happened to me.

We exchanged numbers, and I am so excited to get together with her again and talk some more. I don't believe in much, but it is sure hard to believe that some things aren't more than coincidence.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 12 - Something you never get compliments on.

Something that I never get compliments on is having cute clothes.

When I was really fat, I had a very very large wardrobe, no pun intended. I was the same size for many years - a 28 in womens, which was the largest size you could get in stores. I might also mention that the 28s at Walmart and Target run small, and I could only fit in the clothes at Lane Bryant or Torrid. ANYWAY, for several of those years I had no children and lived at home, so it was really easy to spend money on myself. I also had a super-wonderful-awesome-grandpa that took me shopping all the time and I always got gift cards for clothes for my birthday and Christmas.

When I was 19, I got a job at Lane Bryant. They gave you an initial allowance of like $500 to get a work wardrobe.  Plus, getting a huge discount, I really stocked up- and since it was a requirement that I wear their clothes while on the job, I had a good reason to buy clothes. I found out I was pregnant not long after starting, and since I was high risk, I couldn't work anymore.

I started working at Ulta and going to school after being a stay at home mom for 2 and a half years. I made an awesome friend/shopping/lunch buddy at school and whenever I got paid, or got funding from my student loans, I always treated myself to some clothes.

Then I had my gastric bypass surgery and lost weight very quickly. I couldn't keep up with buying clothes for my dropping sizes, and I had no choice but to part with my big beautiful clothes. It was so bittersweet, because I had some damn sexy and cute clothes for a fat girl!

My weight went waaaay down then came back up, then stopped for a while, then back up, and now slowly going down. I just cannot afford treating myself to the expensive cute clothes that I want. I am still plus sized right now, and I am soooo very tall, that I have a hard time finding pants without paying full price at mall stores. I settle for finding what I can at thrift stores, taking hand me downs from my hubby to lounge around in, and every once in a great while I get something from Burlington. It is always hit or miss at that store and they usually have nothing when I have a little money, and they have cute stuff that I want so bad when I am broke. Figures. LOL

Being a stay at home mom of three just doesn't afford the luxury of a great wardrobe right now. Maybe since I am going back to school and getting financial aid again.... and I even qualify for work study (YAY YAY YAY), I can make it a point to get some clothes for myself every time I get funded? We will see.

So that was a pretty long boring post, that I had to drag out of myself, but hey, it is writing and I am sticking to my 30 day challenge- so GO ME!!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

30 days of Truth - Day 11 - Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Okay really? Who wants to answer this?
Ok, Shawna, think *challenge* think *truth* think *quit whining and do it*

Well here I am after some self talk, and hmmm, something people compliment me on the most?

I want to say people compliment me the most on how cute, smart, well behaved, and well mannered my 3 year old Victorya is, but I think I will have to give her the credit of being the one complimented.

Sooooo that goes back to me. I guess the thing I hear the most is that I am smart. I definitely do not mean book smart, but when it comes to life situations, I usually have an answer for everything.

Things like legal situations, medical things, childhood illness, taxes, various types of licensing, how to get just about ANY kind of assistance, and also an array of emotional life things. I have just had a lot of experience, and am always wanting to help people have it easier. I am on the internet A LOT, and the majority of the time I am researching. I also thoroughly research anything new I have to do, and I am more than happy to share what I have learned to help save people time or energy.

So there you have it, I get complimented on knowing a lot about a whole lot of general life situations. Too bad there isn't a paid position where I could utilize all my life skills, without my felony getting in the way.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

30 Days of truth - Day 10 - Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

The key word on this one is or. I don't wish I didn't know her, at least not all the time, but I do need to let her go.

The person I am talking about is Bryson's younger sister. She is the baby out of his mother's children. She has no children of her own. She was the sister I never had, for quite a while. She is my daughter's favorite aunt. She is about 10 years younger than me. Since I am not going to ask her if I can write about her, I will just call her M.

Things started off on the wrong foot between me and her. Bryson's older sister, C, had already done her part to convince M that I was a horrible person that was going to be bad for him. By the time we finally did get to talking, we both had a lot of misconceptions about each other. Another factor was that M had a very controlling boyfriend and she was raised by her father, so she didn't come around a whole lot. When she started to, I really started liking her. She seemed very genuine and didn't have the common bad characteristics of her older sister and mother, which made them hard to trust and get along with.

We had many a fun times drinking and talking, laughing and crying, and just getting to know each other. Of course there was some of the drama that came along with drinking too much, but for the most part I thought we had a good relationship. We were both there for each other through some different medical things and she continued to be a positive person in my daughter's life.

Then things started to change. She started "dating" someone who was in prison (and that was kind of a complicated situation to begin with, because he has been part of the family before, but I will not go into details). Looking back, I think this is where things started going downhill. I needed to quit drinking and I didn't feel a lot of support from her, but she was getting very preoccupied with her life as a prison girlfriend, and so I didn't hear from her as often in general. I know that she had to be defensive about her choices, but she started being defensive period.

Around the time that I stopped drinking, is when I realized that she had been drinking more, and her tolerance had gone up. The last few times we did try to drink, I was a done deal and in bed long before the night was finished. I hadn't much thought about if our relationship was changing. With all of my good friends, we go through ups and downs and different things change in life, and it isn't a reflection of the friendship, it just changes how much time we talk or spend together. When things come together again, they come together like nothing has changed. I just assumed that was what had happened.

Even though things were looking different for us, I expected them to stay the same for her and my daughter. When they didn't, I made excuses and justifications for it, both to myself and my daughter.  "M is just working." "M is busy taking care of her Dad or Grandma." "M is just busy, period."

More and more, time would go by and she hadn't called to take my daughter for an overnight. She used to take her almost every weekend, sometimes more. Sadly, my daughter had stopped asking for her. I wish we could just go back to that now, because she has major separation anxiety, always wondering if "see you soon" means a really long time.

I started realizing that we were gossiping a lot of the time we were together and I was turning into someone I didn't want to be. It seemed like if we weren't talking about someone, then we didn't have anything to talk about anymore. She was my go to person when I needed to go to the ER (something that was happening a lot), and I talked to her a lot about how hurt I was that her brother didn't go to the hospital with me. It seemed like she really cared, but I started fearing I was just the topic for when she drank with other people in the family. We weren't supporting good things in each other's lives anymore. I thought part of that might have been that she was getting to the party stage in her life and I was just getting old. lol

The thing is, something changed in M, and I am really worried that it is 'cause she is doing meth. There are a lot of things that point to it, and for a long time, I kept saying no way. This is the innocent little sister, the sweet and caring one, the one that was the first to graduate, the one that loves kids, the one who seemed to look up to her brother and love her niece, the one that would never do the things her parents did, that she despised when she was growing up... but reality is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I sat side by side with her brother while we did sooooo many things that we said we would never do. A big part of doing them was because we just wanted to have a "family" so bad, and there was a lot of fun to be had getting high with the "family."  I made some serious mistakes when I was doing meth, and I quit when I realized my kids were in harms way. Now I am afraid some of my daughter's behaviors from when she comes home from spending time with her aunt is because she (yes she being my daughter) may actually be coming down from being exposed to meth in some way. I have considered drug testing her on several occasions, but have been afraid of the consequences being severe or of us being suspected because of our past, and of the truth.

I know I am in denial.... who wants to believe that someone they considered a sister and that their daughter sees as a hero, could not only be doing meth, but maybe even exposing a child to it?

I kept telling myself that her new attitude was just her dealing with some of the hard cards life has dealt her, but I think its more than that. She really has crossed the line from defending herself, to just plain out being a bitch.

I have realized that, for now, our friendship is dead. I think she still may want approval from people so bad that she compromises herself. She has also insisted some of her actions in the past had to do with children she so badly wanted to see. I can see now that she is a part of the web of lies that her mom and sister create and uses excuses that sound good to justify bad things. It should be easy for me to let her go, when I see so many negative things, but I miss the relationship we used to have, and I miss when she was consistent in my daughter's life.

Her attitude, her snottiness, and her inconsistency all around, have made it hard for several people to be in her life over the last year. The people she has been hanging out with, are ones that she had identified in the past as not being good for her, so it makes me wonder. To be honest, I am not sure which is worse, that she has changed so much because of drugs (because that sucks if she has them so present in her life....), or if she has actually become the person she is today without drugs, (because then I think there is less hope). If it is because of drugs, then I can hope she will quit doing them, and some of the old qualities that I miss and love about her will come back, and maybe we can be friends again, and she will be more consistent with my daughter one day.

I just need to let go for right now, because the uncertainty of judging how she spends all her time (that is- if she is telling the truth about being too busy), and why she rarely wants to see the baby, and never calls to check on her, and always checking her pupils when she does come for the baby, all are not worth her taking the baby once in a great while. It is also too painful to see Victorya upset for 3 days when she comes home, because she doesn't know when she is going to see her aunt again. I don't know when I will see her again either. Maybe the old her is gone for good.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 09 - Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

I don't know for sure what this post is supposed to mean, but my best guess would be that it refers to someone you are in love with. I tried to imagine it could mean a friend, but I don't see my friends as someone to ever let go of, you may lose touch but the friendship remains. I tried to just look at the literal words.... which are "someone you didn't want to let go"  .... does it mean you are the one letting go? .... or someone you didn't want to let go of you? Either way, there must be someone that is being held on to, in order for there to be any letting go.

When I think of love relationships, I know all the different ways you hold on to someone, but for me it was always do or die, and I either wanted to hold on, or wanted to let go, so there was no "drifting" for me.

If I let go of the whole holding on/letting go part and am left with the just drifted, I have a hard time narrowing in on someone.

The best that I can come up with, is a relationship in which I never quite got a hold on, and that is probably the main reason that we just drifted. That would be with my grandmother, Judy.

She is my father's mother, and for those of you that are not familiar with my childhood, he left the state with his new wife, when I was about two. I had very little contact with him, and although my curiosity and imagination sparked from time to time, I really didn't spend too much time dwelling on the situation. I definitely didn't think too much about my extended family on that side, because I didn't know them. I had only a few names, and had no faces to put with any of them.

The summer after third grade, my best friend and I volunteered at the nursing home down the street from us. It was the first summer since my grandma and mom had died, and I think my grandpa was happy to have me doing something with my time.

It was pretty fun. There were several different jobs for us. We would run the ice-cream shop and serve ice cream on cones to the residents. Sometimes we would play board games or call Bingo. We ran the cash register at the gift shop at times, or cleaned up the library. We also regularly would help people get to the cafeteria for meals and then back to their rooms. When there was no specific assignment for us, we would walk the halls and stop in and visit with residents.

One day we had just visited with one of our favorite ladies, and we were walking down the hall and we heard this man yelling. We went in to see what was bothering him and he started yelling at us that we "needed to push the button!" I can't remember why it was so important, but his tone let us know he thought it was serious business. We followed his directions, only to realize the button he was talking about was the door stop on the wall. When we realized that explaining to him that it was not actually a button was not going to work, we went ahead and pushed it, hoping to calm him down. Nothing was working and he was getting louder and madder. We told him we would find someone to help him.

Out of desperation, we went up to a nurse. The nurses at this place still wore traditional uniforms, including the old fashioned nurse hats. We were not supposed to bother the nurses, but thought this was pretty important. In a nervous hurry, I excused my interruption, so that I could explain what was happening. I went on and on in great detail, explaining how distraught the man was and that he was still yelling in his room. The nurse did not seem to hear a word that I was saying. She looked me up and down and I started getting paranoid. My words slowed to a stutter, because I felt like she was looking too hard. Before I had a chance to ask her what was wrong, she asked me if my name was Shawna.

I confirmed that Shawna was my name, and remember giving my best friend a confused look. The nurse was the one stuttering now and her next words were, "Shawna... and your Dad is Gary?" I was getting weirded out, and then she said, "Shawna, I think I am your Grandma."

I about fainted. All I could think of was my grandma that had died. I started thinking of reincarnation, of ghosts, and my head was spinning. Suddenly I put together that she had asked about my Dad, so she must be me Dad's mom.... my grandma. 

The next moments were so awkward, and I was still worried about the poor guy and the button. She assured me that it was okay; he suffered from dementia and was confused. She got my contact information and asked if she could give it to my Dad. Here I was, talking to my grandma who I had never seen since being old enough to remember, and she was asking if it was okay for her to let my Dad know she had seen me. I wanted to tell her no, because I was afraid he would not care to speak to me. It had been 5 years since I had seen him, and he didn't come for my mother's funeral, much less write or call.

For the following Holiday season, my Grandma invited me to that side of the family's get-togethers. I was reintroduced to aunts and uncles, and my Grandma led me to believe that I would never again be forgotten. We had a few great conversations and I visited with her a couple different times, but it became clear that I just wasn't a part of the family. Our relationship just never took strong enough of a hold to remain.

One Christmas we got to talking about Nursing, because I was thinking of becoming one, and that struck up a passionate conversation. I learned that she, too, was a writer and that she feared it was too late for her, but she strongly encouraged me to write a book. There was lots of promise during that conversation, that we would talk more in the future, but the opportunity never materialized.

I have ran into her at a couple different functions that my Dad or Uncle hosted, and even saw her at Country Buffet once. Unfortunately neither of us has made the time or taken the initiative to see each other. I never intended to let go, so I think I can say that my Grandma is someone I didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

She lives less than 5 minutes away. I think I will take some initiative and hold on this time.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 08 - Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Oh the scores of people I could choose for this topic! It is quite sickening when I think about it. There are the 2 exes who were pretty bad. One was a cheater, and closet drug user. The other one was a lying stealing bum who went so low as to steal from my son's piggy bank. The thing is, I have to take a lot of the responsibility for allowing them in my life for so long. Oh the days of low self esteem and worthlessness where there was nothing that some good sex couldn't fix.

There is one person, who was in a much higher position of trust, that I find most deserving of this post. As a disclaimer, because I know that I have friends and family that read this: I write this blog for my own reasons, none of which are intended to offend, but these words are my truths, the way I see things through my eyes. That being said:

Someone who made my life hell, or treated me like shit, is my step-grandma.

I could never summarize all of the wrongs I witnessed or experienced, because they took place slowly and continuously over 13 or so years. Religion had a funny way of excusing away inexcusable behaviors. A lot of the things that happened, took place while I was still a child with some blissful ignorance.

I am not writing this to slander anyone, but this is a writing challenge of truth. I am still working on forgiveness. My grandma may have gotten all the material things she wanted, and I hope it was worth it. She may have every penny my grandpa had left to his name. She has the house that I grew up in, long before she came into the picture, and the life insurance that was *changed* shortly before his death, but she doesn't have the memories that I do. She always chose working over family, and so most of my fondest memories include my grandpa and my children. She sacrificed close relationships with her own biological children, in the pursuit of the mighty dollar. She worked evenings, graveyards, two jobs, holidays- whatever she could, and forgot to make time for loved ones.

When my grandpa passed away, I longed for her approval. She was the last close adult I had around, and despite everything, I just wanted to be good enough. I never was. I went out too much, slept too much, disciplined my kids wrong. She was quick to judge, but always hesitant to help. The last straw, and most hurtful one, is when she made me and my kids move out of what used to be our home, my grandpa's home, and gave me a week's notice when I had just had a major major surgery. Things have never quite recovered. I am working on forgiveness.

I went in "the house" about a week ago to get something that I had left from when we moved out about 6 years ago. The basement has stayed virtually the same. My little one, started running around and exploring and making herself at home. Oh how it made me long for the time when I was living in the house. I thought I would have a panic attack, but instead I felt very at peace. I hadn't been in there since I had to break in after she changed the locks before we were fully moved out, and she was trying to keep me from getting some sentimental things of my grandpas. I know it was a bad call on my part, breaking in 6 years ago, but I knew my kids deserved some of my grandpa's pictures.

We are civil now and she almost makes me think she cares, but I have to look at the past and remember and ask myself how she could put us through that. I have to keep boundaries so that my children won't get hurt like I have.  I will probably always mourn my grandpa's house. The dreams I had of fixing it up and raising my own children in it are dead. I was actually naive enough to think that she would want to be close to us after my Grandpa passed, and that we would all still live together, and I would be helping to take care of her by now.

I guess the physical house itself is what she wanted. Its okay because I have all of the great memories made in that house, and they are what is important. I mourn the memories not made, and the closeness and relationship that could have happened, much the same way I mourn the loss of my grandma and grandpa, but it is what it is.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

100th Post hijack!!!

I interrupt the regularly scheduled (and late again because now I am sick) Day of Truth post, with this announcement from ME!

THIS IS MY 100th POST!!!!!

I started this blog back in August of '09. I can't believe it has been almost 2 years. This blog really came to life in the beginning. Like anything that I do, I usually do it to death right away. I networked like crazy and found myself in a community of parents who blogged about their struggles parenting addicts. I was somewhere in between- a recovering addict and a parent concerned about my son. I am still in that place. The good news is that I have not relapsed on meth and that my son has not tried anything more than marijuana. We both have a lot of work to do to stay on the right path. It is not easy.

My life got so busy that I stopped coming here. My relationships with different parents and bloggers shifted. I had new concerns come up and I put me on the back burner. My conscious mind KNOWS that if I want to be any good to other people, that I need to take care of myself. My heart jumps into action, trying to protect the people I care about, to a fault.

I am having new a different struggles. Learning to live without abusing alcohol has been hard. There was a sort of defiant triumph that I used to feel in going to the liquor store. The "haha this is legal, social services you can't touch me" followed by the escape into the world of my emotions. Only when the liquor poured did my emotions come out. I felt this arrogant and imagined strength in how much liquor tolerance I had. "Shots Bitches" was my mantra and I was always pushing people to get as drunk as me.

It all seems pretty disgusting in hindsight, and it is sad to watch the same people I used to be around who still live the same way. I know that some people think I am judgemnetal and think I am some better person because I don't drink like I used to. I didn't make the choice for or because of them. My health, both mental and physical, was deteriorating. I had many trips to the ER for severe stomach pain and the last two were by ambulance and were the scariest. My liver enzymes were high and the last ER nurse treated me like shit. They didn't even try to see why I was hurting, just told me my blood alcohol level was extremely high, mentioned I should quit drinking, pumped me full of diluadid and released me. I felt sooooo worthless. I still drink a little on social occasions, and am so happy that I don't drink every day.

I haven't found my worth yet. I just started giving myself permission to work on me. I am getting to know myself without alcohol. I have said for some time that I have managed my bi-polar without meds for many years. I am starting to wonder if I have been mismanaging it. During those 10 or so years with no psych meds, I have been on a roller coaster that involved meth, alcohol, complete sobriety, and emotional shutdown. That isn't quite my idea of managed.

I have also immersed myself in my 13 year old son's life, advocating that his mental health be taken seriously. He has been hospitalized twice since October and is struggling with severe anxiety, paranoia, and some psychosis. I refuse to let him fall through the cracks of the school or mental health system.

I am very excited that my life has turned the page and I am excited to begin writing, both literally, and figuratively, a new page.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 07 - Someone who has made your life worth living for.

There are a lot of someones who have or do make my life worth living. I am so lucky to be able to say that at my darkest hour, there was someone there to provide a light to help me see life is worth living. I am also privileged to have people to share both the sunshine and the rain in my life with.

To pick just one someone is a difficult task. There are obvious people like my children, who give me purpose and insight, who are an amazing mixture of heartbreak and happiness, and my husband, who knows my every secret and loves me the way I am. Then there are the people who I have never actually met, who show a moment of kindness, by way of a smile when I am down, or a knowing lock of the eyes that somehow say, "I understand," without saying a word at all.

The most constant person, however, is my grandpa. When I was an infant he made my life worth living by sheltering me from my parents' bad choices and providing me with a safe and nurturing home. As a child, he cared for me and my grandmother, while working hard everyday at his job, as well as trying to save my mother. He set a good example and made time for me every single day. When he lost the fight for my mother's life, and men, mental illness, and drugs won, he stayed strong for me and my grandma. When she died of a broken heart a short month later, he was the most amazing rock a girl could ask for. He showed me what courage really is. He was always there for me, no matter what I needed.

I didn't realize the impact of what he had to go through to raise me until I had children myself. His spirit is what gives me the courage I need to face my own parenting challenges. His spirit also gives me hope that I can make it despite myself.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 06 - Something you hope you never have to do.

There are a lot of things that cross my mind. Some of them are gross and some of them emotional. If you know me, you know I am full of emotion. It is only fitting for me that I choose the subject nearest and dearest to my heart.

I hope I never have to bury my children, unless its for fun at a beach.

I think this one is pretty self explanatory.


Friday, May 6, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 05 - Something you hope to do in your life.

I hope to give back all that has been given to me, emotionally and spiritually.

I have never been someone who could keep just a job, or think about having a career. I have always thought in terms of having a purpose. Right now being a mother is purposeful enough to sustain me, but my kids will not always need me so much, and then I will need to find other outlets for my time and energy.

I have not yet figured out what I am meant to do. I think having a mental illness makes it a lot harder because I face a lot of extra challenges when it comes to organizing my thoughts, much less organizing a plan for my life.

I know I want to use my own life experiences to help people. I do not want to be taught a trade, only to provide some mundane service to people over and over again. I need interaction and variety. I want to connect to people who are having emotional pain and help them. I know that helping myself right now is a big part of the big picture. I am not only working on and changing one life, I am using my words and my intentions to reach out and affect others.

At some point in my life I want these dreams to materialize, and I want to know that all of my struggles were not in vain, because I can use my experiences to help people make positive changes.

I want to make a positive impact in the lives of people, particularly children. I think I want to work in the child protective services area to help advocate for children that have been removed from their homes.


30 Days of Truth - Day 04 - Something you have to forgive someone for.

(I apologize for posting late, I had to take my daughter to the ER)

I need to forgive my step-grandma for taking my grandpa's life insurance money and for making me and my kids move out of his house (among other things). This is an emotionally weighted subject, and in all honesty, it is really hard for me to post this out in the open. I am challenging myself in my writing and in my life as well.

I have really considered this subject since I first read through the 30 days worth of challenges. I really hoped that by the time I wrote this, I would be ready for more disclosure and could declare my forgiveness. 

The truth in this, is that I have to forgive her for my own sanity, but I am not quite where I need to be to accomplish that. 

It is on my to do list.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

30 Days of Truth - Day 03 - Something you have to forgive yourself for.

I need to forgive myself for getting into a position where Child Protective Services removed my children from my care.

I made a lot of mistakes. The progression from abusing pain medications, to using some speed at the bar on weekends, to smoking ice (meth), was not intentional or deliberate. No one sits around pondering their life and says, "Yep I want to be an addict."

What was intentional and deliberate were the small daily choices that were not compatible with parenting. A lot of the things that my using led to are actually quite normal in a lot of functional, non addict, households... but they were abnormal for me. Some of the things were not okay now, or ever, for any child, such as exposing them to the drug itself.

The biggest regret I have is knowing now just how much of the drug I may have actually exposed my children to. We smoked it, and I didn't know that the smoke left a residue on everything it touched. I thought that because we always locked the kids out of the room, or waited until they were asleep, and always aired out the room before they came in, that it was fine.

I have so much guilt for it all, and it spills over into so many ridiculous parts of my life. It has been 5 years and yet the guilt is still as fresh as if they just came home yesterday.

I stopped using the day I was arrested and they were taken. I went from strung out, homeless, and broke to being totally clean, having a home and a car, with my children in it, in 6 months. I have never once relapsed. I have so many affirmations, but I just can't seem to let go of the guilt.

Their are some a$$hole people in my life who like to remind me of all my faults and give me no credit at all. I need to chose very carefully who I keep around me and my children. I need to forgive myself and move on, so that I can be the best parent I can be. I have a lot to be thankful for and people who love me and encourage me instead of bringing me down, now I just need to quit bringing myself down.

"I forgive myself for all of the mistakes I have made and am letting go and moving forward as of today, Wednesday, May 04, 2011"


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

30 Days of Truth- Day 02 - Something you love about yourself.

My determination and strength.

If I make up my mind that something is going to happen, then watch out! Do I change my mind a lot? YES! but I always do so after a lot of thought and consideration. There is always an amazing amount of determination to all of my intentions.... whether I intend to procrastinate or intend to transform a whole room, if I intend to make a change or if I demand that I want something to stay the same.

I find myself to be very strong when I come up against the situations I fear the most. I actually work best and accomplish the most when provoked by stress. The downfall is that I am not very content when things stand still and I get mistaken for liking drama, when in fact it makes me crazy. I think being bipolar actually causes me to have a sensitive fight or flight mechanism.

I consider myself to be very strong because I wake up everyday and face, what can be, a debilitating mental illness. I chose the life of parenting, despite all of the challenges I brought to the table, and I have overcome so many challenges and losses in my life, but when I think there is nothing left to give, I find a way.


Monday, May 2, 2011

30 Days of Truth- Day 01 - Something you hate about yourself.

I do not live enough of my life for me.

I spend a lot of time suffering in silence... wishing for more "me" time... wishing I had an identity that was more my own. I have too much empathy and put myself in other people's shoes all the time. Then I take a step further and think it is my responsibility to keep everyone happy.  Yes, part of it is just what mothers do, but for me it is far far far outside of the norm.

I don't know what music I like anymore because there is always someone else around who just has to hear their music. I don't know what my fashion style is because I rarely buy myself clothes. I haven't had a haircut in years and I color my own hair. I haven't decorated a room in my house or bought anything for my Unicorn collection in MANY years. You get the idea? The worst part is that I haven't had any personal goals, in at least 3 years, because I was too busy helping everyone create and accomplish their goals.

I became self-reliant to a fault and stopped needing people. I started over extending myself out of guilt. I created a monster because now all of my closest relationships are one-way streets. I have a few friends that  wouldn't let me just give, and I hope they know who they are, because they have saved me from myself on several occasions.

I don't understand why it is that when things spiral out of control, they always spiral downhill at a really fast pace, but getting them in control is a long, slow, uphill battle. I am now in a position of taking back things that were mine to begin with, that I freely gave away without knowing better, and it is upsetting the people closest to me, because they are so used to me taking care of me AND them. I am having to face rejection when I ask for something I deserve, but I can't let that pain force me back into taking care of everyone all the time, and I hate it.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Challenge I picked- 30 days of Truth....

coming to my blog starting tomorrow. Here is the list in case any of you would like to join me:

Day 01 -> Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 -> Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself


It Doesn't Make Sense....

... but it does make a lot of noise! My mind that is.

I am in medication hell. Who knew that starting a simple med 6 months ago would send my life in a tail spin? "No regrets," is what mind keeps saying, because after all, regret is not going to help me now.

I do have the medication to thank for my quitting drinking. I thought I had just outgrown it and my "phase" was over, but the medication has an alcohol sensitivity side effect that NOT ONE DR MENTIONED TO ME! Oh yay for being a human guinea pig. I don't know what I would do without the information I can find online.

I switched Dr's- I had to- and I have one who seems to care, but she is a little too prescription happy. The tramadol was a miracle for my back. She upped my does a little like I had asked my jack a$$ Dr. before today and I was feeling really great! Then BAM- headaches at every dose that progressed into migraines. Well dammit man.

So In the last two weeks we have tried instant release percocet- no tylenol (watching liver enzymes) too strong and made me too nauseated. Norco's- no nausea but didn't touch my pain and they have tylenol. Now I am on diluadid. DILUADID! It is working on my pain- of course, but I am freaking nodding and my neurontin already cause that at times. Hello? I have 3 kids.... the biggest reason I need some help with my back pain. Knocking me out is not an option. sigh.

I have an appointment Friday to discuss meds again and she suggested I consider a pain patch to bypass the nausea problems my gastric bypass causes with most narcotics. I will probably be in opiate withdrawal by Friday. I tried the tramadol again out of desperation and still got a headache.

I also have a psych appointment on Wednesday. Yes me- the bipolar 10 plus med free girl is getting evaluated. Why? Well the neurontin (which I am on for nerve pain) is a mood stabilizer, which is great except I was ok before and now I am dependent on it. The narcotics of course also mess with my brain pain. I dont want to get to a point of abusing them because they numb my emotional pain as well as my back pain, but I was barely living for several months because of pain so I need some form of relief.

I am doing physical therapy and hot tub therapy :) I have seen quite an improvement and have also lost some weight in the process.

I am making myself a promise and am challenging myself to a 30 day blogathon- meaning I am going to post everyday. I have so much going on and I need to get it out somewhere. For some reason I have shied away from writing. Its like isolating from a friend. I have also signed up to do book reviews on my blog and I don't think it is fair if I am not regularly posting, so 2 goals- first the 30 days- then timely book reviews.

As far as some quick updates on my family for those who are interested (warning may be boring!):

Destin ran away and was almost hospitalized again. Our intense outpatient services (that have been happening since the last hospitalization and include about 8 hours with three different professionals a week) saved him from it. He is on the med rollercoaster too. I took him out of his school and he is doing homebound with a tutor. I will go into details on him in a future post.

Aliviya is kind of in the middle and just plugging along. She learned the hard way a friend was dragging her down and is working to recover her grades and studies since that experience. I am proud of her. She also got her period- which she would kill me if she knew I was telling. She gets left behind attention wise because Victorya (3 year old- is a constant) and Destin has a lot going on. We are working hard on her not looking to negative attention and trying to keep her positive.

Victorya is a busy busy body and I can't believe her comprehension for a 3 year old. She is usually very entertaining. She will hopefully start preschool in the fall.

I am enrolled for summer classes and waiting on financial aid for the final ok. If I can pass this algebra class that I am dreading, I will only have one more semester until graduating with my A.G.S. and dun duh dunnnn, I think I want to be a guardian ad litem for children in dependency and neglect cases. What irony! I am going to start gathering info and making calls to figure out the requirements and if there will be any huge barriers considering my background. Time will tell.

I have so much more to update, but I know too long of posts, especially update ones, get borrrrring.