Posts tagged ‘Parenting’

January 3, 2012

An answer to an important question!

Yesterday I received an email with the question, “How long did it take before you knew you could be ok without medicine? And how long did the whole process take?”

Well, from the day I decided I did not want to be dependent on medication to be balanced until I had taken the necessary steps in my life to acquire balance – I would say about a year. During that year I slowly decreased my medication while working my butt off. It was a lot of give and take. When I found that I had made progress, such as handling a trigger without becoming manic or depressed, I would decrease my medication. When I made a big step, such as volunteering with a dog rescue and kept a commitment – showing up every Saturday for a whole month, I would decrease my medication. And so on! It was a process, it still is actually! I may no longer be on meds but I work every day at staying balanced. Remember, everyones journey is different, however, that it is the best part! It is YOUR journey!

Even now I am working on a huge source of stress, being a Mom – yet letting go of my adult child. I love my son so much, he is my only child, but he is a grown-up and it is time for me to let him be one. I have a choice, I can argue with him about the choices he is making, stress over every bad choice he makes, try and control his action (which never works BTW) or I can enjoy my son’s life, embrace his mistakes as his and hope that he learns from them. But if he doesn’t, accept that there is nothing I can do but love him for who he is. I have a choice, I always have a choice, and I choose to let go and love him for the man he has become. I choose to trust myself, the way I raised him, and that whatever choices he makes are his and have nothing to do with me.

So the answer to the question, “How long does the whole process take?” – is FOREVER! But it is an incredible journey!

May 10, 2011

Fine tuned?

Well OK, not quite.  But my marriage and my relationship with my son just started working.  It seemed like the more I recognized what I needed to do to be OK and actually did it, the more both just seemed to work. Around the beginning of 2005 Mike asked me to start working with him.  No pressure, I could leave when I wanted to and I never had to deal with customers.

It was a win-win.  I got out of the house and he got a free part – time employee.

As most of you know I had lost a ton of weight between 2001 and 2004. And even though I had started to learn how to balance my life, I still lost more weight. It would not be until 2005 that I would really start to balance not only my life, but my weight as well. 

2005 Total weight loss – about 80 lbs.

Mike and I became not only working partners, but friends.  We started working together instead of against each other.  We learned to support each other on the rough days.  We learned to celebrate each others good days.  Our marriage just became this awesome love story.  One I had always dreamed of but never – ever thought could ever be.  Mike is my love, my hero, my friend, and my lover.  Never, did I ever believe he could be those things, not because he could not be, but because I believed for so long I could never be worth having someone so wonderful in my life.

My relationship with my son just seemed to get better as well.  No more yelling or fighting.  I was learning how to be happy, maybe for the first time and those closest to me were learning as well! I learned to be patient with my son, to understand he was a teenager, and that I was really his Mom and my job was to not be his friend or his drill Sargent but his guide.  And as a guide I could not make him follow, I could only set a path before him.  He is my pride, my joy, and my love.  He is now my guide as well as I am still his.  Being a parent is the best thing I have ever done.  And I am so glad that I figured it out before my son was grown and it was too late.

From 2005 until 2008 life seemed to just be OK.  It moved at a slower pace.  We went on vacations, to New Mexico and Canada, and life was good.  No stress! I rarely heard from my Dad.  And my Nanny was getting older and had her own health to contend with. I think she finally made peace with the lack of relationship I would ever have with my Dad.  My Dad’s cancer seemed to be in complete remission.

All was quiet!

Then in 2008 we were invited to a family reunion!

And to be honest, I was anxious – almost afraid!  I had not been on medication for several years and there had not been a true test as to how I would do without it.

What I could have never expected happened, I learned I really was going to be OK without medication.  That I really was able to control mania and depression.  And with this discovery, I made a life changing decision.

Next…. The Family Reunion!

March 24, 2011

Toxic Relationships – shocked!

A relationship that is toxic because of your actions is one of the easiest to start to heal, but one of the hardest to admit.

It is the easiest to start to heal because once you recognize what your actions are that are polluting the relationship you just have to become aware and stop doing it.

Changing a behavior is kind of like changing a bad habit.  As long as you are consistent and conscious of what you say and do, soon it becomes second nature.

My mother-in-law was overly involved in my and Mike’s life.  It drove me crazy!  It was always a point of contention between Mike and I.  I would complain, which inevitably lead to an argument between Mike and I.

As Sinead and I continued to dissect my relationships, we moved on to my mother-in-law.

As Sinead and I would discuss how to heal this toxic relationship she would ask me questions.  Questions like “So how did your mother-in-law know that happened and therefor was able to give an unwanted opinion?” or “What did you think would happen when you told your mother-in-law that?”

After several sessions of the same kinds of discussion and questions, Sinead finally asked me “What are you trying to gain by involving your mother-in-law in your relationship?”

I was shocked by her question!  Shocked!

Sinead then said, “Exactly!”

I then admitted it was me, not my mother-in-law, that was the toxic party in the relationship.

Shocked!

By involving my mother-in-law in my relationship with my husband I was creating chaos, animosity, and attempting to drive a wedge between Mike and his Mom.

Remember this from the post “Not what I needed”: “So why was Mike attracted to me?  Sometimes we attract what we need in our lives to find a means to an end. A catalysis to break away from the ties that bind us.”

As much as Mike hated the chaos of this toxic relationship I had created with his Mom, he needed it.  But it was not something I could fix, he would have to do that on his own!

So I stopped!  It was just that easy!  It was strange at first because my mother-in-law just did not understand (and you could tell). It has taken years to repair this relationship because it was toxic from day one.

Now when I want to share something with her, I take a moment before I do to make sure my motives are good. She and I had a very rocky start, but we are getting there. After years of work I can honestly say I love her and I can honestly say she loves me too!

March 8, 2011

Waking Up

When I woke up in the hospital I was just mad!  Mad at my Mom and mad at my Dad!  Mad at Mike and mad at me.  I was just MAD!

But beneath all of that anger was the love I had for my son!

When Jake came to see me at the hospital he asked me with tears in his eyes, “Mom, are you dying?”  “Do you want to die?”  I did not know how to answer him.  My heart was breaking for him.  I saw myself at about his age.  I never asked my Mom if she was going to die, but I expected it all the time.

Jake is my everything.  And when I decided to die I thought I was doing him a favor.  My life was better when my Mom died and now it is better because my Dad died.  But the truth is it could have been incredible if my Mom had ever worked to be OK and if my Dad had done the same.  I was so mad at both of them for not.  And even worse I felt like I had not been worth it to either one of them to get help!

I realized when I woke up in the hospital that I did not want Jake to just be a little better off without me.  I did not want him to be mad at me and think he was not worth the work for me to be OK.  Suddenly my love for my son and looking beyond myself into his future pushed me to be so mad that I decided. . . NO MORE!

I was going to get better and be OK, not only Jake but for me!

I had finally woken up!

November 1, 2010

Broken

When Bobby and I separated, for some reason, I thought we would stay married.  What ever gave me that idea?  I loved him very much but we just could not live together.  We still saw each other often and got a long well.  But little did I know Bobby did not have the same idea.  Soon I discovered that Bobby had moved on.  And he soon moved in with Kelly, eventually becoming his second wife.

Broken!

How could I have predicted such an event?  I was shown, by my parents, that dysfunction was OK.  I truly believed (by the only example I had) that Bobby and I could live separate lives and still have a life together.

I realized this was not to be – I began to self destruct!

Not long after the self-destruction began, I was involved in a major use of force at work.  For those of you who never worked at TDC, that is when you are in an altercation with an inmate.  An inmate, in what we called super-seg, came after me.  He and I went to the floor.  He was handcuffed and had tried to kick me then tried to wrap the handcuffs around my neck.  It took 7 big men to pull me off of him.  I was holding on for dear life!

Broken!

I would love to give you details of all the events that took place next; however, I can not remember most of them.  My life became this weird sort of different realm.  Things were going on around me I could not comprehend.  I was doing things that seemed like it was another person.  I could see myself doing them but it did not feel like me.

Fortunately, I was actually afraid for my son to be with me so at some point I took him to my friend Tammy.  I have no memory of this but weeks later Tammy told me that I had brought him to her and left.

I was broken, I mean literally my mind broke into pieces.  All the years of abuse, a broken heart, the loss of my Mom, no family… everything seemed to be gone and I left too.  I checked out!  And attempted to do it permanently!

What I do remember….

I believe it was a Tuesday, the fall of 1992.  I left work and went home.  I got a call the next day from the woman who would babysit Jake.  I had never come to pick him up.  I was frantic!  I went and got him.  I remember us in the car.  Then I remember him not being in the car.  But somehow I knew he was safe.  I remember feeling a sense of relief that he was safe.  I remember buying razor blades.  I remember the pain.  The blood.  I remember how much it hurt and thinking about what a wimp I was and I just could not take the physical pain.  I must have passed out….

The next thing I remember I was in a hospital, where I had been for about a week (or at least that is what I was told).   I wanted to leave and go and find my son!  When I realized I could not leave I became frantic to find him.  A nurse took me to the phone and said for me to call a family member.  I tried to call Bobby over and over and over and over again!  Finally, I got a hold of Roy (Bobby’s Dad) and he said he would have Bobby call me.  Bobby came the next day with Jake.

I was hospitalized for about a month.

When the doctor finally said I could leave he would not let me leave unless I had someone I could stay with.  I called my Nanny and even my Dad.  Neither would take me and Jake.  My wonderful friend’s Tammy and James (yes, that is the same James) took me and Jake into their home.  No questions asked!  We lived there for about 6 months before I was able to get a place on my own and be released to go back to work.

This was the beginning of a very long journey!  Years of medications to just make it through the day.  I was not put back together again… I was still broken!  But the medicine acted like scotch tape and barely held me together.  Occasionally the tape would no longer hold so the doctors would find “better” or “different”or “more” tape to try and hold me together.   And it kind of did.  For awhile.

October 19, 2010

For those who loved me then

After posting my last blog I started thinking about those who did love me then.  Edith and Peggy (two of my Mom’s best friends), Betty and Ray.  These are all of the adults in my life when I was 16 that I could have went to and said “Hey, I have no where to live.”  and they would have taken me in and taken care of me. 

So why didn’t I?  As I mentioned in many of my blogs I was taught to keep secrets.  Especially those that were shameful.  To lie when necessary! 

This behavior has had such a negative impact on my life!  This is part of the reason I started this blog, no more secrets. 

Even my husband is finding out things about my life he may not have known before through this blog.  He and I have discussed my blog and now my childhood many times.  Some he did know but some I never told him!

There comes a time when you either realize how much damage is done by secrets and lies (either on purpose or by omission) or you end up alone.  Either by feeling the need to keep your secrets or by people getting tired of being hurt by your secrets and lies and turning their back on you! 

It is time to heal!  No more secrets, no more lies.

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October 7, 2010

Survival and my first time (yes they go together)

Survival!  All three of us have it.  Me, my brother and my sister.  I am not sure exactly where it comes from but it is in our DNA.  I am pretty sure it comes from my Nanny’s side of the family.  My Nanny lived to be 96, her Dad about the same and her Mom into her late 80’s.

We take cues from our environment and find our way to safety.  Sometimes by whatever means necessary.

So when my Dad started becoming more aggressive, it no longer mattered if I was awake, he gave clues to his next move.  I read them and made necessary adjustments.

I was thirteen when my Dad asked me if I had ever had sex.  I said no, which was true.  I could see it in his eyes… it mattered but not like it would matter to a normal father.  It mattered because he was thinking ahead.

About two weeks later I told my Dad and my Mom I was no longer a virgin.  It was the truth and he knew it…. he never touched me again!

I could not bear the thought of that man taking my virginity. I was a survivor and I was afraid that was more than I could bear.

So one weekend it happened, I spent the weekend with a friend, Raquel, and she and I snuck out.  I can not for the life of me remember who she was dating but he was friends with a guy named James.  He showed interest and the rest is history.  I had opportunity and motive.  I must note James had no idea I was only 13.  And no idea it was about survival… that I picked him!  He was kind and gentle.  Nothing like my Dad.  Unlike most girl’s first, I do not think I ever really loved James.  But I cared for him very much and to this day appreciate how sweet he was that night.  He and I remained close for years after.

It was years before I had sex again.  I was promiscuous like many girls that are molested.  Looking for acceptance the only way I knew how to.  But never went “all the way” again for a very long time.

The next several years my life changed dramatically.  And the chaos that ensued was awful.  The chapter of my life where I was afraid to sleep at night closed.  A new chapter where I walked around in a haze, most of it seems like a dream, began.  From 13 to 16 I no longer fit in with my family.  I was like a puzzle piece that just did not fit.

August 31, 2010

The second time I told

Just several weeks before my Mom died I told her what Dad had done.  They had just gotten divorced so I thought it would be OK… I was so wrong!!

That night she drank more than I had ever seen her drink.  And sometime shortly after midnight she woke my sister and I out of bed.  She demanded to know why I had seduced my Dad and if Kissy had done the same thing.  She then said we should die and went and got her pistol.  I ran with Kissy into a bedroom and baracaded the door.  I hid Kissy and I in the closet for hours and Mom yelled and screamed from outside the window and door. Finally she passed out.  When she woke I was gone… Kissy would not leave with me.

I stayed with Angie at her Dad’s (Ray) for a couple of weeks before Mom called crying and apologizing.  She begged me to come and stay with her.  She said she and I would talk and everything would be OK.  She told me she loved me and promised to not to drink.

She kept that promise for almost a week… and then she died!

Her blood alcohol level was enough to kill her by itself.  She died in a one car accident near Trinity, TX

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