Tag Archives: family

Hypocrites and High Horses

Looks like I’m shaking off the dust of this rusty old blog once again…I’ve teetered on the decision to send a letter or email vs not saying anything and neither seems to sit well with me but what I’ve got to say has got to be said, just so I can let it go.

Dear You,

Once upon a time ago, about ten years ago actually, I met you with great angst. You made it very clear that I wasn’t wanted in this family nor would I be accepted easily by you. One thing you perhaps didn’t count on is that I rise to a challenge. So I set out to be accepted into the family, what I failed to realize were the unintended consequences of doing so. Over the years I have put you on a pedestal, for what reason? I’m not too sure but I did. I looked up to you and allowed myself to think and believe that you know better, live better, are better. I am learning to accept the fool in me. And that’s exactly what I was. A fool.

Over the years you and your husband and made comment after comment after comment about my life, my issues, my family, the way I live, the decisions I made/make, the way I parent, the way I talk to my husband, the relationship between me and my husband, really there has been nothing sacred that you two didn’t offer your “opinions” on or make some comment about. And I allowed it, worse even I believed it. I believed you two knew better. What a fucking crock of shit.

You are one of the worst hypocrites I have ever come across in my life. You talk to and about my husband, your brother-in-law, as though he is a shit human being and like he takes everything from you two. Open your fucking eyes. He asked his brother for help around his house. Big fucking whoop. That shouldn’t be something that is even used or held above someone’s head. One brother should be able to ask another brother for help without score being kept. The same person who you talk down to is also the same person who has rarely missed a child’s basketball game to which your husband didn’t go to. Why? Because he couldn’t “deal” with it or he was sitting at home sending naked pictures of his cock to strange women. Klassy. This “shit human” is also the same man who tore apart a bedroom so YOU could have somewhere to sleep while your husband was out fucking other women and refused to give you some much-needed space. Awesome. And again, same guy who has taken your kid camping, to parades, and has generally been there when your guy flakes out. But you won’t acknowledge that, you don’t give that to him.

You know, there are a long list of things I am finally, finally!, getting pissed off about but the one thing that sickens me to the actual core is how you’ve handled the last situation. Somehow, your husband was out F-U-C-K-I-N-G other women but somehow that’s my fault? Instead of being honest (whoa, what a concept) you are telling my nieces that *I* am to blame. I didn’t, and don’t, have control over where your man sticks his dick. I didn’t, and haven’t, offered undue “opinions or input” into your marriage. *I* wasn’t the cause of the infidelity but you are certainly comfortable placing blame. You know, I was there for your kid for years, especially when you couldn’t be. The Easter you went fishing or whatever with your Dad and your “man” was supposed to do Easter with us? Yeah, he dropped girlie off and we didn’t see him for three days….guess I had control of his junk then too, right? BUT…she still had Easter even though her Mom was away and her Dad was out trolling. You’re welcome. When you had to leave to be with your nephew, guess who still had a birthday party? And guess who did that? Your daughter has fabulous memories of camping, parades, family picnics, Easter dinner, Christmas dinner, and many more and guess who played a MAJOR factor in that? Yeah, that’d be me. I laugh a little now when I hear you’re doing family dinners and cooking Easter supper…all I can do is laugh a little. They say imitation is the best form of flattery…so I’m flattered.
You know, I’ve thought back to that day…you know the one? The one where I actually told you that your husband was sleeping with other woman and had continued to lie to you even after he said he didn’t. Yeah, that one…and I wonder if, knowing what I know now, would I have chosen differently. There is a part of me, a very mean part of me, that wishes I hadn’t told you. That part of me figures I should have just let it run its course and watched when it blew up in your face. I mean, he was pursuing women pretty aggressively and lots of people circling you were talking about it so it was only a matter of time. I kind of wish you hadn’t been given the opportunity to contain it and keep it private and I had the opportunity to watch those fake ass masks you two wear blow off BUT in the end, I am glad I told you. I know how important keeping your private affairs is to you, and I’m glad that you could do that to some extent and I’m glad you know the truth. So, in answer to myself, no I wouldn’t have done anything differently. If you two work things out, great. If not, that’s your story to write. Either way it goes, I’m kind of relieved, albeit saddened, that I’m out of it.

In the end of all of this, you know what irks me off the most? Is the fact that even if I said any of this directly to you, none of it would get through that thick skull of yours. You are incapable of considering my viewpoint and you have an incredible ability to disapprove of something I do, even when you’re doing it yourself. Brava on that talent by the way, it’s called double standards if you’re ever curious to learn more.

Anyway, there is a lot more that I can vent away about but really, what good is it going to do? I hope you learn how to be honest going forward, with yourself, your family, your spouse and everyone in your life. I know I’ve learned how and I’ll keep on being that way.

*dismounts my high horse*

Ciao.

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Ohana

I don’t come from a large family or a particularly close family so I’ve always envied large families and ones that are super close. It’s always been something I wish I had but figured I wouldn’t ever really have. I mean most of my family lives half a world away and it’s fragmented at best so I came to accept that I just wouldn’t ever have that big, fun, family that I had always dreamed of. Then I married my husband. He has his own children which gave us an instantly larger family and he has a brother who’s married with children so I thought YES! I will finally have the large, close knit family I had always wanted. So I worked. And worked, and worked, and worked. I worked at being accepted, at being loved by that extended family, at pulling together the family I had always hoped for and for a time, a very short time, I thought we had actually overcome all the differences, all the troubles, all the drama of years past and we were finally a “family”.

Boy was I wrong. I’ve mentioned how wrong I can be, right?

I have come to the realization that it was all just a big delusion on my part. That “close-knit” family I had come to be so proud of was really all in my head. Over the years, we would host big family dinners and celebrate as a family but for the first time, I’m realizing that it was always me to initiate those get togethers. We would constantly extend invites to outings, picnics, backyard BBQ’s, dinners, movies, whatever and there would always be an excuse or a reason that they wouldn’t be able to come. We would share our alcohol, food, work, time, pay for our niece, etc but those favours were never returned. As a matter of fact, all we’ve ever been accused of is not helping enough.

For a short time, I felt like I had a brother close to me but it was just another delusion. I was a time-filler. Someone to go for coffee with and, most times, pay for it. My sister-in-law once said to me, that she was tired of being the one to pursue a relationship with someone. That relationships were two-way streets and it felt like she was always the one working. Funny, I’ve always been the one working on a relationship with her. Clearly I missed the message. I am disposable to both of these people. That became so clear when I finally, for once, told the truth. I knew that there were some shady things happening and I just couldn’t watch the games that were being played around me. I sought counsel of many people about what they would do and the vote was split. Some said tell, others said don’t. I care about the person being hurt. I care about the person doing the hurting. So I decided that if I was asked, I wouldn’t lie. And I didn’t. Holy backlash batman!

The whole situation makes me so sad. I’ve tried to be angry but I’m not. I’m just sad. These realizations are always the hardest. It is hard to realize that you don’t mean much to someone, especially when you’ve held that person, or in this case people, in such high regard.

The great thing about realizing who you mean little to, is you also start to realize who you mean a lot to. I’ve been so focussed on making the family I married into work that I lost sight of the family that I actually built. I have really amazing friends, many of whom I consider family. I was able to realize that I’d really neglected relationships with people who mean the world to me and I’m so thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to start rebuilding them. People who want me around simply because they like who I am and enjoy spending time with me.

At the end of it all, life is just teaching me the true definition of “family”.

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Head Housekeeping

I don’t know how many times I’ve typed a sentence only to lay on the backspace button and forever erase what I’d just written. Heck, I just did it five times. Every time I open this page I expect some rush of wisdom or witty banter to flow from my thoughts to my fingers and finally into the interwebz that will reap hoardes of viewers and build a healthy following of eager listeners. (I have mentioned my completely unrealistic expectations, right?) And every time I open this page and start typing, I get discouraged by the fact that I erase what I start to say a bunch of times before I actually start getting my thoughts out.

What does that say to me? I have ridiculous expectations and my brain is scattered. I need to start doing a little internal spring cleaning. Get my thoughts out. Get the stuff that keeps rolling around and around and around in my head, OUT! I need to finally embark on the next leg of my healing journey and that is exactly what I’m going to do.

As you may, or may not gathered, I am overweight…like way overweight. No, scratch that. I’m fuggin fat. And I’m sick of it so what do I do? I start planning. Plan, plan, plan and then do a little of the do-ing and then get pissed off because my plans are taking too long (I wasn’t joking about those expectations of mine) and then I self-sabotage and then BOOM! Back to square one. Yes, I do this often. Yes, I know what the definition of insane is. This time, I’m going to do things a little differently. See? Told you I know I’m being insane. This time, I’m not going to focus on my weight or my food or my exercise. This time, I’m going to focus on doing a little head housekeeping. I’m going to try and get my thoughts calmed down, my spirits lifted and remember that I am me. I am going to teach myself how to calm my expectations a little bit. I am going to be patient with myself. I am going to learn what works for me and my body. I am going to learn how to deal with my stress and focus on the undercurrents that may be leading to my sabotage. I know how to eat healthy, I know how to track my food and I know how to exercise. Clearly, there is more going on here than just that. I am holding onto this weight either literally or figuratively or both but regardless of what it is, I am going to get to the bottom of it. Starting now.

Goals for this week:

1) Do one meditation
2) Write at least 3 blog posts or journal entries
3) Find one positive thing about each day to celebrate and post on my facebook status (keeps me real, yo)

Good goals, right? I think so!

Nailing it
Nailing it

Come as you are…

“Come as you are, as you were,
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy.
Take your time, hurry up
The choice is yours, don’t be late.”

Ahh…the lyrics that shapped my early teenaged years. Good ole Nirvana. I can distinctly remember 13 year old me talking about how I could relate to the lyrics because I had grown so much over the years (yes, that was written while rolling my eyes). Boy do I wish I could go back and smack 13 year old me up side the head.

Certain things have been happening in my life that have really made me look at who I am and who’ve I’ve become. I spout off about the stories of who I used to be and the things I used to do but I rarely talk about who I am and I’ve come up with a theory on why. Basically, the person I used to be is familiar and I know what to expect when I behave in those ways but this new, more honest version of me is scary as hell.

The person I used to be smoked weed, got drunk, screwed around, lied, was manipulative, usually had an alterior motive but that is who I used to be. I didn’t really give a shit about anyone but myself. If I spoke up about something, it’s because I stood to gain soemthing. If I wanted to get high, get drunk, and/or have sex I’d just call up whoever would be willing and go to ‘er, the consequences never really mattered.

That’s all changed. I like to pin point my own extra marital affair as the piviotal point of change but I think it’s been happening for a long time before that, maybe I just started paying attention after that last encounter. Recently, I was faced with a decision to lie or tell the truth. Lying would have been so much easier, in the short term anyway. I could have preserved one relationship and stalled the strain on another but in the moment when I had the choice, I chose to tell the truth. I’ve asked myself why so many times in the past while because that’s not what I’d normally do. I’m glad I’ve had the wherewithall to question the why because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my answers.

First, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to realize and celebrate the fact that my values and moral compass have shifted. I no longer identify with being a “cheater” or “cheap” or “easy” or “a homewrecker”. That’s just not who I am anymore. I’ve made peace with that part of me and it feels fantastic. I find myself getting defensive when someone says “once a cheater, always a cheater” because that’s not true, I am no longer a cheater nor will I ever be again.

I also don’t identify with being a liar. I am not completely innocent when it comes to lying and I can’t say I won’t tell a lie in the future but what I can tell you is that it doesn’t feel good when I do it. I feel the weight of guilt, frustration, worry and general distaste. In that moment of being able to chose, and knowing what the consequences of my choice were, I finally chose what was best for me. For my psyche. I may never repair those relationships and that’s a consequence of the situation but at least I know that I was honest and I’m not hiding anything. I’m not keeping secrets or protecting lies. I am free of that and that freedom is delicious.

Finally, I’ve been taking a good long look at why I’m drinking and why I have started smoking pot again *gasp* and really, the question there is why am I chasing that dragon? Why am I feeling the need to live a life that’s not a sober one and again, I think it’s to get away from facing up to what I already know. Things are different now. Pot is not my deal and when I think about hiding it from my kids and being paranoid that I’m going to get “caught”, it is clear to me that my conscience already knows what my brain has been slow in realizing. It’s just not for me. Drinking makes me sick and I do and say stupid things when I’m drunk. It’s also not for me. I have to be ready to let that go. I have to learn to be comfortable and confident in my sober skin and that’s what I’m going to learn to do. I want a healthy life and not one that is foggy and half-remembered.

Finally, I have been examining the relationships I have in my life and I’ve started to question why I’ve prioritized some unhealhty, one-sided relationships over ones that I felt comfortable in. I have distanced myself from so many of my friends over the last few years and I am ashamed of that. I have a lot of fence mending to do and hopefully those fences are strong enough to be mended. I have been chasing people who couldn’t give a damn if I was in their lives or not, bending over backward, trying to be everything to everyone and I have forgotten that to a handful of people I am enough for them without even having to try.

I am so blessed to have found the person that I love completely. I am so blessed to have healthy, interested, good people as children. I am blessed to have fences that need mending. I am blessed that I realized it before it was too late.

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Closure Exposure

Closure Disclaimer:

I was sent a “closure” email recently and I’ve contemplated responding to it but haven’t. That being said, I do need to have my say.  To be able to get these words out.  Somewhere.  So, like all things, I turned to my little web-corner and I’ve decided to have my say here.  These are my words.  My feelings.  My thoughts and my opinions.  If you don’t want to hear it or read it, please close your browser now. 

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Dear So-and-So,

I recevied your “closure” email but quite frankly, I don’t care if you have “closure”  or not.  So the next time you feel inspired to write a piece of hate mail, leave me out of it.  I am tired of hearing the same old hashed-out insults and complaints.  I wanted to reply but, as you will soon find out, I have nothing nice to say to you.  That being said, I do need some closure for my own self so that I finally start the healing of this hurt. 

Everytime I start to think about what to write, I get so exasperated I can barely think. Your behaviour and attitude is beyond comprehension.  Your words are contradictory, your behaviour is erradic and overall this whole situation is nonsensical. 

Let me start by saying I am furious with you and the things said below come from a place of bitterness, disappointment, and embarassment. I am downright incensed with the person you’ve grown into and the behaviour you’ve demonstrated and I need to get this out. I always thought you were better than any of this but I was so wrong.  You are fake.  You are a liar.  You are entitled. You are destructive and you are hurtful.  You spew hate and hurt toward this family yet you act as if you are the “hurt” one.  Stop playing the victim and start owning up to your own behaviour.  You haven’t grown, you haven’t changed, you haven’t done one goddamn thing you preach about yet you expect praise because you’re going to school?  Let me tell you girl, it’s going to take a helluva lot more than a college diploma before I believe one ounce of breath that leaves your body.

In your email, you thanked me for being a parent to you when neither of your bio-parents were able.  You know, it may have meant something to me if you hadn’t spent the rest of your time bashing my character.  I’m not sure who you think you are but until you are faced with having to make the same decisions, you are unqualified to judge my actions and my decisions.  Being your parent was hellish at times.  I spent more hours crying about, worrying over, and double guessing my decisions than any one person should have.  I spent my early 20’s dealing with your shitty attitude and behaviour and oh look, now spending my early 30’s doing exactly the same thing.

Your words, your behaviour, your actions have caused me more hurt in my life than anything else.  That’s because they used to mean something to me.  Your opinion of me, meant something.  That’s starting to change.  See, all those years I’d find little notes about you wishing your Dad would leave me, all those years where you felt it necessary to impart your opinion on our relationship, all the times you’ve yelled, screamed, pitched fits about how crappy your life was are taking their toll. 

You’ve always made your opinion of your Dad’s and my relationship known and that obviously isn’t about to change.  My response to that is “Butt Out”.  It is none of your business.  My relationship with your Dad is between us.  Keep it to yourself.  In my opinion, you would be lucky to find someone as kind, caring, loving and considerate as your Dad. 

Another one of your many complaints is that your Dad chose me over you but you’ve failed to explain exactly how he’s done that.   It’s time to lay that to rest.  It’s obvious your Dad loves you.  It’s obvious he’s been there for you, there were times when he could have been there more but overall, I’d say he’s been pretty involved in your life.  I challenge you to do the math of how many years you’ve lived with your Dad, spent weekends with your Dad and then talk to me about how he was never there or chose someone else.  Until you can come up with compelling facts, backed up by people other than just your Mother’s Camp, your complaints fall on deaf ears.

The thing that has bothered me the most in all of this is how you are constantly slinging mud at your Dad.  You know, if he ever said the things to you that you’ve been saying to him, you would go on the war path like no one has ever seen.  It would serve to validate every little real or imagined injustice you have felt through your life.  You would use it against him for all time and show every person how awful and mean your Dad is.  You know, people are in your life for a short period of time and one day, you will miss your Dad.  One day, you may regret the things you’ve said to him.  One day, your Dad will be gone and I sincerely hope that regret weighs heavy in your heart and on your soul. 

I am constantly amazed at how you expect others to accept you, believe in you and look past your mistakes but you aren’t willing to give the same consideration to other people.  We’ve apologized for our parenting mistakes time and time again but that’s simply not good enough for you.  I have a news flash for you – we are people too. 

The bitter-hearted part of me sometimes wishes I could go back and take back every birthday party, every special holiday, every hug, every inside joke, every new anything and the shopping splurges, every time I did put you before my own children, every time I referenced you as my own daughter, every Saturday morning family cuddle, take the flower that represents you off of my body, basically take back every little piece of me I’ve ever given you. That is pure anger talking and it’s going to take time for me to work through that.

Beyond the bitterness and anger, beyond the hurt and brokenheart, this has made me stronger.  In the past, I would have bottled everything up inside.  The end result of that being an explosive response when I just couldn’t take anymore.  Now, I’m reaching out to people in my life and it’s a really good feeling.  I have kind, considerate folks who are willing to listen to me.  They help me talk through the hurt and the pain and support me in my growth.  It gives me renewed strength and energy to face the next time you enter my life.  It is a great feeling and I’m happy that I’m able to establish stronger relationships and really value them as they should be.  Our family is more honest and supportive of one another.  We are stronger because of this and are re-evaluating relationships we may have otherwise overlooked. 

Over the years we have included you in every family gathering, every family function, worked so hard to make you feel important, to make you feel loved and valued and at the end of the day, it was all superficial.  We never meant anything to you.  You keep saying “we aren’t your real family” over and over and for the longest time I didn’t want to believe it but that’s probably the only truthful thing you’ve said. 

We aren’t your real family.  To you, we never were.  It sucks for all of us because to us, it was very real.

2012: A Year in Question

According to some, the world as we know it will be coming to an end in four short days.  While some people scoff at the notion, others are taking it seriously.  I’m not sure what will happen on Friday but it seems to me that some sort of change is in order.  Take a look around – our world is becoming horrific.  

This weekend, I let my mind wander around the hallowed halls of Christmas time memories and traditions.  In talking to my mother-in-law, she was telling us about what Christmas was like for her as a young girl.  Their family didn’t have a lot of money and gifts didn’t cover the living room floor.  They got one small gift each and sometimes had to share that one gift.  The thing that struck me most was that she was remembering her Christmas’ fondly, there was no hurt feelings because she didn’t get a lot of “stuff”.  Christmas for her generation was about family, being together and having a special time.  That didn’t necessarily equate to things.  On that note, I was raised differently.  I was given every thing my heart could desire.  My Christmas mornings were 5 hour long productions, marathon gift opening to be exact. I can’t imagine the debt my parents incurred trying to give me that.  And you know what?  I can’t recall with any clarity what I got on any of those Christmas mornings.  All of that “stuff” has long since disappeared.  My Christmas memories are more about going to Christmas functions, school plays and our own family traditions.  It is difficult to break that cycle but it’s one I’m feeling like I need to break.  I remember being a small child and the idea of Santa not bringing gifts because I was naughty was a real thing.  Now, I think most children would roll their eyes and say “whatever”.  That is what entitlement does to people.

I worry for those children who haven’t learned and are not learning good values, the satisfaction of hard work, are being seduced by fame and mostly who are not being held accountable for who they are and their actions.  This past Friday, our nightmares came true.  A young man walked into a school and murdered students and teachers alike.  I believe that event and the subsequent media frenzy pretty well outlines exactly what is wrong with our world right now.  Firstly, why did that man have such easy access to those weapons?  Why can’t the US get it straight – you should NOT have the right to bear arms.  Your arms laws are making it easier and easier for people to kill one another.  Stop giving everyone a gun.  It’s a bad idea.  Secondly, stop making your health care systems for profit.  These are the people of your nation.  Take care of them.  Stop picking wars with other countries and take care of your own.

I have a hard time writing about this subject because example after example after example of how messed up we are comes to mind.  I simply can’t type fast enough to get it all out.  The indignation, anger and deep sadness I feel for the state of humanity is close to unbearble. 

That all being said, I have spent a considerable amount of time looking within myself to see if I am contributing to this incredible downward spiral or if I am trying to make it better.  I think I am walking both lines.  With the “end of the world” looming ever closer, I have been looking at my loved ones a little closer.  I layed next to my husband last night and looked at him.  Really looked at him, traced each line in his face with my eyes, breathed in the scent of him, put my feet on his and rubbed them just feeling him close to me.  I spend so much of my time focussed on what’s not right, what needs to change and what isn’t getting done, I sometimes forget to just stop and enjoy being with him.  Together we’ve faced incredible adversity, we’ve built a life together, we overcame incredible odds just to be together and we share a love that is deep.  Sometimes I forget that regardless of life’s stresses, life’s worries and life’s horror, I have someone with me.  That’s a lot more than a lot of people have.  Again, with the end of the world looming, I have been hugging my kids more often, hugging them closer, tighter and longer.  My son will be 14 in a few short weeks.  The days of long hugs are going to come to an end.  As he takes his first steps into young adult hood and I fight to keep him small, it will become tougher and tougher to live with one another.  So I’m hugging him more and more.  My little daughter.  She is getting taller and taller and the “tween” years are not too far in the future.  I am praying we get through those years a little better than my Mom did.  I am praying that things are different than with our eldest daughter.  I am praying she remembers how much we love her.  Basically, I’m praying that our parenting is strong enough to get both my son and daughter through the next 5 years clean, successful and still alive.  I worry about this more and more simply because of the state of our world.

So, whether or not the world will truly end at the tail end of this week has yet to be determined but I really believe that something needs to change.  We, meaning humanity, simply can’t carry on the way we have been.

My Promise

Dear You,

I am hurt and I am angry.  We agreed to take on life together, we promised to support, love and cherish one another.  What happened?  What went wrong?  We fight against one another now.  There is no respect, there is no trust, there is no communication, there is no love.  There are only empty words and broken promises.

I am sorry for the hurt that I have caused you over the years.  I acknowledge that I am difficult to live with, to be with and to deal with on a regular basis.  I am loud, I am hot-tempered, I am a spirited individual.  I like being right, I like things my way and I’m bossy.  I realize that I can be a know-it-all, paranoid and that I tow a line of issues so heavy that it could likely sink a war ship.  I know that trying to decipher my emotions is like trying to read an alien language while being blind, my insecurities are enormous and that my personality is inconsistent at best.  I know that I need to be wanted by men like a starving man needs food and I know that hurts you.  I know it has changed how you feel about me.   

It has taken me a very long time to learn, understand and acknowledge all of my faults.  The “bad” parts of me.  I have worked so very hard to change a lot of that.  I have tried to quietly analyze my issues, understand the root of them and learn new ways of being so that I could be the absolute best person I can be. 

I tried communicating what I need from you for quite some time now and I have finally realized you simply aren’t going to hear me.  I, the real person I am, doesn’t matter to you.  What matters is that you are able to live your life the way you want, being able to present an image to the world of success, being comfortable, being a part of something and not having to be accountable or responsible for any of it.  I resent that.  I resent that you put yourself, your friends, your electronics, anything ahead of what is best for us.  I am fundamentally tired of hearing how much you love me, how often you put me first, how often I am thought of when in reality, I am not.  In reality, I have learned how to smile over the tears, I have bared the brunt of criticisms, I have learned to be dismissed and I have let my wants, needs, hopes and dreams be in second, third, fourth, last place.  Hearing the words “I promise”, “I’m sorry”, “I’ll try” and “tomorrow” makes me sick to my stomach.  I have lost all faith that things will ever change because tomorrow never comes.

I have tried to take an active interest in your life.  I’ve tried to learn to love the things you love so that we can enjoy those things together.  I have tried to talk to you about your hopes and dreams.  I have tried to learn what your needs are, what your boundaries are, what you, the person you really are, need from me.  It is like trying to glean water from a stone and it makes me tired.  I am a stubborn person, I don’t give in easily and I certainly don’t give up…

… but I call mercy.  You win.  I give.

I have nothing left but one thing…one final promise.  I promise to keep going.

I promise to focus on me and the person I am growing into.  She is a lovely creature, a calm creature…she truly is a beautiful creature.  I am strong, I have endured so many things and I will overcome this too.  I have turned my inner critic into my loudest cheerleader and with that I have discovered an inner strength that is palpable and unbreakable.  

I will continue to smile but there will be no more tears for I am done crying over what I can’t change.  I will consider critisims but I won’t take them to heart.  I am achieving a level of personal growth that only comes with desire and determination.  I will not be dismissed.  I have valid feelings, thoughts and opinions and I will be considered.  I will not place my needs, wants, hopes or dreams on the back burner.  I only get one shot at this life and come hell or high water, I am going to make the most of it.  Finally, I promise to continue to support you.  If you ever decide to embark on a journey of personal growth, I will be one of your cheerleaders.  I will celebrate your success, help you through your dark times and I will encourage you along the way – I know how difficult these things can be on your own.

I have loved you for so long, I refuse to give that up.  The love I have for you has given me the strength, the want and the desire to be a better person.  I will be eternally grateful for that.

Parenting Paradigm and Prayers

When you become a parent, there is usually a chorus of “congratulations” and “hold on tight, it’s going to be a ride” coming from those who are close to you or, frankly, anyone who sees you.  In the beginning, it’s not so much hard as it is scary.  The day you bring a baby home and look at it and think “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” hits you like a tonne of bricks.  It’s the day you realize that you are truly responsible for another human being and a helpless one at that.  Luckily, for most, those moments only last a short while and you quickly move past them and get into the swing of things.

Then life takes hold and all of those lines you were fed suddenly become painfully clear. Time really does speed up, to a pace which rivals light speed.  Before you know it, you’re facing the terrible twos, which have nothing on the terrors of a three-year old.  Suddenly your baby isn’t a baby, she’s a toddler then all of a sudden you’re standing in an elementary school waiting to register for kindergarten and you’re thinking “WTF?  How did I get here?” Once your child enters school, it’s almost like time isn’t measured in months anymore, it’s either “the school year” or “summer”…holy fruit nut batman, where does the time go?  You negotiate the school years with grace, charm, twists, turns, bumps, and pitfalls BUT you make it.  It’s graduation day.  What now?

Somehow along a timeline that has been put in super fast-forward, you negotiate the waters of parenting and you start to realize two things.  First, you realize you start to sound an awful lot like your parents did and second, that your parents were generally right. 

I am in a tight parenting spot right now.  If you take the baby bird analogy, as provided by my dear BIL, STech, we have a baby bird in need of a mighty kick out of the nest.  The hard part about that is we know our baby bird is going to struggle with the fall.  We know that she may not flap her wings until the very last possible second.  We have to have faith that she will flap those wings of hers and take off into flight. 

As her Mom, albeit her step-mom, it is heart-wrenching to watch her be scared and confused.  I feel that same fear and confusion but for different reasons.  I fear that if we don’t push her to independence she will never get there.  I fear that if we continue to swoop in and make everything alright, she will never learn how to make things alright for herself.  I’m confused because I never wanted to be in a position where I had to push one of my children out of the nest when they don’t have a job or anywhere to do.  I’ve been there.  It sucks.  Big time.  I am worried about how she will make out, out on her own.  Will she fall back into a cycle of poor decisions?  Will she get herself into a sticky situation?  I guess time will tell that. 

Parenting is so hard and it gets harder as time goes on.  It is exhilarating and confusing and frustrating and rewarding and simultaneously the most difficult and the most incredible thing I have ever done.  I pray that I have the strength to guide my children onto the right paths while respecting their ability, need and want to make their own decisions.  I pray that our family will pull through the raising of three children, all from very different foundations.  I pray for the day that we have a big family dinner, the days when my hair will be more salt than pepper, and I can look around my table, at my beautiful children, and see the successful outcome of much laughter and many tears and so many years of hard work. 

I want my children to look back at their lives and remember that their parents supported them.  Maybe not in the ways they would have liked but that we were there, with love in our hearts and resolution in our spirits. 

 

Thanksgiving

Every year we give Thanks usually around a big dinner table, surrounding by those we love.  It’s an appropriate time to give thanks.  There is a lot to be thankful for.

This year, I want to give Thanks now.  And every day it seems that I am becoming ever grateful for my life and those around me.  For a couple of weeks, I had an intense bout of jealousy.  I was jealous for what other people do.  What other people have.  The lives they lead.  The bodies they’re in.  It was ridiculous and necessary all at the same time. 

Why was my jealousy ridiculous?  Because I have a fabulous life.  My husband is one of the most loving, adoring men I have ever met.  He is so patient with me and puts up with so much of my crap sometimes I’m amazed he doesn’t up and leave.  I am truly blessed to have him as my partner and my lover and my life.  I have beautiful, amazing children.  These kids are good kids.  And that’s not just my bias as a Mom coming out either.  People who spend time around my kids will tell you the same thing.  They are well mannered, polite, interesting, cool people.  I have friends who care.  People who care about me and are there to celebrate, cry and rejoice with me.  I have a job.  Maybe not the ideal one but it’s a job.  It affords me the ability to pay my mortgage, put food on the table and survive in this world.  I have health.  I am not full of cancer, I can breathe, my skin isn’t fighting against me.  I am healthy.  I have a lot to be grateful for and thankful for in my life.  These are all reasons why my jealousy was ridiculous.

Why was it necessary?  Because it made me realize how much I have to be grateful for.  If I cry, I have someone who pulls me close and kisses my forehead.  If I’m afraid, I have someone who holds my hand and tells me it’ll be ok.  I am able to hug and kiss both of my children every day and every night.  I can’t count on both of my hands the number of people I could invite to a party or call up on the phone and all of those people would genuinely be happy to hear from me.  I would say I live a priviledged life.

So what if I’m not living on the coast of Greece.  So what if I can’t buy every new toy.  So what if I’m not thin.  When I’m snuggled up with my family watching yet another animated movie, or when I see my daughter so proud because she just treated her parents to dinner, when I got to experience the excitement of my family when we saw the sold sign on our house…there is nothing in this world that would make me happier.  In the end, I’m thankful that I was able to realize how much joy, richness and fulfillment I have in my life.  I’m thankful for having so much to be thankful for.