Posts Tagged With: strength

even though I’m a whiny crybaby, I know how far I’ve come

Y’all, I needed this reminder!
I’ve been feeling puny of late.
Digestive issues of more ridiculousness than usual. Emotional struggles. Figuring out life plans. Actively concerned for my family in South Carolina. And to top it all off, I blew a blood vessel in my left eye to such proportions that I look like some sort of cosplay ghoul!
I’m having one of those “I’m kind of over life” situations.
Of course, I know it’s temporary. But I’ve hit the wall and haven’t anywhere else to go at the moment.

Life can kick the shit out of you. But the way you handle it is what makes you who you are.
I have had my share of tough times. But, I’m stronger for them. What’s going on with me currently is really nothing on the scale of what I’ve lived through.
It’s just that I’m weary. Physically and emotionally, and that’s when it begins to feel overwhelming.
I think the trick is admitting it. Saying it out loud, however insignificant it may sound. Once you admit where you are, how you’re feeling, you suddenly regain control.
So instead of me fretting, or being pathetic, or having to explain to one more elementary school kid why my eye looks like this, I can express it directly and hit it head on.
I feel like ass. I don’t want to adult today(s). I’m so f**king sick of being sick to my stomach. My eye really hurts and is scary to look at. I’m mad I can’t wear mascara because of it! I’m so stressed about finishing this term. I want the people I love to be safe in this storm. I worry about them on the coast, staying put or evac-ing. I worry about the rain Thing 2 will get further inland, home alone, will she have power? I cannot believe how much time and energy on YBW and I spend figuring out how to help Thing G learn how to be a college student, learn how to take responsibility for himself. Can I get everything finished this school term? Am I just being a whiny crybaby?
Of course, directly expressing it really does feel whiny. But I’ll handle that too. I’m so past the point of judging myself right now. I’m just going to lie my head in my own lap and pet my hair. (What? *shrugs* Makes a kind of sense in my head.)

Here’s what I know.
This will pass.
I’ll soon feel better physically.
My family will weather this hurricane and remain safe and sound.
No more gut wrenching therapy visits for a bit.
Thing G will get his shit straight and YBW will let out his breath and the new normal will be more bearable.
I’ll survive this school term.

I can handle it.
Because I’ve handled so much worse. And on the scale of what I’ve handled, this is nothing. A minor irritation, a fly buzzing round my head.
It’s all very ‘so the drama’, but it’s where I am in my world.
However insignificant it may sound, it is very real to me.
Even if I’m a whiny crybaby, at least I’m honest.

I am a Warrior Goddess.
My strength is deep in me.
I know how far I’ve come.

Advertisements
Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

our bodies ourselves

Saw my therapist Wednesday afternoon.
First we had to oodgey-goodgey over my new elephants, and talk a bit of catch up before we got down to the me part of the conversation.

I shared that I lost eight pounds by cutting coca cola from my diet.
This lead to a conversation about physical health. We talked on this for a while, expressing the joys and concerns of our bodies. We talked of weight and health and strength. We talked of how grateful we are for our bodies.

For me, it’s not what size I am, or the number on the scale, it’s about how my body feels. As healthy as my brain is beginning to feel regularly, I want my body to feel equally healthy.
I have a magic number in my head, my ‘ideal weight’ but it’s so unrealistic. I’d be nothing but nose, shoulders and breasts. That’s why I ignore the scale and the labels in my clothes.
Does it fit comfortably? Do I feel strong? Can my body do everything I want to do?

I don’t hate my body because it’s got more padding than it used to. I don’t hate my body at all! This body has carried me through forty seven years of life, it grew and birthed two of the most amazing humans. It can run and jump and dance. It can sit and lie and be still. It has freckles and scars and bushy red hair.
My body is precious.

I don’t care what size my body is as long as it’s strong and healthy.
Right now it’s not as strong as I’d like it to be, so that’s what I’m doing, making it stronger.

This reminds me of a conversation the girls and I had about body shaming.
They’re both thin, inherited from their dad’s family, I come from folks of a sturdy stock.
Thing 1 has always been ‘underweight’. She’s an eater, but she just doesn’t bulk up. At all. Think Olive Oil, all arms and legs and neck, but with a cuter nose.
Thing 2 has always been small. She didn’t hit five feet or a hundred pounds until she was sixteen. Petite is the word you’re looking for. She’s a little firecracker.

They shared stories of experiencing skinny shaming.

Now I have personally said, “Eat a cheeseburger and put on a jacket.” to Thing 1 when she’s complained about being cold.
Turns out I was body shaming her. (not about the jacket, just the cheeseburger bit)
That’s horrible to consider.
My daughter’s body is perfect and beautiful. I would never purposefully disrespect it.
I only wanted her to be warmer, so I theorized if she ate more and put on a jacket, she would be warmer.
Thing 1 is underweight. She used to eat like a teenage boy, we wondered if she had a hollow leg, etc. but she just doesn’t keep weight. That’s hard for her. She struggles.
Should she be shamed? Should someone purposefully be hurtful about it?
No.

Thing 2 went through a phase in which she purposefully starved her body. She honestly couldn’t have weighed ninety pounds. She was bones and skin and sunken eyes.
That frightened me. In ways I find hard to put into words.
I trod carefully when discussing what she was eating.
She has since returned to normal eating and a healthier weight.
I did suggest she eat a little more and it hurt her feelings.
I was body shaming her.
That was not my intention, I was fearful for her health and didn’t know what to do but offer food.

I look at photos of my girls, even the ones from the tattoo shop on this blog, I see strong healthy bodies. I see young women who use their bodies for work and play. I see the strength and vulnerabilities of their bodies. I see the difference between the little girls they used to be and the women the are. I see the freckles and tan lines. I see the self-inflicted scars and tattoo ink. I see what carries my daughters through this life.
They are healthy and strong. They are perfect exactly the way they are.
I am awed and overflowing with the maddest love for them!

I’ve used the word ‘porky’ when describing myself to them. They don’t like it.
I’ve worked hard to be clear that I want my body to be healthier, not simply more thin. They’re always supportive of me and my body. Like me for them, they want me to be in a strong and healthy body that works the way it’s meant to. They support my paying attention to what I eat, but never support “dieting”.

Bodies are made of bones and blood and muscle. They’re covered in skin and hair. They’re designed to do wonderful and awe-inspiring things. They even create more bodies! How much more awe-inspiring can you get!?!

I love my body.
It carries me through this life.

Stop worrying about shape and size and weight.
Stop comparing your body with the bodies of others.
Stop shaming your body and the bodies of others.

If a body is strong and healthy, what else matters?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“You were always a pretty badass mom.”

Sometimes when things are absolute shit, something lovely occurs to spark a little hope in your heart. This happened to me in the form of a text conversation with my own Thing 1.
We were talking about the little boy she nannys for after she sent me a snapchat of him dressed as Batman and generally being kind of adorable. He’ll be two in November.

Thing 1:
He has started holding actual conversations. It’s so cute.
Me:
Oh that’s the BEST!!
Thing 1:
It makes me want five kids.
(then we talked about education for a bit)
Thing 1: That’s cool. I’ll probably look into good schools before I make a final decision. I mean I have all the time in the world.
Me:
Either you’ll be a mom or you won’t. Either way as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. And if you are a mom, you’ll be that much better at it than I was!!
Thing 1:
I doubt that. You were always a pretty badass mom.
(After everything we’ve been through, that made my heart take flight!)
Me:
Aww! Thanks, bear!! But I’m a better mom than Grandmommy was. You’ll be a better mom than I was. Your (maybe?) girl(s) will be better mom(s) than you…does that make sense kinda?
Thing 1:
Hahaha I don’t know how you think I could be better than you. That’s just crazy talk.
Me:
Thank you for saying I was a badass mom. I often times feel like I failed you. All I ever wanted to do was be your mom. I’m glad the bigger percentage was good for you.
Thing 1:
Hey, if anybody got failed parenting, it’s Thing 2, but I’ve kinda said that from the beginning. Ever since she almost died, I think you were afraid of her mortality and it made you really really soft on her. And of course, Dad was no help to either of us.
Me:
I’m sorry your dad isn’t a better parent. I do believe he loves you.
Thing 2 was an eyeopener for me. She deserves better, but I can’t fix what’s past and I can’t help her now. She’ll have to come out of it on her own with just our love to help her.
Thing 1:
I know he does in his own weird little way. I just have to make a serious effort to keep from getting irritated with him most of the time.
Yeah, pretty much. She’ll figure it out. Eventually.
Me:
I don’t know if you truly know how much it pleases my heart that you and I found our way back to each other. You, my very first girl. My own sweet love. You were always your daddy’s…but I got to love you too.
Thing 1:
I’m very glad we did too. It makes me so happy that I can talk to my mom without fighting with her.
Me:
Oh, me too Bea!! Me too!!
I know it was crap! In my defense, I was scared and miserable most of my adult life. I was raised by a woman who loved me but wasn’t real. I didn’t know how to do it…I just learned as I went. I wanted you to be strong and independent. And guess what!?! You ARE!! I’m proud of who you are.
screenshot_2016-09-28-11-56-12-2
Me:
Shit, some days I’m like, am I even a real grown up? Seriously! Even after all this time and practice.
Thing 1:
I know. I just have to find that perfect balance between adult and kid at heart.
Me:
You will…you’ve only been an adult for a hot second.
(We talked a few more moments and then ended our conversation.)

That girl is the human embodiment of every hope and dream I’d had since I was a little girl.
We lost our way. Turned our backs on each other in the most cruel and horrific ways. But time heals all wounds. Time and distance. And perspective.
I think she understands that all I ever wanted for her was to have the best foundation upon which to build her life. Sure, I went about it poorly on occasion…but I didn’t know how to be a mom. Do any of us know how to be parents? We know we must keep our children healthy and safe from harm…that’s instinctual. And it’s the easy part! The tricky part is navigating everything else! Parents are bound to bugger it up…we have no choice. We’re flying by the seat of our pants trying to hold onto this kid while we’re doing it. It doesn’t matter how many parenting books you read, you’re never truly prepared. So you cross your fingers and follow your instincts and if you’re very lucky, you parent with another human being that thinks the way you do.
My girls didn’t always have the best grades.
Thing 1 dropped out of college.
Thing 2 left high school to get her GED and hasn’t yet gone to college.
But you know what? My girls are strong and capable young women who stand a real chance in this world. They’re not waiting around for some man to come take care of them. They’re going to make it their own way. The best they can.
That’s more than some parents can say about their kids.
Both my girls have discussed going back to school. This pleases me simply because they’ll have a better chance of being properly employed with degrees. They’ll make more money with degrees. Money isn’t everything…but it keeps you from being hungry, and homeless. And having a bit of extra money keeps books on your shelves and shoes on your feet. My girls need that.

My life has been a mess of hotness lately. Between my own personal struggles and the struggles in my relationship with YBW, I’ve been feeling awful about my life. About my ability to ‘adult’. About my ability to parent. About my ability to be in a relationship. About my ability to be a “stepmother” to two partially grown young men.
Thing 1 gave me hope this morning.
I am a badass mom! And, perhaps that means I’m kind of a badass woman. And if I’m a badass mom and a badass woman, perhaps I’ll be able to sort my struggles and come out the other side with my badassness intact and been able to learn another important lesson.
I’m crossing my fingers as I fly by the seat of my pants.

Categories: love, me, on being a mom, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

the Journey is not a Destination

I’ve been thinking a great deal about The Journey this morning. Which is peculiar as I’m a complete and total Destination Girl and care very little for The Journey. I want to get where I’m going in the quickest time possible. This means no dilly-dallying along the way. I stop quickly for fuel and potty breaks and get right back on the road.
Why is getting there so important? Why isn’t The Journey what’s important?
I don’t know why this is exactly.

I think The Journey feels like wandering to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. But this morning, I was struck with a thought that had never occurred to me before.
You must have faith to make The Journey.
You have to trust in your own faith without trying to control it. You cant control it. You have to let go and take a leap of faith. You have to believe you’re doing the hard work to get where you belong. Not to get where you’d like to go. You can’t steer the direction at all times, sometimes you have to drift.
That’s hard to do. That’s why it feels as though The Journey is not a Destination.

The Journey is hard because each of us has personal goals, places we’d like to go or be.
I think that’s the hardest thing to remain mindful about. That while we have our own desires, the path is laid out for us and we must go where it leads us. Sometimes it leads us in the direction opposite of our personal goals. We’re so arrogant that it never occurs to us that we may need to wander a bit more before we are ready for whatever that goal is.

The Israelites wandered for 40 years because they lost their faith. God cursed them to wander because of their disobedience and lack of belief. Their wandering forced them to learn from The Journey.

Tolkien wrote:

All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost
From the ashes a fire shall be woken
A light from the shadows shall spring
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be king

Perhaps this Destination Girl is mistook?
Perhaps The Journey is not simply wandering aimlessly.
Perhaps the importance is not in the Destination. Perhaps there is more importance in The Journey.
The Destination may change.
The Journey is constant. It may have detours. It may be slow. But, The Journey is what shapes who we are.
Destination Girl stops and takes a big breath.
I encourage everyone to stop and take a big breath. What we’re meant to know is out there on the path. We learn along The Journey if we have faith and trust.
Peter Pan said, “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
I firmly believe ‘the boy who never grew up’ knew a thing or two about The Journey.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

my defining moment as a frog in cold water

Acute stress feels like it will crush you where you stand.
I promise you it won’t. Your fight or flight instinct will kick in and save you. Acute stress feels overwhelming and most of us would do anything to get away from it. But, acute stress won’t kill, no matter how much you believe it might.
Chronic stress is what will kill you.
Chronic stress is like putting a frog in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s already boiling! That’s when one of two things happens. Fight or flight kicks in to save you, or you just die.

I’m an expert in chronic stress. I’m that frog in the pot of water. I was lucky enough that my instinct for flight is so strong. It saved my life.
I spent seventeen years with a man who emotionally abused me.
His sabotage so subtle, his manipulation so nuanced, it was poetry of pure unadulterated evil. He brought passive aggression to new and frightening depths. For the most part I was unaware on a conscious level. I went about my daily life feeling anxious without actually realizing it.
Sometimes I would wonder…Why did I require so much sleep? Why did I turn so much of my focus to my children? Why did I feel nauseous when he would come home? But never for long because there would be some sudden kindness and I would smile and believe him when he told me everything was lovely.

But on some level, I did know what was going on. I did know that something was amiss. I focused on my children to be a buffer between him and them so he couldn’t treat them the way he treated me. I presented the picture of the perfect little family to the rest of the world so no one would realize that he was not what he seemed.
I was scared of him. And scared isn’t a big enough word, but I’m honestly too lazy to thesaurus right now. He frightened every fiber of my being. Somehow I knew he’d never lay hands on me. I wasn’t worried about that. I didn’t realize the internal wounds could occasionally be worse.

He used to tell me that I was crazy. That I was certifiable. That they would put me in a straight jacket in the padded cell and that was where I belonged. He told me no judge in his right mind would give the girls to me. I had nothing and I was crazy. He told me that he would take the girls and I would never see them again.
I would have done and would still do anything for my girls. So I stayed with this man.
He read my journals. He read my email.
He even tried to sabotage my friendships…he had to do that carefully because he didn’t want to show his true colors. I was lucky that most of my friendships were strong enough to withstand his tricks.

I was trapped in a hell I helped create.
Every single day of my life I was scared.
Every single day of my life I was anxious.
Every single day of my life I was angry.
I was miserable. My girls were miserable. I was failing at being a mother. I was failing at being a person.
I was the frog in the pot of water suddenly aware that I was boiling!

This was the defining moment.
Would I die in that pot of boiling water?
No! I would save my own life!

The chronic stress was literally killing me. I was dying. I had to do something to preserve my own life.
I told him that I was done. I told him that I was empty and dead inside. I told him that I had nothing left to give. I told him I was leaving because I knew he would never leave.
When I finally left, he acted as though he was surprised. As though I’d never expressed any of my concerns. I didn’t even argue. I just walked away.
That’s when he turned on my girls. He manipulated them. He used them as weapons to hurt me.
That’s the only thing I regret about leaving him…what he did to my babies. You want to hurt me? Come at me directly.
My poor babies had to suffer for me to live.
That doesn’t seem right. But it was how it was.
A dying person is a desperate person.
I had to save my own life.
They’ve moved through that part of their lives. Will they ever heal? I honestly don’t know.
I know the only one who came out unscathed was their father. He has no clue what he’s done…or he doesn’t care. How’s that for crazy?

I was told by friends and family that I was strong. That I was brave. I felt neither. I felt as frightened as I’d ever been. I did what I had to do to stay alive.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, saving my own life. I only wish I’d been strong enough to do it sooner. Of course, the frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until the water comes to a boil…

I’m writing about this because of a conversation I had with my friend Nora last night, and a conversation I had with my sister in law today. Nora and I talked of relationships and life and celebs and sports stars we’d like to have our way with. We talked of previous lives and choices we make. We discussed “winning” at divorce. (When your life is better than it was before AND better than your ex’s current life.) We talked about being mothers. We ate pasta and drank a goodly bit of wine. We were “just girls” together, but we talked of important topics.
She’s actually the one who verbalized the frog in water analogy.

This afternoon I had a distressing conversation with my sister in law about her relationship with her children’s father. Apparently their state of chronic stress has escalated to acute and he’s announced he’s leaving. Knowing him as long as I have, I think he’s having a bit of a temper tantrum and it will blow over and they’ll go back to their life of chronic stress.
It is killing my sister in law. Now, there is a fairly decent amount of her stress that has little or nothing to do with him. She has some of her own shit to sort.
I told I knew what she was capable of. I suggested she tap into that deeply rooted power and make a better life for herself.
She expressed her fear.
Fear can ride shotgun, get it out of the driver’s seat. Fear will never drive me again. But it sure as hell likes to go along for the ride. I was scared half to death to make that huge change. Especially considering what impact it had on my children.
She’s not ready to do that hard work. She will eventually have to decide to save her own life or she will die.

I can’t run other people’s lives.
Some days I can barely run my own life. Seems that way lately.
I have stress in my life. But it’s acute stress. It causes an immediate reaction. And though my flight instinct is the strongest, I’m learning to fight. Fight the good fight. Fight for what’s right.

I fought the good fight by flying all those years ago. The fight to save my life. Because I tell you, I was dying. Not metaphorically dying. Actually. Physically. Emotionally. I was actively dying.
I learned the most important lesson about myself by saving my own life.
I learned that I can do anything.

Categories: divorce, loss, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

Tales from the mind of Kristian

Visit the darkest crevices of my mind, dare to tread where many fear to go. You may find something interesting or you may find a mirror to your soul.

Em's World

UK Lifestyle and Theatre Blogger

Writer of Words, etc

Words, food, thoughts, sports

walkingtheclouds

where the clouds may lead

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

Clearly Sarah

my thoughts. my feels. my life.

Winter1137's blog

Social anxiety, depression and a cat obsession. The fun never ends.

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

WhyToStop

By Rachna

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love.. Even After Forty

The Nerdy Lion

Lions can wear glasses too

Trying to do it ALL

I have a 2 year old, a husband, a job, ME/CFS ... oh and I'm trying to lose weight. I have so many plates spinning the salad is hitting me on the chops as it goes round. This is my sweary, brutal, honest daily diary as I try to do it all. #swearymum #meawareness #MECFS

Family Furore

Parenting and Mental Health Blog

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

We Each Have A Story To Tell

Thought Box

Sweet...Bitter...Happy...Sad...All thoughts trapped in a Box...

M.A. Lossl

An author's life, books, and historical research

Life at the end of a fork

The adventures of two culinary explorers adrift on the high-seas of our great city, London, in search of an edible El Dorado.

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding myself and the world I live in.

Water for Camels

Encouragement and Development for Social Workers and Those with a Mission of Helping Others

Anxiety The Bitch

We are present in the millions, yet we remain unheard

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

Mistakes & Adventures

What I've always wanted

Persevere

By Dan Sims

In A Messy World

I live in a world of fantasy, so keep your reality away from me.

Living In the Sweet Spot

"You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present." Jan Glidewell

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

Sawblades In Your Walkman

effervescing with muchness

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I'm a single dad documenting his journey. A guy trying to walk a higher path. And messing up. A lot.

%d bloggers like this: