Guest Blogger

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

In this Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon, my guest blogger remembers her brother who died of cancer 6 years ago.  What a thing for a family to go through.  The loss of a child, grandchild, brother, and friend.  He was a few days shy of turning 19 when he met Jesus face to face.

Lord, bless this family.  Bless them with peace and sweet memories as they navigate this difficult week as they remember this sweet boy.  Please give them the knowledge that he is healthy, happy, and hanging out with your Son, Jesus.  He is waiting for them to all be reunited, one day.

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

 

Dear Z,

It has almost been six years without you, and I don’t feel that it has gotten any easier. This is a wound time is taking for ever to heal. I miss you so much, and naturally I wish you were here with me. This is my least favorite time of year. I know you are watching over me and taking care of me.

I Wish You Could Answer Me

I’d give anything to have one final conversation with you or to give you one last hug. If I could go back and change things I would. I would have stayed by your side through it all. I think about that all the time. Does it make me a bad sister for leaving you there? I could have taken whatever our step-father threw at me, just to stay with you.

Missing All The Things

My mom told me a few years ago that you asked for me every day.  That you asked when I was coming back from dad’s. You know I like to take care of people.  I took care of you for the longest time. Honestly, I miss waking up at 3 in the morning to refill your feeding pump. I miss helping you walk around, even though you protested the entire time. For six years I have been waiting for you to appear in front of me.  Just to give me a chance to tell you my final goodbye.  To tell you I loved you just one more time.

It Hasn’t Happened so I’ll Keep Waiting

I think I can finally start to let go of the regret I’ve had for the past six years. It’s time. You know I love you more than words could ever describe. I know your biggest fear in death was being forgotten, but you are so unforgettable. You made an impact in everyone’s life. I will never forget you or the things you did for me.

You were one of my best friends. I promise you my kids will know what an amazing man you were. They will know how strong you were, and how hard you fought. They will know that you are my hero, and I aspire to be as strong and as brave as you were.

After Six Years, I Can Let You Go and Let You Rest in Peace

That doesn’t mean I will forget about you, It just means I don’t have to worry about you hating me for leaving. I know you loved me as much as I loved you. I know you weren’t upset about us leaving mom’s. I’m just upset she wouldn’t let you stay with us.

I am letting go of my regret because it wasn’t my fault you got sick. Honestly, I was a child and I know it wasn’t my responsibility to take care of you. I am moving on and trying to start the new year off right. Thankfully, I know you will be with me and watching over me every step of the way.

Love,

S

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Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021

Well, here we are in a new year.  Can you hear the angels singing?  I sure can.  For this year, I am going to do a Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021.  Really, that won’t mean a lot to my readers, so no big changes for you.  Working on color schemes and themes and such.  Checking broken links, photos, rewriting some things, deleting duplicate posts and such.  Just cleaning up.  After 10 years of blogging, it is time.

What Would You Like More Of?

Is there something you would like more of?  I’m really working through self-care and emotional healing from trauma, so that is forefront on my mind.  Healing through trauma of childhood, adolescent, adulthood, all the big T and little t traumas, so to speak.  Really focusing on the metaphysical reasoning behind some physical ailments.  From family to friendships…transformation.

Food and Lifestyle Changes

Also, we are having to get serious about our food around here since all the new medical stuff has come up.  Good times.  Big Daddy has had a new diagnosis.  Jude has had a couple.  I’m struggling with some foot and shoulder issues.  Blah blah blah.  Part of it is getting older (for us parents), part of it is nutrition, and part of it is just, again trauma.  So maybe some trial and error recipes and such will appear.

Working Towards Minimalism

Yes, there is that word again.  I have sorted and plugged away for years.  That is how I work through things but geez, with all these kiddos, things continue to accumulate.  I continue to sort, throw away, consign, and donate.  It is a work in progress.

Honestly, I want to get to a point where when Bart and I start getting older, I don’t want my kids to worry about things.  Health and death tend to bring out the “best” in people and I want to eliminate as much stress as humanly possible for them.  Morbid, I know but necessary.

Family Growth and Changes

So many things happened in 2020.  We are not the exception to the many families who experienced trials and tribulations during a horrible year.  There were some glorious moments, but man were there some sucky ones too.  Our family is continuing to shift and change every moment.

This year, we are adding 2 new additions to our family.  We have one daughter having a life-altering event with a fella she met.  Another daughter is having another life-altering event welcoming our first grandchild into the world in March.

We have kids moving out and moving on.  Kids finishing school and growing and learning more about themselves.  Lots and lots of things happening.

Posting

So, if you see a lag in posting, think nothing of it.  I’m working on the backend of the blog.  If you see broken links or no pictures, send me an email at barefootfaithjourney@gmail.com  I will get it fixed.  I hope to continue to do reviews and giveaways, as well as, guest blogging.  Of course, we have the multitude of medical issues that I hope to educate others on.

Just wanted to give everyone an insight as to what is going on in my world.

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Guest Blogger

Keep the Season Merry and Safe

Keep the Season Merry and Safe

 

Keep the Season Merry and Safe with Innovative Takes on Holiday Gatherings

Keep the Season Merry and Safe.  The 2020 holiday season poses new challenges for parents trying to balance family life and health concerns.  However, with caution and creativity, it is still possible to enjoy some seasonal socializing. Families who have already experienced stress or loss over the past year may especially benefit from the opportunity to laugh, interact, and even celebrate. Whether you plan an online meet-up or small in-person party, a little innovation can go a long way.  This goes towards keeping the spirit of the holidays alive during difficult times. Barefoot Faith Journey invites you to consider the following ways to celebrate safely.

When health concerns are paramount, online might be best.

The easiest way to keep a gathering safe is to host it remotely. By now, most of us are familiar with many of the technologies for online interaction. With applications such as Zoom, Skype, and Facebook Messenger readily available, families can choose which best suits their personal preferences and tech capacities. Communication and planning are key to hosting a good remote party, so everyone knows when and how to join.

Families that are used to online meet-ups for work or school responsibilities might consider making their virtual gatherings more festive by adding costume themes. For smaller children, think about themes from superhero movies or their favorite animated series. Older children and adults might find period dress a fun way to step out of the everyday. If everyone prepares snacks and beverages in advance, you can chat.  Also, maybe even play games and enjoy some holiday treats.

Online Activity

As always, when engaged in online activity, make sure you protect yourself and your devices against cyberattacks. Use a secure network, set up strong passwords, and avoid clicking on any dubious links.  Also, be aware of downloading any applications that you haven’t carefully vetted. And never give away private personal information online unless you know you are dealing with a secure and trusted source.

If it is safe to do so, consider hosting a small in-person event.

Depending on weather and public health regulations in your area, you may be able to host a holiday event.  Even if it is just for a few close friends and family. Always check the recommendations for your state and county.  Do this before making plans.  Invite people you can trust who will abide by precautions as well as communicate clearly with you about potential risks. In general, outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor ones. Ask that your guests bring masks, and set up a small hand-sanitizing station near a point of exit and entry. As much as possible, everyone should provide their own food and drink, and avoid sharing utensils.

Colder Climate Ideas

For colder climates, firepits and outdoor heaters might be a good option for creating a comfortable outdoor space. Just be sure to follow your area’s rules and recommendations for fire safety. Add fairy lights and tiki torches for ambiance, and plan games or entertainment that don’t involve interpersonal contact.

Indoor parties might still be possible, but remember to take precautions.

For those in areas with reduced risk, indoor gatherings are still possible. When meeting up inside, it is preferable if all guests have already been sharing a quarantine bubble.  Also, minimizing outside contact. Travel over long distances for social events is generally discouraged, but those who feel it is safe or necessary should heed these travel safety tips suggested by experts. Even when gathering with others in your quarantine bubble, avoid unnecessary physical contact.  Also, check temperatures beforehand, and remember to wash hands frequently.

It has been a difficult year for many of us. You can still celebrate the holidays with friends and family, this year just requires a little more creativity. Even if you have to arrange your events a little differently this time around, remember, some things haven’t changed.  The holidays are still a time for celebrating the relationships that make our lives richer.

Image via Pixabay

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Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Wall is something that I struggle with because I, sometimes, live in fear.  I am choosing, now, to NOT to live in fear because fear is a liar.  Honestly, I am so tired of living under the judgement of others.  Let me just tell you something…oh my word.  I’m fixing to use my words and all of them.  This may not be pretty but sometimes you just have to let it out.

I’m gonna have to take a few minutes and watch a Chopped episode.  My brain is moving faster than my fingers and the emotions are strong.  Let’s just say I am completely and totally over it.  A change is coming and it may take till Jesus returns, but by goodness, I am done!

Let’s Try This Again

I am not a people person.  Yet, I’m empathetic (so I’ve been told) and I have a heart to help others.  Those that are unseen, so to speak.  People that other people snub their noses at because they don’t dress/live/act “appropriately.”  I’m just saying…those are my people.  I see them, I feel them, I understand them.

Their problems, I feel deep within my soul.  The look in their eyes can tell a thousand stories and they are just yearning to tell that story.  They simply want to be loved, accepted, and NOT judged.  I CHOOSE to love, accept, and to not judge them.  Honestly, I want to meet them where they are currently at and walk into their world.  It is an honor to step into their stories.

Hard Realization

What a hard realization that most people, in this world, do not think the same way.  I just don’t get it.  How can you not love and SEE the people around you?  The unseen, the less than, the “you are not in my circle therefore you do not exist” people.

For the love of all that is holy…Jesus’ second greatest commandment is to LOVE OTHERS.  Matthew 22: 36-40 clearly states, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied:  ” ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The Things that Have Happened

I cannot and will not go into detail on the struggles we have had this summer.  It has hit me hard that not everyone thinks like I think and love as Jesus says to love.  What they want is to steal, kill, and destroy my joy.  My joy is my family.  They are all I think of and commit too 100% every minute of everyday.

For anyone to presume to know what happens in my home shows their narcissistic personality in full bloom.  The things we have been accused of and the mud we have been drug through is astonishing.  I really thought 2020 couldn’t get worse…it can.  Trust me.

So Much Loss and Pain

The loss and pain was completely preventable.  Let’s try something radical.  If you think something is wrong with a friend or their family…TALK TO THEM.  Ask how you can help them, pray for them with no details, listen to them cry.  Clean their house, run an errand, cook a meal.  Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Radical, ya think?

Or you could go the other route of gossiping, being deceitful, frightening your children, lie, manipulate.  Just because you might have money with your 2.5 kids and .5 pets…driving your nice cars with your paid off houses, does not mean my family is any less.

We do not deserve the shit you have drug us through.  All you see is a tired mama of many kids who “look” normal.  What you don’t know is what all we have dealt with and lived through.

Outcome

Well, our outcome has been standing on Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight your battle.  You simply have to be quiet.”  I was quiet.  Lots of tears, lots of reflection.  There was a period of hiding, a valley of severe depression and anxiety, another medical condition for a child due to the STRESS so called “friends” put us through.  Thank you for that, honestly.  It’s been the most fun.

We have been validated.  Proven to be good, loving parents, found out that our family does not need any outside assistance to thrive.  Honestly, with friends like I have had…who needs enemies?  We have discovered several of our “friends” are simply wolves in sheeps clothing.  Yet, now we know.

Choices Moving Forward

I will not hide.  My children will not hide.  We will parent as we have for 25 years until the Lord calls us home.  I will not be afraid and neither will my children.  When I get my Spirit filled feeling about someone, I will trust it and I will teach my kids what I have learned.  I pray that that type of wisdom and discernment is something the Lord gives them.

Honestly, I knew better with these people, but I wanted to be wrong.  I wanted a friend.  Someone who would listen and love us through it all.  What I got was satan reincarnated and the judgy nature of those people.  When bad things happen, the first person who physically showed up was my mama, my Oak.

My Oak

This woman.  She blew in like a whirlwind.  Then, she ironed out the people, in my house, that needed to be ironed out.  Next, she found me and that hug…I melted into her and I felt her love permeate every single molecule of my body.

She gently walked me upstairs and we both laid down and talked.  I cried and she sat in silence and rubbed my hair like when I was a little girl.  She gave me permission to wallow for a day, but tomorrow I have to get up and wash my face and face the day.  There will be no hiding for her little girl.

She loves me.  Unconditionally.  She sees me.  Truthfully.  She knows all that has happened, yet…she loves the ones who have hurt her baby so deeply.  If I am 1/2 the mama she is when I grow up, my kids will be blessed.  I am blessed by her.

A Few True Friends

We discovered those who would stand by us and those who judge us.  Prayer warriors surrounded us and kept us safe.  We stood before all and God clean and came out on the other side with no truth coming from the claims and lies.

These people may never answer for what they did on this side of heaven, but rest assured…Jesus has it written in His book.  Each of these people will stand before the throne listening to him read their story from beginning to end.  They will answer for it.

For Now

I choose self-care.  Pet a cat (or 12), bake, eat candy, smile more, block people on social media, keep loving on the “less of these” people, wash my hands, wear a mask, parent my kids, love my husband, and love my God.  My enemies cannot hurt me because God goes before me, after me, and stands on each side of me.  If you want me and my family, you must go through Him first.

Good luck to ya.

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Medical

2020 Update on Reuben Schwartz Amish Iridologist

 

2020 Update on Reuben Schwartz Amish Iridologist

2020 Update on Reuben Schwartz Amish Iridologist

Well, today I decided to write a 2020 Update on Reuben Schwartz Amish Iridologist.  Since he is Amish, he has no access to the outside world.  By that statement, I mean no cellphones, no landlines, no television, computers, ipads, or running water.  Communication is done by mail, word of mouth, and horse/buggy.

So, I decided to call my friends at Mountain Air Herbs and get the skinny on my Amish friend, as well as, the updates on their business.  Can I just say these are the friendliest humans ever?  So kind and so willing to help in any and all matters.  They are not Amish, so they do have access to a telephone.

Let’s Get the Details Out

Number 1:  I DO NOT WORK FOR REUBEN!  There is no way I can make you an appointment.  I can only share with you what we learned while we saw him.  Honestly, I get a lot of emails requesting that I get someone an appointment and I read their stories.  I reply back with this same statement, but I also have the opportunity to encourage and pray for those people.

Number 2:

For an appointment, you MUST WRITE a letter to Reuben requesting a day/time.  If you do not request it, they will just give you the next day/time that is available.  This process takes about 7-10 days.  There really is no need to go into details, as they may not know what the condition is that you have.  They simply look in your eye.  I mean, my son has Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome and most doctors have never seen that in their lifetime.  I’m pretty certain Mr. Reuben had never heard of it.

Side note:  Mountain Air Herbs cannot make appointments for Reuben either.  They cannot relay messages or give any type of advice or consulation as to what Reuben says, so be mindful of that, as well.

Number 3:

He see walk-ins.  Yet, he always gives priority to those with appointments.  He does try his best to see everyone but he also needs to eat and take breaks, occasionally!  Please be kind and respectful.  Take the time you are waiting and sit on the beautiful porch and enjoy the silence and peace.  Go pet a horse, look around his shop and buy some popcorn or bread!

**EDITED TO ADD:  I saw Jake about 2 weeks ago as Mr Reuben has had eye surgery and is not working right now. I was blown away by the things he told me. Make an appointment people, the day I went I did not have one and waited for 5 hours to see Jake. ~ From Michelle Shoemake(r)**

Number 4:

Money.  Reuben does not charge for his assessment, though he does take donations.  He has a box on his desk where you can place cash or change.  His herbs/pills/supplements do cost money.  That amount varies based on what you buy and how much of it you buy.  You do not have to get everything he recommends.  Ask and he will tell you what is important and what you can hold off on until the next visit.

Mountain Air Herbs is down the hill from Reuben.  What he doesn’t have, they will have.  There are some limited supplies due to their suppliers and Co-vid19.  They take cash, card, and checks.  They also have a phone and a restroom if you need it.

Addresses

Reuben Schwartz, Amish Iridologist

1205 Radure Rd.

Hestand, KY  42151

No Phone Number because…Amish and all

 

Mountain Air Herbs

1945 Radure Rd.

Hestand, KY  42151

270.487.1334

Days/Hours of Operation **THIS HAS CHANGED**

Reuben Schwartz

Monday and Friday from 7:30-3

Saturday 7:30-11

 

Mountain Air Herbs

Monday and Friday from 8-4

Saturday 8-12

BREAKING NEWS!

Mr. Reuben is RETIRING at the end of 2020.  It is time for him to hang up his crucible and flashlight and enjoy his porch.  I’m very excited for him.  He has given a lot of himself and it is time for him to relax.  Rest assured, his business will stay open.  His replacement will be Jake Shirk.  He has been helping Reuben for about 16 years or so, so he knows what he is doing and was trained by the best.

New Update *12.18.20*

This is from a follower, Doris R.  “I went to Reuben Swartz place today. Today was supposed to be his last day, but ack in October he got some kind of metal in his eye, while working at home…He was taken to the hospital at that time…Its my understanding that he wasn’t returned to his office since then. So now they said he was officially retired…Reuben’s replacements name is Jake Shrick…His hours will be the same…He is already back up until March of 2021…..That’s the update as of 12-18-2020.”

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All Things Adoption, Family

How to Heal a Fractured Family

How to Heal a Fractured Family

How to Heal a Fractured Family

How to Heal a Fractured Family.  The short, simple answer is trust in Jesus.  Yet, sometimes, that is hard for me.  Our family has been fractured for a long time.  There have been cracks here and there, but this year, it is different.  I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle since about 2014, but even before then due to some extenuating circumstances.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from adoption, but there is so much more I know now than I did almost 14 years ago.

What You Need to Know

When people are in the process of adopting a child or children, it is an exciting thing.  We do all the things that are required.  Background checks, money in the bank, fundraisers, fingerprints (if international), and so on.  We work hard on those dossiers.  Our homes are spotless for our homestudy.  We eagerly anticipate our referral or a picture.  There are so many support groups where we get on and talk about our discouragement of NOT getting a referral quick enough.

What We DON’T Realize

Is that we are, quite literally, waiting for a family to fail in someway.  If it is foster care, we are waiting for a family to abuse, neglect, or hurt, a child or children so they will be placed in the system. Then we jump through all the hoops for the next 17 out of 23 mths and wait for the termination of parental rights.

Or, if it is a newborn, we are waiting for a sweet birthmom to make the most difficult decision of her life.  For her life to be altered…forever…by choosing the blessing of adoption.  If international, we are waiting for a birth parent who may be dying, or the child is starving, or some other tragedy that places them in an orphanage.

When you are adopting a family members child, you are waiting for drugs, alcohol, abuse, neglect, or abandonment to happen.  There are other circumstances, as well, but that was my circumstance for my son.  You start looking at YOUR sister and think…she is my son’s aunt?  Grandmother?  Both?

The Dark Side

We are walking into the blackest chapter of our children’s lives.  Our greatest joy and what we worked so hard for, comes at our children’s greatest loss.  Whether they are an infant or an older child, that loss will forever be imbedded in their brain and heart.  They are the only ones who have heard their mother’s heartbeat from the inside out and your heart is just not the same.

My heart literally aches because in a perfect world, my kids would still be with their birth families.  Succeeding, thriving, living, loving…yet because of certain things, they are not there…they are with me.  I am grateful.  Indebted.  Forever changed because they grew in my heart and not under it!

Yet…they will always wonder what it would have been like to have been raised by their birthparents or in their birth country.  Try explaining all of the things when they are older.  It’s super fun aka traumatic.

Getting It Straight

I do not regret any of my children.  None of them.  They are my joy and I’m so thankful to God that He wove my family together in such a beautiful and intricate way.

But

Trauma is a bitch.  Plain and simple.  It is a straight-up bitch.  Talk to ANY adoptive parent and they will tell you the same thing.  Trauma can come in all shapes and sizes.  It can come with a list of diagnoses…then there is “traumaversary”  That leads to sabotage of all good things, behavior issues, confabulations, deceit, manipulation, and so much more.

My Family is No Different

We have, and continue to have, all of the above things and the “so much more” times a million.  What started as one child exhibiting out of control behaviors due to FASD, PTSD, RAD, blah blah blah trickled down to other children.  Another child exhibiting similar, yet different behaviors. Then, a third child going above and beyond.  Lastly, the fourth child who struggles with anxiety and more.

It has wreaked havoc on my person, my husband, other children, even my pets will lose hair when life is escalated in my home.  This usually occurs November-March and then in July-October…which as I look at that typed out, it is from October-July.  That gives us 2 mths trauma free.

All the Things We Have Tried

We have done the things.  Doctors, specialists, therapists, counselors, pastors, family, medication, routines, no routines, homeschool, private, public…All.  The.  Things.  One child, nothing has worked for that child.  Another child, we hope is in the process of healing.  The third child is amped up right now.  The fourth child, we just deal with it day by day.

I am exhausted.  My husband is exhausted.  Honestly, even the kids are exhausted. Mix all this crap in with a pandemic and being in this house and you have Funville.  My underwear drawer no longer holds underwear.  It is stocked FULL of candy.  I wake up, in the morning, with a bag of snickers under my arm and wrappers everywhere.

There is a new found love of Limeade Slushes.  My teeth are going to rot out of my head.  I have become a human GPS because I take LONG drives on roads I have never heard of.  My favorite pasttime is driving to my neighbors and seeing if their pig is in the front yard.  I cry…alot.

Falling Apart

Sadly, I feel like my family is falling apart.  That Scripture of satan lurking around the corner to devour my family, it is happening!  Honestly, at warp speed.  I have so many words and so much has happend that my fingers will not move as fast as my brain.

Praying that this pandemic ends.  I am praying for healing for my medically fragile children.  Salvation for two of my kids.  Wisdom with all of them.  Healthy delivery for one (gonna be a granny!)  A healthy relationship for two kids.  School to open for one.  One to come home safely.  Another to stop making REALLY poor and dangerous choices.

I want my family to heal.  To be whole.  For God to intervene and DO SOMETHING.  Honestly, I am just ready for Jesus to come riding down on His white horse and take us all home.  Home…where there is no sadness, no darkness, and no pain.  Just glory.

God is Bigger

I just have to trust in that…right?  Right.  Yes, trust.  The hardest thing for me to do is trust Him with my family.  Maybe that, alone, needs to be my prayer.  Lord, let me trust in You that You have plans to prosper and not harm my family.  Help me to realize that You and only You, can heal the fractures.

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Healing Through Anger

Healing Through Anger

Healing Through Anger

In this piece, my guest blogger talks about how she is healing through anger.  Anger is a valid emotion, as Jesus was angry when He turned over the tables in the temple.  Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness.  In this piece, you can see her fear, clearly.  Also, you can feel her sadness.  Please pray for this young girl as you think of it.

I Am So Angry With You

I know I have said it a million times, but I am so angry with you. If I were in the business of hating people, you would be first on my list. The thought of you makes my blood pressure skyrocket. Why couldn’t you be a normal stepfather? Seriously, why did you have to abuse me? Why me? I was a child. What kind of man likes children?

I wish my mom would have never met you. Honestly, I wish I did not blame myself for what you did. I know I was young, and I know it was not my fault. Its yours. You are the one who abused me not the other way around.

Tell the Truth

I have had a few opportunities to tell you the truth, to say whatever I wanted to you, but I did not. Part of me wishes I would not have been such a coward. I want you to know how much you hurt me. The other part of me knows that it would not matter what I said you would not care. You would enjoy the attention, you always like all the attention being on you.

What I Want to SCREAM

I want to scream at you and tell you that you hurt me. To tell you that you traumatized me. I want to tell you how I cannot even change clothes in the comfort of my own home without feeling uncomfortable or like I am being watched. To yell that you took my childhood and my innocence away from me. That is something I will never get back. I cannot go back and act like a child again. Not all of that is your fault, but a big piece of it is.

I am never a violent person, but I would like to punch you in the face a few good times. I bet that would help me release some of my anger. That sure would make me feel better. I do not understand how you can have like four different types of cancers, and still be alive. I guess that is just how my life goes.

Papa T is Crossing the Line

I heard a phrase today that I had not heard in a long time. A phrase that makes me nauseous. “Daddy T” I never understood why you made us call you that. Mom does not understand why that name makes me uncomfortable, and to be honest I don’t completely understand it myself. All I know is the name makes me physically sick. My sister told me today that you want her daughter to call you “Papa T” And it incited some rage in me.

Yet, That Baby is Safe From You

Luckily that baby lives far away now so you cannot get your hands on her. If she were still around, I can promise you that you would never meet her. I would go to jail before that happened and I would be okay with it. You will never get the satisfaction of her calling you “papa T” which I feel is WAY too close to “Daddy T”

You will never get the satisfaction to take that baby’s innocence away from her, and that brings me just a little bit of you. Your abuse ended with me, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it goes no further.

Working on Forgiveness

I know it does not sound like it, but I truly am trying to forgive you. It is just a slow process. The thing is, I am not forgiving you for you. I am doing this for me. To heal. I am doing it so I can put you in the past and finally move on. To better myself and be the best person I can be. I know in the end you will get what you deserve, and I will not even have to lift a finger.

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Guest Blogger

Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me

Guest Blogger

In this piece, Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me, my guest blogger begins to outline her life when she was younger.  What a powerful voice she has, yet still too scared to let it out loudly.  Time and Jesus will cure that.  I’m so proud of her and all that she has been doing to heal.

Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me

 

A Born Fixer

Every since I was a little girl all I ever wanted to do was please you and to help you. All I have done my whole life is what you needed. You needed someone to bathe a kid, I did it, you needed someone to help feed a kid, I did it, you needed someone to complain to, that was me.

I grew up listening to everything wrong in your life, your husband or ex-husband drama, your “my kids hate me”, my kids are terrible, my kids don’t love me. Did you forget I was your kid too? Or am I just an ear to listen and a body to help work. You’ve definitely groomed me well for the job I would like to have one day. If anything I am a listener and I like to help others to the best of my ability. So at least there is a positive within all the negativity I have listened to and experienced during my life.

This Thing Called Life

My life has been a series of what does mom need me to do next? What does my youngest brother need? Or even what can I help other brother with? He may have had most of the attention from you growing up but that also meant that he got the attention from the men in your life too. So there was a lot of negative things going on in his life as well. As much as I don’t like him I do love him so I didn’t like to see him so upset.

You have complained to me so many times about so many different things that it makes me scared to share anything good or bad with you because I am afraid it will upset you. I feel like if I tell you some things you’ll stop caring, stop loving me. In fact somethings I would rather just bottle up or ignore because I know that you wouldn’t approve or would hurt your feelings.

What About Me and My Feelings

Like sometimes I want to point out that I have feelings too and I’m tired of having only one way conversations about you and your kids like I’m not one of them. I know you don’t mean anything by it towards me but it still hurts me. Especially when you say we are all unmotivated kids that’s don’t care about you. Maybe not in that order but they have both been said. I am motivated, I work, I’m trying to move out, I do love you. Stop putting us all together like we are all the same.

One day I would like to have a conversation with you about me. About my life, and about things that I am learning about myself. Like I remembered what it was like to be motivated to finish something. Sure its just a sweater but to me that is an accomplishment. To be able to wear something that I made. Just because its not interesting to you doesn’t mean its not important.

My Dreams

The same with schooling, just because it’s not what you want me to do doesn’t mean that its not something I can do. I want to work in the psychology field with kids. But that’s not good enough for you. You want me to be able to support myself and I get that but why can’t you support me in my decision on what I want to do it just might take me a while to get there.

The Truth About My Engagement

I would love to be able to sit down and talk with you about why I truly didn’t get married. How it was a lie to begin with sure it wasn’t intentional but a lie none the less. I would like to tell you that I have recently learned that I am not interested in men but more confused than anything. I’d like to have your support while I try to figure everything out all the way. But you’d disown me for that thought or try to shame me out of it.

I have listened to everything you have had to say about everything and everyone. I have supported you through good and bad decisions. In short I have loved you and accepted you as you are. But you would not do the same for me I am sure. You would just hear the words and then you’d be done. Done with me and done with everything else because without me who will you talk to?

Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me

Without me who will help you when your down? Without me who will help pick up the pieces that are left and glue them back together when anger or sadness strikes?

I love you and I worry about you more than I worry about anything or anyone else. So me keeping this one thing from you. Keeping it under lock and key may hurt me but at least I know you’ll be okay. Cause ill still help you. The sad thing is there’s not anything you could do to make me stop loving you but just three could make you hate me.

Thankful

Today, I am thankful for the bravery of this young lady.  She certainly has powerful emotion behind her words.  Also, she is using them to help her sort through the muddy water.  She is loved and a treasure.  May she be blessed in her courage and continue to speak for those who do not have a voice.

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Dearest Nana

 

Guest Blogger

Tips for Meeting Your Kids’ Needs as they Grow

My guest blogger, Alex Robbins, talks about Tips for Meeting Your Kids’ Emotional, Physical and Educational Needs as they Grow.  Funny he should send this to me at this particular time.  Tonight, as I was sitting in my son’s hospital room, we had a “Comin’ to Jesus” meeting about our emotional, physical, and educational needs.  He is 14 now and you can imagine how that conversation went.  Please, talk to your kids!

Tips for Meeting Your Kids’ Emotional, Physical and

Educational Needs as they Grow

 

Tips for Meeting Your Kids’ Needs as they Grow

Meeting all of your kids’ needs takes a lot of work. As a parent, your child’s emotional, physical, and educational needs are just a few of the things you have to focus on. Below, we’ve put together some great tips and resources for each of these areas in your kids’ lives.

Talking with Kids About Feelings

Discussing emotions and feelings can prove difficult at any age. However, it’s important to begin this dialogue with your child at an early age.

Unique Ways to Meet the Emotional Needs of Your Child

Helping Kids Identify and Express Feelings

Feelings Activities and Fun Ideas for Kids

Understanding Your Teen’s Emotional Health

Kids Feeling Blue: 5 Ways to Get them Talking

Helping Your Kids Be Active

It’s easy to let your kids sit inside and stare at screens all day. However, you need to encourage kids to spend some time getting active, especially in the sunshine and fresh air.

How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?

Couch Potatoes Start Early: How to Get Kids Moving

Children, Sports, and Exercise: Choices for All Ages

How to Encourage Free Play

How to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time

Meeting Educational Needs

Although you can work with your child’s school to help maximize their education, you can also do many things at home to boost their learning.

Encourage Your Kids to Try Storm Spotting

Online Lesson Plans for Teachers and Parents

Parent-Teacher Conference Tips for Parents

{7} Surefire Ways to Make Your Kid a Better Student

7 Tips for Helping Your Child with Math at Home (When You Hate Math)

Parents: 8 Ways to Help Your Teen Make a College Decision

Helping your kids be active, express their feelings, and do well in school is just a small part of the puzzle when it comes to being a parent. However, by focusing on areas like these, you can help your kids grow into adulthood with everything they need in their toolbox.

Check out the blog at Barefoot Faith Journey for more family and parenting posts.

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Guest Blogger, Medical

Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

In Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, my guest blogger shares her thoughts on this subject.  I have a mental disorder that can be crippling at times. When I say crippling I mean I cannot get myself out of the bed. I have thoughts in my head on a continuous loop that should not be there to begin with. Those days when I don’t call, text. or even speak to people.  Hell, I don’t even come out of my room. When I say I can’t get myself out of the bed, I mean, I literally will stay in it for days.  I will only leave to go to the bathroom or to eat.

The “Happy” Place

There are also days when I am “happy” these are the days when I can really get myself into trouble. when I talk ninety to nothing and spend all of my money in one place. Or I could get in the car and just drive in one direction not knowing where I am going but going anywhere is better than where I am. These are the days when I bombard all of my friends that I haven’t talked to in days that I want to do something. On these days I don’t sleep, I could be up for days at a time and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. I make poor choices when I am like this.

This is Bipolar Disorder in a Nutshell, at Least in my Case.

I am tired of the stigma on mental illness or mental health in general. If you have asthma, everyone can tell by the physical complications that you have. However when it comes to mental illnesses we dare not speak of them . They don’t exist to people who don’t have them or at least they perceive it as a negative.

You don’t see people not talking to people with asthma so why shouldn’t they for people with mental illness. Honestly, I should feel free to share that I have bipolar disorder without having people think that it means I’m crazy. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to own that lie but yet here I am pretending it doesn’t exist or calling myself crazy.

I am Tired of Comparing Myself to “Normal” People

What does that mean anyways? To be “normal”. The definition of normal is conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. So what I’m seeing is that everyone is suppose to be the same, act the same, and do the same things the exact same way? Maybe I’m looking at it in a negative way but it sounds to me like the normal people are no where to be seen. Because no one is the same no one is conformed to the same standards.

So why do we make ourselves feel less than just because of a mental illness. Bipolar disorder is my normal just because it isn’t yours doesn’t mean that you have the right to tell me that I am wrong, not to be trusted, or a danger because of it.

Thankful

Today, I am thankful for modern medicine.  It has helped me look at life a bit more clear.  God is bigger than all, but He created man to create medicine to help.  Never feel weak because you need a medication to help you even things out.  You are not weak!  Honestly, you are brave and strong.

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