Faith Journey, Large Family Happenings

Salvation Story of Daughter #3

Salvation Story of Daughter #3

As I was going through the thousands of pictures on my hard drive, I found this picture of my third daughter.  So, it got me to thinking that I would share the Salvation Story of Daughter #3.  First and foremost, here is a picture of my daughter.  This was taken at the exact moment she expressed to me her desire to know and follow her Lord and Savior, Jesus. This was the moment I knew things were real.

You could sense and feel her emotions. I could see her wheels turning and putting things together. Such a beautiful moment.

Salvation Story of Daughter #3

On October 16, 2015

Was when this picture was taken.  For some odd reason, no one was at home.  I’m not sure where everyone was but they were all gone and this was before Hunter came to live with us.

G was 14 years old.  When she was about 6, she was “saved” every year at every church or school they went too.  We first thought it was real and then realized that it was more for the attention than the true meaning.

After about the 3rd or 4th time (I mean, she had been baptized at least 2 times before this picture was taken)…we just thought she was too young to truly understand the meaning.  It would come, in time.  In God’s time, not our time.

Struggles

G had struggled since before she came to us at 6 years old.  There were lots of things going on in her life, that were completely out of her control.  She was too young to be heard and so she internalized, as most children do.

She did some very brave things that helped bring justice to some people.  She also kept herself alive and fed while also keeping her younger brother alive, fed, and safe.  There were other littles ones that she was responsible for, but that wasn’t around the clock like it was with her brother.

By the time she got to us, she had been through 2 other state homes and several non-state regulated homes.  It is a lot for a 6 yr old.  She knew how to work the system.  She knew how to behave (according to her birth mom) and she stretched the limit quite a bit.  The other placements just weren’t equipped to handle the things that she had to deal with, her diagnosis, and her behaviors.

I Guess We Though We Could

We were ready to bring her and her brother home and fight for them.  Teach them about the love of Jesus.  Give them consistency, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, hot showers. age appropriate toys, teach them to use their imaginations, work on their nutrition and reverse anything we could.  It was not easy.

G stayed in survival mode for a long time.  We did all we knew how to do.  We took PS-Mapp classes, Care Plus Classes, Sexual Abuse classes, had a great R & C worker, and the kids had a great social worker.  They actively saw therapists and doctors.  We did medications, detoxifications, food changes, allergy testing, allergy shots.  We tried everything.

Things kept getting worse and worse.

Taking It Personally

I took her hate and disdain personally but it has been impressed on me that it wasn’t me that she hated.  She “hated” her birthmom and that just happened to spill out on me.  I absolutely did not encourage that at all. I let her express her emotions and then tried to help her understand.

She was angry, confused, hurt, sad, that her mom had made the choices that she did.  It was hard for her to match up her words with her actions.  Frankly, it was hard for me to explain to her.  I never spoke ill of her birth mom.  I have always told her that her mom loved her the way she knew how to love her.  That she did the best she could with what she was taught by her parents.

I can’t fix that.  I also can’t take her attacks against me personally.  The girl could run her mouth, get all up in my stuff, try to be bigger than what she was and by those actions of blatant hate, disrespect, and harming others.  Trauma. PTSD amongst other things.

Then One Day

She was mad about something.  We were toe to toe in the dining room.  My boy had gathered up the children into the back of the house because he was always afraid of what she would say or try to do and he wanted to protect his siblings from her.  My goal was to protect her from herself.

She walked up, with her arms crossed, and said that she feels darkness surrounding her, starting at her feet.  That the darkness was like a cloud and it was coming across her legs and that the more it moves up, the more power she has.  That she likes the darkness and she likes the power that she has and she can do anything to me or anyone else when the power overtakes her.

Scary, I know.

I Distinctly Remember

I was as calm as calm could be.  I just looked at her and said “satan, in the Name of Jesus, you have to leave.  You have no power over my daughter or my home.  Get thee behind me.”  I prayed out loud, over her.  I had my hands on her shoulders and I could feel the tension and the warmth of her shoulders.  As I continued to pray, she began to physically lighten up and the tension was being released and a calmness took over her.

As I looked in her eyes, they returned to her normal color and her voice had audibly changed.  I asked her what happens and she said that when she gets angry that the cloud swirls around her feet and she does like the power but it scares her.  I explained that seemed like it was demonic and that once I claimed Jesus over her, it had to leave.  It no longer had the power to invade her or my home.

We talked about the fruits of the spirit and that she said she didn’t have them and I agreed.  That was a scary moment.  I’m sure that is the moment that she, now, dwells on.

Yet, there was more to that time that I wish she would remember because I not only remember, I took a picture because it was such a spiritual moment for both of us.  Sacred.

Fruits of the Spirit

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

These were the things we started talking about over the course of several days leading up to the picture above.  We talked about what it “truly” meant to have Jesus live in your heart.  That when He moves in, the Holy Spirit takes over and deposits all those fruits into a person’s lives.  Now, granted they may be seeds or they could be full blown fruits, but we all have to start somewhere.  We all have to heed that still small Voice of the One who sustains us.

Hard to Understand

That was a hard concept for her.  So, at the time of the darkness, I asked her about each of those fruits and she vehemently denied having any of them.  She hated everyone, herself, her bioparents choices, school, all the things.

It is a hard concept when you have lived a hard life in the beginning.  Yet, a hard beginning does not dictate your middle or your end!  These fruits may not be there now, but God is waiting to give them to you.  Again, some will be planted seedlings, some will be tiny fruits, some so big they are falling off the trees, but you will have them.  That is a guarantee.

Back to that Night

As we were alone, we decided to go and eat out someone.  She wanted to go to Sirloin, which was about 30 minutes away.  I agreed because I let her choose.  That’s what a good mom does LOL.  They let their daughter choose the place to eat.

We drove in silence.  We ate in broken silence.  We headed home in somewhat silence until we saw an accident that yielded in a person’s death.  She had a hard time with that, as did I.  The questions poured out of her.  She asked why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  Why does He allow bad people to hurt kids?  Why her dad didn’t come for her?  Why her mom didn’t fight for her?  Why?  Why?  Why?

We had a long discussion about Freewill.

That was the Night

That I shared ALL of her birth story with her.  I have binders upon binders of information from every home, every person, every therapist, every diagnosis, every police report, everything. We poured over it.  I showed her many pictures and told her that I had been trying to contact her dad and biological sister to establish a relationship with them because it would be important to G.  I had also tried to locate her birthmom, but hadn’t had any luck.

I answered every question by looking through the paperwork and letting another person answer it.  Whether it was a judge, guardian ad litem, her birth parents, birth grandparents, foster parents, therapists, etc.  I didn’t just pick an answer out of the wind, I found it in black and white documentation and had her read it.  I just helped her understand wording.

It was a Hard Night

Yet, it yielded something unexpected.  Peace.  She physically had peace.  Her face softened up, her voice changed, she cried real tears, asked great questions about the goodness of God.  I was able to lead her to Scripture and have God answer those questions.  We researched, cried, and came to peace.

At that moment, she truly and completely asked the Lord to be her personal Savior.  It was so innocent and beautiful.  There were no accolades, no parties, no pats on the back, no baptisms, nothing like that.  Just me and her, in our home, together where the Holy Spirit was present.

I told her to look down at her shirt because I had just read it.  She put it on, originally, because she liked the color green.  She didn’t even read what was on it.  She looked down and the look of JOY, PEACE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, SELF-CONTROL, LOVE, GENTLENESS, not so much patience yet, FAITHFULNESS were permeating through her smile.

Her shirt reads SURRENDER!  She had just surrendered her life to Jesus and was bestowed the fruits of the spirit.  Most were growing fruits, a couple of seedlings, some were so big they were falling off the trees.  It was such a beautiful moment that was shared just between us.  I’m so thankful I took that picture.

Where is She Now

Well, just because we love Jesus and have Him in our hearts doesn’t always mean we continue to make the right choices.  We are still sinful people who are saved by grace (thank God).  We still make mistakes, do the wrong things, say the wrong things, fall into sin patterns, listen to a little bit too much of satan’s lies, and try to fit in with society.  That is a crutch we have all carried.

Does screwing up mean we have lost our salvation?

Oh heck no!

Does it mean we have lost the fruits of the spirit?

Nope, though they may need water to grow a bit more.

Once you truly ask Jesus into your heart, you are placed in the hands of Jesus THEN Jesus’ hands are placed in the hands of God.  There is nothing getting you out of those grips.  You are forever His.

Does it sadden Him?  Of course it does.  Yet it doesn’t stop Him from loving you.  He just wants you to do the right thing.  Be that city on a hill.  Be a testimony for Him.  Share your crappy beginnings and show people what the Lord has done for you.

Questioning Salvation

I did question her salvation based on her actions and her fruits when she was saved every year from 6 to 14.  It was literally a weekly or biweekly thing.  BUT that night changed everything.  I have NEVER questioned it since.  Not even with all the things that continued to happen and the struggles we had.  I never questioned it again.  I know she is His.  I know He lives in her.

I miss her.

I love her.

I believe in her.

She is enough.

She is brilliant.

She is beautiful.

She is capable.

She has been chosen by me to adopt her but more importantly by God through adoption by salvation.

She can do anything she sets her mind too.

Till I take my last breath, she will be my daughter.

My prayer is that she chooses to be a city on a hill and shines her light for the glory of God.  I pray that she remembers this night and holds it close to her heart because I hold it close to mine.

Some People

They know 20% of our story and that is being generous.  Maybe, I will clear up some other misconceptions over time.  I don’t know.  I wouldn’t do it without her permission.

For Now, we allow time to heal wounds. Pray for clarity, safety, wisdom, discernment, and forgiveness.

God is bigger.

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Hard Week Leading Up to Christmas

Hard Week Leading Up to Christmas

Today is only Tuesday night and this week has already completely caused a mental, physical, and emotional breakdown.  A dear friend passed away and in my grief for his family, I went through the motions of the day.  I hauled kids back and forth to work and school.  The house was clean, appointments made, dinners planned, and then I was alone.

I found myself at Hobby Lobby and that is not a good place to be when you are having a moment.  There are moments where you are listening to Christmas music and then there are the old time hymns that my friend loved.  I kept my mask on because my tears were flowing and I was trying to hide the ugly cry.

As I was pondering the things that kept appearing in my cart, I called to talk to one of my son-in-laws.  I needed some advice on something and he found out I was, indeed, at Hobby Lobby.  The excitement in his voice was palpable.  I was in the throes of hysteria and he was thrilled I was in the store.

That boy.

I told him that there was something in there that I was going to get for Apollo but I wasn’t sure about it.  He assured me that Apollo needed whatever it was that I had picked out.  Everything in Hobby Lobby is good and safe to purchase, including the shopping cart.

As we are discussing what I have and what I actually needed him for, this object caught my eye and I lost it.  I stated that I had just found a hot pink flamingo with a crown and that I didn’t need it but I wanted it.  That everyone needs a crown every now and then.  It was only $12 but it wasn’t on sale.

He was THRILLED and said that I, of course, needed it.  That it would be awesome to have and it was okay that I buy it because it is from Hobby Lobby. I put it in my cart and cried when I handed it to the cashier.  I told her I didn’t need it and she thought I made a great purchase.

Running into Old Acquaitance

As I was leaving, I ran into an old acquaintance who I grew up with.  Our families were good friends and we were always together when we were young.  I knew her dad had had Alzheimer’s and was not well.  Also, her mom, amazingly, was his sole caregiver.

I was shocked to see her after 30 years and asked if she moved back to town.  That is when she told me that she was only in because…her dad just died…I was speechless.  After the loss of my friend that morning and now the loss of someone that I truly loved and respected as a child was gone.  It was a good thing, he is with Jesus and singing his sweet heart out but still.  It is hard for those left behind.

We chatted and caught up a bit and then we parted again.  I called my Oak and cried all the way home.  I walked in the door and just laid on Bart sobbing.  He is a good man.  He knew my one friend but didn’t know or meet my other friend, Buddy.  He just let me cry.

I got out my purchases to show Bart.  I told him that we were officially done with Christmas.  Then, I got to the bag with my flamingo.  Through my sobs, I told him I could take it back because I didn’t need it and didn’t want to waste his money on something so frivolous.  He told me that he loved it and I could keep it.  It isn’t that big of a deal and it made me happy.  I told him that Arkie encouraged me to buy it because it was from Hobby Lobby (his love of this store warms my heart.)

So, meet my pink friend…

Hard Week Leading Up to Christmas

Isn’t she glorious???!!!

There have been other things that are really really tough that have happened.  Prayers are truly appreciated for the families that lost loved ones this week, for those affected by the tornadoes, for those who are lost, and for my daughter whom we miss and is not with us this year.

God is good.  I will love Him through this storm.  I just have to keep my eyes above the waves.  This week, I have sort of felt like I was drowning.  This too shall pass…like a kidney stone.

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The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

This book, The Body Keeps the Score, is very good and highly disturbing.  My sister recommended it and so I used Audible and I listened to it while traveling to and from the hospital with Hunter.  Let me tell you, The Body Keeps the Score, I highly recommend.  I do so, however, warning you that it is a hard, thought-provoking read.

Synopsis from Amazon

“Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.”

Completely Disturbing

This book made me think.  It, for me, should not have listened too.  I needed a physical copy in order to stop, process, write things down, absorb the information that was being presented to me.  I’m thankful my sister had read it before me.  There were many times, I called and we had to have a discussion.

For me, sometimes I can’t see the forest from the trees.  This book helped me to look at one tree at a time and address it.  Learn about it.  Focus on it.  Process it.  This is information that I used in therapy to help resolve some things that I need resolving.

Processing trauma, of any sort, can be hard.  Please make sure you take care of yourself.  Get plenty of rest, drink water, eat well, seek help.  Take it one step at a time.  Day by day and sometimes moment by moment.

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The One that *Sees* You

The One that *Sees* You

The One that *Sees* You

Have you ever felt invisible?  That no one really sees the pain that you carry around on a daily basis?  Has your pain ever been so intense and you have stuffed it so far, that you are numb to emotions?  Have you ever been called emotionally stagnant or unable to feel things as they happen?  Well, that’s me in a nutshell.

Trauma

Childhood trauma, young adult trauma, adult trauma, PTSD, whatever it is that you may face.  It’s a bitch.  In the moment, I feel nothing.  I’m always on mode go go go go go and then once I’ve gone, I relax.  Then, I cry and feel all the feelings.  It’s horrible.  I’m working on processing the traumas, whether big or small, past, present or what I foresee.

Have you ever taken the ACE test?  The Adverse Childhood Experience study?  My score is 6.  This means that “People with an ACE score of 6 or higher are at risk of their lifespan being shortened by 20 years. ACEs are responsible for a big chunk of workplace absenteeism, and for costs in health care, emergency response, mental health, and criminal justice.”

Drug Allergy Testing

So, this past week, I had to take Hunter back to the allergist at Vanderbilt.  This time, not for seasonal allergies but for a Decadron Challenge.  Doing this definitively tells me whether or not he has an allergy to this specific drug.

Luckily, we had the same nurse as last time and the dr that we met via telehealth the first time.  These ladies are so very nice.  They explained things to Hunter and me very well.  We had to leave a bit early and I got so turned around that we were almost lost.

This place is in a shopping mall.  I kind you not.  We had to go to a mall to go to the doctor.  It is so weird.  Add that to the fact we have to go up one escalator, down a thousand hallways, and up an elevator to get to where we were going.  I was tired, he was getting anxious, we all know the drill.

10 Minutes Late

We got there, just in the knick of time.  The nurse called us back and said how she remembered us from the last time.  She did all the things and got us to our room.  Hunter was behind me, twirling his shirt and hopping.  I sat down, feeling defeated but stoic.  Ready for this next test, next doctor, next hospital, next next next.

The nurse came over and asked to hold Hunter’s hands.  She looked at him and told him exactly what we were going to do.  That nothing, today, would hurt him.  She comforted him and asked him if he was okay.  He said he was scared and she softly assured him that there was nothing to fear.  That touched my heart of stone.

Then, It Happened

She got him settled with the promise of Teddy Grahams and power aid.  Next, she rolled back to her computer and started typing something, asking me the normal round of questions.  Then, she quickly turned her chair around and looked me dead in the eye.

She said, “are you okay?”  This was done with such sincerity that it threw me off.  I was speechless.  Then, I felt it coming.  Tears welled up in my eyes and I gently said “no.”  She rolled over to me and patted me on the leg and said that it was going to be okay and that I was going to be okay.

I Felt Seen

At that moment, I felt as if she could see directly into my soul.  That she saw everything that had been stuffed down and she wanted to assure me that it is okay.  I am okay.  This is all going to be okay.  I felt such comfort and calmness.  A peace fell over me and I could physically feel my body relaxing.

On cue, Hunter must have felt something too because he did his thing.  Ever since he got sick, we have listened to Ms. Debbie.  She has recorded us about 8 songs.  He knows them all by heart and asks to listen to her because it calms him.  He turned around and said, “can we please listen to Ms. Debbie?”

We both listened and praised God together.  I am learning, listening, and trying to trust in the process.  It is coming up on 4 yrs and we are both just tired.  God, give us rest and heal his weary body.

Side note:  he is NOT allergic to Decadron 🙂

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In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Stillness

I love the time of day when I can go upstairs and just be.  For the day, I am done.  I am done with school, cooking, cleaning, putting out fires, phone calls, texts, etc.  My stuff, a bottle of water, and coke come up the stairs with me.  I turn on all the fans, dim the lights, wash my face, and pile up in bed.  Yet, In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play.

For a bit, I am good.  I will scan all the things like email, Instagram, and such.  Facebook is a thing of the past.  I cannot stand the fakeness, passive-aggressive, political, crap that it is.  A “friend” can be a friend to your face but behind your back, they are a glorified 12-year-old living in the land of middle school.

That shit is for the birds.  I’m so much better than that.

Then, the stillness sets in.

The Silence

My life is SO loud.  I mean my son-in-law is LOUD.  Everyone is loud.  We have 21 chickens, 19 cats, a whiny dog, a granddaughter, and kids galore.  It is always something.  At night, though, other than the fans, it is silent.

That’s when the thoughts come in.  These are not good thoughts.  Normally, I watch the Detail Geek (car detailing guy from Canada) and talk to Donna.  We talk through several of his details and giggle so much.  Catch up on life, talk about our issues, and the issues of our children… all the things.

Since she passed away, in October last year, I have stopped watching him.  I get so emotional when I do.  Then, I go to pick up the phone and I realize she isn’t there.  All of the unresolved trauma and grief floods me.

Reality

When Donna’s daughter died, I did not process her death for a year.  Her death was so hard on me.  I have loved LA from the moment I met her until the moment we buried her.  Donna and I had always been close but our bond was unbreakable after LA died.

I remember the night that I called her.  Crying.  I was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe.  She could not understand me.  Finally, she said for me to stop and tell her 2 things that make me laugh when I think of her.

  1.  Bats
  2. Hair dye

Instantly

I stopped crying and replayed that story over and over in my head.  The darkness began to have a bit of light and the monster retreated for a moment back from where it came.  Donna is gone. Now, I have no one to tell that story too.

So again, the monster comes out to play in the stillness of the night.  When I am alone with my own thoughts and the depression begins to overwhelm me.

Bats. Hair dye.  Bats.  Hair dye.  Monsters go away because I do not want to play.

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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. It’s 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 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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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 another 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 it’s just a sweater but to me, that is an accomplishment. To be able to wear something that I made. Just because it’s not interesting to you doesn’t mean it’s not important.

My Dreams

The same with schooling, just because it’s not what you want me to do doesn’t mean that it’s 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 nonetheless. 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 you’re 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 I’ll 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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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 anyway? 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 supposed 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 normal people are nowhere 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 dangerous 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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From the Outside Looking

From the Outside Looking

From the Outside Looking

From the Outside Looking In {my family}

We were a happy family

{We} went to church

We spent time with other people

{We} went places together

 

But what you don’t see

Is the mother that can’t get out of bed

Or the stepfather that won’t help feed the kids

And the nine-year-old raising her younger brothers.

 

All that is seen is what they want you to see

Happy, healthy children

Children that spend time with other kids

And parents that provide the best they can

 

Truly my parents did try the best they could

But sometimes that’s not enough

Sometimes the best is not good or bad just an effort

On the days that everyone was happy

Everything was fine

 

But those days when the yelling was too hard to bear

Or the throwing of things was upsetting to hear

Those are the days that stick with children

 

Having a stepfather that could care less

Or can’t stand to look at you because you’re not his

Or maybe because of jealousy of the bond a mother has with her kids

 

That is hard

And then there are the days

When your mother can’t get out of bed

Because she has massive depression

Not that you understand because yet again you are nine

 

Those days are the days that are the hardest

Because you’re alone in the house

And in charge of the kids

Who are five and one

 

Don’t get me wrong I love those kids

And I would do anything for them still

But there is so much one child can do

And somethings are just too much responsibility

 

And even though no one knew what was going on

Or maybe no one was observant enough to see

Either way, I choose to believe that it all happened for a reason

And I would still choose to help even though it took away my childhood

At least they got to keep theirs

Thankful

Today, I am thankful for this young lady.  She is a beautiful human who is loved tremendously.  I am so proud of her journey and watching her grow and heal.

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How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom

How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom

My guest blogger writes a letter to her mom.  She is working through How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom.  Her path of healing has been long and difficult.  She is wading through the good memories and the bad.  Right now, sadly, the bad memories are more prevalent.  I pray that one day, she will remember the good memories she had with her mom.  Somehow, someway, it makes the bad memories more bearable.

How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom

My Dearest Mother,

My Dearest Mother, you have caused me so much pain for the past ten years of my life. I cannot count how many times I have laid in bed at night and cried because of you. Sadly, I have cried because I was not good enough for you. I have cried because at the times I have needed you most, you were not here. Also, I have cried because when I have had a hard day at work or school, I cannot call you. It is so frustrating to me that you are so thickheaded that you cannot see what you did wrong. I have written you numerous letters in hopes that they would somehow reach you, and you would come to your senses.

Spoiler alert, you have not.

For years, I walked on eggshells just to be sure I did not hurt your feelings. At this point, I do not care. I am fed up with the lies you feed everyone. Imagine saying that your eleven-year-old daughter made up a story about how you locked your sick son up in his bedroom and would not give him food. Like, I did not just wake up one day and say ‘Hm, I think I want to make up this lie and make my mom look bad today.’ Imagine trying to blame you and your husband’s actions on CHILDREN. Honestly, I have not asked you for much, just for you to admit what you did and apologize.

I know that is something I will never get.

One time you told me you were raising us the way you wanted to be treated. That just does not make sense to me. Who wants to be sexually abused by their stepfather for years? Because I certainly did not. I did not want him to watch me every time I took a shower. Also, I did not want him to watch me get dressed. I did not want him to put his hand on my butt every time I stood remotely close to him. Furthermore, I did not want him to take me and my sister up to the garage that day and assault us. I did not want all this trauma you gave me. All I wanted was a mother.

At this point

I do not even try and wonder what my life would be like had you not met my stepdad because it tends to hurt my feelings. Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Honestly, why? Why? Just why? I have so many questions for you, and I know I will not get a single answer. All I want, is a mom. Someone to look out for me, give me advice, and most importantly I just I want to experience a mother’s love.

Every night, when I pray, I pray that I am not like you. I pray that I never cause my children pain. Also, I pray that my kids will NEVER lay in bed at night crying because they feel I do not love them. I will be nothing like you, and that is a promise. Maybe one day you will come to your senses, but that is doubtful.

Best Regards,

Your Daughter

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