HOLY CRAP

First off…remind me the next time I am coming to the library to blog to remember a sweatshirt, it is so cold in this computer lab and I can’t type with my jacket on.

So, I’ve spent a ton of time devoted to prayer lately. Our pastor encouraged us to pray some Big-Ask Prayers, and I did. I asked for the right job to come for me, and I asked for beds for the boys and myself.

Well, as always, God pulled through. I did not expect him to pull through so fast, but today I was hired as a personal care attendant for a little girl with Spina Bifida. The pay is more than I was making at the hotel, the scheduling is extremely flexible, and no weekends or holidays. Minimum 24 hours each week and the option to work 40+. Can you say PERFECT FIT??

I went to the scheduled prayer meeting at the church and was met by the pastor who had a silly grin on his face. Not only did he find bunk beds for the boys, but the youth pastor found a bed for me as well!!

Lord, I asked…You answered. You came up BIG for me. THANK YOU.

I am so overwhelmed with happiness.

Lord, I know I’ve asked some really big-ask prayers lately and I thank you for allowing others the opportunity to bless my life and my kids lives and thank you for having them choose me and the boys to bless with their radical generosity. I will continue to serve you Lord, and to bless those I am able to with my unique gifts you have blessed me with. Continue to light my path Lord so I can follow You and hear your call. Amen

The Story of Sam

Friday, August 1, 2003 I found out I was pregnant. First person to know was my shrink…I was crying; maybe it wasn’t true, maybe the test was a false-positive…I couldn’t be pregnant. I had spent the last 8 months planning my divorce! I ‘knew’ that as soon as our bills were paid off, I was leaving. There was no way my marriage was going to work.

There it was though, in my hand, a positive pregnancy test.

EH and I both knew the marriage was over. He had significantly changed the ‘rules’ without any care about what it would do to our marriage and the three children we brought into our marriage (his two from his first marriage, and my Bug).

Well, over the course of the weekend we knew we had no choice but to make this work. We now had a baby coming.

Monday night I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why. All my babies had nicknames while they were in-utero and I knew I would not sleep until I came up with a name for our new baby. We talked about nursery themes, plans for telling the kids, dreams, fixing our broken marriage.

Baby Looney Toons was chosen for a nursery room theme. We then decided that Yosemite Sam was going to be who we named our baby after until it was born. This was about 4:00 in the morning when we both finally fell asleep. I was at peace, my baby had a name; welcome Sam.

At work the next morning, I was there less than an hour and noticed some spotting. I called EH (we worked at the same place) and we went to the ER. My doctor was just coming in for the day so he saw me in the ER. I was given a speculum exam and was told that it was minimal spotting, the cervical os was still closed, and spotting in early pregnancy is common. He told me to go home and rest for the day and resume my normal activities the next day. I went home and crawled into bed…woo hoo…nap time!!

A lifetime later, Sam’s lifetime…I woke up from my nap. In a pool of blood and my baby. I called the doctor, told the nurse what happened and was told to bring in what I passed. I did as I was told…my child, my baby…in a Rubbermaid food storage container.

The lab report came back a few weeks later…products of conception…I hate that label, spontaneous abortion; I hate that one too. No cause, no reason…no answers.

I’m sorry Sam. If love could have saved you…I’m so sorry.

Bridges

This was written October 24, 2011. I have edited it, but the message is the same.

I work very hard at forgiving others for their actions against me. A complete forgiveness should absolve them of their negative actions, right? I start to wonder about how to move forward. If they are forgiven completely, doesn’t that mean that it is erased as if it never happened? Or does it mean that the lesson is learned and you move forward based on that life lesson?

I don’t hold grudges; they are a waste of time and energy and a thief of serenity. I am also not willing to put myself in harms way. I forgive the person who took my virginity in an agonizing act of rape…but I sure as hell never saw him again. I forgave my big brother for knocking three of my teeth loose in the seventh grade…and I learned to never make him say ‘please’ again when he asked for his stuff back.

Maybe it is just that these are lessons that shape us and our path in life. Maybe once the bridge is burned, it is possible to rebuild the bridge, but it takes a lot of hard work, and time. Once a bridge is burned you can’t immediately return to the site of the fire because of the lingering smoke and potential for flare ups. You can purchase materials for the rebuild and leave them in a safe place.

If the person on the other side does not allow you to rebuild the bridge, at least you have done everything in your power to allow for the rebuild. The other person cannot complain that he no longer has a bridge if you offered to rebuild, and bought the materials. You then can have a clear conscious moving forward. It is your job at that point to move on. If you have honestly and completely come to an understanding of why and how you burned the bridge in the first place, your job is to admit the mistake and take steps to put the bridge back where it was.

I’ve been that person on the other side and there are times when there is no way in hell that the bridge burner is stepping foot on my land. Leave the damn materials on the side of the road, if I choose to use them, I will. If not, I can’t bitch that my bridge is gone forever if the material rots on the side of the road. Whatever you do, do NOT even think about trying to build that bridge without my permission…you will be shot on site.

As the bridge burner you must also be aware that I very well may use those materials to build a wall to keep you off my property forever. That is a chance you will have to take, and a very good probability that this is exactly what I will use the materials for.

As the person whose bridge was burnt, I also need to be mindful that once the materials rot there may never be the chance to rebuild that bridge…the burner may also choose to move on.

Personally, I do my best at allowing the bridges to be rebuilt. It is not uncommon though for me to post the rules for crossing the bridge at the entrance, and this helps prevent a reoccurrence.

 

It’s Not Easy

The tough thing with any mental illness is that you (as the patient) have to make lifestyle changes much like a diabetic patient must make dietary changes. Bug needs to learn to respect her diagnosis if she is ever going to learn to respect herself. A couple very important things she needs to consider, are sleep patterns and nutritional status.

Living with depression, I have learned that no matter how much I may want to stay up all night and visit with friends and family; I need to go to bed at a decent time. I also need to make sure that I eat a well balanced diet. I’m nearly forty and don’t always do great with that one. What I do know is that when I am undernourished or malnourished I am much more vulnerable and more likely to make poor, irrational decisions.

As an alcoholic, I have learned to respect the fact that I am as little as one drink away from disaster and need to be mindful of the situations I put myself in.

Imagine if you will: I’m tired from not getting any sleep, I skip breakfast because I over slept, I am crabby because not only am I now hungry, but still tired; my heart is hurting because I think I am not strong enough to complete the task at hand, I am lonely because I miss my boys…and along comes a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Talk about a perfect storm.

People who have not been in this situation have no idea how difficult it is to be mindful and vigilant of how extremely vulnerable I am. They have no idea how difficult it is to fight the urge to give in to the wolf…(even though every fiber of my being knows better).

Nothing is worse than having to look yourself in the eye and admit that you are so vulnerable that you are not sure if you can trust yourself. I don’t look myself in the mirror anymore…I don’t like that look I give myself…I just know. I have not done anything in almost two years to give myself a reason to think I can’t trust myself…I just know I can’t take that risk.

I have guests who have become friends over the last year and a half at work. They spend more nights at my hotel than they do at home. It is only Tuesday and already I have been invited for supper twice. An electrical company (who sent me flowers last summer because they were so impressed with my customer service) and a communications company have both asked how they can repay the great service I provide their employees. I try to explain that it is merely part of my job to remember that one of the rooms prefers poolside, one prefers the back hallway downstairs, one needs to be by an outside entrance because they are a smoker, one wants to be upstairs facing the parking lot, one prefers a king sized bed, two prefer to have two beds in case their family comes to visit…little things.

Being recognized for the awesome job I do is humbling…and difficult. These people really think I have it all together; if they only knew. This is why for now, I need to keep my distance. I am fragile, I am vulnerable. Although I do not even for one second believe these supervisors and foremen are wolves, I know I can’t take that risk.

I had a group that stayed at the hotel last fall check in last night after I left for the day. Last fall they worked in the area for about 6 weeks. Of the nine person crew they had at that time, only two of the same workers are on this seven person crew.

Today, while on their break they came to the hotel just to say hi. They asked what time I wanted my Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It was an ongoing joke last year that the only way to get off my shit list if they pissed me off was to bribe me with a Turtle Blizzard…almost a year later and they remembered. I told them it was only day TWO for them…if they were already worried about Blizzards they’d best just save up their pennies and buy me diamonds (they are staying for about three months this time).

This is me, this is what I deal with. This is hard work. The Friend, her husband, and the Photographer have all said I am the best person for the job…at this time I will choose to trust them.

Bug will be home from work soon. I have made some decisions and I have no idea how she will handle them.

The first is to implement consequences of some sort. I am looking for her to have input as this will be an opportunity for me to not only gauge her willingness, but also her abilities.

The second one is that she will come home one minute early for every minute she was late last night. So her 11:00 pm curfew just became a 9:21pm curfew the next evening she chooses to go out. This will also gauge her level of commitment to this process. I do not want to make this an ongoing consequence as she needs to learn to respect the fact that I need my sleep at night. Waiting up until well past midnight for her to return home is unacceptable.

Wish me luck…I enjoy fireworks as much as the next person…just not in my living room!

An Open Letter to My Daughter

I don’t even know how to explain this one…not here, in words; not to my heart. It’s just not an option.

Oh hell my heart…

Dear Miss Bug,

If I didn’t believe in my heart of hearts that you are going to be okay, eventually…this would kill me. You are young. You can get through this…you WILL get through this.

PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder; they are mere labels placed upon you to enable the medical community to care best for you. They do NOT define you. YOU are a smart young woman.

Please allow those around you to support your good decisions and to question your questionable ones. That’s our job. Do not push away those who care. The negative ones who cause or feed drama just to watch the aftermath; ignore them. They are not worth your time, your energy, your sanity, your inner peace.

Understand that the rules in place now that I am enforcing are MUCH harder to enforce than I make it look. While I tell you that you cannot stay with me, it is with a heavy heart. My heart aches to watch you walk the path you are on.

I know how you feel kid…twenty years ago, I was you. I was in almost the exact same shoes. The difference is, I allowed myself to make decisions out of desperation and fear.

You deserve better. Do not allow fear to prevent you from doing what you know is right. Being alone sucks, being with somebody who leaves you lonely…even worse.

Stand up to your fears…what is the WORST case scenario…seriously. Figure those things out. Figure them out on your terms.

I love you more than Nutella, Skittles, playoff hockey, and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls combined…seriously.

As I told you in the message I sent you last night, “I do love you Miss B and that will never change. I’ve been where you are. SLOW DOWN. I know, easier said than done when you are hurting and lonely and only want somebody to love you…that is not love though. You need to love God first and then yourself. You need to turn your will and your life over to the care and control of God and trust that He knows what He is doing.”

Spend your time in prayer little girl. Study the Bible, allow it to bring you peace. If you need guidance finding scriptures that fit your situation call Pastor Jeff. Call your photographer (she’s awesome at this kind of thing). Pray for peace, courage, and wisdom.

TAKE NOTES. When you find a piece of scripture that speaks to your heart, write it down. Carry it with you, in your phone, your iPod, your damn pocket on a napkin of Bubba and Bum’s snot if you have to.

Spend time in thoughtful prayer. Pray for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for your enemies. Your brothers both love it when people encourage their faith; pray with them. Teach them how to talk to God, how to walk with God.

FORGIVE those who have hurt you. Holding on to the pain is not hurting them, it is only holding you back, weighing you down. Remember, when you choose to forgive you are not granting them freedom, you are reclaiming yours.

Never forget that you are worth the effort people put in to helping you to live a happy and full life. You are young. If people are willing to put the effort out, ALLOW THEM. Do not push away those are trying to and can help. Although the easy path is filled with people who are more than willing to lead you astray, don’t take the short cut. Trust me, it’s not worth it.

You’ve seen the hard work that goes in to walking the high road…guess what, the scenery over here is amazing. The sites, the sounds, the experiences; you cannot get this on Easy Street.

Lean on me, my girl. That’s what my shoulders are here for. I’m a big girl, I can take it. I can also hold you accountable…and will continue to do so; and will do it out of love.

Take Care Miss Bug, I’m right here.

Love,

Mom

…Shattered…

…and just like that my heart hurts…

This one isn’t about my boys though. I think I hurt Sparky’s feelings. I dunno for sure though because after a long shift at work he was going to bed.

I got a letter from my lawyer today with a settlement ‘offer’ from EH. He’s ‘offering’ him to have custody with me having every other weekend and him to have custody during the school year and me to have them all summer with him having them every other weekend at that point. He sees this as a ‘concession’ because he was granted temporary custody without a set visitation schedule.

After reading it…and without even having time to think about it, I told Sparky that if he gets full custody of the boys I saw that as the end to our future. His response was “I didn’t think the drive was that big of a deal but apparently it is.” ugh

I just said that I cannot live that far away from my boys and there is no way every other weekend seeing each other is enough…”well, I guess you already decided then, I’m going to bed, good night.”

click

fuck.me.

I think I hurt his feelings, and now I feel like shit.

Sorry Sparky…I am just so damned scared of losing my boys. I just can’t even fathom life without them. I know you understand that. I also know you do everything in your power to reassure me that everything is going to work out okay. I’m not half as confident as you when it comes to this, I’m the only shot these boys have…and I’m scared.