These Walls…..they are closing in

I mentioned that my son had started seeing a therapist, to which a friend at work replied “What’s wrong with him?” I felt myself screaming inside my head, I wanted to scream out loud, “Nothing, nothing is wrong with him, he is emotional and struggling, and has lost 3 grandparents in 4 years, now leave him alone”. Did she mean any harm? No, of course not. Did it sting? Of course it did. You see, my son is currently seeing a therapist and being evaluated for ADHD. So I worry.  I worry that he is being judged as the bad kid, I worry I am being judged as the bad parent. I worry that people think there is something “wrong” with him, and I worry that people think there is nothing wrong with him. And then after I worry about that, I worry some more….here come those walls again.

Carter is brilliant, he excels in math, he is smart, funny, kind, thoughtful, out of the box, and loving. He is fun to be around…sometimes. Then sometimes he rages for no reasons, he antagonizes people for attention, he screams and cries and fights, he yells, refuses to do things, forgets to do things, can’t sit still, breaks things accidentally, he can not focus, he drifts while working on a task, anything that could to be done in 5 minutes will take 30+, fidgets and makes noises, refuses to do his work, argues uncontrollably, lies, threatens his brother, tunes out/checks out, can’t tolerate making mistakes, pees on the floor and doesn’t know why. He doesn’t know why for any of it, and neither do I. So that is why we have reached this crossroad, and that is why those walls are pushing in.

Carter has always struggled, he didn’t sleep through the night until he was two and a half, truthfully he didn’t sleep at all. Now he sleeps but it is scattered and rough, unless he takes a melatonin. He would get upset as a toddler and bang his head, not temper tantrum head knocks, but bumps on cement or walls that would leave him having constant knots on his head. I love Carter, through and through, but as a baby and toddler, it was hard some days to like him. I know parents aren’t supposed to say that, but there it is. The issues have always been there, but they have been a minimal issue in school, until this year. He started 2nd grade this year and it requires a lot more focusing and sitting still than he has experienced before and he is having trouble doing it and focusing. I always said when he had trouble in school, then we needed to do something. So, alas, we are doing something. And it is terrifying. I feel like I am keeping a secret, I am hiding so he isn’t judged and labeled a bad seed, and so I am not judged the neglectful parent.

People do not know your daily life, or the struggles in it, but that doesn’t stop the negative thoughts or judgement. I think that if the judgement was just toward me it wouldn’t be so bad, but the fear that this label can affect Carter in such a negative way scares the heck out of me. So until the verdict is read and all evaluations are complete it will be a secret, and even after, if it is so. I will share Carter’s secret carefully, to those I trust and know.  I will teach him that these words and labels do not define him, they are only part of him and he gets to decide what to do with those words and what they mean. I will teach him that he is amazing, and awesome, and creative and no person, no label, no amount of anything can ever take those wonderful things away from him. And I will worry, and I will worry, and I will try to hold back these walls.

***Elephants can feel grief and loss, they have amazing emotional intelligence***

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The hair color panic of 2014

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About 4 years ago, for reasons unknown I had an allergic reaction. It started with one foot itching, then both, then swelling then my hands too and hives on my stomach. This lasted for a day and got progressively worse until I finally went to the hospital and recieved an allergy shot. I also went to the dermatologist and had allergy tests done, nothing came up. For a long time this sent me into a panic attack every time i cam in contact with anything new, whether it went on my skin or in my body. Sometimes I still panic now. To explain it with an example, I had eaten clam chowder that day and it was one of my fav foods, I haven’t eaten it since. I can’t, even the idea of eating it scares me. So that brings me to my day today, I haven’t dyed my hair in about 3?or so years. For the first time since I was about 15 years old I actually know what my natural color is but it isn’t auburn and I decided I wanted auburn. So I went to the store bought myself some hair dye and proceeded to open the box. In big bold letters what do I see “ALLERGY WARNING” so I read and it tells me to do a skin test so I begin a skin test on my arm for the hair dye thinking that would make me less paranoid about a reaction, but after I put the color on my skin I take to google where I find out all about the as chemicals in hair dye like ppd and ammonia that apparently common allergens and known carcinogens. So on freak. Get the stuff off my arm and become frustrated at my fear and the toxicity of the stuff in hair dyes. I did find plant based hair dyes online without the chemicals but these are also expensive, I found one that even had the perfect copper color from Palette by Nature I want but it is $25 and although it looks extremely promising I and I can’t risk that much money for something with very little reviews. This post is more about frustration at not being able to achieve the hair color I want, this is after growing my hair out for over a year (the first time my hair has been past my shoulders since I was 15) and just wanting to do something that would make me feel better, prettier, lift those down spirits I keep fighting. It would be nice to find a natural hair color I could use and feel safe using but apparently it won’t be happening anytime soon. I am sure there are plenty of people out there in the blog world looking for the same thing so if I can ever get one I will be sure to write a review! And if anyone knows anything about this please let me know in the comments!<

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Meditate Smeditate

So as I posted before I have really been trying to change my life for the better. I have been trying to smile and laugh more, be friendlier and kinder, and find my Zen. I haven’t found it yet but I have a feeling it is out there somewhere.

The problem with trying to become spiritually awakened is…I have kids. I have screaming, running, playing, fighting, laughing, distracting, needing, wanting, eating demons kids.

And I am mom, nevermind dad isn’t working right now, nevermind dad is always home, they NEVER ask dad, they always wait for mom. “Mom, I need my clothes washed.” “Mom, I am hungry.” “Mom I lost my ________.” Just like Stewie from Family Guy “Mom, mom, mommy, momma….”

I think they work it out to need me when i am doing something “Hey mom is trying to meditate….wait 10 minutes and go ask to borrow her earbuds.” “Hey mom is working on her blog…ask her how long she is going to be on the computer.”

So after this became the obvious way things were going in my “Build a Better Me” I decided to get the kids in on the action. I have heard that kids can really benefit from yoga and meditation, and that may be true. But I can not tell you, I can’t tell you because mine don’t seem to sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time. If this changes I will let you all know, because I don’t give up easily.

I have begun taking walks by myself a couple times a week. I have even worked out a schedule with my older two children. Monday and Thursday walks are for me. Tyler gets Tuesday and Friday to join me on my walk. And Wednesday and Saturday are set aside just for Carter. This has worked well. I get days to enjoy some alone time and we get days that are just one on one.

Come to think of it, I think this has been a spiritual awakening for me. Maybe I am not a yogaer (is that even a word?) or a meditator in the average sense. Maybe I am just a mom with very little time who just wants to truly get to know herself and her kids.

These walks are special, sometimes they are quiet, sometimes they are fun-filled and I learn facts I didn’t know about the world from the eyes of a 10 or 7 year old, and sometimes, on the really special walks, I learn about them.

***What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish? You can’t tuna fish***

Posted in dad, daughter, family, husband, kids, learned, love, mom, parenting, son, spiritual, trying, Uncategorized, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Demons Inside of Robin Williams

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A man goes to see a doctor. Doctor asks what seems to be the trouble. The man says, “Doc, I’m depressed. Simply, I can’t sleep sometimes, I can’t eat, I feel down and irritable most days. I just can’t feel ‘happy.'”

The Doctor says, “I’ve got the perfect fix for you. In town tonight is the great clown Pagliacci. He’s hysterically funny and will make you laugh til you cry. You will experience a joy unprecedented.”

The man bursts into tears. The doctor, confused asks why. “Doc, I am Pagliacci.”

I know that most everyone out there has already moved on, that Robin William’s death is simply old news but it kept me up for a bit last night and has played heavy on my mind this morning. I feel a deep sadness for his family, although he was beloved for his humor and wit by millions of people, none of us can truly understand what his family is going through. So I would like to state how truly sorry I am to them for their loss and the tragedy they have faced.

I am not a celebrity person, I don’t care who is getting married or divorced, and what is going on in their lives because truthfully it is none of my business and I have my own busy and hectic life to keep up with. There are a few celebrities that captivate me. Not because of their drama but because of who they appear to be or what they do for the world around them.  Maya Angelou was one of those and so was Robin Williams.

I love Robin WIlliams for his talent but also how well loved he is, almost every tweet or word about him I have read not only mentions his immense talent but his very kind and gentle soul. http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/08/11/robin-williams-dead/

I heard a few years ago that Robin Williams was bipolar. I do not know with 100% accuracy if this is true. I believed this because his manic stage is extremely evident in his stand up acts, loud, constantly moving, very vibrant and even euphoric. But despite the possibly of his being bipolar I would have never thought of him as anything but happy. I mean, he was the genie freed by Aladdin. The father given another chance to bond with his kids. The professor who inspired students to love poetry and helped a gifted janitor discover his potential. The doctor who made kids laugh through pain. Robin Williams made people laugh and cry, he moved us and made us think, we felt inspired and even got our heart strings pulled. 

My two favorite movies starring Robin Williams are The Birdcage and What Dreams May Come. And yes, I am well aware of just how different those two movies are but I also find that they truly show the range he had as an actor. He was something special, amazing. Seeing The Birdcage when I was younger made me laugh but it also helped to teach me that families come in all shapes and sizes and love is the most important part. What Dreams May Come feels a bit ominous to mention in this blog post. Suicide and loss being such a large part of the story, but also love. That movie affected me very deeply the first time I saw it, having just lost my best friend to suicide. That movie may very well be the saddest movie I have ever seen but I love it because of the power behind it’s message of unconditional, undying love. The willingness to go to Hell to find someone is a truly amazing feat.

Let me digress back to the original point of this post, the part that really kept me up last night and is on my mind this morning. Anytime I have seen Robin Williams in interviews or movies he seemed like a fun loving, sweet, charming man full of life and laughter. So much so that he is one of the very few celebrities that I have ever wanted to meet. He seemed down to earth and in the clouds at the same time. I am struggling to fathom the profound sadness unseen to his fans. The sadness that caused him to eventually take his own life. The sadness that he hid so well when out in the world making people laugh away their own sadnesses.

How did he do it? How did he carry those demons that plagued him in secret for so long? How did he not let it show in his work and life outside of his family? And how could someone that seemed like they had everything to live for find the world to heard to bear and take their own life? This man that had been beloved by the world since the days of Mork and Mindy, found it too hard to try even for just one more day. How does this happen, how can someone so loved, so influential, so wonderful have so much despair that they turn to suicide?

And if someone like Robin Williams, someone wonderful, intelligent, loved, talented, and respected can not make those demons quiet down, can not make the world feel brighter for themselves, can not make things feel ok inside then I beg the question that is plaguing me: How can any of us?

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 ***Cows kill more people a year than sharks***

Posted in actor, dad, death, falling, family, gaining, husband, learned, loss, love, mom, museum, sadness, self loathing, son, trying | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Where have I been? Where do I go?

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I know it has been a while since I have written anything so seeing me pop up might be a bit surprising. Things have been hectic recently from moving in with my mom, having someone t-bone my car by running a stop light, sick kids, and lost me. But I have been trying, trying to be a better mom, trying to be a better wife, daughter, friend, a better me. I have been trying, and I feel like I have been failing, but I am determined to get things right!

As most of you know my dad passed away in January, and if you want to know what a daddy’s girl looks like you have to look no further than a picture of me. I loved my dad, I mimicked my dad, I watched the old movies he watched, I read the stories he enjoyed, I liked the paranormal like he did. My dad was awesome, he was smart, funny, and incredibly quick-witted. My dad was as special as they come.

I tell you this to explain my story, my “aha” moment that has recently come to pass. My dad really was amazing, he supported everything I did and wanted to be, he never lacked faith in me, he never thought I was anything less than amazing. But I have thought I was less than, many times, and at some point in those times I think I have just stopped trying.

I stopped worrying about who I was or who I wanted to be. I stopped worrying about achieving a better me and just started worrying about making it through yet another day. I did things I said I would never do, I yelled at my kids, I said shut up, I fought with insults, I shut myself off from everyone, I threw up my hands and I grabbed the white flag!

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And I fell apart. Not so much outwardly, I have looked like I was doing ok. I have looked like I have moved on from the loss and the sadness. I have gotten up and went to work, taken the kids to school, taken care of my family. I have looked like all is well. But inside, inside has been a sh*tstorm of rage, confusion, heartbreak, and loss.

I hadn’t spoken to anyone about how I have felt, not really, little bits of information here and there but no serious emotion, no outward showing of how broken I truly was inside. Then one extra bad day, I was angry with everyone, I fussed at the kids for nothing really, I was angry at my husband for little things, I was ready to lose it and I did.

Out of what probably seemed like nowhere to my husband I broke, I shattered, I fell apart right there on the bedroom floor. I cried, I wailed, I hyperventilated while snot bubbles formed at my nose. I cried at the stress and the loss, I screamed because I can’t understand why this happened, I actually said the words out loud “I miss my daddy” (something I hadn’t spoken to anyone), I raged because life went on, everyone else was able to brush themselves off and moved on, and I felt stuck in that moment, stuck watching him fade away, watching my world change, my hero leave, knowing nothing would ever be the same again.

I cried for hours, and then I breathed, not healed completely, not totally me, but better. I felt like I had released a demon, a demon I had kept quiet since January 16, 2014. I had told my husband my deep dark secret, I wasn’t ok, I wasn’t healed, I wasn’t moving on.

So we talked, and I came to a resolution. This pain wasn’t going to go away, I wasn’t going to feel “all better”. I was always going to miss my dad but I could do the one thing he pushed me to do all my life, I could be awesome. So now, I have been trying to find this real me, this better version, I am trying to be honest with myself and make my daddy proud.

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I don’t like walking around with a chip on my shoulder, I don’t like pushing everyone away and shutting down, I don’t want to yell at my kids or be angry at them for simply loving me and wanting to be near me. So I am starting over, wiping my slate clean to see who I am without all the mush and madness and influence of others. Maybe I like to meditate, maybe I don’t want to eat meat, maybe I want to fight the powers, wear tie dye and try to change the world. I might be kinder than I realize, calmer than I know, more spiritual than I let on. Who knows whats really buried deep down in me? Maybe, just maybe, I truly can be awesome.

So, as I am a “work in progress” I will have more blog entries regarding my journey and discovery, and probably a few wrong turns and mistakes along the way. Please stay tuned to my adventure!

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***What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.***

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Just a Few Things I Have Learned Since Losing my Dad

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I miss my dad so much. So many times I have thought “I should call Daddy and tell him…” or I hear a joke my dad would giggle at and know that I can’t tell it to him. Right now, my family is going through some struggles and I have been very down about it, and I know that if my dad was here he would say something witty and make me laugh, and make me feel a little bit better.

I have never suffered a loss like this, something so painful and real, yet unreal at the same time. I have never missed someone so achingly in my life. This experience has truly brought me to my knees and left me devastated trying to find solid ground. I know that eventually I will find my place in the world without my dad but for right now I just want to sort myself out, get a little lost, and go through the motions of daily life.

I have learned a few things from this new experience. I have learned how deeply a heart can break and just how unconditionally I loved my dad. I also learned a few things that I think will apply to most anyone suffering an intimate loss. Just because they are gone, the love does not fade, the memories do not disappear, and you do not just “move on” and I have come to accept that all of that is perfectly ok.

Just a Few Things I Have Learned Since Losing my Dad

1.) There are never enough pictures.

2.) When you do run across pictures you will find them heartbreaking.

3.)The memories that made you smile will make you cry, you can only hope that eventually they will make you smile again.

4.)No one is going to understand what it feels like to you, as much as people want to help, and family suffers the same loss, yours is a different journey.

5.)Part of you will always pretend it isn’t real.

6.)You will want to call them and tell them silly things, only to realize you can’t.

7.) Loss changes you and for a time it may even break you.

8.)You are gonna have to go through the motions of life, I don’t know how long this lasts because I am still going through them.

9.) You will think of things to tell them, you will even pick up the phone to call them, and then…you will just cry.

10.) When hard time hits, and they were the person that could make you laugh at those times, you will truly ache inside.

11.) You are gonna cry…a lot, and over and over again.

12.) Some people will lie and tell you it gets better, other people will tell you the truth. It never really gets better, you just get better at handling it, one step at a time.

13.) You will wish you would have hugged them one more time.

14.) You will wonder if you showed them enough just how much you love them.

15.) When you have a joyous moment: your child gets accepted into Beta Club, you find a great deal on something, you finish a project, you will feel so much sadness in the desire to share your joy with them.

16.) Your life will never truly be the same.

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***How do we know that the Earth won’t come to an end?
Because it’s round!***

Happy 70th Birthday, Daddy! We love and miss you!

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Why my 9 year old doesn’t need a smart phone

I don't want this to be my child.

I don’t want this to be my child.

I am not saying that children at this age should not have a cell phone. If they are doing extracurricular activities, going to friend’s homes, or away from you then I do think they need a means of communication. However…

My 9-year-old, Tyler, just informed me a friend in class just got an iPhone. I couldn’t help but feel this is completely ridiculous and I feel that I have to share with the world the reasons I find this bonkers.

Why A 9 Year Old Doesn’t Need A Smart Phone:

1.) He is 9.

2.) Computers, smart phones, and other electronic communication teach children how to communicate and socialize on an almost anonymous level. This causes them to lack the social skills to have face to face interaction and also trains them to go straight to their device when they don’t know what else to do.

3.) When I was younger if I had a friend visiting or company over I was absolutely banned from the phone. You visit with the person you are with, and that is it. But now-a-days I see kids hanging out with their friends physically but not talking or interacting at all, they are both just zombies staring at their screens.

4.) Their brain is not developed and protected enough for the radiation sent from a smart phone. For more informative information on this please click here: http://healthychild.org/cell-phones-radiation-your-childs-health

5.) With snapchat and other pic apps I don’t want my children learning that taking half-naked pictures or snapping a pic in front of a dirty bathroom mirror.

6.) I am not a helicopter mom by any means but I also think when my kids are exposed to sex, drugs, or other adult information I need to be there to help explain it to them. This information is easily accessed when a child has an electronic device outside of your jurisdiction.

7.) Lastly, I want to spend my children’s childhood with them. Video games already take up a lot of their time and I have to put limits on those just so they rise from the Xbox, I don’t want something else to take away from me enjoying my time with them as kids.

Anyone got any ideas or reasons to add to this list? Feel free to post them in the comments below.

***Cleopatra lived closer in time to the Moon landing than to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.***

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