The end of an emotional weekend

What a weekend I had.  My daughter had a friend over for a sleepover, and while I will not divulge details about this girl, I will share that her mom, a dear friend of mine, passed away a couple years ago.  It was… absolutely heart breaking then, and shook me to my core.  I still think about her every single day. And it’s been a long time since we’ve spent time with that family. So this weekend has certainly left me feeling emotional…  And protective over children, in general.

Last night, she asked if we could take a moment and do a group snuggle – because she didn’t get that much at home these days.  My heart broke as I snuggled both girls for a while.  I stayed up way too late, snuggling and chatting with them.  Caught up on how her life had been since we’d last seen each other.  And it shook me all over again.  I tucked them in and stayed up tossing and turning over it all.  This morning, I took them out for breakfast.  Waffles with cotton candy on top – because .. that’s why.  Just because.

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Because maybe, a little extra sweetness, be it a snuggle, a kind word, a funny story, or even cotton candy on top of a rainbow waffle … with sprinkles…. will somehow put a smile on a kid’s face.  And if that happens… maybe she’ll be able to survive this horrendous childhood that she has had.  Yea – I know it’s a stretch.  But damn it… what else can I possibly do?! She now has a standing invite to come over regularly, as well as halloween and any other time she needs a snuggle… but even I know … It’s not enough.

It’s interesting how small your own problems can become in moments like these.  I’ve cried a lot this weekend… cried for her, cried for mother, cried for the unfairness of it all, cried out of gratefulness for my own children… ugh.  I’m done crying, and tomorrow, my still partially sick butt has to get up and go to work and get my head in the game.

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It’s funny, this isn’t how I’d imagined my weekend turning out – but I wouldn’t trade it.  Maybe I needed a reminder … that my problems and stress are small in comparison to what they could be.  That I have it so much better than some, and have given my children a world that is healthy and positive and full of laughter and snuggles and love.  I have to remind myself that I cannot hug everyone.  I can’t heal everyone.  That I have to be content with helping those that I can… and not get hung up on those whom I couldn’t.

Goodnight Neverland.  I wish you all the best.

Much love,

Jen

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I got into a conversation with someone this morning, they were telling me of a conversation they had with my daughter.  Apparently there were things she didn’t want to talk to me about, simply because she worries that when I am stressed, I may not be able to handle it.  It surprised me to hear.  There is something strange and unsettling to hear that your child thinks you’re weak.  Or at the very least, sees a weakness that perhaps you don’t.  I don’t quite know how to fully process that.  But I know that I will.

It led to me thinking through all that I’ve been through.  My brain immediately went back to Ben.  The night we knew something was wrong and raced him, in the dead of the night, to the hospital. That drive will forever be etched into my brain.  The songs that played quietly on the radio, The ex’s steady calm.  Funny, the man would occasionally drive me crazy with his immaturities and lack of self control, but when everything fell apart… when the hour was dire… and we stood on the edge of a very scary storm… he was someone else.  Someone I respected.  I don’t think I ever told him that.  I don’t think I ever told him how, even now, after all this time… I trust him more than I trust myself.  That deep in my heart, he was my very best friend.  I wish I could help him understand how much I loved him.  I don’t think he ever really knew.  And telling him now would be taken weirdly.  I guess I can’t take back the words I never said.  We both had to take on and face the scariest thing we could have possibly imagined.  A situation where we had no control, we were completely helpless – our heart’s were in the doctor’s hands.  Doctors we trusted, because of an ideal in our heads – that somehow – doctor’s were infallible.  Oh how I regret feeling that way. I’ve never felt so ill-prepared when we learned of their mistakes.  And we were both hurt in the most unimaginable ways by it all. Scarred from the pain in many ways.

I thought back to the many days and nights where I would work and work and work… not because I’m a strange person who doesn’t want to have a life or free time… but because I knew it would put food on the table or give me the ability to get the kids gifts for christmas.  Those were the years when the ex and I would eat ramen or spaghetti o’s so the kids could have balanced meals. These were times when we had so much debt over our heads that we would have to ignore a ringing phone. There was always a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the world would crash down around us because we couldn’t pay a bill.

I thought back to days when depression and stress rang so loudly inside my head that I couldn’t even see myself within the cloud I was in.  When I would lay in bed and hide from the world, because it seemed smarter than going out and being hurt by it. When a person loses sight of who they are, and it takes them as long as I have to re-find yourself… there tends to be some disconnects.   I’ve changed in big ways since I last saw myself.  So it’s sometimes hard to trust my own intuition. Thankfully, In many ways, those changes were good.  I love myself now, and I know I didn’t before. I’m more laid back about so many things.  Life is going to happen… you can stress about it, or you can try and find a way to enjoy it.  And now, more than ever before, I’m aware of how strong I really am.  I’m sure most people have no idea the amount of fortitude and strength they actually possess.

It’s interesting, the stages you go through in life.  For every stage of stress or hell, there seems to be an opposing, equally joyous time to remember.  I suppose my knowing that is what keeps me going, keeps me strong.  Because, you see… I can’t give up.  I won’t give up.  It won’t happen on my watch!  I want to see what happens at the end of the story – and we’re not there yet.  Not even half way.

I suppose it’s also why I’m upset to hear that my child thinks I cannot handle hearing whatever detail she’s working through.  Please child… I’ve walked through hell – I think I can handle a little teenage highschool drama.

Have a great day Neverland!

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Single parenthood is not for the weak

I’m struggling with my child this month.  I don’t admit that easily.  She’s taken a giant leap into teenagehood and I’m not exactly thrilled about it.  I never realized how much can be affected by teenage drama.  I was so exhausted by it all this morning that I decided it was best to work from home.

I think what’s hit me hardest this morning, is simply how alone I feel in all of this.  I know that I’m not alone.  I have a fairly large support network.  I know that I’m luckier than a lot of folks.  But going through this, having to try and fill the role of both mother and father… trying to set an example and guide my child to find some sense of normalcy within her relationships… lately, these things scare the crap out of me.  Mainly because I’m the first to admit that I haven’t always been successful in those endeavors myself.

This past week has left me feeling drained.  I’ve cried, yelled, lectured, been exasperated.  I still don’t fully know what I’m going to do to bring life back to normal here at home… heck – maybe there is no such thing as “normal” when your life includes a teenage girl?  I certainly don’t feel like I’m able to have much of a life on my own at this point.  If I’m not working, I’m home dealing with her stuff; and the few times I’ve made plans in the last few weeks, something has come up to interrupt or ruin them.  It’s frustrating – not that I expect to have all THAT big of a social life – but I do try and get out.  Everyone needs a break occasionally.  My son sees his dad a few weekends a month, but my daughter… she’s with me 100 percent of the time.  Her drama has me desperately seeking peace and harmony.  And by seeking out those harmonious and peaceful moments – I’m also coming to the conclusion at how lonely it all is.  I’m in this by myself.  And it was me, who put myself here to begin with.  My step dad says maybe it’s my own karma from my actions as a teenager.  But that seems harsh… seeing as I wasn’t necessarily a difficult teen.  I didn’t party, do drugs, sneak out, I wasn’t out having sex or doing things that skirt that morally ethical line.  I argued with my parents, loved the art of debate in general, and my hormones at that age had me looking for and provoking fights.  But that’s it!  I stayed home, played video games and had my best friend over for sleep overs where we played loud music and talked about boys.  We would call the radio stations and request songs.  We’d drive to the mall on weekends or explore the local downtown area.  Trouble and drama was something I didn’t bring a lot into my life.  So I suppose I’m struggling to relate to my child just a little bit.

What I wish she could see – was the impact that she has on everyone else.  How, everytime she takes a slide backwards or veers off on an unsafe path – it is me, and her brother, who have to ride the waves she creates.  It is we… who have to survive the tornado that she creates, and no matter how much I lie to myself and think we’re through the tough stuff… I know it’s just the eye of a storm that I can’t control.

To all you single parents out there… I may be exhausted and drained and frustrated…. but I’m not defeated.  I stand with you.  We are the real super heros.

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December is finally here!

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Holy crap man!  This year, both, flew by and crawled at the same time.  But it’s now officially December.  On friday, we’ll put up our Christmas tree.  It’s a bit late for me this year, but oh well.  We do what we can.  I’m lacking in motivation to actually work today, I’d much rather be at home working on my side business.  Things are going well on that front – after this weekend, I’ll be ready to do a soft launch.  Going to have my products in one store front before the christmas season ends just to see how it goes.  Will give me the chance to change and tweak things a bit before officially launching next year.  Until then, I’m continuing to build up my stock and test my product to ensure everything is working beautifully.

I’m looking forward to Christmas this year.  I can’t wait to decorate the house.  I can’t believe that as of March 17th, I’ll have been in the house for a full year.  And hoo boy – what a year it’s been.  I hugged my daughter extra last night, reminding her that I love her and am proud of her for the efforts she’s put in to change some things.  She’s on a better path these days – and it’s a relief.  But it’s also a lesson learned – I now know how quickly things can change, how easy it is to get off course.  I will continue to keep a wary watch over her – to ensure she stays on track.  Her depression really snuck up on us all – and I won’t let it blindside us again.

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Yesterday I discovered that I’d been submitted for a job opening for a company I’ve been trying to get into for quite some time – the real bonus on the opening – it’s about 10 minutes from my house.  I have my fingers crossed, as I’m quickly discovering that I’m not enjoying the commute to my existing job, among other things.  I’d be a director again too – which would be nice.  The job I’m at right now, this is the first time in 7 years that I’m not a manager – and I don’t mind at all – but my new manager keeps having me do work FOR him and it’s starting to get a bit awkward.  It’s not my place to set the course for the team – it’s his, and I’m a bit leery to keep putting myself in a position to step on his toes.

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Ben’s anniversary came and went, and I’m doing ok.  Thanks to some friends, I wasn’t completely alone on Monday and it helped.  I’ve definitely been a bit quiet this week tho.

I had no choice but to stick up for myself yesterday with my mom.  I didn’t want to start a fight so close to christmas, but I’m finding that my tolerance of her negative energy is getting to be less and less.  I made a request of her.  All I asked was that I be treated with common courtesies and decency – just as you would with any person you interact with on a regular basis.  My request was not met well at first, but once my step dad finally stopped trying to talk over me and listened to my request – I think he understood.  Hopefully, he can help me navigate around my mom.  I love her, hell – I love our family – but I’ve always felt like I don’t matter to them.  Unless I’m not doing what they want me to – then it’s world war 3.  LOL.  Thankfully, I managed to simmer them down just enough to avoid utter catastrophe.  I’m not entirely pleased with the outcome – I always feel like compromising is one sided for me – but at least the war was avoided.

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Well – I better get to work.  Thinking of you Neverland.  Wish we could somehow hang out and play hookie today! 😀  Talk soon!

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How can it be?

Can someone please explain how it’s possible to experience both, or even all sides of a spectrum at the same time?

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On one hand… I’m doing better than ever.  My kids are happier than ever.  Work is starting to take shape and I’m finding that I might even have made myself a role in the company that I can be excited about.  My side business is growing and the more I dive into it, the happier and more content I seem to get.  The holidays are coming up and I’m looking forward to them.  I have so much hope for the near future and what it holds for me personally.  And yet…

On the other hand… I have moments when I feel scared and lost and alone.  Wow – I won’t lie – that took a lot for me to type.  I think I’ve been trying to ignore it.  It’s this thing that’s been sitting on my shoulder for a few weeks and I’ve been doing my best to pretend it’s just not there – but like an elephant in a room that is too small, it can’t be completely ignored.  I give myself these silly pep talks occasionally.  Trying to give myself the courage to keep getting out of bed, to keep doing what I have to do, when sometimes… all I really want to do is sit down and hide, or find a friend and just cry and let it out.  Tho – truthfully – even THAT doesn’t seem to do much for me these days.  I’ve just never been much of a crier.  It doesn’t actually solve anything, and a lot of the times, only makes me feel worse in the long run because I tend to get headaches afterwards.

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I’m grateful that I got this job, as the bills were piling up.   As it is, it’s going to take me until mid December to fully be caught up and not be living paycheck to paycheck.  It’s kind of a foreign feeling.  To be working but not make enough to cover what needs to be covered.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been in those shoes.  Helped remind me of how good I have it.

Maybe that’s part of my problem.  I know – compared to many – I have it good.  I live comfortably, my life isn’t full of drama or crazy levels of stress.  If anything – I’ve been leading a pretty boring life these days – as I’ve been busy working on my business when I have any spare time, so I feel guilty when I start to feel down.  What do I have to feel down about?!  And that’s the crux of the issue – I DO have things to feel down about.  People often think of me as this chipper and enthusiastic girl, “Ra! Ra! Be happy!  Stay positive! Go Team!”, what they don’t realize is that often, I do that more for myself.  To keep myself from feeling down.  That or I joke around – make people laugh. It’s only in the last 3 years that i’ve learned to allow myself to have moments where feeling down is ok.  Often, by feeling it – sitting with it for a little while – I move forward from it easier.  That is my hope tonight… I had a good day.  Not entirely sure I even understand how this mood crept up on me, but there it is.

My son is already tucked into bed, and my daughter is busy watching a show on netflix… and yet all I seem to want to do is swoop them both up and cuddle with them.  Instead, I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop writing here baffled at why I’m suddenly feeling so sad? Is it possible that I feel like I’ve just been lacking in hugs?  Is it wrong that a hug from my children… lately… isn’t quite satisfying enough?  Don’t misunderstand – I love hugging my kids… but it’s just not enough.

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Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you tonight.  Stay safe, wherever you are… and know that even tho we haven’t met, and we don’t know each other – you have my love.  🙂