Dec 29, 2009

A Little History

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 16 friends have commented
When we found out I was pregnant with Nae, it was both a shock and a surprise. We weren't trying, but we weren't NOT trying, either. We had been together for four years at that point and never got pregnant. I hadn't been on the pill much because it made me BAT SHIT CRAZY! And I'm allergic to latex condoms. So we were huge fans of the pull out method. Although, not EVERY TIME. Anyway, so when we got pregnant it wasn't a HUGE surprise. We still looked at it as a gift and did everything in our power to accept this gift and not take it for granted. We had many conversations on how we wanted to raise this child and how we DIDN'T want to raise this child. We may have taken it too far in some people's eyes, but this is OUR child, not theirs. So if we gave up get-togethers because we didn't have a sitter, then that's what had to be done. That was almost 13 years ago and to date, Nae has had MAYBE 10 babysitters in her life and two of them were NOT family members.

Then we decided for number two. That didn't happen the way we planned, WEIRD! But when it did, we were cautiously over joyed! We chose to raise Zilla the same way we chose to raise Nae. No babysitters if we could help it. Not that we didn't trust babysitters or we think it's bad to get a babysitter, we just felt we didn't need to. We were a little bit relaxed with him and let my BIL take both of the kids over night for New Year's Eve when Zilla was 5 months old. The Universe let us know how much of a bad idea this was because we woke up the next morning with A LOT of snow on the ground. Panic ensued and we got both of then home in one piece.

Overprotective might be a bit of an understatement when it comes to how we've chosen to parent, but we do have good reason. And here is where the moment our lives could have changed forever happened. I looked through my archives and I don't think I've told this story before, so I'll tell it now. It has a happy ending, thank Goddess, but it wasn't one of my proud parenting moments. This is also why I freaked out so much when I saw Zilla by the parking lot at school.
That picture could have been the last picture I had taken of Zilla. We were at a school carnival at Nae's school. We've been to this school SO many times, everyone knew us and him. We use to joke that he was the mascot because he had been there more then some of the teachers. We first started going there when he was about a year and a half to volunteer in Nae's classroom. He was in his stroller and would take his naps in there while I did my work. It wasn't a new environment to him at all. Which is probably why the day ended as well as it did.

He was going through a bounce house/obstacle course thing. He had done it many time before the last time without incident. He took off his shoes and I watched him go through the difficult part. I then told him that I was going to get his shoes and to meet me at the end. It took all of TWO SECONDS, that he was out of my sight. I went back to the end of the bounce house and he was GONE! I waited for him to come out, thinking he climbed back up the slide for another round, but no he didn't.

I walked to the front of the thing and asked the woman running it if he had come out there, he didn't. I told Nae to go check the playground and see if he was there. He was wearing a bright orange shirt, so he wouldn't have been THAT hard to spot. Except there were like eleventy billion other little boys wearing an orange shirt that day, too. Nae and her friends were looking all over the playground for him, coming back to me and telling me they hadn't found him. I was doing my best NOT to panic.

I ran through the gym to the school building thinking he might have wondered off to Nae's classroom for candy or whatever little treats her teacher had in there. Her teacher and another gal saw the look on my face and asked me what was wrong. I wasn't panicking until THAT moment. Until the words "I can't find Zilla" came out of my mouth. All the teachers and the principal scattered in different directions to search for him, but nobody found him. It was probably 5 MAYBE 10 minutes we were looking for him, but it felt like HOURS. My phone rang and I answered it, it was Peaches telling me Zilla was home. We lived two blocks from the school and when he couldn't find me he WALKED HOME! That's when I lost it. My knees buckled and I dropped to the floor crying thinking about what could have been. Nae's teacher found me, picked me up and helped me get it together. I grabbed Nae and we ran home.

As soon as I walked in the door and saw my baby sitting on the couch with tears on his cheeks, I lost it again. I grabbed him and just held him and cried. He was safe, scared but safe. When I asked him what happened his simple 3 year old answer was "I couldn't find you. I lost you, so I came home". I'm glad he knew his way home, obviously, but thinking about him crossing two streets, barefoot, makes me sick to my stomach still.

That day is still very fresh in my mind. Every time I think about it, I get so scared. So that is why when I saw him almost in the parking lot at his school the other day, I FREAKED out. I may have jumped the gun a bit but that was NOT ok. It was not ok for a six year old boy to be that close to the street. I don't care how many staff members are directing traffic, they don't know who is or who is NOT on the pick up list. A number of things could have happened and the school is not understanding this.

In the end everything turned out well and they will not be transferring Zilla to the other school, but I am not going to let this go. He may have to finish out the school at this school, but I will not be dropping this. I intend to talk to the principal again about the pick up process and even the PTA president. If my fears are not appeased, then I WILL be talking to the superintendent.

I may not be the norm when it comes to protecting my children, but that does not mean that a six year old should be responsible for where he needs to be after school. The principals at both schools don't seem to think what happened was a big deal. Unless they're playing it down so I don't freak out. If that's their plan, it's not working. They are making it worse by not acknowledging a flaw in their system.

Yes the children should know where to be when they need to be picked up, it's a part of making them aware and responsible. Both of which, I think are very important, but what about if there was a custody battle between Dirty and myself? What if my dad went to pick up Zilla and Zilla went with him? My dad isn't on the pick up list. Obviously it would be fine if he was picked up by my dad, but the school doesn't know that! What if some pervert decided to go kid shopping and picked up my son? What would the school have done THEN? What would they have done if he did run out into the street and got hit by a car?

These aren't little what if's, these are BIG what if's. I am relieved beyond words that nothing bad happened, but what if.....what if?

Dec 28, 2009

What a Beautiful Christmas!

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 21 friends have commented
Despite everything that has happened to us this month, we had a wonderful, beautiful, fantastic Christmas.

Dirty's grandmother passed away, which wasn't unexpected, but sad nonetheless. The good thing, is she was able to spend Christmas with her husband who passed away a few years ago. Dirty's mom was able to get her ashes put in the wall before Christmas, so she was laid to rest before Christmas. That was a nice ending to a wonderful woman's life. I'm very honored to have been a part of her life. She was truly a magical person. She will be missed, but we know she is very happy with her husband, who she has missed so much.

Even Peaches moving out and not talking to me, still, didn't ruin our day. I wasn't about to let her selfishness ruin our day.

I didn't think about anything that had to do with Dirty's court appearance or the outcome. I was going to actually enjoy this holiday and BE present for it. For the first time in years, I was able to see Christmas for what it truly is. I wasn't on death watch or waiting for the phone to ring. My dad was here and I didn't have to fake my way through the whole thing.

This year should have been one of the worst Christmases ever, but instead, it turned out to be one of the best. I am very thankful for my family for getting me to this point.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day. I wish for 2010 to be a WONDERFUL year!

Dec 19, 2009

Time To Move On

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 20 friends have commented
Dear Peaches,

Remember when we met, almost 13 years ago? We were so young and such different people. Changing is to be expected, especially given how close we once were. We did a lot of fun things and we have many memories of those times. I wouldn't take a moment of the good times because they were a lot of fun. I'll always hold those memories close to my heart and think of them with a smile on my face.

I'm pretty sure the moment our friendship changed was when you and The Y got a divorce. Things between us weren't bad before then. Sure we had some disagreements and frustrations, but we could always laugh them off or talk them through. Then you two got your divorce and you changed. You become someone I didn't know anymore. I don't know if you were trying to recapture the youth you missed because you married young and had your babies starting at 17. That's what I told myself and others. When people would come up to me and say "WTH is wrong with Peaches?! Why isn't she at home with her children?" I would always shrug my shoulders and say "I'm not in her position, so I can't say. I've never been divorced and had nowhere to go. She's probably trying to find herself." I was always honest with you, never did I lie to you. Never did I say "yeah that's a great idea, do it!" I always gave you my honest opinion, when you asked. Never once did I turn my back on you. Not once! Even when I thought you were making a HUGE mistake by moving to Washington with your boyfriend and leaving your children here. I did tell you I didn't think it was something I would do, but once again, I'm not you. I supported you and your decisions. I even stepped in as a mother figure to your children. I raised them for almost two years while you were in a different state. I made their dinners, got them off to school, talked to their teaches, picked them up from school and help them while they cried. I even stood up for you when they were made at you for leaving. You didn't know that did you? Know why? Because I didn't say a damn thing to you about it. Maybe I should have. Maybe if I did, your children wouldn't be as lost as they are right now. Who know? Can't change the past now, all I can do is accept the choices I made in the best interests of your children and mine. Personally, I think I pretty damn good job raising FIVE children for almost two years. Kudos and pats on the back for me! Even though I didn't do it for accolades, I did it because I love your children like they're my own.

What happened when things were going bad for you and Boyfriend? Who listened to you cry on the phone? Who would call you to talk about something and never interrupt you when the conversation inevitably steered toward you? That would be me! Who didn't say much about the deep dark hole I was in last year because the support I would've received wouldn't have been worth it? Yep, that's me again. I'm not saying all of this because I want to get credit for them, I'm simply saying them because I want you too SEE that our friendship ending the way it is, is not MY fault.

Dirty and I took you in with no questions asked when you showed up on our doorstep six months ago because that's what friends do. You help each other when their in need. I unpacked your belongings and put away the reminders of Boyfriend when you were at your mom's that weekend, you didn't know that. I did it because I knew putting all of those things in a bag and then putting it in the garage would have hurt you. I don't want you to be hurt because I love you. I would have done everything in my power to take your pain away. I didn't say shit when you started putting up pictures of your kids in my house because maybe seeing their pictures were making this place feel like home to you. I do love your kids, but having more pictures of them in my home then my own, well that kind of irked me. It was temporary and it made you feel a little bit better, so I didn't say anything.

I cooked meals for you, cleaned up messes and took care of a lot of things for you. When I was doing laundry and you were outside tanning, I didn't mind. It wasn't your laundry after all, why should you do it? When I cleaned up the house while you were at the lake with your friends, I was a bit miffed, but once again, it wasn't YOUR mess. It was our mess, you should be expected to clean it up. When you cleaned the bathroom a few times for me, I was SO excited! I loath and detest cleaning the bathroom and the fact that you did, well I was beaming with happiness. When you cleaned the kitchen a few times, I was always grateful and always showed my appreciation. I thought I made our living arrangement pretty smooth. It wasn't perfect, but I felt I did my best to give you space. You had a dresser to put your clothing in AND most importantly you had a roof over your head.

When you got your grant check and gave us $100, we thanked you and showed you our appreciation. We weren't bitter that you got your money before I did. We were actually happy that you got some money Because you were struggling. You didn't know how you were going to buy shampoo and razors, the money came at the perfect time for you. And to be honest, for us too. You aren't a very easy person to buy things for. You don't like grocery store shampoo or disposable razors. So, buying your things wasn't cheap. But we did it anyway because not being able to buy your own razors would suck, a lot!

Things got a bit stressful when we started school. It wasn't easy to figure out how I was going to cook dinners on Monday nights since I had to be at school at dinner time. I did ask you to pitch in a bit, but then your wrist started to hurt you and you never made dinner. Even though, you were here, at the house, when I was at school. You saw me making a menu or making a dinner early in the day and only said "why don't you just have Dirty make dinner? You know he's capable of it." "Yes he is capable of it, but I think the children are sick of eating fish sticks or grilled cheese soup every Monday." You never offered to make dinner, but you sure had no problem eating the dinner I made. That's when things started going downhill, for my at least. I started to resent your "carefree lifestyle" while I struggled to do household chores. I would get pissed off when you would waltz in the door after a night of drinking and partying because you had no responsibilities. I didn't resent that you were going out, no not at all. I didn't WANT to go out, I would have rather stayed at home. What I did resent you for, was the fact that this whole house had to suffer for your choices. We all had to deal with your pissy ass mood because you had a hangover. I had to listen to you bitch about how the food I'm making is going to make you throw up. Psstt...get over yourself.

Shit REALLY hit the fan when you got your school money and proceeded to buy stuff for yourself and NOT even offer us a dime! You heard us talking about how much the cable and power bills were, yet you didn't even offer us $50 to help out. You did, however, go get your hair cut, buy yourself a new pair of pants and a bra. Yeah they may have amounted to a total of $50, but you could have offered that to your friends who have taken care of you for the past six months. But you didn't and that's why I had the talk with you the other night. Not because I'm jealous that you had over $2,000 in your bank account and I didn't. I was hurt that you thought of yourself before you thought of me. Yeah, I shouldn't be surprised because that's why you are, but I was and still am. When you gave me $100 and didn't say a word to me, I lost any respect I had for you. Which, by the way, wasn't much. In that moment, our friendship ended. Not because of money, but because you couldn't take a time out and think "hey, I should talk to these people who took me in when I had NOWHERE to go. I should offer them something instead of going to get my hair cut." But *sigh* you didn't. You, as usual, thought of only yourself.

I truly wish you the very best in your new apartment, I honestly do. I wish you nothing but happiness. I only wish I could be there to see you grow up and be responsible. If we do come out of this, it won't be like it was before. I won't let you get close to me again. I'm sure you think you're in the right here, but let me assure you, you are not. What you did was rude and selfish.

We had good times and bad times. Despite everything, I will remember the good times.
Good luck with everything,
Me

Dec 18, 2009

Updates, Awards, Followers And Giveaways, OH MY!

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 9 friends have commented
Update: Peaches moves out Saturday *YAY* So that's pretty awesome. I'm happy for her and happy for me. The bad part is she isn't talking to me. I had a conversation with her about money *BOO* and she didn't take it well. I asked her if she had thought about kicking down any money and she said "I didn't look at me being her as a debt or a bill that needed to be paid." While I agree with her, I didn't expect her to "pay us back", but I also didn't expect her to go get her hair cut, buy a new pair of pants and go out to dinner and lunch a few times and NOT kicking down anything. I felt like THAT was a slap in the face and I told her so. She didn't love it, which is why she isn't really speaking to me. Oh well, such is life, right? Hopefully she'll get a lesson in real life soon. I truly hope so! I don't want her to fail or anything, but I would like to see her get a feel for what real life is. Grown up stuff like paying bills and NOT buying $25 panties at Victoria's Secret. Just saying.....

As for Zilla's school, well the principal didn't approve the transfer. He didn't call me Monday, but did call me back Tuesday AFTER I called the school and left a message. I think he was hoping I would just disappear. Our conversation went OK, even though he didn't give me what I want. The only part that pissed me off was when he said "you need to solve the problem and not run away from it." That didn't sit well with me. My reply to that statement was "I don't feel comfortable sending my son to school anymore. I should not have to worry if my child is going to be in the parking lot or by the doors when I pick him up. This is NOT ok!" I get the feeling that they're trying to blame Zilla for this, make it HIS responsibility to know where he's suppose to be. Which, on one hand, I agree with them, but on the other he is SIX years old! Just because he's in the first grade and not kindergarten, that's suppose to make all the difference? I think not, sir! He also told me there isn't any room at the other school and when I told him that's not the information I was given, he wanted me to tell him who gave me that information. I stood strong, though. I'm not giving you nay names, I'm going to protect the people that are ACTUALLY trying to help me.

I got off the phone with him and immediately called the principal at the other school. HA! Take that asshole! She talked to me, but had to call me back after she found out what the first grade numbers were looking like. Weird she didn't call me back. I was going to call the superintendent of the district, if I didn't hear back from anyone. I finally heard back from the vice principal/behavioral specialist in the afternoon. This guy was Nae's teacher for two years and I was the room mom, so he knows me and Zilla. He said he's going to try to pull some strings for me and call in some favors. If not, I'll be going over HIS head! I genuinely like this guy and don't want to piss him off, but Zilla's education is more important.

I just don't think they are understanding the gravity of this situation. We are new to this school this year and not everyone knows me or my kid. The guy who's supervising the crosswalk doesn't know me. He doesn't know who is allowed to pick up Zilla and who isn't. What if some pervert decided to go kid shopping and picked up Zilla? What if he got hit by a car? What would have the school done THEN?! The whole pick up system needs work and until it gets fixed, I won't be comfortable there.

Every time I think about the one time that Zilla walked home from the school a few years back, my heart jumps into my throat and my palms sweat. I didn't know where my son was for about 20 minutes. I get the same feeling when I think about Monday and saw Zilla by the crosswalk. SO many things could have happened and the school doesn't want to think about it. Well they have no choice, because I am not stopping until I feel comfortable dropping my son off at school.

Awards: YAY I've been given awards. Not just one but TWO! How cool is that?! Pretty cool, I think. Sunny gave me a Beautiful Blogger award. Awwwww thanks, hon! Sunny is pretty amazing and what she said about me kind of made me tear up a little. She's a very sweet gal. Who has an adorable Bean at home and two in the belly right now. Although her doctor's appointment didn't go so well on Wednesday. Go on over and give her a little love. She's a bit stressed out, rightly so.

I'm to post 7 things about myself and pass this onto 7 beautiful bloggers. I have NO idea who has been given this award or not. Totally not passing it on, well maybe I will...a different day.
1) I hate confrontation, but will fight to the death for my family

2) I'm starting to realize some friendships aren't meant to be

3) I can do anything I put my mind too. Hello 4.0!

4) I really enjoy killing people with kindness. It's SO much more satisfying then being mean.

5) I hate doing the laundry and will do anything I can to get out of it.

6) I love email conversations.

7) My new Victoria's Secret bra is out of control! When your breasts are a C, you don't need the bra that adds TWO more cup sizes. I'm grateful for wonderful friends who think about me on my birthday, but that's just a little much.

The next award I got from Sassy over at Secret Life Of Sass and Lex. She is my Twitter wifey, well ONE of them! I'm not sure what happens on Twitter but some time during the day, we all end up being married. Fine by me, Sass makes LAMB! AND she said she'd show me how to do it. Only problem is how I'm going to get to her to learn. We'll figure it out!

Sass gave me the Happy 101 award! I'm suppose to list 10 things that make me happy and then pass this onto 10 bloggers.
1) Wine...how could wine NOT make me happy?!

2) Dirty. He is always making me laugh and saying he's gonna trade me in when I get older. Pretty sure THAT won't happen, cuz there won't be one 25 year old that's gonna want to "hang out with him" let alone two of em when I turn 50. Sorry babe, you are out of LUCK!

3) Chocolate..'nuff said

4) My email...love it!

5) My bed *ahhh*

6) Cooking

7) Coffee

8) Baths

9) My computer

10) And last but DEFINITELY not least...all my bloggy friends. I love all ya'll!

OK, now followers: Go over to Fertility Chick, tell her I sent ya and follower her! She's giving away BALLS...go read you'll figure it out. Seriously if you're not reading her, you are missing OUT! And I know from experience she is good at giveaways. I'm gonna leave it at that because I don't want to ruin it for ya. Just go read *giggle*

Giveaway: Terra over at Sitting on an Oak is giving away some CHOCOLATE! Nestle chocolate at THAT! She emailed ME and asked ME to join in the fun and who am I to say no?! She did email more then just I, but I'm pretending I'm important enough to be the ONLY one to have received this email....

Annnnnnnd DONE! Sorry this was so long, but I had to play catch up. It's been a crazy week around here.


Dec 15, 2009

WOW...Just.....WOW!

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 39 friends have commented
It's a bit hard to read, sorry about that. my paint skillz are all that fantastic. Thankfully I didn't take MS Paint for fall term. If I had I might not have gotten a 4.0!!! Since I didn't take MS Paint, I DID in fact get a 4.0 this term! I am shocked, excited, proud of myself and so many other emotions. I want to cry while doing cartwheels. I just can't believe it! I can, I worked my a$$ off for that 4.0, but still...wow..just...WOW!

Thank you everyone for all of your support. I would not have had the courage to go back to school if it wasn't for each and every one of you cheering me on. You all rock my world! Thank you so much! ACK! I'm gonna cry if I keep this up! Love you all!

Dec 14, 2009

They Have NO Idea What's Coming To Them

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 13 friends have commented
I haven't been in love with Zilla's new school since he started. I was unimpressed with the way the school looked and was nervous about transferring him. The school was down the street and if something came up, I could always walk down to grab him. That was pretty much the only thing they had going for them. I met his teacher and everything in September, she was from his old school, so I thought the curriculum would be the same. While that is true, we're are very unhappy with this school. The last straw was today when we went to pick him up and he was IN THE PARKING LOT! The kid is six years old, he has NO business being in the damn parking lot! the principal was outside so I talked to him and he said that they stopped handing off the children to their parents after Thanksgiving. Ummmm OK, so the children are left to decide where to meet their parents? That isn't OK with me. Zilla is a very active six year old boy and has the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. I could see some random person going up to him telling him that his dad told him to be picked up by someone else. As much as I've told Zilla not to go with anyone other then Dirty or myself, I could see this happening. So seeing him in the parking lot really pissed me off and scared the crap out of me. I might be a bit gun shy since I lost him almost a year ago, but that's a different story for a different day. Or not, I don't like to think about it often. Just know that the old cliche "I only turned my back for a second" is a cliche for a reason!

Anyway, there have been some behavioral issues lately and Zilla has been coming home with yellow (bad day) and red (really bad day) days. When I've talked to his teacher about these, they seem to be "boy" things. Not excusing his behavior, but it's for things such as him talking when it's suppose to be quiet time. It seems that she gives the whole class a general rule and if anyone disobeys the rule, they have to change their card. It also seems as if they don't get a chance to turn their card back to green (good day). Every time he gets a yellow or a red, he gets punished. We may not agree with the way his teacher is doing things, but we still have to follow through at home, so we do. When we ask Zilla why he's having these bad says, his answer always coincides with what the teacher says, and it's really not all that bad. On the other hand, I get that she has to be strict in order to keep her class in line. It's her against 20 six year olds, odds are not in her favor. We were willing to work with his teacher and her differences in the behavior, but then this happened today and we've kind of had it.

Then we went to do his homework when we got home and for the third week in a row, he's gotten Spanish homework. It's great that they are teaching the children a different language, but neither Dirty or myself speak Spanish. How am I suppose to help him with his homework, when I can't even read it? He did a Christmas countdown and THAT was in Spanish. Ummm we can't participate in the activities that are on the countdown because we DON'T SPEAK SPANISH! There was nothing given to us stating that they were teaching him Spanish, nor was there anything said about homework being done in Spanish only. That leads me to think that they aren't paying attention and giving him the wrong homework. The kids is behind enough as it is, he doesn't need any MORE help getting behind.

So I called his old school, talked to the secretary and asked about an in-district transfer. She gave me ALL the details and even told me that if anything got hung up, to call her. When I called and told them who I was, they remembered me! That's what I like to hear! One of the gals did call me by my daughter's name, but she STILL remembered our family! I will not be sad about leaving this school. It feels like we're coming back home. If anything gets hung up, you better believe, I'm marching into the district office. Don't tempt me people, you WILL be sorry! You have NO idea who you're dealing with. You don't want to mess with my kid!

Dec 13, 2009

Sick and Tired

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 12 friends have commented
I'm sick...and tired. I'm on day 4 of this dreaded cold and I'd like it to be banished from my body and home. It's run through everyone in this house, but of course, it's gained enough strength to kill a horse before invading my body. After days (Weeks? Months?) of taking care of everyone, I've finally succumbed to it. It sucks and it's making me a VERY crabby person. So, in order to not become bitchy to my family, who are trying very hard to take care of me, I'm going to be bitchy on my blog. If I don't get this temper tantrum (that's about to over take me) out, it won't be pretty.

I'm sick of sharing EVERYTHING that's suppose to be "mine". I don't want to share my cell phone anymore. I don't want to share my couch anymore. I don't want to share my bathroom anymore. I want to go in there and take a shower, bath, or whatever when I want too. I'm sick of going through toilet paper at an alarming rate. There are other people that live in this house (for FREE), it is possible to notice we're out of toilet paper and go buy some when you're out and about doing whatever the hell you do. And while we're on the subject of free loading, you just got a $2,000 check. Wanna kick down a few bucks for living here in my house for the last six months.....for FREE?! Getting expensive shampoo, your hair cut and your daughters' hair cut and not even offering to give us even $50 is just plain rude. I know you haven't had much money and spending some money on yourself is within your right, but you have been living her for FREE for the past six months. Lets try thinking about someone else for a change.

I don't want to spend my birthday money on house stuff. It's MY birthday money, I want to spend it on stuff for myself. Selfish? Damn right it is! If I want to spend it on laundry soap, then I'll spend it on laundry soap. But if I want to spend it on a stupid tin with pink mints in it, don't give me THAT look. You're just going to piss me off.

This computer? The one that is MINE? The very one that you bitch about because the screen is "annoying" and my chair is uncomfortable? Yeah that one. If you don't like it, stop using it! If you don't like it, then why even bother using it? Wouldn't it be a nice change if you asked to use something and DIDN'T bitch about it? I'm doing you a God damn favor by ALLOWING you to use it, act accordingly.

I'm sure being sick and feeling like I got hit by a train is what is causing me to be such a bitch about every little thing, but right now, I could care less. All I want to do is lay on the couch (move over) or my bed and either sleep or be miserable. Don't talk to me, unless it's asking me how I'm feeling. Anything else you ask, I don't have an answer for. If I do have an answer, you probably don't want to hear it.

****end rant***
Special thanks to Julies for letting me whine to her via email. Sorry I haven't been the best sounding board or email friend lately. As soon as I feel less like crap, I'll be back to my chipper self!

Dec 7, 2009

A Woman's Journey To Strength

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 18 friends have commented
When I first started my writing class, a few of my bloggy lovers wanted me to post an essay. I wanted to wait to do that until my last class, which was TONIGHT. Here is one of my essays, my VERY favorite one. The one I read in class tonight and ALMOST made it through without crying. I'm so proud of this essay and not only because I got an A on it. It just made me realize how much Ive gone through and how far I've come.

I never thought of myself as a strong person, so when my mom said to me "Danielle, you are the strong one in this family. I need you to know that", I was taken by surprise. The next day as my family and I were standing around my mom's hospital bed, watching her take her very last breath, I started to understand what she meant. As I heard my older sister crying hysterically, saw my dad heartbroken and my younger sister lost, I knew I was going to have to step into my mother's place as the strong one in our family. I was going to have to gather up and strength I had and carry my family through her death and funeral. The funeral was a few days later and while I don't remember much of the days leading up to it, I do remember the day like it just happened yesterday.

The sun was shinning brightly for a bitterly cold January day. the wind was whipping through my hair, stinging my cheeks, and grabbing the hem of my black chiffon dress. As I walked from the parking lot to the church tightly holding onto my mom's urn, warm from my body heat, I opened the doors. I stepped into the church, I immediately felt the heat hit my body wrapping me in comfort like an old tattered college sweatshirt. The vestibule of the church was humming with people talking in hushed tones and quietly crying. Lit candles and beautiful bouquets of flowers from various friends and relatives cover every flat surface of the room. The air smelled of melted candle wax and fresh cut flowers. I walked passed everyone, not saying a word, to stand next to the large table that held the many pictures of my mom. I looked at all of these pictures that symbolize her sixty-two years of life and start to cry. I took a deep breath and gathered some strength to get myself and my family through this unbearably sad day.

Still holding onto my mom's white porcelain urn, I dipped my fingers into the brass bowl that holds the warm holy water. Making the sign of the cross, I walked up to the alter. There was a small table covered in red velvet cloth and many red and white carnations designated for the urn. I set down the only physical object that remains of my mom and started to cry. Again, for the countless time that day, I wished I didn't have to do this. For a brief moment, I started to feel the sadness try to over take me, but I took another deep breath, composed myself, and turned around and took my seat in the pew marked "reserved for family members". I sat between my father and my husband, holding my father's hand and rubbing his back, whispering softly "I'm here, I'll get us through this."

That moment at the alter was the only time I let myself feel the overwhelming heartache since I watched her take her last breath in that hospital bed for three years. Between January 18, 2005 and January 15, 2008, I ran from the pain that filled my soul and focused all my energy and strength on my family. I was more concerned with how my dad and sisters were coping then I was with myself. I cooked meals for them, cleaned my father's house, and helped him pack up some of my mom's belongings, all the while pushing my grief deep down. I did all of this to make the transition from having my mom everyday, to never being able to see her or hear her voice again, easier. My goal was to help myself, while helping my family. By stepping into my mom's place in our family, I thought I could make my pain less and be that strong woman she thought I was. When the grief got to be too much of a presence, that I could no longer out run it, I stood next to it. I let grief and sadness wash over me as a wave would wash over a sandcastle. When I was allowing myself to be taken over by grief, I found that strong woman my mom told me I was three years ago. The strength I had before is nothing compared to what I have now. Today I can be the strong woman my mom always knew I was. I am able to help my family through this tragedy, and do it with my whole soul. I don't need to sacrifice my grief in order to be there for the rest of my family.

It's been a year since I allowed myself to embrace grief and not run from it. In the last year I have found more strength then I ever thought I had. I dug deep inside myself to gather strength, only to find out there are deeper places to look. I couldn't have gone on this journey if it wasn't for the woman who knows me better then I know myself, telling me I was capable. She unlocked something in me that day and she knew exactly what she was doing.

Dec 5, 2009

Seeing What Once Was

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 14 friends have commented
****This might not make much sense. It's a jumble of thoughts that I need to get out****

The other night Dirty and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, when a depression commercial came on. The people were holding up note cards saying things like "I see the world in black and white", "I'm empty inside", all the things I felt last year. Everything I was feeling last year was what was written on those cards. It really made me think and realize how low I was and how far I've come. I didn't intend on it, but I said out loud to Dirty "you know, I'm really surprised you didn't put me on medication." Obviously he couldn't force me to take any type of medication, but we made the decision, as a couple, that medication wasn't for me.

It's hard to be depressed. I didn't realize I was depressed until now. I knew I was sad and I was missing me mom, but I never thought I was "depressed". That word get thrown around so much, it almost has no meaning anymore. My mom suffered from depression from time to time and my older sister did, as well. Although, I'm sure my older sister's depression was caused more by drug use then anything else. My mom's might have been related to medication and her fibromyalgia. I'm not sure because my parents made sure my little sister and I weren't aware of that, even as adults. They didn't want us to worry about my mom, so they did their best to keep it from us. We knew she would spend days in her room, but always thought it was because of her pain. Anyway...not the point....

After I made that odd, random statement to Dirty, he looked at me and said "I knew how bad you were, but I also knew you were strong enough to fight it and win." Apparently I'm not as good as hiding things from him, as I thought I was. Not sure why I ever try, but I do. I'm glad he had faith in me, because I know I didn't. I know there were times when I felt so hopeless and stuck in a block hole that I couldn't even imagine ever getting out. But there were also days where I could see the sun from my black hole. I could go on and on about all the things I did when I was depressed that I wished I hadn't done, but what is that going to solve? What I do know is that right now, today, I feel SO much different then I did last year.

Last year putting up the Christmas tree and seeing my mom's ornament threw me into a crying fit in the bathroom by myself. This year, unpacking that ornament put a small smile on my face. I did get that "I wish mom was here" feeling, but it wasn't going to take me away on a 5 day depression vacation. I did have a small panic attack and almost dissolved into a puddle of tears when I wanted to put it on the tree and couldn't find it. Thankfully, Dirty found it and one of the kids had already put it on the tree. Then he moved it to the front with a light behind it so I could look at it. It was a very sweet gesture and one I appreciate more then I can say.

When I was telling Dirty how lost I was last year and how this year everything is so different, he said "you did a great job, hon! You will have bad days, and those are OK, but your good days outnumber your bad days. That's what you should be proud of." And ya know what? I am proud of that!

The last almost four years have sucked so much! I sometimes, can't believe it was me who was standing by my mom when she passed away. I can't believe I saw her last breath. I can't believe I was THERE when we made the decision to take her off life support. It's hard to wrap my brain around the thought that she is actually dead. I'm not sure that feeling will ever go away, and that's just fine with me. I don't think I ever want to be OK with her death in that way. I've always just wanted peace with the whole thing. And I think I've finally found it.

This year, my birthday won't be as much of a celebration as the years before, that's good. That means that I'm not trying to push away the sad thoughts away by having a huge party. Christmas will mean more because I'll be present through the whole thing. I'll be missing my mom, but it won't consume me like it has in the past. This past year, I've done a lot of healing. If I can see the difference, that means that my hopes of wanting to smile with my eyes, has actually happened. I'm not faking it anymore. When I get sad, I sit with it. I don't try to push it away, in the hopes that it'll just leave me alone. I don't push my purple gorilla away, I sit with her and let her hold me when I need it. I allow myself to feel the pain, but I also allow myself to feel the love from everyone around me.

I will always miss my mom, no doubt about that, but life is brighter, today. I came a long way in the past few years. I may have taken the long way to get here, but I had to do it that way. That way was my way. I had to fall to my knees from the pain in order to be strong enough to walk through the grief. If there is anything I've learned from this, it's that it is OK to be picked up by my family and friends. Just because I'm "the strong one" doesn't mean I don't need help. I do need help and that help comes in many forms.
 

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