A friend of mine posted on Facebook that in the difficult times, it’s so important to remember what you’re blessed with. We all go through hard times, difficult times. But sometimes it seems like the hard times will never end. So I started to think about all of the things in my life that I have been blessed with. First and foremost are my two beautiful and healthy children. Sadly, there are too many parents that have children that are not blessed with good health. Also I have my health, and a roof over my head and food on the table. I may not have much money, but I get by with the basic necessities that many people do not even have. I have been blessed with the ability to start college at 37 years old, because I have the strength and determination to fight like hell to have a better life. I value my independence, and am proud of myself for being able to survive mostly on my own, and be such a good role model for my kids.
I could not do all of it on my own though, I have been blessed with the most amazing friends, that are always there for me. Thankfully I still have a little time for my friends, my flowers, and for studying despite the three jobs I need to work to pay the bills. I am blessed to have a good therapist, that has helped me to deal with depression, grief, guilt and loss. Helping also to deal with the feelings I have about my daughters cutting.
All in all I have more than a lot of people even dream of. When I feel like I have nothing, or when other people are lucky and they have more than I do, I just remind myself that there is always someone that is worse off than I am. Always someone who has less or is in a worse situation. I am a glass half full kind of person. I always see the good in people. Sometimes it gets me hurt, sometimes I get taken advantage of, but it’s who I am and it’ll never change. It is and always has been my nature to believe other people are good. Sometimes circumstances get me down for a while, but I get right back up. Thanks to all of the blessings in my life.
When I saw my therapist this morning the events of the past week came spewing out of my mouth like lava from a volcano. I was so stressed I was actually short of breath telling her about the issues. She said she could see I was wound tight – no kidding – I’m gonna snap the line pretty soon! Amazingly enough, an hour later I left her office feeling better. Not 100 percent, but better. She got me to look at one big problem I kept basing everything in my life on, in a different way. First off, just because my kids live with my ex-husband doesn’t mean he has to bully me or pull the strings like I’m his puppet. I need to stay strong and stand up to him. Also, I keep basing every decision in my life on whether the kids live with me or stay with him. If they live with me I can work full time days and not pay him child support and then I can survive on one job. If they stay with him I have to stay doing 3 jobs I’m not happy with just to pay my own bills. She told me I”m looking at it all wrong. I need to let go of the work and ex-husband issues that are controlling me because it’s exhausting me, mentally. It is wearing me down. She reminded me that I am strong, I’m a survivor, and I always manage to do what needs to be done and I always manage to get by. She said, first of all, you must get out of a job that is making you physically ill. And don’t worry about the child support so much, don’t obsess over it like it rules YOU! (oh yeah…my ex bribed the kids into staying with him, so I was once again feeling like what the hell do I do now, I can’t accept a full time job on days because I need these three jobs) So she said, you pay him $150/wk, look at that as your weekly grocery bill, you would have to spend if they lived with you anyway. You have a job and your looking so you can afford to be more picky and get what you want. If you make enough in one job, that 150/wk (groceries) wont be missed so much and you can survive, you always survive. I realized, yes, it’s time for me to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you can’t figure it all out ahead of time. I need to take the full time job on days if one is offered to me and start feeling like a normal person and then the rest of it will fall into place. I think the lack of sleep from the schedule I keep is not helping me at all. When I was 18, going to bed at 1am and getting up at 545 was okay, not anymore. Its just making me exhausted and cranky. It’s time for a change, I have faith, that when I make the big leap, I will be okay and find land under my feet. Even If I stumble a little bit, it’s not like I’ve never stumbled before. So from now on I’m doing what’s best for me. I’m not re-arranging my life around everyone else’s needs. I can’t do it. I am going to respect myself and the things I want. Right now my kids are safe, they are being clothed and fed (supposedly) and going for check-ups and getting good grades. I’m leaving it at that. My daughter is almost 15 if this is her decision then that is the final decision. I told her this isn’t a revolving door. I will not re-arrange my entire life for her every time she has a fight with her father. I told her I am always here, and if there is a problem she can come to me, but she needs to learn to work it out with her dad and step mom instead of saying I want to live here, no there, no here, no there. I feel like a yo-yo. Not anymore. It’s hard to put your foot down and let go, but she needs to learn you can’t run from your problems. you also have to live with the decisions you make.
Now it’s my turn to try to find some happiness and normalcy in my life. I pray that it’s right around the corner.
Just three days before Christmas 2011, I moved into my new place! One of my co-workers had a modular home in town that he was not living in. He had been trying to sell it unsuccessfully, and I asked if he would consider renting to me. He said yes, and so I managed to pull Christmas together for my kids in 3 days. Moving, unpacking, wrapping gifts, cooking, putting up a tree..I was exhausted, but I managed (somehow) to pull off Christmas. I cooked a Turkey and the kids and I enjoyed being together in our own space. I was so grateful for the kindness of this man and his wife for giving me the gift of a normal life (as normal as it can be).
It was the best feeling in the world to be able to cook again, have my own things out of storage, have my children come and stay in a real home, and have a bedroom. This year I am so thankful for the little things. I am still exhausted and fighting the depression badly, but I feel like I will overcome this hard time. I’m feeling like I’m putting one foot in front of the other.
I think one of the worst feelings in the world is not knowing which direction to go. Not having any destination in mind, but knowing you can’t stay where you are. It started when I realized I wasn’t happy in my marriage anymore. I kept trying to find reasons to be away from home. When I finally told him, I had no idea where I would go or how I would survive. I stayed with my parents and my kids stayed with their dad. I got a LOT of shit for that. In our society kids are with mom. At least that’s how it is where I come from. But their dad didn’t work and was the “stay at home mom” for the last several years. I made my decision with the best interest of my children In mind. I wanted them to stay in their home and continue to go to school. I had no idea what I was going to do, where I would live or how I would take care of myself, so why should I drag them around the unknown?
Living at my parents house was no picnic let me tell ya! You can’t be a married woman with two children and move back in with mom and dad and expect things to run smoothly. Talk about a power struggle. Not to mention there was no room for my kids. So when they would visit, it would be a camp out on the living room floor for the night. Lots and lots of stress and arguing, between myself and them and my mother. It was about 3 full months and I had found a great 3 bedroom apartment, nice and spacious and affordable. Time to move… and find myself.