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Monday, December 31, 2012

Good bye young one...

Over the past two weeks, I've been made aware of not one but two suicides of young adults.

One I didn't know at all.  He was a friend of a young woman we are very close to.

And then, there was Jess.
Jess - we knew.  Not well, and not in quite a few years - but at one time, we knew her.  She was someone who was part of a friend's family for a time.  Someone we cared about.  Someone who is now gone.

And here again is the WHY??

Why would someone so young stop believing there is more?  Why didn't she reach out?  Why didn't anyone see how lost she was?  Why, why, why...

I always feel the familiar pang of heartache when the words... "committed suicide" pass over someone's lips.  My heart breaks, my eyes fill with tears & the familiar pain comes to the surface.
Even if I never knew the person.

She had some stuff.  I know that.  But the other boy who left too soon - he did well in school - he was popular.  He was getting ready to graduate and move on.

What is the defining line in someone's life where they just can't do it anymore?  What is the point where one person can take what comes their way and move forward and another crumbles under the pressures of life?

...And their light dims forever.

May you find the peace you were unable to find here and those left behind find comfort.

Rest softly on the wings of angels young ones.

If you, are someone you know are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts - PLEASE seek help.

1-800-SUICIDE lists state and local hotline numbers to call for help.

www.suicidehotlines.com

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults.  Although it's hard to believe that teenagers and young adults could be so desperately unhappy that they would plan to kill themselves, more than 5,000 US teenagers commit suicide every year.

Warning Signs of Depression and Suicidal Behavior:        
  • A marked personality change such as exhibiting angry actions or rebellious behavior, or withdrawal from friends and activities
  • A change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Involvement with drugs or alcohol or other risky behavior, such as reckless driving
  • An overreaction to a recent humiliating experience, such as a breakup
  • Difficulty in concentration and a decline in the quality of academic work
  • Persistent boredom and/or lethargy
  • Unusual neglect of physical appearance
  • Complaints of physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue
  • A pattern of giving away or throwing away possessions
  • Preoccupation with death in writing, songs or poems
  • Intolerance of praise or rewards
  • Increase in comments such as “I can’t take it anymore” or “Nobody cares; I wish I was dead.”
 Other Recommended Resources: 
American Association of Suicidology - Web site: www.suicidology.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Web site: www.afsp.org  
National Institute of Mental Health - Web site: www.nimh.nih.gov
National Mental Health Association - Web site: www.nmha.org  
Suicide Prevention Resource Center - Web site: www.sprc.org 
As posted on:
http://www.aboutourkids.org/families/suicide_teenage_young_adult_tragedy



Friday, December 21, 2012

My Christmas Wishes

Here it is again, Christmas & the holiday season.

Yeah, I know that's not politically correct - but Christmas is the holiday that I celebrate.  I'm also not great at following politically correct protocol.  Heck, it's all I can do to manage social protocol.

While on my Facebook page last week, I saw a post left for me by Jenny at Cassandra's Corner, which said "Tag you're it"  Of course I checked it out and OF COURSE I couldn't resist playing.

I'll have to be open and honest when I tell you, this Christmas is not the same for me.  All of the awfulness of the past few months has taken it's toll on my usually chipper holiday mood, and also contributed to the delay in this posting.

Sometimes at this time of the year, I need a reminder of the spirit of Christmas.  My son is in the military & although I try to remain positive and happy and exude cheer - I'm a little sad that for the second year in a row I won't get to spend Christmas with my son.  This "challenge" is exactly what I needed.  So thank you for tagging me Jenny.


I ask you, how could you turn down a holiday challenge named
Five Christmas Wishes.
Of course, I'm in and my only duties now are to share my wishes & extend this on to five more bloggers - challenging them to think of and share THEIR Christmas wishes.  I'm not going to do that (you're welcome) because it's a week late & the busyness of the holiday can take over.  However, if you decide to take this challenge on yourself - please let me know.  I'd love to read your wishes.

What do I wish for?  Pfft... What don't I wish for!

1.  First, let's get serious.  I miss my kid.  I am an awful military mom.  Heck, I'm an awful cut the apron strings mom.  I've always had to "share" my son for Christmas, but I always had him for either Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  The past two years - nadda.  Uncle Sam has had full reign.  I am sooo incredibly proud of the man he's become - but I can't help but wish even for a little bit that he was that rambunctious five year old bounding toward the tree and his presents.  My first wish, is for my son - far away from home - that he find a little bit of "Christmas home" where he is.

2.  My second wish is to find someone to clean my house the way I like it!  No, I'm not a totally spoiled brat... I can clean - but I don't have time to clean between work and kid schedules.  Also, during this time of year when the cold and damp kicks in, my Lupus kicks my butt so bad that all I really want to do is lie down.  I say this and look around at the dust bunnies I missed & that every house cleaner that comes in here misses.  Ya know, after the first few times.  Yes...send referrals.

3.  Serious / semi-serious...done...  I wish for that creepy little elf to be exposed for the fraud he is.  That little creep doesn't keep the kids in line... he gives them new and different reasons to bicker.  I found him, no I FOUND him.  He's HERE... SHE found him first.  She told me where he was.  Wahhh wahhh wahhh.  Elf, Elf go away..  You creepy little fraud, you!

4.  Magic scissors!!  Let me explain... You know that little pooch that doesn't really go away after you have short ones?  The one that  you look down at and go ewwwww.  Even if  you have a tiny one - who likes it?  I want magic scissors.  I can cut away that nasty icky stuff I hate and it magically heals.  Wouldn't that be awesome??  No pain, no recovery time, no scarring - ick GO AWAY forever!  Voila!  Gone...  Oh and that extra however many pounds go away too.

5.  My final Christmas wish is for all of YOU.  I wish you all peace and love.  I wish for any pain you may be carrying around to be lifted and that the joy and magic of the season envelope you and bring you nothing but happiness - even if Christmas is not the holiday you celebrate!

I end this in wishing you all the magic of the season.
I thank each and every one of you for your continued love and support.
Merry Christmas with lots of love and smoochies!
~Jenn


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why cut so deep?

Have you ever had a knock down, drag out fight with someone you're very close with and they just say the meanest, cruelest things?

What's up with that?  Do you really WANT me to never speak to you again?  Because that's where this is headed if you're going to roll out the big guns & try to cut me so deep that I can't breathe.

Don't people know the power of their words?

I know that I can tend to be fairly sharp tongued in some situations, but I'm not sure that I ever cut so deep that my words will continue to echo in the minds of the person I care about.  If I'm really mad, I'll say what I have to say.  It won't be candy coated - but it also won't me meant to leave you feeling like you've been hit by a Mack truck either!  Sheesh!

This is something I don't understand.  As I said, YES - I know that I can be petty sharp tongued now and again, but if I care about someone - I care about their feelings too.  I'm not going to say something to try to make them feel like total crap about themselves with something that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand.

It's like little kids....
Kid #1:     "Hey, you knocked my ice cream out of my hands.  Watch where you're going..."
Kid #2:     "Yeah, well you're ugly and your mom hates you."

Yeah, it's like that.

And again... Why?

Listen, I don't like to be wrong either.  I'd actually rather poke my eyes out with a stick (OK, not really) than say that I'm Wr... Wr....  never mind.

Sometimes it's just about being accountable.  Maybe you don't feel like you're wrong.  Maybe you feel like you've done XYZ for a perfectly justifiable reason.  What - friggin - ever.

Is it REALLY worth burying someone so deep in words that they're wrecked?

What does it solve?  Who does it help?

Admission....  I have a naughty little pleasure...
The Housewives shows.  Yes, it's true.  I LOVE THOSE FRIGGIN' SHOWS!  All of them.  Why?  I don't know.


Last night I watched The Housewives of Beverly Hills, and this one woman totally shred another woman AT A DINNER PARTY.  Yes, I know it's "reality TV" so I don't take any of it as actual reality - but it obviously got me thinking enough to write this post.

Maybe those women aren't all besties in real life.  Maybe they're not friends at all in real life, but ya know what?  IT HAPPENS... In real life, all the time!  Yes, I've been shredded in the past.  Didn't like it much either.  Especially since I didn't understand where all the animosity came from.  Yes, I will let you know exactly what's bothering me.  Yes, I will absolutely dump 4 years worth of crap into your lap (because that's about how long it takes for me to have enough) but I would never, ever tell you that your momma wears combat boots & your daddy don't love you.  I wouldn't say the meanest possible things I could say just because I didn't like what I was hearing.  I wouldn't shred you.  Truth, if you were as bad as the mean things said - we wouldn't be friends to begin with.


What does that even do, other than destroy another person's comfort zone toward you?  Did you get that?  Not toward themselves, toward  YOU.  Forgiven or not.  Good or not - the invisible wall will ALWAYS be there.  The words will ALWAYS echo through the corridors of their minds and they will NEVER fully trust  you again.

So now I ask you...is it worth it?

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Different Weekend With the Girls....

I had so much fun family time planned for this past weekend...

For once we didn't have the usual over flow of appointments & places to be.  We would do what we needed to do on Saturday, but Sunday was meant to be a day of quiet family time.

...and then there was the news on Friday.

Sunday's family time took on a whole new meaning.

How could you not continue to think about the horror in Newtown, CT? Not just because it's all over the news, but because how loudly it speaks to parents of little ones.  It appears that our babies aren't safe anywhere anymore - and especially at one of the places they are supposed to feel safe.

How could you not think of the horror those babies, their teachers and the brave school staff faced?

I mentioned a few blogs ago that I was at the girls' school during an emergency lock down drill.  I discussed it with the girls at the time & they were very casual about it.  At the time, I thought that was good that they didn't have fear in their little hearts at every drill.

I can no longer feel "casual" about it or feel no fear.

When I was a kid in school, we didn't have lock down drills.  We had fire drills.  We never considered someone coming in and shooting children, and I went to elementary school (K-6) in "big bad" Paterson.  Even with Paterson being the "hood" as it's referred to, I never felt scared.  I felt carefree.  Like children are supposed to feel.

My head and heart have been consumed with the absolute evil that came upon those children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  I think of the teachers.  I think of the last moments of the amazing principal, teachers, etc who put themselves in the line of fire to protect the children.  The heroes.

I struggle, along with everyone else on the WHY of all of this, and know that the WHY can never be known.  The killer took that with him.

So this Sunday was spent a little closer.
Less business.  Less computer.  Less TV.
More hugging and laughing, being extra silly and goofy.

Taking more time to really appreciate the ones I love.

While we should ALWAYS be hugging our children tightly and letting them know how much we love them, every day - sadly the business of life takes away from the extra close time.

The time we need to take.

Without something awful coming along to remind us.

I wish you all love, laughter and quiet time with the ones you love - and I love you all.

~Peace~

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

In memory of those live tragically taken on Friday, December 14, 2012 - Newtown, CT


Thursday, December 13, 2012

My heart has changed...

Did you ever read something that really hit home and made you think... "UGH...I really blew it."?

I've been reading Slice of Humble's Compassion Series (Click on highlighted for part 1).

Each part of the series got me thinking in a different way. (Yeah, that smoke you smell - ignore it, that's me.)

Then it hit me.  No matter how hard I try, sometimes I lack compassion.

I have had a huge change of heart in a situation where I KNOW I was judgmental & I did not show an ounce of compassion.  While in some areas, I feel justified by my thoughts and feelings - there does come a time when people sometimes need to be cut a break.  Even for the REALLY BAD stuff.

The short one has been with us for over a year now.  When kids come to our home, we are given enough information on a situation in order to provide proper care.  Whatever it may be; emotional, physical, mental...whatever.

When the kids are placed with us, I am already on guard.  Their parent could be the sweetest thing on the planet - but I go by what I'm told.  When it's not good, I form the absolute worst mental image of the parent there may be.  I've been duped by a parent in the past, so no one gets cut a break with me without proving up.  Compassion isn't always easy to come by.

These kids sometimes come to us broken in more ways that I am able to say in print, making my heart and head feel nothing but contempt for these parents.

How could a mom / a parent allow bad things to happen to their children? What do they see when they look at their beautiful child, that allows them to ignore their paternal instincts to protect?

I didn't understand and ya know what, I didn't want to.

Yet the light in the kids' eyes never seem to dim.  They never stop loving.

When it came time for us to actually meet a parent, I didn't want to.  I knew I had to - but I'd rather they go on & do whatever it was they needed to do in there little lives.  Leave the short one with us and just go away.

That option was not afforded to us.  We had to go.  We had to face the mom.

...She was not what I expected.

Instead of being faced with this abusive horror of a woman - I saw a broken young woman.  A woman, who on so many levels, was defeated.  Someone who actually loved her child and was in many ways a child herself.  Someone at rock bottom with no one in her corner.  No one to help her. Someone with nothing.

This broken woman before us told stories of the short one with a smile & twinkle in her eye, amid tears of  pain and guilt for parenting gone horribly wrong.  Before us was a woman who had nothing left to give.

And there it was....compassion.

She doesn't get a pass for her mistakes or the things she allowed to happen.  That's on her.

She does deserve forgiveness.

Which is what I gave her...
As I was reminded the words which were the basis of another post,
"What if you were judged forever on the worst mistake you'd ever made?"

My heart has changed as I now think...What do I carry around?

What is it that I may have done that would be lifted from my heart, from my conscience if someone simply said -
You're forgiven.
...And showed me compassion.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn









Monday, December 10, 2012

I believe!

Even to my almost 20 year-old-son, I have yet to deny the existence of the man in red.

I don't work hard to perpetuate anything.
I just don't deny.

The other night at the dinner table the girls discussed their list of concerns to me.

One of their biggest concerns being their friends do NOT believe in Santa. They were worried that they wouldn't get gifts for Christmas, because they didn't believe.

I do!
In our home, Santa brings one gift.  Not five, not ten, not twenty - ONE.  Why is it fair that children of families who are better off receive ten gifts or more gifts from Santa, but the children whose families have less get only one? Santa brings one.
End of story.

As they get older, I need to find new and different ways to defend Santa.

But MOM, Suzie says she caught her mom putting the gifts under the tree!

Well, of course she did!  You know darn well that I've got a ton of gifts for you guys hidden away all over the house.  You know those gifts come from us.  Santa brings ONE.  I can't help it of other people want to make Santa look more generous.  He brings ONE!

This seems to be enough keep the magic alive.  For now.


Again, I've never denied the existence of the man in red.
I believe.
I believe that Christmas, all that it stands for and all that goes along with it - is in the heart.

Christmas is all about faith and belief.

I'll never say anything different, because I believe.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Have a wonderful day!

~Jenn

Friday, December 7, 2012

Behind the mask...

"We all have a face that we hide away forever.  We take it out and show ourselves when everyone is gone."  ~Billy Joel - The Stranger

I'm not a huge Billy Joel fan (nothing personal) but this is one of those songs that really hits home for me.

Isn't this just easier?
It's no secret that I've had some crap in my life.  Some of it I've dealt with.  Other stuff, well I put on a good face.
My mask.

You know those people that strut around with a big ol smile plastered on their face?
The person who carries around a big old jar of crap with a pretty label on it.  You  may even be envious of that pretty jar, having no clue that the stuff inside really stinks.  The person carrying the jar is merely hiding the crap behind the smile.  Behind the mask.

Don't we all wear a mask of some sort??  Something that we want to hide away forever.  That one thing that makes you think... no, I don't want anyone to ever know that.

This line of thinking brings Bernie Madoff'esque people to mind.
The people looking to maintain the "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous" image.  I often wonder...Did he start off as a major DB or did he work his way up to it?  Did he start off as a nice guy who just wanted to give his family a good life?
So he worked hard and life got better & better.
Until the day his wife couldn't get that Bentley?  Was it that day that he thought hmmm - If I take a little from here to give my wife the Bentley, I'll pay it back when this one over here comes in... no one will notice.  Then it got easier and easier to take it & never pay back??? 
This is hypothetical, of course.

I'm off track - I know.  My brain has been a muddy mess lately.  My point here is - was he so busy trying to maintain his outside label, that the jar of crap just over flowed?  Did he care so much about the image - the mask, that he just said the hell with the rest?

This is the other side of the mask, I know.

Some people hide their pain behind their mask.  They wear a smile and shed tears of a clown.

Some flaunt their riches, knowing they can't pay the huge mortgage for their mansion.

Others pretend to be hard to shield their soft and vulnerable hearts.

The mask of the beautiful woman, with no self esteem.
The strong, handsome man - with no clue how to live life.

What mask do you wear?

Do you take it off & show yourself when everyone has gone?

Or have you accepted yourself for who you are?

Thank you for reading my blog!

Warm hugs & big smoochies to you all.

~Jenn




Thursday, December 6, 2012

The world we live in

I was at my girls' school yesterday for a Child Study Team meeting for the short one.

Midway through the meeting, an announcement came over the PA System.  "Attention, Faculty and Staff - Please prepare for emergency lockdown."

My face dropped & I looked at the others in the meeting simply stating, "This is a drill, right?"

They all got up and I followed.  One shut the lights and pulled the shades.  We all followed to a hidden corner of the room where we huddled together in silence.

Holy heck!

Many things flashed through my mind while this was going on.
First I though, holy crap - is this real?
Can I get to my kids?  They're in the same building.  Can I go grab them?
Then I thought about the air raid drills that my parents spoke of when they where younger.
Finally I began to wonder, what do my kids think about all of this?

As a mom - and an "adult" who watches the news, I'm very aware of the dangers in the world.  I was prepared for any and every conversation that may come up.  In my heart and mind, I knew these drills were put into place as a result of Columbine & Virginia Tech types of events.  Massacres aimed at children.

To ME this was an incredibly scary event.  I understood.

You see, our family knew Matt La Porte.
Does that name ring a bell at all?
If not, Matt was the young hero at Virginia Tech who tried to stop Seung-Hui Cho from killing his fellow classmates during the Virginia Tech Massacre.  He was killed in his attempts.  Matt was my nephew's best friend.  They grew up together, went to Carson Long together had a friendship.  I didn't know him very well, but his death to made a huge impact on our family.  Enough of an impact that Emergency Lock Down Drills are significant in my mind.

When the girls came home from school I mentioned that I was at their school and that I got to partake in the Emergency Lock Down Drill.  Neither of them were phased.  My 10 year old even giggled a little bit.

"We all hide in a closet mom - boys in one, girls in the other.  What room were you in?  Where did you hide?"

It's a game to them.  It's hide and seek.

I guess that's good, in a way - but what if.  What IF this was a real event?  What if something terrible were taking place?

I can say that I would have ended up dead.

Huddled up in the corner, in the dark with the Child Study Team remaining quiet & as still as possible - I accidentally kicked the radiator.  It echoed through the classroom as the flashlight of the principal went by.  I would have given us all away.  I would have gotten us all killed.

How do I tell my children the real reason for these drills?

How do I tell them that their world has become so that they need to hide away in a corner, just in case someone tries to come and kill them?

This reality has hit me so hard.

Perhaps I'm overly dramatic.

But this is where I am with this..

As a mom, who is 110% on top of her kids (whether that's good or bad, I'll find out on the therapy couch one day) I would know if my child were struggling with murderous intent.  I would see their cell phones, their computers.  I'm involved.

What makes someone snap, with the result being "Emergency Lock Down Drills" for little kids.

Something I'll never understand.

I know this entry is on the dark side today.... I hope I've given you food for thought.

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog.

~Jenn








Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Virtual Love Letter.... to you

All this week, I feel like I've had nothing to say....

Let me rephrase that - I always have PLENTY to say.  I just couldn't get my thoughts to flow properly from my brain and through my fingers into this blog-osphere.

Today, I've had some inspiration & my inspiration comes from people like you, my virtual friends.

That sounds so strange, doesn't it?  Virtual friends.

I thought about it.  Then I thought about it again, and it's very clear.  I hide nothing on here.  I am as "naked" and honest in my writing as humanly possible & you love me anyway.  Alright, maybe you just like me - but you're here.

Reality just isn't like that.  In real life, people may love you - but they also judge you for the things you say, the things you do.  They don't always want to hear the really awful stuff that is a part of who you are.

Here - it's right out there for the world to see.  If you don't like someone's blog or page, you don't interact - you don't go back.  No one knows the difference.

It's in the people who stay who learn you and you learn them.

I'm not saying I choose the virtual world over the real world - but I am saying that the friends that I've made on here are real true people that I enjoy and feel a kinship with.  We all choose each other.

I love that.

I've been touched so deeply by some of you.  I've made real, true connections.  Friendships I'd never known could be made - over the internet.  It amazes me.  Really.

This community - amazes me.  Everyone seems to care about each other.  If you've been gone for a few days - someone notices & checks in on you.  If someone is sad, we lift each other up.  We congratulate each other.  Just like a real family - but virtually.

As fuzzy as this may all sound, as I work through my writer's block - I hope my little internet love letter to all of you comes through properly.

To you all - thank you.

I truly appreciate you all & have much love for you.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway


Wow!!

I think I've finally got it all together & I want to share it with YOU!

Welcome to

My Favorite Things Holiday Give Away!
Wine & a beautiful glass to drink it from
Coffee & a special mug to drink it from
Chocolate
Candles
A Target Gift Card
and other fun little things for you to enjoy your holiday!

I'm so happy to have each & every one of you here with me!

Good Luck!!
~Jenn

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Getting a little more than you bargained for....

I go back and forth on the reason WHY I actually blog...

When I first started blogging, I was going through a rough patch with Lupus.  I felt like total crap. There was so much going on in my life & I needed an outlet.

If you've been reading me long enough, you know that I don't like to play the poor, poor, pitiful me game.  This will NEVER be a full on Lupus blog.

It will never be any one thing.

Let's face it, I'm a hot mess.  I know this.  I've got years of blog fodder just in my screw ups that led me to where I am today.

It is what it is.  You can either laugh or cry.  If you cry, you'll have to keep fixing your make up and your face will be a puffy red mess.  Ewww!

I'll laugh.  It's way more fun.  You can laugh too, it's OK.
I'm used to being laughed at... Um I mean with.

In reading other's blogs, you kind of see what everyone's "niche" is.  I didn't have a "niche."  Then I realized - I don't need one.  I just need to be ME.  I'm my own totally dysfunctional little niche.  Ain't life grand?

I've come a long way in my little life.  I'm not saying I've got it figured out.  I haven't.

For certain I always want to help, to make a difference by somehow taking the absolute shit in my life & putting it out there in a way that it may help someone else.  I think it's important for other people to see the "Hey, if that tripping, bumbling mess of a woman got through it, I can too."

When I was younger, I was totally that needy, clingy person.  I hate that.  I hate to say it "out loud."  I hate to look back and see all the stuff I just put up with just to feel loved.

I look back on that "me" and think WOW.  How sad. How many times did I allow myself to be treated badly?  Just to feel think I felt loved.

I'm so thankful that I've come so far beyond that.


I see it in my "short one" and it scares the hell out of me.  If she becomes a permanent fixture in our lives, it will take so much work to make this little girl believe that she's worthy of love just by being who she is.

I look at her and I see me at her age.  I see this little person craving love and attention.  I see the teenage me I grew into & the young 20 something.  I cringe.

I KNOW that I was no piece of cake.  The loving caring person I am now is the same person I was back then..  but on crack.  :)  Metaphorically, not actually.

Back then, I would lay down all I was for another person just to get an ounce of love and attention.  If they were mean to me, clearly I wasn't trying hard enough.  I needed to do more and more - until the inevitable.  They couldn't take being smothered.  They couldn't take the needy me and they moved on or they just wore down and gave in.
That was very significant since the relationships I'd formed were long term.  What was worse is that when they wore down and gave in, I lost interest.  It was a vicious cycle.  Almost an unplanned game where there was no winner.  I'm not proud of that.

I hate to look at that part of who I was.  Hate it.

In the long run, I needed to be hurt, broken & made to be jaded.  I needed to grow up and I needed to learn that I am ME.  I am a great me.  If I give from my heart, it should just be for my love of others - not expecting to receive love in return.  For the simple joy of giving.

It's taken a long time.


In some ways, I'm still that person and will always be - but now I know why I do what I do.

Because I love.  From the heart.... Just because.  Simple as that.

...and THAT is why I blog.

THIS is my imprint on this planet.  My "niche."

Giving you a little more than you bargained for, just for the sake of love & knowing one person may relate and feel a little better about themselves.

Lots of love,

Jenn

~I've had a difficult time getting this out of my brain and through my fingers.  I hope the message came across properly and it wasn't too muddy.  My brain feels muddy :)

Love from the heart.  Be you.  Let love come to you and do from your heart expecting nothing in return.  You are the best you you can be and that's AWESOME!  






Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You always hurt the ones you love...

Have you ever noticed that those who know the most about you and that you trust the most are the people who hurt you the most?

It's not such a surprise, it's the reason that songs like this were made.
"You always hurt the ones you love, you always break the kindest heart"
(Ryan Gosling/Jimmy Kimmel Parody)

Ever wonder why that is?  Is it the need to rise above, while crushing another?  I've never really understood, but I've most certainly have been victim to in the past.  Yes, by people whom I've trusted with my heart.

..and I've stepped back & walled up and that's that.
...I'm just not that tough.

I'm not so innocent.  I've broken hearts in my past, but I've never done so using my knowledge of a person or their deeds, against them.  I find that a huge breech of loyalty and friendship.

A huge betrayal.

I'm backwards, I suppose.  If I feel a type of bond with someone, I give them a little bit of trust & build from there.  Break it and it's gone forever.

Loyalty is important to me.  If you are my friend or someone close to me and I've given you my love and trust - I am loyal to you.  Your secrets are my secrets.  I will defend you until the end and I won't let another speak against you.  It is for this reason, that when someone takes things they know about me and uses those things against me to make themselves somehow look better, it totally crushes me.

Forgiveness is the easy part.  It's the trust.

How could you give someone you heart & all that goes with it, have them crush it & then go on as if nothing has ever happened?  I'm not sure it's possible.  I struggle with this.  Constantly.

In my life I've had a few relationships go horribly wrong for this exact reason.

I hate to believe that I'm an easy mark.  I may be accommodating, but I'm no fool.

I have, though, been sucked into the "net" where I've let my guard down and believed in the relationship I'd formed.  (Note: relationship is general and not specific)  Only to be broken.

Trust shattered.  Wall up.  Things forever changed.

No one is above another.  We are all just people.  Some have more, some have less.  Some can do, others can't.  YOU are not better.  You are just you.

Is it REALLY worth breaking the heart of someone who you KNOW loves you to death and who would do anything for you - just to rise above, or look better for a split second?

In the long run, how do you look standing there alone?

When the love you love most of all can take no more...

Is that the look you were going for?

Does that make you feel better about yourself?

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

You always hurt the one you love
The one you shouldn't hurt at all
You always take the sweetest rose
Crush it, til the petals fall

You always break the kindest heart
With a hasty word you can't recall


PS.  For anyone who may worry about me with this blog... it doesn't pertain to me at all at this point in my life.   :) xoxo  Love you all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Surprise potty for the hubby!

Ahhhh, peace and quiet.

It's Sunday morning as I type this out.

It's been such a whirl wind (no pun intended) since the "Super Storm" hit New Jersey.

Today, there is quiet.

My husband works for the utility company.  He is NOT in the electric department, however, he has been called out constantly and has been working his tail off.  He's been gone for what seems like the entire month and it's been all me, and the girls.  Mommy needs this quiet.

Presently, he's visiting his family in Costa Rica & I have worked diligently to prepare a HUGE surprise for him.

When we bought our home, we bought the neighborhood not the house.  The house, although charming & full of character, is old.  Old like me & older.  Not just out dated, but stuff needed to be done.

We moved in knowing immediately that the house would NOT remain pink, or salmon - whatever color it was.  We knew by the home inspections that we had plumbing & water issues.  We knew we needed a roof and landscaping and just stuff.  You can only get so far before you run out of funds.  It is what it is...

We've been wanting the bathroom done.  We've NEEDED the bathroom done.  There is was God awful paneling in the bathroom.  Yes, paneling.  Floral fru, fru - ugly disgusting paneling.  I have hated it since day one, but ya know - bathrooms are expensive so I dealt with it.  I dealt with it until the day I opened the vanity cabinet and saw that the composite was deteriorating & the vanity was collapsing under the weight of the sink.  I knew we had to get a move on.

Hubby is busy -- really busy.  Normally, he likes to be the one to do the fix its around here.

So, SURPRISE!!  Bathroom remodel, "While You Were Out" style!

I hesitate to put this up here, but since I know he's already en-route, there's not much danger in him reading my blog.  Meh, not much danger in that anyway.

Today, all is quiet.  My brother is enjoying quiet time in his space.  I'm enjoying quiet time in my space.  There are no children awake at the moment.  The house is clean(ish).  There is no noise, and the bathroom looks great.

I'm so excited for him to see it!!!

A great big, giant THANK YOU to my baby brother for not only jumping in to do this for me, but pulling it of in the time allowed.  You did an amazing job & I'm so proud to call you my brother!
oxoxo

To the world, thank you for reading my blog!

Have a great day!

~Jenn

...as I actually typed this out LAST Sunday, I hesitated to post it just in case.  As an update, the surprise went off amazingly well!!!  My brother finished 98% at 1 AM on Wednesday night.  Hubby got home at 1:30 AM and he was REALLY surprised!!!  Thank you again, Darren!  You are the best brother in the world!!  xoxo

Friday, November 23, 2012

Who's the lead singer of Aerosmith?, The Creepy Foot Rub & Alien Underwear - Minus 1 - Concert review plus :)

Just your typical girls night out, right?

Well it is for our group of ladies!!

Yes, that's right - all we sophisticated ladies piled on into our friend's mini-van and headed into the big city, New York City, that is.  Like bosses!

As we emerged from the minivan, (minus 1) one by one, into the deep, dark depths of "Central Park" (that's the garage name) our hair blew back with gentleness and grace from the prop fan.  (Placed there for our amusement, if nothing else.)  We emitted style and grace and strutted our stuff, tripping over our own feet only a few times.  All five of us:  The school teacher, the girl scout leaders, the mother of triplets & the foster mom.... prancing in our heels taking on the streets of Manhattan, just like Sex and the City.....

Ok, well maybe not.  But that's totally how we felt about it.

This was certain to be a night of excitement....How could it not be?  Steven Tyler was involved.

Drinks & appys at Jack Dempsey's first...I have to say - you should probably be drunk and fed before you arrive here.  We only got appetizers, but they were mediocre at best AND my Blue Moon was flat.  Boo!  This was just the warm up of the evening.  Drinks, to unwind from the typical hellish commute through the tunnel & into the city, interesting dinner conversations, secrets spilled & laughs that could not be contained.

Onto the show...the almost 40 gals led the walk down the streets of the city, as the pushing 50 crowd pulled up the rear.

I am a HUGE Cheap Trick fan from wayyyy back!  I had a secret love affair going with Robin Zander that I've never let him in on.  It was nice to see him looking so well after all these years.  As I flash back through the pages of my mind, I do recall him looking much hotter in the poster that hung on my wall - but that was almost 30 years ago.  :sigh:  I probably also appear little bit differently than he remembers.  Those boys still do rock!  They are minus Bun E. Carlos on drums & Tom Peterson - but Rick & Robin ARE Cheap Trick.  Did I mention that they were like 100 feet away from me??  If I could have jumped about 10 rows & over the stage stairs - I could have been right up along side Robin.  Then I though, restraining order.  Kidding.  Rick & Robin DO rock it out - they sound as amazing as they did 30+ years ago!  Oh hush ... yes!  30+ years ago... I'm an old bat, remember??  lol

But wait, there's more....
Hellooooo.... Steven Tyler!  Hey, wait...Who's the lead singer of Aerosmith?  Yes, that jaw dropping comment is one of the many laughs that made the evening what it was.  Pfft, everyone knows the lead singer of Aerosmith is Jon Bon Jovi!  Sheesh!  :)

As was Robin - Steven was like 100 feet away from us.  At one point - he was even closer.  If only we'd been one section over, he could have sang directly to me.  (as if he wasn't anyway, pfft.)

Can I just tell you?  If you like Aerosmith, even a little bit - GO TO SEE THEM!  What an amazing performer this man is, and at 64!  Of course, it's the whole band, but Steven Tyler IS Steven Tyler.  The man can move, sing, dance, play multiple instruments - he is all about his audience.  At one point he pulled this little teen-aged girl on the stage to dance with him.  She was clearly random, because I swear the kid looked like she was ready to shit a brick.  I'd have traded places with her in a second.  AH.MAY.ZING!  Truly!!  I've been to many, many, many concerts.  I saw Aerosmith in 1986 with Ted Nugent.  I don't remember them being, back then, as good as they are now.  Like wine, better with age.

Enough of show reviews....let's move on to the girlie events.  We are all nuts in our very own special way.  Some of us hide it better than others.  I'm not one of the ones who hide it - Proudly flying Freak flag high.  For this reason, I believe, people think I'm way crazier than I actually am.  On that, NO - I have really NEVER had a back stage experience, lol.  I'm much calmer and more innocent than I portray, I suppose.  It does make me both laugh and cringe just a bit that I brought shock and awe about NOT having a "back stage experience."  :)

Speaking of crazy friends - and I mean this in the kindest most loving way....  I did mention that we were all donned in our finest heels?  Ouch our barkin' dogs...  But let's not let that stop us!  Let's take off our shoes & hang them over the seat in front of us.  "Hey guy... yeah you, over there, my feet hurt - would you rub them?"  Yes this happened and yes, he did rub them.  I'm not sure which is funnier.  Nope, not telling who, but it happened.  Followed by.. "Hey, are you wearing alien underwear?  Because your ass is out of this world."  No lie.  But when you ask for a creepy foot rub, you get all that comes along with it.

Secrets yes, lies - no.  Fun...ABSOLUTELY.  Only one thing missing.... Next time!  No excuses!

Hope you enjoyed this craziness.

If you've learned anything from this post, let it be that time with your friends is priceless.  Go out, have fun, spill secrets, dance & be crazy.  You only live once... OMG did I just say that??  I did...

Oh, and Aerosmith rocks - as does my Cheap Trick!!

Thank you for reading my silliness & have a fabulous day!

~Jenn

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ten Things I'm Grateful For...

(Re-post from April 30, 2012)

After a rough few days.... I've decided to take "The 10 things I'm Grateful For" challenge as issued by You Know it Happens at Your House Too.

I thought I'd have to really think about this, but luckily I know what I'm grateful for!  I happily could fill more than ten spots.
Here are my 10:

1.  First and foremost, I'm grateful to have God in my life.  I know not everyone is a believer.  I'm thankful that I am and that I could feel how much my relationship with Christ has grown over the past 10 years.  Without Him in my life, none of the rest of this would even be possible.  I truly, completely believe this.

2.  My hubby.  This man is truly a gift from God to me.  I am no piece of cake.  I'm spoiled, moody, impulsive and pretty much a total whack job - and he loves me anyway.  He doesn't try to change me.  He lets me be me.  I couldn't ask for more.

3.  My beautiful, wonderful, amazing children.  I am so incredibly proud of my kids.  My son is the light of my life.  He has proven to me that not only is there a light at the end of a very difficult tunnel, but it shines even brighter every day!  I always knew my son was a shining star - but he's surpassed all of my expectations.  He makes me so proud!

My daughter is also an amazing bright shining star.
She hasn't required a whole lot of elbow grease (yet) but give her time, she's only 9.  She's smart, beautiful & she's got an amazing heart full of love.  She has shown so much love and compassion to every single child that has come through our home without a hint of jealousy.  (Well, maybe once or twice.)  It truly makes me proud to see her interact with these kids.
She is such a good girl with a beautiful soul!

And last, but not least, my little chickadee.  I may not have given birth to this beautiful little angel, but she's MINE.  I hope one day we will have the opportunity to make that official.  For the time being, she lights up our house with her bubbly, bouncy little personality.  She amazes me in the way that someone, who's been through so much at such a young age, still draws pictures of rainbows & flowers.  Smiles big smiles & gives great big hugs.

4.  With chickadee in mind, I am also thankful for the opportunity to be a foster parent.  I love kids.  I would have had like 5 of them if my body agreed, but this was clearly God's plan for me - and I love this too.  In this, I'm also thankful for being given the gift to relate to kids who need love, attention and proper guidance.
I love being able to make a difference - even if it's a small one.

5.  I'm thankful for my amazing friends.  I may not hang in a giant group of friends, but I don't need to.  I have Lynne who I've been friends with since 8th grade, as well as my other "forever friends" and friends I've re-acquainted with (thank you, Facebook) whom I forgot how much I loved and missed until I saw them again.  I've got Trish and my "mommy friends."  These are the most amazing and wonderful women I could ever ask for.  Muwahh ... kisses to you all!

6.  I'm thankful for this blog and for all of you reading.  Believe me, I know some of the stuff I post leaves you thinking... What the heck did I just read??  I know there are days I get all gushy and emotional, sometimes totally pissed off and ranting, but sometimes - just sometimes - I've got something good to say that makes a difference.  Also to all of my fellow bloggers.  I've learned so much from you & I love this little bloggie community!  So thank you all, you wonderful people!

You do know this is sarcasm, right?
7.  I'm thankful that I never actually "let people go".  I get pissed off, I say what I have to say & I'm done.  Sometimes the other person doesn't want to deal with me ever again, but I'm like a dog with a bone.  I love everyone & unless you're a total tool or just a mean awful person, I want you in my life.
I like you there and you're stuck with me, darn it!

My kitty, Salem :)
8.  I'm thankful for my beautiful little kitty cat who is asleep on my lap. She is the sweetest, most beautiful princess kitty there is.  She "talks" to me every day.  I ask "where's my kitty" and she has her little special meow that she answers in.  She is my very own personal alarm clock.  I'm very thankful for that during the week, not so much on Saturday morning.

9.  I'm thankful I have a job!  I know I only work part time & truth be told, my husband could really carry it all - but I don't want him to.  I make good money and I like it!  I keep my brain active.  I'm productive & I'm good at my job!  I love the company I work for & even if "the Italians" don't always get me, they're very good to me.  I'm treated well and respected for the job I do.
Thank you for keeping me in shoe shopping money. 

10.  Finally, I'm thankful to still be among the living.  I know this should be closer to the top - but without all the rest of the stuff I posted, this wouldn't mean nearly as much to me.  I was really sick a few years back.  The doctors were scratching their heads and it didn't look good for me.  It was a really scary time.  I said good bye to people & made peace with my past...and then I changed medicines and stopped taking medicines & suddenly started improving.  I've come a long way & have learned to live well with Lupus.

I know I made this list seem much longer.  It really was hard to stop at 10!  I know sometimes we forget about all the wonders we really and truly have in this life.  Especially when the crap starts to build up so high you can't see anything positive on the other side.

I now pass this challenge onto each and every one of you.  If you are a blogger, please put your blog site up so that others can come show you the love.

If you feel moved, please mention a few of your favorite blogs so we can share the love.  Mine are: (first the foodie chicks)  My beautiful friend, Carrie @ Carrie's Experimental Kitchen, The Happy Little Tomato and Forkful of Comfort. Now the non-foodies:  Underachiever's Guide to Being a Domestic GoddessI Want a Dumpster Baby  and the very cute Faith @ Little Moments by Faith  (I think she's adorable)  -- Oooh, Crap - and Jenn @ People I Want to Punch in the Throat  - I just modified because I hate to leave certain folks out.  I've learned a lot about blogging from these wonderful women (yes the men bloggers too, I will pay homage another day.)  Thank you, Ladies!

Please go visit these sites & don't forget to visit the issuer of this challenge: You Know it Happens at Your House Too

I know I've left many off, next time - promise!  The blogging community is a wonderful group of folks

So, get started!  I pray you all see the good so brightly that you want to add more than 10 items as well!

Thank you all so much for reading my blog!

Lots of love,
Jenn

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Unknown...

I was jarred awake by a horrific nightmare at 4 am.... The same nightmare brought about an extreme sense of motherly protection not only for my 6 year old foster child, but for someone whom I have never met, but feel a great sense of protection over.

It's as terrifying typing this out now, as it was living it in my dream.

It never seems as terrifying on paper to see the terror this dream created, or the raw emotions that brought me to tears bringing forth the feeling that - I must protect.

I can still feel myself holding the door closed.  Doing all I can to put all my strength against the heavy oak door.  Shielding others.  Pushing my back up against the door, using my leg muscles to push harder - all while reaching for the lock and the chain.  Terrified that my efforts wouldn't be enough - that my little one would be snatched away and put in terrible danger.  That I wouldn't be able to save her or my other sweet friend from the dangers that lie on the other side of the door.

The other side of the door was... unknown.  Not knowing what to do or how to effectively save these individuals whom I feel so protective over.  My wanting to save them from this terrible - awful, unknown.

I try to make sense of all of this as I type it out.  Nothing comes together.  I have flashes of faces in my mind and feel the anxiety that I can't help.  I don't know how to.  I don't know if I'm supposed to.

As a parent, I face new and different things every day.  At one point I was sure that I had this whole parenting thing down.  My son was challenging, but he is an amazing young adult.  My daughter is an amazing light full of brightness and joy.  The short one, an adorable bundle of energy - and my newest challenge.  My "unknown."  My ward to protect.

As I go on with my morning - I feel a sense of ease, knowing that it was all just a terrible dream.

Knowing that I can only do what I can do, and that's just to love.

...even the unknown

Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn

The simple life....

I've never been one of those people who need to keep up with the Jones'...

Yes, I like nice things - but I also like to keep it simple.


I don't NEED to have the latest greatest anything. I've got all I need.  I don't need to make my life appear better by getting the latest greatest thing because someone else has something bigger, better, faster, cooler - whatever.....

Who flippin' cares?

It reminds me of the Christmas movie "Deck the Halls" with Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick where they're trying to out do each other with the house lighting...  In the end, it just blew up.

I'm not the type of person to care if your house is bigger, if your kids are better dressed or if you shop at Neiman Marcus... I don't care, I don't care, I don't care.  I also don't want you to care what I've got, where I go and how much anything I have - or don't have.

Jealousy and competition are a waste of time, energy and emotion.

Get over it!

Chances are, if I've got it and you need it - I'll just give it to you.

I don't like my feet being held to society's fire.  If I want something I'll go buy it - because I want it, not because it will make me cooler, more popular, more beautiful...  Blah Blah Blah - it's all BS!

I must have learned this from my dad.  He was very Peace, Love and Tie Dye.  He would have been happy living in a tee-pee as long as his family was fed & happy.

Yeah, once upon a time - I may have wanted the bigger, better deal.  As I've aged & had a few close calls with health issues, I've gotten a handle on what's really important.  It's clear to me that I've got the best deal there is!

When it really comes down to it - in the end, no one cares if you've left behind a mansion and a millions of dollars.  While it's true that it's much nicer to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle, when it's done, it's done.  Gone, finished, kaput.

It's all about being happy (content) while you're here.  It's about being the best you that you can be and doing for others.  It's about enjoying your friends & family and just living life.

When you're gone, no one will care about the millions you've left behind.  They're going to talk about the kind of person you were and the imprint you've left on this planet.

Keep it simple & be happy with yourself.  The rest will fall into place.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Suicide Has Affected Me - My Real Life Story

I don't like to go to this place in my brain.

I try to stay fun and positive as often as possible, but since I do have a forum and the potential to positively affect at least one person reading...

** Disclaimer:  This is my own very personal life experience.  This post is not intended to give advice in any way, but to give a glimpse into the life of one suicide survivor, me, in the hopes of helping another. If you are struggling in any way, please refer to the links at the bottom of this post or seek professional help.  Thank you. **

I was 18 years old when two police officers rang my doorbell at just about 7 am.  I was startled by the early wake up.  It was a Wednesday morning.  I didn't have any classes that day.  I was intent to sleep in as I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before.  I lived with my dad, and all night long I had feelings of ill ease.  I woke several times looking for my dad and wondering why he wasn't home yet.

When I answered the door, the police officers asked me if there was an adult at home.  Feeling offended at the age of 18, I got snippy.  After all - legally, I was an adult.  I stated that I lived with my dad and he hadn't come home last night.  Was everything alright?  They instead asked if my upstairs neighbors were home.  I directed them around back & went back to bed.

Shortly thereafter, Renee came downstairs looking pale and asking me for my mother's phone number.  I knew something was wrong, but no one would tell me anything.

Renee left as quickly as she'd arrived.  Now I couldn't go back to sleep.  I wanted to know what the hell was going on.

Where is my dad?  He left here so upset.  He and I had an argument over the plumber & the cost to fix the bathroom ceiling.  I was trying my best to help, but I was just a kid.  I didn't know how to hire a contractor.  He seemed unreasonably upset with me.  He had been pretty upset for a few months now.  I never knew why.  I questioned him regarding his behavior - but he was my daddy and I was the kid.  I was out of line.  I respected that.

The minutes that ticked by before my mother arrived seemed like seconds.  The moments that played out after she walked through the door, are etched in my mind forever.

My Aunt behind me, my mother in front of me as she told me, "Jenny - your father is dead."

I can still hear the words echoing in my mind.  Swirling around as if I were dizzy and ready to vomit.  The anger welled up inside me as I screamed at her, "YOU'RE LYING!  You're jealous that I have a better relationship with Daddy than you.  GET OUT!"  I even remember cocking back to hit her when my aunt grabbed me from behind and hugged me hard.  I can remember her very calm, comforting voice in my ear, "Sweetheart, she is telling the truth.  I'm so sorry."

No one would give me details.  I was a mess.  I remember screaming and crying and throwing things.  As I relive this now, I am brought to tears.

But there is more.

I knew, instinctively that my dad had taken his own life.  I KNEW.  I don't know how I knew, I just did.  I had seen the gun.  Held it in my hands.  I had questioned my dad about that gun.

My dad was a "bar guy."  He was single & he was to the bar almost every night.  He hung out in some pretty rough places, so his excuse of having the gun for protection made perfect sense to me.

After hearing of his death, I regretted not taking it and hiding it as I'd wanted to.  I felt somehow responsible.  Yet - no one was telling me the truth.  No one was telling me anything.  I begged. I pleaded. I demanded.  Nothing.

Hours later, there it was, in the local section of the newspaper in black & white...

"Man 42 found shot to death in his vehicle.  Suicide suspected."

Confirmation.

I read the article over and over again.  The scenario created itself in my brain and sunk deep into my conscious.
"Man found slumped over the steering wheel with single gunshot wound to the head.  Pronounced dead at the scene."
Those words from that article stick in my brain, as does the scenario that played out like a movie in my mind - over and over for years.

Again, I say - as I type this out - I have that feeling in my chest and the lump in my throat that I did so many years ago.  It doesn't go away.  It gets easier with time, but it never goes away.  This pain, this stigma - stays.  It's a wound that never heals.

Worse yet...
A wound that never heals is vulnerable to rip back opened.  Some of us allow for healing.  Others keep ripping open the scab just to watch themselves bleed.  My brother, Eric, ripped open the scabs.  He never healed.  He never talked about it.  He watched himself bleed.  He went about life, until the day that life got too hard for him as well.

I guess it seemed easier for him since that the stigma of suicide was already attached to our family.

The call came in from my baby brother...

"Hey, good to hear your voice.  How are you?  Is everything OK?"

"No, Jenn - nothing is OK.  Nothing is OK at all.  Eric is dead."

Again...Another one.  Another gun.  Another opportunity to take it away for good - lost.  I had already taken it away.  Several people had.  Yet he always managed to convince someone he wasn't going to hurt himself.  He was OK and he wanted it back.

Now he was gone too.

Shot in the head, just like daddy.  In his home, where his son found him.

And my scab was ripped wide open.

I have already blogged on my brother's suicide.  It's still pretty fresh, even if it is 5 years old.

There is always a song, a moment - a flash of something that reminds me.  It's always there.

I am not the only person on the planet to be a "Suicide Survivor".  This is just a small portion of my story.  A story that I wish I didn't have to tell, but I tell because I know there are others like me struggling with the loss of someone they love at their own hand.

Please know the signs.  No one always expects someone to die at their own hand.  Most times it is a complete shock.  No one thinks it will ever happen to them.  I never thought it would happen to me.

Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn

If you are struggling with the loss of someone close to you, or if you or someone you know are struggling with depression and/or suicidal thoughts - Please reach out!

Please don't give up!
It is NOT hopeless!
Someone DOES love you and someone WILL miss you!
If you don't feel like there's anyone around who understands you, or wants to hear it, or whatever - reach out to anyone will listen or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:   
1-800-273-TALK (8255)



Please don't give up on life!
No one said it would be easy.
They just said it would be worth it!

In Loving Memory of my Dad, William R. Cooper 
and my brother W. Eric Cooper.
Rest comfortably in the arms of angels.
May you find the peace you so desperately sought here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

In search of my long lost independence.....

Don't drink the milk... It's spoiled!
Today, I fed my children cereal with sour milk.

I've never done that.  I've never had sour milk in my house & I've never been so rushed that I hadn't noticed the milk had gone bad.  The expiration date was good, so I didn't think to smell it first, but I fed my children cereal with sour milk.

This felt like a HUGE Mommy Fail!

That, on top of the stress from the hurricane, set me into tears.

Once upon a time, I was seriously independent.  I didn't need to ask anything from anyone.  I was a single mom & I had it all figured out.  I did what needed to be done & everything flowed.  Granted, I probably wasn't doing things correctly - but I didn't know any better, so to me - it was all just fine.

Even before I was a single mom -
I spent a lot of years alone.  By choice. Yeah, I had boyfriends when I was younger - but I was more focused on getting my life headed in the direction I wanted it to go before I brought another person along for the ride.  The attachments I made were always ones that allowed me to have my closest friends present, or they didn't occur.

I was out on my own since 18 years of age.  My dad died committed suicide and I was alone.  I had no other choice other than "figure it out".  That was not an easy task.  In my teens, my daddy made me his little princess. Whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Anyway, when Daddy was gone - it was all me.  I had no clue what to do. I was still going to school.  I was working part time.  I didn't really know how to do anything.  I screwed up constantly and eventually took in a roommate to help make rent.  We ate at Happy Hour or whatever else we could come up with.  I worked two jobs & went to school.  I did what needed to be done and tried to not ask for help. Pride, I suppose or maybe just stupidity - dumb luck.  Whatever.  I never went hungry or homeless, so I was doing something right.

I believe those years of doing for myself & not learning to rely on, or trust someone else enough to rely on was a contributing factor the demise of my marriage to my son's father.  Not THE reason, but A reason. Though he was no piece of cake, I own this part of the failure.  (I'll just leave it there because my son may read this.)

I was always very used to doing everything.  So I did it.  I didn't rely on anyone else.  When there was slack to be picked up - I picked it up as if there wasn't another person.  I just did it.  I got a second job and a baby sitter.  I worked 7 days a week & killed myself to be momma, home maker, provider, etc.  Of course I couldn't handle it all & the added stress of the other "stuff" was just the icing on the crap cake.

I rolled into single mom-dom without much difficulty.  It really wasn't that much different.  It was actually easier in some ways because the extra component was no longer there.  Other issues, yes - but in our household, no one was telling me what to do.  I did what I wanted.  My way.

...And then I met my husband.
He caught me totally off guard.  Our friendship turned to love in what seemed like seconds and he swooped in and started taking care of me.  All of the things that I was so used to doing - he started doing.  I didn't know how to handle it & I absolutely resisted at first.
Eventually, I let my guard down and learned to rely on and trust my husband.  Completely.
I can't even tell you how many times he has said to me over the years (yes, even to this day) "Why do you think you have to do everything by yourself?"

It's ingrained, I suppose.

Finally after all the years we've been together - I've stepped back.

Then the hurricane hit and he was working constantly.  We had no power for more than a week.  There were a lot of things that he had been doing, or that I didn't know how to do and it freaked me out.  I haven't been in a position where I didn't know what to do since I was 18 years old!


I've gotten so used to being a partner, I've forgotten how to do some things for myself and it scared the crap out of me.  At one point, I broke down in tears.  I was alone with the kids.  I was afraid to run out of gas.  I didn't know how to start the generator (and boy did I try).  I didn't know how to do so many things.  My brain swirled around to the point of exhaustion....until it finally sunk in.

I didn't need to freak out.  The one thing that I'd learned from my husband over the years is that it really is OK to rely on another person.  I allowed other people to help me.  We all helped each other and it really was OK.

When it really came down to it, it was just sour milk and maybe a little perspective.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Have a great day!!

~Jenn

Something I forgot to add before posting this...

If you, or someone you know is suffering or feeling in any way hopeless - please reach out.  Someone DOES love you and someone WILL miss you.  If you need someone to talk to in confidence, please contact the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:  http://www.afsp.org/