Structure

I’m sitting here at a supervised visitation. These kids have done nothing but cause mass chaos in the two hours I have been here. The parents verbally get onto them but never follow through on a time out or remove the problem item or any other threats that are given. These children don’t say please or thank you. They don’t say yes or no ma’am. They scream and point instead of using their words. They lash out irrationally. They hurt each other. They hurt themselves.

The parents are half mentally checked out. They have no structure to behave themselves; how do I expect them to parent little thems?

The parents themselves grew up in chaos. They don’t know what anything but dysfunction looks like. I don’t expect them to live like “normal”. I just want safe. I want stable. The children deserve safe and stable.

So how do we get from one extreme to just decent? These parents are exhausted from their life’s choices that brought me here. The children are consumed by crazy being the norm.

Get sober. Get stable. Survive. Then Thrive.

Find positive support. Find somewhere to plug in. Find a better you to be. No one else can do anything for you if you don’t want to do anything for yourself.

Beauty is free

I work at a very high stress job with a high turn around and sad, depressing and infuriating situations. It takes a specific type of person. A specific personality. Even then, your knees will get sore from constant prayer. I struggle sometimes. Its hard to talk about my job, especially when folks don’t understand it. I absolutely know without a doubt, I’m in the field I am supposed to be in. On those hard days,though, when I’m just not quite sure how to feel, on my way home from work, I see this. This is a couple hundred yards away from my house. Instantly, there’s a certain peace in my heart. Even through the chaos, I have to find serenity. I find it here. Home. If no one is behind me and I can see clearly in both directions, I pause. I pray. I am blessed. I am thankful. Thank you God for making beauty natural.

The tough stuff…Part 1

Here I go.

I am 10 years sober from everything. Sober not just from substances. Sober from being lost. Sober from feeling utterly unwanted. Sober from being disgusted in my own skin. Sober from being completely consumed in ick. Sober from decisions that hurt others deeply.

I can’t exactly remember when I started using. I have never been great at remembering my past. I’m not quite sure if it’s the drugs or that I just don’t want to remember. I grew up in a decent home. I grew up with a nasty secret that wasn’t just my own. I learned shame at an early age and I had no one to talk to about it besides a few choice friends that didn’t know how to help me. I lived a double life. During the day, life was normal. There were family struggles but we survived. At night, my life was not my own. I became part of a movie I watched outside of my body. The goodies for bribing were my favorite part about the nights. I didn’t sleep a lot. Several years later, the movie stopped. I can’t remember why? I believe it had something to do with giving my life to Christ. I had such a hard time with friends. I had some great friends but I was so uncomfortable in my own body and mind, it was hard to know how to be a friend; how to be friendly in an appropriate way. I was a late bloomer, too. I didn’t hit 4 feet until 7th grade. I didn’t get boobies until I was probably 17. No guys were interested in me and that was probably a good thing. I wouldn’t have known what to do if they were. I remember all of my friends during this age were all getting boyfriends, making long lasting friendships. I, for some reason, was slipping into a secluded life,surrounded by people, downward spiral. I even made the cheerleading team. I was tiny, they would be crazy not to add me for top-of-the-pyramid purposes. That, still, didn’t help my inward turmoil.

I remember going through several pregnancy scares with my friends. I had never had a boyfriend. It was a strange world for me. They all went on double dates. Sometimes I tagged along, mostly I attached myself to marijuana and alcohol. Again, I don’t remember details of how it all came to be. Then I branched out. I thought it made me feel involved. I learned how to roll joints, blunts, pack a bowl, drink everyone under the table, do the most incredibly stupid things, etc. I was a good business owner. I was cool. I learned that alcohol blocked the dark within me. I was wide open. I didn’t turn down any party favors at this point. Anything was fair game. And when I say anything, I mean everything.

LIFE. WAS. GOOD.

I began going to parties. I began wearing a little bit less. I began getting the attention of fellas. WHOOEEEE this is what it was all about. I had my first boyfriend. Later, I would find out that he had gotten a local gal pregnant while we were together. He chose not to tell me and to not be a part of that baby’s life. He’s now a sex offender locked up somewhere for revocation and he is far from my life (God saves, even when you’re stupid). I began a strange life of lows I never realized until I was out of it. I didn’t know what a healthy relationship was. I had a guy that would be interested but you know…..they were never interested enough to take this gal on a date. I had a bad habit of being interested in bad guys. I had ZERO understanding of love.

Fast forward…………I decided I would move out of my parents house at 17. I quit school my senior year because I was having way too much fun to sit in a school desk all day. I disrespected several teachers who genuinely cared about me and my success (making amends hit hard with two specific teachers, S.D and T. R). I lived with several other lost folks. We all were so blind to what life had for us if we would just accept the good and leave the bad. I got so consumed in this life I thought I had to have I didn’t realize that I had dove down a horrible path that would end up leaving plenty dead.

A few friends and I thought Limestone County wasn’t big enough for us and we took off to Nashville, TN. 17 years old, no parental supervision and in a big city.

What could go wrong??

Everything. The answer is EVERYTHING.

Step family. Still family.

I have been a part of a split family for almost 10 years. I have been a part of another split family for 5 years. I was a step parent and my children have a step mom (or live in female parent). One day when I marry again for the second time, there will be a whole other dimension.

I can tell you 10 years in, I have made more mistakes than I can count and I have learned so much.

I remember when I was pregnant with my son, I was in turmoil. All I knew is I had lived one heck of a crazy life up until I saw that extra line on the urine-soaked stick. My life finally had direction. Nothing I had ever done up to that point mattered anymore. I was going to be a mommy no matter who wanted to stop it. I went to my mother’s work and a coworker of hers told me:

“Don’t ever use your child as a tool against their father!”

I respect that coworker and I respected what they had said. I made a promise to do the best I could to never do that. My son turns 10 this year. 10!!!!!! And no matter the struggles that his father and I have endured, I have never said a cross word to my son and I try my hardest to follow my mentor’s thoughts. My son thinks his father is cool beans and I love that he does.

My daughter will turn 7 this year. Her father and I divorced when she was 3. She loves her daddy with all of her heart. I will never ever get in the way of that. Her father and I do not see eye to eye but I know he loves her and that’s enough for me.

My children will grow up and no matter what they feel, they can never say I was disrespectful about their daddy.

My children have more family than they know what to do with. My children never go without anything. For this, I am blessed.

There are times when we all want to choke each other. Society has this idea that splitting makes everything go away. NO SILLY, think on it. You couldn’t agree on life together, so now you want to agree on life, separately?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? That is why you have to take yourself out of the equation. Divorce (with children) just means you take your PERSONAL feelings out of the raising of your children. You do that and you will be successful in co-parenting!!!!