Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Part 3

I clung to him. I threw out the idea that I didn't need a man and I clung to him like drowning person holds a life saver. After our quick marriage, and the birth of our son, I became a sahm once again. I wanted it and I needed it. The year before had been a whirlwind and as I mentioned before, I wrote about that and dealt with it during our first year together. My only family in town (mom) moved away and I shut out all friends for fear they would ruin my new happiness with drama. I never went anywhere. My Honey became my life line. My only friend, and as dependant as that makes me sound, it was necessary. We became a family so fast, I needed to seal the bond with every minute I had available dedicated to just that. I paved the way for Ms. Thang and My Honey to see each other the way that I did and actually love each other. I helped a new sister love her new brother. I worked hard to be the glue, although I was needed a lot less than I gave.
As time went on, I regained custody of Ms. Thang, and we topped off our family with Cutecumber. My first "planned" child, expanding on purpose! Having so much happiness that we felt the need to add one more and make "us" even bigger. Finally, I felt like our family was sealed, and written in stone. We were unbreakable.

That had been my worry, my greatest fear. It had become my mind consuming task. Make sure this is forever! And although my stable, rock of a husband never doubted it, this took me over 5 years to finally accept. I had felt it all along, but doubted my heart because of a rocky past.

With this weight off of my shoulders and this job of "sealing" our family finished, I started to wonder what my role was in this family. Of course I am the Mother and the Wife, but what kind of mother and wife am I? Now that I am not needed as "glue" who exactly am I? I'm not the wife and mother I was fresh out of high school. I'm not the mess of a woman I was after that either. I had a serious identity crisis.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Part 2

Now this next segment of my life is definitely my worst years. I've written out the entire story before (in a previous blog) and I've dealt with it and moved on, but for the sake of my time line I'm going to whip through it quickly.

I fell for this guys charming lines. (A married devil in disguise) He made me feel desired and wanted. Something I hadn't felt in a very long time, and this guy had some kind of power over me. He knew how to control a woman with his charm. I'd never felt this way, and my behavior took a turn for the worst. I found myself making time with him a priority over all aspects of my life, especially after I lost custody of my daughter. There were drugs involved (only pot) but it was enough to start a roller coaster ride that only spiraled me downward. I was sleeping around, lost my job, my apt, my car and closed my family off. This lasted for about a year.

For awhile I liked the attention from men and I liked the lack of responsibility this new life required. It felt freeing. Then slowly I realized how I had trapped myself. I couldn't get out. All I knew were these people and all of them were in too deep to help me. I suddenly craved the open heart I'd boarded up closed to avoid the hurt and pain. At least then I was feeling something, rather than living in the numb. I wasn't enjoying the party anymore. I wanted a quiet life, and a friend that I could trust. I started to realize that although we called each other family because we'd shut out our real families, we were a dysfunctional one, and there wasn't a single person around me that I trusted. They'd steal from me and take everything I had to offer and I had been willing to give it to them for a fake compliment in return.

Finally, one day I had enough. (Probably answered prayer of my mother's!) and I realized I couldn't erase what I had done, but I could change who I was. I severed ties with everyone.I finally started working again. I had to start at the bottom. I washed dishes at dingy diners and worked other small jobs at little restaurants and ended up at Fuddruckers (burger joint) in the Mall. I was living with my best friend from high school and it gave me a chance to start saving up money of my own and giving me a place to visit with my daughter again. It was painful to accept what I'd done, but I pushed through it and made up my mind to be someone she could depend on.

One day, as I smoked a cigarette during a lunch break, a security truck pulled up to me and out walked a man in uniform. A mall cop. For a moment a thought I had done something wrong, but instead he asked me for a cigarette and then I recognized him. We didn't really know each other but had a few mutual friends and had met each other a few times before.

Everyday, he met me outside during my lunch break and even my manager caught on before I did.
"Somebody has a boyfriend!" he teased.

But this guy was too clean cut for me. He wore a uniform and protected things. Just a few months earlier, I was part of the group he was protecting the mall from. I was just a piece of trash trying to clean up her act.
After being in a crowd where a slap on the ass was the signal that a guy liked you, his eagerness to hear about my day or offers to drive me home seemed subtle.
That's the way My Honey worked though. He drew me in with his kindness, gentle heart, and protective qualities. He was looking for a damsel in distress. He loves to be a hero. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Change of pace...

I need to revisit the past to make the present more clear. You know how you look back on your life at times and realize that God was giving you important lessons along the way and suddenly it all comes together and makes since in the "now"? I'd like to make my "big picture" a little more clear because I've made a few revelations recently, so I'm going to do a quick synapse (majorly simplifying) some of my past and see where it goes. I'm probably going to share entirely too much of myself but I like to put it out there because you get more back. Feel free to ask me anything or give me advice along the way. I'd love any feed back!

I've always been strong willed, but in my teenage years I really embraced the "tough girl" persona and did everything I could to project that I was a strong woman with direction. My parents both praised me and told me how wonderful I was like good parents do (they had me young and neither completed hs) and I wanted to make them proud. I had plans to attend college and be that career oriented woman. I had a great role model in my own mother who made being a hard working single mother in previous years seem empowering, (later working for a HUGE well known company and being praised for her work and even having her ideas become protocol) I liked the idea of not needing a man for anything and I dared anyone to challenge me or my ideas. I had a big ego. I believed I was better than most other people my age and not only was I going to be "somebody" someday, I already was.
(oh the invincibility of a teenager lol)
But even unknown to me, it was all a farce. I was extremely scared to fail. So scared in fact that I started to seek out an escape. I didn't know it then, but that is exactly what I was doing. I got pregnant, and became a married mother at the age of 19. He had a future in the Navy (had already enrolled) and this would buy me plenty of time to ease into my "after high school plans". I don't think I even loved him. I loved the idea of him. He was a great guy (with endearing characteristics I now enjoy in our daughter) but we didn't have a chance because we didn't even know who we were then. We knew nothing about life. I thought I had everything planned out perfectly but something happened that I didn't expect. I looked into my baby's eyes and I completely and utterly changed who I was at that very moment. I opened my heart to real unconditional love. Love deeper than any love I had ever felt in my entire life. (It was a true gift from God and the first tiny taste of the love he feels for us.) With my heart so open, my life started to hurt. Just after my daughters birth, we moved far from friends and family to Norfolk VA. Things I could have easily "pushed through" with a closed heart, like lack of true respect and love in my marriage, started to feel like gaping bleeding stab wounds that I couldn't heal on my own. With a taste of unconditional love I had started to have a hope that I could love him and we could be happy. I started to wonder if I could make this marriage work and be a perfect little family for our daughter. But being young, happiness meant perfection and I put a lot of pressure and impossible standards on us, unknowingly pushing us further apart, and as I pushed, any love we had started to go, and as it went, any hope we had was gone. Hopelessness made us behave in ways that were not really us and we became really pathetic excuses for human beings. We separated and I went back home to TX. He followed and we had a brief reconnect, that just verified that the love was no longer there, and I moved out and got a place of my own with our daughter and that was the last of our marriage, although it took years to complete the divorce.

What did I take away from it all? I would have been better off had I never tried to open my heart up to a man. Opening your heart leads to heart ache. I lost trust in "love" and believed it was a thing they made up in books and movies. The real "fun" part was the chase the idea of your future together. In movies, it always ends at the "happily ever after" because if they continued on past the wedding day you'd find out about all the monotony, bickering, becoming bored with one another, etc...the reality after the chase is not fun and makes for a bad story. I didn't want it anymore. Marriage was not for me.

**Now in retrospect, this is not exactly what I should have taken away from the experience of my first marriage and being an adult looking back through wiser, less pained eyes, I know more about what went wrong and why. I can also remember a lot of fun and loving times that were over shadowed by pain, guilt, and hurt that was still so raw and fresh after the final split, but for me to understand why I did particular things in my life, I have to remember how I felt then and remember that I didn't know the things I know now. **

I went without a boyfriend or love interest for about a year, and if you count the last year with my husband, I had not had love or sex in roughly 2 years. We were roommates there at the end and I don't think we even spoke. I can't really remember much about the short period where we tried to make it work a second time, except were we lived and that I hated my life. I didn't miss the intimacy. I actually hated the thought of it. My ex cheated during our marriage, and although things were never perfect between us, it still shocked and hurt me immensely. I had body image issues and felt overall unattractive. I was damaged goods in the love department. This made it easy to avoid relationships for fear of rejection anyway. I devoted my time to my daughter and to work.
I was happier than I was with my ex. I enjoyed my job and I enjoyed my time at home with my daughter. It's when my ex started to take her regularly (on weekends) and I had free time after work without her there, that I started to get extremely lonely. Having moved away right out of high school, I didn't really keep in touch with many friends. However, a cousin of my ex's lived as a single mother in my apt complex and I'd been blowing her off but as I sat there bored with nothing to do, I started taking her up on her offers and we'd go hang out with her friends (guys and girls) and it was a casual party environment that I had never been a part of. (I was never a very social person and really my ex husband was my first long-term boyfriend and I met him at work.) There weren't any drugs or anything like that, just some card games and maybe a little drinking which I never participated in. She was there to snag a man, but I had zero interest in that. I might crack a joke here and there but I still stayed to myself more than anything. My friend moved back home with her mother and we started spending more time together, doing girly stuff like clothes shopping, tanning, and letting our daughters play together. I ended up being over at her mom's when a neighbor came by offering her a babysitting job. She couldn't take it, but once I heard he was needing a live in nanny (he provides food and gas money etc..) and that he would only be there a few days a month(oil field), he had shared custody with his wife so his kids were gone 2 weeks out of the month and I'd be making almost triple the amount of money I made at my current job, I gladly took the offer. It was a dream job. I got to spend every available moment with my daughter and the 3 kids I watched were fun and easy to entertain. It was like I was playing house, but in a BIG house with lots of spending money and no husband. I loved it. My daughter started to spend longer periods of time with her dad and the kids I watched also spent extended times away at their mom's place during school vacations and I found myself spending a lot of time at these little social gatherings with my ex's cousin because that was all there was to do. I still wasn't really participating in the conversations much, or having that much fun until one day I was sitting on the couch and in walked a new, extremely sexy, muscular and handsome guy that came and sat smiling, right next to me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Organizing tips for the kitchen.

I LOVE the summer schedule! I can not express this enough. I'm caught up on sleep. My house is orderly. The kids are getting special attention and I've been PLAYING with them! Ms. Thang is still at her dads for a bit longer (she's doing 2 weeks at a time, her choice) and aside from missing her and wishing she was here too (She'd also appreciate this "new me" the most and praise me for it cause she's an awesome friend as well as daughter) I'm really living the high life and enjoying every second. Sun, sleep, and zero schedule looks really good on me lol

So, enough bragging, today the Scientist is at my ILs and Cutecumber took a long nap so I had some free time (since everything is caught up) to organize one particularly troublesome shelf in my kitchen.

The "ziplock" area.

What it holds- ziplocks, foil, wax paper, trash bags, steamer bags (for veggies), crockpot liners.

Problem- over stuffed with items falling out when I opened the door. I had to take out at least 2 items to get anything out of there.

What I did to fix this problem:

1. I am a major ziplock user. I like to keep one box of every size on hand because I use them for ev-er-y-thing. I had all these different boxes (with the cardboard flap open on each but still attached) just thrown in. If I set one on top of the other, I had to move it each time to get to the box below it. So I looked at the box and realized (duh) that I could rip off the cardboard flap and set each one on top of the other with the exposed bags to the side. Like this...

Now I've made better use of the vertical space but I don't have to move each one to get a bag from the one below it. They were obviously designed to work this way, I've just never really noticed or utilized their shape. I still have a loose box that didn't fit into my stack, but with all the newly freed space, it slides out of the way without an issue.

2. The second thing I did was put my box of crockpot liners inside of the crock pot. Now they are right where I need them and one less box piled in my cabinet. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

And lastly..
3. I put the long and awkward foil in the drawer beneath the oven which houses all my cookie sheets and other long pans that I use 90% of the foil on anyway.

I know these tips are small, but I hope they shave off a few extra minutes in the kitchen that you were using to dig for the right sized bag, clean up the avalanche that escaped your cabinet, and then trying to balance it all back inside for the next poor soul lol.
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