Tuesday, 29 August 2017

99 Days

I think about the amount of time I've already spent with my kids and how quickly the time goes. I have spent 5 years raising my children, over 1825 days. That's a lot of time and a lot of energy being put into parenting my children, it's hard work, but it's also joyous and I love it intensely.

My mother left when I was 7. After just over 2555 days and 3 children, she called it quits and moved on. I can not for the life of me imagine being with my children every day of their lives, raising them and watching them grow, and then just walking away and giving up any form of custody of them. I understand having to share your time with an ex husband or ex wife, but to just throw in the towel and walk away, I can't even comprehend that, it's mind boggling. I guessed once, how much time my mom spent with us after she left, I thought it was under a years worth of days. maybe around 260, I was off by a lot. From the age of 7 to 18, my mom visited with us a total of 99 days. about 8 days a year, that doesn't include all of the cancelled visits.

I started thinking about all of this recently when I saw a discussion where someone was struggling to have their children's father involved in their lives. She wrote about begging her ex to come to a game, or call the kids, or send a card. Just begging to have this person devote time to their kids because the time they didn't get from their father was breaking their hearts. It reminded me of my dad doing the same to my mom. Offering to drop us off at the mall to go window shopping and  giving money to take us to eat somewhere. Trying to get her to come take us for a walk or go do something beyond the 4 hour visit she obliged to for us every week.

She did go to one of my brother's hockey games, one time, in 10 years of hockey. She sat there like some stone cold bitch, my dad tried to make chit chat about my brother and his hockey skills, my mom just rolled her eyes and forced a smirk and an obviously bitchy remark. It was painfully awkward, and the worst part is that the game was at an arena that was a 5 minute walk from her house. My brother played hockey at the arena regularly, but I guess an extra 2 hours at even one hockey game a month was too much to ask. The only good outcome that came from my mom going to the game, was that the other parents stopped judging my dad so much. I guess some of the mothers assumed that my dad didn't "allow" my mother to go and support my brother, it was the only reasonable explanation they had for why my mother wasn't going to games. I guess those women assumed my mother was a reasonable and supportive parent...she proved them wrong.

It's almost been a year since I sent my mother an email saying I needed to take time to reassess the relationship. I think from time to time that maybe I should contact her and try again, but then I am reminded of another reason why I'm not participating in our relationship right now. 99 days. 99 days, most of those during a pivotal time of my and my siblings lives. 99 Days of longing, of pain, of questioning, of the most unimaginable heartbreak of your life. 99 days of irreversible damage. 99 days of sobering reality. 99 days and not a day more has to be spent wondering why my mother doesn't value myself or my siblings more then the man of the hour. Those 99 days are over, and it's been 4745 days since those 99 have been done. Yet, it only takes an instant, to remind me, of every single one.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Hello again

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I last wrote, doesn't feel as long as it's been. 2016 was incredibly busy. We had another baby and did a ton of work to our home. The year was really rough for me emotionally, I isolated myself from friends and family and was more depressed then I realized. I did start medication for anxiety finally, it was a LONG time coming, I finally feel myself for the first time in ages. 2017 has been off to a much more emotionally stable start.

On the mother front, I have finally taken a hiatus from the relationship. I was having a lot of anxiety about her planned visit late last summer, I was dreading it like the plague that is gastroenteritis. A month before she was supposed to fly here, I let her know of a couple motels she could stay in(the year before she had said she'd get a hotel somewhere so she could "actually relax" next visit). Well, those suggestions led to radio silence from her. I finally found out she was not flying to town after my brother talked to her once her vacation started. Fun conversation they had.

My mom has been doing this "woe is me" pity party for the past 10 years. She starts out talking about how she couldn't do any better, then moves on to not knowing how to be a mom, poor me, MY life is hard. While I know her life has been hard, mine has not been some walk in the park. What really gets to me about her meltdowns is that she has never once turned to any of my siblings or myself and said "I'm so sorry for not being there when you needed me". Not one time, it's always how sad she is, or how hard she had it, or how she didnt or couldn't or wouldnt do something. It's all about her. When my brother spoke with her last year, it was the same old yearly pity party. He told me about it and it finally just hit me like a brick wall, she only cares about herself. She only does things to benefit her, to make her the most comfortable, and to boost her ego. If I ever hear the phrase "I didn't know how to be a mother, I didn't have a mother" again, I'm going to explode. Guess what? I DIDN'T HAVE A MOTHER EITHER! Yet here I am, 3 kids later, momming hard, no excuses. That was the catalyst for stepping back from the relationship with my mother, and it's been a calming 7 months.

Some people are really uncomfortable with the idea of cutting off a family member, usually it's because they've been indoctrinated with this idea that family is family. I'm calling bullshit. Sometimes family is toxic, and it's okay to put that relationship on hold, or disolve it altogether. If someone is hurting you and are manipulative/narcissistic/co-dependent/emotionally abusive/gaslighters or any other form of toxic, do not be afraid to stand up and say ENOUGH!

I don't know when I'll speak to my mother again, I still cant think of her without feeling angry and resentful. Maybe one day I'll try to speak to her again, when the anger subsides, though I suspect this may take years, my emotions are very intense when it comes to her. Regardless of when or if I speak to her again, I can unequivocally say I regret nothing about backing away, I need and cherish the distance.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Seriously. Can't. Even.

It has taken months to process the visit I had with my mother this year. Months. She came in July for just over a week and it seemed to go smoothly, but, like every time she comes to town, I allowed myself be let down. 

The let down started with the odd critical comment, and ended with her last night in my home spent listening to a beligerent drunk. Un-fucking believable. The day she left I had avoided her as I was just pissed beyond belief how drunk she got ALONE. No one else was "drinking" as I'm pregnant, and it was the middle of my husbands work week. I didn't talk about her visit for almost 2 weeks because I was so angry, and since July have spoken to her for maybe 35 minutes total between two phone calls. I just can't even anymore.

I'm getting too old to deal with or care about this parental relationship. I can't handle the things my mother posts online, she's tagging me in a million Facebook posts, including a picture of her idiot ex boyfriend at a funeral, why in the fuck would I want to see that alcoholic criminal? I can guarantee she showed him pictures of myself and my children, I'm restricting her access to everything of mine from now on. My husband has mentioned random things from my mom's visit that further piss me off, like how she was using my coffee grinder and it died and exclaimed "I'm not used to using such cheap stuff". Meanwhile, she sent me the fucking coffee grinder with a french press and a HALF EMPTY BAG OF COFFEE BEANS for my brithday 5 years prior. Seriously, what a bitch! I'm so done with her and her self righteous, snot faced, entitled, self-centred, bullshit attitude. Then she has the nerve to half joke about us building her a cabin on our property for her to retire in (on an instagram post). Fat chance! There will be exactly ZERO relatives living with my family and I on our property. I'd rather shoot myself in the foot then ever have my mother living with us or near us. Ragey doesn't even begin to describe how I'm still feeling 5 months later. 

On top of the latent visit rage, I've come to realize that I have allowed myself to be treated like a poor orphan for many years. A few close relationships have involved a lot of pity from the other person, always sad to think about me "not having a mom" growing up. I haven't really thought much about this generalization until recently so couldn't see what it meant for those relationships. I've since come to the understanding that these people not only feel sorry for me and pity me, they have taken it upon themselves to try and "mother" me. I didn't notice the dynamic before, but now as a 2 time, soon to be 3 time mother, I realize that these people have completely infantilized me, and it pisses me off. I'm mad about it because I let it happen, over and over again, and I'm pissed off because these people still don't see me as a full fledged adult. Even though I'm married. Even though I have children. Even though we are on our second house. Even though I actually do have a mother, albeit an absent, selfish and heavily judgemental one. It's been a rude awakening to say the least, but I'm glad that I have opened my eyes and can see that my own difficulties with my mother have been further perpetuated by accepting the pity of others. Better to figure it out now at least so I can stop allowing people to view me.as a victim.

Anyway, feeling hugely pregnant and now fatigued after my vent here, hope there are people out there that find all this swearing and complaining helpful...lol

Saturday, 20 June 2015

A Free Moment Warrants a Post

Life happens and things have been extremely busy, there is no resting with two kids, and that's fine by me. I've realized that I haven't been doing much in regard to letting my emotions out and it has been detrimental to my day to day life. I've been stressed out, I've had anxiety for months, I've pulled out my hair at times, and I've been snappy with everyone. I constantly feel like when I talk to my mom I have to guide her and explain things to her that I shouldn't have to. I often feel like I'm her mother and not the other way around and frankly, I don't know what to do about that anymore. 

My mom has been living on her own for 6 months, which is a huge step for her considering her co-dependency issues. Things aren't exactly hunky-dory though, her ex boyfriend is still randomly contacting her and she just doesn't think anything of it. I have the hardest time understanding how someone could essentially be stalking you and you not recognize that it's stalking, like wth. Her last interaction with him she "felt bad for him" after running into him at the grocery store. She said he was skinny and complained of having no money and was crying. She bought him $40 worth of groceries and he explained he realized that my mom was not ready for a relationship when they started dating. My mom told me that she was glad he could see she wasn't ready and wasn't interested anymore. The thing is, his statement didn't actually indicate that he was letting go of her, it indicated that he actually blames her for their break up, and her buying him groceries and giving him a shoulder to essentially cry on, along with a goodbye hug, just cements his feelings that somehow things will work out. My mom has no innate ability to spot deceit, and it's terrifying to think about.

Speaking of deceit, I also had to explain to my mom about catfish, as in the online predators. She was taken in by someone claiming to be a millionaire with a company and the whole works. It happened literally in less then 24hours, she went from single to "in a relationship" on facebook with a "man" that's had no friends on his friends list, and had just created his "business" page. I did some private investigation work and within 3 hours found out everything I needed to confirm to my mom that this man was not a real person(what a shit show that could have been). Luckily, my mom has no money so she wouldn't get too far in one of these fake relationships, but that still didn't stop her form giving the guy her phone number within the first 2 hours of chatting with him(wtaf, right?).

On the topic of money, my mom was supposed to be coming to town in I guess 3 weeks from now. Last years she had no money as the year before she cancelled her trip here to take an expensive trip(on credit) with her idiot boyfriend(it was decided after I had told her her boyfriend was essentially an emotionally abusive,manipulative ass, that would never be welcome around my children). Anyway, she's claiming bankruptcy so I highly doubt she's coming. I am really annoyed because instead of just saying :sorry I can't come due to financial ruin", she just keeps saying "we'll see what happens". 

I just don't even know how to even anymore. My councilor I saw once in the fall(I really need to get my shit together and start going again) asked me why this relationship was so important to me when all it does is cause me grief. I have been reflecting on a few relationships now and honestly don't know why I put so much time into things that have little, if any return on my emotional investment. The other relationships I have that aren't reciprocal I have basically stopped engaging in (family and friendships I mean here), but for whatever reason I have remained my mothers keeper. I can't seem to shed this role and I don't know why. Maybe it's because after every major incident with her I don't see or speak with her for weeks or months. I feel like I do a whole lot of rug sweeping with my mom, but now, all the beating in the world wont get my rugs clean, the dirt has permeated my life and the only thing to do is just throw the damn things out. Why do simple solutions always seem so god damn hard? 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

I am NOT my mother, NOT my dad, NOT a toddler

I was on the phone with my dad this morning, I called to see if he wanted to go to a sale this weekend. As we were chatting he casually asked about when my son will be starting school. Now, to be honest, I am VERY inclined to home school. No, we're not religious, we're not in a cult, we're not socially inept or whatever other stigma follows home schooling families, I just don't really feel traditional school is the first choice. Anyway, on with the story. I started telling my dad that it would be a few years yet and that I wasn't sure where my son was going to go. I started telling my dad a bit about some friends' experiences and how I'm not totally confident in the way things are being handled in schools. Well, bloddy hell, the man just went off the deep end(channeling a little Ron Weasley there). My dad started flipping out about how teachers don't do their jobs, how sending kids home teachers them HOW to get sent home. He was literally YELLING on the phone, about teachers, and it wasn't even 9am yet. Oy Vey.

Now, the conversation with my dad continued and we were talking about social media, parenting etc, and for each topic my dad had at least one explosion of rage. I think the thing that really bothered me, was when he started going on and on about parents who have kids that act out. He was saying things like "just spank the fucking brat" and the like, which were upsetting for a couple of reasons. 1. My dad didn't spank us or call us names, so I don't get his logic there, just seems contradictory 2. My dad is STILL angry at his own parents for doing just those things. 

I have problems with yelling, I've been working on them for a very long time, and I've improved drastically. My dad, on the other hand(obviously), has not. As much as I know my relationship with my mother makes me upset, my relationship with my dad can also be strenuous at times, he's just so angry at mostly nothing. So, in light of a little self revelation, here's my list of things I will be reiterating to myself every time I start getting upset over nothing:

*I am not my mother*
I will not spank, slap, ground, scream, or belittle my children. I didn't like it, my children wouldn't either
*I am not my dad*
I will not Hulk out over every little thing. It's just a remote control, it's just a pen, it's just a box of kraft dinner past it's best before date(honestly, you think "Sh*t My Dad Says" is good/bad? You have heard NOTHING yet) I always HATED the yelling and the words "SHUT. UP." I am not doing that to my kids.
*I am not a toddler*
I will not slam cupboards, recycle with RAGE, cry over spilled milk. Monkey SEE Monkey DO, I don't want sad-angry monkeys destroying the house and themselves.

I will be doing my best to not become a basket case. I'm not going to be a distant, emotionless drone, and I'm not going to become the incredible hulk when my spoon bends in the ice cream. I have devised a little physical release I call "Breathe like a tree" for when my toddler flips out and when I'm becoming wound up. I say "breathe like a tree", then crouch down, slowly stand up and breathe deep, arms stretched out, palms out and fingers spread. I swish my arms or flutter my fingers(or both) and breath out, sometimes I balance on one leg and bend my other leg and place that foot on the inside of my balancing leg, like tree pose(I think, I don't do yoga). Anyway, it really does help, and my toddler things it's pretty funny. 

Who would have thought an early morning conversation with my dad and his intense(and ridiculous) hatred of teachers would lead to such a great release! I always say it, but I really should write more often, I feel so much better afterwards.

Leslie Michael

Monday, 3 November 2014

Numb with Feeling

It was a busy summer and fall started off with a possible move, but we're back to normal now and staying where we're planted at the moment. Things have been extremely busy but at the same time I feel like I'm personally stuck. I'm not growing as a person, I'm not sleeping well (I mean having a baby and a toddler you lose some sleep, but they're all crashed and I'm up all night watching netflix or cruising online articles), and I have been having a lot of anxiety. In the past I have suffered with moderate depression but that had a lot to do with circumstances that could be changed, which we changed. This feels different, and to be honest I'm pretty sure I've done it to myself again, I think my decision to "not care" anymore was a HUGE mistake.

(Have I ever mentioned that I interject humour at grossly inappropriate times?)

Anyway, I really did make a mistake by deciding to not care about things that stress me out, because I do still care about them, I just pretended they didnt matter. Now I feel numb, just totally checked out. I can't even cry when I know normally I would, or should, for that matter. I used to smoke when I was stressed, now I pull my hair out, I have a pretty large spont on my head where I'm missing quite a bit of hair, which sucks. On the brite side I'm not "polluting my lungs" as my grandpa says...lol. Tomorrow I start councilling so I'm hoping I can work on this stupid hair pulling and also on this whole feeling emotion thing again. Honestly, I should have known better then to just shut down my feelings, I've only been watching the consequences of that unfold my ENTIRE life with my mother, she's queen of emotional supression(my dad is no better in that regard to be honest). 

I have been limiting contact with my mom on the whole for awhile, I only really contact her once a month. It seems ridiculous but even though I dont want to talk to her, I get upset that she doesn't initiate contact. She hasn't actually been the first person to send a text or email since spring, pretty much since I reiterated my dislike for her boyfriend. My husband gets really annoyed by my mother's lack of effort, which I appreciate, but it makes me more upset thinking she is just further spreading discontent through her inaction. Whenever I start thinking about how shitty a mother she really is I start getting overwhelmed and just shut down before I can even process it, I feel like it's just killing my spirit and I'm tired of it. 

I'm so mentally exhausted. I've been on a rollercoaster of pure emotional bullshit since I was pregnant with my son. There has been family drama with my in laws, there has been family drama with my mother, there has been family drama with my own family, its just non-stop. Shit hits the fan for a month in one family, the mess is cleaned up, and then the next month a whole different issue within another part of the family just explodes, who wouldn't just say fuck it all and shut down after 3 years of straight chaos? For a bit I thought maybe I had postpartum depression, but hormones are not the problem here, my ability to cope just flew out the window after attempting to hold things together for too long(and really, Ive had to cope my entire life with my mothers choices, just the last 3 years have had this horrible compound effect). To top it all off, I have heard my mother say "I didn't have a mother, I didn't know how to be a mother" at least 5 times this year, if I hear that one more time I'm going to boil over. Guess what? I didn't have a mother either, but here I am, being a mom, and choosing to do the best I can. 

Ugh, it feels good to get that out.
I imagine I'll be back sooner than later, writing to strangers seems to be fairly therapeutic. 

Leslie Michael

#anxiety #trichotillomania #momblog #stress 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

One Year Ago Yesterday

One year ago yesterday everything changed,
You lost your battle with an unknown war, a hidden war, a terrifying never ending mass of inner turmoil,
And now you're gone. 
But we aren't.

An we're left here to ponder away, the what if's, the should have known's, the obviously not so obvious.
The thoughts are fleeting, the confusion still burns, probably not as hot as that cold water churns.

The sorrow, the pain, the embarrassment, the shame,
The finger pointing, the blame,
Nothing will ever feel the same.

What were you thinking, what weren't you thinking,
Were you smoking, drinking? While you were sinking, sinking,

Suicide is far from the solution, but knowledge is power.
You didn't have that knowledge, and you lost your war.
We miss you, we love you, and we wish we were more observant. 
p.s. Thanks for the sandwiches, steaks, and conversation.

One year ago my uncle jumped off of a pier and ended his life. He was under a tremendous amount of stress due to perceived money issues. He had always been an interesting person to talk with and he talked endlessly when provoked. 

He was often considered "lazy" by family and friends as he would get off work and just watch TV all night. Over the years the list of things he loved to do grew shorter. He stopped hunting, stopped fishing, stopped going to his friends to watch nascar or the baseball game. He stopped wanting to go to family events and when he was around others he'd sneak away and sleep in another room. He started to suffer from anxiety and paranoia but only his immediate family knew about it, they didn't know the full extent of his worries. The day before he killed himself he told his daughter he loved her, something very out of character(sadly).

If you know anyone who fits this description, talk to them and ask them if everything is alright. There is nothing worse then the feeling left after someone you love commits suicide, that feeling of "I knew something was off, why didn't I ask?" If you have ever had feelings of doubt, severe anxiety, and thought of suicide, PLEASE ask for help. My uncle is not the first person I know to commit suicide, I had two friends in highschool do it too, and it sucked just as bad then as it does now. I will never have closure, my aunt and cousins will never have closure, neither will my uncle's siblings or his mother. Suicide sucks, it leave's a raw wound that fades but never heals. Your personal pain may end when you die, but your suicide stings for the rest of your friends and family's lives, please get help before making such a final decision. 

Sorry for the depressing post, but hopefully it helps someone else where my uncle couldn't be helped.