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 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.


March June

Believe it or not it took the entire month of March to finally clear things up with my Mother. From the day I posted we spoke 3 times over the month; the first time, she tried to write off her boyfriends issues as someone else's fault/problem and to tell me she wasnt getting the job in town, the second time to tell me she was offered a different position in the store here, and the third time to tell me she was turning down the job here because they "low-balled" her and she was mysteriouly promoted in her current place of work. Let's just be clear, the month of March stressed me out to no end, and I didnt actually cut my mother out of my life after all. Huzzuh.

April was a month of anticipation as my due date was quickly(or not so quickly) approaching. Our baby girl was born safe and sound, one day after her estimated due date, at home with our wonderful midwives. My mother informed me a few days later that she would be coming to visit for the first full week of May. She didn't text me for 5 days so I asked her what her visit plans were when we skyped again and she said she would visit in June for a week(this was 6 days before she was apparently supposed to get here). Two days later she said she is coming for one week in July...make up your mind woman!

With my Mother's visit quickly approaching I have noticed that I'm starting to fall into this horrible habit I have, pulling out my hair, literally. I've done it most of my life, but never to the extent that I've been doing it over the last two years. I have actually created bald patches, it's annoying and embarassing. Luckily no one can see them but it makes me not want to go get my hair cut. I've at least identified that I have Trichotillomania, I told my husband, my brother, and a cousin about it. I've been trying to work on stopping myself and am looking into cognitive therapy for it because it's even harder to stop then biting my nails. I never realized how much all the stress I've been dealing with over the last 3-4 years has been affecting me until the hair pulling has come about, not fun!

I'm going to end this update here and make a separate post for what I want to get off my chest today as this post was actually started back in may. Sorry for anyone who reads but lets get serious here, this is an outlet not a money maker lol.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

In Limbo

I've been waiting and waiting for the right time to tell my mother that I know all about the wonderful details of her boyfriend's shady past. The time finally came to say somethning this past week, though be it via text messaging, but hey, at least I put it out there. Sigh.

How did the "right" moment for exposing my year and a half of hidden knowledge come to pass? My mother texted me that, yet again, she had been offered a job in my city, though this time as a manager instead of an assistant. She mentioned that she also had an interview in her city for a management position and that she was to talk  the district manager of that business on Friday(yesterday).

Prior to my mother texting me she had also texted my brother to let him know the news of the yet again possibly impending move. After the whole fiasco two months ago he was not about to be taken in by her definitely maybe attitude so he was very leary of her news. Our mother mentioned the job in our city was largely dependent on if her boyfriend would or could come with her. My brother let it out that he wanted nothing to do with her boyfriend and that I also have no desire for a relationship with someone like that. She was not happy about my brother's dissaproval and didn't understand why he didn't like her boyfriend, I have copies of the texts but have neither the care nor patience to post them here, you get the basic jist of the conversation anyway I'm sure.

Now, I didn't text my mother until the day after, and I played ignorance to her text conversation with my brother. She sent me the same story of the job offer but included that it depended on her boyfriend; she explained how supportive he is, how they're fighting but just because of being unhappy about their living situation at the moment, and that she really cared about him. This is when I dropped the bomb about everything; what I already knew last year when she and I skyped and I gave her the opportunity to spill the beans on her insane antics from the summer before; I explained my conversation with the officer about her boyfriends extensive criminal record; I explained that he's not someone I want to get to know anymore then I already do.

Relief doesn't even touch how much better I felt after letting go of my secret knowledge, it was like a wave of "I freaking did it!" washed over me followed by an immediate release of 1.5 years worth of knotted muscles. Breathing has even been easier. The problem now lays in my mother's lap, she told me that she has a difficult decision to make between coming back to our city with us or staying in her city with her boyfriend. She was apparently unaware of how long a criminal history he has so wanted to talk to him about it before "deciding". It's been 4 days and she hasn't contacted me to let me know what's been happening. I think I can safely say that she will be staying in her city, past experience tells me so.

So now what? When my mother calls or text's to let me know about her decision I've decided I will be cutting ties with her altogether. I have spent the last 20 years trying to get my mother to put my siblings and I first. Since I was 7 years old I have plead with her and tried to bribe her emotionally to see that we were the one's who really needed her and who she really needed. I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life trying to get someone to love me the way I love my own child. I feel bad enough my niece was exposed to my mother's charms, my mother has barely spoken to her when she had promised to call more often. I'm not going to have my child(ren) exposed to the same empty promises, they do not deserve to be let down by a woman that they'll barely even know. I love my mother dearly, but I just can't play the game anymore. She's taken us forgranted for far too long, most people wouldn't have been given so many chances and she needs to know that.

The wait for contact continues.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Happy Travels

I'm sitting in a Starbucks right now in Toronto, it's a bit windy out but its still fairly mild. I had an appointment with a specialist due to a work related injury so I was flown here yesterday and don't leave until this evening, I have some time to kill!

After my last post I was really fighting through some of the accompanying emotions, my feelings regarding my mother never get any easier todeal with. I think I've come to the conclusion that regardless of whether I "confront" her or not things will continue to remain the same. She's always going to be full of empty promises, she's always going to be lost in some tug of war between her romantic relationships and her past, all while my siblings and I are left to watch from the sidelines. It's unfortunate and it's certainly unfair, but it's also reality.
Reality sucks.

I think my focus needs to be on myself and my own relationships, I need to be the kind of mother my mom can't be. I need to be reliable, dependable, and interested in my children. Having someone who is supposed to be your mom but after 27 years still just doesn't have a clue who you are as a person is amazingly frustrating, I can't afford to be that person and my kids deserve better then that.

I need to focus on being a good partner to my husband, it kills him to see me upset or lost in my thoughts over a woman who spends more time thinking about herself then anyone else. I'd much rather be present in a real and tangible relationship then be lost in something largely imaginary. I've spent more physical hours with my husband in the last 6.5 years then I've spent with my mother in the last 15 years so it's not really a question as to who deserves my attention and presence.

I need to spend more time with my dad, he can be a "selective asshole", but it's never towards my siblings and I, and its usually pretty hilarious. My dad was by no means perfect, there are some things about him I wish he'd change, particularly the drinking and his tendency to bring up my mother in discussion, but he's still the man who raised me. My son needs to spend more time with his grandpa, I want him and my other future children to have a good relationship with a very important man. Who knows, maybe more time with the grandkids will help my dad move on from the hurt my mother caused him, it's worth a try anyways.

I need and deserve to spend more time with me. When I am alone in my thoughts I need to be able to be at peace and not constantly plagued by this or that ordeal my mother has put me through. Like my dad I slip into the past too often, I need to just accept that things are what they are.'s probably the hardest thing to reach in a difficult situation. It's one of those things that comes with time and a great deal of grief. The grief seems to be worth it though, you can't be upset when you're finally free to be happy.

Freedom, I need to be free.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Year, Same Old Story

A couple of years ago I made the mistake of buying into the possibility  that my mom would be moving back to my city. I have made the same mistake repeatedly over the years, buying into something she mentions that she hasn't thought through, only to get my hopes up for something I knew would never happen. Story of my life!

Last Spring my mom brought up her annually announced desire to move back to my city, after the incident from the spring before I knew better then to read into it. Fast forward to this past November and my Mom decides that she's tired of living so far away...again. She brought it up several times and in December mentioned she noticed a job listing locally she was planning on applying for. Now, I know not to buy into her whims, and I didn't think that anything would become of this particular whim, but I made the mistake of telling my brother about it. He, of course, got really excited and texted my mom a few questions and then she let him know she had an interview over skype coming up. Surprise, surprise, the interview fell through and my brother immediately fell into a 3 day anxiety ridden depression. I felt like an idiot because I should have never told him about our moms supposed plans, especially with the holidays.

A week later my mom texted my brother that the interview was rescheduled for the 30th, yet again my brother starts getting excited. Now, prior to this whole apparent job prospect my mom had mentioned more then once that if she came back it would probably be alone, her boyfriend couldnt come last time so she didnt think he could come this time (this admission, that there's some "obscure" reason why her boyfriend can't leave the province, re-ignites the silent rage I have inside over finding out he's some kind of life long criminal that is currently on probation, a fact she has yet to personally tell me...$%#*&!). My brother had offered my mom a place to stay since she'd be alone, he was not just opening his heart to her, but opening his home as well, another heart breaking reason for me to feel terrible about even mentioning things in the first place.

Over the weekend my mom texted me and asked to skype, I obliged as I hadn't spoken to her since the first week of December, we texted on her birthday and Christmas but that was it. I asked her how her interview went and she was hesitant but mentioned she had a second interview coming up. I told her that sounded promising and then she sighed a bit and mentioned her "back-up" plan. She talked about taking a certificate program at the college, one that would help her attain a  higher level position in her line of work. Now, sometimes, more like all the time, my mom thinks she can pull a fast one on me, little does she know I'm a master at reading body language and can decipher any amount of pure bullshit told to me, for that I can thank my dad. My mom told me that the certificate she wants to take is offered at the college where I live as well as where she lives. She then went on to explain that she could take it in either college but that the college in my city has mature students that can audit but not recieve the certificate. Honest to God, if I could have slapped her in the face through the tv I would have. I'm 27, I've been to University, I know what auditing is, and anyone can do it, but to be considered a mature student means you're a registered and paying student. What my mom was trying to do was convince me that it would be better for her to take the course at her local college. This is why honesty is the best policy, you never know who has a functioning and highly accurate bullshit-ometre.

What all this round about garbage about college means is that even if my mom was offered this job, she would turn it down and stay in her city. Yet again, she spoke before she thought about it, and yet again a "definitely, maybe" has become another "maybe not". I'm just so sick and tired of playing coy with my mom, I can't hold in all this anger towards her without eventually exploding. I already apologized to my brother, I explained that I should have never told him because I knew from the moment it was mentioned that our mom was not coming back. What really bogs me down is the fact I even feel the need to apologize for my mom's behaviour, it's just exhausting thinking about it. My husband is also pissed off at my mom again, he doesn't really care for her for various related reasons but he particularly loathes the way she leads myself and my brothers on.

The fact is I'm tired of pretending I don't know what's really going on, I shouldn't pretend either because it just makes my mom more confident about her ridiculous excuses. I'm tired of feeling the need to explain why my mom does what she does, I too need to stop making excuses for her. Maybe this is the year I get a back bone and say what needs to be said, about everything, no more beating around the bush and worrying about her feelings(She certainly doesn't worry about ours).

Then again, maybe it's not.