Saturday, August 13, 2011

When Pride is Good or Bad

I do believe I over-compensate. I’ve been through so much in my short life, particularly that devastatingly fateful year we called 2009, that after I got out of my brief I-don’t-care-about-anything-anymore phase, I flipped around to trying to be the one to make everything work somehow, prove people wrong, prove my own doubts wrong, etc. ..

I won’t go into what all I went through that year, but that summer was definitely my lowest of the low as far as who I was goes (not what I did, rather what I didn’t. The former took a year from that point to happen). I honestly believe I survived swine flu (if for no other reason than I know someone who did & her symptoms were very similar). What I went through is what I believe left me vulnerable. Mid-April found me afraid to go anywhere, afraid of even my own shadow. Panic attacks were my constant companion & ate at my entire being. The last few weeks of college found me getting more & more sick. I went from a mostly A student to dropping classes, failing classes, taking incompletes & missing finals because I was so ill.

The summer that followed left me completely out of it. My kids started practically living with my mother as I fought to regain both my health & my sanity. I eventually came to the point where I absolutely could not stand to be alone so that I would take myself to the movies just to get out & find a crowd. There are many reasons in all of this that led to the decisions that would forever alter my life, but the short truth was that everything about me changed in that time. I came on the other side of it with the intent to stop holding everyone else back and start over. At first, I thought that meant I would have to continue to stay away from my kids, but meeting Ray changed all that. I was still beyond fragile, but for the first time in my life, I felt like I had someone who would truly fight for me, or at least root for me to do what was necessary for self-improvement.

Long story short, I worry that I am over-determined now. I feel as lost as ever in many areas, some even more so. I have far more to try & balance now, but I am always trying, hoping I am fighting for the right things and not the wrong ones… making up for lost time, grabbing onto what precious little time I have come to realize the 18 years my kids have with me really is, fighting to remember every single moment & to share those with everyone I believe has actually chosen to spend my life with me vs fighting for the kids’ affections with other parents who get to have the fun side of life, or grandparents who will buy them whatever they want while I get to be poor, the disciplinarian, etc.

In all that, I wonder, am I seeming (or even actually being) wrongfully prideful to do things like show off pictures of my kids? Capturing every moment I can is after all one thing, while sharing them is another. Is it wrong to be proud of the people you love like that? I mean, c’mon, even God pulled the whole, “this is my beloved son”/sky opening/halo of light/dove descending thing, right?

I don’t know about any of it. All I do know is that I survived. And I’m finally ready to more than just that. I wanna thrive, too! And my kids are a huge part of that. They are the ones I do it for… Anyone with me?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Cover or Not to Cover?

There's this HUGE controversy over on a blog I read because a mother posted a pic of her breast-feeding baby as a contest submission. I don't normally speak out on the issue for my own mixed feelings, and I started to comment with my feelings only to realize it was better suited for a blog. So while no one will read this, here we go ;)

"I didn't notice anything until everyone started going on about it, and you shouldn't BECAUSE it's natural. I take pics like this for myself to remember. I don't post them anywhere because I don't want someone I can't even see ogling me & turning what isn't normally INTO something sexual, but she gets to if she is not so self-conscious. I HATE that I am & wasn't one bit in the beginning (this is my third). My hospital experience made me feel it was natural. It was jerks who changed that for me. If you want us to inconvenience our children because you're immature, then make us more private places where it doesn't matter. We shouldn't have to have our kids scream in hunger for a long time before we can find a proper place (or get stuck in dirty bathrooms- which is more likely!), resort to bottle-feeding when we don't want to, or subject summer babies to the heat of having to be covered to eat because of absolute strangers who can't keep their eyes & opinions to themselves. Breast-feeding can be difficult for many mothers enough as it is! My child would have never seen a bottle if a) he didn't have complications that kept him away from me in the hospital & b) my step-daughters would actually be educated about the process by someone a lot closer to them(I am too scared to take on that role when I don't feel allowed to take on any other maternal sort of role & as a result tend to hide what I am doing to stave off their curiosity/questions). As for those who REALLY feel ONLY babies & loveys should be in pics, extend censorship to pacifiers, bottles & any equipment/effects that would remove focus on the objects in question as well!"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Concern for the Future

Today is another one of those days where I think the best thing for me to do would be to give this child up for adoption. It's not that I do not love little Coda, but just the opposite. I want nothing more than to be able to have children, keep them, be able to care for them- all sorts, all ages, many of them. I'm the kind of person that has tons of love to spread around... I just don't feel I'm good enough.

Part of that feeling has to do with all the people I have loved and lost, especially with those where I can't seem to figure out what I did wrong. I feel I must be the crap some of those I've lost have said I am if I cannot seem to keep anyone. Then again part of me thinks I can't keep them because I expect more from people than they are willing to give, but that this isn't always a bad thing (more on this in a minute)...

Part of feeling I'm not good enough has to do with my financial standing. I will admit it, I'm a divorcee living on every form of government assistance I can get, but not because I don't like to work or love bilking tax payers or whatever (in fact I threw fits at the very idea of having to go on cash aid and hate it even now). Besides what problems a bad economy already brings, however, I also have the fact that I grew up in a household where women are not allowed to work to hinder me. I was also home-schooled without the privilege of social opportunities and my social skills have suffered for that. But I tried. I keep trying, but it never seems good enough...

Let's just sum it up by saying: years of intense ministry- the only thing I WAS allowed to do, from the time I was 14 years old until marital/church burn-out/problems tore all that apart for me when I was about 25. {I will probably post details on my other blog for anyone who might wanna take a glimpse at all that madness...}

I've done A LOT... BUT I've NEVER had a PAYING job IN MY NAME. And this... kills my chances.

Now, I'm on bed rest... And having way too much time on my hands to feel useless because I physically can't do much at all, though I wanna be (with better balance) all that I have been before while providing and caring for my family however I can, and right now I can't...

And I hate to admit that I also feel I'm not being helped when I can't do anything either, because the truth is, my baby's father is going through his own tough times, and I'm trying oh so hard to be patient because I've been through it, too. I know how the emotional stuff hinders you from holding a job etc, too, and he was a victim of a violent crime due to the way his family and friends devalued him(though this is his story to share, not mine).

I want to share mine, but I'm trying (with great difficulty) to keep this blog centered on my motherhood thoughts alone. Let's just say, the emotional stuff that happened due to my marital and church burn-out/problems have been harder to deal with than balancing the complicated super-busy life I had before and haven't helped my job or social skills. Being the victim of violent crime (as I was as well) and everything that follows wreaks havoc on your soul (and social life)... But I am still fighting. Though, the short of it is, this is my reason for believing that expecting more out of people than they are willing to give isn't always a bad thing. No one should have to settle for being made to feel like crap, for being raped or nearly killed because of someone else's issues. I believe even the worst of us deserves more than that...

Even so, I'm afraid I won't be good enough for Coda. I am damaged, and I can't clean the house, and I can't go to work, and I have no money... and while I love him, I didn't plan him, but I never could find it in me to make my children pay for my stuff by killing them... yet what do I have to offer? Do any of us in this family have a lot of hope of things changing soon enough? I don't want my children to have a hard life like I have. Will they stand a better chance of this somewhere else?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Here we go again!

I recently found out that I'm gonna have a son...


This makes son number three, despite every prayer and desire to the contrary.
I took it very well during the ultrasound because I had been dreaming a son for a while, so I felt prepared. Later, however, when Ray admitted to having prayed fervently for a son, I must admit I felt very betrayed by him and by God. He may have no sons of his own (a story for another day), yet I was the one feeling cheated because his prayers were heard over my own. He had, in his own words, been content to call my sons his own. I would be content to call his daughters my only- for now because I would desire to know one from infancy- if only I could be allowed to be around them. Again, our relationship is a long, complicated story- one I've focused another blog on and hope to not drag too much into this one.

The short of it? For the past three days, I've been desiring, not to terminate this pregnancy, yet to terminate my child-bearing years to prevent this disappointment yet again. I'm not interested in playing a game of Risk with my uterus or my future, taking the gamble that only seems to lead one way in my life regardless of the circumstances surrounding conception. I've been feeling pretty strongly about this, crying because it seems so final even though I'm not beyond adopting when times become good again (I highly doubt that the agencies would allow someone with my current financial standing to adopt any time soon!).

And then again...

What is it about reading parenting magazines that seems to alter my perspective? Here I am reading about everything from early delivery (which I am convinced I will have- come on, I already have placenta previa) to bonding and breastfeeding, with a little scoffing about how the latter practice is supposed to lower your risk for Type II diabetes mixed in (as combined, I nursed my 2 boys for roughly 4 years and was diagnosed at the beginning of this pregnancy with the disease, NOT gestational, which I hadn't even had with the last two). Already I feel myself softening.

But I am stubborn. I'm not ready to cave. There are many rational reasons as well as emotional ones to just end it all. Have I ranted at God, nature and anyone else who might listen about this injustice enough? I've asked that if my desire isn't meant to be fulfilled that perhaps I can at least have this desire taken from me. For all my sins, I don't think any person should endure the emotional torture this is. While I have children, I like to sometimes think I can identify with those friends who have had trouble conceiving as I feel yet unfulfilled. I, too rant internally (and every once and again, externally) at all those who take their daughters for granted, then feel guilty because I feel that maybe I am taking my sons for granted as well.
I'm trying so hard to find the balance. And wisdom as to what I should do next. I mean I know a lot of what I'm going through now are just pregnancy hormones, and I'm already trying to balance those and reality just the same, if not for myself, for those who are tired of pretending they care and have stopped. It's hard though. Just another day on this mom of men journey...