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Trauma Drama

Trauma. Trauma. Trauma. Yuck. I wanted this to all fun and games and shenanigans with me and the kids but that wouldn’t be the REAL us. We have got some major trauma in this house. We make fun of it, we joke and laugh about it, we cry about it, we give it all of our attention or we ignore it completely. We’ve got it. We acknowledge it. Doesn’t everyone has some sort of trauma though? I mean no one gets through life unscathed. You have childhood trauma and if you don’t I’m sure you will experience it as an adult from a relationship or experience. If not, wow, that’s awesome, here’s your bumper sticker and trophy! I’ve got trauma. All the kinds. My kids have trauma. I can admit I’m completely screwed up and probably a few fruit loops short of a full bowl. I’ve been through a lot, especially as an adult. We are all in therapy, don’t worry! We are working on healing from our trauma. You don’t have sayings like “Realize, recognize, reality check” or “that’s trauma talking” without loads of hours of therapy. My kids love their therapist so much they have deemed her their personal lord and savior. Honestly, her nickname is… “K-Christ, lord and savior” it’s hilarious to me their loving nickname of their “live, laugh, love leader.” She really is awesome though. We’ve learned a lot more than just to “relax, relate and release”. It’s been a very powerful, positive, and healing journey for all of us.

Trauma is the result of deeply disturbing or distressing scenario or physical injury. My list of scenarios would bore you, so I shall summarize my trauma. I’ve been abused-in every way, more so as an adult than as a child. I didn’t choose partners very well as an adult. My mom passed away when I was 23, suddenly, while I was pregnant with my second daughter. 11 years ago, I was hospitalized at an inpatient psychiatric facility after having a severe reaction to a medication combination which caused what my physicians diagnosed as “medication induced psychosis”. Thirty days inpatient and six months of a nightmare to recover from. My ex husband is a total narcissist extraordinaire. The Exhole, as I so fondly refer to him. The trauma after 17 years of verbal, mental, emotional, financial, and physical abuse is HELL to work through. I honestly believe this trauma has scarred me the most. I’m just not the same, never will be. How I wish I would’ve taken my balls out of purse and used them much sooner and got the f out years ago. I thought I was doing right by my threefold, little did I realize I was hurting them.

I am mom and woman enough to admit that I haven’t always been the best mom, role model, protector, provider, or advocate for my kids. I’ve managed to screw up royally and passed down some not so great mental health genes. I definitely had a negative influence in regards to their coping mechanisms. My oldest has ADHD-attentive type-mild, anxiety and depression. My middle has ADHD combined type-severe, ODD (oppositional defiance disorder for those that don’t know-yes it’s a thing I didn’t think it was BUT IT DEFINITELY IS!), anxiety, depression, and exhibits self-harm behaviors. My youngest is perfect. I’m so kidding! If she comes out unscathed I would be surprised. She shows symptoms of different things, but due to age and all of the ongoing change she is experiencing in life, her team is reluctant to diagnose anything at the time. We’ve been inpatient, outpatient, partial inpatient if there is a mental health checklist we’ve been through it-if not all then at least one of us has.

Right after leaving the Exhole, I decided that we ALL needed therapy. I wanted my threefold to have a place where they could feel safe to talk about their feelings. K Christ Lord and Savior gave them that place. I will be forever grateful for her allowing me to call her at 11:00pm on a Thursday night to help through crisis mode with 2. That she has given them space to be little people with big problems and allowed them every opportunity to heal. I am most thankful that the girls have privileged her with their deep dark secrets and pain so that she can guide them and me through it. She is actively saving them from allowing their trauma to destroy them. For the gift of smiles I thank her. For giving them the tools they need to function and live with mental illness I will be forever in her debt. If you allow mental illness to run your life then you aren’t living a full life. It took me way too long to come to that conclusion. I allowed Anxiety, depression, ADHD, and C-PTSD to control my every mood, action, reaction, my everything. I needed a place to vent about EVERYTHING without feeling like I was causing a fight or going to be told I was crazy for feeling a certain way. I needed my own safe place. I needed my own time to bitch. We are all still very much works in progress. It’s slowly turned less into bitch fest and more into a space where I talk about what is going on in my life. I don’t just vent, I problem solve, I identify my issues and triggers. I brainstorm how I can handle things better. There is a lot of talk about realizing my own self worth, that’s still in need of a lot of work. I’m still uncovering past issues and taking responsibility for my own actions. I’m never going to be bright and shiny and all put together, but I’m okay with being beautifully broken and healing. I hope we can all be healthy and be the best versions of ourselves. More than anything I pray that we can put the past behind us and focus on building a better future, together. It’s not impossible it’s just a lot of hard work to get there and a lot of cuts and bruises to bandage along the way. We all deserve the best versions of each other. I aspire to be that version of myself for my threefold everyday.

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It Takes a Village…

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes motherhood is this blissfully amazing experience where you’re completely rocking this mom life, everyone seems good, you’re coasting along like you actually have your shit together, and you totally rock that side part and the mom jeans. Then…BOOM life decides to be like that sixth grade bully and kick your ass and steal your lunch money. One minute I’m announcing how amazing I am doing at remaining positive and living in gratitude. I’m over here shoving the whole “live, laugh, love” mantra down everyone’s throats and living my best life. All of a sudden I get thrown the curve ball of being unable to juggle the work-kids-my own life balance and everything goes to hell. Negative Nancy decides it’s time to show her face and I’m back at square one. I’m wallowing in my inability to do everything on my own without any help. I’m throwing attitude, spewing negativity, and projecting my anxiety onto everyone that attempts to help me find solutions to my all or nothing state of being. When you don’t have a support system nearby and you have spent the past umpteen years not fostering relationships outside of your home it gets lonely and hard to manage everything. You become self reliant and are trained to do it all on your own. Well they say “it takes a village” and they are so right. What do you do when you have no village? I snap out of my negative Nancy personality once I wake up the next day, but not before making sure everyone in the house knows what I do for them. It’s hard to admit that I’ve made this life this hard by trying to do what I thought I was supposed to for so long with very little help from anyone else. I work full time in management. (Fancy right? I’m a boss ass bitch!) I have my three girls high school, middle school, elementary school (all the stages at once…THREEFOLD) Divorced from a narcissist who could definitely run the local chapter meeting of narcs each month. Engaged to an amazing man who is beyond understanding, patient, and willing to help when he isn’t busting his ass (that ass though) and parenting his own teenage daughter. My family has moved away. Friends weren’t an option when I was married before and starting new relationships and finding moms who don’t have toddlers, eat meat, drink alcohol on occasion, cuss, and can let loose without telling me all the ways I’m screwing my kids up that ACTUALLY want to hang out is like trying to find my Milky Way I left out on my nightstand. It’s not happening. (My kid most definitely ate it and probably hid the trash under her bed in a futile attempt to hide the evidence.) I would love to hear how other people find friends close to 40. I go to work, I come home, shower, have dinner with my kids, watch some new episode of “Snapped” and go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. Maybe that’s what I need to do…create where you can find like minded moms to hang out and see if you could potentially be friends. I always figure it out and I think we as moms don’t give ourselves near enough credit for being the glue that holds it all together. No one can do the job you do for your kids. You know them best and therefore are the best person to be with them. You’re allowed to have bad days. You’re allowed to be overwhelmed, stressed, angry, or impatient sometimes. Just because I decided I would be more positive and that I would live with more gratitude doesn’t mean that every moment of everyday will be perfect or that I will be able to catch every curve ball that flies my way. And that’s ok. We as moms tend to hold ourselves to these high standards that we would never look at our friends, our sisters, our daughters, or our own mothers and expect the same level of perfection. We all need help sometimes. Find your people. Find your tribe. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or admitting defeat. Through my anger, tears, frustration and my feelings of failure I realized something major that I hadn’t even considered before…my refusal to ask for help and my trying and failing, or even when I do it but I’m stressing about how to do it is actually doing my girls a major disservice. If I’m stressed, pissed off, angry, stretching myself too thin I’m not giving them my best. My not asking for help is adding more stress to me and taking away the mom they need. They need to know it’s okay to ask for help when they need…I would expect it and if I can’t take care of it, it is my job to ask someone else for help for them. They can count on me. We always figure it out because we don’t give in to bullies. We fight back. Today I will be thankful for my people the ones I can count on no matter what. The ones I know that when push comes to shove they will be there. My tribe. I am grateful for my village. Even if we do need an expansion pack or some additional villagers from time to time. I know the people I have now are the ones that will always be there whenever I ask.