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Hidden Super Powers

It’s been one of THOSE months, weeks, days! You know the ones I am talking about! The ones where you start off on a high note. You’re positive, you’re feeling yourself, you’re living in gratitude, and all happily living your best “live,laugh,love” life. Then *BOOM* the world comes crashing in on you and throwing the punches to remind you just how out of control you really are! Well, honestly it’s been that kind of MONTH at my house. A total whirlwind of emotional whiplash that has left me begging for July to come and melt away the stress. (It’s hot AF here in the summer, it’s the south y’all!) I would think I was making headway and being more positive and then something else would pile on top of me to make me feel like the universe was against me and I was never going to crawl out from under the pile of sh!t that I felt was actively being thrown at me. I was losing my sh!t and was ready to piss and moan until the universe decided to play fair and nice again. OH. Ok, so you got jokes? Hmm, well let’s see how the universe responds when I stop reacting, I decide to get my sh!t together, stay strong and stay positive despite its attempt to send me into whatever karmic catastrophe it had planned for me during next week’s episode of “THREEFOLD: my crazy chaotic catastrophe filled life”! Quit playing with me, you play too much! I ain’t got time for your bullish!t anymore, I am ready for the fight! If only I could stop allowing negativity to be the kryptonite that kills my super power of positive thinking!

I started the month off on a bad foot. I was arguing with the perky positivity peddler aka the man in my life. Work related issues carrying over into personal issues. Blah. Blah. Blah. I had recently found out that #2 of my threefold was resorting to self-harm behaviors to cope with “having too many feelings” or “not being able to feel anything” again. (This has been an ongoing battle for 8 months) This up and down continued for a week trying to decide what to do and the constant worry of if she was going to be okay. My co-house manager Mr. Positivity Personified aka the man in my life, had to leave town for work AGAIN amongst all of the chaos. I hate being a b!tch about him working out of town, but it always seems to happen at some of the worst times. I guess it’s the universe testing my mental stability and making sure I’m still as strong as I claim to be. The universe has a way with making sure I remember I can always handle things alone if I have to, even when I don’t want to. As I rolled into week 2, it was like a bomb went off in our lives and I was scurrying around trying to pick up the pieces from the aftermath and put things back together again. After some deliberation and consulting with our mental health team we decided I was to admit my daughter to an inpatient psychiatric facility for self-harm and suicidal ideation. Every mother’s fear. My failures, my guilt, my anger, my own trauma, my anxiety, my world came flying at me full speed and didn’t stop it’s brutal assault on my way of life for weeks. Soon I was consumed with dealing with all of the ins and outs of having a kid in the hospital, getting kids back and forth to school, finding out 2/3 kids are probably going to need summer school, the ceiling falling in, doctors, therapists, assessments, trauma evaluations, family sessions, dealing with the Exhole day after day, CPS and abuse allegations (against the father), no contact orders and court preparation, insurance coverage and coordination of benefits, #3 trying to adjust to a new schedule and less time with her dad, coordinating partial hospitalization aftercare, losing a friend I thought would always be here for me, cutting hours at work, not sleeping, not eating, my dryer going out, #1 of my threefold getting sick and needing a bunch of tests and follow up care (pending final diagnosis *fingers crossed*), sweeping bedrooms, cleaning house and generally just losing my sh!t from the stress and emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. I couldn’t focus on anything. It has been one of the hardest months I’ve had in a really long time, and believe me I’ve had some hard months. I was literally running on caffeine, chaos, cuss words, and courage.

As I was witnessing everything seemingly falling apart I started seeing how moody, irritable, closed off, anxious and down right exhausted I was becoming. I was constantly between a laugh and a cry. I was holding on to my last bit of strength and after picking another fight with the person I want to share the rest of my life with I began to hear what he was saying to me. He wasn’t pissy and fighting back. He wasn’t calling me a b!tch or telling me I was making everyone miserable (even if I was being a b!tch and most likely making everyone miserable) He was worried, but his worry was surrounding me. Of course he was worried about the kids as well but he saw me struggling and he saw that it was a self-inflicted struggle. He saw the tired, worn down, running on empty, half beaten, half hopeless person I was and my desperate need to cling on to the last bit of strength buried in my bones and keep fighting for what I felt was survival. What good is life if we are just surviving? He looked me in the eye and with all the love, concern, and frustration he could convey he said “You. ARE. Exhausted! You can’t control any of this! You are KILLING yourself with worry! What GOOD is it doing to worry about everything when you cant change ANY of it?” I will now say the three words every man loves to hear, but so rarely does. In black and white for the world to see. He IS RIGHT. I was mad. How was my anger, anxiety, pain, fear, and constant worry serving anyone in my home most of all how was it serving me? As I sat there and resigned myself to the fact that I was not in control of anything that was happening. I couldn’t change the past and I certainly can’t predict the future. I realized I wanted to control everything. The more I fought to hold onto that control the more of it I was losing. I wasn’t focusing on the now, what I could do in that moment or how I should be displaying a positive attitude and being who my threefold needed me to be. I needed an attitude adjustment, a change of perspective, a vacation (hopefully eventually), and some damn sleep! I finished that thought and went to bed to submit to the sleep that I desperately needed.

I woke up after 6 hours of sleep straight through and felt more like myself and less like the basket case I had been the past few days. When you are consistently sleeping only 2-4 hours per night for nearly 3 weeks straight you don’t realize how much havoc it is wreaking on your body and on your mood. 6 hours is magical at that point. I did my positive affirmations (because live,laugh,love) the next morning, listened to my “Living Fearless” videos, and tried to remind myself that I couldn’t control any of it. The universe tried to continue bullying me, kicking my ass and taking my lunch money. I had anxiety creeping in when #2 admitted after 10 days home after 7 days inpatient and now going to a new partial hospitalization program during the day, that she was struggling with feelings of wanting to self harm and was worried she would “hurt herself or worse.” In that moment I had to remember to breathe. In 2 seconds I decided I need to be positive, for me and for her. I had to think about how to spin this and make it a positive. Where was my hidden superpower? I remembered that not long ago she wouldn’t admit this, she wouldn’t call me, she didn’t want to “bother or burden me” or anyone else with her feelings and problems. This was a positive step. I spoke to the nurse when I checked her in. I remembered she was going to a program where she would be safe and supervised, that my worry wasn’t useful, because she was safe. I went to work and distracted myself, in between phone calls with the treatment center as they were assessing 2. As I felt the tension I would repeat to myself “she is safe” “I am safe” “my worry isn’t serving me or her” “I am getting her the help she needs.” “This is not in my control” “I am a good mom”. As the day went on and I stopped to breathe when getting anxious and I forcibly made myself let go of the building tension in the muscles of my neck and back I noticed I was more conscious of my own self talk and self sabotage. I had been repeatedly doing to myself the exact thing I tell my kids not to do. My thoughts were beyond negative, they were abusive and blatantly catastrophic. These thoughts started becoming words as I spoke life into them and gave them room to intrude on my attitude towards everything and everyone. It was time for me to counteract those thoughts and words by spinning them into positives. Regardless of almost any situation you can spin a thought or a reaction to a positive. It’s about perspective and the willingness to not give in to the first instinct. Like anything else in life being more positive is a habit and is a choice. You make a decision in less than 2 seconds after having a thought as to your reaction. You can choose negativity or you can choose positivity. Allowing yourself to choose negativity will breed more negativity. The opposite is just as true, thinking positively with lead to more positive thinking. Both will have an effect on our attitude and our emotions. It’s harder to pull yourself out of that negative mind set once you allow yourself to go there. I know I have days where I set up shop and start selling it by the bushel load to the people around me. When deciding to be positive it is a proactive approach versus the reactive approach of being negative. Positivity allows us to take our power back. Choose positivity. It is something I have to strive for daily. I know that breaking patterns of behavior is difficult. I also know if I want different results that means taking different actions. I have to break the cycle of toxic negativity in my head and start countering my initial reactions with light and positivity. I can’t control what is happening around me, but with time and effort I can control my attitude and reaction to it. It takes less than 2 seconds. 2 seconds can make the day or break it. 2 seconds when the decision is all mine. 2 seconds doesn’t seem to be that much time but in those 2 seconds we decide if we are going to be positive or negative. Those 2 seconds can build into the next and then the next. Do I choose to use the hidden super power with in me, or do I choose to destroy my light with the kryptonite of negativity? I want to build a foundation of happiness and I believe that it all starts with what I do in those 2 seconds. It all starts with me.

Original threefold content-M

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To the Man that Stepped Up

To the man that has become the center of my universe and the man that stepped up and stepped in when we needed an anchor in the sea of life. You are cherished, you are loved, and you are appreciated. Thank you for being a person who radiates positivity, who supports us in every way, who believes in us, who cheers for us. Your generosity to not just me, but to my threefold is beyond astounding to me. For everything you are we thank you.

If I’m being honest I didn’t think men like you existed. I know you probably are rolling your eyes and thinking I am over exaggerating your greatness. I’m not. You’re what every person wishes they had in a partner. I’m still not sure how I got so lucky and I definitely don’t know what I did to deserve you. Your magnetic energy pulls at the people around you. Your positivity is contagious. You see the good in people and situations, but not to a fault. You believe in that our perspective shapes our reality and you choose to have an optimistic perspective on the world. You’re a giver. You give so much of yourself to everything you do and to every person in your life without expectations. You love big, you work hard, and you play harder. You make life more fun. You make it brighter and more special. You’re not scared to be silly. You don’t care what anyone thinks of you. You’re confident and self assured. You’re the definition of amazing and I couldn’t dream of a man that would love me better than you do. Thank you for showing me that happily ever after isn’t just a fairytale or a love song.

I’m not good at vulnerability or communication or conflict or being positivity patty. You’ve helped me grow in each of these areas. I am better equipped to show my weakness and accept your help even when I haven’t admitted I needed it. You know how stressful the past few weeks have been. I’ve pushed myself beyond all my limits and completely broken down on more than one occasion. You stepped to the plate. You helped with anything and everything you could to make it easier for me. You supported the girls through it and allowed us all a safe place to vent our fears and feelings. Even on the worst days you were there to help me pick up the pieces and be a rock for me amidst the chaos. Today when I could feel the anxiety of stress creeping into my head space because the dryer broke and it was just another thing on the list of to do’s that has been piling so high lately. You took charge and completely stunned me by purchasing a new one. Like no big deal. Then happily went on to install a locking knob on the garage door. I was speechless. That’s a big thing but all the little things that you do I see those too. Helping clean up when you know I’ve run myself ragged and I’m completely out of gas. Taking care of the yard without complaining. Helping with everyday things and making my life easier and my stress level come down a notch. You’ve saved my sanity on numerous occasions. Telling me everything will be ok and holding me while I cry. Allowing me to be mad, frustrated, upset, sad, confused and not making feel like I have to be the perfect picture of a partner and a mother. You are a breath of fresh air when I am drowning in it all. You’re everything I will ever need or want, and I don’t tell you that enough my love.

Your relationship with my threefold is where I get emotional. They call you “bestie” and they love you fiercely. In you they find a man that encompasses the definition of dad. They’ve lacked a male figure that loves them without conditions, without holding them to impossible standards, freely without expectations. You allow them to be kids, have faults, be irritable, have opinions, and validate their feelings. These are all things that seem trivial, but when you don’t have that it’s so much more. They find your healthy love and support of them “weird”. It’s “weird” because it’s not something we have had the experience of knowing. When you are fun and playful and have a good attitude, it’s different. When you help with household chores and don’t complain, it’s different. When you speak with love and approach situations with understanding, it’s a weird approach for them. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t have a relationship that fostered healthy communication and love. Thank you for being the first person to show them that all men aren’t the same, there are good ones and that they deserve and are worthy of love and respect. It is something that money can’t buy and that takes a special person to do.

You’re the man that stepped up and stepped in when no one asked you to. Not for the credit or the titles, not because you wanted to be the dad, but because you saw three little girls that needed consistency, nurturing, and security. I will never begin to be able to repay you for the love and patience you’ve shown them and I. I can only hope that you feel loved and appreciated for the role you have played in our lives. You’ve earned our love and respect. Thanks for being you, boo. We know you aren’t perfect and we don’t need you to be. We just want you perfectly imperfect for us. I’d be stupid not to marry you. I want forever with you and the girls, J included. I thank J for being the amazing person she is and sharing you with my threefold and I. She is a lucky girl to have such an amazing dad. We are lucky that you stepped up and stepped in when you didn’t have to. I love you E. Xoxo. M

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To the Father of my Children on Father’s Day:

I am not going to wish you a Happy Father’s Day this year, buy presents from the kids, make them sign a card or do a craft in your honor. I’m not going to praise you for your parenting skills and be thankful for your presence in our lives. It’s not my job to show you that appreciation. There will be no accolades, no applause, no admiration. You can ask your children why they didn’t show you the affection and attention you feel you deserve to receive on this day.

When I think of a father, I think of my own. A man who will do whatever it takes to make sure his children know that his love and support is unconditionally theirs. A man who works hard to provide for his family and never asks for anything in return. A dad who calls and texts, who visits, who never lets a day go by letting their child think they are anything other than cherished. I think of a man that would walk through fire to take his child’s pain away and go to ends of the earth to seek forgiveness if they were to blame for it. I think of effort, stepping up and I think of the hour long phone calls that allowed me to unleash my demons and struggles. I think of the man who has always been available to me and never put anyone above me and what I needed. I think of my daddy. My life raft in the storm of life. My person who I will always be able to count on no matter what the situation is. The man who drives eight hours just to give his daughter a hug when she is struggling. The man who is never more than a phone call away no matter where he is or what he is doing will drop everything to make sure she is ok. It’s a love and relationship like no other.

There is deep rooted disappointment and resentment that my threefold does not have that. It hurts me to see them struggle with wondering why they aren’t enough and seeking the love and attention they should receive from you in others. I’m here picking up the pieces of the children you helped create and helping them put themselves back together. When they fall apart they look for me to help them. When they breakdown in panic and overwhelming anxiety because of an interaction between you I am here hugging them, loving them telling them that you didn’t mean it and that you love them. When you are spiteful and punish them for not seeing you I sit through the therapy session holding their hand as we try to work through the trauma. When they report you for abuse I am the one who tells them that their experiences and feelings are valid and that they need to stand firm in their truth. When they are frightened to speak out against you in fear of retaliation I am the one that tells them that it will be ok. You need to hear this last part. When they slice their legs open with razor blades trying to release their pent up feelings of anger, rejection, animosity, pain, and sadness I am the one cleaning up the blood and I am the one helping them to see they are deserving of love and they are enough.

I watch my girls suffer because of your words and actions everyday. They try to quiet it but the silence is deafening sometimes. I regret coming to your defense. I regret making excuses for your behavior. I regret allowing them to suffer for many years because I was too scared to stand up and fight for them and for myself. I am to blame as well. I take my share of the burden of responsibility for this insurmountable pain they endured. The difference is I chose to be better. I chose to get them help. I chose to acknowledge their experiences and their truths. I apologized sincerely and work to show them everyday that I will never allow their feelings to go invalidated again.

Now that they are older they have chosen not to subject themselves to your continued abuse. They feel guilty for cutting you off. They want to see you fight for them, yet you sulk blaming them for their feelings and experiences. You complain that they won’t see you or speak to you and make yourself out to be the victim. You aren’t the father they deserve. You aren’t the person they can lean on when times get hard or when they want to feel heard, respected or valued. This isn’t a personal attack from me, this isn’t my spite, my anger, my own unresolved issues, or feelings. This isn’t because I want you to be the bad dad. I’ve given you every opportunity to be better for them. I’ve tried to get you involved in therapy with them, you canceled the appointments. I tried having them speak to you directly about how they feel you gaslight them. I’ve tried to speak to you regarding their feelings and you’ve blamed me, verbally assaulted me, and played the victim card. I’ve asked you to step up. I haven’t retaliated against you. I haven’t brain washed the kids. I haven’t disregarded their need for their father. You have managed to turn them against you. You have made them feel like they shouldn’t be around you to safeguard their well-being. You’ve forced them to choose. It’s sad and I’m deeply disappointed that they don’t have the opportunities to build a healthy relationship with you.

I don’t question that you care for them or that you want the best for them. I just wonder if you can ever be a parent and put their interest above your own selfish need to be right and your need to be in control. This Father’s Day I truly hope that you can find the error of your ways. That you can do some self reflection and see how much you’re hurting them. That you can begin to work to heal these relationships with your children before it’s too late. Today I hope you see their pain. Today you won’t be receiving the calls, texts, cards, presents. They have chosen not see you today and I’m sure that is cutting. Before you get angry, retaliate, make them feel bad, or say something you can’t take back I hope you will see that their lack of presence is their way of telling you to do more and to be better. I hope you come to the realization that your actions and words have a high price and it’s not just you paying it, it’s them. I hope that you have the ability to see past your own feelings and make a change. They need you too.

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Mommin’ Ain’t Easy…

We as moms try so hard to carry it all. We are skilled at juggling work responsibilities, kid responsibilities, household responsibilities, commitments to friends and family, relationships and we are making it look almost easy. If it wasn’t for the shopping bags under our eyes, the messy bun, the sweat pants, and the unshaven legs we would be unfreakingstoppable! I’ve seen the put together mommies with their perfect hair, perfect makeup, put together outfit, fixing vegan dinners, and quietly telling their child “we look with our eyes and not with our hands sweetie” and we see an impossible standard that we feel we are somehow falling short of. You’re enough. Your kids I promise could care less if your Prada bag matches your shoes, if you have a fresh blow out or if it’s being held up with grease and hair ties, or if your highlighter is on point or you have mascara running down your face. They just want you. They need you momma. That imperfectly perfect you. You know their every mood, the cries, the things that make their eyes light up, which snacks they want from the store, what their challenges are and what they excel at. You are the one that is there in the middle of the night when they have a nightmare, the one they run to when they fall off their bike and scrape their knee, they look for you on the sidelines when they make that goal, they want to show you the A they got on that test y’all studied so hard for. They turn to you for nearly everything. You are their sounding board, their advocate, their best friend, and their worst enemy.

None of us are perfect. We put incredibly unrealistic standards upon ourselves thinking that our kids are going to be screwed up if we let them have cereal for dinner or they have to wear unmarked unlabeled off brand clothing. If I’ve learned anything through raising my threefold it’s that they just want me. They don’t care if I’m a complete mess in sweats and no makeup they just need me to listen to them and guide them to the right choices. They won’t say it out loud, but they want your attention, love, support, understanding and validation. Sometimes it not about solving problems but simply hearing them out.

I’m a fixer. I’m a fighter. I’m a helper. I’m a nagger. I’m an over achiever. I’m competitive. I’m a worrier. I’m a little bit of a control freak. I’m an empath. I’m a bitch. I’m a right fighter. I’m apologetic to a fault. I’m over dramatic. I’m sensitive. I’m impatient. I’m still a good mom in spite of all of it. It’s midnight and I know where all of my children are! I have two teenagers…that’s saying something! I could lie and say I don’t say the f word incessantly or fix frozen dinners or that I’ve never lied to my kids about the candy they “lost” knowing damn well I ate that locked in the bathroom with the faucet running so they wouldn’t hear the wrapper because well, karma and taxes! I could say I’ve never pretended to be taking a nap just so I wouldn’t have to watch another tik-tok video praying that they didn’t catch me squinting my eyes just enough to make sure their blurry little self turns and walks away so I can get back to mindlessly watching Grey’s Anatomy for the 7th time. I’ve screamed and thrown a complete fit over very small things and I’ve been too easy going about bigger things. I struggle and succeed like we all do. No matter what, I always make sure they know I am there, supporting them, loving them unconditionally at all times. That’s the job. That’s the love of a mom. You show up and you love your kids regardless of the name calling, back talk speaking, mess making, excuse giving, whiny little punks they are sometimes. It’s the best and the worst job in the world. It pays shitty, it ruins your body, gives you gray hair and wrinkles, leaves you restless with worry and to do’s, and it’s undervalued and seemingly unappreciated most of the time. Yet here we stand. Day in and day out making sure these little people feel like they have someone always on their side ready to go to war for them if need be.

If you forgot to put on deodorant this morning because you got three hours of sleep after tossing and turning, it is ok. Everyone has days that they smell like the back of a Chuck e Cheese mixed with McDonald’s onions on a summer afternoon. If you haven’t taken a moment to yourself to rest and recharge I’m here to tell you DO IT! Go out! Not to run errands, but to do something for you and you only. YOU deserve it. Go on a date, get a massage, go to a class, meet up with friends something just for you. Shower, shave, get dressed for you and take care of yourself (don’t forget the deodorant!) We are usually so busy taking care of everyone else that we put ourselves on the back burner. This leads to burn out. Complete exhaustion-mentally, physically and emotionally, that makes for a shitty attitude, anxiety, increased irritability and even triggers depression. I’m there, I know how hard it is to make your own list of priorities. I have maybe an hour alone all day-the drive to and from work and maybe the 15 minutes I sit in a gas station parking lot mentally preparing myself for what shit show I am going to walk into at home. We (me included) have to start scheduling some time just for us. Momma needs a time out, a nap, and a little bit of self care. One day will never come. Treat yourself like your own friend, don’t stand them up, cancel at the last minute, or tell them you don’t have time for them. It’s ok to take care of yourself and to take time for yourself. Remember you can’t care for anyone for too long if you stop taking care of yourself! Love yourself. You deserve it. You are enough. Everyone in your life will understand and probably more than encourage it! Schedule some personal time, you are well overdue!