Florida-itis * My Symptoms

I want to write about a couple of the things I experienced while I lived in Florida that affected me significantly. One of those things is anemia. Not many people understand how anemia effects someone physically and mentally. Initially, I was diagnosed with anemia in 2011, and I stopped being affected by it in November 2016 after a procedure called an ablation. The ablation was one of the best things to happen to my mental and physical health hands down! Before the surgery I was exhausted beyond comprehension, working and taking care of 4 children. I was also struggling with severe clinical depression. Anemia and depression together are a terrible combination.

I was called ‘lazy’ by my ex-husband when I didn’t want to do things for him on the days he had the children. I can’t even describe to you how tired I was. On my days off I would take my youngest to daycare, just so that I could sleep. I never went out on weekends. I was so excited to sleep. Sleep was all I wanted. I fantasized about sleep. To be degraded and looked down on as much as I was when I was in Florida certainly did not help my depressive state.

I want to list the symptoms of anemia that affected me. I am hoping that one day if my children ever are interested, that can be better informed about what happened with their mom instead of believing information from someone who does not have the best feelings about me.

Anemia is a blood disorder that varies widely depending on the root cause of the anemia and here are the symptoms I felt:
1. Fatigue and loss of energy
2. A significant increase in heartbeat, particularly with exercise (my children might remember seeing me wearing a heart monitor for a few days for testing in 2011.)
3. A headache and shortness of breath (my children know that I pretty much always have a headache, but I do medicate this.)
4. Dizziness
5. Pale skin
6. Insomnia (as exhausted as I was I did also struggle with insomnia.)
7. Difficulty concentrating (I remember driving at times thinking maybe I shouldn’t be driving, but I was a single mom with no friends or support and had things I had to do.)

Now I would like to share some symptoms of the severe depression I had experienced for years. I did a great job on most days masking this for the children, but I’m sure they will remember days that I didn’t do so well at that.

Depression is a mood disorder that can interfere with everyday life. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression, and PTSD was also considered after my extended stay in the hospital and after I birthed my youngest; I almost died, and it was an awful experience. My relationship with her father, a compulsive gambler, was also a contributor to the PTSD. I do not feel that I suffer from the PTSD at all anymore now that I have changed my entire life… which I had no choice but to do to care for myself and my youngest.

Following are the symptoms I suffered while in Florida related to severe clinical depression:
1. Feelings of sadness (my biggest heartbreak that reverberated through my mind was the loss of my relationship with my oldest son. There are endless reasons that contributed to this along with my own mistakes. Dealing with this along with struggling to co-parent efficiently with a disgruntled ex and also living alongside a compulsive gambler was more than I think most people could handle. I did it for 6 years.)
2. Irritability
3. Frustration
4. Focusing on small matters
5. Inability to have fun (I remember moments that watching TV was just too much. I would just lay on the bed staring at the ceiling.)
6. Loss of interest in daily activities (such as anything at all… not even wanting to wake up.)
7. Insomnia
8. Excessive sleeping (If there was time and I could, I would sleep. Anything to get the day over with. Also, being anemic, I desired sleep more than anything.)
9. Overeating (I would typically only eat when frustrated or mad.)
10. Loss of Appetite: (Within just a couple months of beginning my relationship with the gambler I lost about 20 lbs. due to stress and disbelief of what I had gotten myself into. I was immersed in sadness to be away from my children when they were with their dad and utterly alone because this man chose to gamble instead of spending time with me.)
11. Persistent sad, anxious, or ’empty’ mood. (For me, so much of this was because of my relationship with my oldest son and the relationship with the gambler. I had a terrible time trying to figure out how to separate myself from the gambler without any support, friends, or family.)
12. Feelings of hopelessness. (There was eventually a time that I learned to wake up without hope while living alongside the gambler. Every day was a catastrophe. Every day included all promises sure to be broken, being lied to, working in fear that he was going to want my next paycheck, having to follow all his ridiculous demands because he was helping to support my children and I.)
13. Decreased energy, fatigue, moving slowly… because life didn’t seem worth it most days. As terrible as that sounds, coming from a mother…. life is miserable when all you are doing is what everybody else wants you to, whether you like it or not.
14. Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts. I won’t write about these things….
15. Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, digestive problems… my bones would ache from the sadness alone.

These are just some things I endured. I am only mentioning them superficially. These symptoms ran deep and still try to creep into my heart and mind now that I have 4 of my children not speaking to me. I had to save myself. I had to save my youngest child. I had to save myself for all 5 of them. I was losing the battle in Florida.

I saved myself! Even though I have 4 and not just 1 child that is ignoring me currently, I am living life again. I am supported physically, financially, emotionally, and mentally. I am not alone anymore. Sometimes people can only do things so long on their own. I needed someone in my corner. I still have battles, but I am not alone. I am trusting that things will work out how they should. I only want my children to be happy. I do believe my survival is included in this, even though they are refusing anything to do with me.

Hopefully one day they will understand this.

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South Dakota Memories and Keep on Keeping on!

I recently started taking walks every day because my closest cousin started walking and posting her steps on Facebook for everyone to see. Some days she would accumulate 20,000 steps! She motivated me to get off of my rear as I was probably accumulating about 2,000 steps. I’ve been loving getting outside and taking beautiful pictures with my daughter as my prop.

Most days during my walk I am reminded of Waitsburg, Washington when I was about four years old. I do have an excellent memory and can remember things as far back as wearing diapers! Walking through my neighborhood today reminded me of when I lived in South Dakota while married to the father of my older children. I love my memories of South Dakota, and I felt I should write some of these memories down in case my children ever find these blogs. I don’t know when they will ever bring me back into their lives, and I don’t want these memories lost from them forever.

We only lived in South Dakota for eight months. We moved there because my husband-at-the-time began working at a new college to coach football; unfortunately, that program ended just as we became very comfortable. Previous to South Dakota we lived in Minnesota where he coached, and his contract terminated.

We lived in a house with a beautiful, fenced in yard and had a basement where my three children would play. I would read outside, sitting on a blanket under a tree to my children every chance I got. They would then run to the swing-set that was just outside our fence. We never knew who that belonged to. I would hang dry the laundry. The children and I loved the yard. Today’s walk reminded of when I would take walks with the kids in the neighborhood and the trees canopied the sidewalks and streets, just like it does in my current area. Some nights the locusts would be all the things we could hear.

During this stay in South Dakota, my husband’s father died, and we traveled to Arkansas for his funeral. Somehow we inherited two dogs during our stay and brought them home with us. We named one dog Tsunami… I’m not sure why anymore. That might have been when that giant Tsunami occurred on the other side of the world. I don’t remember what we named the other dog. Sadly these dogs did not want to stay in our fenced yard, and things occurred that we ended up not being able to keep them anymore. We also tried to have a kitten, that very sadly did not survive. I look back at some of these moments, and I wish I had known how to handle some things differently.

We endured a terrifying night in the basement once when four thunderheads were looming over our town. I slept under a shelf while holding my 2nd son in my arms as he was only two years old. Thunderheads caused this to be a long and scary night. Fortunately, the thunderheads never turned into tornadoes and the next day we rented ‘Tornado’ and watched this with our oldest son.

I spent a lot of time cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. My oldest son spent a lot of time with me doing this. I remember we would create artistic cakes with fondant and marzipan. In this home, I remember us creating a space-themed cake.

My daughter and 2nd son spent their time playing together. They spent the majority of their childhoods as best friends. In this house, my daughter would dress up my 2nd son in dresses and her bathing suits! It was quite hilarious! He enjoyed playing dress-up unless we laughed, which was sometimes hard to avoid. He is now 16 and is all boy and would be very embarrassed if I had any pictures of this, which I don’t.

We had an inflatable ball pit in the basement they would play in and send balls all over the floor! My son’s bedroom had cowboy wallpaper, and my daughter’s bedroom had clown wallpaper. I remember hearing my 2nd son screaming once, and he was shut in the closet… I’m not sure why or why he couldn’t just open the door, I remember I hated hearing him scared.

My oldest son was in 2nd grade, and I remember he kept getting fevers and the school had a strict policy that he couldn’t come to school if his temperature were over 99.5. He missed quite a few days because I stressed over this a little too much… he wasn’t even sick half the time, I don’t think. My daughter began preschool in this town, and eventually, her teacher asked her to stop coming because she was either too complicated or immature. This was when she was in a ‘treat me like a princess’ stage and always demanded to be ‘first’ at everything. We didn’t always allow her to have her way at home, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t figure something out at school for her. She is now in college and is the furthest thing from a ‘princess’ that you could imagine. She has a fursona that she lives vicariously through as a dragon!

This is where I became pregnant with my 3rd son. I haven’t heard a word from him in over a year. I miss him with every cell in my body. He was quite a surprise. We discovered we were pregnant the week my husband had scheduled his vasectomy! Life works in its ways… not our own. I am grateful beyond measure for this child. He is beautiful and smart, and anyone who gets to be in the same room with him is blessed! How I wish it could be me.

This is where my daughter had her ears pierced. Since she has been a dragon for a few years now, those have closed up. See?… whatever we decide to do in life, we never know what the outcome is going to be. Therefore it is best to go forward each day spreading love and joy and trust that everything will be alright. I can only hope that by my spreading love however I can, that it will reach my children’s hearts and they will remember I love them more than anything at all. I love my new husband as much but differently, of course.

My Head is Buried and There is Sand in My Eyes

At what point does a person accept his or her fate, or doom, rather?
I don’t, and haven’t, had a good relationship with my mother for the majority of my life. Without going into great detail, the central theme of my childhood was to take a back seat to my sister who was only ten months older than I. Even as an adult my mother admitted to me that my sister is her favorite. The favoritism theme has never, not for a minute, broken. There are numerous reasons that I don’t have a relationship with her right now, but it causes me a bit of confusion about how to go forward with my children. Do I respect their wishes to end their relationship with me or do I press for this?

My character and intent are remarkably altered by my ex’s input. I have seen it in black and white. My ex had told lies in letters to my family, to my children, to my new husband, and to Family Services when there was an investigation in December 2016. This investigation stemmed from my 12-year-old stating to his doctor, while with my ex, that I scared him the last time I yelled at him. I’m still shaking my head over this. I understand it is essential to follow through with allegations concerning child abuse, but this was indeed not the case. In my ex’s report during his interview, the first sentence in his statement said something along the lines of, “their mom left me for someone else.” This is not true and what in the world did that have to do with this allegation except for the fact that it shows his resentment. The truth is that I didn’t go back to him because I was with someone else. I never cheated on this man. I moved on entirely too quickly, but I never cheated on him. 8 years later, and he is still telling people this. Since I left Florida a year ago, I’m sure he has this belief instilled in all the children now. It was only my oldest who believed him, now they all do. Now they all think Mommy is a liar.

What is a good reason for a child to decide to alienate himself from a parent? Is it because his mom yelled at him? Is it because he didn’t like seeing his mom date? Is it because he didn’t agree with something she said? I didn’t abuse my children. Yes, I have moments I regret. I’m pretty sure all parents have nights they go to bed wishing they had handled things differently. I have five children, and I have many days and moments I wish I had treated differently. Do I deserve to be ex-communicated and erased because of my mistakes? Aren’t I important just for the individual I am? These are very relevant questions I ask myself every day. My self-esteem is so low as a mother, and as a human it is unbelievable. I have been deemed unworthy by 4 of the people I love most. I wake up knowing they won’t reply to me. My oldest daughter might, but I believe it is out of sympathy or to just get me off her back. I guess she thinks I am only telling her that I love her in order for her to say it to me in return. I am pretty sure this is what their father has taught them. I am not telling my children I love them in order to hear it back. My heart aches that they are not receptive to my love. A child needs his mother’s love. Yes, of course, there is a tremendous sadness to know they don’t wish to give love to me. Not only because I desire that love, but because it is important for children to give that love and not withhold and deny it.

My case is such a mess. It is so messy that I feel sometimes I would be doing them a favor by disappearing completely. It is difficult to continually be rejected.

I truly wish there were answers to the questions I’ve asked in this writing. Thank you for reading.

New Day, New Path

I’m stepping onto a different path. I’ve tried to send love to my children, who now reject me, continuously over the past year. My attempts to connect are not working. I know that their view of me has been enhanced significantly by their father who undoubtedly can’t stand my existence unless it is to benefit him or the children. I made a lot of mistakes, as all people do, but I am paying the ultimate price as an alienated parent at the hands of my ex-husband. I am leaping onto a different path starting today. It is difficult to retrain my thinking concerning the situation, but I am torturing myself daily on the previous path.

I study sites concerning Parent Alienation often; I wish I had known this was an epidemic eight years ago when this started with my oldest. When this first started happening in my life, my ex explained that everything was my fault, and I began to believe this. It set into my soul for years and nearly destroyed me. I wish I had known… there isn’t anything I can do to change that or the many years of how my oldest was raised by my ex-husband. I am grateful that my son excels in life the way he does. I am the only negative thing in his life that I know of. This young man is living life in a way that most of us can only dream of.

These are some of the pieces of knowledge I am taking with me on my new path. This path is decreasing the number of texts I send and emotion I expend concerning being rejected. Mahatma Gandhi advised us, ‘You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it.’ In my specific situation, I know that my ex feeds off of knowing I am hurting. I am done showing any reaction. I haven’t shown very much to him in months, but I know that my constant desire I display to my children also shows I am lacking and hurting in my life. I am done reacting. I will not satisfy that need for him any longer. I don’t understand why my children do not respond, but if it brings them any satisfaction that they are hurting me, I’m done feeding them that opportunity as well. When I left I prayed with my children about wishing for them to be blessed and to only choose love when given any opportunity. They are not choosing love. I feel they need some time to discern what it is they are choosing. I am not entirely disappearing, but it weighs heavily on me that some space is necessary between us.

I found a passage on the internet last night that suited me. Actually, this passage found me. I have a very uncanny gift, or whatever it is, to happen upon things that are relevant to my current situation, and this was perfect. It reads:

My silence means I am tired of fighting and now there is nothing left to fight for. My silence means I am tired of explaining my feelings to you, but now I don’t have the energy to explain them anymore. My silence means I have adapted to the changes in my life and I don’t want to complain. My silence means I am on a self-healing process and I am trying to forget everything I ever wanted from you. My silence means I am just trying to move on gracefully with all my dignity.

I know my children are healthy, beautiful, thriving to the best of each of their abilities. I am paying child support. I have reached out and let them know I am emotionally available to them. I have attempted multiple visits with no visitors. It’s time for me to focus on other things and allow them the same.

I will drip. I won’t disappear. I don’t know how to drip to my oldest… I feel he is entirely done with me. I have to figure out when and how to drip. I have time to figure this out.

Thank you for reading and much love to you if you are also grieving over the loss of a relationship with your child or children.

Frustrated With Drips!

I have recently been introduced to the term ‘Slow Drips’… of love? I’ve interpreted this as a technique that alienated parents are supposed to incorporate in order to slowly and steadily input their love into their child’s lives. This got me thinking entirely too much about how can I possibly reach out to my adult son.

How do I say anything at all to him? I know that whatever I saw is misinterpreted. My ex disrespected and undermined my position as his mom for almost 8 years now. My struggles in life contributed to my very low status in my son’s life. Nothing I say will mean anything to him anymore. It has been so long since he looked up to me the way a son does to a mother. He is thriving and is happy. He doesn’t need me and I haven’t been able to give him anything in over a year. I gave him gift packages in the past that he didn’t even text a ‘thank you’ about. I will be attaching him to my husband’s medical plan this month… but that isn’t directly from me per say.

This week, while my ex has been busy gathering the documents to add our children to my new husband’s medical plan, he stated that he is in a hurry so that he can get the children into therapy to help them with this ‘block’ with me. I eventually replied to him that they need the therapy from him to undo all the bad things he’s said and done concerning me. Undermining my every wish concerning my oldest son for the past 8 years. Blocking me on Snapchat from the children, because he couldn’t save my messages. Making my daughter walk a mile to meet me instead of allowing me to pick her up at their house. Having his fiance attend my son’s appointments without my knowledge and when I confronted him about it he just told me off and said, “here’s your notification, from here on out she will go if I can’t”… instead of giving me enough courtesy to communicate on a case-by-case basis. All the lies! All the bad-mouthing and sharing of inappropriate information concerning me and my personal life. How in the world do I drip into my oldest son’s life when this has been going on for 8 years and he hasn’t spoken to me for the last 3?

My ex wants to act like the problems started a year ago when I moved away, and that’s why our younger 3 are not talking to me now. What about the last 8 years with my oldest son, who isn’t even his son?! This is how evil this man is to me. He is so willing to hurt me he will use a child that isn’t even his own blood. My anxiety is through the roof today as I imagine reaching out to my son, who I know sees me as a lost cause. My ex told me he called me that concerning the last court case with me. My ex told me my son said, “why bother, she’s a lost cause…”.

Every morning I wake up wishing I knew what I could do to combat this. How do I share love with my children when their father has done so much damage. Yes, like I always say, I made enough of my own mistakes. Believe me, his smear campaign and how he talks to the children about me is horrible. How do I combat this when my younger children look up to and admire my oldest so very much. I feel like my hands are tied! I try to not cause drama… I wanted these children out of the crossfire between my ex and I. I feel like I have to just go bury my head in the sand so they don’t have to hear anymore lies or corruption. No matter what I do is twisted into something ugly.

I’m frustrated beyond belief.
He wanted to hurt me. He said they would all hate me. He meant it.

Thank you for reading my venting post.

Their Hands…

Last night I lay in bed, and for some reason, I began to wonder what it would feel like to hold my children’s hands again. I think this came from me explaining to my friend in Florida that I can’t believe that my 16 years old won’t see me because just last year he would still hold my hand in the store. I thought he and I were as close as a mother and son could ever be.

It amazes me that I can still ‘feel’ each of their hands when I imagine it and meditate on it. Even my oldest’s, who I haven’t talked to in almost 3 years. He has perfect, strong hands, not too big or small; they are simply perfect hands. He will pilot planes with those hands. My oldest daughter’s hands are just as beautiful as I imagined they would be from the moment she was born. We were amazed by her beautifully long and delicate fingers. That’s what they still ‘feel’ like to me, long and delicate. She is an artist with those hands. My 16 year old’s hand are a bit bigger than my oldest’s hands. They seem to be a safe place for someone’s hand. They will most certainly be strong hands and whatever he reaches for I hope he gets. My youngest son has hands like his oldest sister. Long and slender hands with a delicate touch. I last heard he would like to be an actor. He looks almost exactly like me. He’s had a tough go no thanks to his father and myself… our divorce and constant squabbles. I wish I could give him a perfect life and he could have the entire world in hands.

I love and adore these beautiful souls more than I could describe to anyone. I wish I could show them but their ‘doors’ are closed to me right now. To hold their hands would be such a gift to me.

If this is heard ‘please bless these beautiful children.’

Thank you for reading.