Daily Prompt 7/5/2016 | Layers

My layers make me who I am, and I am pretty damn awesome.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 7/5/2016 | Layers]

“We live beneath many layers. Some are for our protection, and some are for our control.” ~ Russell Eric Dobda Continue reading “Daily Prompt 7/5/2016 | Layers”

Daily Prompt 2/15/2016 | Working For Free

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/15/2016 | Money for Nothing

If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.”

My current job title is Super Mom… you may have also heard of the titles Stay-at-Home Mom, or SAHM. Those are the same thing. It’s a pretty demanding job, and includes early mornings, late nights, mandatory overtime, bio-hazardous waste cleanup, and being Chef de Cuisine, mastering the crafts of mac ‘n cheese, broccoli and cheese omelettes, and oatmeal. Did I mention that I perform these various tasks with absolutely no pay? It’s true. My bank account is about as empty as it comes. And I’m okay with that.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, and I even knew that I wanted to have my first child when I was 24 years old, which I did. However, I always thought that I would have had my degree, a house, and decent income by 24 years old as well… and that didn’t happen.

I went to school to study Psychology, something that I have been passionate about since elementary school. I planned to work with children and teenagers in a school setting, or even as a social worker for the state, but specifically for lower income families. Maybe even start my own practice, where people pay only what they can afford. Growing up, I had a hard life. Sure, it could have been worse, but it was hard for me. I dealt with divorce, abuse, poverty, and witnessing my mom’s abuse. It took it’s toll on me, and I ended up developing some severe self-esteem issues by the time I was in elementary school, which carried into middle school, where my grades started suffering, and I developed some self-abusive habits, which worsened as I entered high school. In high school, I made some choices that I wish I hadn’t, and let people take advantage of me. I also came very close to losing someone very close to me to suicide, who ended up making it through, but blamed me for it, and turned my friends against me.

The reason I am telling you all of this is because I want to share with you how helpless and alone I felt. My school did not have any qualified counselors that I could speak to, and I wasn’t close enough with any of my teachers to let them into my life. My mom did not have any sort of insurance, and even though she knew about my issues, she couldn’t afford to get me the help that I needed. I suffered in silence, and my relationships with everyone around me crumbled. I first attempted suicide at 15 years old, then again at 16. I survived, but what if I hadn’t?

I don’t know how my life would be different if I had gotten the help that I needed, and still need, but I feel like I would be more comfortable in my own skin, and would know a bit more about why I am the way I am, and feel the way I feel. Being a teenager is hard, and there is a lot more going on than most would lead you to know. It is important to talk about issues, otherwise they can eat you away from the inside. I needed someone to talk to during those years, and I had no one, and it damaged me. Lower income families, and the children within them, are especially susceptible to bullying, self-esteem issues, and abuse, and help for these kids is not always available, or affordable. I want to change that.

I’ve had a lot of setbacks with school, mostly financial, but I still hold onto that dream. I want to make a difference, to help people, and I truly believe that I will someday.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/2/2016 | Surely Not the Best Colors That You Shine

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/2/2015 | This Is Your Song

“Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.”

Crossfade ~ Colors

This song has stuck with me since 2004, when I first heard it as a freshman in high school. I loved most of my teenage life, as well as a good chunk of my young adult life, letting people tellme who I should be. How I should dress, what makeup to wear, who to talk to, what I could and couldn’t do to, because they wanted me to fit into this perfect, little bubble of who they wanted me to be. For a long time, I felt like I couldn’t be myself. I really came into my own towards the end of my high school days, and was finally able to be who I felt I was supposed to be.

Later on, after I graduated high school, I got into a relationship with a great guy, but always felt like I was living in his shadow. I even went to the college that he wanted to go to, and my life became completely dependent on him. I didn’t really have friends, and people only seemed to know me as “Matt’s girlfriend”. I resented that, wanting only to be able to be myself, and to be accepted for that. We ended up breaking up.

After that, I started a relationship with the person who had been my best friend for years. And it ended badly. He, and his family, were very controlling, manipulative, people. I felt like the insecure, high school girl that I once was, not allowed to be who I was, and having to choose my words carefully to keep the judgement at bay. He controlled every aspect of my life, and I had to rely on him for everything. I became more and more depressed, resorting to self-mutilation just to feel anything, something that I hadn’t done since I was a teenager. I was stuck in a dark face, but was forced to plaster on a smile, because no one wanted to “deal with” me. Our relationship became very emotionally abusive towards the end, and his own insecurities, brought on by his family, drove us as far apart as humanly possible while still living together. We broke up, and I had to completely start over, stranded in an unfamiliar town, surrounded by people and places that reminded me of him, his emotional abuse, and his controlling, cruel family.

Then, I met Kyle. Kyle showed me that it was okay to be who I was, even if that meant being different than those around you. Because your colors will never shine as bright if you are trying to cover them with clouds. I am so much stronger, and I shine so much brighter now.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/22/2016 | My Favorite

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/22/2016 | My Favorite

What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.”

Hours. Just a few hours.

I have never left my son with anyone, other than his father. Ever. Even with his father, it was only for 15-20 minutes so that I could shower, or an hour or two so that I could nap. The thought of leaving him alone with anyone makes me anxious, and when I am away from him, it gets worse. I thought this feeling of separation anxiety would dissipate after a few months, but it hasn’t. Not even a little. Even on our worst days, when I want to scream and cry and give up, I can’t fathom the thought of leaving him with anyone else. Here are a few reasons why I feel this way:

1) Nobody knows him like I do. Nobody. Kyle has had little part in our day-to-day lives. He’s changed a total of 6 diapers over the course of a year (none of them poopy), and has never cooked for, or fed, Liam. He doesn’t know how much of what to give him, or what he likes and dislikes. He’s never put him to bed, brushed his teeth, or given him a bath either. So you can see why leaving him alone with him would cause me stress.

2) Liam has stranger anxiety. Even with his dad, if I’m gone for more than a few minutes, he gets upset. He loves his daddy, but being away from me is stressful for him. He still doesn’t really let anyone hold him, and if he does, it is only for a few minutes. The idea of leaving him at someone’s house, or at daycare, terrifies me. I’m afraid that once I leave, he will cry and cry and cry, and will never stop, and they will hate him.

3) Trust. I’ve seen how much Kyle’s mother spoils our niece, even against her mother’s wishes. I’ve heard her say candy/cookies/soda, etc. and then Kyle’s mother turns around and gives her whatever she wants. Now she is a spoiled 4-year old who throws tantrums at every little thing. I don’t want that. I don’t buy into the whole “grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandkids” crap. No. If the PARENT tells you that they can’t have something, you need to respect that. You’re teaching the child that what mommy and daddy says doesn’t matter, as long as grandma says yes. Big no-no.

4) Past experiences. Now, this is a bit more of a stretch, but on more than one occasion, I encountered abuse at the hands of a caregiver as a child. Completely normal, seemingly nice people. I’d like to think that Liam’s grandmother, father, a babysitter, or whoever, would never think of hitting him out of frustration, or for any other reason… but you never know how people will handle the strain of a crying baby, even if they’ve dealt with it in the past. This terrifies me.

Am I crazy? Overprotective? Maybe. Probably. I don’t know. I will need to go back to work some day, and I’m hoping that Liam starts warming up to strangers by the time that needs to happen.

Any other parents have anxiety over leaving their babies with someone else? My son will be one tomorrow, and this fear is not letting up at all.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan