Struggle

I have been having a hard time lately. With just about everything. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. I know I haven’t been blogging much these days, mostly because I can’t. I just can’t bring myself to do it. And who would want to read any of it anyway? I have had no energy, no motivation, and when I’m not taking care of my toddler, I’m lying on the couch, over-thinking, or taking depression naps. What a life.

So, here we go.

I was recently given the startling news that my father, grandfather, all my grandfather’s siblings, and my great-grandmother all have/had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, called OPMD. It is genetic (obviously), and there is a 50% chance that I have it. There is also a 50% chance that my brother and two sisters have it as well. And if I have it, there’s a 50% chance my son does as well. The night my grandmother told me, completely out of the blue, an hour before bedtime, I was shaken up. Really shaken up. I spent the next several hours on Google, reading up on the condition, trying to wrap my head around what to expect if/when symptoms occur. I didn’t fall asleep until nearly 3:00 in the morning.

If you want to learn more about the condition, you can click here. I won’t go into details. I’ve calmed down since getting the news, after doing my own research (let’s just say, my grandmother is extremely dramatic, and she made it seem like I 100% had it, and was in for a life of misery, which is not the case). The term “muscular dystrophy” is terrifying, but as far as these types of conditions go, this one isn’t as severe as others. It mainly affects the eyes and facial muscles, but can cause weakness in other parts of the body. Normally, it OPMD doesn’t present symptoms until the 40s to 60s, if at all. My grandfather and father  only recently started displaying symptoms. There is no cure or treatment, but with modern science, who knows what will be possible if/when it presents itself in me.

Next up, relationship crap. As I’m sure some of you know, Kyle started a new job a few months back. He leaves for work very early, and is back before dinner. You’d think this would be great, but it isn’t. He’s always exhausted, and always on edge and cranky. He passes out early every night, and we barely talk anymore. When we do talk, it always seems to turn into an immature fight. I’ve been getting swallowed alive by my depression lately, and struggling to keep up with housework and our toddler, and whenever I ask him to help with anything, it turns into a fight. A fight, and then the silent treatment. He gets defensive about everything, and it is wearing me out. I don’t want to bad mouth him. I know he works hard when he is at work, but he puts in zero effort at home. I’m struggling. I need HELP. But he won’t help me. And I am tired. So, so tired.

On top of all of these things that I need to process and over-think about, my normally sweet, little boy, who turned two at the end of January, is fully immersed in his “terrible twos” phase, and on most days, he really wears me out. Emotionally and physically. Once again, it’s just me with him. Always. Just. Me. 24/7. The weather has been bleak and wet, and we have been trapped inside most days of the week, which takes its toll on both of us. He gets worked up, bounces off the walls, gets sassy and cranky… and I’m so freaking tired, you guys. Always tired.

I’ve been feeling like an absolute failure in every aspect of my life lately. My relationship, my family, my health, my hobbies. Myself. Everything. The only little glimmers of happiness that I have found have been when Liam chooses to share how much he has learned lately. I have been trying hard to teach him his numbers and letters, whenever he sits still for just a second, which seems to never happen. But then, sometimes, we’ll be driving in the car, or eating lunch, and he will just start counting to 10, or correctly naming the letters on TV or in his books, or babbling out actual, tiny sentences, and forming coherent thoughts. Those are the moments that make me feel alright. Make me feel like I’m not a total failure.

I recently got this message from someone in Kyle’s family. Someone I have never met, and who has very opposing views to my own. She is very opinionated, and apparently does not approve of stay-at-home moms. At first, I was a little irritated at the tone in her message, because she blatantly stated that she thinks women who stay home to be stay-at-home moms are not “okay”, but then, I realised that it was a compliment.

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Nobody becomes a parent to get praise from strangers, or from family. And, honestly, I shouldn’t care about what other people think about my life, or my parenting. But, in the moment, I needed this. She doesn’t know anything about my struggles. About my relationship, or my depression, or how my toddler, who I absolutely adore, can drive me to tears with his craziness. She just sees a mother, who works hard to teach her baby boy the things he needs to know. High praise.

I have no one I can talk to about any of this crap. No one I can just sit down and bitch with. I’ve been dealing with shitty, fake friends lately, and I’ve decided to just stop trying to befriend people who will only hurt me in the end. I’m 27 years old now, I don’t need to deal with that high school bullshit. I don’t need “friends” who stalk my social media, take screen shots of things I say, and pass them around to all their friends, so they can tweet passive aggressively about me, and pass judgment on situations they know nothing about. If that sounded a bit specific, that’s because that’s exactly what I’ve been dealing with for the last several months, and I am done with it. So I removed these people from my life, and haven’t looked back.

That’s just my luck. It’s hard for me to make friends, and even harder for me to keep them. People just don’t like me. They always have a problem with my negativity, with my anxiety, with my depression, with my opinions, with how I parent. They just have a problem with me. So, I am alone. Always. Fucking. Alone. I don’t have friends. I don’t have anyone I can trust, or confide in. Even worse, are the ones who feel pity on me, so they reach out, and say that they are there for me, that they care, when they really don’t. They don’t care at all. They just think that they can send a few positive messages, fix all my problems, and feel great about themselves. That’s not how it works, folks. You can’t just lure me into a false sense of security, a false sense of friendship, and then decide that it’s not worth the effort. That I’m not worth the effort. That’s cruel. So fucking cruel. And all day long, all I see are stupid memes and pictures of shit best friends supposedly do, and people just tag each other in them, and talk about all the good times they have, and knowing that I will never have that hurts.

If it weren’t my only form of communication with people that weren’t literal toddlers (even if they act like them from time to time), I’d just delete my social media. It’s so pointless.

That’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. That’s where I’m at in my life. Alone. Hurting. Struggling. Pathetic.

Thanks for reading.

Jan

Daily Prompt 6/21/2016 | Companion

Life. Life can be such shit sometimes.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/21/2016 | Companion]

Things have been a bit strained lately with Kyle and I. We’re okay for the most part, and we’re not fighting or anything, but there are some things we need to talk about, and get out into the open, but we’ve been having a hard time talking it out. As I’ve mentioned before, Kyle has been trying to get into a class at the local community college to get his CDL, but has been having a very hard time. The class costs nearly $5,000, and we do not have the money to just drop on this class. He has tried financial aide, but they don’t offer it for this class. He has tried several different kinds of loans, through the school and several different banks and lenders, but even after trying both my mom and I as co-signers, he was turned down. For everything. He also got pre-hired by one trucking company to try and get a loan, but it was garbage, and did not help at all. And time is running out. Continue reading “Daily Prompt 6/21/2016 | Companion”

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to the present fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, fathers of loss, fathers of divorce or separation, fathers-to-be, and future fathers who are trying to so hard become fathers.

Hello, friends. Today is Father’s Day, and for many, this is a day for celebrating the man, or men, in your lives who have helped to shape you into the person you are today. Unfortunately, for many others, this can be a sad, or upsetting day. To those of you who are struggling on this day, whether it be from a sense of absence, loss, or some other type of pain, I just want you to know that you are not alone.

I want to take a moment to thank three men in my life who all had a hand in making me the person I am today. My relationship with each is wildly different, but they are the fathers I have known in my life.

First and foremost, I want to wish a happy second Father’s Day to the love of my life, my rock, my everything, Kyle. I wish I could put into words how much you mean to Liam and I, and how much we appreciate how hard you work for us. The love you have for our son shines through your every interaction, and I know that he absolutely adores you. We both do. I wish we could celebrate Father’s Day today, but you’ll be at work, working your butt off to make sure that Liam and I have a good life. I am so proud of the man and father that you have become, and I love you very much.

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Secondly, I want to say happy Father’s Day to a man who has been in my life for nearly 20 years. A man who I have always had a rough relationship with, but who was always there for my mom and I. I don’t even have a single picture of you and I, but Happy Father’s Day to my step-father, Larry. You took in a woman and her daughter who were down on their luck, gave them a roof over their heads, and supported them financially until they could get back on their feet. You had a son of your own, but accepted me as your second child, even though we butted heads constantly. You were never easy to get along with, but you have come a long way, and have made my mom so happy. Thank you for all the gifts you paid for, but took no credit for. Thank you for trying, even if it didn’t work out the way you wanted. Thank you for keeping my mom sane and happy. Thank you.

And finally, I want to say happy Father’s Day to my biological father, Mike. I haven’t seen you in many years, and before that, many years more. I never knew you growing up, and I wish you had cared more about me, and your other children, than drugs and stealing. It was hard growing up without a father. I blamed you for a lot my my mom’s unhappiness, as well as my own. I blamed you for every bad boyfriend, every crappy apartment, and every toy I wanted but never received. I know now that you were sick. You are sick. And you are incapable of caring about anything, or anyone, including yourself. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you are taking care of yourself today.

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Happy Father’s Day to the present fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, fathers of loss, fathers of divorce or separation, fathers-to-be, and future fathers who are trying to so hard become fathers. Enjoy your day!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Alone

I’ll never understand just how single parents do it. They are honestly superheroes. I’m not even a single mother, but I feel like I am more often than not. Since day one, I have changed every poopy diaper (yes, every poopy diaper), and most of the wet ones. I have cooked and fed every meal. I have executed every bath, and read every story. Given every dose of medicine. I have put him down for every nap, and every bed time. I have woken up with him night after night, and rocked him back to sleep. I am the one who wakes up with him every morning. Just last night, he woke up at 1:30, and would not go back to sleep, not matter what I did. We spent hours rocking, and got nowhere. My back was on fire from the crappy, old rocking chair, and I was so exhausted that I was fighting the urge to throw up all over his sweet face. I ended up lying down uncomfortably on the couch in the living room around 3:00 in the morning, and he fell asleep on top of me from 5:00-7:30. All I could do was try to cry silently, like I’ve been doing most nights lately, and try not to wake him up. I got no sleep. None.

His separation anxiety is so extreme this time. It has never been this bad. He screams and screams and screams when I try to put him in his crib, if I even lean over it. He wakes up the second I put him in there, even if I’ve been rocking him for an hour, and he was passed out. He open his eyes, stand up, and scream.

This morning, he refused to nap, just like every day for the last week. This sleep regression/cold/ear infection/teething/separation anxiety has hit him like a ton of bricks, and it is wearing me thin. He has been so fussy during the day, and it has been so hard to get anything done, whether at home or in town, because he is just so clingy and upset. I tried to leave him with his father today, so I could try and get a few moments of sleep, but honestly, I don’t trust him with him. I know he would probably never hurt him, but he has a very short fuse, and a very bad temper, and often raises his voice at him, or cusses at him, and it makes me so angry. Sure, I get angry sometimes, and I’ve raised my voice more often than I’d like to admit in just the last week, but he just gets ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that our son is barely over a year old, and doesn’t even understand what is going on, but what reason does HE have to be upset? He doesn’t DO anything. He has never spent a night, getting zero sleep, rocking in a creaky rocking chair for 3 hours. He got 10 hours of sleep last night! So, I do everything. I sacrifice sleep to make sure his diaper is always clean, or that he gets his meals on time, because Kyle always seems to “forget” or “lose track of time” when I leave him alone with him, even for an hour, so I can sleep, even though he is just sitting on his ass playing a game, or watching TV. I hate it.

I made a comment out loud to my son today, a bit passive aggressively, about how I was too exhausted to make lunch, but that I had to, because no one else would, and Kyle stormed off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him, to play his Gameboy (yep, talking about a grown man here). He gets so upset when I voice my frustration about doing 90% of the work when it comes to our son and our household, yet he throws these tantrums, and shuts himself in the bedroom for hours, leaving me even more alone. Proving my point. I’ve been asking him to get out to the laundromat for the last three days to do some laundry, since we are completely out of clean clothes, and he just keeps forgetting. A few days ago, I asked him if he would help me with the dishes, not DO the dishes, just help me, since I had already done nearly half of them, and our son was clinging to me, whining to be picked up. He just ignored me.

Last night was trash night, one of the only chores he will partake in, if I don’t do it, and he always waits until we are going to bed to do it. I was already under the covers, with the lights off, and with my glasses on the end table, when he came in and asked me to get the kitchen garbage out, and empty Liam’s diaper bin for him, which is something I always seem to end up doing for him. I stood my ground, and told him to just do it. He made sure to make as much noise as possible, sighing and gagging dramatically, cussing at the garbage bin when he dropped it and made noise. Then he came to bed, in a huff, and rolled over angrily. Absolutely unnecessary. And I get bitchy, and I get passive aggressive, and he brings out the worst in me. I don’t mean to, but I just get so upset. He doesn’t fight, we never fight. And that is a problem. He doesn’t talk back, because he doesn’t talk at all. He just shuts off, often storming off to the bedroom. And nothing gets done. I am so tired of it.

I love him, I really do, and I know he loves me and his son, but this is frustrating, and it is destroying me. I am exhausted, my blood pressure is through the roof, and I have been so, so depressed. I am tired of the bullshit excuses, and the immaturity. I want him to grow up, but he just won’t. I want him to listen to me, and understand how hard this has been for me, and what I am going through. The only reason I keep going is because I know that my son needs me, and no one else will take care of him.

But I’ve been having days lately, where the prospect of simply disappearing, leaving everything behind, seems more and more tempting.

I shouldn’t feel like this. I shouldn’t feel this overwhelmed, and this alone, when his father is RIGHT THERE. He doesn’t even work this week. He has been home for days, and will be home for the rest of the week, but… nothing. He won’t help me. It honestly feels like he doesn’t care.

I am at the end of my rope. I just want a break. A nap. Some quiet. I need help, and I have no one. Some days, I feel like it would be better if I actually were alone, then I would only have one toddler to deal with. Only one person’s messes to constantly clean up.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends. Thank you for letting me vent. I’m off to feed my overly exhausted kiddo a snack, and try to get him to take a nap, even though I know it won’t happen.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Triggering Memories

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Drawing a Blank

When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.”

A comeback? No. I just wish I had the right words to say…

I sat helplessly behind the screen of the computer that he had given me just after my 15th birthday. I could barely read the words popping up in the X-Fire chat window through my tears, let alone see the keys to formula some kind of response. Not that it would have mattered at that point anyway.

I’m sorry.
I’m tired of this.
I’m coming over.

We had been arguing. Over the course of 3 years, he had been my everything, but he had broken my heart so many times, and I always came back. I didn’t know any better, and I had no one else. But not the last time. I had chosen to move on with my life, and had found someone else to share myself with, who didn’t treat me that way. He didn’t like it. I sat there for what seemed like hours, when really, the drive from his house to mine only took a few minutes. I heard the knock on my front door, followed by footsteps coming to my bedroom.

His eyes were red, and he was shaking. He reached for my computer, and began unplugging it, taking it apart to take back to his house. Taking away my only form of communication with the outside world, and my new, long-distance boyfriend. Taking away a part of me. He was angry, and he was hurt, and I didn’t try to stop him. At least, not from taking the computer.

You can’t do this…” I said to him, grabbing his shoulders, trying to calm him down. I was bigger than him, and stronger, but he was in a bad place, “I won’t let you do this.

He ignored me, and I choked back tears, trying to stay strong. I didn’t know if he wanted me to try to stop him or not, I didn’t know what he wanted to hear. I didn’t know what to do. My mom and her friend sat in the kitchen, just outside my bedroom door, and I thought about telling them what was going on, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak. So I didn’t.

I watched him dismantle my computer, get into his car, and drive away. I waited until I knew he was back home, and called him. He answered, much to my surprise.

Please, don’t do this. Can we talk about it?

No,” he choked out, he was crying.

Then I heard the pill bottle, and my heart stopped.

Stop. STOP.” I demanded, but all I heard was sobbing, and the sounds of pills scattering across his desk. He was in his room. Was his mom home? Should I call the police? I’d have to hang up the phone. I couldn’t hang up the phone.

Don’t do anything,” he said, seemingly reading my mind,his voice raw, “I’ll unplug the phone. My mom has a gun upstairs. Don’t make me do that, Janise.

I was sobbing. I had no words. I was frozen. I could hear him counting pills out loud… 1… 2… 3… I didn’t know what he was taking. Why was he doing this?

Please…” I sobbed.

Thank you,” was all he said, then, “goodbye.

Click.

I sobbed loudly. My mom had already left with her friend, and I was alone in the house. Had I lost him? Was it too late to do anything? I curled up on my bed, and I cried. My body shook, and I soaked my pillow. I never did anything. I don’t know when I fell asleep, but I woke up to my phone vibrating. The sun was up.

I reached for it, and saw his name on the called I.D. I didn’t want to answer. What if it was his mom? What if it was him? I answered.

I need you to come over. We need to talk,” came his voice from the other end of the phone. I agreed, and he hung up.

The sobbing started all over again. I had my mom drop me off, and told her that his mom would be bringing me to school. She still did not know anything about what was going on.

I didn’t knock on his door, I hadn’t done that in months. I went straight to his room, where he was sitting at his desk. He looked awful.

Are you okay? What did you do?” I demanded, “Did you tell yout mom?

He nodded slowly, and told me that he had told her everything. Everything about us. Everything he was feeling. He had taken 22 extra strength Tylenol, and 6 of his ADHD pills last night. I dropped to the floor, crying. Why wasn’t he at the hospital? Why was he here?

I needed to tell you… that I’m sorry…” his breathing was starting to sound labored, and I looked up, just in time to see him fall from his chair. I heard myself scream, and his mother and younger sister came running downstairs. He was still lucid, and he got to his feet. He swayed, and tried to run to the kitchen, with us right behind him. He fell to the kitchen floor, and I knelt beside him, placing his head in my lap, while his mom sobbed into the phone. She had called 911. The ambulance was on it’s way. The wait was terrible. His mom was crying, his sister was saying this was my fault, and I was silent.

I rode to the hospital with his mother, who had some very cruel words for me. She blamed me for this as well.

I missed the entire school day, and spent nearly 8 hours in the hospital with him. I was there when they gave him charcoal, to flush his stomach. I sat by his side, holding his hand, and talked to him about everything. About us. About what was on TV. Everything. I was so thankful that he was alright, even though he wasn’t. I didn’t know if I was helping him, or hurting him, but I got my answer later. They made him talk to a therapist, and we were asked to leave the room. The therapist also blamed me, and they all agreed that it would be best if I get out of his life. Forever.

I called my mom to come get me, unable to stand another moment with his mother, and I broke down in her car, and told her everything. She didn’t blame me.

The weeks and months that followed were some of the worst of my life. I had lost my best friend, even though he was still alive. Every single friend that we shared, had turned their backs on me, and rumors flew around the school about what really happened that night and the following day. It was absolute hell. Seeing him, every day, and not being able to say anything to him, to see how he was doing, was awful, bur that’s what he wanted. He made that abundantly clear when he switched out of the 3 classes that we shared, and glared at me whenever we passed in the halls. How could people hate me so much, when I was simply trying to move on, and make myself happy?

I never defended myself. I never gave my side of our story. I never tried to correct people when they spread blatant lies. He was fine, but a piece of me had died that night, and it still affects me to this day. Triggers me.

We have since made up, and are friends from a distance, talking every once in a while via Facebook. We have never spoken of it, and I sometimes wonder if he ever thinks about that night, and if it ever cuts into him like it still does to me, nearly 10 years later. If I had the right words to say, would it have changed the outcome of that night? Or did what little I was able to say actually keep him alive?

I wish I could say this this was the last time that I was put in this situation, but unfortunately, it happened again more recently. However, that’s a story for another time.

Thank you for reading, friends. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide, please get help.

US: 1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Jan

The 5 Love Languages Test

Recently, I stumbled across a Good Mythical Morning video on YouTube, which inspired me to create a bit of a writing challenge for myself, revolving around The 5 Love Languages Test. The 5 Love Languages Test was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, who is an accomplished author, as well as a marriage counselor, and motivational speaker. The test is a series of only 30 questions, which help you determine your love language (or your child’s), and what is most important to you in a relationship. There are 5 different love languages: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, and Receiving Gifts.

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Once you complete the test, these 5 love languages will be listed, in order of importance to you, based on how you answered, and you will be given a complete breakdown on what your results mean. Here were my results:

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According to the website, my highest scoring language was Acts of Service, with 12/30 points. The website defines Acts of Service as the following:

“Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.”

Do I agree with my final results?

Nail. On. The. Head!

As a stay-at-home mom, nearly all of my time and energy is spent on my son. Cooking meals, cleaning up spills, changing diapers, teaching, playing, etc. The time that I’m not spending with my son, such as during his naps, are usually spent taking care of myself. Things such as showering, finding something of my own to eat, or even catching a short nap so that I don’t fall asleep in the middle of building a Mega Bloks tower, become priority when my little monster is in his crib. Dishes, vacuuming, folding laundry, scrubbing the toilet, and other household chores, just melt away into the chaos, and my apartment slowly turns into a war torn country. Acts of Service are like tiny Christmases in my life. They don’t happen nearly as often as I would like, however, and that is a problem for me.

My fiance works 55-65 hours a week between his two jobs, and is usually exhausted by the time he gets home. He simply does not have the time, or energy, to help me with the housework, or with our toddler. I hate my apartment being messy, and while I do manage to find the time to keep my living room, and my son’s room, neat and organized, there is so much more that I wish I could get done, but I definitely don’t really have the time or energy either.

Recently, my son had been going through a bit of sleep regression/separation anxiety, and was waking me up every hour to hour and a half. I slept terribly, and so did he. Despite this, he still managed to wake up, bright and early, ready to begin his day. I, on the other hand, could not move. My fiance, who did not have to work until later in the morning, and was still home, got out of bed, changed our son’s diaper, and occupied him for a bit so that I could get a few extra minutes of sleep before making them breakfast. In the 13 months my son has been in this world, my his father has only changed 7 diapers, including that one. He’s verrry squeamish, and even pee diapers make him queasy. For him to realize that I was basically comatose, and to take care of our son so that I could get those few moments to myself, truly meant so much to me. It wasn’t exactly emptying our sink of all the dirty dishes, but it was a huge help. If we weren’t already engaged, I would put a ring on that man so fast if he did my dishes for me…

What about my other scores?

If you had asked me all these same questions pre-baby, my answers would have been completely different. My obsession with keeping my apartment reasonably clean has basically consumed all of me, and at the end of the day, I have no desire for anything else, much to my fiance’s dismay. I’m not surprised that Physical Touch is at the bottom of the list, as it has never been that important to me to begin with, intimate or otherwise. I’ve never been big on affection in public, but lately, we have both just been too exhausted to even cuddle with each other on the couch. Well, about half of the time.

Which brings us to Quality Time, the second highest result. While I may be low on my desire for Physical Touch, I do very much love my fiance, and I value what little time we do get to spend together. We don’t have date nights, or anything like that, but even sitting next to each other, watching Netflix, means a lot to me. I look forward to the one day a week that he gets off, just so that we can go to the store as a family, or go for a walk. That means so much to me.

Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts are also low on my list of results, and there is a good reason… I simply don’t like them. Pre-baby, these things would have been tied for the absolute bottom, because both make me quite uncomfortable. Sure, I appreciate hearing, “I love you.” every once in a while, but other than that, I do not take compliments, or gifts well, even from a significant other. Every birthday, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, I insist that Kyle not get me anything, but he refuses, and I end up with flowers, candy, a cute stuffed animal, or a new piece of jewelry. I don’t mind getting these things from him (as opposed to getting presents from family, which makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but they will not listen to reason) but they aren’t things that I actively desire. Same thing with compliments. It makes me smile when someone tells me I am a good mom, but I definitely don’t like compliments pertaining to my appearance, even from Kyle. I just don’t. Never have.

All in all, I would say that I completely agree with my results, and I understand why I got them. I didn’t necessarily learn anything new about myself, as I’ve always been pretty in-tune with my needs, but I feel like I should sit down with Kyle, show him my results, explain what they mean to me, and have him take the test as well, so that we better understand what we need from the other person. Our relationship is great, but it is not without flaws and challenges, and I feel like this exercise could help us out.

My challenge to you: Take the test, and write a post about your results, and how you felt about them. Were you surprised by your results, or were they expected? Did you learn anything new about yourself? I encourage anyone reading this to take the test, whether you are in a relationship or not. You can even take the test for your child. Who knows, it may help you understand your own needs, or someone else’s, a bit better. Let me know if you do!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/12/2016 | Some Things, A Clock Can’t Fix

Daily Prompt 1/12/2016 | If I Could Turn Back Time

“If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?”

I’m a firm believer that you should try not to dwell on regret and what-ifs, because you can’t go back and change them…. but with that being said, I’m definitely guilty of it. Honestly, if I had the opportunity to go back, I don’t know that I would want to relive anything, or to change anything, for fear of changing the present. What happened in the past should stay there, and in my case, much of it was quite unpleasant, and I’d rather forget. High school was hellish, my family was a train wreck, and even after I left home, a lot of bad things happened… mixed in with a little bit of good. In the present, I have great fiance, who loves me, despite my many flaws, and a beautiful baby boy, who is the light of my life, even on days like today, when all he wants to do is scream.

But sure, I think about the what-ifs all the time, I just try not to dwell on them. What if I had been closer with my mom growing up? What if we told each other we loved each other more often? Would I have retreated to the internet, and given up on the world outside of the computer? What if I had never met my ex, Matt? Would I still have pushed so hard to go to college? Would I have left the country? Would I have dropped out? What if I had never moved to Illinois, and moved back in with my mom instead? Would I still be stuck in my hometown? Would I have ever fallen in love? Gotten engaged? Had a baby? Would I even be alive?

It’s mind-blowing.

But… I wouldn’t change anything. I suppose, the one thing that I dwell on the most, is my relationship with my mom.

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My mother and I were quite estranged for most of my life. Actually, almost all of it. She had a rough childhood, and I feel like her lack of a steady parental figure (she was bounced around several foster homes in her younger years before being returned to my grandmother, though she never told me why) partially attributed to her immaturity, and the distance between us. But she was hardly a bad mom. I always knew that she loved me, in her own way. She worked hard, put food on the table, clothed me, took care of me when I was sick, etc., but there was little warmth in our relationship as I got older. It got worse when she got into a relationship with an unsavory, abusive character (my now step-father, who isn’t such a bad guy anymore), and I resented her for it. On one occasion, I demanded that she put me up for adoption, which reduced her to tears.

As I got older, we grew more distant, sometimes going days without acknowledging each other’s existence. Things that I needed my mom for, she was unable to provide. We never talked about boys, or relationships, or sex, or birth control. We never talked about school, or my interests and hobbies, or the future. Nothing. Because of this, we know very little about each other. I think her lack of effort to reach out to me, or show any kind of interest, made me resent her more, and feel like she didn’t care about me. I acted out, made bad decisions, stopped caring about school, and retreated more into my little, online world than ever before.

She managed to come to my graduation, but left only minutes into it, because her boyfriend had a headache or something. She never saw me get my diploma, or my award that I had earned, and there isn’t a single picture for me to cherish and look back on from that day, aside from two or three snapshots of my friends in I in our caps and gowns during rehearsal. I even had to wait outside the school for a long time afterwards for her to pick me up. I was incredibly hurt and frustrated, and she didn’t understand why. I think that was when I made up my mind to leave.

I never talked to her about applying for college. I never talked to her about having been accepted into every school that I applied to. I never talked to her about buying a plane ticket to Missouri, so that I could visit my boyfriend (who I had met online), before we embarked on a 3-day road trip to Canada for college. One week before my flight, I asked her if she could bring me to the airport. I tried to act as though I didn’t care if she didn’t want to take me, but I was sad. I was 18, and old enough to know that if I left home, I probably would never come back. I don’t think she understood that.

I left home 8 years ago, and have only gone back once, in 2012, to surprise my mom for her birthday. It didn’t go well. After the first couple hours of hugs and tears, she was back to being the immature, passive-aggressive person that I had always known, and I ended up spending the last few days of my visit at my father’s.

Since then, I have had a son. My mom is now more a part of my life than she has been in many years. Well, my son’s life. This is her first grandchild, and despite the fact that the first year of his life is coming to fruition, she has never met him. She showers him with gifts from afar, and comments on his pictures on Facebook, but never really reaches out to ask about him. In fact, and conversation I try to spark with her ends in her rushing off with some excuse, sometimes right in the middle of a conversation. Closure was never our thing, I guess.

Maybe it’s just me? Maybe we are mutually to blame? I don’t know. I guess some things never change, but… maybe they should stay that way.

Thanks for reading.

Jan