Children, Family, Kids, Life, Love, Mom, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Shove the drink, just give me the bottle! My baby girl is almost 18!

Before Trystan and Jaymee joined the nest, I was a single mom to Keegan, my then little boy. I had planned on no more children, I found being a single mom really difficult and I thought I would save it for the perfect moms out there and give having any more children a miss. If I had been told that I would foster two teenagers I would have never ever believed it. I was quite content with my life as it was. When I suddenly had two abused foster teenagers, things were suddenly very difficult, but I have been blessed beyond my wildest imagination. Having the foster children has been challenging at the best of times but incredibly rewarding. I would never change a thing, I love them dearly and they are my family. My life is complete with them in it.

I remember giving my dad grey hair as a teenager. Girls are a completely different kettle of fish, my poor dad had two of us. Girls are challenging to say the least and after giving my dad so much grief there was no way I was having a girl. But as it happened I was going to be given a twelve-year-old little blond Jaymee.

Boys are really simple, they have small problems and they are sorted out very easily. There is never drama around boys, they have little hurdles that are easy to get over. I have to say that my boys can shock me at the best of times. As a girl, boys do some really weird things. I grew up very close to my brother, Aidan – nicknamed Beans by me as a little boy because of his incessant need to repeat the “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart” …we all know the rest of the rhyme! Beans and I were very close since we were little, but he constantly shocked me with the completely random and often off-putting things he did. Boys are strange in that way. Having said that to this day, I absolutely adore my brother, he is such an amazing guy and I am so lucky to have him as my brother and he makes me very proud. By the time Keegan came along I had seen it all with Beans, and I had time to adjust, growing up takes time and gives mom a chance to find my way and adapt.

Trystan and Jaymee joined the nest over 6 years ago now. Back then Jaymee was my beautiful princess. She was as sweet as maple syrup, then she became a teenager overnight. This ladies and gents was a scary time! I had a psychologist on call and oh boy, did I call her…all the time. Needless to say, she snapped out of the worst of it pretty quickly. She has grown up into a lovely young lady and I am very proud of her.

Jaymee is a blond haired, blue eyed girl, she is strong willed and knows what she wants and she doesn’t take nonsense from boys. I have taught her well, even if I have to say so myself. I can see the wild streak bubbling under the blond hair. I generally take her out and she spends the night with me. I love taking her out and she loves coming out with me. I can make sure that she is safe, and she can have fun, it is a win-win for both of us.

When I say I have a beautiful daughter, I don’t mean to brag and I am not being bias but she is stunning. She also looks a lot older than she is. All of this making it very scary! I know how well I have taught her and I know I can trust her, but I don’t trust men! I mean drinks get spiked at an alarming rate these days and horror stories go around weekly about young girls being abducted and the list of missing people just grows. Kidnappings are a massive problem and we are constantly warning about child trafficking. These are scary times to have children.

In these scary times we are living in how I even imagine that my daughter will be 18 soon and I will have to let her spread her wings a bit. After all she will be an adult. It actually feels completely unreal, Jaymee, an adult, seriously, where has all the time gone and how did she grow up so quickly? Feels like just the other day she was still little and playing with teddy bears and watching horrible Disney shows.

How scary it is to think that I am going to have to allow her to be an adult, give her the chance to make her own mistakes and hope that she doesn’t get hurt. Trusting her to make the right choices, allowing her to fall and giving her room to spread her wings and not expect her to have my baby sitting her all the way. I have a feeling that this is harder on me, just like Keegan’s first day of Grade 1. Taking him to school on his first day, bawling my eyes out to watch him run off to class in excitement at his first day of big school. I feel the same way now, I feel like I did on that day. Walking into the massive school gates and feeling that the school is far too big for my little boy! How was he even going to find his way around this massive school? Keegan loved school and just fitted right in. He found his way and didn’t even think about the size of the school. In the same way I know that Jaymee will find her way and be just fine. So, this is it, I must allow her some freedom and give her room to find herself (while chugging on a bottle of wine or maybe something even stronger).

Go out there my girl and remember everything I’ve taught you, and most of all have fun but be careful.

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Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

I can’t get into the mind of another

I am not a judgmental person at all in general, I really don’t care what people do and don’t judge them for doing crazy or even stupid things. However, when it comes to people who abuse others, I can be very judgmental, though probably not my place to be. When I see bad parenting or a child or person suffering at the hands of another person, I get really angry.

Being foster mom to two abused children (now adults), who came to live with me over six years ago, it really hits a nerve when abuse rears its ugly head around me. It is very close to home and I am very quick to get up in arms. I have seen abuse on too many occasions. It happens everywhere. Last year I had an extra child placed with me as place of safety because of her terrible home situation. This year once again there is a child who is being abused at home that my children know. The truth is that it is absolutely everywhere, and many people are trapped in a situation of abuse because they are frightened to do anything about it, they are dependent on the perpetrator or for whatever their reason may be. Some people (particularly people who were abused from childhood) have been abused for so long that they only know abuse, there is no sense of it being wrong in their minds because it is all that they know.

Abuse is a vicious circle and some people are unable or unwilling to break that circle. When I was abused, I could not understand why the perpetrator wanted to do the same thing that he was subjected to his whole life. I really struggled to understand why he did not want to be different having seen the trauma that abuse causes. For me it was unthinkable that an adult could not see right from wrong and not choose to do what is right. I really struggled to understand why he abused me and what made him do it. I spent a long time really trying to figure it out and to be honest, I don’t think I ever will. The truth is I cannot truly understand how another person thinks. We are all different and we cannot get inside the mind of someone else. Nor do we actually know each other’s full journey or what people have been through.

Trying to understand someone can be infuriating as well as impossible. I cannot think the way he thinks, and I need to stop trying to, the truth is that my mind cannot comprehend the reasoning behind his behaviour. If I do something wrong, I can look at the situation, analyze it and find what lead to me doing it and I can apologise, grow and learn from my mistake. I cannot make the person behind my abuse learn from his mistakes and I cannot truly know what lead to his behaviour. As much as I always feel the need to analyze everything and come to a reasonable conclusion, I have had to learn that I cannot understand everyone, and I cannot always find a conclusion. Sometimes I just have to understand that I am not that person and cannot think like they do. I can draw my own conclusions and speculate, however is this really any help at all?

I believe that abuse was a normal condition for my abuser. But I thought that he would be able to see the damage and not want to continue the cycle. I became angry that he didn’t stop the cycle, that he abused me even though he “loved” me. He never wanted to protect me from abuse, that is what cut the deepest. Why would someone who loves me want to hurt me? You see I cannot understand because I am not aware of all of the facts of his childhood. It is not something that men talk about, especially in the family that he came from. Boys don’t cry, and men don’t need help. It is a dangerous situation because children suffering from any form of trauma are not treated or given any form of help.

I cannot fix anyone, and I should stop trying. I cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves. The only person I am in control of is me. I can be a positive influence and I can share my experience but thinking I can fix the person that caused the problem is really just silly.

In a more recent incident I was sitting with a lady who does a lot of welfare work and she was telling me about some of the cases where the mothers keep having children with different men and the men leave and the mothers abuse their children. I was so disgusted and said, “how dare they, they have no right, they are adults and should know better”. Her answer to me was extremely blunt and hit me like a bucket of cold water. She said, “how can they know that it is wrong if they have never known anything else?”

The Jungle book springs to mind. Mowgli, a little boy raised by wolves in the jungle, rejected humankind despite being human, the animals were all he knew. This I feel to be a great example. Mowgli did not know humans and therefore he rejected them. And honestly who am I to judge anyone in any way. Yes, abuse makes me angry and I want to judge but it is not my place. I do not know the background, I do not know why a mother abuses her children and if it is all that she has ever known, then how can she know different.

I feel that there is a desperate need for education, we need to educate children and make sure that they understand what abuse is. Education will ensure that should a child or adult find themselves in an abusive situation, they will be able to identify it as such. More emphasis needs to be put on emotional abuse, emotional abuse is what stops people sharing their stories as well as causing the victim to feel unwarranted guilt.

I have every right to be angry for the way I have been mistreated but I cannot expect to understand the reasons why people in the past chose to abuse me or what lead them to become abusive in the first place. The only thing I can do is choose to tell my story and choose to make a difference in the lives of others.

I want to be a pillar of strength for anyone facing abuse and I know that in my own way, I can help victims to become survivors.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

The “people pleaser” – bomb waiting to explode!

I love people and I love being loved and appreciated by people.  I love being popular and I love positive attention.  This is one of the major contributors to me falling into depression.  Another major factor was my history of abuse and me identifying with abuse and allowing it to continue without realising it.

As far back as I can remember I have always gone out of my way for everyone around me, winning favour where ever I could and giving so much to the people around me.  I gave and gave, and everyone took and took.  As long as I was giving, I felt great because I thought that people liked me.  I was confident and happy while not realising that I was being completely drained.  I remember running from one get together to the next, never wanting to disappoint anyone by saying no.  My weekends were completely exhausting, and I was feeling as if I was drowning.  I was absolutely exhausted at the start of each week and I never felt rested at all.  I was literally driving on fumes and not coping with day to day things.  My concentration levels were really low, and I was wasting excessive amounts of time rechecking simple things because I had been unable to concentrate properly in the first place.  Small tasks felt like huge mountains and I was waking up each day feeling exhausted and dreading the day ahead.  I was simply wishing my days away.  Waiting for home time, waiting for bed time, waiting for a break that I could just sit and breathe.

Tanu B. Singh.  said:

“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice because the flow has passed and will never pass again. Enjoy every moment.”

I was watching time go by, not realising that I could never get time back.  I was in zombie mode and I was literally wasting my life.  All because I wanted to please everyone. Time is a very valuable commodity, wasting it is a tragedy.

At the end of the day I was only damaging myself.  I had become so used to putting everyone else first that I had become someone that I wasn’t.  I had become the person everyone wanted me to be instead of being true to myself.  I had to hit rock bottom before I even noticed how far I had slipped into the very damaging world of the people pleaser.  I have a terrible habit of trying to save the wounded and find the lost.  This is the very reason that I got into the first abusive relationship at 17.  The guy I got involved with needed saving, needed me, or so I thought.  Although I wouldn’t go back and change the past, I need to remind myself to stop putting everyone else first constantly.

Not only is people pleasing completely draining, it is very dangerous because as quickly as you build your self-esteem up on the positive attention from people, your self-esteem can be broken in an instant by negative attention.  You make yourself completely vulnerable to being made or broken by people.  People’s behaviour is completely out of your control, but you are basing your self-esteem on them.  This is without a doubt the most dangerous thing you can do and the effects on your mental health are catastrophic.  It takes one person to knock you down into the pits of depression or to give you an anxiety disorder.  And at the same time you have completely lost yourself.

Suddenly the people pleaser is faced with turmoil and this is when I was given the amazing opportunity to find myself.  This was the time to get to know me and to learn how to set strict boundaries and put me first.  We grow up being told not to be selfish and to give unto others, but I am telling you right now, be selfish, look after yourself, put yourself first.  Take time to get to know yourself, take time to grow, learn, and better yourself.  Take the time to build your self-esteem on YOU.  You are the only solid foundation on which to build your self-esteem.  If you build your self-esteem on others, you give them the power to destroy you.  Never mind the fact that you are left completely emotionally exhausted pleasing everyone and having nothing left for yourself.

I am not saying don’t do anything for anyone else, I am saying put you first.  Set boundaries, be assertive and learn to say no.  Give yourself time and love yourself first.  Spend time with yourself, take time out of your day to spend on you.  Stop wasting energy on what other people think of you.  What people think of you is entirely their business.  What you think of yourself is your business.  And if you have areas within you that you need to work on, do it.  Fix the things you don’t like and be the best version of you.

Doing good for others is healthy and creates happiness, don’t confuse this with being a people pleaser.  Giving is good but trying to please everyone is when giving becomes dangerous.  When you look after yourself first, you become content, happy and confident and you are able to analyse and decide what you want to give and to who.

Take time to do something that is purely for you.  Paint, draw, write, whatever you enjoy doing, find a hobby.  The satisfaction you get out of doing something you enjoy for you is worth all the weight in gold.  Remember you are the only person who truly knows you, so change what you don’t like and learn to love yourself.  Loving yourself is truly the very best thing you can do for you and everyone around you.