What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle


I wish that I could go back and lead a better example. Never understanding how to pick friends myself I passed those traits to my children. Clinging to toxic needing friendships was my motive. There was a clear need for me to be needed. Finding comfort in being the nurturer in the friendship. Maybe even the mother, the clear responsible one.

I’ve since learned how to better chose who I have in my life and the boundaries I put in place. But a day too late because my kids were watching my failures at building those healthy friendships. They too now sit often in pain from choosing unhealthy friendships. So badly do I wish I could go back and be a better example. Catching on sooner than I did.

Sadly I instilled in my children the same fears I had of being alone. Clingy to those unhealthy relationships as if they are a need. The fear of that lonely feeling. It often lead me to succumb to being someone I was not.

Last Night watching my daughter do just as I spent most of my life doing my heart wrenched. There isn’t anything I can do about the example I gave now. Only thing there is to do is move forward doing better. Longing for them to find everlasting healthy friendships and relationships.

I truly thought it was painful to go through it all but it’s far worse to watch your children repeat your mistakes. Moving forward I will do better.

February 7, 2021

So many negative post in a row. Needs a change up. I’ve been seriously making so much growth within myself it’s unreal. Striving to be the best me and perfect that image I will leave behind of myself.

Taking the time to decide what I wanted in life. As cheesy as it may sound I truly never wanted more than being a wife and mom. The very best of both. To give my all at being the Mom my children need and the wife my husband needs not the one I believe is best for them. That is the real challenge right? Spending the real time investing in knowing what they need from you to be the best them? That’s my goal that’s the shit that just gives me life.

The emotions running through my family is absolutely what is my driving factor to my day. If even one of them is struggling I am. My expectations of what I wanted them to become may never fit to what they want. I’m spending time adjusting now to that. Making sure I’m supportive of their journey not defining it. It’s so important for me that I allow them to be them.

For me I think that my biggest super power is forgiveness. I really believe that if you can see from the others view point you can find forgiveness for anything. My family isn’t ever going to be perfect. It’s mine and I will work hard to see through their eyes in my most angered moments. Love them when they may feel unloveable. I’ve worked harder recently that when a mistake is made inside my home by someone I offer my love and acceptance quickly. Reminding them that they are imperfectly perfect and I love them even when they may not feel they are.

Spending time pointing out flaws and imperfections seems so trivial now. Being hurt over mistakes or flaws because I felt less loved somehow. Therapy has showed me that I am able to trust in the love from my children and my future husband. Linking love and bad choices was my prior thought process. Now I know those in my life do not fake loving me. They do and they are simply as imperfect as I. I’ve got security in knowing I no longer have anyone in my life that doesn’t belong there. No one who doesn’t love me is around so I can be at ease with mistakes.

I’m speaking more to my children of mental health and forgiveness themselves. We have forgiven those who could not love us in the healthy way we needed and no longer have in our lives. We discussed if we may ever open the door for them again. I myself probably would not ever reach out or allow them in but the kids may be able to start fresh some day. They know I would and do support that.

I’ve been up working for hours this morning before something triggered this writing. Alone in the dark room the entire house still asleep. Feeling so fulfilled and blessed to have my family.


My bedroom in my home is an addition to the rest of the house. Built on later before I purchased therefore not heated the same as the rest. We supplement the heat with a little electric fireplace. Even with the fireplace the bedroom as well as bathroom addition are noticeably colder than the rest of the home. For me it’s simply freezing.

Having four blankets on my side of the bed keeps me content and warm. Snug as a bug to be honest and I sleep very well. Except when I get triggered. Last Night was one of those nights. The blankets pulled up to my chin and took me right back.

I was back in my parent’s shower curled up into the bottom corner. My Aunt had picked me up homeless and returned to me to my parents. They had just revealed they would keep me. However my brain would not believe them. So at just 15 I am in the bottom of the shower prepping myself for homelessness again.

Yea, you heard right prepping. How do you prep to be homeless one might ask. Well if your 15 alone and confused to all hell you may take a large towel into the shower. Making a cape of it. Hiding under the towel while turning the water from as hot as I could stand to as cold as I could. Thinking I was prepping for the elements of outdoors again.

When that blanket touched my shoulder before bed last night I was instantly in the bottom of that shower again. Tears flowing and body shaking. Never believing my home would be mine for long. I was right. Homelessness would find me again later in life.

Many other weird strange things I did when coming back from decatur to prep for what I knew was coming. Often going without food thinking I was conditioning my body to be ready for it. If only someone had gotten me the help I needed then. Begging cps most of my life for it never got me anywhere. It was like I slipped through the cracks in every way.

Seeing now that my mental state has always been this state of survival. Doing whatever I may have felt necessary to survive the life I was dealt. Previously my thinking lead me to believe I have beat that survival cycle. I’m not sure though. As yesterday when part of my income collapsed and I had no way to gain my half of the mortgage. It was natural for me to hustle, sell, flip whatever I had to make the money. Never speaking a word of it. Just surviving through what was dealt and moving on. Within hours I had figured out what I needed.

Trying to train my brain to see that these triggers are reminders of what I survived made me who I am. A survivor. Maybe I can’t break out of that cycle. Always being self dependant and quiet when in need. It’s just who I became I guess.

Parted with all of my keychain and straw topper molds yesterday. Some of my favorite crafts just let go for my family. If I told Marc what I had done to stay on top of what I promised him 3 years ago. That I could hold down my own half no worries. I would have put a weight of guilt on him. He would have thought of the 1000 he put into the stock market ( he has been not doing well with stocks since starting) that morning while I sold my things again to make ends meet. He would have felt like he let me down or didn’t provide. Giving my word on his bed that day when he told me he was concerned about my income and my share of the weight that what I thought of yesterday morning.

That kicked me straight into that survival mode it never even crossed my mind to say anything to Marc. It was my burden to bare alone. My word broken. My income messed up. Seems like its me who puts it all on me when I can’t get out of that survival. Replaying that conversation that is old and sincerely wouldn’t apply now on that bed is silly. However that’s what happened.

That trigger taking me back to the shower and prepping for homeless. I did that same with money all the time. Hiding my money in the ceiling of my basement bedroom. Pretending that I didn’t have any when I had a stack. So I would have to figure it out and prepare for it. Once even skipping a night out with the four of hearts (my best friend group at the time) because I had put up my money and wanted to figure it out and failed to do so. I wanted to show me what it would be like when I failed. When there was only me to count on and I let myself down. At 15 years old I am punishing myself for failing to survive.

January 30, 2021

Having Hailey so close to graduation is just more joy than I can even explain. The first to walk across that stage! Remembering back to how many times my grandparents told me I would have a grandchild by now. How many assumptions they had made to her and to my parenting. Thing was I talked to my child. ALWAYS! So I knew she was going to achieve exactly what she set out too.

Here she is now. About to walk the stage. More pregnant friends than I can count and even more so already moms. My girl though she been too busy working and making moves for herself.

Seeing the moves she has made in life for herself makes me beam with pride. Seems like just yesterday Keith was at my door talking about this four year old is so defiant I can’t even handle her. She was and is her momma’s child. Strong willed is an understatement.

Knowing she will achieve everything she sets out to gives me a sense of peace. Her life is less than perfect of course. I have watched my princess really struggle with friendships and relationships both but her sense of self is so strong. My worry is just very little that she won’t always come out on top.

Throwing the biggest and best party ever is heavy on my mind. It’s so important to shout from the rooftops all her achievements and show her how proud I am of her. Hoping that this virus can get wrapped up soon so that it doesn’t throw any damper on anything. Can’t imagine having to work around restrictions still this summer. Mask are horrible!

Do you ever wonder who will be the one filling in the details of your story when your not there to do so? I watch this serious this is us. It’s had me reflecting as I watch them seek the story to their parents who have passed on. Who will be telling mine.

Will my children seek out to find out who I was in my lifetime? Before their existence and before they were old enough to remember? Maybe the things that have faded that they want to reignite in their minds.

I hope they see how they brought me from the sadness. My drive was always them. Wondering what the impression I have left on those I have come into contact with was. If it will be told to them one day.

Even from my grandmother I never heard a positive story. Remembering back to my grandma saying that I was just a baby at my parents feet the whole home reeking of the smoke she hated so. She spoke of her anger that day and the rage she projected to my parents. Hearing this story so often as a child and teen it’s set in stone in my brain.

My father’s mother has her story she implanted too. The one of my mom cheating in some hotel next to her work. My grandma playing pi and telling my dad so he could bust in. Beat up everyone and then snatch me back from the floor and run out. Just to leave me behind with someone else later. Her story was to put a bad taste in my mouth about my mom but it always left me feeling more abandoned by him than angry at her.

Will my children be faced with these same stories one day… Someone else’s version of my events. Never was there a longing for me to know the real story. For me to care why they lacked in parents they would have had to one day become parents.

When my mom sat in my yard in her lawn chair hearing of my cancer diagnosis honestly I thought that day she was going to walk into the role of the mother I had always needed. Every word out of her mouth was saying she would. “I want to support you and the decision you make” ” I want to be involved with my grandkids and build on our relationship. Sleepovers and time together.” It was all just words and none came true. In fact I think she let me down more after that than she ever had because I truly believed that day I was going to have a mom.

The last Christmas at my Mom’s home I realized was the very last time I would ever willingly allow her to hurt me. Or watch her hurt my children. When I did that I decided her story as to why she couldn’t be what I needed was not important. Before that I always had this thought that her struggles must have truly been to much for her to be a mom. That Christmas left me knowing that her story was hers and not mine. I didn’t care as it never became part of mine. She isn’t a part of my life.

No longer was I yearning to understand how she could have allowed me to go through so much pain as a child. How she could not have ever gotten me help. Cause there isn’t a thing in the world I wouldn’t do to help mine. I’d die before knowing they were homeless… not eating…. alone… I’d take my last fucking breath before I would know their home was being emptied onto a street. Their children’s belongings being grabbed up by strangers. There is not a mountain I wouldn’t move for my kids on their worst day. I can’t find a flaw in my kids. Not one. I rest assured that I am not her. No matter how my story is told to the kids they will never think they were not loved.

grayscale photo of man sleeping on a bench

At four am I woke with the need to use the restroom something fierce. My bedroom being the addition the the house and by bathroom inside of the bathroom it can get a bit nipply in there. By the time I get back into bed I am just shivering and freezing. I flip the blankets over my head and use my breath for heat. That’s the moment I triggered myself.

That’s all it takes when you have a lifetime of memories you wish you could forget. Instantly I’m taken back in my mind. Having Clare premature and 3 kids at home in the middle of the nastiest divorce of all time. No vehicle, I walked across town to work. My friends watched my kids for me and that is all I had. Single mom. 20 years old. 4 children and one fighting for her life 30 miles from your home.

Everyone says they were there…. yet I called everyone. To watch the kids while I could be with clare. To help bring me groceries so my grocery money could pay someone gas to take me to my child… No one was willing to help me in any way. No one would. There was no family. In fact me asking for their help got them calling cps on me too. Letting the world know I was crumbling with the children they told me to abort or this would happen.

When cps took the kids I was literally on the streets from there. There was not a thing I owned. The clothes on my back was it. A hoodie in 25 degree weather was the extent. Breaking into a basement of a friends home to sleep. I found a mattress in her basement we had used for a party down there. I slept in the basement of the home with cats for days. No food no water. The home itself I was under had no electric! I couldn’t get into the home itself without breaking in so I stayed in the basement that you got in through the open garage too.

That is where I was last night not in my toasty bed with my 5 covers deep but back in that basement. Alone, unloved, feeling like my poor children must have felt abandoned. No one was there for me. Not a soul in the whole world. My journey to regain my children, a home, my life I did it all on my own. At times in ways I would not ever be proud of. But by whatever means necessary I survived.

Why now can’t I focus on that. The fact that I won sole custody of all of my kids more than a decade ago? The house and lifestyle I provide now that is furtherest from my mind. Only seeing all those times I failed them and myself. All the time I reached for the people I thought were suppose to be there instead of finding the ones who truly would.

Couldn’t find peace until just before 6 am. Two hours I thought of that cold dark basement. The cats piled on my body for warmth. How low life can be and was. There has to be a way to forget by now? 16 years ago why is it still so damn vivid!

Here I am again same thoughts ramped in my brain. I truly thought for some time that it was my medications. I switched three damn times before giving up and realizing it’s me… my head and nothing more. Shaking the thoughts of death is not working for me. There just has to be a way to cope. Come to grasp with death is inevitable.

I wake up in cold and hot sweats from the dreams. It’s not always me dying but mostly it is. Sometimes its someone I love. There are torturing me at this point. My thoughts that is. They come so random, brought on by the tiniest of details. All of a sudden I’m imagining at the intersection I am about to cross the oncoming traffic nailing me. My heart begins to race as I scan the cars and carefully drive through. Pulling over even at times because I can’t calm myself.

What happens when life is over is my biggest fear. Not just with like am I in heaven or hell or is just black emptiness. More of who will my children have? Will they be okay? Will I have a way to watch over them? Did I prepare them for life? Will they remember me for all the good times or those times I lacked to be the mother they needed. My children feeling any type of loneliness from my lack of presence haunts me. My life is just for them it really always has been so when it is gone then what?

I’ve been this way since the virus became such a huge part of our world. These non stop thoughts of death. In the middle of dinner or on a date in the movie. My brain doesn’t seem to care the time or place for these thoughts. I’m consumed by the sorrow they bring with them. It takes everything in me to keep moving forward. Letting out the tears and trying to press on with the day.

My death very well could leave my children with no one. I can’t hardly eat my mouth pain is so incredible. Getting in to dentist a nearly impossible task. As I just look after mine and never myself there isn’t insurance for me. There isn’t a budget I would ever give myself for my health. That all goes to my kids. I’m exhausted so often. My hair is falling out so much that I often skip brushing it to lessen the blow. The leg and back pain I experience are tremendous. My temperature control certainly lacks. A sign my iron could be off again. Avoiding going to the doctors as you never followed through with anything that they told you. If I died because I didn’t care enough about my health I’d be who there is to blame. I know I am sick. It’s clear to me things are wrong and worse. Right now though my kids aren’t healthy and I can’t turn my focus from them to me. Buying time on my health so I can just be a mom. I feel so alone. There are not even words to how alone I feel. How do you find a balance…..

I rang in the new year screaming Jumanji. Hoping it would help send the chaos back to the game I no longer want to play. In fact I don’t even remember signing up to play in the first place. It was super quiet and peaceful for new years. Didn’t do much at all.

What will I strive for this year? The only thing I have ever strived for. To be a better mother. Its my only life goal. My purpose is just to be the best me for them. It’s honestly all I ever think about. Every dollar I spend or make it always about how can I best use this for them. Being born to die is tough my time is so limited. Knowing that makes every day count.

This week I will make sure I devote myself to setting goals with the kids and helping them knock them off that list as quickly and efficiently as we can. Every advantage I can give my kids is far less than what they are deserving of. Its hard to be an imperfect parent when you want so badly nothing less than perfect for your kids.

There are no goals for me of a retirement. No dreams of the kids all being gone and a empty house. None of that will ever even cross my mind. Simply put, I just wish to better life for my kids. Feeling as though I gained everything I ever needed in life when they were born leaves me only wanting more for them.

Therapy has opened up the door for healing. For that I am grateful however it also opens up triggers to all I had buried deep. I find myself getting lost in those triggers. In the midst of my everyday life I will all of a sudden be somewhere else. Back into the dark moment that I worked so hard to forget. It’s been incredibly difficult to work on my mental health. Frankly I haven’t ever felt as alone as I do on this journey.

A meltdown of emotions lead to my glitter cart being over turned. As soon as it happened I was no longer in the moment. I had gone back to being 20 years old. In the Rynearson apartments with the 50 something year old man I barely knew. I had just lost the kids to keith in the horrible custody battle. That 50 something year old snapped. Me being the target of his deranged state. A gun was to my head loaded. Pregnant me pleading for my life and pissing myself. Honestly I can’t remember what even created that snapped version of that man that day. I’ve always held onto a hobby. During those times I was making jewelry. Having more beads and jewelry making supplies than you can even imagine. Taking such pride in my stuff it was organized well and my heart attached to each bead I swear.

That day that 50 something man destroyed all of my belongings. He threw them out the door busting up everything with a bat. Neighbors saw. I cried. Him wailing about a gun me pissing myself in a corner it is all in my head. No help there was literally no one who cared what was happening to me. I remember calling and pleading with chuck and his family to save me that day. No one did. The next morning I gathered what I could and I walked away. The glitter cart turned over brought all this back to me as if it was happening in the moment.

So desperately I want to let go of all that weighs me. To be free from the sorrow of my past. Its binding me in sadness I can’t seem to escape.

Christmas Day my iPhone takes a turn and crashes. Unable to access my apple id I am forced with a blank slate phone for just a few days. Normally my entire family is blocked and can’t contact me in anyway. However I am on a blank slate. So today my mother gets a Merry Christmas in. I wish I could tell you I smiled…. But instead I felt so angry! Your on Facebook with each and every kid. You didn’t write them! You never do. Occasionally you state to them how your not on fb… Well they are so get on it. I do not make things easy anymore as I won’t let them in but there has not ever been a time that family couldn’t be there for the kids. They just chose that shit. My mother could write. She could Facebook. She could pick up the phone to call the kids. She could show up just to hug them… She does none of it. I stopped communicating because it was pretty much a constant let down. I’m almost certain she uses that as her I can’t be a grandma excuse. But literally it was just never a role she strived to be. The kids do not know her or enjoy her company. Allowing them to beg and wait for time with her their whole lives of course I made that shit harder for her.

Seeing that text from her it made my blood just boil. There was no Christmas or bday cards for the kids from her… Because nothing in return is given back. Well nothing more than a facebook thank you. She doesn’t get to take pictures to show the world she is an involved nana with a card sent. She doesn’t get any self gratification. At least that is how it seems in my head because otherwise why the fuck not be letting those kids know you love them?! It’s easier for me to think of her as selfish than to think it’s truly her lack of love for my kids.

That text was my trigger. I was sitting in the passenger seat of the car when it came in but quickly took me to another world. Sitting in the car with Rik after leaving my mothers home. Just telling them of my pregnancy with Allen. My mom stated abortion was the only option. Rik spent the car ride taking me back to Three Oaks telling me he disagreed but adoption was the only option. My mother wanted Allen dead before he was even born so why on Earth would I think she would move mountain’s to love him now? My Christmas was spent in such a sad ass state of mind because this trigger started a spiral in my head. From thinking of Allen’s pregnancy announcement and then to luke’s adoption that she refused to support.

From there I begin to compare myself to her. Hating every mistake ever made as a parent. By the Tuesday after Christmas I walked into therapy ready to unload all the new trigger baggage I picked up. It’s great to unload but it also gives me more of a sense of being alone. As I do not talk to anyone outside of that therapy room about any of this… I need to. I wish that in the very moment I am triggered I could speak it. So I don’t look like such a lost soul. So others see and know why I am not present. No one wants or needs to hear though. It’s all dark and sad I have down there pushed deep. Maybe once it is all out all the baggage will lift and I will be free?

Depression pretty much sucks. I’ve been sitting in the dark for weeks. I can’t get up. My chest is heavy.

I’ve struggled a lot lately. As the virus continues to negatively affect my family. Thanksgiving was full of tears. Hearing that the family the kids and I searched our whole lives to have. The Christmas celebrations we finally felt wanted at. It just wouldn’t be this year. Us already being in such a sad place then thought of how to make sure our gifts to each other really screamed we LOVE AND MISS YOU. Till moments later everyone else was agreeing to no gifts either. The kids felt that the gifts were then only a tradition because we were at grandpas and felt obligated and not a showing of love. The heartbreak broke through the house moments before the arrival of Marc’s parents.

It was truly the quietest Thanksgiving ever. I think the perceptions were just so different. Maybe others seen the kids as greedy wanting gifts… However quickly was it my kids to suggest a no spending gift exchange. Only to be told that would be hard…. I guess that was where our families differ. The kids and I we always have had very little yet given so much. It’s set in our bones to know how to give from the heart without costing us a financial burden as we never had the finances to spend. To think of not gifting those we loved blows us away because we have spent the whole pandemic gifting strangers. Why on earth cancel gifting those we love most.

Honestly maybe it’s the word gift. It carries the weight that it should be something monetary. It took me the entire weekend to shake all of my own thoughts. I was just as sad as the kids. No family, no gifts, and it to me seemed like no one was looking for an alternative just letting the virus win. I felt defeated.

When I chose no chemo it was simple. Tomorrow isn’t promised why on earth would I spend my time unable to be a mom. It was all I ever wanted in life and chemo would take that. It would take time from my only desire mom hood. So each day is a gift and I was never told I’d have tomorrow. Spending my days as a mom was my choice. So tomorrow isn’t promised but we will spend our time trying to make sure tomorrow comes? Okay, cool I avoided every contact with those I love didn’t get virus and something else took me tomorrow….. I mean that doesn’t seem logical to my opinion on life.

I’ll be careful I want as much time as I can get it’s so valuable. I am not however willing to just give up family which is what this entire year has felt. Marc’s grandpa won’t get younger while we avoid him. Of course I would never want him to get the virus or experience a shortened life. However dying alone seems far worse. I know I can withstand the cold. I can build a snow man in the front yard. Grandpa on the porch smiling just watching the kids. I’ve been at Christmas I know what lights him up and that is it! He loves seeing his family together and happy. He loves seeing them play games and interact. So that’s what I want to give him. Maybe we make poster signs for him. A caravan train with all the kids screaming Merry Christmas.

I guess when none of it was suggested. When so many lined up to say no gifts and likely won’t get together. The thoughts in my head consumed me. We are all so sad and this is why. We are letting this virus pull us apart. We are not growing in strength and finding creative ways to be together and safe. My children and I spoke over how everyone love language is not the same. So gifting may not always be the same in everyone’s mind. I explained that some are filled with fear right now.

The thought of the kids not having family for Christmas again… it haunted me enough to reach out to whatever family I was still speaking to of my own. My kids may now end up there. It’s pretty likely in fact. Although later I did get confirmation on we can go to marc’s grandpas it may have been to late. Already had I reacted. I was low and manic when everything transpired reacting in emotion.

It’s another very tight year and I am pulling off Christmas somehow without a single dollar from our budget. I’m emotionally and physically truly just exhausted. There isn’t a tree…. No way could I do gifts for everyone on my own and a tree and stand. So I went to the kids and said can we skip the tree and mom put that cost toward making sure we have a good Christmas. They of course never flinched to say yea. I decorated the pear tree and called it a day. 2nd time no tree… First was when I chose to leave the abuse and move forward with marc. There was not a single gift that year. This year there is 40 already… more in route. I did that. Totally on my own. My stress is out of this world but I promise my babies will have a good Christmas and somehow one way or another will have family around them. It’s what they deserve and I’ll be damned a virus take that from them.

This year has been the toughest ever. I wish that I could stop the damage this virus is doing but since I can’t…. Keep rolling with the punches and moving mountains for those babies of mine. Till my last breath they are my whole entire world.