What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

I spent far too much time this past week caught up in the actions of others. Having one of the baby daddies working with your adult and teen children is far over rated. Worst is engaging with him though. Disappointed in myself that I gave him the satisfaction of getting to me. He wanted to brag that he was somehow above the others. That his presence at my kids work didn’t negatively affect his son.

Clearly that being the furthest from the truth. As aj has to daily hear his Dad’s brags at work. The new vehicles, the home, the nights out. He gets to know all that trumps him. As he is not in his father’s life. Aj has to hear that the accountability for John lies directly on Aj and Aj shoulders alone. As John only heard the anger and not the pain when aj told him to stay out of his life.

He didn’t see those words as an opening to fix the pain he and only he created. Instead he seen it as an excuse to use for him to do exactly what he was in the first place. Now the blame could be on aj’s shoulders instead of John’s because aj said he didn’t want to see him anymore.

The pain I feel for my son. The repressed memories of my own it brings up. Lead me to engage and sound off like a mama bear at John. His I have t o get on my feet before I can do for my kid. Cut me like a knife! Does he think I never fell on my face? Had life hit me to the point where I thought I’d never survive? Of course I have! However I can’t use the excuse like he can. By the time he bragged of his 6 weeks of $38 child support payments I was nothing but fueled with anger at him.

He said I “PAY” support use it on my son. Did this man seriously just take a dig at me? Is he implying I don’t use support on my kids? He can’t be serious! These kids are so well taken care of how the hell could those words be muttered.

With one click I had him blocked again. Why did I ever write? Knowing nothing good would come from it. The very next day the child support is just $8 this man was just bragging knowing he already quit the job and that chump change wouldn’t even be there either….

One deep breath and a reminder of how blessed the life I built mine truly is. Walked up to Aj’s room. He has his own room these days. A brand new bed he just picked out. His streaming system all set up. He has the entire space decked out. Lights and posters galore. This little boy has everything in life but the father he always needed.

I can’t give him that father. I’ve tried. However one look at Aj and you know he’s blessed. Not just the financial needs that are met. He’s showered in love. He has the extended family in Marc’s bloodline. He has his best friend in his brothers. Aj is intelligent and so kind. The compassion just oozes from his being and I don’t have to continue to stress what I didn’t give. What I can’t make John be. There is peace in the blessed life Aj and I have.

Often I sit and sulk in the things I want to change but can’t. One of those being the men I chose to make children with. Seeing a post by one of the kids about the pain and regression they have over their fathers is painful. I don’t understand how they can see and not want to move heaven and earth to fix things. It’s beyond anything I can grasp to ignore your children’s cry’s for your attention.

Not that I myself feel I am the parent I need to be. Always striving for better wanting to be better for the only little lives that have ever mattered in mine. However I am ever present and trying. That never changes.

With the fathers they have always been counting down the time till their responsibility legally ends. Can you imagine a mindset that tells you at this age you are no longer a parent? Or responsible as such? I’m always begging mine to stay close. Stay home even for as long as you’d like. Lets build our dreams together and help each other.

As my middle daughter turns 17 on Monday I’ve heard her murmur just one more year more times than I can count. She isn’t counting down the days till adult. There is no rush for her. She is counting what her father has counted to her every year he has made an appearance. Which isn’t many so it’s really settled in her mind. The counting till he emancipates himself from being responsible for her.

Clare knows this is something her bio dad has been longing for for years. She is his last baby with me. The last of the ties and responsibility that bonds us I guess. Not that him and I speak or acknowledge each other. After all he is my childhood abuser!

Hailey deep into college psychology now is seeing all of the pain for what it is. Seeing how much he put her through for more of what it was than the little girl eyes she seen him through as a child. Her emotions so much like those I’ve felt my entire life.

Working so hard the last 20 years to face my own abuser to make it possible for him to parent the children he gave me. None of it did any good. The times I provided him groceries. Moved him and his wife closer to my kids to be involved. Looking back now I wonder had I never pushed him to be around the very little he was would it have been better?

Would his presence not existed if I didn’t fight for child support? Would no presence been better than the visits telling them he couldn’t wait till he didn’t have to support or be responsible for them? His words and actions were always so painful for my kids yet I was always pushing for the presence.

I wish that I had the power to change the things that felt so out of my control throughout their lives. Given them a better version of myself. Fathers who worshipped the ground they walked on…. But there isn’t a thing I can do. I read the post my little girls make of the pain they hold due to the men I let in my bed and all I am able to do is cry.

So I’ve already told you that I have some mental health struggles. Honestly, I’ve really got good reigns on it lately and seem to truly improve daily in my opinion. Often I find myself asking Marc as well. Do you think my meds are working well? Am I normal? As if anyone really is. However there truly has been just improvement lately. I’ve got a good handle on my meds and much better at just expressing my state of mind.

Well, I found myself feeling the mania creep in. I was desperate for a reset and reaching out for suggestions with my therapist. When she suggested taking time to organize things I really thought this was odd. What on earth would organizing just anything do for my mental health? How will I get a reset on emotions from a physical act that sounds a hell of a lot like cleaning to me?

Thing is, I do trust my therapist. So even though it’s sounding totally off base to go clean some shit and feel better mentally it’s almost instantly I’m on the task. Couponing from Amazon makes things far easier. By the time I was home from therapy there were several ideas in my head on where to start.

When I got home I shared my information with Marc. Him of course being who he is he was in full support. On amazon I ordered plastic containers by the boatloads. I’ll start with the cabinets. Using https://www.swagbucks.com/lp-savings-button?cmp=695&cxid=swagbuttonref&rb=3186996&extRefCmp=1&extRb=3186996 I earned all the gift cards needed to make all my amazon purchases completely free. So there was no cost to this project from our budget.

The next day as things started to pile in and I started to fill the containers. It honestly brought significant joy and peace. Like this calming peace. There wasn’t another thought it my head. I was clear minded and focused on what would fit where. How I could make things take the least space and look neat and clean was the only thing on my mind.

Marc came home from work the first day after I started my project. At the door ready to greet and show him my accomplishments was I. It wasn’t just a reset I was feeling. Inside I was beaming with pride. I’ve never really organized on this level. Never had a home with everything having it’s place. It’s always felt like a luxury to have a nice well organized home. One I felt not only could I not afford but I didn’t deserve.

After all I had 8 kids. I was destined to have a poor life of poverty. It was drilled in my head since that first I’m pregnant. Yet, here I am buying islands for kitchen storage and sorting and stacking everything with these neat little chalkboard labels. When I look around my house as I achieve more and more organization. I’m prideful. Marc stated it was the most organized house he has lived in and I’m in the same boat. My mom was pretty neat and tidy but not this martha stewart level I’m currently on. Everyday I’ve got more ideas to decorate and make nice. With https://www.swagbucks.com/lp-savings-button?cmp=695&cxid=swagbuttonref&rb=3186996&extRefCmp=1&extRb=3186996 I’m spending no money at all making this happen. That emlimantes all the stress of the project when it’s free!

My life has just been blessed. I have no complaints of any kind. Last week Marc added to our routine. He decided that in the morning he needed to add in a cuddle with me before leaving for the day for work. Talk about my kind of man! Seriously, ladies he is perfection!

So we already have more cuddle time in our daily routine than any other couple I know. Deliberate time set aside just to be lost in each other’s touch. That is the kind of cuddle time I am referring too. That is how we now start and end each and every day together.

Even if I somehow have stayed asleep when he gets up and ready for work he will gently wake me by snuggling his head upon my butt. It wakes me enough to give him pets and roll over for the big snuggle.

I remember our first outing with his friends. To a bar, for a bday I believe. At the bar he was petting down my arm, one of his friends commented it was so cute and how they use to do the same in the beginning. Instantly I leaned in to Marc and said I hope you pet me forever and never stop!

It’s almost been five years now and the pets are ever more. The cuddles have grown into our deliberate routine. My sleep is perfected by those chest cuddles he gives while petting the side of my face and hair. His mornings are started now with ten mins on my chest. Deep shoulder and head rubs before he is off to his hard stressful day at work just makes things better.

If you asked me the last disagreement I had with Marc it would strain my memory to come up with an answer. There has still never been harsh words or names to each other. It’s honestly the most loving relationship I’ve ever witnessed in life. I never remember my parents’ having this with anyone. No surprise I didn’t know this pain free love existed.

Yet here it is. My relationship only bringing positive to the table. Growing and striving together. Honestly, the things we have overcome together it truly blows my mind. The amount of love and understanding we shower each other in. This is what love is. Finally I found my forever. The routine I hope to grow old and spend my days in is right here. I’m truly happy.

Everyone has their own thing that they just love right? I’d say mine is true stories. I’m just absolutely obsessed with them. If I have the tv on you can almost bet that the show or movie is a true story. Based on some true events or a docuseries where I can learn about someone life.

I’ve always been so intrigued on knowing what happened to create the person. What was the story behind the situation. Crime stories are top of the list but really I can be found watching anything truth based. Today I am engulfed in the Jen Shah story. Truth be told I was never one for the housewife series. There are so many of them but I can’t say I’ve ever watched a single episode.

But I sat down today working on some computer stuff always means having something to binge in the background. I tend to let the streaming suggestions pick for me often and today that was the case. Coming across the Jen Shah story I didn’t even realize she was a housewife till quite a bit in the show. I was completely intrigued with her life and what made her steal from others. Finding it all so fascinating. Even if housewives would not ever be my kind of show this story was.

I did the same with the LuLaRoe legging scam thing. Hooked as soon as I started watching. Absolutely having no clue about any of it prior to the tv show being watched. SInce the pandemic I find myself watching even more and socializing even less. It’s my thing to sit and binge something while using one of my passive income techniques to earn some side cash.

Now realizing I’m just so totally obsessed I rarely watch anything that isn’t true story based. Unless it’s with Marc everything I’m watching true story, based on some true events. Cuddled up to the dog and having conversations about the show as if he is as obsessed as I.

So please share your favorite watched true story in the comments!!! Series or Movie I don’t mind either! Also tell me what are you obsessed with?

on the boat

I’m sitting in bed with my better half and we are just casually chatting. Typically there is an animal show of some kind on in background when we aren’t really paying attention. Like some animal planet or discovery show. It’s our go to for background tv really. We are sitting there together and we both pay attention to the show at the same time.

This particular episode is a water safety edition. Meaning some coast like guys are checking water laws. Like you know where a life jacket, Fish with a license, don’t speed in the boat type stuff. It instantly brings memories up for Marc and I of our time on the Lake.

Marc had rented a cabin for us and it was in the middle of this family compound. Not at all what we were expecting. Therefore we found it best to spend our days on the water. We would go to this marina show our id grab our boat and off we would go. Spending the entire day on the water.

When we got that boat. There was literally nothing to it. They copied your id, told you reverse and forward and if you came into the sea weed gun it in reverse. That was it. Our whole tutorial in a nutshell. Which we were fine with it was literally the greatest time of my life.

So now back to the North Woods Law playing on tv. So in the episode there is a boat on the water. Just cruising along. It’s making huge white waves as it goes. It all looks super familar to Marc and I as it’s a replica of the boat we went on during our trip. Now the law is after this boat.

The law comes up to the boat and just starts laying down the law. She tells him he is breaking the law. That you can’t make breaks near other vessels. She continues with more and more rules and violations he is breaking. By now Marc and I are both laughing. As we literally broke them all unknowingly on our vacation.

She continues with it being federal law as the man states I’m not from here. I gave my id and rented the boat. I had no idea there was a safety or boaters class to take. We laugh harder as we had none of the above while cruising on the boat that day. In fact Marc and I not only definitely were always speeding in that boat we also sunbathed nude for hours. Falling asleep naked as can be on that boat for hours.

Never did we even know if there were life jackets aboard. It never really even crossed our mind about a speed limit. Marc parking was honestly just a riot. We banged into the dock repeatedly and cruised passed it making circle after circle attempt just to park. We had not a clue what we were doing. North Woods Law listing every law we had broken on that boat that day had us laughing deep within our bellies together.

Memories like these will last us a lifetime. It’s one we will carry close and always speak so fondly of. Our nude speeding adventures in our boat we drove without safety course…. or instructions.. or life jackets. I truly just love life. That’s a memory I hold close.

Struggling with food insecurities and being the most fussy eater even as an adult that I know it can be difficult to eat out. You add in a couple of food allergies and things are really complicated. So I basically eat chicken. Yea, that’s pretty much the choice of anywhere I go at anytime. Unless we are eating pizza then I am pretty onboard with any meat toppings oddly.

I can’t remember really eating out much as a child or teenager. I remember taco bell with my no lettuce having butt. Begging for that on the regular I remember and mostly getting it as it was obviously a cheap meal. There are some ponderosa memories in there. An old all you can eat buffet we use to have in Saint Joe. But to be honest pretty certain I just ate the tacos there too. Maybe some mashed potatoes for a twist.

As a kid I was super picky on how things were cooked and seasoned. If you have no control where you will sleep at night, whose in your home, maybe even no control over the things happening to you that are super scary…. You will likely want to take insane control over your food. That was me in a nutshell. I truly didn’t mind starving. So sending me to bed without was fine. They did the sit at the table till you eat tacket too but not like I had any friends or anywhere to go in the first place. So I sat.

Growing up I didn’t ever really try to much outside the box. At some point I purged the mcdonalds nuggets for my own home made. It’s funny I cook lots of things for the kids. Most of my career path has been in the restaurant industry and yet never have I had much of a desire to put anything in my mouth to just taste it.

It wasn’t in fact till I meet Marc that I begun a desire to try things. He lovingly would tease me trying things all the time. No, he would absolutely never force me to try anything or even pressure. This was a tease I enjoyed playing along with.

The first leap where I tried something new was with him. He instilled this it doesn’t matter what the cost if you don’t like it we will drive and get you something else so early on that I never feared trying things. He made sure I knew that I would be embarrassed if there was nothing at all for me to eat. If I looked at the food on my plate and decided once it came I just couldn’t try he would have absolutely not gave a damn. There wouldn’t be any repercussions to it. Something in that security lead me to leap.

Coaches Bar and Grille some mac and cheese dish was what I got. There wasn’t anything at all on the menu I ate. It wasn’t like I didn’t like cheese and pasta so I thought this would be fine. It wasn’t, one bite in and I was just not feeling it. Casually into my napkin I spit feeling completely ashamed. Then I looked up to see him scoop me in his under arm and tell me that we would stop anywhere else on the way home. Or have a pizza delivered. Anything at all I wanted. His approval of my disapproval just one time was all I needed.

From there I was trying things I had never even heard of. Like the queso fondue at our favorite mexican restaurant. I didn’t even know what Chorizo would taste like. It came out piping hot and I just dove in. I’ve never had something so delicious in my life before. The salsa, I mean seriously that is like veggies in a bowl. I don’t even eat veggies but I kill through that stuff.

Last Night we went to Cheddars. This from scratch made dinner place. We have had a stack of gift cards since Christmas we have been using up and this was one. I had never been and normally before Marc this meant I never would really. Things are different with him at my side though. In I went with confidence. Ordering a meal that when it come out I about peed myself. That thing was piled high like a mountain.

It’s refreshing to have confidence walking into Cheddars even though I’ve never been there. I know my worth to Marc and that he doesn’t care how much or little I eat. He only cares about the smile on my face while I’m in his company. He enjoys providing for me just as I do him. Dinner was amazing. Those crescents that they bake fresh with that honey butter is a must! My love he changed my life and I’ll never forget it.

Here we are half a year into my first born daughter’s college education. I wish I was here to scream of the joy it’s brought her. However I’m certain there has been far more tears than smiles. She hasn’t found her place or that best friend yet. There isn’t much love interest and she is often feeling utterly alone.

She comes home often and you’ll find her at the edge of my bed cuddled to the dog face buried into the laptop and handing frantically taking notes beside it. Her time at home is so cherished by me but it’s hard to enjoy knowing she is here because she is so sad in the place that was meant to be her home.

So desperately I want to snap my fingers. Finding her the perfect bestie. The confidence to know that she doesn’t need anyone approval to be her perfect self. Yet, all I can do is sit back and pray the pieces fall together for her sooner rather than later.

The thing I will say she found confidence in is her grades. They continue to soar and she beams with pride over them. She loves to share what she has learned. Telling me all of how she has homework done ahead and her plans to practice this speech or that. I try to remember that this is really the point of school after all and if the rest doesn’t fall into place she is absolutely rocking the education she needs.

She wants so badly to make me proud of her. To do all the things I envisioned for her and her future. She has not a clue that I’m already bursting with more pride than I can contain for her. That there is simply no way for her to ever fail or let me down. She is the epitome of perfection in my eyes.

It’s super apparent that I hate driving. There is not a part of my being that finds anything enjoyable about being behind the wheel of any vehicle. It’s just not my cup of tea. So when driving I tend to take the same repeated routes and limit where I even travel to.

For many years my biological father has resided in the same home. Four the last four years the path to my own home is the same that I took to go to my dad’s. Being just 16 and memorizing that way to his home. At 17 myself and my husband borrowed a beater truck from him and got lost on the two turns it took to get there. Just not driving down far enough to find the turn. Thinking it was closer than it was. I remember having to call my dad in the middle of the night to tell him I was lost on the road I was so certain was correct.

His anger that day for us borrowing the truck. Returning it with less gas than when we took it. Returning it late into the night. It’s a memory that I think of almost every single time I drive to pay my mortgage. The bank a direct route to my father’s house. My first car accident was on the way to him as well. So that drive often will lead to the memory of the crash. Flying over the trunk of my car to get to the babies that were smashed in my backseat.

This same path I use now for my daily needs is a floodgate of emotions. I’ve thought just drive another street it really can’t be that difficult to break this habit. One street over will certainly get me to the same places. Yet, still I drive and remember.

Never of course has it even crossed my mind to drive to his house. I mourned my family and let go so many years ago to me in my mind and for my sanity they are gone. Gone from the life I have now. Mental health depending on carefully keeping all those memories at a distance. I see Marc from time to time catching me getting lost in the memories on the path we drive often.

He simply grabs my hand and I seek to find his heartbeat and focus. Letting the memory fade till the next drive on that path. I gave some thought recently to opening the door to find understanding again. Maybe rebuild on the broken relationships that I no longer maintain with the family I share blood. However then I would go through mourning twice.

I have rebuilt life and let go except those times I drive the path. Even then it’s just this brief flutter before I am able to regain reality and let go. Yesterday, driving to the bank seemed like such a feat like I was paralyzed in those emotions of the past. The memories literally took over my entire mind. The good, the bad, and the ugly all resting in the forefront of my mind.

Pulling over the car, I couldn’t even breathe. Only a drive to the bank. A path I drive often and yet here I was consumed by memories and pain. WIll this forever be my brain stuck on these memories that I can’t escape? Will I just drive a new path next time? Let go? What will it take to just heal!?