Simply

Just another manic Monday


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What I know…

I know that these last few months have been some of the most trying, full and enjoyable experiences of my life. Maybe it has something to do with how I’m viewing myself through this process. 

In November I thought the world would be better without me, or at least my pain and agony would cease to exist. What I know from that is, it would end for me but continue on through the people I would leave behind. During those dark moments you can’t see that. All you see is that you are alone, you are less than and that you are in pain and you would do ANYTHING to stop that pain. 

In December, I made the conscious decision to tell someone what was going on in my head. And what I mean is that I not only told my counselor, I talked with my doctor, I talked with my husband, I talked with my kiddos Godmom. I told friends and I put it on my blog. I asked for help and THAT was the single most hardest decision I have ever made. Things like that thrive in secrecy. I’m so glad I choose to reach out. I can’t say I loved the process. Because let’s be honest, I am an independent soul and I felt like I was being told to tell people my every move. I had weekly, sometimes daily check-ins. I had to give up things that made me feel safe but could also harm me. What I can say is there is power in support, positive thinking, and prayer. Thank you! 

In February I welcomed a baby niece and a few short weeks later I was given another niece. I love them as much as if they were my own.

One half of JZ

The other half of JZ

 JZ are absolutely perfect in every way. My heart was full. But… it also bought up that little thing that likes to pop up every now and then. Wanting another baby of my own. I know, I know. I joke a lot about not wanting to be pregnant again or going through labor again or even sleepless nights. But joking is also my coping mechanism. The urge to want to have a baby didn’t come around until after we had to give up the twins and their brother. In my heart I know what we did was best for us. Three was a LOT of work, at times I was overwhelmed. But it opened up in me the reminder that I couldn’t have another one of my own. The thought of going through what I did with Marie’s birth seriously gives me heart palpitations and anxiety. We almost lost her, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have that fear and stress in the back of my mind the whole pregnancy. And so because that was so traumatic, shortly after she was born I asked Ike to get a vasectomy. And he did. At the time it was the best decision and to be honest, I feel like it is still the best decision. But it doesn’t change the fact that my body aches to have a baby to carry and love and nurse. I’m slowly figuring out how to navigate those mindfields. For now I do it by getting some much needed snuggles from my beautiful baby nieces. I might or might not spoil them, but I can’t confirm that. I do want to add, we’ve had (Ike and I) that conversation. And we both agree that unless it’s meant to be (as in I get pregnant), we will not be taking in any infants or toddlers through foster care. Even though on occasion I ask him if he is absolutely positively for sure… What I know is that I can hold the sorrow of not having my own AND the joy of being an auntie twice over all together and still be happy. That is truly amazing to me. I’m learning and growing daily!

March came and went so fast, I’m still trying to figure out where it went. But what I do know is that I Love my husband more today than I did yesterday, or even ten years ago. And I say that because we just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. 

Happy 10th Anniversary


It was truly magical and everything we wanted. To be surrounded by friends and family. To have the same feel as our wedding and to be enjoyed by all. I’ll share pictures and more about that later. I also know that if I hadn’t learned even a little about making MYSELF happy, no one else would be able to. And so to be at this point is huge for me. We were close to being divorced on a couple of different occasions. The thing that helped us was taking each moment, hour, day, week, month at a time. 

April has been a time of slowin down, enjoying the quiet moments and spending time with family and friends. We celebrated the 5th birthday of our extra baby. 

Celebrating with classmates


Watching her be loved on and celebrated was absolutely adorable and so amazing. To see the pure look of joy and excitement in receiving was something I will cherish forever. To have something that is hers, and hers alone made her so incredibly happy. Im happy we got to see and experience that. What a gift! 

April has also been a full month, the group I was in has been cancelled because by the end I was the only one showing up. So I have to find and get comfortable in another group. I have a story about that too. Lol! We will be leaving next month on a six week roadtrip, yes I said six whole weeks! I am beyond excited. This trip will be epic. 

This is us filling out passport paperwork


It will include Canada, and the East Coast. With lots of time with friends and family along the way. Which leads me to add that our oldest daughter will be joining us in week two and stay with us through the end. I am excited for Ike and the kiddos. They get to spend some much wanted and needed time with an older sibling they didn’t get to grow up with. And I am lucky enough I get to watch all of it happen! 

For now that’s all I have, maybe I’ll finish those other stories and schedule them to post over the next few days. 

Namaste my Friends!

I


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Love Letters…

  I turn over and open my eyes. I find you already awake watching me sleep. Sometimes that is too much for me, I might give out more information about myself while I’m sleeping then when I’m awake. I mean my guards are down and I’m completely at ease. I can’t control the situation. 

I think that’s my problem, the loss in control. I need to feel as if I’m in control at all times, when that control slips I slip. But let’s be honest, the only thing I can control is my body. And sometimes I can’t even control that. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing. 

And so I bring my focus back to the moment and stretch, that gives me a moment and then I say Good Morning! Your focus never wavers from my face, I can feel it burning a hole. My brain goes into over drive trying to remember the dream I was just having, making sure I didn’t sleep talk. Because for some reason I feel like I could be in trouble.

Turns out that’s not the issue, as a matter of fact. The issue is you just want to have some one on one time with me before our children wake. Normally, I would kindly remind you I am not a morning lover. And list our children as the reason for that. But today, today I breathe… 

And after I’ve caught my breath again, we start our day. Sometimes, taking a breath before answering the question that’s been asked can and does net a different answer.

I know this doesn’t sound like a love letter… But it is, it’s my kind of love letter.

I Love You!


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The shoulder to cry on…

So, I have this friend who is in the last leg of getting a divorce. She has a ton of stuff going on on top of that and so we’ve been talking a lot lately. I guess I’m her ear, it can get heavy.

She was in an abusive relationship. She finally got out. And at some point our conversation last night ventured to her stating she felt she made a big mistake, she misses her best friend, life was great with him and that it couldn’t be any worse then what it was currently. I think I might have made a sound that was the combination of a choke and a chortle. I said did you just say what I think you just said? I instantly went into a spiel of what she possibly forgot when she was missing this dude. You know, mainly the ass whooping a he would hand out on a regular. Or the multiple times he had forced himself on her. Or the time CPS became involved in their lives. I said it rather harshly and with much judgement. Because I felt it was my duty to make her see the err in her thinking. Dammit! I had been talking her out of this relationship for over 4 years & she was finally out. But wanting to go back. I was HOT! 

Let me explain to you why I was so pissed… I had been in a relationship that was abusive before. I knew where she was coming from and I said the things I wished I had someone to say to me back then. But I wouldn’t have heard them back then. I thought I deserved what I got and so I dealt. Even as I flashback to those moments in time. I can feel what I felt and how I thought he loved me. Isn’t that how someone shows you they love you? For me growing up love looked like abuse and taking advantage. Love looked like him choking me and telling me I was a bad girl for what I had done earlier. Love looked like me begging for relief so that I could just breathe. Love looked like me being scared to go home but having nowhere else to go. Love smelled like desperation and sweat. Love felt like tears streaming down my face and constant pain. Love tasted like the blood I would swallow after biting my tongue or getting hit. Love was not kind, it was rough and hard. It didn’t care what I said or how hard I tried. It would look at me and laugh. It would tell me over and over that I was ugly & that no one would ever want me…

  

Love… But I couldn’t live my life at that time without it. It was what I knew to be true and consistent. Love never lied, I always knew how love felt, what love thought and how I turned love on. I knew without a doubt love would feed me, clothe me, and fuck me. These three things I knew for sure. The one time I got away from love, I ran back to him. Because I thought love was the only way to make it in this world. And that night I cried and screamed and begged love to leave me alone. He simply looked at me and told me I was his and he didn’t have to stop. And then he fucked me, beat me and went to bed for a good nights rest. I did all I could not to kill love. He deserved it and more. But I would be no match to him if he woke up. So I stayed in the bathroom, huddled in the shower and at first light I left love for good. I left Minnesota and returned to Wisconsin.  

My ego was crushed, my spirit torn but I was happy. I had survived. And as I thought about all of that while I talked to my friend. I realized I needed to be gentle with her. I needed to let her talk and listen to her. I needed to be still so that I may hear the message that I needed to hear. I also realized I needed to be kind and gentle with myself. I wasn’t mad at her, I was mad at myself. I was upset for allowing a man to another person treat me like garbage and being ok with it. 

I am not in that time or in that place. But I needed to go back there to know how to be here for my friend now. I hope she can hear what I’m saying or not saying. I want her to be able to talk without judgement. Because I was never allowed to talk with anyone. I didn’t have a friend to call and cry my eyes out to. I was my own shoulder. And sometimes I still feel like that. I am learning how to be ok with being strong for myself. Because if not me, then who? What I’m saying is more then just the basics. It’s the knowing. And what I know for sure is… I am always here. The voices in my head, they are always here. But people, people can be flaky. Myself included. And so I don’t hold my breath, I learn to breathe even when it feels as if my whole world is caving in.

And so tonight, be gentle, be kind, call that person whose been on your mind and let them know you are thinking of them. You never know, it could save someone’s life. 

And most of all, if you are reading this… I care deeply for you and wish you love and light!

Namaste


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I honor the person I am becoming…

So today is day 7 of 40 in my yoga practice. It is technically day 8, I missed last week Wednesday.

Anyways, each yoga class I take and each time I meditate I enter it one way and come out another. It’s different and sometimes weird. But I’m learning to go with the flow.

The other day I entered into yoga class with the intention of getting something out of it. But as I sat on my mat and listened I received something else. What I got is above. I was given the opportunity to pick a bookmark with a Yama on it. And whichever one I chose I was meant to have.

Let’s just say, smack in the face. I have really been struggling lately, and so this was a reminder for me that I need to learn to loosen up and be present in the moment. The Yama I received was;

Aparigraha (non-attachment)– the nature of life is change; surrender expectations and reduce suffering. The instructor then said sometimes we hoard things because of what we feel we are lacking in our lives. And so these things ‘make-up’ for all that we are missing.

And so here I sat in all of that and softly screamed SHIT in my head. Is that even possible, not really but that’s what it felt like in that moment. I instantly started evaluating the things I expected out of situations, relationships, things and I had to pause hard and say to myself… I honor you! I honor you! I.HONOR.YOU!

My issue was myself. It had nothing to do with the outcomes of the situations, it had nothing to do with the situations themselves. And everything to do with what I needed to learn from that situation. The same with things and relationships. I have been in such a rut and my mantra started to sound like whoa is me. It kind of still is, I can not lie to myself. But I had placed expectations on the way I assumed things should turn out and that’s not what was happening. And so when I started to changed my view and my expectations the situation looked differently, the object/thing became something different and the relationship changed.

I can be so incredibly hard on myself and I am learning how to not be self harming to myself. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the negative thoughts I have in my head that I do more harm to myself then I realize. And so as we went about the yoga class I pondered, chewed on and contemplated the Yama I had received. I learned that I need to send love and kindness to myself and so I have been practicing that. To exhale doubt, hatred, self-hate, anger, resentment, etc and to inhale self-love, acceptance, assurance, love, etc. It makes for such a different view of everything.

I’ve been letting several situations and relationships affect me immensely, I mean to the point where all I did was talk about it with Ike. And we would both get into these extensive conversations about the situation and the relationship. I had to realize that for 1. I am too close to the situation, because it is making me upset. 2. That I can’t change how people see the situation, no matter how much I try and persuade them to see it from my point of view. 3. I can only change the way it affects me and only me. 4. That I need to know what expectations I had planned on getting out of the situation and what I was actually getting. 5. And why did the situation affect me so deeply, what deeper issue was I trying to work out and didn’t realize. Can I just tell you that this process is tiring. But so worth it.

Ike helped me to realize this morning as I ran out the door to yoga that I was letting this current situation I was dealing with affect me too much. I have a friend in crisis. I mean intense crisis and I all I want to do is take the pain away from her. She is so lost and needs a supportive circle close to her, she doesn’t have it and it is hurting my heart that I can’t help her more then I am. He told me that I need to tell her I was headed to yoga and that I would call her in four hours… I couldn’t do it. I kept talking to her, and right before I turned off my phone and went into my yoga class I text her. I said, “Ok, I’m about to go into yoga. It’s an hour class. Keep texting and talking it out. I’m listening. I’ll text when I’m out. Breathe and know that you are loved.” And then I robbed myself of the time I spent in yoga because when I wasn’t breathing my thoughts kept going back to her and listening to her talk to me.

By the end of the class I needed to remind myself that at some point I need to be my focus. Somethings I can’t change things , no matter how hard I try. And so my mantra has slowly switched to, “I honor myself” I honor the person I am becoming. I honor the person I am leaving behind, and most of all I honor the love I have for myself. And so I took time to honor myself and my feelings and the things I wished for her, but truly wished for myself.

Once I figured that piece out I knew that I needed to attend tonights DV/SA group therapy session. I am nervous, I am afraid, I am anxious, I am tired, sometimes I feel like I am not breathing and then I feel my chest rise and fall and most of all I am trying to stay focused on the reason why I decided to start this path and keep moving one foot in front of the other. It’s the unknown… its the unknown… It is the unknown that frightens me the most. And so I am trying to stay present in the moments I am sharing with others and stop worrying about things that have yet to happen. It requires a lot of intentional breathing and sending loving vibes to myself. It is taking a lot of energy.

I thought planning out our spring break would be the perfect distraction. But it turns out, that also wasn’t so. And so there I sat in my head going over all of the possible situations I could run into tonight, not staying present in the moment. The nice thing, I am seeing clearly when I am not being loving to myself. The annoying part, I have to acknowledge it.

Anyways, I am going to end this on a positive note. I am about to whip my husbands ass in a quick game of pool. I am going to be gentle with myself and send positive and loving vibes. I am going to be open to the experience with no expectations of what I think will happen. I am going to practice Aparigraha.

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Namaste, I


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Happy Father’s Day!

So in our house I have boxes, actually lots of boxes that are still all packed up. Waiting for me to unpack them and do something with its contents. Mostly, I go through those boxes and purge when I’m in a cleaning mood. Other times I go through and reminisce about whats in that box. Now, I’m not talking about the boxes that store our Holiday decorations or anything like that. I’m talking about a different type of box.

I’ve hinted at it before, but I’m still not there yet. I’m not ready to talk about it so I’ll keep skirting around it until then. Today I am going to unpack a box and talk about it with you. It’s a box that has been packed and repacked for years, quite possibly about 15+.

This box has been in my possession or at least it’s contents have been since I was in high school. Anything before that was lost. 

This box is big enough to hold multiple little boxes in side of it, as well as a bunch of other little things. Like D-boys first tie he ever wore, or the name tag from my first ever internship at Planned Parenthood. Either way it goes this box has meaning and some value to it.

I am going to focus most of my attention to the small brown box. If you look below you will see a flower, a necklace, earrings, pin, a letter and a piece of paper folded up. The necklace, earrings, flower and pin were from my high school prom. Life was horrible at that time and I was able to find the cheapest dress and accessories to attend prom with a close friend. I was sad that I wasn’t able to do the things I had planned to do, but I was also happy that I was able to go and have fun with friends. Looking back, I am so happy I didn’t clam up and not attend because of the circumstances. It turned out to me an amazingly fun night.  

The letter and the folded paper all happened after I completed high school. The folded paper was part of a Indian Native ritual that I was a part of in college. The spark to learn about who I was started there at that event. I am grateful for the experiences I had during that time period. The letter was something I did while I was at a retreat. I had just graduated high school and I was miserable, I hated life and myself. My older ‘sister’ through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program had come to see me graduate and she had given me a gift. I must admit it was weird, but I was open to hearing what she had to say. The gift was the Landmark Forum. Click on the link and it will take you to their website. Basically I called it my wake up call. It was a place where I learned that the things that happen to you don’t always have to be just that. That life is about facts and then you add your stuff onto it, that I could let go of anger and hurt and still make it after that.

It was the most profound experience I had ever had. I spent three days getting to know me and those around me. It was hard, it wasn’t easy or fun, but LORD it was necessary. I was 18 and felt alone… I was 18 and felt that the world sucked and I didn’t need to be in it anymore. I was the youngest person at the forum the weekend I went, I was humbled. I heard the tragic story of a woman that had been married over 40 years learn her husband had been cheating on her and then left her. She had been a homemaker and was just so completely and utterly lost. I cried for her, I grieved with her and I was 18. I sat through a dad tell the story of how he was a horrible father and how he didn’t think he would ever be able to get the love of his children. Some of the stories of what led people to the Forum were so intense and overwhelming, but I knew it was where I was supposed to be at that time and place.

There was one night, maybe the last night there when our assignment was to go back to our hotels and write a letter to someone we had been holding a racket with. Someone we were upset/mad/angry with and either they knew or they didn’t. It didn’t matter, the idea was to write it down and to get what you needed to say out there. It was a way of giving yourself the freedom to remove it from your life and move forward.

I went back to my room thinking I was going to write the letter to my biological mother, but as I sat down to write the page stayed empty. It was empty for some time… And I sat there and cried, I cried because my racket wasn’t with her. It was with my father…

After realizing that, I sat down and started writing. I was exhausted come morning. When I went back to the first morning meeting she asked if everyone had done what she had asked. You could tell it had been done, because there were a lot of somber faces in the room. She then asked if anyone wanted to read their letters aloud. I’m not sure what got into me but I raised my hand and she chose me…

Here is what I said,

Dear Dad,

I don’t know where to begin. I thought this would be easy for me, but the more I look at the painting the more colors I see. I guess I will just go straight to the point and not dance around it. For the last 16 years I have been having this racket with you. I have been making you wrong for leaving me and not being there for me when I believe I most needed a daddy and not a mommy. And when you left me for good 9 years ago, physically I felt that you were taking the easy way out. You just let some woman take your life and didn’t think how that would affect me. I felt that you didn’t say maybe I should try my hardest to stay alive for my daughter which I see only 3 or 4 times a year and which I know loves and respects me dearly. And I’ve been resenting the way I’ve been feeling because when its your time to go well then thats it. No other exceptions unless God says so. I regret not coming to your funeral but I couldn’t bring myself to the realization that you were gone and that I would never be able to hear you say, How is daddy little girl, not giving your mom any trouble are you? And Hows daddy smart princess your not teasing all the boys are you, you better not be. And when you left a big part of my innocence, concepts and perceptions went along with you. I had this big picture that why would never die and one day you and mom would get back together. I want to say that I give up making you wrong and i commit that I will no longer make you wrong. I offer to you, myself and I ask that toy just watch over me and be there when I get there so i can hug you and say I love you dad for giving me life and I love you dad for taking on the responsibility of being a dad and not just some sperm donor. And I would extend that offer for you to join me in making  a new relationship but i can’t exactly you’re not present in a physical form just present inside of me. I can end by saying. You are the #1 dad in the world in my book and I Love you. See you!

Loving you always, your little princess Iiona

I was 18, and this was a big deal for me. When I finished reading my letter I looked up and realized that almost every person in the room had tears running down their eyes. They all told me how much they appreciated my willingness to share and also my willingness to be present throughout the whole weekend. During that time in my life, i made a group of friends who understood what it was to carry around baggage and how great it felt to remove at least one.

I have to say I came back to more classes with that group of people for almost a year, it gave me the courage to move out of state and restart my life where I wanted to be.

Soooo, basically it is easy to have a child. It is even harder to parent that child. So I have to say Thank you dad for being that guy. I still know very little about you, but I do hope to learn more as I get to know my sister. The above picture is the only one I have of my dad, I cried when my sister sent it to me. This is the first time I’ve seen him since I was 9 years old. He looks nothing like I remember but yet he look exactly like I remember.

Anyways, I also want to wish my partner in crime a Happy Father’s Day! He is an amazing dad, he has patience, love, and a will to give his children what he didn’t have. I don’t think we could have picked any better. I am beyond happy that we get to share in this amazing journey together. Happy Father’s Day to all of the men with children, helping to raise children (theirs or someone else’s), or being the role model/mentor to a child/children. You are appreciated and we Love you!

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