A New Adventure is About to Begin on the Career Front

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This past week was a busy one. It was the first full week of school for the kids. Something else happened though. On the Career front that is. It’s pretty exciting. At least for me. This isn’t a paying job but an internship. However, the training is one that I’ve wanted for quite some time and Internships are always good for anyone looking to advance their career.

Let me explain a little of what I mean:

I did an internship during college with the local Rape Crisis Center. I went through a full semester of intense training before becoming a certified counselor/advocate for the center. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I didn’t just learn about the job and duties. I learned a lot about myself as well. I learned some very valuable skills, like Self-care, that I have use in my career and at home.

I worked there as a volunteer for almost two years. It was a very fulfilling job. Every time I counseled someone on the hotline or advocated for someone in the hospital, I felt… complete. I knew that I was answering to a higher calling and I was participating in something so much bigger than myself. That’s when I knew that helping people was the career path for me.

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But it didn’t last…

My internship ended because I had gotten a full time paying job that took up most of my time so I had to leave. I really enjoyed it there. I felt like I was finally giving back but all good things must come to an end I suppose. The job didn’t pan out. The stress of the demands of my old boss were too much and I wasn’t feeling like I was furthering my career in any way. It left me depressed and lost.

Three months later I started my blog in hopes of expressing my thoughts and finding my path. I love writing and I will continue to write and help people through my writing but I need something more. I’ve spent the last two years trying to figure out what that was. I don’t just want a job though. I want my career to mean something. I want to leave an impact, even if it’s only a small one.

So What is this Internship?

I can’t go into details about it because like the Rape Crisis Center, it is a confidential type of organization but I will be working with survivors of Domestic Violence. I will be working with children and adults. I’m not exactly sure what my duties will be but I’m very excited to be a part of this great organization that I have wanted to work with for several years.

This is a wonderful opportunity for me and I am so hoping that it will further my journey on my chosen career path. I really want to work with children, teens, and young adults who have survived great childhood trauma. This internship will allow me to develop new skills to work with children. It will also allow me to really figure out the best way to do that.

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There are many different ways to work with children. I just need to find my way and I can’t wait to find that out. Maybe it is going to ultimately be through writing. Maybe its through counseling. Or maybe it is both.

What will this mean for my blog?

Well first, I am not going anywhere. I adore my blog and I plan to keep writing as long as I have the words inside me to write them. I won’t be as active on the linkies and other groups that I am involved in because of the internship but I will still be here ready to interact with all of you lovely readers out there.

This blog has changed my life. The wonderful bloggers I have met and became friends have truly opened my world and I am so grateful for all of you. Writing has truly become my favorite outlet for expressing myself. I write for you but I also write for me. If I didn’t I’d probably go insane. It is one of the ways I keep my depression at bay too. So for you and for me, I am staying. Yay!

My training starts next week and I’m so excited for this new journey to begin! Wish me luck and I will certainly keep you posted.

Thanks so much for Reading!

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I am linking with:

My Random Musings
Monday Stumble Linky
Burnished Chaos
Reflectionsfromme

Rockin’ Quote #34: Know When to Walk Away

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It’s been awhile since I posted a quote of the week. This quote “know when to walk away…” is piggy backing off of my last post When a Romantic Relationship Affects Your Mental Health. I spoke a little bit about my suspicions of my ex-boyfriend possibly having a mental illness. I also spoke about how he always shut me down with every suggestion I would make about getting help.

Reading over it though, it occurred to me that I didn’t really talk about one huge reason I felt I had to walk away from him. I want to talk about this because if there is a reader out there who feels they need to stay with someone in order to help that person, please consider all of your options first.

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If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to give up on the ones you love. You may also be what I call, a fixer. If I have a problem or if someone I love has a problem, I like to find a solution to that problem. I can’t tell you why I’m like this. Maybe it’s because I am the oldest of four. Maybe it has to do with my childhood and how I grew up. Or maybe I was just born this way.

The point is this: Because I have a fixer type of personality and I hate giving up on people, I don’t always know when to walk away. But years of therapy and much, MUCH self-reflection have helped me to see that sometimes I really do need to walk away from a negative or toxic person. I have to for my own benefit.

Sometimes I struggle with this because I wonder if I’m being selfish. I was told constantly as a kid that I was selfish. You know how kids are. When I wouldn’t let my little brother play with me and my barbies because he was my annoying little brother. Or when I was called a selfish bitch as a teenager because of whatever I wrote in my diary that day.

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I talked in my last post about my depression while in that relationship. There were days when I wouldn’t even get out of bed. My kids noticed the very obvious change in me. I have struggled with depression my whole life. However, for the past two years I have been doing very well in spite of that.

I was very active and very involved with my children’s schools. I was writing every day, either in my blog or working on other projects. Then I met someone and while the honeymoon phase can be expected to take one away from the world a little bit, it went deeper than that.

Then there was me trying to help him. I wanted to fix his problems. Except he didn’t want to fix his problems. When I think about it, I know its because he isn’t ready. You really do have to be ready to take that journey into self-improvement and healing. NO ONE CAN DO IT FOR YOU. Remember that.

walkaway_rockinrandommomThe second part of my quote, “Be strong enough to stay away” is what tends to be a problem for so many people. To walk away is one thing but when you really care for someone, staying away is a different story. Because I wanted so much to help him, even after we broke up, I wanted to remain friends. 

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The problem with remaining friends with an unhealthy person though is that you get pulled back into their world. You get pulled back into their darkness. Before I knew it, I was right back where I was before. I knew then that in order for me to be healthy I had to walk away completely.

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I had to think about myself and my boys. There were also questions about what we had in common. We didn’t have a whole lot. Video games were the most prominent. He didn’t take interest in any of my interests yet kept “strongly recommending” his interests. Even gaming stopped being fun after a while because if he wasn’t constantly jokingly insulting my gaming, then he was criticizing the game itself and after awhile that just stopped being fun.

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This also applies to those who find themselves in abusive relationships. Most people stay out of fear but many stay because they believe they can “fix” their partner. Remember what I said earlier? They have to WANT to fix it. They have to want to change. It’s out of your hands. At the end of the day you have to be happy. Know when to walk away…Be strong enough to stay away.

I would love to know what you think about this topic. Leave me a note in the comments.

Thanks so much for Reading!

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I am linking with:

My Random Musings
Reflectionsfromme
Monday Stumble Linky
Burnished Chaos

 

 

 

When a Romantic Relationship Affects Your Mental Health

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Last year I met someone who I thought was a soul mate. While I often question the validity of soul mates, deep down I wish for one. That one person who just gets me. This person seemed to do just that. We had this really strong instant connection. The relationship showed a lot of promise.

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That was so refreshing. He actually took the time to get to know me. It’s so rare to find that these days. I found him to be a unique person with a unique mind and I adored our conversations. We could talk about anything and the conversations flowed as if we had always known each other.

We had a long distance relationship. This was against my rules of dating. We met online – Xbox – another rule broken. Still, though I wanted to give it a chance. I wanted to open myself up to the possibilities. A third rule I broke was to not date someone more than 5 years younger than me. He was in his twenties. He presented himself as a mature and deep, intelligent thinker.

relationship_rockinrandommomI don’t trust easily and it takes a lot for me to tell someone I love them. It happened fast and within a month we were exchanging I love you’s and talking long term. I watch Catfish on MTV so naturally I was cautious. We had Skyped and sent pictures and spoke on the phone. He was who he said he was.

BUT THERE WERE SEVERAL RED FLAGS.

When I commit to someone and really love someone, I tend to go above and beyond. I’m a very generous person and eventually realized my generosity was being taken advantage of. When I said something, his answer was always, “Well, I didn’t ask you.” When coupled with how he “didn’t ask” – that is manipulation.

He had a way though, of making me second guess my instincts. Because of my trust issues I told myself that it was my own crazy thoughts that were keeping me from fully trusting him. I look back on that now and I know better. ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!
relationship_rockinrandommomHe would often ignore me for a week or two at a time then come back and tell me how much he missed me. When I get ignored, I get angry but I also get distant. I told him this yet he kept ignoring me anyway. This had nothing to do with family obligations or work. It was all about gaming. He often retreated to his own little bubble where no one else existed, save his gaming buddies. During these times, I found myself depressed and irritable. I allowed it to affect my well being and happiness. Not Cool!

This song explains it perfectly:

Even so, I continued to date him. I really believed in our connection. Despite all the signs I believed in him. I saw his potential. I also wanted to help him. You see, over the course of our 10 month relationship/friendship I saw strong signs of a possible mental illness.

relationship_rockinrandommomHe would lie or exaggerate certain truths about his life in order to gain my sympathy. I genuinely wanted to help him but often found myself more stressed out and withdrawn. I was really stressing and worrying over his well being and beating myself up when he consistently ignored my advice. He could talk the talk but couldn’t walk the walk.

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relationship_rockinrandommomThe last straw for me was when he “forgot” my birthday. Wait. What he said was he didn’t forget, just forgot to tell me. I called bullshit on that and realized, finally, that I needed to let him go. We weren’t in a relationship by then but we were still acting like a couple. It showed me how selfish he really was. Despite his constant words of “I love you” and “You’re the most important thing in my life”, his actions kept showing me the opposite.

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I finally came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was a savior. Someone to rescue him from his life and take care of him. He wanted a mother and a lover in one while at the same time someone to obsess over him. I’m just not down with that. For my own sanity I had to cut him from my life. Sometimes you just have to walk away. I have to put my happiness first. After, I realized just how much he had drained me emotionally.

I was really angry with him but more angry with myself. The truth is I felt duped. How can that be? I’m smarter than this? I really had to come to terms with the whole situation. I invested so much more into the relationship. I gave more than I got. I can’t say this relationship was a mistake because I learned something very valuable about myself. Now I can move forward. Never settle for less than you deserve.

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Have you had a similar experience in relationships? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks so much for Reading!

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I am linking this with:

My Random Musings
Monday Stumble Linky
Reflectionsfromme
Cuddle Fairy

 

Papa Roach-War Over Me

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*Update: This article was published in 2015. Since then Papa Roach has made another album called Crooked Teeth. It was just released this year and it is just as amazing as F.E.A.R. You can check them out on iTunes.*

Two years ago I was the guest blogger at Jingle Jangle Jungle, a music blog. My post on Papa Roach was published and I want to take the time to share that post to you all again! You can read that article HERE. In celebrating my article, and to honor one of my all-time favorite bands, I have used my favorite quote from my favorite song on their latest Album, F.E.A.R. called War Over Me.

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Papa Roach is one of my favorite bands because I really connect to their music. Papa Roach has always reached me in an I-am-mad-as-hell kind of way. When ever I am angry with the world or even with myself and my soul is struggling with things, I open up my music library on my phone, scroll down to the P’s and open up Papa Roach. Their music gives me an outlet that helps me to express my darker emotions either through working out or writing. In fact, many of their songs inspire me to write the stories that I write.

War Over Me is my favorite song because the lyrics are exactly how I feel about myself and my healing. I suffered through a lot in my life and had to fight a mental illness. I fought because I want to be happy and I am determined to live my life my way. In order to do that, however, I had to fight for my soul. They released this song at the exact time I needed to hear it. I was nearing the end of my darkest moments of my illness. My therapy was also ending but I needed another small push in the right direction. This song has inspired me in more ways than I can ever truly express and I am so thankful to the band for writing, what is in my opinion, a masterpiece!

Here is the video for the Papa Roach song, War Over Me. I have used it in other posts but if you’re into this kind of music you will love this song!

I am very proud of my article and I hope all of you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

Cuddle Fairy

 

 

 

 

3 Ways I helped My Grieving Child Mourn

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The past two months have been crazy busy. Most of it has been good but some of it has been sad. Two weeks ago, my ex-husband’s grandmother passed away. She had been very ill for a long time. By the end she was in a lot of pain and was suffering greatly. For my son, Conner, this was a great loss. My grieving child had a lot to deal with and I did my best to comfort him.

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The pain she was in often made her irritable and cranky. Two years ago, she had deeply hurt Conner’s feelings. Long story short, eventually, she apologized to my ex-husband and he told Conner. She was so remorseful for her behavior and I think maybe she was afraid that Conner hated her.

When we were told that she had very little time left we talked to Conner about it. Conner wanted to see his great-grandmother and tell her that he loves her. So the day came when his dad brought him to see her. He had prepared Conner as much as he could to see her because she was so thin and weak that she could barely even open her eyes.

Conner went to her and told her he loved her. I don’t know what else was said because I wasn’t there but my ex told me that about a minute after Conner left the room, Great-Grandmother stopped breathing. Conner was still there. He knew what was happening. She passed away and my son’s grieving began.

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Adam handled it better. He knew his great-grandmother had been very sick and he understood that she was gone. While Conner chose not to attend the wake or the funeral, Adam chose to go to the wake. He wanted a chance to say goodbye. Both boys wrote her a beautiful goodbye letter and they were placed in her casket with her.

Watching Adam kneel beside her casket, I could see a slight apprehension on his face. I was prepared to console my oldest grieving child but he surprised us all. Everyone grieves in their own way. When I asked Adam if he needed to talk he simply said, “I know she’s in a better place and that I will see her again.” And with that, he was ready to leave.

Conner is a bit different. Death is really hard for him. He feels the sadness immediately and deeply. When he was only 3 1/2 and his Godfather died, his sensitive little soul felt it with a force like I’ve never seen on such a young child. Last year when my mother lost two of her cats one after another, Conner felt it. My grieving child cried over them for days.

So what is a parent to do when their child is in so much emotional pain? I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers for how we help our children deal with the loss of a loved one. As parents, our first instinct is to shield our children from all the bad in the world. What do you do though when one of the bad is a natural part of life?

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Here are the three ways I comforted my grieving child:

  1. I let him feel his pain – A few days after Great-grandmother’s death, Conner and I watched Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Everything was great until Superman’s funeral. That scene is about 5 minutes long and my grieving child just let it all out in that moment. All I could do was hold my baby and let him cry into my arms. We sat like that through the rest of the movie. I simply held him.
  2. I gave him space – As soon as we got home he didn’t want to talk about it. He wanted to play Minecraft. I let him because I knew he needed something else to focus on. Every now and then he would stop playing and come cuddle with me but he needed that space to tune out and to process.
  3. Listened and answered questions honestly – This happened more when he was younger. When he had questions about death I answered them to the best of my ability. I was also as honest as I could be. Anyone who knows Conner knows that his questions can be very specific and sometimes out there. If I didn’t know the answer, I told him so.

These are the ways in which I helped my grieving child mourn his loss. I let him feel his sadness, ask his questions, and gave him the space he needed to process everything. He’s doing better this week but the road to healing will take time.

How do you help your child deal with loss? Feel free to leave a comment below

Thanks so much for reading!

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I am linking with:

My Random Musings
Monday Stumble Linky
Reflectionsfromme
Cuddle Fairy

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