Update on the Family: What My Family and I Have Been up to

family_rockinrandommom

Oh there is so much to tell all of you lovely readers out there about what’s been going on with my family. There have been some joys but also some sadness. There have been some ups but quite a few downs. We have even had a couple of deaths including my sister’s father, who, despite not being a huge part of my life was the only man I ever called ‘dad’. I am planning on writing a separate post on that soon so stayed tuned.

 

 

 

Oh my boy has been doing so well this year! His first year of high school has been such a positive experience for both of us. Adam struggled with only a few things in the beginning – like trying out for the school plays and not getting a part – that was hard on him but he adjusted well and didn’t give up and it paid off. Finally, he got a part in his first high school musical! He did such an awesome job too!

My boy had some moments where he didn’t want to do it because he didn’t like the lines or the music hurt his ears. At times, between working so hard on his academics and rehearsals for the musical he got overwhelmed and I had to take the helm for him and let him calm himself by giving him the space and time to just breathe and be himself. Conner also helped. That’s family.

(Adam is the tall one in the back with the sailor hat on)

The social aspects of school and the play was hard sometimes. Autism isn’t easy but Adam worked through it like a champ and the end result was honor roll for the first quarter and a great performance at his play. I thought he was done after that though because he was so exhausted by the end of it but he’s going back at it rehearsing for yet another play! His school is also having a presentation on Autism for Autism Awareness month and Adam is going to speak about what he goes through. I’m so excited for him and can’t wait to see what his presentation will be!

family_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

Conner is doing great in the 4th grade. He works hard and has improved tremendously in spelling, reading, and writing. This year he has struggled with the Math a little but he still is his class’s “Math God” and doing his best. He turned 10 in December and we couldn’t afford a party for him but I did make a video of the first ten years of his life. It’s what I did for Adam on his 10th birthday so I did the same for Conner. 10 is a milestone and so far my baby boy is loving it! FYI: That video is too long for my blog apparently and Facebook won’t let me upload it due to it having songs so here is one of him dancing.

Conner is still a Minecraft nerd but now he’s pretty obsessed with Five Nights at Freddy’s. It is a horror game/book/whatever. Just like back during his Angry birds obsession and My little pony obsession, he now has just about every action figure, book, poster, and of course all the plush toys he can get his hands on. I gotta tell ya, this kid is expensive! But he’s worth it. My family is very important to me and my boys are numero uno. It’s been hard getting him to agree to any sort of after school activities but it’s still a work in progress.

family_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

I started getting pretty depressed around Thanksgiving this year and have struggled with it ever since. I found myself in a funk and it didn’t help that right before Christmas my sister’s father passed away.

family_rockinrandommomAs some of you know I have had some car troubles as well. I can’t seem to get away from car troubles for some reason. Seriously, it’s like I’m cursed. I have bad car Karma and have no idea why. Not having a reliable vehicle has played into being stuck in the house way too much. This, of course vamped up my depression. My family has been a great help just by being there. However, when you take away the car, you take away the independence. This just doesn’t work for me.

Staying fit and eating right has also taken a huge dive but there is some good news to be had. I have ordered a couple of Tai Chi and Yoga DVD’s and well, this will also be another post. Perhaps I will start my fitness series again. I’m still dating the person I met last year but I have been keeping that pretty close to my chest. Maybe I will write about him in the future.

family_rockinrandommom

 

Thanks so much for reading!

 

myblogsignature_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

I have linked up with:

Reflectionsfromme

 

 

Why 2016 Sucked! And the Good that Came from it

2016sucked_rockinrandommom

So some of you may have noticed that I have been MIA lately. I’d say I’ve been gone for quite some time. Even when I wrote a post, I wasn’t fully engaged with my blog or with all of you. There are a few reasons but the main one is that 2016 turned out to be a major disappointment for me. In other words, 2016 sucked ass!

I’m not into making new year’s resolutions but I did set some goals for myself throughout 2016, none of which panned out. I failed to meet any of them and when I fail at something, I tend to become my own worst enemy. When that happens, depression starts to seep in and take hold. Depression is something I have struggled with my whole life. Most days I win the battle. However, there have been some days where getting out of bed has proven to be my biggest obstacle.

2016_rockinrandommomFor example, one goal I set for myself this year was to finish one of my novels. I also planned to publish my first e-book by December. Neither happened. I have felt uninspired to write much. I think maybe it has to do with productivity or rather, the lack thereof. Not working and not having the proper transportation to work has taken it’s toll. Sending out resumes left and right and not receiving any responses or opportunities for job interviews has been an obstacle. With no inspiration and no job prospects in sight for 2016, feeling a sense of purpose was virtually non-existent and that has somewhat hindered my mental health.

I have also not worked out or gone for a hike in something like 6 months or so. You all know that I thrive and feel so much better about myself and about life when I am able to get outdoors and go for my hikes. Failure to do so this past year has made me realize how much I need it in my life.

Then to end the year with the complete freak show of our so-called presidential election… Well, I won’t even get into that. I’ve already written my take on that so consider this subject matter closed. I am not the only one who had it rough this year. I have spoken to several people who could not wait for 2016 to end.

2016_rockinrandommom 2016 hasn’t been all doom and gloom though. When I feel this down about my life I remind myself of the things I do have. I have my health. I have my wonderful boys who are doing so well that their happiness keeps me afloat and I tell myself that at least I’m doing something right. They remind me every day that life isn’t all about these secondary things. Life is so much more if we simply take the time to see it.

I also know that I must be doing something right somewhere because the universe has seen fit to add a new person to my life. Of the romantic sort. In September I met someone. He and I have been doing well but the best part is we are taking the time to really get to know each other. Only a few people know about him. My boys do not. I’m not one of those parents who introduces her kids to the first person they date right away. I am taking my sweet time with this one because I want to make sure I’m ready and my boys are ready. He understands this and it makes me appreciate him more.

2016_gratitude_rockinrandommomThis romance was completely unexpected too. I wasn’t looking for anything. Neither was he. We hit it off right away though, talking like we’ve known each other our whole lives. He’s funny and sweet. He’s romantic but in a fun way. He’s not over the top, which I really like. He’s so understanding too. He understands that my ex is a part of my life and that I love my kids more than anything. Best of all, he’s genuine. He’s honest and straight forward with me without being mean or disrespectful.

Then there is my best friend. She and I have gotten each other through a lot of tough times this past year. There were a lot of late night texts and phone calls that witnessed many bitch sessions and shed tears. I am so glad she is in my life.

Maybe the beginning of this post was a little misleading but as I reflect on 2016, I realize just how blessed I am and I am happy. The ex-husband has become a good friend. Adam and Conner are growing and thriving every day. My best friend and I are closer than we’ve ever been and I have a truly amazing man who only adds smiles and laughter to my days.

2016 sucked but let’s think positive! May 2017 be our Year!!

Thanks so much for reading!

myblogsignature_rockinrandommom

 

 

 

 

I am linking this with:

 

Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
Modern Dad Pages

To My Therapist, Thank You!

 

tomytherapist_rockinrandommomI actually meant to start this post back in November but I got so busy and honestly, I wasn’t ready to write about it.

Therapy has ended. It ended in October of 2015.  If I remember correctly, I started therapy in September or October of 2005.  It has taken ten years to finally move on from my childhood. It took ten years, a lot of hard work and a phenomenal therapist who treated me with respect, approached our sessions with understanding and patience, and helped me re-train my brain so that all of those negative thoughts and behaviors I had grown up with could be pushed out of my mind, paving the way for a new outlook on life.

To you, my wonderful therapist, I thank you! I thank you for not judging me. I thank you for giving me a safe space to not just express my feelings, but to figure out what those feelings were. I remember when I first came to you, I told you flat out that I don’t trust therapists. I had had a few bad experiences with some who were less interested in me and more interested in studying me. You were interested in helping me. You didn’t see me as a statistic. You saw me as a human being.
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
I remember early on that I told you I believed I was a freak and that I would never be normal. I would never feel normal. You didn’t argue with me. You just listened and you encouraged me to keep talking about why I felt that way. No one ever wanted to know why I felt any sort of way. As you know, growing up, my feelings were never taken into consideration. I was never listened to. I was nothing more than damaged goods to those who were supposed to care for me. To them, I would never amount to anything. I was destined for failure as far as they were concerned. But you knew better.

You showed me that I am so much more than that. You showed me that I am a worthy human being with intelligent thoughts and real feelings. You showed me that I matter. You helped me build up my self-esteem and knock down my steel walls. I had so many walls. When I came to you I felt like a monster.  I was battling my demons and they were winning. I was starting to become very cold. I felt dead inside. You helped me change all of that. You helped me turn it all around and I thank you!

I had held in so many emotions for such a long time that one of the reasons I came to you was because I was feeling emotions, anger and rage, in particular, and I didn’t know why. More importantly, I felt like I was losing control. I thought I was going crazy. When you explained to me that I had PTSD and what that meant, it helped me to see that I wasn’t crazy and that my feelings were real. They were very intense but they were real.

You helped me stare down my demons, fight the horde, and come out on top. With your help, I developed some real life skills that go way beyond mere survival. Through you, I learned how to notice my triggers and how to handle them when they happen. I will be honest with you, this past Christmas I was triggered twice by total strangers. The second time I did lose my cool but I also calmed myself down long enough to deal with the problem at hand. I used the skills you gave me and I didn’t dwell.heal_rockinrandommom

The most important thing you helped me with was forgiveness and not just forgiving those who hurt me. You helped me to forgive myself. You helped me to fully accept that the things that happened to me as a child wasn’t my fault and by accepting that, I was able to forgive myself and by forgiving myself, I have gotten closer with my spiritual side. I’m not angry with God anymore. I no longer believe the Universe is out to get me.

It took ten long years and a lot of hard work from both of us but without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I don’t think if I can ever truly express just how grateful I am that you came into my life. I made the decision to get better. You helped me achieve that goal. I am better now. There are things I know I will always struggle with but know that each day is a little easier. I miss you though. You were an important part of my life for a long time and I miss our conversations but I want you to know that I am happy. I am finally happy! I wish you all the best!

Thank you!!!

Michelle

I am linking this with:

http://viewfrominhere.com/waywow-linkup-14-new-rules-all-posts-welcome/
My Random Musings

 

 

 

 

Dear Father

dearfather_rockinrandommom

Dear Father,

I thought of you today. I thought of you and it didn’t send me into a depressive state. I thought of you and I didn’t even get mad. I wasn’t angry… or afraid. Instead, when I thought of you, I tried to imagine the little boy you used to be. I saw a picture of you once when you were five years old and in that picture, you looked so happy. When I had asked my aunt what you were like as a child, she told me you were one of the sweetest, caring, loving, and giving children she had ever known. It made me wonder, what happened?

I asked that question actually. I asked her, “What made him so mean? What made him a monster?” I was a teenager at the time of this conversation and I was still so angry with you. I was still so afraid of you but I was also so vengeful towards you. Every time I thought of you for a long time, these emotions would come to surface so quickly I couldn’t control them and they would linger for weeks. I hated you!

But for that brief moment I wanted to understand you. I didn’t want to see you as a human being though. I only ever saw you as a monster. There was something about that picture that spoke to me. Maybe it was your eyes and your smile. When I knew you, you never smiled and your eyes were empty. Maybe it was the innocence on your face that drew me in. Your sweet, innocent face.
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
I was told that your mother had been very abusive to you. I was told she never wanted you and that she told you many times that she wished you were never born. I don’t know if any of that is true but if it is, I understand. It doesn’t excuse anything you did – not even a little bit – but I understand. That must have been really hard for you.

I hadn’t thought about that conversation in a long time until today. I’ve had a busy day. Did a lot of running around and while driving, I just thought of you. I started having this imaginary conversation with you in my head, asking you about your childhood as if I was your therapist instead of your daughter. I listened to you with empathy and compassion. Even after that though, you denied any wrong doing towards your own children and I said, “That’s fine. I don’t need your apology or your acknowledgement. I just need you to know that I understand and I forgive you.” I remembered the picture and remembered your smile. It’s my son’s smile. It’s my smile. Then I thought of my son, Conner.

I thought of his happiness and his openness. I thought of his curiosity and his intelligence. I thought of his smile and how his eyes light up. Did you have that same light? Did someone snuff it out? Did someone squash your potential? While having these thoughts about you, it didn’t sour my mood. You don’t know this but that is a huge thing for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always been filled with rage, dread, and fear whenever I think of you. So much so, that I would find myself severely depressed and highly anxious for weeks after the thoughts. Those thoughts would trigger horrible nightmares that I couldn’t shake.

Not this time. This time I simply thought of you and that was that. Maybe I should give some credit to Def Leppard because I was listening to them in the car while having my thoughts and they always put me in a great mood. Maybe the music kept me from sinking but I also know that it is me. I forgave you last year and since then my feelings towards you have been changing. I don’t hate you anymore. I don’t love you, but I don’t hate you either.

Some part of me is still angry with you and probably always will be, but my blinding rage towards you has evaporated. The biggest thing though: I no longer fear you! Because of all of this, I can think of you with some level of understanding. I can think of you as a human being and I know that NO ONE will snuff out my son’s light. No one will take away his smile and no one is going to squash his potential.

You were a sweet and caring person once. I don’t believe that you were born bad but bad things happened and you let that change you. You let that define you. I won’t let that happen to me.

Sincerely,

Your Daughter

A little Def Leppard for your viewing pleasure!

I am linking this with:

http://viewfrominhere.com/waywow-linkup-14-new-rules-all-posts-welcome/
Dometicated Momster
http://www.reflectionsfromme.com
Mummuddlingthrough

Domestic Violence Affects Children

howdomesticviolenc_rockinrandommom

Somewhere between 3 and 4 million children witness domestic violence in the home in the U.S alone. According to government statistics, 95% of these cases are reported to be women victims of a violent male partner and it’s the children who witness these violent acts. This puts children in a very fearful position. It makes them anxious and hyper vigilant because they never know when the next beating will occur or what will cause it.

domesticviolencequote_rockinrandommom

Make no mistake, this is a traumatic event and the children are being just as traumatized, if not more, as the mother. In helping to spread awareness of Domestic Violence and trying to end it, I am going to do something pretty rare here on my blog. I’m going to share a personal story that very few people even know about.

domesticviolence_rockinrandommom

I think I was about 5 or 6, maybe closer to 5. I remember waking up to noise. It was night time. I remember because my window was straight ahead when I sat up in my bed. I remember hearing yelling and a deep voice responding with louder yelling. I knew it was my mom’s boyfriend, Charlie. He was a scary guy. He was really tall, dark hair and dark eyes. I never liked him from the moment my mom started dating him. He was violent, especially after several beers.

This night was particularly bad. By the time I got downstairs, I knew the familiar chaos before me. I can’t remember where my younger siblings were because my first priority was my mother.

I went upstairs and grabbed my mother’s gun. I picked up the loaded gun, not thinking about anything but getting to my mother. When I got to her though, it seemed as if she was so far away. He towered over her 5′ 2” frame, relentlessly wailing on her. I raised the gun to point it at him but when I did, fear gripped me. I hadn’t even realized until that moment that I was even scared. What if, like in the Christmas Story, I somehow shot myself in the eye instead? What if I ended up shooting my mother? What if I missed him completely and he came after me? The most pressing question any 5 year old would ask once the police walked in the door: What if the police arrest me instead of him because I shot him?1in4_rockinrandommom

What happened next is a bit of a blur. My mom tells me that after the police arrested Charlie, one officer stayed behind to talk to me. My mom doesn’t remember if it was her or the officer who got the gun from my hand because all she remembers is me telling the officer, “I’m gonna kill him! I’m gonna kill him!” My mom says that I was really angry and I was crying.

What I remember is how heavy the gun felt in my small hands. What I remember is how scared I was and how, when it came time to protect my mother and use that gun, I froze in fear. Eventually one of them got the gun from me and my mom said that’s why she never had a gun since and never will again. That isn’t the point of this story though. The point is, I was terrified of so many things and for so many reasons. Charlie had beat my mom before but this is the one event I remember because of how traumatized I was and how watching my mother get beat repeatedly by him and others, it carried over into my adulthood.

stopviolence_rockinrandommom

I swore I would never let a man hit me! I never have either. However, in protecting myself, I hit my ex a few times, just because I felt threatened. Some part of me knew he wasn’t going to hit me but the hyper-vigilant part of me didn’t, so I hit first.  I never saw myself as being abusive towards him. I saw it as being proactive in defending myself. This was also part of my PTSD. I know now that it was the wrong thing to do. Therapy taught me that. No one deserves to be hit – man, woman, or child.

Domestic violence affects children in many different ways. They can become the victim of abuse, or they can become the abuser. Many children living in abusive homes end up on drugs, with mental disorders, and/or in jail. They also are at a high risk of becoming suicidal. We can stop this but we have to speak out. It’s time we break the chains.

I’m going to leave an inspirational video that I made because we need to be inspired to stand up and end the cycle of abuse. It’s not too late to stop the violence and change our children’s futures!

 

enddomesticviolence_rockinrandommom

I am linking this with:

http://viewfrominhere.com/waywow-linkup-14-new-rules-all-posts-welcome/
#MidLifeLuv Linky
My Random Musings