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A tiny quick look back, as I keep moving forward

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My thoughts on my first breakup post-divorce.

  • I haven’t felt this stunned, hurt and disappointed all at once, in a long time.
  • I’m most surprised by the fact that I’m still so surprised.
  • As much as I tried to hold back, it didn’t really work, if anything it worked against me. It kept me more at bay than really enjoying the moment completely. Hold back at the most, is all talk and dangerous because it gave me a false sense of security. When the rug slipped out there was nothing protecting my heart, least of all myself.
  • Being lied to, really for the first time in a relationship I feel so baffled almost like I’ve found an element that hasn’t made it on the periodic chart. I feel like the emotional vision of me must still be standing there, jaw dropped, finger pointing. Ohhh look I discovered a liar…..golf clap yay!!
  • The best thing, about what right now feels like the worst thing, is: I know for a fact, I can love again. That’s good news, although right now I can barely see the shadows of it, wondering if I could ever love again was a considerable thought that often kept me company. That’s not even a question after this breakup. So I’d say my value perception is developing nicely.
  • One thing I hope I take away from this is, red flags mean something, every time, no matter what! Whether you want them to or not, you can’t wish them away. Red flags mark something. If you’re at sea, there’s a diver below. If you’re on ground there’s a gas line beneath the surface. If you’re starting a relationship, it’s a sign. Don’t dig here, trim up, keep moving, but do not ignore these tiny cautionary reprimands.
  • It was still worth it. I refuse to ever regret loving. It was treasurable to love and be loved.
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30 seconds to encourage

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If I had thirty seconds to convince someone to leave a domestic violence situation, I would say:

  • Do you cry yourself to sleep most nights?
  • Do you ever feel like your partner hears you?
  • Do you dread the weekends because your partner will be home?
  • Are you always tip toeing around on egg shells?
  • As you read this are you making excuses for your partner?
  • Does your partner make excuses for you, or are you tossed right under the bus?
  • Where’s your common ground with your partner?
  • Did you rearrange your life to fit your partner?
  • Does your partner get jealous when you talk or spend time with your friends?
  • Do you feel like you have more bad memories than good ones?
  • Does your partner get so angry when you disagree, that it scares you?
  • Does your partner have guns or knives around the house?
  • Does your partner threaten suicide?
  • These are just a few red flags, which should be a big warning to a potentially explosive situation.
  • Two years on the other side of an abusive relationship.
  •  
  • I have never been happier in all my life
  • I had no idea I was so strong and capable of so much
  • My kids are so much happier making every bit of the struggle was worth it
  • I am enough
  • I love my life
  • I can’t wait for the weekends (but weekdays are great too)
  • I’ve never once dreaded going home
  • It turns out, I’m not always wrong J
  • Little things don’t ruin the whole day…if you identified w/ the 1st list you know what I mean
  • My life is on a schedule and it’s a schedule that considers all of us
  • If there’s something I want to do, I can!! (Incredible feeling!!)
  • I’ve not once cried myself to sleep
  • I constantly go to bed wondering how I got so lucky

 

Let me just clarify. I’m not in a relationship. If you’re in a domestic violence situation do not draw on strength from another man to get you out, you are playing with fire! You are enough, I was enough. I had some really supportive family, extended family and friends that encouraged me through some of the really difficult times. But I was what I needed, I was what my kids needed. My divorce is final and I think dating now is an option, but sooner would have lent me a whole lot of extra drama. Some of the things I did to get me from stay at home mom to bread winner was:

  • I listed stuff on eBay
  • I started a house cleaning business
  • I offered to help a catering service when they needed extras
  • I made myself available to any odd job.
  • I’ve set with invalids
  • I’ve house/dog sat
  • I sold jewelry I had
  • I sold stuff at Plato’s closet and consignment stores
  • I went back to school which while it has been a hard thing to do, because I was a single mother of 3 I applied for every grant and scholarship available. And I applied myself, I got good grades and going to school has been profitable, it’s worth checking into.

You can do it. You’re enough. Live is for living not hiding. Show your kids what happiness looks like. Show yourself what freedom looks like. Be the boss you were born to be. You’re already living with regret STOP IT!

Divorce is worse than death

howileftastalker's Blog

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It sounds like a horrible thing to say especially coming out of a domestic violence situation. The sheer fact that I’m with my children and we’re in a happy loving safe home, it truly is all I need, but given I live in a first world country abiding in it are first world problems; therefore divorce is worse than death.
Dramatic as it seems, think about it. When there’s a death people expect you to walk around in a daze to go through the stages of grief. Your loved ones send flowers, neighbors and friends sign up to bring meals.
People give you consideration. It’s an excusable absence from work or school. Airlines even offer bereavement discounts. Death can bring insurance pay checks, social security may start sending checks. Again I’m merely comparing two losses!
Divorce on the other hand for me anyways has been lonely. Friends can shy away…

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My Single Mom Challange

My Single Mom Challenge –

There’s a lot of challenges that face single moms, to the point the term “single mom” evokes almost the same pity as the term orphan. I’m a single mom so this is real time perspective. Being a single mom can be challenging, there’s are parts of it I cannot change. Focusing past the parts I can’t change, is my single mom challenge. Focusing on the things I can change is where the mountains begin to move. Hind sight focuses best in great distance. But, in just 2 years of living on my own with my kids, I can easily see that I’m a better mom, and even their dad is a better dad. That means my kids got an upgrade, that’s right, first class baby!! As a single mom I have to work more, I’m also a full time student, but even with all that I still have free time, everybody does. I can actually give all that to my kids if I wanted to. I know we all need “Me” time, I know that. “We” time is what I’m talking about. Every sunny day, I can declare a picnic day. Why do kids love picnics so much? Who knows, but they do, it makes eating an adventure. I could actually make macaroni and cheese every night, if I were so inclined. I can make thumb wrestling mandatory before bedtime. I can make pillow fights the way we announce dinner. I can make up new games, listen to more stories and color more pictures. Because looking perfect when they come home from school, doesn’t matter to them. Having a snack ready, that matters. See I’ve saved time already. Looking effortlessly hot, takes a lot longer than making a sandwich. I grew up in church, I understand families were designed to have two parents. On a side note, I’ve done a couple 10k(s) and been passed by runners with prosthesis where there was supposed to be a leg. The original human design is two legs, but like I said I particularly noticed these runners as they passed me. There is no dismissing the struggle, but the struggle is in the dysfunction, not in the adaption. Struggle is when something doesn’t work no matter how hard you try. Struggle is fighting a losing cause. Struggle is zero return on your investment. Struggle is working hard for nothing in return. Struggle will wear you out. Which is why I think people bleed struggle into adaption. When worn out people finally, cut their losses and adapt, they are often still weary from the struggle. Adaption pays off. Adaption works. Adaption requires gusto even when you’re tired. But Adaption eventually, syncs and compliments your efforts. There is no reason I can’t set my sights on changing the way people look at broken homes. I’m not saying I want to chop off my legs and get a springy prosthesis, but as those runners past me, my first thought was wow, maybe they have an advantage. What??? An amputee has an advantage! Without a doubt, sincerely that was my first thought. They took their struggle and made their adaption an advantage. As optimistic as that sounds, the truth rings louder than the cheer.

One giant thing I’ll have to monitor being a single mom is my hearing. Poor thing, I don’t know how you do it. Sympathy is fine, even kind, but letting it define you is a trap. I’m the strongest person I know. My kids have an emotional Olympic champion as a mom, lucky kids! I’m actually not lonely, and if you must know, I’m also not walking around on egg shells. I’m not missing out, I’m finally finding out how beautiful a house is that’s full of peace and absent of fear. I’m the lucky one, I walked through what scares most people into staying. I faced the giants and discovered the smoke and mirror illusions for myself. Someone told me once, “that’s sad, you gave him the best years of your life”. How could that be, because I only just begun to live? I am the happiest I ever even hoped or wished I would be. How many kids can say that about their mom? The adaption process takes time, but the work yields results. In the end, you will out run those who thought you couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t be able to keep up. Keep the faith, run the race. amy-palmiero-winters

posit it plan

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It’s July. I’ve been home with all three kids while taking four online classes and whittling away at my sanity. In middle of a brief stent of unusual silence, I had a thought. All the catty arguments that siblings can have in the course of a summer, or in my house, an afternoon. All the words that are hurled irresponsibly and comments that are made to cause intentional hurt. What if we had a post it note week. I’m not going to play referee. For one week, only one rule applies. Every insult has to be written on a post it note and put on the intended target. If you call your sister a dummy write it down and stick it on her. The way I see it, there are two responsibilities to miss used words. The first responsibility lies with the issuer, so often the person insulting hides behind the words or even the pathetic defense of anger and takes no responsibility or ownership for what their words said or in fact did. Post it notes will clear this responsibility right up. If you said it, if you meant it, own up to it. You should visually have a reference of where your words hit, where they landed. Words matter use them wisely. Watch them fall, see them land. Don’t blindly shoot with such powerful artillery. When my oldest has to stick a dummy post it note on her sister or vice versa. Watching her wear that will help them understand that their words carry weight. But there’s a part two. There are far too many invented victims. When you actually see yourself wearing words that aren’t true, take them off. Sometimes when we’ve been called something that hurts us we get stuck in the first part of the process. Did they really mean that? Since words are so often just irresponsibly thrown around, no ownership is taken by the offender, the afflicted can’t get to the bottom line quick enough. Most of the invisible insults we wear around every day have zero truth. Seeing them on a post it note forces you to make the quick decision you should come to automatically. Is it true? Am I a dummy? Is my sister the final authority on advanced intelligence? Is my but fat? Does she really hate me? Invisible words are like an infection, you end up treating the symptoms. We teach our kids music, art, and sports. When do you learn the weight of your words? What is the caliber of your weapon? Are you sighted in? Do you know if you shoot to the left or to the right? Do you wait or rush the shot? Every soldier knows how to take their weapon apart. How important it is to clean your weapon. And the importance of guarding your weapon, keeping the safety on and knowing where it is at all times. Words can tear relationships and people apart, why are we treating something with so much potential so carelessly. This week I’m taking the first step in teaching my kids and myself for that matter, what words weigh. The journey begins with the first step so here we go. If every road leads somewhere I’m anxious to see where this one takes us, because self-discovery is always a win win.

My biggest fan…myself

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What will next year look like?

 

 Every year when my birthday comes around, it always make me think about where I was the year before. I don’t consciously mean to, but I sort of grade myself. I’ve never really thought about it ‘till now, but I do. How far have I come? What progress did I make? I especially notice my relationships, have they grown? Am I in a better place? Am I where I want to be? What did I accomplish? I set goals for myself, like New Year’s Resolutions. My birthdays are just more heavily marked, maybe because there’s always cake! Among my resolutions this year was one that struck me as a huge why didn’t I already think of this. And my Duh resolution is: I’m not going to say anything negative about myself. On the surface, that sounds general, but if you kept track of all the negative things you say to yourself just in your head you would be astounded, dare I say flabbergasted. Did you know you have between 1,200 – 1,600 words of self-talk a minute. How many of those words are negative about yourself? Like I bet I look stupid. I’m not ready for this. What will they think? I’m too fat to wear this. I’ll look like a slut (what?)  I always park badly. I never remember. I always lose my keys. I can’t. I quit. I’ll never. You degrade yourself more than your biggest grudge. Stop it! I constantly tell my kids if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. So I’m not saying be delusional, I don’t want to create an everyone gets a trophy mentality. But I really believe you should be your biggest fan. You should be your own hero. You should believe in yourself more than anyone, heck if you don’t why should anyone else? If the person that puts you down the most stopped, what would that look like? What kind of relief would that be? Yeah I said relief, with all the stress in a modern day first world country, why unnecessarily burden yourself? On a flight the flight attendant says parents in case of a crash put the oxygen mask on yourself and then your kids. That’s not cruel, you’re their best bet, save yourself so you can save them. The same is true in life, how differently could you help others if you saved yourself first. I was getting my hair cut as all these thoughts were shuffling through my mind, and as she finished up she said, “You’re gorgeous” and I immediately said nah….but heck yeah I did, that’s what I was paying for, and I quickly said, “Thank you”. See it’s as simple as that. I can’t wait to see how I look next year, because my guess is, I’ll be amazing!

 

 

No strings attached

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No Strings Attached

 

Does that even exist? What do you do when you find yourself all tangled up in the good intentions of others?

  1. You start with the string that’s with the greatest choke hold, and you cut it. Usually all lines lead off of this one. So it may be the hardest to cut. When I thought about the strings in each of my relationships I know where the anchor rope was.
  2. Not all string are bad. Strings secure things in life and in relationships. Every single person wants security on some level. Strings can keep you connected. Strings can bring stability.
  3. Sometimes good people unintentionally tie you down. Any lifeguard knows a drowning victim has to be rescued the right way or the victim will drown the rescuer. In relationships it’s not always obvious at least initially what someone may be struggling with. We’ve all been pulled into other people’s drama, but the regularity of your tap-ins needs to be your red flag.
  4. You float. Believe or not you float, hope floats. You’ll survive, the choke hold you thought was your life line is the victim, YOU are the beautiful hero.

You will survive, you will grow. Cutting strings will set you free. The freedom to be you, is the very best gift you can give yourself. Discover who you are and how you handle what was holding you, for yourself.