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Archive for the ‘Life Lessons’ Category

Since this is my first blog in a while, I’m just going to write it.  I fully expect it to be jumbled and I just want to get it out.  It just feels good to write something.  I’m sorry if it hurts to read it, but welcome to my head!

If you haven’t read Hannah’s Birth Story, click here!

For years my answer to the question “do you want more kids” was “nope, I’m all done, we’re almost home free!”  Even before marrying Big Daddy I had resolved (and was quite happy) to be done and to having nothing but grandkids running underfoot.  I thought, for a long time, that my childbearing days were over, because I had not been on BC for over 10 years and not conceived.  Fast forward to the day we found out that we were pregnant with Hannah and the words “shock and awe” come to mind.  It’s easy now to (and I often do) look down at this angel sleeping on me and think “how did we ever live life without her?!”  That day, not so much.

She's a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

She’s a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

Pregnancy has never been a favorite thing for me.  With C, I was so young I didn’t really have anything going on and it seemed very quick and not really painful at all to be pregnant, and let’s face it, I was in much better physical shape.  Labor was a major pain (for 37 hours) and the C-section at the end was not fun.  We planned J’s pregnancy and the second I got pregnant I thought “what the hell was I thinking?!” Every moment of it sucked.  The knee pain, the extra weight, which really wasn’t bad at about 31 pounds, the all over uncomfortable-ness is just for the birds.  I had an easy labor and birth with her and was just thankful not to be pregnant any longer.  When it just didn’t work out that I had another pregnancy, it really wasn’t a big issue because I had no problems not being pregnant.  D had gotten a vasectomy after his first child was born, and during his previous marriage had it reversed to try for another child.  They never conceived, and a few months before we married, he was checked (by our family doctor) and told that he had a zero count…not.  So, we entered our marriage both thinking that our baby days were over, and just enjoying the occasional grandbaby coming over.  Just short of our 3 year anniversary we had been through some really trying months dealing with ex’s and court  for both of us.  I was stressed, he was stressed, life was not smooth sailing, but we were both happy, healthy and our marriage was better than ever.  We both got sick with a cold and were down for about 1 week, but I never quite recovered.  I remained tired, exhausted to the point that I was falling asleep sitting up!  I couldn’t eat much, my stomach was in knots and I was pretty pitiful.  After about 2 weeks of this we were sure I was just still sick with a cold and run down from the court deal and stress.  We spent a Sunday afternoon at his parent’s house, as we often do on the weekends, and while in the sunroom with 3 other people talking to me, I laid down and fell asleep…right there, mid conversation.  You remember how in school you just got that “I must close my eyes NOW” feeling?  That one.  I woke up to go to the restroom, and went and laid down on his mom’s bed!  Still tired, something was way off.  He decided to take me home, and on the way he stopped to get some things from the drug store to help me feel better.  We got home, I got changed and settled to lay down and he pulls out a pregnancy test.  He said “either your pregnant, or you’re going to the doctor because something is WRONG with you!”  I blew it off and said that there was no way I was pregnant and I didn’t have to pee.  Two hours later, I had to pee, and he came in to get me some more drinks and help me up to the bathroom.  I peed on the stick, he covered it and set it on the counter, and he turned around from it to get a washcloth.  By the time I could say to him “how long do we wait” – about 10 seconds had passed, and I looked down and it said “pregnant.”  My exact words were “you have GOT to be freaking kidding me.”  I’m not sure what his reaction was…because I was so shocked and freaking out.  I think he did the “I told you” laugh a few times, and he was smiling the entire time, while trying to calm me down and pull me back from tears and the edge.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think he had a clue how much I didn’t want to be pregnant again, ever.  He was thrilled:)

It’s blurry, but oh, so clear.

Since I don’t want Hannah growing up to think that I didn’t want her, let me make this clear.  I still stand by that reaction.  However, it is NOT the baby that was shocking or what I was reacting to, or that she was unwanted.  It was the realization that I was PREGNANT and would have to carry and birth a child again!  When I say “I hate being pregnant” it is a true and honest statement.  I had zero desire to be pregnant, at 37, my thoughts were not about the adorable baby we would have, but about the painful back, hips, morning sickness (all day, and carsickness I still have 9 months after her birth), leg pain, knee pain, anxiety, and the worst part…LABOR AND BIRTH!  I’m thankful that I’ve had 3 healthy pregnancies, and I’m even thankful that I had a miscarriage and was healthy through that, but pregnancy just isn’t for me.  D can attest to that, I am not a happy pregnant woman.  I’m not mean…but I’m certainly not happy.  Let’s move on, you get the point.

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

We were about 2 weeks out of a long court battle when we found out, the emotions were high still.  I was right at 9 weeks pregnant when we found out (we thought I was late due to stress).  After the first week of knowing we were pregnant, the shock had worn off, and excitement was setting in and offsetting the nausea!  Babies, cute clothes, names, a child that was part of both of us and did I say, a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Big sis was grossed out, shocked, weird-ed out, proud and so excited.  I’ll throw in here, that there is no better birth control for your teenager than to see you going through all the crap of pregnancy.  Food aversions, back pain, sleepless nights, utter fatigue, reading your online timeline of what a baby looks like (that’s kinda freaky), reading “what to expect when you’re expecting,” going to all your doctor visits, and seeing the list of all the things that can go wrong, yeah, that’s great BC.  It seals the deal when they are standing next to your head while you push the baby out.  Back in pregnancy land, we were pretty excited, and life was great.  This pregnancy turned out to suck as far as being uncomfortable goes…just like I thought it would, but those things that sucked were balanced out by all the great things that make people have more than one child.  What didn’t suck, what turned out to be the best part, was that I grew our baby girl, and during that time, I learned that I can do lots of things I didn’t think I could, or that I didn’t want to, and I can be happy through them, enjoy them, find the good, and it actually turns out to be pretty awesome.  I needed that for my own good, and we needed that as a couple.  It was a rough decade before Hannah for us mentally and emotionally.

Here’s a quick trip down pregnancy memory lane…in pictures.  I didn’t think it then, but now I think I was adorable, as did D.  I looked great for feeling so crappy!

14.6-1 20.5 18.30.32 27-33 19 - 35 same dress 36.5.2

Not knowing that J was my last baby, at the time she was my baby, didn’t afford me the ohhh and ahhh moments when she did EVERYTHING.  Don’t hear that wrong, she was adorable, loved, she was “spoiled” with attention and everything she did was the most adorable thing you ever saw.  I remember and recall her walking, or videos and pictures of her firsts, and her big moments, same with my son, C.  It’s different with Hannah though, those moments are still adorable, but because I KNOW she is my last baby that I will birth they seem to have an ability to make me stop and actually note them and enjoy them more/longer.  Until I had her and had all those moments over again, I didn’t know I missed them, or that I longed for them and to enjoy them.  It’s different now than it was when either of my other kids were little, we have cameras and videos of everything now, not just Hannah, but everything.  I honestly think I have (more than) one pic for every day of her life so far.  I’m not sure if that’s last baby syndrome or just a sign of the technological times.  What I do know is that I want to remember, and I am happy and sad each time she hits a new “thing” and it reminds me of both of my older kids and how fast time flies.   I’m thankful that the season of pregnancy and birth is done, and I look forward to more babies one day, whether that is foster/adopted or more grandkids.  I’d have a million kids if I don’t have to be pregnant with them!

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J as a baby and big brother C

J as a baby and big brother C

Our children have been a blessing to both of us.  We are proud of each of them, and in the ways they learn and grow daily. D has taken on a huge role for C and J by being their dad in every way, and that’s something he and both kids needed and deserved.  While she is no more “special” than any of our children, and there was no void to fill, Hannah is everything we never knew we needed, wanted and were lacking in our lives as a family.  She has truly blended our family into a whole unit.   God really does know what he’s doing!

10505281_10204020911461340_7071894116950901065_n (1) 10448243_10204020910981328_7352318880135677652_n 10393682_10204020910821324_7664851410488359389_n 10464298_505292892936064_8654387643798957623_n
Life is good!

~Mel

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I don’t know if you noticed, but I had to close it down for a little while.  With lots of personal developments and nosey people eyes on things, I decided to take a step back and tighten up around here.  So, most things are back on track, and you can again view posts.

If you didn’t notice, then WELCOME!  Glad to have you:)

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So guess what, I’m tired of it too, and this guy disagrees with me…but he’s right, and you should read it. All of it, even if you cringe at first.

http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288

Over the past week, I have eaten at CFA (and before), it’s not because I hate gay people, or because I want to “win” and prove that Christians have rights too, and it’s certainly not because they are healthy.  No one is winning here, and since I don’t personally have a dog in the fight, and would only be eating at CFA because they are “Christian” from now on, I see (from his words) that it’s not ok.

Whether it’s CFA’s doing, or the “Christian public” – this whole thing has been handled horribly by anyone wanting to stand up and show the world what Christians believe in and what we will rally for.  We rally for chicken?  We rally to show those gays that they are WRONG and we will put all our money into heart clogging food to prove that point?  We encourage a company that twice removes itself (from direct donation) so they can continue to say they aren’t discriminatory and homophobic?  I am not homophobic, I am also not discriminatory. CFA in it’s stores is also not discriminatory, however, as I’ve been told (that is the main argument from the “other side”) – they spend their well earned sandwich money on other organizations that clearly and proudly discriminate and even go further than that.

Is this you this week?

As a Christian, no, I don’t believe that marriage is defined by opposite sex partners, but I have that right.  That will not change, it’s my belief based on my own research and my own upbringing.  I also know for a fact that many of the “Christians” in major support of CFA would not be loving or nurturing or open to an openly gay couple that walked into their church.  I know first hand how judgemental Christians are.  Try being 16 and pregnant in a private school.  However, my beliefs are not what’s up for debate here and I really don’t care if you like my view or not.  However, I can change the way that those I do not agree with view my beliefs and my way of upholding them.

I said yesterday, that I can completely see the “other view” – there are lines around the building in every city, for chicken…where are the lines for the homeless shelters?  Where are the lines for the hospitals to hold babies addicted to drugs, or hold the hand of a person going through chemo?  Where are the Christians who want to make a real difference?  They’re in line for a sandwich.

Through none of this, would I, if I were gay or a non-Christian, feel loved, and ministered to.  I would not feel like going to church, or reaching out to anyone that is supporting CFA  or spouting “we’re winning” or that CFA is tops.   Ask yourself this, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ…at what point, if you were not a Christian, would you stop one of these Christians standing in line, posting pictures or shaking their fists up in victory to ask “why is it you are so happy and your life is wonderful and you have this spark?” I have not seen any Christian spark, not in myself and not in others that are so adamant about supporting CFA.  I have not seen the “light” that we are to shine among men.   I would do exactly as they have done, and fight back because they feel attacked.  Christians were not attacked, at any point in this, until we stood up to support CFA. Dan Cathy didn’t even attack, he stated what most of us Christians agree with and also believe, however he swept under the rug the part that is really making the “other side” upset.  The donations.  I’ve researched, the claims are correct, the organizations that CFA supports (indirectly down the line) are very discriminatory and even predatory on the gay community, and others that don’t agree with them.

It’s being touted that CFA stands up for “family values” – so does that mean your Christian family wants to eat unhealthy, and fall in with the crowd (as Christians we are called to be different and stand for what is right in the face of wrong). To me, wrong is pushing anyone further away from God. Does your family value pictures stating “we won” (over chicken) or do you want the non-Christian public to view you exactly like they view Westboro?  That is not what I want to support, nor how I want to bring others to Christ.

What I also will not be supporting is openly pro-gay companies that I disagree with.  Again, that is my choice, where I put my money.  There are tons of companies that I’m sure support things I do not agree with, as long as they aren’t singing it from the rooftops and I need their products, then not just me, but all of us are going to have to use them.  However, we should be aware that at any time, we may have to stop supporting them if they stand up and we disagree.

It is OUR duty as Christians to be a good example and love those that are not like us, and that aren’t our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Does it say we are to love only those that are receptive and take on our views?  NO.  As I’ve heard and seen on facebook, don’t judge others because they sin differently than you do.

Matthew 5:16 ESV

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Philippians 2:1-4 ESV

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ...

Did you read that last verse?  Read it again…and tell me…as a Christian, this past week, have you looked to the interest of others or your own?  As a Christian, I do not support gay marriage.  I support gay unions, and gay people, and I have no issues with them, they are part of my family, and I have been close friends for years with some very openly gay couples.  My beliefs have not changed, however my willingness to support the discrimination and vilifying of my friends and family has.

~ Mel

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Another Father’s Day and an opportunity to appreciate those that have raised us, loved us and provided for us, and continue to do so.  I am thankful to have some amazing men in my life, all with their own ways of loving the children they are fathers to.

My son is young, he (much like me) got a jump on parenting and began in his late teens.  I don’t think for a minute that he was ready or had a clue how much stress and love would be involved in having children at any age, much less as a teenager.  You always try to prepare your kids for things you’ve been through, and pray that they heed the warning that it was hard, or it sucked at times.  Even with those descriptions, they know the love you have for them and have shown them through those times, and that they made it through all your bad parenting decisions, and they don’t see it as such a bad thing.  I don’t view any of being a teenage parent as a “mistake” – it’s simply something beautiful done at the wrong time for most people.  We aren’t ready at that age, we don’t know everything we should, and we have no desire to listen to those that do know what we should do.  We are still children ourselves.  Through that, I raised an amazing son, and my amazing son, is raising his sons with the same love and trial and error I did.  He has learned a lot in the 2 years he has been a daddy, and as he makes choices and learns the consequences of them, he is learning that I was right…it’s not easy, but it is totally worth it.  It’s hard to watch him flounder and do things totally different than I would, just as I’m sure it was for my mom, but I am very proud of him, and the choice he has made to stand up and take responsibility for the children God has placed in his life.

I’ve never had a father in law like D’s dad.  It was a bit scary coming into a family with a preacher as your new father in law.  While we were dating, D’s parents came to Georgia while D stayed in North Carolina for work.  I vaguely remembered them from around school and church when we were little, but past that, there was no relationship and I had no idea “how” they were.  D assured me that they would love me, but I was still so scared to have them come visit me without him present.  So nervous, that before they came to visit, I changed my blue nail polish because I didn’t want his mother to think anything odd of me.  I had enough to offer without blue nails though…let’s see, 2 divorces – check, teenage son with a kid on the way – check, making his son drive 2 states away to date me – check…yeah, not good.  Except, it was.  In fact, I’ve learned from the entire family, that there is nothing that surprises them or takes them out of their comfort zone.  No family is perfect, and my imperfect background was nothing of consequence to him (or them).  His only requirement and concern about me was that I love Jesus and am a Christian, and that I love his son unconditionally and without reservation.  I am proud to be a part of his family and even more thankful that my husband had such a strong example of what a man is to teach him how to love and protect me, and how to love and raise our children.

My dad and I have something different than most people.  I don’t remember lots of the details of when my parents divorced.  I know things now that my mom has told me, or my sister, or that my dad has eluded to that he is not proud of having done.  I still don’t have a clear bone to pick with him since I didn’t have those feelings of anger/betrayal at the time things occurred.  I have held resentment for what he put my mother, my sister and me through later in life because of his decisions, and for not sticking to his pledge to love, honor, and cherish my mom.  However, we all make mistakes, sometimes they are small and just annoying bumps in the road, and sometimes they will forever effect our lives and the lives of those around us.  I can’t say that I’ve forgotten all the things I know about what happened, but I do forgive him, and now that he is willing to know about me and my life and I am witnessing him make an effort to be involved and talk to me, I find it much easier to have conversations with him without feeling like it’s just a formality.  My dad has had health issues lately, and after losing my mom, I don’t want to lose him and regret not being adult enough to move past any hurt feelings I have in order to show him love that we all deserve.  He is not perfect, but he made four amazing daughters who love him more than he probably realizes.

Last year on Father’s Day I talked about how amazing D is.  As the father figure in our children’s daily lives, he consistently loves, raises, cares for and does everything in his power to ensure that the children we have are aware of his love, and the expectations of them on their behavior and actions while learning and growing up.  It’s pretty hard to be a father to a child that chooses to walk a path that is not in line with how a child should be raised, but even through that hardship he has taken on 2 children that are not his biologically and treated them as his own.  He is under no requirement to be a parent to my children, however he does it happily, with grace and strength, and with God’s love and guidance on a daily basis.   It has allowed them to bloom, grow and learn to be comfortable with the man they have in their daily lives by trusting him, and knowing that he loves them when they are wrong and loves them when they are right.  There is nothing more special to a mother than having a man, that treats their children as they should be treated.  My life is much easier, smoother, and happier having a man that loves his family as selflessly as he does.

Happy Father’s Day to you all, you are all greatly and deeply loved!

What Makes A Dad

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  • I miss you.  You may think that’s weird.  I mean, we didn’t get to know each other that well.  I did enjoy what time we had together, and I miss laughing, snuggling during scary movies, you and J dancing, and working on your homework that you totally didn’t want to do.  I miss that I don’t know YOU from more experiences of my own.  I don’t at all have a bad view of you, or any of our time together.  I think there were ways that each of us (me, your dad, you, your mom) could have handled things, but we are almost 1.5 years past that now. Unless we are going to live in the past, how we got here doesn’t matter.  How we can fix it does.  It can be fixed.  I have gotten to know you from hearing lots of stories about you growing up, and seeing pictures, from your grandparents and aunt and cousin, and most of all from your dad.  I’ve seen your cards, pictures, drawings, notes to your dad when you were little and some much more recent.  I know you from pictures I took of you, with your family and friends here.  You were not unhappy, and you were not mistreated.  I think there were a few misunderstandings and a normal teenager that got mad…guess what, you’ve missed out on your step-sister having some attitude too!  The difference is she isn’t allowed to pull away and disengage, she has attitude, we deal (she is corrected by me, your dad, her dad and her step-mom as a TEAM), we move on…life moves on.  Turning away is not a healthy part of growing up, or healthy for anyone.  To NOT deal with life is  unhealthy.  In spite of what you may think I know that you are very greatly loved, and missed.  I get to see it daily when we do normal things or go places and I think how much you would like this or that.  How I’m sure your dad misses getting to talk to you about things only the two of you shared.  I know that your grandmother misses you and hearing anything from the emails she sends.  I miss hearing about your sports, cheerleading and awards days.  Your dad has hopes each time he emails you that you will answer, even if it’s just to say you’re ok.
  • At this point, there isn’t much I feel I can say to “change your mind,” but I do want you to hear what other people have to say, that have never met you, or your dad, or your mom, and frankly I don’t think you are getting the information you need.  These people all have lots of information that you will see yourself in.  As I’ve always told you, you have a mom, I don’t want to and can’t replace her, but even though I’m new to you, I’m not new to parenting.  As you know, J has 4 parents that love her and make sure she is taken care of TOGETHER, there is no reason, ever, that a loving, stable, caring parent should be distanced or put out of their child’s life, by anyone, including a child/teenager that doesn’t see all the repercussions of a decision like that.  It’s why there are courts, and judges and why ALL parents are instructed to act in the best interest of a child and why visitation is court ordered.  It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. It is not in your best interest to eliminate one of your parents because you are mad or think you’re old enough to. You have 3 parents that love you deeply and can each give you something valuable in life, and 2 that are not being allowed to give you what you so desperately need during these years (and the ones to come) in your life.  So, with lots of love, and because I am your step-mom, but more importantly because I love your dad and you, I’m asking that since we’ve not talked for over a year, you check out the next few things I write and watch a link or two.  Just look at it as homework, or research…payback for not having to listen to one of my lectures for over a year, or a way to get me to shut up:)  Just trust me on this…you know I have nothing to gain here besides helping you and your dad be happy together.
  • I want to go ahead and say that lots of this might sound scary or stupid, or you might think it has nothing to do with you or what’s going on with you.  I know you make your own decisions, so I’m asking you, just because I want you to think for yourself, to use the information I’m about to share to gain all the knowledge you can and make your decisions based on facts and what you KNOW.  You’re grown enough to understand that life isn’t always pretty and perfect.  You have to deal with some crappy things sometimes to get to the good stuff though.
  1. There is actually a WHOLE dvd that we have that I will get to you if you want to see it, just let me know.  It explains all sides, yours, your mom, and your dad, and how to resolve things so everyone is happy!  Wouldn’t that be nice?!  Here are some reviews from other teens (that didn’t want to see their other parent, and some that had not seen a parent just like you), moms, dads and people that watched the dvd, because I know you think it’ll be boring. http://www.warshak.com/alienation/pluto/viewers-say.html
  2. Can you do me a favor and watch this little part of it?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Puy0hjtedU&feature=related
  3.  Also, I know some pretty smart people that have been where you are (and didn’t think they needed help or that anything was wrong).  I don’t want you to think that I or anyone here thinks there is something WRONG with you…we just all know that sometimes things aren’t as they seem and it never hurts to have knowledge about what’s going on in your life.  If you get a minute, this is someone that is now grown and has lived with not talking to her dad for a while when she was your age.  I think you’ll find it interesting. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=139545826175900&id=100003614494125
  4. Now, these are LONG, and I think if you are honest with yourself you’ll see some very familiar things.  Doesn’t matter how they got there, or how it happened, I want to focus on HOW TO FIX IT…I think you’ll recognize some stuff, you can finish reading my letter here first, then come back and check these out (but don’t forget, they are very informative)http://www.drhavlicek.com/what_everyone_should_know_about.htm            http://www.drhavlicek.com/Parent%20Alienation%20Effects%20on%20Children.htm
  5. Ok, so this one is a little more realistic.  I’m going to be honest and point out that this is your relationship and you have done or said just about all of these things.  Yes, they were your idea, which shows that you are in fact, an alienated child, whether you intended that or not. It’s not fun to read, but you will see that it’s not “just your idea” it is something that is documented time after time for years and is a problem not just for you, but has been and is for thousands of other children and teens your age. It is considered abuse to allow a child to go through with these thoughts and actions.  It is not healthy for you, and is not normal.

THE RESPONSE AND BEHAVIORS OF THE ALIENATED CHILD

It is important to discuss the typical clinical presentation of alienated children. For the most part, our observations of the behaviors and emotional responses of alienated children are similar to those reported by others (Gardner, 1987,1992; Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980). By definition, the core feature of alienated children is the extreme disproportion between the child’s perception and beliefs about the rejected parent and the actual history of the rejected parents’ behaviors and the parent-child relationship. Unlike most aligned or estranged youngsters, alienated children freely express hatred or intense dislike toward the rejected parent. They demonize and vilify that parent, often present trivial reasons to justify their hatred, and usually are not reticent about broadcasting the perceived shortcomings of the parent to others. This is particularly baffling to the rejected parent, extended family, and other adults knowledgeable about the prior parent-child relationship. Most often, as stated above, rejected parents have had at least an adequate relationship with these children, and the angry rejection is not merited, even when contributions of the rejected parent are taken into account. One of the most common behaviors of alienated children is their strongly expressed resistance to visiting the rejected parent and, in more extreme cases, an absolute refusal to see the parent in any setting, including a therapeutic one, and a desire to unilaterally terminate the parent-child relationship. These children want only to talk to lawyers who represent their viewpoint and to those custody evaluators and judges whom they believe will fully support their efforts to terminate the parent-child relationship once they hear all the “facts.” To all, they strongly advocate their right to choose whether they will see their parent. Another feature of alienated children is the manner in which they present their stories. Their allegations about the rejected parent are mostly replicas or slight variants of the aligned parents’ allegations and stories. These scripted lines are repeated endlessly but most often are hollow, without underlying substance, texture, or detail to support the allegations. They have adopted the allegation(s) but, unlike children with histories of abusive treatment, do not have compelling supporting information. Generally, alienated children sound very rehearsed, wooden, brittle, and frequently use adult words or phrases. They appear not to be guilty or ambivalent as the children denigrate, often viciously, the rejected parent.  Sometimes, they appear to be enjoying themselves. There is no obvious regret. One of the sobering aspects of these presentations is that alienated children have essentially been given permission to be powerful and to be hostile and rude toward the rejected parent, grandparents, and other relatives. Furthermore, assisting in orchestrating the obliteration of a parent does not bode well for their future social and emotional adjustment. Sadly, even previously cherished pets, now in the custody of the rejected parent, might be denigrated, and the children proudly describe the virtues of their new and extremely perfect replacements provided for them by aligned parents. And finally, alienated children often idealize or speak glowingly of the aligned parent as an adult and parent. They refuse to consider any information that might undermine this viewpoint of their perfect companion and parent, and they vigorously reject any suggestion that their obsessive hatred of the rejected parent has any relationship to the views or behaviors of the aligned parent. They might describe how that parent is suffering, has been harmed economically and emotionally by the rejected parent, and is worthy of their total allegiance. It is important to note that some alienated children-although they present as very angry, distraught, and obsessively fixated on the hated parent in the therapist’s or evaluator’s office-appear to function adequately in other settings removed from the custody battle. They might retain their school performance, might continue to excel in musical or athletic activities, and at least superficially seem reasonably well adjusted. A closer look at their interpersonal relationships, however, often reveals difficulties. Alienated children’s black-and-white, often harshly strident views and feelings are usually reflected in dealings with their peers as well as those in authority. However, it is in the rejected parents’ home that the child’s behavior is severely problematic and disturbed. They might destroy property; act in obnoxious, even bizarre, ways; and treat these parents in public with obvious loathing, scorn, and verbal abuse. They prefer to be in contact constantly with their aligned parent by telephone, at which times, they whisper hostile observations about the rejected parent’s words, behaviors, meals, and personality. If they are resisting or refusing contact, all efforts of the rejected parents to communicate directly with their children are rebuffed, including demands that the parent never contact them again, stop harassing them with presents and letters (which often are discarded or unopened), and cease their useless legal efforts and court appearances.

Again, this isn’t about who is right, wrong, who did what, who needs to change, it’s about how to stop this.  We can fix it, you can have both of your parents, and they both owe it to you to get along enough so you can have each of them without you feeling that it’s necessary to deny one of them.  Did you know that if YOU told both of your parents (nicely and respectfully) that it IS your choice and that they both need to get along so you can have them both involved in your life, that they would have no choice but to do it.  Think I’m crazy?  Your mom has said, typed and told numerous people that it’s “not my problem and it’s between her and her dad” and that “she is old enough to make decisions about her life” and your dad has said that he just wants you to be happy and healthy.  So, if you said to them that it is your choice that they both get along or that THEY ignore each other and allow you to be happy with each of them, they would have to do it, or they would both be liars.  It may not have been started by you, it may have, but regardless, YOU can stop it.  You are old enough, you are smart enough.

  • If you want help, you can reach out to me, your school, your church, your family, you know how to get any of us, and I know you have the means to contact us. We all miss you. You will be welcomed back with open arms.  We will begin again and move forward and learn together how to make life work for everyone involved.
  • If you don’t want help, or don’t think you are ready still, or you’re still mad, or still sure you don’t want to talk to anyone here, even your dad.  I will accept that, but only if you are honest with yourself and inform yourself with the information I shared.  You can’t just continue to walk along thinking that your decisions and those of your mom that have become yours, do not affect you, your dad, your family here, or will not affect you later down the road.  Remember, you don’t get back time lost.  You can’t go back and redo things sometimes.  You can make sure that things you do in the future are done right though.  I hope you choose to be informed, be forgiving, and be happy.

The girl in the pictures here was not abused, unloved, unhappy, unwanted, sad, or any of the things that one would assume would cause a parent to be eliminated from her life.  This girl (now a young lady) was told that she was old enough to decide and that it was her decision, when in fact, that was a violation of a court order to have her father eliminated.  The people in the pictures with her have ALL been cut out of her life at the same time over a year ago.  I could understand possibly being that mad at one person…but a whole family?   There is not one picture where you weren’t smiling.  With all my love…Melissa.

Never too old to love on Daddy!

Never too old to love on Daddy!

I'm in love.

I’m in love.

D and B

D and B

Our Crew!

Our Crew!

Big Daddy and his girls.

Big Daddy and his girls.

That girl was happy, having fun, loving, and enjoying life…I miss her.

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It’s late, and quiet.  D is sleeping, YAY!  He’s been dealing with insomnia, so we are thankful when he sleeps at night.  Yeah, I know you don’t care…let’s move along.

I started 2 other posts tonight, one on Entitlement and one on Change.  Neither of them flowed out, and from experience that means I have tons to say…it’ll come when it’s ready.   I also wanted to start writing more about gratitude and being thankful for things in my life.  This blog will never be updated daily, I think that’s boring, I don’t even want to know what happens with me every day, so I’m sure you have better things to do.  I can feel that I have lots going through my head and need to get some of it out, let’s see where this goes.

Seems lately that I’ve been involved in more than one “heated” debate about a few things.  Girl Scouts, fathers shooting up laptops, Planned Parenthood, Susan G Komen, breastfeeding, Whitney Houston and the flag, Obama,  and gay rights to name a few.  I’m NOT getting into that here, and if you try to hijack my post I’ll delete your comment…I don’t really care what your thoughts are about any of that, so there.  I’ve realized through those conversations, mainly on FB, that people often forget their manners and basic home training when they realize someone doesn’t agree with them, and *GASP* they aren’t listening to their side or better, changing their minds.  It amazes me how full of themselves people are, there is a difference in standing up for your beliefs or a cause and being a pushy, childish idiot.  I actually unfriended 2 people, and was unfriended by 3 people over more than one conversation in the last few months…actual friends, not FB friends.

I find nothing wrong with stating your side, arguing your side, believing in whatever you believe in.  In fact, if you don’t stand up for what you think is right, then what’s the point?  I don’t want to be your friend if you have no opinion on anything.  For real.  I enjoy a good debate/talk/discussion about anything.  What I don’t enjoy is people attacking others for a random statement, or when you’ve stated your side and I’ve stated mine and I don’t succumb to your views.   What kind of world would this be if we all agreed on everything?  Boring.  Even in the home D and I don’t agree on stuff, hell we don’t agree on how to load the dishwasher, or what temperature to keep the thermostat at.  You can ask him…I love to discuss how wrong his way is, and I know full and well I’m not changing his mind on it, but I have to state my case.  I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind…but once you are informed of both sides, yours and the opposing one, and I have given reasons, and support for my views, the ball is in your court on what to do with the information.  Does it not occur to people that if you wouldn’t change your mind to agree with me, then no amount of your disagreeing with me is going to change mine?

Judge not, lest ye do it correctly.

That goes twice for my religious beliefs.  The morals/beliefs/Biblical principles I was raised to believe and choose to believe as an adult trump your argument that you are a good person.  Being a good person is not a principle, it’s a characteristic we should all possess, and as harsh as it sounds, no, that alone won’t get you into heaven.  Not my rules…don’t whine to me.   I’m tired of people using the counter that religious beliefs are unfair, or against our commandment to love one another and judge not.  We are to love the person, not the offense, and there are times when you are allowed to judge – study your Bible.  Why is it that non-Christians can’t just present the information needed and then hush?  I wonder why you so vehemently have to defend your views if you feel they are right, can’t you just sit back and know you are right?  I make it a point to not argue, but to find backup for whatever I’m stating.  If that means you keep disagreeing with what is said, then have fun with that, I’m not God…I don’t have to deal with you after I’ve done my part.   To inform someone on a topic where there is a Biblical disagreement (or someone that doesn’t acknowledge the Bible) is different than presenting information on something you are passionate about.  Passion is not commanded in the Bible, a non-Christian can just sit back and think they are right all day long and you won’t go to hell any faster than if you argued about your side all day long.  However, for someone that is religious/following God’s commandments, we are to spread the word and share it with those that are lost.  One problem is that in our society too many people think that doing good is enough, they don’t feel lost.  My view is that if you are supporting things that are against God, then you aren’t informed of what He said.  If you are informed and not following what He said, then I have even MORE of a duty to help you see the light since you have chosen to ignore it.  I can’t sit back and go “eh, let him be wrong…no biggie.”  You may not understand the difference, but when you are a Christian there is a huge difference in what you can and cannot ignore.  Being a Christian does not afford me the luxury of being silent while others sail along their own river of demise.

My goals for getting involved in the topics on FB were to be informative, have conversation and because I like to be heard (shocker).   I TRY to use articles, proof, facts or anything that backs up my view when involved in a heated discussion.  It seems though, that others like to just get involved to disagree, and try to strong arm others, or belittle them when there is a minority present and they have backup.  I’m always amazed at the things people throw out there with no proof or backup and then further stunned when they act offended when you ask for the basis of their statement.   Does no one know that we aren’t all idiots and don’t just accept what we are told?   When did it become ok to just take things as truth?

I’m really not surprised by much anymore on FB (or in life), it’s almost daily that someone posts some annoying picture on FB or via email about a warning or “support” whatever by reposting this hurt child/dog/military/medical/gang initiation picture.  Can you tell how much that stuff bothers me?  Why is it that people that know they are sending information out just hit “share” without checking the validity or using common sense before further spreading things that are old, false, or just plain do NOTHING to show your support for XYZ cause?  Want to show support for battered women?  Go volunteer at a shelter.  Want to support the troops?  Write letters, send care packages, say thank you.  Want to support equal rights?  Vote, go volunteer at the organization of your choice.  STOP re-posting pictures and thinking you’re actually doing something good.  The problem with FB and email forwards is that it gives people a false sense of doing something…and then no one is doing anything.  Oh, I posted this picture of a flight attendant with a feel good story about some old mean white lady complaining about an Indian man on her flight…so I’m not a racist and I’m a good person.  No you aren’t, you didn’t check to see that that story was FAKE, has been circulating for years, and just gets changed depending on what flavor of the year is on our radar as the “unwanted” race.  Don’t give me that crap about how “it’s a good moral, who cares if it’s real or not?”  I DO, and so do most people.  What about the moral of getting off your butt and actually supporting something?

I’ll hush on that front, I think you get the point.  Don’t share stuff if you didn’t see it, and you didn’t research it to find out if it’s real.  We aren’t going to stop for a baby seat on the side of the road, we were warned of that via email 8 years ago.  I promise not to go around licking the tops of cans because someone may have laced them with cocaine…I learned my lesson the summer of ’02.  If Apple/Coke/Microsoft/FB is going to start charging, or will give me a free anything for sharing or clicking, they need a better AP/AR department, because they’ve been saying they were going to do that for years now.  Hang on, I have to give this Nigerian man my routing number…Blessings to you too.

Oh, I got off topic.  Not sorry.  It just seems that we have lost common sense.  We have forgotten that social media is just that, social.

so·cial [soh-shuhl]

adjective

1.pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
2.seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
3.of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.

4. living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation:

Yes, you can stand up for what you believe in, you can support a cause, you can share your likes and dislikes, and you can be whatever religion you want to be.  You should refrain from pissing people off, ruining your friendships, or being overall douchy when someone doesn’t believe what you do.  If you’re going to do those things, then you’ll quickly find yourself in need of more friends and no one to be social with.

I blog better with tunes…tonight’s awesome playlist courtesy of SiruisXM 90’s on 9 and The Pulse:
Des’ree – You Gotta Be
Poison – Something to Believe In
Tupac – California Love
The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a white guy) – why does he say 5 two times?
Train – Hey Soul Sister
Greenday – Basket Case
Len – Steal my Sunshine
Billy Idol – Cradle of Love
The Fugees – Killing me Softly (with his song) – 2 times
En Vogue – Free Your Mind
Matchbox 20 –  3 am

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Because I want to write more…my “draft” section holds nine, half written, barely started posts.  So I’ve decided to blog about things I like to talk about, my marriage to D and something new I have wanted to try, a gratitude journal.

Whether you are married already or researching vows to use in your wedding, you’ve heard the old standby lines:

I, ______ , take you, ______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, (and obey,) till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.

Short of a few more personal “how I love thee” type statements and the ring exchange, that’s the gist of most vows.  Like most people, I don’t really ponder those vows on a daily basis, or even a weekly one.  Most of us think about what vows we want when planning a wedding, but once they are said, not much thought is given to them until you experience or are forced to live up to them.  Even then, many people fail to understand and even have the desire to stand by the words that are what binds us to each other as spouses.  These are the same words you longed to say to the person you chose to be with, the words that probably choked you up, brought a tear to your eyes, and the words that make your marriage your best bet to survive the good and bad of life.

I’m no saint here, I’ve said these vows more than once, the relevance and meaning at the time, for me, was no different.  I meant them, no matter who was standing next to me, when I said them.  Life, feelings, circumstances, and selfishness (you and your spouse) changes you, and lots of us don’t make it through that as graciously as we’d like to think we had.  The difference is what you learn and how you grow through those things.

Casting stones…

Big Daddy and I have almost been married for 2 years now (it has flown by, I can’t believe it), and through those 2 years we have experienced so many things that most people don’t ever have to deal with in a marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all hardship, but the good times and loving family come at a price, and that price is  job changes, anxiety, insomnia, health problems, ex’s, teenagers, grandkids, in laws, children with absent parents, being forced to be an absent parent, depression, normal growing pains of a new marriage, hurt feelings and overall tough times.

For us, it’s the harder parts of the vows have shaped our marriage into what it is, and what we wanted it to be.   We are by no means rich, yet we have all we need.  Shelter, food, medicines, entertainment, animals that we love (and love us), family, friends and a home.  I wouldn’t say we are living the poorer – we are in the middle, but if you ask D we have been close a few times.  He can’t stand to have a hard day/week with the bank account, and I have to remind him that “it’s been one day that we have a small balance…we get paid Friday.”  He’s pretty funny sometimes about it, yet I am totally comfortable and happy knowing that just because we may not have money one week, we’ll be back on track next week.  It’s also amazing to not feel the strain of fighting over money.  Whether we have it or not, doesn’t change how we treat each other, it’s never been an issue.

D’s health led us to him working from home with me, not a bad trade in my book.  We have been together 24/7 for almost 1.5 years now.  Yes 24/7.  Both of us have been told and heard “I couldn’t do that, how do you do that?” (I’m on FB chatting with a friend who just said “So you’re both home together all the time. Sounds terrifying to me”) We do it because it works, because it’s comfortable, and because why would you marry someone you didn’t want to be with all the time?  When the kids are gone, when the power is out, when you’re sick, when you’re bitchy, when you’re lonely, mad, upset, when you’ve been anything other than “OK” who else do you want to be there with you?  I want him.

It’s not just D’s health that troubles us at times.  We both have our share of insomnia, anxious moments, migraines, moods, and life in general.  Through all of these things we have learned more about how to lean on one another, care for one another, love one another, trust one another, and it has only served to strengthen our bond, which carries throughout every aspect of problem solving for us.

Coming to this marriage both divorced and both with children from previous marriages was something we both signed up for, but really, you can’t prepare for something like that.  While dating we talked it out, we tried to prepare each other, and yet, the real thing is more annoying, trying, and hard to gracefully saunter through than one would hope.  Yet through it all, neither of us has turned on the other because of a situation with an ex or the parent of one of our children.  We are now and eternally, on each others side.  If that were not the case, the court, jealous ex’s, custody, lies, “secrets,” ex’s that feel they know things your spouse doesn’t, and games in general would easily shoot down any shaky relationship or one that didn’t mean those vows.

Neither of us has experienced the level of love and security we have now.  With us both being mid 30’s and having multiple marriages, that is a sad, yet accurate picture of many marriages and relationships out there.   Not only should you mean what you say, but you should be sure that the person you are choosing to say it to means it also.  There is no reason to enter into something as serious as marriage knowing that the feelings and promises do not hold as much truth to your other half as they do you.

We have made a choice not to make our marriage harder than it has to be.  With so many outside influences and “drama” already being thrown at us, we had a choice to make.  I am proud and thankful that we have chosen to enjoy each other and to have the marriage we’ve always wanted regardless of what comes our way.

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