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Hannah’s first Ultrasound was at 15W1D. Her size  was 3oz and 8 cm and she measured smaller than her age, so they put her at around 13W6D and changed my due date. At 13 weeks gestation with a heartrate of 138 she was eligible for abortion had we chose it even though she was clearly a live human.

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Hannah’s first picture 13w6D 

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By my calculations and LMP her due date was 10/31 (she came on 11/1), but by measurements she was 13W6D and due 11/9.  Regardless, at 13W6D she had a heartbeat of 138, and was 3 oz and 8 cm.

According to medical testing we declined, that could have told us if she had any likelihood of birth defects due to my age (which would not have been %100), and according to pro-abortion people, we were totally within our rights to kill Hannah. She was unplanned, because our BC did not work (a reversed Vasectomy that was confirmed to not have worked, meaning he had a 0 sperm count), and because we were totally unprepared to have a baby at 37 with 3 almost grown kids. Even with a visible and detected heartrate, with complete legs, arms, hands, feet, spine, head, belly and face…we were totally within our “rights” to choose to kill her at 13 weeks most likely by ripping her apart and out of my body – according to the pro-abortion community. That is not a choice, that is a decision, against all logic.

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Hannah was blessed to be given to a mother that protected her precious body, spine and heart.  Not all babies are that lucky.

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Doesn’t look like a clump of cells to me.  Those adorable toes are some of my favorite things about her!

I am thankful that my mother chose life for me and my sister. I am thankful that she taught us that life is sacred, and that we were brought up to understand that a fetus is a baby. I am thankful that when I got pregnant at 17, I had been taught that my baby was not a “clump of cells” and that I had many options available to me. Not one of those options was abortion, because even at 17, I knew that mothers aren’t blessed with babies so they can kill them. Cody is here because I was taught, and blessed to have support from a my mom. I am thankful for a church (that even though the members shunned me) taught me that his life was important. I’m sure Cody Rivera is thankful that I didn’t choose to kill him because he was not planned and I wasn’t ready. He’s 24 this year, you can ask him what he thinks of abortion. Perhaps you can ask him about his 3 kids and one day they’ll tell you what they think of it too. I wouldn’t be blessed with him, or my 3 grandkids had I listened to the message of the world, that my baby was “my body, my choice” to kill. I’m so glad I didn’t.

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All because I chose life!  L to R: Cody, Jasmine, Hannah and Me then L to R front Emma (my granddaughter), Jaydan (grandson 1) and on my lap is Landon (grandson 2).

I’m thankful for my ONE planned pregnancy Jasmine Tiana Windham! Thankful she is smart, and knows that she has options, and support should she ever need it. Thankful that she is an adult that is learning, but can make adult decisions and doesn’t think that it’s ok to kill a baby.

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I’m thankful for Hannah. Unplanned, total surprise, and wanted and needed more than we ever knew.

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Hannah at 3 aka “super Hanni”

We didn’t march today, but we are thankful, blessed, proud and stand for the rememberance of the millions of babies that had no one to stand up for them, and the millions that still have a chance!

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Wiggly and loved

#marchforlife

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Recently there was a contest to answer this question. While I didn’t get chosen as the winner, I did want to post my answer!

The Question:

I am having an issue with my husband. We have been married for three years and have a baby that is 9 months old. Every other week it seems like he starts a fight with me about how little we get to go out and how “everyone else” leaves their baby with a sitter “at least once a week” and goes out for the whole night, or even leaves their baby with family and has a couples vacation. I work full time and I want to spend time with my child when I’m not working. Once a month date night is enough for me, and I don’t see how “everyone” else goes out multiple times a week without their baby. Am I really off base here?

My answer:

Mama, you are not alone, but you are off base. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it ok, or best for you and your husband (or your marriage). I’ll start with commiserating, we have a 16.5 year old and a 10.5 month old in the house. We both work from home, there is no “break,” and no alone time unless you are indisposed, or have lost your mind and have left a room stating “I’m done for a little while.” This also means that there is a teenager or a baby that knows what we are doing at all times…at ALL TIMES. So, we don’t get “us” time. I also still breastfeed her, so we really don’t spend much time away from the girls. We NEED “us” time. I crave it, a 30 minute shower with hubs while our teen watches the baby is like a 2 week vacation. I said that (to vent, and) to say this, Mama, you need to reconnect with your husband. Maybe he needs to reconnect with you and that’s why he’s adamant. Maybe he doesn’t know how to say “I need to talk to you not while you are tired, or the baby is crying, or while Harry The Bunny is on.” We all have issues speaking what we need sometimes and expect others to read our minds, and your husband is no exception. Nor are either of you mind readers. I think he’s just out of ways to convince you so he’s trying to guilt you into it. Not the right way to do it, but you’ve really given him no other options here since you keep shooting his idea down.

So, maybe he’s going about it wrong, I’ll give you that. I’ll also give you one up because I assure you, not all of us are having weekly dates and leaving the baby with a sitter. Some of us are, but out of you and me, none of us are doing that. You have two things right…but it’s not getting you closer to your husband so you’re losing. You’re both losing. You’re not the first working mom that has a husband that wants to spend time with her. You’re also not the first mom who has forgotten that you were a wife before you had kids and your husband misses that! How many wives do we all see saying that their husband never takes them out, or tries to, or he’s busy watching football/gaming/working? I think you’re not realizing what a great thing this could be. Your husband wants time with YOU…why is that so bad? No more than 1.5 years ago you were enjoying time with him (or you wouldn’t have a 9 month old)! Get out of your rut, get out of the house, get out of “mom” mode and you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy and crave your date nights. They can be anything from coffee, to a movie, to a shooting range trip, and last from 1 hour to a couple if you want. There is no set limit or time, just spend time with him.

I encourage you to look deeper into why you’re against it so much. It is very easy to be touched out with a baby, and many women have issues with their sex life after baby, could that be part of it? If that’s not it, then why wouldn’t you want to go on a date? You mentioned working full time. Are you overtired (dumb question, I know), work stressing you out, mad that he’s not working as much? Who watches your child while you work? If baby goes to a caregiver, then leaving the baby with family, or a sitter isn’t your issue. If baby stays at home with him while you work, then don’t you think HE needs a break? Can you compromise and go once every other week until you get back in the swing of it? We all want to spend time with our children after work, we want to see what they’ve learned, give hugs, watch them sleep, play and read to them. Your husband wants the same with you, once a week. No baby, no work, no bills, no “official business,” no fuzzy pj’s, no recliner…just you two, like it used to be. If that doesn’t sound good, then it’s time to have a talk about your relationship, and the best place to start that talk is on neutral ground, with just the two of you, on a date.

~Mel

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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!

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Life is good!

~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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I’m really slacking on keeping a journal (via blogging) to help with my anxiety.   Since I was down for the count for that week, and I feel better in that regard, it’s hard to take time to write about things when I don’t feel “bad.”  I don’t feel it creeping up, but there are times that I think to myself that I need to get something out of my head.  That alone is progress.  I don’t normally have rational thoughts about my feelings, I tend to just hold them in and make do, or portray that I’m making do.

In the last 2 days it’s hard not to feel like I’m slacking more because I was the one that prodded encouraged D to start blogging to help him get things on paper and allow him to sort through the things he kept going over in his head about B.  Needless to say, it’s been 48 hours since he started typing, and as I type this, he’s on his 8th blog post.  Talk about overachieving.  I’m kidding, he needs this, and we need this.  He needs it so he can allow things to come out of his head so he can work, sleep, eat and be functional.  The last week at our house was rough on all those things.  We need it because it’s allowing him to let things out and know that I encourage these thoughts and feelings because it’s good for him.  It’s also allowing him to work through things better when he sees it on “paper” because he knows he can come back and think about it whenever, so it’s not something he has to dwell on.

I’m off track, as awesome as he is, this was about me!  Settle in, you know I type a lot.

We have been talking for a few months, and D and I were both raised in private/Christian school, so we both agree that it would be a great opportunity for J.  We had found one school, through a neighbor that taught there, and to make the long story short, J’s dad shot that down because they aren’t accredited (which isn’t as important as most people think), and they aren’t doing 8th grade next year anyway.  So, we were fairly resolved to sending her back to her school and trying to find a private one for high school.  Last week while driving to Lowe’s hardware (an anxious time for me), we passed a small church about a mile from our house, and they had just put up a banner announcing sign ups for their private school!  We wrote down the website on the way home and I immediately went to it, read all about it, and the next day called and made an appointment for us to go talk with the administrators.   J got home last Thursday, and we told her about it, she was thrilled…ok, I’m lying.  She didn’t really care, her first questions were “what about my friends, do they have uniforms, how many boys go there?”  Once we told her to hush answered her valid questions she was content to go to the appointment (mostly because school is 4 days a week).

Now, we have all read about my anxiety (and if not click the “anxiety” category over here ——>), and we all know that it just comes when it wants.  After the Lowe’s trip last week, D made the statement that he has general anxiety (he has “off days” where he feels off balance and on edge), and I have situational anxiety (once I’m removed from the place/situation/emotion – I’m totally fine).  I don’t know which one is worse.  Most of his days he’s absolutely fine, I’m actually jealous that he can get in the car and go somewhere alone, without a second thought.  However he endures an entire day/days where he just feels like ass.  I am generally fine, at home, at friends houses, in public places that are easy to get out of.  If we go to a new place, or a big (Walmart, Lowe’s, mall) I am a hot mess sometimes DAYS before we go.  If I know we have to go to Lowes this weekend to get something, I think about it for days, and work myself into this panic.  Then I get there and I’m on autopilot waiting for the ok that we’ve done what we had to and we can go, and once we are done at checkout, and don’t HAVE to be there, I could literally walk around the entire store.  Stupid.  He’s calm cucumber through all this.  We are totally made for each other.

I’m getting closer to my point of this post…stay with me.

So, meeting with school people, Tuesday.  I have a full 5 days notice here…and not once was I anxious about it.  I know it’s a small church (no problem), it’s closed, we are meeting 1-3 people, not a huge crowd.  I’m thinking we’re going to talk for 5-10 minutes, get the packet and hit the road.  A psychic I am not.  For the last week, with the B deal we have been laying down for a few hours at night and closing our eyes.  Literally…we haven’t slept.  So, by Tuesday we’re both just a mess of tired.  J had her friend spend the night, so we have an extra in tow, which is good, it keeps J busy.

I’m going to tell the rest of this story as it happened, so you can experience what I was feeling (kinda).  People often don’t “get” what a panic attack is, yes, it’s in my head, but it’s very real.  We get up and I haven’t once had a bad feeling about this meeting so far.  I move around, and eat some late breakfast. I always eat before we head out, because I know I get jittery and feel “off” and I don’t want to have low blood sugar because it makes me more cranky and have more things to worry about – so eating helps curb that one bad thought pattern, I also go to the restroom before leaving the house because I hate public ones and it’s just something else that keeps me IN somewhere if I want to bolt. (Yes, it’s stupid) We head out at 12:45, to be there by 1.  I’m thinking in the car that I’m ok, there is no need to worry, nothing big is going on, say a prayer for calm. Park the car, and we head in the side door to find that there is a table, and another appointment going on, one lady comes out, says hi and says “we’re almost done, please have a seat and we’ll be right with you.”  OH CRAP, waiting, sitting to talk, I wanna go NOW, we’ll just say, we have something to get to and we were just coming by for information and we’ll call you later (Yes, I have lied to leave somewhere) We go to the vestibule and J and her friend sit on a bench and me and D sit on the other, it’s the one day so far this year that the heat index is 105, and the church is closed, and didn’t really leave the air on high, so it’s cooler, but HOT with the huge windows.  D is hot, I am hot…I am also now clenching my fists and fidgeting, both my pre-flight coping mechs.  I take a sip of water, which, I always have a drink (it distracts me, but with the bathroom thing I’m thinking it’s a dumb idea now).  D plays with his phone, J and her friend are laughing and being girls.  I’m not really listening. You know the sound of a muffled things when you are waking up or going to sleep…that’s what I’m hearing.  I just block things out instead of focusing on them, because listening to them makes me feel like telling everyone to stop making noise and CHILL OUT.  It’s really me that just needs to chill, so I block it.  I tell D, I’m not comfortable, and I wanna go.  He says “you’re fine” and holds my hand.  The lady comes out and says “we’re ready” (it’s been maybe 5 minute since we walked in).  J and her friend go waltzing in like it’s the J show, and D gets up, and I get up Stomach turning, eyes watering, heart racing and turn toward the big window and say “I can’t.” He says, “yes you can” and I look back and him with tears streaming and say “I can’t go in.”  Running seems like a good idea right now, straight out the door in front of me and to the car…not home, just OUT OF HERE.  Stop, pray, you’re in church. I’m about to have to sit and talk to people I don’t know, for God knows how long and I can’t just leave because I need this information, J is in there, these people are going to think I’m crazy.  Why am I crying?  I don’t cry? He can go in by himself and get the info while I regroup in the car.  D says “ok, just let me tell them it’ll be a minute.” I’m crying still, trying to stop, and figure out what my issue is. He returns, puts his hands on my shoulders from behind me and says “what can I do?”  I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!! GET ME OUT OF HERE? I tell him that I don’t know and that I don’t even know what my problem is.  He says to breathe and chill out, and that I’m ok.  I’m mad that I am crying, it’ll give me a headache and make me feel lightheaded, which adds to my biggest fear – fainting in public.  Why?  I picture people stepping over me looking down going “what the hell is her problem?” Totally unwarranted…yet still very much my thoughts.  Less than 1 minute has passed since my freak out, but to me it feels like 10 minutes.  I tell him that I need a tissue and then we’ll go in.  So I head to the bathroom and dry it up, and walk out, and he’s in the room sitting and saved me the chair by the door…my baby knows me.  At this point I don’t know if he’s told them, or if they just thought we were talking, or if they think I was on a phone call.  Knowing I look like I’ve been crying, I walk in, sit, and they are all nice and look at me and I just say “I’m sorry, I have an anxiety issue and had a small freak out…” Waiting for the WTF/she’s crazy looks…nothing.  One of them says “oh dear, are you ok? It’s fine, we understand.” Wow, nothing more?  No, really, this is a GREAT thing. I’ve told them my issue and now if I freak out again they’ll get it.  I then said if I have another moment I’ll handle it and be back and they should carry on.  We start the meeting, and maybe 2 times in the 15 minutes I thought “Oh crap, get me out,” but it passed quickly.  D is a talker…when we are in public it REALLY puts me on edge, this time it was fine.  We had the meeting, it went well, we were both very happy with the school, and J seems to be ok with it.  We’re still praying and waiting to be sure of things.

DOH!

DOH!

As for the freak out…I don’t know what it was.  I mentioned to a friend that maybe this school is where J needs to be and where we needed to be and Satan didn’t like it.  I’m very easy to attack in moments like those.  Yes, we were in a church, and yes, I prayed before, and during, and after, but when there is the opening for fear and things are as severe as they are with my panic I think it’s very possible.  I don’t know what that says about me, I feel that I am a strong Christian and I’m very close to God, and I know that those are the ones that are attacked the most because it’s a huge game to him.  Some might argue that Satan can’t be present in church, I’d agree, and no I don’t feel he is “in me,” but I do think that thoughts are placed to come up at the most opportune/worst times when he needs them to work the most.

Bottom line is, I made it.  I didn’t run, I didn’t bolt, I didn’t faint, didn’t make a fool of myself, I really don’t even think those ladies noticed.  I did close the meeting letting them know that if we had something like a meeting or something and they saw me hanging out acting weird, gimme a minute and I’d be just fine.  D has proven time and time again that he can fully handle my issues.  He is the perfect balance of letting me freak out and being supportive, and not letting me give up or knowing when I’ve had enough and need to be removed.  So, for the millionth time, I’m thankful for my amazing husband, and happy that he and God helped me prove to myself that I don’t have to bolt…every time.

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I’m a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…I’d like to give myself props for my title (it took me 5 mins to come up with).

As I pulled this up to start a new post I realized how much I’ve changed (for the better) in a few years.  I had always believed what I do now, but when you don’t have the opportunity to be heard, or truly practice what you believe it becomes back burner and so hard to do.  I am thankful that I have the husband, marriage, relationship and ability to study and learn about things I’ve always agreed with and was raised to believe.  My posts are more in depth because I am learning more about what it is I need and where I am supposed to be in life.

Where I am/we are in life is a trying place to be in.  I’ve been reading and spending time on finding out as much as I can to help me/him/us make the best decision, to be able to deal with whatever decision we make, and to know what I can do, should do and need to not do in order to help D through this.  Divorce is a pain, children are a blessing, and ex’s are – well, unless you’re lucky, they’re a pain too, some more than others.  If you add all that together, there is huge potential for the kids to become a pain as well.  I’m not harping on a certain kid, because in all I’ve dealt with from OUR kids, they all can be a pain at times.  No one more than the other.

At this time I am not going to blog about the whole story, but I’ll say that we need prayers for wisdom, discernment, patience and healing right now.  You can include D’s daughter in that (we’ll call her B), and our entire family as a whole.  It is not fun, and it is emotionally draining for all parties involved.  I am also going to TRY to be nice and not too descriptive here, except for what is needed to get to my story.  I don’t want this to be a bash the ex post, but it is my blog and I do need to get some things out, so deal with it.

One big happy family!

This post came to me after something D’s ex said in her email of wildly accusatory and totally off base ranting (it’s amazing that some people can function with no rational thoughts).  She referred to a comment that was made to B from D.  In short, although it was an entire conversation between the two of them, that the order of the household is “God, husband, wife, kids.”  B didn’t like this, and even took it up with 2 different counselors who informed her that indeed, it was biblical.  Apparently that wasn’t enough, because she talked about it with her mother also, who saw the chance to try to use that against D.

The ex feels that there is an exception to this “rule” – which isn’t truly a rule, and honestly there is not one verse in the Bible that says “God, husband, wife, kids.”  There are verses that outline this order and we’re going to check those out in a minute.  Back to the ex, she feels that the exception (because right now it fits her case that D is not a good father) is a remarriage.  As in, now that B is the biological, first child in my and D’s relationship, SHE should come before me (the third wife).  Lest we forget that the ex herself was a step-mom to B, and had she not come first in her marriage, it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.  However, she herself has no desire to realize this fact.   Instead, she’s going to harp on how our marriage and family set up is not in line with the Bible.   Knowing who she is, and seeing her in action, I really have a hard time taking biblical advice from this woman, but I did as I should have and took it as an opportunity to get my Bible knowledge on…sorry, I need humor right now.

So, as part of my lifelong, never-ending quest to prove people wrong learn new things, we’re going to explore.

We’ll start with the basics:

Genesis 2:24 (KJV)

24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:6 (KJV)

6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

When a man and a woman marry, he (and she) obviously leaves his parents and becomes his own family, with his new wife, they are now joined.  Equal, in God’s eyes as a unit.  They are to be family to each other, and one.  Without going too far in to this verse, it is clear the unit that is now created.  As children growing up, we are to obey our father and mother, once we “leave” that family unit and are joined to another, our new responsibility is to our spouse.  We are not to discard the relationships and responsibilities to our parents (as parents grow older it is our job to care for and provide for them, and as their children we should always heed advice and respect their view), rather we are to put FIRST the marriage.  Most marriages start without children, however it is understood that with or without children the unit of husband and wife cannot stand strong, function, thrive, or create a foundation to raise children in if it is not a complete and healthy unit that can stand on its own and be strong for those that are in it and those that come along as a result of it.  In that statement we can clearly see the importance and reason for the “unit” and the responsibility of the marriage (vows).

As for the “this applies to the covenant/first marriage” people, I do not want to get into a “divorce is not allowed” type discussion.  I will disagree with you all day long, and can and will back it up.  This post is not about that.  In short, my view on divorce is that it is HIGHLY discouraged, and not biblical in most cases.  However, it is divorce that is not approved by God, not those that have chosen divorce, or had to endure one for reasons that most of the world should butt out of!  None of us are perfect, and those that portray that they are perfect are usually just trying to divert attention from the weeds in their own garden.  I give you this as part of my argument and then we’ll move on:

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 describes a woman who has been divorced because of “uncleanness” (v.1). The Bible says that when she remarries, she “becomes another man’s wife” (v.2). Thus, the Bible acknowledges that the two became husband and wife in covenant marriage, even though it was her second marriage.

We’re married…now what? Babies!!!!!!! Or in our case, we’re married, now we have “our” kids.  Blended families are a special thing.  They are especially hard, different, trying, fun and lots of work.  No matter how or when our base unit is started, or who is in it now, it is still the foundation of the family, blended, or first time.  We can turn to our Bible to see what God says about this new addition to the original (base) unit.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

So, we know that to have children we need two people preferably a husband/wife unit as God outlines, and once that unit is here, we have children who are commanded to obey your parents.  It doesn’t say “obey your biological parents only” or “obey the parent you feel is on your side.”  It says parents.  A child (or ex) can’t pick and choose which verses are ok to suit their case.  NO, there is no exception, it is the RULE.  Children obey (all) parents.  Biological, step, adoptive, right, wrong, mean, nice, out of state – PARENTS.  It warns that you want to do this so you may live long on the earth.  If we take that into consideration for what it really says we can use the example that if your mother tells you not to go in the street without looking both ways, and you do so, you could get hit by a car.  Harsh? Yes.  Truthful?  Very. It also means in a figurative way in that you will live long because of the wisdom and protection of your parents.

As I mentioned there is not a specific verse that gives us this order of God, husband, wife, children.  Yet by using our brains and reading we can see it clearly outlined and understand the reasoning.

With all of that said there are obvious deviations and limits to what we must attend to first.  I wrote this assuming that we are adults and have common sense.  Each child has needs, and as parents our first duty is to protect and love our children, to teach them, raise them, and discipline them.   I am in no way suggesting that children are not to be cared for.  Obviously if your child is bleeding outside and needs you, and your husband would like a glass of water while you’re in the kitchen – you can let him know it’ll be a minute because your child is hurt.  We aren’t talking about neglect here.  I am speaking on behalf of the emotional, love, bond, nurturing of the spousal relationship and its needs over what a child thinks they need.

Teenagers (and toddlers) are worst at feeling that their wants and needs trump everything.   This is where our issue began and the discussion itself started.  B felt that she was no longer the focus of EVERYTHING her dad did, and suggested that since she was his bio-kid, she should be first in his life.  Now, yes, she should hold a special place, and she should be afforded HER time with him.  We gave her that opportunity, and she, on many occasions, refused to take her alone time or cut that short because she wasn’t in the mood, or he wasn’t spending money on her.  However, she still felt that he should be at her beck and call, wallet in hand.  The fact that dad had moved on and remarried, and has someone to keep him company while B is with her mom does not sit well.  B would rather he be lonely and ready to tend to her wants.   Teenagers are very selfish, and if allowed will just keep taking.  Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that they struggle with teaching that it’s not “all about me!” (we’ve all seen the t-shirts).  If you don’t have the foundation and strong relationship of the husband/wife, then in any family with kids, especially in a blended family you’re in deep trouble.

In our family, our bond, which was strong before we got married, was solid.  It is more solid now after dealing with ex’s and our new family.  Had we deviated from God’s plan for marriage at all, I don’t know where we’d be.  I am proud and thankful that my marriage is strong, and getting stronger with every trial we go through.  I strongly believe that there are people and things that want us as a new family to fail and they are well on their way to being disappointed because of our love for God, and our love for each other.

I’m in no way “done” with thoughts on our ordeals with B and the ex…rather I’m trying to work through them without being bitter or naming names on here.  I’d really love to write a letter to the ex and inform her of some things she doesn’t know (since she won’t look at me or speak to me).  However, I am standing my ground quietly and supporting D because he doesn’t need more drama, he needs love and to know that he is free to do what he feels necessary for B.

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