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Archive for January, 2016

Children Caught in the Middle

children

My personal view is that children should never be put in the middle of their parent’s disputes. They also should not have to suffer because the parents have issues with one another. I have seen too many kids I know go through these things and it’s a horrible thing to put your children through.

It doesn’t matter if the other parent cheated on you, doesn’t want to be with you anymore, wasn’t the greatest boyfriend/girlfriend or wife/husband, etc. Your mistakes made against one another should not be taken out on the kids. If there’s violence or neglect, real reasons to worry about your kid’s safety and well being, that’s one thing. But, to simply to deny one parent time with their kids, to talk down about the other parent to the kids, etc is not okay. If both parents love their children and are doing all they can to be there for them, then they should both be a part of their lives. Put your differences aside, it’s not about you and how you were wronged. It’s about the kids, period.

Also, I have an issue with people who assume it’s either always the women who are keeping the fathers from their kids. It’s not always the men who are struggling to see their kids. Sometimes, it’s the women who are fighting the fathers and it’s happening more and more now. Personally, I am against blaming just men or women for the bad things that happen. Both are quite capable of causing pain and are equally guilty. Point blank, no parent should keep their children from the other parent without good cause. And again, proper cause means that your children are being harmed or neglected in their care, not just because they pissed you off, left you, etc. Being a good partner and parent do not always go hand in hand. Someone can be lousy at dating or being a good partner, but be a great parent. And sometimes, it was just the relationship between the two of you. Sometimes people are just toxic to one another, but when they find the right person, things change. That is neither here nor there when it comes to this post though.

I will also add more to the thought, do not talk badly about the other parent in front of the kids. If there is reason for them to think poorly of them, the kids will see it for themselves. Our opinions should not be forced upon the kids, ever. Kids are not as clueless as we think sometimes. They see and hear more than we realize and will be able to decide for themselves how to feel. Concentrate on your own relationship with them, the rest will figure itself out. It’s hard enough being a part of a split home, don’t make things harder on them. Do not put them in the middle, let them be number one to both of you.

(My 13 year old son has been in the middle between his dad and I for most of his life and seeing what’s it done to him is a huge reason I made this post. I speak from experience.)

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Not All Abuse Is Physical

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Physical abuse is nothing to turn a blind eye to. It can break you, it can even kill you. It will leave lasting marks and not just the ones others can see with their eyes. I am by no means belittling those who have been physically harmed or are currently in that situation. It’s something that needs to be taken way more seriously than it is. I have not been physically beaten. In that way, I have lucked out. I have however known people who are close to me that have been through it. I have seen what it does to them, both physically and mentally. It’s a horrible thing to see someone go through. I hate violence, it’s such an ugly thing. Men, women, and children fall victim to violent acts daily and it breaks my heart. If I knew someone was being abused, I would not stay silent, thinking that it’s none of my business. I would step up and find a way to help.

Sexual abuse is not quite the same, but it is still physical and it’s also something that will leave scars no one can see. It will leave you changed and talking from experience, it sticks with you for the rest of your life. Even if you try to make peace with what happened, you never forget. This too is nothing someone should remain quiet about if they know someone is being put through this. I know some feel it’s not their business and some feel they may only cause more damage, but I can tell you that it’s vital to get someone out of situations like these. (I can’t watch Law & Order: SVU without feeling something.)

But, physical acts of violence are not the only forms of abuse. There are people that have never laid a hand upon another, but they have done great damage to those around them. Verbal abuse and neglect does damage to people as well, damage that leaves scars, damage that isn’t so easy to get over. It is hard to just come to terms that it’s not their fault somehow and it creates a lifetime of self doubt. Often times, the physical scars will heal, fade, and seemingly disappear, while the emotional damage it leaves behind sticks around. (though not always, sometimes the physical abuse leaves permanent damage as well.)

All forms of abuse are horrible for anyone to go through and it’s often not easy to speak up about it, either of fear or shame. I think it’s very important to do what we can to help others who have gone through or are going through it. It’s so easy to feel alone and isolated, like there’s no way out, no way to heal, and no way to possibly have a good life. “I’m damaged, too damaged. There’s no hope for me. I’ll always be this….” I have said and thought these things myself. And as someone who has struggled with overcoming the past myself, I find it vital to be there for others. There is always hope to get through and to find a way to heal, as long as there are others willing to reach out to them.

If you don’t feel like you can help, at least don’t make things worse. What we do and say may not always seem to resonate negativity to us, but it may just be causing harm to someone else. So, I want to impress the importance of watching what we do, how we act, and what we say. Don’t be the one who brings others down, even unintentionally. If somehow we find that we have hurt someone, then make amends. No one is perfect and we all have said and done things, whether intentional or not, that have hurt others. So when we cause harm, we ought to own up to it and do what we can to make things right. There is so much hate, violence, and cruelty in the world today and it only seems to be getting worse. So, I urge all willing to listen to do their part to not let it win, to instead let the light shine, to be beacons of hope and love. Let us all do our part to help one another heal.

Yesterday Made You Who You Are Today

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I saw a post on Facebook today that my cousin shared about not regretting your past, no matter how many mistakes you made or what they were. Everything that was done in all of your yesterdays has shaped you into who you are today.

It is easy to put yourself down for mistakes you’ve made and to regret choices made in the past. “If only I hadn’t done….” or “I wish I never would have said….” And sometimes we beat ourselves up even more for things we wished we had said or done, but for reasons of our own, we didn’t.

Something I have learned over the years is, what’s done is done. Beating yourself up over the past doesn’t change anything. And as for things not done, either it wasn’t the right time for those things to happen or maybe they just weren’t meant to happen at all. That is for you to determine. If you still feel that you should go out and do something, don’t make the excuse that your time has passed. If it is something that means a lot to you and it can be accomplished, go for it! If it’s something you know was only for a certain time, then you need to let it go. Either way, find ways to make peace with what was and with what is. And never stop dreaming and working towards what can be.

I used to berate myself over the many bad choices I made, the people I hurt, and the people I trusted that hurt me. I put myself down for the person I was and I held myself back from becoming who I wanted to be. I thought I couldn’t be someone worthy of respect, trust, true friendship, and love. I thought I was destined to mess up and be alone.

Looking back, I am glad I didn’t hold onto those views and that eventually, with a lot of support and love, I overcame the old me. As alone as I thought I was, I realized I had more people beside me than I ever knew. But, it was more than that, I realized there was more to me than my mistakes and my dysfunctional past. I could overcome all of it and be someone I was proud to be. Every mistake, lesson learned the hard way, broken heart, and bad thing that has happened has made me into who I am today. I no longer beat myself up over or regret the paths I took, the things I did that, the people I spent my time with, or what has happened to me.

And, I would use my past to help others learn that they can also overcome theirs and that they too can be what and who they want to be. I feel that we all have untapped potential, can learn and grow all the days of our lives, can inspire as much as we’ve been inspired, can give so much, and be the person we want to be. The past may be written, but the future hasn’t been yet. So, I urge everyone who reads this to take comfort in that and to never give up on themselves. No matter how dark your days were, know that they can get brighter if you allow them to. Don’t let your past define you. Allow your past to make you into who you long to be.

 

New Year, New Adventures

2016

2016 is here and has been underway for nearly two weeks now. Time sure flies! Before we know it, 2017 will be here. 😉

I am excited to see all that 2016 has to offer my family and I. In roughly 15 weeks, I will give birth to my daughter. We’ve been trying to prepare little by little, trying to make sure we have what we need.

My son will wrap up seventh grade in a few months. It’s hard to believe sometimes that he will be an eighth grader this fall and at the same time, we’ll have a small child getting ready to celebrate her first Christmas. I feel incredibly blessed.

Right now, we’re in the process of trying to sell our home and look for a bigger one so that everyone in our family has room and my husband and I want to offer more to my son and our daughter. They deserve to live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood. Where we live right now is okay, but I want better for my kids and we just don’t have the room for them here.

I am also highly motivated to make sure that this is a good year for my husband and myself, in regards to our own personal growth. There are many changes to be made and I am looking forward to making them with him by my side. I am anxious to see what 2016 will have in store for me and also for those I love. Here’s to a great year ahead! It’s what we make it, so we just need to keep our heads high, stay focused, and follow the path God takes us down.

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