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Posts tagged ‘community’

A Heavy Heart Opens Up

I am one who is known to talk a lot, but there are things, believe it or not, that I keep to myself. Sometimes I don’t know what to say or how to say it. Sometimes I am afraid to speak and other times, I just feel silly or ashamed for how I feel. Sometimes I don’t want to burden anyone with what’s going on. Either way, after awhile, it becomes too much.

I am fighting for my son. Many know this, but no one really knows how all of this has been effecting me. My son begged me to keep fighting for him, so that’s what I am doing. However, it has not been easy for me. Mentally and physically, it has been wearing me down. Between the fights with his dad and step-mom, a Guardian ad Litem who won’t return my calls and still hasn’t met my son when she was supposed to do so months ago, playing endless phone tag with my lawyer, my son breaking down and ending up in a behavioral health center, and so on, I have been stretched thin.

This struggle has been going on for years, but now it is all coming to a head. We finally have a court date, I am hoping that I will get placement back. It was supposed to be temporary placement, but that was 12 years ago. It’s really about time that it be returned to me. My son has been asking for this for years and I got tired of waiting for his dad to give this a chance. I did the right thing 12 years ago, made the sacrifice for my son’s well being. It’s time that his dad do the same thing. It really bothers me that he hasn’t been willing to at least try it out, that there’s always been an excuse. Our son has told him over and over that he’s unhappy there, that he wants to come stay with my husband and I for school, but his dad dug his heels in and has refused to budge, not even willing to do it on a trial basis.

After a huge blow out fight, we said we were going to find a way to work together and that since we simply can’t agree on placement, that the court will decide and whatever the court decides, we’ll make peace with it and make it work for our son. Our son said he would accept the decision and do the hard work that’s ahead of him to straighten his life out, no matter where he is. I hope he means it. He is a smart young man, one with a lot of talent, that could do so much. As angry as I have been with his dad, the truth of it is, right now, a lot of what’s been going on rests on his shoulders. He is 15 and knows better than to pull the things he has. There is no excuse for not turning in homework, stealing, telling tales, saying hurtful things to others, and so on. Unhappy or not, he knows what is expected of him and do his best to follow the rules. He has such lofty goals, ones he won’t accomplish if he doesn’t straighten his life out.

It is infuriating, all of it. For nearly 16 years, it’s been one battle after another. I just want peace. I want to be done fighting with my son’s dad and step-mom. I want my son to behave, not be perfect, as perfect doesn’t exist, but to turn things around, to do better than he has been. I want him to do his school work and not a half assed job, but really putting effort in. I want him to respect his teachers, peers, parents, step parents, and just others in general. I want this all to work out. I am so tired of crying, all of the misunderstandings, pleading to be heard, being ignored, not being fully included in on everything that goes on with my son, and the list goes on. My heart has been put through the wringer and I just want things to work out.

I am also dealing with grief that I haven’t been able to fully process. My grandma died at the end of January this year. She was my last living grandparent. I knew that I would take hers the hardest out of the four, as she was the one I was the closest to. I barely knew my dad’s parents, especially my grandpa, as I had only met my dad and his family when I was 10 and was 14 when he died. I hadn’t gotten to spend much time with him at all. The hardest part about losing him was regret from barely knowing him. Even though my one grandma lived for years after he died, I didn’t know her very well either. We spoke here and there, but I wasn’t really close to her. It really hurt when she died, but again, mostly out of regret from not knowing her as well as I should have. I did end up honoring her memory though, by naming my daughter partly after her. My mom’s dad and I used to be close, until I was about 11 and then things started going downhill. I was sad when he died, but it was mostly from missing what we’d had when I was a kid. My mom’s mom was a completely different story. She become a second mother to me when I was 17. She was someone I grew really close to. As a little kid, I was closer to Grandpa, but throughout my later teen years and adult life, it was her I’d grown super attached to.

My grandma took me in, more than once, when I needed somewhere to go. She let me live with her rent free, helped pay for my expenses many times, and yet still spoiled me by buying me and later my son random things because she knew we’d enjoy them. She let me use her car over and over when mine fell apart. She did so much more than all of that though. She listened to me countless times, whenever my son’s dad and I were fighting, when I would beg to see my son, when I was angry with my mom, upset with my dad, depressed, needed advice, or just wanted someone to talk to. We had so many inside jokes and often made up silly stories just because. I could confide in her anytime, about anything. I miss her, even watching QVC for hours with her. I miss her voice. I miss seeing her. And I feel so unbearably guilty for not being there more in the end. For so long, as she was aging and we could all see it, I took care of her. On my own, I took care of her, her home, her bills, and made sure everything was alright. After awhile, it got to be too much and we got help, only my grandma wasn’t happy about it. So, even after I moved out, I still went there daily to check in on her and be there for her. Eventually my uncle moved in and my role as caretaker ended. After that, I saw her less and less. At the end, I had barely seen or talked to her. I did try to call many times, but no one ever called back, not her or my uncle, but I feel like I could have tried harder. Knowing she was spending her last days in her room, barely doing anything, couldn’t even read anymore, it is a lot for me to handle. After all she did for me, I feel like I should have done more….

A little over two years ago, my friend Aimee died. That still hurts a lot, far worse than most deaths I have dealt with have. Only one hurts worse, my grandma. Aimee was my best friend for so long. The last few years she was alive, we weren’t as close, but we were still connected. She sang at my wedding three years ago, which still means so much to me. She never did meet my daughter though. She was in the hospital when my little girl was born and only immediate family was allowed to go see her. She had been in a coma, after surgery didn’t go well, was that way for awhile and then finally, she made it out of that and was recovering. Then one morning, I wake and look on Facebook, as usual, only to find out she’d died. No one saw it coming. She used to joke that she’d be lucky to make it to 30. She had a lot of health problems and had made many questionable choices, but somehow she made it through all of that. Then one day, she was gone. Some days, I forget she’s gone, sometimes I want to call her and then I remember. She touched my life in many ways. She inspired my writing, my music, and so much more. She helped me feel good about myself. She encouraged me, believed in me, and despite our issues here and there, was such a great friend. I miss her more than I can say. Some days are really hard, but I can only imagine how her family feels. She is missed so much….

I feel frustrated. I am trying so hard to build my business and some days, it feels like things are going well. I booked several weddings, events, family sessions, and more this year. I just got my business accredited by the BBB. Little by little, I am getting my name out there and it feels great. My clients are amazing and I love what I do. Capturing precious moments and then turning them into forever memories for others is a gift. Sometimes though, others make me feel awful. Now and then, I get a crazy client who tries to pull some shady stunt or another photographer trying to undermine me or steal my clients. I know it’s all a part of running your own business, but sometimes it can be difficult. I am making more than I thought I would be, but still not nearly enough to really feel like I am providing for my family. I know I am still growing my business and have a lot of learning to do, so I am trying to be more patient. Some days it can be difficult to keep perspective and stay positive.

Sometimes I feel like I am not good enough for my spouse or his family. Sometimes I feel like his family judges me. Sometimes I feel like he could have done better. I know I am a lot to handle and am thankful every day that he is by my side, that he loves me. He loves us, what we have, as a couple and a family. He is so good to my son and has sure put up with a lot. That man has so much patience and I am definitely one who requires a lot. I know I bring a lot to our relationship, that this is a two way thing. Some days I do feel like I am good for him. I keep him organized, on time, am the calendar, make him laugh and smile, help him raise our daughter, get him to eat better, and so on. I just come with so much baggage and sometimes I feel like it’s a bit much. No one has ever been outright mean to me, but sometimes the way some look at me or make me feel, I feel like maybe they wished he’d picked someone else. Paranoia set in, maybe, but either way, I hate how I feel sometimes. Sometimes I feel like he deserves more than I give, more than I am. I struggle with insecurities almost daily. I know many do, as we often our own worst critics. I am trying so hard to be kinder to myself. I am a work in progress.

I needed to get this all out, sometimes keeping things to myself or even partly to myself can be draining. I hope that anyone reading this got something from it. Maybe you’re in my shoes with parts of this, maybe you are grieving, feeling less than, or fighting for your child’s well being. Maybe you’re not in any of those situations, but are struggling in your own way. Whatever the case may be, I hope you find whatever you’re looking for, your peace, sense of worth, purpose, or some inspiration. I hope that you got something from this, that is why I share my thoughts, poetry, photography, feelings, and more. I share it so that those reading this will learn more about me, get inspired, leave comments, want to know more, become a friend, share words to inspire me, and to just connect. On that note, I wish you all a very good night, weekend, and here’s to our amazing community of artists. We write, draw, make music, and more. We create and share it with others. I love it here. Thank you for making me feel like a part of something.

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We’re Americans First

I'm An American

The election is over. We have our 45th president and his name is Donald Trump. I will start out by saying, I didn’t vote for him and nor did I vote for Hillary Clinton. (I voted Independent for the presidential candidate.) Not that I generally make it known who I vote for in any election, but I wanted to make it clear here that while I didn’t vote for Trump, I have accepted the election results. I think it is time the rest of the country follow suit.

I am seeing horrible things on the news, in the papers, and on social media in response to the election. Many of the people rioting, participating in violent acts in protest, bashing anyone who voted for Trump, and so on are also those who claim they want to see positive changes in this country. Those changes start with us. If we want to see America become great again, then we need to begin by doing some personal reflection and make the changes within ourselves.

Spreading hate is not helping, it is only making things worse. What are we teaching our children? It is okay to be unhappy with the results if you truly feel that Trump isn’t the man who should be running our country, but it is not okay to protest in such ways that elicits violence and cruelty towards others. The best thing any of us can do is accept the results, make the best of it, and be the changes we want to see in America. Bashing one another and rioting will not change the outcome, it will not suddenly make Hillary our president. How many people heard Hillary’s concession speech? How many people heard what Obama had to say? Neither of them are happy about the election results, but they are behaving like mature adults, at least on camera. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We don’t have to like the results, but reacting in the ways that many have been doing is only fueling the hatred that’s already too powerful. Kids are being bullied at school over this, friendships are dissolving, families are at war with one another, and this country is divided by yet another thing. It is really sad. Just because someone voted for Trump or Clinton doesn’t mean they embody what we don’t like about the candidates. The people we love are still the same people. They didn’t suddenly change and become racist, immoral, or indecent. Remember who we are at the core and don’t let this change how we view one another. Now is the time to come together, not grow further apart. We already have enough issues, sure don’t need to add more.

I would also like to point out something else. Many have been focusing on solely the presidential candidates and have forgotten about their local governments, which controls much of what goes on in our day to day lives, what happens in our communities. We should not neglect our duty to support our local governments. Do the research, learn what our local politicians truly stand for, and vote. These elections happen more often than every four years too, know what’s going on in your communities and be a voice for hope and positive change. Our aldermen, sheriffs, judges, mayors, etc are elected by us too, shouldn’t we know who sits in those positions of authority and power?

We are a country that is all too often divided. Republicans v.s. Democrats, Packers fans v.s. Bears fans, white v.s. black, rich v.s. poor, Christians v.s. just about any other religion, gays v.s. straight, and so on. I would like to point something out, we’re Americans first. I heard the speech President Obama gave yesterday and agreed with many key points. I was never a huge fan of his, but I have to give credit for how he has handled the election results. His speech really got to me. I would credit it as one of the greatest accomplishments of his presidency. It may sound silly, but honestly, his reaction to Trump being elected says something about him. How you transition from your position of power says a lot about one’s character. I think that phrase he uttered was what hit me the most. It is something we all need to remember. No matter where we’re from, what our background is, what color our skin is, what we believe in or don’t for the matter, what our sexual orientation is, or anything else that could divide us, WE ARE AMERICANS FIRST! Let that sink in and let us find our way back to being a country that’s united.

While You’re Away…

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During my month break from blogging, people were still finding my blog, reading it, and subscribing to it. I came back to find that I now have over 900 people reading my blog. Wowsers! My how you all amaze me! How do people come across it when I haven’t posted in awhile? It’s an incredible thing to find that even while you’re away, your words make a difference.

Thank you to each of you for helping make my blog what it’s become, for enriching my life, and making this journey amazing. Thank you for your inspiration and for letting me inspire you. Thank you for your kindness, friendship, and support. I feel I can never thank you enough.

What is today? It’s Tuesday, October 25th, 2016. It’s someone’s anniversary, birthday, day they buy a new home, a day they have to say goodbye to someone they love, the day they give birth or maybe even sign adoption papers, get a puppy, or many other things. But, it’s also a day to love, give, smile, laugh, and make the most of your life.

If you decide to take a sabbatical from the world of blogging, just know we’ll still read while you’re away. Whatever you do, whether you post or read any other blogs today, make the most of all you do. โ™ก

Time Flies When You’re Being Inspired

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Today Facebook reminded me that I began blogging on WordPress four years ago today.

So much has changed since I began this journey. I was going through a rough time in my life. My romantic, financial, and family life were all such a dramatic mess. But as I’d write about it, via status updates and poetry, a friend suggested I try blogging, to share my life with others and perhaps inspire people with each post.

I contemplated the idea and then decided to jump in elbows first. What an excellent experience it has been the last four years. I had no idea just how wonderful doing this would prove to be.

Thank you to each person I’ve met along the way, for each kindness you’ve all shown me, for the support you give me and my blog, for writing such amazing things and inspiring me, and for being a part of my life. I’m glad to have met each one of you. My life is all the more blessed having you in it. I love you guys and gals, immeasurably so.

Here’s to more joy, learning, growing, meeting new people, getting to know each of you better, friendship, family, ideas taking root, and love, ah yes, above all love. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›

Here & There

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So I know this community is made up of people from all over the world and I’m curious to know where you’re all from.

So, today I’d like to ask you this, where are you from and what are some things that your home country is known for? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m from the United States and more specifically, live in the state of Wisconsin. The United States is known for many things, one being our major sporting events such as The World Series for baseball and The Superbowl for American Football. They say baseball is America’s favorite past time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wisconsin is known for cheese, beer, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, having the first Marcus Theater, and being the Badger State.

So, now tell me, what about your beloved home would you like to share? ๐Ÿ™‚

A Question I Ask Thee…

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I feel like many only skim over blogs and don’t take the time to fully read them. So many times, I see blogs that ask people for their input and people just simply “like” the blog, but don’t leave any feedback. I think that’s wrong. If we’re really going to be a part of this community, we should share more with one another and I don’t mean just writing more blogs, but commenting on one another’s work and becoming something bigger, something greater, something with more heart.

Yesterday, I wrote such a blog, one that asked for feedback and not one person answered the question I posed. Why? Why did everyone simply hit “like” and then continue to scroll past? I don’t want to just write blogs and have people lightly read what I have to say. I want people to engage in conversation with me and with others. I try to participate in other’s blogs as often as I can, even spark conversations with others that commented. This is a community, one that should be ready to grow together. We need to work on doing that more. I am guilty of it too sometimes, but I am getting better at it.

So, I am going to try this again and see if anyone is really paying attention to what I am saying. Yesterday, I asked those who happen to read it that day who their greatest influence in life is and why. I am going to pose that same question today. Today though, I am kindly asking for you to comment, to actually participate. I want to get to know my readers and anyone else who might stumble upon my blog. I am here for so much more than sharing my thoughts and feelings. I want to get to know others, be inspired by you, and hopefully inspire you as well. Let’s work together to make this place even better!

I am going to pose another question today as well. And the proof that you’ve really read this will be in your comments below. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We all have events in our lives that shape us into who we are today. I want you to take a moment and think about what is one of the events in your life that has shaped you the most and how has it done so? Please share with me and with others. Me and myself want to know, and my avid readers! ย Side note: That was a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire quote! 10 points to the house that can tell me who said it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have had a lot of major events in my life that have shaped me into the person I am today. It is hard to say which one has shaped me the most, but I am going to pick one, because otherwise we’d be here all day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Being a foster kid was definitely an experience I won’t forget. I had been molested as a kid and had to be taken from my home. That in and of itself shaped me quite a bit. I live with PTSD because of it, but I have been learning to not let it define me. But that’s not the experience I want to delve into today. Being a foster kid is something I want to talk to you about today.

I have seen many stories on Facebook lately from foster parents, about the kids they have taken in, and how rewarding it is to help kids in need. Those not in it for the money, but in it to help kids overcome the hands they were dealt, show them love, and give them good lives are truly amazing people. I lived in a few homes and I can testify that there are some truly wonderful people out there, with kind hearts that just want to help kids heal and see them thrive.

For many kids, it’s not an easy adjustment, even if the new situation is better than their old one. To take them from what they know and throw them into something and somewhere new with people they don’t know is hard. Trust is already a hard thing for them to give anyone and now here are new people who claim they only have their best interests at heart.

For me, it was hard. As hard as life was with my mom, I wasn’t sure what to think about being sent to live with people I didn’t know, especially when I’d also have to switch schools too. Everyone was a stranger. It took me awhile to adjust and being labeled a freak for being “in the system” was difficult. “What did you do to get put into foster care?” Really? Most of us didn’t do anything. Many of us were hurt, by those who are supposed to love us the most. But, it was and I am sure still is hard for outsiders to understand. I was told before that it was likely the only way they could react to us because they just didn’t know what to say or how to act. But, to a kid, that doesn’t make us feel any better. It still hurts.

I will say this though, I am grateful to those who took me in, cared for me, and did everything they could to help me move forward. I was shown a lot of patience and kindness in a time when I had known so little before. I was given hope. And now, as an adult, I know that I want to give back, to help others like I was helped. When we’re in a position to give back in that way, we will. My husband supports this as he knows how important it is to me and also wants to help kids who feel lost and alone, give them a chance at a happy childhood and the hope for a bright future.

Well, I said more than I planned on, though that is often the case with me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you enjoyed reading. Now, if you’d be so kind and leave me some feedback and also share with me a part of yourself, that would so appreciated!!!!!! Let’s keep this community growing closer together!

Thank you!

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As of minutes ago, my blog now has 700 readers! In eight days alone, I gained 50 new friends! I’m so humbled by this and feel so thankful to able to share my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and writing with the WordPress community.

So many tell me I inspire them and I can’t tell you how good that feels. But let me say this, it’s not one sided. I’ve been inspired by hundreds upon hundreds of you as well, if not thousands. Your blogs teach me, give me great advice, give me hope, make me smile, and reach parts of my heart I didn’t know existed. Thank you for not only reading my blog and being a part of my journey, but for also allowing me to be a part of yours. Thank you. What a joy it’s been these last four years. I’m looking forward to many more, God willing, to write, inspire, learn, and grow. โ™กโ™กโ™ก

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