Post Traumatic Growth 101

From traumatic beginings to "normal life", choosing to grow and wanting to empower others. This is my story.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Personal Growth At 28

How being a mother has changed me:

- I don't feel the same way about marriage. It's Corey Sam and I, we're a family. Do I need a piece of paper saying so?? I think having a daughter, this beautiful little being, the product of our love for eachother, well it's so much more than a piece of paper. Watching her grow, smile, laugh,'s more rewarding than a one day event (wedding) could ever be. If down the road for legality reasons we need that piece of paper, I want to do it quietly, in Vegas or something.

- I see Samantha as an opportunity to develop a human being and I want her to live up to her potential. Does that mean I want to give her everything she wants? No. I think in a way I'm lucky I don't have money and didn't grow up with a whole lot of it. I've had to work for everything I have, most of the time on my own. How could my life have been...better? If I had been nurtured, even just emotionally, I think I could have done great things with my life. But then, would I be where I am today? So how do I do this? How do I handle this enormous responsibility I've been given...someone's life. My answer...with Love. If she wants something, I want her to know how to work for it. I don't want her to feel as though she's owed things in life. It's my responsibility to teach her this lesson and the best way to do this, I think, is with communication and love. I didn't have either when I was growing up. I was left to fend for myself most of my life. I craved my mother's love, her attention, her words. I've spent so much of my life craving this from people, Sam has opened my eyes and taught me to look around at people who are loving me. I've reached that place and need to enjoy it.

- My mother wasn't perfect, but she was my mother. I'm not going to be a perfect mother either, I have to accept that. This lesson has compounded itself in other relationships as well. I didn't grow up around a positive male/female relationship. With my mother there was always drama, always fear, no expression of love in front of my brother and I. There was many relationships and then in the end, nothing. She was alone. I have had to look back on this and learn how it's affected me today. I love Corey with every ounce of me. Does that mean we never fight? Does that mean I don't sometimes feel lonely? Absolutely not. We do fight and sometimes when he's out being a "boy", I do feel lonely. How have I reacted to these feelings? I'll admit, sometimes I've considered leaving him, I've felt like I was at the lowest place ever. Since having Samantha I've been able to step back and really see how lucky I am. This man always wants me to be at his side. When he's being a "boy", he usually wants me right there with him, being stupid and immature. He drinks at home, in front of the house, with the guys next door. He's not going to bars, he's not drinking and driving, he's not meeting other women. He compliments me, he teases me, he plays cards with me, he cooks for me. He's an only child and has been "in charge" his whole life. He rules his parents, he works at a job where he has "helpers"...when he "tells" me to grab him the ketchup and doesn't say please, it's not personal. It's not because he doesn't love me or respect me, it's because he was raised by a mother who too had her own issues. She to this day enables him. She made mistakes that can't be erased, she was a mom, she was human, she was herself. It doesn't mean I'm getting walked on by him...because when it does matter I know how to stand up for myself. I know his weaknesses, his dreams, his passion. And he knows mine. When I say silly things that don't make any sense, he laughs and tells me I'm cute. When I act all psycho because I'm a woman and my hormones are out of wack, he doesn't leave me, he waits it out and accepts my apology. When my mother committed suicide his strength got me through it, it never faltered. He calls me at work just to tell me he loves me. Becoming a mom helped me see through all the negativity surrounding us. Our love created this perfect, beautiful little being and it's our love that's going to keep both her and us happy.

- I'm hopeful. And that's a hard thing to be sometimes. Her innocence has given me a lifetime supply of hope. I can shape this person into a loving, caring, hard working, determined, polite, respectful human being. Me. Me and her dad. The two of us are the only people responsible for this task. I'm hopeful that people out there realize this, take the time to understand what a responisibility bringing a child into this world carries. I'm not surrounded by many examples of people who do realize this, but I've met some. I'm hopeful that technology can one day be used for good because it's not all bad. I was raised on technology. I was raised by the TV and it's not all bad. If you choose to listen and learn, it can be a very useful tool. I don't have a mother to guide me through raising a baby, so I've had to use the Internet quite a bit. I'm open to all sides of a debate, prefering to remain an observer instead of lining myself up for execution. I make decisions based on what makes the most sense logically to me. I don't then brag about it on a message board etc. because people will have different opinions. It gets personal. I spend too much time living my life....I don't want to spend time defending my choices. It's my life, I have to live with myself and those I choose to be around or bring into this world.

- I'm a listener, an observer and I need to feel less lonely about that. It's not because I don't have anything to's because I am facinated with how people live, the choices people make. I come from a background FILLED with drama and instability, this was not by choice, it was what I was raised into. I have chosen a life without drama and instability and that's a good thing. I can see how I'm lead down a path of lonliness sometimes. I meet a lot of people who aren't happy, who have relationships with people because of their common misery. I don't fit in with these people and I need to remember, that's a good thing. I can also see how I sometimes create drama for myself, most of the time because I've been caught up in other people's BS. Reflection like this reminds me that I'm not done growing...that personal growth can take a lifetime.

- I've learned who I am. I don't wear makeup, I don't dress in the latest fashions. I want to be comfortable not well put together. I don't know a lot about the mechanics of life and things around me, I didn't have anyone around who could explain things to me. That said, I am curious about how things work and appreciate when people take the time to explain. Also, I can take it if I assume I do know something, say something dumb and then get teased about it. I can look you in the eye when I talk and will do the same when you talk. I am fiercely loyal to those I love. I get caught up in both my own passion and passions expressed by others. I will sacrafice a lot to get what I want. If you ask me to help you and then don't listen to a word I say I have a hard time supporting your continued misery.

- I've learned from Sam what happiness is. It isn't money, it isn't driving a brand new's driving in my craptastic volvo station wagon, on a beautiful sunny day, windows down and the music blaring. It's dancing in my seat, unaware of who's around me. It's the excitement I feel when I turn the corner onto my street, knowing I'm 5 minutes away from having her back in my arms. It's her smile, her cuddle into me, her unconditional love and trust. It's being with Corey after 8pm, our time, us time. It's the strength I feel in our relationship because we were smart enough to raise our daughter to have a bed time, to be in her room, safe, while we enjoy eachother's company. It's that we can have more fun at home than anywhere else in the world because we're all safe. It's that we eat at home 95% of the time because we know what foods we love and exactly how we like to make them. It's that Samantha feels the same way and so we get to see her grow and be happy every single day, together.

I really am one of the lucky ones.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Back At Work

I can't believe it's finally happened....I'm back at work. This sucks BIG TIME. I'm depressed, bored, frustrated and angry. Let me explain:
Depressed: My kid is at a babysitters having fun without me. I sound like a big sucky baby right now I know, but it's true! I spent over 10 months with her and it just kept getting better and better. She interracts with me more now and everyday you see her learning something new. I'm also depressed because there is no end in sight. I'm here until...well until I have another baby! Who the heck knows when that's going to happen. So, from the time I do finally get pregnant I have to work another 9 months. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Bored: I know it's only been three days but I've done jack. There's no new business, I have no manager to assign me work and everyone here hates being at work.

Frustrated: This company is frustrating the heck out of me. I had 2265 e-mails when I got back to work and no lie, 20 of them were people leaving who I worked with closely. How many of those people have been replaced? ZERO. I have no manager, no director, no team lead...nothing. We have no equipment, have to rely on production machines to do our testing, which means we have to come in after hours to run basic tests. Um hello, I'm here from 8am - 4pm. Nothing more. I have a baby to be home with!!! So what the heck am I going to do? The application that has been my baby for 8 years is going to the competitor - and I could have had a job with them. My timing has been waaaaaaaaaay off. I could go on and on and on...but I'm just complaining and it's probably pretty tiresome.
Angry: At who? My work? Myself? Corey? Life? The World? I can't explain why I'm feeling angry...I just am. I'm angry that I have to be here.

I could be feeling this emotional because I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep. Samantha had a VERY rough night. She wouldn't sleep unless I was in the room with her rubbing her eyebrow. It's cute, and sweet, at first. By 3am I was getting very emotional, begging her to let me sleep. The poor babysitter today!

OK I need to focus on some positives. We bought a small motorhome and had our first outting this weekend. It was glorious. The weather was beautiful, the RV was warm and it was nice finally getting to be just the three of us. We made hotdogs, marshmellows, bacon and grilled cheese on the fire (we = Corey). Core and I sat at the fire every night while Samantha slept. I made good progress on a book I'm reading (it takes me at least a month to read a book now - I usually only have time when I' the bathroom).

Corey has been wonderful throughout all of this. I don't know what I would do without him. He's happy at work, happy at home. To be so great putting up with me right now, I'm a very lucky girl.

Oh. I lost my camera. Totally bummed about that. I had all kinds of great pictures from my trip to Montreal on it. Corey's buying me a new one for my birthday.
I finally burried my mom's urn May 3rd. I feel so relieved.

Let me see if I can find any pictures of Sam on this computer. Now that I'm bored at work, I'll be a better blogger, you'll see!

For My Darling Baby Girl: What are you up to now...well lets see. If we even say the word "Flower" you start sniffing the air. If you actually see a flower, you freak out until we let you get close to it and smell. You have a blankie, it's one of my pyjama shirts. You can't sleep without that and your "suey". You're starting to "talk". If you see the cat you say "Ca", "Da" for dog etc. You can walk if we hold your arms and you get VERY nervous if we try and get you to do it on your own. You wave if someone is coming or going and waving at you. You will give us kisses if we ask, usually with your mouth wide open. The only person you've kissed on your own is your Daddy. You like to eat on your own, we can't feed you anymore. You're eating everything we eat, no more baby food :) Your Grandpa and Grandma love you very much, you're a lucky little girl. Someone is always around to give you what you want hahaha. Oh and you know how to point at what you want's cute.

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