Post Traumatic Growth 101

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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

While The Boss Is Away....

The boss is away this week - YIPEEEEEE! This means I get to watch a LOT of TV at work LOL. Don't get me wrong, I'm still doing my work, but I can have a TV show in the bottom corner at the same time. I'm a seasoned multi-tasker and I think I even work "better" when I have something going on in the background :) Wish I could tell that to my boss!

I felt the need to write today. This morning as I was walking down Bay Street I saw a lady drop a Tim Hortons bag beside a homeless girl. Seeing that random act of kindness really hit me hard. The homeless people of Toronto always tug at my heartstrings. Today, I cried.

You see, 90% of the time, homeless people remind me of my Mom. And I don't know why, but today I miss her SO MUCH. As I was writing this, I wanted to write "I don't know why", but I do. I have so much I want to say to feels like it's building up more and more...and I don't know how to get it out. Everything in my life is SO DARN GOOD, I want her to feel that. When I see these homeless women, I see my mother. I think about the three years she went missing from my life and I see firsthand on a daily basis what that life must have been like. It doesn't seem real, possible, but it is my reality.

I've got these two amazing mom would have had two small kids with the same age difference. My love for them is undescribable - a Mother's love. My love for my Mother has grown so much because of my kids. I appreciate her so much more and I can't tell her that.

Instead I want to tell the homeless people.

Mental illness is a cruel cruel disease. It took my Mother from me. It plagues the streets of Toronto and I'm sure every other city. It took my brother from me.

Here comes the fear....the fear I feel looking at my children - wondering if this is going to be their fate.

I don't know why my mind has chosen today to go to "this place". Things are SO FREAKIN' GOOD! I'm the best Mom I know and I have the best kids I know. Everyday they learn and grow they're lifting me up, my spirits are so high.

Then I see those homeless people, and down they go.

I think I ultimately want to help someone, save someone....give someone the hope I couldn't give my Mother or Brother for that matter.

I have so much to give but am incapable of "giving" what I have to the people I love most. Through no fault of my own, but it hurts.

It hurts that my family can't see who/what I am. That they can't see past their own noses. That they don't "feel" the way I do.

I can't let it bring me down though...I can't. It's not my fault that I was born into this family. You know what it feels like though? From my own perspective?

I feel like the white sheep in a family of black sheep. For so much of my life, all I knew was family and my own circle of friends. I lived in that bubble that we all live in growing up, unaware of the big world out there.

At least I got out of that bubble right?

Being me is tough, but I wouldn't want to be anyone else.

Ah, feels good to get that out. I'm glad I have this time to write and get it out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Little Bean Is Going To School!

Wow. I haven't updated this thing in almost a YEAR! Incredible. It has been an "epic" (I think this is what the kids are saying these days) year!

Picking up where we left off, my Grandma did pass away a few short days after I my last post. It was sad and VERY dramatic. I remember how emotional I felt afterwards - don't feel that way now! I have an f-ed up family, I've pretty much chalked the whole bunch of them up minus a select few. I think this is "normal" amongst families - I can't be expected to get along with EVERYONE now can I? I mean we're all different....the only common denominator is "family" - big deal lol.

The day my Gma passed away, I slipped up and my brother found out I was talking to an old friend of mine. A friend he had explicitly FORBADE me to communicate with (you know, the whole choose her or choose me deal). You think people would know by now, especially my own brother, you can't FORBID me to do something! OK yes, it is a bit more complicated than see...this friend, is the mother of his CHILD. I know...STUNNER! I have a niece! So the story goes, my bro becomes friends with this lady then I become friends with the same lady. We were like sisters honestly. Then Bro and I have a HUGE fight and she stands up for him so I declare she's NOT my friend anymore (hey, I was like 22 at the time, that's what I did lol). Off they go and I don't talk to my brother for 3 or 4 years. Last year, I find this lady is on Facebook and I contact her apologizing for tossing our friendship into the wind. She's happy, I'm happy, we're friends again. Then the bombshell, you know that pretty little girl in the pictures with her? That's MY niece, my brother is the father. He decided he couldn't be a father (fear) and took off. He hasn't seen or talked to either of them since my niece was born. I tell my brother I know and he FORBIDS me from seeing/contacting her ever again.

Psh. I have a niece and I'm suposed to just forget it? I'm suposed to ignore a friend who was nothing but amazing the entire time I've known her? So of course, I talked and then MET them "in secret". Have I mentioned my family? Have I mentioned how dysfunctional they are? Have I mentioned I feel like I have NO FAMILY in the sense that I see family? So here are two WONDERFUL people....a real cousin for my girls....screw him!

So he found out. I am no longer his sister :) How could I do that to him? And I say "whatever". I'm pretty sure my brother has a mental illness along the same spectrum as my mother. His thought process is jumbled and makes no sense. He lives in a bubble and it's the world against him. To put it simply, and I'm not being mean just working through my thoughts, my brother has less value in my life than this new friend/niece relationship. Until he gets himself some help, he can't be part of this "normalcy" I've created.

And I've got an amazing awesome cute smart beautiful niece! I've gotten to spend a lot of time with her and her mother this year and I can honestly say they are FAMILY. Good, loving, affectionate FAMILY. The kind I've always wanted :)

What else. Started this new job off with a bunch of drama. My gma passed away 5 days after I started. Then I pulled a ligament in my ankle and couldn't walk. Then Corey's Gma passed away almost 3 months to the day after my own (going to her funeral and seeing a family celebrate the life of someone they loved was healing for me though after what I went through with my own grandma's passing). So it was a rocky start here in the big city but now I love it! The walking motivated me to get serious about my health and I'm down 30lbs already :) I have so much energy and life in me now...I really needed to get out of that old job!

The summer was EPIC in terms of weather. I spent many a night floating in our pool looking up at the stars. I reminded myself to just be in the moment and I imagine these moments will be reflected upon quite a bit this upcoming winter :)

The kids are amazing. I am the luckiest Mom I know. Samantha is 4 going on 14. The kid is WICKED smart. She's in the process of starting Kindergarten (the big first day on the bus is this upcoming Friday). We've decided to send her to all French school for the added challenge and the benefits the school will give her. The bonus is it's an all day program so we save a bit of money on daycare :) She went into the program knowing her ABC's in French, could count to 10 in French, sang about 15 French songs and knows how to sing Canada's National Anthem in French :) I did my best to prepare her but know I could have done more. Still, she's WICKED smart! She's gotten a lot braver with people and physically as well. She takes a few more "risks" and is getting better when she falls (drama queen!). She's learning to ride a big girl bike and everything :)

The physical changes in Sam definately come from her sister. Ah baby. No longer a baby I must say :( My baby can TALK! Holy can she talk...she communicates in full sentances and her pronunciation is getting almost perfect! Mackenna is TOUGH, she's even built tough. She's big for her age and stalky. She's a tank, she will fall and get right up with an "I'm OK!" and a big smile. She's the same weight as Sam and only one shoe size behind. I've been buying clothes for Sam in the same size as Mack! Mack is also different from Sam in that she's STUBBORN. She has exerted her independence for a while now and wants to do everything herself. And if I want her to do something and she doesn't want to, I have to physically force her to do it! If I give her a warning about "danger", she has to test the warning as much as she can - just to see for herself. Fun fun! Sam always took my warnings to heart and is a good rule follower!

Both girls are super creative and love to play "pretend", 90% of the time "Baby" or "School". Sam sings off key...I'm seeing a bit of rythym in her movements. Mack is my singer and dancer...she naturally moves when she hears music. They get along amazingly - they're super loving and gentle with eachother. The fighting has begun but so far they're able to sort it out all on their own. I have amazing kids.

Things with Corey and I are up and down as always. We're currently attending counselling sessions to work on our communication. We're pretty good about most things but we need some work on him listening to me ;) There is also a huge issue with alcohol (I can just picture my family saying "DUH" if they heard me say that) that we're working through. Aparently the up and downs in a relationship are normal - I really had no clue! Always learning :)

So that's it. 2010 in a nutshell. Epic year with a few months to go - nothing but excitement on the horizon.

Life. Is. Good.

Free Web Site Counter
Free Counter