Sunday, April 1, 2018

I edited The Great Divorce and survived

Happy Easter and I edited my The Great Divorce post -- 'cause I read it after several months and it's boring and not exactly how I wanted it to look and read. I wrote the post in about 10 minutes about 9 months ago and re reading it was laborious to say the least.

So if you've read it, maybe re read it, maybe not.

I had a nervous breakdown in 2014. And now I know why they call it a breakdown.

It never breaks down.

You're stuck with that one label.

Even if you're healed -  you had a nervous breakdown.

You're not called a breakdown survivor, like cancer survivors. There's no victory in our healing.

You're a person who had a nervous breakdown and now at least for me, many people who I thought of as friends - want nothing to do with me. Shamed. Shunned.

How sad is that ?

Well it's pretty sad.

Breakdown survivors.

Happy Easter - representing resurrection- the new.

I'm healed now. I'm new. That was 4 years ago.

I'm a breakdown survivor. Are you?



Love,

Maria

And Another Holiday

Another Holiday is here. For an estranged mom like me that triggers a pit in my stomach, one  I can't shake.

But I've got to. My husband and family members will be waiting for me for Easter dinner, side dish in hand. 

I miss my daughters terribly - all of them - and hopefully I'll be seeing one daughter this Holiday and maybe even talk to another .. bestill my heart.. 

But one of my daughters still doesn't want to talk to me right now. 

And I have to respect that wish, and in the past I haven't.. I've sent pictures through email, glad tidings over Christmas, and a letter telling her I won't bother her anymore. And I won't. 

You see, once you're a mom, you're programmed to keep trying, at least I am, determined to make things all better, all warm and cozy, forgive and move forward and keep reiterating how much I love her. Even when she may feel I'm not worth loving. That doesn't matter to moms like me ... we love unconditionally so we think even though she doesn't want to talk to me - I gotta let her know I love her. 

But that's not respect. And my entire estrangement at it's core is love and respect. We all want it, we all need it, because we're human. 

So no reaching out anymore.  Respecting her wishes, praying for her happiness and sending my love to her into the universe and just letting it go. 

And another Holiday is here. Happy Easter wherever you are sweetheart... 

Cook the rice and beans, grab the flowers for my mom and mother in law and let my love vibe show. 

Christ is risen. 

Prayers for today and every day: 

Reconciliation 
Restoration 
Restitution 

Love Always, 

Maria. 


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Holiday hold on .

It's that time of year again. Almost Christmas - we just flew by Thanksgiving.. I neither saw nor heard from my two out of three daughters. My youngest semi estranged daughter texted me a Happy Thanksgiving sometime that evening. My heart ached. I figured she was with her friends.

At least she sent a text.

You get to that point. A grateful heart for a text. The crumbs are voraciously received. The text was my heart for that one day.

Flash forward to now :

Now my husband and I were looking forward to Christmas.. we had plans .. big remodel on our home.. I honestly thought- I've got something forward to actually look forward to!!

And then the contractor took our 32000.00 and started a half done deck and stopped communicating with us. Disbelief. We'd been working with him since October.. by November 24th, we KNEW. We'd been had.

You cannot stop blaming yourself. It's like estrangement all over again.

You wait and wait for that text ..

Your dream is gone. Stolen. Cozy home filled with your family and laughter and fun.

It's a holiday hold on for me.

Hold on.

I'm just trying to hold on.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Great Divorce

***Edited as after I read this months later, it's boring and not entirely accurate in what I wanted to convey*** 

There are lots of drafts in my blog history. I start to write and then -- oh well, forget it. I slam the laptop lid down as all the thoughts swimming in my brain just cannot be expressed articulately enough for a blog very few people actually read.

So here goes nothin' cause I got nothin' to lose. 

I am an estranged parent. My daughters no longer want any contact with me. There, I said it.

You heard me, my daughters want NO contact with me anymore.

Parental alienation makes you feel physically ill. And you can become physically ill. I have.

It makes you feel like a pariah in society. And you realize you are a pariah in society, shunned and shamed. 

You begin to question and overthink everything you've done as a parent. Did I screw up that bad? Sure feels that way.

But wait, what about this? I supported you, all of you, my darling daughters through this... on and on goes your brain, circling and analyzing every decision, every sentence you can remember, since the day they were born.  

At first you're in denial, disbelief, then as the stages of grief unfold, well, every stage is now your new normal. 

Am I the toxic, narcissistic, borderline personality disordered human that had the audacity to give birth? 

Or as one person called me on social media -- the amazing perfection of evil? Yeah, I've been called evil. And creepy. And bipolar. And crazy. And a pill popping crappy mom. And yes, some of those labels were given to me by my daughters. Ouch? More like -- what and how and I AM SO VERY SORRY...... 

Sooo with that swirling around in your brain, you go to therapy, or at least I do. I've been going for over a year.  And so far my therapist (who has a Ph.D.) sees no evidence I am anything of the above. Yup, I've been tested.

Did I have a nervous breakdown in 2014? 
Why yes I did, thanks for asking. 

Do I have P.S.T.D.? 
Why yes I do, thanks for asking. 

Am I marked because of it? 
Why yes I am, thanks for asking.

Was I hospitalized? 
Nope, had to keep working. 

Was I medicated for it? 
Actually nope again as I was taking an anti-depressant prior to having my breakdown, so when it happened, I just didn't see the point anymore. 

I was and still do take a medication for panic attacks..yup, but only taken as needed. Brother, let me tell you when this estrangement started -- it was needed.


My brain bruised for a short while there and like any bruised muscle it's healed.

Healed brain bruises - aka nervous breakdowns, in no way implies people are suddenly gonna treat you nice. Or nicer. They're not. You're marked. 

The month of May is National Mental Awareness month, however, allow me to let you in on a little secret. That's kindof bullshit. 

'Cause you're marked.....by everyone who watched you have your nervous breakdown, meltdown, whatever you wanna call it. And they don't forget it. Ever.

You're pretty much screwed. So get used to it. 

They don't know what triggers set your nervous system into overload and caused the implosion, explosion, breakdown, during one single event and they don't care. 

But that's ok, -- well it's not, but what choice do you have? 

For me, therapy and support (and yes my panic medication) from a few select people helped me gain the strength to reclaim my sanity and learn a tough, rough, sickening lesson. 

That quote they use in Al Anon --- "what people say behind my back is none of my business"... it helps. 

Now back to being completely alienated by the people you love the most. Your children. 

It's like no emotional pain you can imagine. 

You're paralyzed, depressed, angry, sad, resentful....mostly sad though, hence the stages. All the time. 

Even when you're laughing. Even when you're making love. Even when you're humming along driving....it's looming in the back of your brain. It never leaves. Never. You're changed. 

Tears stream to and from work in the quiet of your car. Or in the quiet of your cubicle, or in the quiet of your bed.

Your relationships change. Acquaintances now become distant; your true friends -- if you're lucky enough to have any -- they listen and listen and listen. And listen again. That gets old real quick.

If you're lucky enough to still have your mom, and your relationship with her is good, you are lucky. 

You begin to hate yourself for burdening your family and friends with your tale of woe. You hate yourself anyway. Your kids hate you, so why not hate yourself? Your identity or should I say -- my identity-- was completely morphed into being a mother. A mom. That's it. Not a person, not a caseworker, not a friend, not a daughter, not a woman, just a mom. 

The guilt. Oh my gosh, the guilt. The shame. Personal, societal, shame.

Therapy helps with the self loathing and guilt, but my therapist doesn't agree with every word I say, she looks at both sides..which I need. 

You also begin to need your mom, even if she's 83 and you're 56. You end up really needing your mom. 

You send your children apology letters, cards, emails, gifts, whatever to reconcile. 

You feel absolutely, positively shameful, remorseful, and you cannot stop thinking; what a shit for a mother I must have been. That was one constant - I must have been a really terrible mom. 

You ask, then beg for forgiveness, so many times, you reach a climatic revelation --- what am I apologizing for again? Am I apologizing for my nervous breakdown, am I apologizing for my actions thereafter, or am I apologizing for not being the mother you all wanted or needed?

I am apologizing for everything above.

You get used to the no reply. You get used to being blocked on social media. You get used to no acknowledgement on holidays. Or at least I have. There's a numbness after months and months of silence between yourself and your children. Hard to explain. 

I lied. I'm not used to it. None of it. Especially the part of reading what your daughters actually think of you. Let me tell ya folks, avoid that at all costs. Avoid reading what others, people who don't really know you, but have influence over your adult children, advising your children, "yeah, your mom is crazy...just get together with your siblings over the holidays", let me tell you peeps....that will break your heart in half.

My heart broke so hard, I had an EKG a few months ago because my chest pains were so strong. Good news, I didn't have a heart attack. Bad news, my heart has been attacked.

So why did I call this post The Great Divorce? I don't know, maybe because it's my favorite novella by C.S. Lewis?  Maybe because divorcing from my three daughters is worse than any divorce I've ever experienced? 

I've been divorced twice, now there you go with your judgin' ...I remarried the love of my life, my first husband, father to my estranged daughters. So stop your judgin' peeps. Your life is probably messy too. 

I won't judge you for whatever mess you're in as long as you don't judge me. Deal?

And if you are going through your own version of a Great Divorce -- Welcome...have a seat....I'm sorry.

Really, really, sorry. 







Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Shut Up and Dance

On the way to a spin class my daughter and I decided to embark upon together, she played this song, "Shut Up and Dance". I loved it. I vaguely remember hearing it once or twice, but nevertheless, I shut up and listened and we chair-jammed throughout the way home.

Shut Up and Dance. My new mantra. Now don't get it twisted-- I still ADHERE to my old mantra: How about instead of doing things, we don't do things? ---- I just love that quote--I think it's a Tina Fey quote, but no matter...I still really love that quote. I'm tired peeps. 

However, shut up and dance got me thinking. Maybe I should shut up more. Yeah, I hear ya buds, good idea Maria.....wish you would....

I text and call and write and talk and I now realize, sometimes it's better to just shut up. Dance, optional. For me mandatory.

Anyway, I totally get that opening up and showing vulnerability as my lovely friend said to me today can be inspiring. (we did indeed had a great conversation)..connecting with someone through a great conversation is what I live for! I love it!! 

However, although showing vulnerability can be inspiring, funny, morbidly strange and empowering, due to my fragile state of mind, I NEED to be pickier with what I am saying and to whom I am saying it to.

I am so naive I think everybody's gonna be compassionate and empathetic and connectable, but guess what? They're not. They are flawed, self absorbed, impolite, dispassionate and downright rude.

So I learned some great lessons today: 

1---Connecting with someone through a great conversation is truly a blessing and breathes life into my tired body.

2--Expecting everyone is going to connect with me or be compassionate and kind is just plain dumb.

3--Stop telling any ol' person what I'm going through or how I'm feeling 'cause I end up angry if they are either rude, apathetic, or just plain mean. And stop feeling inferior to them because they're rude. 

4--Spin class is REALLY hard and my legs are really just two skinny jellyfish...


Now if I could muster the discernment to shut up more sometimes, I could dance all I want.

PS: Thanks to all the kind people I have spoken to today, girlfriends, work friends, church friends..and don't hesitate to tell me, Maria---shut up and dance.








Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Theory of Why I am Terrified of Just About Everything

Epiphany happened while sitting at my desk in my drab, gray, cubicle at work. I'm terrified. Not stressed, terrified. 

Of just about everything.

It suddenly hit me, I wasn't stressed about getting my work done as quickly as my bosses wanted. I was TERRIFIED.

As a child I was terrified of school, of nuns, of snowballs whizzing by my head as I walked home from school.

As a teenager I was terrified of getting jumped, (that means beaten up...sortof). 

As a young adult I was terrified of men hurting me. And they did. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

As a young mother I was terrified of raising babies to which I had absolutely no experience or confidence. 

As a stay at home mom, I was terrified of finances....ALWAYS.

As a single divorced mom, I was truly terrified of everything, everyyyythhhhinng. 

The finance horror remains by the way. That ain't goin' nowhere..

Ok, fine. I am terrified of lack of money, airplanes, the news, terrorism, highways, bridges, snow, thunderstorms, speeding tractor trailers, losing my job, keeping my job, crowds, relationships, cancer, and of course death.

So what's up with that? What's the theory behind feeling stressed when I am really terrified?

I think it's part genetics, part environment.

I may be wrong, but taking a little pill is not going to take away my fear. I've tried it, doesn't work. Reading the Bible does not take away my fear. Seeing a therapist does not take away my fear. 

So here's my theory of being terrified of just about everything. --- I lack faith.

Faith in myself, faith in just about everything. Soul burn out. A coworker said to me yesterday--"Why do you keep smoking, when I know you're a Christian?" I said, "It's an addiction, and a hard one to break." His reply, "Why don't you give it to God and let Him take care of it?" He doesn't know about my fear of everything. I asked him to pray for me and left it at that. 

So there it is. Lack of faith.

I'm no scientist, but I think I may be onto something.



  


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just in Case

Just in case.

I want to tell my family and friends how much I am truly in love with them.

To let them know just in case I am not around for as long as I would like. 

I am proud of you my children. Throughout our ups and downs, disagreements and passionate discussions on how you should be living your lives, I hope you three beautiful women KNOW how proud of I am of each of you. I tried my best. I support you. I did not want to be a dreamkiller, ever. So following your innermost desires, passions, goals mean the most to me. Not sitting in a grey cubicle regretting.

I love you. With everything I got.

I hope I showed you the good, the bad and the ugly, but remember the GOOD and failure is not a failure if you're doing want you really want in this short life.

I hope I helped you spiritually, showing you how God really can lead to the path He wants for you. Maybe not the path you want, or you think you want, but the path He has for you.

I hope I didn't mar your opinions on men. Not every guy is a bad one. And not every guy is a good one. 

Not every friend has your back. Not every friend is a back stabber.

To my friends, my inner circle of people I trust with every dark, despicable, funny, weird thought I may have said, or will say, I love you. With everything I got. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you thank you thank you. You've blessed me with acceptance and love. I am one lucky gal.

Mom: what can I say? Your unconditional love brings me to my knees. Thank you for the big things...seeing me through my divorce, poverty, self hatred. Thank you for all the little things, buying me all the little things only you know I would love. I love you with everything I got.        

To my family: all my brothers, their wives, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, I love you. Thank you for always loving me...I love you all with everything I got.

God: Thank you for LOVING me throughout my dark days, for every opportunity, for every catastrophe I have lived and am still living through. You are my King, my confidant, my everything. I love you with everything I got. 

Want you all to know this. Just in case.