Friday, April 27, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude-My Top 10

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. This isn't quoted with permission so forgive me but it is powerful and needs to be read. 

When I read this, my heart just. stopped. I cried. Its so true and it made me think.

So, I have been thinking about the last few months of my life. I have been thinking about how, well lots of things have kind of sucked. People that I thought I could count on have let me down. Money has been tight. Stress has been high. All sorts of things go on in life. But a fan reminded me to be thankful and grateful in all things. So this is my list of things I am grateful for and why.

So here is MY Top Ten list (You Know It Happens At Your House Too issued a challenge)

1. Me-I am thankful for myself. That I wake every day, that I do what I do and that I am able to step up for the 4 kids God chose to give to me when their mother couldn't do the job. I know what life would be like if I wasn't here. I am thankful that I am even remotely capable of taking my crazy family on. 

2. Mr. Brady's job-He recently changed jobs under very stressful circumstances and now makes more money. I am soooooooo grateful for this blessing. 

3. The trials in life-without them I would not know the blessings to be so sweet. 

4. Having been very poor before- because it keeps me from judging others and reminds me that I need to keep ALL things in perspective and appreciate all that I have even when I THINK I don't have enough. Someone else has less. 

5. My sense of humor-it keeps me sane and makes some of the bad situations in life hysterical when they could just be depressing.

6. Rheumatoid Arthritis/Pain/loss of full use of my arm because it makes me TRULY appreciate pain free days and reminds me to MOVE. I also understand my father and appreciate him much more since I developed RA. Instead of hating him for drinking, I empathize with his pain and need to be pain free. 

7. My kids-ALL 8 of them. For blessing me with hugs and kisses and smiles and all that comes with being a mom.

8. Facebook-The friends and fans I have met there have helped me feel more human and less crazy. That's a good thing!

9. My home-its not perfect but we fit in it and that's saying a lot.

10. My sister-I miss her more than imaginable but she is my heart and really should have been my twin. I love you sissy!

(and of course Mr. Brady but I think that goes without saying)

I could actually do more. ;-)

I know some of them seem like negative things, but I really believe that WE can turn ANYTHING into a blessing. It's all about PERSPECTIVE.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops 
What if Your healing comes through tears 
What if a thousand sleepless nights 
Are what it takes to know You’re near 
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise 

Blessings by Laura Story

What are your Top 10 things to be Thankful for?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Would YOU do????

OK, as some of you have seen from past posts on my page, I have suffered from anxiety. I was in a very traumatic car accident. My mini van was nailed crossing a highway and spun around to face the opposite direction. If I had had anyone else in my van at the time, they would likely have been either seriously injured or more likely dead. A very odd chain of events lead to my van being empty. (Thank you GOD) That did not change this Mommy brain from freaking the hell out. I could not sleep. My brain still relives this event daily as I drive that road...we won't get into my issues with driving. This was when the anxiety started for me. It was a slow process and I didn't really know it was happening until it was a bit out of control. 

Fast forward to right before Christmas. We lived in an apartment complex that used to be Army housing. Not the best place, not the worst. Not cheap by any standards and not big enough. I knew our lease was up in February. My "plan" was to rent month to month until the end of the school year, I had asked the Land Manager about extending our current lease to cover the school year, she never got back to me. So, I received our"lease renewal" offer on December 21st. Ha effing ha. I had been there for near three years and they wanted to raise our rent so much that I'd have to sell a child to stay there. 

SO-here is me thinking...oh-my-gosh-what-am-I-going-to-do-its-effing-CHRISTMAS...about that fast. That's how it started and it got way worse from there. I kept it together long enough to find a a totally different district. In a different community, the one I grew up in. Yes, I have friends here, but I am not a fan of change. All of the things that I had to do totally overwhelmed me. At that time, I was subbing 4 to 5 days a week. I also worked at Mr. Brady's old shop on Saturdays. Mr. Brady worked 70 hours a week then as well. I had to move by Feb 1st. Christmas was December 25th, the kids went back to school January I had less than a month to pack a house of 10 that we had planned on staying in for 4 more months. Oh good was tooooo much. All the preparation, all the kids, all the calls and everything just came crashing in on me. I was having severe anxiety attacks. I was bursting into tears in public. I was falling apart at the seams. I even broke down at church. A place I thought was safe. In a sea of people, including my pastor, no one sought me out to comfort me. That's not true. A few of my son's teen friends did and I appreciated it, but MY friends didn't. The people I was there for and would have gone to if I saw them crying did not come to me and offer a shoulder or a hanky or a hand of friendship. Nothing. At one point I had asked the Church secretary to tell our pastor what was going on and put me on the prayer list and STILL no offers of help or comfort. 

Fast forward from February to last Sunday. One of these people cornered me about an issue at Church involving a mission trip I had asked to chaperon before I fell apart and why I wasn't chosen. This trip took place over Easter break. My son went. They never told me that I wasn't chosen to go. They let me find out by hearing that other adults were going. I agree that maybe it wasn't my time to go. Fine. I am an adult and I know that I had a LOT going on and that I have 8 children. Ok. Great. She gave me this run down of reasons, a bunch of the reasons were total bunk or misunderstandings that nobody had bothered to talk to me about. One of the things she said to me was that I was falling apart when I moved, how was I going to handle a mission trip and that if things were so bad why didn't I ask for help? I tried explaining that when things are that bad, when you are falling apart, you need someone to come to you. She then said that I was unapproachable. 

Now, I know that I am not unapproachable. That's bunk. I needed love and kindness even if that is all anyone had to offer. No one could fix what I had going on inside me. Sure people might have been able to take things off of my plate for me. Carry some of my burdens perhaps. No offers of any kind were made. To myself or Mr. Brady. Our move was no secret. All 10 of us go to that church. If I saw someone hurting, I would offer caring, if I was turned away, at least that person would know that someone cared. Sometimes that is enough. I think its a load of crap. 

I hope and pray that I never look at someone hurting and say to myself that they look and act like they don't want anyone to help them. 

What would YOU do???

Thursday, April 19, 2012

About me...

Well, Little 'ol me is just that, kind of little. I am, shall we say, petite with curves and I am Sicilian. So, what that boils down to is that I could be on Jersey shore if I had boobs, wore make-up and high hair and had no morals and no children. Just to give you an idea of what I LOOK like.

Who I am, well. I often wonder about this one. I am a lot of things. Naturally, a mother and a daughter and a sister and a Mommy and a wife. A friend. A bitch. A woman. A grump. A sweetheart. I could go on and on, but you get you. You are all all of these things too. We all are. Just because we ARE.

I grew up in a very dysfunctional alcoholic family. I was the good one. The quiet one. I seemed happy all the time. I learned very young to keep it all inside. Its safe if its tucked away. Plus, then I don't have to deal with it. I still have this issue. I still have a "me" that walks around talking to people and a "me" in my brain that sometimes thinks the polar opposite of what she says and does. 

My parents fought a lot. It was my normal. My dad was not a good husband. He was good to my sister, my half brother and I but not to my mother. So, thanks to that, I really really really suck at relationships. Really suck. 

My sister is the best thing to come out of my childhood. She is my rock, my best friend ever and I would be lost without her. She is the one person I can be all me with and she just laughs. She gets it. I miss her so much bcs she lives about 12 hours away. 

I am the only one of my family members that has never really been addicted to anything. (I do have addictive thoughts though and that's scary) But that's not to say I don't get it or haven't tried. I drank more before my 21st birthday than I have in the 20 yrs since and getting pregnant for my son may have saved me from becoming an alcoholic. I partied. Hard. 

Being a teenager SUCKED. My drug of choice was sex. Yes, I said sex. But I didn't choose it, it chose me. I was raped at 17 and this was the 80's folks so things were different. I wasn't a victim, I was a slut. So, boys decided I was easy so that meant I had RAPE ME tattooed on my forehead. I'm being blunt and raw, I am sorry but this really happened to me and it's how I deal. Boys hear rumors, so they think that you are "giving" it up and they "take" it. I quit fighting after the 3rd time. All separate occasions, all different boys. The result was me deciding to say "eff you" to the world and just give it away. It hurt less. And more all at the same time. I became what the rumors said I was. My body was no longer mine. I'm not sure if it is now. 

SO when I met my 1st ex husband, yes 1st...there is a 2nd ex (I did warn you that I suck at relationships)...and he seemed stable. Had a job...made good money. Little did I know how deep HIS issues were. Anyway, I was 20. I stopped partying. I got all domestic. I went off the pill. I got pregnant and almost to the day 9 months after my birthday I had my son. He changed my life. He made me a better person. God, how I wish he understood this. I love him beyond measure and I may have messed him up as badly as my parents did me, but when I looked at him I knew what love was. I knew beauty and God, and I haven't been the same since. 

I am still screwed up. Oh I have more stories to tell. My life has been a freaking soap opera. 

My son was the greatest gift ever, I just wish I had a way to get him to know that before its too late. He has the addictive gene and that my friends is a mother's nightmare.

I've got more but it will have to wait.