Too many thoughts, too little time.

Intentional

intentional adjective

Intentional. This is my word of the year. I don’t usually do New Years Resolutions. But, this year, I’ve decided to work on me. I kind of started 9 months ago or so, but,”intentional” is more recent.

I realized how often I was saying I didn’t mean to do something, or I ran out of time. Ok, maybe I didn’t MEAN to yell at the kids. But, did I mean not to? I ran out of time and didn’t get the sheets washed on Saturday. Ok…did I run out of time? Or did I find other, unimportant things that I chose instead? I didn’t mean to gain so much weight, but, I certainly wasn’t intentionally keeping it off.

So I started this year asking myself questions. As the year has progressed, I’ve added more questions. Am I choosing to do this or am I doing it out of habit? laziness? Am I deliberately doing this? Am I procrastinating by doing  this instead of that? 

And, I’ve decided that it is ok to be lazy sometimes. But, I don’t want to do it out of habit. I have talked to Brad in the evenings before and said “I am deliberately choosing to not set my alarm and go to the gym in the morning.”

But, by saying “I choose”, “I am deliberately”, “I am intentionally”… it keeps me accountable to myself. I can’t get away with excuses as easily anymore.

And, the change has apparently been noticeable. To the point Brad has stolen my word of the year! He will get up and say “look, I am intentionally putting my shoes away because I know it annoys you to have them in the entryway.”. “I am deliberately getting up right now to hang up those shelves before I forget.”

It really seems to be working for me, as a way to change some behaviors and attitudes. It is hard, even to tell yourself “I am purposely overspending on the grocery budget this week.” or “I completely mean to drive 10 mph faster than the sign says.”

I’m becoming who I want to be. On purpose. do life

kinder

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on losing weight. And, this struggle has taught me quite a bit. I’m learning that some of the things I said I didn’t want to do “because I didn’t like it”, actually had nothing to do with if I liked it or not, but rather, I was afraid I was too heavy to do them. I’ve learned how often I’ve lied to myself. And, I’ve learned a lot of empathy.

Because, I’ve had setbacks, and I’ve had to deal with them. But, the people around me had no idea what I was going through.

Like in October, when I broke my foot and my son had to push me around the grocery store in a wheelchair. I was afraid people would think it was because I was fat, especially because I didn’t even get a cast, the break wasn’t bad enough.

Or, several weeks later. I was ready to try Zumba again, but, I sat out the faster paced songs, and even left halfway through one class. Did the new people assume it was because I was so out of shape, not knowing 6 weeks before I was working out a couple hours a day.

A friend broke up with her boyfriend, but for some reason he kept me as a friend on Facebook, and once he wrote something like “Hey fatass at McDonalds, a diet Coke isn’t gonna do you any good with that super sized big mac meal.” I admit, on a given Tuesday, I may be the fat chick in front of you, ordering the exact same thing. Because, I had done Zumba 3 hours that day and burned 1500 calories, just from exercise. I’ve already added the meal into my daily calories, and I am still at a 1000 calorie deficit, as long as I get the diet drink. And, I have the photos to prove it’s working.

Today, I was on the elliptical at the gym. I was going kind of slow, 3-4 mph and I was so tired. While the man beside me went from 6-12 mph. He went 5 miles to my 2.5, we started at about the same time. I didn’t feel like I was being judged, but…what if he had been? You know what he doesn’t know? That I’m recovering from surgery. I’ve been on a liquid diet for almost 3 weeks now, and struggle to get in my 1200 calories. I told my husband I wouldn’t work out until I was sure I was eating enough. Today was my first day back at the gym. But, I just look slow.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been the judgey person far too often. I’ve seen people on the scooters at the store and thought “You wouldn’t be so heavy if you walked instead.” But, I didn’t know that person yesterday, or 4 years ago, or whatever. You can look at me right now, and think “Wow, she should lose weight.” But, unless you know ME, you won’t know that I’ve lost 40 pounds over the last year. That I’m down 60 from my highest.

And, if the neighbors feel like judging me this summer when I mow the lawn in the first pair of shorts I’ve owned in almost 10 years, it’ll be ok. I won’t let it get to me, because I know how far I’ve come. And, I’m going to show off a bit. lol

IMG_3533

247 vs 207

 

Another 247 vs 207

Another 247 vs 207

 

And, at my very heaviest, when I was....23? I was about 265-270. And, the other pic was today, 7 years later and down to 207.

And, at my very heaviest, when I was….23? I was about 265-270. And, the other pic was today, 7 years later and down to 207.

 

When I get to 199 I get a new cell phone case, since I don’t want to buy a bunch of clothes that won’t fit for very long! The funny thing about that last picture. I remember the day the pic where I’m in the white shirt was taken. I remember thinking I looked great. I had done my make up and my hair, everything. Today, I was on my way to the gym. I have on yoga pants and an old shirt looks crappy. I haven’t put on make up in a week or so. My hair is in a bandana. And, I think I look great.

Really Pleased

Friday I had major dental work done.

I’ve always hated my teeth. They’ve never been great looking. They began crumbling almost monthly about 8 yrs ago. A little bit at a time. I haven’t chewed on the left side of my mouth in about 8 years, and about 2 months ago it became almost impossible to chew on the right side either. So, I was kinda mashing food on the top of my mouth with my tongue and swallowing.

It would be about $20,000 (and 6 root canals) to get my teeth just ok, and I’d still have to deal with fixing them all the time, because I had no enamel. For considerably less, they could remove most of them and replace them. I decided to go with that option. I am in a ton of pain, still, but it’s lessening. The partial on the bottom doesn’t fit quite right, but I knew that was a strong possibility, and have already made an appt for tomorrow to get it adjusted. Plus, these are only temporary, for the next 6 months or so. When the swelling is completely gone, and the wounds have healed, I’ll get new ones again.

I really struggled with this decision. I’m only 29, I can’t need fake teeth! What if I look ugly? What if my husband is embarrassed by me? What if I regret it? What if, what if, what if… But, doing nothing meant I couldn’t chew, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t walk out in this cold weather without being in terrible pain. I was embarrassed to meet new people. So, I made my choice, and I’m thrilled and I’m not even at 100% yet. My face is still swollen, I can’t chew yet, and the bottom part doesn’t sit right, but, this will all be better soon.

Before:

IMG_3375

After:

IMG_3398

This isn’t how I’ll look in the end, like I said, my face is swollen, plus, I’m laying down in the photo, so I look kind funny. But, I am really, super happy about this.

I wrote some posts recently, and as I typed, I realized some things needed to change between my family and I. I seemed to only be remembered if somebody needed something, and if I dared to speak up, I was belittled. I was made fun of for being the martyr, or for being over sensitive. While my siblings all joked and tagged each other in things on Facebook, I was ignored. When invites were sent out to go out for dinner, guess who wasn’t invited. When I broke my foot in Oct, not one person said “hey, you need anything while I’m out?” Nope, instead, I drove to the store, dropped my 9 yr old off at the door, he went in to get a wheel chair, while I parked, then he brought it out to me, while he and his younger brother helped push me through the slush into the store.

I’m supposed to forgive, and I’m the bad guy for not being able to, but there seems to be no end to the new things to forgive. I decided, I was quite hurt that I was just kind of ignored. Like I said, broken foot, nobody offered to help. Last weekend, Brad and I didn’t have the kids. His flight had been delayed multiple times. He finally got home 4 hours late. I made a new recipe. My mom had called before Brad got home, and asked what I was doing. I said I was making dinner and said what it was. She said “oh that sounds good. We were calling to ask if you wanted to go out with us, but I guess not.” I said “Thanks for the invite, but I’m really excited about trying this new dish, and I’m sure Brad will be tired.” Brad came home, we ate dinner, and seeing as the kids weren’t home, after dinner, we headed to the bedroom. I heard my phone go off from a text, but I was busy. About 10 minutes later it went off again. I ignored it again. Eventually, I went to get my phone, because the kids weren’t home, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t them. I jokingly said “it’s probably my mother, she wants to come over for dinner.” And then the doorbell rang.

I yelled “just a second.” and glanced at my phone

Text 1: “Sweetie, honey, dear, can daddy come over and eat at your house, we’re on the way to town.”

Text 2: “No, we aren’t sitting in the driveway waiting for an answer.”

So, my parents apparently sat in the driveway waiting for my answer, while I had sex with my husband? Seriously? And nobody finds this strange?

I opened the door, and got made fun of because they “interrupted us” and it was obvious, because there was a trail of clothes. Yeah…Brad’s coat on the back of the sofa, and my shoes, one in the living room and one in the hallway. I didn’t bother to explain, my shoes fell off when he was proving he could give me a piggy pack ride. I’ve lost weight, I’m pretty happy to find out this sort of thing.

So, I deleted my family off my Facebook. I didn’t need to be reminded about all the things I got left out of. I didn’t need tagged in redneck photos. I didn’t need to be angry every time I saw the horribly misspelled posts. I didn’t need to be reminded of how “other” I am, while they post urban legends as truth, and “Obama needs to show his birth certificate” crap. I was getting irritated when my feed was full of things I disagreed with, but wasn’t “allowed” to say. Worse yet when they put my name on it, like I agreed with their opinions on black people, abortion, guns, religion or education.

Mind you, I made it so they couldn’t see anything I posted. Back in SEPTEMBER. Nobody noticed. I could still be tagged in crap. So, I deleted them. And, I didn’t get tagged in something, and now they notice.

So, my mom called me. She wanted to know if I’d deleted her and my sisters. I had wondered how to deal with it. Do I pretend it was an accident and re add them? Do I tell them I quit Facebook? Do I go off? What? I hadn’t decided yet. So, she asked me, and I had a second to decide. I finally said “I’m angry about a lot of things, and hurt about a lot of things. I’m tired of being reminded of it, and of having new things. I hid you all 6 months ago or so, nobody even noticed I didn’t post anything anymore. I was hurt that nobody even offered to help when I hurt my foot.” And she said “Well, fine. We said call us if you need something,but, just…whatever. You can think what you want.”

Yes, because I’m going to call my mother, and said “will you drive 25 miles south today and bring me a pepsi?” And, even IF I did that, I wouldn’t get one any time near when I thought. I could call at 9am, they’d tell me they’d be over at 11am, and show up at 6pm. If they had called and said “hey, I’m a the store, need me to pick up anything while I’m here?” I would have said yes. But, I don’t actually know their schedules. My schedule at the time was 1.Wake up 2. Make breakfast 3.School with the kids 4. Sit on the sofa and keep weight off my foot the rest of the day, except for making meals.

And you know…I am a firm believer in trying to tell someone you love them in a “language” they understand. I’ve told them that I don’t “understand” the way they tell me they are saying it. It doesn’t matter.

So anyway, I was proud of myself for not lying. Not telling them I would re add them. Not apologizing. I don’t need the drama in my life, and unfortunately, getting rid of it will cause more for a little while. But, it’s a start.

Pick and Choose

7000 sq ft

I know a girl, she is maybe 20? I’m not sure though. We aren’t real close, but Brad and her had been friends, he babysat her and her siblings when they were younger.

She’s been kicked out of her home, and left on her own. Brad’s dad is letting her stay in his house while he waits to sell it (he just got married and moved in with his wife.) The girl was kicked out, luckily with a job, but, very little real world experience. She’s sweet, but, very very naive. Nicky is engaged, and doing pretty well. Though, she’s sad about losing her family.

Nicky has a brother, Eddie. Eddie is even younger. Last year, Eddie was going to marry a girl on the other side of the world, and go straight to her after high school. Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t. But, Nicky and Eddie were home schooled. Luckily, foreign girl broke up with Eddie. Eddie was kicked out shortly after Nicky was. Eddie was kicked out because at 18, he told his parents he’d like to look for a job and start saving up to move out. They said if he felt that way he could get out now. So, he did. He moved in with Nicky.

Why was Nicky kicked out though, you might be asking. Nicky was kicked out because she had a boyfriend. Because she won a cruise, and took her boyfriend on the cruise. And, because she wears short skirts. Nicky’s boyfriend is now her fiancé. I’ve met her, and her skirts have gotten, very, very short, and very very tight. I kind of figure it is a phase, she’ll out grow it. She’s figuring out who she is, and what is acceptable, after years of having every thought spoon fed to her. I don’t talk much about Brad’s up bringing, but, it was about like mine. And, Nicky’s was maybe a little better. She seems to have gotten a good education, and Brad says their home was immaculate at all times. But, they were definitely “perfect” Christians. Nicky and Eddie were kicked out because they weren’t good enough.

Recently, Nicky posted a link, her parents’ home is for sale. Her perfect, Christian, parents’ home. Nicky and Eddie have one other sister. So, 3 kids all together. 5 people. The house is 7,000 sq ft. I won’t post the actual home, but the one at the top is the same size. For 5 people. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms. An in-law suite. SEVEN.THOUSAND.SQUARE.FEET. We have 4 people living here, and our home is just about 1,200 sq ft. We could make so with less, honestly. We know that, but, right now we are better off keeping the house than trying to sell.

The kids only did school work 4 days a week, the 5th day was for keeping the house in museum condition. You know…I honestly don’t care what  people do with their money. But it does bother me when people pick and choose what God “meant” in the Bible. Those verses about modest mean you should kick your 19 yr old daughter out for wearing short skirts. But, all that stuff about not building treasures on earth? Totally didn’t mean that. When Jesus told the young rich man to sell all he owned to follow him, that was a parable, it meant…I don’t know, other stuff. Easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven? Liberal Bible writers taking Jesus’ words out of context, I’m sure.

Brad said “Well, I mean, they did used to have a lot of church potlucks at their house, so they did need all the space for entertaining.” Ok…So the truila estimated mortgage on the house was around $2500/month. Brad said he knew the electric bills in the summer were about $600/month. Brad and I wanted a party to celebrate our wedding. Our house isn’t big enough for a party. So, we rented a pavilion in the park. There was a nice kitchen, bathrooms, a fireplace, a gigantic park outside, and enough room for probably 15 tables. For the entire day, the pavilion was $150. And that included cleaning afterwards.

I kind of feel like if you are going to use your perfect Christian lifestyle to justify kicking out your child for a miniskirt, you should reexamine some of your perfect lifestyle.

As I wrote this, I found this article, and have to say, I agree with a large portion of it.

When Pastors Live In Multimillion Dollar Mansions, It’s Not A Sign Of God’s Blessing– But Our Sinfulness

A Success Story, Part 5

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

Part 5: Finally, I’m Someone to be Proud Of

I was no longer being held up as a success, I was treated like I didn’t exist at all. After a couple years of going nuts with my freedom, of trying to find myself, of leaving my religion, I decided to right myself. I decided my kids needed a better mommy. I was lucky in that I was able to hide the things I’d done, and kept them out of all of it.

Years passed. I met a nice guy, who I found out later was homeschooled too.  I was not an atheist, but, I don’t know what I was. Certainly not the type of Christian I was raised to be. I stopped drinking. I got a job I liked, in a good environment. I graduated college with one degree, am working on a second now. I am very happily married to that man I mentioned before. I’m a stay at home mom, who homeschools her kids, but keeps them busy outside the home. We don’t go to church. I have friends. We travel a lot. My husband has a great job. I’m well spoken and polite, though somewhat quiet. My kids are happy and healthy. I make sure they get to have friends, and be away from me, so they have the freedom to talk if there is a problem. We have a very cute little house, in a pretty little subdivision. A swimming pool and nice neighbors and two matching cars in the driveway. We do not yell, we do not fight, we do not speak harshly. We are the American Dream. Again, we are held up as examples, of “successful homeschoolers” and “homeschooling done right”.

And, when you look at the rest of my family, it isn’t surprising to see that I’m the one held up as an example now. Because, eventually I turned out ok. It doesn’t matter that it was in spite of my upbringing, not because of it. I guess my one big flaw is I’m not “Christian” but, I’m a nice person and likable, so people seem to not realize I’m not religious. I am the only one to finish college. I’m the only one without huge money problems. I’m the only one who can write and spell. I’m the only one with a clean house, and the only one who cooks well and has people over who aren’t related. One sibling has no motivation to do anything but party and run over their spouse to get their way. Another is in what seems to be an abusive marriage, but, won’t talk to us. Another is just out of their teens and divorced once. Another has been pressuring his fiancé, who is still in high school, for sex. One of them should be in jail. One is well on their way to alcoholism. One adult can’t read. The “baby” is treated as such. He is kept the baby because that’s all my parents know, how to raise babies.  Recently, I confronted my mother about some of the abuse and non-schooling. She said she was sorry for my perception of reality and I was entitled to my own opinion. But, she hopes I can grow enough as a person to forgive my father and move on. Afraid, perhaps I was remembering things wrong, I mentioned it to several of my siblings. They all acknowledged that I had gotten the worst of it, that they remember it.

But nobody ever hears about our pasts, at least, my husband and I have made sure we don’t talk about it. It isn’t a fun subject, it’s humiliating. We don’t want to be known as weird or different. So, nobody knows about the bad. About all the times we were everything parents fear their children will grow in to. Nobody hears about how bad we are at making friends, or fitting in. Nobody knows all the nights we’ve spent, taking turns holding each other and crying, because we are finally able to process the pain and the abuse. Because, we are finally starting to believe, we aren’t worthless, we are likable, we aren’t bad people, and then we wonder, why didn’t our parents want us to know that? Nobody knows the rage that fills us when we hear about how wonderful either of our sets of parents are, or how we should thank them because we turned out so well. Nobody knows that I let my 9 year old brother practically live here, because otherwise mice crawl on him at night when he sleeps. And, he is the only reason I have not cut off all contact with my family. Nobody knows I catch my 18 year old brother sneaking off when he is here, to read the helicopter book I brought home from the library for my 2nd grader.  Nobody knows how I flunked the easiest college math class 4 or 5 times. Nobody knows my mother in law was almost 40 when she started dating a high school boy, and had a baby with him, that baby grew up and is now my husband. Nobody knows how my husband’s father was kept in an abusive situation. Nobody knows how she kept my husband isolated while they moved around the globe. Nobody knows how scared he was of her, when it came time to tell her he was in love with me, because the emotional incest made such an unhealthy relationship.

Nobody talks about anything really. The fact I ran away is no longer mentioned. I’m old enough now people don’t just assume unwed, teenage, mother. In fact, my first husband doesn’t even really exist in the perfect narrative. The length of time my husband and I have been married isn’t brought up. We’ve been together “forever”. (Forever means less than 5 years, in case you were wondering.) It’s pointed out how much the kids look like my husband. And, they really do. It’s nice, I suppose, because it adds to the illusion. Nobody ever asks any questions. It’s easily assumed that we are in our early thirties, and have been married for 11 or 12 years now.

We look pretty, and we aren’t in jail, we are responsible, productive citizens (well, kind of. Brad isn’t a citizen. :) )We are good parents, and our kids behave. So, ask our parents, they will show you our family picture and remind you, homeschooling, and the Pearl method of child raising works.

A Success Story, part 4

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Part 4: Baby makes 3, and 4, and the Mistress makes 5

I was willing to deal on my own. I told him to get lost, because I didn’t want myself, or the baby to get too attached just to have him leave later. He told me no. He told me it was his baby too, and he was going to be there to raise it. He loved me, and we could work this out, let’s go ahead and move up the wedding and save everyone the embarrassment. I didn’t know what to do, and told him that. A couple months later, my parents found out I was pregnant. They weren’t mad, at this point, but, all they said was “I guess we’ll move the wedding up.” I felt like I couldn’t say I didn’t actually want to marry him, especially since they were handling this incredibly well, for them. I am not a hugely romantic person, I didn’t believe in soul mates, I figured, as long as we both worked at it, we could have a happy marriage together. We got married, and everyone could save face, and again, Punkie is a success story, happily married with a baby on the way at 18, like God intended. When we closed on a house before my 19th birthday, there was even more celebration about how successful their parenting was, because Punkie is living the American Dream. I told them recently, I never wanted to marry Joe, I only did it because they said I had to. Because they said I should have thought of that before I slept with him. Because I remembered them berating other people for not forcing their pregnant teens to marry the father, because that was the consequence of having sex before marriage. So, I accepted my fate. My mother said “oh, we didn’t mean any of that. We didn’t make you marry him.” True, no one held a gun to my head. I guess I never learned to tell when their demands, lessons, etc were meaningful and when they were just talk.

I had grown up and married my father. When Joe would punch holes in the wall, and blame me, I knew just what to do. When he’d throw things at me, I remembered, this was how a loving family acted. There was nothing to talk about, because, it was a given, like saying the sky is blue. Pointless, because, everyone knows, right? When he decided to keep me away from church, it was familiar, and when he eventually took away my access to our car and our money, I stayed quiet, because, I was going to be happily married, even if I was dying inside. Immediately after having our first son, my mother got pregnant again, and relished the comments about how adorable it was that we were pregnant almost together. Laughed and encouraged comments about how I better get busy if I planned to keep up. A while later, I conceived our second son, and shortly after, she got pregnant again too. I still think she wasn’t ready to give up the attention. The only thing in her life people knew was she had a bunch of kids, with weird names, and now, was pregnant at the same time as her daughter. I don’t think she could stand to not be the center of attention. It was humiliating. I said I was done after 2, I wasn’t going to become them, and I wasn’t going to be a joke. I only had my two boys.

Over time, my husband got worse. I was alone, and isolated, with post partum depression and 2 babies. He began cheating. And, I had no social network, no support system. I cried a lot for two years. I tried to go to the church, where I was told that he said he wasn’t cheating and I needed to trust him. The reason he was always home late was because I was such a nag. So, I shut up, and tried to “nice” him into not cheating. Instead, he cheated more, and began abusing me. Pushing, shoving…once, he threw me off the porch, cracking my tailbone. Once, he tried to run me over, while I held our sons hand. The final straw was the night I caught him sending naked pictures to a woman. I lunged for his phone, he threw me down and strangled me until I blacked out. Why did I put up with this? Because, this was what I knew. Because, I kept being “saved” only to be put in a worse situation. Because, my biological father left my mom when he found out about me, and my dad swooped in to “save” me, and I better be thankful he was willing to accept me. Then, Joe came in to save me from dad. While his abuse was ramping up, I was reminded, continuously, that if I left, I’d have to go back to them. I was told I was worthless, all his anger was my fault, nobody would want me. I was told how I drove my biological father away, just by existing, and was such a crappy person, I not only drove one, but two men into abusing me. That nice girls, good girls, didn’t get hurt like I did, because they never made anyone hurt them.

I had no money, no car, no job. I was 21 but had no high school friends to call, because I was never allowed friends. I had no family, because  our relationship had been destroyed. One night, I called my parents for help, I cried and begged. Joe said if they came over, he’d have them arrested for trespassing, and my father’s exact words were “you aren’t worth going to jail for.” Eventually, I called the police, and they took Joe away. He and I have not been a couple since that night. Can you guess what I did? You know who is perfectly willing to befriend pretty, naive, hurt, scared, 22 yr olds? Men. In fact, my insanely low self esteem, and non-existent support system made me the perfect target. I was looking for friends, for help, for somebody to say I wasn’t worthless, I hadn’t been used up like a piece of gum, I wasn’t undesirable, I wasn’t “used”.  I was getting my first real taste of being on my own, and had no idea what to do. I slept around, I got a job at a bar where I spent most my time drunk, I had various relationships that were based on everything but love.

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