Thursday, August 17, 2017

Too Old for Games

I'm too old for games, and yeah I know I'm not that old. I've realized, however, in the last year and especially since my relationship with handshake that I simply don't have time for people's shit. Not in the sense that I don't care, but...just tell it to me like it is. Don't beat around the bush, just say what you mean and we will go from there.

That's the approach I've taken with Craftymama and it feels good to be honest. It's the approach I've taken with friendships, and work relationships, and nearly all my interactions with people. You don't have to be mean, but you can still be honest.

This has been incredibly evident in my..I don't know..kinda sorta relationship with SS. From the get go I told him I was blunt and honest and I wasn't afraid to say what I thought. He told me he was very much the same way, and although very stubborn, he appreciated someone who could actually communicate and disagree with him in an intelligent yet respectful manner. The first time we actually sat down in person we talked about everything: politics, spirituality, sex, past relationships, personal challenges - all the things on the usual "do not discuss" list. It was an amazing chat, and it established a dynamic right at the onset where no topic is off limits for challenge or discussion.

It's an interesting situation, especially now with him being away, to have the same type of dialogue going. I am concerned I will lose some of this nerve in person, because most of our interactions are via text. Though I know, from experience, that this is not the case when I'm in his presence. It's still worrying. 6 weeks is a long time for a new whatever we are. And I am not good at long distance.

I quite like him. Sometimes I worry I am not ready for a relationship, or that my life is too fucked up and I shouldn't bring someone else in. But, at least so far, he is making me happy. We mesh in a lot of healthy and positive ways. Though his insatiable optimism makes me want to smack him sometimes.

With him there has been no games. I have been forthright with everything, as has he. It feels authentic. Now...I jut wish he would come back.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Medication

So while I was under the care of my psychiatrist, he was giving me samples of my medication because it was so expensive - but it was the only one out of so so so many that actually worked.

Well, as I said, he dumped me and put me under the care  of my GP, who can't give me free samples. So I haven't been taking my meds since mid may.

I'm thinking I need to find a way to get them. Some of the symptoms are beginning to interfere with my daily life. I can handle the overreactions, and mood swings and all that stuff. But it's the other stuff that I have no tools for that I can't figure out..:like disassociation, and hallucinations, and black and white thinking and I could to on...

I write this tonight because my thought is, if I put it out into the world like this then I will be more likely to actually make it happen.

Monday, August 14, 2017

School Supplies

So, my 4 big kids are going to school in the fall. Craftymama tried to make a democratic free school and when she began she had all the community support and enrolment needed and then VIHA and the Ministry of Education out a halt to it, so she worked through all their red tape, and was certified and able to go but could not get the entollment. Iss for the best, Craftymama wanted a democratic free school to exist, but I don't think she really wanted to run one. 

However, she is also very done with staying home with this kids. This summer had been so challenging for her with all of them home. The girls went to school last year, their choice. So we made the decision to send the older boys as well this year so Craftymama can focus on her doula work, and so that,  hopefully, everyone is happier. I'm nervous for my boys, but maybe I'll get into that on another entry. 

Tonight - we went school supply shopping...my thoughts are as follows: 
  • I have 4 kids going to school, and needed 13 erasers. This is stupid. 
  • BigR is in grade 6 and needs: 10 duotangs, a 2" binder with 400 sheets of paper, and a note book - there are not even 10 school subjects. WTF is he putting in all of those?
  • Again, I have 4 children going to school - and I needed 5 pairs of scissors. Stupid.
  • Also, 6 pencil sharpeners.
  • Purchased 100 pencils tonight, am convinced they snack on them at lunch time.
  • Was required to buy a non bendy ruler, noticed that they no longer make those wooden rulers available (likely due to some kid cutting himself on that damn metal part).
  • What is a key tab notebook? And if it is not available in a common, well stocked, big box store - then I shouldn't have to buy it. So I didn't. 
  • Remember when the school had headphones for people to use? Yeah, now you have to supply them, and they aren't cheap, and there are 4 children, and they can't be ear buds.
  • I bought 15 Tupperware containers for lunches - I give it 3 weeks of school before matching lids no longer exist. 
  • Why does a backpack cost $5 and a lunch bag (about 1/6th the size) cost $20?
  • If you ever want to see women coming together, supporting each other - send them school supply shopping at 9p. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

My son M

M and I have a challenging relationship. He is nearing 9. we have a challenging time relating to one another, my attempts at showing him new things, or helping him, or being affectionate usually end in him angry. None the less, I love my son very much and I will keep trying to show him things, and help him and love him.

I try to do something special with each of the kids individually. I usually ask them what they want to do for "mii mii time" and then if it's feasible, I make a plan and do it. M wanted to go to Victoria and go to a waterfall, and then have spicy food.

I googled and I asked people who lived there, and I could only really find one waterfall: Goldstream park, pretty close to Victoria. I warned M that there is construction on the highway and the drive can take 3 hours - he still wanted to go. So I got up this morning, we drove, he was very quiet and didn't want to chat, we got to the park,  finally found parking; asked for directions and hiked to the falls. It was gorgeous. It was like being in an enchanted rainforest, everything was glowing, and the water was clear. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was.

We talked a bit as we stood there, and as we walked back to the car when he was done. I let him decide when he wanted to go. We then drove back to Duncan and went to my favourite Indian food restaurant where M tried butter chicken for the first time. We talked here more, but nothing really deep or meaningful or connecting. But he seemed to be having fun and was happy, which is all that mattered to me. Then we drove back home.

I worry that M will not feel like I cared about him like I do his siblings because there isn't that same connection. I don't love him less at all, I just am at a loss. The only thing I can do is continue to be there for him when he wants me, answer his questions, tell him I love him, and make sure I make time for him (as he doesn't demand my time like the other kids do)

Oh and I'd post pictures from today but I can't figure out how to do it from my phone :)

Choices

Today I did something different. I tried something different. I am not able, at this time, to put into words what I did. Essentially, I made a choice to have a different mind set or viewpoint of my life and how I react to experiences.

I felt genuine, pure, raw joy today.

It was addicting.

I have no preconceived notions that I will be able to emulate what I did today every day. But I do have confidence I can incorporate this new way of looking at the works more seamlessly into my every day.

If I can get it into words, I will.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hope

Last year after my transformative experience, I gave up hope. Stay with me on this one. I didn't specifically give up hope on one thing in particular, just on hope the concept in particular. See here was my thinking on it.

Hopes and goals are different. When you hope for something you have a belief or a desire for things to end in a certain way, or to get to a certain point. Sometimes you have things you can do to help get to that point - but for the most part hope is like a wish; there is nothing that can tangibly be done. The thing is either going to happen - or it isn't. Goals, on the other hand, have tangible steps you can take to reach. If you fail to reach your goal - you can usually pinpoint where you went wrong, with hope - sometimes it's not up to you at all.

So if hope isn't up to you, why do we place so much emotional stock in it? We let ourselves get caught up in thinking and planning on these hopes coming to be. When really, the outcome can simply be a matter of fate, or simply someone else's choice. So I chose to simply not have hope. It sounds sad, but it was actually very liberating. With nearly everything in my life I am able to accept it as it is, and not be completely devastated, because I had no preconceived notions about how I wanted things to turn out. I was still an emotional person, and I still had reactions. But it wasn't the loss of a dream, or the failure to have my 'wish' come true.

Notice I said nearly every aspect of my life...there is one thing that hope still resides in, and I keep letting myself feel it, and it keeps crushing me every single time with ever increasing weight. And that is Craftymama. She's my person. When we broke up last year, god yes I was ruined. For a long time. But I got past that initial desperation grief, and then I realized that I still knew that we would end up together. I knew we weren't over. With every fibre of my being I just knew it, and it was okay if everyone said she was wrong, and it was okay that she didn't even know it yet - but I knew it. It was peaceful in a way.

So then the tea leaf reading happened - and it only confirmed my knowledge. And she had told me she still loved me, and that's when it hit: hope. I kind of got excited. Excited at the knowledge that this thing that I knew was actually right, and that I would be with her again, and the world would be balanced again. And then she picked PolyK. And I lost hope - and it was devastating. But inside I still knew. It was us. Then a few times she was planning on ending things with PolyK and ended up staying. Then we had that Friday night with kissing, and talking, and with tears in my eyes I asked her if this was just for that one night. And she said no. And god I was hopeful.  Stupidly hopeful. And then she ended things with PolyK. I wasn't happy, I never thought she would come running to me, never wanted that. I didn't want to be a rebound. I listened and heard and helped her through her grief as much as I possibly could. Not because I want to be in a relationship with her, but because I want to be there to help her when she falls, I care about her and her happiness and don't want to see her hurting.

Today she tells me she wants to try to work things out and get back together with PolyK. Her heart wants PolyK.

She causes me to have hope. And I lost all hope today, and today the depth of that loss is crushing. Maybe it was hope all along, and not me knowing, and maybe that's what I'm afraid of here. I know I have to let go of that space in my heart that's reserved for her. I don't want to be with someone that doesn't choose me. I want her to be happy, and I so hope she makes things work with PolyK and she is happy. I am happy to have loved her like I do. I will always love her in some ways, but it's the way I do now that I need to set free.

So now I begin a process, and I have no idea what that process looks like. Today is just about accepting reality, being heart broken, and probably copious amounts of alcohol.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Struggle

I've written a lot about body image on my blog, and it's probably because it weighs heavily on my mind. (Oh and for what it's worth, I still have and wear my rainbow tiger bathing suit and my kids still love it).

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with loving and accepting my body. I've done a lot of things to try to make it the way I think it should be: anorexic and bullemic behaviour, severe calorie restriction, intense and frequent sessions at the gym, home workouts, various diets, isagenix (which actually was working and I enjoyed but it effected my mental health). Either nothing changes my body shape or I don't have the motivation to stick with it long enough to see a change.

I look back when I was in my mid twenties, and I remember hating myself then. I remember crying over the way I looked - and now I see pictures and I am floored with myself. I wasn't perfect (what is perfect), but I would love to look like that again.

Especially as of late I have been really struggling with the way I look. My hair is going through that awkward growing out phase, my weight is higher than I'd like it to be, my legs won't tan...a whole assortment of things. I actually intended to go to the gym tonight, to try to start something, but by the time I got home, and children, and household maintenance, I just didn't have it in me. But I know I need to find it. I know I would feel better.

I'm sure this is all happening right now because I'm still going through feelings of, "no one will ever love me again" and "why would anyone like the way I look, when I don't"....insert negative self talk here. And I'm starting, probably, a relationship with SS, so I'm questioning what he sees in me, and how he looks past my physical self (I know I'm attractive mentally lol).

I work with and I live with a lot of very very beautiful women. They are all  so gorgeous in their own unique way. Sometimes, it's hard not to compare myself directly to them (and I know I know, don't compare blah blah blah). But it's so hard not to. I've never been conventionally or uniquely beautiful - there is nothing about me that stands out. I am overwhelmingly average looking at best - and it sucks. But people have liked me - so I can't be that bad lol.

I need to find a way to love my physical self - whether that's through fixing my hair, or losing weight, or finding some of the increasingly popular body positivity movement love. I don't know, but I need to do something. Soon.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Okay Here It Goes....

I don't really know the best way to approach this, so I'm just going to word vomit all over this blog entry.

So...to update...last January, Craftymama came to the realization that she was gay, and ended things with Glassman. I was still with the both of them. Glassman concluded that he was not okay having an open or poly relationship (and that was something I wanted), so that ended things between him and I. Craftymama and I, if you recall, opened our relationship (through my many issues and insecurities). She met and began dating a woman, who I called PolyK. That was the last update I did last May...so let's proceed shall we.

PolyK came over to our house one night and we all had drinks and nachos, and she ended up telling me that Craftymama loved me oh so much, and I would never lose her, and she just wanted to be my friend, and all that good stuff. We then hung out once at her place and watched a movie.

At the beginning of June of last year, I had my ceremony with the plant medicine I mentioned last entry. Thus began my transformative experience. On June 21 of last year, I met up with someone who I had been talking to for awhile on Tinder. We ended up sleeping together. I did not tell Craftymama what had happened right away. On the 23rd, I was supposed to meet up with him again and he didnt show, so I was upset. Craftymama asked why I was so upset, and I told her that we had slept together, and she was pissed. She felt lied to, and hurt and like I had cheated on her. I countered with the fact that she and PolyK had slept together and she hadn't told me about it for 3 weeks. We argued much. Craftymama decided she wanted to take a break, and get to know each other as friends again. So I agreed and we did that. It was awkward, and weird. She had been my wife for nearly 7 years, and we were back to...I don't know...awfulness.

So on July 18, I met a guy, I will call Handshake. I was on the rebound, I was trying new things, there were a bunch of red flags - I ignored them all, because...I'm an adult and I can make my own mistakes. Handshake was a liar, and a narcissist, and so not a good guy. But I learned a lot from my relationship with him. We dated until November of that year. His lies got ridiculous, I thoroughly stopped enjoying being around him, his rules were insane and restricting, and I realized I was worth more than that. He actually found me on Instagram a few months back and commented on some of my pictures (including one where he had taken me fishing), he's also texted me more than once. Unfortunately, he is still with his wife, or not wife, or whatever, unfortunately, still a liar and an asshole and something I'd like to forget. But hey - I learned things. So yay!

On July 25, while all of the above with Handshake was happening, Craftymama decided she was done with me. Didn't want to be on a break, she moved the kids' bedrooms around, and moved herself into her own room out of sharing a bedroom with Glassman and I. I was broken. So so broken, in so many ways. There were days I could not function. There were days I couldn't eat, and days I ate everything. It was awful, for a long time. I didn't fight to keep her, I just let her go. It felt like the right thing at the time, because why fight for someone who doesn't want to be with you, but I should have tried harder. So should have she.

At the beginning of August, Craftymama was set to go to Portland for an alternative education conference. She left, she called, said the car had died. It was a whole ordeal. She abandoned the car, came home and said she would deal with it. She never did, I confronted her, she admitted to me that she had never gone to Portland but had instead gone to Tofino to get away. I had already assumed she had gone somewhere else, but she said that she wouldn't have fessed up if I hadn't have caught her in the lie. It was at that moment that I realized how much our relationship had changed from a few months previous.

We had conversations as the months passed, they were often passive aggressive and mean. We were both trying to find a new normal, or if there even was a normal, or if we should even live together. It was a rough time. We made a plan to move out in July or August 2017.

So now we are in November 2016. Craftymama and PolyK are still going strong. I've broken up with Handshake and am now single for the first time in like 13 years - which was weird. Glassman isn't seeing anyone either.

Christmas of 2016 I honestly was so sad all day. It was so weird to be celebrating Christmas without her as my wife and Glassman as my husband. I cried a lot. I honestly felt that this would be the last Christmas we were all together.

It was about this time that Craftymama began talking to me about her relationship with PolyK. She told me about their struggles - with communication and arguing in a constructive way. We started to become friends again.

In March or so of 2017, Craftymama and I went for a tea leaf reading and the reader told us that she felt so much love between us. That we shouldn't be thinking of moving at the end of the summer, and that ending our relationship was not a smart thing to do. I told Craftymama that I didn't think we were done either, that I didn't know what the future held for us, but I knew we weren't over yet.

A few weeks go by and we talk again, and Craftymama tells me she still loves me, and is super confused about what she wants. She is monogamous with PolyK and doesn't want to mess that up. I tell her that I'm not waiting for her but I still love her.

So apparently telling her was a bad idea, because then I did realize how much I still loved her, and wanted to be in a relationship with her, and that sucked really hard. We began building a friendship, and we would talk and hang out off and on - like people do. She was usually more friendly with me when things weren't as good with PolyK, but I think I know why. It's nothing Craftymama is doing maliciously, I just think that as a Cancer, and an Introvert, and just being who she is, that she only has so much mental/emotional space for so many people. She just can't balance that many people, so she puts her energies into who needs her most: herself, the kids, her main relationship. I get that, and though I still felt a bit bitter from time to time - I wasn't as hurt by it anymore.

In May of this year, I started talking to a guy who I will call SS. He has definitely captivated me. He can handle the fact that I have a strong personality and I challenge him - and actually invites me to challenge his beliefs. He is a very blunt, honest person. Very open and accepting of himself. He's just a lot of fun to talk to. So he and I talked for a while, and then we met in June for the first time for coffee. I was feeling a little down and really didn't want to go, but I left that coffee date quite high on life. Since that day in June, I think we've talked every day. I've spent the night at his house (he's now gone until the beginning of September - which sucks, but we still talk). I quite like him. It's a little scary. But, I'll take things as they come.

Back to the timeline....towards the end of July, after my concert, things were really rough between PolyK and craftymama. We (mostly I), had a few drinks and we ended up cuddling and stuff, and talking life, and how much we fit together. And I asked her if this was just for that night, and if she would regret this in the morning. She said it wasn't, and we both knew that. *cue mega confusion*

Two days later, Craftymama is at PolyK's house (she spent Saturday nights there), and for a variety of reasons that are not my place to get into or dissect they end up breaking up.

Its been about a week and half since they broke up. Craftymama is devastated. She can't function, she can't eat, she feels lost. I completely understand those feelings. They, apparently, left things on good terms. There is some sort of waiting going on. They both don't want the other person to date anyone else. I don't really understand.

It feels confusing to me, because where does that leave me, you know? I have expressed to Craftymama my not wanting to be what she settles for, I want to be the choice. But this is her life, and she will do what is right for her. Like I said, I am not waiting for her, but she does have a place in my heart in that way for now. I am supporting her through her grief as best as I can manage, I remember what it's like to be there from when I lost her. Nothing can fix her, it's just a time thing. I hope she finds some peace for herself soon.

So there we are. Craftymama is single. Glassman is single. I am...somewhere in the middle? SS didn't want to start anything until after he was back from his trip, so at this moment we are nothing I guess. I don't know.

My life is weird.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Is it considered progress?

As my lovely readers know, I have both Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder. Through 23 different medications, hospitalizations, suicide attempts, ECT, therapy, and god knows what else I tried I did eventually make it through to the other side. But what, really, is the other side?

A few things to note. I had my last appointment with my psychiatrist in March of this year. About 3 weeks later I received a letter from his office saying he was terminating care with me and handing my case over to my GP. This is supposedly a good thing. I had been stable for almost a year, and didn't need him anymore. I cried, though. I didn't understand why he didn't tell me in person when I was at my appointment. I don't have a good relationship with my GP, don't really know her, and I had always thought (and he had told me) that my mental health was a challenge, and didn't want to fall down the rabbit hole with someone new who didn't know where I had already been. But alas, it happened. I did go see the GP to give her an intro to me. It was during a bit of a down spell and I wasn't taken seriously at all.

A couple of months ago, as well, I did start cutting again. I was having trouble with my emotions, and didn't feel I had a support network, and didn't know what to do. It's not all smooth sailing, I'm not completely stable - and I never will be. And I've learned that's okay.

Last June I had a psychedelic experience with some plant medicine. It was a beautifully transformative experience for me. I can't really tell you how it's changed me, but I feel like a different person. It's absolutely incredible. I was still seeing my psychiatrist at the time, and I had told him about this and he was completely supportive - talking about how these medicines can help so much with mental health and how they need to be studied more. It was wonderful to have his support.

It took a few weeks to integrate the way my brain was now thinking into every day life, and I wouldn't say it saved me, because without the medication I eventually found, I wouldn't have been stable enough to actually go through with the ceremony.

But over the last year I have a bigger world view perspective. I am able to see my emotions, usually, as something separate from me. I am able to handle them better, and recognize when things are getting out of hand. I am able to be patient with people, and I know I have to ask for what I need - and I do. I don't rely on other people, because I know I am capable. I know I am whole on my own.

My emotions are still extreme, always. It is completely in my nature. They are still overwhelming, and usually rapid, often don't make complete sense. I still talk down to myself a lot, still deal with insecurity, I'm still my own worst critic, and I know I am prone to both depression and manie (I've experienced both in the last 3 months). I know I need more reassurance than most people. But the difference now is I am aware of my own processes and how to incorporate them in a way that is not nearly as debilitating as it used to be.

Craftymama says it's inspiring how far I've come. I feel humbled by that.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Self care

Okay - so I'm aware the date stamp on this is going to say the 7th. But it's 12:25a, and I haven't gone to bed yet - so this still counts as part of my daily challenge to write a post each day. My day is just long :)

I want to talk a little bit about self care. A couple of weeks back I did something that I never do. I did something completely for me, that inconvenienced other people. Not maliciously inconvenienced, but still.

As people know, I have both bipolar 2, and borderline personality disorder (more on that in another entry as well...oh I have so much to say!). Self care, while important to everyone, is vitally important to me and not something that I do well. But I have been working on it. I can't really name what it is that I do for self care, but above all else, I can feel myself listening to my needs more and taking steps to get those needs met as opposed to waiting for someone else to meet them for me.

So, last year, randomly listening to Spotify, when a song comes on. I immediately latch onto it, and ask my friend across the desk who it is and she tells me it's a song called Life We Chose by Jared and the Mill. I make a mental note, go home, listen again and get hooked on their music. They are an indie band from Arizona. I follow them on social media and do the fan girl thing where I try to convince them to come to Canada. So back in December they announce a new tour and one of the stops is Seattle. I have a thought that  it would be fun to go but don't really make much of it.

Then I literally just decided one day, why don't I go?

So I decided I would go to Seattle, alone, for a concert.

See the thing is I had made this plan in my head, but I never actually believed I would take the steps to make it happen because I don't do things like this. But then I found myself leaving work early to drive to Victoria to get a passport. Then I bought a ticket. I told people I was going, and it become real.

I freaked out and I swear I nearly decided I wasn't going.

Friday came and I went and visited a friend in Victoria; which was amazing, and after much walking and travel mishaps the next day - found myself in Seattle.

The trip was great. I met the band, I saw them live. I cried, I sang, I danced with random strangers. I slept in a hostel and travelled back home the next day.

I left Glassman and Craftymama to parent and adult by themselves for an entire weekend while I went away and did something for myself. It was an incredibly rewarding experience.

It made me realize that I am allowed to inconvenience people sometimes. I don't always have to meet everyone's needs, and have them come first. I can do things for me. Maybe not escape for a whole weekend, every weekend, to another country. But - it's okay to do things for me.

I aim to do things like this more often.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Why I still love three...

So none of the people in my house are currently in a relationship with each other. (More on that later when I have the mental and emotional fortitude to write it out.) However, we still all live together, still all parent together, and still all do the family stuff together. That includes taking care of each other when we are feeling less than. 

On Thursday, I had a dental appointment in which I had two fillings, and two extractions. I am normally completely fine with dental work and have no issues. This was different. I was in severe pain Thursday night, and they were completely understanding. But that's not the point of this. I had a horrible sleep Thursday and tried to get out of bed Friday morning for work, it took a good two hours and by the time I was up it was 8:15am. I got out of bed, stumbled to get dressed and walked down the hall to the living room, where I saw craftymama on the couch. She asked what was wrong, and I told her how horrible my night was, how I spent the night in the bathroom, didn't sleep - all that fun stuff. She told me I should just stay home. You'd think after 8 years I would listen to her, but I didn't. I drove to work, feeling awful, got to my desk and tried to work. My vision was blurry, I couldn't concentrate, and I felt so nauseous. I maybe got an hour of work in and then I just put my head down. I texted craftymama I wanted to be home, and she told me to come home. My work friends, were of course supportive (one even offered me her couch to nap on if I needed it). I drove home - stopping twice to be sick, and because I couldn't see straight. 

I got home, and pretty much flopped on my bed. Craftymama who is going through her own personal emotional hell kept all the kids away from me as best she could, and took over all parenting for me. She came into check on me several times, she asked if I needed anything, she took my temperature. She offered to go out and get me antibiotics for the suspected infection I was dealing with. She brought me two cold drinks, soup, and the drugs. J took on the role of making sure I drank sips of water, and read me stories. 

Glassman came home and asked for an update. He then proceeded to make dinner, and though it was my turn to do the dishes (I do them when Glassman cooks). He did them for me and let me roll around the bed. He dealt with chores, took the kids out after dinner so I had quiet time and was just amazing. I honestly cannot remember most of Friday, it's all a delusional blur full of vomit, sweat, and discomfort. 

I don't honestly know how families function with only two parents. Craftymama was able to go away for some #operationfixself and I was still able to rest and attempt to get better. We aren't in a romantic relationship, and they still allow me to be weak, and to take care of me. It's wonderful to know I have that. 

Frequently, I get frustrated at the fact that I do the adulting in the house. That role is mine, and I know that, but I guess we all have our roles here, and I need to do my best to recognize and appreciate all that they do for me, for the kids, for the house. I may do the adulting - but they keep me balanced, and I am thankful for that. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why I Stay

Career is a big part of a working person's life. You spend 40 hours a week there, plus time away where you are inevitably thinking about your day, or what it is you have to do tomorrow. I work more than I see my kids - and that fact is never, ever lost on me.

I always thought that if I had to work while I had kids, it would have to be something that was my passion. Something that was spirit lifting. No, I didn't need to save the world, or do something really big - just something that made me personally happy. After all, if I was going to spend that much time away from my kids, then it better be worth it, you know?

I have worked several jobs since going back to work: barista (twice), bong shop, herbal warehouse and sales, transport attendant, commercial janitor, funeral director, and paint sales. In all of those varied professions, and really: from dead bodies, to scrubbing toilets, to distressed furniture - there is a lot of variety there, I have never found that feeling. The feeling that the job itself that I am doing makes me proud. I never felt my cup filling because of my work. So I started to reflect on what it is that does make me proud of myself, what I do enjoy doing, and what does make me feel full. It usually can come back to one thing: my relationships with people.

I am not someone who enjoys being alone, or quiet or in solitude - unless it is for a specific, purposeful reason. I thrive and feed off of relationships. I have never worked in an environment where I truly enjoyed the individual personalities of the people I work with like I do now.  Do they sometimes get on my nerves? Of course, after spending 40 hours a week with them, they become family - and you don't always love your family. They support me, they entertain me, they humour me, they listen to the sordid tales that are my life, they show genuine interest in the things that interest me - and hell,  they even feed me sometimes.

I am truly truly lucky. I'm not changing the world by selling paint. Being a sales person, if that's all I did, would not be enough for me. I don't even use the paint I sell - I mean I have, it works great, but I'm really not an expert. I don't come home from work happy because I enjoy leaving 40 voicemails in one day. I come home from work happy because I work with amazing people. Because I work for amazing CEO's, who show nothing but kindness and compassion and actually care what I have to say about improving the company or the work environment itself. I come home happy because the people at work make me happy.

I'm beginning to think that that's enough. I shouldn't take it for granted, I don't always need to be searching for something greater, or better. I enjoy where I am, and that's why I stay when it's just paint.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why I Stopped

So as most of anyone reading this knows, my relationship with my mother has been rocky at best over the last 8-9 years or so. Pretty much as soon as we all entered a triad together. She has had this enter time to accept my family the way it is, even if she doesn't like it. 

Unfortunately, her dislike for Craftymama was obvious every time she came over, and she only ever seemed to focus on the girls. She was never out right rude or hurtful to the boys - ever. She even bought J a bike for his 2nd birthday, which he still loves today! Her relationship with the kids became less and less established as time went on. Both because of her attitude, and inability to compromise, and because of our own inability to work with her. No side was completely in the right during those years. We all made mistakes. 

Last year, for my birthday, my mom took me out for a nice dinner. We hadn't really had a good chance to talk, and she is my mom - so I missed her. I was hoping this was a starting point, so to speak, to develop a relationship and to begin to work together. No, it wasn't. At dinner she told me her terms: she wanted regular visitation with the girls only, and after developing one with them, and through them would develop one with the boys over time. I tried to just outright say no, but she told me not to answer, and to go home and talk to Craftymama and Glassman. She also told me that if I did not meet her terms she would be taking me to court. 

I went home and talked it over with the other adults - we were all in agreeance that this wasn't in the best interests of any of the kids, and we weren't going to do it. On June 12, she called me and we talked, and I told her what our thoughts were. She said some very hurtful, and mean things which I will not repeat here as there is no point, and essentially told me she would see me in court. 

A few months past and I have heard nothing, so I honestly thought she was bluffing. But then I get a call from SisterE who tells me that my mothers lawyer had contacted her to get a statement, and that while she agreed that my mom should see the girls, she didn't agree with what she was doing. A few weeks later I was served. That was not a positive experience. In the notice she stated she was seeking visitation, monthly, between her and the girls and every 3 months between my sisters and the girls. This was a shock - because it meant both my sisters were taking me to court as well, which was weird because I had never prevented any of my kids from seeing them. 

This is when I closed down my blog - so that nothing I had said here could be used as evidence against me. 

I confronted SisterE about being a complainant, when she had told me she had just given a statement, and she said she didn't know she was on the document and would talk to my mom as she didn't want to be. Later, we talked and decided it would be best for me to keep her on there so that it looked like I was willing to work with them. 

First court day: just my mom, her lawyer, and me - representing myself because lawyers are expensive. They ask for a mediation, I say it's pointless as there is no middle ground - she wants to see just the girls, and I refuse to allow it. So we set a court date.

Second court date: my mom, my two sisters, the lawyer vs. Me. It was an awful experience and I had to choke back tears several times. It is not enjoyable to cross examine your family, trying to prove them wrong. It is not a fun place to be in to feel like it's your whole family against you. It is so hard not to give in as these are the people that raised you. It's hard to do that sort of thing with people you love. 

I won. No visitation with my mom, but I did grant with my sisters. 

I had honestly hoped this was rock bottom. That we would somehow use this experience to rise up out of the dirt and work on salvaging a relationship. I don't know what it could be or what it would look like, but I thought this was it. I have tried to text my mom a few times, and she never answers. Tomorrow it her birthday, and I will text her again. 

I don't know what the future holds for my mom and my family. I miss her - she's my mom. I want my kids to have extended family. I know when my mom passes I will hate myself for not having a relationship with her - even though it was just as much her fault it never happened. 

i will always love my mom. Always. But I'm hurt too, and that can't be ignored or erased. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

So I Traveled Back...Down That Road

Welcome back to Our Crazy House!

It has been over a year since I have posted - and my world is completely upside down, I have no idea where to start. I have picked up this blog again for a couple of reasons: a) the core reason I stopped is over and done with now (I will explain) and b) there is a challenge at my work, and my challenge is to write a blog post every day for a month. So here we are - Day 1.

First I will start with something that I usually post every Christmas.


This is a picture of our whole family on Christmas 2016. Yes, it is nearly 8 months old now. More updated pics to come - but this is seriously the only family picture I have of us.

I have 30 days of blog posts to write, so I can take this update slow.

So we still live in the same house in Nanaimo. Glassman and I share a bedroom, Craftymama has her own room, BigR and J share a room, M has his own room, and the girls: LittleR and K share a room as well. This works as well as any combination. They are all at the age where they fight, and big each other - and sometimes its impossibly hard not to pull my hair out. This phase will pass - eventually, but they currently are a lot of work.

Craftymama ran into some red tape issues with Maple Hill and had to close down the program. It took a good long time, but she was finally approved for a Group 3 Independent School, and is trying to get a full time program running in September. It's not looking too positive on that front though, it's hard to get people to commit to something that is so different, and so against pretty much everything that is ingrained in us regarding education and schooling.

Craftymama has also gotten her doula and placenta specialist certification. Check out her website: HERE . She is just getting started and has already had several placenta clients, and has births planned for the fall and winter. It's a pretty awesome endeavour - she has always been really good at the creative side, and following her heart - its the business side of things that need some work, that's where I come in.

Due to the fact that Craftymama is essentially working 2 jobs with Maple Hill and West Coast Doula - we are looking into options for the kids. Craftymama doesn't want to be a stay at home parent anymore, and both Glassman and I support that. It's a matter of what that looks like. Last fall, in an effort to support their education choices, K and LittleR actually went to public school. I think it was a good experience for them, definitely different then what they are used to, and as much as I disagree with institutionalized learning - I think some positives came out of it. We are thinking of also enrolling BigR and M in the fall so that Craftymama has time to focus on her work. Plus, sometimes I question the things they are exposed to or getting out of staying home. I am an unschooler at heart, truly, but Craftymama's heart isn't in it anymore, and that's not a bad thing. She just doesn't want to, so having her be the sole person to provide a free and enriching environment for the kids isn't fair to her, and not having the ability to experience new things, and to expand their horizons is not fair to the boys. So it's definitely on our minds of how to move forward.

Glassman is back at the family glazing place in Nanaimo - don't even get me started on that. I take many deep breaths.

I was at the funeral home, and as my last entry stated, my hours were being cut back. Eventually I was called in for a meeting and ended up being told that due to financial restrictions, they were letting me go. I was devastated. I had taken such a risk in leaving a stable, well paying job, to follow my dream - and it completely back fired. I was feeling so lost.

I spoke to my friend, who also happens to be the boss at my old job, and he had me do some temp work in the warehouse for a few weeks, and then they decided to bring my back into the office. I am now back working the same job I was before. The people I work with are still absolutely amazing - even though 3 of them are leaving within a month. They feel like family here. I know, when I am honest with myself, that spending my days leaving voice mails, and selling paint is not my dream. Running a sales team - maybe, like being the lead in customer relations, and managing a team etc. I don't know where my passions are, and I never really have. I am working on that though - as always. However, I have had a few things over the last year definitely distract me from that.

More on that later....