Monthly Archives: July 2011

How I feel through pictures.

I have a purpose to blog today. A bigger reason then just getting my feelings out. An ulterior motive. However, instead of words, I will use fun pictures to simply say what’s on my mind. Enjoy.

I like helping.

I like helping strangers.

I like helping children.

I like helping people who I can see truly need it.

I like helping local homeless youth.

I like helping those who help me.

I like helping family.

I like helping at church.

I like helping in my community.

I don’t like helping people who are rude or mean. I also hope that karma finds you and takes you down. I do my best to be as helpful as I can, but even I have a boiling point.

I can’t cry to you.

Or you. Or you.

Sometimes others don’t understand this about me. Why can’t I run to them for help? Advice. A shoulder to lean on or cry to. I don’t know how. I’ve never been that type of person. Had my life been different, maybe I would have been.

Here’s the short version of how I remember my life.

Until I was 4 I lived in a very abusive environment. I was scared. A lot. Often. I remember hiding and trying to often just be quiet. My brother would tell me when to be quiet, mom and dad were fighting. I needed to be scarce. Then we left that environment and moved in with my aunt and uncle where I was taught to try to not be a bother, don’t make a mess, don’t upset anyone. We’re so lucky to have a place to go, try not to abuse that. Then we moved again. And again. In both those homes I learned to take care of myself. My mom worked what seemed like 24/7. When she wasn’t working she was tired and worn out. I tried to continue to simply not be a bother. When my uncle didn’t wake up to take me to Kindergarten (a very long walk), I didn’t bother anyone. I ate, got dressed, and walked myself. It wasn’t everyday, but often enough I knew what to do. My brother was older and busy, he became annoyed with me easy. I didn’t bother him either. I spent a lot of time at my aunt Cathy’s. I had my bff cousin Jen always there and my older cousin Tina I inspired to be like. I wanted them as siblings. I’ve always loved them like they were. I don’t think either of them will ever truly understand what they meant to me then, and still now. That house was an escape for me. A place I could be me and not worry about being a bother.

Then we bought our first home. I was in 2nd grade. I was so excited. I felt like a kid, finally. I had my own room, toys, neighbor friends. It was great. I still spent a great deal of time at my aunts. It was always my happy place. My mom had a few relationship attempts come and go. Some affected me harder than others. Those were men I didn’t want to bother. They didn’t usually last long. My brother still usually was annoyed with me. His friend Juli came to live with us. She felt like a real sibling. I loved it when she was around. My brother had a few friends that came and went. Jason. Sam. Jessica. They were all really nice to me, I liked them too.

Into my teenage years (barely) my mom met Roy. He quickly became my step dad and my life spiraled out of control. His son came to live with us. And his daughter. And his niece. They spent most of their time making my life hell. Establishing dominance in my house. MY house. They were mean. It wasn’t a good time in my life. My mom was happy though. I was thankful for that. I quickly became quiet again. I didn’t want to set off my new “siblings”. I usually stayed in my room. I almost always cried myself to sleep. Sometimes they would be nice and my walls would come down, only for them to become twice as mean, twice as fast, and my heart shattered every time.

Then came the drugs. My step dad did a lot. It eventually tore our family apart. There was a long period of time (about 8 years) where many weekends were spent worried about my mom. Watching her cry. Holding her. Praying to God to make it all stop. I began cutting my arms. I wanted to feel a pain I could control. My mom talked to me a lot back then through her tears. I learned my role. Be quiet. Don’t cause trouble like all my siblings have. Be there for my mom. Help with dinners and chores. Be perfect. I needed to make things easier for my mom if I could, someone had to. And no one else was stepping up to that plate.

Then Juli became ill. The one person I did have. The only one I went to when I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t often I broke down, but I always had her when I did. Moving away didn’t stop me from seeking out her sisterly advice (it was usually something along the lines of “screw them” lol). Her voice was enough. She was my comfort, my rock. Then she died. A part of me died. I turned to my aunt Cathy. I asked her for advice, when I became a mom I went to her for more advice. When she died, more of me died. Those two deaths really took a toll on me. I’ve had a lot of walls I’m unwilling to let down guard my fragile heart since. But I’m getting off track.

Once Juli died I didn’t care anymore. I was 17 1/2. I didn’t care about being perfect. Getting good grades. Making anyone happy. Life was unfair and I was tired of playing by the rules. Nothing was working out. My siblings were awful, my mom seemed blind to it, my step dad was ruining my mom and our lives, Juli was gone, and I hated the world.

At the age of 18 I became pregnant. A planned pregnancy. A new family. I hated mine anyways. At 19 I was a mom. Over the next 7 years I came and went. Mistake after mistake. Lessons to be learned. Here’s one I never forgot. It was already imbedded in my brain.

Don’t. Bother. Mom.

Mom’s often say “not now” “please don’t bother me” “later” and other such phrases basically stating “I don’t have time for this right now”. I’m a mom, I say these things too. But when at the age of 3 years old, everyone else is also telling you not to bother your own mom, there’s just no reprogramming yourself. Another thing often said to me was “take care of your mom”. Mike would tell me this a lot. He did drugs, he knew he was hurting her. I guess he thought if I was there to fix her, it would be ok. He didn’t realize then how serious I would take that job, and how it would forever shape me to the rock I still try to be. My aunts were always worried about my mom. They lectured me too. No one meant any harm, and I don’t think of myself as damaged. But it did make me to be this way.

I never went to my mom for relationship help or advice. The only time in my life I remember truly needing AND asking for her help was the first few months of motherhood. Boy those months were rough. And she was there. I should have seen then that the dynamics didn’t have to be me always as the rock for her, but I was overall emotionally clouded. I quickly returned to not being a bother. Sometimes I’d wish we had a typical mother/daughter relationship, but after that many years, it’s just too hard to start over.

In 2006 my mom’s divorce became final. She was a wreck. A walking zombie. People from her work would call me, email me, worried. Family members too. My relationship with Jabali was failing. So I left. I moved back in with my mom. It was always my job to fix her, to be the rock. Everyone told me so. My mom always had leaned on me. Make no mistake of it, I was ok with this. It’s how it always was, it’s how I felt important and useful. I like being relied upon, even now. Anyway. Things started to look up for her. She was smiling, eating, and sleeping like a normal person. She was no longer a walking zombie and I had only myself to thank. Again I heard from people at her work and family members. They told me I made such an improvement, how thankful they were for me to be there for her, how thankful they knew she must have been. So this became the set up. I was poor. I was a single mom. I could have gotten on state assistance for help but I knew I needed to take care of my mom. I didn’t want her to be alone again. She was my mom after all, how can you not automatically take care of the person who gave you life regardless of how chaotic it turned out?! I knew she loved me unconditionally and she would probably be the only person who ever did. Of course I’d be there to pick her back up again. No one else was going to.

We stayed this way for a while. We had a good set up. I made adult friends and started going out and being a normal 20 something year old. Life was good. My kids adore their Nana. I knew I’d never split them up either. We made an excellent team.

In 2009 I got married and we bought a house. My mom said we could buy one without her but I could never let her be alone again. I was too worried. Maybe I shouldn’t have been, but I had spent most of my life worried about my mom and trying to take care of her. I don’t know how to be any other way to her. I don’t know how to just be her daughter. I don’t know if I ever did.

She left us recently. Just under 2 years of living in our home she left. And she made a big giant mess of things before doing so. Lies. Lies I may forgive, but I’ll never get past. I spent my life trying to take care of her and make her proud and this is the end result? This is what I get for that dedication and devotion? Words cannot express the hurt and betrayal I feel. Every time I think I’m ready to move on, one of my kids cries about missing her. Then I’m angry all over again. I don’t know how she could have left them. They are incredible children who lived their entire lives loving and needing her. And she left. Like it was no big deal.

I have forgiven her. She wants a love story with a beautiful ending. It’s what she’s been looking for all along. She found someone who (fingers crossed) will give that to her. I wish her the best with that new life of hers. I just don’t want to be in it right now. Maybe one day. But maybe not. I’ve come to terms with this. I hope she has too. Sometimes I think of us like a relationship. We had a great run. We had good times. We had bad times. We learned many lessons. We always grew together, never apart. Now we can take the great memories, let go of the bad one’s, and go our separate ways. That’s simply what you do with a relationship ends. I will always love her. Unconditionally. She will always be my mother.

I will probably never learn how to lean on others for emotional support. I’ve spent 31 years this way. It’s simply who I am. Love me or leave me. This is who I am. I want to take care of others. I never want to be a bother. I panic when I think I am.

I wish I had parents I was close to and could lean on. I wish I had siblings that were also my best friends. But sitting around wishing for those things won’t make them happen (trust me, I’ve tried).

I know I’m emotionally shut off. I’m not normal. I’m distant and sometimes cold. I’m usually numb. I’m always the rock.

Please don’t expect me to change. I’ve had an entire life building up to who I am. I don’t want to change. I wouldn’t know where to begin even if I did want to.

I want to still be the rock. I don’t know who else to be. If no one leans on me, I’ll feel like nothing. I’ll be useless. That’s what terrifies me the most.

***Additional disclaimer…since it sounds like I’m whining about my life I want it to be known, there were good times. Like my awesome pets. Learning to ride my bike in that parking lot by the Crest. Tons of movies. The trip to Victoria (the wax museum was my fave). Sporadic shopping trips we couldn’t afford. All the Barbie stuff I owned. Having my bedroom redone. Year after year of camping. There’s always good to mix in.

***Another additional disclaimer…this blog makes my mom sound weak. She is not. She too is quite a rock. She was a single mom for many years doing everything she could to give us a good life. And when she wasn’t a single mom, the men she married may have well been dead cause they didn’t do much to contribute so she still carried the family. However, this blog isn’t about my mom. It’s about the times that shaped me to be more of a quiet listener ready to fix others.

63 more to go.

I started with 101 goals. I have 63 more to complete. Some of them are in the process, for example…

*Complete the 52 weekends in Seattle. This is a new goal. It replaced Disneyland. I will probably never get to experience Disneyland with my kids. But I am experiencing life, and some mom’s sadly lose that ability. I am lucky. Just not rich. We’ve done a small handful and it’s a blast!

*I read the bible when I can feel my brain will focus. My memory doesn’t retain it very well however. This goal is sort of defeating and discouraging.

I also replaced “go to the opera with my mom”. She moved. We don’t speak. That’s not going to happen. Now it’s go with “whoever else will go with me”. I’ll find someone. Or maybe I’ll go alone. But I will see an opera darn it!

I’m very proud of myself. I wish I had more done but that’s why they are goals. I’ll get there.


Babies are cute. Babies change everything. Here’s how cute babies are going to change my life.

When I was growing up I never wanted to be married. Men were worthless in my opinion. I didn’t want some lazy guy sitting around telling me what to cook for dinner, how to raise my kids, and to bring him another beer. I just wanted the kids. I did it. I had 2 kids and each time, ditched the man pretty quickly after. I knew I wanted to have as many kids as I could make possible before I turned 30. No kids after 30 I told myself on several occasions. Even now when I think “well maybe….”, I remind myself of the plan. By 50 years of age, I want to be done raising children. Of course I’ll still be a mother, but there is a big difference in mom stages between being legally obligated to your children’s choices or not. I will be done with that stage at the age of 43. That means from 43 till death, I have life all to¬†myself. I’ll see my kids when I want. I’ll babysit their kids when I want. It will all be on my terms. I’m happy with that. Here’s what I didn’t take into consideration with that plan.

The majority of my friends aren’t going to start having kids until around the age of 30.

We are in different stages. It’s as simple as that. You know when you are in a relationship and it dawns on you “we want different things for our future”, it’s like that. But instead of it being some lame ass boyfriend who’s ridiculously replaceable, it’s your closest friends. Trust me, that’s harder to let go of.

I’m 31. My closest friends are just now starting their families. They are all doing it together pretty much. 4 of them plan to be pregnant by the end of the year. Where does that leave me? Well, surely not in that foursome. Their conversations will be about diaper coupons, organic baby food, and teething. Those days are behind me. They will go through it together and I’ve been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt as they say.

Where does that leave me?

Lonely. Sad. Left out.

It sucks. But life sucks.

I’m excited to watch my friends venture down this well traveled¬†yet highly unpredictable path. I can’t wait to hold their babies and be “Auntie Kristin”. But I won’t be apart of this adventure. I won’t be alongside them experiencing it too. Those days are far behind me. I will be getting to the part of my life that includes sleeping in, late nights drinking, and hopefully some vacations here and there now that my anxiety is under control.

I need a plan. I could have a baby and join them. But is that really a reason to bring a life into this world. Here’s how that conversation would go.

Baby (as a child of course) “mom, why did you decide to have me? Did you plan it like Savannah? Or was I a wonderful surprise like Jo?”

Me “Well you were planned. But really cause all my other friends were doing it.”

Um….not a good enough reason. So instead I think I’ll start hanging out with my other friends a bit more. My friends who don’t want kids or whose kids are older like mine. We’re on the same path. And being on the same path with people you love is plain old awesome. It’s what I need in my life. And sometimes, I really need to do what’s best for me. I don’t do that very often, but this is one of those times.