I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

An open letter to my monster.....

I wrote this a month or two ago. I wanted to put this up here for you all to see. Believe it or not, writing this out was healing in a way. I'm able to see the words and know that in some way, I'm proving that it won't get me down for long!

*****************

To my Fibromyalgia monster,

It's a love hate thing you and I have going on at this point. On one point I love the fact I FINALLY have an answer for the years of pain and suffering. I love that this "thing" has a name and an explanation if you will. I love that I can say, "Hey I'm not a lazy bum ass bitch, I DO have a problem. I have FMS." or "I'm sorry my ass is too slow for you, you know some people have FMS" and it be real.

On the other hand I hate you. I hate you because you ARE a part of my existence. I can't get rid of you, I can't fix you and I can't get you to move on. This relationship we have isn't going anywhere. So why can't I make you go? I'm looking for those answers to no end. And in the end, I have to come to the terms that there are NO answers to why you won't go. I have to submit to the fact that you will be with me until my dying days, even though I hate you. But I'm not ready yet to submit, I'm not ready yet to stop looking for answers. If I give up, if I submit, you win. Just like the ugly demons that have stalked me since childhood. I don't want that. I have enough demons why do I need a monster too?

Great question huh? Some days I think I have the answer to at least that one. I fucked up in my life. I made the wrong decisions. I hurt someone along the way shouldn't have. There was a point where my life hit a wall and I couldn’t get over it so now I have to suffer. Those are the bad days, the really bad ones. Like the last few days.

Funny how my family asks me what's wrong when I get this down and I have no words.  I tell them I'm ok for many reasons. I don't have the words to express it. I don't want them to have to feel that pain or shame. I feel...lost. Depressed, I feel pain like I've never felt before. I'm sad because I can't do what I need to for my family. Never again will I be able to work a regular job again. I can't do things with my family like I should be able to. This thing, this disease, this monster, took over my life and I can't figure out how to conquer it or make it easier. I'm letting my family down is how I feel you know. Like if I wasn't so gimpy or fucked up that they wouldn't have to slow down, they'd be able to do more and not have to wait for me or schedule things around a certain time so I can get up and be able to move around. How do I tell them these things without hurting them? I can't. So I suffer in silence. I suffer within myself and beat myself up. I sit in the bathroom when everyone thinks I'm going potty. And I cry. I cry for myself, for my pain and for my sadness. I cry out of anger because I can't express things to the ones I love without showing how broken  I really am.

It hurts. Not just the physical pain but the fact you’ve taken so much from me. You hooked up with Arthur (Osteo Arthristis) and wreak havoc on my body. You treat it like a jungle gym of sorts. Climbing from my knees to my thigh where that pinched nerve radiates pain down my leg and causes numbness. Up to my hips that are so fucked  up from an accident as a kid. All the way up my back where the screwed up discs are. Then, bouncing back and forth to my shoulders that have rotar cuff issues. Then you finally hit my neck that aches constantly. You make your way down to my arms and play with my carpal tunnel, numbing and causing electricity down my arm no matter what I'm doing. Some days ya'll continue this journey back and forth up and down and expect me to just deal with it. Is it a party to you? Is it a joke? It must be.

I really hate you. I don't use that word a lot, but I hate you more than my abuser as a child, I hate you more than anything I've ever dealt with.  I hate that you take away from me so much and give me nothing in return.

I'll never forget the story I read about the "spoons" that Sam shared with me a few weeks back. I sat here reading with the tears flowing. A woman figured a way to tell her friend what it was really like to have Lupus, another "hidden" disease. She used spoons as her visual and as she told her friend you have this many spoons for your whole day. For every activity you do, it costs you a spoon. The friend soon realized that every spoon taken away was how hard it was for the woman to deal with the day. That hit me so hard, and I felt the reality even more. You take away my spoons. You take away every spoon I set aside for the day no matter what the occasion or what has to be done. I hate you for that; you take away from so much more than me.

But you know what? I vow to figure out a way around you. Whether it's meds, activity, or mind set. I vow to fight you for my life. I might find acceptance for your presence in my life eventually. But I'll never submit. If it wasn't for my family or my friends and my Mama Sassy and my mama, La La in heaven and the grace of God, I'd have submitted a long time ago. But I won't. You WILL not win. FMS Monster, you will be weakened in return. It's a promise.

Forever strong and Forever a Survivor

Shani


Saturday, September 26, 2015

That fateful day.....

* Hey guys! Since I mentioned my moms accident in previous posts, I figured it was time to tell ya'll about it. This is mostly what I wrote about it af ew years ago with some minor changes. It was hard on me to share this one. I think since it's so close to the anniversary of her passing....none the less....I want to tell you our story. In my eyes, my mom was more than a Survivor. She was a true Fighter! Ty for reading!


****

On June 14th, 1988, our whole lives changed. My mom had been working at her new job at Circle K convenience store as assistant manager. She had just changed jobs and was 2 weeks away from getting full benefits for me and David. It was the summer that was one of our hottest.

Mama was working on a display that day that was a part of a contest held through the chain. Her usual customers came in, Shanna, her sister and her Mama. They were buying ice cream and chatting with mama. Another customer had come in earlier, she was 77 years old, I can't recall her name. She drove a huge green car and shouldn't have been driving. While mama chatted with her customers and rang up their ice cream, this woman made an illegal u turn in the parking lot and either the accelerator stuck or she was senile but she drove through the front of the store. This was back in the day when store fronts were glass form bottom to the top. To boot the concrete stoppers were put in backwards so they worked as an accelerator for the car. The car plowed through the cash register where mama was and Shanna and her family. the mom and her younger sister were thrown by the impact out of the way. My mom and Shanna got hit by the car. The force of the impact pushed mama against the concrete wall and as the lady hit the gas some more, helping to move the solid wall and mama 13 inches. All the while Shanna who was 2 years old, was trapped under the tire. She tapped and pulled on mama's leg trying to get help. A bystander got the car moved back and helped mama and Shanna get out. They were both sent to the hospital. Shanna died 5 hours later. The mom and young daughter came out of it with out any scratches.


That day changed everything for my family. I remember coming home from school that day, excited it was the last day. Mama was sitting on the couch all bandaged up and I was worried. Mike wouldn't allow me to touch her or go near her. I remember panicking and getting worried because I didn't know what happened. I heard her telling someone that she had been hurt at work. Mama wouldn't look at me. what was wrong? I don't remember much after that because I was sent out to my Aunts house for the summer, to better help Mama with what she was dealing with. I had fun that summer, but constantly worried about mama. I was explained to that she got hurt at work and she needed to heal up and get lot's of rest. I was 10 at the time and would have been more of a burden on her than a help. I never regretted that or blamed her. if anything I'm glad she did. Because as I got older I found out the other reason. Not only obviously were our names nearly the same, we looked almost identical. If you had looked at my 2 year old picture and at Shanna's you would have to look twice. Mama couldn't handle having me there, it was too raw and hurtful.


Looking back at her journals of that summer, I still get chills. She wouldn't sleep, the severe trauma of what had happened literally made her crazy. She was on so many meds as they tried to figure out what was going on with her back and leg. She was suffering tremendously. She had PTSD, Severe Depression, Anxiety and became agoraphobic. Even suicidal. At one point she held a knife to her leg wanting to cut it off to stop the tapping of Shanna's hand, or what she believed it to be. I admit that the meds they put her on at that time did not help a great deal. She began extensive therapy both physical and mental. Going home for the school year, I didn't know what to do. All I knew is she was hurt and I couldn't help her. I couldn't save her. David and I began a routine, he was working and school. He had worked all summer to help pay for mom's meds before L and I kicked in. Mike was an asshole who did very little to help with it. I still get angry over that. I began to take care of mama as much as she would allow me to and work on chores.

On most weekends I was back out at my Aunt's house to give mama a break. For 3 years she suffered so very much. When I was 13 she had back surgery to repair and fuse the ruptured disc in her back. She had permanent nerve damage in her leg that caused so many problems for her later.


David continued to work so hard, and go to school. Helped take care of us when mama couldn't. She had to fight to get L and I because they constantly told her she could go back to work. It was a bunch of crap! We went through a lot. i remember being 14 and being suicidal myself. Not many know that, crap only a few. I was so depressed with all that was going on. Mike was getting more abusive, and hateful. He no longer hit me, but the verbal was there. Mama hardly knew a thing. He told me he'd hurt mama in the early years. By then I had dealt with so much. I kept my pain from everyone, including mama. I didn't want to hurt her. Later I would find out she was on the brink of destruction herself. During 15 years before she passed, she would attempt suicide 3 times. Mostly in the earlier years. David had to come home from school once because of it. We all three suffered such trauma. I hated Mike for the crap he put us through. you see Mama was on her way out, taking us away as she couldn't deal anymore with his crap. He abused her too in a lot of ways. When the accident happened she was helpless. We all kept most of it to ourselves in order not to hurt the others. I regret that now, more than ever. Especially as I deal more with my mental health.


Looking back on so many things, I realize how much mama had to give up in order to be stable. I see her pain through her eyes as I always did from the time I was 14 on. She suffered so much, it was a wonder she survived. She kept us together no matter what. This last year I've had to come to terms with so much of my past. Hearing things I never expected. Like when I thought I hid it so well, that we all did other's knew. Facing my demon's has been so hard. This included. I know mama didn't always do things right, I question some things, and other's I'm proud of. I hurt yes every day in some ways for all sorts of different things. there will always be things no one knows about what we went through. But that's ok, it's not for everyone to understand.


Even though mama hurt so bad, she never stopped loving us. Never stopped being proud. She wasn't perfect, but she was my mom. I've forgiven the things that should have changed, could have. I forgive her for those things. I forgive the accident and the lady who changed our lives. I live now even after mama is gone to make sure my life is different and better. It's been 22 years now, and yes it still hurts. Anyone can say, let it go. But unless you lived it, you have no idea.


I think about Shanna and what her life would have been. I feel sorrow for her family and the pain they went through.
That fateful day, things may have changed but in all of it, it made us stronger. I hate that it took that trauma for making us that way. Do I hate her for the fact David and I were left to take are of her for 15 years? No...am I angry? Sometimes. Because I knew Mike could have changed it. But he was an abusive asshole who didn't care about us enough to save us.


My heart aches for the fact I couldn't save mama more. Even if in my adult mind I know I couldn't. With all that happened, not just the accident but all of it as a whole, I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Well, I should say I live with it.


I live with it, and I deal with it. I miss mama every day of my life. But today, I embrace her and thank the heavens she no longer hurts or in pain. She suffered so much and in the end she is at peace. I pray that i can find that peace with all of it.
Mama I celebrate you today, 27 years after the day that changed us. Thank you for your life, your love and your guidance. With out you, my life would not have been as rich. I praise you and thank you for everything, the good the bad and the turmoil. Because I would not be who I am.

Rest in peace mama, I love you.

Friday, September 25, 2015

I Can't..... (original poem)

* I wrote this poem on 6/14/13 It is all my words. I thought I'd share with ya'll. Maybe it will bring a smile even...


I Can't....
I can’t stop thinking about you,
Your smile, your laugh, your wisdom.
But you know as I know, this is nothing new.

I can’t stop looking at your picture.
Wishing I could kiss your cheek just once more.
Missing that place in my life, the one that you became a fixture.

I can’t stop wondering what you would say to all of this mess.
Wanting for you to help me pick up the pieces,
Finding myself begging for you to be here, I must confess.

I can’t fight the feeling of emptiness since you’ve been gone
There are things that have no meaning, no understanding.
I could tell you things no one knew. We were a pair with an incredible bond.

I can’t forgive myself for not saving you.
You don’t have to tell me, I know. It was time.
But I  play the what if’s, they why’s and even the how’s too.

I can’t give this heavy heart away
It stays with me, getting heavier at times more than others.
I want it to be easier, to ease itself away, for this I pray.

I can’t stop getting mad at you for leaving me.
You forgot to tell me how to live without you.
I’m having a hard time learning, can’t you see?

I can’t stop missing you, loving you and remembering.
The times we had, the good the bad, the amazing, the trauma.
Who’s to know when this will stop, go away and what tomorrow will bring.

I can’t hug you one last time and tell you everything so you know
That on your journey you may go, but how I love you even more.
I need to heal, grieve, and move on.  I pray for your guidance to help me grow.

I can’t forget you, you were my everything for so long.
Instead, I’ll cherish you every single day, as a constant reminder that you were an amazing mother.
La La, as long as I keep the good over the bad, the memories at hand, and heal from the demons, nothing can go wrong.

I can’t call you in heaven, but if I could
I’d tell you one last time, I love you. You were the best Mama you could be.
That it’s going to be ok now. All the pain is gone, and the peace will come as it should.

I can’t ever stop loving you, respecting you, praising you, forgiving and embrace the person you were.
Because you made me stronger, happier, more creative, hilarious, and awesome. Just because.
Thank you mama, my La La, my savior at times. Someday I’ll find that peace in all of its glory and it will be so pure.

original poem written by Shani kenny 6/14/13

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

There was once a crazy lady......

.... who says just about anything! Yeah, that truly is me. I mean I'm not really THAT modest about my family life. Some stuff is off limits though. I do have a stopping point. But ya'll will find out, I post some of the weirdest, funnies stuff EVER! Trust me, I find myself hilarious. Sometimes my own laughter startles me. Because it's so loud and obnoxious at times. Ask anyone who talks to me! LOL But I love laughter. I love sharing my funnies, my family funnies, and just the craziest moments of my life. I do it for so many reasons of course. But in the last year, I do it to share a silly moment to make someone smile. You never know who you may touch in one day. Not physically man..words! jeesh! :) I post a lot of funnies from my family on my Facebook page. But I want to start sharing them here too. Maybe in between the long posts of nothingness to everything-ness (yeah I made up that one...lol) I can add a bit of hilarity. Because lets face it, you'll figure out. My family is pretty effing awesomely hilarious. 

This one came up on memories of the day on FB, where they show you random shit you posted a year or more ago. So when I saw this, I had to post it! :D Enjoy!

*****


My kids have a very bad habit of cornering me in the bathroom. Meaning, if I'm in there to do my business, they come to the door. We have two doors on the bathroom. You have to go through my room or Mae's room to get to it. The door gets opened up, yacking, yelling, complaining, etc. It doesn't matter what they have to say, it all waits until Mom is in the bathroom. I swear!

I was in there earlier and the bathroom window was open. Christopher started to come to the bathroom door telling me something about his sister. I yelled "I AM ON THE POT!" Which usually is the warning if you keep at me I'm going to start screaming. Then it got me thinking of what my neighbors must think. The bathroom window has been open for weeks due to the weather.

I wonder what my neighbors must think of me. They're probably saying, "Why does that crazy bitch yell that she's on the pot/toilet every time she goes in to the bathroom? Like we want to know what she's doing! Why does she announce it?" Yeah...if I was an outsider that's what I would think. I'm forever yelling that lol. I threaten the kids all the time that when they're going to the bathroom I'm going to come in and talk to them over and over. I've done it a few times now even.
Bless our neighbors for putting up with the crazy lady who yells about being on the shitter.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Not your average every day Super Hero's....

When I say Super Hero’s DO exist, it’s with absolute belief and satisfaction in knowing this. I’ve seen and heard it. Nope, I am not crazy. Well, a little, but who’s keeping score? LOL When I write Super Hero, it’s with those capital letters again! Why? Because they are words that describe some incredible people who deserve that recognition and importance that comes with the capital letters in writing. Oh hell…they just deserve the recognition. They deserve so much more than that.

In order to give ya’ll some explanation on this, I have to give you a bit of back story. Picture it, Washington; the sun is shining for once and ….. jk…I did have to go all Sophia on Golden Girls! I couldn’t help myself, honest lol. But back to it….I was going through one of the toughest times of my entire life. I was battling postpartum depression among a million things. Christopher was born that summer. My worry over my Mom was getting more intense and I thought for sure we were going to lose her in that last year. She was getting sick again, flu that turned into pneumonia, and we didn’t know what the hell we could do. There’s more there, but that’s a posting for another time. My cousin was stationed in Guam during her short stint in the Air Force. She was working on her sobriety after a horrible accident and dealing with the break up with an abusive boyfriend. It was a hard point in her life too. During one of our many talks and emails, I decided that we should be Super Hero’s and we deserved capes. Our whole thing was that we were going to be Super Heroes who could conquer anything. We could race to the call of someone that was in need of saving from emotional destruction, sadness, anything negative. We would fight the good fight and go to battle with the bad guys who caused it. We could make the world a better place. We had these moments in email of hilarious dialog along with our regular chats and it DID make me feel better. It made us feel like we could actually change things for ourselves. Even though I’m not estranged from my family in many ways, I hold this to my heart as a little bit of hope that I CAN and WILL change things for the ones I love and myself.

Fast forward a few years later when my oldest two started school. Christopher was 5 when others started to comment on his movements and his tendency to race around everywhere. I swear that boy didn’t walk he ran! Right out of the gate too! LOL It was hard of course as a parent to hear that, or watch the looks. When he started Kindergarten, he was barely 5. He turned five three months before that. So he was a bit younger than most of his classmates. At the end of the school year his teacher approached me about having him held back because of his “issues”. I told her no, and I would look into having him checked out. She didn’t like it, but what could she do? It still irritates me ten years later. Over the next two years and many appointments, and frustration we found out that yes Christopher has ADHD. He’s on the scale close to severe. He told me once that it makes him feel like his head is busy all the time. That one was hard to swallow! Then comes the dx’s of OCD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), OCD (Obsessive  Compulsive Disorder), Tourette’s, and sleep issues. It was so overwhelming, and I felt so lost. My husband was shocked and didn’t know what to do for the most part. Although he also has ADHD. It’s so hard to become used to all of it.

It was during that time when my son became worried that just because his cousin Dingus (not using his real name for a lot of reasons. ) shared the same disorders that he would end up like him. Dingus was about 8 years older than my son. He made a lot of bad choices and was in and out of juvie and running away. It was hard on my son because he did love him so much. It took 2 years and some counseling to help him to cope and to understand that it wasn’t the disorders but Dingus’ choices he made. He understood that Dingus had to deal with the consequences. Ironically, it’s one of the reasons why my son has always said he wanted to be a cop. So he could help others.

My oldest daughter ended up being diagnosed with ADHD and later on a form of epilepsy along with sleep and anxiety issues. My youngest was diagnosed with ADD and a developmentally delay that put her behind considerably from her peers. It was so hard on my heart. It was becoming hard on them too, because here’s something new they had to deal with.

So that brought in the Super Hero thing again. We told the kids that they were Super Heros with awesome powers!  We taught them that they ARE different than others in some ways because they have the abilities to do things others don’t think of, can’t or won’t. For example, it helped my son with his quick wit and his sense of humor. He has the ability to turn just about any negative moment into a positive with some of his humor escaping and a hand on the shoulder or hug to comfort you. Which is huge, since he has issues with personal space? Otelia can come up with this big long dialogue from whatever someone has said, and make up this believable at times. She can turn something around to make it easier to deal with. She gives the hugs we all need to make it through. Maelynne is our Nurse. She will fix you up, tell you what to do, and make anything better. She treats you with such love and strength. She’s empathetic to others, even the people who pick at her when they’re hurt. She can be the best person to have in some situations.

All of these things make up their powers. See what I mean? They can truly do things others don’t, won’t, don’t think of. They’ve saved me more times than not from so much. I’d be lost without them. An old friend once told me that a parent of a Special Needs child is blessed. Because God gave them to us because he knew we would do right by them and help them. It made me cry and be more understanding towards it all. It kept me going in the mix too. Now, yes not all parents are truly that way, but it’s true for most of us! My kids STILL talk about super powers and being Super Hero’s. Why? Because they believe in helping others, and paying it forward. Just as much as I do! Mind you they’re now 15,14 and 11 respectfully. So they understand better now than then. They’re not embarrassed about it either.

In fact, recently one of my closest friends told me that they do the Super Hero thing at their house. Her son is Autistic. Gosh I love him sooooo much! He’s a doll! So now, he’s a Super Hero too! In fact his sister made him a cape! I’ll post it at the end along with a pic of Mae in her make shift cape. When I was told this by my little cuppie cake, I was shocked. It took my breath away, and later, I cried. Because she gave me so much hope. So much more understanding and healed a crack in my heart with those simple words. It felt like I had conquered one more of those moments that my cousin and I had talked about it many moons ago. It made me feel like I could do anything now…it’s humbling for sure. It makes my heart sing and I am so incredibly honored.
In closing my friends, no matter how hard it is to be a parent, and a parent of special needs kids, there is hope. They have the best super powers and they deserve a cape too. Maybe start this in your house, focus on some of the better things they are capable of. Get them a cape too! Talk to them about it, and why you say they are Super Heros. They deserve that and so much more. Hug your kids a bit more today, make every moment count for something and just share the love. I would love to hear any of your stories too! I’ll even post them here if you’d like. Thank you all….for allowing me to share. <3 I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to share….for my own sanity.

Now I’m outtie!
Have some cake with a big glass of milk,
Share with your family and rejoice in the day!

With Love,
Shani

My daughter Mae from a few years ago:


My Super Hero Buddy
(posted with permission)






Saturday, September 19, 2015

The moments of overwhelming understanding hit....

....... and hits like a big bitch. Let me start of with saying this, I often refer to my mom as La La as it was the name my oldest gave to her. Never was she going to be grandma! LOL But then also, my mom was NEVER EVER perfect. She had a lot of faults that ended up taking over at times and consuming her. She had a lot of other perfectly Betty Crocker/Sally Home Maker moments. I laugh at this as I type, because to know her was to know these words contradict her in so many ways. Never was she perfect, but she was who she was. She was my mom, my hero, my friend, my enemy (the way I saw it in the old angry teenager moments), a person I didn't like at times, but always did I love her. She was Mom. To my brother and I, she was a mess of contradictions, but one of the best people I've ever known.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "This chick is delusional!" No, not always. Well never really, never enough to push away the bad stuff......that's for another day. Anyhoo, in my own ways I understood her way of thinking and why things were the way they were for her. She grew up dirt poor. The second oldest of 6 kids. By the time her youngest brother was born, she was a teenager and looking for a way out of the highly dysfunction, crazy family she Survived in and from. From the bad stuff, she created a lot of good. She made sure that we had at least more than what she had ever been given. We did have a roof over a heads, regardless of the inner turmoil. We had food on our table mostly, and we had shoes on our feet. All things that she didn't have a whole lot of as a child. We KNEW she loved us. There was never ever any doubt of that. Sadly, she didn't know how to show it as much as I do towards my kids. It's ok though, because I can forgive the lack of hugs and I love yous. Don't get me wrong, she did do those things, again not as much as I do. It was easy to forgive something that she didn't know how to do. it's kind of like you can't be mad at your friend who can't drive and you need them to, because they were never taught. For me, that's it. The forgiveness comes with out hesitancy. I could forgive the flaws that she didn't know how to fix and I can forgive the bad moments. Because the good moments, out weighed a lot of them.


I was 10 when the accident at my moms work would leave her disabled for life in many ways. To keep it short, she worked in a convenience store and was just made assistant manager. She was working that day and it was hot, and a lot of regulars came in. This one lady and her two little ones came in  and during their time there, something horrific happened. A car was driven through the front of the store. I don't want to put the details out there just yet. It's something that I share....I'm not ashamed or angry anymore. It's just...maybe a little more raw today than other days. My nightmares have been laced with the accident. Anyhoo, one person died, two walked away with minor injuries. My mom suffered severe back issues, pinched nerves, ruptured discs, PTSD, Manic Depression, Anxiety, and at one point agoraphobic. I was sent away that first summer to an aunts house. It was easier for my mom to deal with things with out me there. With all that I know now, and as a parent, I do not fault her. I'm not angry, if anything, it makes me proud of her. Because she was strong enough to save me from the horrors of it. I would find out years later the hard truths of it. Out of that accident came the whole change in our lives. We were stuck. Shew as going to move us on our own at the end of summer. We'd have medical and dental, which we badly needed. The accident rocked our world and was forever off kilter. I can forgive the faults that were born that day in my mom, because she honestly did what she could.

Don't get me wrong, Several years ago I had to face some very hard truths about my childhood. I was angry, and hurt and all that goes with it. I never stopped loving her, even then I knew there had to be a reason behind it all. She was methodical like that. It's hard to explain to anyone that wasn't with us day to day. Through the anger and heartache, I came to understand her so much more. She had been gone for almost 10 years then. She passed in 2002. I had to struggle to sort things out, and I'd be lying if I said that I don't still struggle. I do, and I live with it. But for me, there wasn't a whole lot to forgive. Why? Because I was learning. I was learning the lessons that I was meant to learn through her or by her. I know that now. I was learning to accept and love her even in her physical absence.

Now to the point.....at my age of a ripe old 37, I finally REALLY get it. I understand what it mean to her to be so restricted health wise. Even if she felt ok physically, she was on a battle of emotions to remove the bad, to shield us from the nightmares and flash backs she had. It crippled her and in that last year of her life, she shared a lot with me. Her anger over being so crippled by any of it that she couldn't do more for us. She felt like she failed us and took on the blame of the accident on herself. Even though NONE of it was her fault. As parents we willingly take on whatever we can to protect our kids. We do everything we can to make their lives better than what our lives were at their ages. Just like she did. Our life wasn't perfect, but jt was a hell of a lot better than what she had.

I get it Mom. I get your struggles,  your anger, hatred, helplessness and every other emotion towards all the bad stuff. I'm there Mom, and it hurts. I hate being so crippled by this illness and anxiety that I can't do the most simple of things. I get to the point where the pain is so much I can't even move very much. Or the fears of the past coming back and taking over again. I know your pain, and I'm so very sorry for every moment that you went through that was hard and traumatic. For any moment you weren't loved like you should have been. I'm very sorry that someone didn't step up and take more notice to help you. I love you more now, than I ever have. Because I'm learning what it's like to truly live with all this mess and the daily struggle just to really SURVIVE. I know you always said it made you stronger, and yes it does. But I wish you had let us know more as adults and how to help. I wish I could have taken ever moment the man you loved abused you. I'd take it all away if it just meant you could be you at 100% every single day. Mom, you're love has made me stronger and I've learned to be a better parent than you were. I say that in love, and I always know you know that. Ty for giving me these lessons, even now through Mommy (my "other mom Sassy" I hate to say it like that...it's just..different) and how you guide all of us. Ty for giving us a chance to live when the whole world shut down around us. You my beautiful mother are the reason why I can truly Survive this. Because the struggles give me strength to go on for my family. I love you so damned much. You're in my heart always.

Finally to all...it takes a lot of courage to face life every day and not just curl up and hide away in a dark, cold corner. It takes strength to push past the worst part of your day and know that today was better than yesterday. It takes a whole lot of balls to take on the world. When the overwhelming understanding hits you like a bitch, and you can truly learn from it, then you my friends....can stand straighter as a true Survivor.

With loves, and peace,
some chocolate and a soda,

all my love

Shani

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sharing with you all....

Hey  yo! Here we are, a place for my many ramblings and thoughts. I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Shani and in the PSP community (digital scrap kits, graphics, tags, etc.) as “Wicked Princess”. I usually just post on my related blogs for all my design stuff. But I decided I needed something more. Something that helped me gets me to a point of being comfortable in my own little world. It’s funny as I was sitting here trying to organize my thoughts on what my first post should be, I saw something my friend Kelli posted on Facebook. It said, “I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her own skin.” That cinched it right there! So, I’ll just tell it like it’s in my head and pray that it all makes sense to anybody else! Often, I even confuse myself!
Why a blog full of random ramblings or whatever it becomes? I’ve found myself lately being more and more vocal about many things. If something bugs me, or I see someone I love get hurt by ignorance, I have to say something. If I’m happy, and crazy and silly, I have to say something. I end up making these big old posts on Facebook and sometimes ramble on. Other times, I feel like I’ve gotten my point across and I feel better. So instead of that and having it get lost along the way, I wanted to chronical it here…for all of you to be able to share in and find something that helps. Whether it’s information, support, humor, laughter, understanding, I want to help.

For days now I’ve been trying to figure out what my first post should be about. It’s made me nuts because my brain in all its ADD glory runs idea after idea through my insomniac tic gray matter. Often enough they overlap and intertwine. Ok, so here it is….a little about me. No, it doesn’t matter whether or not you wanted to know. LOL

I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body.  At 37 years old, I’ve been to hell and back and taken a vacation from it somewhere in the snow and cold. One of the things that make me a Survivor is that I Survived abuse in many ways as a child. Thankfully, we got away from it as a teenager and it stopped from happening. But it stays with you. It has stayed with me for 21 years. My parents divorced when I was just 1 month old. The man who donated some fertilizer to my existence (from here out called the donor btw) pretty much chose the “other” woman over his kids. I saw him just twice in my whole life. I was around 4 the last time, and he walked out and never came back. I was 19 years old when I heard from him. More on that another time.

My mom met Mike when I was around 2 and eventually we moved from our house in the city I was born in, and into his house. Over the course of 15 or so years, he abused us in many ways. Financially, he used the hell out of my mom for years. Emotionally, it would get worse. Verbal?  Yup that too…for all three of us. My mom worked her ass off for what seemed like forever and a day. My brother and I were latch key kids even then. We kept the abuse that was happening to us away from her f or the most part. Because why? The usual, the abuser threatened us that she would get hurt if we told. So we didn’t tell. She kept the abuse that was happening to her (I won’t go into the extent) because like he had done to us, he told her he would hurt us. It was things for us like, if we even looked at him wrong. BAM…back handed slap. Didn’t eat your dinner? To bed early, no food until morning. Dare to defy or get mad back? Paddle time. I couldn’t tell you what we did this once to warrant a whooping in his eyes. But he sent us out front to the willow tree to pull off switches. If they weren’t what he wanted, he sent us back out. Yes, he then whooped us with them just enough to leave red marks and no bruises. I have a hard time looking at thin branches of trees sometimes. It’s that reminder of a moment in my life I can never get back. Verbally, he told me I was fat, ugly, worthless, etc. Things always had to be his way, and if you didn’t do it, you paid for it. There will be times when I talk about this more. Some days maybe just a little, other days a lot. So please accept my apologies now for just the random ramblings that I’m sharing. Those close to me know that I am this way, so they understand me a bit more than others. LOL

As I get older and my PTSD waves its ugly hands all over in my face, I struggle. I struggle with sleeping without nightmares. Being able to go somewhere without a flashback or reminder of a moment in my life that something horrible happened. I struggle to be able to just push past something as simple as buying a certain amount of toilet paper. I’m often teased about my TP obsession. Let me explain this one. Growing up, Mike was extremely cheap. My mom ended up paying a lot out to him for various things. Even at that, he was a cheapskate come to think of it. Anyhoo, his rule was that you were only allowed FIVE squares of TP anytime you went to the bathroom. Yes, including if you had the trots. I grew up like that, and it stuck with me. He was all about saving money and we shouldn’t “waste” it. Got a runny nose? Too bad…wipe it on your shirt. But don’t get let it be visible, you must not look like trash when you go outside now. Because of that, I have gained this everlasting need to have as many rolls of TP in my house as I can. The most I’ve ever had is 220 rolls. Yup, you read that right! One time, when we lived with my in laws, my FIL told my kids to stop wasting the TP. Then he proceeded to tell them to only use 5 squares. That was a HUGE trigger for me and I lost my shit. I was yelling at him, cussing him out, I saw red. I freaked out everyone, and later on when I had calmed down, I scared myself. He didn’t know that it was a trigger, and I almost felt bad about it. I would have felt truly bad except he was being a dick to my kids when he said that.

My long awaited point on this last part is, PTSD is truly real. The ones you live with it as their roommate/bunk-mate live with the triggers. You live with the fact that at any moment in your day and night, something can set you off and you have a flashback or it makes you go into hardcore freak out mode. For every Survivor that lives with this very real and very damaging disorder, it’s different. For some it gets easier to control. For others, it only gets worse. PTSD effects millions of people in the world. You may hear most often about PTSD in regards to war veterans. My heart aches for them, and for the ones that love them. But keep in mind, that more than just troops have this disorder. Those who have suffered any kind of trauma at any time are susceptible to living with this. It’s hard, maybe the hardest thing you ever deal with.

I encourage you to seek out help, don’t rely on yourself to do it alone. It’s not something you can truly master alone. Reach out to someone. A loved one, a friend, a counselor, religious figure, etc. Reach out and say, “I need help.”. You know, it doesn’t make you weak. If anything, it makes you stronger. It builds you up enough to tackle that mountain and prayerfully get better. Don’t wait until you’re on a ledge so to speak.  I’ve been so blessed to be able to have someone to lean on when I get hit with it all. Remember, you truly ARE  a Survivor and this too can be worked through. I can promise you that. Have faith in yourself, in the ones that are helping you and look for support. There are tons of groups out there on FB and chat rooms all around.  Survivors make it through the battle with a few battle scars and less sleep, but none the less they do one thing. SURVIVE! You can do this…reach out…seek help and remember, YOU ARE WORTHY of peace. No matter what anyone says.

With that my amazing friends, I’m done rambling for the day. I plan on posting often to the blog. In some ways my own little online journal.  Feel free to leave comments, find me on FB or email me! I’ll leave links in the sidebar.

I wish you many blessings and peace!
High Fives and Cheetos!

Shani