Tag Archives: Children

Why I Blog…A Gentle Reminder

I started blogging to help others, and myself become stronger.  The last several months, I did not have it in me to carry myself, much less have any bright days to share and lift others.  My internal protector, who now goes by Gidget, not “the mean one”, isn’t mean at all.  She does have a temper.  She can swear like a sailor when she gets angry, but her goal has been to protect me and “squirt” and to make me have a little more fun in life.

What now seems eons ago, but was only weeks ago, she told me angrily, “Not everyone deserves to be forgiven.”  That statement lead to pandora’s box being opened, and discovering and recalling that my “original” abuser, was a pawn and victim himself in his father and step-mother’s sadistic game.  Who knows how long it went on with him, but Little Shanna endured about a year and a half of sexual abuse.  Holding tightly to the secret, the sadness, and the guilt, standing beside her, a valiant protector Gidget.

She is remembering that she did fight now, she let me know, I fought and begged to go home.  There is only so much a 4 and 5 year old child can do.  Especially when you have two adults there, who are holding you.  Holding you in a way that you do not bruise though.  Hugging you.  Adults you once trusted.  Adults you should still be able to trust.  Hearing my dog barking outside because she heard my cries.  Gidget, that is where she got her name from.  My faithful protector back then.

She has introduced herself to most of my family and friends.  I am not really comfortable with that, but I suppose she is making it so that I do not have to worry about it.  Fear of rejection is so high.  She gave my closest friends what for the other day, for absolutely no reason.  Of course I had to apologize profusely after I returned.  She seems to forget my life, our life, is not all that everyone has to deal with.

She and I have become almost like sisters.  Boy howdy can she get mad at me.  If I try to smooth something over when it is clearly not my fault, or heaven forbid I blame her for something that happens, and I do not know if she had anything to do with it or not.  My husband says I need to learn to chose my words more carefully.  I told him, I am not used to someone knowing my intimate thoughts, and responding to them.  This is a new ball game for me.

She has quite the sense of humor.  I hope she does not mind me sharing this.  First off, she is country.  Very country.  Several people have mentioned that she has a serious twang to her voice.  After therapy yesterday, I told my parents that I wanted to try to actually eat out at my favorite place.  Ole Times Country Buffet. I set up ground rules.  My back would be to the wall, and I would be able to see my parents at all times, even at the buffet.  I was getting a little nervous.  Mother said Gidget came out and said, “I ain’t gonna let her eat all this good food by herself.”  Mother laughed as she said some of the things Gidget said and did.  First apparently she ate so fast, afraid I would come out soon.  Mother asked her if I had put any fried squash on the plate.  I had not, only because I did not have room.  Gidget sad SHE does not like that stuff. She joked, “When she comes back she ain’t gonna know where her food went.”  Gidget, must be a messy eater because my napkin was all nasty when I returned, and she was right.  I had Mac’N’Cheese (because” it did not taste like Ms. Edith’s (my grandmother) or hers (Mothers)”, according to Gidget, I agree.), and a piece of dry chicken.  Thing is my mouth was still hungry, though my belly bloated.  I dared her in my mind to come out when I got my deserts.  I got two just in case, I hid them behind butter beans and collards.

If you are new to this life.  My advice is, take it slow, but try to become friends.  I find when I am scared or afraid when they come out, it wipes me out physically.  If I let them come have their peace, and not fight them, I am not nearly as exhausted when I return.  I  do not understand it, but that is how my body and mind works.  My doctor seemed to recognize the exhaustion, so I must not be too crazy.  Yeah, not too crazy, says the woman with two altar personalities.

I am not going to write as often as I did before, but I will check in every once and a while.  A pulse check  to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.

Thank you so much for reading.  Thank you Mental Health Bloggers for the gentle reminder as to why I began blogging.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Hope, Gidget, Little Shanna

 

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Children Will Listen

How beautifully true the words are Children Will Listen, they kept playing over and over in my mind. Generally when we talk about children we speak of those that we touch in our physical world our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, students, friends, or just the child on the street.

As I sang this song with tears in my eyes recalling the words that Little Shanna has heard from me all these years. The words I have said about myself. The words she internalized and having no way to process or express, she attached these to her other negative secrets. (She asked that I use her real name.  I will not always, but today. I agreed, because it is important to her.)

Whereas my shield against the world, forged by my parents, family and friends has mostly been created with positive input, hers, due to my inner negative dialogue became a shield that was not much of a shield at all. Just awful awful scary untruths and half-truths. Words a five year-old should never hear.

It is no secret that since I was a teenager, I have had thoughts of suicide. I attempted it once, but the razor would not cut me. I do not take suicide thoughts, talk, or attempts lightly. I have had friends who have felt the darkness and stepped beyond trying to find relief. I will not judge them and I will jump to their defense if I hear anyone saying anything about someone who has attempted or committed suicide.

However, as I have said before, I have made a promise to my Mother that I will not kill myself as long as I have my faculties about me. I will reach out, call, do whatever I can do get out of that dark place where you physically, spiritually, and emotionally feel a pain that is black, completely absent of light, piercing every cell in your body. You just want the pain to stop.

Having said that, as she has watched from her corner of my mind, Little Shanna, has equated sadness with the need to die or to kill yourself. She does not remember the promise nor will she make the promise that I made with Mother. See has seen my misery and torment that words do not do justice, and heard my thoughts seen the pills in my hands, as I shook and yelled.  I just want to die.  She has heard it so many times.  I have to get her to trust me enough now to LISTEN and make the promise that we will keep each other safe.

Singing I looked over on my night stand and saw the monkey I bought her the first few weeks after she came out. He has been covered with junk since I came home from the weekend that I bought him. When she first let me know her secret, I felt sorry for her, broken-hearted. I considered it our secret. As the months passed I have pushed her farther and farther away. Angrily at times, blaming her for the mess my life is in. If she would have kept her secret to herself. If she would not act out. If she would…

Seeing her stuffed bear reminded me she is a child and reminded me of the feelings I felt for her when she first let me know what happened.  I began to be really penitent about pushing her away, even when she was being  a loud five-year old at inconvenient times. She is a child. Most children act out in the least convenient times.

How is she going to heal if the one who should love her most of all continues pushing her away with hateful words, wishing she were gone. How is she going to heal when her protector becomes her abuser?

If she cannot heal then we cannot heal, and if we cannot heal then I cannot heal.

I know that we both want to heal TOGETHER.

Daily Prompt: My Four Legged Hero

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Meet Gidget.  I was just a tiny girl, and she a tiny pup when I she became part of our family. Hitting it off immediately, this little gal became my shadow.

Gidget was my best pal. To be such a small dog she was the absolute best a watch dog and protector. Often going nose to nose with large neighborhood bulldogs and shepherds that would come into our yard. She would send them running as she nipped on their heels with them running tails tucked as they left. I am sure they were getting an earful with her barking in the chase.  Once a Doberman jumped over the neighbors fence and came running after us.  Granny told us to run to the climbing tree.  Granny and Gidget stood ground, giving us time to climb the tree.  I do not remember the dog going home or what.  I just know we did not get eaten, neither did Granny or Gidget.

As fierce as she was protecting her us, she was that much more gentle towards us. I was fascinated with her swollen boobies after she had puppies. So one day I rolled her over and squeezed one of her boobies and looked in awe as milk came out. She just laid there. She would let me do anything to her.  Poor girl.

Gidget was so funny. I think she thought she was a human.  She loved our birthday parties. Whatever we did, she found herself in the middle of it. If we were chewing gum, Gidget was chewing gum. She however, loved to pull and stretch the gum with her paws and make a mess. One party favor that she really enjoyed was the parachute men. They were in cylinder tubes. You blow the tubes and the parachute man comes out and floats down. She had a tube in her mouth and tried to throw her head back, mimicking us. She was never able to get her parachute to fly. 🙂 But it was not from lack of trying.

I remember well the dark feeling that fell over my heart the day Gidget went missing. She had a litter of puppies under the house that needed feeding.  She never stayed away from her babies long, so we knew something was bad wrong for her to stay away.

We looked everywhere, and eventually found her at my neighbors. The night before their someone had broken into their home.  Gidget, we suppose, tried to protect our friends home, and was ran over. My heart was broken.

I miss that sweet girl, a hero of my youth.

Daily Prompt: Heroic

Find the Good Friday: Kieran Gets New Ears

I love this story not only for young Kieran, but for a young friend of mine with the same condition on her right ear. My little friend can actually hear through her little “flap” better than she can her other ear, but it is great to know that this cosmetic surgery is available to these children if they desire it. It is seen as cosmetic, but really, it is emotional. I am proud of this little man’s courage.

Little Boy Gets New Ears

Tell All Tuesday (A Day No–Two Days Late): He’s Bald, And It’s All My Fault

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In 1978 when my parents told us that we were going to have a new little brother or sister, I do not remember ever being jealous. I was so excited! I even came up with the perfect name for the little one. I remember exact place where I announced my perfect names. We going over the railroad tracks not to far from my home and I proclaimed if it is a boy name him ——- (my Daddy’s Name) and if it is a girl name her ——- (my Mother’s name). Brilliant idea of a 4 year old.

Something else I did constantly in my excitement was sing. No, not a sweet little lullaby, but a silly ditty. I asked Mother yesterday where I got it from and she was not sure if I was a TV show or what. I did a web and YouTube search, but came up empty handed.

But this is what I sang:

Hambone, hambone, chicken and gravy. Mama’s gonna have a balded-headed baby.

It is really quite a catchy tone, and I sang it over and over and over again! I am suprised that the little did not come out singing it.

So when the little fella made his grand entrance into the world BALD, I cried and cried. I knew it was my fault. My song had some how made my new baby lose his hair.

Here are big sisters looking after him, he was about three months old here, getting a little hair.
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I am happy to report that he has a nice full head of curly, well wavy hair now. I did not curse him for life. Well in the hair department, growing up with three older sisters might have some sort of curse-like effect on a boy or at the very least make him feel like he is cursed, but that is another post all together.

Find the Good Friday: Become As A Little Child

This article was found in the Huffington Post.

The Utah Food Bank received the most memorable donation in their history… but it’s not what you think. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was from someone very special, making the donation incredibly touching.

Three little kids, Aidan, Sofia and Zach, decided to give their hard-earned money to people in need. They sent in a check for $36.50 to the food bank along with a touching note. This is what it said:

“Dear Utah food bank,

I wanted to contribute the money I made from my lemonade stand to help feed the hungry.”

The Utah Food Bank was so impressed with the children’s genorosity, they posted the letter and story on Facebook, where it received lots of shares and like.

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Yesterday I received and email from Happify.com that stated, “In a study by scientists at the University of British Columbia, participants were given envelopes of either $5 or $20, and instructed to spend the money on themselves or on someone else. The result? Participants who blew the bills on others were happier than those who’d spent the cash treating themselves—regardless of the amount.

It warmed my heart that sweet Aidan, Sofia, and Zach served those in need. It touches me beyond words they worked for the money and then selflessly and charitably gave it away. I love that the letter is written by Aidan, what joy they must feel. That will be a feeling that stays with them and encourage them to continue to selflessly serve for the rest of their lives.

What tender examples they are!

Independence Day, and Other Thoughts

When I was in the second grade my class made a video “This Is My Country.” I remember clearly the red, white, and blue striped shirt I wore.

We marched out of our school doors singing. We sang our little second grade hearts out.

This is my country
Land of my birth
This is my country
Grandest on Earth

This is my country
Land of my choice
This is my country
Hear my proud voice.

I pledge thee my allegiance
America the bold
For this is my country
To have and to hold

We sang it marching around the school. When that song finished we started singing “God Bless America”

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

By the time we finished God Bless America we had reached the map of the United States that was painted on the asphalt beside the playground. Each of us had a state to stand on, I do not remember mine, but for some reason I think it was one of the Dakotas. Once everyone was in place, we sang “This Land Is Your Land This Land Is My Land”.

This land is your land
this land is my land
from California
to the New York Island
from the redwood forest
to the gulf stream water
this land was made for you and me

As I went walking
that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land is made for you and me

I roamed and rambled
and followed my footsteps
O’er the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding, saying
This land was made for you and me

Then some of the cub scouts brought out the flag, and we sang the “Star Spangled Banner”

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I wish I had a copy of the video. I think I am remembering the order of the songs. The video is probably long gone, that was the days of Beta-max type video, even before VHS. I think our little video won district.

More than that we learned songs that stayed with us for a long time, hopefully developed a love for our country that lasted longer than that.

I am grateful to be an American. I am grateful to those who have fought past and present to keep me free. I recognize freedom is anything but free. It is full of sacrifices. Men and women in the military, their families, and those that are willing to speak up for those things that are not in line with what this great nation was founded upon.

I have sent many letters to my senators and congressmen to let my voice be heard. If you feel passionately about something that is going on in your local, state, or national government let your voice be heard. Also let them know that you will speak with your vote.

The America that I sang about as a 2nd grader is not the same America that we live in today, but as We The People voice our convictions and stand by who we are our beloved America can be that way again.

I love our flag I think it is so beautiful, in meaning and look. I love this nation. It is my home.

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Afraid To Leap, Adoption and Fostering

Česky: Matka a dítě. עברית: אם ובנה, 2007. Sve...

 

Daily Prompt: Might As Well Jump
What is the biggest risk you’d light to take-but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?

 

This is my first time using one of WordPress‘ daily prompts. When I saw it my heart immediately went to my desire to be a Mother.

 

As a child there was no room in my bed for the stuffed animals and dolls I had, each named, each loved, and tenderly cared for. Every night I would go to bed dreaming of the day that they, like Pinocchio, would come to life and be my real children. Our family always had dogs, I would Mother the dogs and their puppies, imagining they were my babies.

 

As I grew, cousins entered my extended family. When we would gather, the babies would be on my hip. The same with Church gatherings, children and I flocked together. A “Mother in Training” if I heard it once, I heard it a million times. I baby sat, almost as many times, oftentimes without pay, because of my love for children. “You are a natural”.  Was always the compliment given.

 

My senior year in high school, I participated in the Practicum Check Out Program. I would go to on of the local elementary schools and work with the Special Education Students.  I developed a deep love, respect, and admiration for special needs children. They really have my heart. I would often pray at night, that when I got married if Heavenly Father was going to send a special needs child to earth, please send them to me, because of the love and patience I felt as I worked with them. I truly feel I am rubbing shoulders with Heaven as I serve them.   They teach me more than I ever can teach them.  I had another opportunities to work with Special Education a few years later, and that bond grew stronger, those prayers more fervent.

 

When asked on high school on career day, what do you want to be, my answer always remained the same, A Mother. I had the dream of marrying shortly after school and being a stay at home Mother to ten children. I do not know where that number came from, but it sounded great to me at the time. If you open my yearbook, the notes left by classmates all wish me well on my dreams, most of them mentioning the “ten kids”.

 

With the only dreams of my life being a wife and a mother, you can only imagine the disappointment and utter betrayal from God that I felt when I was diagnosed with PCOS, and heard the words from a heartless female doctor, “Oh, it will not be a problem, unless you want to have children. You will not be able to have children.” My world ended then and there. I was not married at the time. I had not even met my husband. No man would want a woman that could not give him children. I did not want to live if I could not be a Mother. Who was I if not a Mother? Why was I even born?

 

I changed doctors and was given hope. She assured me that PCOS was not to be the final nail in coffin of my dreams. Years passed, oh how wrong that first Doctor was. PCOS was a problem, other than my child bearing. I was always sick. I could relate so easily with the woman with the issue of blood that reached to touch the Master’s robe in the Bible; however,  my reach often fell short. In 2005 I was diagnosed with pre-cancer of the uterus. A month after I met my husband. We married a few months after that. The pre-cancer medication I given for two years, made it so that we could not try to have children during that time.

 

When we were given the all clear, we tried. We tried. We tried. Month after month. Nothing but heartbreak. Sex became a chore.  Something had to be done, just like you had to pee on that stick.  Only to be disappointed by the outcome.

 

In February 2007 my husband received a call from a friend of ours. She was raising three of her grandchildren. The mother was pregnant with the forth. Knowing our desire and heartbreaks with infertility, she immediately thought of us. She wanted this baby to have parents that would love her and care for her.  They were not in a situation to take her themselves. She was going to be a baby girl. Her Mother was on Meth, and they were pretty sure that she was going to have health problems, at the very least, be premature, very premature, as her siblings were. I was close friends with the Grandparents, but I still took the time to pray, but was told that I could not take a long time. They needed an answer the next day.

 

Oh how I wanted a child. Would this be the special needs child I had prayed for all these years? My husband and I discussed it, we agreed to move forward with the adoption. I was going to be a Mother. I received daily, sometimes more than daily updates from the grandmother, but I was told I could not talk to the case worker. It would “scare the mother” and she would run.  Which she did anyway. There were so many things that went on over the next several months, that seemed like years. I even went to my doctor and talked to her. When we found out that the baby was coming and she would have health problems. We discussed my medications. I came off of some of them, and started taking an herb to make me lactate so that I could breastfeed her. I would pump several times as day, running a coworker out of her office for privacy.. Oh how bad that hurt. I had had breast surgery in 2005 removing my central duct, because of a pre-cancer in my right breast, but I wanted my little girl to have the best chance to make it. So she could be strong, and healthy.  The weekend I that her delivery was imminent, was the weekend that my brother was graduating from law school.  I missed his graduating, because the grandmother said she needed me to stay close.

 

Let me put it this way, to this day I have a closet full of little girl things that have never been worn. Bottles that have never been drank from.  Pacifiers that never have been lost.  A stroller she never sat in.  I highchair never eaten in. I had almost everything I needed. Why? Because she never existed!! My baby girl was a lie.  It was an adoption fraud! No money was given, food, a bunk bed, and a friendship, someone she could talk to and give her attention everyday.  My trust destroyed.

 

It all came to a head after the lies kept mounting, and we finally called the judge that was supposed to be the “good friend” that was going to sign the adoption papers.  It was my being naive, and her being evil and needing something that I had, that caused her to destroy my faith in people.

 

I had rebuild myself.  I am still rebuilding.  I will never be the person I was before.  I will never look at people the same again, nor trust my instincts again.  Even during the fraud, there were many times that I felt that something was wrong, but I could not turn my head or heart on my little girl.  The what ifs were too great.

 

A couple of years after the fraud, we went to the classes for the State Fostering and Adoption program. Private Adoption is too expensive. I want to be a Mother so bad, but I am terrified. They preach reunification, and I am all for families being families, but I cannot imaging the heartbreak of having a child in my home and then having them taken from me again. When I love, I love with all my heart and soul. I have a Mother’s Heart.

 

Who knows if I will ever have the courage to take that leap? I might have let an evil person steal yet another dream from me.

 

 

 

 

 

TED Talk: How a Boy Became an Artist

I love this! He is so inspirational! My dear friend Bec (www.RebeccaChester.com) is an illustrator too. I love how she reaches children with her own special voice and encourages children in her own special way. I do not remember the exact quote, but Bec teaches children that art comes from the mistakes or something like that. She’ll have to clarify the exact wording.

I know we are often so hard on ourselves and there is beauty in imperfection!!