Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Battle - Part 2

Now a little more with my battle.

Less than a month after we moved into our second place, this "perfect" apartment, we found out we were expecting Genevieve. We were already planning on getting married, she just moved up the date 4 months. It was the perfect wedding for us, and we couldn't have been happier.

Genevieve's birth was pretty close to perfect. The only thing that could have gone better was if I had actually known I was in labor, so I could have had a better idea of what to do before I went to the hospital to make the visit just a few hours shorter. I guess I should have taken a birthing class that time around. Back labor is hard to recognize if you have never been in labor.

Mike had been working a 2nd job, but I was having a hard time dealing with a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler(Hailyn) all by myself for 8+ hours a day 1-2 days a week. Don't get me wrong, I loved spending time with Hailyn, but I was definitely stressed. It was after Genevieve turned 6 months old or so, that Mike and I separated. I was stressed and wasn't getting the breaks that I needed or wanted. The girls and I went and spent a week or so with my mom, so I could get my head back on straight. I think it was maybe a more serious or longer case of baby blues, but not quite bad enough that I would say it was depression. I read several good inspirational books and we went back home after a week or so.

It was also around that time that Mike had an "accident" at work. I use the word "accident" loosely, because some idiot hit him on purpose several times with a car. Luckily, he wasn't badly hurt, but he still has pains in his knees and lower back from where he was hurt. Mike is still to this day waiting for the guy's criminal trial, because he skipped out of town before the trail could get started.

Several months after the accident, right around when Genevieve turned 1, we found out about Jackson. Mike finally started getting some workman's compensation money around then, so that disqualified the girls and I from Medicaid, and the insurance through work was way too expensive. I was stressed out for a couple of months. I called the OB's office that delivered Genevieve, and they wanted almost the same about for just the pre-natal care that a midwife would want for the pre-natal, delivery, and post-natal care.

I was convinced quickly, but it took the rest of our families a little while to decide that it was going to be fine. I mean, the birthing center was about 4 blocks from the nearest hospital. A good one too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Battle - Part 1

I decided it was time to finally do a blog post about my depression. I had already decided that I was going to express all of my depression related feeling via my twitter page, but a friend's nephew committed suicide last week, and I decided I needed to get it all out in the open so people can understand why I act the way I do sometimes and what kind of help I need from my awesome friends.

I felt depressed for the first time around the time my parents split up and divorced. My freshman and sophmore years of high school were difficult at times. I tried to forget about my stresses and threw myself into my school work, but not before I thought about suicide at least once. I even went so far as to hold a razor blade to my wrist, thinking about ending my misery. My faith was able to help me overcome those dark hours, even though I was not getting the religious support I really needed. I got good grades and was able to forget(push to the back of my brain) most of what was bothering me.

My mom's parents, along with an aunt and uncle, died in a plane crash the first half of my sophmore year. I don't really remember when, but I know it was fairly close to Thanksgiving. And then not too long after my 16th birthday, my paternal grandfather died. My father took my brothers and I to the funeral. It was a rough time to say the least. While we were away at the funeral, my mom invaded what little privacy I thought I had and shared love(EXPLICIT) notes between my boyfriend at that time and I with some friends of hers and my dad's. It pissed me off to no end. It was the final straw, and I moved in with my dad after school was over as my mom and brothers prepared to move to Tennessee.

I loved Texas, and I still do. There's a reason why I kept coming back after spending time in Tennessee. I thought I had a close relationship with the boyfriend I had right before I moved to Tennessee the 2nd time and he moved in with me. He was working, but I was the only one working a full time job and eating any left overs. Our apartment was "broken into" the first week we lived there, so the locks got changed while I was at work. My boyfriend was a VERY heavy sleeper, so I ended up sleeping in my car in the cold(winter time), because he wouldn't answer the dang door. That and him not really helping out with the bills was the final straw. I had to pay the last $1000 of my school tuition, because the money my grandma sent me to pay for school was used for bills. His dad drove up from Texas and moved him back after I kicked him out.

I pretty much gave up on dating then and just concentrated on work and school. I got a D in one of my final classes, but I guess at that school, it was still enough to graduate. It was a hard earned degree and not just anyone could take the classes I did. I had some some wonderful classes, teachers, and classmates. I went to a couple of churches, including the one my mom went to, but none of them felt like "home", so I quit going. 

I moved back to Texas in 2006, and it took a little time to find a job. I also went to various churches on my off days. Some were pretty good, other got way too political behind the pulpit, so I left. I worked as a temp with my dad for several months, until I had issues with one of the regular workers. I don't like putting up with emotional abuse.

I finally found a job working security. It was decent pay and benefits, and I was soon promoted and met Mike. I just saw him as a coworker at first, a good guy. After hanging out a few times and getting to know him, I fell in love with him. He moved in with my dad and I, and I helped support him emotionally and financially through his divorce. I became pregnant with Dianna during that time. We got our own place soon before she was born. Money was tight, but we were happy. The pregnancy was fairly easy, but the c-section delivery was rough on me emotionally and physically. I got the typically baby blues afterwards, but I was able to deal with it. 

To Be Continued.......

Monday, September 15, 2014

Invisible Moms

My mom e-mailed this to me in 2008. Dianna was only a couple of weeks old. I definitely didn't feel it then, but starting to feel it now. 


 

Take a Moment it will bless your heart...

 
Subject: Invisible Moms
 to all the invisible moms out there
 
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

 Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone,or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

 Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

 I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'
 It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

 In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that w ill be covered by
the roof? No one will ever see it.'

 And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is
too small for Me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a
disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on
something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

 When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself.

 I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

 As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women. Great Job, MOM!

 Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know. ..I just did.