A Spoonful of Sadness…

 

(I’d like to apologize in advance for this post. Typically I try like hell not be this person. I’m sorry.)

 

 

I am trying not to break, really I am. I lay in bed awake, sometimes until 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning praying that I don’t die, because I don’t want these last few months to be the way my children remember me. I cry in my closet. It’s not even one I can walk in to, so I just lean into my sweaters and wipe my face with their sleeves. (It sounds so pathetic…and it is…really.)

When my son JJ was born (he’s 6 now) I had a bad case of the baby blues for about three months. I just cried. Good, bad, anything changing in my bubble of a life and I would weep. Stress was manageable, but challenging…like undoing duct tape with wet fingers.

*I have tried not to write this, as over the last few years I really have been working on being the woman who chooses to see the goodness, the sweetness my life gives me. My optimism is what keeps me hopeful, and filled with desire for each tomorrow.*

 

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I can’t do this, I think to myself. But I keep going and act as if I’m fine…which seems to be working in my favor. Short of the mess that is my house (which is easily explained away with the sheer volume of humans and pets living under our roof) no one says anything that makes me wonder if perhaps they know I’m struggling with severe, debilitating and at times terrifying postpartum depression…and have been for the better part of a year.

I just don’t have the words to write this. My desire to be held, well it just cuts through those words and leaves them empty and dangling like wet, freshly cut grass.

I’m not detached from my beautiful baby, by Gods grace. From the moment I saw him there was this intense infatuation I could feel…all the way to my very soul. My depression came on slowly. I have no love lost…but being here (though I know it’s my depression) all day and every night…here…alone with this beautiful little boy is so hard to do right now. I nurse him, I sleep with him, eat with him. He touches my face with those small loving hands and I want to escape. This feeling is killing me. The shame, the heartache…it’s inescapable. It’s torture. I feel like I’m dying inside and nobody can hear my screams for help. I don’t want to kill myself, although the immense guilt for feeling these emotions make me want to die. I just want it to stop.

I am exhausted. I don’t want to eat, or be. I eat pounds of food when no one is watching and when they are I feel ill for doing it. I don’t know why. I eat so I can nurse and for no other reason at this point. I missed my baby’s first adventure at the park. I missed his first push on a swing on Easter Sunday. I didn’t care until I realized what I had missed, and felt so sad that I was happy for the time alone, even if all I did was clean. (Why can’t I just be fucking happy, get over it.)

 

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This monster, it shadows me, it haunts my waking hours with a fear I can’t describe. It’s horrific the things I find myself pondering about. I find myself saying things like “If something happens to me…” – I taught my daughter how to bathe her baby brother ‘just in case’…

The kids have clean clothes, and they’re fed. There are dishes to eat out of…and it takes everything I have to make that a reality. I haven’t done homework with JJ for well over a month. I can’t remember the last time I painted with my child, or just sat and let myself be consumed with joy by my daughter Birdie’s desire to just be with me. It feels smothering.

I wish I could sit down and say “I need help. I think I need hospitalization. Please help me.” Instead I started cutting myself…just to feel anything other than this. I’m a fucking wreck. I just want to have someone hold me. Let me cry. Help me.

My husbands job ended today, and I’m sure he will be disappointed if he reads this. I’m just letting him and our family down…again. And now I’m crying. God help me. I’m a failure. Miserable in this world of lost battles, whispers of loneliness, having been broken and betrayed by the mind and body that carried the same human beings I would die to protect, to be with. Ironic.

It’s times like this that I wish we had family here. I could use some family love. Help. Rest. I need someone to come kick my ass back into proper order, before I emotionally damage my beautiful family – because I am fine with me being damaged, but they won’t be.

*I feel like a fraud.*

I do have times of clarity where I muster up what reserves of energy I have to do things like mopping, vacuuming, grocery shopping. I sit and play with the baby everyday, no phones or tv, and laugh while I’m crying inside. I really do try to hide it from him. I want him to feel safe in his new and amazing world. I don’t want him to feel even an ounce of my suffering.

Our family means the world to me and I don’t understand (even though medically speaking I have a full understanding) why I can’t get myself out of this. I don’t understand why the thoughts are so persistent that they are drowning out the love I know is in there…somewhere.

I want my little bit of heaven back.

 

 

 

Beauty School Drop-out

There is something to be said about higher learning. Though I can’t speak on this subject personally, I long to be able to.

I wasn’t able to go to college, but if I had I would have attempted to get a masters in American History with special studies in Native American History & Culture. I find the deep and rich cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes fascinating, inspiring. Their roots, unlike my own, are steeped in tradition. They have a value of the world around them that is rare and beautiful.

There is something to be said about having a high school diploma/GED. I don’t have any stories for you here either, as I never got my high school diploma or a GED. I’m a drop out.

 

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At what was my second senior year in high school I was part of a gifted/alternative high school program located on our university campus. I had already had several pieces of published writing thanks to the most passionate teachers, as well three paintings that had been on display at the university and then at a local gallery. I had an A in chemistry, English Lit, and had only 2 elective credits left to earn before I would graduate….when I had to drop out to care for my son, who was a tiny and loving one year old. Going to school full time and working part time at $4.10 an hour through a grant was not enough to meet his needs, and I didn’t want to be part of the ‘welfare state of mind’ that was plaguing my growing community. So, I quit school with a heavy heart and got a job, working 60 hours a week when I could to make ends meet. Having to ‘grow up’ at light speed was just life…because my life was no longer my own.

Time moves on with or without us…

Within a few years I met my husband. We married and started our family and the months turned into years. Our oldest children are attending college, and one will (hopefully) make the decision to go this fall. My middle child Jay uses my not graduating from high school as a reason/excuse that perhaps he should not put forth any effort, and drop out. It’s a very personal matter. I find it more of a slap in the face than anything. Not because he says it, but because I know what he will be missing out on. (?) Though I’m aware he could get his GED, or become a successful human being without it, I want to live through him. I want to watch him walk down the isle, collect his diploma, and get his degree in physics, basket weaving…anything. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that I tried to get my GED. I wanted to say to my kids that it was never too late to achieve your goals. I wanted to show them that if you put the effort in to what your dreams are made of that they can become your reality. Alas, I did swimmingly on everything but the math….which I failed by one or two points, every time. And I took that test many times. I was crushed.

*There are so many things we would have done differently in our lives isn’t there?*

If I could do this all over again, I wouldn’t.

The child I had as a teenager is what or rather WHO saved me from overdosing in an alley somewhere. He made me buck up and face life head on, in spite of my fears and struggles, and become a mother in every sense of the word. Do I worry as a result of my lack of formal education? Yes. My husband is the one who provides financially for us. I haven’t had a job in almost 14 years. (They asked where I attended high school rather then where I graduated from so I didn’t have to lie…I’m sure they’ve fixed that by now.) What happens if I suddenly have to become the one to provide? Or if Jay decided to stick to his guns and drop out, how will I change his opinions on this when I’m talking in two different directions?

Writing this post has required a lot of self-exploration, and life-long friends helping me to find perspective. This next part, is in part, because of them…

There was a time I longed more than I can explain to have a high school diploma. Hearing people complain about their homework, internships, graduate degree progress or the lack there of would cause a twinge of pain somewhere inside me. How fortunate they are, I would want to say. It brings up a desire to tell them about myself and say “You are so blessed to able to go to college. Don’t waste it complaining! Make the most of yourself. Go Forth in Knowledge.”

Now, I GET it.

There is far more in my life that I have without a degree than many people have with a lifetime of higher learning. My six degrees of separation are more like two, because I connect on a level with others that those with only a formal education can’t. I have all these beautiful children, a family that is complete because I’m a part of the equation. I am lacking in nothing.

Much like Benjamin Franklin, I have worn/wear many hats…often many in one day. I am a mother, wife, friend/confidante. I make the very best gumbo you will ever taste. I have memorized all the mother goose nursery rhymes I could find and I can hook a trout with the best of them. I am a writer/artist and I have lived. I have lived a life at times that was a struggle to want to be a part of. These struggles have brought me into the lives of people from all walks – who I have given a hand to and held while they cried, people who I cherish, who have helped me grow into the woman I am…compassionate, loyal, accepting. My interpretation of achievement is no longer measured by my desire for student loan debt but rather by the amount of change I make in the lives and hearts of those I love.

So what will I say to my child when he or she talks to me about dropping out now? I don’t know, but I’ve had a wonderful education and I’m sure I’ll have the answer.

 

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The Entertainer Blogger Award!

I’ve been nominated for the ‘Entertainer Blogger Award‘ by Annabella Says! I’m so surprised…and honored! Thank you sweet lady. Holy Cheese Nips…that’s a lot of pressure minions. (This could be fun…right?)

 

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The Rules:

Write a post including the award picture.
Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring, and most importantly ENTERTAINING!
Add these rules to the post.
Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog!
Also, answer the questions down below.

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1.) Why did you start to blog in the first place?
I decided to write Little Bits of Heaven because I wanted others who may be struggling or stuck to know that there’s always someone who understands, and that there are compassionate people that cherish them…struggles and all. I also love learning about people, and their uniqueness.

2.) What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch.
My mother read it to both me and my brother, and I’ve read it to all seven of our kids.

3.) What do you dislike the most?
Hmmm…tough one. I’d say the thing I dislike most is pickled beets, and that’s all I’m going to say about it!

4.) What is your favorite food item from the mall?
My favorite food item? From a mall? The mixed vegetables from the Chinese food stands. Full of salty deliciousness. Omm nomm nomm!

5.) What is your favorite pastime activity?
I love fishing with my family. Especially early in the morning just as the sun comes up, and Eagles leave their nests…preferably while kayaking.

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💜And my nominees are…(and in no particular order…)

dearlilyjune

The Spectacled Bean

The Monster In Your Closet

Behind The Gun

Young OFW

beautybeyondbones

O-pen-u-nated

notquiteold

waltbox

Hold em Hook

From The Laundry Room

Slightly Imperfect

 

Because He Loves Me.

My father died the day after Easter four years ago. He was in a hospital, surrounded by those he loved, that loved him. I was not there. I was not able to hold his hand or sit with my brother while he cried for our father. I could only call from 1700 miles away and hope that my words made a difference. I was beside myself with guilt. I missed my dad. I missed being there.

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When I was a child my father took us to Grandma and Grandpas house for Easter. Ham, homemade canned cherries, black olives on each finger. Easter egg hunts, and running amuck with my many cousins, my brother. That’s what Easter should be. Memories carried throughout our lives. The memories that we want to pass on to our children.

Though it’s been so long since I went home to see my family, they are always close. A thought, a prayer away. My dad, in my mind, is sitting by a fire, enjoying the star light, drinking the worst tasting coffee known to man.

When I became a Christian it was almost unthinkable to me that any being could love me, let alone God. After having my own and very personal tragedies in this life – and living through them, I know He does. I would not be here without God keeping watch, ever waiting for me to stop running and just be still. Protecting me from the terrible choices I made, keeping me from the depths of my own hell. I had children and my eyes were opened to that love in a new way. Giving a child up to save a stranger, let alone a drug addict, teen parent, homeless pile of worthlessness, is something I would never do – but God did that for me.

So, as I sit on my deck, so blessed, knowing what it is to suffer, I’m all too aware that there is much that the world doesn’t see about me, my life. But if I could choose just one part of myself to share with you, it would be the love of God.

I won’t push it on you full court press, that’s not who I am. If you don’t believe in God or are undecided, I don’t cherish you any less, and love you just the same. I don’t preach, I just choose to live my life accepting others as God does with me every day.

No matter your faith I hope this Easter weekend finds you with family, friends, the things you truly cherish in this life. I hope and pray that you look around and see all you have. Your very little bit of heaven may be more than your neighbor has. Know that if you’re spending it alone, or maybe lost, I’m thinking of you. You have a value within that is unmatched.

Make wonderful new memories to replace the sad, lonely moments. Each day is a blessing.

In bloom? Oh Bother….

Today ladies and gents I wish to simply vent, because it’s good to just let it out sometimes.

This week is spring break for all of my little and not-so-little humans. Fun fun fun!!!

They are re-paving our little street today….wait yesterday, and the day before….oh and tomorrow, all week in fact. With the way it’s been going-for the next month! Have I mentioned we live in a cul-de-sac? (No matter what I do I have to google that word. Am I up too early for you iPhone? Spellcheck?)

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On Friday, in big white spray paint mish-mash the yellow-truck-driving humans let me know they’re also tearing out about 4 feel of our driveway. Yay me. In an attempt to show the county maintenance workers I am all for this event; as if I were given a choice – I woke up just before the butt crack of dawn, and coffee in hand, waited by the door for them to appear so I could ask where my van should be parked for their convenience. The graffiti they tagged my property with says 7am. It’s 7:25 and not a single reflective vest wearing human is here. No one.

Our curb in front of the house is finished. Or was, as the do-over humans have decided said curb is too teeny, and they want it to be as high as my uncut grass currently is.

The machine they use to break up pavement, unofficially called a ‘drop hammer’ – is quite a fete. I imagine learning to drive and manure/maneuver it involves classes/certification. They could have offered me a class in defensive tractor driving or certification in not-my-trash-but-yours cleanup. But no, I’m not special enough. So, as the house shakes with each hammering, the baby has decided to give me a lesson in what can only be described as chaos 101. My dogs are going into full on eat-unknown-human-mode. It’s a good thing I woke up so early….because who’d want to miss all this excitement!

***On a side note and to top off the joys of this morning….I dropped my phone and it shattered. Enter many curse words here_________________!***

Sticky Boogers & Tea Time…

Boogers. Life is filled with boogers. Boogers here, there….everywhere.

As a mom they are a tell tale sign of many things, germs and crusty faces, colds, teething, allergies. Even my dog gets boogers on me. Every morning. Because he snorts like a pig at my comings and goings, and he’s huge…so are his boogers.

I have a long and hateful relationship with said boogers. I find them all along my journey of life with anxiety. Big boogers like weekend trips, dental work and my health. Small boogies like laundry, dishes, diapers and of course…boogers.

I love my family. I love that I have dogs, a cat and many many children. I enjoy my life. I don’t enjoy the boogers that crust it up. Or slime all over it.

Current booger on my mind presently…my husbands job ending in 9 days! 9 fracking days. Nine. That’s two more days than kids we have, days of the week, and minutes until my little humans hit the pillow. What the actual f$@k are we gonna do???

(In my mind to lighten the load I often say things like this:
‘Holy food-stamps Batman! Jobless in 9 days you say????
Yes Robin, in 9 days we turn in our shark repellent and catchy phrases for unemployment checks….’)

But under that I’m all but beside myself with contemplation about needed future dental work, stocking up on laundry detergent, dry food goods and the tissues required for handling this enormous booger of a problem.

How did we get here you may ask?…Taking a line (or many?) from a fave fellow blogger I will tell you…

***If we were sitting and drinking tea (because coffee is now a no-go…) together I will probably shed a quick tear. Then tell a story about my hard working hubby and how he got screwed by a national bank chain on his contract. In February he was told they were extending said contract with the full/promised intention of finding him a full time position with better benefits, vacation, the works. March 1st rolls around and the bitches rolled over/went back on their word. Bastards.
As we sip our tea, I’d shed another tear, and then maybe you’d ask if he’d been applying anywhere…to which I would lovingly sigh and tell you he’s been having phone interviews for weeks, a few in-person meet and greets but to no avail. That’s when if I’m blessed (and I’m sure I am because I’m with you) you will hand me a Kleenex to wipe my boogers. They’d be the soft tissues with lotion because that’s what good friends have when their friends are in crisis mode.
I drink my last bit of tea, you will smile with a look of love/pity/loss of words. Hugs are given and I leave to cry in my beast of a mini-van the whole way home.***

So, just as I ponder on the end of the official cold season, the reprieve before allergy season hits me, I am blowing into my store brand tissue, red-nosed, and overwhelmed. Damn the boogers of my life. Thank the Lord I know this too will pass, and if nothing else, I can always trade in my kids Pokemon cards for Kleenex money.

Girl Talk…

***Boys, you might want to skip this read, unless you want to understand the importance of good undergarments…***

 

 

Things I have yet to master as a woman who wants to master her womanly body and still feel pretty…..

  • Finding a bra that fits. I don’t mean just ‘fits’ but rather one that lifts where I need it to, doesn’t pull where it shouldn’t and can’t be seen with the naked eye. A bra that is not going to show through the sheer tops I don’t own. One that won’t cost me a boob job to wear! You’d think that with so many to choose from this would not be an issue, but, after nursing babies my boobies need some of that extra pampering too! Also, I’d love a bra that is pretty. Because I like pretty things. What’s a gal to do?!?
  • Buying underwear that is comfortable without making me feel like I look like my mama post-divorce circa 1989. I want seamless, and yes, pretty. No I do not want pretty ‘big’ looking…because nothing says yuck like a big ol’ pair of parachute undies. Is it truly impossible to find comfortable yet visually appealing lady panties that are 1) less than $15 a pair and 2) only found by me when there is only one pair left? I mean come on!
  • The ability to find a good color of lipstick for my pasty complexion that I can actually apply correctly. For one reason or another I just can’t do it! I avoid the clown look, the matching polyester pants/lipstick combo, oh and the ever popular dual purpose eye/lip-liner art. Mary-Kay…if you’re out there shoot me an email. A tutorial video is appreciated!
  • Jeans. Specifically jeans that cover my butt cheeks when I bend over, do not show my panties or God forbid – anything anywhere near my vagina. Who’s idea was it to implement ‘low-cut’ jeans into any wardrobe?!? I want jeans that do not come up past ones belly button. (As in mom jeans…) Jeans that do not look like I was just in a shoot out. Jeans that do not accentuate my muffin top. I want jeans that are comfortable. I do not want to pay $129.00 for them. Remember when Levi’s were $19.99 for the button downs? I long for the days…
  • Oh and let us not forget a really, really, really good hair brush. Long locks are hard to care for when you refuse to spend $60.00 on that salon brush of your dreams. (Here is where I mention that I cut about 2 feet of hair off one time because I rebelled against said brush cost. I now have longish hair, and a $6 brush.) Do I really need a winning lotto ticket? Seriously!!!

Why is there a price to be paid for beauty? Why is it that in my 35th year of life I feel like having a desire to feel pretty is going against the feminist movement? When I was in my twenties I felt that feeling pretty was a part of it…as in owning my body and doing with it what I wished visually speaking. Because it was mine! It is still mine people! Wanting to feel beautiful/pretty on the outside for me is to simply match what I feel on the inside, or try to. My clothes, shoes, and even my hair are an extension of who I am…though I do not rock said extensions. I enjoy converse shoes, t-shirts and noooo socks. I have an affinity for black and/or grey clothing, always with jeans. Do I really have to buy brightly colored sweaters and such for each season? (Because for whatever reason I feel like I have to!) And for the the love of God, who invented high-heeled shoes!?!

When did the word pretty become bad? And why do I feel guilty for wanting to be? I don’t want it as a label, but I want to feel okay wanting it.

The Art of Loss…and Life…

 

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I just want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart for the prayers and well wishes, and kind and loving thoughts/words. They mean more than you know, and went a long way to ease my anxious spirit. Never underestimate the power of your words.

CeeCee is still in intensive care, but the doctors are hopeful we will be able to go spend time with her tomorrow.

With love,

Bits 💜

The Art of Loss…

CeeCee, my mother-in-law loves slim-jims, Reese’s pieces, Oreos and Diet Pepsi. She has an affinity for very hot coffee and cheesecake. CeeCee has never had a child of her own, but has taken in many a stray both human and four-legged alike. Though our differences are many, she is the grandmother to my children, and we adore her.
CeeCee has Alzheimer’s Disease. It has taken much from her as of late, including her ability to find her own bathroom, her obsession with Reese’s and her health. My father-in-law Harry has taken the necessary steps to care for her in every way he can. He’s put a stop-payment on his job, rallied the troops and been the most loving, kind, humble husband I have known. His second nature to be abrasive has been swept away by his knowing she may not be ‘there’ tomorrow.

This morning we received a short, sad call from my Harry.

CeeCee has been placed in intensive care. She is on a respirator, heart failing. Harry, for the first time in many years doesn’t know what to do.
While our lives carry on in a very human way, a part of his will not. My soul aches for him. Holding fast to my faith as I watch his little bit of heaven slip away, I ask that you keep Harry in your thoughts and prayers today. Thank you.

The Last First Birthday…More Than Just a Gift.

Today is special for many many many reasons. It is a birthday. It is a first birthday. It is the last first birthday. We are both alive to share it.

When I was pregnant with Tank they found blood in his bowels, too much fluid in his kidneys. Symptoms of all kinds of scary birth defects, and Down syndrome. So I did genetic testing, filled out papers, had blood drawn and many ultrasounds until I gave birth. They broke my water and he’d been in my oven dry as a fish out of water for hours, his heart rate and mine quivered up and down. Tank was born healthy, lovely, three weeks early and fought to the bitter end to stay safely hidden away.

I had complained from about my sixteenth week of pregnancy of not being able to breathe. It wasn’t my anxiety. I felt like I had COPD, lung cancer. Stairs were nearly impossible to take on. My doc never listened. By the half way mark of my pregnancy I was grabbing the headboard to stretch out my torso…all in an attempt to breathe. Still, nobody would listen. I was sent to the ER for high blood pressure a few times, pain in my upper right abdomen, and my right shoulder. Nothing. All anyone told me was that ‘I was older/the more babies the harder on your body it is/you’re just fine dear.’ So when I gave birth I just knew I’d be able to breathe again. That final push was, in my mind, curing me of this terrifying suffocation. No.

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Nine days, and two pain pill prescriptions later I begged to be seen by the doc. Apparently not understanding my plight they put me in a room with a nurse practitioner who, to my surprise, listened more than any of the doc’s I had seen in the last 10 months. She told me to go straight to the ER, and assumed I had a clot in my lung. No.

I was admitted after a few hours, and after blood work, scans, ultrasounds, pee-in-the-cup-tricks, and poking/prodding they realized I had fluid around my heart which was struggling to beat, and had been for some time apparently. I had fluid around my damaged liver, which caused my liver enzymes to sky rocket, and my gallbladder, which was not functioning-at all. So they started me on a diuretic, which blessed me with the super woman power of super long potty trips, which was the color of shiny new pennies, and I lost 11 lbs. of fluid in under four hours. My diagnosis was HELLP syndrome. All because I was ‘whining’. Alas the symptoms have lingered and I often feel out of breath, tired, and catch every cold that comes my way. My gallbladder is slowly healing and the fluid in my legs is receding day by day by day….so there’s that to be thankful for on my end.

I could have had so many terrible things come out of all of this, but instead I had my last baby, perfect in every way, given to me, as if I was worthy enough. I’m so blessed.

My son JJ came to me a few months ago and we had the sweetest, most telling and wise conversation I think I could ever have with him…

“Mama, I know why you are having another baby…”
“You do? And why do think I’m having this baby?”
“Because you don’t want to be lonely.”

That just cuts deep. So true. So sweet/sad.

I can’t imagine a life without Tank, or any of our kids for that matter. This birthday is more than just my last first birthday. It is my last time to BE here, with my young one, and not be lonely. This fact is so very sad for me, but also, it is one of the most revealing, and by far the larger whole of my heaven.

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***Happy First Birthday Tank. You are my heart, and you keep me beating. ***