Struggling

Struggling

IMG_4366I’ve been struggling lately. I won’t lie, I can’t lie, and I haven’t. I’ve been upfront and honest. My husband knows what’s going on, even if he isn’t completely capable of understanding it or being able to help me the way he wishes he could. I’m always going to struggle, in some way or form, and not because I’m a victim, or because I’m unable to handle things, but simply because that’s the way it is. Everyone has their own personal struggles and this happens to be one of mine.

Depression. It’s hard. People like to say things like “I’m cured!” but to me that doesn’t exist. If you have medical depression, in where your brain actually has legitimate issues and medicine is the only answer, then I guess you’re right–you can be cured. But I don’t believe you can ever be completely cured when it’s environmental or something you’ve developed over time. Medicine can help you, therapy can help you, but you’ll be forever battling that reprogramming that went on in your brain. The cognitive therapy, the awareness of the problem, all of that help you battle it effectively, but you’re still fighting.

I have moments, lapses, when I’m just not good. Life right now is hard for me. I have things going on with my family I’d rather not face down. There are things I don’t want to acknowledge, but they’re there, and they’re truths, and you cannot flee the truth. Even so, I’m left floundering because of it.

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I won’t say I do this for Evangeline or that she’s my strength, because that’s wrong. It’s not right to put that on her. It’s not right to burden her with something that she’ll feel later on in life. I never want her to feel like any of this is her fault. I’ll be honest with her, but I don’t want her to ever face the issues I have. I know that she will, though. It’s in our DNA. I’ll just make sure she has the tools she needs just in case…

My family is destructive–toxic. They are not good for me. They do not make me feel better or whole as a person. TheIMG_4346y tear me down and make me feel apart from the world. Leaving them behind, escaping the mindset they throttled into me… it was freeing in a way I didn’t realize until recently, until I really, truly started breaking away. I’ve wasted almost thirty years of my life and that’s heartbreaking.

I won’t waste anymore. I feel guilt, and I should. I should never be the type of person who doesn’t feel guilty. I’m capable of kindness, of empathy, and of all the things that makes me the perfect subject of manipulation. That doesn’t mean I should accept it or take it. Evangeline is not my strength, but her presence in my life has given me a boon–a clarity I did not possess to this extent previously.

I’m grateful and terrified. This is a whole new world–a new awakening. I thought I had been free, all this time, I thought I had done everything right… but I was still tethered, still stuck, and every time, I’d revert back to that person. Now, it’s different. Now, finally, I am becoming a whole, complete person. I am shedding the skin forced upon me. I am grasping and fighting to be free of the things that tied me down.

I will always have depression, I will always be a little moody… but I’m also intensely passionate. I value life, memories, people, and most things very deeply. Depression will whisper in my ear and for a moment, I may feel beaten… but I rebound quickly, because I know better. I know now where it comes from, what it’s been hiding beneath, and what’s caused it.

I have lost nearly thirty years and I refuse to lose another one. I am taking back my life, not from depression, because depression doesn’t have it and never has… but from the people who were mistaken in thinking that I was someone to be controlled.

I’m not. I’m a person capable of many, many things.

I have lost nearly thirty years but this year, I’m gaining.

I’m not losing anymore.

Never Enough Time…

Never Enough Time...

It really sucks. I feel like I’m constantly out of time! Weeks fly by now. Having a toddler is like putting your world into permanent fast-forward. I need time to slow down, just a little. It’s like getting swept up into a whirlwind and you can’t escape. I’m running out of breath!

IMG_3558Evangeline is into everything and her attitude lately is abysmal. I’m sure it’s just a mental leap she’s going through, but the transition at daycare hasn’t been going great, either. Her primary care teacher retired and left before she moved to the next room… filled with much older kids. So, she’s been stuck with people who know nothing about her and in a place where biting is normal. She’s bit, scratched, and been bitten. It’s been kind of awful. She’s usually quite cranky and difficult to deal with. I hate it, it makes me so sad.

On the rare chance that she’s in a good mood, she’s chattering away. She says tons of words now and loves trying to repeat what we say. She’s learned to blow bubbles and absolutely loves being outside. It’s so fun watching her discover the world, I just wish she were in a better mood 80% of the time…

IMG_3606I’m trying to be patient, but it’s hard. I’m going through hell right now. I’m doing it so it won’t hurt Evangeline in the long run, but I’m running into the issue of it possibly messing with her now. There’s nothing to be done for it, though. My family sucks, plain and simple. I won’t have their toxicity touching my daughter. I’ll light the damn world on fire before one single thing that I was forced to endure at too young an age gets thrust carelessly upon her. She will have her own demons to battle, I’m sure, but they’ll not be any I faced if I can help it.

I know that I need to take care of myself and I’m trying. We’re working out again, I went to a doctor, I’m trying to sort of not stress out so bad… but it’s difficult. My situation is not enviable. How do you cut off a metaphorical limb? It’s hard. Most of the time I just want to curl up and cry. I’m tired of everything being so damned hard.

Evangeline fell asleep on me tonight after crying for almost an hour. She refused to eat dinner and was terribly fussy. I had to stop eating and hold her. I forced her into a bath so that I could scrub the sunscreen off of her. She cried and cried. I dried her off, dressed her, and then held her. She quieted and fell asleep on me. It’s the first time she’s fallen asleep on me in ages. I held her for quite awhile before putting her in her crib.

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This sweet little thing deserves so much better. She deserves more patience, understanding, nurturing… all things I’m trying desperately to give, but I know I’m failing. I’m falling short. That realization alone enrages me. I’d be able to give so much more if the people in my life weren’t such ignorant sacks of useless crap. My family does not nurture, it destroys. They don’t care about anyone but themselves. I’m sick of it. I’m done with it.

Seeing my daughter’s beautiful face juxtaposed with the reality that perhaps Christmas was the last time I will ever see my grandparents alive is difficult. All of this because one person cannot stop making stupid decisions. I’m tired of my world revolving around the whims of an alcoholic. Done.

It will get better. Evangeline’s difficult period is a necessary part of her development and I’m not upset or angry about it… I’m just sad. Sad because I can’t be the parent she needs because I’m trying to protect her future. What is truly right in this situation? To be present 100% and allow her to be tainted, or to pull back and protect her from what will undoubtedly affect her forever? I’d like to think the bigger picture is more important… at least I know where that road leads.

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So many decisions, so many possibilities… whatever it takes, she’ll be okay.

Victor’s Memorial Dinner

Victor's Memorial Dinner

My husband’s maternal grandpa passed away last month and his family declined to have a viewing or a funeral. Instead, they gathered for a dinner in his honor at one of his favorite restaurants. It was really awesome to see everyone all together in one room. Husband’s grandma did not attend because she’s a bit odd and refuses to leave her house.

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It worked out, because she would have just caused trouble. My husband’s estranged cousin was there with her partner. I was happy to finally meet her, as she was one of the few people my husband was close with in his family. He still speaks of her highly. She was awesome, as was her girlfriend. We’re hoping to make a trip up to Columbus to see them at some point!

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Evangeline loved it. She got passed around and fussed over for the hours that we spent there. Husband made a slideshow that everyone loved. All in all, it was a good little event. I loved seeing Eva with hub’s cousins! It’s so nice to have family around. I really miss the closeness of my own family, but certainly not their dysfunction. His family is just so… disjointed and separated. Everyone is like their own little solar system. Very rarely do they come together.

It cracks me up that Evangeline loves Chris’ cousin-in-law. She will reach for him just like she does grandpa. This was only her second time meeting him, too. If she wasn’t with grandpa, she was with him!

We stopped by husband’s grandma’s house before leaving. I ended up falling down her stairs while holding Evangeline, but thankfully there were no injuries. I threw myself backwards to protect her from hitting the railing since as my foot caught the carpeted edge of the step and slipped, my ankle twisted and sent me there. Husband did not come check on us, which I’m still quite pissed about, but I’ve already talked to him about that.

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I did get a sweet photo of Evangeline playing on his grandma’s mother’s piano, though. She loved it!

Evangeline will be 15 months on the 12th. It’s hard to believe. She’s walking more now, saying words, and just being very exploratory! It’s so fun to watch her learn and discover new things. We’ve definitely found out that she’s not a fan of snow. We bought her a snow suit last week and put her in the snow, where she cried and flailed until we removed her.

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I really hope it grows on her. I love playing in the snow. I even tried to build her a tiny snowman, but she was having none of it!

She’s started waving hi and bye, as well as saying them. She mimics sounds when we do them. She points at things and wants to know what they are. She’s very curious. I taught her how to high-five, so she loves doing that, haha. She’s still nursing, though significantly less than ever. I think about four times a day on typical week days? She’s only on one bottle at daycare now. I’ll be done pumping very soon… and after that, bye bye breastfeeding. I’m going to try and let her naturally wean, but if she’s two and still at it, I’ll be taking steps to end it.

My period is back. I’ve been bleeding for weeks now. It’s getting quite annoying. My anemia returned after giving birth, so all this bleeding makes me weak. I’m over it.

We leave for Tampa on the 14th! I can hardly believe it. I’m really not looking forward to packing…

 

Toddler Life

Toddler Life

Having a toddler is ROUGH! Like, really, really hard. Everyone always talks about the “terrible two’s”, but it seems as if the moment that Evangeline turned one, her toddler switch flipped and my sweet baby went bye-bye. The attitude has been building and she’s definitely testing just about every single boundary she can realize at this age, perhaps even a bit above. It’s exhausting.

I have only myself to blame. I am infamously stubborn–beyond the realm of rationality and practicality. I once sat in my room for eight straight hours without leaving to pee or anything else because my dad gave me an ultimatum. He said I had to pick up my room and that I couldn’t leave it until I did, so I didn’t. I didn’t pick up my room and I did not leave it. I remember him finally coming in and being so completely frustrated. He hadn’t asked me to do anything herculean. It was a simple chore–pick up! I didn’t even have to really clean, just sort some things and make it not look like some sort of a hoarder’s hovel. He broke down and let me leave, completely torn down by my willpower.

It’s strong and Eva’s definitely got it. I’m stubborn enough to match her but I get so frustrated when it is over the dumbest of things. I can’t really see this improving with age for either one of us, sigh.

She took her first steps and she’s saying some words now, though not reliably. She’s said “Daddy’ and “Momma” for awhile, but now she can say her own version of “kitty” (KI-TUH or KI-KI). She also says “hi” and “bye”, which is hilarious, because he “bye” is completely dismissive. She is so my daughter…

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We recently had a pretty epic snowstorm, though the snow is nearly gone now. It lasted maybe three days? We got around eighteen inches, which is significant anywhere else, but a freaking miracle here! We never get this much snow. Evangeline wasn’t really impressed with it. She didn’t have a snowsuit, so her initial introduction was very limited. When we did buy her one, she cried like we were torturing her. When we put her in the snow, she cried even worse! So not impressed.

It’s so hard to truly fathom that she’s not a baby anymore. I’ve had a few calls to reality–in Target, browsing the baby clothes, and realizing none of them are her size anymore. Going through the aisle with the bottles. Ugh. The babies side of Toys’r’us! No one wants to see me blubbering in the middle of an aisle.

We’re preparing to go to a memorial for my husband’s maternal grandpa this weekend. He passed about two weeks ago. He’s had Alzheimer’s for years and had finally pretty much forgotten everyone. All he would talk about was death and how he just wished to die. Very sad. My husband is putting together a slideshow for the memorial, so we’ll be working on that soon, I’m sure.

My mother is very likely drinking again. She’s acting completely freaking nuts. It’s been a downhill slide for awhile now, but I think she finally fell… again. It’s so annoying. Anyone who has dealt with an addict can relate. Even so, my mum never took the proper steps of recovery, thinking herself above it. She’s convinced herself now that, despite having a damn tube in her liver, that she doesn’t have cirrhosis and she’s not an alcoholic, she just has a “fatty liver.” I can’t even stand it anymore. I’m just done. I don’t have any confirmation yet but even so, done. Over it. Just whatever. I lost my actual mum a long time ago.

We’ve booked our flights to Tampa, which is super exciting. We leave in around two weeks! I’ve never been to visit my family there, so I’m both super nervous and scared. Packing is going to be a nightmare and the airport is going to suck because we won’t have the in-laws with us. We’ll be there nearly a week! It’s like another vacation, haha. We’re staying with my dad’s dad and his wife. I can’t call him “grandpa”… it’s too weird. I never really knew him as that. I’m just excited for Evangeline to meet them. We’ll also get to see a lot of my Aunt and that will be great.

I had other stuff to write, but it’s slipped my mind currently. Everything is just moving so fast. I never have time anymore to just sit and reflect, sigh. I have nearly completed Evangeline’s first year album, though. Yay!

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

How is Christmas come and gone already?! I had intended to post something before it happened, but… that didn’t happen. Parenting a toddler is crazy, way crazier than trying to manage a newborn. She’s constantly moving and into everything. Onto Christmas…

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We celebrated Christmas with the in-laws the weekend before Christmas itself. It was just easier, as we were leaving for Pennsylvania that Wednesday. They came over with gifts, we all exchanged presents, and they watched Evangeline open hers. It was all good fun and it ended with us all going out for Chinese.

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Evangeline made out like a bandit. We got her a Paw Patrol chair, blanket, large Chase plush, some books, and other odds and ends for her stocking. The in-laws bought her a big green dog named Scout that reads and responds to your touch. The Paw Patrol overload was mostly due to the fact that she squeals with delight anytime she sees it, and in particular, Chase. Very cute.

The husband got a very nice 27″ BENQ monitor because he was in dire need of a new monitor to go with his fancy graphic card he got for free (yay gift cards!) and a Samus Aran Figma. I also got him a little Amiibo display thing that’s the end level of Mario flag. It was cute and on sale at Toys’r’Us. I ended up getting some N7 gear (always appreciated) and a green chroma key backdrop for my photo studio. I told the husband no big gifts, as I’m saving up for a super expensive camera upgrade. He also got me Yoshi’s Wooly World, which I love!

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Going home to Pennsylvania was a mixed bag. I loved spending time with my family, but I also hate being thrown back into that ‘headspace.’ There’s just such a negative connotation with everything there. I feel forced into becoming who I was and I’m not that person anymore. It’s difficult. I see all the places I once knew and loved and how much they’ve changed. And then I realize how much Ive changed. It’s crazy. I struggle with it a lot and it causes a lot of undue stress and anxiety. The bad parts of my head rear their ugly head and it can take me a bit to get away from it.

Nevertheless, it was nice to see my family and more importantly, awesome for them to see Evangeline. Even if I don’t feel the same way about my home anymore, I still want Evangeline to have every opportunity to know her family and a part of where she comes from. She got absolutely spoiled!

IMG_2595 She received so many toys that we were almost afraid they wouldn’t all make it back with us. We opened presents with my mother’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, which was nice. My grandma got a bunch of clothes she asked for, my grandpa got a Kindle Fire HD, and my mother got an awesome sweater and some smelly stuff she can’t get where they live.

We got money, which I am thrilled with, as I told everyone I was saving for my camera upgrade!

Christmas day was busy. First up, we spend the morning and afternoon with my mum’s family. They cooked a small dinner, which involved some drama, and then we had some drama after dinner, as well. It just wouldn’t be dinner with that side of the family without any.

Evangeline refused to eat during dinner and was being a bit of a bear. I’m almost certain she’s teething, though we have yet to see anymore teeth! She’s still just got the bottom two. I keep trying not to worry, but if she’d just get more teeth she’d be able to eat everything that she’s dying to have. This girl wants to eat but can’t!

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The rest of Christmas was spent with my dad, his wife, their children, and my grandma on that side. Again, more drama, though not directed towards us. My grandma on that side is quite cantankerous and if things aren’t perfectly her way, she throws one hell of a fit. Even so, the dinner was amazing, and Evangeline was again ridiculously spoiled! She now has TWO activity tables. We haven’t even unpacked most of what she’s received, as there’s just too much. Our downstairs and living are overwhelmed as it is!

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The day after Christmas, we visited my aunt’s and saw my cousin and her three children. My other cousin was there, as well, with his daughter. I loved getting to be around them and to have Evangeline hang out with her cousins. The kids all played very nicely together and everyone was fussing over Eva. There were many ‘dog piles’ on my lap of kids, but the husband only caught the smallest one, with me, my cousin’s daughter, and Eva. Too cute!

Unfortunately, the day was punctuated with terrible service, which made us late to my cousin’s, which in turn, made us late to hang out with dad, which pissed mum off, which caused all sorts of a mess. It all fixed itself in the end, but still. For those few hours, it was a nightmare and I was ready to pack up and head home that night!

Going home is seriously difficult for me anymore, but I still love inscribing all the places into my memory–especially my grandparents house. I just stand and stare at the rooms, committing them to memory. I want to remember everything, the way it looked, and smelled. It’s so weird, but my grandparents house has always smelled the same…

Even though it was fraught with tension and anxiety, I’m glad we managed to get up there for Christmas with Evangeline this year. It was worth it.