She Just Needs to Be Heard!

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The other night I took the time to re-read some of my published words. Some words seemed to come from another world that I had forgotten. Others jarred me back to reality from the fog I have been living in since the positive sign on the pregnancy test changed the course of my life.

I am on a new journey now, albeit reluctantly.

8272758921_df6a8055fe_oI am learning as I go, trying to figure out how to make everything work, how to not let my dreams and hopes be buried yet again under a pile of anger, resentment and responsibility. Trying to work out how all the many pieces are going to fit together in at least some attempt at a coalescing and functional reality.

Most days I just crawl back into bed and try to forget….

My body aches with the exhaustion of figuring it all out so I sleep to forget, to ignore, to pretend that everything will work itself out and that I am strong enough to bear the weight of all the pain, the frustration at yet again re-writing the script of my life, even though deep down I doubt my ability to keep it all together.

Yes, I am working on believing that this pregnancy is happening for a reason, that this baby is an amazing gift to our family but some days I just want my old path back, without the added complications of the needs and space of a new child to worry about. Yes, that’s my inner two-year old throwing a temper tantrum. At the end of the day all my inner two-year-old wants is to be heard. She can’t let go of her anger and frustration until she is heard.

14956794780_c404fa5ec1_oSociety struggles to make space for the real temper tantrums of two-year-olds let alone those of the inner two-year-olds of adults. When our youngest children throw temper tantrums we shame them into behaving or isolate them in time-out corners until they submit to our wishes. What if instead we helped them work through their anger and frustration and just allowed their emotions to be okay? Perhaps there would be less adults running around with repressed inner two-year-olds screaming to be heard. Perhaps there would be less shame around feeling uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps it would be okay to just be angry.

My inner two-year old is refusing to be silenced. She needs to be heard and loved so I can move forward and re-write my script in the best way possible, where I don’t sacrifice all my dreams yet again to the overwhelming needs of my family. Where we find a better balance for everyone with what we have in the place we are right now instead of always believing that when we have more money or when we have a bigger house or when the basement is cleaned up or when my 18-year-old goes to treatment and gets better, that then we’ll be able to work everything out and make our dreams a reality.

Even if all that was achieved, there is always another hurdle, another excuse….

So let me let my inner two-year old out to throw her temper tantrum. Let her stomp, scream and cry. When she’s done, just hold us, love us and help us figure out our way forward

If you make space for my two-year old, I will make space for yours….

I Hold Your Anger Ever So Close

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Gaming Addiction – It’s a Real Thing

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5225188282_cc1c7fa459_oI had full intentions of writing more regularly after my last post but the last couple of months have tested every part of me, physically, mentally and emotionally, and the cracks are showing. My words have failed me. Part of the problem is I don’t know what is my story to tell anymore. All the stories are so intertwined. My husband’s, my 18 year-old’s, my baby growing in uteri and the filaments of each story are tangled together with the filaments of the other stories, impossible to completely separate.

I write this blog anonymously but I do know that many of my friends and some family do read this so I have to be careful about what information goes out there that has the potential to hurt the people I love. So my voice and my pen are silenced by fear, fear of betraying the one’s I love and telling too much of a story that’s not mine to tell.

In the same breath the story is one that is becoming all too familiar a story across many spectrums of society, touching so many people. To break the stigma the stories must be told, we must reach out and ask for help. In so doing we put our souls on the line, knowing there will always be those that have negative things to say. My hope is that those people are in the minority and most will try to understand and some may feel comfortable enough reaching out a helping hand.

My 18 year-old suffers with a gaming addiction and depression. It has impacted every part of our lives. It has complicated this pregnancy as I am utterly emotionally exhausted by the unrelenting barrage of craziness that has become my life in dealing day in and day out with an addicted youth. As a mother my heart breaks every day watching him suffer and being unable to help him in any significant way because he has yet to reach the point of helping himself. Options for help are so very few despite all the mental health fundraising and information campaigns to raise awareness. Where does all the money go? It’s just not enough…

It also doesn’t help that gaming addiction is a brand new addiction (no not really) and it is just becoming more recognized by the healthcare community so resources are slow to be directed towards it. Many who suffer with the addiction also suffer with depression or other mental disorders such as ADHD/ADD, or have suffered through some form of abuse or difficult episodes in their lives that like an alcoholic drinks to forget, they game to forget.

Game companies also know exactly what they are doing when they design these games, even some of the simplest ones. The designers build an element of addiction right into the games and anybody who is prone to addiction gets sucked right in. It becomes expensive and like a meth addict needing their next high, the kids look to the gaming companies to source their next hit and they find ways to get the money to pay for it. They can’t control the need or the impulse to do what they need to do to get that hit.

There is no applying rationality to the problem. We can say all the things that make sense but none of it makes sense to the addicted gamer. It’s all about losing oneself in a game, hiding from reality in a fabricated world that allows you to forget everything that sucks in your life, that you aren’t good enough, that you can’t live up to the expectations of others. The outlets into these games are everywhere now, through smart phones, through tablets, through gaming stations, and through traditional laptops and desktop computers. The companies are ruthless and far-reaching with their advertisements and their upgrades and their extra fees that keep you hooked and coming back for more.

So what do you do?

If I knew, I’d tell you. Every day I wake up to this toxic reality running my life and draining my energy. Separating my child from his gaming addiction and seeing him as a lost soul is hard some days. I can’t sit by and enable him. Since he’s not in school and has no job, we lock up the Xbox but he finds other ways to get his fix. The anger and resentment build, on both sides, and it only adds to the problem.

There is a silver lining in this story. I have found a residential treatment program for gaming addicts. It’s only three weeks long. Hopefully it’s a start. I am not naïve, three weeks will not solve everything but if all goes well, he will be admitted very soon and return in time to start his full-time summer job, as well as continue to be supported by his social worker over the summer.

Right now that’s the best help I can find and it beats putting him on the street, which was beginning to feel like my only option and my heart was breaking at the thought of having to take that step. So I am putting out there into the universe a request to anyone who feels called to do so, to hold space for my family’s healing and send us positive energy and prayers as we move through this difficult path. I have to believe there’s healing on the other side and in the baby steps along the way but through all the pain and hurt that shackles my life it’s hard to see those glimmers of hope.

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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Oops!

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IMG_2410March 18, 2015 life changed for my family in an extraordinary way.

There was shock.

There was disbelief.

Really? Is this really happening?

My husband and I were sitting on our bed. The kids were asleep in their own rooms and my husband was settling in for some TV show streaming.

IMG_20150326_112807I said, “Can we talk before you start watching your show?” and I handed him the purple and white stick with the plus sign….

I blamed my husband and all the super shakes he’s been drinking…

Without revealing too much information, this should not have happened!

Whatever and however it happened 2015 just turned into another crazy year for us. Our family is growing. Our house is shrinking. Well not actually shrinking but it’s sure going to feel smaller in November with six people and a dog living here.

Next Christmas I will have a 19 year old and an infant in arms…. That just blows my mind right now!

I am looking at this as an opportunity. An opportunity to live my business and blog about the process. Sacred Pregnancy is an amazing program and I want to bring it to women and their families here in the Ottawa area. What better way to get the word out than to tell my own story.

Stay tuned for more details, it will be an amazing journey!!!

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A Paint and Sparkles Christmas

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IMG_20141225_105458The last week leading up to Christmas was a mad dash to the finish line and we crossed it exhausted and feeling a little overwhelmed by everything. The presents were wrapped but without the fancy dressings I usually enjoy adding. The tree was up but only barely decorated in time. I forgot to pick up cookies for Santa and ran out of time to make some from scratch so Santa found chocolate kisses when he came to our house. It’s what I had in the pantry! And money, or lack thereof, was a source of anxiety and the reason I was clamouring in the last 36 hours leading up to the big day to pick up gifts and even though it didn’t feel like we bought very much, our bank account still says it was too much.

With all these external stressors weighing heavily into our Christmas equation, at times it was hard to embrace the spirit of the season, to let go of any expectations and let the flow of love carry us through because whether the gifts got wrapped or the tree decorated Christmas morning would dawn with excited children jumping on our bed and waking us up from our slumber all too early.

IMG_20141224_183521On Christmas Eve day I spent the afternoon making two kinds of dough ornaments with my children, a salt dough and a cinnamon dough. I found myself a couple of times trying to control the look of the ornaments but once I reminded myself it wasn’t about the look of the end product but the memories I was making with my children as we mixed and rolled and cut out shapes, the building anxiety dissipated. Once the dough was dry came the really fun part and the part my 4 yo loved the most, making a huge mess with 3-D paints as we decorated them. His ornaments were very thick with paint and took a long time to dry but he didn’t really care if they even ended up on the tree.

IMG_20141224_194350We also made ornaments out of wet noodles, glue and sparkles. The kids loved the sparkles and I may never get rid of all the sparkles in my dining room but they will serve as a reminder to our day of tree decorating from scratch. And then there were the pipe cleaners. I have discovered if you want to keep a 4 yo busy for a period of time, give them a bag of pipe cleaners and watch what they invent. It’s pretty awesome! There were a few twisted candy cane shapes and some angels, but most of what my 4 yo crafted that went on the tree was strange and beautiful and wonderful and while he claimed one was a spider, most were just organic pipe cleaner sculptures.

I could have hauled the box of ornaments out of storage but I just had no desire to unpack or more importantly pack it back up. I was looking for simple, for fun, for some memories to make 2014 memorable for reasons other than the gifts and in the simple act of finding the time to make a big mess with my children and let their crafty sides flaunt themselves in all their glory, I created a beautiful Christmas memory for my children and I that will hopefully be remembered long after they’ve forgotten which gifts were from Santa.

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Christmas morning arrived and there were gifts for each child to open under a tree decorated with all homemade ornaments and stockings filled with treats to enjoy and share. All that my husband and I had managed to pull together was enough and everyone was happy. When the stressors were stripped away, nothing was lacking, not the Santa picture we never made it to the mall for, not the huge pile of gifts, not the homemade cookies for Santa, not even all our traditional ornaments. A reminder that there are far more important traditions than surrounding ourselves with want.

When I finally posted the picture of our tree, fully decorated, which actually didn’t happen until December 28th, one of my friends gave me the best compliment ever: “It is so perfectly you”, and she was right. IMG_20141228_205425

http://www.education.com/activity/article/spaghetti-ornament/

http://www.funezcrafts.com/Easy-Angel-Crafts-Wire-Cross-Angel-Ornament.html

http://creativemeinspiredyou.com/heavenly-scented-cinnamon-ornaments/  (this is where I got the idea to decorate with 3-D paint, not the recipe for the cinnamon dough)

http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/11/no-cook-cinnamon-ornaments.html

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Dough-Ornament-Recipe/

Making Love

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IMG_20141206_154515“I love making love to you and how you make love to me.”

Society’s interpretation of this statement is usually sexual. If that was the case for you, I am inviting you to read the words again and re-think your first interpretation. While sexual love is amazing, it’s not the only way to love someone deeply, beautifully and with conviction. Those words can and should be defined differently for every couple, and the meaning can evolve and grow through the cycles of our lives. In a dynamic, healthy relationship those words are alive and I will share with you what they mean to me in my relationship at this moment in its growth cycle.

They mean a pilgrimage to Paris. They represent my husband’s willingness to get on an airplane, despite his fear of flying, and meet me in a very vulnerable place, with an openness to facing and working on our relationship with people he had never met.

My husband makes love to me through a willingness to sit and hear my words and be open to change, and to loving me in a different way going forward, even if it’s something outside his comfort zone and even if it means making difficult compromises.IMG_64244612633576

In Paris we rediscovered our love and passion for each other and we built the foundation on which the rest of our lives will be supported. My husband showed up to do the hard work, to name our sorrows, our frustrations and our pain and in naming them, we have taken their strength away. We have released them into the Universe to make more room for love.

Making love to my husband is about listening to him when he talks, really hearing his words. It’s about finding time for laughter and fun and kissing every day, and reminding him to let things go that are no longer serving him. It’s also about giving him space to heal his own wounds and find his own forgiveness, but reminding him that throughout his journey, he is loved deeply and unconditionally. My arms and my heart will be open and ready to love him wherever he is in his process.

Paris gave us the space and the time we needed to hear each others love languages and to work out better ways to make love to each other that will be heard and understood. The more we live our lives out as if everything we do for each other is an act of making love to one another, the more connection and beauty and happiness we will find in life, in our family and in each other.

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A Dozen Roses

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3293365635_689005da3f_oShe brought me roses again.

It was my Mother-in-law’s tradition. Every Mother’s Day weekend I would always find a white box tucked in our front door delivered by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

I loved those roses. They were a thank you, a connection of love from one mother to another, a reminder I was good enough. Good enough as the wife of her oldest son, as the mother of her grandchildren and as the daughter she never had the opportunity to birth herself.

My Mother-in-law left us nearly ten years ago after a six-year victory run with end stage breast cancer. She lived with grace in pain and with love in life. Her strength of spirit was immense and it infected every part of her life and it conquered her cancer.  It wasn’t her cancer that killed her, at least not directly. After six years she was getting tired and it was time to move on. The Good Lord came for her and even to her last she didn’t go without a fight.

She fell trying to get out of bed. She got caught in the blankets and fell to the floor, the phone tumbling out of her reach, preventing her from calling for help. She lay there for a while until her husband came home from work and she was rushed to hospital where she went in for emergency surgery to repair her broken leg. Unfortunately a couple of days later she developed a blood clot in her lungs.

We stood around her bed, holding her, loving her and, albeit reluctantly, making space to let her go, making it okay for her to move on to her next phase. The emotions in the room were thick, pain, love, grief, loss, colliding in a kaleidoscope of intentions, each of us needing to be held in our own way. That is a moment etched in my heart and sealed with burning tears. I remember the closeness of the room, the people pressed in close, the desire to run away from the pain but not being able to let go. Our lives would never be the same again…

She passed just before Mother’s Day 2005. The first time the roses were not in the door was a shock to my system, it was the cosmos reminding me she was gone and I would never receive my roses again. Each year on Mother’s Day I think of my roses and there is an empty vase that will not get brought out to be filled with them.

Friday she brought me my roses again and she filled my vase with love and hope and affirmation.

I lay on the Reiki table, my friend passing her hands over me and she saw the image, it came to her as she was close to my heart and passing on my right side. A pious woman with a veil holding a bouquet of roses.

It was my Mother-in-law and it was her way of saying she is still with me, still loving me, and is still looking out for me and my family. She brought me the roses to remind me I am more than enough for all I need to be and do in this world, I just have to remember and own my inner strength and beauty.

I’m trying to. Every day I’m working on remembering the love she carried for us and still does. She is everywhere around us. My youngest has never known her alive and yet when he sees her picture he has told us he knows her, he’s seen her, at her house. I believe she has visited him during one of our visits to see Grandpa.

I’m opening myself up to the comfort of her embrace and accepting the gift of her roses into my life and sharing the gift with my family so that we all might heal from our grief. Next spring it will be ten years since she left us in body but her spirit has never left us. We must all open ourselves up to the gifts she continues to bring us whenever we need them most.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Change and Changing

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5655715130_22866414c7_oLife changes, a truth we must accept. Time carries us in its ebb and flow, always towards tomorrow. My own life is moving towards a new chapter. None of my children are babies anymore. In three weeks I will be the mom of an 18-year-old, an adult in the eyes of most of the world and definitely in the eyes of the law. I don’t feel old enough or mature enough to be the parent of an adult but on October 11 that will become part of my résumé, along with also being the parent of a kindergartener.

My youngest, who celebrated his fourth birthday over the summer, is enjoying the challenge and excitement of being in Kindergarten. His mornings are full of new children, new toys and new experiences and then he spends his afternoons with me, visiting our favourite haunts, reading and having quiet time.

It is a slow letting go but in that letting go my life is changing. I am pursuing my sacred living studies and honing my skills as a birth worker, healer and a women’s health educator. I spend time playing with words and emotions, sharing the results on my blog and connecting with a social web of like-minded people. I spend time nurturing my own evolving persona which involves the physical practice of releasing the baggage that has weighed me down for too long and a cracking open of the armour that has imprisoned me under the guise of protection. It is a process of learning and exchanging old beliefs for new beliefs. New beliefs that embrace possibility and redefine my relationships with the natural world around me and the people in that world.

I am changing my inner dialogue, beginning to truly believe I am worthy, worthy of being called a good mother, worthy of being loved, worthy of following my dreams, worthy of opening my arms and my heart to the world and in turn worthy of finding and keeping friends who reflect my soul and heart back to me.

For the first time since I was teenager, I am looking towards the future with happiness, believing that the path before me is leading me towards self-fulfillment. I am not afraid of the changes ahead, I am embracing them. Tired of feeling broken, lost and angry, I am ready to trade those negative emotions in for ones that will serve me into the future.

It will take time and patience and self-love. There will be obstacles but a change of perspective turns obstacles into challenges that nurture growth. Words are so powerful and I’m learning how to use them to empower myself to change my present and my future.

Change is constant. I can’t stop it but I can embrace it, love it and own my place within its ebb and flow.

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