Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder. I have it. It isn't fun. This post will get rather personal, and not pretty. But I want to be open and honest. So consider this the disclaimer.

Since having Rit, I have been pretty good at managing it without medication. I would have mild episodes here and there, but nothing horrible. That is, until this past weekend.
I'm not going to go into what caused it, but it should suffice to say that it was a very stressful situation. It triggered a severe manic episode for me. Manic episodes are different for everyone who experiences it. For me, I know I was having one when I started shaking. Pretty soon I was experiencing tremors. My mind was racing and I could not slow it down. It felt like my body got put into high gear, but couldn't move. It took a couple hours, but I did calm down. Luckily I had two good friends there to help me through it.
That night, I experienced the "crash". You know the saying "What goes up must come down"? It applies here too. The crash it best described as depression. I laid there crying, apologizing to my friends thinking they wouldn't want to be my friends anymore. For those moments, happiness and joy did not exist; only sadness. That also passed after some time. For many this can last several days to weeks. I have rapid cycle bipolar disorder so mine cycle very quickly. As a result, the impact is also a lot harder on me physically.
All week I have been dealing with the remaining affects of such a severe cycle. Nausea tops the list. Right now eating is a struggle because of the nausea. I am forcing myself to eat so I have something in my system to keep me going. I try to eat during those moments when I'm not nauseous so I can enjoy the food. I am already most of the way through the week and the nausea is easing. I hope I will be back to normal before the Renfaire this weekend.

I've tried describing how bipolar works to friends who have not been around someone with it before.
Think of it like a pool with a diving board. You bounce off the diving board and go up. That is the manic side. When you go down, you don't land on the water (return to a normal state), you go down into the water rather quickly. This is a lot like the emotional crash after a manic episode; you go down and you go down fast. To get up to the air (to the normal state), you have to kick and swim and work. Otherwise, you drown.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Two quick years

It is hard to believe that it has been 2 years since I had Rit. Where does the time go?
Tonight, ExH and I will be taking Rit to his check-up, then the 3 of us will be going out to dinner. The birthday dinner has become a tradition for us.
I am amazed at all my little boy has accomplished already and look forward to what the next year brings.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marriage equality

I normally do not post about politics, but today is an exception.

Today, the United States Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and struck it down!
This means that if a gay couple marries in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, the federal government must acknowledge them as married. Prior to this, the federal government did not recognize same sex marriages keeping many married couples from receiving the same federal benefits as a straight married couple.
I know that sexuality is not something that I have discussed. I try to keep my blog on more neutral topics. However, I do identify as bisexual. I am just as likely to go out with a lady on a date as I am a guy. The topic of same-sex marriages has always been one I feel strongly for. I am very excited for this ruling and I look forward to the rest of the states in the U.S following suit.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kentucky Renaissance Festival 2013

This last weekend was the opening weekend of the Kentucky Highlands Renaissance Festival. A group of us did our annual thing and camped down there for the weekend.
It started Friday. My brothers and I packed up M's car and drove to another friend's house where we met up with her and yet another friend. The 5 of us caravanned the 90 minute drive to the campsite. We arrived around 1pm and started setting up tents. There were 4 tents between all of us. I swear, as soon as we got the last stake in, the rain poured. Two ran to the car and the other 3 made it to my tent. While the 3 of us chatted, the other 2 cleared the car for us to run to and we were off to get lunch. Over the course of the evening, more of our group made it to the campsite. By the end of the night, we had 8 tents and 12 people. The rain cleared up about 5:30pm so we were able to make a fire and cook dinner and make s'mores. I finally went to bed about 11pm.
Saturday morning, we started waking up about 6am. A few of the guys got the breakfast fire going for sausage and eggs. After breakfast we got garbbed. We were lucky enough that a neighboring camper was willing to take our picture so we got a good shot of the group. Saturday was a whirlwind of activity and shows. I believe my favorite part would be the Adult Pub Sing that happens in the evening. There is a group that I am particularly fond of: Drunk & Sailor. They are both friends of mine. I asked if they were doing the birthday huhs this weekend. They told me they would. When they called for the birthday girl I grabbed a friend whose birthday was this coming week and brought her up with me. We grabbed my best friend to join us. A huh is something that cannot be described, but seen and experienced. It is quite a bit of fun though.
Saturday night was not as great though. I have had a stressful week, and this week looks to be stressful as well. I was not getting the relaxation and stress release I needed. I started crying from it all. I had a few friends comfort me and check on me. I am very appreciative of them for that. I slept pretty solidly through the night from all of the crying.
Sunday I woke up feeling a little better. We dressed and broke down the camp, packed up, and went the faire. As we drove into faire, we put the flag up through the sunroof and drove in on the final day with the flag waving in the wind. The lads who were directing the parking were laughing. My friends seemed to love it. When we got there, we stopped and waited in the woods for the rest of our group. While we waited, a few "mundanes" (people coming to faire not in garb) came through. We decided to have some fun and formed a line across the path. We asked for a toll, either gold or the lady. The guy handed over the lady and kept on going! We laughed, and let her go. Another group offered us their baby. Then some fellow rennies came through and we just wanted the wenches, who were friends of ours. I wouldn't let them go until I got hugs from them. When the rest of our group arrived, we proceeded into faire.
Not long after we got into faire, I saw my friend whose birthday we were also celebrating that weekend. She had made us a birthday cake! We went to the Inn, where our friends had us feed each other cake and then they all grabbed some. We took the rest (which was most) around the faire with us and offered to the cast and vendors. Several of them sang us Happy Birthday as well. Once the cake was gone, we offered up cookies. I think we fed most of the Festival that day.
I also received my customary birthday floggings. We stopped by our friends' booth to say hi. They found out it was our birthday and brought out their floggers of choice. The first guy up used the flat of a blade. He hit so lightly at first that I looked at him and asked "That's it??" Everyone laughed and he went at it again, with more oomph behind it. Not enough to make me jump or sting, but enough that I could feel it. The second guy brought out a leather strap. He knew we could handle a good hit and he hit with a bit of a sting. It was fun.
We left a little early to get to lunch, but ran into stopped traffic. It took an hour to move 12 miles! Once we got past it, it was fast moving. We got to the restaurant, ate and left.
I reached home around 10:30 pm. My parents were there watching Rit for me. ExH has forgotten he agreed to watch Rit for the entire weekend so I could attend faire. He dropped Rit off with my parents later in the day (I only know he did because they called me to let me know). I was worried about what to do and they offered to take Rit to my house to put him to bed. I agreed with it since I knew I would be home late. Rit was fast asleep when I got home. I peeked in on him just so I could see him before I went to bed. While I talked with my parents to find out what had all happened, my brothers unloaded the car. I went to bed a little later, trying to unwind from the eventful weekend.

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I want to take a moment to thank all of the soldiers and veterans who have served and protected this country.
Thank you to my Pappy, uncle, and several great-uncles who served.
Thank you to those who are currently stationed and are unable to celebrate this holiday with their families.
Thank you to those who lost their lives serving, leaving their families to continue without them.
Thank you to those who have served and made it home to be able to celebrate with their families.
And not to forget, thank you to the families of our military. You have made a great sacrifice as well.

Happy Memorial Day

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Surgery at 16

I figured it was time to give a little more backstory on me. Today, I am going to tell you about my back surgery.

I remember it started in February 2000. I was only 15. I was bending over to pick something up when my mom noticed a hump in my back. She was worried so she took me to the doctor, who sent me to get X-rays done. I had severe scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. My spine curved one way, then another, like a backwards S.
The doctor told me and my parents that I would need surgery right away to correct it for 2 reasons. 1) I was almost too old for the surgery as it was. 2) My scoliosis was so severe that if I did not have the surgery, I wouldn't live to see the age of 40. You see, with the way my spine was curving, it was forcing the sides of my rib cage forward, pushing the ends into me. My ribs were already in my lungs and they were on their way to puncturing my heart. Scary thought, huh? My parents looked at me and said that I was getting the surgery. The date was set for July.

Starting in June, I went to the blood center every Friday for 4 weeks where they drew a pint of blood to save and use for my surgery. The best blood is your own blood.

July 11, 2000, 7am. I was wheeled into surgery. I still remember getting wheeled into the operating room where they put me to sleep. I was told they would "wake me up" a few times during the procedure to test my reflexes and make sure I was not paralyzed. The tests went great.
During the procedure, they cut 6 of my ribs and used pieces of the ribs to fuse the upper half of my spine together. They also added two metal rods to force it straight. They did not fuse the lower half because the doctor said that would have been too much a shock to my system and would cause me to be paralyzed. Everything appeared to have gone well. Textbook. I went from 5'4" to 5'7". They took me to ICU for the day. I was on morphine for 3 days.

When I woke up. I had trouble moving my arms. I was told that was because of the anesthesia and would be ok. My right arm came back the next day. My left arm did not. From the shoulder down I could not feel it or move it. That is a very scary thing to wake up to. I remember one time trying to move my arm and getting it stuck above my head on the bed. I kept calling for a nurse to help when another patient heard me and went to get a nurse for me. I felt very vulnerable then.

After the surgery, I was strapped to a bed to make sure I did not move. They would flip me every few hours by adding another stretcher on top of me, picking me up, and flipping me. Like a sandwich. This went on for a few days until they were able to make a back brace for me to wear. Once I had the back brace, I was able to sleep in a regular hospital bed, and get up to move. I was in the hospital for about a week.

The doctor who did my operation, one of the best in the world, was very concerned about the paralysis. I could only feel pressure on my arm; no pain or temperature and no movement. He did several tests on me to make sure it wasn't going to get worse, and hopefully find out the cause. I believe the final conclusion was a "transient weakening of the muscle". What he told us was that he believes my arms were kept above my head for too long, cutting off the blood supply, and causing an event similar to a spinal stroke to happen which caused the paralysis.

A few months later, I started to regain movement. At first it was just a flicker of the thumb. We celebrated. Then I could move a few of my fingers and my wrist. I still could not feel pain or temperature though.
About 2 years later, he had another surgeon perform a tendon transfer on my hand to try to give me more grip strength. It's still a debate if it worked. I can't help but wonder if I would have regained full mobility of my hand if I had not had that 2nd surgery. As of now, I have about 85% mobility where it is likely to stay.
I still cannot feel temperature, though I am able to tell if it is hot or cold based on the pressure it causes. Pain sensations recently started coming back. I get some funny looks from people when they hear me tell a friend that I felt pain in my left arm, and we are excited. Their response is usually "That's a good thing??"

At this point, the paralysis does not do much to slow me down. Every once and awhile I will need help with something, but it doesn't affect me to ask for help. I can carry things, take care of A, run my house, everything I need to do just fine. All it took was a little adapting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day recap

I thoroughly enjoyed my Mother's Day.
The day started at 9 am when ExH dropped off Rit (I get Rit all day on Mother's Day). Rit was asleep so ExH took him back to his bedroom. As usual, Rit woke up immediately. ExH gave me my child support check and left. I tried for over 2 hours to get Rit to go back to sleep. He was a pain during that time, but he eventually gave in after lunch.
After 2 hours, Spartan and I woke him up and we went over to my parents' house. Mom enjoyed her gift (a computer game) and they took Rit back to their room for a moment. I wasn't allowed to follow. A few minutes later, Rit is walking out, carefully holding a vase with two roses in it, trying very hard not to drop it. It was such a cute sight. He was so proud when he was able to hand it off to me too. I am very appreciative that my parents want to make sure Rit has something to give me on Mother's Day each year. Last year it was a vase with a single rose. I wonder if next year will be 3 roses?

I am thinking of getting a simple card for Rit to write/draw/scribble in to give to ExH for Father's Day next month. He will have Rit all day that day.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day. I spent mine with Rit so it was wonderful.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Perception

I was given a new perception on something over the last few weeks. I have seen, from an outsider’s point of view, what I did to ExH during the last year of our marriage. I admit, I am not proud of what I did. At the time, I rationalized it to myself every way I could. But the real reason was, I did what I did because I didn’t trust him. There are times I doubt I ever truly trusted him. I am not sure how I loved him without trusting him, but I did.
I have been told that it made sense because he had an affair. This started long before the affair. I believe the affair was just a symptom of everything wrong in our marriage, not the cause. I found it a lot easier to forgive them when I realized that.
I have looked back at my marriage and I realize a lot of places where I screwed up. I’m glad I can see them. I can learn from them and become a better person, and a better partner should I find myself in another relationship. Are we not taught to learn from our mistakes and failures? To look at them as learning experiences? An interesting musing considering today is one year since the divorce was final.

 What scares me the most though is that I am seeing these exact same actions in another person. It is like I am seeing myself 3, 4 years ago. I can only hope that their path does not parallel mine.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A chance......to refinance?

Earlier this week, I made a call to my mortgage company regarding a payment to my home insurance company. After we got everything straightened out (whew!), the agent asked me if I was interested in looking into refinancing. I thought about it for all of 2 seconds, and said “Sure!” so she transferred me.
I have been really hesitant to refinance because of the additional closing costs associated with a refinance, costs I really couldn’t afford. However, it couldn’t hurt to ask some questions.

I was transferred to Erich, who was incredibly helpful. To make a long conversation short, I qualified for a streamline refinance, which means that they do not need to do a credit check or re-assessment on the house to refinance my mortgage. Also, they would roll up the closing costs into the mortgage so I would not need to pay any of it out of pocket. On top of all of that, the new interest rate would be almost a full 2% lower than my current rate, which would drop my payments by almost $200 a month. Excited does not begin to cover it. HOWEVER (yea, there always is one…) I have an escrow shortage of $1600. Yikes! Can that be rolled up into the mortgage too? No. I need to come up with that out of pocket. BUT… Erich told me that 1) I will have approximately two to three more payments before the refinance would go through. Which means that $1600 will go down to about $1300 - $1400, and 2) the first payment after the refinance wouldn’t be due for approximately 30 days so I can use that payment I would skip towards that shortage. I pay $1100 a month right now for my mortgage, home insurance, premium insurance, and taxes. That means, I need to come up with $300 out of pocket. In truth, I can do that.
An extra benefit to this refinance is that I will be able to get ExH off of the mortgage and the title to the house. It will help his credit score, and give me a little relief to have one less tie to him.  

I have signed the paperwork and sent it back. Now, I am in waiting mode. I am really hoping this all works out so. A lower mortgage will allow me to continue fixing up the house. Which means…..more posts!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Weapons Lesson

A few Sundays ago, a friend of mine and her husband took me to the range with them and taught me how to fire several guns. At the end of the day, I shot a 9mm handgun, a .45 handgun, a revolver, a shotgun and an AR.

Going into the lessons, we had one big obstacle: my paralyzed hand. Almost 13 years ago, I had to have back surgery and suffered a spinal stroke during the operation leaving me with a paralyzed left arm. In that time, I have recovered approximately 85% mobility. I lost my sense of pain and temperature in that arm from the stroke. Pain is just now returning. I will do an entry on this later on and explain it in full detail.

Because of my hand, the biggest questions were if I could load a magazine and if I could charge the weapon. In short, yes, but it depends on the weapon.

With the 9mm, I was able to load the magazine, pull back the slide, and fire the weapon. It was also the most comfortable for me once I got used to the recoil.

The revolver I used was a double action. I didn’t have trouble firing it, but the recoil hurt a lot more than the 9mm. I think it was because where it hit on my hand.

The .40 caliber had a little more kick than the 9mm, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

The shotgun was the worst for me. Loading it was easy, but I could not pull back the pump with my bad hand (the muscles and grip just aren’t there) so my friend pulled it back for me each time. The recoil was painful on my shoulder. In fact, it still hurt the next day. After 3 shots, I was done with that one.

The AR was a lot easier to use than the shotgun. There was also a lot less recoil.

Based on the weapons I tried, I would feel most comfortable owning a 9mm. Now, I’m not running out to buy one anytime soon. But it is nice to know that I can use a gun if I need to.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In Loving Memory

Today is hard day for me. Two years ago today, my Grandma passed away.

One of my favorite memories of her is when we told her that I was pregnant. You can read about in my Christmas entry.

My Grandma was not always the easiest woman to deal with. But, I know she loved us all very much.

I feel like I am more reflective on her and her death this year. At first, I could not figure out why. But I realized that this is the first year that I have not had something life altering going on.
When she passed, I was still trying to deal with ExH's affair. It had only been 2 weeks since I had learned of it. I was so overwhelmed with that and trying to keep healthy for Rit (I still wasn't eating, but I had several Ensure drinks a day to make sure I got my calories) that I never really grieved for her. I just accepted it and kept moving forward.
Last year, when the anniversary of her death came around, I was in the process of getting a divorce. Anyone who has been through a divorce will tell you that it is an emotionally draining process. In fact, I think the only time I really cried for her was when I called up my Grandpa and got the answering machine. No one told me that it was still her voice on the machine. It caught me by complete surprise and I cried.
This year, I don't have anything going on like the years before. I am single, happy, and healthy. And I still miss her. I think she would be proud of how strong I am and how much I have grown since the divorce. I think she would be proud of Rit too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How crazy life can get

I apologize for not posting last week. I ended up a very sick wench.
Sunday afternoon, I started getting a sore throat. I knew I was catching something, so I made sure to keep my things and Rit's things separate to make sure I didn't pass it on to him.
Monday morning, I woke up and felt horrid. I called my mom and asked her to pick up Rit. I felt too sick to drive. My parents watched Rit all day for me, and dropped him off after dinner. I called in sick to work and slept most of the day, hoping I would feel better Tuesday.
I woke up Tuesday feeling even worse. I drove Rit to my parents house, but that was a bad idea. As soon as I got home, I called in sick to work again and made a doctor's appointment at the clinic. One of my friends was sweet enough to drive me to the doctor. I thought I had tonsillitis. Turns out, I had strep throat. I had not had strep in almost 15 years! Turns out, I don't get a fever when I get strep. The doctor gave me a prescription for penicillin and a doctor's note for work. I was considered contagious for the next 24 hours. My boss agreed to let me work from home until I was no longer contagious. I also called ExH to let him know, and he offered to keep Rit for the night to limit the risk of Rit catching it. As much as I hated missing out on time with my child, I knew I could not take care of Rit while I was that sick.
I am still on the penicillin (10 days), but I am feeling back to normal now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My tattoo story #3

I got my third tattoo on January 25, 2013. It is a modified version of my family crest.

I wanted to get a tattoo that represented who I was. My first idea was to have an Irish color rose, with the words Mother, Sister, Daughter written in Gaelic in a circle around it. I loved it because it tied in my love of roses and my Irish heritage (I am half Irish and half German).

One night, I had a dream I was getting the tattoo but instead it was our family crest. That made so much more sense to me and for what I wanted to represent. I did a little bit of research and discovered that women were not allowed to display their family crest as the standard helm and shield since they were not allowed into battle. Instead, they could display them as a lozenge, or diamond shape. I contacted a friend and she took the helm and shield crest, changed it into a diamond shape, and added some roses at the top. It was very much me.

I sent to my tattoo artist Viking M, got a price, and scheduled a time to have it done. I brought my youngest brother, Spartan, with me. He has a tattoo he wants to get done, so I thought it might be good to bring him in to meet the guy that our brother and I recommend so highly.

As I had the tattoo done, he sat next to me so I could squeeze his hand when it got painful. I am a wimp when it comes to pain. This tattoo was the most painful of the three. I am not sure if it is because the other two are on my back, where I have limited feeling due to complications from back surgery, or if it is something else. It only took about 45 minutes to do, but worth it.

As a side note, according to ExH, my younger brother, and Spartan, I have no strength in my hand. They were all surprised at how weak my grip is. You would think they would be glad because then it doesn’t hurt them for me to squeeze.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My tattoo story #2

I got my second tattoo on January 21, 2012. The image is of a blue rose and the stem forms the Leo astrological sign. I got this in honor of my son.

I have always had a love of roses, so I knew I wanted to incorporate them. I told my friend and tattoo artist, Viking M what I wanted the tattoo to incorporate. He came up with the idea of making the stem form the Leo sign.

The day I got the tattoo, my younger brother came with me since he was getting another tattoo (his fifth).  

The day before, I had lost the envelope that had the money I had saved up for the tattoo. I was beyond upset. I had gone to my parents to meet up with my brother and just cried. My brother walked in and asked what was wrong. When I told him, he said that he will cover me and I can just pay him back when I get the money. I hugged him because I was so grateful.

I am very happy with it and smile every time I look at it. This one sits on my left shoulder blade, opposite my first tattoo.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

My tattoo story part 1

My first tattoo (07/20/2010) was the logo for the International Wenches Guild, or IWG. Several years ago, I was going through a rough time and needed support as ExH (then fiancĂ©) was in Florida, a long distance from our home in Ohio. The first place I thought to turn to was my sister wenches in the Wenches Guild. One thing they told me was “You are a wench. You are strong. You will get through this.” Those words really resonated with me and have stuck with me ever since. Whenever I was going through a tough time, I would repeat those words to myself. “I am a wench. I am strong. I can get through this.” The tattoo is a way to help remind me of this.
Growing up, my parents frowned on anything non-traditional, such as tattoos and non-ear piercings or men getting pierced at all. After my brother had turned 20, he got a tattoo without my parents’ knowledge. He told me as soon as it was done and I scolded him for not telling me because I wanted to be there to see it get done. My parents found out several weeks later. They weren’t happy about it but they accepted that they could not do anything about it. He has since gotten four more and as a result I became ok with the idea of getting one if I ever found something meaningful enough.
I remember wanting this tattoo for about a year before I actually got it. Another wench had the IWG logo tattooed on her and had posted about it on our forums. When I heard this, it made perfect sense to me, especially given the events that had happened the year before and the support I received from this group. Months later, after I was sure this was what I wanted; I emailed the owner/creator of the guild for permission to use the logo and asked if he could send me a digital copy. He loved the idea and only asked that I send him a picture of it when it was done.
I had talked to several friends about the tattoo I wanted. ExH’s boss, and friend of ours, recommended a friend of his, Viking M. He showed me several tattoos that his friend had done, including one on himself, and told me that his own mother will be getting a tattoo from him. That sold me right away. If he trusted him this much, I could too.
About five months after I got the image, Viking M walked into the game shop that ExH worked at part-time. ExH told him that he should go to the pirate shop, where I worked at part-time, because I had a tattoo I wanted done (we worked in the same mall, just different shops). So he came down and told me that ExH had sent him. I immediately knew why and I showed him the design and told him the few changes I wanted. He quoted me a price and I told him I would call to set up an appointment after I talked with my husband. ExH knew how much I wanted this and what it meant to me, so he was ok with me getting it (even if he isn’t ok with tattoos in general). So I called Viking M and made an appointment for the next week. My best friend and brother came with me for moral support. They both have several tattoos so it was a comfort having people who had been through it, and could let me squeeze their hand as hard as I needed.
We placed the tattoo on the right side of my back, high enough that when I wear my corset to the renaissance faire, it can be seen above my chemise. He was great. He let me take breaks along the way to catch a breath and when it was almost too much, but so close to the end, we stopped for about five minutes to let me get a drink. That break helped the most. All in all it took about an hour and a half to outline and color the piece. I am so happy with it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I learned from my marriage

I was going through some old journal entries the other day and I found this entry written Dec 20, 2011. It still stands as true now as it did then and I thought I would share it.



 -Get a prenuptial agreement. It does not mean that you do not trust your fiancĂ©(e), it just means that you want to protect everything you have worked so hard for.
 -Gamer guys can be great guys. Obsessed gamer guys, not so much. If he pushes you to cut an event or visit or anything short just so that he can play a video game, then you might want to rethink things.
-If a guy flirts with other women despite the fact that it makes you uncomfortable but gets jealous that guys flirt with you, watch out.
 -If you are having a disagreement or argument and he ends it with “fine, whatever” the majority of the time and refuses to actually discuss the problem, watch out. Especially if he says that he is always doing what you want to do (no matter how many times you ask him what he wants and he answers with “whatever”).
-If he prefers to stay at home and play on his computer than try to get a decent job, or makes up excuses why he can’t find another job, or gives up searching after being rejected once… then you might want to rethink things.
 -If he screws up once and begs for forgiveness, try and forgive him. If he screws up again, leave him. 
-Sometimes, love just isn't enough.

 I think the biggest lesson I learned was that I am a lot stronger than I realized. That I don’t have to be afraid to be alone. That I am strong woman and a strong mother and I will do everything in my power to protect my little boy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Different types of Parents

In my group of friends, I have realized that there are 3 distinct types of parents: Single Parents, Co-Parents, and Couple Parents. And they all have the good and bad.

Single Parents
The term single parents typically means parents who are not together for whatever reason whether it be divorce or just a break-up. But when I think of single parent, I think of parents who have no help from the other parent. They are the sole provider for their child, financially and emotionally. The other parent may see their child once a month, or not at all. The good thing about this type of parent is that they do not have to worry about conflicting parenting styles with the other parent. They know what is going on in their child’s life. No wondering of the other parent is holding up their end of the responsibility. They know how it is, and what to expect.
The down side is that they have no help from the other parent. Friends and family can be a great support system and a huge help. But in the end, it all comes down to you.

Co-Parents
Co-parents are parents that are not together, but are able to still work together to raise their child. I consider myself a co-parent. I may be single, but ExH and I are able to work together to raise Rit. We both take care of our financial responsibilities towards him and we communicate any worries about Rit to each other, etc. The good thing about this is that I have someone I can rely on to take care of Rit, someone I know who loves Rit like I do. On the days that ExH has Rit, I do not have to worry about Rit. If I can’t take Rit to the doctor on one of my custody days, I am able to talk to ExH and he will usually take him. Or in an emergency, I can call ExH to help with Rit and vice versa.
The down side of this is that I have to take ExH’s schedule and custody days into account when I plan anything. I have to try to schedule doctor visits on ExH can come. Vacations or long trips take extra planning between me and ExH and rearranging of custody schedules for that time period. Also, having to share Rit for holidays is hard.

Couple Parents
These are parents that are still together, such as married, engaged, or just dating. They live together and work together to raise their child. The good side of this is that there is someone there to help raise and support the child at all times. There are no custody days to worry about, no dividing of the financial obligations. Everyone is under the same roof. Things are a lot more flexible.
The downside is that it is a lot easier to shift the bulk of the responsibilities to one parent. I have heard a lot of parents say “I do most of the work with the kids”. There are no set off-days when the child is with the other parent.

I do not believe that any one of these types of parents is better than the other. They all have their ups and downs. As parents, we all do our best to raise our child to be the best person they can be. And that is what matters.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sometimes things just don't work out

About a month and a half ago, a friend started trying to set me up with a friend of his: D-J. We met a few times, then D-J and I texted back and forth for about 2 weeks. We were at our mutual friend's house when D-J asked me out. About a week later, he took me out to Olive Garden for dinner and then to see Rise of the Guardians. It was a delicious meal and a great movie. He also brought me flowers and chocolate, a first for me.
However, that was our only date. We have hung out several times since though since we have a few mutual friends. In that time, I came to a few conclusions: he is a sweet guy and a good friend. However, I also realized that I was not feeling anything for him beyond friendship.Thus started the process of trying to figure out how to tell him. Normally, it wouldn't be an issue for me but because we were friends and had several mutual friends I wanted to make sure I didn't screw any of that up.
Last night we were hanging out and I decided to tell him. Apparently I worried over nothing. He was feeling the same thing and was trying to figure out how to tell me. I giggled a bit and was happy that we were both on the same page. He told me that he appreciated my honesty. The good news is that we are still friends.

On the other side, a little while back, I realized I liked a friend of mine and was interested in dating him. I was really worried about saying anything to him about it, for fear that it may make our new friendship awkward. After some deliberation, I decided to go for it and tell him and just hope that he felt the same way. I could recreate the entire conversation, but in short, he said I was a really nice person but he does not see me that way. I admit I was a little disappointed but I am glad he was honest with me (and he said he was glad I was honest with him) and I am proud of myself for taking that step and saying something. We are still friends, so nothing lost. And now I know how he feels and won't be wondering.

Sometimes, we just have to take that step, no matter how uncomfortable it is. It's the only way to grow.