Hey guys! It's been far too long, I know, and for that, I am sorry. I've been one busy lady! Between the new job with intense training and crazy hours, trying to ensure my little man has someone responsible with him at all times when I (or his Dad) can't be, and trying to maintain a social life for the sake of my sanity, it's been a juggling act to say the least!
I hope this finds you all well.
I recently posted on my Facebook, asking you guys what it is you'd like me to post about; what you'd like to know. I got a some responses, here are a couple, and I will respond to them accordingly:
"Hey I read your post about what to include on your blog and I was kind of hoping I could send a little bit of insight into a topic.. With all of the negative things people are reminded of everyday, depression seems to be running stronger than it ever has. Also although I don't know you VERY well I know that you've dealt with your fair share of losses and negativity in life. I was wondering what, if anything you do regularly to keep yourself smiling and keep your attitude so positive in life. You've been through a lot in a short amount of time. I guess I just wanted to know if you had a secret to happiness or if you think you are just wired as a person who is just positive? This to me would be an interesting read because since I know you and some of your struggles I know that another person maybe could benefit as their own struggles may be pushing them to the breaking point. Perhaps you could even outline some of your struggles and your own coping methods as to how you've gotten through them so people who can relate to them understand that they aren't the only ones who have been through these things."
"How did you cope with family/friends that did not fully support your decision?"
Thank you for your suggestions, and any time anyone wants to know anything,
please just send me a message and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!
To begin, I'd like to admit that I, like many others, have had times in my life where I would pity myself. I'd pity myself for the things in my life that happened, things that hadn't happened that I wished had; all things that I have grown to understand that I can't change. It is only really within the past 3 years or so that I've fully accepted that fact. I can't change what's already happened, I can't change what hasn't happened up to this point, and I can't change how people have treated me, or even how they will treat me in the future. None of us have that power. All we can do is choose how we are going to deal with the hurt and anger, and how we are going to deal with the people who bring negativity to our lives. The best answer for this, cliche as it may be, we need to let it all go. I've realized that everything that has happened up until the last stroke I make on this keyboard, we can't change, and we have to let go of any negativity we feel from it. We are all lucky in that with every experience, be it good or bad, we've drawn some sort of knowledge or insight from it. We've either learned a better way to be, to react, or the contrary - to not be, or how not to react. For example, I didn't have a perfect childhood (who did, right?). I won't delve too deep as I wasn't asked to, and this is for you guys, my readers, but to just give you an idea, my earliest memories are of meals made up of bread with ketchup on them. With two parents (at first) that were hardly around and when they were, were screaming at each other and throwing things while my brother and I tried to sleep. I remember waking up in the middle of the night some nights with no parent to be found. My earliest memory of that was when I was 4. I felt guilt for a really long time, and still do sometimes to this day. My Father got sole custody of me when he was 23 years old, I was 5. My older brother James never had a Father in his life as his Father has always denied that he is his Father, even despite the pictures where they could pass as twin brothers. The guilt kicks in where I got away, and he didn't. We were so close when we were young. Over the years, the few times I would see my Mom, (maybe once or twice a year for a weekend), I remember hearing the screams of my brother when she'd be punishing him for something silly he did. Later, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia as well as ADHD. The medication(s) practically turned him into a complete stranger and I'm sad to say that despite my efforts in trying to maintain a relationship with him, they've all proven to be a waste of time. Another lesson I learned the hard way: You can't help someone that doesn't want help. Nevertheless, my point (which I haven't been very clear about) with that story, is that TIME and maturity is how I've learned to cope with the pain that guilt has brought me. I've just had to let go of the hope that I can change something that literally is far beyond my control. It hurts ME more to hang on to the notion and me hurting doesn't help either of us. I always thought I could fix him, and we always think we can fix things, but we can't fix everything. We're not Comic book Superheroes. We are every day people just trying to get by. Next I remember all of the places I've lived, nights I spent by myself while Dad would be working, or whomever I was living with at the time. By the age of 15, I had lived in more than 30 houses/apartments and had been to (not including going back to some), approximately 10 schools. Everyone would always ask me if I was an "army brat" and I'd just laugh and respond the same way every time; "no, my Dad just gets bored easily." It was hard to make friends. I didn't want to get close to anyone because I was embarrassed knowing I'd likely soon be moving. I coped with this by just being as outgoing as I possibly could, just wanting everyone to like me. I was a real people pleaser and I looked for reassurance in everything I did. Especially from authoritative figures. Looking back, and being a Mother now myself, I can definitely pick apart the reasons why I was the way I was, but I don't dwell on that anymore. What's the point? I can tell you, I've learned that stability is one of the most important things you can provide your child(ren), as well as your presence. As I said, I'm not going to go any deeper into my childhood, unless I'm asked to, and I certainly don't want to upset or offend anyone with what I tell, so I'll keep it at that for now. The main purpose in sharing some of these things was to express that I felt for a very long time that I had a lot to feel sorry for myself for. SO when I'm asked why I'm seemingly such a happy person, positive, outgoing, I always tell people, I have so many reasons to smile. This is true for all of us. I made it through what seemed almost impossible at the time and here I am, alive. I used to be negative, I used to look at the glass as half empty. As if to imply that when we're born, it's full and my glass kept getting emptied. But I've come to realize, we are born as the glass. We gradually fill that glass. I think the goal in life is to fill it to the brim, until it's overflowing, some of us will get there, some of us won't, and that's okay. The point is to just keep filling your glass.
Time and maturity help you to realize that other people's decisions are beyond your control.
You can't fix everything.
Fake it until you make it.
We all have a reason(s) to smile. Focus on these things.
Stability and presence are the most important parts in raising a child that feels loved.
The glass is always filling up.
This ties in well to the 2nd question I was asked. "How did you cope with family/friends that did not fully support your decision?"
The truth is, I had more family/friends supporting the adoption than I did in favour of me keeping Faith. I actually can't sit here and think of a single name of a single person who has not fully supported this journey through open adoption and for that, I am most fortunate. I found it very difficult in the beginning, to find that I had more people showing up to give their support for an adoption and not me keeping Faith, but guess what? I LEARNED from that. I learned who in my life I can trust and rely on, I learned of those who underestimate me, and I learned what family/friends truly are. So as far as coping goes, I dusted off my shoulders and decided I'd turn that negativity I felt into a positive. I'll never trust or rely on the wrong people ever again.
I think a lesson can be learned from every single experience we have. Good and bad. We need to always, always uncover what that lesson is so that we can learn and grow from the experience and never feel the pain it may have brought again. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Sometimes it takes longer to learn that lesson with one situation over another, but at least know while you are going through it that you will learn something at the end of it, and you will be all the stronger and wiser when you make it through.
Thanks guys <3