Mental Illness


There’s a lot of things that people don’t understand about mental illness. And it is often frustrating when you try to explain to someone what it feels like or why you do some of the things you do. And the blend of the illness and your personality doesn’t have a line where one becomes the other. It’s all mushed up together and leaves you exhausted and lost many times.

I don’t say those things easily, and I think because I am so outspoken, sometimes people equate my illness as something that I have control of. And I don’t. Honestly I take my meds and I logically know that I am better than before I started taking meds. But there are days when all I want to do is crawl in a hole and live there.

I have moments everyday where I wonder if my thoughts or feelings or words are appropriate or not. I wonder if I should say something or not. And often I say nothing because I don’t really trust my own judgment. Do you trust your judgment? Do you spend days or weeks thinking about one thing and yet, still don’t have an answer.

I worry that because I am so outspoken and passionate that I am actually the one that has something wrong with them. My family isn’t really like me. Actually I have met very few people like me. And I can promise you I am 100 times harder on myself than you or anyone else could be. Small miss steps are magnified exponentially in my mind. When some is made or upset with me I literally FEEL it. It stays with me hour by hour, minute by minute until some resolution is found. I confront issues and like confrontation because that’s how things get worked out. In order for me to have close relationships I have to step out there and trust someone that could take my illness and use it against me.

I’m sure that is something that is hard to understand. I mean if I talk about my illness then why shouldn’t someone be allowed to bring it up. It’s not that that bothers me except most people only use it as a weapon when they don’t like or disagree with something I say or do. I’m a realist and in a world full of people who only seem to want to share the beauty of this world, I don’t really fit most of the time. While I am acutely aware of how blessed and loved I am. I still live in this world. And this world has a lot of bad and things bad people in it. And this world has so many people that only need someone to love them and invest a little of themselves in them for the person to get their life together.

There are things that people will never understand unless they live it or are very close to someone who deals with it. The truth is there is visible sin. There is sin that people can see and there’s sin that people commit under the cloak of darkness and never have to confront because no one knows to hold you accountable. I know there are people who disagree with me but I have yet to meet someone that disagrees AND has experienced a big visible sin. Because of this I carried around guilt for years. I still do some days. When I bunch of people look at you and you can feel the condemnation you figure out pretty quick that things will never be the same for you.

Ask me about a specific situation and I can tell you what I think or what I would do. But most people do t take my advice. It requires strength and confrontation. It takes looking at yourself and deciding that the part of you that’s broken is from the devil. And the part of you that is redeemed comes from God. It’s hard to find a balance sometimes. But I believe that when God looks at me He sees His daughter and He knows exactly what I have done and why I did it. But still all He has is love and grace for me.

I have learned that there are consequences to all the decisions we make. Some good, some bad. But who are we to say someone needs to repent or be punished for what they have done. God set it up pretty good to start with. God gives us guidelines. Things that will only help us stay happy and healthy and in sync with Him. When we choose to make bad choices there are always consequences(punishments) built into whatever you have done. I had sex in high school with someone that I didn’t even really care about. And I got pregnant. And then the leaders at my church thought they had the right to punish me. And I was told by one that I should have a good attitude on our mission trip and not cause any problems. Who does that?!?!?! I had someone else tell me they didn’t want to have the teens over to their house again because I said I was bored. Mind you I was 17 and I wasn’t the only one who said that. It’s like the go to thing for teenagers, I’m bored. So I learned at a young age that I was responsible for things that I should have never been responsible for. I had to fight and talk and defend myself and my love for God all because I got pregnant. They like to say it’s about the sex. But it’s not. It’s about the fact that people could see my sin so I needed to be punished. Guess what?!?! That’s Gods job not yours and since my parents didn’t even punish me who are you to decide I’m not worthy.

I carry all these things with me. I live with them everyday. Sometimes what happened 20 years ago still haunts me like it was yesterday. I have tried to let it go. And I logically know that these people thought they were doing what God wanted them to. But they didn’t. They were wrong. And to this day only one person has reached out to me and said “we were wrong, I’m sorry”.

And all of that is why I try to be very careful about what I say and how I respond to things. I probably mess up a lot but I try. It is also why I’m drawn to people who have lived life and who understand that it’s just different. It’s why I want to help people and love them any way I can. It’s why I ask questions and try to learn about the people around me and what is going on in their lives. It’s a gift, a very powerful one. And one that I know God guides me in.

I wish that people weren’t afraid of people who are strong and passionate and not afraid to ask the tough questions. But sometimes those questions hurt people. I don’t do it on purpose but I have a thirst for knowledge and truth. I am very methodically and logical. I have the ability to state things plainly in a way that people can understand them. People who are real want that. They understand that life is messy and that we will never be perfect. Jesus makes us pure and that never changes. This world has so many things that we don’t understand. But God does and when we trust Him we can have peace.

I know that God knows exactly what is going on with me. That He knows my heart and my illness and has no problem seeing pst that to the amazing, strong, compassionate, passionate, zealous person that I am. And He helps me everyday. He sends signs that I have no doubt come from him. Something happens and it is along the lines of something I had been thinking about. I know God. I see Him and I see what He does and what He wants. And I am proud that all the people that have hurt me haven’t for one day pulled me away from Him.

I want to help people. I want people to know that if they have questions or concerns they can come to me. I want people to know that I don’t share about my illness to get sympathy or anything else. I do it because I would be devastated if someone had to suffer some of the things I have been through because I want to make my life easier by not sharing. It makes me tear up every time I think of someone I know suffering because they don’t know that there is help. Or are scared to face whatever happens. I will be there all the way with anyone that wants help or has questions.

And you know what?!?!? I will keep sharing because it’s important to me. And because I believe Hod allowed this strong outspoken woman to have an illness because SHE will be the one who shouts it from the roof tops and makes sure that everyone she knows knows that they are not alone. So I will talk to my doctor next month about my antidepressants and see if we can change things up. Because I know they aren’t working right and I want to be able to live my life. That is what I will do.

Be blessed today! And if you ever need someone to talk to please get a hold of me!!9

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Here’s the thing


When you live the majority of your life with an illness you didn’t know you had it’s hard to find a place to put all the “bad” things.

Just when you think you are maybe starting to get a handle on things and have more control over your emotions some life event happens and it feels like going backwards.

Not to mention that when you have been medicated for a long time parts of you start to change, or maybe I should say adjust. But other people can’t see that. If you don’t see me daily for an extended period of time then you wouldn’t know there is a thing wrong with me.

I have actually had people tell me it’s not true. And my response is always “you aren’t around me enough”.

When you tell someone you have a mental illness they either say “I have that too”(which isn’t true most of the time, to date I’ve only had one person say it and I believe it). Or they just keep doing whatever they are doing. They don’t k ow what to say. And I can only imagine what they think about exactly what that means.

But I’m tired. I’m tired of having exactly 2 people that are there for me no matter what. I know that I have hurt them and if I could change one thing it would be to treat them better. I’m tired of knowing things other people don’t know, I’m tired of looking at things differently than 90%+ of people. I wish that I didn’t see all the things that I see.

I used to think everyone can do what I can do and some just choose not to. But the truth is very few people can do what I do. My daughter always says “you think like me I need to ask someone else”lol And it’s true! But it’s nice to have at least one resin that knows and understands what I am feeling.

We had a discussion about my illness and different things about how it works and what I’m aware of. And the truth is I’m aware of just about everything. I miss very very little of what goes on around me. I asked a girl at work the other day if she was talking to a man. And she grinned but clammed up. I just told her I know everything. Seriously, it’s really hard to have that sometimes. I’m not only aware of what is going on around me but I’m also highly aware of what is going on inside me. So I get to have other people’s thoughts and issues as well as my own. Can you imagine how tiring that is??

I am tired of feeling like an outcast in life. And I’ve pretty much felt that way my whole life. I will never have a ton of friends because I am to blunt and honest for most people. And they seem to think that when I say things I am telling them what to do. But I work very hard not to do that and some of the people I know need to take a long look at themselves.

Last in this mess of a post. When we ignore things going on in our kids lives in order to “protect them” or “raise them right”, we are creating an atmosphere where they never learn to deal with certain situations. I understand you don’t want your child to date until they are 16. But telling them they can’t even have a “boyfriend” (by boyfriend I mean in name only, they only see each other at school). creates an environment where many kids just hide it. When our kids don’t feel safe talking to us they go to someone else. Usually friends and they usually have bad information on pretty much everything. It may not seem like I big deal to ask questions and make your kids answer. I have one that is NOT a talker but I talk to him and ask him questions about the things that are important to him. In the hopes that if he ever needs anything he knows he can come to me. If your kid isn’t talking to you I promise it’s not because they have nothing to say. I have heard parents say “they stay in their rooms, how can I talk to them” or “they don’t say anything”. That might be true. But YOU are the parent isn’t your job to Seek them out and ask questions until you find something they are excited about. It’s not hard but it does require being diligent and conscious of what you are saying and doing. It’s your job to teach the and when you don’t talk to them because you don’t know what to say or you find it hard to talk about say sex. Well it’s not exactly comfortable for them either. But I can tell you this my 13 year old daughter would easily come to me if she needed something. We have talked her whole life and now I know that if she really needs someone she will come to me. I have another daughter that while it took a while she is at least comfortable enough to ask questions if she has them.

It’s hard to feel like you are alone. Even when your doing well and surrounded by people. I am tired of being treated like I’m a failure and have no idea what I am talking about. Not only am I right a lot but I genuinely care about the people in my life.

Sorry this wasn’t too great!!

To be like Jesus


I used to think everything and I mean everything was black and white, right or wrong. Then I married someone from a completely opposite raising and background. We have always agreed on most things. I like to say we agree if you were to put it on a line. But many times we have very different ways of getting there. These things are still true today. But one thing I have learned since being medicated is that there are so many things in this world that don’t have a black and white answer. Or that aren’t in fact black and white. In fact there’s a lot of things that aren’t black and white at all. It’s so hard to try to find the right answer or what you should do. I view the “what would Jesus do” statement vastly different than when it started. Because let’s be real some people think Jesus would do one thing when in fact He May have actually done the opposite. The world is broken so there isn’t always a specific answer to any question. I do know that Jesus’ life was based on love and forgiveness. And sometimes that’s hard all by itself because it’s hard to allow someone to hurt you over and over again without any consequence. And the fact is we are human, all the way human! I’m not totally convinced we are built to be repeatedly hurt and harmed by the same person. There was a time when I spent a lot of time trying to do that but the truth is eventually I fell so low that I had a hard time functioning day to day. I don’t ever want to give up on anyone and there are many people I pray for that I definitely do not “feel” like praying for. But I believe God hears my prayer and He is working on something big. But we have to accept him and if you don’t live a life where you behave, even sometimes, like someone who knows Jesus then we do risk losing what we have. Or that’s what I believe. So I will pray for those who persecute me and allow God to do the work. I will protect myself and my husband and family, period, first and always.

Aren’t we supposed to look at people through a lens of salvation?? But salvation isn’t ours to give, so how are we supposed to relate to those people around us that only seek to harm us?? I don’t think that’s an easy question. And I also think it’s one that changes throughout our lifetime. And while if you had asked me 20 years ago if I believed people are evil I would have said no. But circumstances have shown me that that isn’t true. When you are required to be in someone’s life that is constantly out to make you look bad or lie about you. When that person lies about their kids, and husband and family. When you think that person has gone as low as they can go and yet they still find a way to go lower. It’s hard to figure out what God wants from you in the situation.

I don’t know if it’s just me or my illness or not. But I have so much anxiety when I am around people who have had a negative opinion of me in the past. I don’t want to say or do something wrong. And lets me real if you know me you know I will pretty much talk about anything. So now I’ve had to change who I am in order for someone else to be comfortable. And I’m not talking about the way you talk or even what you say. I’m talking about being so uncomfortable that you chose to stay quiet and not participate. And for an extreme extrovert like me that’s like torture. Even an hour feels like an eternity when you are trying not to say the wrong thing.

I will continue to do what I do because it’s who I am. And I like who I am. But I won’t allow people to constantly be hurtful and harmful to my family. Especially my kids. It doesn’t matter that all of them are almost grown. Do NOT mess with my kids because it won’t be pretty. And I mean every time. One of the hardest things I have to do is keep my mouth shut when my grown kids ask me to. Everything in me SCREAMS for me to do or say something to the person/people that have hurt my kids. I think I do pretty good. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find I don’t do as good a job as I think I do. But mark my words, as soon as they tell me I can do whatever I want I will do just that. I have good kids that work very hard and I will defend them till the cows come home!

It’s not something that is easy and it’s not something I think I have all the answers to. I do think it’s hard. And I do think we are not Jesus. So we should probably cut ourselves some slack when dealing with these different complicated relationships!!

I have this feeling……..


Sometime last week this feeling started and it hasn’t gone away. Like something bad is going to happen or someone I love is hurting. But I haven’t figured out what it is. It’s driving me crazy!!

After not having all my meds last month I thought when I got them back I would go back to being ok. But it’s like not taking it changed something inside me and now it doesn’t work the same. I don’t like it because it won’t go away until I figure it out or talk to the right person.

Something else that’s strange is that I have found myself just sitting and watching TV. I’m sure you’re thinking that’s not weird. But it is for me. I basically never sit still and just do one thing. I see or play on my tablet. Something to keep my mind busy. Always. I take my crochet stuff with me to groups, and other outings. If I don’t have that I’m on my phone. It’s scares me a little that that has changed. I can see the benefit and it would be nice to just sit and watch a show. But it’s really not me and I do t like it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my narcissistic personality disorder diagnosis. I know I need to go into my hole and do my research and make sure I know everything that is possible to know. So that I can talk about it and educate people.

But it scares me. This is different from the bipolar in many ways and I know that. And I don’t know what will happen when I finish my research. Not to mention that in many ways I’m ashamed to tell anyone about this. Our society throws around the word narcissist to the point where everyone seems to be a narcissist and therefore it doesn’t really mean anything.

Next to almost losing my husband this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. This is a personality disorder. Which means it effects me everyday and with every interaction. How am I supposed to figure out what parts of who I am are bad and which ones are good. It’s not like you get a warning or anything. And it’s extremely hard to start looking at your interactions under a microscope and figure out what needs to be changed.

I’m kind of suffering a why me crisis at the moment. No one really sees it because there’s really no point in growing a pity party. But I hate this!! I hate even more that I’m the only one in the family that has this. Because there’s no one that relates and can truly understand. My Mom really tries I think. She listens when I try to explain how I think and how I used to think before being medicated. But none of them know, and that makes it really lonely sometimes. I can try to put this all in a box, and I do. If I didn’t it would consume me. But every once in a while it comes out and it’s pretty bad inside my head. And I kind of get stuck there for a few days or weeks. I am see it and I don’t want to do it, but it’s like I have to. It’s a compulsion that won’t let me go until I face it.

So I have this feeling……

And I’m scared to. face this massive issue. But I know that I have to in order to come out on the other side. So I guess we are going down the rabbit hole……

To care or not to care


I am struggling to find the balance between not caring at all and caring too much!! And how are you supposed to find the answer when everyone you ask doesn’t know either.

When things get tough and I don’t understand I try to figure out what is important to God and what He would want. Which to me is a ligit thing. But I’m not God, so my mere presence doesn’t usually have the influence I would like it to.

I can see God everywhere!! I try to tell myself when something goes wrong that’s there’s a reason that may not have been revealed yet. But good gravy!! What do you do when someone you love chooses to stick their head in the sand??

Does it have to be all or nothing? And is it possible that the person on the other end is wrong, even though they believe they are following God and doing what He wants?

I’m not sure you can have both. I don’t think we are supposed to watch the people we love walk a path that so obviously isn’t working. Maybe the answer lies in the delivery of the information. Although start challenging someone’s long held beliefs and you are most likely in for a long road full of blame and anger because “how dare you challenge my beliefs”.

I ask a LOT of questions. About anything and everything. I gather as much information as I can before I ever decide to say something to someone. I have found most people don’t ask questions, even where their kids well being is being questioned.

The truth is things we are taught growing up are all under the umbrella of what our parents are teaching us. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just fact. For some kids rough housing is normal, for others rough housing will get you in trouble. Not necessarily anything wrong with either one but we often look through a lens of what we see and know.

People seem to think that if they grew up knowing God that they know Him as an adult. And they do and we do. But so many things are left out or not discussed in church circles. There seems to be a fear that if you have a class on something that isn’t absolute people wouldn’t be able to handle it. In Genesis there is a verse that talks about the gods mating with humans. What?!?!?? How did I get to age 37 and never even hear that before. We are missing out.

When we don’t ask questions and seek for ourselves we are missing out. When we expect our children to be perfect while we walk around a hot mess. Kids are so curious and they like to know why. I do t HAVE to answer these questions for my kids, but I want to. I believe they are more likely to follow my advice or counsel or any specific rule if they understand where it is coming from. And why the rule is in place to begin with. Yes!! There absolutely is a time and place for “because I said so”. But the older they get the more I believe that statement just pushes them towards breaking whatever rule you’re talking about.

When I tell my kids why they get a glimpse into me and into the world outside and into who they are. When left to make good choices my kids very rarely do wrong. And even when they do, by any standard, it is minor. I love watching and listening to my daughter. The way she thinks and the things she has learned from me. Things that she shares with me because I give her the space to share her life with me. She’s almost 13. And I cherish every time she opens her mouths and tells me something many girls don’t tell their Moms.

I don’t say this to feel superior. I say it because there is evidence for the things I say and do. And I wonder at what point do the people closest to me start to regard me with some respect and dignity. I KNOW what I am talking about and there is PROOF that what I say and do works. But mostly I am asked to leave people alone and to watch them walk themselves, or their kids, or their family off a cliff. How am I supposed to, in good conscious, do that?? How do I see a situation and just say “oh well they don’t want to hear what I have to say anyway, so I will just watch them. And then I thinknisnt that exactly what God does with us.

I don’t know how to do it. And I don’t know how to get myself to a place where my emotions are able to handle doing that. But I know I have more to learn. So to care or not to care……..who has an answer?!???

Don’t take things so personal……


Has anyone ever said “don’t take it so personal” to you?

They have to me. More times than I can count and for as long as I can remember. But it hasn’t been till recently I have really stopped to think about what that means. I understand that I shouldn’t let people I barely know have control over my emotions and my thoughts. It’s pretty easy to not let discussions with many, if not most, people get to me. Sometimes I have emotional reactions but in the long run it doesn’t linger.

But how do you make things with the people in your life that really matter less personal? It just seems like an oxymoron to me. Talk about my parents, my siblings, my kids, my husband, and a few other select people and not taking things so personally gets really hard!!

Why wouldn’t I be upset if I am watching someone I love walk a road they don’t have to if they would hear me out? Or if there’s something they KNOW they shouldn’t be doing, yet won’t hear your warning?

They say it’s about essentially being disconnected, even from the people you love, in order to not feel that a situation is personal. I used to not even hear that when it was said to me. I couldn’t even see a difference in what people close to me say to me and what people I barely know say.

I see that difference now. What I don’t understand is when someone is unwilling to hear what you have to say and I am supposed to pretend I don’t know what’s going to happen or that the issue doesn’t exist. Live and let live, and all that.

Well, I am finally starting to get a handle on this. At least I think so. First, I am an all in person. It might take me a while but once you reach my inner circle I am all in and it isn’t something that changes easily. It is also a fiercely protective loving experience. When you are someone I care about pushing me away isn’t really something you can do unless I allow you to do it. I see the good in people, and when I talk to people I can hear and see the pain of a painful past, or a hard situations. It’s almost like I can actually physically feel their pain and hurt. It costs a lot when this happens which is why I’m so careful. In many ways I can see that underneath everything else I am a person who wants to see the good in people, that at my core I am trusting, and many times it doesn’t occur to me that my words can have as much power as they often do.

I want people to see my pure heart so that they can trust it. Even when everyone else might act a certain way, I will act differently. I will be a safer place where pain can be left behind and beauty comes out. I like being that person.i like knowing that people feel they can trust me when what ends up being some pretty serious issues.

I’m trying to figure out how to “take things less personally” but to be honest I’m not sure that I should. People who know me well love me for my passion and stubborn refusal to give up, on anyone(well, almost). Is that really something I can give up? Or more to the point “should” I? I understand my intensity and passion can sometimes not be conducive to conversations. But I honestly don’t mean for it to come out that way all the time, or I see it has stubborn passion for someone that I love. Just because most people aren’t like me does that mean it’s automatically my illness, or that I choose to be this way? I don’t know. But I do know that I am always willing to stand behind what I say. I might change but if I choose to spend my energy trying to get someone else to see my side it’s because I love them. I love them with a passion and intensity that you likely won’t find again.

The other hard part is that when I seemingly go off these cliffs of emotional tragedy I do it with the full understanding that things could change forever, and that I could lose someone I love in the process. So when i bring a topic up it couldn’t be less spontaneous. I have usually spent a lot of time thinking about it and I have decided I am willing to risk loss. That doesn’t mean I think it will happen. It just means I AM prepared for that. So those words aren’t easy. While it seems like I have an answer for everything or ask too many question, I don’t. I just kind of view a lot of discussions as throwing stuff out there and seeing if anything sticks. Brain stormin, in a way, only much of it is in my head. So no, I don’t go off these cliffs easily, I go off them knowing they are going to be hard but praying that something I say will do some good.

So ya, my conversations are personal. My family is personal and those few close friends I have, they are personal. I’m trying to find a way to make what I see as giving up, sitting down, or being quiet a good thing. Because everywhere I look when people give up, sit down, and get quiet bad things are about to happen. And I’m just not sure I could forgive myself for being part of that.

Parenting


I just want to start by saying my views on this topic and are very general, as there are so many different people, and kids, and families mixed together. I also want to say that I did not have any specific in mind as I thought about what I wanted to say.

People don’t know how to parent. And no one ever teaches you how to. It’s like you just have to guess and hope and pray that you get it right. Except too many kids are growing up in homes where parents aren’t parenting or are blaming any issues on their children. Our kids start learning the moment they are born. As they learn to walk and talk they are learning, from you, how they will react to the world and the people in it.

Too many people spend about zero time thinking about the way their kids feel and who they are as people. I don’t parent any of my kids the same way. They aren’t the same person why would I parent them all the same. I started teaching them things as early as I could. As soon as they could demonstrate they wanted candy or a toy I made them put it on the register to be paid for. When they were 2 or 3, maybe even younger they “helped” me by taking their clothes to the drawer or taking towels to the bathroom. They have never had hard chores. But they do have chores. While we help them if they have school stuff or are sick, they do their chores when they need done. Trash, unload dishwasher, clean microwave, etc. This year my 12 and 14 year olds will share the job of mowing the lawn. Not because my husband and I can’t but because we want them to know what work is and we want them to be good workers as adults.

I have always talked to my kids. About anything and everything(age appropriate when necessary). They have always asked me questions and shared things with me. As they have gotten older I have it only have but start conversations that were not by any means easy. I have talked to them about sex. I have talked to them about friends and not only being kind but standing up for someone if you see them being mistreated. In our house if we ever find out you DIDN’T stand up for someone you will be in much more trouble than if you DO stand up for them. I have talked about parties and drinking and drugs. Mostly telling them not to do it but also telling them that if they ever need someone I want the first call to be me. I said/say these things a lot. I tell their friends to. I have told Lily that if something happens and she doesn’t call me I will be upset with her. I have told them if they ever find themselves as a party NEVER to get in a car and drive or get in a friends car if there is drinking involved. I would rather you stay where you are than have to get that phone call.

But I talk to them about other things too. Anything and everything. I MAKE the time to go to their rooms where they are comfortable and sit down and chat with them. There’s nothing like having your 19 year old ask for advice. I talk to 5em about their friends. I want them to know that I WANT to know their friends. And I want them to know that even when things happen with their friends that I don’t agree with I still WANT them to be friends with them. I am trying to teach them how to live in the world but not be of the world. They don’t have to do all the things their friends do in order to function in life. My daughter has a couple “friends” that I severely limit her time with. These people were given more than one chance not to treat my daughter badly, and I don’t care if they are 12 my daughter will NOT be subjected to that. But I talked to my daughter through every step in the process. Through the 3 chances to get it right. I told her they got one more chance and then I could be the mean Mom I didn’t care I wasn’t gonna have her suffer because I wouldn’t put my foot down. I tell her not to listen to people on a regular basis and I do my best to explain why. I am teaching her to know people and read people. I saw it in my older son as well. I have seen him make choices his first year of college that next to no other college freshman would make. Because he wasn’t sheltered. He didn’t feel like he was getting out and he could do whatever he wanted, well maybe a little, but he was pretty much allowed to do whatever he wanted at home as long as he talked to us. Because like it or not it IS absolutely to be respectful and considerate of the people you live with. And I’m not talking about chores and food and such. I’m talking about letting people know what is going on. I’m talking about letting the people you live with know if you won’t be home. Our oldest daughter is 28 and has 2 kids and yet every time we leave each other the one driving home always sends a message when they get there. It’s not because we have to. It’s because I worry. My husband probably not so much but I do. And it can keep me from sleeping if I don’t know they are ok.

My kids come when I call them, or they say “just a minute or something”. And I typically don’t call twice. If I yell for you you come to me. That’s just one of the perks of being a parent 😜. But again I started this when they were very little. You come or you yell. One or the other, not no5ing. If I call you and you yell back at me there likely will not be a response because that isn’t the way it works. It’s simply human nature. We learn what we are taught and when our parents don’t even attempt to teach us anything we don’t learn anything.

Our kids are basically just small people. Born with their own personalities and issues of their own. I have no idea how many times I have said, “you don’t have to like it or you can be mad, but your not going to be ugly to me or anyone else”. I always thought that was a pretty simple idea. But I have heard so many kids talk about how their parents never pay attention to their feelings and expect them to just basically be a soldier. What’s the point in that? What will you as a parent ever learn if that’s the way you view it. But we ALL have a right to our feelings and that includes our kids as well. They can also be very different from us. I am a complete extrovert. My 14 year old son is as introverted as they come. It took me literally YEARS to figure out that was ok and I didn’t have to be worried about him all the time. He has friends and he enjoys being with them from time to time, but he very much enjoys being by himself. And for the record, he’s not turning into a school shooter because he’s in his room playing the game all the time. Actually the opposite, for Valentines Day they sold little valentines at school. He took his money(like 40 bucks) and bought one for his whole 8th period class, without saying a word to anyone. Except his sister, that’s how I found out 🤷🏻‍♀️!!

So when I see people treating their kids as if they were just born for them to yell at or tell what to do I often wonder when those kids turn into teenagers “what did you think was going to happen?” I am by no means always right. But I have a good sense of people(especially kids) and I have been told I have the gift of discernment. Which is interesting because I always thought everyone could do what I do. Nope! No! Not at all!! I also can’t usually explain why I say what I say or think what I think, but where people are involved(especially people I know well), I am very rarely wrong. So I wonder why do people have kids if they have no thought of ever actually thinking about their kids. If they can’t take a step back and be a neutral observer long enough to figure out what their kids might think or feel how do they expect them to learn anything and be able to function in society.

Somewhere along the line someone decided our kids should be protected and kept from things that can or will harm them. Please believe that with all my heart I WANT to do that as well. But we can’t always protect them and keep them from harm. So the next best thing is to teach them and help them learn how to deal with life and the people in it. And I truly believe that the more we teach and prepare them for as kids(especially teenagers) the less likely that the world will chew them up and spit them out. My 12 year old daughter talks to me. She tells me things and she asks me questions. Much of which isn’t something that her friends do with their Moms. I see her hearing what I am saying and putting it into practice. I have heard her tell her friends things I have said to her because she wants to help them. All of this because I have always talked to her, asked questions, given explainations.

Our pre-teens have so many questions. They are starting to figure out that theirs friends and their families don’t operate the same way as what they have always known. Their friends are doing things that they may have never ever heard of before. If they can’t go to their parents where are they going to go? Most likely? Their friends, and that is the worst possible place them to get the i formation. We may not want to think about it and our first instinct IS to protect them. But WE are the adults. We are the ones that have our heads together and that they trust to take care of them. So WE have to bite the bullet and have the hard discussion(age appropriate of course) and do the best we can to help them understand. I do my best to explain things to my daughter. She knows why I don’t like to do late pick ups at skating rinks or movie theatres. She knows that I like having her home and that I will never allow her to spend whole weekends gone from our home(unless she’s with family) because I feel it’s very important for them to be here. Where I know what’s going on and what they are doing. So we have a lot of friends that come through our house. All of which to date, love me 😬. But it’s not because I’m fun or buy them things. It’s because I talk to them like the young people that they are. And I try to put myself on their level when we talk about friends and school. They aren’t adults yet, but they know when people are being dishonest or uncomfortable with a discussion. So I try to remember what it was like to be 12 and I try to remember they know NOTHING. All the things we have had years to learn they are just starting to even know exist. So when we say things to them they don’t have the frame of reference we do. They need you to explain it to them and tell them stories about your life so they can understand. And guess what!?!?! Just because you may have done something bad when you were younger doesn’t mean your kids will take your honesty as permission. I had a baby when I was 18 and still in high school. My daughter knows that and I am very clear she does NOT want a baby at 18. She has assured me that isn’t going to happen. I have never demanded greatness from my kids but I truly believe a side effect of good parenting IS greatness. My middle son wants to go to Harvard for goodness sakes!!

Our kids are begging for our attention and input in their lives. And sometimes it’s really HARD work. But if we start from birth it is so much easier. Or I hit the genetic lottery and have 3 kids by 2 different dads that are all really good, kind, get good grades, and care for the people in their lives. Be diligent. Be prepared. Be honest. Ask questions and most importantly try to figure out what something feels like for THEM. Just because they are your kids doesn’t mean that you own all the power. More likely, the more power you try to have the less you will have. So decide today that you will make a change. Imagine for a moment what it might actually be like for your child and then adjust yourself to help them the best way you know how. And despite what some may say get help!! From family, from the school,from friends, or from a counselor if necessary. If someone loves your child and wants to be there for them, let go and allow them to have some impact on your kids.

Be blessed and have an awesome Easter!!