Will the Words Come

My mom married young and had me young.  She and my biological dad split when I was 4.  She then met my dad who raised me, right away.  He was a good daddy.  He taught me to tie my shoes, he braided my hair, he painstakingly taught me how to ride a two-wheeled bike.  He could be very harsh and hard to understand, but all in all, he loved me.

I wish I could say the same of my bio dad.  My mom lied to me for many years, taking all the blame for their break up and his lack of involvement in my life.  And I believed her until I got married.

When he declared he couldn’t come up for my wedding, even when my soon to be hubby offered to buy his plane ticket.  He didn’t want to come…to his only child’s wedding.  Did you catch that?  Only.

That’s when it dawned on me that my mom had been lying to me my entire life…she said it was her fault he wasn’t in my life, but it wasn’t.  He could have chosen to be involved, to be a dad, but instead he chose to live several states away, never writing or calling.

He’s never made any effort to see any of my three beautiful girls.  He’s never called to thank  me for sending pictures or ask how they are.  They are his only grandchildren, and they know nothing of him.

And you know what I realized slowly, over the years, he doesn’t love me.  And it is nothing I have done or haven’t done, it just is.  He doesn’t love me.  He has always loved his pets fiercely so maybe if I had four legs, I would be worthy of his love, but as a biped, I am worthy of nothing.  Absolutely, none of his love.

I could tell you it’s okay.  I could tell you I have love from many other people, and I do, but that doesn’t make up for it.

I watch how my hubby loves his daughters, fiercely, daily, constantly.  It is beautiful and I am so glad they have that–so glad.  But sometimes it just serves to remind me what I don’t have from the man who is supposed to be my dad.  It’s gone, maybe it was never there, but it sure won’t be returning.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it stinks to realize you biological father doesn’t love you.

There She Goes

“Go Caitlyn Go!!”  I have yelled that countless times since August 16 when Caitlyn and Sue started cross country practice.

Caitlyn loved the running, Sue loved the social time.

I ached watching Caitlyn put her heart and soul into the running and see little success.  She ran with such determination at every practice, from her very first step to her last.  But again and again she was beat by her sister and her teammates.  And yet, she never wavered, she never gave up.

She ran at practice, she started running in the mornings with me.  I was so, so proud of her every single time.  All heart and determination.  And right at the end of the season we saw some of her power come out as she plowed through her last meet with just over a 10 minute mile.

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While she was running cross country, she also trained with me for a 5k (3.1 miles).  Yesterday was the day.  We got up before dawn to get a decent breakfast and head on our way.

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Don’t mind the scratches on my nose.  I fell a couple days before the race while taking a short walk.  I landed on my face and managed to break my glasses, scratch up my nose (not broken, as first feared), and bruised up my knee.

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A couple days before, my sweet girl had asked me if it was okay if she ran ahead of me for the first mile “you’ll catch up to me in mile 2 I’m sure.”  Well, she sure did pull ahead of me–and I never saw her again.  My Caitlyn finished the race in 34 minutes and 6 seconds.  She ran a mile pace of 10 minutes 58 seconds!!!  She finished in 2 place of the girls ages 10-13 who ran.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Honestly, I couldn’t.

She finished WAYYYYY ahead of me yesterday and as I finally ran up to the finish line, I heard a voice yelling, “go MOMMY go!!!!”

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I can’t wait to run with her again–and watch out cross country, we’ll be unleashing a powerhouse on you next season!


Over the Sink

Tonight I stood over the sink crying.

Yesterday, I sat in a car praying I would not be sick all over myself.

I’ve lost a pound this week, not the way you are supposed to.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

I’m 98% sure it is due to a recent dose increase on one of my meds.  I vaguely remember being sick like this when I first started lithium 5 years ago.  I refuse to remember how long being this sick last.

Lithium is one of my mainstays.  It has kept me solid and steady like no other, but I kid you not, I am *this* close to calling the doctor tomorrow and throwing in the towel.

I am a grumpy, wimpy mess when I am this sick.  I do not soldier on well.

Well, that’s not entirely true…Caitlyn was looking forward to our run today so I gathered up all my courage and we pounded out 3.1 miles.  When we started running together, just a month ago, I could do a decent job of pulling away from her in mile 2 and 3.  Not today.  I could get a few paces ahead, but she took over the stride right away.  I no longer sound like a dying cow while running the first mile and she no longer gets lost behind me.  We’ve both gotten stronger.  I can’t believe our first 5k together is just 6 days away.  We are both pretty excited.

I made it to the last cross country meet of the season yesterday.

Both girls did very well.  It was amazing to see their progress since we started this in August.

Caitlyn was looking forward to our run today so I gathered up all my courage and we pounded out 3.1 miles.  When we started running together, just a month ago, I could do a decent job of pulling away from her in mile 2 and 3.  Not today.  I could get a few paces ahead, but she took over the stride right away.  I no longer sound like a dying cow while running the first mile and she no longer gets lost behind me.  We’ve both gotten stronger.  I can’t believe our first 5k together is just 6 days away.  We are both pretty excited.

I did my best to get through today, and I think did a decent job, went running, went pumpkin picking as a family, I pressed on.  But the reserves are pretty depleted.  And I am kind of freaking out.  What if a night’s sleep doesn’t get me ready for tomorrow?  How will I wrangle three little girls?  How will I get us to piano lessons?

Every day is so full.

Good, but full.


All That Falls

I found a project on Pinterest and we actually did it!!!

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We painted q-tip fall trees 🙂


Anxiety is

The girls, particularly Caitlyn, have loved doing cross country this year.  And I have enjoyed getting to know the coach’s wife.  She is so sweet and she is one tough cookie…she has been to just about every practice and meet while wrangling three small children and being overdue with baby number 9.

Well baby #9, their second girl, finally came!!!  And it is time to sign up to bring meals.  I have taken meals to tons of people over the years.  It has always brought me so much joy.  Until Patrice came.  And then, like everything else, the joy got twisted into anxiety and stress.

But I shoved down as much of my anxiety and signed up for a meal as quickly as I could before the anxiety freaked me out again…and then laid awake worrying last night.

What if I don’t cook enough for a family of 11 (yes, I understand the baby won’t actually be eating what I bring), what if I accidently include a food allergen, then they will have to cook for some of the family anyway and it won’t really help, and is butter a dairy allergen, and what if they don’t eat pork?

All of this has put my anxiety at high alert.  And it is still at high alert.  I’m not even signed up to take the meal until October 22.  Thinking about it makes me want to vomit.  Repeatedly.

I have shoved down this fear and anxiety more times than I can count and I still have weeks to go.

Anxiety is a jerk.  A big jerk.

Laughing and Learning

It is beautiful outside right now.  The weather is beautiful, the laughs and giggles are beautiful.  And the learning is beautiful.

Patrice is having some trouble learning sight words so I am trying to incorporate some new methods…one involves a beach ball with some of her words written on it–when you catch the ball you have to read whatever word your right hand is closest too.
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I also sported some handmade bling for the sight word of the day, which you might have guessed is THE.  Patrice also wrote the word of the day on the whiteboard.  We’ve been having some trouble with the word the because Patrice finds it boring and she doesn’t like to read boring words–so I decided to jazz things up around here!!

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Homeschooling Light

So one of my quirks, is to not take up doctor and eye appointments right before school starts.  I know there are a ton of people who need to get their kids in those appointments before school starts, while we, on the other hand, have the flexibility to do those appointments while other kids are in school…so, this week was eye doctor appointment week for Sue.  I thought it would be a quick 30 minute deal, but I was mistaken.  Her appointment on Monday was over an hour and they decided they needed a follow up today to check some other things and they have already told us this appointment will be an hour plus.

So, this week became homeschool light!

Tuesday, the weather was beautiful so we did some of our work outside.  Grammar, art, and reading.

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Yesterday we went on a field trip to a local nature center and learned about migration.

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Today, I have reading, phonics, and grammar packed for the non-eye-patients to work on while we wait.  We have already done our history read-aloud for the day.  Now, the get some eyes checked!!

This is how we homeschool–light!

The Balance

Three girls.  I have three girls.  I have no idea how that happened–well, okay, I know HOW it happened, I just can’t believe it did even 10 years into this mom gig.  I had given up on marriage and kids, but God had other plans.

These plans.

I have three girls, I homeschool three girls, they are pretty much my constant side kicks.  They see how I handle, and don’t handle, life.  I am completely aware their eyes are always on me.

Sometimes, I can handle it with grace, but much of the time I am second guessing how I handle it all.  I want my reactions to be balanced and healthy.  I am used to finding that difficult with the Bipolar in my life, but recently it has gotten complicated for another reason…sports.

My girls (2 of them anyway) have joined the world of sports–cross country to be exact.

It is the one sport I sort of, not really, know anything about and is truly the only sport I have ever enjoyed.  Seeing them get to run at practice reminded me how much I love to run and has me back out there pounding out a few miles.  I love having them run.

One, is a little older than the other, a little more serious about life, and a little more interested in running.

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She even joined me on my Sunday morning run last week.

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I am so proud.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Sue is also going to practice, never complains about it, and seems to have fun, but she just hasn’t caught the running bug.  She’s there for the socializing; Caitlyn says, “I want to run, that’s what I am there for!!!”

I am so pleased with both of them, but I want to just gush all over Caitlyn.  I love her can do spirit, she never gives up, I love her desire to run, I love her determination.  I like to talk to her about running.  I am seeking out help from others who run to help Caitlyn become a stronger runner.  I’m not kidding, I could go on forever about how proud I am of Caitlyns’ running.

But I don’t want to discourage Sue.  I want her to grow to love it, if it turns out to be her thing.  I want her to work hard.  I want her to know I care about her skills too.

Balancing the two is hard!!!

How do I encourage them both when their experiences so far are very different?  How do I let Caitlyn know how pleased I am without seeming to diminish Sue’s progress?  How do I show my pride in Caitlyn, without making Sue feel like she has to prove herself to me by running?

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I sincerely don’t know how to balance it all.  I catch myself when I feel like I am going overboard.  I try to remember to speak highly of both of them within their hearing.

I try.  I really do.

Social Anxiety and Jesus

This could be one of those posts about how all you need is Jesus to get rid of your social anxiety.  But it’s not.  Because I don’t believe that social anxiety is “just” a spiritual issue.  I also don’t believe it is just a medical issue.  I believe it is a little bit of both, and as such, needs both Jesus and medication for proper treatment.

But then what I think gets a little murky.  And I just realized tonight, why.

So, if my social anxiety needs Jesus to be part of the treatment equation, what do I do when that social anxiety keeps me from Jesus?  Yup.  It keeps me from Jesus, because I have social anxiety when it comes to Jesus.

I love to pray.  I always have.  It has always made sense to me.  It brings me a lot of comfort to pray.  I love to pray about the struggles of life and the joys of life.

But sometimes I just can’t pray.  Like tonight.  I was so excited about tonight.  I was going to have the house to myself for a little bit and I was going to be able to sit down and pray and just enjoy it and immerse myself in the time.  But then the social anxiety came up.  Every half minute my praying was being interrupted by me–“Am I doing this right Jesus?”  “Am I talking too much Jesus?”  “How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

“Am I doing this right Jesus?”  “Am I talking too much Jesus?”  “How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

“Am I talking too much Jesus?”  “How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

“How do I shut up and let you talk, Jesus?”

And I just didn’t make it very far.  I got myself too confused and worked up.  I ended up just falling back on a basic, standard prayer, with none of the fellowship, none of the comfort, none of the joy.

Social Anxiety and Jesus at its finest.

Thought I Knew Better

All to the Glory of God–that is why I blog and share my story so openly.  I want others to know it is possible to live and parent well with mental illness.  This, by necessity, causes my posts to be brutally honest, and that is not always pretty.
I have always endeavored to live by the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Seventeen years ago, wow, has it really been that long?, I made some bad choices, I loved and trusted someone I shouldn’t have, and my found myself in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship.

I got out.  He dumped me.  I was embarrassed, hurt and angry, but still, it was for the best as I got out.  My pride would have kept me there but he decided he didn’t want me.

And that’s really okay.

Fast forward 17 years, and I have an amazing life.  I have a husband who loves me and endeavors to always take care of me.  I have three amazing daughters.

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I have it all.

And the memories from that relationship.  The hurtful things he said and did and made me believe.  I live with those, and unfortunately, so does my husband.

He lives with them when I am afraid to look at him when I think he is upset with me.

He lives with them when I over apologize for something, or sometimes, nothing.

He lives with them when I work myself into a tizzy trying to make him proud of me.

I live with them all the time.  When I hear him in my head telling me no one likes me, no one wants to be my friend, without him I wouldn’t have any friends.

When I hear him in my head telling me no one likes me, no one wants to be my friend, without him I wouldn’t have any friends.

When I hear him tell me I don’t know how to dress.

When I hear him tell me I talk too much or too loudly.

When I hear him tell me I do the laundry wrong.

It’s been 17 years.  Seventeen years of lies I cannot shake.  Seventeen  years of his anger I cannot shake.  Seventeen years of his voice I cannot unhear.

I walk literally every day with one or more of these things.  Wondering how to shake it, wondering how to be free.

How to be free…