Breaking The Generational CycleΒ 

Let’s talk about generational cycles and how the circle of abuse in families begins and sadly continues. As an adult I have learned that my parents, grandparents and great grandparents all came from abusive situations. They also had or lived with someone who had some form of mental health issues (Bi-Polar, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Multiple Personality Disorder, OCD ect.)
Mental illness often leads to substance abuse as a way to escape what they are feeling, alcohol or drugs become their way of numbing everything. Physical and emotional abuse is one of the #1 reasons for substance abuse. 

What a tragic combination my family was dealing with from the beginning, a explosive one when you stop to think about it. 

We were all taught at a very young age not to speak about the things going on in our home, those were private matters. We spent most of our younger years around family so all we knew was this disfunction, to me that was what the whole world was like. It was normal to see my mother wave a knife at my father, or my father throw a beer bottle at my mother slicing her arm and everything was fine that same evening. These things that are very scary to others were “normal” to me. Imagine also that not only was I taught that we do not speak about these private matters but every generation was brought up this way. 

Since no one is allowed to speak about the happenings in their homes, no one is able to get help or even realizes they need help for the deep rooted issues they are facing. This right here is how the circle begins.

So the circle begins and sadly the person has no idea that the violence they have lived, seen, and survived this far is not the normal way of life. Imagine for a moment this is all you have ever known, therefore this is all you honestly believe the world has to offer. You may realize the strong anxiety and depression you feel isn’t how everyone else seems to feel but you have no idea how to go about fixing it. Remember you can’t talk about the happenings in your home, or family or things from your childhood. 

So you are a grown up now and looking for a life partner, you pair up with someone who is similar to you right? That is what everyone looks for in a partner….similar interest, similar family beliefs and so on. Here enters the circle, the pattern, the generational cycle of abuse.
Here is where my journey takes a turn. I looked at my children and my life, I take a deep breath and realize I am deep in the circle. I was uknowningly teaching my kids the cycle. I REFUSED to let that be the life my children lived and I began to realize I deserved so much more out of this beautiful thing called life! So began our journey. 

Right now as I post this publicly, as I hit that publish button, I am taking a deep breath and knowing I am…

  • BREAKING THE SILENCE 
  • BREAKING THE CHAINS
  • BREAKING THE CIRCLE 
  • FREEING MYSELF 
  • FREEING MY CHILDREN

We all have a voice and we all have a right to use it. Never let someone silence you, never let someone dull your sparkle. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. ❀

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Christmas Time

This year I have so many mixed emotions going in to the Christmas season. I have always loved Christmas, I loved giving to others in need, and surprising my children Christmas morning. After being separated from my husband for almost a year now, all that has transpired during that time which has been caused by choices out of our control had begun to leave me feeling defeated.

Here’s the thing though no matter what has come our way the kids and I have continued to feel pure happiness, love and safety. We have a home, heat, lights, food and all the essentials which many go without all year long. We are so very blessed with these things and most of all we are blessed with an amazing support system who loves us, lifts us up and pulls us through with lots of inspiration.

Today the kids and I decorated for Christmas and I have to tell you all a little secret. Last year the kiddos were done with decorating by the time with finished the tree so I came up with a plan, we saran wrapped the tree and stored it all year. This year we were able to carry it up, unwrap it and plug it in, bam the tree was done! It was so easy and worked perfect! The only thing we did was add our completely random hippo ornament a friend of mine picked out for us this year and she is just so cute she is front and center!

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Saran Wrapped Last Year Brought It Up This Year Unwrapped And Plugged In! Perfection πŸ™‚
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Sally Our New Hippo

We had plenty of other Christmas decor to decorate the rest of the house so we played Christmas music, danced, laughed and made memories that I pray will last a life time.

It’s days like today that remind me that no matter what else is going on in life I have amazing kiddos who love to help, who enjoy the small things, and who at this age still enjoy family time together! I also can’t believe how much my babies have grown and how quickly.

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My Little Monkeys In 2010

Christmas and holidays have come to be known for gifts, but I think the memories we make with our family are the true meaning of Christmas and the celebration begins and ends with the love we all share.

 

Speaking Up and Speaking Out

A friend of mine reminded me of a time I worked up all the courage I had and got up on a stage in front of about 200 plus women and told of some of the most private horrifying things that had happened to me. I was inspired to share this by a woman I had heard speak on that same stage a year prior. For those that are close to me, they know that it is hard for me to speak one on one with a person or simply be in a crowded place, my anxiety usually kicks in and I find the quickest exit. That night though I remember reminding myself how much the woman Joanie’s story changed my life. She gave me the freedom to speak to someone about what had happened to me, and to begin a journey to healing.

I didn’t realize it fully at the time but I wasn’t opening up about everything but it was a amazing start and I was gaining strength that would later help me make decisions that would make my life and my children’s lives so much better. (we will save that for another post) I have found my silly, happy, goofy side again. πŸ™‚ 12108835_10207669333952010_7935439574138426038_nHowever I would come to realize later as weeks went by my journey that I had lived through and come out of on the other side and placed me on that stage that day had also placed me in front of a few women who were right were I was the year before. I had a young teen girl approach me and ask to speak with me about something she had gone though, a week or so later I met a woman who would later become one of my best friends, her daughter insisted she needed to get to know me that our stories were to similar that it was a sign….boy was it because I would swear we are sisters. LOL

To often woman go through abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse and they don’t speak up, they don’t speak out, they blame themselves, they think they deserved it, if only they had handled the situation different then it wouldn’t have happened, if they didn’t drink that night then it wouldn’t have happened. Ladies these are not excuses for men or boys to take advantage or abuse you. We as women want to fix, mend, help and in turn we put ourselves and our happiness on the back burner…..ultimately this can cost us our lives. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid, your friends probably already know and want to help, but you need to go to them, trust me they are there and they will help.

In closing the woman I mentioned in the beginning who helped me to find strength by sharing her story is still sharing her story and bringing awareness to women. Along with her is the amazing Hahn Team who are offering FREE self defense classes. I am including a link to a news story that was on locally here last night and a link to the Hahn Facebook page. Please take a moment and check out these links.

https://www.facebook.com/sarah.maness.1/videos/629426073866936/?pnref=story

https://www.facebook.com/arnoldhahnmartialarts/?fref=ts

Grateful

I have noticed on social media that the month of November has become a time to reflect on the things we are grateful/thankful for. I love this idea and I participate in it each year. Throughout the year though not just the month of November I try to remember how much I truly have to be thankful for. During really ruff patches in my life this helps me to realize I have way more to be thankful for than to worry about.

The things we can be grateful for can be big or small, but trying to remember each time something negative or bad happens to stop and think what do I have to be thankful for right now has always helped lift me up. It may not fix the situation but it gives me a bit of strength to face the situation before me.

Recently I was invited to a group on social media that is full of people who are regularly posting big and small things they are grateful for and I love reading all of it. Not only do I see the happiness in their lives but I am even more inspired to remember that no matter what I face in life there is something to be grateful for in my life.

In closing I want to list a few things I am grateful for and would love to hear from some of you in the comments about the things you are grateful for…..

My Grateful List At The Moment

Friends

My Children

Food on our table

A roof over our head

Laughter

Love

Those Days When You Can’t Wrap Your Head Around All That Is Happening

I think everyone has these days. One thing after another keeps going wrong, you stop and think…”seriously could anything else go wrong?” and then of course it does.

Here’s the thing though, can you change it? Can you honestly have changed any one of those things that have happened that day? The answer is probably no. So in that case what do you do? Do you let it control your emotions and take you down for the day, the next day, the next week…or do you just realize crap happens that is out of our control and that everything will work itself out in due time.

We have all had many storms in our lives and we are still here….why? Because we made it though those storms day by day, moment by moment. As we grow though we get to decide not to hide in our anger, sadness and pity and just decide ok this happened, I can’t change it and it will all work out the way it should. Letting go and not trying to control things releases a anxiety that takes over our mind and body. It’s freeing to do this!

This doesn’t just go for small storms, it goes for those big storms too, the ones that shake us to our core. In fact I am facing a few of those right now. I can feel overwhelmed like I have in the past, I can cry non stop, hide from the world or I can order Chinese food, have a movie night with my kiddo, laugh, cuddle and know that no matter what it will all work out just as it should.

We all have choices, sometimes in the middle of these storms it is hard to see that we have the choice to just let go and let it work itself out, but we truly do and it is more freeing than I can ever explain. It isn’t easy, every time one of the thoughts of the storm pops in my head I have to stop myself and remind myself that this is handled, the truth will set us all free, that there is a rainbow at the end of every storm but I am retraining my brain to do so and again it is freeing me from an anxiety that in the past ran my every single day life.

I still have bad moments, it doesn’t fix everything, but it is a good place to start.

Much love everyone.

Live, Laugh, Love

Life Is Full Of Craziness

When I started this blog up again I had hoped to post positives only, but lets be real, life is full of ups and downs and middle of the road moments. I have been away from the blog for a bit for a couple of different reasons. I wanted to play with my kids, get them back to their school schedule and just live in the moment of life and not on the computer for a bit. Health issues arose again and had to be addressed and will continue to need to be and the few times I did try to write I once again just couldn’t put into words what was in my head.

So here we are with me typing away again and no wall in front of me stopping me. The most important thing I want to say is that life has been a storm since I came back from our vacation, but no matter what life has thrown at me I have decided to remain positive. My kids are happier than ever, I feel a peace I have never felt before and I know no matter what, the kids and I will make it through whatever is thrown at us.

Sometimes people do things out of anger and don’t realize all the people they are hurting, they have blinders on and see only one thing, and only one person they want to cause pain to. In doing so though they unfortunately hurt the ones that love them the most. Fortunately though I have learned through the years that when people hurt it doesn’t mean they don’t love, it more than likely means they don’t know how to show love.

I could choose anger about certain things that a person is doing in our lives but I won’t, I refuse to let anger, rule our lives. I have always taught love and forgiveness to my children and have lived by that myself. So as we move forward in our journey I choose this to deal with the storm thrown at us.

We have amazing friends and family that lift us up, love us and keep us laughing.

When we were on vacation we were adventurous, and we brought that back with us. The kiddos and I have been having so much fun attending school movie nights, petting zoos, ice cream dates….just making time to be a family. I can’t express how much these moments have helped mend broken hearts from the past.

I wouldn’t have imagined I would have found the strength to keep moving forward when everything seemed to keep working against me but I have and I owe that to my amazing friends and a inner strength that I think every Momma has when faced with what they thought was impossible.

In closing I opened up about these things because I just want other Momma’s to know you got this! You will make it through whatever storm you are faced with, take it all day by day and just keep moving forward. Happiness is a choice. I choose happiness, love, laughter and to see the blessings all around me even in the middle of a storm.

Adventure Continued

Summer is starting to come to a end here for us in Florida. We will be headed back home to real life. Before that though we have a few more trips to the beach to make, a trip to Sea World and many more laughs and memories to make.

I keep thinking about the flight here. It was the kids first time on a airplane and the whole flight I watched them, listened to them and thought to myself this is going to be amazing! The look in their eyes when the plane took off, when we got above the clouds and their eyes got so bright as they told me how it looked like giant comfy pillows. Watching them was like seeing life through a child’s eyes and I can’t explain how much my heart filled to the brim with pure happiness.

Airplane clouds or as the kids call them comfy pillows. :)
Airplane clouds or as the kids call them comfy pillows πŸ™‚

Driving around town here is even a adventure. We are surrounded by water, ok maybe not surrounded but one of the main roads is about a 15 to 20 minutes straight stretch of road and as you drive along it and look to the right it is water, beautiful palm trees and sea life. This water they call a river here but being from MO if I see dolphins jumping, the waterway stretched as far as my eyes can see I have a hard time considering this a “river”. πŸ˜‰ It is a river though and it is BEAUTIFUL!

River Sunset
River Sunset

We went to a place called Gator Land. As you can imagine it is filled with gators but it also has birds, snakes and the best part is there are these paths that go through it all right up close with all of the creatures. Your safe because your on a deck like structure but you are right there next to 100’s of gators. While we were looking over at about 4 gators one came swimming up with a log in it’s mouth and decided to do a death roll right by us. The kids LOVED this! Their eyes again so bright and their laughs and comments as they watched just made my heart fill up again.

Gator Land
Gator Land

Let’s discuss sharks for a moment, I thought my kids would be terrified of the ocean to be honest. Before we came they did research. LOL I am serious they got online and looked up all the sea life and all about sharks and shark attacks. So I thought when we got here I may have to convince them they were safe and not to worry. I was wrong! They jumped right in and haven’t stopped. There was a day at the beach when the man next to us was fishing, he caught something and while the kids swam they watched him pull it in…..it was a SHARK! The kids came in from the water and we walked over and watched the man handle the 4 to 5ft long shark and then release it back in the water where the kids had been swimming. I thought for sure our beach day was over and good luck getting the kids back to the beach……Nope I was wrong the kids went right back over to our stuff grabbed their boogie boards and jumped right back in the water! Yes, as a Momma I was a bit freaked out but this is the ocean, this is what has always been in the ocean, and I can’t let my fears hold the kids back. I was so proud of them! They enjoyed the rest of their day and had an amazing story to tell. πŸ™‚

Shark
Shark

This summer has been one that I know I will never forget. I have watched my children grow, come out of their shells and live life each day to the fullest. I have always been drawn to natures beauty and Florida is overflowing with it, but I have also seen the beauty of my children’s growth, excitement and love of adventure and nature. This is what I will cherish forever.

Summer Adventure

I remember as a child my godmother would take my sister and I on trips each summer. We traveled with her to all different states. Most of the time we drove but once in awhile we would fly. I remember one trip so clearly, we drove to Washington DC to visit with my godfather and then made several stops one of those included Rehoboth Beach Delaware. Walking along the board walk, breathing in the ocean air, playing beach volleyball and seeing the bright neon lights at the different shops along the board walk is so clear in my memory. We visited history museums, the white house, the Holocaust museum, I really could go on and on but the point is that at 36 years old I can still remember, clear as day the summers I spent with my godmother. I learned so much on those trips, at the time I don’t think I realized I was learning, I just thought I was having fun. Looking back I realize how blessed I was to see all of these places and how much all of those moments have stuck with me.

I had hoped to provide similar experiences for my kiddos. We have been blessed with many camping trips and lots of trips to the farm. My kiddos love the outdoors, everything from fishing, four wheeling, float trips, and all the farm animals of course. My son has a great eye for spotting museums as we are driving, he loves learning about history, because of his great eye we have also learned a lot about different areas all around our state.

This summer we were blessed with an amazing gift. The kids had not seen the ocean or flew on a plane yet and this summer we were blessed with the opportunity to fly to Florida and spend the summer! Words can not express how grateful I am for this opportunity. Watching my children experience flying on a airplane, and stepping in the ocean for the very first time are two of the things that they have dreamed of and they have been able to do. This summer has been making memories that I know they will look back on and remember forever.

This adventure fell so perfectly in to place, my nephew came home for the summer from college and was able to house and dog sit, and everything else to allow for this trip to happen fell into place too. I was a nervous wreck because anyone that knows me, knows I don’t like to go to far from home and for sure not on my own but this new beginning is about starting fresh and why not start big with big adventures. πŸ™‚

More on our big adventure coming soon……………………………………Β Β Β Β Β  πŸ™‚

Florida