A Year in Reflection

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On August 23rd of last year, I was in the hospital undergoing the biggest decision I have ever made in my entire life…prophylactic double mastectomy/breast reconstruction. At the time it seemed like the obvious choice, in hindsight, it was the most intensive rite of passage that ever plagued womankind.

 

I’m a strong woman. I know women claim that every day and then something trivial throws them into a panic attack of mega-proportions. I, myself, have been there. Where do you think the words Drama Queen came from. But, I digress. I AM STRONG! And as a woman who has idly strolled through several neighborhoods of Hell, I tell you I was not prepared for the emotional torture I would be facing during this reconstruction. It turns out even strong women can have weak moments.

 

They say, “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger.” I hate that saying with the entirety of my being, not because it isn’t true but because it is quoted repeatedly by people who have not been through a sliver of what I have. Am I comparing my struggles to the lack of theirs? No, I’m just reflecting on those moments that transpired along the way. Like I said in the previous paragraph…“Weak. “Drama Queen.” “Hell.”

 

Feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, comparisons, bouts of deep depression… just a few of the bullshit moments I had in the past year. After all of that work I put into myself in the last few years I was undone by my f**king breasts. That’s right, like a teenage boy, I lost my ever-loving mind over breasts. Apparently, my vanity knows no bounds.

 

When did I, the woman’s woman, turn into an exceedingly breast-obsessed man? If I had to pinpoint it, I’d say roughly between birth and the total hysterectomy 12 years ago but, I am just guessing here. Seriously, though, why the hell are we as a society so obsessed with oddly placed sacks of fat hanging off of one gender’s chest? And why did I get sucked into that absurdity? Because, that is what happens when you make a choice to save your life but still want to have some sort of normalcy… and FFS, I just want to be a woman, something I feel like PCOS, being raised as a boy, and an early hysterectomy robbed from me.

 

But, have I been robbed or have I just fallen victim willingly into the societal princess programming that all females are force-fed?! I’d like to think I am no victim let alone a willing one. But, yes I fell into the world’s biggest trap, allowing society to dictate their idea of what a woman is. Funny, I don’t remember signing up for that in my contract. Yet there it is in all its hideousness.

 

My surgeon told me this was a journey. I knew what I was in for, well, I thought I knew what I was in for. But, I was not ready for all of that. I didn’t know that my breasts were directly tied to my emotional core. An explosive core that was clearly ticking and this “journey” was the detonation. That’s what I get for holding on to 40 years of trauma. There has to be a better way to “let it go.” I’ll work on that.

 

So on Tuesday, I’ll be in my surgeon’s office getting the final touches on my breast reconstruction…purple glitter tattoos on my reconstructed nipples. Because why not? A girl should be a girl any way that she sees fit, not forced into being what society tells her she should be. And that is how you become a strong woman!

 

 

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Keeping Abreast of the Situation

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This image is hilariously true & my first 40 have been, by no means, an exception.

Some of you may recall the heartbreak my family and I experienced in February 2011 when my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and then died suddenly in the hospital after 3 days of admittance. It was then that I jumped face first into breast cancer advocacy.

Then October of that year I had my own breast lump scare, which thankfully turned out to be nothing. However, since then I have been going through my own personal hell trying to figure out how not to get this plague. I had yearly mammograms, I spoke with breast specialists, I tried to get family on board to help me with paperwork so that I could get the genetic testing done to find out once and for all if I am predisposed for this horrendous disease. All to no avail or peace of mind for me.

Isn’t that how life seems to go…

So after years of trying to get my emotional well-being in good working order, I took another leap trying to get my physical health under control as well. In doing this, I found a great RN who got me in touch with a great breast cancer specialist at St. Louis University Hospital.

At first, I was freaking out. Because you know it was not that long after the 4th year deathaversary of Jess, and apparently I was not as over it as I had previously thought. So while retelling the story I broke down, I was an absolute train wreck.

Yeah, so not over it…

After consultation, two exams by two different medical professionals, and a box of tissues; the doctor decides that the best course of action would be for me to see a genetic counselor and find out what my risk is and if I should be genetically tested for the breast cancer gene. Then pending the counselor’s decision I could be given a referral for a breast reduction at my 3 month follow-up.

I was incredibly nervous for weeks leading up to the appointment with the counselor. Nervous and me are like ex lovers, a true love/hate relationship, only, I am the one who suffers no matter what.

Ha, another emotional issue I thought I had conquered and left in my past…

Based on what I knew about my family history (not much really, in retrospect) which is full of cancers, the counselor assessed my risk factor for breast cancer.

The counselor assessed me as high risk at 20-40%. Most women have a risk factor of 12%. The counselor then decided that it would be better for the only cancer survivor in my family to have the gene test done and then if she was positive, I could then be tested too.

I had a lot of emotional baggage brought up by the thought of having to contact family that I had decided to stop having contact with.

It took me a few days but I knew what I had to do, and it didn’t involve reconnecting with those toxic people…

I had spent so much time freaking myself out over something that may or may not happen, that I ended up missing the fact that my risk of getting breast cancer is the exact same since my conception. Genetically nothing had changed at all.

The scariest part of life is always the unknowns and even then, what really was I scared of…

The only thing that could change all of this was to have a double mastectomy and that, without the gene test, was off the table. Or so I thought.

Since I am such a high risk, my doctor has given me two choices going forward in my breast health. I can get a breast reduction, which I have been in desperate need of getting for most of my life. In doing this I can relieve a great deal of my back pain and other issues due to having such heavy breasts. I can then get mammograms and MRI’s every 6 months, and annual doctor exams for the rest of my life. This option doesn’t take away any of the risk of getting breast cancer that I already have.

Being 4 weeks short of 40, I am thinking that option sounds like a really long time to be doing all of that. And in my opinion seems more of a cosmetic fix than a preventative measure.

Or I can get a prophylactic double mastectomy and cut my risk factor way down with no more need of mammograms or MRI’s, just an annual visit and exam by my doctor. This option can lower my risk of getting breast cancer immensely.

After sitting for 2 hours waiting for my mammogram results and then discussing it with my husband, it became a lot easier to chose which path was right for me.

Tuesday June 30th I meet with the plastic surgeon to discuss my options but I am fairly confident in the decision I have already made.

I choose…

the prophylactic double mastectomy because they’re only boobs, my life over bags of flesh and fat any day!

Grief Awareness: From One Broken Soul To Another

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Tomorrow is 3 years since my sister, Jessica Rae was suddenly taken from us by the cruel and indiscriminate clutches of cancer at the age of 33. Then 24 hours later, it  is a year since my grandfather passed. How delightfully poetic that his last gift to our exceedingly dysfunctional family, was that he waited to die as not to overwhelm us with double grief or overshadow that already painful day.  It was a definite gesture of love if ever there were one.

The beginning of the year is especially draining on me. I let those emotions flow where they will and then continue in my daily life. Not to say I don’t have other draining days of the year…because I do, several in fact. Nearly every month of the year is scattered with painful losses for me.  But, this time of year is absolutely the hardest.

Losing a loved one {I’m an expert in this…I’ve encountered more than my fair share of death} is a difficult and excruciating part of life. One that nobody wants to speak about lest they become the next victim of loss. Many have no idea how to handle a friend in mourning, let alone  are they aware that grief has no time constraints.  The mere idea that someone could suffer so much from their loved ones end of suffering is not only unfathomable to them it is difficult for them to give loving support to the person grieving.
   
 
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The pain that is commonly accompanied by thoughts of guilt is torturous. There is always questions…ones that can never be answered, not in a person’s lifetime anyway. Questions like… why did this have to happen to them, did I do everything I could to save them, could I have done more, why didn’t I spend more time with them, why…why… WHY???

As unfortunate as it is, there is/was nothing more or different that could alter what transpired. They had to go and we had to stay. This realization doesn’t remove the pain. Nothing completely removes the pain and nothing ever will.

You can choose how the pain affects you though. You can choose to be mindful or you can choose to let the pain consume you.  It’s painful, don’t deny yourself to feel that pain. But don’t let that pain take away from the joyful and beautiful moments happening all around you.

When you need to grieve, do it. Feel the pain from losing them, feel the joy that they gave you while alive… let the emotions come but most importantly let those emotions go. Don’t allow yourself to be swept away into the dark abyss of depression…because the painful truth is, their earthly ties have been undone because their physical job is over. But yours, my dears, is not.

Your work here is still needed. There is a job for you and only you can deliver  it. I know that offers you no comfort…as I sit here teary-eyed over my own losses…I know exactly how little my words soothe that throbbing ache in the pit of your stomach or mends even a fraction of your now irreparably damaged heart. I really truly get it.

Just know that there is no time constraint for grieving. And forgive those who don’t know any better than to say offensive words under the guise of compassion. They know not what they do because they have never been in your shoes.     
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Don’t suffer alone in silence. Feel free to add me on Facebook . Also  “like” the page,  National Grief Awareness Day where you will find others who know how to listen and how to be a friend.  Life is too short to spend it alone in pain. Love, understanding, and compassion can heal us all.     

All photos courtesy of National Grief Awareness Day’s Facebook page. Link provided above. Please support their page. Thank you.     

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Is Pain Robbing You of Happiness?

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It has been a long excruciating year; between the death’s in my family, to the robbery, to the new house…an agonizingly long year.

I made friends and lost friends, found out what is important and what is nothing more than time-consuming f*ckery.

My husband and children have been troopers through this whole ordeal. And let me tell you I have been anything but a wonderful human being. I’ve had meltdowns, tantrums, scream fests, depressive episodes, and moments of divine clarity… I’ve been in indisputable pain.

Just when you think you have a grasp on life, you find out that life isn’t yours to control…you’re just an irrelevant passenger.

Don’t get me wrong, your life belongs to you and you make of it what you will. But, when it comes down to controlling what happens in it, well… you can only control how you react. And my reactions were far beyond spectacular…I should have been a dramatic actress, I had some very award-winning soap-operatic moments, to say the very least {and I am}.  

It’s funny how complicated we make our lives. Every single detail has to be perfect and completely under our control. Why? Because we honestly believe that we have some god-like influence that enables us to change things that we don’t like and turn them into something we desire. But it isn’t about what we want, it’s solely about what we need.

Nobody needs supremacy; we need to learn how to be kind and gentle, loving and supportive. We need to be a far better person than what we expect our family and friends to be.  

We expect all of these ridiculously unreasonable things of others, yet we don’t budge an inch to be better people ourselves. And on top of that, we have the audacity to give hundreds of pathetic excuses as to why we can’t be more than what we already are. Oh yes, we are quite incredible, aren’t we?

So why can’t we be better people? Why are we so demanding of others to be more, but so incredibly fearful of our own impending greatness?

It’s like I once told a friend of mine… “I’m afraid that if the pain is gone I won’t be able to write with such passion anymore.” My pain is why I am passionate… or maybe my passion is why I am in pain. Either way I was in pain.

I enjoyed pain; it was the only thing I knew to be real. It was the only thing that could allow me to stay hidden from happiness and love. It was effortless to blame those that hurt me instead of being responsible for allowing them to continue hurting me.

Pain is addicting, it is a beautiful justification for everything. But pain is self-inflicted…let me clarify that. Emotional pain is self-inflicted. Yes, it initially hurts when someone uses you, or ignores you, or takes advantage of you, or talks bad about you, or tosses you aside like a rag doll. That hurts like hell.

But, it is brief. We hold on to something far longer than we need to. Why do we hold tight to something so insignificant and unworthy? Why do we torture ourselves? Don’t we deserve to be pain-free? Don’t we deserve happiness and love?

We do! We deserve happiness and love…from ourselves. Who cares if some imprudent former friend/family member/stranger hurt us… hurt people hurt people. What they need is forgiveness and time to learn from what they have done. It may not be today or tomorrow or even this lifetime, but they will learn.  

When you grow up in a society of revenge, you can’t possibly expect that the world will wake up one day and just be forgiving. It takes education, experience, and a strong will to grow and learn. It will take better people to teach others how to be better people… learning via example.

That is what I am focusing on, being the person that I want others to be. I’m ready to be pain-free and happy. Will you join me?    

Thank You: A Friendship Day Poem

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To the friends who’ve been here and never leave….thank you.
To the friends who just arrived….thank you.
To the friends that I now grieve….thank you.
To the frenemies I’ve survived…thank you.
To the friends who still believe….thank you.
For the friendships that have been revived….thank you.
Here’s to ALL of you. Happy Friendship Day! ~ InJensMind

Changing Expectations

expectationIt has been a long while since I have posted on my blog, 8 months to be precise. When I chose to take a hiatus from writing, I had a few good reasons. Ok, I had a few horrible excuses.

One of those horrible excuses being… I was distraught. I was disappointed by all the work I had put in to my writing and not scoring a job. What did I expect? A job…with money coming in…paid bills…recognition. It is what every writer expects.

As the months went by and my life took every single U-turn, side road, and dark dirty alley that it could find. I found out several things about myself and other people. I never imagined that I had high expectations. Hell, compared to most people I’ve ever known in my life; my expectations were damn near invisible. But, there they were, in their obnoxiously repugnant glory.

I expected friends to be friends. Friends like I am with people. It never occurred to me that some people have a different view and belief about the meaning of friendship. Facebook taught me that many people don’t even consider strangers to be their friends. That was an alien concept to me. Because a friend can be anyone, and some of the bestest friends you may ever have will turn out to be that unlikely one. The person that you didn’t even think you needed, the shy one in the corner with an occasional glimmer of fun times and tomfoolery. The one who picks you up so you both can stalk their ex in low-cut tops at a bar while he is on a date with some insignificant hussie… YES>>>that one!People

Friends are friends are friends. Until they aren’t…and trust me, lately, I’ve found that many that I thought were…weren’t! The reasons given for breaking a long-standing friendship were asinine, to say the least. Well they were to me anyway. Because, as I said, friends are friends are friends. They are similar to a marriage, without all the fighting. Nothing can get between two friends…or so I believed. But, as with many things in my life…I got educated quickly and painfully on the subject of true friendship.

It seems to me, that when I was a lowly nobody…let me clarify that. When I believed that I was a lowly nobody, I had friends that stuck beside me no matter what. However, when I started believing that I was somebody and even worse, when I began telling them that they are somebody and could do better…well, that was the end of that friendship. This happened repeatedly. Something was clearly wrong here.

The thing about changing, growing, and becoming a better human being, is that it is a lonely road… it is a path that one can only travel alone. You cannot take anyone with you, even though you desperately want to. People cannot be forced into changing. No matter how much you shove your opinion down their throat…I am guilty of that. No matter how many inspirational/motivational photos you share on Facebook…I have done that. No matter how much you try to make them see that the only people who can make them happy are themselves. No matter the extent in which you try to convince them that they are hurting themselves and everyone around them as well. No…you cannot force anyone into changing!

But…I could change me, and I did. I changed how I viewed friends and how to distinguish between real and fake friends. I changed how I allowed others in my life…positive in, negative out. However, the most important change was about expectations. I didn’t lower them and I surely didn’t raise them. I got rid of them entirely. Expecting others to be someone they weren’t or in most cases, couldn’t be was what I had bitched about them doing to me. They were expecting me to shut the hell up and I was expecting them to speak up. They were expecting me to stay the same and I was expecting them to grow up. It was becoming a vicious cycle of why can’t you be more like me and less like you. What the hell? Who had I let myself become?!

I was always angry, sad, depressed, and worried because of the expectations that I had of other people. All of which had nothing to do with me really and everything to do with them. I wanted them to change and become people of their word. They weren’t that. They couldn’t be that. It was an alien concept to them. If only I had let them be who they are.

But, in that lies the problem. Not everyone is supposed to stay in your life. It is just not possible to keep people in your life who no longer mesh with you. I am not saying they ALL have to mesh, that would be boring and nobody could grow that way. However, some people are just too low on the rung of the ladder of life to notice anymore. Not that I am calling them lowly nobodies…because I’m not. I am just saying as you make your climb up the ladder you do not keep looking down and expect to keep going up. You would fall off the ladder and then where would you be? At the bottom, on your back, looking at where you use to be and having to work even harder to get a portion of the way back up there. Nobody wants to fall off the ladder of life…NOBODY!

So release your expectations of other people. Let them be who they are and you be who you are… And if it’s bad for your well-being, then stop looking down the ladder and let them “fall” out of view. You will be happier and they will be happier, the universe will once again be in balance.Happiness

#BlogTagYouAreIt ‘Sometimes I Wish…’

One of the blogging groups I am in is having a blog hop, we are calling it “Blog Tag…You’re It.” For those of you who don’t know what a blog hop is, let me explain. It is several different bloggers blogging on their own blog all about the same topic but done in their own unique ways. Phew! Say that 3 times fast. LOL This specific hop will feature 28 bloggers from around the globe. The essence of what World Wide Web stands for if you ask me. We each will have our own day to post about the topic ‘Sometimes I Wish…’ During this time, one blogger thanks the previous blogger for the introduction to their post and then writes a mini introduction for the blogger who follows them.

So here goes…

A very big thank you to Brenda, who writes at Passionate Pusuits. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and sharing the  blogosphere world with you. Here’s to many more blog hops, posts, and getting to know a variety of bloggers inside and outside the group. You can click here to see her blog hop post on this subject.

Now for the introduction I am to give for our next blogger in line:

Say hello to Sili, who writes at My Mamihood. She writes about her life and the non-stop misadventures of her “Frog Princess”, which is the adorable nickname she uses for her young daughter.

Please take some time (after finishing my post of course) to visit both of these ladies.

Sometimes I Wish…

For somebody, aka me, to publicly acknowledge my wishes, I would first have to believe in them. But, I don’t believe in wishes or wishing for that matter. However, I did…once; a very long time ago when I was an impressionable youngster, back before I knew any better, back before the reality of what my life was hit me like a ton of bricks. It was during a time when wishes and dreams were what young children would thrive on, that is, until they realized either as teenagers or adults that wishes just don’t come true, no matter how much you wish on them or pray for them, beg, scream, plead, cry, or fuss about them, no matter how many times the people at Disney tell you they do… They just don’t come true!

I was approximately 5-years-old when I would lay in bed and stare at the night sky, wishing on the bright stars that illuminated my room. I was just as much a raging insomniac back then as I am now. (No doubt due to the volatile lifestyle I lived from a super-young age.) I even tossed several wishes to the man in the moon for good measure, then patiently awaited the entire night for somebody/anybody to magically swoop in and rescue me. I have yet to stop staring at the night sky (or learned how to fall asleep when the rest of the world does) but, I have stopped sending wishes out there, and I have most certainly stopped waiting for someone to ride in on their white horse and rescue me.

  • I wish my daddy and mommy didn’t fight so much.
  • I wish my daddy loved me.
  • I wish that “they” hadn’t touched me like that.
  • I wish those touching’s would stop happening.
  • I wish I could stay out of the principal’s office for fighting.
  • I wish people would just leave me alone.
  • I wish people would stop touching me. Why do they keep touching me?
  • I wish my mommy would come and pick me up more often.
  • I wish I could play outside with the other kids and not have to be in bed while the sun is still out.
  • I wish I didn’t have to sit in the corner so long every day.
  • I wish my step-mom loved me.
  • I wish I wasn’t hated so much by my daddy and step-mom.
  • I wish my mommy hadn’t moved so far away. Does she hate me now too?
  • I wish I didn’t have to sit behind furniture when we visited with family and friends.
  • I wish I could play with my cousins.
  • I wish my grandma didn’t get drunk and push my grandfather into the bookcase.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t get drunk and pass out in the truck.
  • I wish I didn’t know about alcoholism and its effects.
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t take out her insecurities about my mommy on me.
  • I wish my daddy would stop talking bad about my mommy.
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t talk badly about my mommy.
  • I wish I wasn’t talked about badly to my face.
  • I wish I could be loved like my little sister.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t move us so far away when my mommy moved back to town.
  • I wish I could see my baby brother every day.
  • I wish I didn’t have to see a school counselor for “my problems.”
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t take away things my mommy and grandma bought for me.
  • I wish I didn’t cry so hard every time I came back home to my daddy’s house.
  • I wish I didn’t get punished for vomiting after I cried so hard.
  • I wish I didn’t know what soap tastes like.
  • I wish my daddy and step-mom didn’t use a thick wooden paddle with holes drilled in it on me.
  • I wish I could sit down.
  • I wish I didn’t have to show the friend of the court my butt and all the still purple welts that hadn’t yet gone away after several weeks.
  • I wish somebody would help me.
  • I wish somebody would listen.
  • I wish the counselor would stop asking other types of social workers, guidance people, therapists, and groups to talk to me. Every time they give me a card or tell me how my life should be I am punished more severely.
  • I wish my school counselor didn’t call my step-mom and tell her everything I had confided in her.
  • I wish I didn’t get punished so much.
  • I wish I could go to friends’ houses and not always be grounded.
  • I wish I had friends who I could talk to.
  • I wish my “big sisters” in the sister program would do more with me.
  • I wish my “big sister” didn’t move away.
  • I wish I didn’t cry myself to sleep every night.
  • I wish I could fall asleep.
  • I wish I could stay asleep.
  • I wish I didn’t hear and see things in the dark.
  • I wish I wasn’t called crazy for seeing dead people.
  • I wish my step-mom didn’t force me to stand in a red ant hill while she yelled at me.
  • I wish the pain would go away.
  • I wish my grandfather who protected me as best as he could didn’t die.
  • I wish I died.
  • I wish I didn’t know what pain is.
  • I wish I didn’t bleed all over my clothes.
  • I wish my belongings didn’t get take away.
  • I wish someone would stand up for me.
  • I wish someone would save me.
  • I wish my sister would stop doing things that I get punished for.
  • I wish I didn’t have to come home.
  • I wish I didn’t go to school.
  • I wish I didn’t live in a small town.
  • I wish people would understand me.
  • I wish they’d all stop making fun of me.
  • I wish I could have long hair.
  • I wish I could wear new girl’s clothes.
  • I wish I wasn’t such a disappointment.
  • I wish I knew what I did wrong.
  • I wish I knew why I was born.
  • I wish I were never born.
  • I wish my mommy would come and pick us up on her weeks.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t tell me he doesn’t think I am his.
  • I wish he’d stop throwing things at my head.
  • I wish he’d stop hitting me.
  • I wish they’d stop touching me.
  • I wish I could get out of here.
  • I wish I had somewhere to go.
  • I wish someone would see the truth.
  • I wish they’d stop lying and calling me the liar.
  • I wish I wasn’t “a good for nothing whore, like your mother.”
  • I wish I knew what a whore was.
  • I wish they’d stop humiliating me.
  • I wish they’d stop degrading me.
  • I wish they’d stop strip searching me.
  • I WISH THEY’D STOP TOUCHING ME!
  • I wish I had money.
  • I wish my money from my job would be mine.
  • I wish I didn’t have to drive such an ugly car.
  • I wish I could drive when I wanted to.
  • I wish I didn’t have to go to the vocational school they chose.
  • I wish I didn’t have to be what they wanted.
  • I wish I knew how to make it all stop.
  • I wish my mind could rest.
  • I wish I could concentrate.
  • I wish I wasn’t scared.
  • I wish there was an end in sight.
  • I wish I had a better life.
  • I wish I could run away and never come back.
  • I wish they’d just finish me off and kill me once and for all already.
  • I wish someone else would stand up for me besides just me alone.
  • I wish they’d stop pretending that they are good and decent people.
  • I wish I didn’t have to send mean letters to my mom on behalf of my daddy and step-mom’s feelings.
  • I wish I didn’t have to have someone read my letters before I could read them.
  • I wish I didn’t have to start another diary again and again and again because my step-mom reads it and can’t face the truth so she takes it away and rips them up.
  • I wish I didn’t have gifts other people gave me taken away and given to my sister or thrown away.
  • I wish I didn’t have to be responsible.
  • I wish I didn’t have to be the oldest.
  • I wish my daddy didn’t spank me so hard that I flew from the living room into the kitchen.
  • I wish I could be a child.
  • I wish I didn’t have to stand in the corner for hours on end with my arms straight in the air.
  • I wish I knew how to get to my mommy’s house when daddy yelled and told me “if you want your mother walk to her house.”
  • I wish I didn’t get left on the front porch in the trailer park at 5 years old all by myself while my daddy and step-mom and sister went to visit with friends, because I didn’t know the way to mommy’s house.
  • I wish I could remember what my real name is. I haven’t heard it in so long.
  • I wish my life wasn’t so dysfunctional.
  • I wish there were no more secrets.
  • I wish I knew what love is.
  • I wish I knew what it feels like to be unconditionally loved.
  • I wish I were someone else, anyone but me.
  • I wish I could forget.
  • I wish I wasn’t permanently scarred and disfigured.
  • I wish I didn’t torture myself as much as they torture me.
  • I wish they’d stop forcing me to kiss and hug them good night and stop forcing me to tell them I love them after everything they did that day.
  • I wish I could stop hurting.
  • I wish there was a God.
  • I wish I didn’t live in Hell.
  • I wish someone could see what is happening.
  • I wish I could have chosen to give away my virginity.
  • I wish an apology was enough.
  • I wish I wasn’t “troubled.”
  • I wish I could stop crying.
  • I wish I could forgive.
  • I wish I understood why they say they forgive but keep bringing old things up.
  • I wish they’d get a different punching bag.
  • I wish it would end.
  • I wish I were intelligent.
  • I wish those who weren’t there would stop acting like they know.
  • I wish I could forget as easily as they all do.
  • I wish they didn’t control me.
  • I wish I could be me.
  • I wish being myself was enough.
  • I wish I were free.
  • I wish… I wish… I wish… I wish… I wish… I wish…
  • I wish I didn’t need to wish anymore…

14 years’ worth of child wishes and countless more things that had been wished and were never fulfilled, never answered, never my salvation. Star wishes, birthday wishes, prayers to God, pleas to anyone who had the power to do something… all fell on deaf ears and ignored by blind eyes.  A child who wished for death because it was the only way that she knew of, that would make it all end. A child who cut her wrists at 12-years-old because she didn’t know how she was going to go on after the death of her grandfather, her rock, her only love. The only one who could see the truth, her truth. A child who clearly grew up long before a child should ever have to.

It would be another 16 years after her 14 year sentence in Hell, before that child/adult would figure out that making wishes, dreaming, praying, and asking for help were all an enormous waste of her  time. One thing she had learned all to well, was that nobody could undo what had been done and even if they could nobody would be willing to switch places with her and take on what she had.

Those 16 additional years they had stolen from her, enslaving her within her own mind. When she wasn’t trying to shield herself and her children from their newest ongoing attacks via telephone, she was visualizing moment after moment in her head, replaying them in her dreams, like a never-ending horror movie, secretly hoping for a different ending, a happy ending. Trying to fill in the cracks whilst new ones were continuously added. Attempting to raise her two children differently than she had been raised, giving them everything she never had. Protecting her children from the vicious spiteful words that the so-called family were trying to pass down to them as if it were the family Bible. Hoping that the man she married who held a strong character resemblance to her father, would not pick up where her father and step-mom left off and continue to violate her tortured and nearly broken spirit. Several times in her life, wishes could have been the way to go, but her mind was so infected by the past she didn’t even consider wishing for her children not to suffer along with their mother. (Or a million other things that the Universe relentlessly pummeled her and her children with.) It never even entered her mind, not because she didn’t believe in wishes anymore (which she didn’t) but, because she was fighting a life vs. death battle inside. Deep inside herself, where there was only going to be one survivor and one alone. Would she come out alive and capable of being a competent mother, wife, human being? Or would she remain trapped inside herself, waiting for that final blow that would finish her off for good?

Then surprisingly without any warning whatsoever, the inconceivable happened and she lost her younger sister to cancer. She was no stranger to death or to cancer for that matter but, losing her sister suddenly did something that no other death could do. It was at that precise moment when the prison door she had been locked behind for most of her life, swung wide open and she walked out of the solitary confinement where she had awaited her death sentence. A light as bright and warm as the sun encased her and she was finally free…free of them, their actions, their words, their evilness, their lies, their prejudices. But wait… she was the one who had allowed them to torture her for over 30 years, even though they had not been a part of her physical life in more than half that time. They only had power over her because she allowed them to have it and use it as they wished. She had allowed the past to be her focus, which held her stagnant in a place where she couldn’t move towards the future let alone appreciate the now. So, she took back the control and freed herself; she freed her past, she freed her mind, she freed her spirit, she freed her future, and she flew away freely with the knowledge and tools that would never allow her to be imprisoned by anyone ever again!

✓ “I wish it would end.”

✓ “I wish I was intelligent.”

✓ “I wish they didn’t control me.”

✓ “I wish I could be me.”

✓ “I wish being myself was enough.”

✓ “I wish I were free.”

✓ “I wish I didn’t need to wish anymore…”

So ok… maybe some times wishes do come true. However, simply wishing for something to happen isn’t going to make it happen. Time, actions, and choices make things happen not the “magical powers” of the wish itself. I don’t need to wish anymore because I’m living in the present. I don’t want to change my past, for if my wishes had come true at that precise moment that I had wished them I wouldn’t be who I am today. I don’t know about you but, I like the person I am today, and I know I will continue to like me even more as time goes by. Something that the young me couldn’t, wouldn’t, and didn’t do.  So thank you for rejecting my wishes so I could be a strong fighter and survivor, outspoken and an activist, a better person than I or anyone else could have dreamed of. Thank you for allowing me to find my path in my own time that ultimately broke the cycle of abuse, violence, alcoholism, blame, inability to grow or move forward, and neglect that plagued my entire family for generations upon generations. Thank you for teaching me lessons that can never be unlearned. All of which allowed me to be here right now telling  showing you… becoming the living proof that anyone can overcome their past and transform into something more than they could have imagined. Wishing is short-sighted, if your wishes came true you wouldn’t learn anything. You wouldn’t be able to keep the knowledge you were taught. You wouldn’t have lived fully. You wouldn’t be able to grow and you most certainly wouldn’t be free. So give your life the time, chance, and education that it needs to grow into something miraculous.

Countdown To The Breaking Point

As I laid in a zombified, neither asleep nor awake state, in my bed this morning, thoughts racing, I had a realization that I may have never come to had it not been for the events that have taken place  in the last year and a half. The universe’s sole responsibility is to continuously batter human beings with loads of things they can barely handle emotionally, mentally, and physically until they reach their breaking point. It’s kind of like that place called Hell that so many speak of.

Several times I have just nearly escaped being irreversibly imprisoned by my own looming breaking point. I have stood on the edge of it, teetering back n’ forth, just waiting for the universe to give me that final kick in my ass that throws me over. I have come to the conclusion that there are only a handful of people left in my life that matter to me to the point where I very well could end up losing my mind completely and forever. Not to say that I don’t love each and every person in my life with all my being, it just means that the last bit of strength that I possess is only enough for that final  handful of people. There are 7 people left before I reach my permanent breaking point and depending on the order in which I lose them, it could be a full 7 or it could be just 1.

After getting the phone call from my grandfather last night I knew how flimsily my sanity hung in the balance. Hell, I knew before we even concluded our conversation, and I’m pretty sure both of my grandparents had a damn good idea of it as well. Thanks to the sudden death of my sister, I will forever be tainted and paranoid by the words, “____ is in the hospital.” Name any of those 7 people and my heart is beating out of my chest, my thoughts begin racing more than usual, and paranoia becomes the desert of the day. Well, it just so happens one of those people were named in that very phone call late last night, my mom. You could pinpoint the precise moment when I lost it, it was the moment when my voice cracked and I began cursing like a sailor on the phone to my grandfather who has been known  to tell all of us women, “Don’t use those 4 letter words. Ladies don’t speak like that.” Well F@&* THAT, I am well aware that a lady I am not. I am also aware that I am probably the last person in my family who can curse in my soprano cracking emotionally charged voice and also be the voice of reason and motivation at the same time.  It’s a gift.

The good news is after speaking to my mom last night, I was more at ease and relatively optimistic. However,  I fell asleep and while I was tossing and turning per my usual nightly ritual, my subconscious revealed things to me that my conscious mind was unable to speak openly about. My dreams were pummeled time and time again with my sister and my twin nephews. All of the bullshit that has been going on since my sister’s death has built up inside of me to the point where I can no longer function on the same level I was functioning at just a few months after her death. When she died I had my writing and I buried myself in that. Then there were mountains of things piled on top of that, from the boyfriend who up and gave his parents custody of my nephews secretly, to the middle men who are keeping my mother and grandparents from fully bonding with the boys, who by the way just turned 2 years old in August.  All these things that I have been forbidden to speak about openly, so that the saintly (hmmph) boyfriend’s family don’t get pissed off and just up and deny visitation completely to my family. This, is the moment when I say… if I had money and a gun!!!

OK…Clearly, I am joking about the gun part. Killing someone for being a thorn in my side is NOT how I do things. And we all know how easily my words get twisted around by the exact same people who I’ve spent years protecting. That alone is some kind of nightmarish form of Hell in its own right. I digress…But, yea…I don’t have money and I am helpless at the moment to do anything about these things. I ache deep down inside of my soul for my nephews and let’s not even go into details about my nieces. Let’s not even bring up how pathetic I feel to have such a loud, strong, and proud voice and to have it be hushed for the sake of family. I am reaching critical mass. It is not long before I reach that breaking point. I just want to do what is right and like all people who fight for rights I am faced with what CAN be done and what SHOULD be done. Those two things are clearly not the same thing.

As for my mom, hopefully she will be released in the next day or two. Then I can start breathing again and go back to waiting. Waiting for the universe’s final blow to my backside while I am not looking… that unavoidable breaking point. And so begins… The Countdown!

Get To Know Me

 

Copyright: InJensMind 8/16/2012

There have been many people lately, who have expressed an interest in getting to know me better. So yesterday on Facebook, I announced that I will be doing a special blog post. In the post, I will be disclosing the things that you all really want to know about.  Anything that you’d like to know about me, now is the time to ask.

Here’s how you will be involved:

  1. You are allowed to ask me up to 3 questions. These questions can be personal or about my writing, you choose.
  2. I will be connecting your questions with your names, social networks, and blog url’s. Please include all the links you would like promoted in with your question.

This is an excellent and free opportunity for you to get to know me and to promote your blog, YouTube channel, fanpages, etc…

If by chance you are more of a shy type and really want to ask something but, you don’t want the world-wide web to know it was you who asked, simply tell me when you send me your question and your name will be withheld.

Now for the details:

  • You can contact me via Facebook, just send me a private message. (you can do this without being my friend if you’d like) Click here.
  • Or you can email me directly at injensmind@gmail.com
  • Or even still, you can use the contact button on my Facebook fanpage.

 

All that I ask for in exchange is, if you participate in this by asking a question, that you go and “like” my Facebook page, For Jen’s Sake. That way you will be notified when I answer your question. Simple enough, huh…

I look forward to all of your questions and hope you all have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

 

Becoming Free Thinkers In A Society Of Sheeple

 

Zazzle bumper sticker

In a society of Sheeple, we spend more than 90% of our lives doing what we are told. We follow because we are taught to follow, not to lead. No matter what we decide to do with our lives, we will always have someone who is telling us what to do, when to do it, why we need to do it, how to do it, and where we should be doing it.

We are taught from the moment we can talk until we start Kindergarten, that asking questions is the best way to learn about something that we do not know. At some point while we are in school, that awareness changes from it’s ok to ask into shut up, sit down, do as I tell you, and stop asking questions. It becomes the life-long version of; “Because I say so, that’s why.”

 
Every parent dreams of having a unique child, right up until that precise moment when the teacher sits you down and explains that your child just won’t behave like the other children. You are told that your child will never be able to function in a healthy society when they are adults because they cannot seem to follow along like the other children do. You are then advised to get your child checked out by a medical professional to be medicated for the mental defect your child has that keeps them from doing as everyone else does. With or without a medical diagnosis or pharmaceutical medication; your child is now officially labeled as “different”, “unable to follow simple directions”, a “trouble-maker”, “difficult”, “learning impaired”, and “unteachable.”

I know this scenario very well from my own childhood. I could never really follow along with what everyone else was doing. The teachers always said that I had potential but, that I was basically a dreamer. They insisted that I will never accomplish anything worthwhile, because I just couldn’t do what I was told to do. My father’s word for that was, “stupid”. He didn’t realize, much like the teachers who were trying to teach me, that I wasn’t a follower. I couldn’t learn like the others because some of what they were teaching me I knew was bullshit. Some of what was being taught wasn’t advanced enough and I got bored easily because of it. And some of what was going on had to do with the terrorism I was experiencing at home on a daily basis. In other words, for me to be able to succeed in learning I needed to be taught the things I didn’t know by someone who was willing to learn what they didn’t know from me.

 

When I had my own children I did what every other parent does, enrolled them in a public school. My daughter started in Kindergarten and my son started in Pre-school. I was the epitome of school-mom. I drove them to school and picked them up every day, from the exact moment my daughter got bullied on the bus by a much bigger and older girl who wouldn’t be reprimanded by the school or bus driver because well… there was no way the driver could possibly watch the road and see the bullying that was going on, so it never happened. I went up to the school every day at lunch to eat with my children and their friends. I participated in all field trips and events pertaining to the education of my children. I sent snacks for their classes, hand-made snacks… that was allowed in that school, not like in so many others these days. I helped my children with homework every single night before bed. I worked just as hard if not harder in school as my own children did.

It didn’t take long to find out that my daughter had a reading problem because she had a seeing problem. From birth she had an eye that is blind. (Now they know it to be astigmatism, lazy, a congenital cataract, smaller jagged pupil along with the blindness.) Everything she “sees” from that eye is too blurry to really make anything out. So after eye exams, she got glasses. The glasses did nothing to help her reading problem though, so she was enrolled in a special class to help her with reading. Yet, Kindergarten through 2nd grade she struggled to read. Come to find out, right before we moved out of that school district, that her reading teacher was a nasty ogre of a woman who enjoyed bullying children by yelling at them for not being able to read. When I brought this to the attention of the principal and the teacher herself, they decided to go down the road that I was a bad parent because my daughter had missed several days of school that year. Why did she miss several days? Because she had recurrent bouts of tonsillitis which eventually led to the doctor removing her tonsils. Every single absence my children had were excused, since I had the medical documents to prove it. But, when it came down to the wrong doing, the school preferred to blame someone else instead of addressing the real issue, a teacher who doesn’t belong teaching.

This did not deter me though, because I still had faith in the school system. After all, I went to school and I graduated from school. It is what everyone does, right? It wasn’t until we moved to another state and both of my children were diagnosed with disabilities did another issue come up. We were new to the area and new to these illnesses my kids were diagnosed with (just finding out my daughter had Hashimoto’s and my son was moderately/severely deaf) and therefore we needed to have them seen by specialists. Well, needless to say to any parent who has dealt with a disabled child, seeing specialists in a Children’s Hospital is a very time-consuming event. And since these hospital’s see an entire city’s worth if not state’s worth of children, the appointments are limited and you go when they tell you or you don’t get seen period.

Once again I found myself being harassed and blamed by a school official for my children’s absences. Although there I stood with doctor documentation in my hands, I was still threatened and bullied by someone who I am supposed to trust to teach my children. I had had quite enough of that after only 2 months of them being in school, and considered homeschooling. While in the local library researching the state laws on homeschooling, I ran into a woman who homeschools and wrote a book. It was a sign! After speaking with her, my mind was made up and my children were pulled out of public school the following Monday by certified letter.

It took less than a year for me to find out that my children and I were not the “schooling” kind. And the longer I chose to teach my children in my home, the more my family, who was not living anywhere nearby to us nor knew anything about what we were doing or going through, worried. Why? Not so much because I wasn’t a licensed teacher, although that did come up occasionally, but because it was not the way that the world expects you to do things. I was stepping far outside of the norm and that scared the Hell out of them. However, the more I researched, read, and practiced this “unusual” way of learning; the more I found out that we were not a homeschooling family but actually what is known as an unschooling family. My beliefs about how a person learns, fell into the unschooling category perfectly, unlike the more religious reasons most homeschoolers have. So instead of forcing my children to learn subjects by grade level or solely what I believed in, we starting turning everything in our daily lives into a learning experience.

The more I unschooled my children and myself, the more we thrived in learning and as a family. In aiming to teach my children, I have been taught. We learn everything that we’ve always wanted to learn and we do it together, each one of us interchanging between student and teacher. We don’t believe that you can only learn certain things at a certain age. If we want to know about something, we learn about it. There are no whines, complaints, or not doing of the work because it isn’t work and it isn’t school… it is life, our life, and not one second of it is wasted. Every single moment of every single day spent learning freely without restrictions and timetables. Learning all that the world and life has to offer us by becoming free thinkers in a society of Sheeple.

After The Storm Passes

Google Image. Vinyl designs by CJ

My last post really had several people concerned. I appreciate the comments and the messages and those of you who basically got a slap in the face wake-up call with that post.

I assure you all though that I am fine, the kids are fine, and my dogs and husband are all fine. No pun intended. Seriously, unlike my last post states we really are fine.

 

This isn’t the first time that some of you have seen me fly off the handle like I did yesterday. In fact, many of you who have known me for some time now, know all too well how hot-tempered I can be. And although I was angry when I wrote the post I assure you, I have had time to calm down and work through those overwhelming feelings and emotions.

 

I also want to say that, unfortunately anger is an emotion that must be expressed on occasion or it will do more damage later on to others and ones own self. It is a very explosive and extremely volatile emotion and as you all know, it had built up like a pressure cooker inside of me. If I hadn’t closed the lid so tightly and let some of the steam escape occasionally, I may have been able to stay calmer and have kept a cooler more level head instead of blowing up like an atom bomb.

 

The post I wrote, wasn’t meant to upset those who really do care and check in on me frequently. It wasn’t aimed at any one person specifically. In a nutshell, it was directed at society as a whole. It was a “Wake the fuck up people you aren’t the only ones struggling!” type of message. Which I admit, I most certainly could have portrayed my feelings in a less demanding and ignorant manner.

 

We have become a society of immensely selfish people. We allow our lives to be entirely consumed with so much trivial bullshit that we cannot possibly think of anyone else and how their lives may be turning out for them. We quickly jump from one thing to the next without stopping and realizing that even though we have moved on from the sadness and empathy we had once felt for a friend, that maybe they were still not over the thing that they had went through. (Example: my sister’s death and my family’s health and financial situation.) We are so quick to forget about our grieving friends feelings and if they don’t constantly remind us about their situation, it slips to the back of our minds. The more time that passes the more we believe they are no longer hurting and it not only shocks us but often time annoys us that they haven’t “moved on” yet. But, that is not how some of us see it and those of us who are on the receiving end often times get angry because our friends have left us stuck in time when they swore they’d always be there. We feel abandoned and neglected. As time continues to pass, we often feel alone because the world just kept on spinning while we stood there dizzy in need of assistance. We don’t want to ask for help because we don’t want to be a bother to anyone and we get angry because no one ever needed to ask us for help we just did it. It becomes a vicious cycle that many don’t break until after they have lost many people from their lives. And even then it may still  continue.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty as everyone else. As I was writing my last post I knew exactly what it was I was saying, feeling, and projecting. I also know it came off very childish in a whole temper-tantrum sort of way. I was screaming for attention and oh boy did I get it.

 

But not only in the ways you might imagine. Letting all of that anger and emotion out really helped me to see things in a different light. I realized after writing it that I am not the same person I was before as I thought I was in my post. I’m really not that depressed, weak-minded, angry person anymore. I know you are shaking your head at me, like wtf is she talking about…the post was full of depression, anger and weakness.

 

Yes, it surely was. I thought it was all that built up stuff coming out and once I could calm down enough to reflect I realized how much of the past 7 months were actually anything but anger, depression and weakness on my part. Regardless if I was truly feeling and dealing with the emotions or just flitting back and forth between them, I did have many more happy and content days than I did depressed and angry days.

 

I have gone through a lot in the last year and a half and my writing reflects that. I know I don’t need to tell any of you who have been by my side throughout it all. What I learned in this experience was that I can no longer hold things in and just wait hoping they go away. I also learned that I have a good handful of online people, be it family or friends, who support me more than I was aware of or wanted to admit. Also, that I am a writer and as such I have to write. It doesn’t matter if I am a paid writer or if I am nothing more than a blogger with a never realized dream… I HAVE TO WRITE! So, the best thing for me to do is give you all smaller doses of my mind more frequently, instead of bombarding the world with larger doses all at once like I did yesterday. Not only is it better for all of you it is better for me too.

 

So thank you all for bearing with me through my ups and downs. Thank you for reaching out to me and letting me know you care. And above all, thank you for always allowing me to be who I am, even when I am not on my bestest behavior.  Nothing in this world feels better than the love I have felt in the last couple of days from those of you who prefer me just the way I am. I can now move on with my head held higher just knowing that I do indeed have  several shoulders to lean on if I just reach out for them.

 

Oh and before I end this, I’d like to give a special shoutout to my new readers and followers. Thank you for joining me on what was a very difficult day in my life. I hope you stick around and continue to ride with me on this crazy ride that is my life.

I’m Fine. Really.

One misconception people have of me is that I don’t pull any punches when it comes to verbalizing the way that I feel. I say many things that others wouldn’t say, that is true. But, I do pull punches, I do censor myself, I do internalize a lot of how I feel until it’s been pushed far enough down where I can go out in public again and not be an utterly incomprehensible asshole… so to speak.

 

But, because I do this I end up feeling more stressed out than I should. And right now I am in Stressville eating from the Stress Buffet and praying that nobody says a fucking word to me for fear that I may completely lose my mind, my temper, and my lunch! However, since so many really want to know what is on my mind… let me break it down for you.

 

I’m freaked out. I didn’t expect to fall back into a depression. I didn’t expect to go from being an optimist who helped others rise up into the light, to just rapidly decline back into what it was I had fought so hard to get out of the beginning of last year… a dark abyss of nothingness and despair.

 

Last year; despite everything that happened,  I was optimistic. I was hopeful. I was happy. My happiness hasn’t entirely been depleted yet but my optimism and my hopefulness have just about been sucked right the hell out of me.

 

I had pushed through grieving my sister rapidly, choosing to bury myself in writing instead of dealing with that whole ordeal. Then there was the family and friends I lost. I shook that off and kept on my journey, never looking back. Then in October, there was my breast issue. Again, I picked up the pieces and ran off towards my vision.

 

Despite all I had gone through in a short period of time, my descent didn’t officially begin until the week of New Year’s Eve when I spent 3 days in the hospital with my daughter. She was very ill and it was then when I began to notice how very mentally exhausted I was. It was when I had time to really think about life and death and everything in between. I had a chance to slow down enough to realize what was going on with me. And of course, I was worried out of my mind about losing my daughter.

 

Everything I had went through had all managed to catch up with me and it had multiplied into something that I clearly wasn’t prepared for or capable of handling. And I’m sorry to say it has cracked me in a way that nothing else ever could.

 

I had aspirations, dreams, goals… I thought every post I wrote on Yahoo, Technorati, my blog, and guest posts were leading me to being a paid writer. I seriously believed for a good minute there that I was talented enough to make it. But, talent doesn’t pay bills when there isn’t enough work experience to get you a job. And I just don’t have that experience and now I’m afraid I don’t have that drive anymore either.

 

I cracked beyond repair at the beginning of the year when I got paid for my hard work from Yahoo. They paid me a whole $1.42 for the 8 articles I had written. My friends told me not to let payment determine my worth as a writer. But, as much as I wanted to believe them I couldn’t get past my husband’s laughter about how even Yahoo thought I was a bad writer.

 

I know, I know… I shouldn’t put so much value into words. But I am supposed to be a writer and writers use words and words are supposed to mean something very important, if they didn’t what would we need writers for?

 

The more I focused on those words the more depressed I became and my blog posts dropped off to maybe one or two a month. Because at this point who really cares if I write or if I don’t? I know I surely don’t.

 

I tried to stay strong. I made it through my sister’s deathaversary. But, more and more things began to bother me. My kids had countless doctor appointments going on and those brought up old feelings about why they were disabled. Then my husband ended up in the hospital for heart palpitations because he was completely irresponsible and drank 3 energy drinks in one freaking day. And financial issues kept resurfacing. Not enough money and too many bills, not enough food and too many mouths, not enough work and a vehicle that kept breaking down…

 

And through this all, I smiled and laughed and kept pushing it all further and further down. I kept pretending it was all ok. I kept insisting that I was strong enough to handle it all and everyone else’s problems too. I didn’t want to bother anyone with my problems but I took on their problems. I didn’t want to fall back into the type of person who feels bad for what is happening in their life when so many have it worse. And I know there are many out there worse off than I. Truth is though… it has been pretty bad for my family too, and the people around me have really pissed me off.

 

I have kept as much of my emotions and feelings to myself as I could throughout this entire year. I looked on the bright side as much as I could. But, all of these people with their bullshit and their “woe is me” and their “oh if only I had this”… They don’t even realize how much better they have it than my family does right now at this moment and how badly I wanted to tell them to their face. But, I didn’t and I haven’t and now I’m becoming one of them by complaining. Uff! But, I don’t care because I need to let it all out so…

 

My car died just about 4 years ago. There are no roadtrips, no vacations, no going out…I only get outside of the house when I grocery shop, which is at night once a month or less, or when the kids go to the doctor, or when one of us ends up in the hospital, or once a summer for the Festival of Nations… oh and last week we got a special trip to the Science Center. Wooo, one extra day this year that we haven’t had in 4 fucking years. My friends have either removed themselves from my life or don’t have time or live too far or don’t care or whatever they have going on. I live in a bad neighborhood. And I do mean bad, so it’s not like my kids and I can just go a-walkin’ outside and enjoy the scenery. Noooo, we get to sit inside and wait… Wait for the day when my husband (who is never home except to sleep a few hours) to have enough money to do things with us or let us go out and do things. Because to him money means power and respect and love, I guess. So because I have none to offer him I am not top priority.

 

Speaking of money, I haven’t been shopping in 4 years. I haven’t had new clothes in 4 years. I am lucky to go out to eat 4 times a year, my kids birthday’s, mine (if my husband feels like being nice to me that day) and my husband’s. (sometimes) Grocery shopping is a nightmare, I never have enough money to buy things I’d like to make, so we stick to simple and cheap recipes. Here’s another little thing that has me on edge. I quit smoking in October and not only do I now have more issues breathing but, I gained 30 pounds as well. Isn’t that great???!!! Who knew that smoking was actually de-stressing me? I guess I do now, huh…

 

Oh and while we are on stressing about weight, here’s something that keeps me awake at night. My son’s doctors are harassing me because my son isn’t at a normal weight for his age. I’ve done all I can to get my son to lose the weight; changed his diet, put him on an exercise plan. But, despite my efforts he just doesn’t understand that if he doesn’t lose the weight the state will take him away from us. How do you like that? My husband who also was told to drop weight, refuses to listen and continues to buy foods that shouldn’t be in the house. And me? Well I can’t do shit about it, short of divorcing him and moving to Alaska, or stay up all night and day guarding the refrigerator. Because lord knows I am already not sleeping anyway so why even bother trying anymore.

 

My husband and I are nothing more than roommates now. He is on the couch and I am in the bed with my daughter who hasn’t left my side since I was in the hospital in Oct. Apparently, the idea of losing me scared her so deeply that she cannot be away for me more than 5 minutes at a time since then. I spent my whole life protecting my children from the scary things in life and my daughter ends up worrying about me. That screws with me more than I can explain.

 

And as if there wasn’t enough going on, my husband had the bright idea to bring home another dog. Only this dog has major issues from being abused when she was a puppy. Now she is over a year old and still paranoid, still barks at my husband who clearly she doesn’t like, she still sleeps near me, lays on me because I am her salvation. She isn’t training at all for me. I’m losing my mind over this dog because I don’t know how to help her. She just won’t leave my side for anything. And clearly I am selfish and an asshole for wanting some space and time alone.

 

So here is the final kicker. My 9 year old pitbull, Rosko has been sick. I’m worried this could be the last of his life. My husband being the person he is may or may not take him to the Vet. And if the Vet suggests a treatment that we can’t afford well I get to sit there again with one of my babies in my arms and watch him die.

 

I am stressed beyond the imagination and meaning of the word. Yet, I get to sign on to my social networks, where I go to get adult conversations (that I don’t get from my husband or anyone else in my day to day offline life) and to clear my mind of all the shit going on in my life for a brief time… and I get to see half of the people on there complaining about how “bad” they have it. OMFG, really???!!!! Ugh. And if I say something about how shitty I feel well then I get to be told how dramatic I am being and bla bla bla… Because if things were so bad for me I’d have posted it so they’d all know, right???

 

So I drop to my knees throw my hands up towards the stars and scream, “WHY ME???” And the answer comes back…Because this is my great fucking life. This is the part of my life I don’t talk about, the part that my enemies love, and my friends ignore. The part that keeps me awake at night in tears. So please, if you would can you tell me once again how bad your life is going for you?  Because I’m fine. Really. Aren’t I always?

C’mon Baby Light My Grass On Fire

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As the 4th of July rapidly approaches, I sit here and reminisce about our country’s Independence Day and the memories I have from when I was a child.

From the age of 8 years old, until I was almost 19; I lived in a very small town in the upper part of Michigan, not to be confused with the Upper Peninsula. I don’t remember doing a lot of things on the national holiday at my father’s house in that small town. Most years, crowds of people would flock to the Ausable River where they could see the little city’s puny fireworks show. As a child any and all fireworks shows look amazing and produce the signature ooh’s and ahh’s.

It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s and living in Las Vegas did I realize the true beauty of huge firework displays. Whereas most of the entire city flocked to ‘The Strip’ and ‘Fremont Street’, I had small children and it was too much of a hassle to battle overly drunken crowds of that magnitude. Fortunately, for my kids and I, there were plenty of places off the beaten path where we could catch those giant, colorful, gloriously booming stimuli in the night sky.

Still, watching those magnificent displays of our nation’s pride and joy couldn’t be trumped by one specific childhood memory I have of long ago.

It was summer, a hot and sticky, worst drought ever, Michigan heat wave. My younger sister Jessica and I were at our mom’s house in Mt. Morris for our summer vacation. Mom was always on the go, so for the most part we spent much of our vacation days at one of her friends’ houses. This particular 4th of July was no different.

She took us over to one of her good friends, Fred’s house. This had to have been maybe my second time at his house. There were many adults and some kids, three being my 2 siblings and I. Of course, the kids were anxious and restless from anticipation. I mean… Really, what kid doesn’t love lively fiery objects that go boom? But, the damn drought had rained on our parade, washing away all of our little hopes and dreams.

A  severe drought that summer had everyone in the city under advisement to not set off fireworks of any kind. The odds of starting a major uncontrollable fire were far too high of a risk warned the city officials.

However, Fred being the greatest and most genial of all the adults, tells us that if he were to strategically place one measly  firework on the picnic table it would be perfectly safe. All of the children delightfully screamed, myself included. Because even though it was technically illegal, it is what the 4th of July is all about, right?  We were free men and women. We were free of the English tyrants. We were independent, free to do as we damn well pleased… FREE TO BREAK THE F**KING RULES MAN!!! *Said in my best Janis Joplin voice* WOOOOOOOOO!!!! Way to go, stick it to the man, Fred.

First Fred placed a little green army tank on the picnic table and lit it. Eyes glued to the table, we waited for it to do something patriotic. Without disappointment, it soon started racing down that table, leaving fiery tread marks behind it. The table had been just as dry as the grass.

Still, that little incident didn’t deter Fred the Magnificent. He grabbed another miniature firework, placed it in the middle of the picnic table, and lit it.

We all stood there staring at it. Then suddenly it started spinning; faster and faster and faster and then…it shot up into the sky.

Blinded by the mid-day sun we lost sight of  it for a moment but, soon it reappeared in all its fantastical glory.

It had landed on a patch of grass in the backyard catching it on fire. Someone scurried to go get the water hose to put it out. The little hellish firework jumped up again. By this time adults and children were screaming but not from delight. In the meantime, the little firework that could, had landed and caught a second spot of the yard on fire.

By the time the hose was retrieved and the flames doused, there were 3 burnt crop circles in Fred’s back yard. Now, I’m sure that Fred and the rest of the adults weren’t happy with that Independence Day fiasco. But for me… BEST 4TH OF JULY MEMORY EVER!!!

Father’s Day Project: Build-A-Dad

Google Image. Copyright info on photo

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I am sure I do not need to remind any of you. As I sat around, well no… that isn’t exactly accurate. My husband was home all day and when he is, there is no sitting around. Clearly, he can sit around, demand things to be done/brought to him, or blankly stare at a plethora of asinine TV shows in English and/or Spanish but, me… I am required to go, go, go!!! Do I look like Speedy Gonzalez to you? Don’t answer that…

So as soon as I woke up, I mean got up, at about 10 am or so… I don’t remember. I just know it was still morning. Don’t judge me…. I’m an insomniac and sleeping is a problem for me. My husband started with his usual assholery and yelled something about the clips. “Where are the clips?” he yelled. “What clips? You mean… the clippers?” I replied while trying hard not to call him an illiterate son of a bitch. After all, it is his day, right?! So… I got up and waddled around the house. No, I am not pregnant but, I am somewhat fluffy these days. From room to room to room I went. Dodging dogs, shaking my head at the children that were still sleeping, over/around/up and down through the junk that has taken up permanent residence in my home from lands far and wide. Why was I cursed to marry the Mexican Fred Sanford from ‘Sanford and Son’? Or would that be, Federico Sanford de  ‘Sanford y su Hijo’? *Sigh*

Finally, I remembered where they were last put and handed them to him. All of this, not because he wanted to cut his hair mind you. But because he wanted to shave his beard and apparently shaving it with a razor or 5 was just too much freaking work for him. But, me wandering the streets of Can’t-Find-A-Damn-Thing-Without-My-Help-Ville wasn’t work at all….. *SIGH again*

I made sure at some point to mention, that I would like to go to the store, since it was Father’s Day and we had no gift for him and more importantly we had no damn milk. There is no way I was cooking breakfast on Father’s Day. I mean, hell, you know what I mean… I cook every single day. Why do I have to cook a meal that no one and I do mean no one, in my house even likes to eat? Besides it was starting to heat up in the house because the Midwest is in the center of Hell (hence the name Bible Belt) and we still have no working air conditioner. So I dressed myself, yes I know… woo-hoo Jen has finally learned how to dress herself. Do you guys always have to be so mean??? *Insert evil snort laugh*

My daughter got up and decided she would like to go with me to the store.  Shopping is one of our mother/daughter bonding times. Frankly, I take her along more often than my son because she isn’t the type to whine and throw a fit if I don’t buy her something. Just as we were about to walk out the door, my husband yells out, “You can’t leave. I need to go to Home Depot.” Didn’t I tell him not more than 10 minutes before that I needed to go to the store? *Scrolls up* Yes, yes I did. Welcome to my life people. Isn’t it a hoot?

In the time my husband is gone, I wash the dishes, that he requested I do. “You SHOULD wash the dishes before you leave the house,” he gently told me. Haha who am I kidding, right?! He has never gently told me anything in our nearly 19 years together. But, instead of complaining, I just do those loving things that a doting wife does out of the sheer goodness of her happy and fulfilled heart. *Awwww* Stop it…

My husband though… I mean, you just have to know that this man doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. Holidays, birthdays, Sundays… they are just another day to him. He is the epitome of a workaholic without the skanky secretary and the bank account to make it all worth my err, I mean his while. LOL So, what does my husband do on his day off? The one day where a father is allowed to be a mushy couch potato? The one time where everyone in the house is at his disposal? My genius of a husband chooses to rebuild the patio. Because his paranoia trumps mine by a longshot… “I have to fix this before it falls and the city condemns the house.”

At first, it was supposed to be just the railing because it was at a 45-degree angle and well… that is not what a railing on the second floor above a concrete driveway should be doing. The kids and I had long abandoned going out there because the patio door kept getting stuck on its track and I was terrified it might fall out and break. But, as the day progressed it became more and more things that needed to be done to that patio.

My daughter and I came back home from shopping to find my son sitting in the driveway guarding the wood and tools. My husband was standing on the patio, with the entire railing torn off. I graciously handed him a Monster energy drink and then continued carting bags inside the house.

It was a long day for all of us.  My son helped his dad out on his all day into the night Father’s Day project. Build-A-Dad; blackened by sweat and hard work, barely touched the dinner my daughter and I made for him. My daughter was exhausted from all the things she helped me do that are my daily requirements as housebitch.  *Sorry, I had to get in that last dig before wrapping this up*

And I? Well, I was my usual self. Tired, because being a mom and wife is hard work. Wired, because I have so much more work still left to do. A bit insane after all the “my dad is the greatest” crap I kept seeing over my Facebook feed when I finally had time to sit down and enjoy me time. But most of all I was thankful, because my kids and I have their dad in our life. And unfortunately, that is something many people don’t have. Hope you all had a splendid Father’s Day or just another Sunday in June, if you don’t celebrate.

NaPoWriMo Day:14 Unhappy Ending

It was the last straw
The end
One fight too many
Arms desperately reached out
She dropped to her knees
Makeup and tears streaming
Down her aged face
She squealed
Grasping at the deadened
Stale air between them
Pleaseeee
Don’t leaveee meee
As the door slammed behind him
As it had done daily
For more than 20 years
She lay on the floor
In the fetal position
Heaving and crying
Gasping for air
Minutes turned into hours
Hours felt like days
When she could no longer cry
When her tears had finally dried up
She picked herself up
And walked into her room
Climbed into the queen sized empty bed
The dogs all deceased and gone
The children
No longer kids
Had families of their own
Packed up and moved away
A long time ago
All that was left was a house full of silence
And painful memories
She stared at the wall
Full of photos
She was in none of them
She was where she had always been
Behind the camera
Behind the scenes
The life on hold
As she uplifted
The lives of everyone else
Now there she was again
Alone
Tired
Tossed aside
Left to rot
Teardrops falling once more
And just as it had always been
There was nobody left
To wipe them away
So she slipped
Further and further
Back into the abyss
Into the one place
Where the pain
Could no longer exist
It was the end
Her unhappy ending

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

NaPoWriMo Day:13 Be Very Superstitious

Avoid the black cats
that cross your path
and walk in your way

Don’t go under ladders
or open umbrellas indoors
those will ruin your day

These are some of the things
*knock on wood*
that will change our luck
from bad to good

A ridiculous kid’s game
skipping over cracks
an age-old superstition
not to break our mother’s backs

Delicately pick up pieces of glass
from dozens of broken mirrors
your bad luck is imminent
multiply each by 7 years

Quickly throw over the shoulder
the spilt salt raining down upon the floor
then chant a dead loved one’s name
while brushing it out the door

Yellowed pages
ripping
at the seams
stuffed with dead 4-leaf clovers

A rusty horseshoe
hanging
by one nail
above a forgotten entrance

Tucked deep inside
a worn out pocket
three balding rabbit’s feet
and five copper pennies

Be very superstitious
it is Friday the 13th.

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

NaPoWriMo Day:12 6 Word Poem

I have
no desire
to write

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

NaPoWriMo Day:11 Sibling Day Haiku

my dearest brother
your love deep within my heart
can not be replaced

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

NaPoWriMo Day:10 Three Little Letters

Three little letters
Proceeded to stalk me
Everywhere I went
Identical three little letters

Nonessential
Minute little letters
Commanding
Heart-clenching

Woeful
Unbearable
Mighty frightening
Modest little letters

Three little letters
Proceeded to mock me
Everywhere I went
Identical three little letters

Influential
Permute little letters
Demanding
Gut-wrenching

Soulful
Terrible
Jolt of lightening
Honest little letters

Those three little letters
Have struck again
And ravaged me

Those dreadful
Shocking
Appalling
little letters

R.
I.
P.

If you visit no other blogs today please visit Sensitivity. The world has lost a tremendous poetic talent and someone that I will miss terribly. May you R.I.P. that which you did not have in life.

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

NaPoWriMo Day:9 Surviving The ABC’s

Although most of my life has been

Between a rock and hard place

Constant I shall remain

Diligently thriving with grace

Exceeding my own expectations

Freeing myself completely from hatred of others

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

NaPoWriMo Day:7 A Sábado de Gloria Memory

Animated faces in a crowd
people of all ages gather around.
One of the best days en mi memoria
was this very day, Sábado de Gloria.

The Sun shined down, warming everyone
then someone cried out, “Look he has a gun.”
But this type of gun posed not a deadly threat
its main intent was to get, the entire crowd wet.

The children joined in, their parents too
gallons of water into the air flew.
The great water event started before noon
and continued all day ‘til the emerge of the moon.

Oh what a glorious Saturday
when everyone came together to play.
The moral of this story my dearest friend
is of harmony and bliss when we let love transcend.

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

The ‘Moment’ Between Life And Death

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Copyright- InJensMind

The First Year Deathaversary

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It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since the passing of my younger sister, Jessica. A whole year! Time flies by when you are living, I guess.

It’s been a long and painful year, full of ups and downs. It’s also been a very enlightening and freeing year. Every day I wake up and give thanks to the Universe for helping me break free of so many unhealthy and one-sided friendships. Friendships I had clung to because I am just that kind of caring and loving friend. Friendships that I believed would be forever. I also give thanks, love, kisses and hugs daily to my children, husband, and pets. For without them I wouldn’t be able to function, even a fraction of what I do now. They are the glue that holds me together.

I have spent several of the last few weeks trying to prepare myself for this day. Some people may find it unhealthy to place so much emphasis on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing. I don’t. I find it perfectly normal to get your emotions, thoughts, and memories in order before the day hits. Then again, I’ve seen more death in my lifetime then most and at a younger age. This is why some of the things people say just knock me out cold. I mean do these people even know what it is to lose a sister? We’re not talking about comparison here. We’re not talking about who has suffered more. We’re talking about how someone can tell another person how to deal with something that they’ve never been through! It’s like saying that the pain of giving birth is nothing compared to menstrual cramps, yet you’ve never given birth. That’s like me telling someone who lost their mom to “get over it, it happened while she gave birth to you.” First of all, I’d never say that. One because I am just a caring, sympathetic person and that comment is one only an asshole would utter. Secondly, I’ve never lost a parent yet, knock on wood. So obviously I have never been close to that same situation. Lastly, just because you might not have known your mother doesn’t mean you have no connection to her. You have a connection that nobody else has with her. You have the connection of coming to life and growing inside her and you also have the guilt. Nobody wants to blame anyone but, Lord knows many a child has been shunned and abused by their father or family for “killing” their mother. It’s asinine and it sucks and well… people can just be irresponsible loudmouth jerks.

I don’t just mourn one day a year. I mourn throughout the year. A happy memory from my childhood could start out so wonderful and the more my mind remembers the bond we once shared the more painful it becomes… Then walks in the guilt, shame, regret, and the tears. Let’s not forget the tears that strike at any given moment. And usually, when this happens I become distant, as I try to remove the horrific pain from my soul. I revert to that scared little child looking for a place to hide from the monsters that were enclosing upon me. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s automatic, instantaneous, habitual, and it’s how I grew up without being more screwed up then I already am.

If you’ve never lost someone you know, count yourself lucky because it never is easy and won’t get any easier as you age either. It’s a painful thing to experience and even though you try and tell yourself that they are in a better place with no more pain, you can’t help but to question why you are left to carry the painful burden. Why do some people get out and some of us have to stay and experience more than our fair share of suffering? Outliving those you love has to be one of the most stressful things you could ever experience.

It reminds me of my grandma who has outlived all of her siblings. (She is the oldest of 4.) How excruciating it must be to have none of them left. To have no parents left. To only have your grown children, and grown grandchildren (1 of the 4 gone a year now), and great-grandchildren left. But, she doesn’t have all of them with her. All she has at this very moment is my mom. The rest of us are too far away and some of the great-grandkids don’t even know of her and may never know her. That is some very sad sad shit if you ask me. I know she puts on a brave face but, just as I know how much it hurts me, I know it hurts her a lot too. Death sucks bigtime!

So the next time a person decides to tell another person who they should care for, who they should mourn for, how long they should mourn, etc… Bite your damn tongue!

As the Cherokee Proverb goes:

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.”

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this because they think it’s easy to just put on someone’s shoes and that’s that. So let me give you one more, so you really grasp what it is I am saying to you…

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960

We all need time to handle our unresolved business. And nothing is more unresolved then a loved one who dies suddenly. Nothing can be resolved when you don’t get to say good-bye. There is no peace of mind when it comes to all the questions that will never be answered. There is no possible way to “just let it go and move on” when no one is held accountable.

If you want to help someone who is hurting, mourning, grieving, dying in mind, soul, and heart… send them your love. Send them your sympathy. Let them know that it even though she wasn’t your sister you hurt because you see your friend hurting. Check up on her and let her know she isn’t alone. That’s all you can do.

And trust me when I say, anything else that you might think is helpful but comes off asinine will be met with rudeness and anger. Do you want your friend to curse at you for being a jerk? No, you don’t! Keep in mind this little bit of information… Everyone dies eventually and there will come a time when death will strike in your home. Don’t be left alone without comfort from your friends because you thought they were taking too long to heal over their loss. You will find out soon enough that healing on the inside always takes longer than healing on the outside.

As for this day, well… it had its ups and downs. (Look for my favorite moment from today on Friday.) I cried a lot here and there. Wiped my tears, loved on my children, drank some wine, listened to The Beatles and John Lennon, burned meditation candles, stared at Buddha while the candles flickered, laughed a bit, cried some more, loved on all my friends who came to my side, and well… I got through the first year deathaversary of my sister, Jessica Rae.

And to my mom, grandma, grandpa, and brother…I love you more than there are stars in the heavens. Even if I don’t believe in a heaven per se… I believe that Jess is among the stars waiting for us. Right now all we can do is be the best people we can be while we are here. Forgive those who’ve wronged us… that hate is only hurting us, we don’t need more hurt. Love those who are still here… they need our love and we need theirs. “Love is the answer.”

May you all be safe, sound, and find the strength to be where I am at!

Click to order tee-shirt

I Want To Be Like You

I Wanna Be Like You The Jungle Book Movie Disney

Have you ever read other people’s blogs and thought to yourself, “Wow, their lives are so great. If only mine was so blessed.”? Have you ever wondered why some people’s lives seem relatively easy-going, stress-free, everything you wish you could have in yours? Have you ever imagined what you could have done differently, if only you had been given a chance? Have you ever wanted to be just like someone else?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a jealous person and in no way would I ever compare my struggle or lack thereof with another’s. I wouldn’t change one thing in my life if it meant not learning the lessons I have learnt. I am me because of what I went through and what I got out of it. Nobody else could ever be who I am. If a group of people lived the same life, no two people would ever come out of it the same way.

It’s been a very difficult month and umm… yea, I’m not counting. It’s been awhile since I have sat down in the quiet of my home and written anything pertaining to anything. (You know you like that statement.) My life has been many things but, never has it been easy. Even as I sat at home and raised my kids with absolutely nothing pressing to do; my children made it their life’s mission early on to make me work for the roof my husband provided over our heads.

My daughter was the first child and she started out her little journey by damn near killing me in the first month of pregnancy. I was in so much pain I couldn’t move and when I got to the ER and was finally seen, the doctor nonchalantly stated, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re pregnant.” I was 19 years old, unmarried, it was only about a year since I had moved out of my father’s house, my husband and I had been together a earth-shattering 4 months, I had moved 2000 miles away 5 months before, I had no job, my husband had no insurance, etc, etc, etc… There’s nothing wrong with me? Oh, I beg to differ! My daughter showed up late, 6 days late to be precise. She was just short of 9 pounds and forced the doctor into inducing me and breaking my water. She also allowed me to gain a whopping 100 pounds because mommy didn’t know how to cook and since nobody was home all day to cook for her, she had to order such delicacies as Taco Bell, pizza, Chinese, KFC, etc… Her father wouldn’t allow mommy to go anywhere, pick up anything, or even take a simple Tylenol. The first child is ALWAYS the hardest. When Her Highness decided to make her entrance, she took her dear sweet time. As if the 6 days wasn’t long enough she had to add another 20 hours of labor to it. She refused to take her place and right before a C-section was getting ready to be performed, she about-faced right out of breech position and let me dilate enough to start delivery. The only reason I was finally able to deliver her was because I was coughing constantly. (Because I had bronchitis… got to love doctors.) The nurse putting all her weight on the top of my stomach and pushing on me didn’t help at all. The 5 other medical staff watching didn’t help. The doctor who was delivering my daughter and yelling at me because I was too weak, sure as hell wasn’t helping. But, then she came… like the Queen she was meant to be, with a crown over her head and veil over her face. (The placenta broke as she was born) Her right pupil was a lovely triangle. My mom held her first and tried to heal her eye. (She has a congenital cataract and is nearly blind in it. It is also been diagnosed lazy and astigmatism) Then the nurse handed her to me and we tried to get her to breast feed. Her mommy was exhausted and still coughing, she refused to latch on and so formula it was. Her highness stayed in the hospital in ICU 24 hours after I was released. She was the biggest baby in there and the other mother’s gave us the stink-eye. Luckily for us though, her heart murmur closed and she got to go home. A month later her mommy almost died in an ER waiting room with a fever of 109 because the doctors who noticed she had bronchitis after delivery sent her home with no meds and mommy got pneumonia. Now baby girl made sure that mommy got no free ride and as she grew more illnesses came too.

My son was no different. He was a screamer from Acid Reflux Disease and would vomit constantly between screams. His screaming matches would last for hours (several times a day for the entire first year of his life) until he was physically exhausted and would finally pass out. He was tested in the Hospital for 24 hours, and then placed on medications for the Reflux. (Which is a fancy way of saying he vomited a lot due to acid backing up in his throat. Some people call this Heartburn, only this is much worse.) The test involved a tube being put up his nose and down his throat to his stomach to monitor his acid levels. He would drink juice completely lying down and then 4 hours later completely sitting up, and back and forth for the 24 hours. Sleeping for me was not an option, as I held him in my arms in a chair the entire time. One of his medications turned out to have a little side effect that could cause this wonderful thing known as a heart attack. My son was not even a year old and was taking two medications, a special (extremely expensive) formula, and now had to have a test to make sure his heart was ok. After the test and putting him on a heart monitor for several days we found out his heart was fine. That special formula came into play because he wasn’t gaining weight with the first one and then the next one he vomited more and lost weight, finally after trying every formula on the market we ended up with one. It wasn’t enough that my son didn’t make himself known through pregnancy tests until right before my 7 month. It wasn’t even enough that in the first 2 months of my pregnancy I was told I wasn’t pregnant and was given the Depo shot. Which resulted in me taking medications and drinking because… “I WASN’T FRICKIN’ PREGNANT REMEMBER!” And it surely wasn’t enough that he forced me into bed rest less than a month after I found out I was pregnant, because he decided that I was far too comfortable and well contractions were a must. Then he decided that he wasn’t coming out on time (also 6 days late), so he forced the doctor into inducing me and breaking my water. And then when His Highness did finally decide to show up for the audience awaiting him, he had the audacity to come out saying “Dad” and weigh damn near 10 pounds. He went on for many years like this doing little things here and there to make sure that mommy never got a free ride. He continued to grow and brought more illnesses too wouldn’t you know.

I could go on all day and night about the things I’ve been through raising my two children. Or about my 17 years with my husband. Or about how I did any number of things since I grew up and left my father and step-mother’s house. Or I could even be so bold as to share how I didn’t die or go crazy living in Hell for 14 years (age 4-18).

Maybe one day I will but, not today. Today I want to share with you that life is not easy for anyone. Nobody gets to a peaceful place without enduring the harshness of the elements. It is very easy to assume things. It is very easy to look at where someone is today and think they have never known hardship, struggle, or pain… and we would be wrong. We can’t see where someone has been by looking only at the soles of their shoes. It only tells a part of the story, just the most recent part of it. Remember this…The grass you see in the treads of one’s shoes today, have covered the grains of sand from yesterday, and with tomorrow’s rain will be entirely washed away.

YouTube Tuesday: 11/8/11

YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.

Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be. Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

I know it’s been awhile again since I have partook in the YouTube Tuesday festivities. I actually considered not doing it because my musical knowledge is out of this world but, I can never remember the song I want or even narrow it down. Luckily for all of you, I found it easy to narrow down today because it is exactly 9 months to the day when my sister Jessica passed away. (Hey, I’m a poet you know I will rhyme unintentionally.)

“But, Jen why does everything in your blog have to revolve around your sister’s death and not her life?” You may ask.

Well, if you give me a minute to type I will tell you how I chose this video because my sister loved Metallica. She use to smuggle the cassette tapes into our home and our step-mother would take them away and destroy them. The devil’s music… all that, you know yada yada. Although, I am still trying to figure out how supposed Christian’s who condone child abuse and even partake in it, can hear and understand Satan’s supposed words in music and not be at least partially evil but, I digress!!!

The point is that something that sounds loud and evil-like isn’t always as it appears. The lyrics to Metallica songs are actually very impressive for a group of their time. I will post the lyrics to the Metallica version of this song even though I am not posting Metallica’s song. Right before my sister passed I discovered the musical stylings of Buddha Lounge and their renditions of Metallica’s songs. I found it easy enough while searching online for “Buddha.” This is the first time I have listened to any of these songs since my Jess passed away. The music is soothing but, because all I can hear is Metallica’s lyrics…well, you get the picture.

Now just sit back, close your eyes, and let the Buddha Lounge rock your senses deep into enlightenment and beyond. By the way, these lyrics I am posting of the original Metallica song -Unforgiven actually are quite fitting of my childhood.

Buddha Lounge- Renditions of Metallica The Black Lounge- Unforgiven

Note: These lyrics are for Metallica’s Unforgiven not this particular video but, if you are up on your Metallica knowledge (like I am) you can actually hear where these lyrics fit in.

New blood joins this earth
And quickly he’s subdued
Through constant pained disgrace
The young boy learns their rules

With time the child draws in
This whipping boy done wrong
Deprived of all his thoughts
The young man struggles on and on he’s known
A vow unto his own
That never from this day
His will they’ll take away-eay

Chorus:

What I’ve felt
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never be
Never see
Won’t see what might have been
What I’ve felt
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never free
Never me
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN

They dedicate their lives
To RUNNING all of his
He tries to please THEM all
This bitter man he is
Throughout his life the same
He’s battled constantly
This fight he cannot win
A tired man they see no longer cares
The old man then prepares
To die regretfully
That old man here is me

What I’ve felt
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never be
Never see
Won’t see what might have been
What I’ve felt
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never free
Never me
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN

(instrumental)

What I’ve felt
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never be
Never see
Won’t see what might have been
What I’ve felt
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown
Never free
Never me
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN

whoa, whoa

Never Free
Never Me
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN
You labeled me
I’ll label you
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN
Never Free
Never Me
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN
You labeled me
I’ll label you
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN
Never Free
Never Me
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN

I’ll Have The Living My Life: Hold The Fun

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I don’t remember time ever flying by so fast in my life but, this month has flown.

I wanted to get so much more done for Breast Cancer Awareness than I actually did. Isn’t that how life works though? It keeps right on flying by while you are trying to savor a moment or two.
I learnt a long time ago to slow down and let life flow naturally. My natural flow is faster than some and slower than some but, it suits me just fine. At least I thought it did anyway.

After Jess died, I knew what I wanted to do with the remaining years of my life and dove head first into it. When I found that lump in my breast; I climbed out of the water, wrapped myself in a towel and sat waiting under a giant umbrella. It was during that ordeal and the mammogram, that I realized life was moving at warp speed around me and I was just sitting there on hold again.
How did I wake up one day to teenagers? Why has my life with them been great but, not what I wanted for them? Are they too old now for me to make it all up to them? And for the love of monkeys, when will I be able to afford to do the things I have always wanted to do with them?

A lot of people would like to step into a time machine and go back in life and fix things. I want to freeze time. I want to stop the kids from getting any older until I have done all the things that a mother should do with her kids… Disneyland, vacations, spa days, shopping, Six Flags, road trips, family reunions, Zoo’s, Festivals, etc… Time is flying by and these things have been on hold. Why on Earth are they on hold? Because money, although made of paper, does not grow on trees. That statement was a wee bit too cliché for me, I am most definitely above that but, it is true nonetheless.

I grew up in the fiery depths of Hell and still managed to do a few of those things as a child. Does that make me a bad mother? They say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” (Yes, again… another common, beneath me cliché) Well, my intentions have always been good and I swear… I have been a good person (yes, I know… famous last words of a psychopathic serial cannibal) most if not all of my life. Have I been a Saint? Well, no, who is? Should I fear the day my children are grown and scream at me that I “f@cked up” their lives? I don’t know! What I do know is, that in an effort to protect them from the nastiness of the world I have also managed to teach them a rather common and painful lesson… People with no money, live life on hold.

My kids understand that bills come before all else, it is the way life is for everyone, except those in constant debt I imagine. But, how do you explain to your kids/teens/young adults that no matter how much work you do you will never have quite enough money to enjoy life? Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy life because I do. I enjoy life over death, health over illness, and having happy kids over sad ones.

Ok, maybe I should rephrase that question… How do I explain to myself (at 36 years old) that no matter how much my husband works or how hard I try to get a writing gig, we will never have enough money to be a “vacation” family? I guess we are just one of those families who despite our good intentions, good deeds, or perfect Karmic standing, this life will always be below average. I don’t know if my kids are disappointed by this life, I do know that I am to an extent and I know they are when I have to say, “Sorry I don’t have money for that.” That happens way more than I ever expected.

I need some Karmic relief in my life. How long exactly, does it take to see Karma seeds grow into a fruitful tree? I could have sworn I used Miracle Grow on those puppies but, alas nothing. Just another wasted tactic, another get-rich scheme, another typical day in the life of an atypical yet broke mom. Ok back to being on hold, thank goodness for call waiting!

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By the way, I do know this isn’t a Breast Cancer Awareness post per se . I figured I would shake things up a bit by showing how life has a way of screwing with your plans, which is exactly what an illness does. There is a week left for the Facebook event and to get in your B.C.A. posts on Blognostics. Please make sure you do that and I will be asking for everyone’s links shortly to link to my final Pinktober post next week.

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: My Mammogram and Me

As I sit here in my semi-quiet house freezing my ass off with a furnace that likes to play “No Heat Today” games, I recall my thoughts and feelings from February.

February 6th, 2011 to be precise; and getting the call that my 33-year-old sister is in the hospital with Stage IV Breast Cancer. Fast forward two days to February 8th, 2011 and another phone call, “Your sister is dead.” Those moments were the most horrific moments of my life… that is until October 8th, 2011 when I spotted a massive lump in my breast. The pain was unimaginable; my paranoia was out of control… all I wanted was the pain to go away and for the lump to recede. All I wanted was a mammogram/ultrasound to tell me the lump was not cancerous. I wanted an answer immediately; that is what Emergency Rooms are for, aren’t they?

It was October 9th before I actually saw a doctor, those of you by my side through this whole ordeal you remember that from my earlier post, Breast Cancer Awareness Month: There’s a Lump in my Breast. I spent all day in a hospital bed before actually seeing a breast specialist on the 10th. Starving and thirsty from fasting, just in case there was to be a surgery, paranoid and restless from waiting to be seen, tired, cranky, in pain and tears… It was a day like no other as it was also the day that would have been my grandmother’s 75th birthday if Stomach/Liver Cancer had not taken her from our family 10 years ago. Just another typical day in the life of an atypical girl. 

Luckily, I was released and sent home with antibiotics for the “we think it’s an” infection that I was diagnosed with. My inner cynical bitch cried; “Bullshit! If it’s just an infection where the f@ck is the pus?” Don’t mind her she has driven doctors and nurses to an early grave for a good part of her miserable adult life.

I was released the same day I saw a breast specialist; still don’t know why she is special when all she did was grope the twins but, hey it’s whatever at this point. I went into hiding for over a week, because that is what I do when I am stressed. I make up bullshit reasons about why I can’t come to the door, the phone, the laptop, or my senses and well most of you believe it so thank you all for that. LOL Honestly, I was tired for a good part of the week; any time I am forced to take a prescription, my brain fights back by telling my body to hibernate. It’s perfectly normal…for me!

I managed to scrape my weak body out of bed on Tuesday for a Mammogram at the breast specialist’s office. And after two hours of erect nipples in a cold office building in nothing more than a hospital gown, I am still wondering why she is so special. Let me start off by saying my husband did his part by taking me to the appointment and sitting there patiently waiting for me to be done. I also have to give him credit for not being a man and going all ape-shit over a chick groping my twins err I mean, his twins. Because Lord knows one comment about that and I would have pulled out a tire iron and dumped his bloody ass in the Mississippi faster than you can spell it.

NOTE: I, Jenni being of somewhat sound mind and not quite sound but close body, swear that I was framed if by some cruel joke of Zeus that my husband, Luis ends up in the Mississippi River. In the immortal words of Jake Blues played by John Belushi in Blues Brothers…“Honest… I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out-of-town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!”

Anyway, I digress. So, at the doctor’s office I waited for my mammogram where they take X-Rayesque pictures of your boobs with a machine that is 1- cold as a meat locker at the North Pole 2- as comfortable as wringing out your hand in an old-fashioned wringer washer (which I have done by the way), and 3- not intended for any woman with a cup size over C. (Which I have been over since 4th grade) If I ever doubted that my gargantuan bust-line needed a reduction, watching the poor nurse juggle my boob with two hands reminded me that I am indeed due for a reduction STAT! If you have never had a mammogram consider yourself lucky and if you have and you thought it was no biggie… please grow bigger boobs and a painful firm lump before getting your next one, thank you.

The nurse took two standard pictures, one the straight forward kind and the second with the machine angled which I imagine with a woman with normal sized breasts is supposed to catch more of a side view. They do this on both breasts for a total of 4 pictures. It is uncomfortable, it is cold, and it is ridiculously hilarious/embarrassing to watch a nurse juggle a boob that is bigger than her whole entire head. I was asked to take a seat while the radiologist checked my “close-ups.” When the nurse came back she asked me to step up to the machine again because well, my boobs are special and need extra pictures. *Wink wink* After the last juggling session, she told me to sit in the waiting room and wait to get another ultrasound done. By this time, more than an hour had passed and another woman was waiting for her turn at the Boob Camera. By the way, I was the youngest woman in the doctor’s office and in the mammogram waiting room. That alone f@cks with your head!

“Ok Jennifer, we are ready for you.” The woman beside me stands up as I go to stand up. Oh flippin great wouldn’t you know it…we’re both Jennifer’s. Stupid 60’s and 70’s. The nurse apologized to me as I told her that I was there waiting on an ultrasound, she assured me that this didn’t usually happen because well seriously what are the chances that two women in the breast lab would be blessed with the same exact first name? As much as I wanted to tell her, “I am more important, bow down to me now peasant!” my sense of humor was missing in action, because I was freaking out about the length of time I had already spent in the clinic.

Before long I was back in the doctor’s office with my husband, awaiting the 5 words that could make or break my life! Fortunately for me my doctor doesn’t like 5 word sentences and told me I’m all clear. I was instructed to come back in 6 months or sooner depending on the breast lump, which they still believe to be an infection…I however, have come to know it as the illegal alien. Because of my family history with cancers I have to get yearly mammograms now, oh yippie how I look forward to the smashing and juggling of my bresteses!!!

So there you have it folks… I am not afflicted with Breast Cancer. I will be around a long time to talk shit and be a general pain in the ass. Yea me! I once again want to thank all of you who sent me prayers, thoughts, and well wishes during my schizophrenic meltdown into the abyss of paranoia and hypochondria. To those of you who wish to offer me a donation for this extremely comedic post just give me the word; I am a paypal account away. *Wink*

Now, it is your turn… self-examine, mammogram ‘em, don’t be a disappointment just make an appointment and always take care of those boobies!

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Oh and don’t forget to get involved and support Breast Cancer Awareness, preferably all year not just this month.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: There’s a Lump in my Breast

I have written and written and written…about Breast Cancer Awareness since losing my sister to it in Feb of this year.

 

I have made it my mission in life to do right by her and all women who get sick with some form of Cancer and make sure people stand up, fight, and take charge of their health.

Now here’s the kick in the ass moment:I am writing this post from a hospital bed. Night before last as I got ready for bed I felt a sharp pain in my right breast. I got up yesterday still hurting and did what all good mommies do; I cleaned my house and spent time with my kids. By the time 4pm or so had rolled around I was in agonizing pain.

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Jen you idiot when people say get involved it doesn’t mean get a damn lump in your own breast!

I laid down on the couch and tears rushed down my face. It wasn’t until my husband came home and I took a shower that I noticed a massive lump, yes I said noticed. It was that big. Now normally people would start looking for a connection… I knew that Breast Cancer causes a lump but, not a painful one and oh my God was this painful. It wasn’t until later in the night when the pain worsened that I begged and pleaded for my husband to take me to the hospital. He was apprehensive about doing it, thinking we should wait until Sunday morning. He told me 100 reasons for why we shouldn’t go tonight. But, I, being the jerk that I am, did as any aggressive and irrational human being does and threatened him. “Take me to the hospital or I will drive myself.” I then told my daughter to get ready. Don’t tell him but, that kind of “do it or else” usually works on him. But, hey I am not an evil person; I am a person who had a sister die 3 days after a Breast Cancer diagnosis. I am the one who wrote countless posts after her death demanding that everyone get a mammogram and self-examine their breasts. Now it was my turn…do or die time… “don’t be a damn hypocrite Jen get to the hospital and get it checked out.”

Obviously, I did; arriving at the hospital at 11 pm last night. I know in my own little world I am a very special person, which is why I fully expected to get an ultrasound and mammogram last night. Yes, they pretty much let me know how it was going to be. Apparently they had no idea who InJensMind is, bummer! Just about 1 am the doctor saw me, commented about my Celtics tattoo because he is from Michigan too and well Pistons fans are still butt hurt about losing to us too many times.

“Shut up I am sick and fully entitled to talk shit, thank you.” LOL

Afterwards, I heard him tell a nurse in the hallway to get bloodwork and hook me up to an I.V. oh yippie. An hour later, right before two more nurses came in to draw more blood, the doctor informed me my white blood cells were high and because they couldn’t get an ultrasound done they had no choice but, to follow protocol and admit me as if I had a breast abscess. They couldn’t promise me whether I would see the breast doctor on Sunday or if I had to wait until Monday. Since I am still here in the hospital you can assume I won’t be seeing her until Monday.

I play strong really well, not one tear fell nor did my voice shake as a million and one thoughts raced through my head. My kids are going to take this the hardest. 13 and 16 years old and have been away from me a total of two weeks ever in their entire lives. I am one of those moms that where I go they go and if someone don’t like it well they can f@ck off. My kids always have and always will be more important than anyone else, hence the reason I am laying in this hospital bed. My sister ran through my head and my mom…oh my dear mom there is no way she will be able to take losing another daughter. I looked over at my husband, the one person who has caused me more stress and tears than any other person on the entire planet and his macho ass was balling; he was trying so hard to not let me see those tears as he quickly wiped them with his hand.

By 3 am, I was finally upstairs in my room. I was instructed to not eat or drink anything in case the doctor wanted to operate. Wasn’t much chance of that happening, seeing as they had given me some painkillers that made my head float away and made my stomach nauseous. Sunday, I slept more than I think I have ever slept in my life. My husband brought my kids to see me, they were little red-eyed angels and smelled so good when they laid down in the hospital bed with me and cuddled. Their voices, that still sound like little 4-year-old voices, were shaky and they were holding back tears. If this had happened over a year ago they would’ve probably been ok with me lying here. But, in Feb. 2010 our dog got sick and we said she was fine; we took her to the pet hospital and didn’t return with her. The kids still don’t know we put her down and she is in an urn in my bedroom. I can’t bear to tell them. Then Feb. of this year the loss of their aunt who was in the hospital 6 days before dying and the effects that had on me. Yea the kids are definitely worried.

So while I was lying here, debating on if I go back to sleep again or get up and write this post, I realized something… Things aren’t as bad as I always manage to imagine them to be. Hold that thought, in case the verdict changes when I actually see the doctor. But, I have been such an ass to my husband for being such an ass to me that now here we are hoping, praying, and crying to please not finally be at our “til death do you part.” The love we both thought the other one had lost was sitting right there waiting for us to remember it.

How quickly a tragedy will unite even the ones you think don’t care anymore. I would have thought divorce would happen before anything like this. I’m not giving up though; I will fight this…whatever IT is. And I will WIN. Because, I may not be Charlie Sheen or have Tiger blood but, I have lioness blood and in my opinion it is way better. Don’t let another second pass, go and tell your loved ones you love them. And for Christ sake err, I mean and For Jens Sake… go to the doctor and get a damn breast exam. Thank you all for your prayers and I will let you all know how I am doing on Monday. Until then, may your dreams always come true and may you never walk through your life alone.

You know the drill by now, click on the side bar button and help give mammograms. Get a badge for your blog and go join the Facebook event.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Anger

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month as many of you know. Before I even get into this post I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Breast Cancer Awareness movement this month. So many of you have truly shown your support and respect for me, by placing my BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness) post button on your blogs. A few of you have shown me remarkable love by changing your Facebook avatar to the picture I made for my sister. I am honored to call you all friends!!!

 

I fully intended to write a post yesterday, the first day of October, about my sister’s Breast Cancer story. I wrote and wrote, and the words poured from my soul as they always do in my writing. But, as I was writing there came a moment when the pain took over my fingers and by the time I had realized I was over 1000 words. I stopped and reread the last couple of paragraphs… I can’t post that agony here, because…

Not only is my heart aching for the loss of my sister but, I am still angry. I am angry at a God who claims to love his children but, allows their lives to be Hell. I am angry at doctors who didn’t catch the cancer in time for my sister to be able to fight it. I am angry at family members who instead of pulling us together in our darkest hour, decided instead to tear us apart further. I am angry at myself for not being there with her…for not taking our conversations more seriously…for not having money to pay for an autopsy… for not being able to fight cancer for her…and most of all for thinking that some people who are Breast Cancer survivors and battling it, are still taking their lives for granted. In a nutshell, I AM ANGRY!!!

Click on the image to read My Sister's Keeper

My sister was 33 years old when Breast Cancer took her life, 3 days after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She’s dead now, do you comprehend that? She is DEAD! She had no chance to fight, no chance at all. I don’t blame anyone for that, it happened for a reason. I am still wondering the exact reason but, it was for a reason. Cancer has affected me… it has taken from me…it has changed me, and I am NOT even the one who was diagnosed.

But, is it not true, that a cancer diagnosis affects more people than just the one who has the cancer? It should but, in most cases it doesn’t. I can tell you this in all honesty, with every bit of my soul showing, that many people on this planet are too self-absorbed to realize; that it is affecting them whether they have a personal relationship with someone who has cancer or not. They fail to realize that if they don’t stand up, unite, and fight with those who are fighting right now…there won’t be anyone fighting for them when their time comes. And believe me when I say, it is much closer than you can fathom.

I don’t expect sympathy for my sister’s untimely death. I expect unity to battle a disease that is devastating our families, our friends, our planet. I don’t want to be known as a hero because I survived my sister’s death to Breast Cancer and wrote a few paragraphs about it. I want to be remembered for my small place among a large group of heroes who fought against this horrific disease. I don’t ever again want to feel like I did when Breast Cancer took my sister’s life. I never again want to tell someone I love; be it family or friend, that I am sorry you have cancer.

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I am pushing this Breast Cancer Awareness movement because the fact of the matter is, nobody is untouched by it. If you think you are, wake up, because you are dreaming. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who has cancer in one of its many hideous forms or another. You, reading this post, are 1 degree separated from Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Throat Cancer, Stomach Cancer, and Pancreas Cancer; because I have lost family to all of those cancers. Just knowing me through this blog post right here, makes you that much closer to the effects of these despicable diseases. That tear that slid down your cheek as you read my anguish, were the effects of cancer, my dearest reader!

Now that you realize how close cancer is to you… what are you going to do about it?

Please get involved! Support cancer awareness in the form of donations; by donating directly or buying products that give. Support sites and organizations that focus on helping Cancer victims and their families. Support it by wearing the cancer colors, i.e. pink for Breast Cancer. Support it by searching on Facebook for the different cancers and liking the pages. Support it by joining in on events such as the Breast Cancer Awareness challenge event that I have going on this month. Support organizations that specialize in awareness, early detection and free cancer screenings. And most importantly support it by getting yourself checked often (men too, you are not immune) and spreading the word to everyone that Cancer is trying to kill us all.

Don’t let it!!! Stand up, unite, and do something about it!

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Before you leave here today, please click on the Breast Cancer Site button in my sidebar and give a woman the gift of a free mammogram.

 

Note: Throughout this post are many links, ones that lead to sites to support and several that will take you to my blog posts about my sister and Breast Cancer. Please find time to check them out and comment. Thank you.

For Jens Sake and Blognostics Joining Forces For Pinktober

As most of you should know by now, October (Pinktober) is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I support it every year and this year it holds even more significance than it did in previous years.

In February of this year, my younger sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer and three days later she died. So of course that makes me more active in Breast Cancer Awareness, not just because I have lost my sister to it but, because I truly understand how the unthinkable can hit and penetrate your seemingly perfect life. After her death and I could finally face the world again, I started connecting with Breast Cancer battler’s (this just means that they are still battling this heinous disease.) and survivors.

My heart goes out to every one of them even though my sister never even had a chance to battle the beast. I have set up a challenge on Facebook as an event and would greatly appreciate if you would join and pass it on. If I have learned anything in this past few months is that life is more precious than you could ever possibly imagine.

Facebook Events Basics:

I would like all of you who join the event to have something pink visible on your person all month-long in October. The details are on the event so please check that out and join in on spreading more awareness for this horrific disease. Thank you.

Now for the exciting blogger’s news:

I was asked to be a Breast Cancer Awareness Spokeswoman for Blognostics, this site is a new site and was created by bloggers for bloggers. They will be running a contest for Breast Cancer Awareness that will begin on Oct. 1 and go through Oct.31, 2011.

Blognostics Contest Details:

Tell a story about how Breast Cancer has affected you and/or the person diagnosed, also how it has changed your life and/or theirs for better or worse. The story can be your own personal story, a friend, or a family member. It does have to be someone who you know personally, even if it’s just someone you know from a social network. But, they do have to be someone you have personal contact with.

Blognostics will also be asking for donations in the amounts of $1, $5, $10 or more to be donated to the organization that the 1st place winner chooses out of the four that Blognostics has available. Consider the donation to be not only useful for the organization and the people they help but, also a small contest entry fee. Donate what you can!

This contest is open to all bloggers. The only thing that you have to do is be a member of Blognostics, and to be a member you must have a blog. If you would like to take part please go to the site and make your account.

Here is what you will be doing:

-If your blog is a writing one than you will write a story, fiction not accepted (sorry but we want real life stories only), about the person that you have chosen. Tell us their/your story of being afflicted with Breast Cancer and how it has changed them and/or you.

-If you are a poet you can write a poem about the person you have chosen.

-If you are a photographer you can tell the story with photos. Use a photo of the person and whatever other photos you feel tell the story of how their having Breast Cancer affected you. You can write a story as well but, your main goal is to tell it with photos.

-If you are an artist who draws or paints, you will be submitting your original work of art that is either the person themselves or your interpretation of Breast Cancer. Please write something about the art piece so we can understand fully the meaning of it.

Please Include:

All contest entries should include the date when the person was diagnosed, how they battled it, if they are still battling or are now in remission, how many times they have battled it, any organization that they went through for help, and if they died, (R.I.P.) the day their suffering ended.

Prizes:

Blognostics is offering 3 prizes; 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place. All which include small ad space for a month on their site. 1st place winners will receive the honor of choosing the Breast Cancer organization that will receive the donations and their name will also be on the check that is presented with all of the donations raised. 1st place winners will also receive a small banner on the Blognostics site to place their ad for one month.
All entries must be in by October 31, 2011 before midnight in your time zone. Blognostics will choose and notify the winners during the first week of November.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up on Blogsnostics if you aren’t already a member and let’s raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Don’t forget to join the Facebook event as well. If you have any questions please ask me or the Blognostics team. Thank you and good luck.