I’m really excited to share this with you today! The US Pain Foundation has teamed with Victoria Suan, the producer, creator & Director of her Documentary “Becoming Incurable “. I’d written to you about 6 weeks ago regarding the feature film etc. But today I want to share this online magazine that she’s made to compliment the video compilations and her Documentary!
I am the middle of 3 persons being featured in this online magazine. I’m being featured for the illness of CRPS. This is thrilling and just so very exciting to be a part of this beautiful project to spread awareness of chronic pain and illness.
I never thought that this day would actually come. I’ve been praying every day, hoping every day for 9 years +, that my family would be back together again. I married at age 22, in 1984. We had 2 daughters and in 1992 became legally divorced. I won’t bother you with all of the trials and tribulations of everything that we’ve gone through, but I do wish to tell you a story of “HOPE”.
When my ex husband left in 1991, I was suddenly alone with 2 daughters, ages 3 and 5 1/2. My oldest had just started Kindergarten and the youngest just had her 3rd birthday. First I cried until I couldn’t cry another tear. Then I toughened up and bucked up and mustered up the strength and courage to do it on my own. I had felt pretty much and had actually been pretty much “alone” for the most part of those 8 years. On a Saturday night he took me out to dinner and told me he wanted a divorce. We’d met in Late August 1983 and only 7 months later, in April 1984, we got married. So, like I said, he told me that he wanted a divorce on a Saturday night. I freaked out a bit, cried a lot and by Monday, I had gone from a “stay at home mom” to a full time Interpreter for the Deaf at a school system. I thank God for going to College, especially at that point in my life.
That was the end of September and by June I knew that my “dream job” was not going to work. I needed health insurance because I found out that I truly was on my own; for the most part. My parents lived 35 or more miles away, my mother was very ill and they couldn’t babysit or help in that way. Next, I got a job at a major University hospital. I was an Outpatient clerk III and an Interpreter for the Deaf. I liked my new job and the independence it gave me. But the first few months I could not get to day care on time to pick up my daughters because the latest pick up time was 6:00 pm. I could not get there without an accident, before at least 6:20 pm because I got off at 5:30pm. I got my father to agree to sit in the car with my daughters until I got there and I was grateful for that. Though I never really understood why he couldn’t have taken them just straight across the street to our apartment and let them get their backpacks off and start homework or get a drink? But hey, I was happy with what I got. I was very thankful. I awoke at 5:10 am every work morning M-Fri, and got ready, showered etc. Then at 6:15 am, I awoke my 3 1/2 and 6 year old daughters. I cleaned them up, did their hair beautifully every day with bows and curls and such. We never “looked” poor! I fed them breakfast, listened to anything they needed to talk about and we left for Day Care at 7:15 am. The worst was in the deepest darkest of the Michigan Winters, and taking my babies out into the dark of night and the below 20 degree temps most days, or worse. My youngest used to cry every Sunday night and I hated putting her through it but I had no choice. I loved them and they needed someone responsible and loving to care for them. I didn’t want to lose their respect some day and let them think that I just sat on my rear end eating chocolates! NO! I went out and as hard as it was, I got a full time job and for awhile even went back to College to better myself.
For years I had no child support or “on” again and “off” again child support.Finally, when my father in law started paying it, then it came regularly and life became just a tad bit better when I knew that I had enough to get by for 2 weeks until my paycheck came; and with only usually $20 to spare. I got food stamps and Medicaid insurance for about 6 months, until I could get my own insurance and until I made only $80 per month too much to get food stamps. I was so proud though!! I was soooo proud when I made $80 a month too much to get the $250 worth of monthly food stamps.
So life went on…..much happened and it was hard for us. We all survived and I remarried in 1997 on Valentines day. Then to make this story more about the good than the bad, I have to tell you why I named this story about “HOPE”. In 2004, my oldest daughter became estranged from us, her family at age 18. She had to find her own way and figure some things out on her own. It broke my heart and I’m pretty sure she felt that her heart was broken too. But days turned into months and then years went by….and by…and by…..
I prayed and I hoped and every Christmas that went by, every Birthday that past and each Mother’s day that came and went, I cried and prayed and cried some more. I would listen to songs and look at photo’s that reminded me of much harder days but days in which I still had hope, in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband of now 18 years. He is the best thing that ever happened to me & us in life, other than having my girls. He is my soul-mate and I love him and he loves me and we are a team.
Nine years ago or more, when all of that happened, I had bought a necklace that was gold and silver and has the word “HOPE” on it. I swore to wear it until my oldest daughter and I were together again. So much more happened throughout all of those years, but that is not for me to write about today. Today I am only looking forward and not backwards. Finally, today, I can take off my HOPE necklace if and when I so choose, because my prayers have been answered.
I had lunch with a very old friend in August, her name is Janet. We had our first baby girls only weeks apart and became great friends. She moved an hour and half away and then I moved and then I got divorced and then her husband passed and life kept changing for us. But through it all we stayed friends. She met me for coffee one day in August 2014. I told her that I was “losing hope of ever getting back with my oldest daughter”. I told her how much I love my daughter and always have and always will. I told her how much I wanted her in my life and how we all missed her so much. She told me to “just call her”. But I was just a bit nervous to call out of the blue like that. I mean I had sent notes, letters, gifts etc over the years but then I sort of “gave up”….not on her…but just on trying to contact her again. So she told me “why not try and text her and just tell her how you are feeling?”…I thought about it and then I did it the very next day!
I am here to tell you to NEVER give UP HOPE!! I texted my daughter and I told her that “I love her” and I told her that “I was thinking of her and hope she was doing OK?” She told me she was “tired of being pregnant and due in a couple of weeks with her 2nd child.” I had heard that she got married 5 years ago, but I had not been invited nor ever told about it until my cousin in AZ told me the day afterwards. I was heartsick and heartbroken again.
So…back to the good stuff! I texted her and she texted me back. I asked if I could have a photo of my granddaughter who was 20 months and she sent me 5 pictures! I was ecstatic!! She said that she “couldn’t choose” just one single photo…and I was glad for that! Then I asked if she might let me know when the new baby is born and also send me a photo. She did just that!! We started talking then more and more and texting and one day she invited me to come over after she’d gotten home for a few days from the hospital and having her 2nd C-section (she had 2 C sections, just like me)!
Her mother in law was there and my daughter and I hugged and we laughed and we cried. Her mother in law was so nice and funny and I was put at ease right away. This was the beginning for us again. A chance to start new. We have had over 6 weeks now of spending time together. We talk daily and we see each other almost 4 times a week if not more! Sometimes I sit in the car and let her go in and get her errands done, so she doesn’t have to take 2 babies in with her. Other times she comes over to the park near my house or to my house and we have a tea party! I got down my girls’ old small table and chairs set and cleaned them up. We had a tea party and she and Olivia and I had such a beautiful time.
I will always include her in everything because I remember my mother always took the girls into her room and left me sitting on the couch by myself after I had driven 45 minutes to their house! She always wanted to have “girl talk” with them “ALONE” and I was not invited. It hurt my feelings but I always figured that as long as my girls were happy, then I was OK too. But I really enjoyed all of us having our tea party together, even little newborn baby girl was there with us, sleeping…..but feeling the good feelings in the room.
On Monday of this week, my oldest daughter and I drove an hour to her younger sisters house, my youngest daughter and her husband live about an hour from here. My oldest daughter and I only live about 4 blocks away from each other now! I love it so much! So anyways, my youngest daughters, 26th birthday is next week, so we took a picnic lunch and went to their house and to the park and went for a little walk.. This was the first time we’d been together in almost a decade! It is a wonderful feeling!!! I almost forgot to tell you that a week or two after we started seeing each other, my husband and my oldest daughter saw one another; they hugged and he got teary eyed.
Life is so much better when you can let go of the past and all of the hurts, big and small. If you can let it all go and start over and refreshed with a new found way of life and have no need for hurt or revenge or anything but kindness and love and a sense of family…that’s when life will turn around! When I could finally stop and think and let go of all of the old “junk”, that is when my “HOPE” came true and my life is so much more fulfilled now. Of course there are times in life when one might have been damaged physically, verbally, emotionally and worse. Unfortunately, sometimes in those cases, it’s not always just a matter of moving on. Sometimes just forgiving in your heart, can lessen the load and it can help you move on just to have forgiveness in your own heart. We cannot force anyone else to think, feel or act in any certain ways. We can’t force anyone to feel how we want them to feel.
I am in chronic pain from RSD/CRPS , RA, DDD, SSS, OA, Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS and many other health issues. I was in a MVA in 2002 and have suffered through 12 surgeries and alot of pain. I have had a heart attack, a CVA (stroke) and I’ve gone to many Dr’s visits. I am through it and sort of on the other side now; and couldn’t be happier, unless of course the pain was gone. But it’s a lot easier to bear when you feel loved and you are being more loving yourself. I am so happy that my family is together again. I will never again hold onto anything bad in my mind, heart or soul. I give it up to God and I am going to enjoy life as best that I can. I will have my days in pain when I cannot do anything, but I will have the love of my daughters and granddaughters. I love them, my husband and their husbands Thank you for reading my story and please…NEVER give up HOPE…..it does come, but in “his” time, not in ours. We don’t know why?? But God does know what he wanted me or all of us to learn first. Thank you again… also thanks for allowing me the pleasure of posting a few photos from our day at my youngest daughters house and a few others too.
One more thing before I sign off for today. I wanted to apologize for being away from my writing for a whole month. I try to write weekly or bi-weekly. As you can see from my story above and the photo’s, I was just very busy this month; allowing things to happen naturally and waiting for the best time to tell you this wonderful news!
Well, it is the Holiday Season once again. The tree is trimmed….boy, OH boy is our tree ever “trimmed”!! We have a 3 yr old kitty cat who thinks that we brought a tree into our house JUST for her to play in!! We actually came downstairs and came home etc…several times and the tree was over on it’s side, after having “crashed” to the floor! We decided to take the the bottom off of the tree and put the top of the tree into the tree stand and put it on top of the end table. So now she can hide under the tree skirt, which is on top of the table and under the tree….LOL…but she doesn’t get into it anymore! I just know she thinks that tree was brought inside just to please her and to give her something to play inside of! Silly Luna kitty! Anyway, it’s still a beautiful tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night.
So…I’ve been really thinking…..I’ve been thinking about Christmas and the true meaning of this beautiful holiday. I used to get so sad when the people who were “supposed” to be around me during the holidays, were not around during that time, or any other times. That is a long story for another day…But for today, I want to talk about Christmas Miracles and what I would love for mine to be this year or any time at all. I won’t go into details because the past is the past. But my eldest daughter has been gone for over 9 years now. She left of her own free will. No one asked her to leave, no one forced her to leave, she just left. Not a day has gone by that I’ve not thought about her. A holiday has not passed, when I haven’t cried because of missing her. If I could have one Christmas miracle, one holiday wish, it would be the same Christmas miracle I’ve asked for every year since 2004. I would ask for my daughter to come home, at least in her heart. She is almost 28 years old and has her own home now. Although I stayed and raised my two daughters literally without any physical, Psychological or emotional help whatsoever; I pray to see her and I also pray to meet my only granddaughter, who just recently turned one year old, this past November. I didn’t know of the wedding, I never knew of the pregnancy, I never saw the ultrasound appointments, I missed her birth, her first sounds, rolling over, crawling, her first tooth and now I’m sure she’s walking and talking.
When I first learned about my granddaughter, I started a scrapbook. It is a way to keep her in my thoughts and on my mind in a healthy and good way. I’ve kept up a book for both of my daughters as well, since they were born. I’ve written notes, letters, poems etc. to them both from the day I went into labor and through today. Of course they are older now so I don’t have so much to write anymore, but I still write in it when I find something that I want to share with them. My friends kept trying to get me to find & look at photos of my new granddaughter. I didn’t want to look because I finally saw a photo of her and then I fell in love, instantly. My “baby” has a baby. Wow….my “miracle” has her own “miracle” now. I started the scrapbook, but it turned into a journal of sorts. I don’t have many photo’s of course and it’s turned into what I call “Letters To Olivia”… I have not done very much, but I’ve started it and have written in it. I “talk” to “Liv” and I tell her about us and her mommy when she was a wee one. I guess I just do it to keep sane. I’ve just lost so much; it’s hard to keep my heart from breaking all over again day after day.
I saw this somewhere and it makes me think of my daughter being a mother now : “Mothers and daughters are closest when daughters become mothers.” -Author Unknown. I found these ideas online…they are really several pieces of advice for daughters and I want to share them with you (they are from a woman named BNayden, but I don’t know who she really is, except that she is a mom….like me and……although I don’t usually give too much advice, I thought this was worth reading and sharing:
Advice for Daughters
Listen to your Momma. She will never intentionally steer you in the wrong direction. There may be times you think we don’t have your best interest in mind but we always do.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your family and true friends will accept you for who you are.
Do everything with grace.
Avoid participating in gossip.
Think twice before you post something on the internet.
Learn to cook, clean and be organized for yourself, not for someone else.
Don’t set limits for yourself. Break down boundaries.
You are stronger than what you think.
Read books and watch documentaries.
There is nothing wrong with a little adventure so don’t be afraid to try new things.
In anything you do, remember that there is a reaction for every action.
Be the heroine in your own story. You don’t need a prince to rescue you.
Don’t dumb yourself down to get attention. There is nothing wrong with being smart. Use your common sense.
Know who your true friends are. It is okay to let go of people and move on, not everyone is meant to take the next step with you in your journey.
Set goals for yourself and have a plan but know that not everything goes as planned. Always have a plan B and C.
Don’t give up on your dreams. Take it one step and one day at a time.
Travel. Experience the world.
Know what’s going on in the world and in your local community. Keep up with current events.
Be confident and believe in yourself.
Respect nature and the environment, help to take care of it.
Work hard and seize every opportunity.
Be kind, compassionate and loyal.
Not everyone will be on your team. Don’t worry about pleasing them. Keep yourself happy and stick to what you believe in.
Know your self-worth and don’t let anyone else bring it down or make you feel less worthy.
Be courteous and always practice good manners.
Try your best not to do or say anything you will regret later.
Be wise when it comes to money. Save for rainy days and for the future. Live within your means.
Material possessions are not everything.
You are my princess; find a man that will treat you like his queen and he will be worthy for you to treat him like a king.
Be as well-educated, well-spoken and well-traveled the best you can.
Have hobbies, learn to play an instrument, play sports, join clubs and do volunteer work. All of these things will teach you valuable skills and make you a well-rounded person.
You are going to lose sometimes but you will only fail if you don’t stand back up and try again.
Learn to be patient.
You have a rich heritage. Be proud of it and your culture because it contributes to who you are.
Realize when to walk away; you can only give so much until you compromise your integrity and happiness.
Be healthy. Eat well and exercise. Practice good hygiene.
Be passionate about everything you do and what career you choose. It should not always be about the money especially if you are unhappy.
I don’t know why I liked the advice above, but I thought it was really good, or most of it anyways. I just felt like sharing it …but now I’d like to share My Christmas wish:
….I so badly want my daughter to look up to me, like she had done in the past. I want her to see me with the same eyes that she had seen me with when she was a little girl. A time when I could fix anything and a time when a hug and a kiss and some ice inside of the “boo boo bunny” could fix a multitude of “owie’s”. I don’t want to go back in time, but move forward yet have her remember what she knew of my heart, who she always knew I was and for her to once again KNOW that I still am that “Momma” who thinks of her every day and still fondly calls her “My Sunshine Girl”. I want for her to realize that though she thought I could fix anything when she was a little girl, I’m just a person who is imperfect and who makes mistakes just like anyone and everyone does. I so badly wish for her to know that I never ever did or said anything to intentionally hurt her, not ever. Though I never would hurt a hair on my daughters heads, I’m not perfect and I have my own past hurts, issues and inner “demons” that I fight against; while being a product of a Malignant Narcissistic abusive family……what I’m saying…… I suppose….is that I’m sure I’ve unintentionally hurt some feelings in the past, but not willfully or with malice in my heart.
I have so much on my mind and in my heart this Christmas time. I am older now and feel at peace more with who I am and who I wish to be. I try to find good in every day and forgive the “little” things, because most daily annoyances are just that…”little things”. I try to find the good in people that I meet, and not be judgemental. I forgive those who’ve hurt me, even though the “hurt’s” that have plagued me during my lifetime are unimaginable to some. I’ve had not one, not two but many many Dr.’s and other people who meet me, say that I am a “miracle”. They say that they are so surprised that I’m not “dead or crazy. I’m not saying that to boast about being some kind of “miracle”…no… but to have you, the reader; know and feel what kind of things I’ve endured. If not for any other reason, than to know that I write from my heart; a broken heart. A heart that I’ve tried to mend over these years and continue to fill it with only love and kindness. I try not to harbor ill feelings for those who’ve abused me in the past, and they are many. I’ve been hurt by just about every person in life who was supposed to love me. I’ve been starved, poisoned, beaten, broken, punished, molested,raped, cheated on and worst of all taunted and teased, called names and the most hurtful of all is the fact that those who are supposed to love me, get pleasure from my pain. It saddens me when I think about it too much. So I just don’t think about it ….and as much as I can push it away, I do!
Anyways, all of that is in the past…oh wait…no… some of it is still happening. When you have Narcissistic abusers in your life, in your own family; it never ends until you break the ties. That is something which is so hard to do that not many can do it; not many stick with it for the long haul. God never said that you had to stay with people who hurt you and/or abuse you. But enough of that talk, this is Christmas and it is the season of goodness, kindness and peace.
I’ve always heard it is the time for miracles. I’ve been waiting so long and every Christmas I pray for my Christmas miracle to come true. I pray all during the year as well. I pray every day and each night. Maybe this will be my year for a true longing wish to come true. All I want for Christmas, Lord….is to have my daughter back in my arms again. I don’t care how old she is….she will always be my baby! “I love her forever, I like her for always….as long as I’m living my baby she’ll be…”…..Anyways, the day will come that my wish will come true, she will feel again in heart what she once felt ……something I’ve always felt and never lost for her…..a kind of love that is deep and true and a special kind of love between a Mother and her daughter…..
Well…anyways…I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true….whatever language you speak, I hope you speak “Love” and keep it in your heart all year and not just at Christmas time….
I try to write about a good variety of things on this blog. Some things about my life, my pain and things that I’ve done or am doing. Other times I try to write about upbeat, helpful “Life” stories, advice and /or help. Then again, sometimes I try to write about things that we can all relate to in one way or another. I’m sure there are some things that I choose to write about that you are not interested in and hopefully other times I may write something that will intrigue you. Today, I’ve decided to write about being a mother, a single mother, a re-married mother, a mother who lost her child and a grandmother who’s never had the chance to hold her first and only grandchild, a granddaughter (so far). It’s a journey that some of you may relate to on some level or another. Yet, there aren’t many that I’ve heard of or read about who’ve been surrounded most or all of their life by a family that they were born into, who actually get and have gotten “pleasure from their pain”. A family and 99% of that extended family that they were born into and another that they had married into and later divorced; all of whom have sought out to hurt and literally try to “kill” you without thinking a second thought. The reason being is that they are all Narcisisstic abusers! When you are just thrown into the” fire” to fend for yourself amongst these kinds people, who have all denied having any problems of their own, you actually realize why you’ve always felt so “bad” inside. I am talking about my life, my family and my ex husband,(father of my 2 children) and his family. I had always felt so powerless and small against them all! But once I decided to forgive them and realize that they can’t help themselves until or unless they realize that they want or need help. It took me years and years of going through a ton of horrible situations with verbal, physical, emotional and every other unimaginable abuse, before I was strong enough to say “STOP! NOT ME !!! ..and NOT EVER AGAIN!!” Sometimes it appears on the outside of things, to be very “lonely” when you take a stand to decide not to allow yourself to be abused anymore by anyone,not ever! But with God on my side, I will never truly be lonely. You may have your own higher power. I believe that all people are equal and that everyone has the right to believe in their own “higher power” and have their own personal spirituality. I feel that we need a sense of where we came from, how we arrived at where we are; and to what place we are going when this reality we know as “life” will end. I happen to be a Christian, born and raised a Catholic and went to Catholic schools all of my life. If I didn’t have my God in my heart, soul and my life, I would be totally lost. I would feel like a fish out of water flopping around with no air to breathe. I am thankful for God, for Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and the sins of others; for the Holy Spirit who came into my life and who has given me the power to persevere in the harshest of circumstances.
Today, my friends, I want to tell you about my eldest daughter. If you know me, then you know her name, but for the purpose of this blog and to respect her privacy, I will be calling or referring to her as my “Sunshine”. She was born in May of 1986, during a C-section that was planned because she was almost 9 lbs and in the breech position. I was scheduled for a C-section and then while having a cup of tea on the night prior to my scheduled delivery, I went into labor. We waited a little while to go to the hospital, but I was just really excited to have this baby, so we didn’t wait too long and we drove to the hospital about 10:00pm on a Wednesday night in May. I had had a previous miscarriage and my then husband, “Bully”, we’ll call him; had bonded together with my father and they tried to force me into having an abortion when we first found out I was pregnant again. Bully had lost his job at the Sheriff’s dept., or actually at that time he had “quit” that job to go into a business with his own father. We had no insurance for a short time. They sat me down and tried to actually talk me into making such a horrible decision as to just “throw away” my baby like it didn’t matter! ?? I would not hear of it. I would not listen to anything they were saying. I told them that if I had to “go it alone, I would”. They knew that it was early on and they knew I wasn’t changing my mind and so they got busy getting Bully to get rehired at his Sheriff’s dept. job, in the jail.
Fast forward now to the morning in May of 1986, when I was in labor and the OB Dr. came in and told me that there was an emergency in the other surgical room, with twins involved. He asked if I minded just waiting until morning at my scheduled C-section time of 8:00am. I wasn’t in “active” labor and never dilated, so I said I didn’t mind at all. I had some painful contractions, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Besides, I was so excited to be a “Mommy”, that I could hardly contain myself! It’s something I’d always wanted and everything I’ve always wanted to be.
Finally, it was my turn! They put up a curtain, Bully put on his scrubs and I was in the O.R. having our baby! They gave me a bit too much in the “spinal” anesthetic and suddenly I didn’t care that I was having a baby, or even remember! I could not breathe! They’d given me too much numbing and my lungs were paralyzed! I couldn’t breath and they had to bring in a machine to breathe for me until the anesthesia wore itself off! WHEW!! That was scary! But at 7:17 am on that Thursday morning,suddenly I heard a baby screaming as though no one had fed it for a week! They showed me this most beautiful bright red, screaming loudly, little baby girl! They showed her to me and for the instant that I saw her, it will be etched in my mind forever! Her mouth was open, she was bright reddish purple and screaming very loudly. She was really mad at somebody for taking her out of her comfortable zone! That’s what I’m thinking! They finished me up and took the baby away to get weighed, measured and all of that stuff. I had a baby girl! At once she was whisked away to the NICU! I was so afraid because this was my little daughter and I couldn’t protect her like I could when she was inside of me! They told me that she had a high red blood cell count (that’s why she looked like a little American Indian Papoose baby!) She was so red faced and so beautiful!! Also she had a UTI that she was born with for some reason? Lastly, she was jaundice and had to stay inside of an incubator for a few days! After the feeling came back to my legs about 3 pm that day, May 22, 1986, the nurse had me try to stand and then the next day I could go down and see my baby in a wheelchair. When I went to the nursery, I looked around for my baby and they were all “preemies” and I couldn’t see mine anywhere. Finally, the nurse said to me “Oh your baby, she’s in the “bad girl swing”…she was crying and crying and they needed to soothe her so that they could tend to the other babies and the swing worked! She loved it! It was kinda funny to see an 8 lb 12 1/2 oz 21 1/2 inch baby girl among the preemies in the NICU! I knew she was OK so that was the best part, the worst part was that they had an IV in her poor little arm and it was taped onto a board! She had little blood test marks all over her poor little toes and even a bruise on her head where they had to put the IV for awhile for some reason?? She had chest EKG patches on and it is a very scary thing for a new parent to see their new little baby like that. Then on the 5th day, I got to go home and on the 6th day we got to go back and pick her up. It was the hardest thing to leave my newborn little girl at the NICU and go home without her. Though, again I will tell you that I was assured that she’d be fine and just needed a little time on the antibiotics and under the Biliruben lights. We went back to get her the next day ASAP! When we got home with her, I had a fever, a very high fever and I was vomiting and my skin was a yellowish/green color! We went to my PCP and he said “it was the flu” (although I didn’t get to see “MY” Dr., I saw an intern). I only got sicker and so we visited my OB/Gyn Dr. and she said my Blood pressure was like 200/140 or something like that! She put me in the hospital ASAP! I had to leave my husband and my newborn baby girl (although they could stay in the room with me, which helped a bit) just as soon as I had gotten her home! They said I had “Toxemia” and it was an “afterbirth Toximia” and I was in the hospital for a few days and then back home to recuperate from my C-Section! We were finally a family! I had everything I had ever wanted! I adored her and she was my “traveling baby”, as everyone used to say because I took her everywhere with me! We were shopping buddies and she never wanted to nap and possibly “miss” something! She did sleep at night pretty close to after the first month! I was very lucky. Although she wasn’t a great “napper”, she was so smart and so beautiful and so perfect! She was my “sunshine girl” and that became her nickname from me for her lifetime!
I will tell you later, about my second child because today is about My Sunshine girl and I just wanted to think about her today while I am writing. Both of my children are and have always been my everything. When she was only 6 months old, she could speak! Yes, it’s true! She could already say “Hi”, “Mama”, and “ubbu”(which is “I love you”). She could speak complete sentences by the time she was one year old and she knew the alphabet and the song and many many things by 18 mos. old! She was the most loved baby ever! I just know it in my heart. I couldn’t have loved her any more than I did and do! She went to Kindergarten and got off the bus on the first day and reprimanded us for following the bus! She wanted to ride the bus the first day of school and she wanted to walk to her teacher all by herself! Her teacher had called to tell us that she would be the one holding a “blue balloon” and “Sunshine girl” should go to her. She did well but was very sad those first few week of school, mostly because her father took me out to dinner on September 19, 1991. He told me to get all dressed up and that we were going to “Red Lobster”, one of our favorite, better places to eat. It was Homecoming night for the High school nearby. All the girls were dressed up in long gowns. I remember it very clearly. My ex told me after we’d just eaten dinner etc., that “he didn’t love me anymore”. He told me that “his mind was made up 100% and he wanted a divorce”. He told me he “had a girlfriend who was moving in with him”. He said this on a Saturday night and when we returned home, I offered to drive the babysitter home because I was pretty upset (inside) and crying. I wasn’t really surprised because I knew he’d cheated on me several times. I had women call and ask for him and then hang up on me when I answered the phone. I had been to the Police academy with my baby girl to show a cadet there that my “ex” had a family and a baby and she shouldn’t be “having lunches inside of his car with him”. He almost was kicked out of the Police Academy for being found in the car “making out” with another woman on his lunch hour. My own brother went through the academy with him and he almost got kicked out also, for trying to start a fight with my ex, regarding the girlfriend. My family decided NOT to tell me because I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter at the time and they thought I couldn’t and wouldn’t handle it well and my ex promised my brother that he would stop! It never stopped because my Sunshine girl was only 4 yrs old & one time told me that while I was at work,”a girl came over” and “she kissed Daddy and told him that she loved him”! When I asked him about it, he told me that “she was just a friend from work”. Then many nights while he worked afternoons and was supposed to come home at midnight, I would be alone in my bed and watching over two little ones under age 3, until about 3:00 am! Then one night I got tired of it and I called the dispatcher at the Sheriff’s dept. at 3:00 am, when he still wasn’t home! He told me “Suzanne, you are a nice lady and “Bully” is a jerk and he picked up a girl at the 7/11 store and went someplace with her, I’m so sorry! I just had to tell you because you are such a sweet lady and he doesn’t treat you right! We’ve nicknamed him “Rambo” because it takes him a good 20 minutes to take off all of his weapons and put them in the trunk of his car before going to work down in the jail!” That dispatcher said that my Bully had been “cheating on me for awhile; and he was very sorry”.
Bully told me he wanted a divorce on a Saturday and by Monday, I had landed a full time job Interpreting for the Deaf, at the High school in our town. I was worried about my Sunshine girl because she was so sad. She didn’t want our “family” to be broken up. I stayed a long time in an abusive situation towards me and towards our dog, “Bullet”; because I wanted to try and keep that “dream of being a family” alive for all of us. Somehow I didn’t realize that it was hurting my daughters as well. I didn’t want to have to make them move away from their friends, their own bedrooms, that were beautifully decorated, just for them. I didn’t want them to have to go to daycare!!!!! I had children so that I could raise them, not someone else! I had no choice in the matter. I will make sure to be fair and tell you “Bully’s” side of the story behind why he wanted to leave and get a divorce. Also, why he had several girlfriends already and this last time he was leaving me for an 18 yr. old waitress at a bar where he and his partner frequented on their shifts as Sheriff deputy’s. He and I both tried to lose the weight that we both gained during my pregnancy. He lost it even faster than I ! His co-workers actually asked him if he had “Aids”, because he’d gotten down so thin and had always had the nickname “refrigerator” because he was barrel chested and a bigger guy. Then when I lost the weight, I became “afraid” of food (that’s another long story from a history of abuse, starving, poisoning etc from my own family of origin!). I had fought “on” and “off” again an eating disorder called “Anorexia”, since age 13. That is another long story for another day, but I had only dieted here and there during our marriage and hadn’t had the eating problem until I “over dieted” and seemingly couldn’t stop. Mostly, because my life was out of my control and I was being cheated on and abused and couldn’t do anything about it at the time. I felt “stuck”. I could never and would never leave my girls and I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do or how I would make things work.
I voluntarily checked into an Eating disorder program at a local hospital and I was in and out of that program three times in one year. I had ONLY been struggling with the Anorexia for ONE year before he checked out and decided to stop trying and wanted to leave our almost 8 year marriage. I took care of the home, I worked part time, took care of two children and a nice 2 story home in a nice country area of Michigan. I went through 2 C-sections, and 10 hours of labor with my first and 43 hours of labor with my 2nd daughter! I didn’t have any extra money to buy “mommy/daughter” outfits and had always wanted that. We didn’t go on vacations or go anyplace together really. I took the girls to the zoo usually by myself and met a friend and her kids there.(**The first thing that “Bully” did after he moved out was that within 3 days he “had a girl in his bed”, when the girls went over to visit him in an apartment that was attached to one of his parents houses. They came home from that visit very very upset about that news and couldn’t wait to tell me through tears! That girl was an 18 yr old who 6 months later, before the divorce was even finalized, wore an Easter dress that matched my 2 daughters! My ex had bought them 3 dresses to match…something obviously ONLY intended to hurt me more, knowing that WE never had the money to do that; and I had always wanted to do it. What happened to marriage “for better or for worse”? For “sickeness and in health”? I stayed and I was trying; all the while living with a perverted abuser who later was found “guilty” by a jury, of “hurting another girl” besides me. But I got hold of my eating disorder and got a full time job right away! After that school year was over, I needed to have medical insurance so I had to get a better job with benefits that were more conducive to a single mother. I got a full time job at the University of Michigan Hospitals. I was a secretarial “float” and an Interpreter for the Deaf. I was happy to have the good job, but devastated to leave my girls all day someplace else, when my baby girl was only 3 and my oldest was 5 1/2.
This blog today was going to be about my “Sunshine girl”, but it sort of turned into my “story” of abuse, betrayal, divorce, illness and relocating…it is about a mom turned “single mom” overnight, with 2 young daughters 5 and under! I just couldn’t let this story today end, without telling you one more situation that occurred. A friend of mine had gotten a ride with “Bully” when she came to see me after I’d given birth to my 2nd daughter. They drove together to the hospital, came to visit me and he took her home. I never thought another thing about it. I did wonder why she never spoke to me again? I found her recently on Facebook! I “friended” her and said “hi” and told her about my life and she wrote me back and told me why she hadn’t spoken to me since then. **(See small photo of message I received from her on bottom left of this post). She explained that “Bully” had made crude/rude sexual remarks to her that night in the car when he drove her to see me in the hospital. She said he even “exposed himself” to her”! (Wow!! while his wife had just spent 43 hours in labor and then had a major surgery/a C-section!! To have HIS baby!!!). Well, no wonder she never spoke to me again (she was married and had a baby boy), who could? Later, “Bully” went on to be prosecuted and found “Guilty” by a jury of “Indecent Exposure and Obscene conduct” with another young girl. Needless to say, the judge in our divorce case found out about the “guilty” verdict. Then after “Bully” had threatened me in the courtroom (I have those court transcripts, by the way!), the judge sent my daughters and I to a Domestic Violence shelter for safety concerns. He told my ex that he could not see the girls without a court supervisor because of the nature of his conviction, and being an “ex Sheriff deputy” (he got forced to resign obviously and part of his punishment was that he was ordered to “never be allowed to be in law enforcement again”!). “Bully” didn’t like that idea and decided to “go away and find himself”. He maxed our credit cards, took our little bit of savings from the bank and left $15.00 on the kitchen counter! (I wouldn’t be getting my 1st check until 2 more weeks went by) I had to stand in line for over 3 hours with a 3 yr old and a 5 1/2 year old, to get emergency food stamps, ! The next day when I came home from work, the food that had been bought with the food stamps was mostly gone! He still had a key for awhile after he left and he came in and took the Peanut butter, cheese, cereal etc. right out of his children’s mouth’s!!! He rarely saw the girls and he moved away 1,000 miles to another state. He hardly ever called either, except to tell them that “they had a new stepmother” and a few other times. I went about my life and our lives, taking the girls to their day care, school, dance lessons, recitals etc. I brought their forgotten homework to them at times when I was at work and got a phone call that either one of them had forgotten an assignment!! I loved doing it all and I lived for doing it all and never minded at all, not once, not ever! I always wanted to be a mommy and I finally was!
But at age 18, my “Sunshine” moved out because I wouldn’t allow her to sleep over night at her boyfriend’s house. She was still in High school and living at home, and had a younger sister who looked up to her. She wanted to do illegal and immoral things and I had tried so hard to teach them right from wrong. I took them to church and to Religious education classes. I loved them both and still do, with all of my heart and soul. She wouldn’t speak to me again and blamed it on many things but the things she blamed it on mostly happened one night when we argued for hours and hours while I was in horrible horrible chronic intractable pain after a car accident. She went up the stairs to her bedroom to get another set of car keys (because I had taken her set) and clothes that she’d already had ready in a pile on her floor. She knew she was going whether I allowed it or not! On her way up the stairs, she started punching out my new husband. We’d already been married 7 years and she loved him a lot and both of my daughters wanted me to marry him! We all loved him so very much. He blocked her punches and she told people that “he punched her”! The thing is this: she stayed living in our home for 3 months after that. She told me that I “don’t know how to raise daughters”….that “she hated me”….she called my voice mail and must have found my “Carepages update” (I’m guessing, but this I’m not sure? It’s a place where I put updates on my health so that I don’t bother people and only people who want to know how I’m doing can go there to find out how I’m doing )…..she left a voice mail for me in 2008 “out of the blue” and it said “Suzanne, why do you think people care about you? They don’t!!” …it felt like a dagger in my heart, but it wasn’t those other words ….it was one word…the fact that she called me “Suzanne” instead of “Mom” or “Momma”…it still gives me a sadness like no other when I think of it.
Anyway…this all happened long ago…all I can say is that I truly always did what I thought was the best for my kids. I put them first always and never cared if I had any other life than the one I had with them. Another time I will write about my daughter #2, who I call “My Joy”. BOTH of my girls are my life and without my eldest in my life, I ‘ve not felt like I have a full one because so much is gone without her in it. I have sent so many little “non-preaching” cards and little knick knacks and always sent birthday cards until the last few years. But still I sent one just last year again, in 2012. I wrote in it something like ” How can we fix this? I’m sorry for whatever you feel that I’ve done that hurt you in some way? What can we do, time is going so quickly??….” I don’t know what else to do or say because I am just guessing that since I’ve never gotten a card or heard from her in any kind way, that she doesn’t want me in her life ever. I was a mom who didn’t use any form of violence in words or actions ever ! I used explanations (too much…too many) and information and tons and tons of deep love to guide me in my parenting. Of course I’m not perfect, but any time I ever said something the wrong way or if I could’ve said it in a different way, I would always try to apologize and discuss things. I know that I tried hard without ever having the true love of a mother shown to me without sarcasm or meanness. I tried to do everything as I would have liked it done to me and tried to treat my girls how I would have liked to be treated. I never said “no” unless there was some kind of harm in a situation because I wanted them to have fun and do sleepovers and experience life.
I’m not sorry that I did everything for my daughter(s) that I did, while they were growing up. I never missed an event for them, I had to make sure someone (me) was there in the crowd to clap for them. I never wanted them to feel alone. I thought at least if I was one person who was a constant in their lives, they would be stable and know they are truly loved by one person unconditionally. One person who loves you like that, is better than 25 fake people who “use” you or hurt you etc. I made lunches with little notes and heart shaped sandwiches on Valentines day and other special times. I made green milk and bought green ribbons for their hair on St. Patricks day! I french braided, twisted, “princess pony-tailed” and fish tailed my girls long beautiful hair every day as long as they allowed me. I bought them special t-shirts, matching clothes and tried to do all that I could to make her/them happy. I tried to give them any and everything they wanted, needed and more, if I was able and if and when I wasn’t able to, then I tried explaining to them “why”! I brought pizza to the High school for my daughters 16th birthday while she sat with her friends. I brought enough for all of them. They even wondered how she could be so unkind to me regarding that day…you see, when I brought it, I hadn’t planned on staying or anything. I wanted just a few moments to see the fun and make sure she was having a good birthday. But as soon as I put the pizza on the table, she told me to “drop it off and leave “! I felt so empty and hurt that day, but I let it go and we kept going from there. I cannot and will not be specific about all of the things that happened continued to happen involving my Sunshine girl, from age 13 on up … I tried my very best to be 150% fair and treat the two girls equally and give them equal love. I tried so very hard to do the very best that I could with the cards I have been handed.
Lastly, I had a heart attack in 2005. The cardiologist said that I was his “first case of “broken heart syndrome”..he knew and had seen how much love I had/have for my daughters and how my heart was literally “broken” when I “lost” my sunshine girl. My husband did call to tell her, but we never told her what the Dr thought about how It happened. She never called back to see if I lived or died. Obviously she knows now..but ….then in 2006, I had a CVA or aka a stroke. In 2007, I acquired the MOST painful of all chronic pain diseases. It’s called “RSD/CRPS”. This is known as a progressive, horribly painful “Neuro-Autoimmune disease”; and it’s #42 on the McGill pain scale (Which is right up there with childbirth and Cancer pain!!). We never bothered to call her because I knew she didn’t care. That hurts so so very much….she still doesn’t care and it hurts so deeply; mostly because I was always there for her. I remember one time the dentist sent us to a gum Dr to fix a little extra thickness between her front teeth after her braces came off. They wanted to cut her gums and do a painful scale back of them. Another parent may have just blindly listened to that Dr. but I said “let’s wait and see what happens”. I could not let her be put in pain for something so unnecessary. I wanted to wait and see what happened and it went away by itself. I’ve had 10 surgeries since my MVA in 2002 and she never ever offered to help and she was 16 when it happened. She never even tried to do one small thing to help us, her family at a very difficult time. Instead she “ran with it”!! Sunshine girl used my pain as an excuse to be sneaky, lie to me and go on more “sleepovers” after that accident. I never felt any empathy whatsoever from her even as she got older; and then to hear her call me by my 1st name instead of “Momma” ,it broke my heart….I’ve lost her and it’s been so many years now..going on 9!
I’ve missed her engagement, her shower, her wedding . Her father walked her down the aisle, when I raised her without any help from him…I feel like I did all of the hard stuff and He gets the grown up daughter now and I’ve lost her. I still wouldn’t change anything because I got to have my baby girl for about 15 years or a little less, really. I didn’t even get to be a part of her pregnancy , baby shower and now the birth of my first grandchild, a baby girl (who’s already about 7 months old I’ve heard!). I didn’t even know she was pregnant or that she’d had a baby until I found out by accident one day.
I’m so so saddened by this and feel like I will never be fully happy again. I know the worst feeling for a parent is to “lose” their child. She will be my “child” until the day that I die; and she’ll always be my baby, too. Now that she has a baby girl, I wonder if her daughter comes to her when she’s 17 and in High school and tells her that she was going to spend the night at her boyfriends house, I just don’t think she’d respond with what her father told her; which was “We’ll adopt the baby if you get pregnant, don’t worry.” He also said to her that “this is what teenagers do” and he told her this is what he did when he was a teen. I honestly think if she reaches into her heart and soul, she would know that when her baby girl turns 17, and if she tells her that she is going to sleepover at a boyfriend’s house; I just cannot honestly believe that she would say what her own father said. I pray that having a daughter of her own will prove to her that there’s no “how to” book. I did the very best that I could and it came from my heart. Mommy’s who love their children also make mistakes… But I honestly did my best and there’s no one in the world who knows her inner heart and soul like I do! There’s no one who can take the place of a Mother’s love…. because I was her “Mommy” long before she lived in this outside world!
I love you “Sunshine girl”….please come “home” to my heart?? I’ve been waiting such a long long time. We may not forget but please… Let us start by forgiving and starting anew; both as adults now…” I love you forever, I’ll like you for always; as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be!”
Well, after years of contemplating getting an animal to fill our home with the essence of another life and more love and joy etc….We got ourselves a Cat! Now…of course, “she” doesn’t think she is a “cat”! She has brought so much more joy, love, life and fun into our home …more than I could have ever imagined! We‘ve had “Luna” for about a month now. She is a rescued, 2 1/2 year old pure white domestic short hair female Cat, with the most beautiful emerald green eyes you’ve ever seen! She “talks”with her eyes and she “Meeps” with her voice! Really….when she wants my attention, she says “Meep”….”Meep”…it’s so cute.
She is the essence of elegance and cleanliness in a feline! She is so purely white and so full of personality! She loves to play like a kitten! As soon as one of us picks up her favorite toy (a rod with a string on it and at the end of a string is a feathery/mousey thing), she starts acting like what I call “the crouching tiger”….she jumps and jaunts and hops up and down! She does her “morning calesthenics” by running and jumping through the stairways of the 2 story house that we live in together. She’ll stare at the upper stairs, crouch down and JUMP up, running up and down and up and down! It’s really hysterical to watch! She makes me laugh! She sits on the top of my large jewelry box and looks out of my window patiently until I want to get up in the mornings! Sometimes, if I’m not quick enough for her, in getting up in the mornings, she’ll come down and lay by my side and purr like an large engine or something of that sort. She will lay there and purr and let me pet her and she even “pets me”! Yes…she will lick my hand or rub her face on my hand to get me to pet her there or more! She even comes up to my face and puts her cute little pink, wet nose on my nose and I just swear it’s like she’s giving me a little “kiss”.
Lu-Lu, or Luna….or Luna Tuna…or Luna-“tic”, as my husband likes to call her…is or has become a great joy in our life of dealing with my chronic pain, loss, health issues and PTSD. I truly believe in the idea that animals can lower our blood pressure or give us a healthier life or at least a more positive outlook on our life, if it is difficult. I recently, had heart surgery and was worried because she’s still pretty “new” to us and how she may react towards me. I didn’t want her to “hurt” me by accident or something. She’s just been her loveable yet, soft and elegant self! She’s definitely NOT a “needy” cat either! She likes to sleep and run around by herself with her “ball” or her little “mouse toy”. She adores basking in the sun of the big glass sliding door and jump up on the box seat cushion of the bay window and watch the rain droplets, snowflakes or tiny creatures hopping about.
I’m so glad that I waited for the right animal. I didn’t jump into anything. My friends have teased me for years because I always said that I wanted an animal, but never actually could get one that we could keep, or that worked out with our family living style. I had a dog once, that I loved so much. His name was “Kato” and he was my BFF! I loved that dog like a baby! In fact, I carried him around in a little winter knit hat, when he was a baby! He ran to the door to greet me and he loved me like I loved him. Until the day came at less that one year old, when he had to be “put down” because of the pain of a joint disease. I was mortified and something “died” inside of me that day! I had to do it alone..I mean…take him and leave him there. I cried for 3 days straight…in my bed! It was so sad, that I just never felt like I wanted to go through that loss again. I think that is what held me back for so many years. That, and the fact that I had 2 kids in the house and sometimes many more than that, when friends and my stepkids came over! We had alot of excitement and movement and things to do every day. We were a busy family! Then one by one, the children grew up and left and the house felt “empty”.
I was sad for awhile, but now I’m learning to embrace my new life with my husband of 16 years! We never had that time to ourselves “before kids”, because we both had 2 kids when we met, though his were much older! We didn’t have that “honeymoon” period and now with me having Chronic Pain, RSD/CRPS and heart issues such as a pacemaker/Atrial fibrillation/Sick Sinus Syndrome/Long QT/ and having Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS and more…it just seems like we always had too much going on to settle down and just “be”!
So now I’m not so sad….I still miss my kids at home. We see our youngest much of the time and she is our little “mothering daughter”. She worries and dotes and gives so much love to us! She got a cat who is 4 years old, and her name is “Sutton”. Sutton is totally black with big round green eyes and she is Miss Personality of her own!
Sutton “talks” in her own language by a slight growling sound and she “howls” at the cieling near the kitchen counter for some reason?Sutton sits on my lap for an hour at a time when I’m over at my daughters house! I just love that Cat! She lets you do whatever you wish, pretty much…within limits of course! She let my daughter put a “Santa hat” on her at Christmas time and take pictures of her that way! She lets my daughter kiss her forehead and take a picture of it until it is “just right!
Luna, on the other hand is a bit persnickity and would never let me put anything on her head! She doesn’t like to be picked up except when she’s very very tired and until she realizes it and then she jumps down! So far, she doesn’t like to sit on anyone’s lap or be too snuggly with anyone for long. But she loves me and I love her. I love the wet nose kisses and the pushing of her head into my hands and I can feel the love she has for me.
My husband was never a “cat” person. He was very allergic and still is, really!Luna has won him over and he takes an allergy pill each day, just like I do (and I do an inhaler too!). It’s just so “worth it” to do this little inconvenience to have so much fun and joy and love in our home! It’s so great to have a warm body there with me when nobody else is home, too. We wipe her weekly with these “pet bath wipes” to get about 85% of the allergens off of her; and it seems to be helping quite a bit! That and brushing her daily, helps with the hair and the dander in the air! I love also to give her her “nummy nums” and watch her get so excited and pace back and forth between my legs until I put the soft food down for her! She will NOT eat any treats! I’ve tried six different kinds! She took tuna from my hand the other day and she’ll eat soft food like crazy. She eats her regular hard food daily, too.
The life she had before she came to us must have been horrible for her. They said that she was in a “hoarder’s house”. There was litigation going on for months so she was put into “foster care” for 6 months time. Those people went to jail for neglecting their many animals! I don’t know to what extent, but I do know that she has “night terrors”. She cries like a little baby ! It’s the strangest sound, until I get up and go to her and wake her up and she licks me and knows it’s now going to all be O.K.!!
Amy and Sutton
Craig and Luna
our kitty and Us!
Sutton at the “surprise party”…just lovin’ those balloons!
Luna looking out my bedroom window
where she likes to sleep…
something I never thought I’d see…my Hubby playing with a Cat!! LOL!**OUR CAT!