It’s been 2 years, also it’s Father’s Day

It’s hard to believe that 2 years ago, I was moving out and filing for divorce.

Life now looks much different, it’s filled with joy, creativity, and laughter. Days are not perfect and my ex is still difficult and really has no communication skills, but he isn’t super involved, so it’s not a big deal.

The twins are almost 3. ALMOST 3. It’s crazy. I feel like everyday they are getting easier and easier. Parenting is still hard with them and a 4 year old (who has ALL THE SASS), but parts of it are still easier. I’ve reached milestones I thought we would never reach. for example: yesterday my friend came over with her kid who just finished kinder. I put the puddle jumpers on my kids. All the kids swam and played in the pool- We were watching them every moment-BUT I DIDN’T HAVE TO GET IN THE POOL. My friend and I laid on the deck and watched the kids and talked. It was so fun. The kids had fun and I had fun with my friend. We gave the kids lunch and then they all went up to the playroom and played.  It felt so good to know they will come get me, if they need something and I don’t feel the need to hover anymore.

Me? Well, I’ve finished all my course work for my 2nd masters, and I’m just doing practicum stuff now.  I am working in a partial hospitalization program/intensive outpatient program for kids 5-18. It’s a sink or swim situation. I think it will be really good for me professionally and personally. I’m considering going back to get a 3rd masters because I’m a glutton for punishment. It’s only 4 more classes, and then I would have a masters in Marriage and Family counseling, Professional Counseling, and Christian Education and Counseling. I WOULD HAVE ALL THE DEGREES. So, that’s my current dilemma. Such a nice difference from my previous dilemmas.

Father’s day is coming up. It’s a hard day for me. I go to church and play in the worship band. I play almost every week, and they have no other keyboard player, so I rarely take a week off. It’s hard to go to church and hear about how wonderful dad’s are, and how we should appreciate them. Don’t get me wrong- I myself have the most wonderful dad on the planet. HE IS THE BEST. My kids do not. It’s hard for me to sit there and not be angry at God that my kids don’t have what I have, and what some other kids have.
SO I’M NOT DOING IT
That’s right- I’m not going to church. My dad is out of town, so I will celebrate him when he gets back, but I’m going to a spa. That’s right, I found a good deal, my child support just increased, so HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ME. I am going to enjoy a facial, massage, and pedicure. So tomorrow I will be having church in my own way. I think that we have to look at the nature of God, and I think he is okay with me needing space tomorrow and doing something for myself.

Peace out 2017

This year kicked my ass, but if I’m being honest, I feel like I kicked it’s ass in return. 

Here I am, alone on New Year’s Eve, sitting in bed at 10pm getting ready to go to sleep. I’m thinking about all the things that happened this year.  This year kicked my ass, but if I’m being honest, I feel like I kicked it’s ass in return.

It kicked my ass.

  1. My stress levels are through the roof, I don’t sleep much
  2. I went to court 3 times for divorce hearings
  3. I finally got divorced on Dec 27th (judge signed the papers and all)
  4. I have a low self-image view.
  5. I’ve been battling depression all year
  6. My son began having developmental delays

I kicked it’s ass

  1. I took and completed 8 graduate courses and got A’s in every single one of them
  2. I got divorced
  3. I elimated toxic products from my life
  4. I work out 3 times a week
  5. I have a better relationship with food (minus this holiday season)
  6. I survived
  7. My kids survived
  8. My son is kicking his delays in the butt. He is working hard.

Overall I feel like the working out has helped me psychologically cope with all the stress. I still struggle though. For example today, I asked my ex to not take the kids to a certain place (cause GERMS). They have been sick since Thanksgiving and I really want them to be better by the time they go back to school. He lied to me. I lost it. It’s stupid, and I am still fuming about it. I hope that one day I will be able to let these things roll off, and I have to remember that once a liar always a liar. He is not going to change. He took them there against my urging him not to, and this was after he switched his time cause he had “new year eve’s” plans. I had plans to be married and not living with my parents at the age of 31. Kids change things and you have to adjust.  I know I need to give myself time, and I need to continue working on forgiving him. I’m scared I’ll never get there. I will be this bitter old woman who held onto hurt and abuse her whole life, and never allowed herself to be happy again, punishing myself for making such a poor choice in a partner.

So what I am hoping for in 2018

  1. Workout 4 times a week or more. Move intentionally everyday
  2. yell less at my kids
  3. cope/deal with my crazy ex husband better
  4. Pass the NCE and begin work as a LPC
  5. Continue my self-care journey
  6. play more music

Finally.

After 16 months of divorce proceedings, on October 23, the judge granted my divorce. HALLE-FRICKIN-LUJAH. I don’t mean that to sound so sacrilegious, but YALL that took forever.  I seriously feel like a 120lb pack has been taken off my back. I’m free.

After all the fighting and custody issues, guess what? He fought and fought, and he has cancelled 2 times since October 23. It’s only November 6.

I don’t have time to write much more, because I’ve got finals approaching this next week so I’m gonna leave this victory right here and continue having a party.

They made me do it….

I have been reflecting on my little twinkie butts this past week. They turn 2. My precious little babies turn 2 years old on Saturday. They aren’t babies anymore. In fact they are raging toddlers. RAGING. Two tiny little terrors who tag-team and destroy the world around them. I love them to pieces, and I can’t imagine life without them being the dynamic duo that they are.

Sometimes I find myself thinking about what life would be like, if they never entered it. I would have had my oldest (because honestly, I tried to go back pre-kids and I can’t do it) and it would have been me and her. Would I have had to the courage to leave the the abusive relationship? Would I have made her live in a home where dad was allowed to treat mom like shit? Where people yell and cry, and she gets to be the only witness to it all? Honestly, I have a hard time imagining life without the twins, because they have pushed me to be something greater than I was. Not that I’m saying I’m great now, but they put me in a situation where I had to choose to be brave and fight.

When I was pregnant with the twins most of the hard core stuff was happening with my ex. That is when the 2 overdoses occurred and mayhem came around like bees who had their hive disrupted. It was just me and her (well the other two were along for the ride, but easier to manage at that point). I could pick her up and take her wherever I was going. One kid wasn’t hard to take care of. I didn’t feel guilty leaving her with people because she was the cutest kid ever and there was only one of her. When my twins were born, shit kept hitting the fan (honestly, I never knew there could be so much shit, but there was). It came to the point, where taking my one child and running off to a safe place wasn’t an option. Now I had 3 people I had to run off with, 2 who were newborns. Life became more difficult, and I found myself at a crossroads. My ex was losing it one night and I told him to go spend the night at a hotel, because I needed him to leave because I was scared. He decided he was leaving for good that night and packed all his things and claimed I kicked him out. My parents were with me, and my mom helped me take care of the twins during the night.

The point I’m trying to make is the twins made me stand up for myself. When I just had one kid I ran. I was able to run off. With 3- I had to stand and defend myself because that was the only choice I had. It hasn’t been an easy choice, in fact its the hardest choice I’ve ever made.

If someone told my 21 yr old self that at the age of 31 I would be a divorced mom with 3 toddlers, I would have said that person doesn’t know me very well, because that is not who I am and I don’t believe in divorce. 21 year old me had never experienced any abuse like 30 year old me had, or had the mama bear instincts that 30 year old me had (am I right, mamas!?).  I often find myself wondering who is gonna want a woman who is in her early 30’s with 3 small kids. I don’t know any guy who would take on that, to an instant family of 5, but I trust that the decision I made is what’s best for all of us, and I have peace about it.

So while, I feel like the twins have pushed me to my limits in every area of my life, they stopped me from running away from my problems to facing them head on. Thanks for the push kids. I can’t imagine my life without the 3 of you.

 

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Newborn photo. Courtesy Mulberry Lane

Theme Music for Seasons of Life

Have you ever had a theme song? I feel like at different times in my life, I find a song a like and then I play it 1 million times. Around the time I was planning my wedding and getting married it was 2013. Hillsong had just come out with a new album and I became obsessed with their song Oceans. I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate the song into my wedding, because well its about God being there when you suffer, more or less. Forward to 2.5 years later when I was driving to go pick up formula thickener for my twins and this song came on the radio by Bethel Music You Make Me Brave. I listened to it and then for months after I listened to it over and over and over again. It even became part of the reason I named this blog “A Brave New Tomorrow”. So when I heard this mash up of the two songs- it touched me. All the tears, kind of touched me.  It’s literally a mashup of the journey I’ve been on the past 4 years. Here- take a listen Oceans//You Make me Brave. I feel like they recorded it for me, because obviously I’m that important!

To me, these songs are reminders that God has purpose in all the suffering. I know He is working all for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purposes. In case you need to know, that verse is about suffering, and we aren’t promised a life without suffering. I’m just glad I have a God that loves me and works through the pain to show me greater and deeper love than I’ve ever known.

take a listen to the songs. I hope they encourage you, like they do me.

“For happiness is anyone and anything at all, That’s loved by you”-You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

What’s life if you don’t take chances. See, I am back to school to be a counselor. I had been a counselor (of sorts) before, and I remember telling someone “I’m a counselor because I believe people can change”. While I can say I’ve now seen some things, I can still say that, but someone has to want to change. I also believe if you aren’ happy in life, you should do something to change that. While I’m not a prosperity gospel type gal- I do believe we get choose some things, and those choices directly effect our happiness. Do something different. Work on yourself. Do something that makes you happy. It will be worth it. If you need counseling- DO IT (I promise, counseling is not for the weak, I actually believe it’s for the strong). I have a counselor. It’s awesome. I recommend it for people who don’t even have major issues. It’s just nice to have an unbiased ear to talk to. I’m often reminded of the lyrics to the song “Happiness” from Your a Good Man Charlie Brown.

 
Happiness is finding a pencil
Pizza with sausage
Telling the time
Happiness is learning to whistle
Tying your shoe for the very first time
Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band
And happiness is walking hand in hand
Happiness is two kinds of ice cream
Knowing a secret
Climbing a tree
Happiness is five different crayons
Catching a firefly
Setting him free
Happiness is being alone every now and then.
And happiness is coming home again
Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you
Happiness is having a sister
Sharing a sandwich
Getting along
Happiness is singing together when day is through
And happiness is those who sing with you
Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you
-You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

 

These are all little things, but tell me you didn’t smile while you read this-thinking about your own life or childhood.So, do something that makes you happy. What makes you happy?

me? well I enjoy going to Costco by myself. I know- but there is something therapeutic about wandering around that store aimlessly. It’s much less fun when you have kids with you, eating all the samples you got for yourself. I also really enjoy working out. I hate it while I’m doing it, and I either go with a friend (one who doesn’t judge- really is there any other kind of actual friend?) or I bring Harry Potter audiobooks. I’m know. Go ahead and judge me, or copy me.

These things make me happy.

Find something that makes you happy. And for goodness sake. DO IT.

June sucks

The month of June is a hard month for me. Well- actually it all starts at the end of May. It was never a bad month- until 2015. Then it became a bad month. I had a 13month old and I was 7 months pregnant with twins. See, around the time my life began *obviously* falling apart (it was long before, but shhhh that’s a secret) things happened on significant dates. My husband overdosed for the first time on one of my closest friend’s birthday. She spent her whole birthday with my 13 month old, and her husband spent the day with me and my husband. I stayed with her that night because well…it wasn’t safe for me to go home. High husband…threatening to leave the hospital…police were there…I had been attacked by my husband in the waiting room of the ER. I didn’t get hurt-kudos to my friend’s hubs for helping in that stressful situation.  A week after that day it was my husband’s birthday. He got high on PCP or a designer drug similar and with my limited knowledge of drugs and what high people look like; ignorance was bliss- I hid my husbands car keys and gun, and went and slept on the floor in front of our daughter’s room. Just in case whatever craziness he had going on was going to effect my kid. Don’t mess with Mama Bear. The next day I told him and showed him the videos. He thought it was funny. I made him go clear out his office. He told me he was making “supplements”. No sir, you are making drugs (this revelation came months later when I start researching the ingredients of his supplements). Fast forward a week or so- he is planning on going on a trip with a bunch of guys from high school/college for a bachelor party. I ask him not to go. I need help. I’m seriously pregnant with twins. He says he deserves a vacation. whoopdie freakin do. I don’t need a vacation? I digress.  So he is gone over my birthday. Mind you- the previous year he forgot my birthday, June 20. He really needed to not miss this one, considering we had only been married a little less than 2 years. Anyway guess what happened. He forgot. I couldn’t get a hold of him, I couldn’t even get a hold of him the next day. I ended up calling the hotel and tracking him down. His phone had gone mysteriously missing at some venue (found out it was a place called lipstixxx several months later- it sucks when a hooker steals your phone) I go to the airport to pick him up. He’s not there. I wait for 3 hrs. I take my baby home, and leave her with my brother and sister-in-law (who luckily lived with us and got to witness this phase of life in all it’s glory). I go back to the airport, and while I am searching for answers, a big pregnant-PANICKING-woman in the airport I get a call from the police that my husband had a seizure on the airplane at was taken to a hospital. I go to the hospital. My brother comes too (he got to ride in a police car going 100MPH. jealous.) So I go to the hospital and they won’t tell me what’s wrong. He seized for 4 days in the ICU. No one will tell me what’s going on. I finally find out he has told them they can’t. I found out at discharge, when I told him I wasn’t taking him home otherwise that he had high amounts of METH and PCP in his system. We go home and I tell him that if he ever does drugs again he can’t live with us. His seizure happened on June 21, my mother’s birthday- the day I realized the previous overdose wasn’t just an accident, and that he probably was high on his birthday when I didn’t know what was going on and slept outside my daughter’s room. Yall.  HE DIDN’T STOP. HE DIDN’T ASK FOR HELP. EVERYONE TOLD HIM TO GET HELP, OFFERED HELP. I didn’t know he was still doing drugs, I thought all the things that continued to happen (I.e. picking his skin off) were residual effects from the seizure. My uncle called it. He told my parents that he thought my husband was on drugs. See I hadn’t told anyone besides my friends who stepped in and rescued me earlier in the month. Our wedding anniversary is June 29. June 29, 2015 I tried to celebrate, but really I realized I was in over my head. I needed to tell people we needed help. We started counseling. I’ll leave it there. Maybe next post I’ll rehash July of 2015.

This is why the month of June is hard for me. June of 2015 sucked. Now when it’s June, we start the month off remembering his first overdose, then it’s his birthday, Father’s day (which come on- I have a great dad, but my kids don’t so I feel conflicted about this day), my birthday, mom’s birthday (2nd overdose anniversary), and then our wedding anniversary.  Last year on June 29th I was sitting in a lawyers office asking to file for divorce (still not divorced- being married to a lawyer sucks). This year would have been 4 years. June sucks. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m just overwhelmed by emotion at this point in my life, and in June they all come flooding back like a force to be reckoned with. Divorce is the last thing I ever wanted. It really hurts. Hurts SO much. It was a hard decision, and I’ve had to mourn the life I’m not gonna have, but I have these three magical little people who need me to move on and dream of the life the 4 of us are gonna have. That’s what they deserve. but June still sucks.

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This is my baby June of 2015. Her smile and fluffy toddler hair make me smile.