Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You Survived!

You have “those kind of days” where you sit back and realize that you’ve survived. You survived the things that almost broke you. That some days you thought did break you. Or even still, you sometimes you think you are indeed, broken. 

But you’re still here. Looking at the horrid stuff that got thrown your way. You’re not immune to it. No one is any more or less deserving of the heaping pile of crap that has somehow landed on your head. 

The days that you look at what your children have endured and you weep. That’s all you can do is cry for your children b/c if you’re feeling like the world is caving in, how do they feel? Yet they bounce back! It’s like the paddle balls you get at a carnival.. man those suckers come whipping back at you! Kids do the same thing! And they come back stronger. It may take awhile but they are resilient. I know this b/c I have seen it first hand. My children are strong. They are fighters. They are inspiring to me.  Isn’t that what parenting is about? Or what it should be about? That when faced with the things like Cancer and Autism and Bladder Exstrophy and PTSD and well.. there isn’t a word for what the family members that don’t have a “label” go through when they sit back and watch their family go through all that. They don’t have the “label” stamped across their forehead but they sure as hell deserve one. They sit in a tough spot. They see firsthand how all this stuff is hitting their siblings and parents. And they wonder when will something hit them?? My sweet children, how sorry I am that you feel like that. 

I won’t pretend that what we have gone through hasn’t left me in what feels like a million pieces some days. I want to put my fist through a wall when my son is crying uncontrollably because he is literally saying to me “ I can’t make it stop” He can’t stop the rage and feelings that swallow him whole. I can’t make that go away. I can’t make what my other 3 kids feel go away when they watch all this unfold. The range of emotions that wash through them is….well I’m not smart enough to insert the appropriate word to fit. 

The people on the outside see just a snippet of what really goes on behind closed doors. Well what goes on behind these closed doors? A lot of tears, a lot of prayer and a lot of laughter. The combination of those 3 are probably what keeps us all together. 

I still have days that I can hear CLEARLY the Dr. telling me as I’m driving down Main St on an absolutely beautiful summer morning that my husband did have cancer. Wait.. say that again? not because I want to hear it but because I don’t believe it. It feels like i’m watching this happen to someone else. I don’t know where to go with what that feels like. Where does a spouse fit in to the equation? 
So I guess I ask of people or would ask if anyone had the balls to come right out and ask me why I have had a difficult time..”WHAT WOULD YOU DO????”  Your husband, father to your children, literally the first and only love of your life has been given a diagnosis that you have NO idea what will bring or mean to your family. And you already are dealing w/ circumstances that scare you and rattle you.  How can I make it better? How can I do this? questions that go through your mind and never stop. 

Now, I don’t apologize for my feelings. I am NOT going to. Ever. I have told my children that they NEVER need to apologize for how they feel. No one can take that away from you. You have a right to feel how you feel. Our reaction to those feelings are where it counts. I’ll be the first one to tell you my reaction was to let fear get a grip on me. I have to fight it. I have to fight depression and anxiety. Those things that don’t leave a physical scar or outward warning to everyone else that you may just be a basket case walking around disguised as a mom. And if you do let it out.. well that isn’t always acceptable either. But it’s reality. It’s my reality and unfortunately it’s the reality that so many people face all the time. It robs you of joy and peace and happiness. 

I am forever changed. We have ups and downs. I am just barely scratching the surface of how the different “things”, circumstances.. whatever you want to call it have and continue to affect me. I’m not going to give up. I’ll be honest and say that some days I do want to give up. I want to hide. If I hide then for a little while nothing can creep into my hiding place and knock the wind out of me again. But I can’t stay there. It’s not healthy. It’s not where I’m supposed to be. I need to find a place of peace and solitude to re-group. But hiding out isn’t going to change anything. I am thankful for a God that loves me just as I am. He knows me. He knows the desires of my heart. He’s blessed me with these awesome kids that love me in spite of all my short comings. And he’s given me a husband that doesn’t judge me, doesn’t tell me to “get over it” but prays for me. Sends me text messages that are prayers asking God to help me through the day. That’s where we are at today. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Don't Judge

So I have had these thoughts rolling around in my head. well questions really. Most of which are very pointless b/c it's not likely that I will ever get answers until I meet Jesus. 

I don't say these things to come off super negative. However it does sound negative. So here it is.

Why do people who go through trial after trial keep getting hit? It's not just the big things. It's the little things too. We have dealt with birth defects that are lifelong issues, autism, depression, cancer, anxiety disorders and all the crap that goes with that. How it affects each member of the family differently, how do Darnell and I as parents help our kids handle it all? How do we handle it all?   
Then we also deal with the little things. But they seem like HUGE things when you have the heavy hitters already on top of you. I need so much dental work that it will cost a small fortune ( well maybe not that much) to have it all done. The longer I go the worse it will get. I have a fantastic dentist but honestly- I owe them a couple hundred dollars from the dental work I had done last year. Savannah needs braces. Our van has held up but it's starting to have some issues. We don't have a 2nd vehicle. WE NEED ONE.  We struggle some months to pay the monthly bills. It has improved through the years but the kids get older, they need more things... I can't keep up with it all. I don't say all this to complain. I say all this to shed some light on these things that from my standpoint, so many take for granted. I feel like, and this is just from my experience, that all these things added on top of the health issues are just overwhelming. Maybe I just feel that way b/c in the last year I have battled depression and anxiety like never before. I'm telling you, when your world gets rocked upside down, it doesn't turn right side up when it seems like everything is back to "normal".  
I have been told countless times that things can always be worse. This is true. I've seen people go through things a lot worse than what we have. HOWEVER.. that does not, in any way, make what we deal with less difficult.  Maybe it's just me but when your husband is diagnosed with cancer, you don't just bounce right back. Am I thankful they caught it in time? OF COURSE. jeez. it's like when someone says oh but it could have been so much worse, they caught it, he's fine now. Ok, well how about YOU DEAL WITH IT.  On top of the load that was there already. I honestly don't want to sound like a big whiner.  But this is my life. This is what I deal with and struggle with. I just want to get my kids to appointments and to work and not have to take Darnell to work by 5a.m. so we have the van while he's at work God bless Jeremiah for doing that so much b/c he's an early bird (well more than me haha) but seriously, can we catch a break? Can just getting to and from places not be a chore in and of itself? The burden of dental work and keeping up with just the basics of life is overwhelming to say the least.

With all that being said, one would say that I am just looking at the negative, not the positive. Well I'm not. I promise. I have seen God do amazing things in our life. There have been friends and family that have stepped in and bent over backwards for our family. That are by our side through it all. They make it all bearable. God makes the way. I don't know why some of the other things can't just fall into place. I just feel defeated in the area of all the things so many take for granted. I'm working on it. I started selling Thirty One to force myself to do something that was out of my comfort zone but something I really like. I am praying I can build up this small business. Enough to help pay for some bills so we can afford a car payment. or for whatever else we need. I pray God will open doors for me to be able to tap into the right places for customers and people that are want to have parties. 

I will end with this~ There is always someone else that has it worse. Yes I can be more positive. I'm a work in progress. But I'm trying to give it all to God and not handle it all on my own. It's a daily struggle. Sometimes hourly. Depression and anxiety are not things that people see from the outside. They might see that you aren't social like you used to be or are different. But not because you WANT to be. It stops you in your tracks and makes life feel crappy. God reminds me through my husband's prayers for me and my kids laughing and just seeing their beautiful faces that He is walking with me. the hard stuff doesn't go away but those reminders help you keep on swimming. This month will be 1 year that Darnell was diagnosed with cancer. June 10th ( my birthday) he had the "cyst"removed in the Dr's office very routinely. June 18th was when I got the call when I was driving that he had cancer.  That changes your life. Now a year later, he is healthy. To look at him, you would never know he went through 7 weeks of radiation and a surgery that was tough to fully recover from but he made it look like a piece of cake. God gave us the grace to get through it. So I am thankful that a year later, life is different but we made it through. 
Please don't judge. Don't judge when you look at someone or hear what they have to say and automatically think that life is just fine for them. We never know the struggles others face after they walk into their home and are able to take the smile off their face. Have mercy and grace. Everyone has their own story and their own struggles. 
Some of us are more vocal about it, ME ME ME, lol. Some are not. One is better or worse than the other. So I'm going to go about my day and try to keep reminding myself that God is my provider and my strength. He carries me. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

How this mom of a special needs child feels...

This may end up being random but my hope is to give you some insight into the life as a mom with 4 kids, 2 of which each have different, but special needs. 

The first thought that goes through my mind in the morning is what kind of mood will Isaiah be in. Will he be ok, will he be full of anxiety or stress...When I ask/tell him to do something he refuses. I can't tell him 2 or 3 things at a time or he shuts down. He doesn't handle too many things going on at one time. 
I feel on edge all the time. I want to make sure he's not stressing. I want to make sure he's not having issues w/ his siblings. How his actions affect them is a constant concern. Will they resent him, will they resent me? Every situation is different. I see the looks on my kids face when I know it's a rough day. It's not just a rough day for Isaiah, it is for all of us. 

I want him to feel good about himself. I want him to be able to enjoy life. As a mom, a wife... jeez just as a human being.. I want to be able to go through a day without the constant concern about whether or not a trip to the store is going to cause a meltdown. The last few years I've got to the point that I do not want to go anywhere. I don't want to deal with the issues outside of our home. I can't avoid it but it's easier to deal with at home. 
It may come off that I have become anti social or just don't want to do things w/ my friends or family. I DO!!! But I'm exhausted. If I leave, I can't leave if Darnell's not home. Yes my kids are older, the girls babysit all the time. HOWEVER- I can't leave them to stay with Isaiah. It's a recipe for disaster. I've tried and I end up getting phone calls b/c things don't go well. It's not fair to the girls. So it got to the point that it just got easier to stay home. 
I am constantly worried about how J, H & S deal with this. I know they get it to some extent but they are still kids. Sometimes it really just sucks. We try to help them understand. We are just human though. 
It also may seem that if you look at Isaiah or are with him, especially someplace he wants to be, that he's "normal" a word I've come to hate. 
If he's doing something he likes, his mood, behavior.. is completely different. Stick around until it's time to be done. Or go home. That short amount of time is in no way enough time for assumptions to be made. Don't assume things about my children based on a few encounters or in situations that he's enjoying himself. Those times that he's having a good time are times we cherish. He's not feeing anxious or upset or frustrated. and neither am I b/c my child is happy.
Haley has to cath. She's had more surgeries than birthdays. She deals with pain that no one really understands and is always waiting for the next UTI to hit. When it does, she's in a LOT of pain. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't let this slow her down. But it's always there. She's realizing that this is part of her life. It's not going away. It's something we learn to manage. I knew the days would come that she would realize that this is something she has to live with. 
Jeremiah and Savannah have to watch their brother and sister deal with this. It affects them greatly. How do I juggle all this? 
How can I make sure that my kids are mentally and emotionally healthy? I rely on God. I'll admit though that this last year it's been difficult. More than the usual questioning of faith we all go through at times. 
So I live with anxiety that sometimes feels like it's consuming me.  
It is a constant battle of my mind and emotions. Not letting my emotions consume me. Letting the scriptures I've come to rely on get me through the day. 
This is just some thoughts and insight on how life is for us. And this is just scratching the surface. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's been awhile...

Where do I begin? I haven't blogged in so long prob because I didn't want to say the same things I've said before all over again. I honestly don't want to hear "Oh Melissa, just look on the bright side, look how far you've come...yada yada yada".. 
WELL NOW. Do you think that I choose to look at the circumstances I face and go.. Oh well I just am going to ignore the good things in life. NO NO NO. If you really know me, know my life, my circumstance and know my HEART, you'd know that I'd love nothing more than to walk away from the junk feelings and embrace all that God has for me. I have good moments, I have days that I do embrace all of it. If I didn't, I wouldn't make it day to day. But there is this thing called mental illness. Depression. Anxiety. Just b/c you ignore it doesn't make it less real. I face it and fight it everyday. I'm seeing a counselor. I do as many of the pro-active things as I can. 
Do you ever wake up with that feeling like you just can't breathe? Or you're so frozen with fear that you're afraid to move? If not than please do some research. I can prob say with almost 100% certainty that someone else you know feels this way. And they too feel misunderstood. That feeling, on top of everything else, makes people like me feel even worse. 
I haven't blogged b/c I don't want to hear one more person to tell me to cheer up, look on the bright side, focus on the good not the bad...or the huge list of other things said to people like me that once you've said those things, I just want to punch you in the face. seriously. I'm not lying. 
This doesn't mean I don't have faith, if anything it brings me to my knees even more b/c I can not in any way shape or form have any hope to come out of this in one peace if I don't keep hanging on. Does hanging on to the Lord mean I am not going to feel crappy? In my opinion, no it doesn't. It means I am human. I am dealing with my issues in the best way I can. Not the best way YOU can. I know God is walking with me.  My walk with God is going to look entirely different than your walk with him. He meets me where I am at.  

In spite of all that ^^ A lot of GOOD is happening. We moved into a a much bigger and fabulous home 3 weeks ago. We got to paint the kids rooms and they picked out the colors.. there were so many personal touches we were able to make. It's been a huge blessing. The actual moving process sucks but now that it's all done, I'm loving it! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014


It's been a while since I have blogged. I guess because I got tired of blogging about all the hard things I 'm dealing with. 
Things have gotten a bit better but I am still struggling. a lot. 

Doing everyday, normal things feel like a chore. Some days just waking up and getting through the days is so hard. I have shed many tears over these feelings. I feel like everything is so difficult. The days when Isaiah is having a hard day, it literally feels like I have to live minute by minute. I have found that really the only ones that truly understand that are other parents of autistic children. I never know what will set him off. He's constantly bored and hungry and obsessing over one thing or another. As a parent, it's like living on edge all the time. I am doing the best I can. We are researching ABA- applied behavioral analysis. It's a very difficult approach at first b/c we have to be strong while we let Isaiah get to the point that he knows we aren't going to give in. 
How this affects our other kids is a constant worry. I know I need to get into therapy, we prob need to get our other kids into therapy to help them deal w/ having an autistic brother. There are appointments that need to be made and so many interventions we need to do for Isaiah. I'm exhausted. mentally. 
I'm on the lookout for a good support group for the spouses of cancer patients. It is a constant battle not to fight the urge to go on with life.. It seems like I should be able to move on. Look at the positive...move forward. How do you do that when you're feeling like your stuck in quick sand? 
I have done a lot of praying and reading my bible. I have found a lot of comfort in knowing that God is still with me while I am struggling. I know that we will have trials in our lives and I am so thankful for God's grace that I am still getting through. Maybe not in my time frame, but I trust God. I just want any friends or family that read this to know that I am not pulling away b/c (if you think I am ) I am mad at anyone. 
I just am drained. It takes all I have to get through the days and I am barely doing that sometimes. My husband and kids are getting the short end of the stick. My first priority is to give what i do have to them. There isn't much left over. 
So I guess I feel better. for at least writing this. I may sound like a broken record but honestly, oh well. None of this goes away overnight. Darnell having cancer and being treated for it was the single most devastating thing to ever happen. He is the love of my life. He is the ONLY person in the world that knows me better than I know myself. Having that threatened by cancer completely turned me upside down. Even with my faith and all that, It is not something I can let go of. the threat of it coming back.. scares me to death. I never in a million years thought we'd be dealing w/ this. I was already dealing with Isaiah's autism and Haley and bladder exstrophy, making sure Jeremiah and Savannah were ok... having my security completely rocked when Darnell got diagnosed was the last straw. people can move on and let go b/c of a good prognosis. I am working towards that. I am trying to be everything my family needs me to be. I love them so much, so much so that I am heart broken that I can't get past the depression. it's like if I can't even give my kids and hubby what they need from me, there's really nothing left for anyone else. God will see me through this. It just takes time. 

oh and if you do read this, whoever you are.. I am selling thirty-one gifts. PLEASE consider helping me get this business going. I want to book parties and I feel like people give other people a chance and I am asking the same. I need my friends and family to help me out! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I woke up about a half hour ago and this is the 3rd morning I woke having had weird dreams. The ones that resinate with you for awhile. Today I woke up with the song " My God, will never give up, never give up on me..." by Hillsong ( I'm pretty sure) 
The other part of the dream was that I was with people, some I knew some I didn't. I was talking, shouting, trying to say SOMETHING and I just kept getting ignored. I feel that way a lot in real life.  It's not a statement I make so people will come to me and say " Melissa.. it's not like that at all"  It's a personal issue I guess. But it's how I feel. Darnell has a very big family. It can be intimidating at times. In my house we have 6 people and now that the kids are older it's as loud as it was 10  years ago when Isaiah was born and I had a baby crying, 2 toddlers that could scream like no body's business and 7 yr old that was.. well 7. It was noisy and loud then. It's noisy and loud now. Only now, it's mom, I need this. Mom, where is my...'blah blah blah" you get it. 
I feel like I get lost in it. We have so many "different" issues than most families. I have to take care of the details. I am ok with that. I am good at it. I feel confident taking care of Haley after surgery b/c I've done it so much. Even after Darnell had surgery, his wound care, the drain he had.. none of it freaked me out. Those things are my strengths. 
But being heard, having a voice..has never been part of who I am. It's frustrating. I've spent the better part of 10 years pratically screaming at Racine Unified to help Isaiah. In the school setting at least. I got no where. For awhile I was telling other people.. HEY THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG HERE!! WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME DAMN IT!!! 
screaming gets you no where. Believe me, I have tried.  So here I am with all that hanging in my head. But then that song.. "my God".... MY GOD will never give up on me. If people down here won't listen to me.. hear me, pay attention to what I have to say. MY GOD will. 

If you read my blog regularly please, if you feel comfortable, please comment or say hey. I don't know if I am reaching anyone. Is ANYONE reading this? Do I keep blogging or shut it down and just journal? If you read and you're a prayer warrior.. please pray for us. We got some oh so fabulous news that the insurance I thought would last at least through the end of the month ( because I got a letter saying it would! ) ended Jan.1. and with that means the co-payments of some meds I take are huge. And I didn't plan for that. The foodshare that I was counting on at least through this month didn't come through. Darnell took a few days off for Haley's surgery. Now we will be short with his check, no foodshare to help get the higher priced groceries ( I can coupon a LOT but the lower our cash flow is, It's hard trying to even buy enough newspapers on Sundays to GET the dang coupons) and I can't always coupon for meat and milk etc.. big families= lots of groceries. These things have been heavy on my heart. I don't share this b/c I want anything from anyone. I want prayer so I can be at rest and let God do what he needs to do however he's going to do it. I realize we're blessed in unimaginable ways compared to a lot of people. I'm just worn out. 
Worn out in a way I don't think I have ever been. So prayers would really be awesome. And say hey.. let me know "you" whoever you guys are that read this... thanks for reading. For listening to me go on and on. if you've been reading long enough you know I don't hold back especially on my blog. It all comes out here. Because I can let it all out. That's the beauty of blogs. If someone doesn't like the content click the box and leave. I don't take offense. Not everyone wants to read about me complaining, haha. I get it. So I can say what I want w/o the fear of feeling like I'm saying stuff that's going to offend someone. anyways.. I have to go see how my Haley baby is. Surgery went well, she came home yesterday ( Saturday)so far so good! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Influenster~ Suave Products

I received Suave lotion and the scent is sweet pea and lavender.  I like the smell and how soft it leaves my skin without smelling to strong. My husband really liked the men's body wash. He works hard and this body wash helps him not smell so sweaty :)  The kids mousse worked really well as my kids have curly hair. As long as I didn't put too much in my hand it kept the curl looking good and not frizzing.
I definitely would definitely buy each of the products. Thank you!