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Let your soul be wild and free my little one

I have pondered the nature vs nurture debate quite often when it comes to my anxiety. It always seemed that nurture would win in the cause category until recently. If I were to make a list of MY anxiety, it may still beat out another hypothesis as the root cause, but I am learning, in the parenting game, things are not always what they seem. I know one thing for certain. Someone without anxiety cannot understand another person trying to explain the reasons why and how to them, which make dealing with it quite lonely at times.

I contributed most of my anxiety issues to my grandmother. I learned as an adult, due to multiple tragedies in her life she had much to be anxious about. But when I stayed with her a lot growing up I didn’t understand that. As my anxiety began to take hold, I thought it must be because I was exposed to hers so much. Then I learned my daddy has it too, which would make sense. Except, except I never knew growing up my Daddy had anxiety.?

Now I see my seven year old experience it. She has exhibited signs since a young age and it manifest in different ways. But, I make a very contentious effort NOT to expose her to my anxiety. So much so that I have other family members help rationalize situations for me so I do not let it get the best of me. Believe me, I’ve come a long way since she was an infant! But to see her with it breaks my heart because I know how she feels. Could it be a manipulation at times? Sure, I am aware of that, just as I am aware of what true anxiety looks like on the face of my seven year old.

My husband, as great as he is, is not someone who understands. Oh sure, he understands my anxiety for the super Center and that look I get when I am about to melt down. But he doesn’t understand this gut wrenching, deep breathing anxiety. The kind that has kept me up all night to write this at 4:15 a.m

I only hope she can hold on to the parts of her soul that are wild and carefree. The parts that laugh at everything with a giggle that can warm the coldest of souls. The wander I see in her eyes as she studies something with her mind working on how it may operate. I want her to hold onto the part that operates on stuffed animals with ketchup and gloves and leave the heavy burden of anxiety to me. I’m her mama, her keeper, I can carry the load for us both.

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Dear 22 year old

thI have been where you are. I know what is going through your head. I am still there most days, but I have got some age on me now. I know things you do not know at 22, or do not believe yet anyway. It is hard to believe them, when all around you everything goes against it. But, I am writing this because at 22 there is still time. Time for you to change your thought process . Time for you to become head strong. Stronger than you already are so that when you do have years on you too, like me, you will be able to look back and think, “I’m so happy I was able to change my way of thinking.” The reason is this, your mind is one of the most powerful tools you have. It can help you, it can hurt you. It had done both over time to me. It continues to do it daily. I wish I had someone to say this to me at 22, really at 15.

My story begins at 15, really younger, but for the sake of this we will say 15. I looked around, I noticed what was going on. The girls getting the attention from the boys. Meeting them at the movies. I could not figure it out. I was outgoing, friendly, had plenty of friends but I was not one the one the boys noticed outside of the “friend zone”. I realized what they did notice. I became obsessed with it. Exercising like crazy, becoming “healthy” is what I said. But at one time my parents considered sending me off to treatment because my “healthy” behavior had gotten out of control and on my large boned frame, the weight I had lost down to was skeletal thin. However it paid off where I wanted it to at the time. According to what the “norm” was anyway.

At age 16 the first boy notice me and asked me out. We hit it off. blah, blah, blah, fell in love, married when we finished college at 21 and the rest is divorce history. I could not keep up the charade. I am not born to be a naturally thin person. I am not a skinny girl by birth. I began to gain the weight back when I began to eat again. Just eating healthy, minding my own business, still exercising like normal and eating like normal, but gaining weight above Skeleton’s level. After gaining the weight, this person who promised me forever, better and worse, realized he only like the size I was at 16, not the size I had become 12 years later. Immediately my mind went to the place , “no one will ever want me, love me, if I am not small”, really there was evidence of that right?

Time passes. My soul was searched. Prayers were prayed. I cannot tell you all scars heal, but now I know that body shaming is a real thing and a real problem. I actually lived it the entire time I was married not only by my ex-husband but his family also. The people out there that talk, whisper, stare. They are not secure with something they have, something they are dealing with. Yes, I said I struggle now. Because I did not change my thought process early enough.

That’s what I want for you. Change your mind now. You are good enough RIGHT NOW! RIGHT THIS SECOND you are GREAT, exactly how you were meant to be. Whoever does not see that, whoever comments to the contrary does not deserve a second thought. I know it is not easy. I KNOW it is not easy. But you can do it. You HAVE to do it. Now. Change your thought process now and stop body shaming yourself. NOW.

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Of course, dreams come true my dear child

 
As we were taking a bath tonight, I made the water turn purple and the penguin giggled with delight as she said, “Mama! You’ve made all my dreams come true!” For a brief moment I thought not only was this a bit dramatic, for which I smiled because that’s ‘all me’, but also I thought how I wish it would always be that simple. But then she paused and looked up with my blue eyes and asked, “do your dreams always come true mama?” There was no hesitation as I smiled back and said “of course they do my Penguin “. 

The world is not always nice and she will learn on her own sooner than I would like. As long as I can, I will make her dreams come true and more importantly, I will continue to teach her that her dreams will come true.

Turtles & Sewer Pipes, not the kind named after artist

Really, this is a typical morning for us. I truly cannot make this up. My precious Penguin has my active mind that just goes and goes, and this is what she came up with the other morning after using the restroom.

I’m standing in front of the mirror brushing Penelope’s nest on my head as she comes over and we begin this conversation:

P: I figured it out

SB: Figured what out?

P: Where all the water goes when you flush the toilet.

I give a confused look her way….

P: It goes down the drain into the pipes down below where the turtles are.

 So, in my mind I’m thinkin ninja turtles. I don’t mention this thought, I just assume she saw it on tv or talked about it on the playground.

SB: The turtles?

P: Yes, and the wipes you flush too.

SB: Very confused now…What do the turtles do with the wipes?

P: The people that sell them get them out. They get the wipes off of the turtles 

Realizing we have passed Donatello and the pizza at this point..

SB: There is a turtle store down there?

P: Yes, the turtle store is there. And when you go buy them they make sure the wipes aren’t there.

SB: Okay. Smiling on the inside because I just had a conversation with myself. 

We quickly switch stations, keep up!

P: Wow, the sandman visited this eye last night!

#southernbelleoncaffeine

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My Holiday OCD is having to be tamed


I understand this might not make sense to some. I also understand some people probably don’t see me as having any OCD tendencies seeing the way I live now, with the laundry in piles and all, and I get that. However, those of you that are skeptics would be interested to find I have quite a few quirks that I’m sure a psychologist would love to figure out. Most of these I do keep within some type of ‘control’, or I had to adapt to having a penguin almost seven years ago. 

One of the biggest ones has been my holiday OCD issue. Before the penguin was born, I had holiday rules that had to be followed or my mind would just explode. Not just your run of the mill don’t-put-Christmas-out-before Thanksgiving issue either. There were no clothes to be worn except for that holiday, no movies to be watched, no food to be ate. One did not watch “Charlie Brown The Great Pumpkin” outside of the month of October, or occasionally the network would throw me off course and save it for November. All of the sacred Christmas movies were saved for December only! 

Then the penguin was born. As she got old enough to watch movies, one of her favorite groups to watch was “Frosty the Snowman ” and “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer”. In ANY month. It took me a lot to get used to. I actually tried to talk her out of it. 

Now, I look down and find myself in July wearing Halloween socks. Gasp. What was once unheard of is just pure survival because the Halloween socks are the ones I can find clean. I just find it amusing that I’ve changed that much all because of my penguin. The best thing ever. The love of my life. I am still holding a strong front against wearing Christmas socks though.

Grape juice Explosion and ACV 


I know all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. The real kind. I’ve seen it work personally. But, like most people, I’ve had a lot of trouble getting past the god awful taste. I attribute some of this to a CRAZY weight loss plan I did some years back. I could only eat about 6 different things with limited seasoning, however one of those was Apple Cider Vinegar. So, I cooked A LOT of things in a “stir fry” fashion in the stuff. I think I got major burn out.

So, I’m on my third try of drinking the good for you stuff again. I’ve taken surveys on Facebook to get advice on how the regulars take theirs. My mama is just balls to the wall and shoots hers like a sorority girl and tequila. Others say mix with a bottle of water and my daddy chases his with milk (but his LDL didn’t improve). But, I went to where any self respecting wanna be super mom would go-Pinterest. I found some great recipes that appealed to my tastebuds and didn’t cancel out the health benefits.

I stocked up on fresh pressed Organic grape, cranberry, and apple juice. No sugar added, not from concentrate, only the juice straight from the fruit. I carefully measured it out for and drank it for about 4 days. Then, this happened….

I was running behind so I thought, “I’ve done plenty of shots in my lifetime, this will be a breeze.” I prepared the shot glass and had grape juice as a chaser. I got the shot down and took a gulp of the chaser just as the acid hit my stomach. I literally spewed grape juice all over the kitchen counter and dripped down onto the floor. Because of the burning sensation in my throat I started coughing and couldn’t catch my breath. The penguin, who previously was very concerned for a patient on Grey’s Anatomy, didn’t even bat an eye. She stepped back to let me know I had gotten grape juice on the floor that “daddy had just fixed”. I finally composed myself and made it out the door.

Now, two days later, I am braving it again. Only this time I mixed it, shook it, and poured it over ice. We are watching “Barbie:Life in the Dreamhouse ” and the penguin said I could “close my eyes and pretend I was drinking it on Barbie’s jet”.

Cheer….

#southernbelleoncaffeine

Am I the ringmaster or the monkey?

This morning I was trying to take a bath and shave my legs before someone thought I was an extra for a Wookie. The penguin was sitting on the edge of the tub, Tommy was standing at the edge scrolling on his 📱. I asked “when you are in a mental institution, are there this many people watching you all the time?” Of course in my most sarcastic tone. Tommy replied, “yes, especially if you have a razor”. OMG! Somebody please help me. I’m in a cage.

#southernbellegoingcrazy

#southernbelleoncaffeiene