Wednesday, May 22, 2013

15 Months

I cannot believe how fast time is flying! I know I say that every time I post an update on Lindsey but it is so true. I blink and shes doing something new. At her 15 month check up the doctor said she was off the charts developmentally. She says more words, has more teeth, weighs more, and is taller than babies her age. Already an over achiever :)

Trying cotton candy for the first time

First time swimming in a big pool

These were on two separate occasions. She plays herself to sleep :)

This month:
- finally started sleeping through the nigh
- got an awful cold
- swam in a big pool for the first time and hated every minute of it
- tried cotton candy
- gave up the bottle
- says: look, mama, jack, hot, caca, ayiyi, up, dog, cat, max, uh oh, duck, hi and bye
- knows where her hair, nose, eyes, tummy, big mouth, and feet are
- can do the moves to itsy bitsy spider (she loves playing that with grammy)
- practically runs 
- started self feeding 
- loves pasta, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, grilled cheese, bananas
- is 26 lbs and 31.5 inches 
- does a "monster" face
- can climb up on furniture
- loves flipping through magazines

Oh my sweet girl, how I love watching you grow. You amaze me every day. I love you more than there are stars in the sky and always will <3

Monday, May 13, 2013

Moving On

Moving On.

Two Words.

Eight Letters.

Difficult to do.

When me and Lindsey first left Ohio and went to live with my parents in Arizona I was mad. I was hurt. I was frustrated. But I was not sad. I didn't cry. This was for the best. And I still know it was regardless of what the ninnies at the beauty shop gossip about. I was also super busy. My parents worked and I found myself as a real single mom. No one was supposed to be home helping me. I also was enrolled full time in online school. With a toddler. Yes I am crazy. And determined. But more on that later.

For the first few weeks I was here I was so focused on what he was doing. Who he was talking to or where he was going. It consumed me and angered me every time I found out new information. I had to make a choice. Either move on or let it drag me down. Besides a random Facebook message every month or so concerning the baby, we did not speak. He cancelled my phone so I got a new number. Which has turned out to be a blessing. I really began rebuilding myself. Or so I thought.

A month ago I received a Facebook message informing me he would be moving to a new place and my stuff would most likely be never seen again. (I left some belongings there with the hope he would get his act together and I would get my family back) Obviously that was not happening so within 3 days of that message I was on a plane to my past. I was consumed with anxiety. Not sure how the interaction would go or what would happen. I chose the element of surprise: a short 3 day trip and an early time to retrieve my belongings. I called his parents the morning I planned to get my things and they were willing to meet me. Luckily they had no harsh feelings toward me and were genuinely happy to see me.  I was in and out in 30 minutes flat. He of course called me every name I had already heard so it was not too different than how it was when I lived there. 

Here is the real kicker. There was a mousy girl in my bed. Using my pillow and blanket. She never picked her head up, probably out of fear because I am a terrifying beast. Besides the fact that it was incredibly disrespectful it was the part that hurt the worst. This was the home we had found while we were pregnant. The first place Lindsey ever called home. A place I built with love and the hope of a future. Granted it also held terrible memories, that dream in my heart was shattered. He had moved on. And now I needed to.

It isnt so much that I miss him. Or our relationship, obviously since it was a constant battle field. I miss what it could have been. What it should have been. The dream that my child would grow up with her parents together and making it against all odds. But this apparently was not his dream. He is much more content living the bachelor life. Drinking and finding comfort in the arms of other women

On the plane ride home to Arizona, I finally let myself cry. I hadn't really come to terms with the relationship ending but after that weekend, there was no going back. That was all the closure I needed to end that chapter in my life and start a new one. I feel like I am starting a whole new book. One where I place myself on a higher standard than before. One where I am letting God lead my life rather than trying, and failing, to plan it alone

It is a day to day process of rebuilding my heart. But I am getting there. Little things still take me back to that place but I am so ever grateful I am no longer there. The Lord has a plan for me greater than I could ever imagine. He has created a man that will be my other half in every way. His heart will be filled with the Lord and our relationship will begin based on our love for Jesus Christ

Until then I will stay focused on my faith, my daughter, my family, and my future. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What doesnt kill you Part 2

Throughout the 2 years I was with him, I learned a lot about myself and what I deserve.

1. Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.
To say I was tolerated is putting it nicely. He never told me I was pretty or laughed at my jokes. He always called me crazy and used me as the butt of his jokes around his friends. Throughout this experience I now know I will never have that again. The Lord made me exactly who I am and has made someone perfect for me out there.

2. You are the daughter of an almighty King.
My faith is the only thing that kept me alive. I always knew God but after I had Lindsey I finally began a relationship with God. People ask how I am so strong and how I handled living like that for so long. The answer is simple: God. He never left me, not even once. I prayed continuously for God to change my circumstances or show me the way out. After months of prayers, he answered them. It was my time to leave and I knew in my heart God was telling me to go. The Lord never wants his children to be unhappy. My God is much bigger than my circumstances and will fight for me until the end.

3. Being alone is better than being around people who make you wish you were. 
I heard this saying soon after I settled back in Arizona and I can really relate. I think it speaks for itself.

4. Give your heart to God and he will place it in the hands of a man who deserves it.
This one could not be more true. I truly believe in my heart that God has a person who will give as much as they take. They will love me for who I am through and through. When you walk with God he leads you to a much better life than you could have ever dreamed of.

I also have a few personal standards for when I get back into the dating world. Even though the past 2 years were very challenging and difficult, I would not change a single decision I have made. Meeting him, brought me Lindsey. She has changed my life for the better in every single way. I put her needs first and foremost ALWAYS. Being a parent is not a part time job, or whenever you feel like it. She has motivated me in every aspect of my life. I even made the deans list last semester all while taking care of her by myself. Having Lindsey also brought me into the arms of my God. He has lifted the hurt and anguish from my heart. I would be a very depressed person right now if I didn't have my faith. Everything works out for a reason. And now for the first time in a long time, I can breathe easy. I am stronger than you ever gave me credit for. And now I can have the life I deserve and was destined for.
  So thanks for making me a fighter.

What doesn't kill you Part 1

This post has been really hard for me to write. I've started it over and over again; deleting after every attempt. This is something I will want to have to look back on. To remind myself how far I have come.

I was in a verbally abusive relationship for almost 2 years. When I say verbally abusive I mean being called every terrible name you could never even think to call another person. Along with those names I was told I would never amount to anything and that my daughter would be taken away from me if I ever tried to leave. Generally these interactions occurred after alcohol had been consumed. He would come home after a night out. Normally I would already be in bed bracing myself not knowing what would happen when that door opened. In the morning he would usually not even remember what had been said. If I told him he would laugh give me a half hearted sorry and go about his day. Not me though. Those words cut like a knife and I began to find myself in my own personal hell. Scared to leave and scared to stay.

People always ask me "what even attracted you to him in the first place?" It's important to clarify that these out bursts didn't begin until I was about 4 months pregnant. When we first met I thought I had finally found the one. He was kind and charming and soft spoken. I had been through my share of dating and they all turned out to be jerks. It was refreshing to finally have found someone who seemed to put hope back in my heart. We had fun together usually getting drunk or going to bars. Alcohol was what brought us together and what ended up tearing us apart.

After I found out I was pregnant I stopped living the night life. I couldn't even stand being around drunk people. They seemed sloppy and annoying from my sober eyes. Not to mention I was growing by the day, working 12 hour shifts as a server and going to school full time. I was exhausted. He, however, kept going out. Every night he would leave and not stumble in until around dawn. That is when it all would start.

I would be fast asleep until I would hear him crash into something. A result of drinking 10+ beers. He would come in and lay down. If I were lucky he would pass out. I would then stay up trying to hear him breathe for fear he would drink himself to death. The other nights I can remember clear as day. I don't think you ever forget being emotionally berated night after night.

My father was an alcoholic. Growing up I watched the addiction consume his life until it ultimately ended it. Before I got pregnant I enjoyed the party scene. I never once relied on alcohol or let it consume my life. He knew my past and how alcohol ruined my family. It still hurts that he let it ruin ours too.

So why did I stay you ask? I was naive and scared. I was pregnant in an unfamiliar state with one family member a town away. I kept telling myself "when the baby comes he will change". I think the breaking point for me was when I got I locked out of the house 39 weeks pregnant with wet hair in 20 degree weather. Another result of him drinking and passing out unable to hear my cries for help in the cold. His mom came to got me but that was my first realization he probably wouldn't ever change.

Lindsey was born on a February night after an emergency c section. She was the most perfect 6 pounds I had ever laid eyes on. He took to her immediately and gave me renewed hope for the family I dreamed of. For the first two weeks I felt as though I was wrong. He could change and maybe he could love Lindsey more than he loved the booze. I was so wrong.

After those first two weeks life resumed as normal. The drinking picked up right where it had left off. My parents came into town and my mom got a taste of what my life was like. Having gone through a situation almost identical with my dad, she was worried and had every right to be. Easter came and resulted in me having to call his parents to come get me because he was so drunk I was scared for me and Lindsey. Such a great way to remember your child's first Easter. Through summer and fall I fought like crazy to keep the relationship together. I prayed until I cried almost every single night. I read relationship blogs and sought council from Christian women I respected. I stopped asking for help with the baby because I was wasting my breath. I quit trying to wake him up before noon because he needed to sleep off the alcohol. I even quit bringing up the drinking. I tried to be more positive and encouraging. Anything and everything to turn this nightmare around.

In the end it only blew up in my face. December is when I noticed a change. He was drinking and driving every weekend. Staying up later and drinking more. When we would interact it was like he was not even present. He checked out while I was still killing myself to make it work. New Years is when it all came to an end. My mom was really upset that he was going out to drink while me and the baby stayed home. She and he got into an argument and I got caught in the middle. I tried not to choose sides but my mom said things that were very valid but he just didn't want to hear. He didn't speak for me for 3 days because of it. Then on the fourth day I caught him in a lie. Lying is something I just would not tolerate. The drinking I was willing to work with but lying is so completely disrespectful. Once trust is gone in a relationship there is nothing left.

I left for Arizona 2 days later. The man I fell in love with was gone. What was left was a fragment of someone I used to know.