To be Present. My Visit with my Children in Michigan.

I was very anxious and also nervous to see my kids this last Saturday. When I saw them… all that left me.

I became elated.

Sitting there with them in those first moments; when I actually was faced with the realization of just how much I had missed out on these last years without them; I automatically began to feel so small and unworthy of their love; also ashamed of myself. There are no words for it…

I know that feeling will take time to go away; and I had to push it aside and focus…but it’s still there. As it should be, maybe…I don’t know. I struggle with it.

My kids are as beautiful and amazing as I remember. It was the very best thing to see them. I needed to be present; to talk with them and hug them. I needed to make that effort to show I could be…and can be there, when I say I will be. In the past I have made promises that I could not keep. That is over now.

 I know it was just one visit, and that I have a long way to go. I know that things are not the same anymore, and that none of us can get the time back ….but it is a start of better things to come…I am sure of it. Also a huge goal for myself that I have met…a first step of being there for them. 

My kids and I spent time together; and we laughed 🙂 I got to give them their gifts from the holidays; it was nice to see them open them in person. We bowled, ate and played video games, and laughed some more. 

It was a good time.

If I’m being totally honest, then it makes sense to tell you this as well. It was awkward for me at points, because I tend to over think things a lot; and I think for me, that was really the reason for that feeling. I want to be positive around my children you see; and always if I can manage the very highest percentage of that. I try to put myself in my kids minds sometimes…but I know that it’s not smart to do so much…because my guilt comes again…and it makes it hard to focus on the moment. Also not going to help me be Jenni today. 

I guess it’s to be expected for a while…that I’d do that, though. Guilt can kill you, but it’s way worse when it’s guilt about your present.  I don’t have guilt at all about my present self. I am grateful for the fact that I can feel again. I wish I could stop the feelings of the past that pop up though; quicker; until it goes away for good, because it sucks to replay in your head. Maybe that is selfish, but I can’t be positive when I feel like I’m shit. It’s unhealthy to dwell on the negative past too; because it cannot be changed. I tell myself that.

Geez….what am I going to do with you Jenni.

………………………………………………………

It’s strange to see my children growing so fast; and it is hard to get the memories of when they were younger into proper focus sometimes. That was then; and this is indeed now. They are both so kind and smart; beautiful and handsome;  both amazing kids, growing into amazing bigger ones. 🙂 

It was really a sight for sore eyes, and very comforting to me…despite my fleeting thoughts of guilt.

I have made a promise to myself, to make sure I never let them down again. I cannot. That is a solid commitment that I can only fulfill with my actions, and by remaining sober…and I will;  doing it day by day….like today; I will make that choice to live

I’m dying if I drink again….I don’t want to drink…. It ruins everything, every time. That is a fact for me, and you can definitely agree, based on my BS track record.

I don’t know, but…..

I feel as if my entire life came to a head when I had to say goodbye. I tried not to cry, but I couldn’t help it. 

I hope they will forgive me for that….sometimes it just comes out.

In the future, I will either be moving back to Michigan, or somewhere way closer to Michigan.  I want and need to be there for my kids in whatever capacity I can, and that they want or need me to be. I do not know what that will be; but I will be there for them regardless, and none the less…by being able to physically see them more, if that is something the future holds.

I owe them that. I want to be there. I wasn’t…but I can be now.

Although I do think it was a good thing that I left Michigan; I don’t think the way I did it, or the circumstances surrounding my move; did anything but cause a huge rift, that is not repairable.

I hope that new, good memories, and my solid commitment to be well; can replace the bad ones, until they sink to the bottom and get lost.

My kids will always be my kids; and I hope now that they see me well, they will start to realize that I am different than when I was sick, and want to know me again. 

That’s my hope.

I’m just going to continue to call them, and decide about what would be best with everything else, as it comes. I’m trying not to be overly dramatic about everything, because I know that it’ll just make things more confusing for everyone. 

It is a very emotional time for me right now though.

I appreciate my ex for being so respectful towards me; and for him and his wife allowing me the opportunity to see my children; because they didn’t have to. 

I know it’s because I am backing up my words with actual positive actions now…and also that that’s the way it SHOULD have been all along. 

People CAN change for the better, if they really want to.

 I thank you both for giving me a chance to prove it to my kids… because it means more than I can tell you.

My kids are happy and thriving, and I count my blessings every day to know this. 

This is the first chapter in a road of twists and turns with them I’m sure…but I can’t say enough how much seeing them, made me know that I’m on the right path in my life. I knew that before; but it was re-affirming.  I know it’s not going to always be easy; but I am moving forward. 

I owe it to my kids (all 4), to continue. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my family. I owe it to my true friends, and anybody that ever looked up to me. 

I am 9 months and 16 days sober; and every day that I am alive is a gift, and a chance to make a positive difference in the world. 

I know this; and I finally feel like it’s all possible. It’s nothing without my children, and it’s nothing without my sobriety and the truth of life.

This I know for sure. 

Whatever happens from here on out, is directly hooked into these three things.  My direct efforts are going into them…because to me, it’s the only thing that matters to me at this point.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

 A Trip to Michigan.

Every day I am up by 6 am, but this day has felt particularly long to me for some reason. I was happy to have the small dogs at work tonight for a change; because you just can’t not love the small dogs. They make me happy 🙂

I’ve been hesitant to mention it; but I was able to get the time off of work that I needed, to visit my children in Michigan. I will see them in three more days. This is the first time in over two years.

I don’t much know what to say about that; except that I am regretful for many things regarding my kids…and this would be one of those things for certain. I have let them down in the past; and so now that everything is in place, I feel a little less anxious about it. 

Probably why I was hesitant to mention it.

I am nervous for various reasons; but also so excited and grateful to be seeing my kids. I hope it will be the start of more positive things between us, in the future. I don’t think I can hope or expect more.  I will also get to see my mother…which is also awesome. 
I couldn’t be happier about going. I feel more nervous about the weather, than anything else. 

I’m staying positive about it all; because that’s my M.O. now…

T will also be with me; so with the two of us together, it’s going to be an exciting trip there and back for sure. 

Love Yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

To Live…2018.

Every year I look back with a new respect for myself, the people I love, and the fact that the world is still spinning.

2017 is no exception.

On this 2018 New Years Day, I am nine months, six days sober. I’m finding every day that my attitude about things I find hard to deal with in life; only changes when I change it; allow the change to happen; and embrace the change fully. I have learned a lot this year about myself; and to what extremes I will go to for health and happiness.

I do not have to hold on to turmoil; or things, habits or people that cause my life stress or harm; and to spin out of control. I do not have to be that kind of person, that focuses on the negative either…and have been doing well In that area, compared to how I used to be. 

I’ll take that.

To value myself in times when others may not, or in situations that may not be ideal for me; causes a rift in my unhealthy thinking cycles; and it then pushes me towards the positive change, that is now starting to stem to every other aspect of myself, and my life.

Little things have added up.

The change was and is still slow sometimes; it is always ongoing, and often still frustrating….

But I AM becoming.

I WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH THROUGH THE BULLSHIT IN 2018.

This year, I’ve made a promise to myself, to live every single day as if it were my last and without regret at all; and to also help as many people as I can to feel worthy of doing the very same… NO REGRETS. I have goals that I’m excited to meet; and a hope that I will get to where I need to be; if I just keep, keeping on.
I look back at this last year….and it was difficult, but worth every single second. 

2018 is going to be a solid year for me, because I refuse to let it be anything else. 

It’s taken me a long time to get here….and I know it’s just begun. 

I couldn’t be more excited.

I hope your New Year will be full of positive things, happy moments, and goals met.

I also hope you rock it in your own kick-ass way…and LIVE it like there’s no tomorrow… Because that’s what really matters. 🙂

Love yourself. 

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Festivus for the Rest of Us.

It’s the classic Seinfield episode, that most accurately fits my holiday celebrations; and/or, lack thereof; depending on the year and how I’m feeling. Festivus…It’s the safest Holiday greeting to give; if you don’t want to get beat up or shunned this Holiday season. (*Huge sarcasms) (I’m laughing as I type this)

Christmas used to be a time that I was excited for every year. When I was a child, I’d literally make myself sick with excitement; and I could never sleep well Christmas eve, because of it. My mother still refers to those days sometimes…and we always have a laugh about it…because seriously, I was a total dork back then too, as well; whoda’ *thunk it.

Yes; I do have good memories of Christmases past. Memories of my childhood, and memories of my kid’s childhood Christmases too.

As I’ve gotten older, and am also divorced now;  I’m no longer involved with my kids Christmas mornings. I’m grown as well. So what used to be a really special time of year for me, has morphed into a rather take it or leave it holiday instead. It’s just another day to me really; except everything’s closed. Not to mention the over-commercialization; and the obvious over-inflation of the idea, that you must spend money to excess. It starts sooner and sooner every, single year. People act more desperate and “Scroog ish” as well. To me that is frustrating; and also sad. It’s not about the Black Friday deals…

My Christmas changed to Festivus because of it.

It suits me better.

Grievances.

I don’t know. I guess this year I’m just happy to be able to celebrate with T; and to know my kids had a wonderful holiday; because I know they did. I don’t have grievances that I’d really like to share…most are internal struggles, and not really grievances at all.

This year I am sending my friends and family some candies I made, that have my own Festivus Jenni touch on them.  I’m considering doing more of these in the future to sell (this is just one idea); but I thought I’d do a trial run first on the “immediates”. Haha.

I also made a donation to the Ronald McDonald house in my son Karter’s name. I try to do that every year; because I know without their support, my son could have never gotten the care he needed in Detroit or Cleveland.  At that time, we were a new family, and just doing the best we could financially. We were able to stay with the Ronald McDonald house while in those hospitals; and it really did take a big financial/mental burden off of us because of it. We were able to focus on more important things; like my son’s future care and treatments.

I will always be grateful for the Ronald McDonald house; and I look forward every year to donating, so other families that need help, can focus on healing as well. It makes the holidays better for me.

Here is the link, if you are so inclined. It truly will help people who need it.   

  The Ronald McDonald House 

I did not have a pole this year like a regular Festivus celebration; and my feats of strength consisted of lifting and moving a lot of dogs at work, and whatever yummy goody I could manage to shove in my mouth. I got to talk to my kids; and I was happy to be with T and his family today; and happy to know that T and I are celebrating one year together; AND 9 months sober today as well. That’s a Festivus gift we both gave to ourselves, and the people we love. We worked for it; and continue to do soevery day, because it will always matter most.

Also, if you ever want to look at a cool light display, check out Light up Middletown, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods next Season. It’s awesome! 

That’s about it, and what counts this season, in my world right now. 

I hope wherever you are, and whatever you are doing and did this year to celebrate; it truly was and will be festive and beautiful for you. 

I mostly say Happy Festivus to people; because it saves me time from dealing with the PC people of the world, that have to have their Christmas greeting worded in such a way, that it suits their beliefs/religion. 

Festivus knows no boundaries, and is ALL inclusive. 🙂

I think it’s safe to say, that it really doesn’t matter how you say it; as long as you remember what truly matters in the holiday season, and really always. That is kindness; family and loved ones; giving of yourself in any regard that is positive, and in any capacity; and to remember that gifts come in many different forms. Just being there for someone and valuing them when they really need you, is probably one of the greatest gifts you could ever give someone…and is FREE.

Happy Festivus for the rest of us, and all that jazz. I hope your holidays are amazing.

Love yourself. Xo

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

Untitled.

You choose the easiest way, because it requires less effort…and suits you directly; right now.

I know, because I’ve lived it; and was that person too, in the past.

It’s never the easiest way though. You know this. 

That’s why it’s frustrating.

Unfortunately, the easiest way, is not always the best way to go. Many times you end up missing out on things you could have achieved or had, or people who would have stayed in your life; because at the time you didn’t think taking the easy way mattered…and it was easier than trying to go the other way. 

Everything is relevant. Your choices on ways to go are relevant too…

Like a last goodbye. 

What and whom you focus your attention on; is what you put your effort into; and it is like anything else. 

What will you choose to fight for?

Empty promises, words destroyed by your actions time and again.

More than anything, I want to take the best way, not the easiest one. 

If you are not beside me; I will go alone. 

There’s a future that awaits me; and it’s coming regardless of the hurdles.

There is no easy way to get there at all; and I can’t walk for both of us anymore, because I am tired.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

Good Morning. Saturday, December 9th, 2017 

Many thoughts go through my head today.

Not every day will be smooth sailing; but where I steer my boat is always up to me.

I’m confident that I can get through this day, even though it will be trying and long. 

I will look for the potential in things, and the silver linings anyways…

That is saying something. 

Life is what you make of it; and this one is mine to make.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 Peaces of ME

Love Your Future Self, TODAY; A Lesson in the Wrong Choices.

Free writing.

……………………………………………..

There are moments in time that I look back on; and I am grateful that my life has moved on; and that time does indeed heal old wounds.

It’s not so much that they have healed, per say. I guess it’s just more of an acceptance that it cannot be changed, no matter how much I would like to change it, or erase it.

In very many circumstances I am glad for that, because I don’t want to go back in time at all. It totally sucked. Changing it wouldn’t be right, or true anyways.

There ARE things I wish I didn’t know, about the world; and myself as well. It was way easier to live unaware of them and denying; although my gut always made me unblissfully “aware” anyways somehow…and then my OCD took over until I found out for sure, every single time.

All it took was time. Sometimes, lots of it.

That’s just how I am. 

I have spent my life consciously and unconsciously ignoring and tricking myself into many things; until I couldn’t anymore…and I was forced to find out and realize the truth…start living life, on life’s terms…and save myself.

My truth generally hurts.

The accepting part doesn’t go so well with my brain. I’ve had PTSD for years, before finally being diagnosed formally three years ago. That was something that I became in the end, grateful for; because it explained a lot to me really, about the way I am…and how I could manage myself and my symptoms. Got me to thinking about my future.

I struggle a lot in the world of today, because I don’t like the way the world runs; and the fact that the world is pre-occupied with everything sexual, easy, and fake.

I got sucked into that world.

I have put myself out there on the internet in the past, for everyone to see…and they did. It was on selected sites, and then it eventually became Facebook groups.

Because of it; it led to a divorce; people cyberstalking me; hacking me; physical, verbal and emotional abuse; rape; people doing illegal things with my images and videos all over the internet. Slander of every form. Death threats. Blackmail. Extortion threats. (that one was ridiculous). My images were sent to my family members, and illegally posted on my own Facebook page…and everyone saw it all. 

Yeah, I’m glad time has moved on from that. To this day there is a scar on my psyche from it all, that can be quite hard to bear. 

It’s the opposite side of a success story, that felt in the end, more like a daily death sentence…and it was no fun living it, in any way.

It was traumatizing because a lot of the abuse was done by people I used to trust and care about.

It was traumatizing, because I did it to myself; if you want to get really technical about it. I had already posted other compromising pictures of myself in the past.  I lived in the behavior for a long time too; up until about three years ago…as far as the recent past goes, and really off and on my entire life.

I very well could have done a million different things in the porn industry throughout my life, and have been offered on many occasions, legit work for money, that I would not do. It was just not something I wanted to be in. 

It is not a good feeling, when people try to bribe you with money, to try to get you to compromise yourself in unsafe ways. I was already compromising myself enough…and you’d think, I would have “grown up”, quicker.

I started to think about it all tonight.

Every day I give myself credit for those bad decisions that I did not make; because they were very wise ones. 

I think it was something of Devine intervention in those cases, that I am not further recouping from my nonsense regarding my “porn phase”.

For what people do know of it though… It’s enough, and too much. 

I compromised my body in various ways for many things in the past, and it is not a good thing to have to admit; but it could have been something way worse, and way more no coming back from, than it has been for me.

I have to look at it that way.

I do not know why I did some of the things I did. I only know that I was out of control; in personal relationships that were not happy, and abusive emotionally; and I was also in active addiction off and on; trying to hide it. I felt like, sex was all anybody wanted from me; and the attention I got from it, FED my damage, my addictions… my pocketbook, and the way I felt about myself. 

I hated everything that was me.

My worst point was in 2013. I was actively hustling, prostituting, and compromising myself for four months.

I did it for drugs and money.

I wanted to die, every day.

Every day, I wished I could stop.

I think in my case, it was a cry for help.  I also think most people that knew me around that time; knew. Those people couldn’t and wouldn’t help me…because I was not helping myself. I was desperately wanting stability (in my head and life); but what it really ended up being, was attention from anyone or anything; because I was completely lost and damaged. My whole life had been a vicious cycle.  I was going to die soon…mainly kill myself straight out.

It really kills me to admit that. But I hope it will help someone…because I know I’m not the only one.

I was desperate for love, and I latched on to anyone that I thought would give it to me…

And it was a sick existence.

It was like a drug….fully. the whole behavior.

The people in the hustling world, that did help me… they always wanted something that I did not want to give. It was not “help” at all. They promised me money, drugs, friendship, love… they told me anything I wanted to hear…And THAT’S how I got sucked in, in the first place. 

And that’s how it always goes.

All of the people I dealt with; they never cared at all…not one of them. They just wanted to fulfill their own needs…escape from their reality, through me. 

For a long time, it was like a game I played with myself…even though I knew all along, that I was the only one that was losing.

Pieces of me every day.

I still have a hard time accepting it…. I look back on suicide videos and recordings that I have made; and it reminds me of how far I’ve come…and how bad I WAS. 

I will never allow myself to feel that despair, or live in it, ever again.

It’s easy to compromise yourself, when you are emotionally numb. It’s easy to hustle. Anyone that has ever been in the position will tell you so…if you really want to…it’s go time.

It doesn’t make it right.

Then you have to look in the mirror at yourself and know what you’ve done. You have to live within yourself. 

It’s not so easy.

Here comes the vices to numb the feelings further; hence the cycle.

I have come SO close to killing myself because of my personal failures to myself; that I don’t even want to say it.

Many, many, many, many, many times, I have thought about what it would be like, to just stop it all. I have tried four times in my life to actually do it.

And that’s what people don’t know. They were not there when I was standing on my roommates car in the garage, with a rope around my neck; nor where they there when I considered jumping off the overpass…my pill OD…none of it. 

I was alone, and I was hopeless.

I made myself ask for help; because I simply could not give in; OR destroy the people I love, any further.

I didn’t want to actually die; I just wanted the mental pain to go away. 

Sounds familiar, because it is; and a more than common running theme in most people with depression, mental disorders, and addiction. The feelings can manifest in many different ways; and are never good.

Asking for help changed my life. It gave me the skills I needed, to become less afraid of the things that were actually going on in my life; and it gave me the courage to change them.

I can never take back all of the things that I have done in my life, that make me a horrible person, to the average “normal” one…whatever that is.

I can only say that I spent years of my life trying to recoup my self-esteem and mind from it all; and now I only put out images of myself that are not images that I’d be ashamed of, in any way. I don’t compromise my body like that anymore; and NEVER will again.

The scars remain though.

Today, I am a photography major; and I hope that some day I can look back on the images that I have taken today, with great pride. I hope I will find it in me to share my work in the future; because I have a lot of great ideas, that I’d like to bring to fruition…and some I already have.

I am an artist, and always have been one and will be. Those are the images I want to be known for, not the others.

I live with integrity and honesty now; because I want to be remembered for who I am as a person, and what I did for the world; not the mistakes I’ve made in my life, or the damage that I’ve carried from the past.

Today is today; not yesterday.

The other pictures that I am not so proud of, will eventually resurface again some day; and I know this. 

But we all have pasts and skeletons..don’t we.

This is mine. Not so much of a skeleton anymore.

My advice to anyone really; and any female especially, is to consider your future self. Love yourself enough to know, that you don’t need to do that kind of thing for attention or love…or drugs.

It’s a hollow kind of attention; its a hollow kind of existence… and it does not fill the void in any way…only masks it. No amount of that kind of attention can save you, and that is a fact.

Do not trust that the images you put out into the cyberworld, to not show up where you least expect it, and don’t want them to…

Because they will EVERY time.

There are a lot of people in the world, who will take any opportunity they can, to use you; betray you; and hurt you for sport…and monetary gain or complete selfishness. They prey on broken, desperate people…and always pose as friends who want to help, or say they love you. 

You always find out TOO late, that that’s NOT the case…and then you can’t go back.

Don’t be one of those people, like I was.

I wish that I would have considered my actions more wisely. I had no idea about the extent of the ramifications that it would bring to me; all of it. It’s also embarrassing still on a small level…but what can you do, but not do it again.

It’s changed my view of everything I’ve ever known or thought about how the world really is.

It’s a shady place, with sun in some areas. 

I prefer the sun today.

I am SO glad, that I finally asked for help, and started seeking true friendships and support from people who never gave up on me; and truly cared for me.

It’s one of the reasons I’m able to write this publicly…and why I am still here on this earth. 

It’s one of the reasons I’ve found it in me, to love myself again.

Mental disease has many different facets to it, most times. Living in a world of darkness alone is really hard too. I remember not being able to see, any shred of light at all; until I started remembering that in the end, no one else is responsible for my life, but ME. 

I know I had help in realizing that. Always I’ll be grateful.

So even though I had to trainwreck through my entire life, I’m proud of myself today; and of every, single, little thing and piece of myself that I have managed to find and discover so far; because I have fought for it…and it IS ME who has done the work to get better. No one can take that away from me. 

I know that I’m not the only one who’s been through this ride either. 

For me, it has been MORE than a struggle; it has turned into a life-changing quest to never give up, give in, or compromise myself like that again….EVER.

Daily, I remind myself, that it’s OK to forgive myself, and to live with integrity today…because that’s what I can do for myself and the people I love. 

This is a piece of me, that I have finally made peace with. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.

I appreciate every single person in my life that values me for who I am…still. 

I hope this helps to put some things in perspective, and that it helps someone to be smarter about the choices they are making for themselves.

I hope it will help someone to forgive themself too; because we all have parts of us that we hide, and we can’t make peace with them until we do forgive ourselves….and stop the hiding.

Where there is courage, there is hope; and with hope, all things become possible. I believe it because it’s true.

Love yourself. 

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME 

Scars 

Fleeting thoughts don’t really amount to much; 

When you take into consideration, the whole…and consider the source.

There is no love-loss; 

Only lessons learned, and ways not to be, ever again.

Peace comes in many forms; and with time.

It came the day I decided to stop investing in someone that never truly valued me…

It came when I started investing in myself, and valuing myself instead. 

Thank you for driving that home to me…and making it easy to choose.

I guess things worked out the way they should have; in the end, after all. 

Every day, I am grateful for this.
J. Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

I Am Thankful; 2017.

Some days are better than others; some days are an effort to get through still…I won’t lie;  but I have plenty to be thankful for this season; and I am thankful; because I know where I’ve been. 

I am thankful that I am able to still be alive, and going where I am going in life. 

I’m thankful to be sober; and to finally feel free of that alcoholic burden…although I know it is, and will continue to be; a daily choice that I will have to make. 8 months sober today…..and counting.

I am thankful for my children, and that we are forming working, healthy relationships again. I am thankful for their father and his wife for doing for them, what I could not do…I’m grateful that they are safe and happy.

I am thankful for my relationship with T, even though it is not always easy. 

I am thankful for my family and true friends; who have always believed in my strengths, and helped me to find them, when I could not. 

I am grateful that I can still see the light, in a world full of chaos…and in myself.

I’m grateful that I chose to stand up and live my life the way it was meant to be lived; instead of running myself into the ground like I’ve always done in the past. 

So many other little things too, that I am thankful for…

I remember every day that I am blessed to have this life. 

For so long I took it for granted; and I’m glad that I continue to change for the better now…because it’s the way it should be. 

I hope wherever you are, that your Thanksgiving day was filled with peace and thanks…and that your holiday season will be too.

It’s amazing how remembering what we DO have in our lives; makes the value of it so much more, on a whole. The things we don’t have; seem somewhat trivial and unimportant…when you consider your life TODAY. 

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 Peaces of ME

The Journey.

Moving forward isn’t about everything going completely smooth and according to plan. 

It’s about the everyday choices you make for yourself; and remembering what’s important in life…doing what you have to do, to nurture those ideas.

Doing positive things in any capacity, is better than not. It’s not about the scale of the act; but the act itself.

Even when it’s hard, there’s a certain calm in me now, that I am grateful for.

I know it is about the journey…

And this is mine.

For once I am not afraid…and that comforts me.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME