To accept the things I cannot change, and build a new foundation for trust.

I went to Michigan to see my children and my mother a few weeks ago. I went by myself and stayed with my mother at her condominium.

It was a good trip; extremely therapeutic for me.

As I drove there and back to Ohio, I considered a lot of things.

The hardest part of the trip for me; as is every trip to Michigan; was seeing the obvious anxiety that my daughter still has when she sees me.

We are still somewhat awkward with each other anyway; because we are re-learning each other again, and I have not been around in some years.

It’s hard to know that I caused her damage that I cannot reverse. For whatever reasons they were, I will always regret hurting my youngest daughter in a way that will always make her question me.

I hate myself for it. To see it on her face is hard, but I know it is hardest for her. This beautiful child should never have to question her mother’s love or have had to in the first place.

Fact.

Today I put forth the effort every day to be a better person than I was yesterday. Even if it’s just little things like being more soft-spoken than I’d normally be, I do put forth the effort every day to be better in myself.

I understand what I’ve done and what it will take to have trusts form again between my youngest two.

I know that it will not be a traditional relationship. I know the reality.

Regarding my kids, I try to be totally honest with them now.

I am still not perfect, but I do what I say I’m going to do. If I can’t or think I might not be able to, I’m honest about it.

Because wanting to do, and doing, are two totally different things. Like saying you’ll be there, is totally different than saying you might not be there, but you’ll try your hardest to be.

I stopped promising my kids things that I know I can’t do.

It is better to disappoint with the truth than to make a promise and fall through on it.

I learned that hardcore, the wrong way; the hard way.

I damaged my kids because of it.

I worry about follow through a lot these days. In general, but regarding my kids for sure.

I’m trying to let them live their lives without major interference from me. They have a new family unit and are happy. I try to respect that fully.

I miss them every day.

I cry sometimes still because I’ve missed my kids growing up and every major event in their lives, since for years and years. I regret it.

I know I cannot change the past. I know that my daughter has anxiety because I chose to give up on myself and them. I was a combination of suicidal, scared, hopeless, distraught, sick in my head with grief over my whole life and what my life even meant after my son started getting sick, and then even more after he passed.

It was still no excuse to give up on my kids and everything.

I worried every day. All day long. But it was about if my son was going to die, and then it became what I could have done differently to prevent his death.

It was my entire focus for over a decade.

I was there, but I was not. Then I was not there at all.

I had a major lapse, and then I drank and combined it with narcotics to numb my brain from feeling any of it.

That truth is so hard to admit.

I will never be able to tell you what that feels like to have to know that your daughter has every legit right to be anxious around you.

What a selfish alcoholic I was. I tried to hide it and just couldn’t hide anything.

You can’t hide the truth, without repercussions.

This I know for sure.

I think of who I was then, and who I am today. I hope every day that my kids will start to see, some of the good changes in me.

I hope they will be able to trust me again in the future.

My children inspire me to keep going. If I cannot keep going for anything else; I will for them.

I told my daughter on the phone the last time I talked to her that I will always come back for her. Always.

I wanted her to know that I’m not going to get sick and go away again.

I know that I have enough coping and life skills in me now, to be able to prevent that from ever happening again. I have a support system. I have tools. But she doesn’t know that. How could she?

I hope that one day my daughter will feel happy to see me, instead of anxious.

It’s a goal that I have to work on, on my end if it; because I’m the one that made the problem.

Trauma is real and comes in many forms. If you do not deal with your own trauma, it projects out and you will cause trauma in other people’s lives. More so, you will systematically push away everything in the world that ever mattered to you, until you are alone with nothing else left but your thoughts.

Then you will begin to see the damage you have created for yourself, and for the people who love you.

My children had no choice in the matter. I did. I made the wrong ones.

If you can relate to any of this, my advice is find it in you to change right now.

Do not miss out on the best things in your life.

It is all I can do to keep moving forward now.

For my kids; for my future, for myself.

I can’t help but remember sometimes, because I know my kids still do. I hope to make it right in the end.

I have more to write about my kids, but that’s enough for today.

Love yourself; because if you don’t love yourself, no one else will be able to either.

P.s. Sorry about the head-chop Austin, your sister took the picture 🙂 ❤

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

What Does it Have to Take?

Just heard that legally owned guns, were used in the Texas school shooting; so that whole argument is SHIT.

Kids killing other kids; to prove they are somebody.

Please get some mental health professional teams up in these schools; and change these kids way of thinking before we have a whole generation of kids that have lost people they love; before they are even able to process it properly; because they are KIDS.

That’s happening.

I have to care because I have kids in school. I have to care; because I don’t think it’s right to let these kinds of traumas be the norm for kids nowadays.

It’s not right that we look away and deny the issues.

There are TOO many kids that fall through the cracks of life. I know all about that.

Every child you help get through something that is hard for them to cope with in life; is a child that feels value.

When a child feels value, they can literally excel to any level.

It’s NOT Rocket Science. It’s a common sense approach to actually helping the world and the kids that will be running it in the future; and disrupting the unhealthy cycles of the world”s workings.

Change.

The fact that most schools do not have set teams of professionals to deal with the emotional BS of being a kid in a world like today, astounds me.

Does anybody care at all unless it affects them?

People are so desensitized to reality; that no one will believe it when the world finally DOES blow up.

We are all burning already.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

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

What Matters Most.

So I had this long blog that I wrote a few days ago, but my internet shit out before I saved it;  now I’m writing this. 

I like my job. 

Physically speaking, there is no real reason to buy a gym membership now, because it’s literally cardio and lifting stuff all day long. That’s awesome to me. In the morning waking up it is tough, but at least I know I’m getting there.

There are a lot of dogs at this place, who are either extremely nervous or disabled/sick. Many come on a daily basis for day care. I know they all know I’m a “good one”. I know that I help them feel better after interacting with them. I also know they look forward to seeing ME. That’s a good feeling to have, because it is real and rewarding. I was told my boss that I am doing an exceptional job. Other higher ups have said the same things.

I don’t know how much better of a compliment or validation I can get. I’ve been straight up honest about myself to them, and so for them to come out and say multiple times that I’m basically killing it…well no one there knows how much it means to me. 

It motivates me in general.

I feel fortunate that I’ve found something that suits me, and helps me focus on the positive. I actually will have some money now, to be able to meet some other goals that need to *met. 

My kids birthdays are both this month. My eldest daughter yesterday, and my eldest son’s is tomorrow, on the 30th. I still remember how upset my eldest was that her brother’s birthday was literally two days after hers. I had to smile at the thought of it because I do understand. I think everybody wants a time where they matter most. (or a month) 😊

My damn vagina not cooperating. Hahaha.

Anyways Happy Birthday babies. I love you so much. I could never be more lucky, *than to have the privilege of having you in my life. 

I also know all of the other stuff, but I want you to know that I try to be a better person today, and you guys are the reason. You are the most important things in my life. I hope I can truly show you with my actions, and you will know one day.

I feel the need to write it here, in case you come across this blog one day. 

I’m six months, 3 days sober today. And it’s because I know for once in my life what’s really important. That’s my sobriety, kids, family and friends that truly love me, my job, my goals, being a positive influence to the world. 

I am grateful for my life, and the people in it *that truly value me. 

Free writing is my forte’, because I can be just me; and I’m alright with it.  

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

A Mother’s Regret.

My eldest daughter will be 29, at the end of this month.

THAT is CRAZY.

She is surely one of the brightest and most beautiful people you will ever meet; and I am grateful every day that she turned out to be so level-headed and smart…despite having someone like me, for a mother.

It’s true; that was not a “poor me, feel bad for me”, statement.

My truth hurts me MOST of the time…because I chose to put a lot of things in front of what I should have done…for most of my life.

I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel the thoughts of how much I was not there for my first born, when she was growing up.  I love her SO much, that it’s hard for me to think about how much I missed out on by choice, how much that must have hurt her, and how much I know I’ve let her down, when it counted.

I was not there for her when she was little, not really. Not like I should have been, at all. 

I was more of a visiting friend…and it wasn’t consistent, or of much quality. She was not yet a year old, when I left my mother’s house. She didn’t come to live with me full-time until the age of 13, and by 16, she was living with her father.

I think that one of the hardest parts for me about being sober, is that all of the parts that I was trying to kill with substance, come seeping back in through the cracks; like an octopus that is systematically creeping through a crevis five times too small for it’s body.

I sometimes think that what hell really is… is the pain you have to suffer through, when you are alive on this Earth.

It sucks to know that I hurt my daughter emotionally. 

How and why, is a story of it’s own…that maybe I can manage to get fully down on paper some day.

I was texting with my daughter yesterday; and she thanked me for continuing to reach out to her. 

All I could do was to reassure her that I was there if she needed me. 

All I can do today, is to prove it to her by being consistent with love and support when she needs me, and otherwise always.

I tried to stay away from her for a long time, because I was ashamed of myself, my selfish ways, and I didn’t want to screw her up. 

I wish I would have had the support to believe in myself, and that I could have been a good mother to her; because I think I could have been. 

The truth is, my mother had me believing that I couldn’t do much of anything but fail, by the time she kicked me out, and I left the house…a month before my 18th birthday.

Another truth.

When your mother says “I will call the cops if you take that baby…”

Let’s just say if I would have been smart, I would have believed that I could have been a good mother to her. 

I would have found a way to be, the mother I should have been, because I would have known that I could do it…

And I would have, TAKEN MY OWN BABY with me.

I love my mother, but I wish she knew sometimes, how much I wish I could have been my daughters mother, instead of her. 

I’ve struggled with this, for almost 30 years now.

I hope that some day, I can truthfully talk to my daughter about that time..because mostly my goal is to LISTEN.

I’m proud of my daughter, and the woman she is. 

I hope she always knows it. 

I’m glad she was raised to always believe in herself no matter what; because I think it’s made all the difference. 

I have more to say about it, but not today.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

To Karter, May 3rd, 2017.

You’d be 12 today…that’s just crazy. 

I know you are gone, but it doesn’t stop it from hurting, or from wanting you back with me.

I know it would be selfish of me to accept that; if it were offered; but if I had a chance to do it all over again I would have done things so much differently, and maybe someone would have listened to me sooner. It still haunts me…but I know we can’t go back now.

It took me a long time to realize the full scope of your journey. At the time I was just doing anything I could to hold on to you a little longer. I didn’t want you to go. I was so afraid to lose you.

I still struggle to understand why there has to be such a thing, as suffering and pain, in souls that are so pure….but I cannot make sense of it. In light of this fact, I try to find some sort of acceptance in it instead…however small.

If I don’t, I will surely give up on everyone and everything, and I believe that that would not be what you would want from me. 

You changed me, and made me a stronger and a better person. You kept me alive with the memories of you, when I was at my lowest, and wanted to give up. It’s because of you that I fight to be a better person. 

I think of you often, and I like to think I’ll see you again. 

I know you’re better now, and I only ever wanted that for you. Sometimes it is just bittersweet, I guess. 

I love you… And thank you for showing me what real love and strength really means.

I never knew it before you.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

I Got Some Really Bad News today…

I just have so much pain in my heart right now, for so many things.

It aches and feels like it’s never going to be ok.

I think of all the things I could have done differently and the bad choices I’ve made in my past.

I’m suffering the repercussions of some of those bad choices now. But this time, it couldn’t get any worse. My kids are gone now for good. I hate myself right now more than anything.

My heart is torn in a million pieces, and I’m all alone. I don’t care what anyone says; Hell is right here on Earth and I live in it every single day.

The last time I have been this devestated was when my son passed. It’s the same exact feeling.

Now, I have literally nothing to live for, and I don’t know what to do.

I do know I’m not giving up. Because giving up never got me anywhere.

I’m also not going to drink even though I really want to right now. Because I know that’d kill me even more.

Please say a good thought for Jenni (me) if you would please, I’d really appreciate it.

I don’t know how I’m going to get through this, but there’s no other option. Day by day I guess.

I will remember to Love myself this time. As always, I hope you will too.

J.Rounds (c)2016 ~Peaces of Me.

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About my PTSD

Deep rooted trauma has screwed me up.
It replays like a record and  sometimes takes up much of my day, even week; consuming all thoughts and sucking up any motivation I may have had to get anything done.

For me, from what I’ve been able to understand through the healing process, it is something that really will never go away; but I can manage it to the point where it no longer becomes a primary focus in my life.

I am no Dr. Firstly.

But I have been coping for some time now with multiple hard traumas; to the point that I had to make some hard decisions and try to start actively trying to get better, or I was going to lose anything Jenny I ever knew and that ever was me.

One of the biggest things I did, was to acknowledge that I could not change my past. It sounds so cliche` and obvious to most when you say that I know. The past is the past… it’s of course, obvious.

For someone like me who struggles with PTSD, it’s something I have to consciously tell myself; daily.

Sometimes we want so badly to change past events; that we punish ourselves in the process because we think replaying it will produce a different outcome; or perhaps a different way of making sense of what happened.  There’s always that one thing we could have done differently to change what the outcome ultimately was; even though it was already pretermined and it was going to go down the same way, no matter what. Some things you just cannot change, no matter what. I do know that now.

Regarding my son; he is gone and I can’t change that fact. I did everything I possibly could have done to save him. I did everything I possibly could have done.

I don’t know where Karter is; but I do know he’s not suffering anymore; and there’s nothing I could have done differenty to save him. I tried with everything that was me.

I still replay his last day and death in my head, every day; but I know now there’s nothing I could have done. The things I tell myself about it that make me think otherwise…aren’t true.

That realization in itself I think is one of the biggest break throughs I have made, in the past eight years.

For a while there, I was literally driving myself crazy playing that record.

That record finally got a huge scratch in it;  so I put it in it’s sleeve and put it in a special place where I can see it when I need to.

I still look at it too often; I can’t help it; but I’m trying to play other records now.

There’s other music to play.

J.Rounds (c) 2016 ~Peaces of Me

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