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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Because You’re Mine…I Walk the Line

Every day you have opportunity to grow.  I am forced to look beyond my stupid, little world tonight; and to fully recognize what I have truly done to my children’s lives; when I left Michigan to come to Pennsylvania, to be well.

I knew I needed to leave Michigan, firstly. I was doing deliberate, compulsive things to hurt myself in many ways. I was walking streets alone at night at 2-3 am in the morning; highways even; miles and miles a night, with no regards for my safety at all. I was walking past the funeral home where my son’s service was held, almost every night; looking into the windows when they were closed; in hopes I’d see my dead son roaming the halls, and that maybe I could communicate with him. I was in active addiction on and off; but mostly on. I was starving myself on purpose; I lost over 100 pounds. I was not in counseling or on any kind of medication at all. I was involved with people I had no business being around at all, because they were shady and up to no good. I effectively destroyed and disengaged completely from anyone important in my life and started to isolate. I was highly suicidal and started formulating plans and scenarios in which to fulfill it; writing suicide letters and making final suicide videos. I was in effect, going crazy.

I did not know that I was suffering from, nor was I diagnosed with, PTSD at that time.  All I knew was that I did not want to continue down the road I was going on and if I did not get out, I would die.  I did not want to.

After moving to a childhood friend’s house for a bit, I decided it was best for me to come to PA to try to get my life back together again, for my kids and for myself.

I always thought, that if my kids knew I loved them, that I would be able to keep a relationship with them, as if I had never even left.  I don’t why I thought this at all; surely it was a lie I told myself to keep from feeling the devastation of them not being in my life anymore on a frequent basis, as they had been before.

This was not the case.

By coming to Pennsylvania for a better, more peaceful life; and not having the means to travel back and forth to them accordingly; I have myself; cut off any real relationship that I could have had with them.  This was not originally what I intended to do, but it IS what has happened.

I learned tonight that both my children are struggling with issues regarding me not being around, to the point that it is affecting their health. It is devastating to me to know I have done this to them.

I also learned that by saying I was moving back, but then deciding not to; that I made it even worse; to the point that my kids feel they aren’t loved by me at all.  All the calls in the world and the I love yous, can’t change these facts; OR take away that damage; because I am not there.

Sometimes when I think I am doing the very best I can do, it comes into light that I am not; at all. These latest things that were explained to me tonight have made me understand clearly that I have some hard choices to make; and some work to get done to make it happen.  I question how I could not have realized it myself; but I think that sometimes things just fall into place when they need to; and it was now I needed to know.

Every choice you make in life directly impacts not only yourself, but most often many others around you as well. As much as you may think you are doing what’s best for all involved; you can inadvertently be doing more damage than you even are aware of.

I did not intend to hurt my children.  In fact, my children are the most beautiful people I know in my life and the most precious to me.  So now I intend to form a plan to show it.

I do not regret coming to Pennsylvania to find my soul again. I am stronger than ever before and I know I have it in me to achieve great things in life.  I do however regret that I did not think it through enough, and that my children got caught in my wake, once again.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and I hope they will forgive me one day.

I will be going back in the Spring to Michigan, to start over ONE more time.  This time I will follow through. I will show my children that they are loved; and that I am a better mother now, for having come out here.

They deserve the world;  and that’s all that matters to me. I am grateful they have someone in their life that is loving them as their own as well. I’m also grateful she took the time to speak with me tonight directly. It 
was what I needed to hear for sure.

Thank you.

J. Rounds ©2015 ~Peaces of me

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