Daily reminders in parenting, growing up and moving forward

Once my teen had this incident, I wanted to make her understand what it’s like to stay busy. To be as busy as she can where she will have no time to get into trouble. I also wanted her to remember this as a learning lesson of just what peer pressure can do. Out of my frustration, I explained to her and to the principle that she would be, in her spare time, writing words from the dictionary. As many words verbatium as she could. Even down to the way it’s pronounced. Each letter on the page had to be copied. I spent all night thinking of ways to keep her positive, but also to be accountable. Through the night, because when the heights of my anxiety are in full swing, I can’t eat or sleep well, I realized a different approach was in order. The following day as I dropped her off to the “other” school, I explained to her  that instead of dictionary writing, she would be writing about anything. Pencil or pen to paper, once she starts, don’t stop. Write any word coming from her mind. If she’s bored then write it. Writing comes from the soul. It comes from the heart. Use the pinned up frustrations she has and apply it to paper. To use her time wisely and still have the freedom to express herself. She agreed and left. 

Her first day was a busy day with backed up school work and didn’t have time to write. That’s okay. We try again. That evening while talking about her actions, she was still so mad and only wanted to get back at the mean girls. I prompted told her that she fell for it. They knew what they were doing and she fell for it. She was honest and they were not. There is no need to get back at anyone. She was to blame. I said let karma take care of it. Your anger towards them will serve no purpose and will only hurt her again and again in the long run. Some things in life simply aren’t worth time and effort. I could see she was not fully satisfied with my answer but instead went to bed as well as I all in hopes that tomorrow will be a better day. 

Yesterday I bought poster boards, popular magazines, markers and such. My thinking was to have her create a goal board. Things she likes, hopes and dreams that she sees in vivid color. Future aspirations, fears, emotions or quotes. They all belong on the poster board. 

The sissors got busy to say the least. Aimed with a goal and a stern look she got to work on it. Simple colors she liked, dresses she dreams of wearing and emotions she tries to overcome, were cut, glued and applied. During this time she handed me her notebook. She wrote.  Just don’t read it out loud she said. I opened the notebook and with tears in my mind, because showing her my tears would be a cause for her not to write again, I read her delicate words. I read the words from her mind. The few sentences that stood out talked about how she knew she did wrong. She knew she followed peer pressure. She knew her parents taught her better. A beautifully written scribble explained that karma will be best. Ignore the urge to be mad. Ignore the desire for revenge and just allow herself to soak in this experience and learn from it. And to not hold on to anger. It simply isn’t worth it. 

I told her I was very proud of her for allowing herself to let her energy  express her emotions. I also said how much I love reading what she wrote. 

I can’t fix her. I can’t make her believe just how important she is. I can’t make her see just how beautiful she truely is. But what I can do is remind her daily that she is a gift. That’s she is important. That she is worth every worry and anxiety, as a parent, I have. 

This picture popped up on my news feed. The most accurate thing I’ve seen. 

I can’t. I won’t. Love, Mom

I can’t and I won’t allow your selfless and distructive behavior to effect me. You are old enough to understand the consequences of your actions. I worry about your emotions, fitting in, getting along with others all because I care. I love. I desire for you to have the perfect life you deserve. I want to shelter you AND give you freedom, all at the same time, but all in tiny increments  for fear that once unleashed, you wouldn’t  understand how to handle to enjoyed freedom as a young woman. I want to never see you have pain inside your spirit, something I can’t seem to avoid. It’s already there and I’m banging at your walls to let me in. I can tell you all about my childhood, the good and the bad, praying that you see and know just how much one tiny malice word or one tiny hug of confidence can really impact a person. A person who I know wants to fit in. A person I know wants to be like others. Being the norm is sometimes overrated. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your individualism. You may surprise yourself with hidden confidence you didn’t think you had. I can’t break that wall down alone. I don’t want to if truth be told. I need your help. Together we can sand and polish off the jagetted edges of your core. Maybe, just maybe a beautiful pearl is waiting to be revealed. The only one who’s holding back is you…

Love,

Mom 

A turn around of adolescence 

Cameran Faye has always been my strong willed child. Frumpy faces, nostril flares and every other typical teenage facial expression one could possibly make. Many challenges have been school and grades. A good Education is the most important decision we will ever make and when it’s time to take school seriously, it’s crucial for college. Being in Saudi made Cameran love school. The teachers had a huge array of knowledge and experience in teaching all over the world. It made learning fun. She was able to meet and befriend girls from across the globe with interesting lives, traditions and all around great attitudes. Sports was a plus. My baby can play. And I mean play Vollyball and basketball. She’s a natural. 

So returning home we made the decision to put both kids in a school they enjoyed. Having some issues before Saudi in school, we knew we wouldnt be back there. Cameran has stayed true to herself and the knowledge she carries. Being a freshman is a turn around. Starting high school, bonfires, band trips and the beginnings of coke dates are all the firsts when in high school. She has enjoyed herself the most and I take pleasure in seeing her smile and shine. Recently she was able to finally get a phone after bringing home honor role grades. Something she has never done in the past. Now, I’m not tha mother who expects honor roll. Far from it. I want to see that you are trying your best. Stand your ground and stand for your principles. Be a good person. Treat everyone with kindness, even when they are undeserving. But above all, respect yourself and value just how important you are. Know that the sky is the limit and never let limitations dictate your outcome. Cameran is showing me that she is responsible for her actions. And I am the proudest mom in the world. As she grows, I too grow as a mother. Teenagers are not all that scary. Even when the nostril flares and the eye rolls take effect. Proud of you Cameran. The sky is the limit with you my angel. 

The bubble is gone. 

The nicu bubble. N. I. C. U. 

I’ve shielded Sidda for two years with the perfect bubble with only a hand full of times her body has gotten the cold, and I hate the cold.  Breathing treatments, listening for wheezing, patting the back for twenty minutes and doing everything I can to make her caugh. I. Hate. The. Cold. In my mind, when sickness comes the. She will be back to a nicu baby. I know not per say a hospital stay buy it could happen. At 24 months she is a rambunctious, inquisitive, hyper, sassy, and know it all toddler. She moves all day long. Hardly ever a nap but maybe twenty minutes in the car but that’s it. All her waking minutes are found roaming around exploring her surroundings. Toys galore scattered from one end of the living room to the other. It’s an all day thing to play the pick up and put your toys away game. A game I love and cherish. At the end of each toy toss, we clap hands and say yea!!! To see pure joy on her face is the highlight of my day. It makes all the toys that much better to pick up. 

Tonight while doing the dishes, she fell. Bubba and sissy were on the couch watching tv when she fell. I heard her cry and raced to her. Holding her arm up. My angel got hurt. Trying to balance herself on the horse seat, somehow the horse seat fell on her and her arm leaving wheels tracks and a scrape. The mother in me said why wasn’t I watching her? Quickly she calmed down and began to play again but it was apparent her little arm was going to have a bruise. I wanted to kick myself for doing the dishes while she played. How can I watch her constantly and do household chores also? Balancing motherhood and duties at home can be challenging especially when your husband is still in Saudi Arabia. Lord, guide me threw the days until we are whole again. Help me to not be so worried over every scrape and bruise. Teach me to remember that by faith, we can accomplish anything. Help me to stop worrying. I’m releasing the bubble, one day at a time. Good nignt my Sha Bebe 

How the worry starts. 

I could talk for hours on my worries. Hahaha. I was diagnosed with having instructive worries and ocd. When I get fixated on one worry it’s all I can think about. Even though I know the reality of the worry is silly, it stills seems to magnify itself. That’s when the anxiety takes hold. When something traumatic happens most times its normal and you get through it but for me and my ocd I can’t stop the worry that something will happen to cause the trauma again. It’s called triggers. I developed them in the nicu with Sidda. That’s was such a traumatic experience that it’s forever in my mind. Although each trauma that has happened has come out positive, the worry that it won’t is far greater. I write a lot a lot. I have always loved writing. It frees me from my worries and later on I can process what I wrote and analyze it. 

Example number 1:

Each time Sidda catches a cold or shows any sign on sickness, my trigger kicks in and the old nicu days come flashing back in my mind. The process of her being there, although it was a needed experience and she is a happy healthy two year old, I still experience thoughts like any cold or diaper rash or any sickness will result in a nicu stay. The beeps and monitors will alarm again and she will be soley dependent on the hospital staff. Then the intrusive worries gets broader and my thoughts lean toward this; The staff will see she has a cold or diaper rash and it will be my fault. I caused this to happen and I’m a shitty mother –  

Even though the reality of it is she is a baby. She will continue to get colds and possibly a diaper rash ( I pride myself in her only having two small ones before and am battling one now). The worry of something else even more traumatic happening surfaces the mind. 

Example 2:

Living in Saudi Arabia can be beautiful and exciting and the most awesome experience ever. Learning and knowing the cultures and traditions is a must when living and working in a country as secret as the land of Arabia. The people are polite but often times one wouldn’t speak to someone they don’t know. I get stared at a lot and I mean a lot. I don’t cover my hair and I have blonde hair and blue eyes along with Sidda. Many times I’ve been asked to have my picture taken and or course have my most perfect smile along with a firm handshake. I would hug, but hugs are forbidden. 🙄 Being polite and smiling and thanking people and telling someone to have a nice day is well…. Normal. It’s natural for us to show this type of expression. So being here and me being polite can sometimes seem different and odd. I don’t take offense to it at all. It’s their culture and their way of life but one can’t help to stand out from the crowd and seem different. Anyway, we were leaving for a return trip home to America and passing through immigration at the airport, when for some reason not known to us, Jays visa was cancelled. The guard matter-of-factly said “you can’t leave”. “You stay and your family can go”. I froze and didn’t know what to say or do. How can he not leave? How can someone say he has to stay and not fly home? The concept is unheard of to me. But sure enough Jay could not leave the country. Me and the kids had to fly back to the states without him and it threw me into the holy hell of panic and trepidation. Jay suggested firmly that me and the kids return home and he would fly out as soon as possible. I panicked and knew I needed to go. I was scared and worried something terrible had happened and work for they control the visa process. We left and flew home and sure enough all was fine. Just a technical glitche in the system and he flew out the following morning. His work was very apologetic and made sure all paperwork was still in order and it was on their end. The airport made the error but it’s one error I can’t erase. The feeling of panic and doom as I’m leaving my husband was sheer torture. The not knowing factor was all over my brain. 

Once we all made it home and were able to talk about what has happened I mentioned to him that I was too scared to return back. Something was wrong and I didn’t want to be stuck. I was safe at home and did not want to return. The whole year I have been in Saudi I have loved it. The excitement of the new environment. Meeting new people. Seeing things that are unheard of to me, it was the best time in my life, but I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. We planned a trip to California to visit some family and take our children to Universal Studios. The drive was two days there and two days back with a total of 8 days being in California. There was not one worry I had. I felt totally at ease over the trip and never had an anxiety attack because there was nothing to worry about. My life was back to normal for a while and we were having the time of our lives. Once we returned back to Texas I had a doctors appointment for yearly lab work and to change my anxiety medicine. My dr agreed that my Zoloft was no longer working for me. So Prozac was prescribed with a six month supply to take back to Arabia. Once I thought about going back, the anxieties happened all over again. I went home and told my husband if he wanted to come home for good that it was okay with me. I had always wanted to be in Arabia. To him it was work and a job. He missed his family and home and I was looking for an adventure. So we have always stayed because of me and the kids. I knew us relocating back to Texas would make him happy. A few emails to and from colleagues and the waiting game started. Although we were fully prepared to return, in the back of our minds, we knew God was playing a role in this. 

After two cancelled trips because of trouble in Turkey, we flew out of Houston to Dubai then to Arabia. All I could do in my mind was pray that our visas worked. I kept saying “My faith is stronger than my fears”. At the customs section of the airport, the soft looking man in his traditional thobe, took our passports and began to run them through the system. I was holding Sidda and watched another worker make faces at her and tell her “ello”. All while fear was inside me that something was wrong. Slowly watching each passport run through he says welcome back and enjoy your stay. What???!!! Did I hear that right??!!!  Everything is fine???? What the fuck have I been worried about then???? I had never in my life felt more happy and the grin on my face was very apparent. My husband, on the other hand, rolled his eyes and told me see you are worried over nothing. If something was wrong, work would have told me. We got our baggages, watched them bein scanned for anything improper then off we went to a taxi. My fear ended that day but only for a while. 

I was happy to be back and forgot about the admission I told my husband. One week later we received the email he was waiting for. A new job back at home. My anxiety had returned and with a vengeance. I was panicking. I was pacing. I kept thinking how can we leave again. How can we go through the airport again. Will we be able to leave? Will my husband be released from work? Can they keep us here? 

When I have anxiety I like to tackle it. I think cautiously and find the reasoning behind my thoughts. I get to the root of the problem. I can’t sit and do nothing for being too afraid of the fear. I have to find out why it’s happening. So for two weeks I have found the process of leaving, how it works, what needs to happen etc. As Americans I’ve always been told that we will never ever have problems here and true to form, we are very much catured too. But still the thought of being told we couldn’t leave was always in the back of my mind. I mean hey, they did it to Jay right? (In my mind at least) so I’m racking my brain with anxiety still even after realizing that all is fine. It just won’t go away. I wanna sleep early to not think, I’m adjatated with the kids, I can’t stop talking about what I’m feeling to Jay and it’s the worst anxiety I’ve ever felt in my life. Even worse than the nicu and that was pretty bad. I was cooking one evening and lookin around my kitchen. I noticed my Medicine. Thinking maybe my medicine isn’t working I googled the little white pill for answers. And there is was in black and white. Right I front of my tired and worried eyes was the answer to all of my confusion. The side effects of Prozac is increased anxieties, adjitation, increased fears, troubled thoughts. A lightbulb went off in my head. Having been taking this medicine for close to a month now and my anxieties not going away, but instead they are getting worse by the day, I realized its having the opposite effect on me. In an instant, the racing in my chest stopped. The off the wall worries and anxieties stopped. I found the problem. I immediately phone my doctor in the states, explained what was happening and he strongly advised me to stop the Prozac immediately. Some people have the adverse side effects to the Prozac and I was one of them. As well as a few members of my family. Two have tried Prozac for depression and anxiety and have had the same outcome. 

I’ve had a few days to process all the thoughts and worries and see it all in a brand new light. I am no longer worried of the diluted possibilities that Something wrong could happen. Now I am perfectly fine with the outcome. I know it is time to return home. Return to the family and life and school and work. My sudden panic attack caused God to work his wonders for the good and bring us back to where he wants us to be. I have always known that he watches over us each and every day. I have a miracle with me. Sidda Leigh Noor. She is my miricle. My light. Cameran Faye. She is my miracle. Bradyn Jameson. He is my miracle. 

Triggers. 

Triggers have an effect on me and some days I can’t seem to release them into the trigger hell of Stark unreality and that’s a bitch.

I have to remind myself, where does the fear come from? What is causing the fear? Can it be avoided?

My fear comes from childhood. I know this. Did I do something wrong? That’s always my biggest fear. Did I hurt someone’s feelings? Did I do something to make someone not like me? When something traumatic happens, why do I revert to thinking the worst? That’s the hardest part of anxiety. The buildup for the emotion that somehow something has to be wrong. Over analyzing takes over. Sounds so simple to stop. I have always been a worrier. Always. But usually I can solve the worry in minutes and never experience the anxiety. Here lately I have high points and low points. I’m always been  able to control the anxiety and gradually it releases but I don’t want it in the first place so why it’s coming is pissing me off. I’m a positive person. Ive never let my past experiences effect me. Ive learned that I can overcome anything. Life teaches you lessons and I have had plenty in my life. I want to feel like I’m in one place again. The move back home has me anxious. I love being here and have felt a sense of home. Now that the move in the works, can I fit back in and pick up where I left off? I will have to build back up a clientele. Move to a new town, which is fine with me. Will people like me and my family? I know each and everyone of us will adjust, it just gives me the anxious feelings or worry because again, its unknown. I do know that God is in control and he has opened the doors for this to happen. I’m grateful for that ❤️

A better me. A better mother. 

Motherhood taught me to catch and conquer my fear and worries. But to also cast them away to the depths of the sea. 

Motherhood taught me that no one is perfect. Not one mother has her shit together 24 hours a day. And that’s perfectly okay. 

Motherhood taught me that most times my worries and fears and just that. Worries and fears. 

My baby can’t tell me what hurts yet but I have to play detective and find the source of the problem. Usually after soft listening, watching her pattern, and observing her problem, I or me and my husband are able to diagnose what the problem seems to be. Most times, a few kisses, Barney songs while a temp is taken and looking at the calender to see when her last poop was,(yes I’m that mom who keeps track of her poop), we are able to determine what and why her tears are exposed. There are times when my anxiety races all through me because I can’t seem to figure it out. After staring at her for more than I should, I realize I have to let go and listen. I have to watch and focus. I have to cast aside anything that my mind tells me to do with anxiety and just learn from her. She tells me in her own way. In her own beautiful and smart way she tells me her troubles. Her sorrows. Her hurts. I am her mother. 

Anxiety can be the same way if you think about it. I have to stop, listen, observe what is around me and what I’m thinking about. At times telling myself that a thought is a thought and nothing more. I haven’t done anything wrong, I am not in trouble for anything, check my surroundings and focus on finding my balence. That could be a laugh at an old memory, a to do list for the day, walking at the gym or just being on the floor with my kids. 

Finding balence to life with children and life with anxiety and just life in general, especially in a foreign country, can be scary, exciting and down right fun. I’m making it how I want. One little worry at a time…😊