Monday, May 24, 2010

Inward Pushes Outward

In reclaiming my mind for myself, I began to feel the need to reclaim my body as well. The idea began small, and grew rapidly. I would devote a mural on my back to my story of transformation.

I would begin by devoting one session to each of my children. Each, in their own way, brought about my metamorphosis. Our oldest daughter taught me to never be afraid. From an early age she was fearless. Our middle daughter taught me that there is beauty in everything, even when we feel our ugliest. She always tells me I'm pretty, or beautiful, and every time it melts my heart. My youngest son has taught me to have patience. He tests it daily and sometimes I fail, but I try to be better each day.

The first in the series is a blue butterfly. I was not planning on beginning so soon, however, my husband discovered a summer special meant for me. I couldn't pass it up. The artwork turned out beautifully. I'm very pleased. Next to come will be three more butterflies, one for each girl and one combining all three.

Soon, I will be a new me. Stronger inside and out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

...Is Before Your Eyes...

The moment you become a mother is a moment of birthing not only the child who has grown inside you but also a rebirth for yourself. Transformation from a woman into a mother is a momentous occasion.

For many mothers, the first real decision as a parent, is the decision of whether to breastfeed or not. Whatever your stance on this matter is, there is no disputing the scientific data that breastfeeding is superior to formula-feeding.

First, let me confess, I am a lactivist. I believe all mothers should nurse their children unless the mother will harm the child doing so; harm meaning infect with a disease or ingest illicit drugs.

Now that I have that out of the way, I haven't always believed so strongly in breastfeeding. I thought I would give it a shot with our first daughter. Why not? After all, it is free. The first few months were difficult, I admit. Learning to nurse when I had never seen it before was quite an experience.

Engorgement led to milk being shot across the room, soaking everything in it's wake, multiple times each day. I'm getting ahead of myself, let me rewind.

If you're unfamiliar, breastmilk doesn't automatically "happen". Colostrum, which is high in proteins and low in fat and sugar, is produced first. Your baby's tummy is so small that it can only hold about a teaspoon of liquid. Thick colostrum is perfect for such a small stomach. Three to five days after giving birth, your body begins to produce milk, and a lot of it.

My milk decided to arrive at the pediatrician's office one day, sans nursing pads. Quite embarrassing. To quote Forest Gump - That's all I have to say about that.

The Answer...

The day wasn't particularly remarkable; however it will be forever implanted in my memory. This time, the reason will be a happy reason for the memory to never fade.

I am a statistic. I met my mate online. Yes, we lived in a small town in the boonies where you only knew where it was if you lived there. There was a stop light, a as in one. No Wal-Mart, one gas station, one school. Living in an area where everyone knew everyone surely there was no way you could "meet" someone online.

Alas, I prove you wrong. One day, he sent a message asking if I was really from the little town. Of course I was, why would I say so if it weren't true? Many chats later and a secret rendezvous, we found our place in each others hearts permanently.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

...The Odds

If you read through all my posts, I'm sure you're wondering, "Was he prosecuted?" The answer is no. No report was ever filed. There were times in my teens that she accused me of lying about him, saying it to get attention. Those words were very hurtful and rooted a deep resentment inside me.

Once my husband and I began dating, she convinced me I was a "slut" and "whore". As an adult, I see those moments for their truth. She was jealous of my happiness. If envy is her friend, then I'm sure for her to see where I am in my life now, she is surely green.

I'm slowly learning to forgive myself. As the memories return, dreams haunt my nights. Reminded of feelings I had long forgotten, leaving now the fear of sleep in their wake, the dreams seem very vivid. I know my husband has one of the toughest jobs of all, because his feelings of anger about my abuse are hard to cope with for him.

This is not the end of my story. Only the beginning. I have many other facets of my life I would love to share. I'm an advocate for breastfeeding. One aspiration I have is to someday return to college and pursue my Certified Lactation Consultant's License. Someday...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

...Have We Overcome...

Pleasant opportunities are God's gifts to us, if we choose to accept them. Hidden, sometimes, by our own unwillingness to accept change, if only we will open ourselves up to be readily available for change, we may receive something more than we could have ever hoped for.

Purchasing our first home was exciting, yet very nerve wrecking. We were blessed with a huge amount of land and just enough bedrooms and bathrooms. We felt so thankful, that while some thought we'd never have anything, we proved them very wrong.

Standing in the kitchen, at the island I always wanted, cleaning the dishes after a long day, I can look out the windows and God's masterpieces of nature, rolling mountain after mountain, to remind me how miraculous life can be and is.

There was a moment after everything was final, just before moving in, that something inside of me changed, reversed even. I felt accomplished. I felt proven. I felt good. Mostly, I felt amazed that finally, finally everything seemed just right in the world.

On my kitchen wall, the same room as the revelation, are the words to remind me of this moment. I can't help but smile when I read them:

"Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God." --Job 37:14

How Many Times...

Meeting one's biological father after a lifetime of not knowing him is usually a beginning. I found mine to be the opposite, instead. I'm not sure what I expected, but what happened was not it. We met, once. Then he stopped answering or returning my calls. I'm not sure what happened, and had it happened at any other time, I may have been less hurt.

My wounds from her were still ripe. It was as though they had been stretched even further and gouged even deeper. Still, I had faith. I knew I would prevail, with God and my family, my true family, by my side, I would not be taken under again. The darkness may creep upon me, yet it would not overtake me once again for I knew I had caring souls by my side to lean on, to be loved by and to love back. Love is, after all, stronger to me than any evil, any hurt, that I had suffered.

...Strengthened With Love..

Healing is not immediate, and sometimes can be just as difficult as the journey of hurt that brought you to the need for healing. Months passed and the ache began to dull. Anger flared and froze, having a huge flame one moment and doused in tears the next. I began to deal with other feelings that I wasn't even aware I had until I was broken down to the rawest form of myself.

Unconditional acceptance anchored deep in my children's eyes kept me going. One look, and it reminded me of everything a mommy should be, because I could never imagine replicating her actions toward my own offspring. Never.

This time was especially hard for my husband. I won't elaborate because that is his story to tell, not mine; however, being so in-tune with each other, I knew that it was difficult on him.

Finally days went by and my thoughts became clearer, no longer clouded with so much emotion. I felt as though I had finally become free -- free from the bondage of hurt, free from obligation to please her and free to be nothing more than just me.