Crave

Today my peace was tested.

Mentally, emotionally, and internally.

I thought I’d moved past this specific turmoil, but as I’ve found myself here with the need to get it out, it’s clear that I haven’t.

That’s the thing about peace. It can so easily be stolen.

But today was not the day I allowed someone else to take my personal peace as payment.

Because that’s the other thing about peace. You can so easily take it back when the cost has become to high.

I pride myself in picking good people to have in my life. I make a conscious effort to choose people who choose happiness. People who celebrate my success, as much as I celebrate theirs, and I personally love a good party.

There are still however, moments when I find myself allowing old emotional energies to pop their head through and say hello. I’m finding I’ve come to an acceptance level with that as well, as long as they never fully take over.

Tonight they got close.

Tonight I almost said too much, with abandon.

Tonight I was tempted to match the ignorance of their counterpart, in respect to the way I used to crave their presence. And I know from experience that this would have in fact accomplished just that.

But, tonight I didn’t. And that’s something.

Tonight I chose to take my peace back. Tonight I decided that feeding this specific energy in my life, has become too expensive for me.

I’m not necessarily a bargain shopper, and I fully believe in the saying, ‘you get what you pay for,’ but with that being said, you my friend require my peace as payment, and that’s entirely too expensive for me to afford.

No 60 day money back gauruntee here.

(insert two finger peace emoji here —-> )

The Half of It

Some nights are just harder than others. Not shocking.

But tonight’s taken me back to the beginning all over again. Back to the good when Kamren was home with me and Marques. Back to the horrifying when it was time to call 911. And back to the anger, hurt, frustration, confusion, resentment, etc., that followed.

I’ve told myself this is normal, and so it is. Or so it is for me and my life. The feeling of disconnection is maddening, but so is the feeling of normalcy. Sharing my life so publicly, so intimately, is freeing but so weighted too.

The saying, ‘you don’t know the half of it,’ is what comes to mind. The ‘half of it,’ doesn’t even describe the half of that.

Sitting her looking around my house, impeccably decorated and perfectly organized, I know I have a great space. I hear it from everyone who steps inside of here, followed by their request to have me redecorate their own. But it’s so opposite of how frantic and broken I feel internally. It’s what my life looks like to the outside world, or the people watching it through the Facebook lens. It’s literally ‘the half of it.’

I had to stop myself just now from ripping portraits and paintings from the walls out of frustration for Kamren’s absence. I walked past the tree my favorite mugs hang on in the kitchen and felt every nerve in my body heighten as I pictured throwing the entire thing, including all 6 mugs currently hanging, across the adjacent living room. The idea of them crashing and breaking, shattering mostly, and reflecting the exact moment my heart did the same, was enticing to me. It’s an internal high to match the confusion. An upper for the downer, a fight until the nerve endings die altogether.

Sometimes I have to re-read notes and letters to myself, from myself, to make it to the other side of nights like these. It’s the equivalent to emotional cutting. It’s a release. Maybe a purging, or a push.

It’s a survival.

I’ve copied a piece from a piece I contributed to almost two years ago. It’s odd to me, how much hope I had when writing this 10 months after giving Kam back to the universe. But I suppose that hope was always a very crucial part of my survival back then.

So, Dear Me:

-Reread and remember. You’ve got a lot left to do out there.

I will wait for the sun with you. For the light to come in and shine on the deepest corners of your currently broken soul.
So where do you go from here? When everything for your child has been handled? Squared away, letters both crossed and dotted.
 Except we know it really hasn’t. Everything has not been done, because there is no done to this. This is a forever kind of love. A forever kind of healing. A forever of mornings when you intentionally choose to keep living. 
 And people will ask you why. Why you haven’t chosen to take your own life. Why you smile through the daily obligations, begrudgingly keeping one foot moving in front of the other. And no matter how hard you try, or how many times you might try, you’ll never be able to fully explain your why to their comprehension. Because you have seen the reality of your worst nightmare take shape in your life. You have been the calm, you have been the storm. You live in the eye of it now. So your why won’t make sense if they don’t know the storm personally. And as much as you may want them to understand, in all honesty, you’re glad that they don’t. You hope they never will. You might feel like you’ve become misery, but you don’t want company. Not in this.
 –
Because you know your why. You understand it fully for the first time. It took you 20 plus years, but now you’re here. Now you know.
 –
Love.
 –
Love is why.

 

Madness

Today I got a really important message on social media, and it brought me back here.

An old friend of mine from high school in Germany told me that this blog, my words, have been helping her get through her own battle of bringing her Mother heart into her physical world after back to back losses.

These types of messages are always what bring me back here. Back to this space. They always will.

So as much as she’s found healing through my story here, I’ve found healing in hearing her words to me.

So for that, I thank you sweet friend!

Thank you for bringing me back, and reminding me why I created this space at all.

Our conversation got me thinking about self-care, and how so incredibly important that is for those of us who balance the differing roads between our two very real, and very separate worlds that we occupy.

I’ve recently found myself partnered with the doctors of Rodan + Fields, and have become completely engulfed in this world of premium skincare. I took this leap of faith based on my own skincare needs, and my desire to create a secondary income for myself.

That was my game plan, and after I sat and mapped it out, I jumped in face first. Literally.

It’s been good to me, and for me thus far. It keeps me engaged, and it’s created a real excitement for me about our products. I love sharing my life, obviously, as well as all things I love. So this has become such a natural fit for me.

But it wasn’t really until my conversation today about my child, about our children, that I realized more than anything, this business has become such an important method of self-care for me over the past month.

It’s given me something new & fun to believe in. It’s created so many new friendships and partnerships as well. And it’s also helped put me back on track to really caring about myself fully.

2017 has been a year full of self-care for me. I’ve been getting back in shape, and really cleaned up my diet. That resulted in a 19 pound weight loss for me, officially putting me under the weight I was when I first became pregnant with my Kam. I’m still committed to losing another 15, and now that my NYC vacation is over, it’s time to really become focuses again.

I’ve also gotten back to a much better place emotionally, and translating that over to all of my personal relationships has created a new level of healing. This has been so critical for me, and for allowing me to really open back up to the world around me instead of just existing in it.

And now just to be the cherry on top, I’ve finally gotten my rosacea under control. And anyone who knows what having a skin condition is like, knows how impactful it is to your overall sense of well-being when you aren’t constantly trying to cover it up. There’s just something very freeing in it, and for that I’m grateful.

Everyone’s journey to self care is different, and that’s okay. That’s more than okay actually. It’s necessary. My path probably hasn’t looked right to some out there, and I’ve come to an incredible level of acceptance of that thought. Because my path to Motherhood doesn’t look the same as the average person out there either.

And no matter what, this path that I walk, is mine to navigate. That being said, I’m overwhelmingly thankful I don’t have to navigate it alone. xx

“I have loved to the point of madness. That which is called madness. That which to me is the only sensible way to love.”

Back to the Living

Let’s get back to it.

The living that is.

It’s an interesting concept to a lot of people, the living after the trauma. I guess I never really understood it either, until I was forced to get intimately acquainted. 2017 has been 3 months of really living again. Living without the title of ‘bereaved mother’ first.

What an odd thing that this. To go on about life, missing such an important part of it. Somedays it feels like I’m starting completely over, like I just graduated from college again or something. Other days, albeit not many lately, I find myself so stuck in the past. Still holding on to so much, like my life depends on it.

But even still, even on those days, I find myself happy again. Or as happy as someone can be in this life. It’s still pretty much a choice everyday, but luckily, I’ve become a pretty solid choice maker.

Saying a lot has happened since I was here last could easily be classified as an understatement. But I guess that only matters for the people who’ve found themselves invested in the journey with me.

So, here’s a short list for you ;

  • Kam’s dad is currently in prison for aggravated battery. I just recently found out myself, but I’m not really shocked. His commitment to avoiding what happened to our son finally won, and his temper got the best of him. I think he’s exactly where he should be, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I think these next couple years will give him a change to finally process and get help. And become a better father to his older son. Although I specifically don’t want him in any factor of my life anymore, I still wish him the best. 
  • I guess it’s time to officially announce that I am in a very happy & healthy relationship, with a man who might actually be too good for me. He’s been my biggest supporter, cheerleader, and rock when I’ve needed it most. He’s not afraid to bring up Kam when I need him too, which I guess isn’t surprising since he’s loved both me and Kamren since the day he was born. He’s not new to my life, clearly, but I did spend a good 2 years constantly pushing him away and idiotically choosing Kam’s dad instead. I’ll never understand why he stayed around and waited for as long as he did, but man, there will never be a way for me to ever express how thankful I am for his choice. He’s the type of man your parents pray you find, and I’m pretty sure my Mama’s prayers got answered this time. 
  • Work is work, blah mostly. Not that I don’t love what I do, & the amazing team  I get to work beside everyday, because I do. I think I’m just missing my old office more than ever. It’s getting time for me to start prepping to go back. I remember thinking how baldy I needed to get ‘home’ after losing Kamren, that I didn’t ever realize that I was already there. I’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart, but I’m a woman that belongs back in the Florida sun. That is my grown up home, and God willing, I’ll be back there by the end of this year. 
  • Lola is still a pain in my ass, literally. But, she’s also my favorite part of the day. She always will be. 
  • 2017 has given me both a new niece & a new nephew. They’re both perfection, and I can’t wait to actually see them in person. Luckily, I’ll get to see miss Taby Cat this May when me & Mama go visit Bubbs and Jules in NYC. 

Okay, so my short list might have turned a little bit long. Eh, there was a lot to cover.

Honestly, I’m not really sure where my intent to take this blog is anymore. I’m not giving it up by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve gotta figure out how I want to evolve this.  That’s my next big project I think. Any and all suggestions as welcome, as always.

Any who, I’ve got to get back to the living now. Even if that only means cleaning my house and going to the gym.

Because today, that is how I shall be living. And doing it fabulously of course.

A Million Reasons

First off, if you still come here often despite my lack of consistency, then thank you.

Thank you for sticking with me, and for hopefully understanding my lack of delivery. I’ve had a million reasons to end this page and fade into the background, but you, you are my one reason for staying.

So, if you’ll still have me, I’m here.

I’m happy to say that these past 3 months have given me an opportunity to keep diving into my grief head first and without fear. That’s allowed me to truly understand the saying that, ‘grief is just love with no where to go.’

I have so much pent up love ripping the seams of my soul for Kamren, and sometimes that love finds it way out in the tears that form from the corners of my eyes. These tears however, aren’t a negative thing. They often come paired with a smile when I think about the grin my boy would give me after throwing up all over a freshly changed onesie. I’m at peace with that.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still an incessant longing that happens with that peace. And peace doesn’t take away the tears that do still make an appearance from the pain, but in those moments still, I focus on the truth that I’d live through the pain at it’s peak every single day to have known the soul that Kamren is, was, and will always be.

Year two’s grief and trauma was filled with so many moments that caught me off guard and brought me back to my knees. More so than I ever expected, even though I’d been forewarned that year 2 was actually going to be harder than year 1. Warning or not, I wasn’t really prepared for that.

I think for me, year two was filled with so much processing and understanding. And growing to truly understand who I was then, who I am now, and who I hope to be on the journey to becoming. Oddly enough, as hard as year 2 was and how many times I tried to wish it all away, year two has been the best therapy I could have ever gone through.

It just brought me to a brand new level of self-awareness, and self-acceptance. And that has given me more peace than I ever imagined possible.

I’m in a space where I no longer feel this guilt for not wanting certain people to be a part of my life. And it’s nothing against said people, it’s just that I’ve gotten to this place where I no longer feel the need to hold on to them because of Kam. That’s been so healing for me. To understand and accept the notion that just because there was once some level of love there, doesn’t mean that that’s the love I have to settle for or accept into my life. Specifically when I know, and I’ve probably always known, that it would have never been enough to satisfy the level of love that I crave. And that I deserve. I think this is one of my life’s  ‘aha’ moments.

Moving into year 3, that’s what I intend to focus on. Not finding love, or someone to love me. I have so many phenomenal people who already do. But fully opening up even the smallest, most closed off spaces of my heart, and becoming love.

They say you’re only gonna get what you give away, so give love. And throw that shit around like confetti!

(Side note: I’m the woman who says please & thank you like a saint, and curses like a sailor. It’s just who I am, and I’ve embraced that. Unabashadly.

 

Closer

I would say that I’ve been taking a hiatus from this life of child loss, but let’s be honest, that’s not really possible. So I’ll say that I’ve been taking a hiatus from sharing that world with people who simply don’t belong here.

No one actually belongs here, but some of us have been volunteered for it.

That’s a hard-line to tread. Keeping these two separate worlds connected , yet separated enough to navigate and survive both. It’s like walking a tight rope over the stratosphere, knowing there’s no safety net or cable to catch you when you stumble.

I’ve stumbled a lot over the past few months. Or maybe not stumbled, but definitely overstepped and tripped trying keep myself moving forward.

Sometimes it’s maddening to think I still have to remind myself to keep pushing and putting one foot in front of the other, 20 months later. Sometimes it’s frustrating, and I get angry. Sometimes it’s inspiring, and I feel strong.

Sometimes I just don’t know, and resign to the fact that I probably never will.

When I was 18, 5 days before my high school graduation, I got in a pretty bad car wreck and shattered my entire right ankle. I had to have it fully reconstructed and didn’t walk for months. I remember when the day finally came and my surgeon cleared me to walk without a boot or crutches. Standing up from his table, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do to start moving. Mentally I knew how to take a step, and how the motion worked. But my body couldn’t make the connection to my brain. So I just stood there, frozen.

It didn’t take long for me to process it, and within a week I was walking. Slowly and very unsteadily, but I was walking. Just like riding a bike after my brain made the connection to my leg.

That’s not really how it’s worked since losing Kam. My brain can’t fully seem to make the connection to my heart that I’ve got an entire life to walk through without him. Physically I can move my feet. Emotionally my heart cannot follow.

That creates a disconnect.

I can stay engulfed in the vastness of this secondary world.

I can push myself back into what some might say would be the ‘real’ world.

But mirroring the two has been harder than usual. Especially when someone knew throws out that damn ‘brave’ word. I never feel like more of a fraud than I do in those moments. But still, I smile and nod hoping they won’t see me breaking.

Anonymity has been more appealing as these recent months  have progressed. Maybe I’m scared I have nothing real to say anymore. Maybe the disconnection from my son has become too vast to navigate back from. Or maybe being anonymous is the only way to balance these two entities.

I don’t have an actual answer, yet. I should probably resign to this fact as well, and that I likely never will.

Answers likely aren’t the solution anyway. They won’t change the outcome, nor will they help my heart accept the truth that lies buried in them.

Maybe the truth is just a feeling.

Maybe our love story is unlike the rest.

Maybe our story is just us.

Maybe it’s just love.

 

 

Through the Looking Glass

I don’t wear my pain on my face anymore, and most days I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful to not be a walking billboard for what child loss is, or a representation of the yellow brick road your life turns into after you become a member of this most unwanted club.

That hurt that physically manifested in my life after loosing Kamren was ugly, on so many levels. And worse than that, it was the exact opposite of what his life was and always will be for me.

But that’s the kicker.

Now that the pain isn’t displayed front and center every minute of my day, Kamren isn’t either. It’s such a contradiction. The place of peace that I’ve reached with our life, and which I refuse to walk away from, seemingly negates his existence when I look at my reflection in the iris’ of whoever is looking back at me.

I wish that wasn’t the case.

I wish that even the most foreign set of eyes could look at me and see you. I wish they could see the authenticity you filled my world with before you had to go. I wish they understood the depth of my compassion was multiplied a million life times over from the 284 days that we spent together. Or how my ability to see past the incessant ugliness of the world is only possible because I know what the purest form of love looks like.

I wish the calm in my face was the representation of the calm that you brought into my world. The anxiety that you made extinct. The fear that you replaced with hope. The purpose that wasn’t quite lacking, but not yet defined either.

Because that’s what I see when I catch my reflection in the store window, or the rearview mirror.

I see the woman that’s been reshaped and redirected. I see the girl that once lived for concrete and indisputable evidence of the love and beauty in her life, replaced by the woman who instinctually feels your love & beauty in the most simplistic parts of life.

If only they could look at me and see that every part of my day reflects the way I’ve learned to love the you that you are now. The you that never leaves my side, even after I stopped carrying you inside me or in my arms. Or the you that knows how to nudge me just enough to remind me of my need to breathe. Even if only enough to keep breathing in those little remnants of love that you leave for me still.

Maybe one day this two way looking glass that is life without you will be made available to the public.

Until then, you will always belong to me & the sun sweet boy.

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was that when everything fell, we’d be held.  – Natalie Grant