Sunday, September 29, 2013

Remove the Toxins From Your LIfe

This blog post is not about doing a cleanse of your body but more of your mind. We all have that one family member (or more) that is a toxin in our lives. Remove them. Don't let them hinder your relationships with others or yourself any longer.

My older sister is getting married in May 2014 and I have been getting many questions as to why I am not in her wedding party. Truthfully, I asked myself that many times because my husband and I let her move in with us when she moved back to town. I also let her be a bridesmaid in my wedding. Okay, let is not the right word. I wanted her to be a part of it so I asked her to stand by my side on that special day.
I casually asked her as to what her decision was when it came to her wedding party. She replied, "I wanted both my sisters to be apart of it. But since y'all aren't getting along I didn't ask neither one of y'all so I didn't have the fighting to deal with that I asked one an not the other. So instead I asked the other people that are close to me. I want my day to go off without fighting. That's the only reason."
To be honest, if one can't suck it up for one day and just act like an adult then maybe there lies the problem. On a day dedicated to my mother, my younger sister (written about in previous post below) showed up but refused to be part of a family photo because my younger brother and I were present in the said photo. Oh well, get over it. Act like an adult, stand up with your family and smile for the camera. That was all that was asked of you. 

It seriously pains me knowing that because of her actions, I cannot be a part of my older sister's wedding. Well, except for being the photographer. Just what I always wanted to do. But, I will do it for her to make my sister happy.
My sisters and I together back in 2005 when all was fine between us

Just recently, I decided to remove my mother out of the equation as well. Yet, she doesn't seem to know why and is just making assumptions. She even recently told someone that instead of sitting down with me, she would rather just not see me or my sons ever again. That is really motherly of her. That goes to show that my mother, too, is a toxin in my life. 
This morning while I was feeding the baby, I ran across a blog that really struck me because it was my very situation. I am sharing with you all so you may also read it and realize that if your family relationship is toxic, you can move on. 
Please check out the blog Elephant-Dedicated to the Mindful Life

12 Ways to Deal With A Toxic Family/Family Member

Breaking up with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend is one thing and there’s a lot of advice out there for doing it, but what about a family break-up?
Most of us are not in a position to “just leave” nor do we feel we want to, or that it’s the right thing to do. So what do we do when a toxic family member (or members) is literally ruining our lives? How do we deal with the feeling of obligation, guilt, confusion and heartache?
It is important to note that not everyone’s family is there for them to lean on, to call on or to go home to. Not every family is built on the premise of interconnectedness, support and stability. Sometimes family simply means that you share a bloodline. That’s all. Some families build you up and some suck your energy dry.
There are relationships and friendships that just aren’t fixable—this includes family. There are situations that you can endure for only so long before you’ve outgrown them. There may come a crucial a time when you have to separate yourself from your family in order to do what is best for you and possibly for them.

In many respects, the way we were treated by our family ends up being the same treatment we offer the world.

Often times the signal and energy we put out into the world is similar to or exactly what we have experienced by others. And for most of us, this influential force has been our family. Think about it. Think about just how much the interaction, or lack there of, from our family, sets the tone for the quality of energy we give off during our lifetime.

What is unacceptable treatment?

Rejection, abandonment, not taking the time to get to know you or to be in your life, making you feel unwelcome, someone being competitive or hypercritical of you, pressuring or forcing you to be someone you are not, blaming, ostracizing, manipulating, belittling, neglecting and abusing you…the list goes on and on and on. These types of experiences can make a deep imprint on our hearts and inhibit our ability to react without them being present in the back of our mind’s. Our reactions to life become skeptical, doubtful, fearful and we more often see the dark instead of the light in both people and situations.
These negative experiences can jade us for a lifetime, unless we learn to do whatever it takes to get ourselves into a positive nurturing environment and replace negatively influenced reactions with positive ones.

What are the signs indicating that you could use a break or change?

-Your own health and mental well-being is damaged
-You feel emotionally, physically and/or spiritually injured
-The relationships with your immediate family/spouse/partner is suffering
-There is violence, physical and/or emotional abuse
-There is substance abuse
-There are constant struggles for power
-There is unnecessary distrust and disrespect

What to do, how to get out…

1. Get group help. If it’s possible and your family/family member is up for it, get counseling.
2. If it’s possible move out. Move in with a friend, your partner, an extended family member. Get to a place where people want to be with you, try to move into a nurturing environment.
3. Accept your parents or family member’s limitations. Know that you don’t have to repeat their behavior. You are not them.
4. Allow yourself to get angry. Use it productively. Exercise. Do sports. Use art and creative expression. Write in a journal. Don’t withhold your emotions.
5. Seek guidance for yourself. Talk to someone, a counselor, a life coach, your yoga teacher—anyone who will listen, someone you feel comfortable with. Ask for help with change and with taking risks.
6. Limit your time. Do whatever it takes to limit the amount of time you have to spend with the toxic family/family member. Limit visits, holidays, do what you can to prevent as much conflict as possible.
7.  Set healthy boundaries. Try to not allow yourself to get sucked back in. You can love and wish them the best from a distance.
8.  Learn ways to protect yourself. Practice meditation. Learn to be patient with yourself and others.
9.  Become aware of yourself. Observe your reactions. Become more self-aware in order to break negative patterns as much as you can.
10. Practice doing good things for yourself. Do things that build self-esteem. Do things you enjoy. Invite others that love you along.
11. Create balance in your life. Take care of yourself physically and eat a balanced healthy diet. Be aware and be cautious of things you may do compulsively (eating, shopping, drinking, etc)
12. Take charge of your life and your happiness. Don’t wait for others to give it to you.

Is it wrong to hold grudges (is life too short)?

Letting go can prove to be more helpful (even life saving) than grasping at toxic strings, looking for what ifs or chasing disillusioned beliefs. At the end of the day, we are all certainly in this together, but each of us have an honest obligation to do what is best for ourselves. You can be a lantern of hope, you can lead my example but you can’t force anyone to change.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Comfort Zone Breached *NSFW photos*

I love photography but I have also found a new love for modeling. I was recently given the opportunity to be a boudoir model. In the past, I have turned down EVERY opportunity to do this because I was not comfortable in my own skin. There was a time I would have done it but that time has come and gone.
I met this wonderful photographer Whitley Pollet  who was understanding that I just had a baby 3 months ago and I still had some weight to lose and some areas to tone up. She gave me clothing ideas and we just ran with it.
There is a saying "Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new." -Brian Tracy
Stepping out of my comfort zone for this photo shoot is definitely something I did. There were times when I was in the bathroom getting into my next outfit that I almost didn't want to open the door. There are also times, as I was opening the door, I sucked in my stomach (what is still left from a pregnancy) as well as stuck my "girls" out (although I breastfeed so that was a bit hard) and pushed my buttocks out a bit (also uncomfortable physically). The compliments from Whitley made me feel much more comfortable and proud of how far I have come after having a baby.
The photos are so great that I cannot stop looking at them. They are sexy yet not overly sexy.
I do want you to know some of these photos may not be safe for work so please either exit now or scroll down when you get home!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hurt, Disrespected But Strong Enough To Move On

"It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on."

Today was the straw that finally broke the camel's back.
Many incidents have happened and yet not on apology has come my way. Therefore I had to let go.
I had hope. I actually had a lot of hope, but, today, I realized I was holding onto something that will never be.

I will claim to be an orphan. My biological father is more of a sperm donor and God only knows about my mother. When I always seemed to need her, she was never there for me.

In the midst of my divorce, she never really lent me a shoulder to cry on. I understand she wanted me to work it out but I tried more times than I should have. There comes a time when you need to just let go and move on.

"Giving up and moving on are two very different things."

My head is literally spinning while I type this. I'm not really confused about the situation as I am confused at what I did to deserve everything she did....more like didn't do.
My mother didn't help with anything during my divorce, my new marriage, my new baby...etc. She especially didn't help when I was violently attacked by a psycho you could associate as my younger sister.
It was supposed to be a good family reunion until she snapped, grabbed my hair and started to violently punch the back of my head. I did what anyone else would have done. I screamed and cried in fear and then called the police. The police determined they couldn't press charges because according to them, everyone only heard a verbal conflict and never saw anything. That girl told my step dad that she did it and hates me because I told her con artist of a baby daddy she cheated on him. Funny thing, I don't remember telling him anything. Oh that is right, I never did. When I tried to tell my mother how she does everything to help and support this bloodsucker of a sister, she walked out of the conversation.

Another incident was when she never told me she was going on vacation to the family farm around the time of my son's birth in June. I had to hear it from my siblings first. Why was I never informed? And you know what, she still didn't say anything until after he was born and she was visiting us in our room later that evening.

Also, according to my in laws and siblings, my parents are moving to the family farm next summer. Have I been informed on this matter? Nope! They even have the nerve to let the violent sister move with them.

A few months ago, she was going to visit her older sister for a day. I hadn't seen my aunt since our wedding almost 6 months ago. I thought it would be nice to visit and let her see the baby for the first time. My mother snapped at me in front of my father in law "no, I want to go by myself. I want it to be an adults only thing." Oh come on, I know I'm her daughter but I'm almost 30. When do I start counting myself as an adult? My father in law was actually quite embarrassed for me because of how she treated me in front if him.

There have been other incidents that caused me to disassociate myself from my mother. The last time was at a family BBQ when I made a few statements to my oldest son. I sounded exactly like her and started laughing which made my older sister chuckle. I turned to my mother and giggled while saying "oh shut up". Whether she was having a bad day or not, I don't know. She just replied with an attitude "I'll just get my purse and leave." I ended up hurt and in my bedroom crying while tending to the baby the entire BBQ. She apologized to my mother in law but never to me.

Today my nephew turned 4. I wanted to get him something and celebrate. I was there for his birth. I was there to take him to the hospital and stay 3 days when he was 4 weeks old and had the flu. The family had a small gathering today, yet I wasn't invited. Apparently my brother wasn't either but at least he was informed of the gathering. I was left out.

I am moving on. It pains me to say but my mother in law has been there every step of the way and has, honestly, been a better mother and friend to me than my own mother.

I will no longer let someone like her hurt me emotionally nor mentally.
I am very hurt. I have been disrespected more times than I can count and more times than I'd like.
I'm strong enough to move on though. I have a life to tend too.