Happy Early Thanksgiving Everyone! I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to give my guidance and advice every week through this blog and that you all come back to check in. I truly hope you all enjoy the posts as much as I enjoy writing and producing them. Every post comes from my heart and is intended to help at least one person in some way. I look forward to continuing the expansion of this project and continuing to help people. Enjoy your day of giving thanks and remember you don’t need to wait for this day every year to look around you and see how you can make small impacts in your life and those around you. Every day is a day of giving thanks for being alive and for having another day to work to become the best person you can be. THANK YOU for the support these last 2 years and I hope I mean as much to each of you as you do to me. HUGS
When I think of Tough Love, I tend to wonder how can you be tough on someone you truly love? It isn’t easy to not want to help those you care about and watch them struggle when you have the means to help. How do you help them without actually enabling them?
Think about our kids and how we tend to want the best for them. If we continuously give to them without any expectations they aren’t able to learn how to fend for themselves. Now if we decide to teach them how to achieve their own goals we then give them the tools they need to succeed in life away from us. As parents we learned that we aren’t perfect ourselves but we want to give to our children what we didn’t have. In doing this there are times that we actually hurt them more than help them. If you can honestly say you have guided your children and given them the proper tools and they still choose the wrong path then it is definitely time to step back and let them figure things out for themselves. However, if you have only expected them to grow up and not shown by example how are they truly supposed to learn. Children are followers until they are shown how to be leaders. By first showing unconditional love, they still know they are loved when you are forced to implement tough love.
This same philosophy goes for those around us. If we continue to tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear, how are they going to grow and better themselves when they are perpetuating the same behaviors over and over. Tough love isn’t easy but again when your friends and family know you love them unconditionally, they will know you only say what you say out of the kindness of your heart.
Just remember that in order to implement Tough Love, you first have to show Unconditional Love. Otherwise you are just being selfish and controlling and that doesn’t teach anyone anything positive in the end.
Thanksgiving…A Day for “Giving Thanks” for all we are given to be truly thankful for. This special day is set aside once a year for us to make sure that we take some time to really remember all that we have to be thankful for even if we try to do it throughout the year. This one day where we spend time with those we love and reach out to those we aren’t able to physically be with.
I want to take a moment to acknowledge the things I am thankful for:
- My family and friends are first: I have surrounded myself with some amazing people. Some have been with me for my entire life and some only a short time but I feel as though I have known them forever. We choose the people we involve ourselves with. If you have people in your life the bring you down and carry only negativity with them you need to look at yourself and wonder what is the positive things about these people that keeps you keeping in touch with them. There must be a reason you choose to continue to have these people have a hold on you. Maybe it is that you are there to show them that there are good things in the world and they need to find their positives. You may also not be allowing yourself to let go of the negatives in your life completely yet, if this is the case you truly need to think how damaging that energy is to you.
- My career and passions: I am thankful for the gift that I have been given to be “The Fixer”. I love being able to go in to an assignment fix the problem someone has and then move on to the next assignment. I love my writing and my photography for the gifts it allows me to give to others and in return to myself. I am so thankful to have found a balance in my life when it comes to these things in my life. I truly hope that my writing and the pictures I share are a gift to others and that they can help a few to find the positives and beauty in the world they may have missed until that moment.
There are so many things I am thankful for and I would just bore you in time writing about them all so I will spare you all. Just remember that you all have something to offer to this world and you need to find it and be thankful for it, whatever that gift may be. I treasure my friendships be they in person or online, I am truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet some amazing people and to learn more and more about them and in return more about myself and who it is I am to become. Open your minds to all the possibilities and truly be THANKFUL for all you are given. HUGS to you my friends!! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! ~Vix~
While sitting in a Senior High School Class listening to a couple guest speakers talk about their son being molested by their babysitter, I had an unusual feeling of understanding come over me that I somehow knew the pain and confusion this child must have been feeling. Feeling that no one understood what you were dealing with and the deep ache to rid yourself of an unknown secret. I really didn’t know why I had these feelings, but I sat in that classroom almost in tears and amazement on how these people were talking so freely about this traumatic event in their son’s life. Luckily this was the last real class I had that day because I was not able to focus on anything but the words these people talked about and how they were very clear that this is not the “Victims” fault that these people do these things. They also explained that if we knew anyone who had or was being hurt by someone we needed to speak up and not allow them to continue to make that person or yourself the victim any longer.
I walked around in a fog most of the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. I had trouble going to sleep that night with strange thoughts running through my head. Once I finally fell asleep I was restless and the next thing I knew I awoke screaming, “NO! STOP! YOU’RE HURTING ME!” The memories came flooding back to a horrible night in my life that I had somehow blocked from my subconscious. It was now back and I was never going to forget it again.
I had been molested with inappropriate touching and actions by a man close to our family. He made threats that I would be hurt or that my family wouldn’t believe me if I were to even tell them. This went on for several years and I just allowed this man to treat me like my feelings meant nothing. At age 12, I finally got the courage to stand up to this man and tell him “NO” and that I wouldn’t allow him to treat me like that ever again.
I thought that everything was going to stop and that I had finally been able to take control until I went to sleep that night. I awoke to the most excruciating pain and my head being forced into a pillow. I was on my stomach and I couldn’t move and at times could barely breathe while this grown man raped me and said horrible words to me while shoving my head further in the pillow so I couldn’t scream. I must have blacked out because I don’t remember anything after that.
From that day forward I was a different young lady. I went from being very outgoing and high spirited, to a tomboy and guarded. I wore clothing that didn’t flatter me as to not attract males. I became just one of the guys in my group of friends and started pushing those who were close to me away so that I couldn’t be hurt like that again. I didn’t speak of that night because I just remembered him telling me that no one was going to believe me. I eventually completely blocked it from my memory as a way to protect myself. I also felt there must have been something I had done to deserve this and that maybe I done something to encourage him. He made me a victim and by allowing that I empowered him.
This all came back to me 5 years later, yes I blocked this horrible event out of my memory for 5 years and all it did was tear me up from the inside and created insecurities and depression that I could not truly understand. I had thoughts of suicide and the feeling of just being completely alone and misunderstood. Once this all came back to me I decided I would never keep silent about it again. I pulled myself together and wrote it all down in an anonymous letter to the class, we had a drop box that was in the room that we could put questions in and the class would give their opinions and advice. I didn’t hold anything back in that letter, well nothing but my name of course. I asked if they could help me to determine what I needed to do next to overcome this and how I could stop from being this victim and now take control of my life, once again.
When I got to school that morning I dropped the letter in the box while no one was in the class and proceeded with my school day feeling a bit of the burden I had carried so long, lifted from me. When I arrived to class that afternoon the teacher was standing at the front of the class with his stool and asked everyone to please take their seats. I knew what was about to happen. We all sat down and he sat on his stool and proceeded to tell the class that he had something very serious to read to them and that their help was very important. I gathered all the strength I had in me and listened to the words read back to me that I had written that morning. It all truly became reality at that moment. There was no going back.
After the teacher read the letter he looked to the class for their words of wisdom and guidance. I continued to not show signs that the letter was from me and I even asked and answered questions. These students were so helpful and they didn’t even know that the person who wrote those words was me. We discussed how this is something that is history and by continuing to allow it to fester was only hurting me and holding me back from my future. They talked about how this is not something I did or could have stopped. We discussed that my taking a stand was a good thing even though it caused this to escalate. This was the man’s burden to bare not mine.
After class let out I walked up to the front of the class to talk to the teacher as I did every day. He looked at me and asked me how I thought he and the class had done with the letter. I responded, “You did great!” He said, “You think so?” I looked him in the eyes and said, “It helped a lot!” His eyes changed and started to fill with tears. “I didn’t know,” he said, with the tears starting to flow. I looked at him and said, “I know that is why you helped so much.” If he would have known it was me he may have not been so open about his responses. He gave me a hug and for the first time in many years felt the warmth in another person’s hugs without being scared.
I will leave this story with this for now and will continue with stories that came from me deciding that I was not going to continue to be the victim of this man and that I would never be silent about it again. All being silent did was hurt me and the negativity of the secret was like a cancer in me and was just spreading and once I refused to allow it anymore my life changed. I won’t tell you it was always perfect after that day but it was the strength that I pulled from and continue to pull from today when things get rough.
In closing, don’t read this post and pity me for what happened in my past. My past is my foundation and what made me the strong independent person I am today. I want to share this story so that maybe I can reach others that are going through, or have gone through, similar times. Maybe, just maybe, you can see that you are not alone and you too can find the strength to be “THE VICTIM NO MORE”.
On November 23, 2012, I started chatting with a gentleman that at the time of us starting to chat I had no idea how much our friendship was going to impact my life. The man was a kindred spirit to me we could chat for hours just about nothing. We talked about our love and wish to travel. We would talk about going on road trips with the top down on the car to the Coast and just sitting and watching the waves. We joked about going to Mexico but neither of us even had our Passport. About a month after we started chatting he asked me if I would be interested in watching TV together but from our own homes. At first I thought this request was an interesting one but I said hey why not but maybe we should meet for coffee first and discuss face to face our likes and dislikes. When we met that December 15th at Starbucks and I just felt so comfortable talking to this man. We were just friends and felt like we had been friends forever. I left that afternoon after us sitting and talking for a couple hours about our children and families just feeling as though I had just caught up with someone I had known all my life.
We would sit and text each other for hours, talking about our children and our families and dreams for travel while watching episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”, “The Big Bang Theory”, and many others. During Christmas that year he told me he would not be available as often because his sons were coming out to visit him and he was so excited about their visit. I loved to hear the tone in his messages when he talked about his boys coming to stay and that they were going to be going to visit his mother during their visit as well. He texted me off and on during their visit and again it was so great to hear how happy it made him to have them there with him.
When the boys went home things started to change with him. About that time is when I found out that he had had Heart surgery back in October and he had been on Medical Leave but was going to be going back to work. He seemed excited but nervous at the same time. We talked a lot and watched shows every night and we would chat back and forth during the shows. It was very nice to have this connection with someone but I never realized that this man had major anxiety when he left his house but he would do all he could when he had to go back to work. He then out of the blue contacted me one evening through text messages, as we always communicated, and told me that he couldn’t do this anymore someone had come back into his life and he had to give that person another chance. I of course was hurt a bit to lose a friend and confused but I wanted him to be happy. I told him that day that I would be around if he needed someone to talk to and left it at that.
About two weeks later I received a message from him saying Hello and that he hoped that we could still be friends. I told him we never stopped and how could I help. We picked up right where we had left off and he started talking a bit about a couple women he had been talking to. One was a woman that he had lived with and he was a little obsessed with the idea that he was sent here to take care of her. She was from his past and he couldn’t let go because she had been in a bad relationship.
After we started chatting again his tone really changed, he was very hi and low and I just talked to him as always. I did what could to be that voice of reason when he would get worked up about this woman and tell me that she saved him that week he stopped talking to me. He had had thoughts of suicide at that time and asked for help and all of a sudden she contacted him and wanted to see him out of the blue. He said this to him was a sign. I tried to explain to him that yes it was a sign that he was to live and be here for his boys but he was very focused on this woman. I tried to be supportive and I was as best as I knew how. I never enabled him but I would tell it like it was. I think there were many nights where I really got through to him.
In the middle of February he asked me for a favor. I had no idea that he needed to go back in for a procedure for his heart that he had no one that he could ask to take him. I was honored of course but thought it was a bit strange that he would ask a person he had only actually met once to take him and be there with him for something like this but I couldn’t let him go alone so I said of course. We met again after that for coffee again and then caught a movie and we had a very nice day talking. We discussed at that time that we needed to follow through with this road trip idea. So we made plans.
One Saturday morning in late February I drove to his place and picked him up and we took a drive to the Coast. It was perfect weather out that day. We drove to Half Moon Bay and found a place on the beach to have lunch. This is when he really opened up to me about the situation with how sad he was to not see his children and how this woman was really tied to him. He would defend behavior she had that I thought was selfish and that she was not thinking of his needs at all. For some reason I was able to talk to him directly and he would listen even though he just could not let go. I started to realize this day that this man was definitely battling with depression.
After lunch we got my camera out of the car and we started down towards the beach. It was a great day and I actually saw him smile many times just like he felt relieved to be out there. We sat at one point and I took pictures and he just sat. There were moments that I could tell that bad thoughts would go through his head but then all of a sudden he would look over and smile and say “Thank you for bringing me.”
When we got back to the car I asked where he would like to go now and he asked that we take the long way home and we drove back to the town where he grew up and he showed me places he remembered as a teen and young adult. Then started talking about his days as a medic and how much he enjoyed that feeling of saving people. As we started to leave town and entered the freeway he got quiet. I gave him a few moments and then I asked him if there was something he needed to talk about. He just looked at me again and said, “Thank you. I didn’t think I could do this trip without having a panic attack.” It was at the time I realized there was much more going on than I had any knowledge of. We drove back to his place listening to old classic rock on the radio and just enjoying the wind blowing through the car.
We got to his place and he got out of the car and gave me a hug and said he was happy we did this and was happy to have me as a friend. I just smiled and told him that I was proud to be his friend and that I would text him as soon as I got home. Which I did and we of course watched an episode of “Burn Notice” and chatted about our day. He talked about the amazing Lobster Roll he had for lunch and that he wanted one again. I just laughed and said well then I guess we will need to do it again.
Time went on and we had many talks up to the day of his procedure at the end of March. I went and picked him up and drove him to the Hospital. I was still shocked that if this woman he kept telling me about was so amazing and that they loved each other why was I there and not her? Just kept telling me he didn’t want to worry anyone and didn’t want them to know. It never made sense to me but of course I just went. I went in to the room with him and it was like I was there with a family member and the doctor and nurses were asking questions and telling me how he needed to be taken care of once we left the hospital. Once the procedure was over we had to wait in the room for a while. I asked the nurse about some of the things that were happening to him recently and she said that it was very possible that they were side effects of the original procedure. The doctor came in and talked to us about the findings and they saw a small mass but they were hoping that it was not something they needed to be concerned with that it would just eventually pass. We had concern and discussed all this on the way to his place. He knew he had to take his medications but he was struggling and having trouble with work. I stayed with him for a few hours after to make sure he was ok and then I left him.
After his procedure, things started to get difficult, the depression got worse, he lost his job and had to get on unemployment, and he was struggling. I did what I could to give him the emotional support and we would get in arguments over texts because he was giving this woman money instead of paying for his own medicine or paying his own bills. Our conversations slowly started to cut-down to every other day and then a couple times a week and in early June I was rarely hearing from him. Then in mid June the messages stopped all together. I kept messaging but nothing. I just figured, well hoped, that he had found someone and was just too busy or that this new person in his life didn’t understand our friendship.
Then came July 9, 2013, the day I will remember forever. I messaged again, asking if he was ok. I waited and all of a sudden a message from his phone came. It was from the mother of his sons. “I have news. If you are comfortable calling me, you are welcome to do so.” Of course I called right away and was told the news that this friend had taken his own life on June 17, 2013. I somehow knew, but it hurt so much that I wasn’t there to help. His son’s mother proceeded to tell me that he had sent a letter to his Mother and in this letter he had talked about me and how he felt about our friendship and that I had been there for him and ask that she please get in touch with me and let me know somehow. She apologized for taking so long to get back with me but I completely understood. I thanked her and offered to help in any way I could and asked that she give his sons a message from me. “Please tell them their father loved them with all he had. The happiest times I saw in him were when he had them with him and when he would talk about them. Tell them that their father was very proud of them and wanted to be with them.” She thanked me for that and asked that we keep in touch. I hung up the phone and wept for a very long time.
It took me several months to forgive myself for allowing the conversations to taper off. I had to come to terms with the fact that this moment was going to happen. I just had the honor to share the days I did with this man. He taught me a lot about myself and life. I thank him for that and for opening my eyes to learning that you don’t have to physically connect with someone to be their friend. Communication is all some of us need and if you can be those words at the other end of the keyboard for someone and that is all they require from you…then is it really that difficult? Enjoy every moment you have with those around you whether it be a real friendship or a virtual one, it really doesn’t matter. The person on the receiving end is still a human being. Friends forever my dear friend, I will never forget you.
I was recently under the weather thanks to my children being sick and them sharing it with me. It got me thinking about how we teach our children to share, but forget to tell them not their illnesses. We want them to be loving and caring and to be thoughtful and social and then we turn around and realize well there are certain things you shouldn’t do. There is always that exception to the rule.
We want them to understand that Sex is something amazing and to be shared as well, but we then tell them don’t do it. You should wait until you are an adult when you are ready for it. Well come on now if you tell a kid something is amazing or to share it, don’t you think they are going to want to experience that?
Hmmmm…Maybe these kids have us wired and they are getting us to contradict ourselves so that we question our choices when the big things happen. By them making us realize we are wrong once in awhile, then we will possibly over think our decisions when it is the big stuff. Just something to think about…or maybe it is the delirium from being sick for three days. Thanks kids, You Mother sure does love you. (Smiles)