Chapter One….

It’s 1:38 am, here in Alabama as I begin this post. I’m up but everyone else except my son is asleep. Even the dogs are asleep šŸ˜‚. I’m only up because this sickness had me asleep earlier and now even though my sinuses and head are screaming for rest, I cannot. It’s the Sunday after a very good Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncle’s home this year. Now as I sit here watching television, I have an issue on my heart. That’s how my blogs usually begin, with an issue or a topic I have on my heart. I touched on suicide in my last blog but this has more to do with bullying, not unintentional horseplay, but real bullying experienced by our children and us every day.

My family is made up of what I used to call the serious side, my dad’s side, and the fun side, my mom’s side. I didn’t grow up with any of my mother’s family in my life and I always regretted that. They are such free spirits who bond through family, memories, and humor. I only grew up with family from one of my father’s seven brothers whom I’m still close with now. I wish we had been able to grow up with both sides, but life didn’t happen that way. In 2008, the world of Facebook allowed me to reach out to and get to know much of my family over the past ten years. I’m grateful because I now know that both sides are the fun sides.

In 2007, my Uncle Rodney and my Pops, (mommy’s younger brother and father), moved to Alabama. We had been to visit St. Louis, Mo. so many times that I love it there. We’re always taken care of and accommodated for and if you didn’t know, you will not, St. Louis has the best Chinese food in the country!! But when my Uncle and Poppy moved here, my mom and I were so happy because the dream of having some of her family living here with her came true! Of all eight of my mommy’s brothers, he is the comedian. When tragedy struck my immediate family in 2009, it didn’t go far away. My Uncle met and soon married my wonderful Auntie Catherine. In 2010, she was paralyzed in an awful car accident. She’s a huge part of my heart.

But I digress, I divorced my ex-husband in 2002, when my children were young. I felt like the pain and stress I was enduring was trickling down onto them. My daughter was on her way to the first grade and my son in headstart. My children were (and are) my whole world. I only wanted nothing but their happiness. But, shortly after my daughter’s birth, I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia. A year after my son’s birth, I began to have seizures. I suffered from depression and chronic migraine headaches as well. In 2001, I was placed on disability by my doctor and my nursing license was marked medically suspended. My babies didn’t seem to notice mommy was sick. I tried my best to be there for every award program, play, Christmas pageant, game, and Thanksgiving lunch. Every field trip that required walking, my brother stepped up and went in my place with my son. If my daughter had something I could attend, my best friends Bridgette, went along with her and her daughter. She’s still my ride or dies. But I feel like I wasn’t able to be there at home for them. We ate dinners in the living room instead of around the table, which always bothered me, plans were often canceled because I was too sick or fatigued to go and I couldn’t play with my kids and have fun with them because I was in pain. My Mommy took up so much of my slack that I’m not sure my children even noticed. But still, I felt like I was there and absent at the same time if that makes sense.

I was angry a lot too, not with my children, with God, doctor’s, and myself for allowing a disease, which at the time not many doctors believed existed, to consume my life and take so much from me. I was so in love with my then, husband. I gave and forgave way too much. By the time I was brave enough to get divorced, I was an empty shell of the woman I once was, void of peace, void of joy, almost in-human on the inside and unrecognizable even to myself…….

(Mock book cover)

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