1. Tareeshia says:

    July 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I am glad you enjoyed that series, we really did too. I was mostly inspired by the POW guy that said he wouldn't change it if he could, I mean, that is truly amazing, to have that kind of perspective in life. The whole series added to my notion that I am in control of my own happiness. I have never been one to be depressed, but I know a lot about it. I am really glad to hear that you are setting your happiness bar higher…the sky's the limit baby =)

  2. Dawn J. says:

    July 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I'm a happy girl. I've actually been given a hard time on one of the mama forums for having a "perfect life." If I'm always posting positive things, and talking about my beautiful family, and having time to volunteer, etc. folks often assume I'm in that perfect place where everything is lined up and I can't possibly understand why they're not happy since my life is so gorgeous. But they're wrong – there's light and dark. It's just that I dig my heels in and go through the dark.

    Several years ago, my dad showed up in Austin after his wife of 18 years left him. He was broken and devastated, and penniless. I did the best I could to take care of him, suddenly faced with an aging and lost father. He later brought my half-brother to Austin, who was also in crisis and having severe mental issues. Neither had money, or a job, or medical insurance. My dad has done his best – he started substitute teaching so they could pay the bills. My brother just sat in the apartment all day and got worse. Last year, my brother finally took a knife and cut up both arms, my dad found him, called 911, and got him to the hospital. I went up there in the middle of the night while my husband stayed at home with our babe. We needed somewhere for my brother to get help, but because he's uninsured, they sent him to a place called "The Inn." It's basically a lock-in facility for homeless mentally ill people. Man, that place was a trip. So over the next week (my dad didn't have a car) I drove to north Austin during the day, picked up my dad, and he and I went and sat in the visiting room with the other mentally ill patients and brought food to Brother, kept him company, and tried to get information about how we could get him help once he was released. Then I went back home in the evenings and cooked supper for my family and kept everyone's spirits up. There was no one who could help me during that time. I went there every day by myself, because hubby had to go to work.

    Once Brother was released, I spent hours and hours (one day 8 hours with my babe in the car) driving them all over Austin, trying to get mental health services and medicine, waiting in lines, not knowing where to go next. That was such an exhausting and stressful time and I had to reach down into my belly and pull up all the strength I had.

    I'm helping them the best I can, and I worry about my 66-year-old pops constantly. But he is resilient and happy, too…maybe I got that DNA. So I cook them casseroles and do what I can.

    I also have a friend of 20 years who is very ill and possibly in the last stages of his life. He's homebound, and I try to fit in visits when I can. But this situation is sooo stressful because he's also my ex. We were together for 9 years, and during that time he also had mental problems and depression (due to family history) and our relationship ended horribly. Now I feel so sad for him as I watch him become more ill and so I'm trying to help him, and my husband is a saint, I mean a real saint, because how many people would be o.k. with you helping your ex? He doesn't talk about it much, but I know it's stressful for him too.

    And as you know, I got pregnant when I was 15 and gave my daughter up for adoption. I met her 9 years ago, and we connected instantly, buckets of love. We've had our ups and downs for sure, as there difficulties and emotions when being reunited after adoption, so she's been plenty angry at me over the years, even though she understands logically that I wanted to do the very best thing for her, and I was only a child myself. She's still pissed. But now that I've married and my son was born, she feels very hurt. She tries not to be, she loves our babe, but she really resents my hubby (to my great sadness) and feels like he's taken a more important place in my life. Our relationship is very complicated because she doesn't live in Austin, so we don't get to see each other much. In the past months, after she had another of many blow ups, she told me to not contact her and blocked my number from her phone. I can't even find a word to fill in that hole. I can understand where she's coming from, I have so much empathy toward her, and I love her so. But I just can't get through to her right now, I'm having to step back and let her work through her process, and understand with all my heart that she'll come around when she feels she can.

    And you don't even want me to get into my youth – believe me – what a mess of drugs and ditches that was.

    My point? Contrary to most folks assumptions, my life isn't perfect. An amazing little son and a husband who I adore with all my heart. But not perfect. And how bizarre a social study it is that I've been chastised by some for feeling my happiness.

    But I am so happy – I've always been. My heart just feels it. We are here on this planet such a very short time, it would just be so silly if I spent it feeling miserable. Oh my god, just the trees here are amazing!

    I'm so glad you're finding your place.

  3. Martha says:

    July 14, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Thanks Tareeshia, you live your life just how you want it. I am always impressed by your ability to maintain a certain contentedness.

    Dawn, it sounds like you've got a lot going on in your life right now. I'm sorry to hear that K isn't talking to you. Relationships between parents and their children are hard, that's for sure. It's awesome that you are able to maintain such a cheerful attitude!

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