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Friday, November 16, 2012

In search of my long lost independence.....

Don't drink the milk... It's spoiled!
Today, I fed my children cereal with sour milk.

I've never done that.  I've never had sour milk in my house & I've never been so rushed that I hadn't noticed the milk had gone bad.  The expiration date was good, so I didn't think to smell it first, but I fed my children cereal with sour milk.

This felt like a HUGE Mommy Fail!

That, on top of the stress from the hurricane, set me into tears.

Once upon a time, I was seriously independent.  I didn't need to ask anything from anyone.  I was a single mom & I had it all figured out.  I did what needed to be done & everything flowed.  Granted, I probably wasn't doing things correctly - but I didn't know any better, so to me - it was all just fine.

Even before I was a single mom -
I spent a lot of years alone.  By choice. Yeah, I had boyfriends when I was younger - but I was more focused on getting my life headed in the direction I wanted it to go before I brought another person along for the ride.  The attachments I made were always ones that allowed me to have my closest friends present, or they didn't occur.

I was out on my own since 18 years of age.  My dad died committed suicide and I was alone.  I had no other choice other than "figure it out".  That was not an easy task.  In my teens, my daddy made me his little princess. Whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Anyway, when Daddy was gone - it was all me.  I had no clue what to do. I was still going to school.  I was working part time.  I didn't really know how to do anything.  I screwed up constantly and eventually took in a roommate to help make rent.  We ate at Happy Hour or whatever else we could come up with.  I worked two jobs & went to school.  I did what needed to be done and tried to not ask for help. Pride, I suppose or maybe just stupidity - dumb luck.  Whatever.  I never went hungry or homeless, so I was doing something right.

I believe those years of doing for myself & not learning to rely on, or trust someone else enough to rely on was a contributing factor the demise of my marriage to my son's father.  Not THE reason, but A reason. Though he was no piece of cake, I own this part of the failure.  (I'll just leave it there because my son may read this.)

I was always very used to doing everything.  So I did it.  I didn't rely on anyone else.  When there was slack to be picked up - I picked it up as if there wasn't another person.  I just did it.  I got a second job and a baby sitter.  I worked 7 days a week & killed myself to be momma, home maker, provider, etc.  Of course I couldn't handle it all & the added stress of the other "stuff" was just the icing on the crap cake.

I rolled into single mom-dom without much difficulty.  It really wasn't that much different.  It was actually easier in some ways because the extra component was no longer there.  Other issues, yes - but in our household, no one was telling me what to do.  I did what I wanted.  My way.

...And then I met my husband.
He caught me totally off guard.  Our friendship turned to love in what seemed like seconds and he swooped in and started taking care of me.  All of the things that I was so used to doing - he started doing.  I didn't know how to handle it & I absolutely resisted at first.
Eventually, I let my guard down and learned to rely on and trust my husband.  Completely.
I can't even tell you how many times he has said to me over the years (yes, even to this day) "Why do you think you have to do everything by yourself?"

It's ingrained, I suppose.

Finally after all the years we've been together - I've stepped back.

Then the hurricane hit and he was working constantly.  We had no power for more than a week.  There were a lot of things that he had been doing, or that I didn't know how to do and it freaked me out.  I haven't been in a position where I didn't know what to do since I was 18 years old!

I've gotten so used to being a partner, I've forgotten how to do some things for myself and it scared the crap out of me.  At one point, I broke down in tears.  I was alone with the kids.  I was afraid to run out of gas.  I didn't know how to start the generator (and boy did I try).  I didn't know how to do so many things.  My brain swirled around to the point of exhaustion....until it finally sunk in.

I didn't need to freak out.  The one thing that I'd learned from my husband over the years is that it really is OK to rely on another person.  I allowed other people to help me.  We all helped each other and it really was OK.

When it really came down to it, it was just sour milk and maybe a little perspective.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Have a great day!!


Something I forgot to add before posting this...

If you, or someone you know is suffering or feeling in any way hopeless - please reach out.  Someone DOES love you and someone WILL miss you.  If you need someone to talk to in confidence, please contact the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:


  1. Hello my friend. Thank you for writing this. THANK YOU. I almost could've written this....except I haven't had the same heart wrenching experiences. I've lost close friends to suicide. I am blessed enough to still have my Daddy here...for now. I used to have the fears you wrote about. My marriage fell apart. It was BAD. I too felt things were easier AFTER it was just me and the Princess. To me, not much changed. Actually, I ENJOYED being alone. I LOVED it. I thrived. Of course, I got sick & then let my life fall apart. But, I'm baaaaaaaaack. I love you. LOVE. One day we will be lucky enough to meet...I can feel it. You keep doing you & I'll keep doing long as we do our best, everything will be ok. Big ole Huggins!!! xoxo

  2. Boy! you had a full life, even though it wasn't full of happy incidents. But these events have strengthened you and made you who you are. I was on my own at 17 years old when I left my family and country to become an exchange student to the USA and stayed there for 10 years. Was I afraid? Hell, no! At that age I was King no Queen of the world, unbreakable (in my youth's naivity, recklessness and longing for independence) and I did just fine. It did make me an opinionated, strong-willed, it's my way or the highway kind of person but it was I guess my defense mechanism. In my marriage I learned to let go a bit of that old self in danger of completely suffocating my dear husband. I've learned to be a slacker and let other people take over some responsibilities and it's okay because I am not taking care of just myself anymore but 3 more people. And I don't have clones! LOL! So relax Jenn, it's okay. We can't do it all and really do we want to???? (Not to mention that it's not 'healthy' for the others, too!)

  3. Very insightful, honest post. I struggle with allowing others to help me, too. And when I want others to help me, I sometimes have a hard time of making myself clear how I want that help. Learning to trust someone else is hard!


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