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Growth & Gratitude Journal


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Grateful for all the rain we've been getting, grateful for the sunshine afterward, and for being able to watch the most spectacular sunsets recently, due to the clouds and dust in the air I guess.

Growth... my husband's cousin contacted him I think a week ago now?  She wanted to make sure he was getting information about his Grandma, who they've moved into hospice.  

Nope... his dad hasn't been telling him anything, so he replied back to her about that and thanked her for the info.

Then the day after their exchange, we both receive texts from his dad letting us know about his Grandma....  I forgot that with getting a new phone, that means I'll receive their texts (I did get a new phone in early May). 

My husband thanked his dad for the info, but his dad didn't reply back 🤷‍♀️.  We both get the feeling he's still very angry... I think he was trying to not let my husband know, because he's still punishing us ... he only texted us the info because his other family probably made him, I don't think it's a coincidence but you never know.

As my husband was telling me this stuff, I was relaxing during our quiet time (kids' naptime/reading time) and it all felt so peaceful... like the storm clouds that were passing through overhead, blowing over and moving on to another destination by that point. 

They really aren't my problem anymore now that he's set down stronger boundaries.  It was so nice to feel that peace and contentment.

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Something I thought of reading Jilbralta's mouse and jar story...  I'm grateful my parents did the things they did when I was a teen.  I wasn't a snarky, bad-attitude kind of teenager, but I remember my mom saying said something like, "I want you to see how hard some people work, full-time even, and on such a low wage they barely make it financially."  So I worked at a fast food restaurant in our town for a few months before college, and it really was eye-opening first to how spoiled I was without realizing it, and 2) how she was right, that many of the adults there worked very hard and still lived very difficult lives.  So many of them were so so kind to me, I ended up loving that job and learning so many valuable life lessons from there ❤️ One of my managers was from Israel and took so much pride in being the man who taught me how to mop :D...  I'd never really cleaned like that before, it was such a good life lesson before growing up and living in the real world.  I'd listen to his stories about the bombs that would go off around his grandma's house when he lived there, and how he served in their army and learned so much.  They all had fascinating life stories... it was such a rich experience in so many strange ways.  They missed me when I went to college and I really missed them ❤️ , and I would come back to visit them for years afterward. 

One of my managers was this older gentleman named Joe, and he was so kind and helpful when I basically knew nothing about chores or cleaning or customer service or anything.  He taught me many things, along with the other patient managers, but Joe in particular really appreciated me in a unique way... he seemed to really understand me (probably from being almost 80... he'd seen so much by that time I guess).  He would remark how good of an attitude I had, and was amazed I was ok with working there.  One time I remember he made a comment about how most girls would have a bad attitude working there, mopping floors and cleaning and cooking/serving etc. (most girls in that affluent area would rather have died than worked fast food... it was considered a degrading thing in our area).  The girls that did work with me were very down to earth, but they weren't the affluent ones our area was known for.

I don't know how we're going to impart those kinds of lessons to our children - or exactly what that will look like, but I know our oldest is already showing characteristics of humility, self-discipline, self-lessness, and gratitude for the gifts he's been given.  

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Growth.... Boy I feel like an idiot... yesterday we went to a party for one of my husband's female coworkers he's worked with for years, celebrating a big achievement for her.  We love her so much, she just has this amazing life attitude and joy about her... no matter what she's been through, and she's been through a lot.

Anyway... I was talking with her and it came up that her daughter is acting like a selfish, entitled brat and demanding our friend help her out with more money... after she's already helped her before and is now setting down strong boundaries!  No more financial help when she knows she only demands more and won't pay it back.  

Well the daughter didn't like that, and decided she'd never speak to her again, and she hasn't... for a year and a half 😞.  Made me think of the poor lady on here with her daughter who was acting in a similar patter, and made me feel like an idiot for not being kinder about it.  I forget sometimes how hard something is to live through, even if you did cause a lot of it.

And seriously... our friend DID fail her daughter, she picked a man who was abusive, ignored the signs and allowed him to abuse her and her kids... to me even picking an abuser is failing your kids.  I know that sounds so judgey, but to your kids, it matters!  It caused mental problems that she never got her kids help for, then she brought in a string of bad boyfriends further complicating mental problems for her daughter, and her daughter's attitude problems I know for a fact because I witnessed it, are a direct reaction to all those years of these things.  I mean we witnessed a lot of this happen, and then we were there for her when her daughter started acting out because of all of it, leading her to make very bad decisions early on (before age 19!) and just spiral downhill from there.

But I love our friend so much, I could see the pain it caused her to have her daughter still behave this way... I do believe she did the best she could, with what she had.  I just wish it could have been avoided altogether.  Ironic I was forced to see it in real life again, right after reading something like that here.

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Posted (edited)

If the daughter ever reaches out to me (which she could, we do know her and have a relationship with her), I think I'm going to try to convince her that yes, it's ok to feel anger at her mom (or dad) for the way she was raised and the things they did wrong, but holding this grudge and then destroying one's own life in effort to get back isn't the proper way to work through it.  

I'd probably encourage her to go to therapy with her mom where she could bring all that stuff up... I'm pretty sure our friend would apologize for all the wrong choices she made that negatively affected her daughter.  Most people don't take responsibility for that kind of thing, but I do believe our friend would.  And it could help her daughter see that harming her own life, and refusing to grow up and be an adult, is only going to further hurt *her* down the line.  

At least we can suggest it to our friend for if/when her daughter ever gets back into contact with her.

Edited to add just as a mental note on growth:  I do see this from the daughter's perspective.  All those circumstances leading to her being raised in a very dysfunctional environment would of course, create a lot of rage inside a person.  And then that rage comes out in mentally unhealthy ways.  It's like natural consequences 😞 of something that should be common sense.  I, "get it," that daughters or sons like this want to hurt their parents, or believe their parents, "owe," them crazy amounts of support due to what they know the parents put them through - things that should have never happened to them.  They're still angry about it.  I get it!  

It's so much easier if you just avoid all of that.  Treat your kids with respect and most times they'll learn that's how you treat people.

Edited by maritalbliss86
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5 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I do see this from the daughter's perspective.  All those circumstances leading to her being raised in a very dysfunctional environment would of course, create a lot of rage inside a person.  And then that rage comes out in mentally unhealthy ways.

True. She may end up making the same decisions with her kids that her mom made with her. Not because she wants to, but because she never had the opportunity to believe that there's a way to be better. Her mom very likely grew up in similar circumstances, and walked in similar shoes when she was her age.

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14 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Her mom very likely grew up in similar circumstances, and walked in similar shoes when she was her age.

Yes, I don't know that for sure, but it would make sense when she picked someone abusive.

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Grateful for the solitude of our garden... it's exploded with tiny butterflies over the past few days... we count at least 10 at any one time 😮 and it's not a migration thing... hopefully it's that they're making this their home ❤️ .

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42 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Grateful for the solitude of our garden... it's exploded with tiny butterflies over the past few days... we count at least 10 at any one time 😮 and it's not a migration thing... hopefully it's that they're making this their home ❤️ .

That sounds beautiful. 

How are your veggies and such growing? Are you in the Southern U. S.? 

We have had an unusually hot and dry summer so far.. I'm amazed (and happy) most of my garden is still alive! Corn is stunted, and my cukes for some reason. But peppers and pumpkins are going nuts. 😊

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It is so hard for both sides. 😓They often encourage people to have therapy themselves first before confronting a parent. I know it took me at least 2 years in therapy to figure out the EXACT reasons I was in a rage at my mom and be able to verbalized it without wanting to scream down her neck. A lot of times too the parent will minimize what happened to assuage their own guilt. It is a survival technique. 
 

Right now I would counsel the daughter to have her own private therapy and when she is able and if she would like to face her mom. 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, itsallgrand said:

How are your veggies and such growing? Are you in the Southern U. S.? 

We have had an unusually hot and dry summer so far.. I'm amazed (and happy) most of my garden is still alive! Corn is stunted, and my cukes for some reason. But peppers and pumpkins are going nuts. 😊

That's awesome!  We had a great run with the spaghetti squash and zucchinis and yellow squash until a raging battle with squash borers ensued LOL.  When we had our friends stay, the husband, who is a much much better gardener than me, pointed out I had an infestation.  But by then it was basically too late to save some of the vines so he suggested I pull them down.  Not all got infested, but at least 4 did.

So now I'm literally injecting a solution into the vines with a giant meat injector and that seems to be working!  Scary though, the needle is huge and it looks like a medical grade injection tool!  

No luck on the pumpkins yet... they are the mini kind so I'm not really sure they'll work here.  We've had lots of flowers, but I just learned I can pollinate them myself with a paint brush... so I'm going to try that.

Also I've started new squash vines that are supposed to be resistant to those borers.... Cocozelle Zucchini (an Italian kind!) and Tatum Squash (Mexican Calabacitas).  Hoping those turn out better

Edited to add... I'm injecting them with Monterey Bt solution....

Edited by maritalbliss86
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I've never heard of injecting, that's pretty cool, hopefully it works! 

That's great that you are trying some new varieties too, that Tatume squash looks interesting! 

I planted some striped Algonquin beans I received from a grain and bean farmer. First time seeing them, even though they are indigenous to the area. They are blooming a beautiful violet colour, so pretty. It's part of my 3 sisters plot experiment. 

I love that with gardening it's constantly new things to learn and try. Yours sounds amazing. 

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On 7/20/2021 at 12:24 PM, Seraphim said:

It is so hard for both sides. 😓They often encourage people to have therapy themselves first before confronting a parent. I know it took me at least 2 years in therapy to figure out the EXACT reasons I was in a rage at my mom and be able to verbalized it without wanting to scream down her neck. A lot of times too the parent will minimize what happened to assuage their own guilt. It is a survival technique. 
 

Right now I would counsel the daughter to have her own private therapy and when she is able and if she would like to face her mom. 

I just saw your comment Seraphim, and I agree with what you've said. Her daughter is in therapy right now, but you know how crazy some therapists are, I hope it ends up helping. But thank you for bringing that up, it makes sense.

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2 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I just saw your comment Seraphim, and I agree with what you've said. Her daughter is in therapy right now, but you know how crazy some therapists are, I hope it ends up helping. But thank you for bringing that up, it makes sense.

I hope it works out. It did for me and my mom. But I never had a breaking away from my mom. I was seriously angry at her for decades though but not now. It took a lot of therapy to not be angry. I needed that apology from her for her part in my abuse and for her minimizing for decades. I had to teach her what minimizing statements were and deflecting statements and victim blaming statements were. As we have to remember our parents are not psychologists or psychiatrists or even counsellors. My mom in her life even through all the horrific abuse she has suffered in her life has never had a counselling appointment in her life. While  she is a very smart woman she was also trying to maintain her self by minimizing, deflecting and in an unconscious way trying to hold me in someway responsible. What I mean by holding me responsible is saying that I should have told her I was being abused. And by minimizing statements I mean by her saying but you were only with your dad for x amount of months. You only didn’t eat all the time for X amount of months you were only raped for X amount of months imagine if that happened your whole life like other people. Imagine how horrific a statement that is to your child. But see how it minimized her guilt. She had to own up to that.

 

In confronting my mother at first she cried and you know oh I’m a horrible mom I’m a horrible mom I should be dead. I’m horrible you know ,the old I’m a victim. But eventually she got out of that and apologized to me for her part in my being abused. And I told her the statements that she always made which  enraged me to no end and those are statements that minimize ,deflect and otherwise re-victimized me and just stop saying them. Sometimes she will still come out with them and I will say look you need to stop that that is an incorrect statement and it’s really victimizing me stop saying it. 
 

I confronted my dad as well and all he said to me was ,”oh shut up you’re not the only person in life who suffered ,get over yourself.” So you have to be prepared emotionally for that response as well. This is why you need your own individual therapy before  confronting parents because you have to deal with their difficult emotions and statements as well as your own. And if you are not emotionally prepared to deal with that it could put you backwards. 

I never got to resolve anything with my dad and now never will so I need to resolve it for myself. My mom now since my dad passed is struggling with the way that he abused her and us. She has a lot of internal turmoil I think that she never expected and she is angry. She has a lot of troubles right now discussing my father. 

Edited by Seraphim
Constant revision for grammar. 🤣My phone makes me sound like an idiot with predictive text.
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I really don't understand where all these butterflies are coming from!!!!  It's insane, and it's not even a migration I think.  The migrations start in the fall usually...  Hmm.... 🤔  The kids are loving it, and I'm starting to get suspicious!

It was well over 10 this morning... maybe closer to 20 butterflies all around our garden, coming up to our faces on the deck LOL...

If I don't post again, it may be because we've been taken over or something.

It's beautiful, but very strange... I think they're these kinds after searching around online, called Border Patch Butterflies:

image.thumb.png.bf6557144d17f66ba4b52dd412986d16.png

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17 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I really don't understand where all these butterflies are coming from!!!!  It's insane, and it's not even a migration I think.  The migrations start in the fall usually...  Hmm.... 🤔  The kids are loving it, and I'm starting to get suspicious!

It was well over 10 this morning... maybe closer to 20 butterflies all around our garden, coming up to our faces on the deck LOL...

If I don't post again, it may be because we've been taken over or something.

It's beautiful, but very strange... I think they're these kinds after searching around online, called Border Patch Butterflies:

image.thumb.png.bf6557144d17f66ba4b52dd412986d16.png

Beautiful. I would love it. 

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5 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I'm wondering where their caterpillars are coming from and what plants they're eating... ?  As a gardener, I don't know what to make of it!

Here we have been INFESTED with Gypsy Moth and they are killing trees in abundance. 

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On 7/24/2021 at 1:48 PM, Seraphim said:

Here we have been INFESTED with Gypsy Moth and they are killing trees in abundance. 

That's awful 😞  And yes, I'm wondering if there's an infestation somewhere of their caterpillars because this is a lot of butterflies. 

They're definitely not moths... and it's not migration season, and they're not migrating anyway... their flight patterns are different when they're migrating.  Migration looks more like they're just, "passing through," and it has a definite direction.  These ones are just flitting around, staying mostly in our yard and flying over the back at times, but I do agree the overall effect is beautiful. ❤️ 

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Just was confirmed to be on the Committee for the tweens for one of the coops we're in.  I'm very excited about this... our oldest is the, "tween," in the family, and I've seen their events and get-together from afar, thinking how awesome of an opportunity this is going to be for him (these are great kids and great parents!).  

But I never thought I'd actually get to BE on that committee.

The woman stepping down is moving out of state, so she's emailing me all of her, "secrets," she said about the best loved events and games to play and how to do this.

Fingers crossed I do this well.

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We went to see our counselor again yesterday, not that it was really needed, just for making sure we're able to help our kids process their grandparents' actions (like our oldest figuring out they weren't getting him anything this year... or his siblings... and how we protect him from those emotions or at least help him work through them appropriately).

It was so good... it always is though.  

He reminded us what they did during the winter storm... he still doesn't understand why my MIL was out in a trailer for over a year at that point, doing childcare inside the RV instead of in my SIL's house (but she's always treated her mom this way... I guess the lack of sympathy or caring for her just had the opportunity to show how extreme it could become).

He reminded us how my FIL chose to make that awful remark angering my husband right at the end of their phone conversation, and explained to us that it's like a health patient that throws out a bomb at the end of the session, knowing the doctor won't really have time to address it.  Just incredibly hostile and VERY immature, but he showed us how it's again... about control. 

He showed us how my FIL desperately wants to control us/my husband.  He knew my husband was about to go, as he had just told him he had to get the milk and the store was trying to close the doors right at the moment (winter storm crisis made things close early). 

So he was knowingly forcing my husband to have to choose to either talk to him right then and miss getting our kids what they need, or ignore his comment so that our kids could have milk in a state-wide crisis.  He showed us how our family comes second in my FIL's mind.  My FIL didn't care how his words would affect my husband, and didn't care how his manipulation could impact our kids in not getting milk!

I love how he can see all this so clearly and points out how immature and inappropriate they act.

He did congratulate my husband on being such a good dad & husband that he blew his dad's comment off, and chose to put our kids' needs first.  He reiterated how myself and the kids come first, and they're hostile to that arrangement and deeply resent it. 

Proud of my husband, he really is doing great at this, it isn't so hard for him anymore, he really is enjoying life and doesn't care what they're doing in the background.  

It's not holding a grudge at all, just that we don't trust them anymore.  We're, "intelligently self-protective."  

 

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My husband booked us an anniversary trip for this weekend... it was supposed to be a surprise but thankfully he told me early (don't like surprises like that!).  It's just going to be me and him, NO kids :D ❤️  I'm very excited about this!  

I needed to touch up my hair though... usually I do it myself because highlights really aren't that hard and I love saving the money, but a friend got hers done at a salon school and they looked incredible!  So I decided to give it a try last week, and they came out amazing and it was a total of $30 !!!!

So then I thought about how it'd be nice to get a Keratin treatment... I've never had one and my hair could really benefit from the anti-frizz properties, but they're usually somewhere between $300-400 for long hair.  Just not ever worth it in my mind.

BUT I found out I could do it myself and buy the professional grade product and just give myself a keratin treatment at home!  So I bought it for $50 and did it a few days ago and WOW is keratin life-changing.  I didn't realize my hair has gotten so long since cutting it last year.  It's about 2 feet in length and the keratin treatment looks amazing 😮  :D 

So... highlights for $30 and a keratin treatment for $50 done myself (plus I learned a new valuable-to-me skill) I saved us well over $400.  😍🤑

Loving my new hair!

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Wanted to add... the keratin treatment is priced so high because it's fairly awful and time-consuming.  the brand I got is supposed to last 5 months though (reviewers said their's lasted a lot longer... 8-10 months if you take care of it).  

I don't know why I thought it'd be a great idea to have a glass of wine while doing it 🍷... but I did and that made things a lot harder 😂

Like... drunk Keratin treatment harder!  My husband definitely had a laugh watching me.  I'm a lightweight and we never usually drink... LOL... so it was an experience.  Very glad I didn't make all my hair fall out. 😂

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