Categories
Lifestyle

AN ODE TO MY FORMER LOVE

You always seemed to follow me, no matter where I went. You were like a stray, looking for a home.

After much resistance, I finally decided to let you in.

We spent a lot of time together. I kept you company. I sheltered you. I fed you.

We became so close. We became inseparable. I was obsessed. I found my identity in you. I loved you.

You always share intimate stories with me. I was intrigued. They made me think.

And think. And think.

All I could do was think.

You asked me if you could have some friends over.

Without hesitation, I let them in.

They stayed longer than I anticipated, but I avoided the confrontation.

That was the day that I lost my backbone.

The space was smaller than ever. I was suffocating.

The nightly parties became tiring, but I held in there because I didn’t want to ruin your fun.

The more that I gave you, the more you wanted.

The attachment that we had became so unhealthy. I remember when I made a new friend. You were so jealous.

Every time I tried to distance myself, you kept pulling me back in. You convinced me that I didn’t need anyone or anything else.

You convinced me that everyone else saw me through a dirty glass.

I started to believe you. I let it happen.

I cut off my new friend.

Every time my new friend reached out to me, I rejected the communication.

You were my drug. I couldn’t quit you. You molded me. You changed the way I functioned. You changed the way that I saw myself. You isolated me.

You convinced me that everything was okay.

I believed you.

Your grip on me became tighter than ever.

I was in grave condition. I felt like my life was slipping away.

Out of fear, I reached out to a familiar stranger. I had nowhere to go, but up.

The walls that were once closing in began to crack. I felt like I was able to catch my breath.

I found enough strength to finally put my foot down.

This was the day that I found my backbone.

Your grip around my neck was slowly slipping away.

You gave me an ultimatum.

For the first time in my life, I felt like I made the right decision.

I packed your things & tossed them out. I no longer wished to be burdened by your baggage.

That was the day that I had to let you go.

I loved you. I trusted you. I almost gave you my life. Yet, you still kept sucking me dry.

I was no longer your host.

You could no longer control me.

I could no longer try to change you.

I was done believing your lies. I was no longer bound by your manipulation. I no longer behaved under the spell of your intimidation. I no longer accepted your abuse.

The walls started separating from the foundation. The house came crashing down.

I lost everything that man could make.

Amongst the wreckage, I found something priceless. I found something that could renew me.

I found my new love.

My peace.

Categories
Lifestyle

I GOT DIVORCED: What I learned…

Divorce is one of those sensitive topics, especially right now. A lot of people are going through one right now. Life was all sweet and perfect until a pandemic hit. Nothing was broken until significant others were forced to sit down and evaluate.

Divorce was one of the hardest and most vital decisions that I ever made for my mental health and for my kids.

It’s normal to hit a brick wall in your relationship. Sometimes you work through that barrier with your significant other. Sometimes you work through that barrier by yourself. Sometimes you try so hard to break through the layers, but it won’t budge.

There was no arguing in the month leading up to my announcement. That was unusual because the entirety of the relationship was full of arguments.

I felt like we were mentally and physically at a place where we were over each other. We barely acknowledged each other’s presence. We didn’t share our room. We were just existing. There was no progress. There was no building. There were no breakthroughs. We were both obviously just over it.

Sometimes it takes a clear mind and conscience to finally pull the plug on a dead end situation. They say that if you are still arguing, that means you are still fighting for your relationship or you still care. I think that is true in most cases.

I felt like needed to set each other free from whatever was holding us back. We were on different paths, and had different goals. Wherever we were going, we could not take one another.

I was tired of staying “for the kids”. As much as I didn’t want to uproot my kids, and fracture the only family they had ever known, I knew that I was making a beneficial decision.

I kept going over the pros and cons in my head. There were several fear-based cons. There were a few pros. The few pros seemed to outweigh my fears. I definitely didn’t make the decision overnight or take it lightly.

A few weeks before I made my announcement, I confided in a friend. I just blurted it out: “I don’t want to be married anymore.”. She was stunned.

Honestly, I was too. That was the first time I had said those words out loud. I was so nervous to say anything to my (ex)husband. It’s funny how it’s easy to threaten divorce when you are screaming at each other…..

I wanted to make sure that I had some things in place before I made such a major change. Part of me also wanted to see if I could change my mind.

I gathered up the nerve to blurt out those words again: “I don’t want to be married anymore.”. It was towards the middle of January in 2014. I was on my way to work.

He wasn’t upset. He seemed a little shocked, but I think it was because of the timing. I explained my rationale. There was no argument. He agreed. It was settled.

I moved out two weeks later. The day before I moved, I was working an evening shift. I called my (ex)husband on break and told him that I changed my mind. I think I was so nervous. He decided that it was best that we continue the plan of separation. I didn’t argue against it.

I wanted to take my time, but he was already rushing my stuff out to the car by 8:30am. He said that he wanted to hurry and get it done. I could tell….

I arrived to a friend’s house with my kids. It was so weird. It was so different. I was very emotional. I knew that I wasn’t in love with him anymore, but I couldn’t contain my emotions. I felt like I had failed my children. Ariana asked questions. I tried to answer them the best way that I could. I had already taken her through so much.

I cried for a week. I fell into a slight depression. I even got drunk and texted him. I told him that I still loved him.

“It was all a lie!”- in my Karlie Redd voice(love and hip hop).

I think I was really trying to reconcile with the fact that my marriage was over. I’m sure that he was enjoying the empty home. I don’t fault him for that. Again, some people are on different paths.

Surprisingly, I snapped out of my mourning period pretty quickly. Even with the immense amount of stress, I felt like I was ready to stop feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to feel normal again.

I started mapping out plans to be a single parent(again). I made some adjustments to reach my goals. It proved to be much more difficult than I thought it would be, but I was determined.

In addition to working at least five days a week and taking a full schedule of classes online, I decided to pursue a second job opportunity.

It was a disaster. My grades were slipping, and I was spending less time away from my kids. I had simply taken on more than I could handle at the time. It was time to let some balls go.

I started dating Donnie in late February. As complicated as my life was at the time, I was happy to be dating again. Still, I was working towards my goals. Donnie was working towards his goals as well.

I told Donnie everything about me. The skeletons came out of the closet. I knew things were getting serious, so I wanted to be honest about everything that he was getting from me.

As our relationship grew, our goals became a collaboration.

After a meeting with my ex-husband, Donnie met my kids in May. They adored him. Was it too soon? Eh, our relationship was moving pretty quickly.

I had already been pregnant. The outcome of my pregnancy brought Donnie and I even closer. He provided great emotional support and physical support.

Despite everything, my relationship with Donnie proceeded with some caution. I was still dealing with the fallout and drama from my separation. The last thing that I needed was more drama.

I didn’t care about being judged. I did not care. My relationship with Donnie was a place where I could escape. It was a place where I could catch my breath. It was a place where my mind wasn’t overwhelmed.

Donnie and I continued to flourish as a couple. I was so happy. Not that cheap happiness that comes with money or materials. I was genuinely happy in my heart. Something was just different. I saw a lasting future with Donnie.

Exactly one year after separating from my (ex)husband, I filed for divorce. It didn’t hit me while I was filing the paperwork. I was ready to get it done.

My divorce from my (ex)husband was finalized in the middle of April of 2015. I woke up nervous that day. I had my dress picked out for my hearing and my accordion file prepared. I stopped at Dollar General to pick up a pair of tights. They were two small in the thigh area and I accidentally tore one of the legs. Lord have mercy! I was already feeling insecure from the milk leaking from my nipples and the pain in my stomach from having just given birth to Julian.

The hearing was quick. I didn’t want anything from my (ex)husband. We didn’t have anything anyway. I just wanted my maiden name back. The divorce was granted. The paperwork was sent to the clerk’s office.

My (ex)husband and I went down the same elevator after the hearing. We couldn’t look at each other. We didn’t speak. It felt like someone kicked me in my stomach and knocked the wind out of me. I was genuinely sick to my stomach. I wasn’t sad because I missed my marriage. Hell no. I was sad because I felt like I had wasted my time. I felt like that moment was unreal. After five years of marriage and separation, it was finally over.

After I caught my breath, I went back inside the courthouse to apply for a new marriage license.

Yes I did!

Donnie and I married five days later. It was fast, but I was ready for this new chapter. We were both ready.

After almost 7 years of being together, I can honestly say that I love Donnie more than I did when we first married. This love just hits different.

I will never regret my decision to divorce. Regretting my decision means denying my peace. Regretting my decision means denying the rest of my happiness.

If you are looking for some beautiful, yet affordable jewelry, head over to my website:

http://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

If you are looking to for some bath and body smell goods, check out my daughters’ newly launched business, ScentSc8pe:

http://www.scentsc8pebyaa.com

Thank you!

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

My oldest daughters launched their business, ScentSc8pe! They sell a variety of homemade bath & body products.

I had been thinking of the concept of this business for about six months.

Originally, I was going to take on ScentSc8pe, but with the condition of my current business, Glamsc8pe, I knew that was a tall order. After several months, I decided to approach my girls with the business. Why not?! I saw this as a great teaching moment. I thought they would have fun while learning the basics of business.

The girls were very excited to start this venture. It was not only a chance for them to learn business techniques, but it was also a great opportunity to work on their relationship. They are in two different age groups, but I think that the sisterly bond is extremely important.

I like to use everything as a teachable moment. Having fun is great, but parenting during the storms is the most important test.

ScentSc8pe By Ariana & Amariyah was born on January 1st, 2021.

It has really been a fulfilling experience. Besides strengthening their bond, Ariana & Amariyah have used this time to really showcase their many talents.

Amariyah has a very creative nature. She is most definitely an actress. Sometimes that’s a great thing, and other times, not so much.

Ariana has a knack for learning. Like myself, she is a visual learner, and is open to learning new things. Sometimes she let’s her stubbornness get in the way.

Well, they both do. This produces another teachable moment: working through differences.

Boy, do they have differences. At the end of the day, they love each other. Even through some challenges in their relationship, they have been able to weather storms. Situations that were meant to destroy their relationship have actually strengthened it.

You may think that I sound silly, but sibling rivalry is a real thing, and it can last into adulthood. Satan is a crafty asshole, and he is definitely in the business of sowing seeds of division.

God is a fierce protector, however.

I’m proud of Ariana & Amariyah. Please support my girls by shopping their website:

https://www.scentsc8pebyaa.com/

Thank you & God bless

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

The Sweetest Embrace….

This is one of those stories that I struggled to share. Actually, this is one of maybe ten stories that I struggled to share. Before I went public with my blog, I thought that this “open book” thing was going to be easy.

Yeah….

I started struggling with my weight when I was in high school. Between being sick and going through puberty, I became disgusted by my body. My hips started spreading, and I had the slightest pudge in my stomach. I hated looking in the mirror. I often wore my middle school wardrobe as motivation for the weight that I wanted to be.

I remember the morning that I was discharged from a hospital stay when I was in the 9th grade. I put my size 11 jeans on. When I stood up, my pants feel to my feet. I thought that I had forgotten to button them. When I pulled my pants back up, I noticed how wide they were in the waist.

I was shocked and excited. I lost weight! Due to the various tests and procedures that I had undergone, I was placed on a strict diet. I just didn’t notice that this diet would have a big impact on my body. I was able to fit my older sister’s size 7 jeans! My clothes from middle school fit like a glove.

Literally…. My breasts were developing, so those shirts were tight in the chest area.

Once I was allowed to return to a normal diet, the pounds came creeping back. In no time, I was back in my size 11 jeans. It was so frustrating!

I started my first homemade “diet” when I was in 11th grade. I ate one Granny Smith apple a day, drank a lot of water, and had 1 hour of exercise a day.

I dropped 30 pounds in a month.

I started wearing my middle school clothes to school again. I knew my shirts were too short, but they clung to me and showed my flat tummy. I just knew I was cute.

I nearly fainted at school a week later. My father was understandably pissed off that he had to come pick me up. He was working second shift, and sleeping during the day. My mother was working first shift and had a lengthy commute from home.

I confessed to my father that I hadn’t been eating. I had never let my parents know about my issues with my body. He yelled at me for a good portion of the ride home:

“You know damn well you’re supposed to eat!”

I felt like I couldn’t talk to my parents about this issue. It was something that haunted me for years. I decided to just let them think I was acting stupid.

I started eating a regular diet and wearing my normal fitting clothes again. It was time for me to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to fulfill my dreams of wearing crop tops and low-rise jeans.

I gained about 60 pounds when I was pregnant with Ariana. It didn’t bother me much because I was able to use pregnancy as an excuse. I had to gain weight for the baby, right? Most of that extra weight went to my breasts, stomach, and face.

After I had Ariana, I began to lose the weight. I credit postpartum depression for that. I remember admiring my flattening stomach while I was in the psychiatric hospital.

After several months, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was impressed by my ability to be able to keep my weight in check for years. I actually started to accept my curves. The guys loved the curves.

I always craved that attention from guys. I was always jealous of my older sister for getting it. I didn’t know that I was seeking to wrong type of attention. I loved it though. My self-esteem was higher than ever.

Maybe I was never fat to begin with!

I started gaining weight again when Ariana was three. At that time, I was in my first marriage, and I had stopped putting so much into my appearance. I was never into appearances. It just didn’t matter to me. I thought that my husband wouldn’t care because he loved me.

WRONG!

Another damn expectation placed on the woman.

When I was pregnant with Amariyah, the weight started piling on.

My thighs had never rubbed together before. For the first time in my life, the first number on the scale read “2”. I was gutted. I never thought that I would see the day.

After I had Avery, I completely let myself go. I didn’t even want to know what I looked like. I avoided the mirror as much as I could. I didn’t even do my hair in front of a mirror.

I was forced to confront my appearance after seeing a picture of myself from Avery’s first birthday party. It was a very humbling experience. Everyone feels like they look good until that picture is taken.

I’m not talking about a deceptive selfie…..

I reconnected with a grade school classmate on Facebook. It turns out that she had become a nutrition coach. After catching up for a few minutes, she introduced me to the Medifast diet. She gave me her testimony on how it worked for her. I was intrigued.

It was expensive, but I was desperate. My then-husband and I were having trouble paying our bills, but I could tell that he was excited at the idea of me losing weight. At a time when my marriage was quickly deteriorating, I thought that it was the least that I could do to salvage what was left.

The food was nasty. I had to eat five meal replacements a day, plus cook a healthy dinner. I added exercise into my regimen after a month. I was impressed by how fast the pounds were falling off.

I had one cheat day. A friend blessed me with a lunch date at Red Lobster. That endless shrimp was heavenly! Don’t get me started on the Dr. Pepper!

I stepped on the scale a couple of days later. I had gained three pounds. I could tell that my husband was annoyed. I was understanding. We were shelling out a lot of money for me to do this, and I slipped up.

After six months, I lost a total of 70 pounds. I felt fantastic! I graduated from my husband’s clothes to some new, cute clothes that I treated myself with. My husband even acted like he was attracted to me again. That didn’t go unnoticed. As bad as it sounds, I was loving the outside attention that I was getting as well.

After I separated from my then-husband, I gave up the diet. It was more important than ever to solely focus on providing for my babies.

I never entered the official maintenance portion of the diet, but I was able to keep my weight under control with small food portions.

When I started dating Donnie, he knew that I had been struggling with my image. Being the sweetheart that he is, he told me that I didn’t need to diet.

That was easy for him to say. He never saw me at my heaviest weight.

We had both actually just experienced a drastic weight loss. When Donnie and I found out that we were going to have a baby, the weight started creeping back. I craved cantaloupe and Dr. Pepper all of the time.

After I miscarried, I started relying on bad eating habits again. After a a couple of months, I was pregnant with Julian. Again, I put on a lot of weight. Again, I didn’t let it bother me because I needed to put on weight for the baby.

After I gave birth to the twins, I was at the highest weight of my life. Once again, I was forced to confront my appearance.

I took extra pride in doing my hair. My hair is something that I could always count on. Even when my hair was going through different phases of damage(illness related), cuts, and styles, it never let me down. I never had a problem growing my hair. I told myself that as long as my hair was done, the rest of my appearance didn’t matter.

It was nice to have the reassurance of my husband, Donnie, though. He has never made me feel like I am unattractive. He has always loved me. Knowing this made me take some pressure off of myself.

Maybe I don’t need to keep a certain appearance to please a man! The right man! The man who loves me unconditionally!

Sure, people got their fat jokes off at my expense. Good for them. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care because my husband loved every inch of me. My husband helped me love myself. I know that I’m not perfect, but I’m me. What can be better than that?! Certainly I’m not being miserable and cracking jokes on someone else.

Still, I knew I needed to lose weight for health reasons.

I also wanted to look better for me. Why wasn’t I blessed with good genes?! I have seen larger women with great figures:

Titties? Sitting. Ass? Poked. Frame? Hour glass.

Me? The opposite…..

Google told me that I was shaped like a damn apple….

My parents tried to blame my child-rearing for the weight. I mean, food is also good… When I’m depressed, I have an unhealthy relationship with food.

I started a Keto diet when the twins were two years old. I was impressed with the quick weight loss. Unfortunately, my weight loss stalled after losing 25 pounds.

Next, I tried the Atkins diet. It seemed similar to the Keto diet. It was a cute diet, but my weight loss was not cute. I gave up on that quickly. I tried a few more weight loss applications. They just didn’t do the job for me.

I was skeptical about Weight Watchers. This is the oldest diet that I had heard of. I was hesitant because I had to open my purse again. This time, the damage was far less.

I started the program in January of this year. I was actually impressed. You just track and eat in within your point allotment. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of carbs and fat and micros and macros… You know, those pesky numbers that indicate that you are overdoing it….

I think that my favorite part was the lack of food restrictions. I could literally eat what I wanted. The downside was that the portions were extremely small, compared to what I normally would eat. Sometimes I would find myself craving a 17-point Big Mac with only 2 points left.

Huge sigh!

I started losing weight at a normal pace, and I was happy with my results. I was no longer obsessing with the scale. I was obsessing over how amazing my new clothes fit.

One thing that I learned about myself from doing Weight Watchers is that I need to stop putting expectations on myself. I will probably never be tiny again, and that’s okay with me.

Part of the reason why I was failing at these diets is because I only had my eyes on the end result. I didn’t celebrate the small victories. I was only focused on being skinny instead of making realistic goals.

My goal is to be healthy and happy. Salads may make me healthy, but they don’t always make me happy. Oreos may not be healthy, but I will be happy eating them. Thanks WW!

It’s all a work in progress, and I’m still working. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not at my highest weight anymore. Success!

Unfortunately, I’m human. I fell off of my program during my most recent confrontation with depression. I am currently taking things one day at a time until I am fully able to recommit

I want this story to promote happiness and acceptance.

I want to let you know that you don’t have to fit into a box that was designated by man. Break the norms. Fat doesn’t have to equal unhealthy or unattractive, and skinny doesn’t have to equal sexy or desirable.

Stand confident in you. Love you! You weren’t put on this earth to make people accept you.

Thank you for your support, and feel free leave feedback!

Also, don’t forget to check out my other website for some affordable jewelry:

www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

Parenting Through Depression

That’s exactly what I’m doing now.

Over the past several weeks, I wrote down my thoughts, with full intention of sharing. However, I changed my mind. Writer’s block had set in so badly that hated everything that I typed. Everything just felt mediocre. I’m not saying that I’m a top-notch writer, but I usually like the content that I put out, and I hope you do too.

I’ve been struggling to keep up with everything that matters to me- parenting, my blog, my business….

Depression is something that I have learned to live with. I have some lows and I have a lot of highs. Unfortunately, the lows are not very fun.

For the first couple of months of virtual learning, there was never a problem with me hopping out of bed before my alarm even rang. These days, I find myself struggling to cope with a new day. Everything just seems overwhelming. It’s not the fault of my kids. Depression is no stranger to me. I have dealt with it since I was a teenager.

However, my depression seems new to my kids. I hate that they noticed this time. I’m usually able to hide my episodes of physical and mental illness from them. What’s beautiful is that my kids have been patient. Honestly, they are still hardheaded as Hell, but I could feel their empathy. It just doesn’t feel fair to put them in that position.

Today was the first time in awhile that I actually felt a burst of energy. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m not complaining!

I filled out the mountain of paperwork that I have been avoiding for months. I made some important phone calls. I also cooked a meal from scratch! I know that sounds simple, but it’s really an accomplishment for me these days.

Next on my list? I need to wash my hair. It’s been a hot minute. Not gonna lie. I have been keeping up with the girls’ hair. Normally, when it is time for me to wash my hair, I dread the process, but I go and do it anyway. Doing three heads of hair every other weekend is a job, honestly.

These days, I’ve been keeping my hair in “two fat braids”. That’s what my mom called the hairstyle when I was growing up. It was her go-to hairstyle for my sisters and me when she didn’t feel like doing anything elaborate. It’s safe to say that I need some “Hair surgery”. That is what I say when it’s time to do hair. It’s really a transformation….

I really surprised myself though. I was doing really well during this pandemic. When Donnie was home for two months, I thought it would be such an annoying experience. Look, I love my husband with every breath, but we all know how a significant other can get on your nerves when we spend a lot of time with him or her. I thought I was going to be lie, “Seriously, this is my territory. I’m the stay at home parent. Please go back to work.”. We just didn’t get on each other’s nerves. I showed Donnie the ropes of watching the four walls all day and listening to the kids argue. He was very hands on, which I loved.

We also got to work on our marriage. Nothing major was broken, but you know that you have to perform maintenance to keep the operation going. We actually became closer, and I was very grateful.

Having my husband go back to work was such a crippling experience. He immediately went back to working 60+ hours a week. I really miss having him at home. However, the bills must be paid, and until my kids pay their invoices, I’m not bringing home any bacon for my services.

I acknowledge that I need to get out of the house. Where would I go? I could step outside for some air and nurse my bug bites later. Because of the pandemic, the five recreational activities that were available in town are now gone.

It still pains me that we had to miss out on our annual family beach vacation this year. That one week over the summer is literally Heaven on Earth. The beach is my sanctuary. It’s probably one out of three places that I visit throughout the year.

Right now, I feel crummy. In reality, I will be fine. I always make it through. You will too. The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to move. I don’t mean pop in an exercise tape or go for a 5 mile jog. Start with something small. Every small move is important and significant. Even if all you did was just wake and get dressed, you are going in the right direction.

“I need you, you need me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
Stand with me, agree with me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
It is his will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
I pray for you, You pray for me.
I love you, I need you to survive.”

-I Need You To Survive by Hezekiah Walker

Get into it!

Also, don’t forget to check out my business website:

http://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Parenting

***TRIGGER WARNING*** My Regret: A personal experience with postpartum depression

I am heartbroken as I write this at 2am. I have been sick for the last couple of weeks. I think the symptoms are finally starting to subside. I just knew I was pregnant.

At first, I was nervous at the thought. I already have six children, & a lot of my days can be overwhelming. I am a student & I struggle with depression most days. My older children already help me a lot with certain tasks. As the days went by, I had more & more typical pregnancy symptoms. My breasts had swelled bigger than ever. I had cravings. My sleep pattern was thrown off. The icing on the cake? My period was late. My period was NEVER late, unless I was pregnant.

I prayed about it. I was nervous, but excited at the fact that I could be carrying new life. I hate being pregnant, but for some reason I was really anticipating my husband spoiling me with massages & endless fast food binges again. Yeah…I use pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything in sight.

I contemplated telling my husband before I took a test. I initially decided that I would wait until I got that positive pregnancy test. My period was now two days late, and for some reason, I blurted out “I need a pregnancy test!”. My husband looked taken aback. After the shock wore off, he seemed to be pretty excited at the possibility, especially after I told him my period was late.

Later that evening, my husband bought me a pregnancy test, I went into the bathroom to pee. I knew this drill all too well. I dropped three drops of urine onto the disk and waited impatiently. My stomach dropped as I watched the red dye spread across the disk. It was visibly negative. I didn’t give up hope because I had what I thought was a negative pregnancy test in 2011, but there turned out to be the faintest line when I held it under light. I took the disk apart and looked at the strip under the flashlight of my phone. I was willing myself to see a second line.

As I was gathering myself, my husband opened the bathroom door and inquired anxiously. I was a little nervous to give him the sad news. “It’s negative.”, I said glumly. In a matter of seconds, I saw my husband’s face go from curiosity to sadness. He denied his reaction, but I knew better. I was upset with myself because I didn’t want to clue my husband in until I knew for sure that I was pregnant. I was trying to avoid these reactions.

My period was late for a third day. I scoured Google like a deranged lunatic, trying to renew my hopes. I decided to wait a few more days and test again.

Because I was hardheaded, I took another test. It was also negative. Again, I took the disk apart and started analyzing the strip. I started to wonder if I ovulated later. I was recently involved in a car accident and thought that it threw my cycle off. I thought about the day that my husband and I had sex and I gained some hope. I just knew I was pregnant. My symptoms were stronger than ever. I began to check my cervix every time I went to pee, which was frequently. It was high and there was watery discharge. I was excited because I read several stories on Google that pointed to this as a good sign. I knew damn well that everyone is different. I just needed one story to get my hopes up.

I went through the next day without asking my husband to buy me a pregnancy test. This didn’t stop me from obsessing over Google and looking up just about every scenerio that I could think of in hopes of a positive outcome.

On Sunday morning, I woke up early. I watched a movie with my husband. I then asked my husband to go to the store. I casually asked him to pick up a pregnancy test. My confidence level was through the roof because my period was now five days late. When my husband returned, I took the test into the bathroom nervously. I dropped the usual pee on the test and watched the dye spread across the test like clockwork. I was stunned. It was still negative. At this moment, I was shattered. My husband was adamant about me going to the hospital. I didn’t want to go. I felt it was a waste of time. I wasn’t having an emergency. I had no idea what was going on. I broke down and yelled at the sky “If I’m not pregnant, give me my period!”. I was so devastated and I sounded so ridiculous.

To calm myself, I took a shower and washed my hair. My husband went to pick up dinner and I asked him for another pregnancy test because I was planning on testing again in a few more days.

I finished my shower and hair a couple of hours later. As I was sitting on my bed, I felt a cramp. My heart sunk. It was a familiar cramp. I went to the bathroom and wiped. There was nothing. I was relieved. I stopped myself from pulling my pants up and decided to check my cervix. I pulled my finger out of my vagina and was greeted with a small amount of blood. I furiously grabbed a pad and put it into my underwear. By this time, my husband had returned home. He forgot the test. I told him that my period had started. I could tell that he was sad, but I knew that he was relieved that nothing was wrong with me.

Later on that night, I went to the bathroom. I looked down at my pad, fully expecting to see the obvious. I was shocked. The amount of blood in my pad was the size of a coin. I wiped myself after peeing and saw a little bit more light red blood on the tissue. I had no cramps. I returned to Google and looked up “implantation bleeding”. I was getting my hopes up again, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be counted out. I was desperate for hope. Hours passed and I was still monitoring my bleeding. It was more of the same: a small amount on the pad and a little bit more when I wiped. The next morning, I checked my pad. There wasn’t even enough blood on the pad to cover half of a pantyliner. I was still hopeful. As the afternoon approached, the bleeding started to darken. The amount was the same. There were small clots. Back to Google I went. My “pregnancy” symptoms started to fade and I started cramping. At this point, I went into “fuck it” mode. I continued to obsess over Google. My pad was still mostly white throughout the day.

I set myself up. I knew I had driven myself crazy. Despite being very fertile, which was evident by the amount of kids I already had, I knew there was a slim to zero chance that I could be pregnant.

It wasn’t just because I had this late, light, period. I had my tubes tied almost three years ago after a C-section. I had read all of the stories of women who had gone on to conceive after tubal ligation. I just knew it would happen to me. I expected to haven’t tubes tied during an emergency C-section because I was traumatized. Had I had a clear mind, I would have never authorized the procedure. The doctor asked me if I was sure and I didn’t hesitate. I regretted it months later. I felt like a part of me also went through with it to make other people happy. I get judged a lot for having so many kids. I am always told “You don’t need anymore kids.”. I wanted to prove to everyone that i was done. But I wasn’t. Now I sit here with depression two and a half years later, partially because I made a decision mostly based on other people’s emotions. My body is a mess around the time that my period is slated to begin. I always feel pregnant and my cramps are horrendous. I feel like God is taunting me or punishing me for not letting my body react naturally. Does this sound crazy?

I stayed up to let the tears flow and reflect on the “what ifs”. I know my feelings are selfish because there are people who can’t conceive. I love my husband and I am glad that he is so supportive. Some days I feel like it’s not enough. It’s not his fault. Some days I feel like dying. No amount of consoling could cure that feeling. Maybe one day I will get to experience that miracle again.

My Regret.

****08-18-2020****

I wrote this story a few years ago, as I was going through postpartum depression. I was upset about having my tubes tied because I didn’t like the way I felt. I was also upset because my twins were growing up. I missed them as babies.

Early in our relationship, Donnie told me that he dreamed of having 10 kids. Well, I said he could keep that as a dream.

I spent the majority of my 20’s pregnant. It looks odd, looking from the outside, but I always felt like something was missing from me. As long as I was pregnant, I felt that “something”. I felt whole. However, I hated being pregnant. I know, it’s confusing. The pain and the sickness is not fun.

One way that my body has changed since I had my tubes tied is pain. Around my scheduled ovulation period, I have awful nerve pain. It spreads from the top of my shoulders to the tips of my toes. Sometimes it renders me motionless. The same sensation is felt during the first two days of my period. I had never felt this pain before. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I had never felt this pain before.

Another thing that I had to get used to was the frequent “pregnancy scares”. I literally felt like I was pregnant every month, for the first couple of years after I had the twins. I had all of the textbook symptoms and signs. I became obsessed with Google. I knew my body. I knew every time that I was pregnant, except with Ariana(I was young and didn’t know what was happening).

Unfortunately, I didn’t know my new body: My post-tubal ligation body. My new normal definitely made my depression worse, to the point where I actually wanted to actively conceive. I wanted to try for baby number 7, despite my tubes being tied. Donnie had a lot of concerns. First of all, he saw how hard my last pregnancy, labor, and delivery was. Second, we already had a lot of kids, and they are VERY expensive.

Donnie has a habit of trying to make me happy, instead of telling me that I’m making a bad decision. I don’t like that. I have discussed this with him several times. He’s getting better. He agreed that we could try.

Obviously, my dumb ass plan didn’t work. I gave up the idea as I started snapping from my depressive state.

Ask me if I want to have baby number 7. Ask me.

HELL. NO.

With all the love in the world for my kids.

Don’t fight postpartum depression alone. If you experiencing symptoms, such as uncontrollable crying, lack of appetite, thoughts of worthlessness, or frustration (this is not a complete list), please ask for help. Seek out a relative or a trusted friend to help you care for your child.

You can send me an email.

You can also contact the National Postpartum Depression support number for additional resources:

1-800-PPD-MOMS

If you are having thoughts of suicide, PLEASE contact this number:

1-800-273-8255

Having postpartum depression DOES NOT make you a bad parent. Your body just went through a significant shift. Sometimes we just need time to process this emotionally and physically.

God bless.

Categories
Autism: From the outside looking in. Parenting

Putting A Leash On Your Child?

I said that I would never do that. Of course, my daddy told me Lane we say never”. He was correct.

I remember observing someone walking their child with a leash. I scoffed like a judgmental asshole. It looked absolutely ridiculous. At that time, I didn’t have kids. I said that I would never have my child walking around like some pet.

I stuck to that sentiment as I began having kids. Then, the twins came along. I noticed Joshua’s inability to comprehend. It was always there. I started noticing Julian’s inability shortly after. He had started regressing. Still, when we went out, Donnie and I kept all of the babies in 2 different strollers. It was a lot of work, but we managed.

I purchased three harness leashes in early 2018. I wanted to ditch the strollers during our upcoming beach trip. It just made things easier. I just didn’t want to overload our van with suitcases and strollers.

It was a disaster. First of all, I was embarrassed. I didn’t know what others were thinking as they were staring at me. These were some of the same stares that I gave to other parents before I actually became one. A lot of people don’t understand autism, so it’s easy for them to say “That’s child needs to be whooped”. A lot of people stare. Rarely, I will get sympathy from another understanding parent or caregiver.

Relying on the harnesses was a disaster. That is why the pessimism in me told me to also purchase handcuff leashes. The clips on Joshua’s harness broke. Julian and Joshua had the worst meltdowns whenever we walked somewhere. Jessica actually did a great job with the harness. She did so well that I allowed my other kids to hold the leash while she walked around.

I was definitely missing the strollers. They would be apart of any future trips that we would take.

After going through the appointments, assessments, and therapies, with the boys in 2019, I decided to keep them in strollers. I finally had answers as to why I noticed delays and regressions. Also, it was much easier to tote around heavy strollers than to deal with a bunch of stares and judgment in public. I still used the leases at the ocean though.

As Julian and Joshua grew, it was difficult to find a stroller big enough to accommodate them. They are 4 and 5 years old, at this point. The strollers were either too small or too expensive. I settled on a double jogging stroller. That will probably buy us two years, until we have to come up with another option. I will probably have to buy a wagon.

There was a delay in shipping, so their stroller didn’t arrive in time for our zoo trip, earlier this month. Jessica could walk freely, without being tethered to someone else. That’s as one less stroller that needed to be packed. We still used the double stroller that I bought for Joshua and Jessica when they were born. The boys looked ridiculous in it.

Julian threw a big tantrum when we stopped for lunch. Normally, the boys will cry if the stroller stops moving. They always like to be on the go. I thought that was what was wrong with Julian. Donnie pushed the stroller around, but Julian was still not satisfied. At that point, I concluded that he wanted to be free of the stroller. We weren’t in a store, where he could knock things over. Why not? I pulled a handcuff leash out of the diaper bag and put it around Julian’s wrist. To my disbelief, he did a great job. I still had to tug the leash a few times to get him in the right direction, but Julian did really well. He seemed to really enjoy the walk. True to form, he started crying every time we stopped walking.

Joshua stayed in the stroller. He would have rolled all over the ground instead of walking.

Though I had my apprehensions at first, I don’t regret using a harness or leash for my children. My pride is less significant than their safety. I’m not trying to make a fashion statement, although, I do have some cute colors. Thanks Amazon!

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com

Categories
Lifestyle Uncategorized

I’m Not Working For Love….And Neither Should You!!!

In my opinion, love is a natural emotion that can develop immediately or over a period of time. It cannot be bought or worked for.

God loves us all. He gives the purest form of love. He loves us no matter who we are, what we do, or where we’ve been. We can’t buy God’s love, favor, or grace.

So, why are you buying or working for love from your significant other? Why are you earning “love” based on favors or purchases? That’s not love. Love is not material. You are buying satisfaction. The truth is, that person will never truly be satisfied.

Sure, your significant other will love the home cooked meals, foot rubs, sex, & massages for about five minutes. Unfortunately, you will have to eventually come up with other ideas to keep that person “satisfied”. As long as you are doing the catering, your significant other will keep doing the stringing. Your significant other will want the pleasure of being catered to while being able to do whatever he or she wants. It’s a win-win situation for them, not you.

Don’t get it twisted. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with giving gifts or doing favors, as long as they are not in exchange for love or commitment.

You’re terrified and insecure. You’re terrified that if you don’t keep up with the charades, your significant other will entertain someone else. That’s insecurity. If he or she wants to cheat, they will cheat. There is NOTHING you can do to stop it. It is NOT your fault either.

Stop with the mentality that “If I don’t do it, someone else will.”. You are not your significant other’s parent. That person has been raised. You already have doubts about your relationship if you are worried about someone “wrecking” your home.

*Newsflash!!!!! No one “wrecked” your home. That was an inside job, my dear. Your satisfied significant other allowed access, and that person took full advantage.*

When someone is heartbroken over another person, the first thing they most likely said was, “After all I did for you!”…..Think about it. Favors & objects are temporary. True love is timeless & priceless.

Your worth is priceless. If you are telling yourself that “I need to have my hair done everyday for my baby.” or “I need to have dinner on the table for baby every night at 5.”, you are automatically telling yourself that you alone are not good enough

Your soulmate is someone who loves you for who you are, and NOT for what you can bring to the table. The truth is, everyone has something to offer(sex, money, gifts, etc.), but who are you as a person? Who is your significant other as a person?

I have been with my husband for six years. I love Donnie because he is a genuinely good person. I love how he loves our children. I love his selflessness and dedication. I love that he puts no expectations on me. He just loves me. I don’t just hear it. I feel it.

I don’t know why he loves me. I can’t answer for him. I can tell you right now that I don’t have dinner on the table every night when he comes home. My hair is standing up on my head more than 50% of the time. I shave my leg hair maybe once a year. I’m a stay-at-home parent of almost 6 years who had no earned income(I recently started working again). Donnie met me at a size 14. I’m not there anymore(I’m working on that for me). He knows the most painful and shady parts of my past.

Donnie has never made me feel like an obligation. He has never made me feel unloved. Our relationship foundation is strong.

I’m never going to work to keep his love. He knows that he never has to work to keep my love.

You deserve commitment. Continue to acknowledge that the love that you deserve is priceless. You should never have to work for it. You are not a slave to your significant other.

If you are interested in jewelry, I sell paparazzi jewelry through my business, “Antonia’s Glamsc8pe”. Feed your $5.00 habit at my online store:

https://www.antoniasglamsc8pe.com