Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 Can Fuck Off

April 3. April 3, 2018 was the last time I posted anything on this blog. A few days after that date (I know this because it was my birthday), my mother had a mammogram and ultrasound done because she found a large lump in her breast.

After surgery to remove the lump, she was diagnosed with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer.

Everything changed after that.

I'm an only child and she was a single mom, so it was always just the 2 of us growing up, and we have always been very close. Being the only child, now everything landed on me. On top of being a single mother of 3 teenagers with no help from their father, everything to do with my own mom's health landed on me, too.

She begun chemotherapy in June. Surgery to have a chemo port put in. The actual chemotherapy is 4 hours long, but that doesn't include blood work, waiting for the results, and getting approval for each session from the oncologist, which meant, every day that she was scheduled for chemotherapy, we would sit at the hospital for at least 5 to 6 hours, every other week. That also doesn't include appointments with the radiation specialist, oncologist, surgeon..etc.

On top of that, she was hospitalized because the chemo was causing her heart rate to skyrocket. Oh, and let's not forget the sub par work the surgeon did putting the port in, which meant she had to have a new port put in not twice, but THREE times. The third time was by a specialist who told us that the original surgeon put the first 2 ports in incorrectly (law suit?).

Chemotherapy is literally poison for the body. Not only does it kill cancer cells, it also kills good cells. Blood work every week to make sure nothing was too high or too low, IV therapy for dehydration, losing her hair, being in so much pain that she could just barely walk. Numerous days watching her cry in pain. Watching her be so physically exhausted that she couldn't get out of bed. Losing 50 lbs because she had no appetite and I had to literally force her to take some kind of supplement so that she didn't become malnourished.

Days of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed because everything was put on me. Feeling like I couldn't complain about feeling tired or sick because I'm not the one who had cancer. Feeling like no one else was there for ME when I needed them. I was the one who had to be strong.

There wasn't much fun in 2019. We didn't really go and do anything fun because life wasn't fun any more and I didn't want to go too far away from her in case she needed me. I didn't feel like having fun watching her be so miserable. There were many times that she said she would rather die than go through the side effects of chemotherapy.

After chemotherapy was finally finished, she had surgery to remove some lymph nodes and some remaining questionable tissue that was left from the first surgery. Around 8:30pm on the night before Thanksgiving, her surgeon called to tell her that everything came back negative. She is now cancer free.

But the poison from chemotherapy isn't gone. The side effects are still there. She still doesn't eat much. She has neuropathy in her feet and hands, and can't do a lot of things that she used to be able to do. Her energy is finally starting to come back, but that will leave again once she starts radiation. She still has to have radiation done because it will decrease her chances of cancer coming back to less than 10%. Radiation causes extreme fatigue, and literal burns on the skin. It's not over yet.

It's easy to see why I haven't been up to posting anything here lately. My life has been too consumed by this. I think I'm getting back to it though.

Narcissistic Sociopath Ex Husband

I think I've pretty much covered every topic I could think of when it comes to dealing with a narcissistic sociopath ex. To be honest, it's been 6 years now since my ex left, and I'm over that drama. I know I got lucky with him moving out of state so I don't have to deal with him much at all any more. Our kids are 15 and 16 now. He will send them Facebook messages telling them how much he loves and misses them, but he hasn't seen them in almost 4 years. When one of them brings up that it's his fault for not coming to see them, he says that it isn't worth the gas money to drive all the way up here and see them only for a couple of hours (because let's face it, no one around here would let him stay with them for any amount of time, and he won't pay for a hotel), and it's their fault for not wanting to come down there for a month in the summer. As of right now, he is going to church (again) and has found Jesus (again), and Jesus has forgiven him for his sins and he is going to be a better father (I've heard this story probably 5 times). He always tells the kids that one day they will know the truth about me, and he knows that I have poisoned them against him. When my daughter asked him what the truth is, he said they will find out when they are older. Typical narcissist. STILL won't take responsibility for him screwing up his relationship with his kids, and putting the blame on everyone else. Nothing will ever change with him, and I'm over it.

Dating Life

Yeah, so, I'm pretty content being single. I like being able to do whatever I want when I want and not having to answer or tell anyone else. I like not having drama in my life. I like not having to worry about who he is talking to or what he is doing. To be honest, my views on dating are so fucked up right now. I have friends who have been in relationships for years and then the other person decides to cheat and they split up. These days, I feel like cheating is the norm. No one is really faithful any more. People use other people. People lie about who they are and what their intentions are. My walls are soooo high that it's going to take someone really, really special to break them down.. and I'm OK with that. I'm still on a few dating apps, but I swipe left on almost everyone. I just feel like why put myself out there to be lied to and used? Is it even worth it any more??

So, that's where I've been and where I'm at in my life right now. I don't want to just throw this blog away. I've had some good posts on here, in fact, one of my posts landed over 85K hits! WOAH!

I love hearing from other people who come to this blog and are able to gain some insight on the things they are going through themselves. I'm always open to talking to people and helping them through the rough times because I've pretty much been through it all. This just proves that you will come out a better person on the other side!

If you have any suggestions of topics you would like me to look into dealing with narcissistic sociopaths, parenting, mental health, depression, obesity..etc., feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I'm always open!

For now, I'm going to just post about any random thing that pops in my head or that I may be dealing with at the time, or something I see that bugs me. I hope you will all stick around! Let's see where 2020 takes us.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

My Life As An Empath-- What I'm Learning

I remember as a kid, watching TV shows and feeling my heart begin to race and a nervousness come over me if a character on the show was about to get caught doing something they weren't supposed to be doing. It was so bad that there were times when I would have to look away from the TV until that scene was over. I often times wondered why that happened to me because it didn't seem to happen to others. My friends would be laughing or just watching everything unfold without thinking twice about it.

Was I just weird?

They are sensitive to the visible as well as the invisible and pick up on body language, tone of voice, body movements, the words people choose when they speak, the words they avoid, the logic they use; and the hidden things that only an empath can sense inside another person. --empathguide.com

This happened a lot throughout my life. It was as if I could feel other people's feelings; their anxieties. When I met someone new, it only took a few minutes for me to feel good vibes or bad vibes off of that person, and most of the times, my feelings were right.

I often felt bad vibes from my now ex-husband. I always had this voice in the back of my head telling me that something wasn't right and that sinking feeling in my stomach. He lied too much. His stories didn't make sense. He took advantage of people. Other people grew to dislike him once they got to know the real him. I am not that type of person and I never have been. I've always been the kind and caring person who despises lying, and felt that people only lie to cover up something they've done wrong or to take advantage of others.

Unfortunately, I pushed those thoughts and feelings out of my head because I wanted to see the good in him. I wanted the good times to overpower the bad feelings. I didn't want to believe that the man I married and had children with was a monster. 

I would often times have conversations inside my head going back and forth between the bad vibes and the love I thought I had for him. Was it worth throwing away our marriage because of these things I knew were not right but couldn't physically prove them? It got to the point to where I could tell he was lying just by the way he laughed or how he talked. I picked up on every little sign. He would look me right in the eye, lie to me, and have no idea that I knew he was lying. I didn't want him to know what I knew, and even if I tried explaining it to him, he would deny it or call me crazy.

It was only after our divorce and learning about narcopaths that I realized my inner thoughts were right all along. If only I had listened to them in the first place, I wouldn't have wasted so many years of my life with this bastard.

Now that I have more of an understanding of what exactly an empath is, I've tuned myself in a little bit better. Actually, I was reading an article the other day saying that everyone is an empath they just don't know how to use their powers. I call bullshit. I know so many people who don't seem to give two flying fucks how someone else feels or how uncomfortable someone else is. It's not possible, especially considering how many true narcissists are in this world. 

I've learned to follow what my head feels. If I meet someone and they seem off or like they just have bad energy, I know to stay away from them. It's not worth the chance.

Here's an example that really showed me how in tune I am. A friend of mine began dating a man last year. I had never met him, didn't know anything about him, but she posted videos of him drunk singing in her living room a few time on social media. Most of the time, drunk singing videos are fun, right? Well, I couldn't pinpoint it at the time, but I just had a bad feeling about him just from those few minutes of video. I knew there was something about him that creeped me out and made me want to stay far away from him. Turns out he's a woman beater, and a career criminal who is in and out of jail. Another friend of mine knew him for many years and she later told me that he's always been trouble. 

I had no way of knowing that.

But I felt his negative energy just from those couple of videos. 

It doesn't take very long for me to feel what kind of energy a person has. I'll admit, there have been times where I thought I liked someone, but red flags kept popping up here and there. Those red flags stayed in the back of my mind until I realized that the relationship was not worth putting any energy into because I know what those red flags mean. I had to let the negative energy lead the way and stay away.

Unfortunately, there are going to be situations where we get those bad vibes about someone, but we have to deal with them in some sort of way, whether it be at work or a family friend. We can be polite to them, but we don't have to get close to them, ever. 

There are some bad things about being an empath when it comes to parenting, which I wrote about here: Parenig As An Empath With Anxiety.  It's hard to follow through with tough love when you can feel the hurt that your child is feeling. I've had to learn to push past them and force myself to stay on track and not give in. It's difficult at times and sometimes my feelings win and my kids know how to work it.

Being an empath makes us a good target to a narcissist. They know that they can play on our feelings to win us over. They will give us a sad story about how they were abused as a child or went through some horrific trauma in their life, giving them an excuse for their shitty behavior. We can feel that pain and we want to help them through it, we want to "fix" them. They know that we are easy to take advantage of. They use our sensitivity against us. Once we stand up to them, they turn around and throw it in our face that we are too sensitive! We are just imagining things! 

This is why we all have to learn that we can't save everyone. Not everyone has our best interest at heart. There are monsters out there who will try to eat us alive if we let them. We need to follow our gut instinct and distance ourselves from this kind of toxic personality. We need to use our brains over our hearts. This will save us from so much sorrow in the future. As parents, we also need to teach our kids to not let others manipulate us and take advantage of our kindness.

I am planning on fine tuning my empathic skills. I've heard that there are ways you can tune into them and use them to help you in the future. The goals I have are to fine tune my skills, follow my gut instincts, but not let people take advantage of my kindness. I need to learn to know when someone is attempting to take advantage of me or manipulate me, while also having the ability to stand up for myself and stay away from those kinds of toxic people. None of us need toxic people in our lives. All they do is bring us down. If you feel that something isn't right, then most likely you are probably correct and you need to stay far away. I've learned that ignoring those voices in the back of my head instead of listening to them just brought me pain and regret. Those voices are trying to tell us something and we have to learn to start listening to them.

Do you consider yourself an empath? Why or why not?


Life As An Empath

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Child Support System Isn't Working

Couples don't stay together forever. When that baby arrives, we all plan on having that happily ever after as a family. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out the way that we planned it. When a couple splits up, they may come to a 50/50 parenting agreement where each parent has equal time with the child and split any extra costs that come along the way as far as caring for the child or school/extracurricular activities. This doesn't happen very often. Many times, the non-custodial parent only wants 50/50 because they think it will stop them from having to pay anything extra for the care of their child, not because they want that extra time with their kids.

child support, single parent, kids

Often times, one parent becomes the custodial parent and the other parent has the child on a set visitation schedule.

Child Support was created to (supposedly) ensure that the non-custodial parent takes responsibility for their child and share the financial responsibility of said child.

Unfortunately, the child support system is so screwed up that most of the time, the deadbeat parent gets off scot-free, leaving the other parent to shoulder the load of supporting a child both financially and emotionally completely on their own.

Each state has its own guidelines for calculating how much child support the non-custodial parent has to pay each month. It is typically based on how much both parents make but depends mainly on how much that NC (non-custodial) parent makes. They also take into consideration how much the NC parent has their child, so that a parent who has them every other week will pay less than one who has their kid only every other weekend.

This is where things get sticky. So, if the NC parent makes 20K a year, they may only be forced to pay $50 a week (or even a month) for a child. Child Support is supposed to be for half of the financial support of said child, and we all know that you can not support a child on that little amount! So the less money the NC parent makes, the less they pay.

On the other hand, I know of instances where the NC parent makes a lot of money and is forced to pay $1,500 a month for ONE child. That's a ridiculously high amount for one child.

There has to be some kind of middle ground. You have single parents who are struggling to get by with their $50/month child support, while other single parents are literally living off their huge amount of CS and not doing anything to support the child they have custody of. What?!?

And the child support system is so screwed up that a large majority of NC parents get away with not paying a dime to help support their child. According to liveabout.com, only 43.4% of custodial parents receive the child support they are due. Less than half!

These deadbeats get a job working under the table and then tell child support that they aren't working. Child support may make them fill out papers showing that they applied to jobs and are making an effort, but that's pretty simple to fake and they don't seem to check up with the employers to see if that person applied as they said.

You have NC parents who just go off the radar. They move and don't give anyone their new address and work under the table so child support can't find them.

Child support's job is to find the deadbeats and force them to support their child when they are being irresponsible. I've talked to a lot of single parents and it seems as if a lot of caseworkers don't want to bother with putting the work in to find these deadbeats or they just don't care.

My ex-husband has never been able to keep a job for very long in the 16 years that I've known him. His jobs usually only last a few months. When we were going to court, he paid child support, but because he couldn't keep a job, it was a very low amount. I had a good case worker here who actually did want to enforce child support. After he moved out of state, she put a hold on his driver's license which carried over to the state he moved to, but after that, it was pretty much out of her hands. I am not allowed to speak to the child support office in the state that he moved to. I have to speak to my caseworker here, and then she has to contact that state's child support office. My ex loves to get an under the table job so that he doesn't have to pay his child support for our 3 kids. He doesn't care about their well being, he just doesn't want me to have his money. In fact, he once refused to apply for a good paying job because he didn't want to have to pay me more money.

My caseworker here would call the other state's caseworker every other day pretty much, trying to get them to keep on his ass, but they wouldn't do anything. After almost a year of him not paying a dime, they finally brought him to court for contempt. He brought $100 with him and paid it. So they gave him another 3 months before another court date. He would again pay $100 before that 3 months was up. He now knows that as long as he pays ANY amount within 90 days, he is off the hook and they won't do anything about it.

Unfortunately, my bills won't do the same! My bills don't go based off of my income, like child support does. I can't just decide to only pay our bills once every 3 months, or pay school fees whenever I feel like it. When the kids have special field trips and activities at school, I can't just decide NOT to pay them. I HAVE to figure it out!

While the deadbeat parent lives their life doing whatever they want when they want without being responsible for their offspring, the custodial parent has to DO IT ALL ON THEIR OWN.

I've talked to a lot of other single parents whose exes owe an upwards of $75,000 in child support and their child support office does nothing about it. Why are these people not standing up for these children and helping these single parents get what they deserve to help raise these kids?

single parent, kids, parenting

There there's the complete opposite end of the spectrum, where you have NC parents who are being forced to pay child support, but never get to see their kids. If they miss even a couple of payments, child support is threatening to send them to jail. Of course, child support is completely separate from visitation, but I know of many situations where the NC parent is forced to pay a ridiculous amount of child support, then told that they need to get their own lawyer to take the custodial parent to court in order to see their own children. I know of one instance where a dad has never missed one single child support payment, and he did get a visitation schedule set up through the courts, however, the custodial parent still refuses to let him see his son. It costs him $200+ each time to take his ex to court for contempt, which he has done 3 times so far, and the judge just gives her a slap on the wrist and nothing else for the contempt. *MIND BLOWN*

Something has to be done. There has to be a better way to handle child support and visitation enforcement. This shit right now just isn't working. Every single parent should be helped to get child support, and every NC parent should be ensured their visitation rights if they want them. No one seems to be thinking of the kids involved in these situations.

The whole child support system needs an overhaul. There has to be a better way to get NC parents to help support the children they have made and be the responsible parent their child deserves and child support should be enforced the same way for every single parent in every single state. NC parents should not be forced to pay an insane amount of child support while being threatened with jail if they miss one or two payments while others are tens of thousands of dollars behind and running free.

Have you dealt with the child support system? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience!