Friday, November 29, 2013


Dear SurviveLiveThrive readers,

If you are out there and are reading, I just want you to know that I’m dedicated to this site and write about things as I get inspired, so please forgive the pauses.  I hope to send out a message that I’m a real person, that’s been through some serious shit (or doo doo as my daughter might call it), and am writing about it as a means to heal.

I am so very thankful for the good things in my life and for my daughters, my extended family, my friends, people i’ve known from when i was tiny to people who i’ve known for a short time.

And in some cases, it’s sad and true—that even the people closest to you, whom you might love with all your heart—even they can’t understand what it’s like to live with someone who hurts you, unless they’ve lived it themselves.  So with this site, i’m trying to find a safe place to air these thoughts, to invite comments and participation if you want to comment, to invite you into my life a little bit.

I wish i could share with you my real name and real location, but i’m cautious for the sake of my girls.  My worries are simple—I have an ex who is litigious and selfish (yes, i said it) and vengeful (yes, I said that too).  He can be a real bastard (yep, that too!).  He only knows how to love with pain attached, and he intelligent and manipulative.  I'm certain that I must be careful because of these factors.   

I don’t dwell on that though, I just wanted to let you know why I chose Jane Thrive.  I left a marriage that was filled with violent threats, violent actions, fear.  And now I have a joyful life—even with the stressors, even with the bouts of illness or worries or how to make ends meet.  Yes, there are shadows on my heart from the time from before, but the sun shines on my life most of the time and i am grateful for that.  I’ve learned to grow roots in the soil of my own making, not dependent on someone else for approval or love.  I’ve learned to water my own garden.  Some days are better than others, but I am hopeful to always be able to thrive.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

your heart is big and can be big--

i remember thinking, 'if i love him enough,' 'if only i could show him a different way to love and be loved,' 'if only i could be more understanding,' 'if only i hadn't...'

these were not stereotypical statements or made from a textbook t.v. afterschool special.  these were sincere thoughts and feelings of when you love someone with all of your heart, you want to believe in the good in them and yourself.

only later, do we come to realize what price that is.  i wish for the women out there in the world to be able to see that they can still have a capacity to love and empathize with people in the world who are hurting, but they cannot save them.  that it is not their responsibility to save them.  that their responsibility is to protect their hearts, and to love and be loved in ways that love themselves into a state of survival.  that what they think is 'love' and 'understanding'--in the face of violence, is not love at all--it is simply a cycle of behavior and attachment, an illusion of love, and with all my heart i wish for them to move past it, so they can one day embrace a life full of joy and happiness that they deserve.  that all of us deserve.

i am thankful that i have a new life free from violence and abuse.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The holiday season is upon us!

To be truthful, the last two years were all about surviving.  I somehow pulled it together to make a positive space for my girls, to delight in their magical belief in Santa and the Christmas spirit.  I remember baking pound cake to give to our neighbors, how proud big sister was going from house to house, saying “I made this” and “happy holidays” so I found joy in her words and felt a smidgeon of satisfaction that she was learning that Christmas was about giving, not just receiving.
Hauling out my grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe and baking cookies from scratch (with home made icing, too!) for our Santa, leaving magical reindeer food on the table outside, hoping the reindeer would take a bite.  Watching big sister painstakingly write a letter to santa, asking for humble gifts like a hula hoop or a jump rope, or a puppy for her baby sister.
I have to remember these sweetheart moments.  Waking up in the crepuscular light, with big sister whispering last year, “presents, mommy, presents!” because she had snuck downstairs to take a look at the goodies.  The year before, big sister had bounded back upstairs telling me, “he ATE them!!” meaning the cookies we had worked so hard to bake with her best pal, had disappeared, leaving only crumbs. 
This year, i revel and relish and look forward to more moments like these.  And yet at the same time my heart feels heavy.  I long for an in tact family—a family that is not divided.  A family that looks forward to seeing each other and celebrating the joys.  A family that is bound by love.
I look back at my childhood and see that my mom did the same for us.  A single parent household, but she managed to work some miracles—filling our stockings, providing christmas dinner, taking us to christmas eve service.  And yet our family was also filled with divisiveness and pain, too.  Divorce, deaths.  Fights between my stepbrother and my brother, one that led to threats of murder and for which my brother left our house never to return.
Maybe I need to admit it’s not that I long for a family united just for my children.  I also know the cost of pain and sorrow that we experienced before and that price is too much to bear.  But maybe, I long for a family united for myself.  A do-over.  A desperate wish to love and be loved.  To have my father back from heaven.  To have my mother returned from illness.
These wishes leave my heart like a tidal wave, fervent, powerful, unrelenting, and I feel tears carry them along the current.  Maybe they will always be with me, riding the changing tides.  Maybe--by creating holiday memories for my babies, it will be a way to find holiday peace.