Why I Like to Write

   People ask me all the time why I think writing is fun. What isn’t fun about it? You get to the be the boss! You kind of get to play God with these characters you create in your head and the lives you give them. Reading a writer’s work will actually give you an idea into their soul.

   I know some my stuff from my teen years will never see the light of day again, but it is an insight to see how I saw the world back then. I can see how I felt about love, authority, respect, good vs. evil and many other things. Now somethings haven’t changed and I still write those things in, but many things have changed as I have gotten older and have more of an understanding of how the world works.

   But right now I will admit that the main reason I write is to escape. I want to go to a place that I have in my head and put it on paper to be able to go back to again and again. Or I escape in a way that I want to get the thoughts out and never see them again. I write them down and throw them in the trash. This practice was really easy when I was a kid, but I have noticed the older I get the more tempting it is to pull those thoughts out and look at them again. Why? I have no idea because they are not good for anyone read. So I crumple them back up. Of course now I have a shredder and it has made that problem easier to avoid since I am too lazy to search through the pieces of paper and tape them back together. I would rather just forget them.

   But it’s not all bad like I said before. Writing helps with creativity, problem solving and writing very soppy “forgive me” notes. All in all, I just love writing and take real joy in it. It is really cool to watch a blank page become this world that was only in your head. You get to share a little bit of your self with every word you write. So give it a try. Write something today and see where it takes you.

   Where did it take me? Check out my author page! Have a great day!

6 Things Never Say to Someone with Secondary Infertility

   I know that there are people out there who only have the best intentions at heart, but all it take is one misplaced word to not feel like it. How do I know? Because I was surrounded by them who thought they were helping and I had to teach them what I needed to hear and when. The topic I want to talk about is what to NOT say to a friend, or even spouse, that is going through secondary infertility.

   Here is what you don’t know about what’s going on in their head. They feel broken, insufficient, second class, crazy, misunderstood and FRUSTRATED. So the last thing they need right now is for you to make them feel worse even if that isn’t your intention. So here is a list of things that made my situation worse and you should avoid.

1. “You will get pregnant if you are just patient.” I hated this one because my husband and I have dealt with secondary infertility for two years before he finally got a vasectomy to finally end the misery. No, if you are patient it won’t always happen. We tried and tried and tried and, you know what it got us? More heartache. If your friend has been talking about doing something permanent about their type of infertility (mine was chromosomal so the baby wouldn’t develop properly and ending in miscarriage) then NEVER, once again NEVER, say this. You might not know how long they have actually been trying. In your mind it has only been a few months that they have been public about it, but they could have been trying for a year before they announced it.

  • So what should you say instead? “I understand and I am here to listen to you.” All your friend needs to know is that someone will listen to them. I know that was what I needed the most. My doctor wouldn’t listen, and no one else believed me since I didn’t always get a positive pregnancy test, but it would have been the best thing. And if you don’t feel comfortable then listen to the best of your ability and softly suggest they find a professional to talk with. We cannot be everyone’s counselor and sometimes we shouldn’t be. So if it is too much to handle, then suggesting some help isn’t off limits.

2. “Well you have a baby, so you should be thankful.” I am going to tell you what this means – heartless! This is probably one of the most heartless things someone could say to someone who is going through secondary infertility. If you think that they are not thankful for their child, then you are out of touch. Your friend isn’t upset about not being able to have more kids because they are not thankful, but rather they are grieving the death of a dream. Do you have more than one child? If so, then why did you want more children? Shouldn’t you have just been thankful with your first child? Ridiculous right? Well this heartless saying is like a knife to the heart.

  • What should you say instead? “You have a beautiful child (or children), but I understand your natural desire to want more children.” It is 100% natural to want more kids so, when you can’t, it’s hard to accept. If you make them think their desire needs to be invalid just because they already have kids, then you are missing the point of their pain. Because they have kids already is why they are the most frustrated. They get to stare at their fertility every single day, and it is painful to wrap their heads around why they have been barred from having anymore. So don’t discount the desire or make them feel bad for wanting more kids.

3. “God has a plan.” If they are religious (even if they are super strong in their beliefs), don’t throw God in there right away because frankly those going through secondary infertility are probably also having a tough time with their relationship with God. There is nothing but confusion on why He would allow this to happen to them, and there is also A LOT of anger. This was true for my husband and I and it still is a sore spot when a trigger happens. It’s something that will take years to get over. So DO NOT just throw this out there just because you have nothing else to say. It will do more harm than good.

  • What should you say instead? Honestly, feel it out. I would suggest you wait until they bring it up. Don’t be the one to bring it up first and DO NOT just throw Bible verses at them about God’s love and plan. Like I said, this might do more harm than good. God does have a plan and we cannot see it. The problem is that your friend might not be able to see past the next day let alone a year from now. So just listen and be there even if you don’t say anything and just sit there in silence while your friend processes.

4. “Pull up your boot straps and get over it. There are people out there worse off than you.” Now if you ever say this to a friend going through secondary infertility, know that I am smacking you over the head right now. When was the last time you got some terrible news and needed time to process? How would you have felt if someone had just come in and told you to pretty much stop caring about your loss and get over it? You might be in a really good spot right now, but your friend isn’t. They need to be validated and understood. Not told to just get over it because they can’t and in some ways they never will. Really, when you are told you can’t have anymore children, you don’t get over it completely. Instead you just get really good at faking it. What you, as the friend, don’t see is your friend’s heart over the years crumble a little bit more every time someone else announces they are pregnant or simply see a cute baby in the market and the mother is doing nothing but complaining about motherhood. Your friend would take that baby in a minute if they could because they know the pain of not having one.

  • What should you say instead? “Take as long as you need. I know this is a really hard thing, and I am here with you.” If your friend knows there is going to be someone there who knows their story and is there for them they will be more comfortable. Maybe talk about their triggers as time goes along and be there for them when one is triggered. They need to know that people understand this isn’t the same thing as a gold fish dying where you can just go to the pet store and buy a new one. This is a life time issue and it won’t go away. Like I said, we just get really good at faking it since we know that our family and friends don’t want to hear about it all the time. So we stop talking which isn’t good either, but we don’t want to always be miserable to be around. If your friend is starting to close up, then this is where I would really suggest they get help from a professional.

5. “If you just relax it will happen just like it did for me.” NEVER, I say NEVER, compare your story with your friend’s. I understand that our personal story is where we get our experience, but every story is different. If you dealt with infertility and things worked out for you then great, but that doesn’t mean it will work out for your friend. Also your friend doesn’t need you smearing your success in their face. I know that isn’t what you are thinking when you say this, but it’s not a thing of encouragement.

  • What should you say instead? NOTHING. Nothing about your story unless it is completely relevant to your friend. What do I mean? The same. You can try to be encouraging, but it doesn’t always come across as encouragement. So when in doubt, say nothing.

6. “This too shall pass.” This is not true. The pain might fade to a dull ache, but that ache will be there forever especially with having kids first. If external triggers aren’t hard enough, there are the internal triggers as well. Nothing hurts worse than seeing your three year old rocking her baby doll and tell you she is putting her baby sister to bed. Talk about a shot in the heart. It is hard enough having to deal with others outside the home, but when the other kid(s) start asking for a sibling and you know you can’t give them one then there is nothing to make that pain go away.

  • What should you say instead? “It will always hurt, but it will get easier each day.” I know this sounds counter productive but it does help. Why? Look at the first part. You validate their pain and the second part is the encouragement they need. Because it is a day by day process, and there is no way to speed up the process.

   So there you have it. What not to say and what to say to your friend who is going through secondary infertility. It’s a painful process that will probably last a life time so please be patient and just be there for them. Be their hero and their support as they try to move forward and learn what their new life is going to be. Things will get easier for them, but it is going to take some time.

What Can be Saved From Black Mold?

   If you are reading this then you are going through a terrible nightmare and I am sorry. I know all about this terrible thing. My husband and I found out there was black mold in a rental we were in and we too had to figure out what could be saved and what couldn’t.

   Let’s first go over what black mold is. According to hgtv.com the simplest way to explain it:

Black-Mold

   “Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans. “

   Either way you look at it, black mold is nothing you really want to mess with. It also can be dangerous to your health causing upper respiratory infections, making asthma worse, constant colds and flus, and to the point of sepsis shock. How do I know? Because my husband almost died from his exposure and I was hospitalized with pneumonia. We got to the point that we were classified as having mold poisoning which is the highest level of exposure you can have.

   If you are having physical symptoms of mold poisoning, make sure you get the proper medical help you need and find a safe way to detox the mold out of your system preferably under a professional’s supervision. And don’t expect to be healed from it right away either. It took awhile to have it build up in your system and it will take some time to get it out.

   But now back to what can be saved. The biggest thing about getting out of a mold situation is to not get back in it which means dealing with your stuff. From our experience what could be saved was anything metal, hard plastic, hard porcelain, and glass. Which means:

  • Dishes
  • Pans
  • Pots
  • Some utensils
  • Silver ware
  • Fine China

   Why the short list? Because black mold is LOVES porous things like:

  • Wood
  • Rubber
  • Things with motors
  • Soft Plastics
  • Cloth
  • Polyester like in pillows and comforters
  • Pleather
  • Leather
  • Microfiber
  • Micro Suede
  • Suede
  • Paper
  • Carpet
  • Hardwood
  • Lament

   So  how many things do you have like this in your house? Pretty much everything is the answer. Now, my husband and I tried to save our clothes but we ended up having to throw them away too since it just wouldn’t wash out. So I am sorry to say that pretty everything but that list I mentioned above. We lost everything in the long run and suffered through heartache after heartache as we toiled to save our items and they just ended up in the trash can.

   What do I suggest? Follow my list and trash the rest. It is not worth keeping things that will just contaminate the new place you live in because it will. The item will keep emitting spores and will fill your home with spores until they find a new source to start growing again. Can you see the problem? If you keep something from the mold house then you can just have the problem keep following you.

   I know it will be hard and it flat out sucks because you will have to throw out your whole life and start over. We don’t have anything from when we were first married, we don’t even anything from when our daughter was a baby, and we lost our entire library of books just to name a few heartache things that were lost. Every mom wonders if their daughter will wear their wedding dress, but I will never know I don’t have mine any more. It is going to be painful to go through this, but know that you have someone on your side who understands the pain and frustration you are going through.

Unless someone has gone through this kind of situation, they will never understand how you feel and many will think you are over reacting. I assure you that you are not. It is for the best for your family now instead of this happening again in the future.

If you think you need help processing, finding a counselor isn’t a bad idea. It took my husband and I a year after we were away from the situation to finally admit that going for some help to process the whole thing would be good. We tried it on our own as a strong couple and we needed some extra help. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing, and, when it comes to replacing your stuff, you will need to ask for some. You will never know how much you really have until you lose it all.

But I would check with your insurance company. They might be able to help but ours didn’t. With a rental situation, it’s hard to pin point who was the renter that caused it and the insurance company said that it was preexisting so they wouldn’t do anything. Also check with your health department and see if you are lucky enough to live in an area with rights for renters (if you are renting) when it comes to black mold. I live in California and they have no such laws. So our landlord had no obligation to help us and we couldn’t find an attorney who would take the case.

All and all the situation stinks and all you can do is rely on family and friends to help you out. My husband’s work was amazingly generous with donations to replace what we had lost and I pray you are just as blessed. One thing is for sure. You will learn who your real friends are in a situation like this.

   So as we finish up, I am sorry I don’t have much better news, but it is the truth. If you want to be rid of the mold in the future only keep things that are metal, glass, hard plastic, and hard porcelain.

Where is She Going With This?

   Is it just me or does everyone around you seem like they have their life in order? Like the blessings just keep falling on them even though according to your tally sheet they shouldn’t? I know that is me right now and I am not even too proud to say I’m​ jealous of it. I know I shouldn’t be but there is that sting of seeing someone not live for God and have everything they want while my husband and I work hard and struggle to get back to where we were before the horrific year of 2016 happened. We live pay check to pay check and others seem to have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. I know exactly what they can do with it, but no one ever seems to offer.

   I happen to know quite a few people who could completely change our financial picture and they wouldn’t even notice the money was gone. It would mean everything to us but they just might have to actually write it down in an accountant book. But no one offers. No says “hey, I know you guys have really tried your best to get back what you lost. What is the amount you need to pay off the debt you have now due to your huge loss last year?”

   Now granted that people have offered us things and time which I am EXTREMELY thankful for because it would have put us farther in debt of we had to purchase those things too. One thing I do know is that if one more person says “oh, I’ll pray that the money issues work out for you” I am going to scream. Maybe you are the person God wants to use to bless us and you are refusing to do what He asks?

   Now this isn’t a plea for money (even though my dream is to receive a donation for our debt but let’s get real) but rather a post to open your eyes to those around you. I know that if I had the money to spend and knew the family was truly under a hard time and not habit then I would write them a check to help if not wipe out their debt. I would want to share the love and compassion in the aspect that so far hasn’t been extended to us. Maybe that’s why God keeps not blessing us right now in being able to pay off debt and rather just keeps laying down more issues in our lap? Our A/C died day two of the giant heat wave hitting the west coast so that’s really enjoyable at the moment with a toddler.

   Once again my husband and I are living separately with me at my wonderful wonderful parents and he’s home and getting rides from a wonderful wonderful friend to work so I can have our one car. It’s just another summer of hard life.

  So what is my point? Am I a victim? No since I can’t stand that mentality. What I am saying is that I am an example. There are others around you who could really use that spare cash burning a hole in your pocket. That is what Christians are supposed to do with loving their neighbor is help them out however they need and, if you can help someone, you should. You not only will be helping a family who will be thankful forever but you will be helping yourself in knowing you are showing what the hand and feet of Jesus look like.

  All in all be generous. Love your fellow brothers or sisters in Christ. You will actually reap the benefit more then they will. God bless 🙂

As We Grow As a Couple

Do you feel stuck where you are in your relationship with your spouse? Does it feel like you are still in the same place maybe financially like you were when you got married? I have to say that lately that has been the case for me. I look at our budget and think “man things looked better when we were first married and poor”. But were they?

When we pulled into church yesterday, I saw a cute couple cuddling in the guy’s car. They weren’t being inappropriate or anything. The girl was just leaning on the guy’s shoulder and he had his arm around her. It was actually really cute and reminded me of how my husband and I were when we were dating and first married.

The car the couple was in was older than me but they were happy. It got me thinking because when my husband and I got married, church mice were richer. We both worked but we were still in school and making minimum wage. (Depending on when and where you are reading this, that would be $9-$10/hour at the time.) We lived in the lower area of town and literally lived on love and kisses. Just like that couple was right now unless they are still living at home and then they don’t quite know what the real world is like.

Sometimes I still feel like that woman who is in the old car with nothing but my husband’s and mine’s dreams to keep the wheels turning, but am I still there? No. I am a home owner, we have a car with a 1 in front number of its age, we have a child, and he is now making more than double what he was when I met him. So why do I feel stuck?

Because honestly life sucks. We got dealt a really rough hand last year and we still haven’t recovered. We are still paying off debt that has happened and we will probably until next summer, but does that mean we are stuck? I hope not. Is it easy? No. We were setup how we were supposed to be financially until last year and now it has been blown to you know where. Will we get back there? Yes. I have hope we will.

How do I know that? Because we are not the same kids sitting in that old car living off love. We have experience now to where we can actually be the ones to give advice and encouragement. We have been through many things already and we still have many more in the future. It was just a nice reminder for me to see where we used to be so that I can see what I have now and be thankful for it.

Is it exactly what I want? No. Am I living in the area I really want to be in or have two cars like everyone else? No, but now that I have finally gone back to school I have a reason to power through it. I have a goal that I want to meet and it will keep me motivated along side remembering where we have come from.

Do you have some wisdom that you need to share about life and sticking with it? If so, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you.