How Are You Rating Your Quality Time

Families are made up of so many different things. With each family comes a set of unique illustrations that paint that family’s life from within. Trauma seems to add new details and sections to the dynamics which can ultimately alter how families are able to coexist among each other. It is at the end of the school year, and we have come to the conclusion that we are still dealing with the tremors of trauma from five years ago.

If the event would have been an earthquake, you would have expected to see small tremors that popped up some years ago. However, it seems as though the tremors are harmonic in nature and ever reaching. We were finally able to have a real heart to heart with our 13 year old. Yes, I said the 13 year old. She was 8 when her sister was attacked and my oldest was 16. In many ways we focused so much and so hard on the recovery process for one child that we nearly lost the other two.

My eldest has been living in Florida for nearly six months now. It makes me sad to write this because I don’t know how much I missed when it comes to being there for the 13 year old. For the past five years while I was trying to save one daughter, I was slowly letting the other two drift away. After having a real heart to heart, my baby finally opened up and told me how she felt.

She informed me that there were nights that she would just lay in her room crying because she felt like we didn’t see her. No parent ever wants to hear that, you do not want to hear that you were a shit parent. I think I did what my parents did in many ways. I tried to bring in things to make up for not being there. We had the season tickets to Six Flags, great hiking adventures, and even trips to craters. We were really trying to meet that quality time quota that so many of us play towards.

Now, we are looking at quality time in a much different way. It’s about those trips to markets that result in instant bright face appreciation as well as those moments of tenderness because some boy has broken her heart. It’s about telling her how much we love her each and every night and telling her no matter the outcome, she will overcome. In my mind, I still see her as

this little one. This picture was taken on some random day at the park. We decided to ditch the normal routine after school and have a play date. Don’t make the mistake that we made and think that quality time has to be something like below.

Hiking in the mountains.

Going to ballet.

Mining in dormant volcanoes.

It can be anything as simple as just watching your kids walk ahead of you at the park. If you are anything like my family, you are still trying to work out the kinks. We are moving in a better direction, but that direction now comes with open eyes. It’s not always easy after you take off the rose colored glasses, but it’s something that you can’t ignore. Don’t miss those moments.

Road Map To My 22nd Anniversary

  1. Year One- Sex wasn’t the answer to all things.-Killeen, Texas.
  2. Year Two- Setting the alarm 30 minutes early was the key. Killeen, Texas.
  3. Year Three- My husband was a wonderful father. Fort Irwin, California.
  4. Year Four- Being pregnant sucks! Fort Irwin, California.
  5. Year Five- Living in a different country is easy when you are with your husband. Baumholder, Germany.
  6. Year Six- Nothing like the absence of your husband at your mother’s funeral because of war. Garland, Texas.
  7. Year Seven- Taking down welcome home signs after you learn your husband’s unit will be the first to stay beyond the allotted time in a war zone. Baumholder, Germany
  8. Year Eight- The only way to get out of the vasectomy after this pregnancy is over my dead body. Baumholder, Germany.
  9. Year Nine- Admitting that I didn’t know all I thought I knew about marriage. Savannah, GA.
  10. Year Ten- Dealing with addiction and remorse. Savannah, GA.
  11. Year Eleven- Talking to divorce lawyers because some situations are just too hard to deal with. Garland, Texas
  12. Year Twelve- Having to look my husband in the face and deal with our demons without being able to walk away. Clarksville, Tennessee
  13. Year Thirteen- Starting over. El Paso, Texas
  14. Year Fourteen- Being there through a tough surgery. El Paso, Texas.
  15. Year fifteen- Finally figuring out the Army was more of a hindrance to our family. El Paso, Texas
  16. Year Sixteen- Living with family members suck more than you know. Garland, Texas
  17. Year Seventeen- Nothing like being back on your own. Garland, Texas
  18. Year Eighteen- Transitioning from parents of young kids to parents of children old enough to date. Garland, Texas
  19. Year Nineteen- Being thankful that my husband was able to be there with me through my father’s death. Garland, Texas
  20. Year twenty- Finding my own calling is the key to my happiness. Garland, Texas
  21. Year twenty-One- Making sure we never forget those special nights. Garland, Texas
  22. Year Twenty-Two- Understand that life doesn’t last forever, so enjoy each other while you can. Somewhere in Texas!
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The Dangers Of Keeping A Child In A Volatile Situation

Often times we divorce our spouses if the situation becomes too volatile. However, how many of us move our children away from bullying situations when they become volatile? As a mother of a child who suffered from extreme bullying, I would warn you about keeping that child in the same school. Right after my daughter’s attack we moved her away from the school, but when she started middle school the next school year the girls all filtered into that school. The counselors at the school were a complete joke. They told me that my daughter was no longer getting bothered and that they even called the children into the office to see if anyone was talking to her.

One morning I watched Ariana from the corner of my eye silently cry as we drove her to school. Something just told me to not go home so I waited. After a few minutes I drove around and then I found her hiding in between two buildings with her books pressed up against her chest. She was in a tight spot crying and scared to move. I got her attention and told her to come here. She walked to the car with tears still running down her cheek and talked about being sorry. She said she just couldn’t face anyone it was too much. I nodded and told her to get back into the car and we drove around the school and then I enrolled her out. I enrolled her in a private school a few miles down the street. She was loved at the school and did really well. She was a favorite in her French class and was well liked by many of her teachers, but there was the issue of interacting with children that still needed to be dealt with.

We still lived in Garland, so running into those children was an issue. Every time we thought we were doing better an encounter with one of them would send her crashing once more. Soon her Freshman year of high school was calling. She wanted to go to her home high school which meant she would be around those girls again. I wasn’t for it, but I finally decided if she felt ready, I would let her try once more. She was scared out of her mind her first day of school. She had started second guessing the idea of going to the high school, but she wanted to try it out.

She came home that day with this corky smile on her face. She had discovered she was a magnet for boys. She also said one of the girls that used to bully her, came up and said hi. She talked about being blown away and she didn’t know how to take it at first. In the common weeks she would talk to numerous people and even stand up to bullying against others, she was no longer the target. She was still known as the one who was attacked, but it wasn’t something that the children often talked about. She didn’t get invited anywhere so her nights were pretty much always lonely. She was still having a really hard time making friends, so we all decided that perhaps we just needed a new beginning.

We moved two maybe three hours away from that area. She was finally able to do things like go to games with people, go to eateries, and even to the movies. Ariana was able to have a life because we got her out of that broken environment. You see bullying is very mental and I think keeping the children in the environment hurts them more than we know. We still deal with social interaction issues, but she’s no longer constantly by herself. We have to make sure our children aren’t isolating. In many of the incidents with bullied children turning to violence or committing suicide they often isolate and target certain children. We have to make sure that we are doing all we can to repair the damage that has been done by the bullying. As parents, we can’t take the position that it will make them stronger to make them stay.

In Ariana’s medical record it had chest contusion, aggravated assault, leg injury, but it never had a broken spirit. We were ready for the physical stuff, but it was the mental stuff that nearly shattered my daughter into pieces. Talk about it with your children and truly ask how they are doing. Take notice of behaviors that could be problematic and above all else, tell them you love them.

PC GAMERS And A LACK OF CIVILITY : ATLAS

Games are very popular today and people of all ages find enjoyment within their make believe worlds. Years ago when my husband and I started playing World of Warcraft we really connected with the art, adventure and storyline.

Later we fell in love with games like Stonghold, Civilization, and the SIMS. I found myself in dino heaven after we later found Ark by Studio Wildcard. However, there were issues that soon started to turn players off. There were too many players taking land and not enough room for players to really enjoy the game. Push forward to Atlas. It’s a cool MMO game that really gets your imagination running. I can be a pirate, you can be a pirate and we can all sing the pirate songs! Okay a little too much. Atlas is another game from Studio Wildcard that seems to suffer from some of the same issues. Atlas lets players find land, build ships, and live like past pirates. The players are able to find treasure and align with other companies.

It sounds great if you are into pirates, but sadly there is a downside. Atlas has some of the same issues preventing new players from being able to enjoy the game. Picture a vast amount of land with so much potential that soon finds a few companies who take over the land and prevent other players from building? There have been many players over the past few days that have searched for hours and they are still unable to find a new place for their base. It is a turn off for those who might want to come to the game and invite friends and play on official servers.

Wildcard could fix this issue by doing one simple thing. They could limit the amount of flags one is able to place without contesting. The land hoarders would then have to contest the land if it goes over the adjusted amount of flags. This is a new game and for new players to not have the ability to play or start a base because of a select few seems harsh. These server are all PVE servers and the companies in question, in regards to the land napping are on the Hydra Server. There are only 4 servers right now, and 2 area PVE while the other two are PVP. Perhaps, SW needs to take a look at what kind of behavior needs to be on the PVE servers and PVP servers.

Full Circle!

Six months ago after I quit my job as an investigator, I really struggled with how I could make a difference. I knew I wanted to still inspire and look out for those who needed my help the most. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

After really doing some soul searching I decided to write a novella about repairing broken dreams. I realize that this might not be an option for many, but for those of you who find yourself in chaos, don’t give up. Please take the time to read my new novella! I hope you like it and thank you for being part of my life.

Looking at The Greatest Will by Shelundra Santiago at Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/912659 

You can buy my book at Smashwords above or on Amazon tomorrow.

Can A Movie Make You Rethink A Word

white and red flag

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I viewed Free State Of Jones last week and I would like to hear some feedback. I will warn you if the word nigger upsets, you this might not be the post for you. However, if you are willing to really stretch your mind and look at the word for what it is, you might see things differently.

In the first 6 to 7 minutes Matthew McConaughey’s character Mr. Newton Knight started explaining to his pals about not wanting to be anyone’s nigger. The first time he said it, I leaned in and looked at my husband. The second time he said it, I listened a little more and then after he said it a few more times, it started to sink in. Anyone can be someone’s nigger. I mean the way the word was used throughout history was to demean a class of people that another group felt was underneath them.  That way of thinking not only went for black people, but for Irish and poor people as well. I feel like Mr. Knight was one of the smartest men that lived in the Civil War era next to John Brown. It really makes you look at the word in another light and it takes away the shame of it. Mr. Knight created a band of misfits, so to say and protected the displaced from the Confederate soldiers who were increasing taxes on people.

Often when we hear about the Civil War here in the South, we hear about how the Yankees did a lot of dirt, we haven’t really heard anything about how the South took from those farmers and increased taxes on people which really pushed people into near death situations. It was an eye opening movie because I didn’t know that people were exempt from the war if they owned slaves. I don’t recall learning that in college when I took the two classes on the Civil War. So, Mr. Knight was like the American version of Robin Hood. At one point in the movie when a black character was called nigger by one of the white soldiers, he replied by asking him in a round of about way, how was he not a nigger too. Mr. Knight went on to explain how the South was making all of the poor people niggers and how color wasn’t even the issue. Can I say that Matthew McConaughey was brilliant? He was Mr. Knight and he made me want to know about the man and shake his hand for being do darn smart. To me this was better than A Time to Kill, and I loved that movie. It not only made me see the Civil War in another light, but it kind of made me see things a little differently today.

Here we are fighting against one another while the people at the top are toasting to the chaos. If a Civil War were to break out today the Clintons, Trumps, Sanders, and Obamas wouldn’t be going anywhere. This country belongs to the people, but for some reason we have forgotten that. Why are we fighting against each other on the behalf of someone else’s pocketbook? For many of these people it’s about money and power. Do we even know who’s in it for us anymore? Watch this movie.