Phones+Social Media+”Friends”=no good…

I think I have learned more in this last week and a half than I have in a long time.  There have been great days and some not so great days.  Yesterday was a not so great day, but I would like to go back for a moment to tell you about our night Friday November 2, 2018.  Because that is when our world changed and most importantly my baby girl Pressley’s.

Obviously learning what we did that night, about her sadness, not wanting to be here on earth was for sure the most heartbreaking thing I have been through as a parent.  But honestly what else we discovered has changed me in so many ways and I feel it needs to be addressed, that this is a HUGE problem in our world today.  I had Leighton that night go through her phone, as I knew she was faster and would know what to look for…  I honestly did not know you could have your own private snap story, one that I could not see unless she added me on there.  Yes, as a parent we should know this, we should know all the ins and outs of all the apps our kids are on, but I guess, I really never thought she would be apart of anything that would or could be damaging.  I really believed she knew right from wrong, but reality is peer pressure is a BIG problem for these young kids, more than when I was growing up.   So that night I also learned there is a private part of SnapChat, called My Eyes Only.  We had to have Press give us the pass code for this and honestly I did NOT like what I saw.  The very first picture that was on the screen was one of her arm from hours earlier when she was home alone, before I even got home from work.  She had taken a pair of scissors and was trying to cut her arm…  I know it was for the reason she was caught doing something she should NOT have been doing, but when you throw in what she had been feeling for awhile, it just made it that much harder to take.  There was a message from one of her “friends” and it said “Pressley go kill yourself”.  I literally had all I could do to contain myself, I am a calm person, but this…  This made me so very angry, yet it showed me I was right in my knowing that these “friends” were NOT friends at all, they are actually just lost souls, who do not have a group of people in their lives who are there for them, to teach them, to maybe even love them.?  There were messages from a few boys, one telling her to get her football pads on as he was threatening to hurt her.  These are 11-12 year old kids, this is NOT ok!!!  Where are the parents???  Another boy also telling her to kill herself, a few others calling her names, slut, hoe, etc…  I honestly could see how my girl didn’t want to be here anymore, that being in an environment like this could be so incredibly harmful.   I honestly bet more than half the people she has on SnapChat and Instagram are people she has never even met.  But, to be cool, popular, you just add people, accept requests, because the numbers show how popular you are.  This has become a sad world, one that teaches our young kids the power of social media, but not in positive ways.  I think back to early September where her phone was used for creating posts about her favorite Youtuber, Adelaine Morin who I might add uses the slogan “Girls supporting Girls”, something I love and feel this world needs more of.  So if you want to say I am naive in thinking she would NOT go down a path that she did, yes I guess I was, but I do know I knew all along the way things were going wrong, that I listened to what my heart and soul was telling me.  I just didn’t think all that came about would be all of this…

You may be asking if I have gone to the school, since this is bullying and other things that happened which would be grounds for maybe suspension or other penalties.  Yes, me and my ex were going to go…  But I guess we decided for now that we would take matters into our own hands and for me all I cared about was getting my girl back to being herself.  Last night, I texted her as she was at her dads and I asked her how school was, like I do everyday.  Usually I get it was fine, or good, but last night she said “meh, it was school”.  I knew right than something had happened.  I had told her after that Friday night to promise me IF anyone said or did anything to her, so obviously I was worried that was the case.  What did happen yesterday was her seeing these “friends” in a whole new light.  That their lives were just going on as normal, planning a big sleepover with all the people she was hanging out with, while she sits alone, with NO phone and has yet to be with anyone outside of school on the weekends.  She was sad, hurt and angry, all valid feelings for this age on how to deal with all of this.   This morning I had Leighton look at her phone and there was a snap from one of her “friends” it said “Back away from Hallie”.  I instantly had Leight FaceTime Press, to find out what that meant.  She started crying and said I do NOT want to go to school today or ever again.  I then got on and said “Have you said anything bad about her, or why would this other person threaten you?  She said, MOM, I didn’t I promise.  Leight said to me, mom I can’t see Press actually speaking her mind to a friend, that the phone was a place where all of these girls felt free and unafraid to say things that they would NOT say in person.  I believe her, because even though she lost all of my trust with what occurred, I knew my girl. Needless to say, she is home today with me.  I told her it is a mental day. ūüôā   I have to say this, my son and daughter have been nothing short of amazing people during this process!!!  They have made me more proud than I have ever thought possible.  They have shown up, been there for her, showing her just how much they truly love and support her.  That is all a mom could ever hope and dream of.  Also, Leighton did text one of those boys a week ago and pretty much said if you ever say another word to my sister, your parents and the school will find out.  Yes, maybe a threat, but it wasn’t a harmful threat, she wasn’t saying she was going to go and beat him up…  She also texted this “friend” back this morning and said ” I would like you to take a look around at who you surround yourself with”, thank God I have a mini mom, who will also do anything for her little sister.

I know this has gotten long and I always try to keep things shorter and to the point, but I just am to passionate about this subject.  I do believe schools need to do more, not allow phones in class, this is just astounding to me that they do.  Parents need to be INVOLVED in their kids phones!!!  Even if your kid isn’t being bullied, what if it is YOUR kid being the bully?   Either one is not one anyone would wish for.  I do believe it all starts at home.  I believe phones should be a privilege for kids, not a material thing.  I honestly do not know when Press will get hers back…  She has been asking and I simply say I do not know.  I would love for her to never have it again, but I know that is not being realistic.  I do know when she does get it back it will be limited and starting with NO social media.  Some time I will allow it again, but that will be when I know she has surrounded herself with good people, when she is a stronger person to stand up and be true to who she is.  This past week and a half have given her many life lessons, I do know this all happened for reason, it sucks, but honestly I know it will just make her stronger, better and a much more loving person.  Our kids grow up too fast as it is, social media and peer pressure just accelerate this to faster speeds.  I challenge all parents to start breaking the speed, to get more involved in their lives, to know what and who is on their phones.  Isn’t it scarier to NOT know?  Than to know???

Somedays we wish they could be little again…
Where life was easier and simpler…
But we need to look at who they are NOW…
And love them for that.  Knowing they need us still, more than we even know…

Thank you to all who have texted, sent messages and reached out during the last week and a half.  It has meant SO very much to me, knowing I have so much love and support!!!

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XO-Rach

What lengths would you go???

Everyone who is a parent will say they love their kids more than anything, that is an absolute fact, but loving them more than anything does not stop or prevent life from happening to them…

When I think about all that has happened in this last week, it feels like I have been living someone else’s life. ¬†Not because I never thought anything like what happened couldn’t happen, but for the simple fact it did happen…

When Press started school this year, she was entering junior high which for her consists of 6-8th grade, she was excited, me, well having two older ones who had already been there, I thought I was ready… ¬†I have known all along Press is different than her older brother and sister, she is a total different spirit, much like her mom. :). ¬†The first few weeks, she was happy and loving school, what every parent hopes and wishes for, but that would all change in what seems like a blink of an eye. ¬†After a high school football game back in September she told me she met a lot of new friends and was beyond excited about this, I was generally happy for her too, but that is were things started changing, where she started changing. ¬† At first it was her not doing anything with her favorite Youtuber, she used to create all kinds of posts and spent so much time with it, then it was her love and creativity of arts and crafts, as a parent you think, ok, not cool for junior high, but it was bugging me. ¬†I asked her why she wasn’t doing these things anymore and she would just say I don’t have time. ¬†She was either on her phone or wanting to be with her friends. ¬†When I did meet some of these “friends” I have to be honest I didn’t care for some of them, just my gut feeling. ¬†I actually told her one night, that she would not be able to go to their houses, that I did not feel they were traveling down the right path and that I did not want that for her, she obviously was not too happy about that, but I was sticking to my knowing, trusting what it is was saying. ¬†Back on October 9th while she was at her dads that night, she sent me a text at 11:45, which was a school night I might add… ¬†But it was a text that made me know she was in there still, even thought I couldn’t see her, that she was drifting farther and farther away from me.

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After that text, honestly things got worse… She was treating her brother, sister and me like crap, her words were not words she would ever say, her actions, not the ones she would have ever shown. ¬†I don’t know how many times I would say what is going on? ¬†Are you ok? ¬†Is school good? ¬†She showed absolutely no emotions, like she had been over taken by someone else. ¬†She has been seeing a counselor for over a year and goes every week, I talked to her and told her my concerns, she said she too was seeing a change and agreed it was when these friends came into the picture. ¬†We spent the last 3 or 4 weeks, trying many different ways and things to get to her, nothing was happening, if anything, she was just farther away. ¬†I was beyond devastated as she has always been my other half, the one who we would talk for hours, do dumb videos, the girl who loved being with me…

Last Friday, we learned many different things, that I will talk and share about in other posts, but what I want to share today is that when I took her phone away after discovering some other things, what I found on her phone, changed me forever… ¬†For over the last month she was telling her friends how she wanted to kill herself, how unhappy she was, how she cried every night. ¬†I don’t think as a parent you could feel any more broken than I did at that moment. ¬†I knew in that moment my only thing I could do was keep her safe, to have everyone in her family there. ¬†So that night, her brother, sister and her dad came to my house and I told her how we loved her more than anything and our lives would not work if she was not there. ¬†I cried, yelled and pretty much any emotion in between. ¬†This last week has been one of the most challenging, emotionally draining and one that has shown me and her how very strong we are. ¬†She does not have her phone and honestly I don’t know when she will get it back. ¬†There is SO much more to this story, which I will write about, but I knew I needed to start somewhere. ¬†Depression, social media, friends, school and life in general can be so different for each person. ¬†I know Press is one of the strongest people I know, she has always been the sunshine of this family, a white sparkling light that makes you feel loved. ¬†She radiates warmth, humor and just a special feeling when you are with her. ¬†I am not naive in knowing she is growing up, that things she once liked doing will change, the time she wants to spend with me will change, but I also knew this wasn’t that, that it was something so much more. ¬†Sadly I was right, but I thank God that it happened, that we found out, even if there is so much more I wish I didn’t know… ¬†As parents you have a choice to shrug things off or to persist in knowing that something is not right. ¬†I sit tonight, having peace knowing she is going to be ok, she will get through all of this. ¬†She is getting back to the girl we all know and love so very much, she is getting back to Pressley.

 

I know some people think, it is a phase kids saying things, but I do not take those words lightly, no one should. ¬†We don’t know what our kids thoughts all the time, do they know ours? ¬†She is a human being, just like adults, only thing different is age, but a number has no bearing on one persons thinking and feelings. ¬† To many people don’t take their kids seriously, to me that is a travesty. ¬† Never should you minimize anyones feelings, especially a kids. ¬†I wanted to share some pics of my girl, she is one of the most amazing people I know. ¬†She radiates positive energy, love and a light that will not stop shining. ¬†She is going to bring an amazing change to the world…

 

I will go to the end of the world for each of my kids, never stopping until they are ok.  What lengths will you go?  Will you turn your cheek?  Or will you listen to what they are not saying to you?

I want to add, I had Press read everything I wrote, because I would never post something without her being ok with it all. ¬†As she read it, she had tears streaming down her face, I asked her why she was crying, she simply said, “It’s sad”. ¬†I have to agree, it is sad that a human being, who is only 11.5 had these thoughts and feelings.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. ¬† So much more needs to be done about many things in our children’s lives, we are the ones who need to protect them, show them, and teach them.

If you want to sign up and follow me, I would love nothing more!

XO-Rach

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words…

I have been thinking of what it might be like to finally find my one true love… ¬†That person who completes you, who makes you want to be a better person, one who loves you just the way you are. ¬†A love that is supportive on both ends, challenges each other to grown, learn and to have a bond that last till the end of time…

I was looking through old pictures as I was cleaning out my closet and found the one I posted at the end. ¬†Anyone who knows me, knows this is a picture of my mom and dad. ¬†This picture used to make me sad, but that is because I wasn’t viewing it like I do today. ¬†When I see it I don’t see that my mom would pass away a few days later, instead I see two people, a man and a woman who have loved each other for so many years. ¬†A couple who endured so many life events together, some which would break up the average couple today. ¬†Two people who sometimes didn’t see eye to eye, would fight and yell but always made up at the end. ¬†This picture, is pure love, a man holding onto his wife, who he spent 43 years married to, but had loved her far before the I do’s. ¬†A man who would have done anything for this woman at any given time and believe me he did whatever he could do in their lifetime. ¬†A man who would have taken her place in that bed, who would have taken all the years of pain and sickness she had suffered, a man whose heart broke after she left him and why I believed he joined her 9 months later.

I used to think that my parents fought too much, that they were not that happy together, but I believe I was wrong.  I know through everything that happened to them and between them, they always had this special love, a love that did and could endure anything that life gave to them.  A love so strong, that even at the end, he sat there by her bedside and held her, kissed her and was the strongest man I have ever known.

I don’t believe relationships are meant to be easy, but I know love should be. ¬†You shouldn’t have to change anyone you love, you shouldn’t have to make time, you shouldn’t have to fight to feel loved. ¬†These two people in this picture, paint a scene that I would only hope for someday, to have someone who loved me so incredibly much, a love that could weather all changes that life can bring, a love that truly is a fairytale, because anyone who witnessed it could feel it…

 

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I know some day I will have my fairy tale love, some may laugh at this believing there is no such thing, but this picture proves to me it does exist…

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading this. ¬†If you don’t follow me, please sign up to.

My hope is to always inspire you, make you think and above all know there is always a positive in anything that happens to each of us.

XO- Rach

 

 

 

 

It is not the end of the world… Just a new chapter of life.

I have been talking to a friend who has a few people in her life who are going through divorces.  She has reached out asking me at various times for some advice and wondering what to do for these people she cares so much about.  Each have their own story, just as I did, but what is the absolute same is the feeling of grief, despair and wondering what the hell do you do now!!!

For me my journey was a little different as I had gone through all those emotions before I even ended my marriage. ¬†I have said before it was years in the making. ¬†I do however remember having those feelings at different parts of my life, the grief of my then husband having an affair, despair wondering how I could ever be happy again and ultimately once I ended my marriage wondering what the hell was I going to do. ¬†All I can say to anyone who is going through this, is love yourself, figure out how to do that. ¬†You did not create this whole marriage, it takes two, you can NOT blame yourself for others behaviors and actions, you can NOT carry that burden that you must have done something wrong. ¬†We are all humans, we all change, shift and grow, a powerful relationship has to be able to flow with this process. ¬†I am sure if you looked back on all the years of being married, you could see where there were times that you knew something was not right or that you or your spouse had changed. ¬†When we are in these moments, we don’t want to see what is in front of us, it is not clear till we are out of it. ¬†It takes two people who truly love, respect, support and would do anything for that person. ¬†I guess I would ask yourself, was that the person you were married too?

When it is all said and done, you need to be able to move on and away from harboring any anger, resentment or ill feelings, for the simple fact if you have children, they need to see that. ¬†You need to be able to forgive yourself, change your thoughts and to know this all happened for a reason, one that might not show up for awhile, but trust me IT WILL!!! ¬†Anytime someone hears that I am divorced and they say ” I am sorry”, I say, no please don’t be, it was a good thing, because that is exactly how I feel. ¬†Divorce is not the plague, it is something that happens when two people, either don’t love anymore or truly are not happy together in this place called marriage, really there are more reasons, whatever your reason is, it is a valid one. ¬†I looked at my divorce as a new beginning for me, a new life, I got and still get excited each and everyday about who I am, where I am heading and all of the possibilities out there. ¬†I would advise NOT to get on dating apps, website, blind dates, this is NOT going to help you, if anything it will confuse you even more. ¬†Getting divorced is NOT about trying to find someone new, to replace the old, at least not the way I chose to see it, it is about finding out who you are, what makes you happy, what you truly want for yourself.

I honestly send my love and support to all who are going down this road.  It is not always an easy road, but I truly hope someday all who are going through this will have a feeling of joy, hope and most of all love for themselves.

And remember there are people around you to love, support you, they want to help anyway they can, let them. ¬†They say it takes a village to raise kids, well sometimes as adults, we still need that village. ūüôā

I hope my writing has helped someone, if not you, someone you know.  Life is full of unexpected things, some beautiful and some that we need to find the beauty within.  Go find your beauty, it is there, waiting to be discovered.

 

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Divorce doesn’t equal death, life is not over… ¬†It is just a new way of life, a new chapter, make it the best one yet. ¬†You will survive, you will blossom, you will feel love again. ¬†What will your new chapter be called? ¬†Who are you? ¬†Ask yourself these questions, you will find the answers.

 

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XO-Rach

There is a reason for the seasons.

Living in Minnesota my whole life, I have always loved having all the seasons, although I feel winter is with us far too long! ¬†I think back to when I was little, you loved everything about every season, why wouldn’t you? ¬†Summer, no school, warm days, beaches. ¬†Fall, the excitement of school starting, Halloween and the beauty of nature changing. ¬†Winter, SNOW! ¬†sledding, hot chocolate, Christmas, New Years. ¬†Spring, rain puddles to jump in, nature in bloom, warm weather coming soon. ¬†As we get older, the seasons start to take a different meaning for us. ¬†Yes, we can still do all the (kid) stuff we want, but we tend to look at things with more depth and meaning. ¬†Fall this year for me has really been about grounding myself into where and who I am. ¬†Thinking of things, people and really just clutter that I need to let go off, like the leaves that fall from the tree, as it sheds them for new green ones that will return in the spring, so do we shed things. ¬†It is all for a purpose, cycle of life, a time to reevaluate all the things in your life. ¬†Sometimes you might not even understand why you are cleaning out some area, but really it all makes sense, we are getting ready for something else that will enter our lives. ¬†Same with relationships, ones that seemed good, may have run its course and do not serve a purpose anymore, so it is letting go of those, to let new ones in. ¬†It shouldn’t be a sad cycle, but one that has to happen in order for us to grow, move forward and keep going with life’s rhythms. ¬†I sit in my room writing knowing this will be my last fall here in this place that I have called home for over a year and a half. ¬†It has almost completed this cycle in my life, served its purpose, and allowed me to grow to who I am today. ¬†I have waited to move out of this town for a long time, to finally be in a space were I can just be me, to get on completely in my life and keep moving forward with where I want to be. ¬†I do not find sadness in this as I look at each season differently now, one with much more understanding and knowing. ¬†Knowing when the leaves fall, there will be new growth again. ¬†When the snow falls the green grass ¬†will return. ¬†Knowing each time you say good-bye to someone or something, there is someone or something else about to enter your life. ¬†Seasons are here for a reason, not just in nature, but in your own life. ¬†You have the choice to move with the cycle of life, or remain stuck in a season. ¬†Just like nature, sometimes it gets stuck for a little too long in the winter area here in Minnesota ūüôā

 

Just remember, like the trees they lose their leaves, ones that they carried with them for awhile, but they have to let go, to allow the new ones to blossom in the spring. ¬†We also have to shed our things to allow new growth and experiences in. ¬† What are you letting go of…?

 

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XO-Rach

You get what you give…

I think one of the hardest things about divorce, is for sure the dynamic of “the family” that dies. ¬†I know for kids that are involved, it is one of the toughest things for them to go and experience as well. ¬†I feel beyond blessed that this transition that we all have gone through has shown our love and strength as individuals and our capabilities of learning a new way of life. ¬†I don’t think I could feel anymore love for my kids as I do, to feel absolutely blessed for the amazing relationships we have together and separate. ¬†I always seem to have pictures and talk about my girls as my oldest lives with me full time and my youngest is here 90% of the time, but today, I celebrate my son who has not lived with me since I left the family house. ¬†Today he is 19 and I could not be more proud of this human being, for the simple fact that he has been nothing short of amazing during this whole transformation. ¬†He has shown me nothing but support, love and understanding something I feel so blessed to have as a person, as his mom. ¬†Not living with him was for sure one of the toughest things about getting divorced, but what has transpired in that dark time, is something so beautiful and full of light. ¬†Last year on his birthday it was tough for me as it was the first time ever in his life that I would not wake up and wish him Happy Birthday in person or make him a special breakfast… ¬†Today, there is no sadness at all, because through this process we have become closer and honestly I don’t think that would have happened if I was still in a place of unhappiness. ¬†I have learned so much about him as he has about me, we are best of friends, but he knows I am always here as his mom too. ¬†We have gone to concerts, lunches and have sat in my living room on a Friday night just talking. ¬†I sometimes pinch myself when he gets off work on a Friday or Saturday night and comes to see me, because in all reality what 18, now 19 year old man does that? ¬†Mine! ¬†Because we have made it a priority to see each other, communicate, and to have fun. ¬†So many memories we have created and experiences we have gone through. ¬†I am writing this just so people know, yes divorce does change your whole life and with kids, it changes theirs, but it does NOT have to be a negative change. ¬†You create what it is you want, you get to change the things you need to. ¬†I have written before about during divorce to always put kids first in this process and this is exactly why, to have an amazing relationship. ¬†Don’t be sad because you are not there in the morning when it is their birthdays, sooner or later that is going to happen, as they will go to college, move out and maybe get married. ¬† ¬†I believe in any relationship you have, what you give is what you get, simply if you are not making the time, why would they? ¬†If you are not there, why would they? ¬†I could go on and on… ¬†I chose to give everything to them, from the time they were born, till this very moment and I can say I know they all do the same. ¬†Happy Birthday to my one and only son, thank you for giving me all that you have! ¬†I can not wait for more adventures, concerts and just living life with you, you inspire me, motivate me and truly amaze me each and every day! ¬†For that I am grateful.

 

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Anyone who is struggling with their relationships with their kids, stop and think about what you are giving them. ¬†I am not a better person or luckier, I have just put in what I wanted to get out…

 

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XO-Rach

Sometimes we need to have a “Come to Jesus” talk…

There are days that I wonder where I am going to get my strength to keep going on. ¬†Days were I literally feel like I am not ¬†sure how much more life I can take. This is were the “Come to Jesus” talk begins. ¬†These are the days that makes us stronger, wiser, and continue to show us how really powerful we are. ¬†No one likes to feel negative, sad or angry thoughts, but we are human and with all the good, there is the bad. ¬†These days when I feel like “STOP life, let me breath”!! ¬†Are the days that teach me just how strong and resilient ¬†I am. ¬†The days were I need to dig deeper, to realize all of this is for a greater purpose, a reason, even if at the time I don’t know what for, I do know I will at some point. ¬†Through this journey I have at some points never felt more alone in my life, were I wonder why, but have learned to just flow with the process, because I will find the lesson, the purpose for it. ¬†I know we can not beat ourselves up at these moments, it is so easy to go that way, but I have learned it is much easier to give yourself love, to allow what it is happening, to just happen. ¬†Being on a¬† path to find your true self, is one of feeling utterly alone, but in this you develop great strength, love and peace, knowing who you are, why you are here, is a feeling of pure joy, even with all you go through to get to that point. ¬†Next time you feel like life has given you more than you asked for, look deep, feel it, go with it, you might be surprised at the strength you have inside. ¬†We can not control what others think or do, we can not control all that happens in our lives, what we can control is how we react. ¬†React back to negative things with as much love as possible, see people for who they really are, realize everyone is in this together, some just aren’t as far as you in this journey of life, and some might never be. ¬†At the end of the day, we only have ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings, use them for good, and know you are never alone, there is always someone out there who understands.

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Thank you for all those who love and support me!  If you want to follow me, please sign up!  Thank you!!!

XO- Rach