amwriting, books, Human Interest, Inspiration, Opinion, politics, Reflection, Revelations

An Army Family Now – Momma’s Tears

The other day I watched my 24-year-old independent son join the Army. I watched him realize he had a fully successful independent life that he was giving up, to be owned by our U.S. Government for our freedoms. I watched the pride in his eyes. I felt pride in return, and then I cried… for days.

 Today I am better. Filled with some purpose for my own life. 

I keep thinking about him and the last moments that we talked about. I replay every conversation, everything he said to me, and why he chose to go into the Army. 

I suppose to some, I seem ungrateful, maybe not appreciative of his own choice. You need to know that I am very proud that my son would give up his freedom for mine. That in and of its self is honorable. 

I cannot completely identify the pensively, the apprehension, the fear, the understanding that not all boys go in and come home; and I suppose it’s because of the things I have seen and the things that happened to me, that has not happened to the majority of people. I, more than anyone understands how quickly a life can be over and how quickly life can leave you devastated in despair! 

I’m not clear on why the tears continue to fall… I just know that I can’t stop them on my own, but what I don’t need to be told is to shove my feelings aside or be told my feelings shouldn’t matter or be told that I have no right to feel the way I do. I keep thinking of the Bible passage about God forcing Abraham to sacrifice his son on the alter because to me, that’s what this feels like. My faith needs to be as strong as His! 

We are an Army family now and as such, there’s a reality we can’t lie about. My good friend, Dennis, said to me, “He is defending an idea. An idea that is enshrined in the Declaration of independence and the Constitution. The idea that we all have the same inalienable rights. He is there to defend our way of life. Only two people in history to offer their life for yours are Jesus Christ and the American Servicemen.”

I used to believe in idealism too. Sadly I believe and this is just my belief that Americans have moved so past “inalienable rights“ and become so incredibly selfish that I have no faith the president who is our commander-in-chief above all others, will have any less regard for the American population. I digress because this is not about my pride for him, his pride for his country, the idealism of America nor even the pompous jackass who runs it. This is about my love for my boy, plain and simple.

amwriting, books, Clubs, fiction, Human Interest, Inspiration, Novels, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations

Why Does Family Hurt So Much?

In a time when holidays are coming up, I have to ask myself, “why do I try so hard to keep the peace?”  Falling on the cross has become a necessary component of keeping those family members who judge unjustly at bay.  For me, I have been told I am “weird, emotional, unable to respect, worthless,” and often an “outsider” until became an adult and left the wholeness of my family behind me.

My family is predominately brunette, with dark eyes, and darker olive colored skin. They tan easily, they have thick manes of black or brownish hair and they all have hourglass figures. Smaller breasted, and big on the bottom. The majority of them are short, stocky built, with almost French looking features.  I on the other hand am tall, statuesque with lanky arms and long legs. I am thin, sometimes pencil thin, no hips, and blonde hair. So, for me, I look different.  I became the “white sheep” of my family.

Those wounds never truly healed for several years, not until a seminar in 1998 cracked the bonds that tied me to the baggage of disappointing rejections I received.  It was in that seminar when I began to put the pieces of my life and the tragic understanding of violent events unfolded before my eyes in a memory that I could only experience as a child, having all but forgotten most of the memories. See, when you’re an adult and you’re reminded of painful memories, you don’t recall them with an adult intellectual brain, they bubble up with all the emotions of the age you were when it happened.  Yeah, to say it was a painful process is an understatement.

I don’t bring these things up to cause you to think for one minute I am a victim nor that I am triumphant in my ability to raise out of that. I tell you these things because later – much later in my life I understood why God brought me through the immeasurable pain that others inflicted so that he could believe the promises of my desires.  Yes, that happened too.  I also bring them up because I have something to say about the emotional brain that we get into because of our families lies about us. You see, the deceiver uses these wicked hurts to keep us in the bondage of our faithlessness.  As long as we’re focused on the pain it’s hard to get to thankfulness for the blessings we do have.  That’s not from God nor is that what he wants of us.

The other day one of my family members said I live in a fairyland.  They wondered if I am a liar, that what I went through wasn’t real. That it didn’t happen.  Certainly not the way I said it did.  I used to personalize and question myself when I heard these lies. I no longer do.  Maybe the reason I do not personalize their truth as my own is the very reason I never told them in the first place? I didn’t want to suffer through more humiliation than the crime that had already been assaulted on me.

If you’re struggling with pain, hurt, processing through the grief of disappointing acts that are keeping you in the burden of your transgressors please I beg you to forgive them.  Take your power back. Do not let the burden of their rejection put you in a place of no value, of unwittingly giving up your power or your voice.  You can be around them once again as soon as you give no power to the words they say.  Don’t defend yourself or your actions, knowing that only YOU are the one who can make you feel in any manner. No one can force you to feel anything without your permission.

God sees all of us as treasured children of the Kingdom of the Most High God.  Today instead of listening to the dialog you tell yourself, “I am not good enough, She makes more money than me, they’re doing better than I am, they’re not treating me right”–realize you are worth more than rubies and gold. God desires for you to be thankful, to change your perspective to see His blessings. He wants to give all that has ever been promised to you, but it takes you to lay down the burden the deceiver has placed upon your heart.  Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and refresh your soul, to make you new again, to seek those like minded who can fill that soul so much that it embraces all the good in store for you.

Take care,

Rebecca Nietert

Human Interest, Inspiration, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Even Tweens Need a Little Hug

Did you ever have a moment when you want to sit down and ponder what just happened? How did my teenage or pre-teen daughter get so mean? I know she has real kindness in there? I’ve seen it with me. I felt the hugs. I know the love exists and yet somehow when this beautiful little girl turned thirteen, hormones changed my angel?

You’re not alone.  There’s numerous articles about this very topic!  Sometimes the impulsivity is just too much for their little minds and bodies to control. One thing I do is remind myself that if they were functioning adults and capable of determining what they should or shouldn’t do at any given moment I wouldn’t have to parent them.  Kids will of course be kids, and that’s okay.

Dr. Dobson says that kids have the right to test us, and we have the right not to allow them to get away with doing it inappropriately.  So when my little tester says things such as, “I hate you!” I simply look at her adoringly and remind her that no matter what she says or does my love is all enduring and will continue without condition.  Then of course I redirect more respectful communication because there is a line.

What I want to encourage is that line is movable.  Find out what battle has to be won and go with that. Everything else chalk up to the guilt she’ll feel once she has her own child and realizes how she’s treated you. Just know that’s coming. Honestly, it will.  So for now just hold steadfast in knowing that she doesn’t need you to be a friend no matter how interesting she’s becoming. She needs a strong and strict mom to set rules, determine justice and to keep the building of character/character/character.  That’s all you can do and the rest will work it’s way out.

Most of all, BREATHE!  Find other moms who are in the same boat and lean on them.  Have  your 10 minute rants and be done with it.  Finalize that to resolution and get back at it. They’re your precious babies even if they’ve grown into sarcastic and outspoken disrespectful tyrants from time to time. It’s their job to break the status quo.  It’s your job to reel them back in.  Also remember to HUG even if they don’t want it. Mom, they NEED it. So don’t feel the push back, just do it.

Have a cocktail with me tonight and as I clink the ever present imaginary wine glass (mine is stemless) I lift and salute a great mom who’s doing the best she can!  May every day make you feel as included and loved as possible, and may your children some day call you blessed.  Amen.

Human Interest, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Don’t Let Doubt be the Guide

You know I ask myself all the time, “you have a 154 IQ and for some reason you can’t seem to make sense of why children don’t obey the rules?” I don’t come by this conundrum because I don’t understand that children lie; I come to it at the end of a very frustrated trial and error approach. You see, I mean what I say. There are immediate consequences for not following the rules. Yet every time I enforce consequences or they have a naturally, kids are shocked? Exasperated? As if they have no understanding at all that they can control whether or not they are in trouble!? How does this happen?

It takes me back to the Bill Cosby show days when his wife would get completely unwound because of the intense disrespect and blatant defiance. I am reminded that I am not alone and that we all share one common bond. That is that we have a unique and loving perspective. Kids will lie, they will manipulate, They will defy and they will ultimately test you way beyond we ever thought we could be pushed!

With this enlightenment, I have to then ask myself why do I even try to enforce rules? Is it just kids being kids? And then I look at other parents who seemingly have this innate ability to raise these perfectly compliant children and I wonder is the denominator me? I wonder if my hard approach to my rules not being an option, is actually causing the conflict? I think the answer is yes and no. Children can be horrible for no other reason just don’t know how to process how they feel or how they want to act in any given situation because they’re kids. Taking responsibility is taught. Thankfulness is taught! Accountability is taught. These are the tenants for happy extended and well respected life.

So how do I get them there? I guess I have to decipher when they need control, when they feel control and when they’re trying to get control more then they should have control. That’s easier said than done. Innovative approaches can often come from girlfriends. Asking a child who repeatedly offends, what you can do to help them succeed might actually set us up for future manipulation? I think the answer is in the rules.

If the rules revolve around character, they’re nonnegotiable. If they were revolve around participation in the family, they’re nonnegotiable. If they revolve around how they treat others, that’s nonnegotiable. Finding ways to help them understand their responsibility in those matters is our responsibility.

I guess there it is? What it all boils down to it it’s all about personal responsibility and having the audacity to be tenacious enough to enforce what we think is right. Standing over a child while he or she brushes their teeth because they refused to do it on their own is not going to harm the child. It’s going to teach them that this is the rule in their best interest that is nonnegotiable.

Forcing a child to put down his or her cell phone during dinner time and having the wherewithal to sit and have dinner with them shows them that we are willing to take accountability for our actions as well. That alone will send a powerful message. We may not be the most likable person in our house in that moment, but when our child is grown and fits easily into a world that has no tolerance for anything other than these tenants and they fit in and bonus; are happy, we will be the most likable person.

Just a moment to remember they have friends, is it our job to be their friend while they are growing up, and if we do our job well, we will have a lifelong friend once they are grown.

Human Interest, Inspiration, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Epically Unfun

Very much like the title says, I have been told I am “epically unfun” by my three teens. When I remind them that the ONLY time I get cross with them is 1. When they do not do what they’re asked, 2. When they lie and tell me they did what was asked, 3. Go out of their way to complain or whine about what they have to do, and finally 4. Throw an attitude and make what’s asked of them torture for those around.  I explain that if they were pleasant with the knowledge that they have been given so much despite what they’ve lost; they should learn at their age that reciprocation is part of the deal.

What surprises me at every turn is how fundamentally wrong I am with the expectations. I expect kids to be decent little happy beings?  My bad!  Kids are great when you’re doting on them, giving them things, telling them how much you love them, but speak of disappointment and they turn into the little devils they are with all the eye rolling of a teenage queen and the lip speak of satan himself.

The thing is that in my head I think, “Well, they will understand if I just explain it to them.” You know what that brings? More opportunity for them to use my words against me, to manipulate an outcome they would rather have, and ultimately I still end up being the bad guy. I wonder, is it this hard for all parents?

Some people will “hate” on the truth that kids are not always the angelic creatures that they show on TV.  Kids are sometimes filled with contempt for their parents.  Kids who have lost parents like mine have conjure even more sympathy than normal.  If you set them in line parents want to tell you, “Well, they’ve lost their parents.” As though you don’t already know.  Rules have to be followed, restrictions and boundaries are part of life and ultimately building character isn’t easy.  Let’s face it we all wish we could have ice cream parties and cake.  At some point the daily list of homework, chores, and simply being respectful is going to come up.

I have to remind myself that I have been here before. I’ve raised two amazing adult children.  Both independent and capable of achieving great success.  They’re fine, despite I always felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.  These kids will be too. Not because I’m a great drill sergeant, but because I love them.  My boundaries are to tell them they have restrictions they shouldn’t cross in life.  My rules are to teach them independence. My firmness comes from the fact that I know that unless they are successful in being in a harsh world when they’re of age, they won’t be happy.  It’s in love that I commit to teaching them there is a way to accomplish goals, and then there is just being lazy. You cannot do both.

Sadly, I still sit and wonder how I can say something and it be turned into something completely different from it’s intent. I sigh, heavily sometimes. I wonder if anything I do will enhance any part of who they are to become.  I wonder if they love me in some small way or if they even know the harshness of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  What do they really think? How do they feel?

I have to do what I think is best and hope that flying by the seat of my very wildly inappropriate pants won’t cause harm or foul to these precious souls I love with every fiber of my being. I pray that if I can sometimes get myself out of the way, they might actually learn the lessons they need to, and hopefully one day find happiness of their own. That’s what I think about all the time.

Revelations

The Art Surviving

A long time ago, I developed a mechanism to deal with pain. I would shut my eyes and tell myself to forget. Whatever it was that scared me or made me fearful or caused me great pain all I had to do was tell myself it didn’t happen. I got so good at this over the years that I could easily process through grief or anger or even abandonment much faster then people around me. What this did was shock every one I knew because they either felt like I didn’t care or they felt like I had the ability to forgive easier than they did. Neither was the case!

The reason that I process quicker is not because I have all the courage in the world. It’s because I am so afraid to feel the pain that I turn it off. I cannot allow myself the luxury of being sad for long periods of time, because to me that is the ultimate sign of weakness…

I know this to be a flawed hypothesis, because over the years I have been to extensive therapy and I have learned that when you suppress the bad memories and/or the pain you also suppress the good memories!

It’s not that I am not willing to go through the pain at my age. I think I have a evolved into a master of masking my feelings so much that I cannot identify how I feel let alone have the capacity to really focus on a healthier mental state of mind.

The worst part about self reflection is the moment when you realize that you may never be able to fundamentally change the brokenness, the victimization, the actions of another, whether evil or not. Or whether those actions were intentional from those who profess to love you and end up hurting you.

Sometimes it’s best to know that you can forgive, and move on. Some things cannot be fixed. Some actions can’t be taken back. People are just people. We are all have fears, doubts, and actions we wish we didn’t take!

Even though those actions hurt me deeply I cannot use that pain to try and understand my future any longer!

I am going to have to figure out a way to have grace and forgiveness in my heart all the time not just part time and to take that grace and forgiveness and look at somebody with merciful eyes and give every single person that I see a chance of newness, freshness and genuine sincerity. I think that’s just what I’m going to have to do…. because right now, that’s all I can do!