Thursday, July 31, 2014

Twists and Turns...

Ahh life... 
     So I moved into a new home about 3 months back. It has been interesting, I took in a long time friend who has been in and out of the system in hopes to give him a real chance to make a life for himself. I can't say I'm surprised that I'm disappointed in the lack of effort toward his personal growth. But I hope that he has taken away something from the experiance. He got a job and then paid nothing toward rent, it actually cost us more to keep him here, it just couldn't work out. Add to that everything that can go wrong seems to with me, things have been tight, a real struggle. But I am so grateful for where I am. 




Ezra is doing so good, he is so smart and loving it blows my mind.  We are working on potty training. He knows all his shapes, colors, letters, he can count to 20, and he does chores around the house, and uses manners like "please", "thank you", "may I", "you are welcome" and all that stuff. He got accepted into a top preschool out here and they even wanted him in the advanced class. I decided to place him in the normal class 3 days a week M,W,F, till he gets socialized and used to the other children, and being away from me. Once he gets used to it and hopefully thrives I will look into putting into the advanced class for Tuesday and Thursday. That starts the end of August. We are very excited for him. I can't believe he is going to be 3 in September, time flies. 








It has been almost 3 months since I applied for 2 different jobs with Santa Barbara County's Drug Alcohol and Mental Health Department. I was placed second on their list of applicants, apparently I have a lot going for me on paper. However I interviewed for one of those 2 jobs so far and I still don't feel confident I will get it here 3 weeks later. My spidey senses during the interview said "yeah you are bombing this thing" I don't know where my confidence was but it was not sitting in the same room as me.  I was recently told that my "go get em/change the world" attitude is threatening to people. Clearly people who hold jobs that give them the power to change the world but they do nothing with it. At anyrate it stuck in my head. I didn't want to seem as though I am not humble. And it was overkill, I couldn't just be myself. I seriously dislike the on the spot questions when I have a great deal to lose. I really need a better job and I loathe the job I am in. I am praying things work out, because I know I can do great things  working in a job like the ones I applied and the room for growth and advancement is insane.  Praying I get something before Ez and I have to go to school. My living situation will greatly improve. 


have a new plan of attack on my schooling career. And I can't wait to implement it! All bridge programs, on through medschool. I can't wait, and I have chosen Azusa Pacific to help me get that job done! 


That will take about 4-5 more years and then another 2-3 at hopefully USC.

This is all a long time coming but I believe I can do it. I have a vision, a dream, and I look forward to fulfilling it. The bridge programs able me to move up both academically and economically. Each resting point is literally a point to rest and still getting to feel accomplished and have acquired skills and licensing for a better career change. Improved income is always good! 



don't know where I am with having more children, I don't know where I am as far as relationships go... I am just being me and listening to God, I KNOW everything will fall into place.

-Mandi



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A funeral and the human condition, some thoughts and PTSD.

Can't sleep, earlier today or now what was yesterday I went to a funeral. I say funeral because memorial felt a little like a lie, and I am doing my damnedest to be a person of penetrating honesty. 


The things that stick out the most were this... 10seconds into the bagpipe introduction I was sobbing. There was worship, oh how my soul misses that connection with God, inside me I was running to the alter of God which felt more like a fountain and I gulped up the cool water after being thirsty for months, even what seems like years. I saw people that have inspired me over the years to be this amazing person that a majority of people in my life (family included) have given up on. Likewise I saw people that wanted to see me fail and as a teenager made my life a constant battle for truth. I felt deep personal love from people I never see or talk to, I was propositioned to go out for drinks by 3 separate individuals, and to perhaps "meet up with" 6 other separate individuals to smoke pot and "catch up" (2 of them I could see but the other 4 a complete shock! Why does everyone still assume I am this giant Pot Head?! Lol seriously people one rumor when I was 14 and it's like the go to. I am not!). I heard the word "grace" used where it should have been "mercy", I was asked advice from 4 different individuals. I was asked my opinion on something by one person and when I gave it they said "that is what everyone says but I'm waiting on God to give me my answer" I asked if the answer they were hoping for would come in the form of God literally dropping through their ceiling or maybe an animal talking in plain English? I felt the "what the fuck do you know" lunging from their eyes.  Pastors from 4 different churches and 2 denominations ask me how I'm doing, hinting toward my "walk" and I thought "it's been better" but I said "life is good, I am surviving and learning how to flourish, I am happy" they say "good, it is great to see you, I think of you often, we miss you, I'm praying for you" or some variation of BS filler, this is what makes us feel better, everyone knows Mandi Martin they don't always talk to her or asker how or who she is but still everyone seems to know. I was quickly relating to the man laying in the casket. I saw a widow, no doubt hurting more than anyone could ever grasp yet more composed than individuals that haven't seen this man in years, people who hadn't called him to say "hello" or "I love you" since highschool, weeping like they ranked in his everyday humdrum and he in theirs. Maybe it was guilt, why do we do this? Props by the way, to his wife who sat there graciously while a random crazy person told her with a huge smile "you know I understand what you are going through, I mean when I read the news paper I was just so shocked" I felt like slapping that female on the behalf of every widow robbed of a moment to grieve by someone else speculating comparison, or using the death of said husband for attention. 

What sticks out the most, even more than his little girls reading the letter to their Dad that will haunt them beyond the days they have their own children (oh Jesus cover those little girls) was his uncle. In the moment I was in utter disbelief at the raw emotion and gut wrenching truth he threw in everyone's face and he let his loving anger fly the man was self restrained even then, yet at one point I looked away from him to cry "damn" under my breath. My long time friend next to me taking a gasp under hers. I understood this mans feelings he was emotionally fist shaking I honestly can't paint a picture of his dispaire. He said "I'm so sorry you let the pain in your life outlive your heart, I'm so sorry we couldn't love you enough to save you" and then later a photo tribute where I watched through photos the light go out in the eyes of a little boy, a teenager, a man who I once knew as a light. 


I sat there through a 2 and a half almost 3 hour service and I swear I was in an "emotional growth 101" crash course. "I'll take "life lessons" for 800 Mr.Trabeck!"


So I've had a bunch of emotions; anger, sympathy, guilt, confusion, "that selfish...." Has rolled through a few times. My faith with what suicide means or doesn't mean, mental illness is.... PTSD is... What is the definition of "choice"? Who are we really to those around us? I fell asleep this evening around 1am and began dreaming and I woke up with the song "Dust to Dust" by THE CIVIL WARS on loop in my head at 3:30. I am beginning to understand now outside my own scope of selfish (we all have one).


Have you ever had to kill a child for your own protection and the protection of whoever was standing closest to you and in the name of liberty for a country full of ungrateful assholes. Then try to justify "that 6 year old had a gun" "this is my job" ?

Have you ever watched innocent white flag waving individuals die with tears in their eyes and pleading on their lips, you unable to get there that moment sooner?

Have you watched women and children and people who remind you of those closest to you martyred for a cause you don't believe?

Have you ever tried to sleep with random yet constant banging, popping, screaming all around you? 

Have you had to watch your closest people to family die, again fighting for freedom that barely exists?

Have you ever been away from home for more than a month? Try months, years?

Have you wondered where God is?

Have you longed for the words and thoughts of loved ones and never got it?

Have you ever questioned who you are and every thing you know up to "this point"?


If any of these you may relate to, you may understand Jeremiah Horton or any other soldier on a very slight percentage. Only these men do this over and over and over for months and years on end and they get home to everyone that loves the man they were, but they don't understand the man they are. These men love people because of who they were but can't really get to know who they are because now they don't know how to relate or help those that love them relate. They are in pain, broken, and literally alone, with nothing left to give. Hundreds of people support them but no one is allowed inside. They are walking ghosts. Too much of anything can jumble things up forever. Nothing numbs the pain, no one understands, and If God is given the chance the sting can be dulled and even then...


Someone told me they think it was an accident... Are you telling me that a man who can clean his piece with his eyes closed misgauged a weapon that he knows almost better than himself? I don't think so. Many people talked about this moment Jeremiah had at a men's retreat where he had some realizations and was touched by God, a calm. I think it was what he was looking for to move forward in his healing process. When my best friend had cancer, and my grandmother congestive heart failure I learned how to Pray for "Gods will" healing doesn't always come in the form of a long abundant life on earth and it isn't for me to wish possible suffering on those I love because I want them close to me. This man had hundreds of people love him at one point or another in his life and he was still so alone that he reached for God in the most desperate form, and even in his death no one gets it, we are all confused and selfish.  


PTSD like other mental illnesses effects the Brain to the point of there being an actual structure change. I think of dementia and Alheimerz, autism, schizophrenia even, all have structural cues that things aren't right in the brain and it is visible, especially in brain scan comparisons. All of these illnesses bring about extreme anxiety and depression, hormones and chemicals flood the system and literally throw every thought and feeling off, likewise all of these illnesses are managed organically speaking with repetition, reminders, needing someone who is trusted to literally get to them and retrieve them day after day, moment after moment. I think that is interesting. And they get to a point where with out retrieval from their thoughts, without being able to find themselves they don't even remember at what point they became lost. 


Grown boys don't come to their mommies and daddies to find them. They don't come to those they want to protect to save them, and they certainly don't come to strangers or individuals they haven't seen in a decade. We need to start understanding that we won't understand, we need to be lovingly open and persistent, the bible says to set an example in love.  And repetition positively influenced can save lives and have a lasting effect in the future. Negative, traumatic repetition got them here... Take them back. If for every negative thought one needs 20 positive thoughts to reach a balence we all have our work cut out for us.


I realize this is super long but I had to share. Please if you know someone who has been in a situation you yourself can't imagine, assume the loving role and retrieve them. Parents, wives, BFFs of soldiers go get your grown child every day you have with them and retrieve them, resonate in them, speak LIFE into them. And everyone else, we have Vietnam vets who had a hard time integrating home, and they had hands on, dinner at the dinner table love... On this lack of communication on a verbal, physical level these days it's no wonder there is a physical atrophy to the brain in PTSD patients. And they come home after surviving with their own bare hands, to no healing stimuli just a world full of technology, opinions, and misconceptions. People start touching and talking please, it can also be a prophylactic.  Unity saves lives.


http://youtu.be/a-j86tzxi8s

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Randomly notso random...

So here I am trying to stick to blogging regularly and a month has already passed.

I don't know if I can technically say "I've been doing this 21day leadership challenge" when I actually started it like a month ago and I'm stuck on Day 3 (what infuriates me), so maybe I can put it like this... 
So I started this 21 day leadership challenge, a challenge it is, because I am stuck. I am "realizing",  which is a tad annoying but also growth worthy! 

When I began to think about what infuriates me and to come up with 3 things I had two thoughts of opposite pallet. The first thought was "only 3? Holy crap what doesn't irritate me?" And the second thought I really dug into myself and now I'm having a hard time finding 3 things. I'm a very intense (like so intense my own mother needs a snorkel, when in a personal debate with me. We are very similar, it's freakish!) I'm very passionate. But, angry? I don't know about that, and though I've had my share of WTFs I am so good at moving forward that I can't think of defining moments. The small ones I can think of are all the same type things. Am I petty? Or just beating a dead horse? Is the main denominator me? All things I have been paying close attention to since day three was presented. 

 

I recently had a couple job interviews, one in particular that kinda knocked the wind out of me. I did not get this particular job.  The last year and a half since I stopped working for Kim in Santa Barbara, something in me has changed, I don't know. I have never been turned down for a job, ever,  before my leaving the position over there. Always on the spot hired, people freaking loved me.  I chose my jobs they didn't choose me. Now... It's like a cosmic joke!  A friend recently posted somethkng and it hit me kinda hard. 

Sooooo, drop all plans for med-school quit cussing and get plugged into a church, become a LIFER like my parents, grand parents and great grand parents then become a youth pastor. Even typing it makes me shake and a hair shy from projectile vomiting. I have more than one calling, I just don't know so much anymore about any of it. I guess that is what living in the now is doing to me. Everyday I give my life to God. I am not going to school this semester to allow myself time to live and breathe and not feel restricted by "MY ADGENDA" which in the last year has completely led to shit grades, and stress out the wazoo! 
     *SIDE(shit)NOTE: Upon waking this     morning the cat was vomiting and Ezra yelling (in a pair of footy Jammie's, pacifier in mouth, blankey in hand, monkey under elbow while pointing at the cat) "noooo, oh shit, mommy, look!" 

Anyway, am I not ready for what God has planned? Am I where I am supposed to be and that is, a place of wandering? What infuriates me? What passions drive my focus? Like Jesus, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill... Angry for the right reasons, passionate about change and hope. All men that lived lives of being themselves and being "ok" because the understanding for their cause was on it's way. What is on it's way for me? 

All I truly know is I'm excited for it. I am open, ready and willing to take the plunge or twiddle my thumbs. Only time will tell.

~Mandi

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A whole new world...


       I guess the theme for my life in the past year (this literally, just in the last couple seconds came to me) would probably have to be Aladdin's carpet ride. Unbelievable, eye opening, and perhaps a little scary to the narrow conditioned perspective.


          Quick little preview on life, which I will go more into on another blog of course (I can never really be simple, but organized?! Abso-effing-lutely!)
   
THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: 
     So Ezra is 27months! For the non-parents counting like a normal person, that is 2years and 3months old! He speaks roughly 100 or so words and about 20-30 legit phrases like "what are you doing?" And "ah uh momma, I don't think so." He is a barrel of laughs and I totally understand how my mother couldn't always beat me senseless with out laughing at my shenanigans! The child is the size of a 4 year old. Tall and lanky with his narrow hips, bubble butt, broad shoulders, and melon that wears a 14year old sized bike helmet! I don't know if research suggests the size of the brain indicating smarts because us humans don't even use most of our brain power or space, but he has a big head. He is either going to make a very smart man or he will be in a higher percentile for unused brain! Luckily so far he is proving smarter than his own good, it is both startling and a relief! 


Ezra kisses and says "I love you"! There are a lot of things that have been going on behind the scenes in my life and they have been private enough that Ezra has been, (well "seemingly" has been) unaffected. We show this child love as much as possible, there is no shortage and I love it! 




Mike finally got a job! After 2 years he found a good one, not just any job...one he loves and thrives in! This will come in handy for his future, I am grateful and happy for this.

I finally got a Job! After a year of unemployment, hair doing, and hustling my ass off... I have a freaking job! Aaaannd so far with the plans they seem to have for me, I approve! Actually right now I am at work and I can't sleep it is 4am as I listen to my patient (who I turned at 3:30) snore! 

       SO BACK TO ALADDIN....
    I have so much on my mind I had to make a list which then broke off into micro-lists. Usually I would call it an outline you know the typical...

I. Blah blah blah
   A. Yadda yadda
         1.oh yeah
         2.your mom
         3.the horse you rode in on
   B. Yackitty shmackitty....
II . You get the point!

So yes, I'm not sure how many individuals do this... In fact I don't think I want to know. I am very OCD being completely alone in my illness may suck! Ha ha! 
Anyway that's how I roll, so my brain has micro-lists which are like check box scenario's mixed with that outline ^ on steroids. And here I am blogging! 


My life as I know it is unrecognizable when I read my blogs from over a year ago. I must come clean. When I wrote some things, I did so for the sake of saving face and perhaps my marriage, I made a point to put my best foot forward. That is not to say that I lied, because I didn't. I will say that, I said things even though I did not feel them at that moment. I continued to be positive when I had things to say that weren't the nicest. Forgive me if that depicted me possibly having my shit together. I guess for then I did the best with what I had, that was the option I chose and I am "ok" with that. I guess I wasn't claiming that I had it together but I didn't want to complain either.


So March of 2012 I wrote a blog about who I am and removing the toxicity from my life, those days started a trend for me and now I have become this person that I was suppressing. Myself. 

I have surrounded myself with love and positivity. It has led me down roads I honestly never thought I'd be on. I have chosen battles wisely, and walked away from things and relationships that have and will continue into my immediate future, to bring me ridicule. This, I am also "ok" with. Things may happen tomorrow (if there is a tomorrow) as a result of the choices I made in the here and now. And I am prepared for all of them... Good, bad... Life lessons actually.


This new world of mine, my perspective. I don't worry anymore. I don't doubt God. I refuse to live in the past... There may be reflections, references, and fond memories but it isn't a place I dwell. Feelings about then stay there. I also work hard to stay out of the future, this one is especially complex for me because I am a planner. I've reached a happy medium. Preparation for the future as long as it is somewhat generalized is fine, school, prayer, meditations, hopes are all things that are healthy and maintain "calm". I have found that what you sow today will set you up for tomorrow, if you want a brighter future, open the freaking curtains today! One day at a time one step at a time, completely open, totally transparent, and 100% loving. For the believers out there God can do so much more with a soft mound of clay than a piece that has been blindly sculpted and kept in the wrong atmosphere. Step outside the Box, also take God out of the box, take your relationships out of the box. Be willing and pliable. Expect nothing. And expect everything all at once. This is hard to grasp for some... When I say expect nothing, I mean don't put up parameters, outlines on everything (this used to be difficult for me, Ms.OCD) we can't know everything, I think maybe that is part of being Free! I don't paint a picture of my future with a white picket fence, 4.2 children, and the perfect man. When I think of my relationships I don't say "this is how you SHOULD act"! 
When I say expect everything I mean the sky is the limit, be open to Grace, understanding, love, and blessings. I guess expectation and expecting can be two different things. One is defined specific and most of the time unrealistic or unfair, we can only have expectation drawn on our standards. But expecting the unknown being teachable and open. That is a beautiful thing. 

I've been saying a lot lately "don't close doors and don't build boxes."

Living in the Now and just Being. Have become fundamental to my happiness. I understand God better, the world makes more sense, life is clear. I feel as though I am very close to Maslows "self actualization" if I am not already there. I do know I have some things to work on but yes, it is all maintenance and alignment from here, moving forward. This last year has been really good, Interesting but good! I look forward to next year, though tomorrow isn't promised there are some goals essential to my alignment and right path pursuits. I foresee renewal, hope, raw emotions, and a lot of work.  

Ok so I plan to keep up on this thing. So till next time! 

~ Mandi


Friday, October 19, 2012

What's A Hiatus?!


It has been 6.5 months since I have blogged. Though I have been away from my site I have by no means been away from life itself in fact so much has happened it's been quite the opposite! Ezra started walking around the end of July but preferred crawling for another month and if he wanted to walk he cruised, or walked across small gaps. He says a ton of words! He eats big people food all on his own!I stopped working with my client Kim right before school started. I'm at CSUCI now an have decided to continue my plan to double major only I picked a specialty neuroscience with an emphasis in genetics, and my second major psych, my minor social business which will do nothing but help me when it comes time to open my wellness center. I have about a year and a half till I graduate with my BS/BA and my first med school pick is UCSD, my second is a tie between UCLA and USC my third is UAPhoenix my fourth is UCBerkley after that everything is free for all, up the west coast first, then the east coast, my last choices are TX and ID all other center states and Midwest states aren't going to happen I promised Mike I wouldn't apply to any of those states. And I plan to go for surgeon.School has been difficult juggling a toddler, a home, and school. Like usual a new school mean financial aid takes forever and a day. I didn't get it till the end of September and I finally got my books all but one which is in postal limbo. I was sick for a week and then Ez got sick an was sick on and off so I missed a bunch of classes so I'm behind. I decided earlier this week to drop 2 classes to preserve my resume and GPA. So I can now stop stressing!


      


        Ezra turned one in September and I am so proud of him, he has made leaps and bounds beyond what any Dr ever imagined him to be at an embryo. Mike being home 24/7 is very helpful, he is the best Daddy I have ever seen, I am blown away by his compassion and patience with Ezra. When I see Mike with Ezra it reminds me of Gods love. I have never ever physically seen with my own eyes a love like this. It's mind blowing. We plan on trying for our next bundle next summer. I really don't want to be crazy pregnant in the hot months, plus I want the age difference to be about a two and a half years like my brother and I. It sounds crazy after all I went through to get Ez, to want another one, heck another two! But honestly lately I've had baby fever, when I look back at Ez new baby pictures my heart kind of aches. He is growing so fast! Today in my Human Sexual Behavior class my teacher showed a video of multiple in utero scans from conception up to child birth and they added some artistic animation to it with classical music and I was crying. 



Its hard to deny a creator after watching that video. My uterus was screaming at me to let it help create life again. It is all odd how that happens. Anyway I'm finally dropping all this baby/bad medication weight. It's a good thing too with the class of 2001 high school reunion coming up in November. I'm starting to feel like myself again and even look like me again!


His first Lolli!


My boy has a sense of humor! We push our faces against the glass!




Me, my sister in law Angi, and our good friend Caitlin.






Daddy, Ez and Cousin Paislie!
My most recent Tat on my left shoulder, I want Fearless on my right!



Me on my way to school this week, Im finally lookin' like me again.






We got Ez a tent and tunnel for his birthday! He loves it!

My Disney boy!
I took this today, too bad my phone went out of focus.


~Mandi