Two Lives to Separate

Just a PSA… I am cleaning up my PERSONAL Facebook account. Please, please, please do not be offended if you find yourself “unfriended.” It’s nothing personal at all. I had someone get mad at me today for doing the sweep. The fact is, I have never met most of the people who were swept off. I probably communicated with most of the people who were swept in my capacity as an author. However, if I’m to be true to my quest of separating my two lives, then I must continue with the separation. My author page is welcome to all. My personal life has to stay that way… personal.

Facebook tends to be an area of stress for me. If it weren’t for the author page, I would probably deactivate the account altogether. There’s too much fighting and bickering and horror on that site. For someone with PTSD and Anxiety Disorder, it can be a little overwhelming. It has its pluses, such as finding businesses, keeping up with “pages,” and information about various other things. All in all, I think it plays a more negative role in my life.

I use this blog, sometimes, as a personal journal. That’s my right. This isn’t some place I go to read about people hating one another or smacking each other in the face for personal belief differences. If I want to view that junk, all I have to do is log into Facebook.

I have actually limited my presence on several social media sites. I’m off of Tsu and LinkedIn. I don’t really get on Twitter much either. I feel that if someone likes my books, they will look me up on Amazon or Createspace or Smashwords.

The truth is, it’s time for a break from writing. I’ve put out four books. I need time to relax and think and recharge. Holding myself to time frames for writing isn’t what it’s about for me. I did that for this last book. I didn’t like how it made me feel. I felt rushed. I need to write because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. So, this summer, if I choose to work on a book that’s great. If not. That’s okay, too. If I never put out another book in my life, that’s fine also. I wasn’t ever looking to be famous. I wrote those books because I enjoyed the process and the creativity, especially The Between Worlds Books. The fourth book, Blessing of the Elements, was more of a personal catharsis, which I’ve stated before. And now that it’s done, I feel free and sort of empty, but not in a bad way. It was a way for me to move on from all of the pain from enduring 2014.

So, again, do not be upset if you are not on my personal profile’s “friends” list. You can always find me on http://www.facebook.com/tracee.ford.author. I post there regularly and it’s usually inspirational quotes. I also have this blog hooked up to it, so when Teaser Tuesday goes live here, it goes live there also.

Have a peaceful Saturday. I hope mine stays that way, too.

“Say When…”

Other than the Spring Fever Blog posts, I haven’t been very active on here and for that I apologize. However, I feel that perhaps an explanation might be warranted for my lack of activity. Sometimes we become so overwhelmed by the things surrounding us that it’s necessary to step back. Publishing wasn’t overwhelming at all. Marketing wasn’t overwhelming, although I felt like I was working two jobs plus trying to raise my child and keep a house from spiraling into chaos. It’s the personal life problems that tend to weight me down. It seemed to me like once I agreed to publish, things began getting harder in all other aspects of my life.

At work, I feel stressed a lot not only because of the type of job I do, but also because of the lack of support I receive from various sources. The public in general simply doesn’t understand the nature of child welfare; what we can and can’t do or what the State says we are permitted to do. It seems that I’m explaining that to someone at least twice a week and really, I don’t mind that. It’s the reaction that then follows that gets under my skin. It’s either anger, dismissal, or twenty-four hours pass and a caller might add things to an original concern just to make sure that the agency has no choice but to investigate the claim.

The other part of my job goes hand in hand with the portion I just sited. My job is to defend my staff. I don’t mind that either. I have a wonderful staff and wonderful administrative support, which makes my job a hell of a lot easier. I love the individuals that I work with. So, I honestly don’t feel any stress from that angle. I have received unwavering support not only from my unit but from the people above me that make things happen. I appreciate all of them more than they will ever know. This is why I don’t care to come to bat for any and/or all of them. I will tell you, nonetheless, it does become tiresome. Not the defending part, but the fact that people bash my workers. I have always been one that takes up for those that need it, but it does ware on a person. I do take it personal; I can’t help it. When you strike out at one of my workers, you strike out at me.

At home things have been chaotic for awhile. Ups, downs, roller coasters, whirlwinds, you name it. My son has struggled all year with school. It has been such a stressor for both of us. The fact that his teachers have failed miserably to abide by and follow his IEP has been nothing short of insane. Then you have people in the peanut gallery saying that nothing’s really wrong with my son. Still others minimize the situation and say that “this” is normal. There is nothing “normal” about what has been happening this year at school or on the home front.

There are times I feel extremely alone. I am an only child and I trust very few people. I feel let down a lot and I feel like I’m blamed, essentially, for everything that’s gone wrong in my son’s life. According to some, I shouldn’t do anything for myself. I should dump every ounce of energy I have into my son, day in and day out. It was an atrocity that I published a book, because, after all, how can you be a mother and work and be an author, too? It’s called ambition and drive!

I love my son and he will always come first. But, isn’t the point of being a parent to teach our children how to become healthy, self-sustaining, productive adults? I don’t want my son to be dependent on me. I want him to become someone who can sustain life outside of me. Yes, I’ll always be there for him and he will always be my baby, but there’s a time to let your child stand up and face things head on without patting them on the butt and saying, “Mommy’ll take care of it.” That doesn’t teach anything sometimes. I have to have a life outside of my child because he won’t be a child forever. Yes, I think we should cherish the time we have with our kids when they’re younger, but all in all one day we are going to be on our own once again. We need to set up for that well in advance. Some people simply do not understand that or comprehend that. Furthermore, the philosophy I just gave you I have been bashed for by friends and family.

My son does have special needs. In fact, I’m still unsure of all of the diagnoses that apply to him, but that’s being dealt with. However, I believe in empowerment and I also believe that no matter what “special needs” are placed on someone they can still be successful. His school has not aided him in this effort this past school year and I have had very little support for my parenting style or me as a parent in general. I am totally on my own. As hard as that is, I pull myself up by the bootstraps and deal. I am providing a good home for my child.

Another concept that never ceases to amaze me is the belief that money will take care of everything. It doesn’t. I have experienced good old fashioned bribery  People tend to try to control me by throwing money my way. I have a news flash: I am a self-sufficient adult (sound familiar). I don’t need anyone’s money to make life altering decisions for myself and/or my child. I have become who I am via shear will and determination. NO one had better ever take credit for where I am today (other than my Creator). I climbed the mountain and reached the top. I wasn’t pushed, shoved, or placed in a wheel-barrel and pulled up the side of the slippery slope. I am the one who made the decisions, no matter what the outcome.

With that said, when you are at a point in your life where you are having to depend on someone financially, it’s been my experience, that the help doesn’t come for free; there’s always some catch or a time when all that’s been “done for you” will be held over your head like a carrot, you being the rabbit. Just remember when this happens, it’s your life. Yes, by all means if you need the help take it, but don’t let anyone control you with it.

I felt the tremors in “the force” (Star Wars reference, I know) starting, I guess, which is why I decided last week to significantly decrease my activity in social networks, blogging, publishing, and all of the rest of the things that are extra in my life right now. Yes, I want my book to do well, which is why I haven’t cancelled my book signing for Saturday, as tired as I am. And my son is excited about going. But, everything else, I decided, is going to have to take a backseat. I am feeling completely burned out, pulled in a hundred different directions, weary, short-fused, and irritated. The best way to recharge is to pull back. So, I decided to take the rest of May off and possibly the entire month of June off. There are only a couple of engagements I have that are related to my book in the month of June, which is not a big deal.

I guess the point of this post is to let you all know I am going on hiatus. I am so crispy right now that I can barely think straight. In fact I can’t even concentrate enough to write, which makes me sad. Maybe once my son goes to his dad’s  for a few weeks, once I go on vacation in June, once I get back refreshed and make other required changes, I can jump back in, but I will say, it will be gradual. I feel like part of this stems from my constant drive to succeed. The book coming out and me pushing it has worn me out, quite frankly.

You’re probably wondering why I’ve gone on and on about all of this, but I think it’s important, as I’ve always said, for people to know that I’m real. I feel everything passionately, whether it’s good or bad. Another reason is because I pride myself on being positive. Right now I’m not feeling that so much. And I don’t want my readers, supporters, and followers impacted by my lack of shininess right now (for lack of a better descriptor).

No matter how upset I might be or how tired I am, I am comforted to know that I’m never alone. I have my Creator and I have a personal spiritual relationship. I have my wonderful son. I have a my spectacular co-workers. I have all of you. But the one thing that I think we must always exercise is common sense, no matter how much support we have. If we’ve taken a good, long look at ourselves and looked at ourselves inwardly, we can quickly figure out when we’ve reached a boiling point and when it’s time to back away from the table, so to speak.

I won’t be gone for long, but I wanted to share this with you because maybe someone out there needed to know about it. Maybe it will help someone. That will never change. I will always post in hopes of helping someone else.

The Spring Fever Blog Tour will continue to post here and I will continue to post it on Facebook, but for now, my friends, I raise my hand to say until we meet again. See you in late June/early July.