She was lost and then this….

In November of 2009 my now ex-husband moved out. He left me! We had been dealing with, and not too well, marital stresses such as finances (I was a stay at home mom and wife), Infidelity (he loved ALL women) and, raising 3 children all of which were in diaper (the twins were born premature and are only 8 months younger than the first born).  He felt it was best that he moves out and leave me with all of the responsibilities of raising kids and taking on the home. I found myself lost and without any means of supporting children, a household or, any of the bills.

579640_10151742195435038_790438_n

In that moment, that day I got the phone call of his departure, everything changed. Did I forget to mention that I was visiting my brother in the south when he called to tell me that he was moving out and leaving the children in the care of his brother’s girlfriend? Either way, I knew at that moment I needed to get my shit in gear.

I was introduced to independent contractor work through my sister. She was subbing for a company who transported laboratory supplies to various veterinary clinics in MA. She was looking to take on a bigger route and her route would be open and so I snatched it up. It was not a huge paying gig but it definitely helped out. That’s when I figured out that working and raising 3 kids was not going to be a breeze.

I felt like the world was crashing down on me at every turn during this time in my life. Any job I found came with hours and my kids did not come with built in childcare. I managed to get by with having my brother-in-law’s girlfriend watch the boys and the occasional dadsitter.

wp-1464231218066.jpeg

Those first few years were a nightmare and a blur.

I found it very easy to interview and get a great job here and there but then in popped my childcare struggles. Every time I had to leave a great position I felt like the rug was ripped out from under my feet and my kids and I would have to start all over again.  My most regretted departure was at a high-end makeup retail store that I worked at. As usual I start off at the bottom, I work my ass off and within months I was promoted to manager. After reaching the managerial level, that came with responsibilities and a huge salary increase, my childcare issues began. The live-in that I had decided that she was going to move to a new state, she was having issues with her boyfriend, my brother-in-law (also loved ALL women) and she found a new man. This man lived in Connecticut and she was moving in with him. I struggled to find some sort of child care, I searched high and low. I reached a wall and had to leave.

After leaving that position, I worked a few more, short lived, positions but I yearned to be my own boss. I wanted to make my own hours, never have to look outside for help, and be the creator of my own destiny. I needed to work for myself.

In walks Griffin Consult: I now make my own hours, work when I want and determine my fate. I sub for at least 3 companies at a time now and that is getting me through for now. My ultimate goal, however, is to build my consulting business and make Griffin Consult a household name.

I want to empower others, especially people that have gone through things that I have. I want them to know that they are the ones who determine their destiny. There is a way around everything you just have to find it.

I could think of no better way to do so than to join a proven company that does just that. I now have the ability to do the things I want. I can show people that although things make be difficult there is ALWAYS a path to greatness, to comfort, to living and not just existing as I was so long ago.

fam

This is my story. What is yours?

Show your support by shopping with me or being a part of my story

You Know It When It Hits You

On May 15th 2016 my cousin died. The call I got was from my mother. I didn’t even say hello when I answered the phone. I lead with a joke about a picture she had sent me previously. It was until I heard the hurt in her voice that I pulled myself back into serious mode. Her were were “(he) killed himself”. I lost all breath. I didn’t know how to respond. I sat on the phone silent, searching for words. I fled to my fail safe, solid as a rock, rock solid self and asked her how she was, how everyone was. She said that my brother was taking it very bad. More silence. I just said. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do”. I don’t remember how the call actually ended.

I didn’t know it then, but I was sent straight into shock and there was no turning back.

I moved through the days and weeks living but just existing. I had lost all of “me”. I didn’t really understand but when you’re in the storm, I don’t think you are really able to see it.

I held up through the funeral but only physically, mentally I had checked out of the world. I believe it was my brains way of protecting me.

I got another call, at some point, that my aunt had died.  I was less effected y this call because I hadn’t seen her since I was about 9 and we really didn’t keep in contact. There was also that fact that this less than close to me death was over shadowed by the call I received that my aunt (that I’ve known all my life) had been rushed to the hospital. I hadn’t even processed that fact that her son was gone.

During this period of loss, I had let go of all drive and was suffering both mentally and financially.  But I was well unaware of this. I was still, just existing.

Thursday, June 9th I got the call that my aunt, the one that was rushed to the hospital, has lost her battle with cancer. I cried hard.  This was just far too much in such a short amount of time.

Friday, June 10th I realized that I was in a really horrible place in most aspects of my life but how did I let this happen?

When we are faced with such difficult times our bodies, minds and, souls take necessary precautions to protect us and help us through the rough time. My mind simply shut off, hit the panic button and locked all doors.

I now have a huge financial hole to climb out of because now I am awake. My aunts death woke my from the shock that my cousins death sent me into.

Now I want to do something to help those that are suffering mental illnesses such as depression. I want to do some community outreach  work that will benefit people that are suffering with depression or suicidal thoughts allowing them to know that there are people that can help and be a shoulder to lean on.

I know I can be a great asset to people in need because I know what it feels like to “exist” without existing and I know that there is a comeback from that, and I know that suicide is not the answer.

I created a t-shirt to show support for people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression. The proceeds will allow me to find my place in helping these individuals.

You can find it HERE

 

 

Untitled #FuckCancer

It was 25 days ago that I composed a post through tears of the loss of my cousin. I have not been over to re-read or alter or spell/grammar check or anything. I kind of fell into a state of fog that was heavy and consistent.

I threw myself into work and tried to fight back every tear that tried to force it’s way out of my body.

The next week, I got a call at 7 am that my aunt had lost her battle with diabetes and saw on Facebook that at least one blood related aunt from my father’s side of me had passed as well. I had pretty much checked out of personal CrazyTown and ran to the comforts of distracted CrazyTown.

I got a call earlier today saying that they had given my aunt, my cousin’s, who passed away, mother, just a couple days left to live. I had managed to get through a conversation with my mother and two cousins and quietly retreated to distraction mode.

But…. Just a few moments ago I got a call that my aunt had lost her battle with Cancer and my heart stopped beating. She’s not suffering anymore but even being the rock like strong person that I am, this is taking a huge fucking toll.

I told my mother that I was just going to go to bed and that I was not answering my phone so I hope that if someone asks her about me, she will relay the message.

It’s not that I don’t want to be supportive, it’s that I need to process and adjust and manage my heath and sanity before I am able to support another’s mental state.

“put on your breathing mask before assisting anyone else with their breathing mask” ~ Airplane rules.

 

Fire Flashbacks

We were on our way home from school when I first noticed the smell. It was unmistakable, I knew immediately that someone’s home was on fire. I was able to explain the difference between someone having a backyard bonfire and this aroma to my children. I held it together fairly well but inside I could feel the emotions of my own experience with house fires. The fire in my house, where I lost my father and sister, was 25 years ago but the smell of a home burning brings back the feelings as if the fire was yesterday.

I got the children safely to their destination and navigated myself back to the area of the blaze. I drove up the street  and the smell was all consuming. I got as close as I could without freaking out.

IMG_20160609_1525065_rewind.jpg

The flames were so high coming from this roof and the wind made me feel like the fire would surely last forever.

The smoke made for poor visibility around the neighborhood.

IMG_20160609_1528303_rewind.jpg

The entire block looked like this.

IMG_20160609_1528028_rewind.jpg

I can only hope that everyone made it out okay

 

Sheeeeeeeee’s Baaaaack

Yeah I know, I haven’t gone very far. I have just been dealing with a lot of stuff lately. The funeral for my cousin was just this past Thursday and I think I am trying to get back into the swing of things.

The calling was very difficult. I am one that is sensitive to emotion and find it hard not to feel just as distraught as the person I’m nearest to in proximity. I like to see myself as the one who holds people together but sometimes I am the one in need of holding.

I saw my cousin, whom I look up to, break down and that was the end of my strength.

The service was moving, though I found myself floating back and fourth pretending to assist people but really just avoiding the reality of the situation.

The burial got to me the most, I think. I still hear my other cousin screaming about how she refused to leave her brother here and I couldn’t help but feel like he was way too hot in the casket in the sun. I know that I should know that he did not feel the heat, but I just couldn’t help but want to remove the body from those tortuous confines.

I needed to remove myself from the location as soon as I dropped the carnation on the way too hot casket.

There were so many people at the services! He was definitely well loved.

I found time in that moment to remember that he was being buried right next door to my father and sister and took a moment to say hi to them. It was a lot more comfortable visiting with them because I have been so many times before.

I guess I was dealing with a great deal of shock for the past couple of weeks and I think that I am moving slowly out of that zone at this moment.

For those of you that don’t like to see images of this nature, I must warn you that casket photos and such follow. Photo Credit: Panama fotos

13267968_1037225776358809_8327391478492202333_n 13265970_1037221269692593_4026325947201470953_n

Sabbatical

I have not been posting anything because I’ve been extremely overwhelmed.

I have been able to work 140 characters so find and follow on Twitter @MJGriffin_ and I’ll do the same.

Tomorrow I watch them put my cousin in the ground and I feel like this has been the longest second line in the world.

Tonight I lay all of my anger to rest and put to bed all past negativity.

I wish nothing but peace for all..

image

image

Productivity

I was sent into shock the other day when I found out that my cousin had been found dead. There are so many questions I have that have not yet been answered and I have had a headache since news broke.

Unfortunately, when tragic things happen (in my opinion) people are sent in one of two directions. People either allow the event to send them into a state of unrelenting sadness where they are unable to function or they are sent head first into over-activity.  Both of those extremes are bad (everything in moderation) and like most everything else there is a spectrum. To find the balance between those two worlds is key (as is all things in life) and finding that balance is difficult.

I have been monitoring my Facebook feed and have noticed that most of the parties that are directly touched by this tragic situation have fallen off the “book” so I am unable to speak to their placement on the spectrum but some have remained and seem to be leaning towards the frozen in time part of the spectrum.

I have gone to the other end. I am in “hyper-productivity” mode even though I know this will inevitably lead to burnout. I wrote the final paper for psychology, got a business license/certificate, set up a business checking, in the process of applying for notary appointment, cleaned house, worked, cleaned fist tank, and bought a bonsai for peace  all before noon today.

I know I need to slow down because 1. I will run out of things to do and boredom leads to deviance and 2. the stress will eventually take physical form.

It is always hard to lose a loved one no matter the age or the reasoning. So take care to tell the ones you love that you love them while they are in this very delicate physical form.