5 Tips to Advocate for Your Special Needs Child!!

I have always known in my heart that Z was different from other children. I never wanted my son to have a diagnosis. I never wanted him to have a label. I never wanted him to be treated differently than anyone else. As a baby I knew Z was different. He never wanted to be held, he never snuggled, he was happiest swinging in his swing alone. He was not very strong physically,  he didn’t roll over till 8 months old and he did’t walk until almost 19 months. It was more and more noticeable and obvious going through every stage & age as he grew.

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I by no means am trying to be disrespectful to teachers. I respect all teachers and what they do. They have a difficult job and work very hard.  I do however have a problem when a teacher disregards their obligations and responsibilities to my special needs child. Those are the teachers of whom I speak about here. This has been my experience and is my opinion. They are GREAT teachers out there and let me tell you when we get one I tell them they are Amazing. I continually Thank them endlessly. I express my incredible gratitude for their hard work, following through with their responsibilities and commitment to each of their students as often as possible.

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Advocating for your child with any kind of diagnosis is a literally a full time job.  My Son was diagnosed at 7 years old with A.D.H.D and then at 9 years old he was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. (Formerly known as Asperger’s)  There is no right or wrong way to Advocate. I know for me my Mama Bear comes out incredibly quick when it comes to having to do with anyone messing with my children. You can mess with me, you can hurt me all you want but DO NOT mess with my kids. It has taken me years to learn the ropes of how to advocate and what to do in certain situations. There is a pecking order of who can make things happen and who can just be a listening ear.  I know that with each step I have learned that the people who you’d think should know and understand that our children are different in many different ways truly do not. Many of those people are the ones you must also keep your eye on because if you give them an inch they will take 10 miles to not follow through with their responsibilities.

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I have learned that Any/All School staff will tell you anything you want to hear in the “meeting”. (IEP or 504) They will tell you that every single thing will be put in place in the classroom so that your child will have all the accommodations s/he needs everyday to be a successful student. Which I have learned the hard way that this truly depends on the teacher and how much they understand that our kids think,  do, learn and process things differently. Sadly, I have had issues with many teachers who don’t even read or comply at all with Z’s 504 what so ever.

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I have learned that many teachers will tell you that they have so many kids and that there have been lots of budget cuts. They will tell you their class size goes up every year giving each student less and less time to be noticed if they are struggling, rarely given that one on one assistance the struggling student needs to keep up with their peers or given any thought to my “normal” looking child who needs these accommodations everyday in every class because it is VITAL to his academic success. Unfortunately this is not always the teachers choice but it truly affects their capabilities to keep each and ever child on track academically. Every student learns in different ways. Teachers are told how to teach or teach one specific way which is comfortable for themselves.  You can talk to the teachers till you are blue in the face. But really they have no choice but to teach the best they can with the time, expectations and constraints that are put on them.  They have to tell you they understand your frustrations, they will listen to your pleas but it won’t get you anywhere. They don’t have the time or the authority to change things.

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I have learned that there are many teachers who assume one kid with a certain diagnosis is just like the next one and the next one that they have had in their classroom. They forget that every child learns differently and each process things better in certain ways. Even every Neuro-typical child learns the same way.  The same goes for every Autistic (Insert Any Diagnosis here) child who each learns, does, and processes things differently.  We all are unique in our own ways and we all have a specific way that works best for us to learn. Yet each teacher teaches the same thing the same way to every student cause that is their job. Unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day.

5 Tips I’ve learned to Advocate for your Special Needs Child:

  1. Be the Squeaky Wheel – Call, Request a meeting, E-mail (*Especially include the Super Intendent*), the principle, talk to the counselor, and include the teacher in the e-mails you are sending with your concerns or issues. As MANY times as you NEED TOO!! But do NOT stop until they are fulfilling their obligations/responsibilities to your child and complying with each and every accommodation or need for your child.
  2. Do Not Assume – Don’t assume because they tell you they are doing something that they actually are. Just because they tell you something  in your meeting that does not mean it will be enforced in the classroom each and every day.  It is literally checking in and asking questions. Follow your child grades and assignments throughout the semester. Don’t let your child slip through the crack because a teacher is NOT fulfilling their obligations to what your child needs them to do.
  3. Be Mama Bear – Protect your child’s rights and know what they are.  If you can’t get the school to comply move up the chain of command  go to the state Department of Special Education. File complaints. Your child deserves to have his/her needs met everyday in every class. Don’t let anyone intimidate you and don’t take no for an answer.
  4. Talk to your child- If at all possible try to get their input of how things are going with their teacher. They are there and know what is going on or not. For us it is hard because Z is not a big fan of conversations. He has trouble with the give and take of conversations and will answer what ever he can think of to get out of the conversation. So like I said IF you can talk with your child they have the inside scoop. But for us its stuck inside him usually. But once in a while he is the one that proves the school is in the wrong.
  5. Find an Parent Advocate– Usually there is at least one person in the school who will at least listen and try to help you. Even if they can fix the problems it is nice to know someone cares, will listen and you have a safe place to vent when things aren’t going right. For me it is usually the school counselor because they are taught to listen and care. That is their job. Last year it was the school districts Psychologist who took on the fight with me and helped me advocate for Z when I felt like NO ONE was listening to me.

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You are doing Great. You are doing the Best You Can!! Don’t give up. Don’t back down!! Keep talking, calling, e-mailing till you get the Problems you child is having fixed. Make sure the the school and teachers continue to do their jobs appropriately,  they keep following through with their responsibilities, and are complying  daily in every class with the legal documents that they signed and by law are obligated to follow.

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My Open Letter to ThredUp-

Thredup  is Amazing!!! Their Motto is “Second Hand Clothes. Firsthand Fun.”

I was not paid to share my opinion about this business! I was extremely & incredibly impressed with my purchases & experience with them.  I was super excited & wanted to share the awesomeness with you all to join in on the fun of getting new to you clothes at very affordable prices.

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Thank you ThredUp.com for being affordable, having endless options of fantastic clothes, great accessories, a huge variety of sizes, being trustworthy,  reliable, delivering clean, neatly folded items and being this SAHM’s new Best Friend to get some great deals to freshen up my wardrobe. 😀

Wow, I am extremely pleased your business. Your packaging was pretty, amazingly well put together, delivering clean and folded clothes wrapped up in gift wrap like it was a gift. It was like Christmas in a box.  I love your user friendly website & the high integrity of your of your business ethics. I definitely will be Highly Recommending your website to any one and everyone who is looking for some new to you clothes.

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My First New to Me ThredUp Outfit. I LOVE IT !!!

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ThredUp.com is a Online Virtual Thrift Store. Except you don’t have to endure the funky thrift store smell and you don’t have to leave the house!! Their clothes and accessories range from brands from such as  Target, Ann Taylor Loft, Aeropostale , Banana Republic, American Eagle, Express, J Crew, Gap, Joie,  Coach and many more magnificent brands.

We are a single income family. We live paycheck to the week before the next paycheck.  In our economy with the cost of everything rising . Because I am a Mom and a SAHM  I rarely ever get any new to me clothes. I live in and love second hand clothes because of the money you save compared to buying brand new at retail prices. I shop clearance racks and thrift store for my entire family.  When I do buy clothes they are always for my kids or my husband but never for me. But not any more.  Another photo of my great finds. American Eagle Outfitters Capri’s for the summer in like new condition. I am in with love them!!!

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Your no hassle free returns leaves you customers feeling confident in their purchases. If you try it on when you receive it and don’t like it you can send it back for free. No questions asked. That kind of customer service is rare these days.

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Each item has the condition clearly stated when you click on the picture. The clothing can range from new with tags, to like new, to minor wear and so on. You know what the condition is and weather it works for you. I find this knowledge very helpful when considering if the piece is right for me or not. It tells you the measurements and how they measure the clothing as well. Which is super helpful since we all come in different shapes and sizes.

I can not say enough good things about this company and their amazing business. They show pride, integrity and honor in their business by being honest, reliable and selling name brands at reasonable rates.

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You really can’t go wrong. You should Honestly GO Check them Out. I am positive you will fine lots of pieces you’ll love as well ❤  When you purchase them they will come to you wrapped, folded and clean in a pretty box. You can also sometimes find coupon codes if you look for them 😉 I think I may be addicted to checking out their website as it is constantly being updated with new pieces.  :-O

GO Visit their Site 🙂

Let me know what you think!!

Did you buy something??

Did You LOVE the items you received??

I love saving money where ever I can. This is the perfect way for me to freshen up my wardrobe without breaking the bank!!

Thank You Very Much ThredUP.com !!

You are Awesome & Amazing ❤  😀

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Why Did You Give Up on Me??

I will truly never understand why.

I cared so much, I tried very hard but you never even said good-bye.
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My heart aches and I am broken deep down inside.

The tears and the heartache you can’t see.

Because you gave up on me.

Why am I left here alone to cry?

Am I really not worth it for you to try??

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The pain, the scars, & the heartache I know you can’t see.

I opened up to you because I needed you to love, care & support me.

Instead you just closed the door.

As if I don’t matter any more.

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My Zodiac Sign is Pisces!!

I have always found my personality aligning very well with the Zodiac Sign Pisces characteristics. I am sensitive, loyal, trusting, will give all of myself to others before thinking of myself, friendly, have very strong instincts about people and things that happen in life. I know a lot of people find these Zodiac signs silly or gibberish. But I like it and find most of the characteristics very fitting for me. The few I don’t find fitting are I am not very musical, I’m not a great swimmer, and I truly do NOT like being alone. I also do NOT sleep well therefore really dread even trying to sleep.

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PISCES TRAITS  Description Found Here!!

Strengths: Compassionate, artistic, intuitive, gentle, wise, musical

Weaknesses: Fearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality, can be a victim or a martyr

Pisces likes: Being alone, sleeping, music, romance, visual media, swimming, spiritual themes

Pisces dislikes: Know-it-all, being criticized, the past coming back to haunt, cruelty of any kind

Pisces are very friendly, so they often find themselves in a company of very different people. Pisces are selfless, they are always willing to help others, without hoping to get anything back.

Pisces is a Water sign and as such this zodiac sign is characterized by empathy and expressed emotional capacity.

Their ruling planet is Neptune, so Pisces are more intuitive than others and have an artistic talent. Neptune is connected to music, so Pisces reveal music preferences in the earliest stages of life. They are generous, compassionate and extremely faithful and caring.

People born under the Pisces sign have an intuitive understanding of the life cycle and thus achieve the best emotional relationship with other beings.

Pisces-born are known by their wisdom, but under the influence of Uranus, Pisces sometimes can take the role of a martyr, in order to catch the attention. Pisces are never judgmental and always forgiving. They are also known to be most tolerant of all the zodiac signs.

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You’re So Strong!!

If I had a quarter for every single time I have been told this in the last 18 years, I would be a very rich lady. Too bad that doesn’t happen. “You’re So Strong. Here is a Quarter” L.O.L

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Those words fall so incredibly hard on my heart and mind. I feel like people only see what they want to see. They hear a snippet of any one of the struggles I’ve dealt with, am dealing with or one of the many hardships I have been through. Their instant response is “You’re so Strong”. Usually followed by them telling me how they have no idea how I do it and that they could never live through what I have been through. But you could and can. Because you have no other choice. You wake up everyday and put one foot in front of the other and life keeps moving forward no matter what or how you feel inside.

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*Knock* *Knock*

Hello Out There *Knock* *Knock* *Knock* Is this thing on?? No, I have not fallen off the blogging wagon. Check out my photo I added…That’s Me 😉

I am just writing about random thoughts and life. Otherwise I will sit, get anxious and overthink every single thing. When I feel lost I write to clear my head.

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15 Great Parenting Tips!!

I have been a parent for 15 years now. I am far from the perfect parent. I make mistakes, get annoyed and sometimes I get frustrated with my children. Everyone does and anyone who tells you that they don’t well…my guess is that they are not telling you the truth. My kids are great kids but they like any other children misbehave, have bad attitudes sometimes and/or just generally have their bad behavior days. Always remember that even as adults we ALL have these days as well. There are days I am grumpy and don’t want to do the things I need to do. Kids will be kids and they are allowed their grumpy days too.

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Parenting is difficult to put is nicely & children are not born with instruction manuals. I am a firm believer that you should do whatever works Best for Your Family.

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These tips I am sharing are what worked great for my family!! I have always gotten and still do get many compliments from complete strangers & many teachers on how well behaved my children are. Even when they were little; people would stop me and tell me “you are doing a great job, your child/children are very well behaved. Those compliments made me feel proud and also encouraged me to continue with being consistent and training them the way I felt was right for our family everyday.

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Do you want to know My Secret?

I have a secret. A secret that could literally kill me. It is frightening , evil and vicious. It is totally consuming of ever thing I do. I don’t tell many people about this secret because I fear judgement and rejection. I hate carrying this secret around every single day as it feels like a hear of elephants sitting on top of my chest every minute, of every hour, of every day. It is not pleasant, it is not easy and mostly it is not a choice.

My secret started as a 11 grader in High School. It was again due to the over controlling antics of my narcissistic parent. Who had me wrapped around their little finger so tight I could not see the light of day . It was something that I never thought about or had ever knew about. It just sort of started happening because I didn’t know how to cope with the painful mental, verbal and emotional abuse I had been dealing with every single day. I never felt good enough.  I never felt accepted. My feelings were never validated. I never felt unconditional love. All I knew was I did not matter.  I just stopped taking care of myself. I was at my breaking point and barely clinging onto the edge of life.dc455bf55134c4abfed47a05eb1c438c.jpgI had no idea that these feelings, thoughts and this particular coping mechanism was going to be a part of me for the rest of my life.  It was not ever in my plans or even a conscience decision to have such a terrible secret follow me into into adulthood. Like I said I had no idea it ever even existed. I just gradually grew less and less able to cope with what was going on at home. Therefor I needed something to give or else I was going to break. Or even worse, die. Ending it all, because from what I was taught from a very young child I wasn’t worthy of love, I always felt unaccepted and my feeling never mattered. Things all children need from their parents throughout their entire childhood.

I had no idea of the long term effects this secret could have on me physically, mentally or emotionally. Or that I would still have to fight it today.

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It was easy at first to hide my secret. I just tip toed around and told stories that everyone believed for awhile. I never thought about how terribly unhealthy it was for me or the consequences of what I was doing to myself. I had finally felt a release after years of pent up tension. I had never felt that before. It was barbaric in a way because I was hurting myself because someone else continuously hurt me. All because I was feeling unloved, unaccepted and unworthy by my abuser.

I have only shared my secret with a very few trusted friends because logically now as an adult I know it is a terrible disease. It is dangerous. I know that it is also a mental illness that rarely anyone ever talks about. My life has been full of struggles, some great highs, some very dark valleys, and a lot of losses that would knock any average person off their feet. But during those difficult times when I felt like I was losing my grip on life the secret was there to help me cope as terrible as I knew it was it was all I knew.  The secret was what got me through.

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I still struggle daily with handling everyday life. The biggest trigger for me is stress. I end up back with my secret for the release the the stress & tension.  I can hide the secret and tuck it away like a pro sadly.  It is amazing how oblivious people are. People who see you everyday don’t really notice at all. It’s a war inside me &  I’m fighting against myself.

When I stress or get overwhelmed I do regress back to the secret as a horrific coping mechanism. It is awful and it is difficult to describe in words to anyone.  Unless you have walked the same dreadful journey. Which I wouldn’t wish in anyone. No one wants to deal with it, not even me. I hate it. But it is all I know. I was never treated for this illness when I was a young teen as I should of been.  I truly wish someone  would of cared enough about me to have had me treated when I was a young teen so that I would of learned to cope in different with stress.

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The secret is always there hiding in the shadows….. ready to pounce…always there telling you this is the only way to cope….It’s me hurting myself because someone hurt me for years. Totally not logical but sadly how it goes when you don’t receive the love & acceptance you need as a child you never truly learn to love  & accept yourself. These issues of course when they go untreated follow you into adulthood.

Sadly the secret is back. It been back for a few months now. Everyday it interferes with my daily life.  It is brutal and unforgiving. The stress triggers started in August because of Anna’s Birthday, my Depression, Anxiety & Panic Attacks that have intensified over the last few months. Ironically since I cut off the narcissistic abuser out of my life.  I did it to save me from the abuse but my heart still desperately wants to be loved and accepted by this person. A whole-hearted wish that I might someday, there could possibly be, or may eventually be truly loved and accepted by that person. But I know with 100% certainty that there is NEVER ANYWAY possible way to change this person nor can I change the all the pain, the heartbreaking feelings and the lifetime of horrific scars the abuse has left me. Considering this person is a parent. It was and still is a very, very hard decision to cut a parent out of your life. Even though they abused me. It is not a decision I took lightly.

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But what I wanted from that relationship will never EVER happen. My every wish will never come true that we could ever have a real loving relationship. I can not change who this person is or how they treat me. But I can protect myself from their vicious mental,emotional and verbal abuse that they would continue to do to me to this day. It breaks my heart but I know it is the right thing to do for me.

I am grieving a person that isn’t dead (My abuser) just cut out of my life & also the person I have dreamed of that my abuser should of been been for me my entire life. The secret is sadly poorly carrying me through because I am stressed and my head is a mess trying to sort through all the thoughts and emotions of the decision I made.

At least until the rest of me finds another way to accept what was absolutely the Best Choice to protect me.

Do You want to Know My Secret??

My Secret is I am Anorexic.I have lost over 40 pounds in less than 3 months. It is scary and it is a horrible coping mechanism. But I have dealt with this disorder for almost 20 years. I have had times when I am “in recovery” and then times like now that I hurt myself because I am stressed, sad and overwhelmed with everything in life. I just started seeing a therapist in hopes to win this  brutal battle and beat this illness. But it will take time. It will be very, very difficult, it will be a very long journey and it will bring up a lot of pain that I have stuffed away for years. But in the end I know it will be worth it to deal with this pain and be able to move on & be healthy even when I get stressed.

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Just Take Care of Yourself!!

It has been too long since I got a chance to sit down & blog. I have been struggling something fierce. I have been to the Doctor 3 times, the E.R. and now am starting with therapist. Let me tell you this fight is exhausting!!

Just this school year I started Homeschooling my 3 children and that takes a lot of my time too. But we are loving it so it is totally worth every second!! I miss blogging so here we go….

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I am & have always been a caretaker. I put everyone else’s needs, wants,& will give them all my time, energy, love & care. Without ever giving any thought of myself or what I need, want or may truly need care for. My family and friends always come before me. They are more important and what matter most to me in my eyes. I don’t matter, they matter. I always felt it was my job to care for others and never realized that you can only give so much of yourself before you break.  I have always been this way and never ever really gave it any thought because caring for everyone else is all I’ve ever knew.

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Are You Highly Sensitive??

I am a highly sensitive person. My feelings are stronger, deeper and more intense than the average person. I have instincts like a Jedi. I get intense gut feeling about things, people, situations. I can tell you I can’t think of one time that my instincts have ever been wrong. Being highly sensitive in known by many as wearing your heart on your sleeve or being a feeler. I am also an anxious person who worries about every single thing that I do & what happens in every relationship I care & give my all too.  When we love, we love with our entire heart,mind and soul.  When we care, we will do everything possible to show you how much we care about you. All these people who are apart of our lives that we love and care wholeheartedly.  We would do whatever they need before ever thinking of ourselves.

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Along with this sensitivity comes a heart that is overfilled with so many emotions and feeling that the even smallest act, phrase or smallest change can break our hearts into a million pieces. The best analogy I can relate this to is an egg. If you treat an egg carefully & gently the egg remains intake and safe. Accidentally bump, crack or drop the egg and everything flows out.

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My perception of the world revolves around how people & the environment make me feel. Because of my anxiety, depression and panic. This makes my sensitivity exceed a million times more than I can put into words.  I can wear the most convincing mask of smiles and normalcy that you would never know that I am struggling that day or that my feelings are hurt. It is tiring and exhausting but I’d rather know that you think I am normal than to have you ever know my true raw, painful insecurities or real feelings.

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The great thing about being highly sensitive is that it makes me… me. I have true compassion for people. I can read people and know how to react to them in a way that makes them comfortable. Most people who know me will tell you I would give you the shirt off my back if you needed it. Because I know what its like to be without. I am also very conscientious about building people up, giving out compliments & showing kindness to everyone and anyone. I know how it feels to be torn down so I always try brighten someones day with a kind word or compliment.  I am a good friend because once you and I are friends I do not take that lightly. I will care, love and support you unconditionally with what ever you may need. Even putting your needs before mine.

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Relationships are truly very difficult for me. I make a really crappy part time friend because I am either literally all in or I’m out. I usually warn people about that the first time we meet, when & if we click. I have no in between besides acquaintances. But I don’t ever take off my mask for people I don’t know.  I need a connection, I need reassurances and I need to feel accepted within my friendships. It is sadly out of my own insecurities. Because I feel these intense feelings because I have a history. A painful one.

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I feel so many things it is usually overwhelming for me. I also overthink everything so its like having 12,746 tabs open on your computer. I have thoughts and feelings about every single one all at the same time. I have stuffed so many painful feelings deep within me for so many years that I have become the broken egg. It is not pretty, it down right sucks & it is full of very dark days. It is also extremely emotionally, mentally & physically exhausting. People say they care and tell you they will be there whenever you need them. I believe in their heart of hearts they want to mean that. But reality is that it can not truly be the case. Because every one is busy, has their own responsibilities and are usually dealing with their own problems.  But the thought is there so they are trying.

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Being Sensitive makes it hard to know who you can rely on to open up and be yourself with. It’s difficult to deal with the the sensitivity and intense emotions. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. Its hard to take off your mask. The fear of rejection & nonacceptance is a highly likely. Therefore I tend to hide behind a mask of normalcy to look on the outside that everything is fine and all is well with the world. But truly on the inside I get hurt easily by the simplest things, I am always afraid of losing the people I love and care for, and constantly worried that someone will judge me before they truly understand the real, true, honest me. I am highly sensitive but I am also a great friend, great person and a friendly loyal soul. Who happens to be a very sensitive person.

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