Self-Help, Uncategorized

Vulnerability Perks and a Giveaway

Last week, I talked about the brokenness in mother-daughter relationships and the fear of rejection that comes when reaching out to make amends. This week I’m focusing on the perks of vulnerability. Sounds heavy, doesn’t it? It is, kind of, but we will all face it at some point, so why not talk about it and be ready?

I was going to title this post The Art of Vulnerability, but when I googled it to see what other blogs were out there, I came across this post. There was no way I was going to try and compete with this blog. If you have time, read the post. It’s worth it.

Placing ourselves in vulnerable situations shows whether or not we’ve healed. That’s why vulnerability is good and why risking rejection is worth it. If nothing else, you’re going to learn what is still broken.


As we work our way toward Mother’s Day, I’m blending this post with some excerpts from my e-book No Longer Alone. While No Longer Alone is primarily a romance, the story is also about a mother and daughter who struggle with a broken relationship.

Last week, I approached the brokenness from Lola, the daughter’s, point of view. This week, I’m focusing on the mother’s role in their relationship. Martina is struggling with depression and everything in her world feels overwhelming and complex. Pregnancy is a time when her mind and body feel good, so in the past when she experienced a miscarriage, her world crumbled. Caring for her eight-year-old daughter became too difficult, so Martina sent Lola away.

When Lola returned home three years later, the relationship between mother and daughter was strained. Martina felt like a failure. On top of that her mother died. It was easier for Martina to withdrawal from the family and isolate than to expend the energy to confront her feelings. Until she gets pregnant again. The story begins with Martina going into early labor and everyone fearing she’ll lose the baby.

Here’s an excerpt where Chase is trying to break through Lola’s wall of isolation because he remembers how bad it was before.

copyright 2019. T. S. Mart


“Smells great.” Lola waited until Chase opened the [pizza] box and took a piece before she dove in.
“So, how was your mom during this pregnancy?”
Not exactly small talk. “What do you mean?” Lola took a bite.
“Has she felt okay, or been scared of … you know … the possibility of another miscarriage?”
He cared? Or did he remember the breakdown she had after the last miscarriage? That made sense. With her going into labor early, everyone was probably talking about it, wondering if her mom would snap again.
Lola shrugged. Even in the dim light, she caught Chase’s frown and took an extra second to study his half-shadowed, somber features. He looked different. Gone was the moronic arrogance. Too bad. That attitude helped console the tinge of rejection she felt every time their paths crossed. With him being nice, she felt tempted to like him and to answer his question.
He lifted his brows.
“Mom didn’t talk to me much.”
“You don’t know if she’s been scared or excited?”
Lola slowly chewed then swallowed. “Scared, I think, fearing the worst. I think she avoids talking so she doesn’t get her hopes up.”

Often patterns of behavior are gifted to kids as they watch trusted adults cope with loss and stress. “Children will learn 75% of the basic tools and concepts that they will use throughout their lives by the age of three years old. Even before they have developed any advanced communication skills, they have learned these things from watching what those around them do and listening to how they deal with day-to-day issues.” You can read the complete article called “Children and Grief” on The Grief Recovery Method website.

By sixteen, Lola has mastered the art of isolation, but Chase is determined to repair the friendship he destroyed five years ago. He takes a chance and opens himself up to rejection. Then it’s Lola’s turn to become vulnerable as her goals shift from earning Mom’s acceptance to offering her mom unconditional acceptance. Well…Lola’s trying anyways. It’s hard when you’re sixteen.

Here’s another scene after Lola has endured a week of her mom’s depression.

Lola ran across the street and burst through the front door. Mom reclined in the living room, asleep beneath a red and gray Red’s stadium blanket. The rest of the house was quiet. Lola started up the stairs, then paused and backtracked into the living room. Touching her mom’s arm, she waited until her eyes opened then kissed her cheek. “Te amo, Mamá.”
Her mom sat up, yawned, and blinked. She didn’t say I love you back, but that was nothing new. Mom wasn’t affectionate.
“Can I get you anything?”
“No. I need to get up and move.” She tossed the blanket aside.
“Where are Dad and Maria?”
“Upstairs. He needed a nap, too.” Mom placed one hand against her abdomen and shuffled toward the kitchen. Lola followed.
“Mom, I want to help you take care of Maria and the house. Just tell me what you want done.”
Mom sighed and braced her hands on the counter, dropping her head. Lola resisted the urge to walk out the backdoor and retreat to her cabin—the haven where she escaped Mom’s mood. Instead, she braced for the negative backlash, determined not to run away anymore.
Mom retrieved a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water before turning back to Lola.
“I’m not sure any amount of helping is going to make a difference.”

Regardless of the poor coping mechanisms we learn from our parents, correcting these bad habits is our personal responsibility. Many parents try to teach their children how to properly cope, but sometimes we fail. And sometimes, we do stuff that hurts our kids, i.e. divorce. (I hate the grief my divorce has caused my adult children).

But we all fall short of perfection. As we grow into adulthood, it’s important for us to own our mistakes and dysfunction. Ownership of past hurts–even if it’s only 2%–is required. This is what gives us the power to change. Yes, Lola’s mom was wrong in neglecting her, but if Lola forgives, she has the power to control her future. If she allows her mother’s mood to control her actions, i.e. isolate and miss life, then she is allowing her mother’s depression to be in the driver’s seat of her life.

Grief Quote 1

No Longer Alone is an issues book that covers: loss and grief, bullying, depression, and neurodiversity. It is available for free. Just sign up for our newsletter. What a nice Mother’s Day gift. (While Lola is a teenager, the message of the book is ageless/timeless and includes a fairy, so that makes it appropriate for Cryptid World <grin>). Plus, you’ll get an inside look at all the crazy projects we’re working on.


Lowe’s Gift Card

Lowes Gift Card 2In honor of Mother’s Day, we are giving away a $25 gift card from Lowe’s. This is where we buy most of our flowers or simply browse to enjoy the sight. Of course, you can use the gift card however you like. All you need to do is sign up for our “Newsletter and Updates” in the sidebar. If you’re already a subscriber, your name is in the pot. If you’ve won a prize from us in the past, you’re not eligible this time. Sorry. You must be 18 years or older and live in the United States for this giveaway, but you can still download the ebook. That’s available for free to anyone. We’ll draw a name on Mother’s Day and announce it in the May newsletter that will come out shortly after Mother’s Day. Complete giveaway guidelines can be found here.


Here’s a picture of my pixie garden. Don’t judge me yet. It’s under construction. Those stones are marking where a path will eventually go (not entirely sure what materials I want to use). Everything is all natural or handmade. Need to make sure my squirrels don’t get harmed since they like to ransack the place every now and then. Lots of work ahead so my pixies have a nice place to live.

Do you enjoy gardening?

Do you have a fairy house or garden?

Fairy Garden
Under Construction for Spring Renovation! Pixies beware.
T. S. Mart is a Licensed Social Worker and worked as a Grief Recovery Specialist for ten years. She has also experienced and inordinate amount of loss and continues to work toward her best life. Part of that is writing and illustrating with her daughter, Mel Ayers; spending time with her friends and family; and tinkering in the gardens.