About the Cabbage Patch

Welcome to the cabbage patch – a little patch of musings, anecdotes, meanderings and blunderings.

If you have come here looking for thought-provoking and intellectual stimulation or even words of wisdom about how to grow a prize winning cabbage, this may not be the cabbage patch for you BUT if you are looking for an escape, a smile or just to know that you are definitely not alone in this great big old garden called ‘life’, then you have come to the right patch (hopefully).

Where does Tales from the Cabbage Patch come from?  Well, that is an excellent question especially since this blog has nothing to do with actual gardening. Several years ago, I was at a cross roads in my life.  My then marriage was falling apart, I was having trouble reconciling my past with my present, and I felt like I was about to go under. I had three small children who needed me more than anything and, thankfully, I had the wherewithal to know that, by myself, I could not get through the breakdown I was either already in or was inevitably heading for.

Enter my clinical therapist, a tiny powerhouse of a woman, who became my gardener of sorts and who deserves full credit for the title of this blog.  After weeks of exploring the nature of my problems, both past and present, she helped me understand my situation and helped me rise above the thoughts, feelings, and especially the pain that had been holding me hostage for years.

One day, after an especially difficult time, I arrived at my appointment a horrible mess. I had never felt so low or so broken.  I needed to make sense of my world and, most importantly, I needed to know just where it was I had come from.  I could not reconcile who I was with where I had come from or how I had made it as far as I had.

You see, I come from a long line of mental illness, alcoholism, and dysfunction.  My family tree is filled with more than just nuts (I mean that with the utmost love and affection); it is filled with a family doing the very best it could with what they were given during times when there was neither the help nor the understanding that is available today.  There were no support groups, therapists, or Google search engines to help make sense of their worlds or to teach them the necessary coping skills to help them navigate through what life had dished out to them.  What there was was stigma, gossip, and suffering behind closed doors. 

Back to my appointment. When my therapist gently asked what was wrong, I broke down into that ugly, ugly cry and blubbered through tears, heaving, and sobbing, “I don’t know where I came from.”

And her response? “Well, given the nature/nurture issue, you should be just like your family, but you are not.  I have been a therapist for over 25 years and I cannot believe I am going to say this AND, if you ever tell anyone I told you this, I will deny it, but, in my professional opinion, I believe you were found under a really big cabbage patch leaf.”

A really big cabbage patch leaf. Really? That is the best she could come up with?  I was hoping for some awesome, scientific, therapeutic explanation about who I was and where it was I had come from.  I needed the setting of dramatic background music playing and lights dimming before she delivered her clinical words of wisdom. I needed to be told that I, at least, had been adopted or that I, at most, was a superhero put on this earth to right wrongs but what do I hear?  I was found under a really big cabbage patch leaf.

After a moment of utter disbelief, I wiped my tears, blew my nose, straightened myself up, and smiled.  A really big smile because it all made perfect sense.  Yes, indeed, I had been found under a really big cabbage patch leaf and it explained everything.

It meant that I had decided I would create my own cabbage patch and live happily within it despite all the dysfunction going on around me. It meant that, while I was grounded by the incredibly strong and resilient roots of my family tree, I was not hung up in its branches.  It also meant that my past did not have to define me and that I could select the best of the nuts and plant them in my own patch thereby taking the good, because there definitely was a lot of good, and I could leave the bad, because there definitely was a lot of bad, by the wayside.

And so here we are. Sitting in my cabbage patch, chatting about life, tripping over all the weeds I should have pulled but did not, and accepting that it is not our past which defines us; it is our present and what we do with it.  It is about getting through each day in faith, with dignity, grace, and a good sense of humour, respecting one’s self and others, and it is about finding the good in each and every day because, believe it or not, it IS there.

Today, my cabbage patch includes my husband, my three sons, my extended family, my friends, one dog, and three wildly different cats.  I nurture it the best I can and I think I do not too bad a job, all things considered.

From the cabbage patch

122 thoughts on “About the Cabbage Patch

  1. Yay! Linda- this made me smile. I cannot wait to follow you through this blog. I am looking forward to seeing you this summer! You are amazing- you bring people a lot joy just in your presence- and I’m sure this blog will bring a smile to the faces of many as well,:)

  2. You certainly do a fantastic job writing this About the cabbage patch post. It’s got a pinch of everything that makes a site visitor stay!

    I’m so proud of you, and I don’t know you at all; well maybe a bit more now, if that’s OK.

    Highest and Best!

    1. Again, thank you for your comments! They are especially poignant today because my friend, who really encouraged me to start this blog, lost her battle with MS yesterday. She would be the first one to tell me “See, I told you that you could do it” after reading your comments. I look forward to us getting to know one another. Highest and Best to you, too!

    1. Yes, she was very wise and truly inspirational. I can’t help but think how happy she would be knowing that I am finally writing and that my blog title was inspired by her wisdom. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch! 🙂

  3. You seem to have dropped off my follow list so I’m returning you to it, just in case you wondered about getting another email informing you … 🙂

  4. Hello there! I just popped over to say thanks for following me. I landed on your post about your father’s passing (I’m so sorry), and laughed out loud (again, my apologies…*ahem*). So I wandered to your About page and empathised so much about the Dysfunctional family. I have one of those too, and I think you might be a little bit braver than me in sharing things. I tend to be a “bottler upper”, in that I keep the sad stuff to myself and the cheery things out to the world. I’ll have to have a think about this, because I’m seeing a great benefit in being connected through shared experiences, good or bad. So anyway, I’ll ramble off now, but I’m following along. Nice to meet you! 😀

    1. Hello to you, too! Sorry for the late reply; time got away on me these past few weeks. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch and for sharing some of your story with me. I know how difficult it can be to share the tiniest bit about oneself especially when it comes to the dysfunctional family part. I was brought up to never ‘tell’ and to keep everything bottled up inside. It ended up tearing me apart and leaving me feeling empty and lonely on the inside. I decided that I was not going to let my childhood define me and that, in order for me to heal, I was going to have to start talking about it…first with a therapist then with a very select few. Long story short, I began to heal and, before I knew it, others began to share their stories with me. It was liberating! If ever I can help you or if you need to talk/vent/laugh with someone (me), please don’t hesitate to reach out (talesfromthecabbagepatch@gmail.com). I’m looking forward to getting to know you and to following your blog. 🙂

      1. Thanks for replying – don’t apologise, I suffer from “Life Interupptus” as well, so I understand. I have begun a kind of “life book” for my (adult) kids to help them understand our family a little bit better, and hopefully answer some questions that might have crossed their minds but never asked, so thats a start. Thanks also for the venting offer – might take you up on that, heh! Same goes for you too – my name is Claire, and you can email me on scribbleartie@gmail.com 😀

        1. “Life Interupptus” – I like that! Your ‘life book’ is a wonderful idea and will definitely help your kids understand there why’s of who you are and all that you have overcome. I decided when my first child was born that the cycle of my family’s dysfunction was going to be broken and I raised my three sons with love, openness, patience and understanding. What a difference that made! Thanks, Claire, for your contact info; it’ll be fun corresponding and sharing our stories. 🙂

  5. that was interesting. I had to move away from Ca to FL to get away from toxic family.They are in denial and just drink or gamble.
    But even here, at this one behavioral health center, after telling this one peer mentor all the details of nutrition, holistic lifestyle, chiro, pilates, vitamins, he had long ago tuned me out and wrapped everything up in,

    “You know what you need to do? You should buy a juicer” which is on that magazine. Did you read my music article on the magazine itself? Were you able to tell what it was about? They had changed my title.If you have time, a clickthrough view or a comment, as I am sure you know, is how they measure us. Do you blog anywhere else? You have a lot of follower!
    http://www.bphope.com/blog/living-with-bipolar-itherapy/

    1. It is incredibly difficult to find a good support system when dealing with a dysfunctional family. If people haven’t had any experience with dealing with family toxicity, they do not understand what it is like nor do they think that it could have been all that bad. If they only knew! I look forward to following you and your blog. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch!

  6. It IS a big journey Linda, one we must all go through to find that lost and frightened child in us all.
    But once found it creates a light within like nothing else.
    It is an understanding of self, an ability to finally see through a wall we’ve built from childhood through the fears of a child’s eyes, breaking through those fears and discovering it is a journey of self…to find a self love after tripping and stumbling over mounds of negativity, not good enoughs and more ‘can I’ or ‘can’t I’s’ than you can poke a stick at.
    But in the end you begin to polish a beauty beyond all else, a confidence like nothing before, and an ability to ‘let go’ much that before would always clog your life.
    You have found you! And it does take a lot to get there…but if it didn’t you wouldn’t give it the respect and self love that it does take to get there.
    I realise this is a couple of years further down the track from your original post, but it matters not. With much wisdom you can look back and ‘see’ your journey, understand its wisdom, and with that, keep polishing a love like no other.
    It is a beautiful Cabbage Patch, well watered and cared for.
    Smile, because it’s yours 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by the Cabbage Patch for your kind and understanding words. You have expressed my experiences far more eloquently than I ever could. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and write such encouraging words. I am looking forward to following you and your blog. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the follow Linda. I am so happy that you found yourself and your own special cabbage patch. I look forward to visiting often.

  8. Linda, I have to thank you that you bumped onto my blog and appreciated me. Had you not, I would not have got the chance to read such lovely posts that made my Friday smile. I so look forward to read the all of the Cabbage Patch. Hugs and Wishes. 🙂

    1. I am so happy that my posts made your Friday smile. I have always measured the success of my day by whether I made at least one person smile and laugh. Had it not been for laughter and my sense of humour, I am not sure that I would have overcome my challenges as well as I did/have. Thank you for stopping by the Cabbage Patch and I am looking forward to getting to know you and to following your blog. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comments. My therapist was indeed wonderful and I cannot adequately express how much she helped me make sense of my world. I am happy to hear that this is also your goal. The world so needs people like you!

    1. Yes, it is a bit mad, but I am so happy you loved it! Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch; I look forward to following your blog. 🙂

  9. Thanks for following my 80Insights blog Linda. Your About Page is a testimony to your persistence and motivation to understand your past and use it to propel your future. Congratulations. We each follow this journey of self awareness and understanding. Some progress more than others. You have obviously made great progress, an inspiration to all of us who take this journey of life along with you.
    Jerry

    1. Thank you very much, Jerry, for your kind comments. They mean the world to me and are very much appreciated. I truly believe that there is something positive to be found in every challenge we are given throughout our lives, though we may not realize it at that exact moment in time. Eventually we will see it and give thanks for it. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch; I look forward to following you blog. 🙂

  10. You have a lovely sense of humour! 🙂 Knowing where you come from is really important and I’m glad that you have some sense of solidity in your life.
    I hope you have much success with this project, Linda.
    Blessing and kind regards – Robert (York – England)
    And thanks for stopping by my blog – most appreciated.

    1. Why thank you, Robert! I really appreciate your comments; I truly believe that were it not for my sense of humour, I may not have been able to make it as far as I have. I also believe that there is something positive to be learned from every challenge we are given. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch; I look forward to following your blog. 🙂

      1. I find it funny when people say my writing is funny – it’s just me being me really. Snap on the challenges – I just wish I could see that more often when I’m in the middle of them. Have an exquisite day. KR – Robert. 🙂

  11. hard to imagine a better place to focus your energy and love than your own cabbage patch. healing comes from within and washes outward from the look of things here there has been a lot washing out . Congratulatons.

    1. Thank you! You have expressed my Cabbage Patch very eloquently and I truly appreciate your taking the time to do that. I have always believed that there is something positive to be had in every challenge I have been dealt throughout my life and, I hope, that by sharing my stories, I can give hope and comfort to others dealing with their challenges. I look forward to following your blog. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch! 🙂

    1. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch, Beth. I am so happy to hear that you like it: I am also happy that I stumbled across your blog (although I can’t remember how it happened exactly so, therefore, it must be meant to be!). I am looking forward to getting to know you and to following your blog. 🙂

  12. This is beautiful — I love your focus on looking for the good and that your journey on this blog includes so many steps in your life (including your present family!). Thanks for sharing, and also for your presence on my blog. Welcome …. so nice to have your presence. Blessings, Debbie <3

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I truly appreciate your kind words. It was the title of your blog which drew me to it as I truly believe that, only through forgiveness, can we truly heal. Thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch; I look forward to following your blog. 🙂

      1. Oh Linda, that’s wonderful!!! You are welcome to join a new forgiving forum I created on Facebook — it’s a safe community for folks to share their experiences of forgiving. Let me know & I can give you the link 🙂 [and if not, no worries!!] Have a wonderful day.

    1. Why thank you and thank you for dropping by the Cabbage Patch. I look forward to following your blog and I am happy that my About page made you laugh. 🙂

  13. Hi Linda. I loved reading about your Cabbage Patch! What a brave woman. It’s always enlightening to start digging into ourselves and uncovering that which we, for years, didn’t understand. I look forward to reading your posts. Thanks for the follow. I just started following you too… 🙂

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thank you, Michele, for your lovely comments. I am happy that you enjoyed reading about my Cabbage Patch. The patch helps me make sense of my world. I am looking forward to following your blog and to reading more of posts as well. 🙂

    2. Thank you, Michele, for your lovely comments. I am happy that you enjoyed reading about my Cabbage Patch. The patch helps me make sense of my world. I am looking forward to following your blog and to reading more of posts as well. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Betty, for dropping by the Cabbage Patch and for your kind comment. I was drawn to your blog based on its title (beautiful btw) and I am looking forward to getting to know you and to following your blog. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Ena, for dropping by the Cabbage Patch and for the follow. I’m heading over to visit yours now. Looking forward to getting to know you! 🙂

  14. Wow, great intro 🙂 And a lovely construction of life. I’m glad I came across your little cabbage patch. Mine is a strawberry patch, maybe, sending out new tendrils into the world!
    Cheers!

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comments. I’m glad that yours is a strawberry patch because I do love strawberries. I look forward to seeing where your new tendrils end up in the world. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the shout out! It is very much appreciated. I am currently working on adding a “Gardeners’ of the Cabbage Patch” to my blog. May I include your blog as part of my tribe?

  15. This is such a wonderfully open and honest post, Linda. It was so good to read about your recovery from your early life with a dysfunctional family and the breakdown of your marriage. You had more than most to contend with! The story about your therapist and the idea of being found under a cabbage leaf is as amazing as it is funny. Such a small thing and yet, it got you on that road to recovery and a new life. It’s good to hear how happy you are now. 🙂

    1. Thanks you very much for your kind words; they mean the world to me. I have always been determined to not be defined by my past and the metaphor of being found under a cabbage leaf has certainly helped make sense of my world. Thank you for stopping by the Cabbage Patch; I do hope you come to visit again. 🙂

  16. Wow, that was quite some story 🙂 Really happy that it had a great ending <3 And what a spin on life with the references to cabbage patch. You have indeed got a gift there Linda. And it is really inspiring and brave that you are sharing it with everyone .

    1. Thank you so much <3 for your kind words and for following my blog. I am looking forward to following yours and to getting to know you. The "Goblin Horde" is a great moniker for your family and, yes, the sentiment is similar.

  17. I came over to weed the garden (Cyranny was SUPPOSED to do it, but was busy…or so she says) so i took it upon myself, unselfish, caring, non-self-absorbed lovlie that I am to do HER job! Also, I figured i could resupply my lady bug collection as they are all over the cabbages but fail to appear in my garden. It could be the cats are chasing them…….but I think they just like cabbages better than okra and broccoli……….sigh…….oh, and I sort of dead-headed a few rows of cabbages for ya………what? one does NOT deadhead cabbages? really? (no, I didn’t know that!) Guess I just have to take these dead heads and go make some cole slaw…..maybe Cyranny’s missing firemen will show up to help me eat it. What? what did I want/ oh nothing…..nothing at all.

    1. Well, thank goodness, you have taken on this task and to tending my terribly neglected cabbage patch. You must think I have dropped off the face of the cabbage patch but, truth be told, the elephant that has been stinking up the whole place just won’t leave. It’s a daily flippin’ struggle with this bout of depression I seem trapped in and the poor cabbage patch is suffering because of it. Perhaps if I focused on Cyranny’s firemen, they would come back and clean up the humongous mounds of elephant poop I keep getting me rubber boots stuck in. Man oh man, when will the madness end? Let me know how the coleslaw turns out…

    1. Ha, ha — I can see why you thought my blog would be about gardening or cabbage patch dolls. I like to always keep people guessing what I’m up to 😉

      Thanks for your comments and for stopping by; I really appreciate it! 🙂

  18. Linda, this is one of the best About pages I’ve read. Thanks for sharing something so personal. I suspect I might have similar issues but I’m not brave enough to own up to it. I’m glad to hear that you made it through such rough times and you’ve manage to nurture a nice cabbage patch.

    1. Thank you for your comments; they mean the world to me. It’s taken me some time to share my story and you will own up to yours when you’re ready. I refuse to be taken down by those things I cannot change and I am very proud of having broken the cycle from how my parent’s only knew how do to things. If you ever need to talk, please do not hesitate to contact me at talesfromthecabbagepatch@gmail.com. Thanks for stopping by the Cabbage Patch :).

    1. Hi, Roo! I am so happy to meet you and your kindred soul. We have to stick together, we kindred souls, so that our pasts don’t swallow us whole. Email me at talesfromthecabbagepatch.com if you ever need to talk. <3

  19. Hey girlfriend. Just read your blogs and and they made me smile. You have a definite talent that the rest of us are blessed to be a part of. Thanks you for your openness and humor. You are a delight! Keep moving forward with this. I for one am truly grateful!!

    1. Thanks, Robin, for your sweet and kind comments. I really appreciate your taking out of your day to check out my blog and leave me this wonderful note. Thankfully, people like you are there to pick up the likes of me after I stumble. <3

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