Friday, November 30, 2007

November Blog Against Child Abuse

Please check out November's Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse hosted by Cerebal Mum. I look forward to the monthly blog. It helps me heal as I read others' posts and know I'm not alone in this struggle. I also enjoy finding new blogs to explore like Steve's at Steve's Recovery blog. While not on the Carnival, his latest post "Being Afraid to be Happy" sounded exactly like something I would write. I think I'll be back to check out this newfound blog often - especially because his "Life is a journey, not a destination" quote sounds suspiciously similar to what my T is always saying - this is a process.

I hope you'll check out the links.

Honestly Speaking

I've mentioned the Rooted in Love book before. The last few days' readings have been about Honesty. At first I didn't figure that this section would be very applicable to me. I am an honest person. Then some of the readings began to talk about being honest with oneself. That is where I struggle. It's not that I desire to be dishonest with myself. It's just that I've lived in denial so long that it is hard to open up. When I do try to open up, the words are raw, the emotions intense, and my language often not the "nicest." Then I struggle with the feelings invoked by the words. The book talks about "confession" which is a word I shy away from, because it invokes feelings of guilt within me. But this book talks about confession as being honest with ourselves, with others, and with God. I found the readings very good. Here are some excerpts --

"When we have lived for a long time by the 'don't talk' rule, learning to talk honestly and personally can be a real challenge....We will feel our pain, find our voice, and the words and emotions will tumble out raw and uncertain....Breaking the silence is like breaking the sound barrier -- sometimes it can be quite loud and it can rattle the walls a little. Or a lot....Wild words are part of the journey and should not surprise us. Intense feelings sometimes need strong language in order to find true expression."

"Lord, I am not accustomed to talking. I am not gifted at honesty. I have practiced 'don't talk' for a long time. And now I need to practice honesty. Help me to be patient and accepting of my wild words even when the wild words frighten me. Help me to pursue the truth. Give me the courage I need. You, Lord, who created the worlds with a word, give me the words I need. Amen."

"Sometimes honest confession can seem astonishing, impossible, and dangerous. Because we have learned silence so well, we experience honesty as full of risk. After all, if we are honest, than other people will know what we think and feel. We will be exposed....Honesty leads to healing because people can no express their love for us....Honesty leads to healing because we no longer have to pay the high tariffs that pretence demands....We heal because we are no longer alone."

"We have many reasons - often what seem to be really good reasons - to be strong. But if the bottom line of being strong is to constrict the range of emotions which we allow ourselves to experience, what do we gain? ....People in recovery often have experienced so many disappointments and betrayals that we find it difficult to experience good things...But again the text (Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.) urges us to do the most basic of things. When it is time to mourn, we can mourn...When it is time to rejoice, rejoice."

"I rejoice Lord. You do not tell me to calm down. You do not warn me about getting too excited. You encourage me to celebrate. 'Party together," you say. I mourn, Lord. You do not tell me to cheer up. You do not tell me to be strong. You encourage me to experience the pain. 'Weep together,' you say. Thank you. Thank you for welcoming the full range of human emotions...."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What if.........? Why I Write

I thought of something yesterday when I wrote my blog post. I've always felt.....(insert blank here since I don't know what I felt).....about the way I disclosed the abuse. I remember more now about that conversation than I used to remember. My sister has also filled in some gaps for me. But what it really boils down to is that I did not tell until my mom was yelling at me for something, and telling me to respect (or something) Toilet. And I yelled back that she wouldn't have said that if she "knew what he had done." Insert big blank in memory here where I apparently told her or alluded to it or something. Then I ran down stairs. Next thing I remember is her coming down and saying he denied it. Then there was back and forth stuff. And finally he admitted it and she was crying and wanting to know what to do. Sometime later there was a conversation where I was given a "choice" to (1) forget it and he'd get counseling or (2) tell and then we "all knew" that I'd have to go live with Dad.


I've replayed that scene in my head a million times. I've replayed other scenes in my head too - playing the "what if" game - what if I told Mom a different way, what if I had screamed out when it happened, what if I had told a teacher, what if I had told my father, what if I had called the police, what if I had told a doctor, what if, what if, what if......


I carry a lot of blame and shame and guilt (that's as close to feeling words as I get) about the way I handled things. I want to believe that if only I had handled it differently, mom's reaction would have been different. If only I had told her at a time other than when I was mad, she would have loved me enough to choose me over him.


Years later my dad discovered what had happened. It was after I had left home for college and lost touch with him. We've run into each other and discussed it twice ever. Both times he's expressed anger at me for choosing Toilet over him. WHAT? Because I didn't tell my father what happened. Because I chose to stay in that situation and that home. Because I didn't choose to come live with my father. I tried to explain why I had Toilet walk me down the aisle at my wedding (to appease mother/to avoid answering questions, because he hadn't talked to me in years, because he never responded to my engagement notice, etc). It didn't come out right. I've not heard my dad ever express anger at Toilet for what he did - but only at me for choosing to continue to live there.

It comes back to me. I believe that if I had planned it out and said it differently. Done it differently - disclosed it differently - then the reactions would have been different and maybe I would have been chosen. Maybe I would have been believed more. Maybe it would have been different. My mistake in wording then is one I'm determined not to do again. So I plan out all I'm going to do/say. I plan for every confrontation. Every conversation. When my Nana died and I knew I might run into my dad, I planned it out over and over and over again. When I say it out loud, it hasn't come out right. And I'm determined not make that mistake again. So anything serious I write out.

Even now when I write, I go back and re-read over and over and over again. Even after hitting send, I re-read it. I send messages to T and blogs and others and go to the "sent" file and re-read. It has to be perfect. So I don't mess up again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Head in the Clouds & Coming down to Earth

My daughter wants a fairy wing dress for Christmas so she can fly up in the clouds. I want to tell her that living with your head in the clouds is only fun some of the time. But I hate to impose my jaded viewpoint on her at such an early age.

I worked late last night and didn't get home until about 8 pm. At 8:30 I was making up my bed and it looked so inviting. I just crawled in and crashed. I woke up about 11:30 and was wide awake. Took some meds and decided to check out the directions for my trip at the end of this week. I did finally go back to sleep.

This morning, I started with cutting my one medication in half. But I also had an orthodontist appointment this morning so I took a xanax. Now I feel really sleepy and very little feeling in my fingers and my face is numb. I have this pleasantly drunk feeling. Just had some caffeine to hopefully make me more alert since I need to drive to the next county for a court hearing.

I was trying to figure out how I felt last night about everything. I can list the physical symptoms - teary eyed, crying, shaking, agitated, tense, fists clenched, jaw clenched, withdrawn, jerky, shaky, unsteady, sweaty. DH commented that I pulled away and turned my head whenever he tried to give me a kiss and a hug - maybe because you hold me too tight and don't let go and I'm mad at you. I think the "emotion words" I am looking for are sad, stressed, irritated and disappointed. There should probably be some anger in there - but I have trouble with anger. On the plus side, sadness is coming easier. I think that's a good thing???

In a prior post, I referenced a Letters to my Abuser project. On that site, the author mentiosn a time when she thought she saw one of her abusers and about her compulsive need to plan out any possible scenario in which that might happen. I have that same compulsive need and at times, it is the thing that keeps me grounded on earth and focused. She writes -

As a result of a childhood full of unpredictability, I didn't like surprises. I was driven by a strong need to be in control which gave me the illusion of safety. If I ever did bump into one of them, I wanted to be prepared and be able to confront them. That opportunity would probably never come since with the exception of my grandfather, who by this time was dead, my abusers were strangers to me; known only to me by their first names. Still the need persisted. The need to know what to say to them, to release the voice inside of me, stifled by the degradation of abuse.
I turned to the only way I truly knew how to express myself and deal. I decided to write. Since writing letters had always been my most comfortable mode of communication, I chose this form to confront my abusers, even if only in my mind. Letters allowed me to do what I believed I could never do with the spoken word. It allowed me to to rage, to appear strong, to not mince words. As an adult, it enabled me to tell people I loved precisely how much they meant to me without stumbling into unwanted tears. When angry, it allowed me to rip someone up who offended me without falling apart...


She expressed so well how I feel. Writing is the way I communicate. Even now it is the only way I make halfway sense. And even writing is not entirely coherent now. My asst wanted to know if I slept any recently becaue my writing wasn't so coherent and had more typos and errors than usual. But at least it is coming out somewhat sane. Sometimes I dream of waking up with severe laryngitis and only being able to communicate by writing. In some ways I think that would be better. (hmm there is something there about thinking before I write/speak --- will have to dwell on that later).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Being a Patient Patient

After some juggling of schedules, I was able to get in to see my doctor today. I am to cut one med in half, see how I do, and then we'll go from there with adjusting others. She told me there is not chart that you go to with answers as to what med combo will work with what person and asked me to be patient. Ahh "patience" - not a virtue with which I was blessed. But numbness helps. I'm a better patient patient (ha ha) when I'm numb than when I'm panic stricken. And frankly my dear, I don't give a damn -- about anything at this moment. I have to say that "la la" land isn't all that bad sometimes.

News from work was so - so. There are some tax issues apparently. Bleh. So we may just have to leave things "as is." Not sure how I feel about it yet. Nothing at this point. I think I'll be mad/disappointed later. Maybe?

Friend is going through a tough time with her husband/living situation and I want so badly to help her out - I just can't wade through my own mess long enough to do anything.

Husband told me last night words to the effect that it is "my fault" he is going hunting and that if I had "reacted differently" he wouldn't have been so insistent on going. I explained how stressed it was making me and he just laughed. Patted me on the head (so to speak) and told me it would all get done. Grrr.

I've got a 2 day seminar this week (which I'll probably sleep through) and 2 trials next week. And I can't concentrate enough to string 3 words together. Frankly I find most of my clients annoying lately. Why can't people just act civil and leave the petty crap alone? I just can't work up enough energy to care about most of the cases - and that's not a good thing really.

One good thing (impressed that I found one) is that I have no appetite. So maybe, just maybe, I'll lose this 20 + lbs that have crept on. That would be nice. if only DH would get off my back about eating.

Letter to Your Abuser

I'm not sure I can do this. I've tried a few times and not gotten far. But I wanted to share the link in case anyone else was interested.

Letters to My Abuser(s) Project - due date Jan 15, 2008.

I am a survivor/author working on a collection of letters from survivors to their abusers. I am making my last minute rounds on blogs, hoping to find letters I can use in the collection which will be published as a ebook and later as a printed book. If you think you might be interested in participating, please visit the project site for submission guidelines: www.letterstomyabusers.com.
Take care, keep healing and growing.
Lovingly,
Stephanie
www.myvoiceoftruth.com
www.letterstomyabusers.com

(Thanks to Wrong Words for posting this announcement)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Going Back in Time

Lynn's comment on yesterday's entry made me think. In therapy, I've been working on letting go. Giving up the need to be in control of every little thing. Giving up the habit of "mothering" my husband. Giving up the need to know everything, and if I didn't have an answer - to find one. Problem is that someone forgot to clue my husband in that this was going to require his participation and adaptation. I should have checked on that first - because apparently he didn't sign up for that.

Example -
DH - we got the payoff letter for your vehicle. But it doesn't say how much to pay. Something about balance and daily interest.
Old Me - give it to me. I'll figure it out and call.
New Me - hmm....I'm not sure.

DH has gotten far to used to my doing things and taking care of all the little details. With the house moving he has made a lot of assumptions - assuming I'll take care or have taken care of things. He has had to pick up the phone and research things and find out things more this past month than he has over the entire course of our marriage. It is not making him happy. He wants to play the "I did more than you" game where he gets to put up what he did versus what I did. It's all a competition. I don't get points for having done it for years though.

DH & I don't always agree about everything. When we disagree, he wants to go over things again and again. I've tried to convince him that it is okay that we disagree. He can't accept it. He has to bring the argument up over and over again. He absolutely has to have the last word. When I finally say "whatever" or "I give up - do what you want" then he has to continue still - until I finally lose my cool and yell "shut up." Or go in the other room and slam the door - although now he follows me there. Even little decisions end up in an argument. Because he has to have my approval and can't make a decision for himself.

Example -
DH - where do you want to go to dinner. What are you craving?
Me - nothing in particular. Are you craving something?
DH - No - you choose.
Me - okay - how about Carrabas?
DH - I don't really want that. I was craving mexican.
Me - fine, let's do Mexican.
DH - are you sure? No we can just do carrabas. You wanted that, didn't you?
Me - no, it's fine.
DH - over and over and over and over - back and forth until I yell "Just get in the car and let's go already."

I was doing pretty good about refusing to engage in the arguments with him. Just continuing to tell him that I didn't agree or not responding to his comments. Until these past few days. DH has totally taken advantage of the fact that I am not on top of things. He has brought up old argument after old argument. Things that were already argued about, compromised on and decided. Yesterday, after specifically asking me and hearing my response that I would be stressed about his hunting next weekend, he decided to go anyway. Today, while cleaning our new house, I had to stop and go switch a DVD for our daughter. Then go adjust the volume. Then get her juice (typical kid stuff). DH kept making comments - just think how nice it will be next weekend when you won't have her here -- when you can clean in peace. (insert big eye roll).

I realized this morning that I'm falling into learned patterns. My mom and dad fought like this. Dad yelled and repeated the same arguments until mom was beaten down and gave in. And Toilet (her second husband) can't make a decision on his own to save his life. I can't fathom him ever picking up the phone to inquire about an issue. DH is turning into a blend of both. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it.

Today I napped several hours. Still having the tired, numb issues. I got up and DH had taken DD and a load of stuff to the new house. I was going to get online and update things - turned on the computer and heard the truck pull in. I quickly unplugged and disconnected - because I knew if he came in and found me on the computer, there would be an argument. I find myself doing that a lot - hiding how bad I'm doing. Pushing myself too hard and too far, just to avoid an argument with DH. The other night when I admitted to feeling a sense of "not caring about anything" and had to call the doctor, DH started yelling about me and my medicine. So now I hide it all. Aside from the extra sleeping, DH doesn't know how I am or that I'm not doing so great. I'm reverting to childhood patterns of covering up and hiding things.

I thought I was supposed to be developing new patterns and growing out of old, destructive ways. Instead I find myself going back in time to the ways of old. I feel weak and I hate feeling that way. I hate not being able to do all that I need to do. I hate the weak knee feeling and numb fingers. I feel ashamed at being unable to "win" an argument with my husband - at not being able to defend my own viewpoint. I'm an attorney - I ought to be able to defend my opinions. But instead I am run down until exhausted, and I give in. I'm too tired to keep doing this...to keep going on in this pattern.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Key Word = Zoning Out

I'm still not quite sure what is going on. It started out last week. I began to feel numb - physically and emotionally. I was crying a lot but had no idea why. I would just feel waves of sadness and start crying. Without any reason why. I also felt physically numb. My arms and legs felt extremely heavy. My face felt numb too. You know the numb you feel when your limbs are extremely asleep. My whole body felt like that and it felt like I had weights attached. I started zoning out majorly. I fell asleep at 8 - 8:30 pm at night for two nights in a row. I was also falling asleep at work and napping in the afternoons. I didn't even know what to do to fix things. Thinking of things like eating, drinking, sleeping, taking meds - were all foreign. It didn't even occur to me.

I spoke with T on Wednesday and she advised me to call the doctor. I did and got a call back within an hour - much better than my old practice. I was told to stay at my current dose and not increase it, until I see the doctor Tuesday.

I finally "snapped out" of things and had a short bout of "normal" on Wed. I think it was the frenzied cleaning (wore myself out) and then the nap. I woke up and had a few moments of clarity and decided to try a xanax and a meal. I hadn't been eating regularly - just didn't think about it. It never occurred to me to eat.

I think perhaps what I was feeling was a sort of panic attack. Nothing at all like I've ever had before. But once I grasped that moment of clarity and was able to take the xanax, I was good for a bit and could see that it was coming in waves. I don't think it is entirely anxiety-related though.

Thoughts still aren't real clear and I find myself still forgetting about basic life stuff - like eating and bathing and stuff. I have to think real hard. I am tired all the time. I "fell asleep" (or heavily zoned out) at the movies today with my daughter. Then came home and "fell asleep" another 2 hours in the chair. Sound asleep (our "out") too - I don't hear a thing, even in the living room with a toddler running around. Last night I apparently got up and let the dog in and shut the windows up - I don't remember it at all. Very odd for me. I'm not a sound sleeper normally.

On the home front, DH and I are not getting along at all. It's hunting versus moving versus family versus everything. I'm not "with it" enough to hold my own and find myself reverting to the old "whatever" and "do what you want" response. Instead of trying to voice how I really feel. To the end result of a big blow up, my going in to slam my door, DH following me to yell some more in front of my daughter, to which I freaked (childhood memories) and left with her. Went to the movies, where she sat on my lap and snuggled and I "slept". DH called 4 million times, worried, despite my leaving him a note that we "went out and would be back later." Came home where he yelled some more and I "fell asleep" on the couch. I shut down and gave up - to the end result that he is somehow going hunting next weekend -- oh he'll take our daughter so I don't have to find childcare. Guess I'll line up my real friends and pack myself. After all we have a moving "team" (friends that I lined up to help us move) coming 7 short days after that.

(actually I did tell DH earlier that I'd prefer he not hunt - it would stress me out. But once again, he can't accept that I disagree, so he had to fight and beat me down until I changed my mind - or, in this case, gave up and said "whatever" - otherwise he accuses me of always wanting things my way).

I do okay if I can actually get going - once I figure out how. So if I can get up and move tomorrow and start cleaning, I'll be okay I think. Although we lost our sitter - her daughter is sick. So we'll (I'll) have my daughter with us - because DH, of course, won't hear of me calling anyone else to help (although he did offer to go hunt and take Caleigh with him so I could clean on my own). It's too late to call now but I plan on defying that and calling anyway - that is, if I can remember how.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Now I Remember.....

Things were manageable until the call from my sister that she might not make it down for the holiday. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. Then I remembered that I broke a rule - the one that says you aren't to care about anything or get excited about anything because then it hurts too much when it doesn't come true. Like Daddy promising me a doll house. Daddy promising that I was always his "little girl" and nothing would come ahead of us. Mommy saying she loved us and would take care of us. Mommy telling us during a thunderstorm that she wouldn't let anything hurt us.

Numb is better.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Feel.........Nothing

I did it. I succeeded in returning to numb. I feel nothing and I don't care. I printed out my last few blog posts to take with me to T. I cried most of the day before yesterday and yesterday and day. But all I could admit was that I was a "bit sad." I couldn't snap out of it enough to talk -- about anything really. And I couldn't muster up enough energy to cover it up either. Just sat there staring.

My whole body feels numb - especially my face. Feels like it's asleep. My head feels really heavy. Feeling like it's lolling around. My hands are these weird things at the end of my arms. Very heavy. Feeling like this used to make me panicky. But now I don't care. It just is.

I can't muster up enough energy to care about anything. I can't connect with anything. I don't care about eating, about work, about breathing or anything. I am not wanting to die - I just don't care if I live. I'm just existing. I got fired by a client today and I didn't care - I've always cared before, even those times when I wanted rid of them.

I got halfway home and realized I didn't remember the drive and that I was supposed to be going the other way to the grocery store. I stood staring at the grocery shelf for goodness knows how long, not able to remember what I needed to get. Came here to write and can't remember what I was going to write about.

I'm living in a fog...and that's okay for right now. I don't care.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I QUIT - I JUST QUIT

Sister just called and my brother's job just told him that his personal day for Friday was denied. He put in for it months ago. Despite the fact that he put in for it 3 months ago, seniority wise some people just requested off in the past week. He was the first to request off but 7th in seniority and only 6 are allowed off from work at one time.

They were not able to leave until Wednesday and were having to leave late Friday but it's impossible for them to drive 8 hours Wednesday and turn around and leave Thursday night.

I JUST QUIT - I TOTALLY QUIT. THIS IS TOTALLY UNFAIR.

Calling a Time Out - Huddling up

Language disclaimer – if you are easily offended by foul language, turn around and come back tomorrow. This is un-edited, without my usual attempt to cover up hurt and anger with a good dose of humor.

I find myself regularly assessing (or trying to) how I’m doing and feeling. Checking in with myself. Trying to see how this medication is working. Make sure I’m not going crazy. Make sure I’m not headed down the path I found myself on when I tried the prozac switch last August. I compare pre-meds versus post-meds and two years ago (pre-therapy) versus now. The problem is that I’ve lost sight of the goal. I don’t know where I’m aiming any more. I feel like I’m wandering lost in the wilderness. I want to go back to the “pre” stage – before panic attacks, before everything under the sun triggered me, before my issues destroyed my marriage, before all of this. Yet, there are parts of before I don’t want to (or can’t) return too – the numb state, the “I’m in control of everything – control freak” person, the “never let them see you sweat” persona. I over-analyze everything now. Is crying good? Is it an expression of feeling versus being in a numb state? Or is it a sign that I’m overly depressed and cracking up? What about the fact that I’m having almost irresistible urges to throw something at my husband’s head – hard? Is that a normal reaction to being driven crazy by an infantile husband’s behavior? Or is it an uncontrollable outburst of anger? Should I ignore the fact that I spent a long time last night contemplating how to disassemble a disposable razor or focus on the fact that I “settled” for tracing the scars on my leg with my fingernail? Is the fact that my body is needing sleep and I’m allowing myself to sleep as much as needed a good thing (including dozing off in church and on any car ride over 10 minutes in length)? Or is 8-9 hours a night plus 2 hour naps too much sleep? Am I using sleep as an escape tool? What about the fact that I spent my entire drive this morning contemplating cliffs, rocks and bridge columns and then dissociated the remaining 15 minutes there?

What do I do about the fact that my husband doesn’t like the “post” me? He is easily agitated by the fact that I don’t have it all under control. He gets irritated when I don’t answer his asinine questions or refuse to engage in repetitive conversations. He gets mad when I express my feelings instead of just saying “whatever you want dear.” Examples of recent conversations in my house –

DH – I was thinking about your weekend trip at the end of the month.
Me – That legal education seminar? It’s not on the weekend. It’s Thursday – Friday. (thinking to myself that we’ve had this conversation before and it’s on the calendar)
DH – yeah, I thought I’d take Daughter into my parents that Saturday so you can pack up the kitchen and get the final stuff packed.
Me – My seminar is over Friday night. Do you mean you’ll go hunting Saturday?DH – I’ll take Daughter with me.
Me – and I’ll stay behind and clean and pack all by myself.
DH – yeah – you said you couldn’t pack with her around.
Me – and I also told you I had lined up people to watch Daughter the next few weekends so WE could pack.
DH – oh, well I was just thinking…….
Me – we’ve been over this before.
DH – yeah but…..I’m giving up hunting on Thanksgiving weekend.
Me – look buddy, you never have to share holidays with my family. I am having family over for the first time in about 10 years and we’re even going to your parents. So cut the shit out and suck it up and deal with it. You can give up your hunting for 1 year.
(daring him to mention that he gave up ½ hunting season the year Daughter was born because I asked him not to travel so close to her due date. If he had mentioned that I really would have thrown something at him).


DH- coming down the hall – what shoes should Daughter wear?
Me – “the brown ones” (thinking – because you let her wear her good pink ones out to play and they are ruined)
DH – where are her brown shoes?
Me – ignoring him
DH – (louder) where are her shoes? Staring at me as I walk in her room.
Me –I imagine they are on the back of her door in her shoe rack (pointing to rack just inches from him) where THEY BELONG.
DH – you don’t have to get snippy. I don’t appreciate your snarky remarks lately.
Me – and I don’t appreciate your asinine questions.
DH – what?
Me – Ass – in – nine ------ it means you’re an idiot.

I wonder if I’m being fair. After all, DH signed up for a control-freak, act like your mother, type of wife. A true Type A personality. Someone to organize and run his life. I did that for awhile. When I’d rebel, we’d have an argument, then I’d get tired of arguing and say “whatever. Do what you want. Fine.” Things would settle down again.

DH has become used to hunting whenever he wants. He has become used to things just happening around the house. To coming home to a clean house with groceries in the cabinets. To never making a decision on his own. To my adapting to whatever scheduling conflicts he throws my way. As I’ve cut out activities to reduce my stress and activity-load, he’s added more in because we now have more “free time.” As I’ve cut back weekend activities, he’s added more hunting trips.

Maybe it’s not fair to change the rules mid-marriage and expect DH to grow up and think for himself. To stop being a kid and take responsibility. When is my turn? Can’t I have a turn at being a kid? I didn’t get one as a child – when do I get to cut out from all responsibility?

I can’t concentrate and all I want to do is cry or throw things. I find myself taking xanax not to calm anxiety but to curb the sadness. Because the xanax makes me numb and I like numb right now. I like the xanax-zombie state. Xanax to stay numb during the day and ambien to sleep dreamlessly all night. Better living through chemicals they say. Throw in a glass of wine for the holidays and I might survive. Until then I’m just staying in my cocoon of safety. I may venture out for a post or two – or maybe not. Venturing out means allowing the thoughts to preoccupy my brain. The thoughts that aren’t happy thoughts – the overwhelming sadness. The irritation that I’m not ‘fixed’ yet. The tiredness I’m feeling. The wondering if this is all worth it. The “I want to crawl in bed and not come out” feelings. The trying to ask why I’m working so hard and for what purpose – and not having an answer? I just want to close my eyes and sleep for a long time. Wake me up when this period of my life is over. I’m done for awhile.


EDITED TO ADD - I have come to the conclusion that I don't like myself right now and haven't for awhile. I thought I would learn to like the "new me" but I don't. This me isn't top of the food chain here at work. No longer the new rising star. I'm just someone who works here. I am not the super organized, get it all done person. I have human limits now and have learned to say No. I don't like feeling out of control and I feel that way a lot. I don't like not knowing where I'm going and right now I feel lost. I don't like not knowing if I can keep a grip on myself in public, and right now I have the tendency to jump, startle, fidget, twitch, cry or become overly irritable. If you are unfortunate enough to live in my house, you might find yourself missing a head because I've snapped it off. I hate the way I look - no clothes fit and yet I continue to gain weight. I stepped on one of those scale machines this weekend and I'm absolutely in the overweight category - to the tune of 22 pounds, and that's only if I fudge my height to the next whole inch and go with the top of the weight range for my bone structure. I have to wear the same pair of 3 -4 sets of pants and none of my suits fit. The stress and change of weather has caused my skin to break out horribly. I don't like the way I feel, I don't like the way I look and I really just want to crawl in bed under the covers and not come out. I don't have any work appointments on my calendar except one. I wonder how long it would take people to notice if I just didn't show up.....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Convicted by a Three Year Old - Sentence Self-Imposed

This morning my three year old came walking sleepily into my bedroom, rubbing her eyes. She climbed up and snuggled with me. We have some of our best talks during "snuggles." Before saying anything else, she asks me, "Mommy why do you sometimes talk nice and sometimes talk not so nice to Daddy?"

[thud, as my jaw hits floor]

Me - "uh what do you mean, honey?"
DD - "sometimes you talk mean to Daddy. Sometimes you talk not mean."
Me - "can you give me an example?"
DD - "when you tell him to make me get dressed by myself and not to baby me. You talk not nice then."

[realization dawning - lightbulb goes on over head]

I scooped Daughter up and told her that sometimes Mommy wasn't nice and that being mean was a "bad choice." I apologized for saying those things in front of her. She told me that if I prayed to God, he would make it better [I did allow myself to feel a teeny bit good as I realized she had understood this key lesson we taught her].

Husband is out at a men's breakfast. I had been lying in bed resentful that he was, once again, out doing something for himself while I was holding down the fort at home. Now I lay in bed crying over the lesson I had inadvertently taught my Daughter.

In all the self-righteousness over Husband hunting and not being grown up enough to make decisions for himself, I forget to check at how I was sounding. Even the most righteous of constructive criticism won't be received well if it comes out sounding "not nice." I owe my Husband an apology and intend to offer it in front of my toddler so she can see how we should respond when we are wrong. Then I intend to watch my tone in the future - and have future disagreements out of the hearing of my three year old.

Charge - "not nice talking"
Plea - Guilty
Sentence - apology to toddler, tears, apology to husband in presence of three year old

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Heart Transplant - anti-rejection drugs needed

I just finished my quiet time. I've been reading this book called "Rooted in God's Love" by Dale and Juanita Ryan. My T gave it to me. It's really good. The book is a series of "meditations on Biblical texts for people in recovery." The back of the cover says that the authors "speak with open hearts and personal insight about our resistance to recovery and about reasons for hope along the way." It is for those recovering from "addiction, abuse, trauma or loss."


Today's reading was based on Ezekiel 11:19 "I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." It says, in part:

God promises us a heart transplant....Our stone heart will be removed and in their place will be a heart of flesh....A heart of stone is a dead heart. It is closed to honest, intimate relationships. A heart of stone is unmerciful with itself and with others. But we do become attached to our hearts of stone. And we find ourselves fearing God's promised transplant. Our stone hearts have one thing in their favor -- they allow us to feel strong and to appear strong to others. A stone heart is a protected heart. It seems invulnerable. You cannot wound a heart of stone....The vulnerability of a heart of flesh scares us....It can feel joy, but it can also feel pain. You can wound a heart of flesh....God's offer of a heart transplant is a promise of life. A heart of flesh is alive. Only a flesh heart can feel joy. Only a flesh heart can celebrate. Only a heart of flesh an give and receive love....God promises to change us. God will remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh.

At the end of the passages there are prayers/poems and this one reads, "I like the safety of my stone heart, Lord. But it is hard, cold, dead. It is a heartless heart, bloodless, lifeless. Remove it from me. I want a heart of flesh, Lord. I want life. But I am afraid. Give me the courage to say 'yes' to your promise of life today. Remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. Amen."
I know that a body is given anti-rejection drugs after a transplant. I look back over what I wrote five or six months ago and I see that I have travelled far. I'm enjoying life again. I had a great day today with my daughter - just a Mommy/Daughter today. I laughed spontaneously. I danced in the living room and ate fresh baked cookies. It was fun. An upswing from last night. Last night I was sad. Not for any particular reason - just sad. The night before was frustration, and a night in which I found it particularly difficult to resist the SI temptation (I did, though). Times like then I have to resist the urge to shut the emotions off and become stone faced. To accept that along with the joy, there will come sadness and heartache and that it is okay. I struggle against rejecting this new open, vulnerable (somewhat) heart. But as long as I struggle I know that I am alive and living. Which is still progress.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Saving A Life

My posting here will likely save a life - my husband's life to be exact - because if my frustration level continues the way it is, I'll KILL HIM.

If you read yesterday's post, then you know that I am a hunting widow. I knew that along with my husband, I acquired hunting, when I said those "till death do us part" vows. What I didn't realize is that it would be my death from sheer frustration and stress.

Things are stressful around our house with moving, holidays, etc. It doesn't help that my husband is gone hunting most of the time. If I complain, he throws up the fact that I went on that one scrapbook weekend. Yes I did - BEFORE we made the house offer. (offer was actually made that same weekend). Also, my scrapbooking is one weekend, not 5 or 6 spread out throughout the month. Furthermore, I'm on salary and used vacation time to go - not taking unpaid time from work. And my time away was not in the middle of the holiday season and moving. But apparently those differences don't matter.

DH & I have been arguing for days now. We both realize that tensions are thick and stress is running high. We're trying to cut each other a bit more slack. The problem is that I've changed in the past two years. I don't argue like I did anymore. And I don't let him walk all over me. He can't accept that yet. I'm trying to be patient and give him time to adjust to this "new me" but my frustration level is getting high.

A church member heard me defend a position in a recent disagreement (quite civil) at church and remarked that he'd hate to be DH in an argument with me. I told him, quite seriously, that I don't win arguments at home. DH questioned me later about that remark. I told DH that I wasn't kidding around - I really didn't feel like I won arguments at home - because when it becomes personal, I give up. I argue quite differently in my professional persona than at home. At home I tend to argue and then get frustrated and give up - say "do what you want" or my favorite phrase "whatever." I do not like arguing.

DH wants to argue until we agree. He can not accept that we may have different opinions. For instance, we disagree on whether DH should take a vacation day if he leaves 1/2 day to hunt. I say Yes. He says No, because he's already worked 40 hours that week. We're never going to agree on that point. I told DH that. I told him that we needed to agree to disagree - I've made my opinion known and it was up to him to decide what to do. I'm not arguing about it over and over again. DH can't accept that we disagree. He wants to continue to argue until I give up - which I refuse to do anymore. I refuse to just give in. I'm okay with having different opinions. Just respect mine.

DH also doesn't like the fact that I won't make decisions for him anymore. Over the years, I've run the show and been in charge. It's stressed me out to the point that I can't do it anymore. These many months in therapy, I've been working hard to step back and make DH step up to the plate. DH asks my permission to do things. He's not asking if we have plans or if I mind. He wants me to tell him what to do. The other night he wanted to go play basketball. I expressed my reasons why I didn't think it was a good idea (too much on our plate this week). He persisted and tried to sway my opinion. I told him that he was free to do what he wanted. I wasn't going to hold a grudge if he went. But DH couldn't deal with the fact that I didn't agree. He couldn't enjoy himself knowing that I hadn't "approved" his going. Apparently that is my fault. The fact that he will not enjoy his 1/2 day off today because he knows I don't agree with his taking unpaid time off is my fault too.

Last night DH was frustrated by the bills. He wanted to know when I'd get the Christmas club money. I told him "probably Monday" and he said he needed to know. I told him the manager was on vacation and I assumed it would be there when she returned since all the forms were submitted. He got upset that I didn't know for sure. DH doesn't accept my "not knowing the answers" very well. I'm expected to know everything. Thus started an argument.

I finally had it. I told him I was "done." I went to the other room. We weren't expressing viewpoints any more or making progress. We were just yelling -- in that "I'm not yelling, I'm just talking loudly so it doesn't seem like I'm arguing in front of my child" tone. He continued on and on. Finally I told him to "shut up -- he was repeating himself and that I had heard it all. He continued on and on and I asked him, "Do you just have to get the last word?" He kept talking and I asked him if getting the last word made him feel better. Finally he wasn't getting a rise out of me so he went away. By that time I was ready to leave home - but since Daughter was in bed I stayed.

Sometimes I think he deliberately starts fights before he goes hunting so he can go away mad. That makes it easier for him to say he doesn't care that I disagree with his taking unpaid time off. He can have a "I'll show her" attitude.

This morning, I decided to take Daughter into the pediatrician. Lately she's been getting out of bed 5-10 times a night. She says she has to "go potty." She'll normally go just a bit and then the rest of the time say she "can't go" or the "pee pee won't come out." I think she is just playing "toddler games" but had the thought that it could be a UTI. I asked DH and when I mentioned taking her in just to be sure it wasn't a medical issue before I started restricting her to one trip to the bathroom after bed, he agreed. So I got to work and called right at 8 am. They told me to bring her right in. Off I go to daycare to pick her up and take her to the office. Daughter refused to pee in the cup. I gave her 1 cup of milk and 2 juice boxes. Refused to go. I sat there for 2 1/2 hours and then tried to "tag out." Called DH to come take my spot so I could go back to work. I had already moved 2 appointments around. He, on the other hand, was planning on leaving early anyway (unpaid leave) to go deer hunting. I made at least 10 trips to the pediatrician restroom. Hung my hand and 1/2 my body over the toilet trying to catch a drop. Bribed with everything I could. Demonstrated how to pee in a cup. Tried to make it a game. Nothing. Refused to go.So DH gets there and we decide to leave and go to McDonalds and see if she'll go there. We get to McDs and I am standing in line to order. Daughter says she has to go potty. DH says he'll take her. NOT A DAMN DROP IN THE CUP. He claims that he had the cup under her within 2 seconds but she stopped mid-stream and wouldn't go with the cup there so he just let her go in the potty. UGH I'm frustrated.

DH decides he will go get the the portable toddler potty out of storage. So that I can wash it tonight and collect urine in it tomorrow morning (on my Saturday morning ) to run it back into town at 8 AM so they can run the test. Of course, he can't possibly delay his hunting trip to take care of this during his afternoon "off." Then he tells me that I should let Daughter sleep in my bed this evening and lie down with her so that I can see if she is just playing games and wanting us in her room or whether she really has issues. So I get to spend 1 hour of my evening alone lying down with her. Then get up early to do a urine test with her.

I don't begrudge anything I do for my daughter. But darn it, I feel like I'm the only one sacrificing here.

Anyway, I'm resisting the urge to delete this whiny post. After all, this blog is for me to get my feelings out. If anyone does have some tips to deal with this bathroom toddler issue, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Deer Hunting Time

It's that time of year. I have joined the ranks of millions of other women across the country - I am a Deer Hunting Widow.

Things start gearing up about August when my Husband, the Great DH (which in this case stands for Deer Hunter, or Dear Husband, or D*MN Husband, depending on the day) starts planning out his hunting season. He takes the orange marker and writes all the "opening days" on the calendar, lest I dare try to schedule anything on a Saturday between October and January. He stocks up on corn and "deer cocaine" to leave out in the forest and lure those innocent deer right to his stand.

In September bow and arrow season comes in. Meanwhile DH is insisting we have manwich, "ham"burgers, "ham"burger helper, meatloaf and spaghetti every night for dinner, so that we can finish using up the 80 pounds of ground venison we still have in the freezer from last year.

October brings muzzle loader season. DH sits down with the hunting digests and carefully plans out where each season comes in for each county, where he can take the dogs to run deer, and how to get the most hunting down across this great state.

November is the big deal though - opening day of rifle season. Let the shooting begin! DH insists he only hunts on Saturdays. But let's examine things a bit more closely. Wednesday is laundry night. All so he can have clean clothes to pack on Thursday night. Also on Thursday come out the guns, cleaned and carefully prepared. Friday involves leaving work early (overtime? possibility to earn some extra money? What's that?). He hunts Friday evening and stays the night. Saturday he is up at the crack of dawn to hunt all day. If he kills a deer, then I have to listen to a zillion phone calls describing every gory detail and then see the pictures too. If he doesn't kill a deer, then I hear the whining. Saturday night after he comes home. More laundry and then to bed by 9 because he's been up since before dawn and is exhausted. On Sunday every gun that was remotely touched must be wiped clean and carefully put away. Also time for the stories, beginning with "I woke up and put on my boots" and ending with "I came home and took off my boots." The middle has something about the actions of every forest animal imaginable -- except for a deer.

Church on Sundays is horrible as the men that killed deer the week before gloat and the others hide their faces. By the end of November, the hunting widows whose husbands have not killed anything are ready to go rope a deer, tie it up, attach a huge red target and point our husbands in the right direction. We would do anything just so our spouses would get the "big 10 pointer."

See, once the big deer is shot, the excitement wanes. It's done and over. And our husband start returning to us. Yes, we have to listen to the play-by-play a million times, but they are there. Woe to the woman whose husband misses a deer one season. They have to hear about it all year long, and watch as efforts are doubled and time away from home increases.

Some of you are preparing for Thanksgiving. I think that holiday has something to do with turkey and stuffing? For hunting widows, it's about hunting. Because most people have off Thursday and Friday. That means THREE full days of hunting. Meanwhile, the women slave over the meal, timing it perfectly around the morning and evening hunts. Woe to the family whose husband kills a deer Thursday morning - that will delay the Tgiv meal for hours while the deer is skint (which is the country way of saying "Skinned") and prepared.

So my salute to hunting widows everywhere. Only 6 weeks left. (let's not talk about the fact that turkey season comes in after that).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

{ Insert Blank Stare here }

Last week I wrote a post on my blog about my mom and I knew it was an area I wanted to explore more in T. With holidays coming up, I know I need to work on boundary issues relating to my Mom.

One of the issues I'm working on is verbalizing things. I'm trying to get better about communicating out loud in T, instead of just writing things down and then not being able to talk about them. I frequently will have things I want to discuss in T. But then I walk in and forget it. Or I don't bring them up. So this time I emailed T a note that I wanted to discuss this blog post and topic in person but was emailing it to her in advance. I figured that way the "cat was out of the bag." Here's some of what I wrote -

I mentioned last week that I was trying to write things down but then talk about them more when we met. That's all well and good if I actually bring them up But I tend to write them down and bring them but then not bring them up (I had that list of issues to discuss with me for 2 weeks before I brought them up) So maybe baby steps are better.........Anyway, this is a link -
http://enola-survivor.blogspot.com/2007/11/growing-up-too-soon.html - to some mom type memories/issues. I still want to talk (out loud ) but if I don't at least send them, then I might "forget" to bring them up.

So as I head over to T, I am thinking to myself that I need to print out the email and the blog post so I can refer to them while we talk. But ran late at work and it was either print it out or change into casual clothes. I think so much better in jeans and comfy shoes I can kick off so I can sit cross-legged. I relax more. So I opted for changing clothes rather than printing it out. Was pretty sure I remembered most of the note anyway.

So I head over there and I'm fine. Not anxious or worried about what we'll discuss - like I used to be a lot of the time. Chilling out reading a book while I waited a few minutes in the lobby. So we chit chat a bit and she brings up the email. <<<<>>>>>> I totally blanked. So she hands me the email I sent her, but it only has a link to my blog post, not the contents of the post I put on my blog. So I remembered something about the XOXO post, confusing it with the other one.
I didn't remember any details of the other post (the one I emailed her about). I completely blanked out about having written the other post.

It's like when you wake up from a dream but can't remember details. Or when a movie star name or something slips your mind and the harder you try to remember, the harder it is to remember.

So T wanted me to think about why I can't raise certain issues - why I can walk in with a list but then not say anything. Why I don't like raising issues or initiating discussions or topics. I said I didn't know - and I really didn't.

So then I'm halfway home and boom, it all comes back. I remember the other post. What on earth? What is going on? It wasn't like this post was horribly triggering or even really abuse related in detail or anything. So what happened? Where did it go? Why did it leave me? I don't understand.

I remember in high school at the end of the year we were all supposed to bring different things for a class party. I was supposed to bring drinks. I forgot totally. Forgot entirely about the party. I walked into class late (can't remember why I was late) and the teacher questioned if I had brought stuff. I felt attacked and made up some wild story about my grandfather dying (he really was long dead) and being out of town. I didn't even feel bad about lying. Later I learned hardly anyone in class had remembered to bring stuff - I hadn't been the only slacker.

Not sure what that memory has to do with things unless it is that I was forgetting things long ago ?? I remember knowing that there was no way I could have asked Mom for money to bring the drinks - I had planned to take some cases of soda that were for the lunch truck - hoping they didn't notice. But then how had I planned on getting it to school on the bus anyway?

A schoolmate once commented that "Enola knows someone and some story for every topic." It was true. Instead of talking about me, I talked about others. In many ways my current job lends itself to my continuing to do that. I can always bring up a client or case I saw (no breaches of confidentiality of course). T commented that when I don't want to stick on topic, I'm good at jumping ship to another, related topic. I know I do it. And often seamlessly so few people notice. It's somewhat automatic – like a reflex.

So why do I not raise topics? I think it's related to why I don't talk about me. I don't know what to tell and what not. I think it's related to why I told so many stories/lies growing up. It got to where I couldn't keep up with what was true and what wasn't. With what I had told one person versus another. It wasn't that I wanted to lie - it was to cover up things at home. To make excuses about things.

One thing I've always struggled with is who knows what. I'm always asking Sister what someone knows. I can't remember. There were different versions for different people - Aunt X knew one version. Aunt Y knew another. Work people knew yet another tale. I got in trouble one time because I slipped up and said something at work that contradicted what Mom had told them. I mention at work that Toilet has 3 kids and a co-worker wants to know why they don't visit. Uh oh - what's the "Right" answer? Time to change the subject. At dad's house and he wants to know something - can't answer - would cause turmoil. So change the subject. It got so I didn't know what the truth was anymore. I really have trouble know looking back and sorting truth from fiction. I find myself constantly doubting.

One trick was to "feel the other person out" and try to wait for them to raise an issue or parts of what I had told them - I'd wait for them to bring it up first.

In T, I mentioned something about Mom's visit and the comment she made about Niece to my sister. I just glossed over it because I thought we had talked about it before. But apparently we hadn't. I think maybe I had just written it on my blog. So anyway, it throws me because I can't remember for sure if I had ever said anything. And then I'm trying to remember what, if anything, I said. Because I'm worried if the versions don't match up exactly then there will be consequences. It's like that with anyone – if I think they've heard me talk about something before, I get totally stressed about it coming out exactly the same way.

DING DING – LIGHTBULB – maybe this is partly why I have "busy brain" and go over things over and over again – so I get it "Right" ???? Practice makes perfect type of thing?

Add to all this the fact that I talk for a living, have to remember exactly what someone said in a prior hearing or depo or whatever. Have to initiate and raise issues. Have to be sure of my facts. Have to remember details. It's like 2 different people. Lawyer me can do it. Personal me can not do it.

So, I'm frustrated. I can't tackle trying to verbalize things out loud if I can't remember them. If they won't stay in my head. If they disappear every time I have the chance to say them outloud. I thought maybe of stopping writing. Maybe if I stopped writing everywhere - here, blog, emails, everywhere, that I would then be able to talk -- force the issue if I don't have any other outlet. But I think I'd go crazy all bottled up like that. And I really don't thin it would help - I think I'd still forget it.

This is extremely frustrating. To go into T wanting to talk about a subject, not bringing it up (she did) and then when she does, totally blanking on what I wanted to really talk about. It wasn't even like it was in my head and I just couldn't say it - it totally was gone out of my head - poof. It's totally subconscious. Now how am I supposed to deal with that?

When I laid down to go to bed last night, I had a few more thoughts. Growing up I was always told I had a "vivid imagination." I didn't really like that. It was like people doubting me. To this day, I hate being called a liar. I saw a clear distinction between the "lies" I told in order to hide what was going on in my house - I saw them more as stories. Out and out lies were few and far between. I did tell a few during my adolescence - mostly sneaking out and stuff. But I typically fessed right up under the smallest pressure.

My other frustration is with discerning reality from non-reality. Because I am constantly arranging and rearranging events and replaying conversations ("busy brain"), I often find myself unable to remember whether something really occurred in real life or just in my head. I frequently will talk to someone, sure I told them about something, and then they tell me no I didn't. I guess maybe I just meant to tell them or told them in my head. I thought this problem would go away when I stopped living in 'numb' but it hasn't. It causes me to doubt myself and I don't like that.

So anyway, I'm frustrated. With the other big issues -- dealing with abuse, SI, panic -- I could (can) do specific things to work on them. I am at a total loss on what to do here. I mean how do you make your brain remember things? How do you figure out what is real and what isn't?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Autism Awareness

My family has been touched by autism. Please take 3.21 minutes to go watch this Five for Fighting video. Every hit raises money. If you aren't interested in the video, please pull up the site, hit play and go to the bathroom or something. Every hit helps. Thank you.

Video
Link - http://www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com/videos/view/id/408214

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Get to Know You

If you are intersted, post your answers. I've decided not to answer some for privacy reasons - feel free to do the same. You can post your answer in the comments or link to your own blog.


· Full Name (or screen name) - Enola
· Birthdate: I'm in my 30s.
· Birthplace: USA
· Current Residence: USA
· Eye Color: Hazel (Mostly green)
· Hair Color: Loreal #505 (dark mahogany brown), when I color it; plain brown with lots of gray when I don’t
· Righty or Lefty: both – write right-handed; eat left-handed; sports depends; left-handed mouse

-----------------DESCRIBE------------------
· The Clothes you wore today: black slacks; brown/green/cream/black striped blouse; high-heeled black boots
· The shoes you wore today: high heeled black boots
· Your fears: too many to list – being approached from behind; men’s feet; dark, closed in spaces
-----------------WHAT IS------------------
· Your most overused phrase: whatever (compete with eyeroll); yep; nope
· Your thoughts first waking up: “how many times can I hit snooze and not be late?”
· Your bedtime: 10 pm

-----------------YOU PREFER------------------
· Pepsi or coke: regular pepsi (or caffeine free); diet coke
· McDonald's or Burger King: McD's, definitely
· Single or group dates: depends
· Adidas or Nike: neither
· Chocolate or vanilla: chocolate
· Cappuccino or coffee: Coffee
-------------DO (DID) YOU------------------
· Smoke: not any more
· Cuss: sometimes
· take a shower everyday: Sometimes more than once
· Want to go to college: I’d like to take some courses but not go back - I've already got 7 years of post-high school education
· Like high school: no
· Want to get married: already am
· type fingers on the right keys?: Yep.
· Believe in yourself: nope
· Get motion sickness: YES – especially in the back seat of cars. Okay on roller coasters though
· Think you're attractive: nope
· Think you're a health freak: sometimes
· Get along with your parents: no
· Like thunderstorms: Love them
· Play an instrument: handbells

------------IN THE PAST MONTH DID:/:HAVE YOU--------------
· Go to the mall: Yes
· Eaten sushi: I think so – it may have been 2 months ago
· Been on stage: yes – to give an announcement in church
· Gone skating: no, but Daughter wants to ice skate
· Made homemade cookies: do the kind in the roll (Pillsbury) count?
· Dyed your hair: yes
· Stolen anything: no

-------------HAVE YOU EVER------------------
Flown on a plane: yes
Told a guy/girl that you liked them?: Yes
Cried during a Movie? (what movies?): yes; too many to count
Cried during a song? (what songs?): Yes – Martina McBride’s Concrete Angel
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yes, but not in a long while
Been in a fight: yes, with my sister; and in high school

----------------THE FUTURE------------------
What do you want to do as a career if money was no object: volunteer all over the world
What country would you most like to visit?: Spain (or any of Europe)
----------------- NUMBER OF-----------------
· Number of people I could trust with my life: 6
· Number of CDs that I own: 50 maybe?
· Number of piercings: 2 in each year, but I only ever wear 1
· Number of tattoos: 0
· Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?: a lot?
· Number of scars on my body: too many…..
· Number of things in my past that I regret: too many
----------------RIGHT NOW------------------
· Wearing: Same thing I said earlier
· Drinking: jsut finished coffee with sugar free french vanilla creamer - now drinking coffee
· Thinking about: the fact that I ought to be working
· Listening to: quiet !! and the clacking of keys as I type

---------IN THE LAST 24 HRS------------------
· Cried: Nope
· Worn jeans: Yes
· Met someone new online: talked with several people online
· Done laundry: Yes.
· Drove a car: Yes.
· Talked on the phone: Yep, far too often

---------------DO YOU BELIEVE IN--------------
Yourself: nopeYour friends: Most of them
Santa Claus: I believe in the spirt of Christmas
Destiny/Fate: Kind of
God: Yes
--------FRIENDS AND LIFE------------------
· Do you ever wish you had another name?: Not really anymore
· Who have you known the longest of your friends?: 2 in particular - one since middle school - and one a guy I dated seriously for 2 years in high school and then on and off again since then - we're still friendds
· Are you close to any family member?: my sister
· When have you cried the most?: when my nana passed away
· What's the best feeling in the world?: love.
· Worst Feeling?: Knowing that I disappointed somebody.

--------FAVORITE/LEAST FAVORITE------------------
· Book – Bible, To Kill a Mockingbird; Vietnam book by Danielle Steele; James Patterson – too many to list
· Board Game – Rummikub; scrabble
· Least favorite smell – old spice
· Favorite smell – jasmine
· Color – blue/green
· Least favorite color – yellow

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Veteran's Day Love Story

Today is Veteran's Day and I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on those that have sacrificed their families, careers, and lives to serve our country and protect our freedom. I wanted to tell you a Veteran's Day Love story. It's the story of my Nana.

My Nana had spunk right up until the day she died. We would visit her nearly every Thanksgiving, 2 weeks during the summer and other times as well. In the summer when I was little, Mom and Dad would drop Sister and I off at Nana's. We'd spend 1 week alone with Nana at the lake while Mom/Dad attended a biking event. Then we'd have the remaining week all together as a family.

Nana would never let us have a sip of her Diet Pepsi. She'd always distract us by sending us inside to get one of the Twix bars she kept in her cabinet as treats for us. Years later I learned that Nana liked a bit of Rum in her Pepsi, which is why she wouldn't share. She wouldn't put it in a glass though - she'd add the rum straight to the diet pepsi can, lest anyone find out what she had done!

Nana loved to shop and buy us things - especially clothes. Nana waited in line for hours to be sure each of us grandchildren received a Cabbage Patch doll during that crazy year when they were such a hot ticket item. Nana bought me Miserable Max - my stuffed dog that I still sleep with.

Nana took me in as a wild and rebellious 15 year old. When my mom and I were fighting all the time, Nana let me live with her that summer. She had rules - very different from my mother's house. But you didn't cross Nana - and you treated her with respect. I would never have said the things to Nana that I said to my mother. Or used those words in her presence. That summer Nana taught me to crochet and cross-stitch. And told me so many family stories. I loved that summer.

Nana died in 2003, a few days after I found out and told her that I was having a little girl. One of the last things she did was to buy a pink outfit for my daughter. Nana crocheted afghans and had started one for my daughter. After she died, an aunt finished it for me. I love to curl up underneath it.

I never thought of my Nana as a romantic. I thought of her as a feisty woman who worked in a senior citizens nursing home as a RN, long past the time when she should have been a resident here herself. I remember her as living on her own until the week she died. Nana was divorced from my Grampie as long as I can remember - I think it happened before I was born. I never heard of any other gentlemen in her life.......until about 10 years before she died.

Nana was super excited to introduce us to her "Danny boy." When Sister and I got there, we heard the whole story. Nana and Danny were to be married. Then he shipped off to the war. I don't know what happened, but Nana married my Grampie before Danny's return. Danny returned and got married himself. After Nana and Grampie divorced, Nana ran into Danny. Sparks flew but Danny was still married. Danny's wife was very ill and he believed in his obligation to care for his wife until the end. The end took many years, but Danny stayed devoted to his husbandly duties. Good thing, because I know my Nana would not have respected him if he had handled it any other way. Years went by and Nana heard through the grapevine that Danny was a widower. A meeting was arranged and sparks flew again. My Nana had a boyfriend!!!

When Sister and I visited, Nana was very careful to tell us that they would not be getting married. She said they were both too set in their ways. Besides, she said, with a twinkle in their eye, they'd "lose too many social security benefits!"

When Nana got leukemia and sickened, she broke things off with Danny. She refused to allow him to care for her as he had cared for his wife. Nana was a proud lady. She refused to walk with a walker, but finally succumbed to using a dignified cane.

At Nana's funeral, I saw Danny. He was there, crying for her. But also celebrating her freedom from the pain on this life. That was how Nana would have wanted it.

While up north for the funeral, Sister and I went to Nana's house and sorted through some things. One box we found contained old pictures. I found one of Nana and Danny, in his war uniform - or so I assumed. But when I asked my Aunt, she said, "no, that was Nana's other boyfriend." Then she showed me one
that really was of Nana and Danny. My Nana was a beautiful woman. Apparently she liked to date the military men too!

When I think back about Nana, I remember her with a twinkle in her eyes. Her feisty spirit. The way she would not tolerate anyone talking badly in her presence about any of her family. But then she wouldn't hesitate to tell that same family member to "ship up." I admired the way she refused to cut of contact with my Sister and I, when my dad "disowned" us. Nana would not tolerate any bad-mouthing of my father in her presence, even by us. She claimed it was disrespectful. But then she made it clear she had no use for his new wife, or my dad's actions in cutting of contact. I heard that she let him have it a time or too as well, for his conduct.

I know my memories have little to do with Veteran's Day, other than the fact that my grandmother loved a man in uniform ;) but the memories make me smile, and I hope that you'll get a chuckle too.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Up & At 'Em or Snooze Button?

You go to bed and sleep wonderfully for hours. Suddenly a noise awakens you. A loud, piercing noise that will not stop. You sit up straight and open your eyes to a bright, glaring light. Ouch! What do you do? If you are like many people you cover your ears with your hands, shut your eyes, and hunch back under the covers - all in an attempt to avoid the intrusive light and noise. Your heart is racing with excitement and some fear of what on earth is going on. You slowly peak out, gradually becoming accustomed to the noise and light, and make slow attempts to figure out what is going on. Then, alas you discover it is your alarm clock making that noise, and someone has turned on the overhead light. You tentatively step out and forward to start your day.

Awakening to healing is much the same. Healing is a process that evolves over time. But along the way, there are sudden moments of realization. Moments where you sit up straight and are blinded by a moment of clarity - a sudden realization - pieces coming together. It gets your adrenaline pumping. There is some excitement, coupled with fear of the unknown. Some of us hop up, as if jumping out of bed, and get started. We deal with the noise and bright light on pure adrenaline. Those types of people tend to crash later in the day. They are morning people. Attack things straight on, full of energy, with a crash and burn time later on.

Some of us are snooze people. We silence the intrusion and move gradually into the new day, making several atttempts to get started. We creep out slowly to test out our new environment. We may be slower to get started, but we get going just the same. Slow and steady are we - like the tortoise in the old fable tale.

What type of person are you? I have been both over this healing process. With many things, I'm a "go at it full force" person. Jump out of bed with both feet and start down that path. Inevitably though I hit a wall. Something triggers me and the old shame kicks in - drives me running back toward the bed, hiding with the covers over my head. In the healing process, I've had to learn to slowly raise up from under the covers, put one foot at a time on the floor and face the light.

In my life, the Light is God. He is a Light unto my feet and a lamp unto my path. (psalm 119:105). Over the past years, God has used many angels in my life to show me examples of his caring and love for me. He's worked through my family, friends (both real life and online), and a wonderful Therapist. He's worked through situations and events.

Whether you are an "up and at 'em" or a "snooze button" type of person, just remember the light is waiting for you. Move toward it and open your eyes to see the healing that is before you. I don't promise that there won't be bumps along the way, barriers to work through, mountains to cross. But the end is worth it. You have a bright, shining future awaiting you. So decide how you want to get started, and JUST DO IT !

Thursday, November 8, 2007

XOXOXO and Med Updte

Just got back from my doctor appt. I really liked her. She did ask some questions I would have preferred not to answer but I muddled through okay. She explained everything in detail and went through what to expect, what to watch out for, etc. I'm to start the effexor and wean up over 3 weeks. Then I'll see her again. At that point we'll see how I'm doing and start weaning back the lexapro. If I start having problems when I wean off the lexpro then we will increase the effexor and go from there. She said we can see how the effexor does for a few months after I get up to the dose that we find is right, then we can talk about dropping or switching other meds if I decide I want to get pregnant. So all in all it is good.

My mom caught me on IM last night. Just general chit-chat, mostly about my house and stuff. But then she sent me a "wink" which is like an animated clip art. It was a "kiss" wink. A huge pair of lips appear on your screen - lipstick lips. Then kiss the screen. A big, wet, noisy kiss. AAAGGGHHH First of all, I despise wet kisses. I despise even more the noises they make. Huge, huge, huge trigger for me. Second, this is not a kiss that you would give a child. It's more of a husband-wife thing. I, myself, have used the wink one time only. I didn't know what it would do and I sent it to my sister as a "kiss my rear" joke thing. Maybe mom didn't know what it would do either - course that would be giving her the benefit of the doubt, and making excuses for her, which is a habit I fall into far too often.

In any event, I totally ignored and did not acknowledge it. I'm sure she's wondering why. But I refuse to let her worry dictate my response. And that, I think, is progress.