Thursday, January 31, 2008

BABY UPDATE

We had our ultrasound today to follow up after last week's miscarriage scare. The ultrasound came out great. We could SEE the heartbeat and hear it too. Heart rate is 120. Old Wives tales say this means boy (Daughter's was always 140 or above). The Chinese lunar calendar, which predicted correctly for our daughter, says boy for this one too. All fun and games of course.

Estimated due date is September 20th. I've lost 7 pounds since last week. Oops. The doctor switched my prenatals to ones I am to take at night. They have no iron, but have extra B6. That should help some with morning sickness. But I'm to keep an eye on things and if still losing and having problems, to call them and get a prescription for the nausea.

I switched down to 37.5 mg of effexor today (from 75 last week). Yesterday was tough, but I realized early evening that yesterday's morning sickness means that my effexor didn't stay down yesterday. So that probably contributed to yesterday's shakiness.

I am off restrictions on exercise and lifting. Just have to use common sense. Oh and will have to be able to get out of bed in the morning before 8 to exercise !!!

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We are officially excited now!!!!

I did telephone my mother and tell her. I wasn't going too. But there is a part of me that still wants a normal mom. And tries to get that with her. It went okay. She was excited. Only asked one overly nosy question about birth control (none of your business mom - I'll spill that on my blog, but not to you!). And then was concerned about the medication - but of course, she doesn't know all the details about that. So I just brushed it off.

Not going to tell work or others for at least 2 more weeks. Actually I plan on holding off at work as long as I can! Although considering our bathrooms are "shared" - 3 stalls in the ladies' room - someone is bound to figure it out soon. You can only pull the "I'm not feeling good" or "must have been something I ate" excuse but so long.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Encounters in my head

I’ve been having lots of strange dreams lately. Amazing what you can remember from the night when you don’t go to sleep drugged up on xanax and ambien. One of my reoccurring dreams, thoughts, panic situations over the past few years has been running into various family members. I plan ahead what I would do and how I would react.

With my biological father, I feel a sense of wanting to impress him with my accomplishments. To show him that I have a wonderful family. To show him his beautiful granddaughter that he has never, and will never, have contact with. To point out to him what he has missed and will missed due to his actions. There is not a sense of fear, so much as uncertainty.

With Toilet, the nightmares follow a similar pattern - I run into him somewhere and my mother is with him. Sometimes there are people with me. Sometimes my daughter is present. When my daughter is present, I’m not concerned for her. I know I will protect her, no matter what it takes. I am concerned about the reactions of others if they are with me. What they will learn. What they will think. I’m concerned about my reactions.

I tried to think about the underlying emotions and feelings about any such encounter. There has to be something there – otherwise why would this keep running through my head? I think it comes down to fear. That four letter “f” word that consumes my life sometimes.

Fear that he will reveal “our” secret. Nobody in my real life knows. I would tell others not to be ashamed of what happened in a heart beat, but I have trouble believing it for myself. I worry that my people will think I can not be professionally objective given my background if it comes out.

Fear others will believe his lies.
Fear because he has this uncanny ability and power to see inside and manipulate me.
When he first moved in with us, I rebelled. On the other hand, he was fun. He was less “rules oriented” than mom and advocated for Sister and I to “get away with” more. He’s the one that talked her out of punishing us. But then he’d turn around and make us do stupid things – like hand wash all the dishes so we would learn how to do them, even though we had a perfectly good dishwasher. He’d walk in, pretend to find one spot on the, and make us re-wash every single pot and pan. It was like a military inspection. We’d be in there for hours. My mom sat back and did nothing.
He had the ability to manipulate mom and others. Everyone saw him as this wonderful person. He convinced mom to undergo this entire personality change. (not that she resisted). He manipulated me too – into not seeing that things were supposed to be different. That what was happening was wrong and evil and not “normal.”
He was in control. My mom may have appeared to rule the roost. But it was really him.

Fear of it happening again but more so my letting it, responding – making his words come true and “fulfilling a prophecy”
Fear my mom hearing those words (or others) and believing them – making them come true.

“Those words” – the specifics I have difficulty saying. But the words that made me a co-equal. An accomplice. A willing participant. That made mom see me as the “other woman.” That made what happened a choice on my part. Made it a conscious decision on my part. Made me the initiator. Made me responsive and the worst words “you wanted it and you liked it. I didn’t hear you complaining.”

I fear him saying those words again. Where others can hear them. And seeing the look on people’s faces as the believe him. Seeing my mom choose him again.

I fear it happening again and my turning into that 11 year old child again. Not doing anything. Dissociating, flying away. And doing nothing. Letting it happen…again.

Happy Birthday to My blog !


My blog is 1 year old today. I started with my first post on January 30, 2007. It's come a long way and been such a source of inspiration. Best of all it has helped me to meet all of you - for which I will always be grateful. So here is to one year down and looking forward to many, many more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Down the Long Dusty Road

I have two heavy subjects rattling around in my brain and will take today to share one. Since my “baby girl” turned 4 this week, it seems fitting to reflect on how she came into this world. She was planned. Intricately planned in every detail. Around the holidays in 2002 I cut out caffeine. I started on Weight Watchers. That Christmas I sang about Mary and her pregnancy and the virgin birth. I prayed to be connected, in a small way, to Mary and all other mothers out there and to be given the gift of being able to have a child.

During the “two week wait” I was infinitely good – no caffeine, no alcohol, ate right, exercised, everything. In May, I hit my Weight Watchers goal. I was skinny and allowed my husband to take pictures of me in a bathing suit. A week later we found out I was pregnant.

Immediately after the two lines turned blue, we hit the floor and prayed. The pregnancy went smoothly. Very few, and only minor, problems. I was happy and overjoyed. I prayed all the time, read my Bible multiple times a day. My husband and I would gather in the soon-to-be nursery and read out loud while I rocked in the chair. We would read our Bible, tell stories, read about what was happening inside of me. We read every book, planned every detail and were happy and joined together in a common goal – to have a healthy child.

Betrayal and shame are two “key” words in abuse. You find them in every book on the subject that has been published. Abuse victims often suffer with eating disorders, self-injury, poor self-image and other body-related issues. I know I did. I have a very poor body image. My body is just a vehicle I travel around in. I don’t like it. My body betrayed me during the abuse. Self-injury became a way to “cut out” that bad part.

During pregnancy, I began to see my body differently. It had a purpose and a plan. My body did what it was designed to do. It reacted the way it was “supposed to” react. Pregnancy brings on a whole host of body-related symptoms, but they didn’t worry me or seem strange. Because what happened to me was part of the pregnancy plan.

I was a much different person while pregnant. I was relaxed. I was joyful and optimistic. I giggled and smiled. I prayed. I felt connected to my body, the baby, my husband and God. My friends commented on how serene I appeared.

When my daughter was 6 months old, I needed to be put on anti-depressants. Those serene, peaceful feelings didn’t last far beyond pregnancy. When my daughter was a little less than 2, I noticed that I was not happy, was disconnected, didn’t like my body and was just not doing well all around. My husband and I have always wanted 2-3 children and so we began thinking about another one. I became convinced that pregnancy would give me back what I was missing. I wanted the serenity and connectedness I had experienced while pregnant.

God has different plans than us sometimes. We didn’t get pregnant in 4 months like we had before. Actually we tried for a year and nothing. Around the same time, we began to have issues in our marriage. We started marital counseling. I started with the resurfacing of panic attacks and into individual counseling and started dealing with the abuse issues. And so, here I am years later. Having worked through a whole host of body issues, including self-injury.

This time the pregnancy was not planned. Actually it was a huge surprise. In the 5 weeks before the “two blue lines,” I attended a few holiday parties and at some had a glass of wine. I took antibiotics and pain medication. I took lots of other medication. I ate way too much junk food, drank a ton of coffee, and am 32 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with my daughter. We just moved into a new house, stretching our budget. We paid off our two vehicles, which is a great feeling, except that neither will accommodate two car seats. We were gearing up for only one more year of daycare, and now will have two in daycare next year. Our medical insurance just changed and this pregnancy will cost triple what the last one did. My husband and I’s marriage is not serene and wonderful – we’ve been struggling.

This was not in the plans. This was not how I, the control freak, plan everything out to the last detail, need to have it all lined up in advance, wanted to do this. It’s okay though. I’m happy – overjoyed really – to be pregnant. I can see the advantages in spontaneity. But I’m scared. Because this time I feel out of control. I feel overwhelmed. I have no idea of the answers to all these questions. My body is not reacting perfectly this time. It’s causing me great worry. This is not a textbook pregnancy. There are complications and issues.

Pregnancy hasn’t answered all my “issues.” I’m more disconnected from my husband. We both handle stress and worry differently and have gone to our own corners to deal. I’m not doing my Bible study. When I started bleeding, I got mad at God. My husband and I both discussed how it wasn’t “fair” to find out we were pregnant at 10:30 am and start having fears of losing the baby at 7 pm. We would have preferred not to know at all. My husband called it “cruel and unusual punishment” and then he told me a short time later that he felt at peace with whatever happened. My husband is over his anger. I’m not. I’m distancing myself from God. I know I’m doing it and I know why. Because if this ultrasound on Thursday (or later) reveals a miscarriage, I’m going to be pissed. I’m going to feel as if my prayers were ignored and I’m going to feel betrayed by God, my body and everything. Maybe those aren’t rational thoughts or feelings, but they are mine. I don’t want to have that closeness to God and then be “stabbed in the back” – especially by a Father figure. (I do hope that God understands this, and will be patient with me).

Pregnancy sure hasn’t helped the body issues. I don’t like starting out pregnancy this overweight. I’ve struggled off and on with weight issues and gaining weight on top of being overweight is going to be difficult for me. I wonder when the first medical professional will notice my legs and the scars and ask. I wonder how I’m going to deal with triggering things like doctors and dentists and orthodontists, without anxiety meds. Coming off this medicine has done weird things to my body and I feel “out of body” and disconnected a lot.

I don’t know what the next days, weeks, months hold. I know I’ve got a long road ahead of me. I just hope there is a “pot of gold” at the end.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I've Got the Shakes - day 3 of 75 mg

Shake, rattle and roll. My body temperature can't seem to stay stable. I am cold and then I am hot. I am not usually cold. Lately, I can not seem to get warm. Then later I am sweating. Last night I woke up with night sweats - second night in a row. I woke up drenched, so much so that I needed to change clothes and wash off. Then I crawled back into bed and shook because I could not get warm.

I have waves of dizziness, where I am unsteady on my feet and feel as if my brain is not keeping up. I find that putting my head back and not trying to stay upright helps a lot. I've been accused of zoning out. I brushed it off as tiredness and no one questioned anything.

I have bouts of shaking. Where my jaw trembles as if my teeth are chattering. I twitch and shake, appearing as if I'm being electrocuted. My husband says it looks painful, but it's not - just weird feeling. You know that Tickle Me Elmo doll? Yeah.....that's me :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

My daughter is soon to be 4. She doesn't know how to keep information on the "hush hush" for surprises. So obviously, we've not told her about the pregnancy yet. However, we have had to tell her that she can not jump on Mommy's tummy and that Mommy can't pick her up right now. Also, she has learned that Mommy is a bit green in the mornings. When she comes into the bedroom, she shares my crackers and ginger ale, and asks about the trash can by the bed.

I did sleep last night. I went to bed at 6:30. Daughter couldn't figure out why Mommy would rather sleep than play. I fell apart at 8 pm when I still couldn't fall asleep. I can't remember the last time I've cried myself to sleep, but it worked. I slept pretty good. Husband said he peeked in about 10 pm and I was asleep and sprawled across the bed. He slept on the couch. No way was he waking me up to move over! (good man). This morning he brought me my crackers, soda and trash can and we snuggled a bit. Our daughter came in and wanted to know why we were snuggling. She thought snuggles were just for her!

This is our conversation later -
DD - Mommy, why are you in bed?
Me - I don't feel too good this morning.
DD - are you sick?
Me - sort of
DD - did you catch it from daddy?
Me - (smiling) sort of, yeah
DD - you shouldn't snuggle with daddy - that's how you get sick.
Me - yep, that's it.
DD - (running down hall to Daddy) - Daddy, you can't snuggle with Mommy any more cause you make her sick. You must have given Mommy germs.
Daddy - (laughing) yep, we snuggled real close and I gave Mommy "germs."
Me to Him - you just wait until she tells your mother that....

I feel a ton better after some sleep. Still feel like my brain is lagging about 20 seconds behind the rest of me. And my head must weigh 30 pounds. But otherwise doing okay. I was shaking pretty badly this morning but that has subsided now that I've taken my medication.

We leave tonight for the in-laws. We are having my daughter's birthday party there tomorrow with all her cousins. I'm praying for the ability to sleep there and not too much "Mr. Green" in the morning. We shall see....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wean off Effexor Day 1

Note to self - thou shall not google drugs and their effects on pregnancy. Thou will become scared.

Note 2 - thou shall not google "weaning" and "effexor." Thou will become scared.

I figured I'd write a bit about how this weaning of meds process is doing. I think it will help me keep track of how things are going. Plus there is a lot of outdated stuff on the internet about coming off effexor and it will scare you to pieces if you read it. I don't know which of my "symptoms" are related to coming off trileptal, coming off effexor, not taking the xanax/ambien or being pregnant.

If anyone else has experience coming off effexor, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday I'm pretty sure none of the morning meds stayed down. But I did take all my usual morning meds. Tuesday night I cut the trileptal in half. The trileptal is usually prescribed for seizures/epilepsy, but in low doses helps with panic. It really helped me a lot. I was taking 150 mg 2x a day. Tuesday I was jittery, head hurt and did not sleep. Then again I was worried, braces tightened and stomach upset.

Wednesday I forgot to take my meds until lunch. I took just the 1/2 trileptal (morning and night) but the regular 150 mg effexor. Did not take any of my xanax, ambien or zyrtec. I was foggy brained yesterday. Jittery too. I did not sleep at all except for maybe 2 hours between 3 and 5 am.

Thursday (today) - I took 1/2 trileptal this morning. I will not take any tonight. I took 75 mg of effexor. Was nauseous this morning and that just started clearing up a bit (it's 11:30 now). I'm extremely tired. I did allow myself 1 cup of soda (I generally love coffee but the smell of coffee was not a good thing this morning). I did take 2 tylenol to ease the muscle soreness from braces. I'm jittery and shaky. My jaw keeps wobbling and I keep shaking - like I'm cold. I'm also lagging - it's like my brain is 20 seconds behind normal. I'm a bit unsteady and uncoordinated too. Still cramping (but I'm pretty sure that is pregnancy related).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic - an announcement

I wasn't sure I was going to write this here quite yet, but then I reminded myself how much writing helps. And that this was started for me, so if writing it out will help me, then I should. So here goes....

I'm cautiously pregnant ?!?!? I am not the best with dates but figured it was about time. I mentioned on a previous post about having some PMS symptoms and cramping. Yesterday I woke up and was horribly sick - then fine. A lightbulb went off and I headed to the store. Two generic tests later I had no answer - not a negative, not a positive -no result at all. Went home at lunch and bought the expensive test. Same thing - no result. Back to the office where I figured I'd take the third generic test (it came in a box of 3 for the OCD types like me). Positive. I called the doctor. Got right in and another positive test there. Then I met with the nurse to discuss medication protocol.

I called DH and met him at his work and told him. Big sap - he cried. :) We both were worried but excited. We had both started resigning ourselves to just having one child.

Last night after Bible study, I started bleeding. It was a very long, sleepless night. I knew there was nothing I could do. My husband and I prayed, laughed and cried. We ranted and raved. Didn't seem quite "fair" to have found out and then had bad news in a space of hours. Better to have not known and just thought it was a period.

I called the doctor first thing this morning - had an exam and an ultrasound. Thinks look "cautiously okay." There is a fetal sac and the suggestions of a fetal pole. Measuring 5 weeks, 3 days. The doctor could see signs of a subcutaneous hematoma (sp??) where he thinks a blood vessel was disturbed at implantation (causing bleeding). Cervix is closed. I go back in one week and we will hope to see the heartbeat. Until then I am to rest, no exercise, no lifting. I can work but not overdo things. The diagnosis is "threatened miscarriage." Scary sounding.

My meds yesterday didn't stay down. I cut my trileptal in half last night. Then this morning, with everything going on, I just forgot all my meds. I'm getting mixed opinions on the meds. The ambien, xanax and trileptal are all to be dropped. Everyone agrees with that. I'm weaning off the trileptal already. The nurse said effexor was fine. Doc said it was a risk/benefit. Other doc said to get off. So I've got a call into my primary care doctor to get some lower doses and try to wean off. In the meantime, I took 1/2 trileptal and 1 of the effexor. Between missing yesterdays meds, being late today, all the stress, no sleep, no food, and nausea, I'm a basket case. The next week will be very tough with the med adjustment and worry. Oh, and no more painkillers so the recent "let's do both upper and lower at once ortho adjustment" was not a good idea.

For now, I am actually smiling at the nausea. Morning sickness is good, right? Clenching my jaw and holding my hands to stop the shakes. And trying to keep this quiet at work -- although I did tell my assistant. I'm not a good liar and all this coming in late and leaving for appointments was too much.

So.....I'm trying to be optimistic. I'm trying not to worry. I'm trying not to let my brain go to the "worst case scenario." I'm trying to assuage the guilt feelings that are already creeping in - my fault for being on meds; the fact that I've not told my mother; etc. Keep us in your prayers please!

Prayer Request

I could use your prayers today. I can't go into why yet -- maybe later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Good news - I survived my ortho appt. (tylenol and xanax in advance is good). I chose to have the upper and lower wires replaced and chains/brackets put on in one appointment to get it over with, rather than have to go back two weeks in a row.

Bad news - it hurts. Owie! Think sledgehammer in head. I don't understand the medical theory behind fixing my TMJ/jaw issues by inflicting more pain through braces??

Good news - I have fruit smoothies and homemade broccoli and cheese soup in the fridge for the next two days, which are sure to be liquid/soft food days.

Bad news - the pain meds and pain have triggered me and made me nauseous. I can't keep food down.

Good news - I managed to resist responding (to her anyway) to Mom's email (Good morning. I sure enjoyed seeing the pictures. You got alot more snow than we got here. It sure looked like Daughter was having fun making a snowman. AND her room is just gorgeous! Just perfect for your little princess. Hope you all are okay. I'll call you next Sun morning for Daughter's birthday. But you could write before that, if you want! I miss hearing from you. Love and hugs, Mom).

Bad news - my initial response upon reading it was "%^*$ you - why don't you write me?" --- followed by feelings of rage, sadness, panic and guilt. And I re-read it twice to try to determine if I ~should~ write back.

Good news - I'm no longer being inundated by emails from aunts and grandparents guilting me into contacting my mother more often.

Bad news - I'm so out of the loop that I wasn't even emailed this week about Grandpa's surgery being set and scheduled. Until I asked.....which makes me sad and feeling left out.

Good news - I have pain pills in the closet which should make the splitting headache go away.

Bad news - I have pain pills in the closet......

Good news - Daughter finally fell asleep last night so I could take 2 painkillers and go to bed at 9:30 pm.

Bad news - I had horrible nightmares and was seeing things for several hours. I saw flickering lights, got up, ran into the wall, stumbled down hall, forgot we had moved, ran into the wall again, realized the fire had sparked, sprinkled water on it, stumbled back down hall, fell across bed and passed out.

Good news - this week is slow at work so I can take it easy with the additional pain/pressure.

Bad news - the next two weeks are slow and I'm BORED. And slow at work means no money coming in, and no money coming in is not generally a good thing with the powers that be.

THE UGLY - me - my face is swollen and all broken out.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Meeting My Needs - learning to BE instead of DO

I participated in the Survivor Needs/Wants Meme and posted my response here. Rising Rainbow commented in her post about how here needs/wants change with circumstances and I remarked that I needed to revisit mine. Both what I posted on the Needs/Wants post and what I posted here. Because, maybe what I need to get out of this funk is to meet some of my needs/wants.

I need to give myself patience. Time to cope and deal. Time to process things. Not rush, rush, rush. Like I told JIP in my comment on her post, I need to take it slow. Her title says it best - "Fast time isn't necessarily good healing time."

I need to take more time for me. Read some more, snuggled up by my fireplace. Take breaks when I get overwhelmed. Not rush to solve my feelings of sadness, but just let it be. I'd like to find someone to lean on, or something that gives me that feeling. My new bean bag chair in front of my fireplace (in which we lit our first fire over the weekend) works well.

I look at my needs and I'm doing okay meeting them. I slept well this weekend. I'm adjusting to my new house. I'm snuggling with my daughter. I bought a new pair of comfy bluejeans.

I need to get outdoors more. Even though it is cold. I need to get back to my quiet time. I need to ask for safe hugs. I need to stop questioning and over-analyzing every contact with my family.

I really need to just BE instead of DO. I need to stop analyzing everything. Every call, every email, every thought, every action. I need to relax. Stop searching for some life-revealing reason or answer in every little thing.
Today I need to survive my ortho appointment. I need to eat a good lunch so I have adequate nutrition for the visit (and sugar level doesn't plummet). I need to limit my caffeine intake after I finish my morning coffee (caffeine and nervousness don't mix). I need to take a xanax at lunch. I need to take my Ipod and book to the appointment and see if it helps. (on the one hand, my music is good, on the other hand not sure about the lack of being able to hear people approach). I need to treat myself to a big tall frappucino after the appointment. I need to be preapred for soreness tomorrow, take ibuprofen and pack soft food for lunch.
I DO things well. I can prepare for things. Get ready. But coping in the moment. "BEing" in the moment is tough. I'm not sure what to do when I'm done DOing. I'm still learning to BE.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'll Fly Away....

In the house I lived in with my mother and father, pre-divorce, there was a field across the street. In that field was a tree. It was my climbing tree. I would throw a rope up and over the branch. Tie one end securely in a loop and hoist myself up. I thought I could see forever from the top. One day I fell out of that tree getting down. Scraped my face all to pieces, but didn't break a bone.

When I was a few years older, I discovered this huge pine tree on the yard of a house across the street. Pine trees in NJ are different than those in other parts of the country. NJ has a forest called the Pine Barrens and we lived just blocks from there. These pine trees are usually 2-3 stories high, with thick trunks and thick branches. Once you crawl through to the middle trunk, you have this little clearing all around you. No one can see you, and you can't hardly see out. I climbed that tree. All the way to the top. I would sit there, reading a book, stay there for hours. One time my cousin and I climbed up and were at the top. Suddenly a car pulled in. Apparently someone was looking at the house for sale. We watched. Listened. No one knew we were there. From that tree, we could see all the neighbors and what they were doing. We could see my house. I had a sense of being on top of the world. In control. Safe from predators.

I've always had a mixed feeling of heights. If there is something solid under my feet I am fine, whether it be a ladder or a tree branch or whatever. When I was a few years older, I participated in several "leadership training" retreats, many of which involved high ropes courses. I had no problems....as long as there was something underneath my feet, even if it was a thin rope. One course had a clothesline twenty or so feet up in the air. You had to walk across it like a tightrope, holding on to various ropes above your head. I did it fine. Another section, however, had you jump across a two foot gap. You had to put your feet together and jump across this opening, 20 feet above the ground. I couldn't do it. Couldn't pass over free air. I needed something, however thin, beneath my feet.
I have always dreamed of flying. Soaring above the clouds. If I could have one superpower it would be to fly. I'd jump off a cliff and soar over the earth. I always thought it would be cool to be Superman (or Superwoman) and fly around, rescuing people.

In the childhood, pre-divorce house, I would have dreams of flying. For a long time I was convinced I could really fly. I would see my dad's creepy friend when I was flying. There is some connection there - some dissociation there. But for some reason, flying never lost it's magical appeal.

When I really, really dissociate now (not just zone out), it's like flying. Like seeing things from a safe distance. A bit fuzzy. I dream of flying for real, high up above, and seeing clearly. There is a song that I love -

Some bright morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away
I'll fly away oh glory
I'll fly away (in the morning)
When I die hallelujah by and by
I'll fly away
When the shadows of this life have gone
I'll fly away
Like a bird from these prison walls
I'll fly
I'll fly away ....

I think of flying like a butterfly. I've spent enough time locked inside this cocoon of darkness. I'm ready to spread my wings and fly away. Over the trees, over the rocks, over the waterfalls.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Score on the Depression Scale

Yesterday was long and tough. I am slow at work and find myself bored easily. I need a good project to throw myself into. I have cases but in almost all, I am waiting for someone to get back to me before I can do the next step. I have no court or appointments scheduled next week, except counseling and a long orthodontist appointment. ~sigh~ going to be a long week next week too. I don't do well with boredom.

Last night, we started priming the walls in my Daughter's room so we could paint. It was slow, tedious work. Sometimes I like that. Other times repetitive tasks can throw me into a panic. I haven't yet learned how to predict which it will be. I have taken up knitting again. Sometimes I find comfort in the repeated motions and movements. Other times I want to crawl up the walls. Often I can start something and then after while, I need to put it down. I painted most of the trim work last night, but then needed to take a break.

Last night I was very sad and sleepy. A long, boring day at work. made time go by too slowly. I laid on the bed with Daughter in front of cartoons, keeping her occupied while Husband took a turn painting. I couldn't find energy to care about doing anything. My emotions were all dark and dirty. I ~think~ some of it may be PMS (if I actually kept a calendar I might know better). I hope so anyway - because the rational side of me needs a concrete explanation and reason for feeling this way.

I found myself wondering if I could just disappear. We watched some crime program last night on TV and I was reading John Grisham's new non-fiction book. I found myself contemplating a way to just go away. I had been looking for the Vicks vapor rub for Daughter and pawing through the medicine bin. I hadn't realized how many different bottles of medication I had stored. I have kept unused pain meds for days after I get my braces adjusted or bad cramps. Sometimes tylenol just doesn't cut it. I looked at all the bottles and all my current medications and remembered this post. While the medications may be different (substitute effexor for lexapro and ambien for melatonin), the effect is the same. There are all sorts of bottles lined up - all to make me feel a little less panicky, a little less sad, a little less awake, a little less, a little less........

Last night I contemplated taking them all, and shrinking down, down, down, like Alice in Wonderland. Just drifting fast asleep. I found myself thinking of all that I would need to do first. Because my compulsive, organized self can't do anything without thinking through the details. Will updated -check; life insurance updated - check; and so forth. To do - write letters to Husband and Daughter; clean out desk at work; delete files on computer; etc, etc.

Before all of you start calling or emailing me, these were just thoughts. Not plans. One way to gauge myself on the depression scale is to think about things like this, see how I feel and note my reactions. Last night I could think all the way through in every detail, without feeling remorse or regret for what would be left behind or things I would miss out on. That scores a -9 on the depression meter (-10 being most depressed; 0 being neutral; 10 being extremely happy). Negative 9 calls for early to bed. With extra sleep.

I woke up feeling a bit better. Planned to get outside a bit and get some fresh air. Headed to the library with my daughter and then to get some coffee. Just us two, drinking coffee (well, she thought hers was coffee) and reading books. Then to the movie and grocery store to stock up before the next winter storm. Today is probably a 1 or 2 on the scale. It's still dark and dreary out. I could use some sunshine. But the fresh air and good food (we went out for lunch) helped. I think my afternoon nap will help too. An overly tired almost-4 year old does not help (think whiny).

I am rational enough to know that if things stay like this, I need to think about increasing the depression meds or something. (the effexor has helped with the anxiety, but I seemed happier on the lexapro -- then again it is winter, and my body requires sunshine) If on the other hand, it is PMS then tomorrow will be better. We shall see....

Friday, January 18, 2008

La La La La La La - Smurfs Up


"La La La La La La, sing a happy song. Next time you're feeling blue just let a smile begin, Happy things will come to you, so Smurf yourself a grin. "

Who remembers the smurfs? I used to love to watch those little blue critters. I hear that they are producing a Smurf movie, scheduled for release in 2008, to celebrate their 50th anniversary (they look pretty good for 50!)

I could (and still can) relate to so many of the smurfs. Still can.

I liked Brainy. He was my favorite. My sister called me Brain-i-ac. That is when she wasn't calling me smarty-pants. Brain-i-ac pretended to know it all and be full of self-confidence. It was the way he coped. But beneath the surface, you could see that he was really just pretending. So many times he would run to Papa Smurf for help - to be bailed out. That was my life. Pretending to be in control and know it all. Only I didn't have a "papa" to run too.

There was a spacey one. Or at least one that flew in space. I have never actually visited outer space or orbited around the Earth. But I am often accused of "zoning out" and "disappearing." People snap their fingers and say, "Where did you go?" I have learned to hide it better in recent years. But I still spend a large part of life on the outer fringes of reality.

Here is Grouchy. I see him as more than grouchy. I see him as resigned. His back to the world, fist tight against the rage he is suppressing. The only sign of his anger in his raised eyebrow. But he'll only show that over one shoulder. No full frontal grouchy stare-down for him. Nope, he just walks away. With a glance back as if to say, "Call me back and let's talk about why I feel this way." The smurf website, says "From his corner, he interrupts the other with systematically negative comments such as: "Me, I don't like..." On the face of it, you'd think he likes no one or anything. But deep down, he has a heart of gold."

Then there was the one who walked around yawning - Lazy Smurf. I do that all the time. I can't help it. I'm not always sleepy, but I do yawn a lot. Scientists say it is a way of getting more oxygen in your system. When I get edgy or panicky, I gasp for breath. So I yawn more, my body attempting to make me inhale and intake some air.

There is the Smurf that actually walks around asleep (or maybe that is the same one). Sleep is good. I'd like to sleep soundly. I used to sleep walk. I'd be told in the morning what I had done the night before. It was odd not remembering things. Maybe it was a precursor to my life later on - doing things and not remembering them. Having that veil of fog over so much of my life.

Smurfs didn't get to relax completely. Or let their guard down. Lurking around every corner was the evil Gargamel and his cat, Azrael. He would pop up at every celebration, outing, even. Destroy safety measures. Take advantage of the smurfs every weakness.
Toilet and Gargamel look a lot alike. Dark hair, balding, big honking nose, big bushy eyebrows, bald spot on top. Evil, evil, evil.

There are similarities in their actions and personality too. Lurking around the corner. Watching over the Smurfs' shoulders. Tiptoeing quietly around. Sneaking up behind you and grabbing you. You'd escape and think you were safe --- but only for a moment. Because you knew he'd be back again. Unable to enjoy any of life's pleasures for fear that he will pounce again.
I live life on the run. Like this smurf shown here. Mouth open, gasping for air. Fear in my eyes. A cloud hanging over me, constricting the air in my chest. Running as fast as my little legs can handle. Running from evil, but toward what? I don't know.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

SNOW DAY - A Great Big Smile

SNOW DAY. The forecasts were wrong. But unlike my prediction that we would end up with only rain, we actually received several inches of snow. My husband woke up at 5 am, and like a little kid, could not go back to sleep. At 6, we turned the alarm off and dozed a bit. At 7, we heard my daughter in the other room and called to her. She sleepily walked in, prepared to snuggle. She was 2 the last time it snowed and doesn't remember it. So we told her we had SNOW outside. And took her to the window.

Her face lit up, like on Christmas morning. She was ecstatic. She wanted to go outside right away. I've never seen her get dressed so quickly. We put her into her snowsuit (a hand-me-down she's never worn) and boots (another hand-me-down). I found an old jacket. Neither Husband or I have boots, so we settled for sneakers.

Daughter was so excited. We built a snowman, had a snowball fight, scraped the driveway, and even took a few sled-rides down the hill in our yard. We watched her build snow angels. It was so much fun. I had a huge smile plastered across my face and am still smiling as I remember it. I took a ton of pictures and am already envisioning the scrapbook page I will make.

I also had a flash of a memory - but a good one this time - and those are rare. I remember a Thanksgiving we went to my Nana's. My uncle lived on a huge hill. We went sledding in the snow. My dad came out and played with us. He didn't do that often at all. It was he and his brothers and all my cousins. We all went sledding together and it was fun. I remember my dad sitting behind me and my sister in front of me on the sled. Feeling safe in my dad's arms and the excitement of going down the hill. That was before all the bad stuff happened. Back when I was still okay with having my dad, an adult male, sit behind me and wrap his arms around me - back when that still felt safe.

This morning was fun. I came into work and the other partners were here (as I predicted). Many of us have younger children, and nearly all of us had been up and outside playing. It was remarkable to me to hear these other men talk about taking their kids out for a snowball fight and to play. I am glad that these men take the time to play with their children like that.

It is quiet here now. Few people are here. Schools are closed. In a few hours the kids will be cold, wet and tired. It is turning to rain and the snow to slush (typical here). I figure the workers and kids will start piling in soon. The children's excited voices will talk about their romps in the snow. And I will smile again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When I Grow Up (All my daughter thinks I am)

When I grow up, I want to be all my daughter thinks that I am.

"Mommy, you are so pretty."
"Mommy, you are the bestest mommy ever."
"Mommy, you are so smart!"
"You're the best cook ever. I love your mac'roni -n- cheese."
"You make the best peanut butter jewelly sandwich."
"You're a good share-er."
"I love your stories. You're the bestest story teller ever."
"Mommy, you're the bestest mommy. Best-er than N's Mommy. His mommy doesn't let him have cookies."

"You're boo-tiful."
"You look so pwetty."
"Thank you God for my Mommy. She's the bestest Mommy in the whole world."

And the greatest thing "Mommy I love you -- always and forever." (in a whisper, "that's a long time.")

Happy Post -- LIfe in General

After three or four heavy posts I feel obliged to write something light-hearted. Here is a glimpse into my life as of late -

Last night
7 pm - I walk in door to be attacked by my Daughter. Somehow this child can launch herself three feet forward and 5 feet up into my arms. I give her a huge hug.
7:30 pm I settle down to eat leftover pizza. Daughter, who has already eaten her supper and a snack, decides my supper looks good and insists on sharing. I get about 3 bites. She eats the rest.
8 pm - Husband puts Daughter in bed and leaves to go play basketball. I settle down for my quiet time.
8:15 pm - Daughter has to go potty. She comes out, "what ya doing Mommy"
I say, "praying"
She says, "Oh....what ya praying about Mommy."
I think, "that you will go to bed" but I say "for you."
She climbs into my lap and says "pray outloud."
I know this is simply a diversion to stay awake longer, but I can't resist.
I pray - "......and if You intend Daughter to get married, please prepare for her a Christian and please bless her future husband...."
She interrupts, "Mommy, what is my future husband?"
I say, "Daddy and I pray that if God wants you to marry, that He will send you a wonderful Christian man."
She says, "Mommy when I get married, I am going to have a baby. It will grow in my belly. Then you will have a baby sister."
I say, "it doesn't work that way....let's keep praying." I pray a bit more.
She says, "Okay that's enough. I go to bed now."

This morning -
5:45 - alarm goes off. I slap it.
5:55 - alarm goes off. I slap it again.
6:05 - alarm goes off. I roll over to slap it, realize I am still sore from Monday's work out. Take that as a sign that I should not work out and turn alarm clock off.
7:30 - wake up to husband yelling CRAP, it is 7:30. Jump out of bed.
7:45 - husband is yelling at daughter to move it. Mommy to rescue. I make up a game where we are late and need to run, run, run to get ready. I laugh and make it fun.
7:50 Husband is out the door, daughter in tow, with a candy bar she earned as treat for getting ready so quickly.
7:55 I'm out the door, headed to work.
8:05 I'm at my desk, drinking coffee wondering how daycare is dealing with my, now hyped up on chocolate, child. Decide I am paying them more than enough to deal with it and get back to the important work of checking blogs.

Projection of Tonight
5:30 pm - arrive at church where the #1 topic of conversation will be the expected snow "storm:.
6:30 we'll leave church and Husband will want to know if we have bread and milk. I'll tell him yes, but he'll stop to get more.
7:00 we'll get home to watch the weather channel where they will call for flurries and maybe a wintery mix.
10 pm Husband will stay up to watch news and start lecturing me about how I can't possibly go to work in the morning. I will remind DH that I grew up in the north where I drove in 3 feet of snow. He will remind me that this is the south and we get ice here, which you can't drive in. I will remind him that I could really walk to work if I needed too.
11 pm DH will still be up obsessing over weather. I'll be asleep.
6 am - alarm will go off. Dh will run to window to see what is going on. 99% change nothing will be falling because the forecasters will have gotten it wrong.
7 am - I'll be out the door on my way to daycare and work.
Noon - if it really does snow, I will be contemplating leaving work to take Daughter sledding (the last time we had snow, she was 2 and doesn't remember it).
12:05 - Husband will flip at the thought of my taking Daughter to the mountains even though the snow will not be on the roads at all.

Projection of tomorrow morning
7:45 am - I arrive at work. Normally I am the first or second one here. Tomorrow ALL of the partners who normally do not arrive until 9 or 9:30 will be here.
8 am - partners will roam hallways whining about people not being here just because "there is a little snow" forgetting that these workers have children who they now must make daycare arrangements for.
9 am - coworkers will start to arrive as partners take their own vehicles out into the snow to go pick them up.
9:15 am - hallways will fill with the sounds of children who are out of school.
Noon - partners will decide they have had enough and go home for a 2-3 hour nap.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Random Muttering

Why can't I let myself feel when I don't knw why I feel the way I feel? Why do I feel the need to suppress how I feel because I have no objective rationalization for feeling the way I feel? Why do I try to talk myself out of feeling the way I feel when I can't explain why I feel the way I feel? Why do I criticize myself for feeling anything when I have no idea why I feel the way I feel? Why do I suppress my feelings when I don't feel like I have a good enough reason for them? Why do I get upset when I have feelings I can't explain? Why must I have a rational explanation for feelings? Since when are feelings rational anyway? Why can't I just spontaneously feel? Why must I beat myself up for feeling? When will I stop feeling the desire to SI when I feel feelings? Will I ever just feel feelings? Will I ever stop analyzing them? Will my feelings ever be justified to myself/ Why does the thought of not having an answer to "Why do you feel that way?" freak me out? Why am I falling apart when I think of walking into T, and her asking "how do you feel about this morning? and I say, "I don't know, but I've been shaky and panicky ever since." Why does the thought of her asking, "Why?" cause me to come unglued? Why can't I just go in and talk - without feeling like I have to pre-plan and have answers? Why am I freaking at not having time to prepare and absorb and process things since this morning? Why can't I just say "I don't know yet how I feel about this morning?" Why do I have to think about it first - and make sure it makes logical sense to feel this way? Why can't I just feel normal for a change? Why will I hide the way I feel from everyone?

Buying Himself Some Time

Today was Husband and I's joint appointment with both of our counselors. I was pretty apprehensive. The appointment was with my T, and DH's T (a male). Yikes! Me and males old enough to be my father don't get along. DH's T and my T are married. Plus I've had DH's T testify in court cases before. So lots of areas about which I was anxious. I can keep my personal life and private life separated but have difficulty accepting that anyone else can. So when I have DH's T in court, I'm thinking, gee this man knows far too many details about my personal life - best be nice to him (luckily he's always testified on my side). And concerned that when he sees just how much of a mess I am, that we won't work as well together in professional settings.

Many, many thanks to a male friend (who is slowly convincing me that males old enough (almost) to be my father are okay types of people!) who was able to relieve some of my fears. He reminded me that men and women are different, and that men are much more gifted at compartmentalizing than us women. Women tend to let their emotions about one subject spill over into everything, whereas men keep it close to their chest. He reassured me that DH's T was only thinking about court when in court. And vice versa. That piece of advice helped a lot.

I trust that my T would not remain married to some horrid person. I trust her instincts in choosing a husband. So I'm fairly confident that he's a decent guy :) But he's still a guy. And still has the age thing going. So that puts me on edge. And it's hard saying to my T, "oh by the way, I'm leery of being around your husband. It kind of freaks me out."

In any event, I survived. Not without putting on my armor. Black, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, rubber-soled shoes in case I needed a rapid get-away. Long, shapeless sweater to wrap around myself. Didn't carry much with me, in case I needed to run out. Walked to the office instead of driving -- much easier to run out and run the few blocks between offices, than get in car and try to pull out on that street. Made Husband switch sides of the couch so I could be closest to the door. Hair long so it hid my face. Coffee cup so I had something to hold in my hands, and hide the nervous gestures and jitteriness. No xanax, because while it relaxes me and makes the anxiety less, it also makes me not as sharp. I tend to let down my guard and not as quick to react. With those items in place, I bravely set forth to tackle the issues.

DH spoke first. His major issue in our marriage - communication, especially around finances and hunting. Then me - my major issue - respect. I managed to speak somewhat coherently. Don't feel like I mumbled my words or lost words too badly. I think I was able to put a sentence together and make sense. At least no one looked at me like I had 3 heads! I zoned out twice. The first time I didn't realize I did it. Not sure why I did it. Just kind of blinked back in and realized I didn't know what had happened in the last little bit. But DH's T was still talking, and so I don't think I was gone long or missed much. I had some sense that he had been talking the entire time, so I think I was okay.

The second time I knew what was happening. I don't know what all DH has told his T about my past. I'm not really sure what all I've told DH either. So one time, DH's T asked some questions to clarify something. I had tried to beat around the bush - just give vague, general questions. My T lets me get away with that sometimes. He didn't. He point blank asked.

"Why don't you have stuff from your childhood?"

Some general explanation with PC terms -- "it all disappeared when we moved. My stuff and the animals"

"Let me get this straight, your dog was put to sleep when you moved?"

(zone out) general explanation without emotion, as if it is no big deal. "Yes, twice." (thinking to self, please don't ask me how that made me feel). I managed to give some explanation of the facts.

So we go back in a few weeks. They asked how long before we wanted to come back and DH says "one month." Hello? Do you not see how hard this is? Let's move it along a bit. So I said 2-3 weeks. Three weeks is a huge trial date for me, so we're going 2 1/2 weeks.

I'm guessing I need to bring up the more immediate issues. The ones I deal with every day - like DH doing things that trigger me ALL THE TIME. And laughing at me when I say something. I'm also wondering if I can continue the "no talk about intimacy AKA sex" rule? I know Dh wants (needs?) to talk about that. I know it is an issue. But I've managed to avoid it and ignore it for a long time now........I guess I can do the "physically present but mentally absent" trick during that session.....

Dh's responses were good. And appropriate. The Ts did a good job of drawing him out. Beyond the point where I get frustrated at not getting through to him and give up in exasperation. So I think we got somewhere. I also see somethings I need to work on. Dh has bought himself some more time :) We'll see if he makes good use of it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

120 Days

One Hundred Twenty Days
120 days SI Free


I can hardly believe it. I never thought I would make it this far. I can actually go through days now where I do not think about SI at all. Although I still have days when I want to do nothing else.

I still do not keep razors in my house. I buy the cheap disposable shaving razors. (although my husband did buy a paint scraper tool which he proudly announced came complete with a straight razor -- clueless man - little does he know it is going in the trash).

I was triggered this morning at the gym (PSA to old grandfather-type men - do NOT wear silk, short, boxer-type shorts to work out in -- it's nasty). I thought of SI, then knew it wasn't the answer. While it is a short term solution, it is not worth it in the long run.

I'm learning ways to deal with the temptation. The skin from my latest stitches hasn't healed yet. Those HURT. Amazing that my first stitches in years and years are from an accidental cut with scissors. I try to convince myself that the SI will hurt like that. Replace the "good" SI feelings with those painful ones. When tempted, I rub the scar on my middle finger with my thumb and remember.

The scars on my legs will always be there, although some are fading. They show up less in the winter when my legs are white. In the summer, the white of the scars stands in stark contrast to the tan of my legs. Not sure that I'll be "brave" enough to wear shorts this summer. But we'll see.

120 days down. On the road to another 120....

Hard to Imagine

In a recent post, I talked about how I think safe snuggling on someone's lap and a hug would feel good. A friend suggested I try some imagery work - imagining that when I needed to feel safe or relaxed. I have tried that, but it is difficult. Mostly because I don't know what that feels like or looks like.

Recently my sister and I tried to remember some good memories from our childhood. Some situation where our mother acted motherly. I really couldn't remember many.

I remember someone tucking me in. I don't actually remember being tucked in. I just know that someone would pull the covers, one by one, up over my head, then fold them down and tuck me in. I still do that to myself.

I remember a birthday party in first grade maybe? I had several friends over. Mom made little tiny pizza crusts and we each got to put whatever we wanted on them. I have pictures of that.

I remember special dinners. My sister and I took turns each week. For one supper, we had to plan the entire meal. We got to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, help fix the meal, pick the dessert and then help clean up. It didn't last long. We thought it was fun, but I think it was supposed to teach us responsibility.

I remember a friend and I swinging on my swingset in the back yard. We were determined to break the Guinness book of World Records for swinging the longest. My mom indulged our imagination and brought us out sandwiches and juice boxes, so we wouldn't have to stop for lunch.

All of these memories took place before divorce. I don't remember any other memories that aren't tainted in some way.

The time that my dad was running late to pick Sister and I up for our Lake vacation. Mom took us with her to run errands after an hour passed. Dad got mad and yelled at me. I tried to defend myself and got accused of being "mouthy" and told I would be grounded the entire week at the Lake. So I refused to go. Mom said it was okay to stay home. She tried to make that week special for me at home - because she knew how much I loved the lake. She and Toilet took me camping. But then things were ruined by the hike in the woods where I turned around and caught them taking provocative pictures. When I objected I was told I was "overly sensitive" and being a "prude." Later his kids came to visit - then threw a fit in the middle of the night and had to go home.

There was the planned surprise trip to a huge out-of-state amusement park. I was so excited. Only the car broke down and Toilet got in trouble for having his kids out of state. I had a panic attack - I know that now. But then I just thought I was getting car sick. Mom told me she needed me to be strong and set an example for the other kids.

There was the car accident when I was 17 and terrified. I called Mom and she came rushing over - all upset. I could see that she cared on her face. Then she took me back to my father's and told me to be careful, because she knew he would be angry and she was fearful for my safety. Yet she left me there.

The time Mom came rushing over to Dad's house, breaking the restraining order, to pick us up when Dad and his new wife kicked my sister out - started throwing her stuff out the balcony window. Toilet came too. I actually felt protected and safe. For a moment.....until Mom started complaining that now there wouldn't be college money.

The time my mom had to be two places at once. I needed someone to drive me to the doctor because I had a horrible kidney infection - one I had successfully hidden so as not to be a burden - until I got sick and passed out. Mom crying in the doctor's lobby because she needed to be there with me, but also with my sister who was having a tough time after her boyfriend's funeral. Me rolling my eyes when I told her that I had been taking myself to doctors and dentists by myself since I was able to drive and that I was sure I could handle it.

There was the time after Sister's boyfriend died of alcohol poisoning. When I saw a glimpse of pain as my mother tried to deal with my sister's pain. When Mom quickly made arrangements for Sister to drive with us to take me back to college. Then the snapping, when she had enough, and was irritated that we wouldn't eat after she paid for a buffet lunch.

I don't remember any shared tears over failed teenager relationships. Hugs when a boyfriend dumped me. Support when I tried out for a school team. Congratulations when I scored well on my report cards. I don't remember loving moments. I don't remember feeling secure. I do not remember cuddles at all. I remember obligatory hugs and kisses at bed - if she was home. That is all.

I have no memory of every lying next to my mom and resting my head on her shoulder. If I had, she'd have shoved me away and told me to "quit squishing me" or "get off, I'm too hot." I don't remember washcloths on my head when I was sick. I don't remember putting my head in her lap. No wonder it is difficult now to imagine such a thing. I know that it is a good thing, something to be missed, something to make sure my daughter never misses. But not something I can relate too.

I find myself thinking of how "un-mom-like" my mom was. Today in a store, Daughter wandered around a corner. Then started crying when she turned back and didn't see us. I ran over and scooped her straight up and hugged her tight. Reassured her that I had seen her and didn't leave her. I had a flash of a memory - my mom would have yelled at me for getting out of sight. With that, I hugged my Daughter tighter and told her "I love you."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A New Vocabulary

trauma work * Anger work * verbalization * lexapro * safe place * grounding * body memories * PTSD * hypervigilence * xanax * self-injury * dissociation * depression * goals * anxiety * panic attack * flashback * inner child * suicidal ideations * process * therapy * effexor * shame * OCD * ambivalence * forgiveness * blame * survivor * victim * abuse * rape * triggers * nightmares * prozac * guilt * voices * cutting * addiction * sexual assault * treatment * crazy * control * mother issues * healing* incest* self-esteem *grief * abandonment * betrayal * denial * wounded * SI * toxic * mind * body * spirit * self



I've learned a whole new vocabulary in the last few years. Words that were previously foreign to me have taken over my life. Consumed me. They surround me at night and during the day. I have an entirely new way of talking. The words roll of my tongue freely now. No longer do I need to run to google and look them up. Unfortunately they are part of my everyday repertoire now. I live with them. They are my everyday companion. I hope to lose some in the future. I pray they will go back to being just words. I pray that they will stop being triggers. Some of them I can't even type out above. Others I can type out, but not say. Or read. Or write in certain contexts. Progress and process. Onward, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January Carnivals - CHECK THEM OUT

Marcella Chester (Abyss2hope) hosts the January 1st Carnival Against Sexual Violence. I'm privileged to participate this issue.

Blessed Fearscapes hosts this month's Carnival Against Child Abuse.

Be sure to check these out.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Score is -1 ..............(Happy Birthday Mom)

Today is mom's birthday. I am not sure how old she is -- 56 or 57 maybe. She looks and acts 20 years older. She seems more the age of my grandparents. My MIL is my mother's age and my FIL is 6 years older - but they both seem (and act) younger.

Luckily my mom's bday is so close to Christmas that my sister and I were able to team up and do a joint Christmas/bday gift thing. So I got that obligation over. My sister (the suck-up) sent a box of chocolate and a card. When I found out, I sent an e-card out of guilt. Subtract one point for caving into guilt - add one point for not giving into the thoughts of giving up my morning work out just so Daughter & I could call Mom together this morning; hurrying up and sending her something in the mail; or having Daughter color her a picture. Score - 0.

I did have the usual, can't find a card that isn't too mushy, issue. I found a website offering cards for Dysfunctional Families. Here are some I found -

Happy Birthday! You look great for your age...(Inside card) - Almost lifelike.

Your friends and I wanted to do something really special for your birthday...(Inside card) - So we're having you put to sleep. (just like you did to my pets).

I also tried to come up with my own -

Happy Birthday Mom. I’m sitting here wondering what the world would be like without you....(Inside card)... Okay, wishful thinking over………..

Happy Birthday Mom. You’re older than dirt...(Inside card).... It has nothing to do with the number of candles on your cake. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you smoke two packs a day and have for over 35 years; you drink like a fish; you eat horribly; you drink caffeine non-stop; you haven’t seen a doctor in 10 years; and you are perpetually miserable. I don’t think you could “turn that frown upside down” if you stood on your head.

Happy Birthday Mom...(Inside card)... I’m sending you this card to fulfill my daughterly obligations. Whew. Glad that is over for the year.


Happy Birthday Mom. Without you.....(Inside card).... I wouldn't have been born. I supposed I'm to be happy about that?......

Subtract one point for the guilty pangs of feeling as if I'm being disrespectful. Subtract another point for thinking of the phrase "honor thy mother and father." Add a point for responding in my head "screw that." (at least as it applies to my mom).

I did call Mom out of obligation (subtract 1). I did not give into the temptation of filling the conversation with needless chatter (add 1). I did make an excuse and get off the phone when I wanted (add 1). I did let Mom's comment about "when should I call for Daughter's birthday" which is over TWO WEEKS away, irritate me (subtract 1) and finagled a time when she could call. I did feel a pang of guilt for not having Daughter do anything when I saw my sister IM mom that she wanted to know what time her kids could call and sing (subtract 1). I did not tell my Daughter it was Grandma's birthday, simply because I didn't want to hear her talk about making a card or calling or singing - she's too young to really care anyway (I think I should add 1 point there).

So, daughterly obligations fulfilled. And time to put it behind me and get on with my day. It's Friday !! And the final score is -1.