Friday, June 27, 2008

The Origin of Word Problems

In T this week, we talked about how my word issues and holding my thoughts/words close to myself stems from my parents/family reaction to times when I expressed words. I found it very interesting and it made a lot of sense.

My father was very particular about word choice. You could not use foul language, and to him everything was foul. I've written before about how he would not tolerate disagreement. If you expressed an opinion different than him, you were being disrespectful and a smart-aleck. I longed for the day when I was adult-enough to express an opinion to him and disagree. However, even when I spoke with him briefly a few years ago, I was told I was being a "smart mouth" when I very politely tried to explain to him how his actions made me feel. Guess things didn't change much with him.

My mother criticized word choices. If she asked a question, I had to be very cautions answering her. She would get impatient with my carefulness. I would try to stall, pretending I didn't remember or understand the question, while I thought of exactly how to phrase things. She would get aggravated and tell me to "stop playing stupid." I can hear her saying that when I get stuck with words now and it increases my anxiety. We only had one shot to explain things with Mom. After that it was over and we could not go over it again. So I was very cautious in how I worded everything - from simple requests to pick up something at the store or go over to a friend - to more serious discussions. Mom's favorite method of discipline was lecturing. I'm talking two hour lectures. I couldn't tell you what they were about, except that I learned the art of hiding my disgust and outrage at what she was saying - learned that after getting slapped across the face a few times when I rolled my eyes, failed to hide a look of disgust, or even worse, dared to disagree. (should have slapped her back - that's what my sister did and it stopped the lectures for her).

Along came Toilet who loved to argue about anything and everything. What a change from both Mom and Dad. In some ways, I enjoyed arguing with him. I did learn some argument strategies. He would pick subjects that would make me furious. He'd make racist remarks and call my friends and family names. Then he'd laugh at me when I'd get emotional. I learned not to let emotions get in the way - I learned to turn emotions off and be cold. Nothing but the facts, ma'am.

However, interestingly I was also allowed to be the "boss" with Toilet. It was an odd thing. Around age 10 or so, I complained to my dad that Toilet just sat around and watched TV and I never got to watch my shows. Dad mentioned that in the divorce papers, the TV and VCR (a somewhat valuable asset back then) were distributed to us kids - in other words Mom got to take them to her house for us. So Dad told me they belonged to my Sister and I. The next fight we had, I told Toilet it was my TV/VCR and he couldn't watch it. Walked over and turned it off. I was truly acting like a snot-nosed kid then and being quite disrespectful. I would have expected that he, the adult, would call me out on it. Nope, he shrugged and walked away. I did that over and over again. It went on for months. My mom never said anything to me either - and I know he complained to her. As a parent now, I can't fathom letting my child act like that. (although I do have to smile at the memory of getting the best of him).

With Toilet I could say anything to him and get away with it. I could call him anything when we were arguing. He actually enjoyed making me lose my temper to the point where I would curse and call him names. Sister and I used to call him "Asshole." It was a proper noun - capitalized. That was his name. Until my Sister had children who could repeat things and we decided to tone it down to Toilet. One summer when I was in highschool or home on college break, he drove up and I yelled out to Sister that "Asshole is home." He heard - the windows were open. He came in and yelled and screamed at Sister. Just went off. She was laughing which just infuriated him. She finally choked out between laughs that it wasn't her. She said his expression was priceless. He came down the hall, walked right by me and said absolutely nothing. Later my mom told me I had hurt his feelings. At the time I think I felt bad. But I also found it odd that he didn't say anything to me.

I find it all interesting. I can see how each of the adults in my life influenced my issues with words. From Dad, I learned to be very careful about not saying anything that comes across disrespectful or crude. From Mom I learned to rehearse anything I say well in advance, over and over. I think she is the reason I have to plan things out so much. Like the Aguilera song "Fighter" which says, "Makes me that much stronger; Makes me work a little bit harder; Makes me that much wiser; So thanks for making me a fighter " - I do think some of my lawyering skills were learned from interactions with Toilet (not that I'll ever thank him or give him credit).

One thing I don't understand --- How was it that I was so powerful that Toilet wouldn't confront me when I shut off the very TV he was watching? Or called him names? Yet he still chose me over Sister to actually touch? (blech - add that word to icky words). In hindsight, I think he was scared in some ways of me. I wish I had realized that then. Maybe I would have felt some sense of empowerment.....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Pisses Me Off - Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty in Child Rape Cases

THE BACKGROUND

The death penalty is unconstitutional as a punishment for the rape of a child, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The case, Kennedy v. Louisiana, No. 07-343, was an appeal by one of the two Louisiana inmates, Patrick Kennedy. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2003 for raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter, whose injuries were severe enough to require emergency surgery.

As a matter of constitutional analysis, the question in the case was whether the death penalty was so disproportionate to the offense as to amount to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court’s modern precedents interpret the Eighth Amendment according to “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

The Louisiana law extending the death penalty to the rape of children under the age of 12 dates to 1995. The states that followed were Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. Unlike Louisiana, those states all require that a defendant have a previous rape conviction or some other aggravating factor in order to be subject to the death penalty, and no one has yet been sentenced to death under any of the laws.
Justice Kennedy said there was thus a national consensus against applying capital punishment for the crime.

He continued: “We cannot sanction this result when the harm to the victim, though grave, cannot be quantified in the same way as death of the victim.”

The fact that six states in modern times have nonetheless enacted such laws, Justice Alito said, “might represent the beginning of a new evolutionary line” that “would not be out of step with changes in our society’s thinking since Coker was decided.” He said there were abundant indications that society had become more aware of and concerned about sex crimes against children.

Links to News Articles -
NY Times (excerpts above are from this site); CNN; Politicians vow to keep writing the laws that allow execution; Mass. lawmaker pledges to "rip apart" child rape victims at trial. (see more info below)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Justice Kennedy] continued: “We cannot sanction this result when the harm to the victim, though grave, cannot be quantified in the same way as death of the victim.”

Ahh...yes it can. It is death. A slow, agonizing death from the inside out. I prayed for death many times. Death would have been easier and quicker. The victims are zombies, alive on the outside but dead on the inside.

Justice Kennedy also said capital punishment for child rape presented specific problems, including the “special risks of unreliable testimony” by children and the fact that the crime often occurs within families. Families might be inclined to “shield the perpetrator from discovery” when the penalty is death, he said, leading to an increase in the problem of under-reporting of these crimes.

They already shield the perpetrators. How about addressing that problem instead of benefiting the perpetrators by minimizing their punishment.

This is from one lawmaker about a bill imposing tougher penalties - "I'm gonna rip them apart," Fagan said of young victims during his testimony on the bill. "I'm going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”

(watch video here)




I've been in court. I know the ethical responsibilities. I've had to cross-examine children in court. I HAVE NOT and WILL NOT EVER treat a child witness like that. I have cross-examined children who I believe were not being truthful or were parroting what another parent wanted them to say. You still don't rip them apart and give them nightmares. Frankly, I won't represent any client who asks me too. If that makes me less of an attorney, oh well - I can live with that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Speaking Out Loud in T Session - and other ramblings

I did take my wordle into T and actually showed it to her (yeah me) and we talked about words and talking. I am still astounded by the impact that doing that exercise had - seeing all those words out there like that. I had tried something like that before - with cutting the words out of magazines. But that was too traumatic because it required too much effort on my part. With wordle, you just cut and paste a blog post, poem, whatever into their program and hit "generate" - or you can type words in yourself.

So in T we talked about some of my problems with thoughts getting stuck and with words.
Then an interesting thing happened. I was trying to describe what happens when I can't get a word or draw a blank. And then it happened......It's happened before in T - lots of times. But I was acutely aware of it this time, having just talked about it.

On my "wordle" there is this word -



To create my wordle, I took 4-5 blog posts and plugged them into the site. The above word came from this post here about body image issues. I had reviewed those posts just that morning to create the wordle. So they were fresh in my mind. Not like sometimes when I "lose" words but can blame it on the memories being from a long time ago.

So T asked me why that word was on there. And I knew but I didn't know. I completely went blank. I knew that I knew but I couldn't get it into my brain. I could literally feel my eyes shifting back and forth from left to right as I "read" the blog post in my head trying to pull out some single word from that blog post, figuring if I could start with one word the others might come. Nothing. I gave up and said I didn't know. I didn't know at that point. But I knew I should know. It was like seeing a paragraph of foreign language words and thinking you should know what they mean but you don't.

After that, we talked about other stuff. I walked out her door, down the stairs and Boom, I knew. It flooded into my head. I could see the blog post and the paragraph -

My milk came in rapidly and my Daughter took to nursing pretty well. I remember walking down the hallway to take a bath a few short days after my daughter was born. My husband caught a glimpse of me and I watched as his jaw literally dropped. I was crying from the soreness of these huge watermelons that had sprouted overnight. He was astonished and asked if they'd "go down." They did, thank goodness. However, those were a long two days filled with tears as I was convinced I had become my mother.

If I had still been in her office, I don't know that I would have been able to say the word or talk about it outloud. Maybe - maybe not. But I was really conscious of the process - the blocking and unblocking process. And that's something, I suppose.

I have a few coping techniques that I use when stuck and unable to come up with a word or thought. Most are stall techniques - if I can take the spotlight off me, and give myself time to take some deep breaths and calm down, then I can sometimes pull it together. Yesterday I was aware of several times I did this.

1. Play dumb - Clarify - this used to drive my mother nuts. I will pretend I don't understand the question and try to get them to clarify it. Or act like I just don't remember the answer quite yet. When I would be trying to grasp a word or keep my emotions in check when talking to my mother, she would get mad at me and tell me to "stop playing dumb." She knew I understood - she just didn't grasp the reason for the delay.
I had emailed T that I wanted to talk about words and asked her to bring it up if I didn't. So she mentioned that there had been something I wanted to talk about. I knew - but it wasn't coming together in my head quite yet. So I stalled and acted like I couldn't quite remember what email or what I had said. Gave myself time to take some deep breaths and then it came together in my head and I was able to start talking about words and show her the wordle picture.

2. Shift Speaker - Try to get the other person to start the topic. Get them to answer the question or start talking. Then I can jump in mid-stream without all the focus being on me. Starting a topic is the absolute hardest for me. I will not raise an issue. The toughest part of talking in T sessions is when she asks "so what do you want to talk about today" or "what is on your mind?" Guaranteed to either draw a complete blank or send whatever was in my head flying off into the land of "unable to be grasped." If I email her a topic ahead of time and she raises it, I can usually (not always) jump in and talk though. I think this problem stems from the fact that, in younger years, I was not able to discern what were appropriate topics and what were not. If someone else raises a topic, then I feel okay about jumping in.

3. Back door it - call it a lawyer skill or evasiveness, but if I can approach something in a round about way, ever so slowly getting to the core of the topic, it is easier. I'll talk for 10 minutes about periphery stuff and then get to it. Slide it right in there and diminish the spotlight upon it. Ironically it drives me bonkers when others do this, especially my husband. I'm forever telling him, "quit with the 10 minute diatribe and get to the point." So in T I'll avoid the question and mention that when an online friend and I were talking about the topic, my reaction was ....... as if to reassure myself that it must have been okay because I was talking about it before with someone else. With the word in T, I would have backed way up and approached it from the very start of the whole body image issue - distorted mirror perception thing, and then sidled into the actual word and where it came from. Part of it is to diminish the importance and part is because I find it much easier to keep talking once I've already talked. Too much silence = too much time to think = scary.

Number 3 is the easiest way for me to approach things. They get tougher as I get to number 1. Yesterday I was really aware of using all three and acutely aware of the process of losing thoughts/words. It was a good awareness. Maybe it will help me recognize when it happens again, take a deep breath and approach it using 3, 2 or 1 and work through it. Time will tell......

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Words - a Wordle of my Ruminations

I saw this "Wordle" on Kahless's blog. I thought it was perfect. Since I'm going to try really hard to discuss words in my T session today, I made one myself, printed it out and am going to bring it. It was hard typing in the words and seeing them appear on screen and some words are still too difficult to input, but a lot are there. This was such a great therapy exercise.

(click on image to see it bigger)



Meme/Tag for Fun

I got this idea from Nick. It's really cool. Here is my personal mosaic, reflective of me.....
(click on mosaic to make it bigger)




1. Enola Yard (Enola, PA) - 7/2/06, 2. Just a Perfect Day, 3. More ghosts in the woods, 4. Graveyard Tree, 5. Matthew McConaughey, 6. Cat Pimp, 7. Mallorca 2007 -- Waiting for summer to come, 8. eye candy!, 9. Tender Love and Care, 10. Life Passes By, 11. Running ahead of oneself, 12. Enola, Gay?

Here’s how it works . . .
*Answer each of the questions below.

* Go to Flickr (you don't have to set up an account) and type your answers (one at a time) into the search bar. Hit enter
* From the choice of pictures shown only on the front page, click on the one that moves you.
* Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL.
* Go to Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic (i did a 4 x 3), and paste your URLs into each of the boxes one by one.
* Click “Create! Save the image and you can upload it into your blog.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?

11. Choose one word to describe you?
12. Your Flickr name? (Substitute a nickname if you don't have an account.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I've got a Ru - MOO - nator Brain


ru·mi·nate - verb
1. to chew the cud, as a ruminant.
2. to meditate or muse; ponder.
3. to chew again or over and over.
4. to meditate on; ponder.

Chewing a cud is a process by which some animals, called ruminants (camels, goats, sheep, deer, and cattle), thoroughly digest their food. The cow, for example, has a stomach organized into sections to take care of hard-to-digest food. When the cow first takes in food, it chews it just enough to moisten it. Once swallowed, the food goes to the stomach's first section, where it is mixed with chemicals and softened. This softened food is called the cud, small balls of food.
Next, the stomach's muscles send the cud back up to the cow's mouth, where it is re-chewed and swallowed again, this time going to another section of the stomach, where moisture is squeezed out of the cud. Finally, the food enters the last section of the stomach, the true stomach, where digestive juices mix with the food and start it on its way to the intestine to be completely digested.

I looked up ruminate in the dictionary to make sure I was spelling it correctly. I was struck with the "chewing the cud" definition and because curiosity is inherent to me, I linked to a post about why cows chew their cud. I have determined that I'm a ru-MOO-nator. The word also looks like "Mutant" which fits me too.


The section about cows talks about stomachs being organised into sections to conquer hard-to-digest food. My brain is the same way. It takes hard-to-digest thoughts and memories and cycles them through over and over again, in smaller, digestible chunks so that I can process and deal. In its own way that is good. But sometimes things get "stuck" and I'm resigned to chewing for a very long time.

What cuds am I ruminating on now?

My mother has talked with my sister and emailed me a tiny bit about money issues. Namely, she and Toilet are broke because he is still out of work. His hospitalization was out-of-network and then his company switched insurance providers, and the new insurance year rolled over. So they have had to meet their out-of-pocket maximum twice now. Plus he is not working. Can't possibly find anything to do (hello? Walmart greeter? Grocery bagger? Telemarketer?) Anyway, I do find it ironic (and slightly humorous) that she, who is absolutely not sympathetic to anyone with medical issues and who stayed with a man for financial security, is now stuck caring for a man who is disabled and out of work. He also now needs a pacemaker and a defibrillator ($$$$).

Anyway, she emailed me and said "even if I could possibly find a way" to make time for her to come visit, gas prices were too high and she was too broke to make the trip. (big eye roll). First, I told you to come visit any weekend you wanted - oh wait, you work every weekend. Or to come visit any Wed - Thursday you wanted (her days off) but that I had to work and would only be able to visit Wed after work. I can't take any more time off because I've been off a lot with this pregnancy already. That wasn't good enough - or rather she still found excuses not to visit.

I have to go to a city halfway in between our homes in a few weeks. I asked her if she wanted to meet for breakfast that Saturday. It was still too far - but maybe if I drive a bit closer to her house we can meet. (eye roll).

So my Cuds that I am ruminating over concern -

(Cud 1) Mom asks me for money or a loan. Mom views my Husband and I as "rich" because we actually have money in a savings account. And because we do not have credit cards that are maxed out (or credit cards at all). She forgets about the 6-figure school loans, that we have 1 child in daycare and another on the way and starting. The savings account is our way of planning for emergencies, including for the medical costs for this child and for when I'm out of work. No way am I loaning her any money. Many years ago when she got in this predicament, I did put gas in her car one time. My sister and I also bought her a gift card to a grocery store. We figured she could still spend it on alcohol and cigarettes though, neither of which she has cut back on. But I ruminate over exactly how to respond and whether I'll have the guts to tell her No flat out.

(Cud 2) a scenario where Toilet gets offered a sit-down, desk job near my house and Mom decides they will move closer. Sometimes they set a meeting to try to "reconcile" since we may run into each other around town. Other times I just run into them unexpectedly. In my ruminations, I have decided that all acceptable social normals and Biblical principles of forgiveness aside, if they think about moving closer, I will engage in some non-Biblical threats and blackmail. In other words, I will threaten (and attempt) to institute both criminal and civil charges against both of them - statues of limitations aside. I will call any prospective neighbors and inform them they have a sexual predator moving in beside them. I will call prospective employees and suggest they do a thorough background check, including misdemeanors in the state of NJ (damn him for getting that pled down). In other words, I will make their life a living hell. This is MY state (bad enough Toilet comes into this state to work), my area of the state, my county and my town. Stay the hell out. I will not risk running into you in Walmart, especially with my children with me. But I ruminate over the wording, where and when it will happen, and the fall out/effect on me. Also whether I'd actually have the guts to stand up for myself in real life.


One of my next "to do" projects is to find a line of acceptable ruminating. I need to figure out the line between obsessive worrying and okay planning ahead.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Belly Pictures & Baby Update

Someone wanted to see belly pictures. I don't post pictures of me on the internet but I played around and here are 2 of my belly shots - ha ha ha.

at 20 weeks



at 26 weeks




(you can also see our new wall paint color!)

I am now on every 2 week OB appts and soon into the 3rd trimester. Where has time gone? Stats say that our baby boy is now 13 inches long (33 centimeters) and weighs 25 ounces (720 grams).
One website I read says, "Even your increased weight says nothing about the size of your baby. It really doesn't matter how much weight you gain." I LOVE that website !!!!!

It also says, "Most babies are, at 27 weeks old, far enough along in their development that they have a reasonable chance of survival outside the uterus." What a comforting milestone.
I'm definitely feeling the baby now. He's a soccer player - prone to kicking. My husband and daughter can both feel and see him move now. We are not at all ready - haven't painted the nursery, set up the crib or bought even a single pack of diapers. Very different from my pregnancy with my daughter where we had everything done months in advance. We have, at least, picked out colors for nursery paint and will start that soon. We've also picked out a name.

For the most part I'm doing okay. My depression seems to have subsided with the onset of summer and the lexapro. Anxiety is manageable. My back is killing me, but my husband is great about working the kinks out with massages. He also gave me a gift card for a prenatal massage, pedicure and facial - which I've scheduled for August. I may give my chiropractor a call next week to see if he can help with the back pain too. I've had to give up on my fancy, strappy, oh so cute, high heels for the summer (sniff) but did find some semi-cute flat flip-flop sandals. Judges and attorneys will just have to deal.

Since the "experts: (website, anyway) say weight gain is fine (ha ha), I'm off to lunch and perhaps will stop for a milkshake on my return. I have to buy some clothes for Hubby for a wedding this weekend. Hey, if I can't shop for clothes for myself, I might as well indulge and buy some stuff for him!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting the Words Out

I lost my voice when I lost the words. Sometimes the words aren't there at all. Other times they are floating in space but my brain can't grab them. Other times my brain grabs them but my mouth can't say them. I stutter and can't get them out of my mouth. I've just given up saying, or trying to say, certain things.

Several weeks ago, I struggled with an issue. After much trial and error I was finally able to put words to it in my head, and then after much more wrestling to write it down on my blog here and here. I wanted to discuss it in T, but didn't bring it up (go figure). I swore I would bring it up the next week, but didn't again. Then things calmed down a bit around that issue and it wasn't a "hot button" issue with me anymore. I know it will come back, but since it is over for the moment, I skipped talking about it this week too.


Last night in a post-T session, I-can't-find-a-single-comfortable-spot, have-to-use-the-bathroom-a-zillion-times, pregnancy-up-at-3am, moment, I had some thoughts. I grabbed my pen and pad and jotted them down to be deciphered today. The hardest thing about this post will be pulling the words into my brain, and then typing the words I need to use in order to describe my problem with words.

There are really 2 problems or types of problem words. Gag words that trigger me. And then uncertain words - where I'm not sure which words are "okay" to use.

My father was very conservative. While my mother was married to him, she was conservative too. We did not curse. We were not allowed to say "pissed off," "sucks" or "hell." Neither of my parents used those words - except Dad when he was drunk or in a rage. Body parts were identified in round-about ways or using very proper terminology.


When Toilet moved in, my vocabulary greatly expanded. I had two different languages - proper, "ladylike" speech used around my father versus say whatever you want as long as you don't call a person names, speech around my mother. When my father came back into my life, his language had changed. I was appalled. I had never heard my father talk like that or use words like that. It really made me think less of him in so many ways - to have lessened his own standard for himself after marriage.


Growing up in NJ didn't help my propensity toward profanity any. Curse words are commonplace. I could (and can still) cuss like a sailor. However, I learned to choose other words carefully. My vocabulary and word choice got me in trouble sometimes.

I learned to be cautious about raising certain topics at all, or if raised, about the words I used. Otherwise people looked at me funny, wondering where I got those words. Especially words about body parts. I knew the crude terminology because I heard that at home. I knew the words used on pornography videos because I heard those at home too. I didn't know the "PC" words to use. I learned not to ask after getting teased by Toilet endlessly for not knowing what "masturbate" meant - I knew the crude terms for it - just not the proper term (and yes I gagged when writing that word and it will take lots of effort not to erase it).


When I went to college, a mentor/professor took me aside and cautioned me about my foul language. He advised me to clean it up if I wanted to work in a professional environment. After starting Bible study I cleaned up my language profusely. So much so, that I am teased by pre-college friends for my use of phrases like "sugar" and "darn." I have cursed at work on occasion and gotten strange looks from co-workers or comments that it is "so unlike me." For the most part though, foul language (curse words) don't trigger me. I am taken aback sometimes by things I hear, but it's not triggering. I can read those words on blogs with no problems. I can say those words when mad, or in the right context. I even let a "WTF" abbreviation fly here sometimes.

In my line of work, I had to overcome my hesitancy to discuss certain subjects. It's just a necessary part of my job. So I have come up with a vocabulary that works for me. I use words like "sexual relations" - a nice bland word. Or "chest" - or "private areas." I'll never forget a case where a husband would regularly call his wife a f----- c---. When going over testimony, the partner and I would never use the full phrase. It was always abbreviated or spelled. If I had been asking the question, I would have said, "your husband regularly called you a f-ing c---__---__---t" and spelled it out. For effect and impact, the partner said the entire words. It sure made an impact. The other attorney, judge and I all gasped. The wife (our client) had no reaction - she was so immune to it. Great trial strategy. Great example of the effect of words. But something I could NEVER do. I couldn't get those words out of my mouth.

Some words are just gag words. I can't say them without gagging. Other times it's a fear of saying the wrong thing. Of raising a topic that most people don't talk about in polite company. Or of using a word that most people don't use. I know it is something I need to get over in T sessions (and I'm sure she's heard every possible word out there), but I still have trouble. Especially with raising such an issue off the cuff, out of the blue.

Over the weekend I spoke with my sister. She is having issues with heavy periods and bleeding. My husband asked what was wrong and all I said was "Sister is having stomach issues." T asked how my sister was and I was able to say "bleeding issues" but it was difficult to say and I got a wave of anxiety - then felt stupid over it. (another paragraph had trouble writing out and want to delete). I think because my mother would regularly talk about her female issues with terms like flooding, bleeding like a stuck pig, and other icky ways that made people look at her funny and judgmentally. I'm scared of using a word that "shouldn't" be used and being looked at like that.

I have trouble discussing pregnancy issues because I can't find the words to describe things. Going to urgent care two weekends ago was awful because the doctor (male) asked where the pain was. I stumbled over the words - do I say groin, crotch, pelvic area? I ended up pointing and stuttering over the word, which of course just drew more attention to an otherwise awful situation.

I've tried making a list of words that bother me, as well as words I can use instead. I thought maybe I'd ingrain the "safe" words in my head and they'd come out better. I tried saying them outloud so they would lose their "power." It didn't work - it just made me sick. I'm not even sure that I should worry about not being able to say some of these words. But on the other hand, my inability to use some of them drastically inhibits my ability to discuss certain topics in T or otherwise.

Not sure what to do about this or where to go with it. Anyone that has advice, please share. I've come to the realization that it is a problem I need to fix before I can address (talk about) the other problems I need to fix.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts - making memories

My husband woke up early this morning - before the alarm went off. I tried to go back to sleep but just couldn't. In a few moments I heard the pitter patter of 4 year old feet and felt a big bounce as she climbed into bed for morning snuggles. Husband left for work. Daughter told me about her dream.

"Mommy I dreamed of chocolate donuts," she said. Yum I thought. She reminded me that we had white powdered donuts in the kitchen but no chocolate ones and we needed chocolate donuts next time. I asked her if the donuts in her dreams had sprinkles. "They make donuts with sprinkles? Like on ice cream?" she asked in amazement. An idea was formed.

I told her to get up and get ready, even though it was early. I told her we were going to the donut factory, where they make chocolate sprinkle donuts. A special "girls trip." So we hurried up and got ready and drove to Krispy Kreme. The "Hot Now" sign was lit up all aglow.




I didn't realize that, while she had been through the drive-through, Daughter has never been inside the donut store. Her eyes lit up in amazement and I regretted not bringing my camera. The fresh donuts were all displayed in the case and I told her she could pick out any one she wanted. She picked the chocolate sprinkle one of course. I then offered her chocolate milk to drink. "A chocolate donut AND chocolate milk," she asked in amazement. Sure, I said, thinking that I was going to dump her off on daycare to run around and wear off energy anyway. Besides, everyone deserves a treat now and again.

We picked a table by the conveyor belt. Her eyes were huge as she watched the donuts dump into the hot oil and then get baked brown, roll down to get drizzled with glaze and then get boxed up. Mouth covered in chocolate icing, lips caked with chocolate milk and a huge smile on her face - she says, "Mommy, you are the best. I love you."

I enjoy making special moments with my daughter and plan to make many, many more over the next few years. I did feel a pang of sadness because I don't have anything like that in my memory bank. I try really hard, sure there must be something there. But nope - nothing. Just black, emptiness. Little does my own daughter now, that as I create these memories with her, I'm enjoying creating a part of my own childhood too.


(Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but I got a chocolate creme filled donut and coffee - in direct defiance of my midwife's admonition yesterday to watch my weight gain - darn those recent ice cream cravings).

Friday, June 13, 2008

"F" Day

Here is the Father's Day card I should send my father -

(go here to see card - link - I got tired of seeing that picture every time I pulled up my blog)


I don't know how they got him to pose for this card....

The best thing about the past 5 years is not being compelled to send something to Toilet. That would send me into a week of darkness like I've never seen. If I did still send him something, it would be a card like this -

I must admit, you brought religion into my life...(Inside) - I never believed in Hell until I met you.

I see your face when I am dreaming. That's why I always wake up screaming.

Here's a video I like for dysfunctional Father's Day celebrants.



I like that video a lot. My mother once told me that she and my dad had children because that is what you were "supposed to do." Maybe they should have watched this video. Get a life does not mean have a child.


I don't know why I find Father's Day easier than Mother's Day. All I can figure is that since I have to actually send my mother something and "play" at celebrating with her, it makes things harder. With Father's Day, I can ignore it - except for celebrating for my husband. Church is always an issue. Last year the pastor did a sermon on reconciling with fathers. I think this year I'll go to Sunday school and skip preaching.

On Father's Day 2002, my bio-Dad reappeared. After 9 years of silence, it was odd to get a message on my answering machine. He had gotten my number from his mother, my Nana, who was still alive then. His message said it was for "my first name + maiden name" - he hadn't been around for my wedding. Dad and his new wife had broken things off so he figured it was time to have someone in his life. He looked up my sister and I. We met in person in September that year. He looked the same - man boobs and all. His language was atrocious. Where was my conservative father? He had a tattoo and cursed like a sailor. My sister had to constantly remind him not to say those words in front of the children. He talked horribly about my mother and his current ex-wife. Nothing kind to say there. Every topic of conversation he turned back to him and how rich he was. It became a huge joke among my sister and I. A few weeks later he and his wife reconciled. Since Sister and I refused to call her "mom" and weren't interested in an immediate reunion, we were once again cast to the curb. That's okay - honestly, I didn't really like the new Dad all that much anyway. I liked him even less when I saw him at his mother's funeral the next year. He had some choice words for my sister and I because we would not accept his crazy wife.

In 2003, I learned I was pregnant in May. I was already stressing about Father's Day and what to do about Toilet. His call saying he was in town and mom's reference to him as Grandpa (hurl) was the straw that strengthened me enough to cut off contact with him. It was SUCH a relief. Such a weight off my shoulders. I didn't have to buy him a card or a present.

I think perhaps the pressures of Father's Day that are now relieved, give me enough comfort that I don't dread Father's Day like I used too. Plus I have a source (my husband) to channel all that "need" to celebrate. That helps.

(((hugs))) to all of you readers who will struggle with this day. Hang in there. And if you need a laugh go to http://www.wrongcards.com/ and see what you could send out for Father's Day.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Lap of a Panda

Austin's post talks about wanting a mother's arms. She wrote -

"I want the nurturing arms of a mother wrapped around me. And I want to hear her say to me, “You’re okay. It’s going to be okay.” I want to feel a mother’s hand on my cheek brushing away the pain. I want a mother’s hand to brush my hair back, to rub my back, to wipe away my tears. I wanted nurturing."

When I read that, I was transported back in time........

I am old enough that the request seems odd. Every year we are allowed to choose one "big" present. I ask my Dad for a giant stuffed bear. (My parents are divorced and Dad has moved into his house and Sister & I into the other house. So I must be 11 or 12 meaning the abuse is ongoing.)

On Christmas morning I find a huge, 4-5 foot tall, stuffed panda bear. It is in a sitting position and exactly what I wanted

Panda is the perfect size and shape. When I'm sad I crawl up into his lap and curl up. His thick paws can wrap around me and hold me. I can put his one paw on my head as if he is stroking my hair. His thick fur is able to soak up lots and lots of tears. Sitting all curled up with him is just like what I imagine it would feel like to curl up on a parent's lap.

I wonder if they make pandas in adult sizes?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What I Learned About Men

With me supposed to be taking it easy, our recent vacation, and with my Daughter at VBS every evening, Husband and I have had lots of time to spend together. All our little quirks have come to the surface and after a week of squabbling, we decided to be grown-up about it and have a civilized discussion last night. I had psyched myself up all week. I was determined to keep my cool and not lose my temper.

(patting self on back) I have to say that things did not go exactly as planned. But in retrospect, I can see definite signs of healing. And I learned a whole lot about men - or at least about my man.
I did have to plan the conversation out in my head in advance several times over several days - planning for the worst case scenario. That did cause one nightmare and some anxiety. However, when the actual conversation took place, I was able to keep my cool and not entirely hide my hurting (not safe) emotions behind anger (safe). I could even stay "in the moment" enough to see some good points DH made. I walked out when things got too tough - but I didn't storm out like I sometimes do. I left calmly, cried in the car (alone), and drove to the store to buy some paint supplies (which I calmly walked in and gave to DH - instead of throwing them on the ground and telling him that if he had been smart, he would have gotten them in the first place).

I was able to, in a very round-about way, with much grasping for a word that I could say outloud, explain to DH a tiny bit about how I felt. He tried the usual "men and women are different....that's just the way men see things" comment. I told him that I was not a "typical woman" and he was going to have to learn that I didn't want a "typical man." I think he finally understood that I wanted to be loved for who I am inside and for the things that I do on my own power -- not for what I look like or appearances. His comments that I am "hot" or "sexy" or other references to body parts are not at all something I need or want to hear. I told him I'd much rather be appreciated for being a good mother, good wife, kind, etc.
I learned that DH is very insecure. Are all men like this on the inside? He told me about these ads that are in the back of hunting magazines. Ads that promise to make a man "bigger and better" and "enhance his maleness" and even "scents to drive your woman wild." I had no earthly idea. I thought those things were only in the back of Cosmopolitan and frankly, aside from a few giggles when I was 13, I've not read them since. I wanted to laugh that DH actually took those things seriously. But I bit my tongue (good move on my part) and was able to reassure DH that my lack of interest is due to my feeling like a beached whale and being in pain - not because he is not "manly" enough.

I also learned that DH has a very fragile ego. He was painting our living room ceiling and frustrated that the paint wasn't going on right. He asked if he had missed any spots and I suggested he go in one direction. He did not take kindly to my suggestions. When I went out to pick up a long handled brush (it was killing me to watch him strain on tippy toes to reach the ceiling) and plastic (to protect my furniture that he swore would not get dripped on) I just brought them back, said nothing, and laid them down. This morning he asked what I thought of the ceiling - frankly it looks like crap. Missed spots and you can obviously tell where he painted in different directions. I, thought quickly and said, "I think that paint stunk and we ought to chalk it up to a really expensive primer job and buy the stuff you used in Daughter's room. Because the job you did in there looks awesome and so it must be the paint we used in here."

This morning I asked DH if there was anything specific he wanted for Father's Day. I had some awesome (if I do say so myself) ideas. He wants a red-dot sight for his gun (no idea what that is) or.......he finally admitted that he wanted to go in and play golf with his father and that he wanted to take our daughter in too, because it would make his mom happy. We've had some detailed discussions about how his parents are getting a bit too expectant of seeing us every 2 weeks and calling at least once every single day, and how we needed to curtail things. So at first I was reluctant and commented, "don't you have any friends to do things with?" A few moments ago, I called DH and told him to go ahead and plan on golf and to just pay for his dad to play as our gift to him. DH is happy. FIL will be happy. MIL will be happy. I'm disappointed that we're not doing something as a family on Father's Day, but I guess it's not about me.

Anyway, I guess I'll have all day Saturday to myself. Whatever will I do? Maybe I'll put my newfound knowledge about men, or at least one man, to use and shop ahead for Dh's birthday and our anniversary. He did mention something about a red dot sight.....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quick Update

Thanks to all for your emails and comments. Figured I'd do a quick update here since I'm trying to rest and may not get to individual responses quite soon. So here are the top responses -

- Any signs of pre-term labor - nope thank goodness.

- Are the antibiotics kicking in yet - the spasming has subsided some. So i think they are starting to kick in.

- Any more passing out - if by "passing out" you mean full out, hit the floor, fade into unconsciousness, then No. If you include dizziness to the point of seeing spots and catching oneself and sitting/lying down just before fading into unconsciousness, then Yes. But that only happens when I push it to hard, and I'm really working on not doing that.

- How are you feeling? - other than the above, I'm so-so. I find it hard to accept how easily I get tired and need a break. It is so unlike me and I'm not used to it at all. I find it hard to realize how quickly the heat zaps me or how little amount of time I can stand on my feet before needing to sit down. I hate not being able to do things like I normally do.

Other than things are okay. DH and I need to have a VERY serious discussion tonight about his comments of late...but that is for another post.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I have a Doctor's Note now


My husband did really good on Monday when I was supposed to take it easy. By Tuesday he was concerned with making up his lost work out session at the gym. By Wednesday he had completely forgotten about my need to slow down.
By Thursday, I was in pain and mentioned to my husband that it felt like my insides were coming out. Sure it was just normal pregnancy stuff and anxiety, and not wanting to just get sent home again, I took tylenol, drank more water and tried to relax.
Yesterday (Friday) I was pretty miserable by 3 pm. I came home, got out the air compresser and blew up Daughter's pool. Then I relaxed with my feet in the pool while it filled up. I had asked DH to pick up Daughter and told him I was going to cook dinner ("cook" as opposed to heat up frozen food). He decided he just "had" to work out again so he went and did that. Dinner was on the table at 5. I called him at 5:10 and he was just getting her. He got home and dinner was not really good anymore. I was a little irritated.
While I was filling the pool, I had put on a tank top style shirt and got about 15 minutes of sun on my otherwise chalky white skin. When DH came home he made a lewd comment. I went and took a shower and changed into other clothes.
Apparently I was "expected" to realize that wearing that shirt, plus the fact that DH rubbed my feet and said he was going into the bedroom at 9:30 was an expectation of something. Darn - I missed that subtlety.
DH was in a pissy mood this morning. After he kept me up all night with his FOUR (yes four) trips back and forth between the bed and the couch, saying he couldn't sleep, and then waking me up to tell me he was taking the dog out (wouldn't a note do?), I was pissy too. So while he was out walking the dog (because our fenced in yard is not enough) and then bathing her (because our dog "requires" bathing at least 1x a week), I was cleaning the entire house. He came in just as I was leaving with Daughter to go to the grocery store (because somebody - and not the pregnant one - ate 4 boxes of cookies in 1 week, along with all the milk). When I came home he was on the couch and laid there, while I lugged laundry, scrubbed the bathrooms (the ones he's been promising to clean for 3 weeks and which were now a health hazard) and then fixed lunch.
After lunch I laid down. He came in and laid down and then asked why I was so pissy. He then offered to share why he was pissy, but said it would make me mad. Apparently since I had the audacity to wear that shirt and then ignore his oh-so-obvious invitation, he was mad.
I informed him that when your wife says she feels like her insides are coming out and she can't even sit for long periods of time without hurting, that there is no way on this earth she is interested in "that." I also told him that lying on the couch while I cleaned the entire house wasn't earning him any points in that direction either. I ignored the tank top comment since it was too triggering and pissed me off.
A few hours later, when tylenol was not helping any more and he was gone to a pool party with Daughter, I dragged myself to Urgent Care. I have a nice raging UTI. After a conference between the urgent care doctor and my midwife, I was prescribed antibiotics, but no painkillers and no nice numbing meds either. So life for the next 48 hours will be pretty miserable. I was also told to rest, rest, rest - since UTIs can cause preterm labor.
All of this might be worth it though - because I have an official doctors note ordering me to rest, stay off feet AND..... no intercourse until symptoms clear up.........which judging by DH's attitude might be .....NEVER. (oh and I made sure to point out that part to DH when I handed him the paperwork to file).

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Funny - a VERY serious 4 year old conversation

Husband - dang it, I forgot to pull the trash cans back up.
DD - Ooh you said a bad word.
Me - what word is that?
DD - you know......
Husband - you mean dang?
DD - [nodding]
Husband - well that's not a great word, but it's not really bad.
DD - maybe you should say "damn it" instead.
me - [choking]
Husband - [trying not to laugh] - no that's a really bad word. Where did you hear that?
DD - at school, they all say it. They say that beavers have dams all the time.
Husband - that's dam - spelled D---A---M, not damn spelled D---A----M-----N. There's a difference. You can talk about beavers and dams, but you can't say "damn it" [long explanation............ of dam versus damn]
DD - [eyes glazed over] so I can talk about the dam beavers but not damn it.
me - [too hysterical to talk.]

"NO" - averaging about 50%


I don't do real well in taking care of myself, even when those are the doctor's orders. So far I'm averaging about 50% - something good for myself for every "not so good" thing.


Monday - attempted to nap per doctor's orders but was too anxious. Did lay on couch all day except for frequent bathroom trips and a few trips to the downstairs couch to check in at work. Husband did decide he just "had" to go to the gym. I tried to get Daughter to watch a movie and snuggle but did end up going outside to watch her play - mostly I sat in a chair, but I did pitch a few balls for her to hit. Drank strictly water the rest of the day.


Tuesday - slept in and then did take a nap. Laid on couch all day, either watching TV or working. Got up long enough to shower, dress and go to T appointment. Then sat outside in a lawnchair and watched DH and Daughter plant the garden. I was "in charge" of cutting the labels off of the plants. Had 1 cup of coffee in morning and drank water the rest of the day.


Wednesday - back to work. Skipped my exercise routine in morning. Made it to the office with full intentions of taking a 2 hour lunch, going home and napping. When everyone under the sun called me back during lunch, I just ate at my desk. Did leave about 3:30 and go home to lie down and nap. Then went to church where I proceeded to fetch all the plates, cups, napkins, desserts, drinks, etc before realizing that Husband has two hands and feet. I interrupted his gossiping and made him go fetch! Then went to a meeting where we were informed our children's minister is leaving. Uh oh - last time that happened, I somehow ended up taking over the part-time job on a volunteer basis. As we walked to the car, the person in charge of figuring out how the congregation will meet these new needs approached me about spearheading the committee to do it all. "You don't have to do it, just organize it." NO WAY I said, patting myself on the back. DH then said, "well you have stuff on your computer, you could help them out a bit....ARGH." The ARGH was because I hauled off and kicked him...hard...in the shins. Went home to bed. Drank all water except for 1 cup caffeine in morning, 1 bottle cold green tea in afternoon, and 1 cup lemonade at church.


Thursday - got up and got Daughter ready for school. Fussed with her because she wanted to wear her see-through, toile, ballet tutu with only her panties underneath. Made her put on shorts, which she insisted looked "stupid." Drove to school where I realized DH had not paid the $4 needed by today. Went out to car, got checkbook, back inside to be told they'd prefer cash. Went to an ortho appt where I insisted they sit me up as much as possible. Talked the ortho out of cosmetic stuff, which means approximately 2 more visits and I'm done. Endured the agony of brace tightening. Drank 1/2 cup coffee in ortho office. Drove to coffeeshop and got a fruit smoothie and then to office. Went out and grabbed lunch, but came back to office instead of going home. Intended to leave early but forgot I have a 4pm appt.
Just got an email that partner is in hospital. Volunteered to cover his cases for next two weeks. Schedule just got more hectic. On the other hand, he doesn't hesitate to cover for me - and I'm the only other attny that can handle his domestic stuff.
At home, I cooked dinner while my husband bitched and moaned about the heat and his garden. I fed daughter. I cleaned up. I then laid myself on the couch where we all had "game night" and played numerous hands of "go fish" and memory. Then I got Daughter's bath ready while DH, saving his hide, called and said he was not playing softball anymore given my "condition." (really it's more about the fact that he can't handle the heat). DH washed Daughter up, then I put her to bed. Went to bed at 9:30.
Less water - more caffeine. Not a good trend. Thought I was feeling better, then realized that it was just the tylenol I took after the ortho appt.


Friday - court today. Up against the meanest SOB in town. Got up, and because it is farm day, helped Daughter with her overalls and put her hair in braided piggy tales. Husband was off doing who knows what. Got her fed and myself. Husband did put her shoes on her (despite our agreement that she needed to be dressing herself) and took her to school.
At work by 7:15 drinking water alternated with Pepsi. Anxious about court. Did some deep breathing. Schedule is jam-packed today.


Note to self - JUST SAY NO. Find time to take a lunch break today. Have a talk with Husband about the meaning of my slowing down and that he needs to step things up. Stop doing everything for everyone and take care of myself.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Snow White


How many of you remember the story of Snow White? It's one of my daughter's new favorite fairy tales.

A new book* I'm reading had some good points about princesses.

Snow White was a beautiful young child. She was born with a song and dance in her step - meant for a world of beauty and love. But that wasn't the world she was born into.

Her downfall began when, at age seven, her beauty surpassed that of her mother (step-mother - depending on the version). Then she was introduced to envy, jealousy and rage. The people who were expected to protect her and love her, turned against her. She was thrown out on her own at a very young age, naive and alone.

No longer safe in her own house, Snow White runs away. She wanders alone in the woods, and afraid. Naive and all alone she befriends seven dwarfs. There she flourishes, sings, dances and begins to live again.

The Queen, however, finds her and will use Snow White's naivete against her. The Queen disguises herself as a poor beggar woman, and using a beautiful, delicious apple, tempts Snow White.

Just like Snow White, we fall prey to poison. We sometimes don't recognize it for what it is. Often it comes disguised in form, from the hands of someone we love and should be able to trust. Sometimes poison comes from an event or an assault. Rescue comes much, much later.

More than the poison itself, are the words that we are told about it. And the things we come to believe about ourselves are often the most deadly. Like Snow White, all or part of us, falls into a deep slumber and "goes away."

All children, especially girls, long to star in a fairy tale. To be the beautiful princess adored by all. We want to be romanced, be the star of some magnificent tale, and be seen as beautiful. Little boys often dress up as princes, warriors, army men and cowboys. They want to be the protector and the strong one. Girls dress up as brides, princesses, fairies, with lots of makeup and jewelry. They want to be the pretty princess.

Snow White is awakened from her cold, dark, deadly slumber by the kiss of the Prince. She comes into her own body and rides off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

The key to recovery and survival is to find your own Prince. I'm not talking about a literal person (although the author found her Prince in the 'Prince of Peace' - Jesus). I think it is about finding your own inner peace, something that makes you come out of that cold, dark sleep - comes out of the 'numb' place that too many of us live in.
The one part of Snow White that I don't agree with is that she wakes up suddenly. It wasn't like that for me - or for many others, I suspect. I think more often it is a slow awakening, with lots of hitting the snooze button and drifting back into "la la" land.

*Stasi Eldredge's book -- Your Captivating Heart.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bed Rest - a Few Days anyway


The dizziness was pretty bad the last few days. I have no energy either. I blamed it on anxiety. I got up this morning and was just feeling horrible - crampy, dizzy, sick. I went to work and walked up the stairs and promptly passed out at the top. I did manage to catch myself and sit down before hitting the floor - and luckily no one was there to see me. I wasn't really out cold. Just on that verge. I then crawled to the bathroom and got sick. Called the doctor and they saw me right away. I'm now on bedrest - for 2 days at least. I can go back to work Wednesday if I feel better.

I am passing some blood but no infection - so they are suspicious of a kidney infection but we're waiting to see. I was extremely dehydrated. Granted it was first thing in the morning and all I had drunk was coffee. But my levels were still 8x too concentrated. So I'm under strict orders to drink a TON of water - repetitive trips to the bathroom notwithstanding. My habit of limiting water at night to avoid all the up and down at night - done. Drinking water is more important now.

The midwife said the rest of the symptoms is most likely anxiety. I'm to follow up with my T (I have an appt tomorrow). I'm under orders to severely limit caffeine and other stimulants which can make anxiety worse. And if it keeps up to consider a psychiatrist to see if there are any meds I can take while pregnant (probably not).

I'm not at all sure that staying at home is better anxiety-wise than being at work. Especially since I'm coming off 6 days off from work and have 2 trials later this week that I really need to be preparing for. But I'm going to have my assistant put some stuff together and have my husband pick it up tonight. The midwife did say I can work from home - in between bathroom trips as I drink my gallon of water. Speaking of water.....

Update on the Plumbing.

Toilet's inner plumbing isn't doing so well. The doctor released him, but his work required more tests before letting him back behind the wheel (he's a truck driver and the DOT has strict requirements). My sister got the update from mom.

Toilet had some more tests. I don't understand it all - but one of the parts of his heart isn't working right. He's had two additional heart attacks that he was unaware of - not sure if this was prior to his bad one or after. In any event, he is at a severe risk of another attack and they are considering a defibrillator. He will probably not be cleared to go back to work. He may be given the option to take early retirement. He may be placed on permanent disability. Either way, they both will lose their medical insurance if he is unemployed.

Mom is miserable. She absolutely has zero sympathy for sick people. She is the world's worst nurse. Toilet can do nothing, nada, zip. He tried to mow the law, apparently. How hard can it be to just sit on a riding lawn mower? Difficult apparently - he ran it down the hill into the woods and a neighbor had to pull it out. Mom has to fix special meals for him. Because he can't possibly go alone, she has to go for walks with him. She has to eat his healthier meal requirements. At the same time, she is trying to cut back smoking - which has resulted in her eating more and more.

My sister and I surmise that cutting back in smoking has more to do with the money issues than with health issues. And neither of us can imagine the moods in that house - him quitting smoking and drinking, her cutting back on smoking. Yikes.

Life sure is ironic. Mom left my, quite -well off- she never had to work - father. Married Toilet. Thought he was the key to her staying at home again. Nope. She tried again when the moved down south. Didn't happen and back to work she went. She has been SO resentful of working. Toilet goes through jobs like people go through...well..toilet paper (pun intended). He gets fed up, quits. Now here she is - the primary breadwinner. Having to support him. Having to care for him. She married him out of some quest for stability and support - she couldn't "possibly" do it on her own. She told me on that fateful day when I was given the "choice" of staying silent or calling the police over what he did, that if I told, it would mean the loss of our house, income, etc. She "sold" me for her sense of stability. And now she's lost it. Do I feel sorry for her? Nope. I hope she is happy in her misery. Maybe that makes me a bad person...oh well. I can live with that.